It's a shame that Pastor Terry Jones is not more articulate. His statements and interviews show that he is incapable of clearly expressing the Constitutional support for his famous or infamous burning of the Koran — an act, however distasteful, protected by the First Amendment — or of establishing a strong cultural argument. He might have expounded, for example, on Andres Serrano's provocative photograph Piss Christ which caused some controversy for a time, but led to nothing more serious than a few attempts at vandalism and failed restraining orders. No one died or was hurt.

For that matter, one has yet to see a tribe of Orthodox Jewish communicants going on a killing spree because someone mutilated a Torah scroll, which happens often enough. Jones might thus have argued that a rampage of murder and mayhem in the Muslim world over the desecration of a religious text would have amounted to nothing more in the West in a comparable situation than a cultural flare-up and a lot of sanctimonious punditry, assuming it were even noticed. Instead, the height of his rhetoric is to say he "thinks" that the grisly events in Afghanistan prove "there is a radical element in Islam." As the Simpsonism goes, "Doh!"

Read the complete original version of this item...