The Fanatical and Illegal Past of Qur’an Hating Pastor Terry Jones
The Pastor of the church in Florida who is planning to burn the Quran has a sleazy past in Germany involving both allegations of financial wrong-doing and being convicted for using a false PhD.
A German news paper, Zeit Online, is reporting that the Pastor at the center of the proposed Quran burning in Florida this September 11, was convicted in Germany for holding a false PhD.
Stephen Baar, deputy chairman of the Christian Congregation of Cologne, which was co-founded with Pastor Jones, also says Jones was “prone to violence and fanaticism” and Baar remembers Jones as a pastor who had “not the biblical standards and values” worn on the outside, but rather “self as personality.”
In the German city of Cologne, the reason for Jones’ break with Baar were related to financial irregularities in the community of faith, with which Jones was associated. Furthermore, the German authorities had become aware of Jones and in 2002 he was convicted of the Cologne District Court of claiming a wrong doctorate and fined 3000 €.
Baar issued this statement to Welt Online:
“We distance ourselves from this action and do not want to be associated with it. We are very disturbed by [the plan]. Jones himself embodies the spirit he condemns – this propensity to violence, this fanaticism – within himself.” This is strong language coming from a church that Jones founded in Cologne in the 1980s after receiving a “sign from God.” ”
According to Salon.com, “Members recall him as a charismatic but extremely authoritarian personality who “brainwashed” his parishioners, urged them to beat their children if they got out of line, and established strict hierarchies. To this day, some members of his flock are supposedly still in psychiatric care. He may also have exploited them financially.”
This is the man the far Right are defending. This is their base, their audience, and the sort of people who are clearly easily seduced by the regular shots of GOP inspired crazy into doing horrific things.
Joining the mounting numbers of those who are condemning Pastor Jones’ plans to burn the holy Quran (including the Catholic Church), Stephan Baar is doing what the Republicans in our own county refuse to do by distancing themselves from Pastor Jones, saying they want nothing to do with his behavior and condemning Jones’ plan to burn the Quran.
Americans await a leader of the Republican Party to join the growing voices of condemnation for Jones’ book burning plan.
Update at 5:42PM: Mitt Romney, Haley Barbour and John Boehner have come out today with the same message, saying that burning the Quran is bad. So there are three tepid voices of sanity. However, I’d like to point out that merely saying it’s bad is not the same as owning up to weeks of the leaders of the Right deliberately ginning up hate regarding Park 51 in order to create a false enemy in order to win this fall nor is it the same as strong condemnation or a reminder of religious tolerance. They are also using their obviously forced statements (get ahead of the violence so they can’t be blamed) in order to falsely equate the Park 51 building with Pastor Jones burning the Quran. If Republicans don’t know the difference between these two things, perhaps they shouldn’t be anywhere near political office.