Five years ago, a pastor in Rutherford County, NC ignited a controversy that extended well outside his small 55 member church when he posted a sign reading “The Koran needs to be flushed.” As the sign drew protests and public notice, the media response was much more restrained although stories regarding Rutherford County did appear as far away as Pakistan. Common sense and reason seemed to be in larger supply here in NC to go along with the relative dearth of “balloon boy”-style CNN reports.
Creighton Lovelace, the pastor, after learning more of the views of Muslims, considering the comments of others, and extensive prayer, decided to apologize and remove the sign:
In a statement released May 25, Lovelace said he “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,” he said. “I apologize for posting that message and deeply regret that it has offended so many in the Muslim community.”
In his apology, Creighton said his intentions were only to remind people of the importance of the Bible, not to disrespect another religion’s holy book.
Perhaps we should ask Mr. Lovelace to deal with the situation in Florida as well. There seems to be a dearth of his brand of thoughtful reflection admirably combined with strong adherence to one’s own beliefs.