Mr Jones says he sincerely hopes burning Korans will not lead to violence.
Picture and caption from BBC News, Profile: Dove World Outreach Center
Despite Pastor Jones sincere hopes, burning Qurans will lead to violence, and the plan for doing so already has.
The once obscure minister to a congregation of less than 50, with a heavy mortgage debt ($140,000 which the Royal Bank of Canada has now decided to call in full), and precious little in the way of an international following for his "Dove World Outreach Center", the Pastor now has international news outlets reporting on him 24/7.
As an aficionado of protest rallies against pornography stores, abortion centres, and for the 9/11 2009 commemoration, Pastor Jones has now garnered protesters of his own.
Protesters burned an effigy of Mr Jones in Kabul, BBC News
The Pastor's own perseverations:
I once took a Comparative Literature course on the Bible, taught by a Master of Divinity, PhD in Literature, who was teaching the literary structuring and impact of the Bible. One of the offended Doctors of Divinity in this (second year BA) course boomed from the back of the amphitheatre, in his best Sunday sermon voice, "You are undermining Christiantiy!". The senior professor and administrator squinted up through his pop bottle lenses, looked quizzically for a moment, and then proceeded through his lecture notes. Nice Anglican former preacher that he was, the professor never questioned the divine origins of the Bible, but focused instead on its history in human hands, particularly in the writing hands who composed the great literary works inspired by or suffused with it.
Not so Pastor Jones, who confidently holds forth on goodness and evil as if he himself were sitting at the right hand of God. While his whole project is an embarrassment to Christianity, and meets the very definition of the grotesque--simultaneously laughable and horrific (like a gargoyle)--his "amplification" of the Bible is particularly noteworthy.
From Acts 19 (Amplified)Please note that in the Biblical account of book burning, even in the Pastor's amplified version, those who converted from their previous beliefs to Christianity, c. 52-54 CE, voluntarily burned THEIR OWN copies of THEIR OWN previous religion's texts.
18Many also of those who were now believers came making full confession and thoroughly exposing their [former deceptive and evil] practices.
19And many of those who had practiced curious, magical arts collected their books and [throwing them, book after book, on the pile] burned them in the sight of everybody. When they counted the value of them, they found it amounted to 50,000 pieces of silver (about $9,300).
20Thus the Word of the Lord [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God] grew and spread and intensified, prevailing mightily.
From the Dove World Outreach Blog, 10 Reasons to Burn a Koran
Acts 19 King James Version [Unamplified]Does Pastor Jones then wish lapsed Christians to burn Bibles? Or does he wish Muslims to spontaneously embrace Jesus as the Son of God, and burn Qurans? Given that Acts 19 describes the missionary journeys of St Paul through Asia Minor, should all Greeks and Hellenophiles burn their Ancient Greek books? In light of the number of great ancient civilizations that marked Anatolia pre-Christianity and pre-Islam, will Turks have the most variety of books to burn? Since the full "Acts of the Apostles" describes the Apostolic era of spreading Christianity after the death of Jesus, and includes St Peter's missions among the Hebrews, should all Jews burn a Torah? Should the Israelis be helping by organizing the latter on a national and international level?
 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
From The Oxford Text Archive, courtesy of the University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative
Since the Gainesville Florida Fire Department has refused to issue a license for the burning, could the Gainesville police arrest the book burners? Before or after they torch a Quran? Would it help prevent any violence if they did?
Would it be too much to ask of Pastor Jones, and his flock of <50, that while they "weigh" and "pray" on what to do about the potential ramifications of their International Quran Burning Day, they come up with a little guidance on that issue of which books we should be Biblically burning--especially for us Comparatists who are likely to be crippled by indecision over the plethora of choices on our bookshelves? Forgot. The good Pastor has specifically determined that Islam is of the Devil, hence the title of his book, and the specificity of his book burning day.
It must be nice to be sitting on the right hand of God.
Michelangelo's The Last Judgment, Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Cathedral, Vatican City
Or has Pastor Jones simply elevated narcissism to self-deification?
Isn't that blasphemous?
Could Pastor Jones have targeted any other faith group, and proceeded to action despite knowledgeable predictions of resulting violence to Americans in combat zones, without being charged with hate speech?
At what point does one become a Benedict Arnold?
What constitutes high crimes and misdemeanours?
Speaking of which, where is the Commander-in-Chief on this? American religious leaders of all faiths have spoken out against this. So has UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. What does President Obama have to say about it? Is he leaving it strictly in the hands of General David Petraeus? Has he sent out Hillary Clinton to take the fall? Is he leaving the heavy lifting to the Vatican? Is he too quelled by mosque commentary and upcoming elections?
The Last Judgment, indeed.
Fra Angelico, The Last Judgment, San Marco, Florence
Your comments, thoughts, impressions?
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