Making Jesus Real: Burning the Koran and Honoring a Touring Fetus
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Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 12:37:21 AM EST
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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 BARF.org, they certainly did.

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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.

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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.

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

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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]




Display:
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
Parent



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.

Paul

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



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