Church: Koran Needs to be Flushed
A North Carolina Baptist church has sparked national controversy with a sign reading, “THE KORAN NEEDS TO BE FLUSHED.”
Church sign sparks debate (Digital Courier)
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.”
Riley’s views reflect my own preferences. Still, a Baptist church has every right to express the deeply held views of its congregation on road signs. Tolerance works both ways.