Wednesday, May 25, 2005From the Charlotte Observer:
An N.C. Baptist official Tuesday said he worries that a sign outside a small church in Forest City could incite "negative actions" toward Christians around the world. "The Koran needs to be flushed!" states the sign outside Danieltown Baptist Church in the small town some 60 miles west of Charlotte.From Tuscaloosa News Dateline Alabama:
The Rev. Creighton Lovelace put up the message on the changeable sign last Friday and will likely put up a new saying this Friday. In between, the 23-year-old Forest City native is answering critics and explaining to national media outlets why he chose to demean the Quran, the holy book for the world's second largest religion: Because, he said, they don't worship Christ as the son of God. "I don't hate Muslims," Lovelace told the Observer. "I don't hate Islamic people. I just hate the false doctrine."
Lovelace said he was stirred to put up the sign by the worldwide furor inspired by the Newsweek magazine report that U.S. military guards at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba flushed a copy of the Quran down a toilet to rile Afghan prisoners. At least 17 people died in rioting that erupted in several countries over the Newsweek report -- a report the magazine later retracted and apologized for. Just because the sign provokes anger, Lovelace said, is no reason not to say what you believe.
"If one church can't put up a sign and the whole nation be mad at them," he said, "something's wrong."
[Reverend] Lovelace said he knew before he put up the sign that some people would disagree with its message. "I expected some people would be offended, just as if someone put up a sign that said the Bible should be flushed," he said. "That would offend me as a Christian. This is America and we have the freedom of the press, so I have the right to put up this sign."Crusade, or showboating? I agree with Lovelace in the sense that this is the U.S., and we do - hold your breath, still - have First Amendment rights to free speech. Even if I don't agree with the message, I do believe he should have the right to say it. That said, after news stories like this no one should complain that it's all the Liberal Media™'s fault for stirring up anti-American sentiment 'round the globe. Sheesh.
Lovelace said he does not believe he is being intolerant. "We are all told to be tolerant," he said. "You can be tolerant of other people, but that doesn't mean you have to accept anything that teaches against what is in the Bible."
[Above image from the Kansas City Channel.com]