|Pastor Terry Jones|
World-renown Quran-burning nut Pastor Terry Jones of the Gainesville, Florida-based Dove World Outreach Center church has been making the rounds lately, and his reputation, which is currently about as shiny as that of Fred Phelps and his motley Westboro Baptist Church crew, has led to a number of interesting free speech debates wherever he pops up. The latest is in Dearborn, Michigan, where Mayor John O’Reilly, Jr. released an “open letter” wherein he tries to stint Jones’ free speech rights with this nugget of cognitive dissonance:
"Our commitment to the Constitution is unwavering, not merely convenient, which makes your hyperbole about Sharia Law being practiced in the courts or civil law of Dearborn nonsensical," O'Reilly wrote. "So, you are coming to protest against an imaginary threat that doesn't exist in our community. Not in our courts, not at our City Hall, not on our streets and not in any of our places of worship."
You hear that? Mayor O’Reilly will protect and uphold the constitution to the very best of his ability … unless you wanna say something he doesn’t like, in which case your First Amendment rights no longer apply, sucker.
He is right, of course, about Pastor Jones being utterly delusional about any supposed threat of creeping Sharia in Dearborn – or anywhere else in the United States. But even so, that doesn’t make any sort of a credible argument for stripping Jones of his right to spew any kind of bigoted idiocy he wants on public grounds. It seems that, as with so many others like him, Mayor O’Reilly doesn’t quite comprehend what’s in that document he claims to be “commit[ted]” to.