Justin Elliot reports:
To an audience of about 50 people — fully half of whom were members of the press — Pastor Bill Keller launched his 9-11 Christian Center at ground zero this morning with a fiery sermon targeting Muslims and Mormons as hell-bound followers of false faiths. Keller took aim in particular at Glenn Beck, a Mormon, and Imam Rauf, the organizer of the Park51 Islamic community center.
Keller, an extremist Internet evangelist from Florida, spoke at a drab ballroom of the Marriott hotel two blocks south of ground zero for the launch of his Christian Center, a response to Park51. He told the audience, which included a couple of 9/11 Truther protesters, that he is scouting three possible locations for a permanent church.
Keller regularly assails Muslims as pedophiles and attacks Mormons and gay people. But his church has drawn no objections from opponents of the mosque who have consistently argued that the neighborhood around ground zero is sacred ground. Keller also has a history of trying to profit off of political controversies; last year, for example, he hosted a Birther infomercial.