Blackout shows grid vulnerability

Librarian Nicole Orth uses a flashlight Friday to help Kevin Mitchell find a book at the San Juan Capistrano Library in southern Orange County, California. The library closed about 30 minutes after the blackout for safety reasons. Electric power was lost this afternoon across a wide swath of Southern California.

NEW YORK -- The Florida pastor who plans to burn the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11 is rooted in Pentecostal tradition that believes Christians are engaged in a modern-day spiritual battle with evil.

For Terry Jones and his Dove World Outreach Center, Islam is that evil, a world view drawn from his politics and theology -- as well as an apparent thirst for publicity for his tiny, independent church.

"Our burning of the Quran is to call the attention that something is wrong," Jones said Wednesday outside his Gainesville church. "It is possibly time for us in a new way to stand up and confront terrorism."

Jones is under pressure to drop his plan to burn copies of the Muslim holy book Saturday. Condemnations have poured in from Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; the Vatican; and elsewhere.

Conservative Christians have taken pains to distance themselves from the event.

The National Association of Evangelicals, an umbrella group for theologically conservative Christian churches nationwide, issued a statement July 29 urging Jones to cancel the burning "in the name and love of Jesus Christ."

The Rev. Richard Land, head of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant group, called the plan abhorrent. George Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, one of the largest and best-established Pentecostal denominations, warned of damage to Christian-Muslim relations.

Yet, there is no sign that Jones will be persuaded by other Christians. He is as critical of them as he is of Islam, calling other pastors failed religious warriors in what he considers a secular world bent on silencing Christians.

"The real problem is not the politicians or even Islam," Jones said, in his YouTube video series called "The Braveheart Show," inspired by the Mel Gibson movie. "The real problem is not our educational system that wants to remove God from every part of our society. The problem is the church has laid down. The church has given up."