Wednesday, September 15, 2010

(Posting #2b) 1st Amendment Hypothetical: "US v Terry Jones"

For a moment, let's assume that Terry Jones had burned the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11:

Would Jones' controversial actions have been protected by the first amendment to the US Constitution?
OR
Should Federal law prohibit the act of burning the Koran - to protect American troops abroad; to protect Americans from renewed terrorist threats at home; and/or to show the world that Americans remain tolerant of diverse religious traditions?

Read the background for "US v Terry Jones" assignment here.

GO FARTHER! For a retired Supreme Court Justice's point-of-view on the Constitution as a "living document" and the role of the Court, listen to (or read) NPR's interview with Justice Stephen Breyer here.

62 comments:

Caitlin Harrington said...

I think that burning the Koran is unconstitutional and it should be banned. The burning of the Koran can endanger the troops in Iraq/Afghanistan because insurgent groups will get mad that America is letting people destroy their sacred document. Since all of the insurgent groups heard about the burning of the Koran, they can recruit new people who are mad about the burnings and then threat to plan a terrorist attack and hurt Americans at home. The burning of the Koran also puts strains on foreign relations. Many countries look at the United States and think that it is not just that they are letting people burn someone's sacred document. Those countries then turn away from the United States and do not help them in the time of need. I also think the act of burning the Koran is unconstitutional. Even though the first amendment says that Americans have the "freedom of speech," that right has to be taken in modern perspective. If your speech endangers your country and the people of that country, that freedom gets taken away and your opinions/acts are considered unconstitutional. That act endangers many American lives at home and overseas. The freedom of speech means that you can have your own opinions and express your opinions, but if your opinions endanger people and put your country in danger, then those thoughts become unconstitutional. Burning the Koran is like yelling "fire!" in a movie theater: both create havoc and can potentially endanger many lives.

Allie said...

I have been on the fence about this issue, going back and forth between whether he is or is not protected by the Constitution. After listening to each side of the argument in class, i have a general idea of where I stand. Although everyone agrees that burning the Koran is an awful, offensive, and ignorant thing to do, one cannot be punished on a moral basis alone. If you interpret the Constitution literally, technically speaking, the only justifiable way he could have been arrested is because of the issue of the fire permit, not because he is doing an illegal action by burning the Koran. If taken literally, the Constitution protects Ted Jones, as he is entitled to freedom of speech. At the same time, if one wishes to take the Constitution and adapt it into a more modern view, than it can be construed and interpreted that Ted Jones did overstep the boundaries. By burning the Koran, he indirectly sparred protests overseas, causing harm and death to our troops, and therefore should be punished for his actions. I believe that these actions were indirect, and it was just as much the media's fault for allowing this affair to become so well-known than it was Ted Jones promoting this cause by himself. If it hadn't been for the media, the issue might not have raised national awareness, and the troops could have gone unharmed. So, as it wasn't Ted Jones who directly harmed the troops, I believe you technically couldn't arrest him on any charges and he would be protected by the Constitution.

Logan said...

Not only are this mans morals severely skewed he is clear violation of the constitution. His free speech undoubtedly would bring harm to others in some way shape or form. Granted no matter how much I disagree with mr. Jones he is entitled to his opinion of Islam, but in no way can he be allowed to bring harm to to others because of his bigotry.

shahrukhlalani said...

Shahrukh Lalani- What Terry Jones was going to do was not only unconstitutional, but also unethical. Burning the holy book of another religion is unethical in every religion; especially in one of the three monotheistic religions(Christianity). Burning the Koran does not only go against the ethics of Christianity, but it also deproves what America is all about. America has been a country that welcomes all people, regardless of religion, color, or ethnicity. By burning this holy book, Jones would have went against what most Americans stand for. Although Jones could not have gotten arrested for this, it would still be one of the most unethical things a person could do. There aren't that many differences between The Bible and the Koran because they are both from monotheistic religions. In fact some of the stories in both books are very similar. I think that Terry Jones should get arrested if he would have done this.

xojordanxo0 said...

By definition, I think that it is constitutional to burn the Koran due to the fact that Terry Jones was expressing his freedom of speech. I think that it is completely morally wrong and not right in any way because it is disrespectful and it is using his rights/responsibilities the wrong way. Having said this, I think that (in techinal terms) he COULD burn the Koran if he so desired but by doing this he is endangering other troops and it is a wrong and pointless thing to do. It will help no one, it will accomplish nothing; it's a purely selfish act. He would be doing it for himself and his own personal satisfaction and by doing this he would cause severe danger to Ameriacn troops. I think that although it is constitutional, the act should be banned due to the current situation overseas and because of the wrongness that it is.

kendall.healyv said...

I don't quite know where I stand on this issue when regarding the constitution, but I know where I stand personally on the matter. It is not our right to judge anyone else, and it is not morally right to blame the actions of a few individuals on an entire religion. I am glad that the burning did not go through becuase it is so heartbreaking to think of how those muslims would have felt. Imagine if people somewhere in the world, where Christianity wasnt the dominant religion, wanted to burn the Bible to send a messege to the United States? How would we feel? It wouldnt only make christians in the United States mad and want to retaliate on their personal attack, but it also would hurt us emotionally becuase that is such a big part of our culture and the majority of the people in the united states are infact christian. If he was a good christian, he would have thought about burning that Koran as judging people which is a sin in the Bible. But on terms of the constitution, I dont really know what to think about it. I think that he is on one side protected by the freedom of speach, so we shouldnt have stopped him there. But on the other hand, it also says that the government has the duty to protect the people. So of there was any possibility/ rumor that people insulted by those actions would relatiate on the US, that would be the duty of the government to protect us from them. Therefore it would protect the people of the United States from possible attacks to stop the burning of the Koran. So, I am on the fence becuase you could look at both sides and use the Constitution as support for it.

Haley said...

My thought when I first heard about this was, "Whats the purpose?" It's only going to cause more problems. Most people want peace so badly, so why would an American do something that could potentially put our safehaven, the United States in danger? Even though the first amendment gives us freedom of speech, it also gives us freedom of religion. So, we can express that we might not agree with Islamic practices, but we have no place to harm their beliefs. A harmful group of Muslims did attack us, but that doesn't mean we can burn their Koran; there are plenty of good Muslims out there and we should respect their religion.

Haley R.

z-man said...

Jones' actions are both reprehensible and unconstitutional. Technically, the process of burning the Koran on any given day is protected under freedom of speech. However, his actions could have caused irrevocable damage, politically, in the highly Muslim areas of the Middle east who -- like Logan mentioned in class -- more or less hate us for breathing. This damage could have ultimately led to harm of American troops, or even non-Muslim citizens of the Afghanistan and Iraqi areas; thus making his actions unconstitutional.

On a separate note; I believe we have looked far too deeply into this issue. The reactions of people globally, whether expressed in one way or another, shows a simplistic unification. (nearly) everyone disagreed with mr. Jones and his actions, so the argument whether his actions were constitutional or not is naturally moot. It's almost assured that someone, somewhere is always going to grasp for attention through unnecessary actions, like Jones' Koran burning project.

On a similar note;(well, not really) Ostroff's comment in class about officials electing to create an amendment to the Constitution to attempt a solution to this issue, began me thinking of solutions to both this issue, and issues in the future. I believe a solution that leaves little legal "wiggle room" would be either a law, or Constitutional amendment, that bans general iconoclasm, including the destruction of religious textual foundations, such as the Koran, the Bible and the Torah. This would, for the most part, eliminate issues like Jones' Koran burning from recurring in the future.

Zander Mapes

Meggan Sher said...

Jones would not be protected my the first amendment because he was putting the lives of others in danger. This could of caused more people to go into war and could of caused a bigger issue. Even though the first amendment might allow you to have freedom, it does not allow you to have the freedom to put anyone else into danger.

-Meggan S

analisaanastasi said...

Assuming that Terry Jones burned the Koran….
I do not think what Terry Jones did was Constitutional. He was putting our country in danger, yet indirectly his actions could have caused something much greater. By doing this he has put our troops in great danger, and right when they were going to be sent back to the states. His actions ultimately made our relationship with the Middle Eastern people worsen. His actions were unnecessary and unjust, and will ultimately injure and hurt the American people, our reputation with other countries, and those in Iraq and Afghanistan. I agree with Zander that this issue should be directly confronted with a possibe new law about holy books and religions. I don’t think that this would exactly work however, because many would disagree with it and it would take away parts of our freedom of speech. But, if this event had occurred I think that it would have much of a reason to go to court and be publicly announced that the majority of Americans do not believe in Terry Jones’ ways of action and think that he was being unconstitutional, heartless, and overall trying to make a scene. I completely agree with Jordan that this was a completely useless, morally wrong, and overall disrespectful act.
- Analisa Anastasi

Andrew said...

I don't see any other way around it. Yes, anyone could say that Terry's act of burning the Koran could have put other people's right in danger. But lets be honest with each other, we could all acuse someone of something as long as we don't take the first amendment litterally. If the we really wanted to, we could acuse Terry of alot more things if you don't take the First amendment litterally.

z-man said...

@Ani:
Why wouldn't the law work? To my knowledge, there aren't any comunitites that value the technical right to iconoclasm and religious text destruction. Yes, it does take away some of our right to Freedom of Speech, on paper, but if no one practices the action, who is going to disagree with the banning of it?

If not my proposition than what other solution(s)are there, in terms of a new law?

Amber Stephens said...

If Terry Jones would have burned the Koran on September 11, I believe that his actions would have been protected by the first amendment to the US Constitution. Jones has the right to free speech and religion. Therefore, I think he is able to do what he wants as long as he is not harming others. For those of you who think that he is harming the soilders in Iraq, I disagree. If Jones were to have burned the Koran, he may be putting them at risk, but there is no direct harm given. Although I think that Jones' actions would have been protected, I oppose his decision to do so. As one of the men said in the video, being a Christian means respecting the other religions and leading by example. There is a fine line between agreeing in morality with his actions and agreeing with his actions in that they are protected.

-Amber S.

Mr. Ostroff said...

Thanks for mentioning our class discussion, Zander, and thanks also for your thoughtful posts! For those who were in different class sections, we mentioned the (somewhat) similar and controversial issue of flag-burning, which IS Constitutionally protected freedom of expression under the 1st Amendment. I noted that some opponents of flag-burning have suggested a constitutional amendment to ban the act.

srallegro1234 said...

Terry Jones does not have the Constitutional right to have a burn the quaran day, due to potential harm to the United States government, American soldiers, local officals, his own congregation, and other citizens, negating his right to free speech.

Sarah Allegro

ABBY said...

I think that Terry Jones will not be protected by the 1st amendment because his action of burning the Koran, a sacred text to the Muslim community can cause danger. His action could have provoked local or even nationwide violence in the United States that would have resulted from his own action. Even though his action would be protected by the 1st amendment regarding morals, he in my opinion would be condemned due to his action of burning the Koran that resulted violence and endangering civilians.
Abby G.

Blake said...

I agree with Abby in the sense that the burning of a sacred book could have serious repercussions from soldiers, and Americans abroad. Furthermore I also strongly believe that his actions would have created chaos and panic in the similar manner of screaming fire in a crowded movie theater. I personally believe there should be an amendment against burning certain books or to make clearer that burning sacred books can have serious repercussions. Whether or not Terry Jones is protected by the constitution may not be the million dollar question, it might just be what do the American people believe, and how does the population feel. After all America’s value system is based off of popular sovereignty so which is changeable per the population’s request.

george said...

GEORGE COLLINS:
I believe that Terry Jones is protected under the 1st amendment because his actions even though they may be offensive, do not directly harm or endanger anybody. I do not however agree with his motives, and i believe it is not right that he wanted to burn the basis of a religion, however that does not make it illigal. I belive the only person it endangered was himself, however many people would most likely have protested if he had gone through with this act. He could have been even injured or threatened by his actions. He did not go through with the burning, however even if he had, he would have been protected.

pesbiotealc said...

I agree with what Caitlin said, Terry Jones should not be defended by the consitution. Even though the freedom of speech is stated in the constitution, burning the Koran exceds the limit by causing danger and harm to the people in the religion. The fact that he told the world about his plan before hand not only causes a lot of uneccesary negative publicity but is producing anger and fear. Everyone has a right to an opinion but I believe it should be considered illegal once it passes a certain extent.

Matthew said...

Technically I think that Jones is not doing anything illegal. The Koran is a book, like the Bible, and if you own that book, you can do whatever you want with it. Although it's extremely offensive, it's still not illegal. However, due to the fact we are "in conflict" with Iran, it does potentially endanger U.S. troops stationed in Iran.

Just because I think it's technically legal, doesn't mean I think it's morally right. Also, the world should understand that just because one pastor in Florida created this event, does not mean the U.S. government and the rest of America endorses his actions or approves, and should not take offense.

Cameron Casey said...

Terry Jones's actions are not only uncostitutional, but they are immoral. I do not believe that he shoud be at all protected by the constitution in his burning of the Koran mainly because he his not only putting himself in direct conflict, but also our troops. I'm not saying that it is uncostitutional to burn a religious book; instead i am saying that it is uncostitutional to burn a religious book that in result, will provoke anger and rage towards American troops and citizens. There have been numerous threats towards Jones and his family if the burning occurs. In conclusion, by burning the Koran, Terry Jones is putting his life and the lives of many others in tremendous danger. Thus, the government should have the utmost right to intervene.

Haley B. said...

I beleive that the first ammendment should be upheld until someone is being put in danger. In this case Terry Jones has the right to burn the Koran, but the fact that he has drawn so much attention to himself about it is putting soldiers in danger and himself. Some might argue that he is not directly endangering the soldiers but he is directly endangering himself, personal threats have been made against him. I personally am not a fan of Terry Jones but I do not want him to get hurt.

Haley B

Holly Williams said...

Even though Terry Jones is protected by the first amendment to have his own opinion towards another religon, he is not protected to inderectly cause harm to U.S. troops that could have been brought to war becuase of Jone's actions. With this being said, Jones and his congregation is not protected by the first amendment to burn the Koran on 9/11, Burn a Koran Day, as long as a possible threat to troops or even members of his congregation were in order.

mark said...

First off, I'd like to say that disrespecting anyone or anything in such a manner as Terry Jones was is completely irresponsible and insensitive. How people end up like this is beyond me, and I don't think that Mr. Jones is protected by the constitution. Through his actions and intentions, Islamic people all over the world became enraged at him and America. This enraged many of the Islamic militants, if not all, and made matters even worse with our troops over seas. Many people may argue that Mr. Jones is protected, and i can see where they're coming from, but it puts a lot of people in danger. Along with putting our troops at an even greater risk, it also ruins the image of America and its people. As Caitlin said, this incident could be pivotal when a country is trying to decide if they should help us or not if we need them. Now for the Constitution, I think that there needs to be a bit of a change. I think morality should be taken into consideration and applied to it. Also, i dont think that the freedom of speech or the freedom of assembly should protect those who use these freedoms in an irresponsible and insensible way to inflict significant pain on someone else. It can cause major problems and even wars. For instance, Muslims could view this as an attack against their religion, and they may go on a jihad. I'm not saying that this is going to happen, I'm just using this as an example. In the end, I don't think Terry Jones is protected since he put our troops in danger, and since people threatened to kill him and cause violence at the book burning which puts the people at the assembly directly in harms way.

Alanna M. said...

Alanna M.-
First off all, I feel that Terry Jones's actions are disrespectful and wrong. The majority of religions teach us to be accepting of others. Terry Jones is clearly not accepting towards others and is a disgrace to not only America, but the Christian religion as well. The fact that he is a religious figure sickens me because he is clearly not following the values of the religion he claims to be a part of. Unfortunately, I feel he is protected because he has freedom of speech. It is unconstitutional to tell him what he can and can’t say. I hope that the people that he has offended understand that he only represents himself and not America.
America doesn't encourage the burning of the Koran or any sacred religious text or religious items.

kinsey budagher said...

I have not been able to piece together a plausible excuse within the American government as to why Terry could not burn the Koran. He is expressing what he finds to be right and the United States unfortunately cannot suppress peoples freedom of speech even when it's some lunatic nut job asking for war. The fact that he is doing this as a representative of the christian church is embarrassing and makes me ashamed. The meaning of being a christian is to be an understanding person and accepting, he has very clearly lost site of the very goals expressed within his very own bible.
However a solution to peoples ignorance is not possible, not even through government. The US cannot make a law stating "a man cannot be ignorant and unaccepting to others ideas". All you can hope for is that people are morally obligated to do the right thing and not insult other traditions.

Meghan Mitchell said...

Burning the Koran is just lighting a flame under our own butts. America is full of different religions and we allow all those different religions. If someone were to burn the bible we would be just as mad as the terrorist are for burning the Koran. I understand where Terry Jones is coming from, this certain group of people put a scar on our country but it was only some of them. Its very unnecessary to insult more people then needed. We don't need Terry Jones' help showing the terrorist that we are angry... obviously they realized that when we went to war. If he had burned it on 9/11 it would only have made his point stronger and I wouldn't expect the American people to be mad at him for it. We are all angry but I think for now at least... the army has got this under control.

Alix H said...

This article infuriates me. Terry Jones' background shows that he is one of the numerous Americans who are convinced that Islam is the source of terrorism. I cannot emphasize more that it is only a small sect of people who committed and support the acts of 9/11 and current terrorist attacks in the Middle East and across the globe. Saying that all Islamic people are terrorists is comparable to saying that all Americans are in the Ku Klux Klan. Was "Burn the Koran Day" technically allowable according to the constitution? Yes, if you agree that flag burning is considered a right of freedom of speech. I do not think this qualifies as freedom of speech. I think it is a violent display, which also eliminates it from falling under right to petition peacefully. One could also argue that this will aggravate the situation in Afghanistan and possibly lead to more deaths in for our troops. I think that this could be considered manslaughter if you look at it that way. It also encourages the extremist views that many Americans have of those who practice Islam, endangering their lives and freedoms.

Eric Edwards said...

I believe that Terry Jones can do whatever what he feels like doing, even though it might not be right. But this does not change my view upon Terry Jones. I think that what he would do would harm the security of the United States and its people, as well as the troops overseas right now. I also think that it would raise tensions between the muslims that live in the United States and the christians that live here to even cause a war within our own country. Overall, the whole plan would turn out to be disastrous and it would leave our country and many others in a state of turmoil.
- Eric Edwards

Taryn said...

I agree with Haley Rinker when she said "what's the point?" I honestly do not see the point in threatening to burn the Koran, which is a religious symbol for many groups of people. In doing that I think that it would definitely spur further attacks and criticisms towards and about the United States. I guess to put it in High School terms...why cause more drama then needed? It would be completely hypocritical if the United States allowed Terry Jones to burn the Koran because that would clearly show that the U.S. does not seem to give a care about any outside religions. Yes, the first amendment states that we have freedom of religion, but I think Mr. Jones is taking it a bit too far by offending a large religious group of people and by putting Americans in harms way.

Mason.Reiter said...

I agree with the point at the top that says that federal government should have stepped in from the very beggining for the simple fact that it could have harmed American troops and American citizens. Terry Jones is an absolute idiot for thinking that this would have solved anything. This act that he wanted to go through with is completely un-american and goes against everything that the United States stands for. He single handedly could have harmed the entire nation of America from his stupid idea and it goes to show that American citizens still have a lot of maturing to do.
-Mason Reiter

Catherine Gregory said...

I have debated this issue over and over in my head and i can honestly say that i am kind of split. I feel like i am leaning towards the side that Jones shouldnt be protected. I think the government should definitely make huge efforts to step in on this matter. We have spent countless time overseas trying to make peace and his simple action could undo a lot of progress in a matter of minuets. The lives of people overseas, i feel, are far more important than his individual freedoms. However, i would have a hard time accepting that if Jones were to follow through that he would end up in jail since he is actually with in the law. I think the majority of the problem isnt coming from him directly but it is coming from all the press and media attention.

pinkyalayne said...

Although it was very difficult for me to come to grips of which side i was on regarding this issue, i have come to a conclusion that Terry Jones threatening to burn the koran was not against the first amendment rights and therefore he should not be put under arrest. Yes the first amendment rights are only in effect if others arent being harmed but terry jones did not even burn a koran. The publicity of this problem is ridiculous and should not have been put up on such high pedastools. Terry Jones morally should not have threatened to burn the koran but first amendment states that he has freedom of speech. Anger and Hatred is definitely being aimed towards Terry jones by numerous men and woman of the united states and other countries but Terry jones did not go against the first amendment.

-andi wilson-

Dallas Alderton said...

I agree a lot with what Andi said, that he shouldn't be punished for not doing anything but if he would of burnt the Koran, I think he should of been arrested. My reason for this is that he would of put our troops overseas already in the enemy's territory in danger of being killed and attacked by the people who thought the Koran was sacred to them. What he tried to do was stupid! Just becuase the 9/11 anniversary reminds us of what happened with the world trade center doesn't mean he gets to burn their book because not all of their people were apart of it therefore they shouldn't have to suffer for what their Dictators did.

-Dallas A.

Bri Sharp said...

I think that Terry Jones threatening to burn the Koran is not against the first amendment, however it was not a smart thing to do. By saying he was going to burn it was risking the troops over sea's lives. If he wouldn't have made his plan public, it wouldn't have caused so much controversy. He should have done it with himself alone and not bring others into the situation to where it could be life-threatening. The first amendment does allow freedom of religion, however, he is taking it too far by doing this to a large religious group and making it so public.

-Bri Sharp

Chris said...

I completely disagree with Terry Jones' idea to burn the Koran, it is morally wrong and would offend a lot of people. Even though its wrong Jones is still protected by his first amendment rights, i wish he wasn't but, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press are all rights protecting his actions. The only way he would be violating any of these rights would be if he were to DIRECTLY endanger the lives of others. People speculate that if he were to go through with his statement to burn it then we would be attacked by those offended, this is not a certain fact that any harm would come to anyone. This INDIRECT endangerment is not enough to forfeit his first amendment rights. Though i disagree with the idea, it is completely legal for him to burn the Koran.

-CHRIS KENNARD

aroo47 said...

I believe that Terry Jones' proposed actions are not only Immoral and full of hate, they also violate our countries constitution. Though our rights Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Demonstration are protected by the first amendment, these rights are not protected if they deny others rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiesness. The burning of the Koran would directly violate this because if it were to be burned this would be putting the lives of many of our soldiers and Americans living overseas in danger, it also gives Al- Qaeda further motivation to attack us again. The courts should a stop to this selfish act by Mr. Jones before it is too late.
- Andrew Velvin

rinrin7651 said...

I believe that Terry Jones' actions would have been wrong and frowned upon, but that they would be protected by his first amendment rights. The first amendment gives us freedom of religion, while this is not so much a choice of Jones' own religion, it is a belief of another. There is much speculation that if Jones would've gone through with his plans that the American troops in predominantly Muslim countries, would've been at risk. While Jones' actions may have caused this, he was not directly threatening or harming the troops themselves. I do not condone Jones' actions, but I do believe that they are protected by his first amendment rights.
-Arin McGovern

Caitlin said...

I believe that Terry Jones would be protected with the First Admendent. He possesses the freedom of speech. Depending on how you look at it, this incident could either be freedom of speech or assembly. Article I states that citizens have freedom of speech, but the right to a peaceable assembly. If this is classified as an assembly, it would probably not be peaceful. Although, there is no reason for an action like "burn the koran day", to even happen. It is against the Christian morals. Terry Jones claims to be a man who worships and has a relationship with God. This issue is difficult to state one side or the other, I do know for sure that I do not agree with Jones.

Caitlin C.

Pacman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pacman said...

Unquestionably Terry Jones has the right under the First Amendment to speak his mind. But just because you have the right do something doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. I think he showed a great deal of restraint by deciding not to burn the Koran. He was able to make his point without causing damage to our armed forces. He probably also kept from risking his own safety. No matter what the First Amendment allows, I believe Jones eventually made the right decision not to burn the Koran. He protected our troops and got so much publicity that he was able to get his message across.

Tanner Pochmann

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moriah said...

If Terry Joes did burn the Koran i dont think that his rights would be protected. His actions would have seriously caused turmoil in America and for Amercians in Iraq. I dont think that Federal law should make it illegal to burn the Quran. It would go against our basic rights as American citizens. If it became Federal law to "show the world that Americans remain tolerant of diverse religious traditions" it would bring and uproar of rebellion and negative opinions and people would feel that their rights are beginings to be taken away. I feel that the media took Terry Jone's story way out of proportion to the point where many began to hav strong opinions of it including internationally.

Ben Harden said...

I personally think that the burning of the Koran should not be made illegal, or that it is an immoral thing to do. I do think that Terry Jones made that statement solely to draw attention to himself and be controversial. I do not think that it is okay to burn the Koran (or any other religious document), not out of respect, or for any other reason than nothing good can come out of it! Burning of these things can only lead to anger from the party of whom the documents are associated with. Burning the Koran is not a wise decision, and has little to no justification.

Ben Harden

hds2012 said...

Hallie Sparks
I believe it would be morally wrong to burn the Koran or make it illegal. Jones should not be protected by the 1st amendment because that is disrespectful of anothers religion. Even though you are entitled to an opinion, there has to be a limit. Also it is not christian, we are suppose to respect others and not judge them. I think this is wrong of Terry Jones and he should not be protected by the law or supported by Christians.

Abby Winslow said...

I feel that it would be wrong of Terry Jones to burn the kuran because it is unconstitutional. The burning of the kuran is very prejudice against the religion and is stereotyping that all that follow the kuran are evil. I do not think it is right of one human being to put down the beliefs and values of anothers and take it as far as burning the kuran; this action is as outrageous as when the KKK would burn crosses in the yards of victims. This just creates havoc amongst the people and shows a prejudice side of Americans that should not be shown.

Abby Winslow

Chris Nittolo said...

In this artical basically there isn't one completely right thing to do your going to have to compromise between the two, you cannot violate his right by the constitution, but you cannot sit around while our troops might be in danger due to this idiot. It's a very tough decision and a good thing it didn't come down to either of these things.

Alexis Richter said...

I agree with what Tanner said, even though Terry Jones may be able to do this, it is extremely hateful and poses many threats to our troops. Though he himself isn't actually endangering people in person, he is setting off the potential for many lives to be lost because of his actions. He ignored all the protests and pleads for him to stop his plan to burn the Qur'an. Thankfully the tragedies that many people predicted didn't happen. Just the fact that such a hateful idea was almost executed scares me and shines light on the potential for self-centered hate to be put to action.

Alexis R.

Elianah Gorin said...

I think burning the koran is bad and a terrible thing to do however not putting it under the law is going against the constitution. People are allowed to burn what ever they want and it wouldn't matter if this was a Koran, torah or new testament bible; someone somewhere would be upset and feel threatened. But technically its under the right of freedom of speech and assembly. i believe if people want Terry Jones arrested or other wise they need to ask for the law to be more defined or changed.
Elianah G.

Iram said...

I think burning the Qur'an is wrong. I understand that because of the first amendment, Terry Jones is allowed to do what he likes as long as it does not harm anyone. But if people are burning little dolls of Terry Jones and saying how much they hate him and how they want to kill him, it shows that if he has his party might it lead to some pissed off Muslims and many deaths. Legally I think it shouldn't be allowed because it could bring harm on US troops. If he had kept it more of a secret and not made such a rally about it, the people he was offending wouldn't have found out and there wouldn't have been a threat on peoples' lives. Personally, I could care less about him and his ignorant rituals. It's just plain wrong to burn regular reading books, I don't know what he was thinking when he decided that it'd be okay to burn a holy book. It says in the Bible, the book he follows, that we should love our neighbors like ourselves. He obviously has a different interpretation than most Christians do about parts of the Bible as do a small fraction of Muslims that have a different interpretation on parts of the Qur'an.

Santiago Zapata said...

I think burning the Qur'an is wrong, but as well it is wrong to burn the bible a cross or the american flag, but jet this is allowed by the American government. And since the law is equal for everyone, it is equal for Terry Jones. Morally, many or most people think it is wrong, including me, but this is not a matter of morality. The constitution clearly protect those people or groups like the KKK when they burn the cross, even though it is disrespectful for people who are catholic. So even though his actions are disrespectful and outrageous for many people, he still holds his rights to burn the Qur'an
Santiago Z.

Kate M said...

I believe that in this case Terry Jones is protected by the constitution. However, he is only protected by the words on the page, there is no deeper explanation as to what "freedom of speech," or "freedom of religion" mean in a situation as specific as this one. The first amendment both promotes and protects the freedoms of speech and religion, but it does not promote hatred. The actions of Terry Jones were extremely disrespectful and in no way represent what americans are about. The Declaration of Independence states, "all men are created equal." In this instance, Terry Jones is not promoting this principle, but going against it entirely. It is a shame to see someone act in this way and while he may be protected by the constitution I truly hope that people see the wrong in Terry Jones' actions.

Kate M

Henri Levy said...

I feel that if he wanted to burn the Quran that it would be frowned upon but constitutional. this isn't just a prejudice statement though. If he had wanted to burn holy doctoren from other religions then once again it would be frowned upon but constitutional. For what is this but an extreme version of freedom of speech.

Henri Levy

Aaron said...

I feel that Terry Jones' actions would be completely within his rights as stated in the First Amendment of the Constitution. I would not approve of Terry's actions, and he would potentially be putting thousands of US troops in danger. If United States government interfered with Terry Jones prejudice ritual, the United States government would be violating his rights.

Aaron D.

GeorgeRodJr said...

My opinion If Terry Jones burned the Koran is that he would be protected by the first ammendement. It states his freedom to speech and religion. Wether i disagree with him or not will not stop his own personal opinion in the matter. I personally do not agree with him to burn it because of all the drama and chaos it would bring. it would be more mature to let it be and ignore the matter and not burn it. It would only put our troops in danger and cause more problems.

George R.

Nathan G. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nathan G. said...

Burning the Koran would have been an extreme selfish and illogical thing to do. It is disrepectful and wrong to the people of that religion and would cause great harm for our troops. Doing this would have caused many soliders oversea alot of pain. If Terry Jones had done this it would make the situation over there way worse than it already was. In the end, Burning the Koran would have beeen an extrememly bad move for him and the rest of America.
- Nathan Gottlieb

Will Noble said...

There is no such thing as perfect freedom, it is impossible to have and have a well run country. In this situation it applys greatly. Though there is an argument that Jones is protected by the first amendmentin this situatuion, his act indangers our whole country and our troops in Iraq. Though muslims in the midde east are burning our flag, burning their holy book does nothing more than tic them off even more and gives us more problems. Complete freedom of speech is dangerous in some situatuions such as yelling fire in a movbie theatre or yalling bomb on an airplane. Jones freedom is infringing on other peoples lives and in this situation he should not be able to burn the Koran.

Haley said...

Terry Jones politically is protected by the first amendment of Freedom of Religion. But there is something more than that that the founding fathers didn't account for, the degradeing of citizens of The United States. This could potentially spark something oversea's on the war in the Middle East. They could become very agervated that we let this happen. Jones is also breaking local laws of burn bans that were initiated, but this would not be dealt with in the Supreme Court, its more of a local issue.

Austin Miller said...

i feel as if he burns the koran that will be unconstitutional. i believe that it is his right to say or do what he wants, but i do not agree with that law all the time. I feel that that right should be taken away when it puts himself along with others in danger. Although i only think that his right should only be taken away if we know that something bad will come from it. Burning the koran will be a huge setback from where we have gotten and i believe that the reactions would be serious and dangerous. so his right to do so should be taken away.

Maui Puebla said...

I believe that Burning the Koran should be unconstitutional because it is threatening the lives of the American people, and by that it should mean that you should be arrested for putting american citizens in danger. By this act you are also encouraging a war on Religion like the stuff thats going on in israel and palestine. The constitution shouldnt be taken seriously because the constitution was written 200 years ago and the world has changed throughout that time. The U.S troops would be put into harms way and maybe the islam people would start burning the bible which would enrage the christian people.

Holly Williams said...

The first amendment protects every citizen's right of speech and religion which Jones had clearly taken advantage of. These rights however should be taken away if someone were to put others in harm's way. Jones' actions could have had a major reaction by those of the Islamic faith to a point where it could spark war. If this were to happen, it would be a direct result of Jones' actions causing him to be blamed for putting our US troops in danger. Overall, I believe that Jones should not be protected from the Constitution.