Here’s one Florida church’s idea of how to commemorate this year’s 9/11 anniversary:
On September 11, members of the Dove World Outreach Center – a Gainesville, Florida church – plan to burn copies of the Koran to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The protest is just the latest in a series of provocative actions from the self-described “New Testament Church,” which seems as interested in getting attention as it is in sharing the Word with the world. Unfortunately, their plan seems to have worked — and local investigators have begun probing the church’s tax-exempt status after reports that Dove World Outreach Center is essentially a scam.
The church, which was founded in 1986, has long been controversial in Gainesville. The Koran-burning protest is just the latest in a string of high-profile “protests on other issues, such as homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and abortion,” Religion News Service reports. But it seems clear that taking on Muslims is the one of the church’s central goals. The church’s leader, Dr Terry Jones – who before heading up the Dove World Outreach Center ran a sister church in Cologne, Germany – has published a book entitled “Islam is of the Devil” and posted a large sign outside his church that offers passing commuters the same message. Last year, members sent their kids to public schools wearing “Islam Is Of The Devil” t-shirts (the students were sent home, creating more headlines.)
That’s lovely stuff, eh? I’m surprised they didn’t just go straight to burning the people. I mean, there’s a long tradition in the church of both, really. Incredible.
I will read more about that incident in the schools last year, when I have the time, to see if maybe there’s a local hero in Gainesville who deserves wider credit for having stood up to this madness. Or maybe this church is just viewed as loony by most people.
I’ll say it again. This stuff is definitely on the rise, and it has to be correlated in some psychic way to the rise of extremism in this country, the Obama presidency and the idea some people have that there’s a Mooslum in the White House and kindred paranoid anxieites, and it is something for all of us Americans to be, shall we say, other than proud of.