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Charles Merrill, the out Palm Springs artist who recently gained notoriety for editing the Bible with a black marker and a pair of scissors, recently made a statement against Muslim homophobia by burning an antique Koran valued at $60,000. "The purpose of editing and burning Abrahamic Holy Books is to eliminate homophobic hate," Merrill stated in a press release posted online. "Both ancient books are terrorist manuals."
He inherited the book from his late wife, Evangeline Johnson Merrill--daughter of the founder of international pharmaceutical conglomerate Johnson & Johnson--who was given the valuable text by the king of Jordon during a United Nations peacekeeping mission.
"Airplanes are flown into buildings because of words, and hate crimes against gays," Merrill said in the press release.
Merrill, cousin to the cofounder of Merrill Lynch, has become famous--and at times infamous--through his art, which incorporates the themes of LGBT activism and homophobia. (The Advocate)