If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. — George Washington
South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham appears to be coming out of the failed John McCain election closet to launch himself back onto the national political stage. Graham appeared on Sunday morning's CBS Face the Nation in an interview with Bob Schieffer, condemning the burning of the Islamic holy book, the Quran.
Shirt tailing on the announcement by Gen. David Petraeus that Quran burning poses a security threat in Afghanistan, Graham expresses his intention to work closely (across the aisle) with Senators Kerry and Reid and others to condemn the burning of Qurans. Picking up where Petraeus left off in condemning Florida Pastor Terry Jones for burning a Quran earlier this week, Graham said:
“Yeah, I wish we could find some way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war. During World War II you had limits on what you could say if it would inspire the enemy.” In essence Senator Graham is accusing Pastor Terry Jones of giving aid and comfort to the enemy — treason.
As an American in the United States of America, you are allowed to do many things. You can burn the flag. You can burn the Bible. You can produce obscene art and sometimes even get government money to finance it.
You can make movies and TV shows that ridicule Christianity, traditional morality, and that take the Lord's name in vain.
If anybody objects to this, you can just accuse him of trying to impose his values on others. Then start talking about the Salem Witch Trials and the Spanish Inquisition.
Yes, you can do all those things, and more. But can you burn a Quran?
Yes, but maybe not for long.
Terry Jones, pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center, in Gainesville, Florida, became the target of world condemnation last year when he announced he would burn a copy of the Quran in protest.
President Obama didn't want him to do it. Neither did General David Petraeus, commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Actress/Activist Angelina Jolie spoke out against it. I'm still waiting for Angelina to speak out against anti-Christianity in Hollywood.
As a result of his plan to burn a Quran in the U.S.A., Terry Jones received death threats. His website was shut down. The mortgage on his church's property was called in and — what a coincidence — the church's property insurance was cancelled. The city of Gainesville threatened to charge the church for protection. And who knows what else happened behind the scenes? All this happened to a private group which wanted to burn a privately-owned book on private property. What if the powers that be decide your private activity is objectionable? In the end, Jones decided not to burn the Quran.
That was seven months ago. But now, he and his group have finally burned a Quran. What they did was hold an American-style trial of the Quran, conducted in English and Arabic. The Quran was defended by an imam from Texas. And several former Muslim converts to Christianity were included.
If you'd like to really see where Jones and his group are coming from, you ought to check out his website, assuming it is still online. Click here; and you can also click here to read Jones's Ten Reasons to Burn the Quran.
The ten Reasons Terry Jones gave for burning the Quran are as follows:
One: The Quran teaches that Jesus Christ, the Crucified, Risen Son of God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords was NOT the Son of God, nor was he crucified. This teaching removes the possibility of salvation and eternal life in heaven for all Islam's believers. They face eternal damnation in hell if they do not repent.
Two: The Quran is not what Islam claims it to be. It does not have an eternal origin. It is not recorded in heaven. The Almighty God, Creator of the World, is NOT it's source. It is not holy. Its writings are human in origin, a concoction of old and new teachings.
Three: The Quran's teaching includes Arabian idolatry, paganism, rites and rituals. These are demonic, an ongoing satanic stronghold under which Muslims and the world suffer.
Four: The earliest writings that are known to exist about the Prophet Mohammad were recorded 120 years after his death. All of the Islamic writings (the Quran and the Hadith, the biographies, the traditions and histories) are confused, contradictory and inconsistent. We have no conclusive account about what he said or did. Yet Muslims follow the destructive teachings of Islam without question.
Five: Mohammad's life and message cannot be respected. The first Meccan period of his leadership seems to have been religiously motivated and a search for the truth. But in the second Medina period he was openly corrupt, power hungry, and obsessed with selfish pleasures. These are characteristics that God hates. They also led to political assassinations and massacres which continue to be carried out on a regular basis by his followers today.
Six: Islamic Law is totalitarian in nature. There is no separation of church and state. It is irrational. It is supposedly immutable and cannot be changed. It must be accepted without criticism. It has many similarities to Nazism, Communism and Fascism. It is not compatible with Western Civilization.
Seven: Islam is not compatible with democracy and human rights. The notion of a moral individual capable of making decisions and taking responsibility for them does not exist in Islam. The attitude towards women in Islam as inferior possessions of men has led to countless cases of mistreatment and abuse for which Muslim men receive little or no punishment. This is a direct fruit of the teachings of the Quran.
Eight: A Muslim does not have the right to change his religion. Apostasy is punishable by death.
Nine: Islamic teaching and culture consistently perpetuate an irrational fear and loathing of the West.
Ten: Islam is a weapon of Arab imperialism and Islamic colonialism. Where Islam has or gains political power, Christians, Jews and all non-Muslims suffer persecution and discrimination. This includes murders, rape, imprisonment and the destruction of churches, synagogues, temples and other places of worship.
Nowhere in Jones’ list of reason does he express intent to cause violence as has been reported in the press. After reading Jones’ list, even if you disagree with what Jones has done, you will know what you are talking about.
Anyway, after the Quran was condemned, it was burned. So the "world" exploded in hysterical condemnation. In Afghanistan, especially, rioters felt duty-bound to prove that Jones was wrong to call their religion a violent one. So they went on a rampage, killed people and burned Obama in effigy.
President Obama, rather than defend American principles of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, put the rioters on the same level as Pastor Jones: Obama said; "The desecration of any holy text, including the Quran, is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry. However, to attack and kill innocent people in response is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity."
Just as last September, General Petraeus, commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, got involved. Last September he had complained that burning the Quran in Florida could put the troops in Afghanistan in danger.
Earth to Petraeus. Your troops are already in danger. They're at war.
This time, Petraeus said the burning "was hateful, it was intolerant and it was extremely disrespectful and again, we condemn it in the strongest manner possible,"
Excuse me, but is it really appropriate for a general to be making pronouncements over U.S. domestic policy? Is it a general's prerogative to tell American civilians what they can or cannot do? Why does Petraeus condemn the burning of one Quran? The U.S. Army has confiscated and burned Bibles in Afghanistan. Where was the outcry over that?
As if all this weren't quite bad enough, several members of Congress have implied they might do something about the Quran burning. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat) promised to look into it. Even worse, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham had this chilling threat for citizens who don't get in line: "I wish we could find a way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war,"
This reminds me of why we have a First Amendment. Contrary to popular opinion, the First Amendment was not written to give us freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition. Read what the First Amendment actually says: "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; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Did you notice that? The First Amendment was specifically written to prevent Congress from taking away our rights! And when you have senators like Reid and Graham, you can see why!
As someone once quipped, "no man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session." Or his right to burn the Koran.
Graham and others may be willing to restrict our speech, despite the fact that that First Amendment is specifically written prohibits the Congress from doing so.
Conservative commentator Ann Barnhardt gives a blow-by-blow analysis of Graham's speech, highlighting the fact that if John McCain had been elected president, McCain's "Best Buddy" Graham most likely would have been the U.S. attorney general, raising a red flag of danger based on Graham's statement in which he clearly favors restricting Americans' freedom of speech. Barnhardt said,
“Hold people accountable? For what? For exercising their constitutionally protected and divinely ordained right to freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of religion?”
Yes, we know that as Americans are waking up to the threat of radical Islam knocking on our back door, the issue of Quran burning is a hot one, and likely to grow a lot more volatile before things cool down. But as we face the next presidential election, might we ask, also, what exactly is the real reason for McCain's shotgun rider Lindsay Graham to be jumping back into the bonfire of the national political arena?
Watch Barnhardt's commentary below: The video is in two parts due to the size requirements of YouTube. The first part is a direct reply to Lindsey Graham and the second an expose of the violence in the Quran. You don’t have to agree with Ms. Barnhardt, but you should listen to what she has to say. We are headed down a path towards Sharia Law in the same drip by drip manner the Fabians brought socialism to England. It’s the boiling frog syndrome and the water is getting hotter. Feel it yet?
An interview with Barnhardt can be found here.