“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” - First Amendment of the United States Constitution
On July 4th, 2009, Dove World Outreach Center posted a simple hand painted sign on its front field that read “ISLAM IS OF THE DEVIL.” Within a few days, the reaction to the sign had brought local and national news coverage as pressure was brought to have it taken down. The questions that were raised? Is it right and good for a Christian church to make statements that offensive? Is the statement true? Could the City or nation force the church to remove the sign? What rights does a private land owner have to post controversial signs?
Much to the shock of international governments and organizations, the sign remained, though the size was altered to meet city code. The church, under the leadership of Dr. Terry Jones, went on to post many more signs and hold public events on its property, including several Koran burning events.
From an article in the Gainesville Sun, July 7th, 2009:
The local NY Times owned newspaper, the Gainesville Sun, printed many articles in the coming months and years, interviewing Dr. Jones, noting some of his comments, and always giving ample space for Muslim leaders and organizations to voice their plea, that the statement was “not true.” In fact, they said, Islam is a “religion of peace.” Dr. Jones had observed this lie during the 30 years he lived in Europe where Islam now dominates. On his return to the United States he was shocked by the apathy of the American people and churches. He and the church leadership began a campaign to warn and wake up America which continues as “Stand Up America Now”.
Jesus said,”If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” - John 8:32
The world is facing a great danger, which, if it is not stopped, will sooner or later be a threat to freedom in all nations and specifically to the United States. This danger is the growing religion of Islam. Although Islam proclaims to be the truth, it does not, as Jesus said of the truth in John 8:32, set people free. Instead, it oppresses and kills.
In response to the dangerous religion of Islam, our church, Dove World Outreach Center, did something radical. In the front yard of our church property, we put up a sign that said “Islam is of the Devil.” It created quite a stir, and it was all over the news. It has shaken up Christians in general, and especially the liberal and humanistic Christians who water down the gospel. And it has shaken up the silent majority. One thing is sure: We, “the church with the sign,” have become less silent.
People in town have asked us, “Why did you put up the sign? Why did you do it?” We did it to expose Islam. Although Islam is masquerading as a religion of peace, harmony, unity, and tolerance, it is very much a religion of intolerance, violence, and oppression. It is a religion that does not permit freedom at all.
Frequently asked questions
The Gainesville Sun reported, on July 6th, http://www.gainesville.com/article/20090708/ARTICLES/907081008
The local ABC TV news affiliate also interviewed Dr Jones on July 6th: http://www.wcjb.com/local-news/2009/07/hateful-sign-causes-neighborhood-uproar