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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