May 25, 2005

North Carolina pastor apologizes for bigoted sign.

Earlier today, we posted about an anti-Muslim sign that had been placed in front of a Baptist church in North Carolina. The sign read: The Koran needs to be flushed! In that post, we mentioned how the church's pastor, Rev. Creighton Lovelace, was thoroughly unapologetic for having put the sign out and for any possible upset it might cause people who saw it.

Today, Lovelace has reconsidered his views. We just got this message from the Council on American-Islamic Relations:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) tonight applauded the decision of a North Carolina Baptist pastor to apologize for an anti-Muslim sign displayed outside his Forest City church.

Until today, Danieltown Baptist Church Pastor Rev. Creighton Lovelace refused calls to take down the sign, reading "The Koran needs to be flushed," posted in front of his church.

CAIR reacted to the controversy yesterday by calling on mainstream religious and political leaders to repudiate the sign's bigoted message....

In today's apology, Lovelace said in part:

"When I posted the sign in front of the church, it was my intent only to affirm and exalt the Bible and its teachings. It was certainly not my intent to insult any people of faith, but instead to remind the people in this community of the preeminence of God's Word.

"When I posted the message on the sign, I did not realize how people of the Muslim faith view the Koran-that devoted Muslims view it more highly than many in the U.S. view the Bible.

"Now I realize how offensive this is to them, and after praying about it, I have chosen to remove the sign. I apologize for posting that message and deeply regret that it has offended so many in the Muslim community."

In an earlier statement sent to CAIR, Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the Southern Baptist Executive Committee, ed the message on the sign and called for "respectful" relations with American Muslims.

"We thank Pastor Lovelace for his apology and hope this incident will serve to improve relations between Christians and Muslims in North Carolina and throughout America," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

Awad suggested that American churches and mosques host Muslim-Christian dialogues on Jesus, who is revered by both faiths.

More proof that evil [or ignorance] can only triumph when good people remain silent.

Posted by Magpie at May 25, 2005 10:00 PM | Religion | Technorati links |