All with a “view to a kill”.
Jim Jones at least took the cool-aid himself.
I am all for learning, from book lessons, and life lessons.
Life teaches us lessons from the doing and wrongdoing of others (this is the basis of Good vs Evil struggle in movie themes).
Eventually, consequences of an individual’s aggression will catch up with him.
For now, just as the young, educated middle class in Egypt and neighboring countries wanted a piece of the democratic dream, we got the worst exhibited here (in Netherlands, the comment from a mall-shooting witness was “we heard this sort of things happened in American schools, but little did we know, it’s here – the Netherlands-where we live”).
So, this is how the world perceives America, land of the free.
A few years back, in Little Saigon (Orange County, CA), a pirated-video shop owner exhibited a Ho Chi Minh portrait knowing full well his action would cause distress to his patrons and community he served. Westminster police had to protect him against demonstrators while the FBI eventually moved in to confiscate his stocks (FBI warning at the beginning of every video came in handy). If they hadn’t he would eventually have joined Blockbuster Video in bankruptcy court anyway (karma-coded video).
The case was nowhere as huge as the Gainesville church’s sponsored Quran-burning.
In his burning, he dampens world’s enthusiasm for what America stood for.
We sent out mixed signals: follow us, we are the good guys/burn us down, we are the bad guys.
Which is which? 007 or Death Angel?.
When Malcolm X advocated separate-but-equal, he was shot down too.
Now, times have changed. While the desecration of others’ sacredness is constitutionally protected, it should not be encouraged (because it incites hatred and polarizes an already hate-filled world in need of healing and soft-power diplomacy).
There is another higher law: love your neighbor (and what they believe as sacred) as yourself (and what you consider as sacred.)
The Gideons better get hurried because a lot of Motel 6 bibles might be collected and shipped back to the Mid East to be burned in retaliation.
It’s tit for tat, and the best-case scenario. I hope the worst already happened last week.