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Dove World Outreach Center

Rev. Terry Jones in a typical pose, with a stirring portrait of Presidents G.W. Bush,
George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln behind him.

The Dove World Outreach Center is a living embodiment of that wholesome phrase, "My imaginary friend is better than your imaginary friend." Located in Gainesville, Florida, this church has been around since 1986; but it was in the years after 2000 that it began to make a name for itself under the leadership of Rev. Terry and Sylvia Jones. Most of the their actions in the name of Christ have been to oppose those awful demons of homosexuality and Islam…especially Islam. The DWOC has posted public statements in support of the Westboro Baptist Church [1] and its crusade against "fags," and they've staged their own protests against Gainesville's own "openly homosexual Mayor." But in the past few years, they've found that they can get a lot of international attention by making crude and offensive statements against Islam. They've published a book entitled Islam Is Of The Devil, and they even sell T-shirts bearing the same slogan. These T-shirts made their debut in August of 2009, when the Joneses sent their kids to school decked in these shirts…a move that not only riled the local media, but also guaranteed that those kids are going to go through school without a date, never mind a full-fledged boyfriend or girlfriend. ("What are you doing after school?" "We're busy studying the Bible and learning how Islam is a religion of Satan." "Uhhh, okay, see you later. I'm going home to play with my Wii.")

The church's blog makes a point of hosting at least one new "We Hate You Because You're Not Us" statement per week, usually directed at Islam (and occasionally against homosexuals).

In 2010, they made newswires around the world (and finally broke out of Westboro Baptist's shadow) by declaring September 11, 2010 as International Burn A Qu'ran Day, as a way to remember the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. They began receiving the prerequisite death threats from Muslims around the world, but they stuck by their guns…figuratively, at least. Then again, a major religion like Islam is easy to pick on when you live in the United States. If these guys were in the Middle East, or even Europe, one can only imagine how long their hate-filled crusade would last.

What not a lot of people are asking, though, is how a bunch of Bible-blinded religious morons can afford to run a "non-profit" church on an 80-acre compound in the middle of Florida? Unlike Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist clan, the Joneses aren't exactly lawyers, and they don't sustain themselves by filing frivolous lawsuits. In addition to donations and sales from their T-shirts, a lot of their income comes from a charity run through the church called TS and Company (eBay store: [2]). The Web site and eBay site for their furniture business pushes their efforts to work for charity and donate to the poor, under the alternate name of The Lisa Jones House. I hope the people doing the volunteer work for Reverends Jones and Jones are being properly compensated, and not doing this work because of Coercion by Unoriginal, Lying Theologians.