Tuesday, May 31, 2005

What would (Republican) Jesus do?

Forest City pastor not flushing sign

The pastor of a small Baptist church has refused calls to take down a sign posted in front of his church reading: “The Koran needs to be flushed.”

“My creed is the Bible, which tells me I am supposed to stand up and defend my faith,” said the Rev. Creighton Lovelace, pastor of the 55-member Danieltown Baptist Church in Forest City. “I don’t hate Muslims; I just hate their false doctrines.”

But the Council on American-Islamic Relations, based in Washington, D.C., called on Americans of all faiths to demand the removal of the message.

“Christians often ask themselves, ‘What would Jesus do?”’ said the group’s spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper. “I don’t think Jesus, who is loved by Muslims and mentioned frequently in the Quran, would use such hate-filled and divisive rhetoric.”

Earlier this month, Newsweek magazine apologized for errors in a story alleging that interrogators at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, desecrated the Quran, including flushing one down a toilet.

Following the story’s publication, 15 people died and scores were injured in violence between protesters and security forces in Afghanistan, prompting U.S. promises to investigate the allegations.

Charles Kimball, a religion professor at Wake Forest University, called the church’s decision to put up the message “highly inappropriate and deliberately provocative.”

“It also shows a great deal of ignorance and a lack of civility,” he said Tuesday. “What is most distressing is that this sort of self-righteous speech suggests a total disregard for the words of Jesus, who told us to love our neighbor.”

Lovelace said he knew before he put up the sign that some people would disagree: “I expected some people would be offended, just as if someone put up a sign that said the Bible should be flushed.”
I'm becoming increasingly convinced that The General is no longer a satirist as much as he is a trendsetter.


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