Chris Matthews plays Soft Ball with Terry Jones


This evening, Chris Matthews interviewed the mad pastor Terry Jones on MSNBC's Hard Ball. This pious man of the cloth plans to burn copies of the Qur'an in a ceremony in Gainesville, Florida, to commemorate the attacks of 9/11. Not surprisingly, Jones was treated as if he were a rational, respectable guest, - and given air time to promote his filth about Islam.  In a month so dominated by Muslim-bashing, a most deferential Chris Matthews managed to add insult to injury and promote the kind of misinformation and bigotry that has taken hold of this country. This was not Hard Ball at its best by a long shot.  It was fawning, subdued Soft Ball at its worst.

The news about Terry Jones should have been swept into the nearest garbage bin when it was first reported.  The man merited little more than public scorn, but, during a slow news week and with People Magazine scooping Elin Nordegren, Jones was featured on a handful of corporate media broadcasts and got his fifteen minutes of fame.  I caught the Chris Matthews exchange with the deranged pastor and still am shaking my head in both disbelief and disgust. 

I'm not about to recap the interview here, but I do want to comment on the most glaring stupidity that passed for 'asking the hard questions' - as Chris Matthews often claims to be doing.  I was struck by the opportunity given to this hate-filled preacher to explain his views - as if there were any possible rationale for what he intended to do to the books most holy to hundreds of millions of people around the world.  In defense of his plan, Jones claimed that the Qur'an called for the stoning of adulteresses and homosexuals.  He wanted to let the nation know the evil laws embedded in Islam, and Chris Matthews did not have the courage, or more probably, the information with which to challenge this assertion.

Let's look at that with a fact-finding eye and not from the evil perspective of the ignorant and those in denial of their own religious madness. 

First, the Qur'an does NOT contain any references to stoning anyone.  According to Wikipedia, the Qur'an does no call for stoning as a punishment for any crime. According to Islamic scholar Al-Bahuty, a verse on stoning once existed in the Qur'an, but it was verbally abrogated by Mohammed and his first followers.  However, laws in some Islamic countries that follow strict Sharia law, still call for stoning as a form of punishment for adultery.  That list includes Afghanistan, Iran, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Somalia. 

For the record, and for the enlightenment of Terry Jones and his ignorant followers at the deceptively named Dove World Outreach Center, most Muslims - who follow the Qur'an - do NOT live in those countries.  Less than twenty percent of Muslims live in Arab countries.  Do either Jones or Matthews even have a clue?

Surely, after the burning ceremony, the more than one and a half billion Muslims around the world will once again hate us for our freedom.

And second, the Holy Bible....the guiding light of pious Christians such Jones  who claim to know TRUTH about everything.... is quite enamored of stoning.  A Google search led me to an article by Sami Zaatari, entitled Stoning in the Bible at

Here is some of what Chris Matthews might have thrown at Terry Jones:

The Bible doesn't just call for stoning on adultery, but calls for stoning on a whole range of issues! Here are the Biblical passages on stoning:

The Bible even calls for the stoning of animals!

Yet, despite the facts, and the furor with which his act will resonate around the world, Terry Jones will have his media circus in full operation on September 11th.  His appearance on Hard Ball gave him both credibility and respectability to an alarming extent.  It was shameful and embarrassing to see how this interview came to a close. After Jones virtually said that nothing would deter him from the burning ceremony, Matthews - in a soft and pleading voice - said "I hope you don't do it."  And then politely thanked this madman for appearing on his show. 

How I wish that Joseph Welch, not Chris Matthews had closed this sad segment of Hard Ball. How refreshing it would have been to once again hear someone say:  Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?