Bill Keller’s thus far nonexistent ‘old-time evangelism center’
From Baptists Today we learned of a Christian Post story which reports as fact that “fiery preacher” Bill Keller will open an “old-time evangelism center” on Jan. 1, 2011, near Ground Zero as somehow a responce to Park 51. Although Daniel Bates of the London Daily Mail is more careful, and writes:
Bill Keller said he is raising funds to build a house of worship within a few blocks of where terrorists flew planes into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. … he plans to open his Christian centre on January 1 next year.
Indeed, the Christian Post’s Victor Anderson unabashedly reports:
After the conclusion of 2010, the permanent location will be open seven days a week to “combat this new evil being constructed near ground zero” and to “bring people the Truth of God’s Word and the love and hope of Jesus Christ,” referring to the proposed $100 million, 13-story Islamic cultural center and mosque that has ruffled feathers across the nation.
Meanwhile, Keller held services Sunday for 55 in a room at the New York Mariott Downtown Hotel.
The New York Times Fernanda Santos reported that at his Sunday service:
Mr. Keller promoted his center, which he called the 9/11 Christian Center at Ground Zero, as a religious counterweight to the mosque, which he repeatedly called a “victory mosque” or a monument to “a great Muslim military accomplishment,” as he explained it at the inaugural service at the New York Marriott Downtown Hotel on West Street, two blocks south of ground zero.
Mr. Keller also described the conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck, who is a Mormon, and Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam who is behind the Muslim community center, as followers of false faiths. Later, he called the mosque’s potential worshipers guilty of terrorism by association, saying it was “their Muslim brothers” who “flew airplanes into the World Trade Center towers and killed 3,000 people.”
Both mainstream daily newspaper reporters understand that Keller’s ambitious self-promotion is newsworthy, but does not bring magically into existence the center for which he is attempting to raise money.
Thus far what he’s doing is more a newsworthy stunt amid chaotic Islamophobia than the launch of a project.
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