Large Confederate flags flying over an exhibit featuring the Robert E. Lee car from the movie and television show Dukes of Hazard were so upsetting to one woman who attended the event that she almost started crying, reports the Peoria Journal Star.

Amy Hutchcraft, who was attending Pekin's Marigold Festival, said the sight of the flags made her blood boil and ruined the whole day for her. She said organizers of the festival ignored her complaints, urging her to get a life.

The flags flew over a replica of the General Lee brought to the festival by Scott Romine, a sheriff's deputy from Little Rock who attends such events across the South. He said no one has ever complained about the flags before.

An organizer of the event, asked whether the flags meant the town was racist by a reporter, called the question offensive. He blamed the paper for making an issue of one woman's complaint. "When you continue to write about it, that's part of the problem," said Bill Fleming of Pekin's Chamber of Commerce.

Coffee Crunch

The makers of a brand of coffee have changed the label on their products after activists complained that the image of a turbaned Indian man serving a Scottish soldier was racist and offensive, according to London's Evening Standard.

The makers of Camp Coffee, which has been produced in Scotland since 1885, say the product originated from Scottish soldiers' requests for a coffee drink which could be brewed up easily by the army on field campaigns in India.

The new label features the image of a Highlander sitting side by side drinking coffee with a turbanned Sikh.

Kinky Comments

Texas gubernatorial wanna-be Kinky Friedman has been branded an insensitive racist for suggesting that a spike in the Houston crime rate since last year was partly to blame on "crackheads and thugs" among Hurricane Katrina evacuees, according to the Associated Press.

The comments were denounced as derogatory and insensitive by community organizers in Houston, even though he said in the same press conference that there were "some good people among the evacuees, honest folk who lost everything and are trying, hoping to improve their lives."

Houston police have said that 59 of the 262 Houston murders between Jan. 1 and Aug. 26 involved Katrina evacuees, either as victims or suspects.

Objectionable Offer

A Florida church pastor's public offer to convert any Muslims who want to do so has been called offensive and counter-productive by local critics, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Pastor K.C. McCay of the Congregational Church in Laurel, Fla. said he put up the sign outside his church -- which reads "Muslims can convert to Christianity here!" -- in response to a Texas man who recently called on Christians to convert to Islam. He said he didn't expect any Muslims to take him up on his offer.

But a local member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called the sign offensive and said his group would be photographing the sign to document what will presumably be described as a hate incident in one of the group's reports.

"If church leaders are really interested in saving people, they would find much less offensive ways to do it," said Ahmed Bedier, director of the Tampa chapter of CAIR. "Religious leaders are adding fuel to the fire. It's a shame."

For more doses of politically correct nuttiness, head over to the Tongue Tied Daily Edition.

Mailbag:

Sherri B. writes:

Reading the section concerning the removal of the God Bless America poster from the post office and the quote about how the government should not be involved in promoting religion, prompted me to ask: Since when is the post office a government office? It was privatized years ago, right? And couldn't something that's been hanging on a wall for five years be grandfathered in by now?

Bernie S. writes:

I think the sign in the Lompoc post office should have stayed, but with a warning label at the bottom stating, "Please keep in mind that God truly does bless America but She also blesses all other countries of the world to an equal extent."

Allan L. in Sacramento writes:

I have an idea. Let's back-peddle, and [restore the original "religion" items] to government locations. Then, let's just let the ACLU sue like crazy, inundating them with a massive amount of work. It should bring all the rats out of their holes at one time, and we can show the real America who these rodents really are.

Robert B. writes:

Is this an editorial or a news story? The story seems impartial enough, but the headline is false on many levels. Your use of the word Biblical implies a Christian god when in fact an Atheist by definition believes in no god or gods of any kind.

Also what's the crime here? I see none. Perhaps a violation of church and state, but I don't really consider that to be a crime, although some do. Is that the crime you're referring to? The headline is so misleading I'm not even sure who you're attempting to vilify.

Dave T. writes:

It is funny that if an atheist is "offended" then everyone jumps. I am a Christian and I am offended all the time and my views are not a consideration. I think that we, as a nation, should tell people like this atheist to go fly a kite. I certainly would have.

Beverly C. writes:

How dare you call someone asking to have a 'God Bless America' sign removed from a USPS Office nutty! For your information, I can only assume you don't know, many of our ancestors came here to escape religious persecution, and from having someone else's religion shoved down their throat. You are attempting to repeal the progress that has been made when you poke fun at someone who is legitimately hurt by a sign that is completely inappropriate! Keep your nuttiness to yourself jackass, you're making the world a less happy place to be.

Kris J. writes:

My opinion as a Christian is in-line with the Bible. However, it is also my opinion that people who act like the 'ugly' Christian never help anybody. Telling people they are going to hell (the 'ugly' Christian) when they are probably not going to Church is not going to convince them to go to Church. You have to get people listening to you before you can sell your message and being 'ugly' certainly won't help your cause.

Thankfully Christ was a teacher and not a preacher. I suspect God didn't like the way the message was being portrayed thus the reason the person was arrested.

Carl S. in Raleigh writes:

I'm afraid I would have to agree with Mr. Evans on this one. To say a black man is "slavish" is just as bad as calling him an "Uncle Tom." Frankly, there is a concerted effort from those on the left to label any minority who supports the Republican agenda or expresses conservative views as an "Uncle Tom," a "race traitor" or just ignorant. I can completely understand Mr. Evans sensitivity in this case.

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