Apparently the idiot got all the publicity he's wanted, because he's declared victory and retreated.
But we're going to be debating the meaning of it for far too long, mostly because too many people who should know better missed the point.
PZ Myers, who knows from free speech vs. idiot religion, explains:
You know, I'm something of an expert in the public desecration of sacred objects, and I'm seeing the same madness going on right now with Terry Jones and his plan to burn copies of the Koran that I saw in the response to throwing a cracker in the trash — only amplified to a ludicrous degree. People just aren't getting it; they're so blinded by an inappropriate attachment to magic relics that they're missing the real issues.
The problem isn't the desecrators. The problem is the people who have an unwarranted sense of privilege, that their beliefs will not be questioned or criticized, ever, by anyone. What I was saying was that it was crazy to believe a cracker turns into Jesus, and what all the outraged Catholics were doing is confirming to an awesome degree just how mad their beliefs were, with their prolonged and excessive outrage.
So I'm looking at this recent episode with Terry Jones — a fellow I don't like at all, and I think he's a fanatical goofball — and I see that the serious problem here isn't Jones at all…it's all the lunatics who are insisting that burning the Koran is a major international catastrophe.
It's just a frackin' book, people.
I am simply astounded at the catalog of high-ranking personages who are contributing to this new frenzy of foolishness.
President Obama, you're a damned fool.
What are you going to do, send in the national guard to prevent Terry Jones' congregation from destroying their own private property? Will there be new legislation to list items that may not be treated disrespectfully? Shall we surrender a few more liberties because religious zealots are threatening us? Obama can do nothing and should do nothing; he accomplishes nothing by complaining about it, other than being part of the mob confirming the madness of the defenders of faith.
And to suggest that some guy burning a book in a remote land will incite more anti-American sentiment is absurd. We've got drones buzzing over Iraq and Afghanistan killing people with a push of a button; we've got an armed force occupying those countries; we have bombed their infrastructure into rubble. We've killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims. And now we're to believe that their love of the West will be suddenly devastated by a video of paper burning on youtube? Get a grip, man.
The United States does have an obligation to protect the basic and fundamental rights of all Americans, and that includes allowing them to burn their own property, in addition to allowing them to practice the religion of their choice.
Here's a hint for appropriate responses. When someone tells you it's an outrage to burn a bible or a Koran, shrug your shoulders and say, "So what? It's their own book." When someone announces that they are going to riot and murder because they are offended, look at them like they're insane, and explain that offending someone is not a capital crime.
The problem isn't a few books being burned; that's not a crime, and it doesn't diminish anyone else's personal freedoms. The problem is a whole fleet of deranged wackaloons, including the president of the USA in addition to raving fundamentalist fanatics, who think open, public criticism and disagreement ought to be forbidden, somehow.
And seriously, this whole silly contretemps would have evaporated if a few people learned to shrug their shoulders and react rationally instead of feeding the fury with Serious Pronouncements and Reprovals.
And yes, it applies equally to the Fainting Victorian Virgins who hyperventilate at the idea of anyone burning the American flag in protest.
It's a piece of cloth, people, and if someone "desecrating" it deals a mortal blow to your patriotism, then you are a jingoistic asshole, not a patriot.