All You Need is Love: The Beatles Vanquish Pastor Terry Jones in the Big Apple

New York­ers go out of their way to avoid Times Square, espe­cial­ly at this time of year. What­ev­er the sea­son, it’s sure to be a mob scene of slow mov­ing tourists, mis­er­able Elmos, and loose screw loud­mouths preach­ing mes­sages of intol­er­ance. In this milieu, Flori­da pas­tor Ter­ry Jones is noth­ing spe­cial, and cer­tain­ly less pho­to­genic than the Naked Cow­boy.

Film­mak­ers Hei­di Ewing and Rachel Grady trailed the Quran-burn­ing, effi­gy-hang­ing, failed Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date there any­way, to cap­ture his “mes­sage to the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty” on the 10th anniver­sary of Sep­tem­ber 11.

Bystanders roll their eyes and hus­tle past, but only one young woman attempts to engage him direct­ly, smil­ing as if she knows that Jones’ is the sort of shell game you can’t win.

That is until one man breaks into a spon­ta­neous ren­di­tion of All You Need Is Love, the lyrics pulled up on his smart­phone. Was this brave per­for­mance moti­vat­ed in part by the pres­ence of a film crew? Who cares, as ran­dom pedes­tri­ans and staffers from the near­by TKTS booth join in, pro­vid­ing a fine alter­na­tive sound­track to the hate spew­ing from the bull pul­pit. In Ewing and Grady’s edit, the Bea­t­les are a force strong enough to drown him out.

- Ayun Hal­l­i­day would like to teach the world to sing in per­fect har­mo­ny.


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Comments (3)
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  • Kenneth Bergo says:

    Found it very inter­est­ing love the Bea­t­les mes­sage but also found myself agree­ing with the preach­er, “kill the infi­del”, “to cause ter­ror” — Can’t recall Jesus preach­ing killing and ter­ror

  • David martindale says:

    And yet so many of Jesus’s fol­low­ers threat­en to kill those who don’t believe in their inter­pre­ta­tion of the bible

  • Thea Allison says:

    As in every reli­gion, you will find extrem­ists. I think the major­i­ty of those young peo­ple in the video were too young to remem­ber the feel­ing of what life was like before the events of Sep­tem­ber 11th, 2001. I am not. I will nev­er again be able to ful­ly relax. I will nev­er look at a Mus­lim the same way. I think build­ing a mosque near ground zero is dis­gust­ing and goes to show that the ones enter­ing it’s doors are spit­ting in the face of every­thing our coun­try stands for. It would have been iron­ic if, while those young peo­ple were singing, “All You Need is Love”, a big ol plane would have been flown into one of the build­ings above them. Not fun­ny, but iron­ic. We have become a nation of tol­er­ance, but the ones scream­ing it don’t seem to have tol­er­ance for the ones they don’t agree with. SMH. Damn shame.

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