Thursday, July 29, 2004

Cedar Rapids book burning flames out

Cedar Rapids book burning flames out

Well, they went through with it but it sounds like it was kind of a let-down after all the hype. I thought the whole point was for people to see what you were trashing. Catch the bit about the Wal-Mart bags...

Denied fire, C.R. church discards offensive items

By Keith E. Gottschalk Thursday, July 29, 2004

CEDAR RAPIDS -- After all the media attention, the "Cleansing of the Temple" ceremony last night in the parking lot of The Jesus Church in Cedar Rapids turned out to be a solemn and subdued affair.

About 40 church members held lit candles signifying fire, while a handful of people dropped various forms of media or clothing they felt were keeping them from God into a Yardy container.

The Rev. Scott Breedlove, pastor of the church at 726 L Ave. NW, provided Wal-Mart bags so the items tossed would remain private.

"It's between you and God," said Breedlove.

Breedlove's original idea to burn the offending materials was nixed after he discovered city and county fire codes would not allow the open burning of plastics and recyclables.

That plan drew national media attention after it appeared in the July 11 Gazette. Breedlove said he's answered countless media questions about the church's plan, which strengthened his resolve to hold the ceremony in public as St. Paul did in the Bible.

Even though the items were hidden in plastic bags there were telltale shapes of CDs, books and magazines. But anything that weighed on members relationship with God was fair game.

For Renny Danford, 57, of Cedar Rapids, it was peach rings candy that was tossed in the Yardy.

"I've had Parkinson's since I was 38 and when I eat too much sugar I get tired and it keeps me from doing the things I need to do," said Danford.

Danford said she wanted people to know that her fellow congregants were not "radical people," but simply wanted to get closer to the Lord.

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