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Rackspace Shuts Down Quran-Burning Church's Sites

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the that's-a-sticky-wicket dept.

Censorship 1695

theodp writes "In response to a complaint, Rackspace has shut down the websites of the Dove World Outreach Center, a small 50-member church which has received national and international criticism for a planned book burning of the Quran on the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. The center 'violated the hate-speech provision of our acceptable-use policy,' explained Rackspace spokesman Dan Goodgame. 'This is not a constitutional issue. This is a contract issue,' said Goodgame, who added he did not know how long it had hosted the church's sites. Not quite the same thing, but would Kurt Westergaard's cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad also violate Rackspace's AUP? How about Christopher Hitchens' Slate articles? Could articles from one-time Rackspace poster child The Onion pass muster?"

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Stupid (1, Insightful)

Jarkov (1867240) | about 4 years ago | (#33519618)

As much as I think this whole is stupid and that a tiny fringe group is being given waaayyy too much publicity for something like this, I don't think shutting down its website is appropriate. They aren't hurting anyone (directly) and by shutting them up you are violating their freedom of speech, no matter how ignorant or idiotic it happens to be. Let them continue to broadcast their idiocy to the world and hopefully everyone will ignore them when they realise how dumb the message actually is. We've all heard of the Streisand effect, haven't we?

Re:Stupid (5, Insightful)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 4 years ago | (#33519718)

The first amendment prohibits the government from suppressing speech, not Rackspace.

Re:Stupid (0, Redundant)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 4 years ago | (#33519784)

No, but a contract does, which is why they had to use the "hate speech" loophole in their acceptable use policy.

Re:Stupid (3, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | about 4 years ago | (#33519720)

Welcome to the difference between the western world, and the Islamic world.

Western world: "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
Islamic world: "Die for insulting our moon god!"

I suppose we should add "...unless some backwards 7th century scumwad threatens to carbomb us" to the Western side though.

Seriously though, this is getting ridiculous. As Christopher Hitchens pointed out a couple columns ago [slate.com] , " As Western Europe has already found to its cost, local Muslim leaders have a habit, once they feel strong enough, of making demands of the most intolerant kind. Sometimes it will be calls for censorship of anything "offensive" to Islam. Sometimes it will be demands for sexual segregation in schools and swimming pools. The script is becoming a very familiar one. And those who make such demands are of course usually quite careful to avoid any association with violence. They merely hint that, if their demands are not taken seriously, there just might be a teeny smidgeon of violence from some other unnamed quarter ..."

Feisal Rauf, Muslim Brotherhood member, Hamas stooge, etc... has just gone down the line of every other Imam before him in this regard. If you didn't think his whole big speech last night wasn't simply threatening violence if he doesn't get his way, then you're not thinking clearly.

I could also offer a nicely formatted treatise comparing Mohammed point-by-point to scum like Warren Jeffs and L. Ron Hubbard and David Koresh as well, but that'll keep for another day.

Re:Stupid (4, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | about 4 years ago | (#33519782)

Tell me, how is book burning representative for that quote popularly attributed to Voltaire now again?

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519798)

Western world: "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

That only applies to government and public places. There is absolutely no need for another private person or company to provide you services if they don't like what you're saying or you're violating contract.

Re:Stupid (-1, Offtopic)

JustOK (667959) | about 4 years ago | (#33519920)

YOU *have* to give me what I want or I will tell mommy-god!

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519842)

Yeh, and how many civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan have been killed by the US military

Re:Stupid (1, Offtopic)

thedonger (1317951) | about 4 years ago | (#33519976)

Yeh, and how many civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan have been killed by the US military

Yeh (sic), and how many civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan have been killed by suicide bombers?

Re:Stupid (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519916)

Welcome to the difference between flamebaiting, and discourse.

Flamebaiter: "Witness the nobility of my cultural myth! Witness the reactionary violence of my strawman enemy!"

Person trying to have discussion: "I don't think that the 2nd amendment protections on free expression limit the ability of private parties to contract."

PS: You're made of straw and I'm totes noble. Neener neener!

What is more stupid (5, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | about 4 years ago | (#33519724)

is for all these groups going out of their way to condemn this idiotic church but no condemn the threatened response of adherents of Islam. If one little piss ant church in America can cause so many Muslims unglued.

Frankly, while I find the idea of burning any book abhorrent I think that spitting in the face of these radicals of Islam is more important than not. Either bring your religion to 21st century and join the rest of us or shut the hell up.

So, yeah a small town church with a ego maniac at its helm is burning a book, it is no excuse by any RATIONAL people to react with violence.

Re:What is more stupid (2, Interesting)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#33519886)

Frankly, while I find the idea of burning any book abhorrent I think that spitting in the face of these radicals of Islam is more important than not.

I have never thought of it that way but I get the impression that the Reverend is just doing it because he's a bigot. BUT again, if the side effect is spitting in the face of Radical Islam, I'm not so sure now that I'm against these actions anymore.

Re:What is more stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519888)

"If one little piss ant church in America can cause so many Muslims unglued."

You're from Pennsylvania, aren't you?

Re:What is more stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519934)

Nope, try again...... Florida.

Re:What is more stupid (1)

tenco (773732) | about 4 years ago | (#33519898)

Frankly, while I find the idea of burning any book abhorrent I think that spitting in the face of these radicals of Islam is more important than not.

Burning qurans to upset islamists is like burning bibles to upset the WBC.

Re:What is more stupid (4, Insightful)

epiphani (254981) | about 4 years ago | (#33520004)

Either bring your religion to 21st century and join the rest of us or shut the hell up.

One cannot force someone to change their religious views (or any view) through taunts and provocation. This exercise is immature, and the response will be likely be violently immature.

You're certainly not going to have these people suddenly roll over and say "oh hey, you know, this whole book burning thing has really opened my eyes!" Not even one.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519726)

As much as I think this whole is stupid and that a tiny fringe group is being given waaayyy too much publicity for something like this, I don't think shutting down its website is appropriate. They aren't hurting anyone (directly) and by shutting them up you are violating their freedom of speech, no matter how ignorant or idiotic it happens to be. Let them continue to broadcast their idiocy to the world and hopefully everyone will ignore them when they realise how dumb the message actually is. We've all heard of the Streisand effect, haven't we?

I agree that the world is wasting too much time on these idiots, and giving them too big a media profile.

However, freedom of speech is subject to freedom of contract. Rackspace is free to make contracts that say "If you want to publish shit we don't like, do it elsewhere."

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519742)

There's no freedom of speech issue here, a private corporation has every right to regulate speech on their property. The constitution only guarantees that the government will not interfere with freedom of speech, and frankly it's tiresome that 90% of the people on this site don't seem to understand that simple concept. As for the Streisand effect, this church has already been international news for days, I don't think thats much of an issue.

Re:Stupid (1)

ZeRu (1486391) | about 4 years ago | (#33519750)

Agreed. This is just going to fuel their hatred.

Re:Stupid (2, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 4 years ago | (#33519756)

Individuals have no requirement to respect the "free speech" of others, nor do owners of private property have to put up with anything they don't like. Free speech means the government can't lock you in jail for protesting or publishing against government policies and it doesn't guarantee that anyone else even has to listen. Is the government locking him up? No. Did the government raid Rackspace and seize the server? No.

The book burning is barely a real political statement, its not an artistic performance, and its certainly not warranted. It's some groaty, pissed-off redneck reminiscent of the side-character Skeeter in South Park -- the guy who hangs out in the bar going "we don't take kindly to your kind around here." In this case its "hey, intolerant Muslims! we don't take kindly to your kind around here!" Just because he has a legal right to proceed with his moronic plan, the irony of which, I'm sure, is probably much too subtle to have an impression on him, doesn't mean that, you, I, Rackspace, or anyone else has to facilitate his stupidity.

Freedom of speech doesn't mean that (3, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | about 4 years ago | (#33519772)

Actually, this is the part that ticks me off the most about America: thinking that freedom of speech means you can swear at the neighbour's birthday party, or that some company has to carry your drivel.

In reality it's strictly about your relationship with Congress. The actual text of the first amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Basically Congress can make no law forbidding you to be a bigotted douchebag, but a company is not forced to carry your packets anyway. A private company can't violate your freedom of speech, because in respect to them you had none whatsoever in the first place.

In fact, if government forced a company to carry someone's drivel, they'd be essentially violating that company's freedom of press. It would be the government telling them what to print and/or distribute.

And possibly freedom of association too (in forcing them to be associated with some particular asshole or the views thereof), although that one isn't explicitly guaranteed in the USA anyway, only freedom of assembly is.

Re:Freedom of speech doesn't mean that (4, Insightful)

stdarg (456557) | about 4 years ago | (#33519956)

I think the line is bit more blurry when it comes to things like ISPs. They're working with public property and they get government funding for crap like the national broadband initiative. So how can they turn around and resell services with restrictions that the government would not be allowed to have? Imagine if your electric company said "We're turning off the lights on any residence we feel is associated with hate speech." Private company, maybe, but I feel like that's different since they're also in a government protected market.

Both situations are different from, say, a restaurant refusing to allow you to get up and preach to all their customers. That's not the business of a restaurant.

Re:Stupid (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | about 4 years ago | (#33519794)

If only Obama thought the way you did.

Religions, nor anyone else, do NOT have the right not to be offended, or to be exempt from criticism. Time this religion's idiots get it through their skulls that the reason they get insulted and compared to all kinds of shit so often is, quite simply, that they're offensive and disgusting. The term "medieval" may be applied often to them, but it's horribly inaccurate : the medieval times were a lot more tolerant than these idiots.

And to invoke Godwin's law : it's not because someone cries racism that he's not. Hitler (and the Russians for that matter), and the nazi party and members in general, called everyone racist and warmongers at every turn, most of all France and England (though, admittedly, calling Churchill racist may have a grain of truth to it. Not when compared to the nazi's, of course, but still).

Dove World Outreach Center (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519620)

Somehow their name clashes a bit with this plan.

So much 4 free speech in America dumb as it may be (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519626)

Subject says it all!

Re:So much 4 free speech in America dumb as it may (2, Insightful)

spd_rcr (537511) | about 4 years ago | (#33519804)

Since when does free (hate) speech outweigh freedom of religion. To be free from persecution. Burning the Koran/Quran is a form of intimidation, much like burning crosses in peoples front yards.

Re:So much 4 free speech in America dumb as it may (2, Insightful)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | about 4 years ago | (#33519914)

You're the first I've seen making any reference to "intimidation," which is entirely subjective. How are they being intimidating?

Re:So much 4 free speech in America dumb as it may (2, Insightful)

haystor (102186) | about 4 years ago | (#33519994)

Burning crosses carried with it a bodily threat. Burning the Koran is merely a rejection of a religion. Roughly equivalent of burning a flag. Shouldn't all you flag burning communists be supporting this? The mainstream wouldn't blink at burning the bible -- been there, done that.

Rackspace is, of course, free to terminate services with anyone they see fit. I'd say it's probably a bad idea to get into the game of judging the quality of content when you have that much content, however. Someone can be offended by almost anything. And this is what it is about, a group is feeling offended, not threatened.

Re:So much 4 free speech in America dumb as it may (1)

cl0s (1322587) | about 4 years ago | (#33519846)

Umm... Rackspace shut the site down. not America.

Re:So much 4 free speech in America dumb as it may (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519848)

Government isn't restricting anyone's 1st amendment. This is a private business doing something that is completely within their jurisdiction... because they are a private business! If you tried to burn any books at the mall I'm pretty sure you'd get tossed out just the same. If these people want to burn books and show the world, they'll need to find a hosting provider that won't mind, or they will have to host it themselves. You cannot force private companies to bow to every persons idea of freedom of speech.

Re:So much 4 free speech in America dumb as it may (1)

somersault (912633) | about 4 years ago | (#33519992)

If by "all" you mean:

  1. You don't know what "free speech" means (hint: try reading the rest of the comments here).
  2. You can't spell "for".

then yes, your subject says it all.

*fart* (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519628)

*fart* *queef* *burp*

well done (5, Insightful)

spd_rcr (537511) | about 4 years ago | (#33519630)

awesome, it's nice to see a company with a bit of a spine, freedom of speech is one thing, but no-one has to provide a stage.

Re:well done (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519706)

I wish I had points to mod this guy up.

You can say whatever the bloody hell you want to say but that doesn't mean I'm going to support you doing so.

Re:well done (3, Insightful)

JxcelDolghmQ (1827432) | about 4 years ago | (#33519716)

Actually I think it's pretty fucking spineless of them.

I think this church is an idiot, but they still have the right to do what they're doing. Rackspace is a bunch of douchebags for pulling the plug. "Hate speech" is subjective and can be applied to nearly anything.

Re:well done (4, Insightful)

mike2R (721965) | about 4 years ago | (#33519800)

Crap. He may have the right under the US constitution, but no one else has any responsibility to aid this lunatic in the slightest.

Lunatic? (0, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | about 4 years ago | (#33519946)

He's just burning some books. Our soldiers are being attacked because they are occupying peoples' homes and supporting a new government they don't all accept. The argument that burning these books would put our soldiers in more danger is not only incorrect, but irrelevant as here we are...giving up our rights and freedoms because we fear the terrorists. Another victory for fundies.

Re:well done (5, Insightful)

Isaac-1 (233099) | about 4 years ago | (#33519728)

Would you be saying the same thing if it were the phone company disconnecting their phone service? It is funny how the ISP's and Hosting companies want all that common carrier protection right up until they do something like this, and then don't want to play the neutral party obligation that goes along with being a common carrier.

Re:well done (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519838)

It's a webhoster, not an ISP.

Re:well done (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 4 years ago | (#33519852)

ISPs aren't common carriers. Common misconception, but they aren't.

Re:well done (5, Informative)

codewarren (927270) | about 4 years ago | (#33519856)

Rackspace != ISP.

Rackspace is a website hosting company.

Re:well done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519892)

NOT the same thing. What you say on a phone is not public, nor is anyone (should anyone be) listening in on it. Plus, a phone connection is a vital service; a web host is not, and if you don't like what their contract says you can just as easily get another, since there's millions of them.

How you can even come up with a dumb analogy like this is beyond me. Public material on public websites becomes an association for the web host that provides them the server space. If they don't want to be associated with crap like "burn quran day", then that is absolutely their right. This is no "slippery slope".

Re:well done (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 4 years ago | (#33519962)

I think people say common carrier a lot when they mean safe harbor. Safe harbor protection is basically legal indemnification for providers who are legally required to be CALEA compliant, and who take the necessary steps to become CALEA compliant from being hassled for transiting data as long as the cops can get what they need. The common carrier statute is written in such a way as it basically means they can't refuse service to you for being black or Mexican and still claim to be a common carrier. It's not neutrality of content, its non-discrimination of service.

Re:well done (1, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33519806)

Caving in and suppressing free speech because you're afraid some Muslim might come after you isn't spine. It's the exact opposite.

Re:well done (4, Insightful)

JSombra (1849858) | about 4 years ago | (#33519964)

Doubt they are fussed about "some muslim" coming after them, think more of a case that they don't want to give these fools a platform

Re:well done (3, Insightful)

stdarg (456557) | about 4 years ago | (#33519998)

Indeed. And the funny thing is, people like this pastor who provoke Muslims despite receiving death threats are called "Islamophobes." The real Islamophobes are the ones who are, you know, afraid of Muslims. Pretty ridiculous use of the word these days.

Re:well done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519930)

Spine? They were probably more scared of possible retaliation against them.

Re:well done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519958)

If you are under contract you do.

Re:well done (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 4 years ago | (#33519996)

awesome, it's nice to see a company with a bit of a spine, freedom of speech is one thing, but no-one has to provide a stage.

No one has to provide a stage??? Then why does even /. cover the story? News for nerds, stuff that matters! Damnit, the story is everywhere! What do you mean "no one has to providing a stage"? Everyone is providing a stage!

Let me summarize the story for you:
- A guy, who normally gets attention from no more than 50 people wants to burn some holy books.
- About 200 guys on the other side of the planet reply by burning a flag.

Now move along, move along - there's nothing to see here!

What a bunch of pussies (-1, Troll)

HBI (604924) | about 4 years ago | (#33519638)

This is Comedy Central thinking at its worst.

First host! (3, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | about 4 years ago | (#33519640)

Really though, bigots, use Linode. They don't have a policy like this.

Hey, lets burn some books!!! (-1, Troll)

Rooked_One (591287) | about 4 years ago | (#33519652)

Fahrenheit 451 anyone?

I'm usually against listening to any far winged nut job, but this is freedom of expression which falls under the first amendment. While it might seem caveman-ish to me, and I in no way agree with it, we gotta let dem foos be foos.

Re:Hey, lets burn some books!!! (5, Insightful)

Sentex (625502) | about 4 years ago | (#33519696)

"Freedom of speech" only applies to Government's interference in forms of speech. Rackspace is a private company and can do as they please.

Re:Hey, lets burn some books!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519880)

This whacked-out and irresponsible church can express themselves however they like. Their right to say and do stupid things is protected in law. But that doesn't mean Rackspace must allow them to violate the terms of the service contract they signed with them, or that anyone else is compelled to facilitate their idiocy. If they were too dumb to read and understand the terms of service: too bad and good riddance.

Re:Hey, lets burn some books!!! (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | about 4 years ago | (#33519944)

Bad use of Fahrenheit 451. That was about preventing education of the masses, not making a religious or nationalistic statement. They're burning just the Koran, not any books they can get their hands on.

This is the problem with Hate Speech Laws (3, Insightful)

Isaac-1 (233099) | about 4 years ago | (#33519664)

Sooner or later you get into the question, do people have the right to dislike other groups of people?

Re:This is the problem with Hate Speech Laws (5, Insightful)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | about 4 years ago | (#33519698)

How is this a matter of hate speech laws? There's no law involved here, only the Acceptable Use Policy of Rackspace. It's not a matter of whether people have the right to dislike other groups of people. It's a matter of whether you can be punished for breaking a contractual obligation not to host stuff that violates the acceptable use policy.

Re:This is the problem with Hate Speech Laws (3, Insightful)

Isaac-1 (233099) | about 4 years ago | (#33519876)

True, but the root of these acceptable use policies that started many years ago with EULA's that stated things like this word processor can't be used to generate hate speech. All goes back to this war on freedom of thought that the hate speech laws so clearly represent. Keep in mind I am not saying anything about the merits of their position, just that using catch all contract clauses that have came about by a cultural lapse in judgement that thinks if you make it so no one can legally have a negative opinion then all will be well.

Re:This is the problem with Hate Speech Laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519770)

Oh, more abstractly: When advocating for a society of tolerance, what do you do about those who advocate intolerance?

This is just a specific case of the broader argument. It's mostly brought up in the context of freedom of speech or religion - eg, if you believe that all people have a right to practice their religion, what do you do about fundamentalists who believe it is their religious duty to silence and oppress those they consider heretics? If you let them, they are infringing upon someone's freedom. But the only way to stop them is to infringe upon theirs. Alternatly, what is the correct response to someone who uses free speech to advocate for censorship?

Re:This is the problem with Hate Speech Laws (1)

mibe (1778804) | about 4 years ago | (#33519780)

Well, yes, of course they do. People should be able to think and say whatever they want. I think the real problem is that "hate" has a very specious definition, so trying legislate away "hateful" speech is difficult at best, oppressive at worst.

Re:This is the problem with Hate Speech Laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519808)

When my government starts telling me how to feel, that's when I start assassinating people. ..and oh the irony. My captcha for this post was "disarm."

Re:This is the problem with Hate Speech Laws (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#33519918)

"I should have the freedom to be a bigot."

-Andy Rooney

Re:This is the problem with Hate Speech Laws (2, Interesting)

SpeedBump0619 (324581) | about 4 years ago | (#33519922)

Sooner or later you get into the question, do people have the right to dislike other groups of people?

Absolutely. My question is this: Why are they burning this particular book at this particular time? Are they making some statement about their beliefs? Or is their goal to foster fear and hatred of someone elses? Would they be offended if I got all my friends together to have a Bible Burning and Weenie Roast?

I don't believe in thought crimes, so I'm mostly against laws criminalizing some frame of mind. That said, I also believe in the Golden Rule. I'm hoping someone really does rent the yard across the street from their Quran cookoff and hold the first annual Bible Burning and Weenie Roast. Maybe with little brands of the cross or a Jesus fish on every frank.

No thanks (1, Informative)

Pharmboy (216950) | about 4 years ago | (#33519678)

You know, we didn't need Rackspace to get involved in this mess, we already had enough people trying to stomp on the preacher's 1st amendment rights. Yes, it may violate their TOS, but still, it was unnecessary and only makes the situation worse. They should have just let it slide and if they had to, release a statement distancing themselves from the church, blah blah blah...

I think that burning the Koran is stupid, senseless and harmful, but the whole idea behind the 1st Amendment is to protect and allow EXACTLY this kind of speech. Either you truly believe in free speech and support the preacher's right to burn the book (even if you find the idea deplorable) or you don't really believe in free speech.

Ironically, I put the 1st amendment as my status on facebook, as I got tired of half my Christian friends talking about how they shouldn't put a mosque near the old twin tower site. I thought it was obvious in that I was saying they have the right to built it anywhere that code allows, even if I find it distasteful. They all universally thought I was supporting THEIR right to say that Muslims have no right to build it there. I guess free speech is great, as long as others don't say something you don't like.

Re:No thanks (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | about 4 years ago | (#33519722)

Rackspace doesn't have to defend other peoples free speech.

Re:No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519764)

I think the right to free speech is the right to speak out against your government without fear of reprisal. I can't tell it by reading the bill of rights, but I think the founders did not initially intend for it to mean "Say and do whatever the hell you want to say or do." Remember, people used to be executed for saying something against the king. I'm not a scholar but I think we have somehow distorted the original intent of it, simply because the founders never foresaw that it would be distorted so.

Why shouldn't they get involved? (1)

3.5 stripes (578410) | about 4 years ago | (#33519790)

They're not the government (read the first amendment again please), and they have a clearly written policy for the type of things that can be hosted on their servers.

Either you apply your TOS, or you're going to face another situation when people start asking why they got shut down, but that guy didn't.

Hell, they're not saying the site can't be on the internet, or trying to influence other hosts to prevent them from getting another site, they're just saying "we don't allow that on our resources".

It's not censorship. Not even close.

What the hell? (1, Insightful)

vvaduva (859950) | about 4 years ago | (#33519680)

So, if someone decides to burn a Bible would they do the same? Look, I am not siding with these bigots, but all this government pressure to attack this stupid church/people, shut them down, and feel them intimidated reeks of police state tactics. Maybe we should all exchange some matches...that way all the bigots on all side are covered and ready to "strike?"

To all you "free speech" defenders (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519688)

To all the people claiming that this violates this church's right to free speech, please inform me of how this is a government action. Because that is what is protected under the First Amendment. Hell, it's the first three words of the fucking amendment...

Re:To all you "free speech" defenders (3, Funny)

tgd (2822) | about 4 years ago | (#33519936)

You clearly assume a level of education in the US that is vastly above the actual level of education in the US.

Re:To all you "free speech" defenders (5, Insightful)

Ardeaem (625311) | about 4 years ago | (#33519942)

To all the people claiming that this violates this church's right to free speech, please inform me of how this is a government action. Because that is what is protected under the First Amendment. Hell, it's the first three words of the fucking amendment...

You misunderstand the point of the first amendment, and the founders' conception of rights. The first amendment does not GRANT rights; it merely acknowledges that the right to free speech exists, and constrains the federal government (and by the 14th amendment, state governments) from violating the right. Individuals, and corporations, can violate people's right to free speech without running afoul of the first amendment, because the rights are PRIOR to the constitution, and are inalienable.

You are thus conflating the "first amendment" as the source of free speech rights. It is not, at least under the American view of rights. Sadly, you've been modded informative, which means many Slashdot readers are ignorant of the basic Enlightenment philosophy underlying American law.

Freedom of speech...if you can afford it! (2, Informative)

FatSean (18753) | about 4 years ago | (#33519986)

Which is what the USA is all about. You can say what you like as long as you can afford to pay for creation and distribution and someone will take your money. Otherwise you are effectively silenced.

Re:To all you "free speech" defenders (4, Interesting)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about 4 years ago | (#33519990)

Actually the interesting way to push back against the burning of the Rainbow flag (representing homosexuals), would be for a group of atheist homosexuals to congregate in public, just across the street from the church, and burning a bunch of Bibles. If they really wanted to be provocative, they'd even burn an effigy of Jesus on the cross.

I mean - surely such free spirited church goers would have absolutely no problem with homosexual atheists doing such a thing, right? They'd probably defend their right to do so with blood if they had to.

solution (0)

Midnight's Shadow (1517137) | about 4 years ago | (#33519694)

Am I the only one who can't help but think that maybe we can use this nut to solve another issue? The minister won't burn the Koran if the ground zero mosque is moved. No one ends up being happy but this is what is known in my neck of the woods as compromise.

And just to make myself clear, I disagree with the mosque so close to ground zero and the burning of the Koran but I'll defend both of their rights to carry out their actions.

Re:solution (3, Interesting)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | about 4 years ago | (#33519744)

I don't agree. Instead of a compromise, isn't this more like encouraging people to take more provocative actions so they'd get their way?

Re:solution (1)

Midnight's Shadow (1517137) | about 4 years ago | (#33519858)

Ok, please explain to me how either of the two parties mentioned get their way with my solution? Plus isn't extreme provocation how the Muslim extremists are reacting? Rioting and protesting to stop the Koran burning? This solutions shows the radicals that we are willing to listen but we expect something in return.

Re:solution (2)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 4 years ago | (#33519818)

So, some backwoods yokel can make threats of religious violence in Florida and affect the outcome of a local zoning issue in New York County (Manhattan)? Sounds like terrorism to me, dude.

Islam, the only religion we treat above criticism (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33519708)

Political Correctness has replaced both freedom of religion AND freedom of speech in this country. We've become a nation of cowards.

Re:Islam, the only religion we treat above critici (4, Interesting)

Pikoro (844299) | about 4 years ago | (#33519850)

Need to quote my own sig for those that have them turned off: (quote is sig was made intentionally shorter to fit the size limit. Here is the full one) "Freedom in the United States of America is no longer the ability to do what you want. It is the ability to stop others from doing what THEY want." - A. Anderson

Re:Islam, the only religion we treat above critici (1)

seebs (15766) | about 4 years ago | (#33519864)

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/9/5/893426/-WARNING:-Money-launderers-using-moslems-as-red-herrings [dailykos.com]

Yes, it is totally about Islam being above criticism, and has nothing to do with this guy being sleazy all the way through.

Seriously, this kind of paranoia makes no sense. There is nothing preventing people from criticising Islam, or any other religion. There are criticisms, though, which are sufficiently hyperbolic and unfounded that they don't get much sympathy or protection.

Re:Islam, the only religion we treat above critici (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519910)

Maybe we should force everyone to watch PCU.

Re:Islam, the only religion we treat above critici (2, Informative)

Vahokif (1292866) | about 4 years ago | (#33519974)

This isn't criticism. This is trolling, and all it will achieve is angering muslims who didn't have anything to do with 9/11 and help those who did.

The Qu'ran itself contains hate speech (1, Insightful)

dskoll (99328) | about 4 years ago | (#33519758)

... so I hope that Rackspace would be fair-minded and shut down any site that publishes the Qu'ran. For example, see Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

To be clear: I utterly despise book-burning and I think the guy who wants to burn the Qu'ran is doing it solely to incite anger. But at the same time, the Qu'ran itself contains many inflammatory passages and should be criticized just as roundly as the wing-nut in Florida.

Re:The Qu'ran itself contains hate speech (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519836)

As does the Bible.

Re:The Qu'ran itself contains hate speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519938)

And most books. Let's burn them all.

Re:The Qu'ran itself contains hate speech (1)

ultraexactzz (546422) | about 4 years ago | (#33519950)

... so I hope that Rackspace would be fair-minded and shut down any site that publishes the Qu'ran.

The same could be said of the Bible, to be honest. Are you going to be honest and upfront enough to demand the same thing for bible websites?

Re:The Qu'ran itself contains hate speech (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | about 4 years ago | (#33519968)

Basically it's two bunches of idiots fighting over who is insulting whose imaginary friend the loudest.

Burn Them All! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519766)

I'm planning on taking a Torah, Bible, and Qur'an, putting them in a trashcan together, and setting the whole thing ablaze. You know, to offend everybody equally.

They're just books! WTF? Grow up and move on!

People can be so idiotic...

Not Quite the Same Thing (1)

kevin_conaway (585204) | about 4 years ago | (#33519786)

If they're not quite the same thing, why bother comparing them at all?

Good (2, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 4 years ago | (#33519812)

While the submitter makes it sound like they disagree with Rackspace's decision (head boggle...), I would like to say good. Good for them. Freedom of speech does not mean that everyone must listen to you. Freedom of speech does not mean every company must assist you in delivering a message they disagree with. Freedom of speech means the government can't shut you down because they don't like your message. I, as an individual, can shut you off. Companies that disagree with you have no requirement to broadcast your message.

Good for Rackspace. They did the right thing.

And, to the church I say this - you're hateful fucks. I hope you find out that your God isn't quite so accepting of hateful actions like that.

Can the media stop poking the wasp's nest, please! (5, Insightful)

clickety6 (141178) | about 4 years ago | (#33519826)

I'm not sure what's sadder. A backwoods pastor trying to provoke a reaction by book burning or the international media giving the idiot so much free airtime and so many free column inches. I bet the guy has never felt so important. If I were a cynical sort, I would think the media is devoting so much time to this subject purely to provoke a reaction from certain groups in order to have something explosive to report and moralise on. After all, nothing sells newspapers like violence and bloodshed...

Re:Can the media stop poking the wasp's nest, plea (3, Funny)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | about 4 years ago | (#33519912)

The worst thing about this is that Rev. Terry Jones has sullied the good name of Terry Jones, the ex-Python member.

It is a classic question... (4, Interesting)

Palestrina (715471) | about 4 years ago | (#33519828)

...how does a tolerant society deal with intolerance?

There are many inconsistent and hypocritical ways of answering this question. I'm not sure there are any good answers.

This "church" is doing to tolerance what Gödel did to mathematics -- showing its internal contradictions.

Read Before Burning (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33519834)

Reading a book from cover to cover should be a prerequisite to burning it.

Satire (3, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | about 4 years ago | (#33519878)

If you can explain to me how burning someone else's holy book qualifies as satire or parody then I'll accept the equivalence with Westergaard's case.

This situation is closer to a company like Rackspace choosing not to host the KKK's web site. Doesn't exactly make Rackspace a paragon of free speech, but there no shortage of service providers out there who are willing to host the site... most at a premium that covers the inevitable hack attacks.

This is about business (2, Interesting)

sanjacguy (908392) | about 4 years ago | (#33519882)

This is about business - if you write a book, you generally can't force somebody to publish it. Nobody can prevent you from writing it.

My own personal guess is that there's two reasons for this move:

1) The cost of containing damage from activist and/or religious hackers is higher than the income brought in by the offending site.

2) The loss of income from muslim clients is greater than the income brought in by the offending site.

Let's be clear - you have a freedom of speech in the US. And a freedom of religion. But you can't make Putnam Books publish to get your message out there.

Important distinctions (4, Insightful)

Salamander (33735) | about 4 years ago | (#33519896)

(1) The constitution is binding on the *government*, not private parties. Rackspace may deny service to anyone, just as Dove World Outrage Center may.
(2) There's a legal and moral distinction between being insulting or derogatory speech (Westergaard, Onion) and inciting violence (Dove).
(3) "Clear and present danger" is a recognized exception to free speech. Don't yell fire in a crowded theatre, etc. The *predictable* result of Dove's action is a sharply increased risk of retaliatory attacks killing US soldiers.

IMO any of these three reasons alone is sufficient to say that Rackspace's action is no affront to free speech. In combination, they're sufficient for me to say that anyone who protests Rackspace's actions more than Dove's is exhibiting a lack of understanding and/or perspective so serious that it's the domain of psychiatry rather than philosophy. I say that as a card-carrying monthly-dues-paying ACLU member, by the way. The actual advancement of civil liberties is only harmed by such ridiculous positions.

Good game, Mr Goodgame. (1)

kaptink (699820) | about 4 years ago | (#33519908)

Good game, Mr Goodgame. Haters just be hatin. Somehow I think if there was a god he wouldnt take to kindly to all this nastyness.

Counter protestors (1)

Spazmania (174582) | about 4 years ago | (#33519988)

So is anyone planning to park outside of the church and hold a "Bible Barbecue," cooking burgers on grills in the back of pickups replacing the charcoal with, well...

What is the Hate threshhold ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33520000)

This thread will probably end up spewing as much or more hate than this nutjob Pastor. Should Slashdot be shut down as a result?

Rackspace has the right, but should they use that right?

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