Gainesville: Rainbow World shouts down Dove World

The night began as most do with a threat of rain combined with a searing sun.  Given the right angle, you can regularly find a brilliant rainbow.

Scurrying through the sprinkles, I made it to my favorite downtown food spot, Lunchbox, which specializes in Latin and Asian-style tacos. I’m partial to the fried flounder when available.

The highlight of most Friday evenings is a free concert in the Bo Diddley Plaza.  Armed with tacos and beer from Lunchbox, this is a throughly enjoyable way to appreciate Gainesville’s hippie-inclined local community. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees.

Friday nights also tend to bring out Gainesville’s most notorious resident, the pastor of the fringe church, Dove World Outreach Center, who sparked an international incident last year when he burned a copy of the Qur’an. The group is also known locally for their relentless anti-gay chants, most infamously featuring the epithet “No Homo Mayer,” and proclamations that most folk that are out about about downtown will eventually find their way to hell.

Tonight though, the Rainbow World shouted down the Dove World.

Tonight, the chants of the Dove Worlders were drowned by the persistent beat of Gainesville’s silent hippie majority and their bongo drums.