This Saturday is Pastor Terry Jones big International Burn a Quran Day. I like that Pastor Terry Jones calls it International Burn a Quran Day. I guess that’s because it’s intended to bring people all over the world farther apart. Pastor Jones’ church is called “Dove World Outreach Center.” Right, if by “outreach,” they mean extending the finger to the rest of the world. And isn’t the dove the symbol of peace? It hardly seems right to use “dove” in the name of this church. But then who would go to a church called the “Vulture World Outreach Center”? Probably the same people who will be there this Saturday. The city of Gainesville denied the church a permit to burn the Qurans on public safety grounds. If they mean fire safety, I’m sure most of the people burning the Qurans have extensive experience in burning crosses. The permit denial also cited environmental concerns. One thing is for sure—the atmosphere at the burning is going to be extremely toxic.
Why have no conservative leaders spoken out against the Quran burning? Because it’s hard to condemn hate and intolerance when you’re trying to ride hate and intolerance to electoral victory. Neither George Bush nor John McCain nor Mitch McConnell nor Eric Cantor have said so much as a peep against the Quran burning. Note that I didn’t include John Boehner. Today Boehner said a peep. And I do mean a peep.
This morning on Good Morning America, when George Stephanopoulos asked Boehner if he was telling Pastor Jones not to do it, Boehner paused a long time (video). I mean a long time. How long? Like Jan-Brewer-trying-to-read-her-notes-during-a-debate long, that’s how long. Boehner was silent so long that Stephanopoulos had to ask the question again. And Boehner’s silence at that point said a lot more than the answer he eventually gave. Finally he said “Well, listen, I just think it’s not wise to do this in the face of what our country represents.” Not wise? That’s not the strongest condemnation of religious intolerance I’ve ever heard. How would John Boehner describe the Spanish Inquisition? As “ill-advised”? Not wise, John? “Not wise” is not how you describe an act of bigotry and intolerance and provocation. “Not wise” is how you describe drinking milk after the expiration date. It’s “not wise” to burn aerosol cans. It’s hateful to burn someone’s holy book.
Today’s Homework Discuss