Rev. Terry Jones has generated an international firestorm with his plan to burn the Qur’an on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001. He has been under intense pressure to give up the ridiculous idea by everyone from President Barack Obama, who urged him to; “listen to those better angels" and give up on his "stunt," stating that it would endanger U.S. troops in Afghanistan and give terrorists a new recruiting tool. Even Robert Gates (Secretary of Defense) took the extraordinary step of calling Jones personally. Today standing outside of his Pentecostal church, (ironically named) the Dove Outreach Center, alongside the president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida’s Imam Muhammad Musri, Jones relented claiming Musri had assured him that the so-called Ground Zero mosque would be moved. Musri, however, stated after the news conference that the agreement was only for he, and Jones to travel to New York and meet with the imam overseeing the plans. Then a few hours later, Jones recanted his promise to forgo his book burning claiming that Musri "clearly, clearly lied to us." The absurdity that this one small man with only 50 members in his tiny congregation could command such an international audience is both sad and funny at the same time. All of the people who believe so strongly in the words written in their little books that they want to burn other peoples little books is pitiful to say the least. Not as horrid or repulsive as all of the people who are fighting, dying, and killing in the name of their individual little books. Millions of Muslims and just as many Christians behaving in ways that is very much in direct contradiction to the text which they hold above the sanctity of human life. This idiotic Jones character with his cartoonish handlebar mustache who just a few years ago was leading a cult in Germany, is dominating the Thursday news cycle because he wishes to reenact a scene from Fahrenheit 451!
The real debate should be how long the rest of us sane creatures should be beholden to the whims of madmen who preach hatred and violence because of a god who according to Stephen Hawking’s new book “The Grand Design”, is unnecessary for the creation of the universe. To paraphrase that crappy British Rock band everyone loves so dearly; “All you need is gravity”. I am by far no atheist-well I’m not yet but if things keep going the way there going it may be the only way to fight back-but I also do not claim allegiance to any particular manuscript (other than the one I’m writing). The Gods of Man from Thor on down to Jesus/Allah/Buddha are just that-the gods of Man. Constructs created by the collective unconscious to give meaning to what is often perceived as a meaningless existence. Fostered by the faith of those who cannot imagine that simple respect for their fellow man is possible without some looming boogeyman in the sky threatened to send you to some terrible dark boogeyman (who is somehow less powerful) in the center of the earth. When will we awaken and come to the realization that all of these allegiances to gods and prophets are merely keeping us from understanding what it is they were originally trying to teach before religion got a hold of them. Would Jesus or any of the old masters participate in the silly rituals or superstitions that their supposed followers do?
What each side fails to see is we are tied to a much greater archaic collective unconscious mind that emits universal symbols and processes we all share. All of our human struggles and conditions are representative of aspects of the collective. The acts of some random mad pastor in Florida have far reaching effects around the globe igniting the firestorm that puts in jeopardy all of our safety. It is imperative that we each stand against such bigotry and zealotry. There is no separation from Reverend Jones and some crazed mullah in Iran claiming America is the “Great Satan”. If mankind is ever to be free of these gods and the cages they construct we must fight back against these types of ideas which only serve to reinforce the negative “bars” so-to-speak. In these times of dark racism, xenophobia and religious zealotry calls for the shedding of this bullshit and the expanding of the human consciousness. It is the only way to combat the madness-become madder ourselves.