Terry Jones: I’m just trying to live my faith

By Elizabeth Tenety First, Pastor Terry Jones wanted to burn the Koran on 9/11. After international outrage and what he … Continued

By Elizabeth Tenety

First, Pastor Terry Jones wanted to burn the Koran on 9/11. After international outrage and what he said was a deal with Cordoba House’s Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to move the Islamic center planned near Ground Zero, Jones cancelled his event. Abdul Rauf then denied such a deal was in the works. Jones then claimed that the event was not nixed but instead put on “temporary hold.”

Somewhere between canceling and suspending the event, the once-determined book-burner had this to say about anyone who attempts to burn the Islamic holy text:

“We are, of course, now against any other group burning Korans . . . We would right now ask no one to burn Korans. We are absolutely strong on that. It is not the time to do it.”

What did Terry Jones know yesterday afternoon about burning the text that he did not know before?

It is difficult, if not impossible, to tease out the logic of Christian minister who thought that the best use of his pulpit was to insult the faith of another, especially on a day associated with violence committed in religion’s name.

But Jones says he is merely try to live his faith. On Friday morning, Jones told Meredith Viera, “I am just a man who is trying to do what God has told us to do.”

Historically speaking, God can sometimes be rather demanding. Politics Daily’s David Gibson, noted that some in Jones’ church see parallels to the story of Abraham in their own obedience:

“God is leading us right up to the moment,” Sapp (an associate pastor) said Wednesday of the Koran-burning plan. “It’s no different than Abraham and his son. God didn’t tell him, ‘Go right up to the point where you might sacrifice him.’ He wanted him to be fully committed. We’re prepared to do what we’re called to do.”

Some have made the case that Terry Jones is simply out for publicity. But what if he really believes he is doing God’s will? Nearly a decade after 9/11, America is no closer to eliminating the religious ideology that made the mass murder/suicides possible. Religion can make people do terrible, and amazing, things.

Do religious extremists teach you anything about your own faith? How do you know if you’re following God’s will for your life? What have you learned about the harm -and good- that religion can do?

Elizabeth Tenety
Written by
  • JimthePuritan

    Remember 9/11.3,000 people murdered.Never forget.Never.

  • APaganplace

    The phrasing of the link to this really makes me want to say, ‘No,’..At least he’s a man ‘of’ no God that’s a friend of humans.And as for ‘Puritan Jim,’ …You say ‘Never forget,’ but what is it you choose to *remember?* Or even saw to begin with?Why?

  • APaganplace

    And as for just the title,””Terry Jones: I’m just trying to live my faith””I’d say, Well, either you’re very *bad* at it, or it’s nothing anyone wants a thing to do with, and isn’t *that* interesting?Especially since getting *this* much attention brings out what you did in Germany?The less-covered ‘pastor’ in TN who’s also trying to ‘just live his faith’ and wants to ‘burn Korans’ to *prove* that ‘Other religions are a threat to mine….’Well. That’s all very interesting, radical Christians, but you’re both *wrong and probably crazy.* You know what this is?A book-burning. Which is inherently cowardly. No more, no less. The rest, is people making something of it. Just like 9/11 itself. Who cares if it’s a book or a mass-killing if you treat both the same way?

  • APaganplace

    “”What Pastor Jones doesn’t understand is that a minority group (Muslims) has the right to be protected from his freedom of speech, since he’s a white male.””Oh, stop with the *whining,* will you? He’s free to burn as many Korans as he likes, …he *doesn’t* have the right to get a big international microphone about it and whine about it when everyone calls him an *ahem.*That’s our free speech, too. Also he has no fire permit. I think if he wants to press the matter, it should be just unceremoniously-doused. He deserves no more. Even if he sticks a cross on it.

  • Athena4

    Puritan Jim… you do realize that, if this pastor goes through with his plan, it will cause even more 9-11s? 9-11 was caused by a small group of Islamic militants. By your logic, we should condemn all Christians because of Scott Roeder. Or all Buddhists because of the Tamil Tigers. This is not America.

  • zakaria_belal

    Religion experts are PhDs Imam Ayatollahs Pope Archbiship and expertise from Islam Christianity Judaism with Years and centries of experience.Science experts will constitute Einstein and Past Muslim Scientists Darwin and current Stephen Hawkings.No one will compromise.Islam is based upon science Surahs and the Holy Prophet with Hadith on Hell fire Evil Satan Witchcraft what exists .Surahs have everything .It is possible to overcome and succeed go to Paradise.with alliance to the God Almighty and the Holy Prophet.In my opinion I could have given satisfactory conclusion via science religion practical and Mystery which evolved.The Govt of Canada USA and UK or few among them with church and Mosque leaders decided to promote themselves preventing satisfactory conclusion.The satisfactory Conclusion would have been Real day to day happening backed by science religion democracy intellectuals Evil and reality truth (no one want to face).Some one said in TV ”life is one world classroom and you teach”.In the past I explained UFO (equivalents in real life drama) scientific related Mother Goddesses Father God Father Son Holy Ghost including Relativity Miraj principle .I worked with PhDs and in Islam in satd US UK top thousands of Phds and Billions of $ outfits befitting best of both. I do not think any thing equivalent exist.Above all Islmic Intellectual and Ulema with evidence.Evidence can not be discarded and impost sharia after creating the situation and dilemma which exist in American West and in Islam.Today was Eid and one said Bumper collection in more than hundred thousands $ in one location since last night.One science I wrote last week that is Islamic Sun rise from east and sets in the west with complete throne aspect.What can I do with my ID stolen by very democracy Leaders who like to promote themselves and enjoy death destruction new colony civilization creation without being believer.Do you believe even Imams (bulk) are beyond new found power and wealth.Even the rhetoric of hell fire and scientific quran can be verified with ulemas.In the past Muslims were not allowed to tape or take religion to none muslims.Origin I was there.In fact I worked confronting them all without fear or favour .I just explained science and religion corelating as the world turned.Time is running out (almost there).

  • WmarkW

    What Pastor Jones doesn’t understand is that a minority group (Muslims) has the right to be protected from his freedom of speech, since he’s a white male.

  • DELORESRUBIN

    I am writing this plea as a very concerned citizen of the United States of America.

  • elkay2

    I applaud Pastor Jones’ wise decision not to exercise his first amendment rights as initially planned. There are plenty of good reasons not to do what we might otherwise be entitled to do–common sense, common decency, regard for the lives and well-being of innocent others are among those reasons. This is not a case of protecting minority rights against his freedom to speak–he still has that freedom He has chosen not to exercise it for very good reasons.

  • batia1981

    What I don’t understand is why Terry Jones is not already in a psychiatric unit under evaluation. His actions are endangering others, a president and general have already told him this. The FBI has supposedly talked to him, but he is going ahead and one person is already dead over his actions.I thought being a danger to self or others constituted a reason to place a person under care. Since this man qualifies in spades why isn’t the psychiatric community getting involved here? What is the hold-up?

  • eezmamata

    What is the hold-up?His psychoses is religious mania. In America you have the right to be a religious nut. In fact if we start putting the religious nuts in the happy farm, where do we stop? Who decides if one person has gone over the edge, and the other is just mainstream?The difference between a cult and a religion is simple count of the number of adherents. Plenty of the kinds of christians that this guy claims to be consider the mormons to be a cult …

  • abrahamhab1

    Although both actions; building a mosque and burning a book are protected by our constitution, yet both, under the present circumstances, are clearly unwise actions. At least the pastor was flexible enough to reconsider his action. The imam showed no such flexibility. This stems from the supremacist attitude of the imam, his financial and moral backing by his foreign oil rich friends and their unwavering belief that their faith has monopoly on the Truth.

  • dwjennings11

    According to my reading to the Bible, Jesus tells us to love our neighbor, not hate them. He said in response to a scribe’s question,

  • Flib101

    The Pastor may have the Word of God, but maybe he ain’t been hearing so good lately.1. The Pastor has received a personal call from the Secretary of Defense, who told him what The Pastor said God had in mind for America was a bad idea. So now, it is harder for The Pastor to jeopardize American troops and foment riots and permanent cyberspace Abu Gharab II damage worldwide like the General said would happen.2. Now that The Pastor heard God tell him to tell the Iman of the NY cultural center that the Iman promised to move the cultural center, The Pastor is not Iman-tight in NY because: (i) neither The Pastor nor the local Muslim leader EVER spoke to the NY Iman about moving the cultural center; (ii) the issue was NEVER part of Pastor-Burn, before it was (today for the first time); (iii) the NY Iman has said he will not barter his faith as a matter of principle; and (iv) he has never agreed to move the cultural center. (The Iman’s wife said the Iman might meet with The Pastor at some unspecified time in the future–but NEVER said there’d be any connection and certainly no linkage of the NY cultural center to Pastor-Burn.3. And: pulling the NY promise out of thin air wasn’t a a career move Pastor-wise. Now that The Pastor heard God tell him to back the NY Iman into a corner, the Iman’s not likely to be persuaded. The Pastor could try to get God to talk to the Iman, but according to The Pastor, God doesn’t do things like that with the Muslim-folk.4. So: If The Pastor burns away, as he gave his word he would, he won’t make Christians and Americans look all that good worldwide. There will also be a lot of funerals, which won’t make him look so good to the surviving families of the Muslim and other fallen American soldiers either.5. And if the NY Iman appeared to do Pastor-Obedience or appear to have the move shoved down his throat, there’d be a whole lot of Muslims (a billion +) perhaps displeased with the Iman, but REAL mad at the Americans for making him do so. The result would be bad, a variation of #4.6. So for the people who would like the cultural center moved: they REALLY should be mad, but at The Pastor! He just did a high-tech shred of any room the Iman had to find a reasonable accommodation. And if Pastor-Burn proceeds, after the ill-considered false-linking of the NY cultural center to The Burn issue:, as far as moving the NY cultural center? Fuhgeddeaouddit.7. God has a Plan. Perhaps He created Pastor-Folly so the cultural center would NOT move.

  • Flib101

    The Pastor may have the Word of God, but maybe he ain’t been hearing so good lately.1. The Pastor has received a personal call from the Secretary of Defense, who told him what The Pastor said God had in mind for America was a bad idea. So now, it is harder for The Pastor to jeopardize American troops and foment riots and permanent cyberspace Abu Gharab II damage worldwide like the General said would happen.2. Now that The Pastor heard God tell him to tell the Iman of the NY cultural center that the Iman promised to move the cultural center, The Pastpr is not Iman-tight in NY because: (i) neither The Pastor nor the local Muslim leader EVER spoke to the NY Iman about moving the cultural center; (ii) the issue was NEVER part of Pastor-Burn, before it was (today for the first time); (iii) the NY Iman has said he will not barter his faith as a matter of principle; and (iv) he has never agreed to move the cultural center. (The Iman’s wife said the Iman might meet with The Pastor at some unspecified time in the future–but NEVER said there’d be any connection and certainly no linkage of the NY cultural center to Pastor-Burn.3. And: pulling the NY promise out of thin air wasn’t a a career move Pastor-wise. Now that The Pastor heard God tell him to back the NY Iman into a corner, the Iman’s not likely to be persuaded. The Pastor could try to get God to talk to the Iman, but according to The Pastor, God doesn’t do things like that with the Muslim-folk.4. So: If The Pastor burns away, as he gave his word he would, he won’t make Christians and Americans look all that good worldwide. There will also be a lot of funerals, which won’t make him look so good to the surviving families of the Muslim and other fallen American soldiers either.5. And if the NY Iman appeared to do Pastor-Obedience or appear to have the move shoved down his throat, there’d be a whole lot of Muslims (a billion +) perhaps displeased with the Iman, but REAL mad at the Americans for making him do so. The result would be bad, a variation of #4.6. So for the people who would like the cultural center moved: they REALLY should be mad, but at The Pastor! He just did a high-tech shred of any room the Iman had to find a reasonable accommodation. And if Pastor-Burn proceeds, after the ill-considered falso-linking of the NY cultural center to The Burn issue: as far as moving the NY cultural center? Fuhgeddeaouddit.7. God has a Plan. Perhaps He created Pastor-Folly so the cultural center would NOT move.

  • thebobbob

    Another radical and extreme religious group hijacking a peaceful religion and threatening National Security and the lives of American soldiers.Why do ‘Christianists’ hate America??

  • ThomasBaum

    DELORESRUBIN You wrote, “Are the advertising dollars really more important than maintaining our relatively safe way of life here in the United States?”Is “maintaining our relatively safe way of life here in the United States” justification for ignoring what is happening in other parts of the world?We are all God’s children not just those that live in the “relatively safe way of life here in the United States”, aren’t we?And whether or not one believes in God, aren’t we all brothers and sisters since we belong to the family of man?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    batia1981You wrote, “What I don’t understand is why Terry Jones is not already in a psychiatric unit under evaluation. His actions are endangering others, a president and general have already told him this. The FBI has supposedly talked to him, but he is going ahead and one person is already dead over his actions.”Supposedly, the United States is a nation based on “laws” not on the “power” of a person or group.You also wrote, “I thought being a danger to self or others constituted a reason to place a person under care. Since this man qualifies in spades why isn’t the psychiatric community getting involved here? What is the hold-up?”I suppose because this is not the former Soviet Union or China or Iran or …”.Believe it or not, but the people of the United States still have some rights, how much longer, who knows?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.