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Jun 2nd, 2005 12:58 AM #1
Baptist Church Says "Flush the Koran!"
This sign posted in front of Danieltown Baptist Church has sparked debate in Rutherford County about religious tolerance. (Josh Humphries/Daily Courier)
By JOSH HUMPHRIES Daily Courier Staff Writer
FOREST CITY -- A sign in front of a Baptist church on one of the most traveled highways in the county stirred controversy over religious tolerance and first-amendment rights this weekend.
A sign in front of Danieltown Baptist Church, located at 2361 U.S. 221 south reads "The Koran needs to be flushed," and the Rev. Creighton Lovelace, pastor of the church, is not apologizing for the display.
"I believe that it is a statement supporting the word of God and that it (the Bible) is above all and that any other religious book that does not teach Christ as savior and lord as the 66 books of the Bible teaches it, is wrong," said Lovelace. "I knew that whenever we decided to put that sign up that there would be people who wouldn't agree with it, and there would be some that would, and so we just have to stand up for what's right."
Seema Riley, a Muslim, who was born in Pakistan and reared in New York, was one of those upset by the sign.
She moved to Rutherford County for the "small town friendly" atmosphere, she said. When she saw the sign on the side of the highway Saturday she felt angered and threatened.
"We need a certain degree of tolerance," said Riley. "That sign doesn't really reflect what I think this county is about."
She said that according to Islamic faith, a follower does not even touch the Koran without going through a ritual cleansing. Muslims believe the physical book to be a sacred item that is treated with respect and reverence, much like the image of Jesus in Christianity, according to a report on National Public Radio.
"For someone to put that sign up -- the person just didn't understand -- didn't take into consideration what putting up that sign means," said Riley. "I don't think it should be posted on a sign in public viewing on the highway to create a hostile environment for me."
The appearance of the sign follows a national news story from last week. Newsweek magazine retracted a story reporting that military guards at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay flushed a copy of the Koran down the toilet during interrogation of a detainee. The Newsweek story sent Washington in a frenzy and was blamed for igniting Muslim riots and deaths abroad, including a particularly violent outburst in Afghanistan.
"Our creed as a Christian, or a Protestant, or a Baptist church -- of course we don't have a creed but the bible -- but we do have the Baptist faith and message that says that we should cling to the 66 books of the Holy Bible and any other book outside of that claiming to know the way of God or claiming to be God's word is automatically written off and is trying to defeat people from the way of true righteousness inside of our viewpoint in how we view the word of God," Lovelace said.
"Putting such a sign in a public place is an un-American example of intolerance, of aggressive disrespect for other citizens' deeply held views," said Donald Searing, Burton Craige Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "This is the sort of attitude and action that seriously endangers the liberty which lies at the heart of our democracy. It is also a good reminder that just because one may have the legal right to say something, doing so may not be morally, socially or politically desirable."
When Lovelace was asked whether he considered before he put the sign up that there may be some consequences or that some people may be angered, he said he was aware of the likelihood of angering some people.
"Well, I thought about it and I said there may be people who are offended by it but the way I look at it, Jesus told his followers that if the world hates you, don't feel bad because they hated me first," said Lovelace. "If we stand for what is right and for God's word and for Christianity then the world is going to condemn us and so right away when I got a complaint I said 'well somebody's mad, somebody's offended, so we must be doing something right.'"
Danieltown Baptist Church belongs to the Sandy Run Baptist Association and the association's Director of Missions the Rev. Jim Diehl said that Lovelace's opinion does not necessarily reflect that of that organization.
"Each of the churches of the Sandy Run Baptist Association are autonomous bodies," said Diehl. "Each church can develop a stance on doctrinal issues and can develop its own stance on moral issues."
The Rev. Billy Honeycutt, of the Green River Baptist Association said that he hopes that those who see the sign keep tolerance in mind.
"Respecting religion is important and respecting other people is important," said Honeycutt. "Hopefully, a lot of people will have that thought when they see the sign."
Following the religious controversy at a church in Waynesville where several members were asked to leave in what was termed a dispute over politics, several groups threatened to boycott the entire town due to the actions of one preacher.
Director of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce Bill Hall said he does not think that the Danieltown sign will have a negative impact on the county's tourism or economic vitality.
"It is unfortunate that things like that happen and it certainly doesn't represent Rutherford County," said Hall. "I think that most people will understand that that is not a common attitude in this community."
Lovelace said he felt it was the work of God to display the sign and that no one in the church has spoken up against it to him.
He said the church has 55 members on the roster and he has only received one angry phone call since the sign was posted.
"We have a good group of people," said Lovelace.
Lovelace said the sign changes every week.
"About Friday or Saturday we will have a new sign," he said. "It should state to some effect 'Where are your treasures? Are they at the flea market or are they in heaven?'"
Lovelace said that he does not have anything against the flea market that recently opened up down the street from the church.
"I enjoy a good flea market, but if people can be down there at eight o'clock why can't they be at church at 11," he said.
Contact Humphries via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jun 2nd, 2005 7:27 AM #2
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
- The Large Hadron Collider
sometimes the yankees make me wanna laugh until I cry, other times I feel like killing all the fuckin' whitey's just to make the air smell better...
goddammit - there's probably a whole regiment of asshole's who'd kill for this baptist moron.
and people used to wonder why I rejected Western religions as a teen...For every human problem there is an easy and simple answer. And it is always wrong. - H.L. Mencken
Jun 2nd, 2005 8:29 AM #3
This is what happens when a president uses christian references in he's propaganda; Fanatics emerge. When I saw that, I wasn't a bit sursprised. But, if someone would put up a sign like that in Europe (except for France) media would call the reverant a rasist, and start scandalizing him back to the stone age! And Mez, I don't think your strange for rejecting religion as a teen. I'm a teen, and I've rejected it.
Jun 3rd, 2005 8:27 AM #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
- The Wetlands Of Yurop
Well, this certainly will wake the terrorists in Durka-Durkastan....
No seriously - this is precisely the sort of attitude you can expect from Baptists. And I know - I was a member until my 15th...
Although - don't trust the methodists either...
Although the baptists' simple train of thought can be endearing...
- If you wind up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your parents, your teacher, your priest or some guy on TV telling you how to do your shit, then YOU DESERVE IT. (Zappa)
Jun 3rd, 2005 4:55 PM #5
Man dutchie, those are preyty funny. But seriously, people who go that far in insulting another religion obiviously have the delusion that they are the only ones who are right. It is people like the pastor of that church that give people here in the United States a bad name. A sign like that should not be tolerated."As far as the stars are from Earth is the distance of your wonderfulness."
"For there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so..." ~Shakespeare
Jun 4th, 2005 1:10 PM #6
- Join Date
- Dec 2004
Jun 4th, 2005 1:47 PM #7
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
- The West Tower of Kiamo Ko Castle
It is the fanatics who take their "calling" way too far! This type of action should be unacceptable to any normal human being. There is no religion which is better than the other just as there is no race which is better than the other... Well that is just my humble opinion because after all... we are all members of only one race... the Human Race... In this country we have freedom of religion and burnings another religions books is not part of freedom of religion... it is more like farenheight 451."So life's a bitch. What do you want to do, cry about it?" Lt. Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace
Jun 5th, 2005 4:44 PM #8
The major religions really think they rule the world. This aint miedeval times, dudes! They think they can discriminate people, but they never seem to open there eyes! It's a strange and scary world we live in...
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