Written September 7, 2006     

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© 2016 Bob Lonsberry


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For some reason, I thought of Moses.

Yesterday, as I was reading The Daily Mail, I thought of Moses. He was a Hebrew prophet and it is a British newspaper.

And what the two of them have in common is Steven Jones.

Steven Jones is a physics professor at Brigham Young University. And Brigham Young University is a place close to my heart and close to my family. My son began classes at that university just this week. If we can arrange things, my daughter will become a student there in January. A generation ago, for a couple of semesters, it was my great honor to walk that campus with a student ID. I love BYU and am loathe to even mention its name in a critical context.

But my criticism is not of BYU, it is of Steven Jones. I believe he is a poor representative of the university. But more importantly, I believe he is a poor representative of our country.

See, Steven Jones was quoted in the paper, in The Daily Mail. It was a story about September 11. In fact, it was a story about a group of academics of which Steven Jones is a leading member. Let me quote the first two paragraphs of the story, so you'll get a sense of what it was about.

In the words of reporter Jaya Narain: "The 9/11 terrorist attack on America which left almost 3,000 people dead was an 'inside job', according to a group of leading academics. Around 75 top professors and leading scientists believe the attacks were puppeteered by war mongers in the White House to justify the invasion and the occupation of oil-rich Arab countries."

Osama didn't do it, Bush did it. Bush and evil people called "neo-cons." They did this because America wants to take over and enslave the world and make everyone drive SUVs. That's what this professor and his friends are saying. What we saw with our own eyes didn't happen, what we all know is true isn't true, we have all been duped. And a bunch of pointy heads from the pretend world of academia are going to set us straight.

With Steven Jones in the lead.

Here is more of what Jaya Narain wrote: "Professor Steven Jones, who lectures in physics at the Brigham Young University in Utah, says the official version of events is the biggest and most evil cover up in history.

"He has joined the 9/11 Scholars for Truth whose membership includes up to 75 leading scientists and experts from universities across the US.

"Professor Jones said, 'We don't believe that 19 hijackers and a few others in a cave in Afghanistan pulled this off acting alone.

"'We challenge this official conspiracy theory and, by God, we're going to get to the bottom of this.' "

That's where the Moses part came in. It's those two words, "by God." For whatever reason, they stuck in my mind as I read the story. The way I look at it, either the reporter misunderstood or made up the quote, or Steven Jones was saying a mouthful. Because at Brigham Young University they don't typically say, "by God."

Because of Moses. And because of that commandment he brought down off Mt. Sinai. The one about not taking the name of the Lord in vain.

Granted, that commandment probably means different things. It probably means it is a sin to claim the authority of God and to act in his name without truly having that authority. It also probably means that his name and the titles associated with him are sacred and should only be spoken reverently. That's the part that tells us not to swear. Jesus Christ is the Savior, not an expletive. God is the Father of us all, not a word to be casually appended to the exclamation "Oh my ..." or put before the curse word "damn."

So it surprises me that a professor at Brigham Young University would say "by God." Not that they have vocabulary police there, or that a man should be an offender for a word, but that as an expletive or as an assertion of authority, you'd figure a BYU professor would know better.

If he did say it -- if the reporter got the quote right -- it seems that Steven Jones is saying that "by God," or with the help and support of God, he and his confederates "challenge this official conspiracy" and promise to "get to the bottom of this." Unless he was carelessly taking the name of God in vain, Steven Jones seems to be claiming that God backs up his theory.

And I doubt that's the case.

Because the leader of the church which owns Brigham Young University seems not to have been clued in by God as to the existence of this big government conspiracy. From comments made in sermons after the attacks of September 11, it seems pretty clear that the spiritual leader in question believes we were attacked by foreign terrorists.

But it's not my place to comment on or to interpret who God did or didn't tell what.

Nonsense from quack scientists, however, is right up my alley. And quacks don't come any bigger than Steven Jones. He is a crank of the first degree and he shames himself by this insane and anti-American prattle. It is exactly the sort of thing which gives fuel to our enemies and which degrades our strength at home. Unfortunately, he and his fellow quacks are not the only idiots walking the earth, and as the borrowed prestige of men like Steven Jones and the institutions which employ them are bandied about, endorsements and substantiations are presumed. Most people reading their ridiculous theories laugh, but some are just dumb enough, or disgruntled enough, to believe.

And that is dangerous. That hurts our country. That runs counter to the cause of truth.

We were attacked by militant Islam on September 11th. Some 3,000 people died. It was real, it happened, and this holocaust cannot be denied.

Even by college professors.

Even if they do claim "by God" to be right.

- by Bob Lonsberry © 2006

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