Re: Christians Welcome

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The Kumbaya that Joe hopes for below is unlikely from Bill Keller, the creator of this 9/11 Christian center campaign. Back in 2007, on a swing through Tampa, I stopped by Keller’s office, which was located in the back of a used car dealership. He struck me as a serious salesman for his version of Christianity, which offers little wiggle room, with a peculiar talent for using the media to spread his message. Back then the line he was using to get attention was “A vote for Romney is a vote for Satan,” which one must admit has a ring to it, in its own way.

Here’s a bit more on Keller’s background from that story:

“It’s kind of a mix between O’Reilly and Dr. Phil, but with a biblical worldview,” Keller said of his ministry. When he met me late last month in his office, where the detached bucket seats of a compact car are the chairs, he was dressed in a red and black Michael Jordan tracksuit, with the zipper lowered halfway down his bare chest. At 49, he now keeps his hair peroxided platinum to hide the gray. “If people don’t like what I say, go argue with God, don’t argue with me,” he told me. “I didn’t write the book.”

People often don’t like what Keller says. A regional figure with national aspirations, he has called Oprah Winfrey a “new-age witch,” the Koran “a book of fables,” and the prophet Mohammed a “murdering pedophile,” sparking a successful campaign by Islamic civil rights activists to get him kicked off the local CBS-affiliated TV station. But his passion is unabated, and in recent months, Keller has focused his biblical fire on a new target, Mitt Romney. Keller opposes Romney because the Republican presidential contender is a Mormon.

Read my entire story here.