Holy Millstones & Un-Holy Books
April 3, 2011
Terry Jones burns a Quran in Florida and Muslims murder seven U.N. workers in Afghanistan. One follows the other in the logic of religions as sure as the death of reason follows the rhetoric of Newt Gingrich.
I don’t know Terry Jones, but if the book of Terry Jones’ soul could be read I think there’d be a chapter entitled “I Don’t Give a Shit About God or Anything Beyond the Arrogant Ugliness of My Own Wretched Mind and the Rage in My Miserable Soul”, which is a long title to be sure but one that appeals to me because it gives enough info so that I would not have to read-and-hurl through a whole Chapter to get a gist of what Jones is.
Jones is a cipher whose (hopefully) brief notoriety is a result of his Bible-impacted head exploding in the media and raining down its bloody debris on the Middle East, UN workers, and (very likely) any American who might find themselves within range of a jihadist. Jones is a dangerous cipher as ciphers sometimes are —he is a nothing as lethal as the array of zeros between the left-hand digits expressing the radiation threat of Fukushima and the decimal. But let’s get this straight, this is not to exhonerate the Muslim perpetrators of homicide in this instance, but to put Terry Jones on a par with them. Their identity is a grotesque thing to behold.
Rich Sanchez interviewed Jones last year when he first appeared in the media like a sudden, unwelcome blemish of melanoma. Sanchez writes:
“When I interviewed Jones last year, I did my level best to hear him out. But all I could think of was how I would feel, as a Christian, if somebody desecrated my most sacred book, the Bible. His only defense was to say that the Quran wasn’t sacred to him.”
Leaving aside the questionable virtue Sanchez finds in having “a most sacred holy book” in the first place (books that holy always lead to trouble for somebody —guaranteed), Jones’ response shows him to be a man of singular disrespect for any ideas but his own. Jones’ sense of right and wrong appears to be hopelessly entangled in his ego; but since this is not a socially acceptable criteria upon which to establish a moral code, he cherry-picks his “holy book” to justify the burning of the “holy books” of others. He bases his behavior on what he believes to be holy because, unlike Muslims, Terry Jones knows what’s holy.
As Sanchez found out, it’s a fools errand to try to appeal to the good sense of Terry Jones or anyone like him —there has to be a seed of rationality to begin with. If Jones had one it looks as if it’s been ground to powder between the millstones of Genesis and Revelation.