In the state of Florida a religious fanatic and his deluded followers are trying to bring about another Crusade. The leader, probably in need of medication, has found sufficient numbers of equally mentally deficient congregants to join his crusade of hatred, racism, and bigotry. They have a physical plant in the Gainesville area of Florida that serves as a base of operations for their sales operations. Since his congregants reportedly number 30-50, sales of hate and bigotry material must be lucrative. There are lots of people who can’t wait to jump onto the program of the latest and loudest demagogue. We all know how capable of belief some segments of our population are. I used to hear late night radio ads offering to sell me an autographed picture of Jesus for $5.00. Televangelists have become millionaires by taking dollars from older women who reportedly ate cat food in order to shave dollars from their food budget and then send them to the televangelists. I have no doubt as to the truth of these tales.
And in the grand tradition of preying on the prayerful, Terry Jones is willing to incite millions of Muslims to riot and to attack U.S. troops, diplomats, and even tourists in order to have his face and name made prominent by the broadcast media and to fatten his coffers by selling hatred to the already hateful, racism to racists, and ignorance to the ignorant.
Jones claims that the Quran “is from the Devil.” Note the upper case “D.” Jones, himself, probably believes far more in money than in faith. But his followers believe in demons, devils, succubae, incubi, and other incarnations of evil just as surely as did the peasants in the Dark Ages, fed a stream of magic and mysticism by the Holy Roman Church; and a steady stream of altered reality visions of Hell by their diet and their culture. Life in the Dark Ages was a long and all too true “bad trip.”
The peasants in Europe during the Dark Ages were constantly victims to famine, war, drought, and disease. Lacking any form of education they turned to the Church for knowledge and hope. The Church was quite content to keep knowledge from the masses. Someone who understands how disease can be transmitted by water, by fleas, or by other methods will be less likely to buy the story that Plague is caused by demons. They may still be willing, however, to demonize Jews as sources of infection. (Some sources of stupidity take longer than others to remove from the minds of people who should otherwise know better.)
There is a large segment of our population today that has no more concept of germ theory than did his Dark Ages counterpart. There is a segment that does not read and gets his worldview and all other beliefs from the current “holy” demagogue. The holy demagogue is willing to distort religious mythology to make the current peasants afraid of the dark, afraid of invisible demons, deities, and other unseen creatures that exist only in the minds of the illiterate and those afraid of intellect. The holy demagogues make lots of money selling ignorance. They make even more selling fear. Between the holy demagogues and unholy financiers, a class of people afraid of intellect, devoid of learning, believing in fairy stories of creationism, and willing to believe in invisible resorts in space matched by invisible torture chambers beneath the planet’s surface, has been created.
The Dark Ages were created by disease, by invasion, by economic collapse. Look around you. The unholy financiers and their servants in government have collapsed the economy, ruined the schools and destroyed intellectual achievements as goals and ambitions. They have removed access to health care, established walled castles for the ultra-wealthy, and are ready to ride out the diseases and social upheavals that are highly likely to follow.
Can the Dark Ages recur in the U.S.A? Count on it. The Tea Party mobs, the GOP, the theocrats on the far right, are all hoping for it. They’re praying for it.
Jones claims to have a doctorate. The title “doctor” seems to be a money raiser in the evangelical game. There are lots of websites advertising doctoral programs in religion from institutes and colleges that have never seen the near side
The article claims that Jones was convicted in Germany for falsely claiming a PhD he did not posses. He was ejected from the congregation he belonged to there as a result of financial irregularities.
Mr. Jones is quite willing to waste the lives of U.S. troops and other citizens so that he can peddle his brand of hatred to the unlearned. He will happily describe how a book he has never read is responsible for “Evil” in the world. He will, fail to explain how believers in his own particular brand of myths and lies has likewise brought about centuries of war, millions of deaths, and has done its best to keep the world from acquiring or sharing science, physics, and other forms of knowledge so that upper echelon priests can live in luxury from the earnings of the poor. Jones believes in demons and devils. I’d love to acquaint him with the incubus in the mirror.
I don’t believe in the Christian concept of “Hell.” But sometimes it would be good if it did exist. I’d be overjoyed to escort Mr. Jones and his church full of hate-mongering bigots, along with their friends at the Westboro Baptist Church, to the gates of Hell and push them inside.
Addendum: Jones has cancelled his book burning. He reportedly says that his decision is due to an agreement to relocate the 51 Park Cordoba House project. No confirmation for this has been provided and I don’t think that Imam Rauf would agree to such action to appease a hate-monger like Jones.
L Shanah Tovah!