You might remember a blog post about Fr Pfleger, one of those ueber-liberal priests desirous to worship social ideals and, of course, themselves.
To what kind of madness this “homemade Catholicism” can lead is showed by the news, now reported by the Chicago Tribune , that Fr Pfleger has, no less, given an ultimatum to his bishop to reintegrate him within this weekend, or else he will start preaching on his own wherever he is invited…. .
Now, we fully understand that Fr Pfleger wants to leave the Church anyway and, apart from the consequences for his soul, I can’t say that the event saddens me so much.
What surprises me is that Pfleger descends to such a level of infantilism as to give an ultimatum to his bishop as to his disciplinary measure, as if he had any control over what the bishop can (or more probably: will) do to him.
In the article you will also notice that the man, preparing himself for his new audience, has adopted clearly Protestant tones: he will, he says, leaves the church (and with that, clearly, the Church) “if he believes God wants him to go”. This statement sounds pure Pentecostalism to me, with the chap in question justifying his obviously unChristian (and rebellious) decision with what he thinks “God wants him to do”. One is also reminded of Terry Jones, the pastor who has been already entertaining us with his clear attempts to receive phoine calls from heaven, and then deciding their content themselves. Most of all, it reminds one of those “man bites dog” headlines…..
Pfleger remains, then , utterly rebellious and his behaviour increasingly more childish (he “needs to get back to preaching”; vanitas vanitatum…).
I think, therefore, that he will soon be asked to go.
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Father….
After Jones’ burning exercise, UN workers have been attacked and several of them killed in Mazar-i-Sharif, a city in northern Afghanistan.
There are several considerations to be made here:
1) The freedom of Terry Jones to burn however many Korans he wants to burn must not be put into question: I have already made this point in the previous message, but repetita iuvant.
2) The cause of the killings is very obviously – though I am sure people of slow intelligence will not get this – not Terry Jones burning the Koran, but the existence of fanatical muslims ready to take every excuse to kill people.
3) What has happened in Mazar-i-Sharif not only cannot be blamed on Jones, but makes his point in the most impressive manner.
Please listen to this interview with ABC. The rather cretinous journalist continues to pose suggestive questions to Jones, all the whilst exhibiting the most sanctimonious of tones. Jones answers to them simply like one who has nothing to do with the killings, and condemns these animals. When the sanctimonious lady throws the mask and poses the question openly (whining tone, oh so virtuous): “do you fe-eel res-po-on-si-ble?” he clearly answers that he isn’t; when she asks “how wou-ou-ld you fe-el” if someone burned a bible he gives her a lesson in democracy and civilisation; when she says to him that he “en-c-couraged” the killing (an astonishing affirmation, this, not only factually wrong but showing a breathtaking illiberal bias) Jones again keeps calm (kudos to him; I could never have achieved that) and repeats his “Islam is dangerous, see events in Afghanistan” point.
And in fact, the man is perfectly right in this: that the koran burning exercise is juts the last excuse for something fanatics want to do in the first place. You want proof?
1) Even the most moronic islamic fanatic can go on youtube and delight himself with Koran burning galore. I have already pointed out in the past to the fact that on Youtube, “every day is burn a Koran day”. Why do the chaps wake up only today? Where have they been all the time? The videos have been on youtube for years and there are many more where they come from……
2) I am not aware of any islamic fanatic ever being short or reasons why he should behave like a fanatic. If it’s not the burning of Koran it is the threat to burn Korans; if it’s not the threat to burn Korans it is a cartoon about their most famous child rapist, Mohammed; if it’s not Mohammed, the child rapist it’s the invasion of Iraq (supported by a couple of dozens Arab countries); if it’s not the invasion of Iraq it’s the presence of American boots on Saudi soil, & Co, & Co. Still, the slow of intellect will, no doubt, have problems in getting the point.
3) Even within the very liberal, champagne-sipping walls of the ABC the simple principle of responsibility of one’s actions should find application. To ask terry Jones whether he feels responsible for what fanatical asses have done in Afghanistan is not only a betrayal of common sense, but a blatant disregard of that principle.
4) As already said, the events in Kabul prove Terry Jones’ case. The more the idiots react with such fanaticism to him, the more they prove that the problem is their fanaticism, and the religion fuelling it.
Terry Jones is not a genius, but he certainly has a point.
One can safely say that Terry Jones is, well, not a genius. One is at a loss to understand how a man can decide:
1) to announce that he is going to burn a Koran
2) to announce that he will wait for signals from the Holy Ghost about what to do;
3) to announce a very broad palette of events which he would consider being the word of the Holy Ghost not to do it;
4) when no one of the events occurs, to decide not to do it anyway;
I do understand that some of our erring Proddie brothers make a great deal of what they imagine the Holy Ghost is telling to them, but from the way Terry Jones acts the Holy Ghost would seem to be rather unstable; which leads us to the unavoidable conclusion that the unstable one is, well, Terry Jones himself.
The Terry Jones saga now has a new chapter written (er….. burnt?), as the man, probably on the look for some more attention or needing some money, decided that the Holy Ghost has evidently changed his mind once again and has organised a sort of trial of the Koran (these people complain about the Holy Inquisition, I am sure…) at the end of which they, well, decided to burn it.
Let me say what I think of this specific action:
1) It is perfectly within the right of Mr. Terry Jones, or of every Mr. Joe Average, to burn a Koran. Mr. Jones lives in the Land Of The Free (USA) instead of in the Land Of The Politically Correct Cowards (United Kingdom) and he therefore has all the rights to exercise his freedom as he thinks fit.
2) The idea of staging a “trial to the Koran” is very childish. It shows once again that the man is on the look for a publicity stunt, and that his followers are certainly not picked amongst the brightest minds of that great nation.
3) The idea of burning the Koran (instead of, say, pronouncing the Koran heretical, or blasphemous, or outright idiotic and leave it at that; it’s a book, for Heaven’s sake, and it’s not even a trial!) is further proof that the man will do whatever brings him some notoriety. I am still waiting for an explanation from him about why the Holy Ghost would change His mind so often on the matter, but perhaps I’m asking too much.
In conclusion, I think that we can safely say that the man shows all the worst traits of Protestantism and is, certainly – not because of the burning of the Koran in itself, mind; but because of the ridiculous “Holy Ghost circus” and “wannabe Inquisition” habits of his – not good publicity for Christianity.
Having said that, the man most certainly has a point.
Which will be the subject of the next blog post.
Curious after the astonishingly fanatical – but in no way surprising – reaction of Muslim extremists, I did what I am sure many others have done: look on youtube and see what I can find there. It would seem that the idea has been very public for a while.
Here are just three among the many examples:
1) This is a young man playing apprentice Christian. Rather confused, poor chap, and with a strange mixture of political resentment and youthful aggression. He is very cost-conscious and goes for the economical solution: cheap paperback, in English. One assumes he did it whilst his parents were away. The fixed camera shows that he couldn’t even find a friend to handle the camera, but I do not think the offence to the Child Rapist will be considered less grave for that. And there you are, Koran unmistakably burning in technicolor…. Do yourself a favour, though, and switch off the audio…..
This has been put on youtube almost one year ago, when the world thought Terry Jones was the Monty Phyton actor. One wonders where the Muslim fanatics were?
2) This here is a rather more refined chap. He first covers his back making clear that the burning is covered by the First Amendment. In addition, his Koran shows a certain aesthetic discernment, but it is still paperback and it is still in English. This will, I am afraid, not qualify the exercise as sacrilegious by many a Muslim fanatic. They insist on Arabic, if you please.
This has been online, unless I am mistaken, since 2008. In the meantime, no world revolutions that I know of.
3) This here is the artist. One sees that he has put time, effort and money in the endeavour. He is also better educated, as his choice of material shows.
Impressive musical background (a real and well-chosen soundtrack, not Eminem). Nice book. Hardcover. Finely illustrated. In colour. In Arabic. This chap has all the bases covered.
This is from December 2007, no less. It wins the “burn a Koran day” hands down. To my knowledge, no mass killing because of this video.
There are many others, of course. On youtube. Publicly displayed. That have been there for years.
Now one wonders: if the burning of a Koran is such a desecration deserving of a harsh punishment, why have all these video never unchained a revolution? No broadband? How can it be that such an allegedly scandalous desecration causes so much scandal if an unknown pastor leading a micro-community announces it, but no reaction when dozens of people have been doing the same publicly, for the entire planet to see, for years?
Another question: if the avoiding of the burning is so important, wouldn’t it be better to play it down? Don’t they think that if these controversies go on, these videos will rapidly multiply and become an “artistic genre” of its own? It is not difficult to burn a Koran anonymously in the privacy of your fireplace or garden, and you can put it on the internet for the entire world to see without fearing anything. First amendment, and all that….
Could it be that dear fanatic Islamists don’t give a dime for the burning Korans, but don’t lose an occasion to score some cheap self-victimhood point?
And please let us stop with the idea of the world revolution: the Arab world has been humiliated repeatedly in the last years, two of their countries invaded, others forced to choose between acquiescence and war. Nothing happened.
Father Z has drawn attention on this Ann Coulter article.
Whilst I do not approve all that she says (and she has been rather a disappointment of late), I think this article is very useful in exposing a spread misconception about the world of Muslim fanatics: that if we appease them and/or do as they want, they’ll miraculously stop being fanatical.
The argument is utterly flawed. If one thinks that Obama Bin Laden didn’t need more than the (invited!) presence of American soldiers in Saudi Arabia to start his unholy and utterly failed “war”, you understand that Islamic rage is a molotov waiting to self-ignite, without any need for excuses. The last complaint is just the last fig leaf for what is their fundamental problem (fanaticism) and the fundamental problem of their religion (a false one; established by a child rapist; encouraging violence and fanaticism).
Let us see some of the most relevant assertions of Ann Coulter:
1) “Gen. Petraeus objected to the Quran-burning protest on the grounds that it could be used by radical jihadists to recruit Muslims to attack Americans.
This is what liberals say whenever we do anything displeasing to the enemy – invade Iraq, hold captured terrorists in Guantanamo, interrogate captured jihadists or publish Muhammad cartoons. Is there a website somewhere listing everything that encourages terrorist recruiting?
If the general’s main objective is to hamper jihadist recruiting, may I respectfully suggest unconditional surrender? Because on his theory, you know what would really kill the terrorists’ recruiting ability? If we adopted Sharia law!”
2) “There have been more terrorist attacks on U.S. soil by these allegedly calmed Muslims in Obama’s first 18 months in office than in the six years under Bush after he invaded Iraq.”
3) “Also, as I recall, there was no Guantanamo, no Afghanistan war and no Iraq war on Sept. 10, 2001. And yet, somehow, Osama bin Ladin had no trouble recruiting back then. Can we retire the “it will help them recruit” argument yet?”
These observations are extremely pertinent. It is rather disturbing, in fact, that nowadays even generals suggest in public that one should do not anything he is free to do in order not to anger fanatics living on the other side of the planet. One can be against or in favour of the burning (brilliantly, Ann Coulter says that she is in favour “mainly because burning Korans will contribute to global warming”) but a general should never make this type of suggestions, whatever the proposed behaviour. This is exactly the contrary of the freedom he is fighting for and Coulter’s observations are very pertinent.
Well at least it is becoming all a big laugh. I wonder if Muslim fanatics do have sense of humour, though; they believe that a child rapist is their prophet and don’t even see the ridicule of that after all.
Terry Jones is then, we are informed, slowly waking up to his own stupidity. He was told the Imam would get on the lift and fetch him the Moon, but now he realises this might not happen after all. “But he said so”, swears he, his moustache vibrating in righteous fibrillation.
God now seems to have inspired him to simply “hold” the burning. Apparently. Probably until He lets him know what other signs He will have to send him for the burning (which the chap now truly, seriously, desperately wants to avoid) to be definitely cancelled.
One wonders what these signs will be. A call from his wife perhaps? His dog suddenly starting to bark? A cold day on the North Pole?
No doubt he will now go into a prayer retreat with the three members of his church still not denying that they ever knew him, waiting for instructions.
He had a huge opportunity and he has spectacularly blown it and made an ass of himself in the process.
Congratulations, pastor Terry Jones.
Terry Jones doesn’t know me. Not that this is a very rare evenience, or a particularly disgraceful one. But in this case knowing me might perhaps (just perhaps) have had some advantage.
He might have called me, for example, and asked me what he should do. He would have probably told me that he is terrified, that this thing has gone completely out of control, he has everyone against him from Obama to the Pope to Sarah Palin and not even paramilitary groups have wanted to be at his ceremony.
Well, if he had called I would have said to him: “Don’t panic, old boy. You made a very clever move and showed to the entire planet the danger represented by Islamic fanaticism, a religion with a lot people ready to start massacres just because you burn books they consider holy”.
“Yes, Mundabor” he would have said “but I now really, really want to get out of this. What shall I do?”
“Very simple, Terry, old boy” I would have answered. “Put your nicest face and your nicest suit on, go in front of the cameras, say that you have already reached your objective of showing how dangerous Muslim fanaticism is. Say that you do not want the eruption of this senseless violence to be linked with your name and announce the end of the initiative without the burning of the Korans. Then send your best greetings to the boys in Afghanistan and go away with the notoriety, the point well made, your face and an intact reputation”.
This is what I would have told him. But you see, he didn’t call me. Not only because he doesn’t know me but because he is a Protestant. Which makes things a bit weird.
Therefore, he retired in prayer with his community, waiting for a “sign”. Which is strange, isn’t it? If you are waiting for a sign why do you announce the initiative in the first place? Was there no sign then? Has God changed His mind?
Then he and his small community (all terrified, one supposes) decide that the sign can be, in fact, pretty much everything… a phone call and he is out, God must have told him. The President would be best, but really, pretty much everyone big in Washington would seal the deal.. and one wonders what a phone call would then change wouldn’t one…. what kind of difference can a phone call conceivably make…..
But he doesn’t get any call (that I know of, but I think also that I do not know of) and suddenly God gives, in His mercy, another sign: if they renounce to the mosque near Ground zero (can’t remember hearing him complaining about that; it must be me) then he has a deal. And if they don’t renounce, well ok it is fine if they move it. And if they don’t move it, well it’s still fine, these things take time, provided that there is an agreement…
And so he announces that there is going to be no bonfire, because he has an agreement with some strange Imam (not the owner of the real estate, mind) that they are going not to build anymore, ahem, to build elsewhere, ahem, to discuss about building elsewhere…
In the meantime, it appears the owners of the project have given no assent whatsoever to stop or move the project at all and frankly, this would have been surprising…. so one wonders what signal has God sent to the chap, after all……
I wonder whether this man will not appear as a drunken idiot tomorrow, when with a bit of common sense and political antennae he could have been, for a day at least, the darling of the nation.
But then I reflect that he is a Protestant. He talks to God. Receives signs. Several a day. With multiple choices. I imagine (I cannot imagine anything else, besides substance abuse) that this kind of “God has sent us a sign at 4pm and another sign at 5pm, but we have gone for the 8:15pm sign which is not even there”-mentality does have followers. It seems drunken nonsense to us but hey: he is the professional; he earns his livelihood out of that small community; he must know….. perhaps he just couldn’t have done purely what is most reasonable; perhaps he is supposed to be inspired….
Well, the entire matter has ended with a big laugh instead of violence. I still think that the message was brilliant and that it has been understood by most people. But this kind of disordered desperate search for the emergency exit and this idea of the broadband connection to Heaven will, I am afraid, gravely damage his credibility and the impact of the entire story.
Bonfires are best left to the Dominicans.