The director of the state chapter of American Atheists plans to desecrate the Quran when the state House of Representatives reconvenes in September if the House doesn’t drop its “Year of Religious Diversity” resolution under consideration in its State Government Committee.
Ernest Pearce V, who recently was under fire for a controversial Harrisburg billboard he designed and paid for protesting the “Year of the Bible” resolution the House adopted this year, said he plans to whip, or flog, the Quran in the Capitiol Rotunda at noon on Sept. 24 should the House not agree to nullify the resolution before it reconvenes from summer recess that day.
Even though Perce heads the state American Atheists organization, he is staging this protest individually and not under the American Atheists umbrella.
Like the Year of the Bible resolution adopted in January, Perce said the Year of Religious Diversity resolution, or House Resolution 771, illegally intertwines religion and state.
The Year of the Bible resolution is being challenged in federal court by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Perce, who also was at the center of a recent court case after he said he was attacked during the Mechanicsburg Halloween parade for marching in the parade dressed as “Zombie Muhammad,” said he takes issue with the resolution specifically because of a subsection that refers to the Bible, Quran and other religious books.
According to HR 771, “these revered books impart great wisdom and beauty to believers and are appreciated and respected by nonbelievers as well.”
Perce said he plans to thrash the Quran with a nine-tail whip 85 times and a single whip six times to protest the resolution’s number.
“I am a nonbeliever and for (the House) to assume we respect these books is asinine,” Perce, a Harrisburg resident, said. “I will let other atheists come with me (to protest). I want Christians to lash the Quran, too.”
Florida Minister Terry Jones decided against burning copies of the Quran in 2010 when his planned protest sparked international controversy and caused a myriad of safety concerns.
Jones went ahead and burned the Quran last year, reportedly causing a mob to attack United Nations guards in Afghanistan and killing roughly 20 U.N. personnel.
Perce, who was featured on the nationally televised religious show The 700 Club after the Zombie Muhammad incident, said he is not phased by any threats made against him.
Perce claims he has received 571 death threats, including a death sentence from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.
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