An Open Letter to the President


Columbia, MO  by David Rosman    September 9, 2010

Dear President Obama, Senators McCaskill and Bond, and Representative Luetkemeyer:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;”

The proposed burning of Qur’ans by Pastor Terry Jones and his Dove World Outreach Center (an ironic name for a church with such anger) brings two “rights” into conflict. The foremost is the freedom of speech, championed by the likes of Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York in defending Terry Jones’ right to burn the holy book of the Islamic faith as protecting that freedom. Bloomberg’s personal conflict by also supporting Park51 Center would cause the normal man ulcers.

The other is the “Establishment” and “Prohibition” clauses, honoring all religions while protecting the American citizen from a state sponsored religion.

However, these rights come some restrictions. Here, the Freedom of Speech, the right to express personal opinion without fear of government reprisal, is the primary issue. One of the restrictions includes the threat to national security. This is the exception for which Army intelligence analyst Pfc. Bradley Manning is being court-marshaled and Wikileaks to be on the hot seat for publishing 77,000 classified documents. In World War II, it was simplified to “Loose Lips Sink Ships.” Endangering the lives of others, putting the nation in threat, the releasing of classified documents, language inciting violence are all prohibited.

General David Petraeus did not mince words when he said that the proposed actions by Jones and his following would “endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort (in Afghanistan). It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community.”

With the exception of the “lunatic fringe,” Americans are condemning the proposed action as one. But words alone are not enough. With two days left before this defamation and destruction of one of the world’s great holy books, why haven’t the American people taken action? Why has no anyone sought to formally stop this “burning at the cross” through the court system, demand a court injunction to stop the burning.  Threaten Jones and his followers with arrest for endangering American lives here and abroad?

As an American, the protection of the freedoms of religion and speech are paramount issues of my personal morals. However, when the abuse of those freedoms threaten human life, life wins every time.

Can you imagine how angry you would be if the Torah or the Christian Bible were to be burnt as a matter of protest in any other country, Muslim or not? Do you think Mayor Bloomberg would support the burning of the Torah or Christian Bible? Would you be angry enough to take to war?

Now you understand how every Muslim, even moderate Muslims who support the efforts of ridding the world of the radical and violent element of their beliefs, will feel on Sunday morning.

Show the world that America means what it says, that our values of religious freedom and free speech are tempered by our concern for the wellbeing of all humans, regardless of religion, skin color, nationality, ethnicity, language or any other barrier we can erect.

Ladies and gentlemen: By every means possible, stop of the Qur’an burning by Terry Jones and his congregation. Stop it now before the war against terrorism becomes a religious war and all lose!

Post Script – After this was posted, Terry Jones announced that his publicity stunt was being cancelled. He claimed that the reason for the proposed burning focused on the Park51 complex in lower downtown Manhattan. This is far from what he told his congregation of 50 or the foreign press over the last months. Jones now believes that his little venture will cause Park51 to move locations, as it is a “sign from God.” I do not think God would forsake one of His three faiths.

Regardless of Jones’ reasoning, he has put the United States and our citizen in graver danger at home and around the planet. His disregard for humanity and American virtue is beyond description. It is my belief that Mr. Jones’s action posed a breach of national security and will continue to seek efforts for his arrest accordingly.

David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. David is also an ordained minister. You can read more of David’s commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com and New York Journal of Books.com.

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About David Rosman

David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com, InkandVoice.com and NYJournalofBooks.com.
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6 Responses to An Open Letter to the President

  1. Dan C says:

    I have a better suggestion, I think.

    Put Mr. High and Might Jones on a cargo plane with the pile of books he intends to burn, and take him to Saudi Arabia and give him the matches and some kerosene. These kind of jerks are so brave and “free speech” when they are protected within our borders, but they won’t go inside the tiger’s cage with their “faith” to protect them.

    Also: releasing classified documents is a gray area in some ways. Depends on the documents. If they were classified just to cover someone’s butt, but don’t contain actual classified material, then there needs to be some way to open them up. That means someone taking some risks. The ones taking the most risk are the military guys under the rule of the UCMJ.

  2. Nan says:

    We discussed this only this morning, remember how we felt to see our American Flag burning in the streets of Iraq not that many years ago?? I think we should have the freedoms that are guaranteed us through the constitution but we also have a responsibility to our fellow man. Evidently these people are not thinking of all our soldiers fighting a war against many Muslims and what could happen if we do this. I don’t understand why he chose the 9th anniversary to make this statement and it is not very Christian of him.
    Mylene

  3. I don’t agree with this. I have Muslim friends who are saddened by this but not upset about it and honestly, with the violent extremists within the Muslim community, they are going to find any reason they can to be angry and commit violence.

    American Muslims support this mans right to burn Korans. They think it is sad he is so angry, but one told me we should spin it like – hey – he is doing Muslims a favor by properly and respectfully disposing of damaged Korans – which are to be burned.

    Our hysteria over trying not to offend people who are offended by anything and allowing ourselves to limit our free speech is not acceptable. Since Koran burning is the respectful way to dispose of a damaged Koran, the problem isn’t with the burning, it is with what he is trying to say by burning it and since he has been saying Islam is of the devil for years now, I say we ignore him and set a better example as to how to deal with stupid and angry speech.

  4. Jim J. says:

    It might be very interesting to know more about why Pastor Jones is no longer in Germany. I understood that he had been a long time leader of a rather large congregation in Germany but left for some reason.

  5. Dan C says:

    You said, “Can you imagine how angry you would be if the Torah or the Christian Bible were to be burnt as a matter of protest in any other country, Muslim or not? Would you be angry enough to take to war?”

    Hahahahahahahah! That’s a good one.
    Hell, I would burn bibles myself just to start the fire in my woodstove. Someone in a desert wants to burn stuff and make their tent warmer, well…that’s their craziness showing.
    They’re BOOKS. We can always print more books.
    It’s not like they haven’t been read or that some child in the future will be deprived if we burn every last bible and Torah. There’s NOTHING in them but paper and ink.
    People are so bizarre that they think they can think, when all they do is respond to emotions. Other people tweak their buttons and the idiots come out of the woodwork.
    We really should get rid of all religious ‘sacred’ artifacts (doesn’t the bible say something about “idols”?), and it would improve both the religions and the secular world.
    The biblical and other religious stories are PARABLES!! You don’t need the actual stories written down at all, and in fact, they are LESS useful when they ARE written down. Each generation is supposed to modify the parable so it fits their understanding and so it is easy to remember. The principle is what matters, not the words.
    BURN the words, KEEP the ideas living by sharing them directly. This is also the failure of the internet: everyone is talking and nobody is listening or acting on the principles which are talked about. They just keep talking instead of acting, and when they DO act, like the dubious ‘Rev’ Jones, they act like idiots.

  6. Pingback: Lies and Lying Liars (with apologies to Al Franken) « Ink and Voice

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