Leaders of a Presbyterian congregation in Salt Lake City have an answer to the Florida pastor with a penchant for burning the Quran.
Wasatch Presbyterian Church is giving Islam’s holy book away for free.
“Sometimes, it’s hard to know how to push back against the lunatic fringe,” said Russell Fericks, a member of the session, or governing board, of the 350-member church on the city’s east side.
So when the new pastor, the Rev. Scott Dalgarno, asked the board last week to join him in opening their wallets, the reaction was swift.
The leaders put up $600 before the meeting was over and ordered dozens of copies of an Oxford Press edition of the Quran several days ago. The books will be available as early as Monday at King’s English Bookshop, each with a bookmark bearing these words: “This book was donated by the leaders of Wasatch Presbyterian Church, who are not afraid of truth wherever it can be found.”
The idea, Fericks said, “was simple. It was creative. It was courageous in the sense of saying, ‘We’re not afraid of the truth.’
“You don’t have to let the nincompoops of the world control all the message,” he said.
Terry Jones, the Gainesville, Fla., pastor who backed down from his threat to torch the Quran last fall, nonetheless supervised burning of the book at his church on March 20.
(www.sltrib.com / 23.04.2011)