Everyone is condemning Rev. Terry Jones for his plan to burn Korans down in Florida on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of 9/11. And so they should.
“He shouldn’t do it!” They’re right for a myriad of reasons; but, they are wrong in one important way. The good Reverend has given the world a teachable moment that every leader, pundit and person I’ve read has ignored.
People around the world hate us, for good and bad reasons. Afghani’s are chanting “death to America” and General Petraeus is spooked, as are the President and assorted members of Congress.
Here in the good old U.S.A. whackos are tolerated. Without going all legal on you, they have the “right” to wackiness. Say or do what you will, just don’t hurt someone. And I don’t mean injury to sensitivity.
Wouldn't it be cool if President Obama and and say, John Boehner issued a joint invitation to visit the National Mall on Saturday? “We've had MLK, Mr. Beck, Governor Palin here to say what they wanted to say. We’re inviting everyone that can make it to come on down, listen to some speeches about what America is really about. Sit down on the grass, take your shoes off, dip your feet in the water and stay awhile."
It would make the news all over the world and be contrasted with footage of the Reverend and a few of his followers (and a background of jeering protesters of the protest) trying to fire up some books and being stopped by police and firefighters.
Doesn’t that send a powerful image to the people that hate us? Damn, all those Americans at the Mall and few nuts down in Florida. Maybe we have to rethink this Great Satan thing. Couldn’t hurt.