The original Beme is back in the news. Yep. Evangel Bear Jones done went and burnt hisself a Ko–Ran, proving once again that there is no apocalypse like the one we create for ourselves.
For those of you who may not be familiar, a beme is a bit of non-news used to create a news marketing sensation. It’s the news equivalent of what you cross a Beanie Baby with a meme. Something with virtually no intrinsic value that enjoys a false value because someone tells people it has a value, and, hey, who wants to miss out on value, right?
Ev-Angel Bear Jones
I dubbed the Rev. Jones the first Beme last September when he landed a CNN interview to tell the world of his intentions to build a bonfire with Korans. As a result of that CNN coverage, he enjoyed a rousing fifteen minutes of fame, complete with discussions with world leaders and the attention of every major news agency on the planet. The only thing missing was the only thing that might have been appropriate at the time, an SNL skit.
Apparently, the Rev. Jones, who came to Florida when he was booted out of his German church for being a heretical attention whore, got bored again. Instead of having a big public Koran burning this time—I guess CNN was busy with that little nuclear meltdown—he and his tiny congregation held an inquisition of the Koran in the privacy of their own potluck and broadcast it live on Truthtv. The mock trial included advocates for and against the Koran, along with witnesses who were Christians converted from Islam. To no one’s surprise, the Koran was convicted of inciting violence, and the Rev. Jones “executed” the book by fire, breaking his public promise of 9/11/10 to never burn a Koran.
Some Afghanis heard about this and began killing random Westerners at the U.N. building in Kandahar, not caring that their victims had probably never harmed the stack of paper and ink titled “Koran,” or the fact that several Nepalis were caught up in their net of death. The Reverend Jones says that their reaction to his action is proof that the Koran incites violence. . . . Hmm.
Now, as I have mentioned before, I am an adherent of Baseball, and as such I believe I am neutral enough in this situation to point out a few objective facts.
- Over 2 billion Christians did not burn Korans today.
- Over 1.5 billion Muslims did not kill anyone over the Reverend Jones’ dog and pony show.
- The violence over this has been limited to Afghanistan.
- Inciting violence in Afghanistan is almost as difficult as watching ice melt, but not quite.
- Muslims burn Korans with impunity every time they bomb a rival mosque or burn down a school in the name of Allah, and no one gets their knickers in a twist, which leads me to conclude this violence has nothing to do with burning a Koran.
- The Reverend Jones is basking in his carefully cultivated second shot at the worldwide spotlight, threatening even more drama-trauma protests, which leads me to conclude that his actions have nothing to do with either Christianity or Islam.
The Reverend Jones has fallen into a classic ego trap. A juvenile contest of “My God’s better than your God,” or, to be more specific, since both Christians and Muslims trace their “one God” to the same origin, “My book’s better than yours.” It’s a tempting pitfall. Even I would love to expound on how glorious the world would be if we all just practiced baseball. . . . But I digress. . . .
Now, rather than fight this out in the streets where people are being murdered over this elaborate form of He Said-He Said (neither book has a “She”), I have a suggestion along the lines of the Taliban Wife Swap that I mentioned in a previous blog (click here). We could send the Reverend Jones to be a contestant on the Turkish game show, Penitents Compete.
Penitents Compete is a real game show in Turkey where a Muslim imam, a Christian priest (or, in this case, a man with no academic degree in theology), a Jewish rabbi, and a Buddhist monk compete to see if they can convert atheists on TV. . . . No, really. . . . I’m not making this up. (Click here.) . . . And the prize? The atheists win a pilgrimage to the spiritual home of their newly chosen creed.
The Reverend Jones can impart how Christianity is the religion of peace, and how homosexuals and Islam are of the devil and condemned to Hell. The Muslim imam can explain how Islam is the religion of peace, and how child brides, misogyny, and jihad work into that. The Jewish rabbi can enlighten the atheists as to how Judaism is the religion of peace, and how Israel has the God-given right to expand its borders with impunity, no matter who gets dispossessed. Meanwhile, the Buddhist monk can munch his veggie-burger and maintain his vow of silence. I’m guessing that, upon analysis of those facts, the atheists will opt for the pilgrimage to Tibet.
As for myself, I would answer the Reverend Jones, as well as the murderers, with a quote from the Christian holy book, Ecclesiastes (a.k.a. The Preacher). . . . “All is vanity.”
So I’m asking my readers today to help me out with this peace initiative. Let’s get the Rev. Jones’ “Balloon Boy Dad” attention obsession satisfied without any more people having to die at the hands of equally narcissistic cavemen. What reality TV show would you send the Rev. Jones to?
All the best to all of you for not getting caught in traps of vanity.
Piper Bayard—The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse