Hey, read any good books lately?

O God, whom I praise, do not remain silent, for wicked and deceitful men have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues.
With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause.
In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer.
They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship.
- Psalm 109

In so many ways, atheists have it made. The above passage is a perfect example of this; a psalm, set upon the fears of man seeking the countenance of a protector in a time when enemies loom near. Atheists, not caring much at all about psalms, usually just say “fuck off, dude” and either start a fight or walk away.

The congregation of the Dove World Outreach Center must be very familiar with this psalm lately, but even if not girded by the bright and shiny augury of it's power and connection to the very lord almighty himself, they have decided to take a stance against their enemy and teach the world a powerful lesson. In a statement issued their web site, They are going to publicly burn the Koran in an effort to “raise awareness and warn.”

The website spews plenty more dogmatic lunacy amid the typically vomit-inducing self righteous masturbation found in a fringe church's mission statements, claiming “We are using this act to warn about the teaching and ideology of Islam, which we do hate as it is hateful,” and my favorite: “To warn of danger and harm is a loving act. God is love and truth. If you know the truth it can set you free. The world is in bondage to the massive grip of the lies of Islam.”

And my favorite: “We love, as God loves, all the people in the world and we want them to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

In so many words: “my crazy-ass God and religion is better than your crazy-ass God and religion, so nyah nyah nyah.”

Skipping gaily along with, rather than tripping over, this putrid fear-based pride is the least sin these cheese-headed wingnuts are executing here in such grand Westboro Baptist fashion. They are at the very least luridly simmering in an oily pool of hypocrisy designed and reserved throughout eons of history to be suffered only by the finest, crudest ilk of religious zealot; a creature far more foul and terrifying than any racists, a murderers, or politicians portrayed as the pinnacle if evil these days.

This fear- and gospel-fueled bitch-slap of a lesser religious caste of heathens, disbelievers, and blasphemers represents a star example of the very thing it seeks to stamp out, of course. It's not a new battle, and when you fight the good fight to stake claim in a particular brand of Jesus, sometimes you have to summon the best fucked-up elliptical logic you can in order to win: Dove World Outreach is stating: “we hate your hate, but we don't hate you. Meanwhile, we'll spew our hate and fight your hate with our hate and when we win and destroy all your hate you will come over to our side and you shall love our hate, as it is the one true hate, in Jesus' name, Amen. Oh, or maybe you'll just have to burn in hell for all eternity, fucker. Your call.”

Islam is the world's second major religion by participant, and most people don't pay a lot of attention to the details. There are Sunni and Shia and a lot of other bracts and offshoots and odd variants, though I suspect fewer than Christianity, which claims African Independent Churches (AICs), the Aglipayan Church, Amish, Anglicans, Armenian Apostolic, Assemblies of God; Baptists, Calvary Chapel, Catholics, Christadelphians, Christian Science, the Community of Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormons"), Coptic Christians, Eastern Orthodox churches, Ethiopian Orthodox, Evangelicals, Iglesia ni Cristo, Jehovah's Witnesses, Lutherans,Methodists, Monophysites, Nestorians, the New Apostolic Church, Pentecostals, Plymouth Brethren, Presbyterians, Seventh-Day Adventists, Shakers, Stone-Campbell churches (Disciples of Christ; Churches of Christ; the "Christian Church and Churches of Christ"; the International Church of Christ); Uniate churches, United Church of Christ/Congregationalists, the Unity Church, Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, Vineyard churches, and about a zillion others too vague, specialized, and eventually too bizarre to mention.

Under the coverlet of each of these Christian subsets are worried little strays and wildcards: Westboro Baptist, not entirely embraced by those of Baptist faith but Baptists nonetheless, is a good example, as are these pinheads at the Dove World Outreach Center. Not a big bunch of people, comparatively, and when you look at it closely they aren't any bigger, say, than the Taliban; their equally crazy nemesis, buried in their own blanket of “Islam” and a large dose of ignorance, making them all liars, thieves, hooligans to the likes of post 911 God-fearing crazy people.

And yet those hooligans, the Little Sect of Islam That Could, flew a couple airplanes into buildings in New York a while ago, proving once again that not all pious extremist religious assholes aren't terrorists, but it seems more and more that most terrorists are pious extremist religious assholes.

Small batch religion is scary shit, but it's just a small batch, so we really don't have a standoff the magnitude of, say the cold war, with Russia and America. The two biggest players in the global game just peered at each other from the camera portals of U2 aircraft at 70,000 feet and the windows of glittering silver Bear bombers with their big red stars like mesmerizing wounds in the side of the fuselage, lumbering past the DEW line to get chased around by F-15's two or three times a week, nuclear bombs standing by.

God's great UFC broadcast, the battle of the one true religion, the teaching of the truth, is a small sideshow this time. In practice, it portrays a David Vs. Goliath stance, this happy book burning party they've planned in Florida. Same outcome is likely too: the Little Church That Could Hate will burn many copies of The Koran, an affront to every Muslim on the planet, then stand back with their arms folded, surveying their fine work, and say “we did this for love.” Muslims on the whole, one can be certain, will view this act with a less-than-cheery sensibilities, with likely reactions varying from protests featuring their favorite “death to the American Satan!” to Bible burning parties, to “yeah, that was pretty stupid that whole Koran burning thing,” and only one result will come of it, the same that always has and always will:

Proof, yet again, that when religions perform their logic and spiritual alchemy and turn love into hate, it is the synergistic creation and re-creation of hate itself, and though both sides claim victory, in the end all we get is a lot more hate, and everyone loses.

And it's always started over a book.


  1. And over a book that was written by men with the beliefs and social mores of centuries past.

    That, my dear cat, was the best summary of the entire fringe religious movement I've ever read. Thank you.

  2. Is there a Muslim congregation anywhere near these batshit looney (nominal) Baptists?

    It's not likely we'd find Muslims in the rough timber logging country of north central Florida, but a batch of Muslims showing up with a tanker truck full of water might be fun to watch.

  3. Evelyn, ...and so was the bible, rigth?

  4. Schuler, I'm so glad you're letting off well deserved steam on this issue, which wouldn't be an issue if the national media hadn't given press to what a tiny band of nutcases were threatening.... It shouldn't have even made the local news, or perhaps, yes, the 11PM one, after, as one poster put it, the lost dog had been located but there was still 10 seconds left to kill.....

    The Talibans and our 9/11 bombers are Wahhabites. Wahhabitism (sp?) is a small fringe sect that was founded in Saudi Arabia in the nineteenth century. It would have remained a tiny fringe sect except that the British, upon having to leave the area figured out that the best way to keep control of the oil was to create tiny absolute monarchies. So Saudi Arabia, or rather its ruling monarchs and their families, became fabulously wealthy which gives them enormous influence. In addition they control Mecca, which gives them even more influence and allows them to proseletize the people from different Islamic denominations going there in pilgrimage....

    Incidentally, the community center that was to be built not too far from the Cordoba mosque that has stood in that neighborhood for several decades is a Sufi one. Sufis, as you might know, believe that all religions are true. And then, they have a long tradition of mysticism as well as fostering the arts, music, and dance. (remember the Dervish dance which is actually a form of mystical meditation where dancers spin for hours. They must be getting pretty dizzy and I suspect children are natural Dervish dancers because they sure like to do this till they fall to the ground --at least mine did!).

    The Cordoba congregation is headed by a woman, and Sufi women seldom cover their hair as for instance Daisy Khan, the Immam's wife who gives interviews and never ever covers her head. (the immam is the prayer leader, from what I understand).

    Is it at all surprising that the Wahhabites call Sufis "apostates" (even though Sufism preceded their fringe crazy cult by several centuries!). The Talibans/Wahhabites have blown up a number of Sufi mosques and murdered a number of their adherants...

    So you know, being of a suspicious nature, I've been wondering if the extreme Christian Right isn't opposed to the Sufi community center, not because it's Muslim but because the congregation is run by a woman --gasp!

    And what with this ecumenism, what with this Immam being life long friends with pastors (real ones!) and rabbis? Surely so called Pastor Jones' god doesn't approve of all this!

    So it might not be surprising that this pseudo pastor furniture dealer and parishioners' exploiter Jones isn't deterred from burning the Qoran by the fact that its first part is almost identical to the Old Testament? And by the fact that the story of Jesus Christ in it is the same in most details except that Jesus is described as God's prophet rather than God's son..... (that's why a devout Muslim couldn't burn a Christian or Jewish bible... but then unfortunately, there are plenty of "pastor" Jones in all religions and ideologies)

    But wait, that's not all! When a Qoran gets too worn to be used, the only accepted way to dispose of it is to burn it... so is it's not really a desecretation to burn it, right?

    Isn't our species a bunch of nutcase fetichists, ready to be manipulated into rioting and going to war on the most absurd pretext! sigh.....

  5. Tonto, there are Muslims in Florida, even in remoter parts. Remember, Islam is a religion and there are people converting to it (as our famous boxer Muhammed Ali).

    Sadly, our country is now so racked by fear and hatred (which should be rightfully directed at the financiers who gambled with out livelihoods and won, while we lost) that if some Muslims would dare retaliate in any form in the US against this pseudo pastor and his pseudo congregation, they probably wouldn't live to see another day.....