The Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., has hanged an effigy of President Barack Obama from a gallows on its front lawn, a move DWOC pastor Terry Jones said was in response to Obama's recent endorsement of same-sex marriage, as well as his stance on abortion and what Jones called his "appeasing of radical Islam."
According to the Broward-Palm Beach New Times, the U.S. Secret Service is currently investigating Jones in response to the display.
"The Secret Service is aware of this incident and will conduct appropriate follow-up," Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary told the paper's "The Pulp" blog.
The effigy is suspended from a makeshift gallows with a noose of yellow rope, has a doll in its right hand and a rainbow-colored gay pride flag in its left.
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In a telephone interview with The Huffington Post, Jones said the flag was meant to call attention to Obama's stance on same-sex marriage and that the baby doll is there because the president is "favorable toward abortion."
Jones also said that radical Islam is "the most dangerous threat to life and national security in America."
There is also an Uncle Sam dummy standing at the base of the gallows outside the DWOC. Jones told HuffPost that the Obama effigy had originally been positioned to be hanging Uncle Sam when the display went up two weeks ago, but that the church changed the display on Wednesday.
The words “Obama is Killing America” are printed on a trailer nearby.
The DWOC came under intense scrutiny in 2011 after Jones burned a copy of the Quran, a move which sparked three days of violent rioting in Afghanistan that resulted in the deaths of at least 21 people, including seven U.N. workers.
In addition to its higher profile controversial moves, the Dove World Outreach Center has also been criticized for its internal rules, which The Smoking Gun has called "cult-like."
In the church's Academy Rulebook, written by Jone's wife and published in 2007, prospective ministers are directed to cut off most contact with family members.
This is not the first time that an effigy of the country's first black president has been hanged.
In March 2010, a teacher at a failing Rhode Island school hanged an effigy of Obama in his classroom. That same month, another dummy was found hanging on Main Street in the Georgia hometown of President Jimmy Carter.
In 2009, a Kentucky grand jury refused to indict two men who hanged an Obama effigy on the campus of the University of Kentucky. The men had been charged with burglary and disorderly conduct, the latter count associated with hanging the effigy. The lawyer for the two men said that the disorderly conduct charge violated his clients' rights under the First Amendment.
See other outrageous statements made by Pastors and right-wing pundits in the slideshow below:
Pastor Worley: Gays And Lesbians Should Be Put In An Electrified Pen And Ultimately Killed Off
The pastor, identified on YouTube as Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C., condemns President Obama's much-publicized endorsement of same-sex marriage while calling for gays and lesbians to be put in an electrified pen and ultimately killed off. "Build a great, big, large fence -- 150 or 100 mile long -- put all the lesbians in there," Worley suggests in the clip, reportedly filmed on May 13. "Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can't get out...and you know what, in a few years, they'll die out...do you know why? They can't reproduce!"
Pastor Suggests Gays Should Be Prosecuted Like They Were Historically
Ron Baity, founding pastor of Winston-Salem's Berean Baptist Church and head of the anti-marriage equality organization Return America, referred to homosexuality as "a perverted lifestyle" in a Sunday sermon before telling his congregation that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people should be prosecuted, Good as You is reporting. "For 300 years, we had laws that would prosecute that lifestyle," he is quoted as saying. "We've gone down the wrong path. We've become so dumb that we have accepted a lie for the truth, and we've...discarded the truth on the shoals of shipwreck!"
Pastor Sean Harris: Parents Should 'Punch' Their Effeminate Children
"So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, 'Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,' you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed."
Pastor Slams Gay Marriage, Suggests Unions Between 'Person And A Beast' Could Be Next
Tim Rabon, pastor at Raleigh's Beacon Baptist Church, condemned states such as Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maryland which have already "re-defined" marriage to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples. As heard in this recording, Rabon asked his congregation, "What is stopping them from refining marriage from a person and a beast? We're not far from that."
Robertson Compares Polygamy, Bestiality And Pedophilia To Gay Marriage
Tony Perkins: 'If You Want A Military That Just Does Parades,' Allow Gays To Openly Serve
James Robison: 'The Enemy' Is Using 'Glee' To Destroy America
Newt Gingrich: Gay Marriage A 'Perfect Example Of What I Mean By The Rise Of Paganism'
Daniel Lapin: Gays Should've Been Quarantined To fight AIDS
Pat Robertson Advises Father To Seek Ex-Gay Conversion For Gay Son
Liberty Counsel Warns That Macy's LGBT Policy Could Lead To Rape, Sexual Assault