Making Jesus Real: Burning the Koran and Honoring a Touring Fetus
moiv printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 12:37:21 AM EST
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

During his "Ecclesiastical Court" at the Mississippi State Capitol, Operation Save America director Flip Benham contemplates the Koran he didn't get to burn.  

After being thwarted by the police in yesterday's attempt to burn the holy book of Islam on the steps of the Capitol building in Jackson, Benham had to be satisfied with ripping the Koran to shreds. But later that evening, his desire to destroy the Islamic scriptures by fire was satisfied at last.

Jackson Muslims and a statewide interfaith group reacted with disgust Wednesday to reports that the national anti-abortion group Operation Save America burned a Quran during a Tuesday night gathering at a Pearl church.

"A group that acts in such a hateful way does not really represent the word of God," said Emad Al-Turk, co-founder of the International Museum of Muslim Cultures in Jackson.

There's nothing in the word of God that justifies burning scriptures, or that advocates putting on fake funerals for pickled fetal specimens, either. But when it's show time, the Rev. Flip Benham and his friends don't let such piffling details get in their way. So praise the Lord and strike a match.

During a demonstration at the Capitol on Tuesday, anti-abortion activists tore up pages from the Quran, the Muslim holy book, along with a gay pride flag and copies of six U.S. Supreme Court rulings related to religion in public schools, sodomy and abortion.

The group intended to burn the items at the Capitol but couldn't because it didn't have a permit, said Operation Save America volunteer Pat McEwen, a retired college professor from Palm Bay, Fla.

But police confirm that on Tuesday evening, in a parking lot outside the Making Jesus Real Church in Pearl, Mississippi, the Koran indeed went up in flames.

Norma McCorvey, the Jane Roe behind the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion who later became an anti-abortion activist, lit the match, McEwen said. McEwen said the Quran was burned because it condones violence.

Operation Save America director the Rev. Flip Benham said his group also burned a Quran during a 2004 demonstration in Columbus, Ohio.

And as documented by Mike Doughney of, they certainly did.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

For Muslims, desecrating the Quran or any holy book is the "highest degree of insult," [Imam Shaheed Muhammad of Masjid Muhammad of Jackson] said.

Still, he said Operation Save America's action makes him more sad than angry.

"I know it's caused by a lack of understanding," he said. "I actually feel that's something they will live to regret or live to feel some shame and embarrassment."

Time will tell, of course, but shame and embarrassment just don't seem to be a part of Flip Benham's emotional vocabulary.

Which brings us to Frank Pavone of Priests for Life and his traveling fetus.

Abortion protesters hold memorial for fetus at park

A memorial service for an aborted fetus concluded today without the planned burial in Smith Park.
Father Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life, said the fetus, which is being preserved in a formaldehyde-like solution, will be buried in Alabama in a few months.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photo: Joe Ellis, Clarion-Ledger

Pavone said the fetus was aborted at about 18 weeks. It has been used in demonstrations in New York and Columbus, Ohio, he said, and will be in several more before being buried.

The Rev. Flip Benham, the leader of Operation Save America, bristled at those who might question showing a fetus to children.

"This does not traumatize our children," Benham said. "This traumatizes the adults who would hide the horrors of abortion."

Frank Pavone's pickled fetus wasn't called Rebecca when it was fished out of its jar two years ago in Ohio for a similar mock funeral. Then it was referred to as "Baby Mercy." Otherwise, the events were much the same. Then as now -- and as last year, during OSA's Colorado crusade targeting Dr. Warren Hern -- Pavone (below, third from right) was on hand in priestly black, lending a much-needed touch of gravitas to the carnival atmosphere that Flip Benham generates by his very presence.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Benham and Dave Daubenmire of Minutemen United lined up small children for the viewing in Columbus, too.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photos: Minutemen United

Frank Pavone told a Clarion-Ledger reporter that he received the preserved fetus from an anonymous donor who asked him to give it a "proper burial." But only after a longer-than-proper interval, since this anointed priest continues touring the country with what he claims to believe is the corpse of a child, in a manner more redolent of P.T. Barnum than of the sacraments.

And that similarity to the greatest huckster of all time just might be the most significant character trait that Father Frank Pavone and the Reverend Flip Benham have in common.

[Title photo: OSA's Flickr album]

before OSA's grand finale on Saturday. And after this, I don't even want to think about what they might consider suitable for an encore.

by moiv on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 12:50:23 AM EST
There's a part of me that wants to spread your reports all over the "internets" and yet, I don't want them to get any more attention than they already have gotten.

Since it's a spotlight they want, the best thing we can do is ignore them, sick souls that they are.

by RevDeb on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 08:57:19 AM EST

I worked in a hospital emergency room as a young man, and I recall the way most medical professionals dealt with death--dignity, dignity, dignity.  When a patient had died and the required acts of both God and mammon had been performed (time of death, last rites, etc) the body was then prepared for viewing by any family members in the waiting room.  This preparation was always done with love, CONCERN AND CARE FOR THE LIVING and a general feeling of life moves on.  It is these previous attributes that are missing from each and every one of these horror shows.  There is NO love displayed, the hate-mongers involved have absolutely no concern for the living and for them life does not move on.  This immoral use of a dead human to further their political cause is dreadful, near-sighted and counter productive.


by Pauljaxon on Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 09:28:02 AM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Progressives Are Taking Up Religious Freedom Day
In the heat of our political moment, we sometimes don't see how our future connects deeply to our past. But the Christian Right does......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Freedom vs. Fear: Restricting Religious Liberty Isn't The Answer To Terrorism
Last week, a community meeting was held in Spotsylvania County, Va., to discuss plans by a group of Muslims who want to relocate and......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Christian Right Electoral Hegemony, Rising in the States
This is a revised, updated and retitled post I did on the long term trend of significant political progress of the Christian Right and......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Who's Been Naughty, Who's Been Nice?: The AFA Explains It All For You
If you're like me, you've been sitting around anxiously awaiting the release of the American Family Association's "Naughty or Nice" list of retailers for......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
U.S. Department Of Judeo-Christian Values?: Kasich Proposes New Religious Propaganda Arm
According to some polls, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination is Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who believes that ancient Egyptians built......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
Scripture Stories: Religious Right Claims About The `Aitken Bible' Don't Hold Up
Tomorrow several conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives plan to hold a public reading of the Aitken Bible on the East Front......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
The Tallest Statue in the Nation of an Individual
Many a day I drove on I 45 past the statue of Sam Houston.  The monument to the statesman is the largest in the......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
Honoring Everyone Who Served: A Veterans Day Reflection
In 1952, a private group sought permission from government officials to erect a large cross atop Mt. Soledad near San Diego. They did it......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
One Million Maniacs?: AFA Attacks Magazine For Highlighting Family Headed By Same-Sex Couple
I have a daughter named Claire who is 21 years old and working her first job in journalism since graduating from college. I'm awfully......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
What Catholic Neo-Confederates Don't Want You To Know About Secession
During the summer of 2013 I wrote several posts about Catholic Neo-Confederates. My purpose was to explain the activities of libertarians such as Tom......
By Frank Cocozzelli (10 comments)
Sex And Common Sense: Texas Public School Reconsiders `Chastity' Speaker
A self-appointed expert on sex and relationships won't speak at an El Paso, Texas, high school - for now.Jason Evert runs an outfit called......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Two Trials that Impacted American Religion
Silent movie, Birth of a Nation, became the first blockbuster screen phenomena.  Civil Rights groups deplored the production and sought to ban it.  It......
By wilkyjr (3 comments)
The Francis Trajectory.
The recent dust-up over the meeting between Pope Francis and culture warrior Kim Davis has caused the Pontiff's stock to fall somewhat among liberals.......
By Frank Cocozzelli (11 comments)
Taking Care Of Business: Religious Right Group Plans `Religious Liberty' Ratings For Companies
My inbox this morning contained a press release from the American Family Association (AFA). The Tupelo, Miss.-based Religious Right group has exciting news: It......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Quest for Utopia
Surfing through old videos on youtube I found some interesting tapes of H. L. Hunt.  Certainly one of the original founders of the modern......
By wilkyjr (6 comments)

Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (2 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (3 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (4 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.