Quran-burning preacher undeserving of attention



Column by Austin Schmitt. E-mail [email protected].

Have you ever wanted to see your name scrolling across the ticker of every major news outlet in the world?

If this is something you’re interested in pursuing, I propose a great way of doing that: Burn a Quran.

Actually, I take that back, burn a Bible, burn an American flag, burn an Iraqi flag, burn a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey, just burn something controversial and your dream will be fulfilled.

In recent days, some character down in Florida decided it was his time to make the national news. For personal reasons, I’m not going to even mention his name because I don’t want to contribute to this man’s 90 seconds of fame, or is the better word notoriety?

This column isn’t about him or even Qurans; it’s about what this country has lowered itself to. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr. and [insert the name of your favorite rights leaders from American history] are all spinning in their graves right now.

Seriously, a Quran? And how long did this “controversy” last for?

The fact that I’m still addressing this issue makes me sick to my stomach, but it’s necessary to discuss.

What does it take to stir the hornet’s nest? Does it take 500 words in the Kentucky Kernel or does it take a burning of hundreds of Qurans?

Is it necessary for the Secretary of Defense to call a man in Florida and tell him not to perform an act?

Does it take the President of the United States calling you out on national television to satisfy your itch?

Let’s get the record straight. If the president thought this was a national security issue, then why did he publicize it?

Why did every news outlet from CNN to Fox News use it as their lead story?

This man didn’t deserve one second of the notoriety he received. Every time a story like this makes the news, the

United States sinks lower and lower into the pile of cow manure it currently occupies.

There’s a reason bizarre news stories have their own section and there’s also a reason why it is usually buried at the bottom of the news website, or why it is the last section on your favorite news app for the iPhone. This “story” belonged right there and no further.

Too many times people do dumb stuff just to get some type of fame. Just look back to this campus approximately two years ago. Some kids decided it would be funny to hang an effigy of presidential candidate Barack Obama from a tree on Rose Street. The incident made the news and the kids’ mug shots were plastered from here to California.

Too much of this occurs every day in this country and too much of it gets discussed at length. So please, next time somebody wants to go out and burn a Quran, don’t even turn your head in that direction. Just give it up. These things happen every day, but it’s only when news outlets come running do they get shoved into the headlines from the “wacky news” section.

Or you can just decide that you want to be notorious and burn a Quran. It doesn’t matter to me what you do, as long as I don’t have to read about it every morning. Spare the people of this country their time and sanity.