Quran burning pastor Terry Jones will be on campus Nov. 9
The Florida pastor who sparked mass controversy for burning the Quran will be on campus Nov. 9.
In March, Terry Jones burned the Quran which led to an uproar of rioting in Afghanistan, leaving 21 people dead, according to The Guardian.
According to published reports, Jones worked as a missionary for 30 years and heads the Dove World Outreach Center church located in Gainesville, Fla. He is also the author of “Islam is of the Devil.”
Associate Professor of Journalism Tim Boudreau invited Jones to speak to his journalism classes, JRN 102: Introduction to Journalism and JRN 404: Law of Mass Communication. Jones has a court date Nov. 10 in Detroit.
Every year, Boudreau tries to bring in a controversial speaker to practically illustrate to his students many of the points he makes in class about free speech. Last year, he brought Shirley Phelps-Roper and her daughters of the Westboro Baptist Church.
He said Jones illustrates the protection of “hateful speech” under the first amendment.
“He (Jones) serves a legitimate pedagogical purpose,” Boudreau said. “There’s not a whole lot of value in the content of his speech, but the fact that he’s allowed to do it is noteworthy.”
Boudreau expects protestors against Jones, but not as many as the Westboro Baptist Church brought.
Lake Orion senior Kyle Goodall spoke to Phelps-Roper when she came to CMU. Goodall is a co-facilitator for COM 225A: Intergroup Dialogue, a social justice education course focused on helping students communicate across different systems of oppression in society.
Goodall said dialogue is a great way to know people past their personal barriers.
“When you step back, everything she said is logically coherent,” he said. “I don’t believe in their premise, but if I believed what they did, I might follow the same actions.”
In order for Jones to agree to visit, Boudreau had to pay for his plane ticket. It is unknown if the journalism department will reimburse him.
Goodall asked Boudreau if he could come and speak to Jones on his way from the airport, but another ride had already been scheduled. Goodall said he will sit in on one of the sessions, but probably won’t meet Jones personally.
“I am curious to see what his upbringing is and what makes him think this way,” Goodall said.
The classes will move to an auditorium to hear Jones speak so there is some distance between them, Boudreau said. He said his students seem excited about meeting and challenging Jones.
“Instead of denying his right to speak, I think they should exercise their own right to speak,” Boudreau said.
Merlyn Mowrey, associate professor of philosophy and religion, said people like Jones are absolutist in their thinking.
Jones is extreme in believing he alone is right, she said, and therefore everyone else is wrong.
It is a very powerful and seductive mindset, she said, and can sometimes be a very dangerous one.
“The mission is to bring attention to his beliefs and try to convert people to them,” Mowrey said. “It’s linked in his mind to a goal he thinks is worthy and for him that justifies his behavior.”
Jones was mentioned last year in a sermon by Pastor Scott Crary of His House Christian Fellowship. Crary asked students if Jones’ actions were appropriate in spreading the message of God’s love.
Crary called burning the Quran an ineffective witnessing method.
“Was that the right way to reach out as a Christian to burn someone’s holy book?” Crary said. “If we’re trying to show people the message of Christ, I don’t know if that’s the best way to open the door.”
After the sermon Crary had a number of students come up and ask him about Jones. One girl who had been raised in a Muslim family told Crary it made an impression on her that Crary, a Christian pastor, would disapprove of burning of the Quran.
“If someone wanted to tell me their opinion, the worst way for them to open it with me would be to light my Bible on fire,” Crary said. “That’s one of the worst ways to spread a message of a God who loves people.”
Leave a Comment
Like us on Facebook
- CE: Another 3-9 season, and both Enos and Heeke have to go! …
- Andy Villemure: I am looking for a KZ 900 block Z1E, that has not cracks tha…
- anonymous: Totally disagree on Heeke. Think he showed some real balls i…
- Amy Easton: Please let me know your lessons learned, how you organized t…
- Pete: I thought Central won a bowl game this year??? The program …
• Is your baby graduating CMU? Place a personal greeting and photo in CM Life's Baby Graduates special pages. Download the form here
• Contact local movers in Mount Pleasant to help with all of your moving needs.
• Download Campus Cash Coupons!
• Search for local apartments
• Add your link here