And so a church in Gainesville, Florida, the Dove World Outreach Center, is planning to burn the Quran. This is really good news! Not good news because it's a good thing to do, mind you. No, it's a reprehensible, low-life, thuggery thing to do. It's so horrifyingly bad and thoughtless and even dangerous that no less than Gen. David Petraeus, commander of American forces in Afghanistan -- perhaps the most-admired general in America today -- has said about the proposed action,
"Images of the burning of a [Koran] would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan -- and around the world -- to inflame public opinion and incite violence."
I believe the proper response is, "No kidding."
Indeed, that's the reason this proposed act by the Gainesville church is good: finally there's an issue again that will bring Americans together.
It's not that this religious book burning is wildly un-American, it's just as un-Christian. (You know, that whole "love thy neighbor" thing.) Perhaps even a hate crime. There's just no way burning a religious book is anything other than despicable, unless you're using the "Religious Bigot and Hatred Handbook" as a guide.
When you have such an un-American, un-Christian act that also has the commanding general of American military forces denouncing how it will inflame the very people we want to see peaceful, give a loaded gun to terrorists and put American soldiers at greater risk, finally the left and right -- and even far right will be able to come together as one.
Oh happy day!
I look forward to Fox News denouncing how damagingly unpatriotic the proposed actions of Dove World are. Fox probably is already working up some seriously impressive, splashy graphics, like "America's Terrorist Church?"
I look forward to Glenn Beck organizing a protest march on Gainesville. Since he says he has reclaimed the Civil Rights Movement for white folks, here is an issue tailor made for them. And since Mr. Beck and his followers want to "restore honor" to America, what better way than to show how they support the U.S. Constitution, the First Amendment and just plain honorable decency.
I look forward also to Republican politicians standing up united in their respective houses and crying out with righteous indignation about anyone whose un-patriotic actions are putting Our Fighting Boys overseas at risk. This isn't just the kind of raw meat these legislators regularly dine on, it's a full smorgasbord. They could deliver this outraged, fiery speech in their sleep.
I look forward to Sarah Palin sending out a Twitter that with a child of her own in the Armed Forces, she understands why Real Americans must protest anyone who puts our soldiers fighting for the Real America at risk. Any day now, expect to see "Rl Amer mst take aim 2 refudiate Fla chrch. No hate 4 unAmer danger hurts soldrs. U go boycott."
I look forward as well to Michelle Bachmann stirring up the masses to protest the Dove World Outreach Center. If she can spot traitors in the U.S. Congress, imagine the evil she'll be able to uncover at the World Dove Outreach Center where they actually plan to do something physically harmful to America.
And George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, I look forward to them all speaking out as one in support of the safety of the troops and America. Exhorting their followers to protest. Listening to the general on the ground.
But mostly, I look forward to all conservatives rising in outrage at a clear-cut disgrace to the soul of America. A soul which believes in liberty and freedom. For all mankind. It's why we fought in Iraq, why we still fight in Afghanistan, why we honor the revered memory of 9/11. Why we celebrate the Fourth of July. Why we adore the Statue of Liberty. And why we stand with our hands over our hearts reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, "with liberty and justice for all."
Indeed, even the most virulent understands that burning a religious book is the wrong way to sensibly go about anything, understands that burning someone else's holy book can only serve to explode their anger, just as it would them, and provide a high-flying banner to fight back under.
In fact, we only have Dove World Outreach Center's word that they actually are a church. Since their actions will certainly result in inflaming terrorism and putting our soldiers at greater risk, this could be an intended terrorist act, and the "Dove World Outreach Center" might really be a terrorist front. "Outreach Center," indeed. They can't be reaching out very far if they want to burn another religion's holy book. Indeed, given the hatred and cruel intolerance of these actions, its building would even seem too insensitively close to Ground Zero. Mind you, having it anywhere on the Northern Hemisphere would appear to be too close. As would anywhere on the Southern.
It's amazing that so much potential damage can be done by a piddly organization with only 50 members, but then a terrorist act merely takes one. Happily, America is so much bigger than that.
That's why this is a good thing. Why I look forward to Republicans and the far right being as outraged as all others and raising their voices in patriotic, loving protest. I look forward.
Follow Robert J. Elisberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RobertElisberg