Probably the worst thing about the internet age is that it is possible for the actions of a few dedicated fanatics to be amplified around the world, to the point that the ignorant masses conflate the beliefs and actions of a few fanatics as emblematic of an entire culture.

I'm what you might call a First Amendment absolutist. In other words, I am very hard-pressed to support any state action that would infringe upon anyone's exercise of free speech, regardless of odious, or even potentially destructive such utterances may prove to be.

So this attention-starved dipshit of a preacher in Florida wants to celebrate 9/11 by burning some copies of the The Koran. Lots of people are upset by this, which is, of course, exactly what attention-starved dipshits want. Which is why I'm not mentioning his name, the name of his church, or even the miserable swamp of a town in which this is all taking place.

BUT I do believe that he and his flock (such an appropriate metaphor, really) have an absolute right to do so. Just like I have an absolute right to burn the Bible, burn the American flag, shove a crucifix up my ass, sculpt a menorah out of bacon, and tease Glen Beck about his magic underwear. I wouldn't do any of these things* because even on my most cantankerous days I'm just not that much of an asshole. But it is really important to me that I could.
This is probably going to happen...there's just been too much publicity for it to go quietly away. More than any violence it may incite towards Americans (particularly troops abroad)--because really, I think that train has left the station for now--I am worried that some local pol is going to use some technicality (like, for example, a lack of a burn permit) to shut this circus down.

So please, on behalf of all of us who love the First Amendment like the girlfriend who occasionally rips your heart out just to watch it beat, please, do not make a First Amendment Martyr out of this asshole.

*OK, I probably would make fun of magic Mormon underwear, because seriously, that shit is just ridiculous.

UPDATE: I guess it is just as well I didn't wait until evening to post this since the event appears to be canceled. Maybe it is just my pro-blasphemy bias talking, but I'm almost sorry this is the case. I think it would have been a tremendous civic exercise for this tohave gone forward...and then nothing come of it.


Gino said...

i usually try to understand the deeper reasoning toward other religion's goofy-looking (to me) practices.

but i'm still waiting for one concerning the mormon underwear. aparently, none of the mormons i've met know why they wear that shit either.

Brian said...

My (probably incomplete to ignorant) understanding is that most of their goofy rituals were borrowed/stolen/adapted from Masonic rituals. Not that this really explains anything.

Gino said...

and my question at this point would be:
and how does this enrich the soul and/or bring you closer to God?

and its always crickets.

Brian said...

Well, there is definitely a school of thought that says that ritual (of any kind) is really a means, not an end. The actual end being to get you into a particular headspace that is amenable to spiritual insight/feeling closer to God/whatever you want to call it. So I guess if you are amenable to that sort of transformation, then the particulars of the ritual itself probably don't matter much.

I tend to think really concretely (i.e.,a cracker is a cracker, getting dunked in water is getting dunked in water, and talking to yourself is talking to yourself) which is probably one reason why I was so bad at being religious, ultimately.

Gino said...

i'm catholic. by choice.
yes, ritual does indeed rock.