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Watch: Anderson Cooper Tries to Crack Terry Jones' Thick Skull


Anderson Cooper tried to get through to Qu'ran-burning pastor Terry Jones last night. A bit of the transcript:

COOPER: Do you consider yourself a bigot? 

JONES: No, not at all. And we do not consider our message a message of hate. 

It is -- it is a clear message of warning. We have tried to make it very, very clear that, according to the United States Constitution, Muslims are more than welcome in America. They are welcome to worship. They are welcome to build mosques. 

We have made that very, very clear. I understand they're not in agreement. And they're mad and angry. They're -- they're -- they're insulted because we are burning the Koran, but they should, indeed, be with us on the fact that radical Islam is bad. It is evil. We do not want it in this country. 

COOPER: Well, I -- I -- I think the vast majority of Muslims in the United States would agree that -- that extremism and radical Islam is a bad thing. And many of them have worked to -- to fight it.

But I asked about the bigotry, because the definition of a bigot that I just got off Dictionary.com is a person who is intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, especially on religion, politics or race. 

You do appear to be remarkably intolerant on any ideas other than your own regarding religion. 

JONES: We are -- as the Bible teaches, as Jesus teaches, we are intolerant, yes.


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  1. This blissfully ignorant oaf of a fool is why freedom of speech MUST have limits. Have him shot in the head.

    Posted by: SSCHIEFRSHA | Sep 8, 2010 7:18:45 AM

  2. All that stuff I said about turn the other cheek and whatnot...PSYCHE!

    Posted by: DLRnATL | Sep 8, 2010 7:34:19 AM

  3. This is AC at his sexiest, at least to me.

    Posted by: realitythink | Sep 8, 2010 7:49:18 AM

  4. If Anderson had ever visited Gainesville or the University of Florida, he'd know arguing with the preachers is a freshman mistake.

    Posted by: Zack | Sep 8, 2010 9:35:29 AM

  5. These are the people who have taken control of the Republican party and terrify the Democrats. Where are the political voices of reason condemning this type of religious extremism? Politicians cower before the charlatans in priestly religious garb and allow them to poison our society.

    As the American Taliban grow in numbers and influence, we will all start to feel their intolerance and suffer under their fundamentalist interpretation of the bible and "god's" word. Religious fanaticism and extremism is dangerous and should be totally unacceptable to any civilized society, whether Islamic, Christian, Judaic or any number of other superstitious beliefs.

    Do the politicians condone this act? Do the so called "mainstream" churches and religious leaders? Is there anyone on the national scene with the courage to say enough is enough? The silence is deafening. The burning of any book should stir horrible memories of other religious and political fanatics that ended up burning people. We are headed down a very bad road.

    Posted by: Bob R | Sep 8, 2010 9:44:19 AM

  6. This guy is an idiot but come it is just a book.

    Posted by: Brad | Sep 8, 2010 9:58:30 AM

  7. LOVE IT, when Anderson calls him a bigot and he says yeah! I'm a bigot for Jesus Christ! LMFAO

    Posted by: Stephen | Sep 8, 2010 10:09:41 AM

  8. Anderson needs to get over himself, Burning the hateful, homophobic koran is the best thing anyone can do

    Posted by: bruce | Sep 8, 2010 10:24:21 AM

  9. @RealityThink, I agree. Anderson is at his sexiest when he's asking tough questions and really exposing the truth.

    Posted by: Joe | Sep 8, 2010 10:46:23 AM

  10. And Bruce should try to read the Qur'an first before he tries to judge it by other people's actions. The Qur'an is no more hateful in its content than the Bible. It all depends on who interprets.

    Posted by: RP | Sep 8, 2010 10:46:37 AM

  11. I say let's stage a counter-event right next to his.

    "Burn a Bible". Those with pitchforks and burning torches admitted free. For every Bible burned, a donation of $10 to a local foodbank will be made.
    I'll donate the first $500

    Should be a fun event. ;-)

    Posted by: Amanda B. Rekendwith | Sep 8, 2010 10:57:01 AM

  12. "Freedom of speech" is often misinterpreted as "freedom from responsibility." I noticed this while reading the comments on a CNN article on this guy and his plans this morning. Yes, you may legally say anything you like and express your views anywhere, but don't expect to get off free from when the rest of society holds you accountable for your actions. In this case, this self-proclaimed bigot is putting innocent lives in danger by provoking extremists with his actions.

    Posted by: TheOtherMark | Sep 8, 2010 11:07:42 AM

  13. Not a very good definition of "bigot". It's clear that everything here is out of proportion.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 8, 2010 11:12:10 AM

  14. The punishment for condemning books without reading them should public stoning!

    Posted by: Fred | Sep 8, 2010 11:26:20 AM

  15. Wow.... That was like having a conversation with Tank.

    Posted by: Dave | Sep 8, 2010 11:39:15 AM

  16. Bin Laden is laughing in his cave. Mission accomplished.

    Posted by: kansastock | Sep 8, 2010 11:39:17 AM

  17. @DAVE: Score!

    America is very good at assimilating and mainstreaming immigrants of all ethnicities and faiths; we've been at it for 225 years, but that process happens so much faster when they see and enjoy the freedoms this country was built on. This kind of shit the pastor is spouting only radicalizes Muslims who are already here, and recruits other radicals to come here with bombs strapped to their backs.

    That said--after all our work marginalizing the Christian wingnuts, I truly DO NOT look forward to a whole other religion of wingnuts telling us homos are evil. And that is gonna happen as Muslims increase in numbers, influence and share of voice. Still, it's the price you pay for living in a democracy.

    Posted by: Christopher | Sep 8, 2010 12:23:02 PM

  18. The vast majority of muslims in the united states have worked to fight extremist islam? I'd like to see the numbers supporting that claim. Of course vast majority of muslims in the united states aren't extremists--this is very much a "christian" nation. There is much more pressure to acclimate and fit in. But I don't see millions upon millions of muslims condemning extremist islam. I don't see millions of christians condemning radical christianity (which isn't nearly as bad or as rampant as radical islam. Until honor killings become a regular feature of christianity as it is in islam, that will remain a true statement).

    This guy's absurd, however. As Hume noted, no ONE fairytale explanation of the origins of everything can accomodate another; and each vie for supremacy...eating each other alive. However, however low he's taken it, it's low for america...in an islamic nation like iran, religious tolerance simply doesn't exist.

    Posted by: TANK | Sep 8, 2010 2:18:30 PM

  19. It takes a special kind of idiot to look at Fred Phelps and think, "I want to be just like him, except instead of just desecrating soldiers' funerals, I want to facilitate them!"

    Posted by: Thomasina | Sep 8, 2010 2:31:40 PM

  20. @christopher & dave...I find that ironic, considering you're both likely much closer on the ideological spectrum (with respect to faith) to this douchebag than I ever was or will be. You supernaturalists never learn that you simply can't beat logic and empiricism with the effluvia of your cherished superstition...unless you use force (which that tradition is by no means unfamiliar). And if you're genuinely concerned that this lone wolf fanatic will radicalize muslims that are here in america, you're already acquiescing to the extremist attitude in desiring that people curtail their speech. I am glad crackpots like this go out of their way to identify themselves as idiotic loons. It saves time, and moreso, reaffirms a commitment to free speech in criticizing their exercise of it. This is a noisy democracy filled with intolerant, ignorant voices (of which you can probably add yourselves to that list), defied (to a lesser extent due to numbers alone) by reasoned arguments, and if you censor yourself and seek to censor others from exercising their rights out of fear, you've turned one of our greatest strengths into a weakness.

    Posted by: TANK | Sep 8, 2010 2:34:21 PM

  21. Hi Tank!

    Please don't speak on my behalf ;)

    Posted by: Hussain | Sep 8, 2010 2:56:13 PM

  22. Well you don't own the facts, and they speak for themselves. ;)

    Posted by: TANK | Sep 8, 2010 3:59:09 PM

  23. who say i own any facts?

    and aren't you withholding a lot of information but ignoring the other side of the story.
    Everything has up and down.
    Why emphasis on hate?
    Don't you get exhausted from picking fights with people every single days?

    Enjoy the fresh air and be happy for once;)

    Posted by: Hussain | Sep 8, 2010 4:37:58 PM

  24. and ignoring the other side*

    anywho...Summer is over...

    Posted by: Hussain | Sep 8, 2010 4:40:05 PM

  25. Hey here's an idea: why don't we throw a few Bibles, the entire Westboro Baptist Church, and all religious zealots into the fire while we're at it?

    Posted by: Brian | Sep 8, 2010 7:24:47 PM

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