EDITOR'S NOTE: So keep in mind I am writing this out while still under the influence of prescription narcotics so if it doesnt make since, I mean sense, I will go back and edit it later. Just stating for the record I dont like it when I am put in a position where I almost have to agree with Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League. That is just bad news and it is giving me an ulcer just thinking about it!
Over the last weekend there was a protest and objective raid and riot in Michigan by the local Bash Back Lansing Chapter and other affiliates from Chicago, Memphis and Milwaukee, at Mount Hope Church a mega evangelical major institution nesting northeast of the I96 and I496 junction, in Eaton County. Reports coming from the incidents describe a rather raucous protest going on outside while thirty of the Bash Back membership blended in with the congregation for their 11:30 Sunday morning modern Worship service. At the appointed time during the worship service a combined strategy tactic was deployed and put the rest of the chaos into motion. Here is an account from a reporter embedded with the group:
Bash Back began picketing outside the church doors soon after the 11:30 service began. The group also handed out fliers, which were much calmer in tone and targeted more at the curious than the angry. “We specialize in confronting homophobia, transphobia and every and all other forms of oppression,” the fliers read. “We strive for the liberation of all people.”From the blog Right Michigan it states in their reporting of the incident from "a source inside" the Church:
After a few minutes of protesting in front of the church doors, the “outside team” was asked to move its protest to the street, about 100 yards from the building. The team, standing beneath a row of tall flags that flank the entrance to the fortress-like church, focused its energy on the passing cars. About 40 minutes into the service, the “inside team” ran from the building to their cars and drove away.
The Rev. John Elieff, “Helps Minister” at Mt. Hope Church, said Bash Back members disrupted the service by bursting into the sanctuary, throwing fliers, hanging a banner from the balcony and pulling fire alarms. Elieff acknowledged the group’s right to protest, but he said the church’s civil rights were infringed upon when the service was disrupted. No one was arrested at the church, and, Elieff said, as far as he knew, no arrests have been made. “I would have preferred that they had all been taken in,” he said.
Gay anarchist 'action' hits church by Nathan Harris
CITY PULSE 11th of November 2008
Prayer had just finished when men and women stood up in pockets across the congregation, on the main floor and in the balcony. "Jesus was gay," they shouted among other profanities and blasphemies as they rushed the stage. Some forced their way through rows of women and kids to try to hang a profane banner from the balcony while others began tossing fliers (pdf) into the air. Two women made their way to the pulpit and began to kiss.There were several accusations directly made against Mount Hope by Bash Back including establishment of a Halloween "Hell House", which garnered a Community outcry for insensitive and demonic attribution with tawdry displays. Most people thought it was just your run of the mill haunted house, until it was too late. It was disgusting.
The "open minded" and "tolerant" liberals ran down the aisles and across the pews, hoping against hope to catch a "right winger" on tape daring to push back (none did). And just in case their camera missed the target, they had a reporter in tow. According to a source inside the church yesterday there was a "journalist" from the Lansing City Pulse along for the ride, tipped off about the action and more interested in getting a story than in preventing the vandalism, the violence and anti-Christian hatred being spewed by the lefties. We'll see what he files and what his editors see fit to print.
Props were readily on display too, though some of the condoms may have been put to even more nefarious use. An hour after police and security had collected and removed who they thought were the last of the liberals, a volunteer security person discovered two more, hiding, together, in a public restroom. While their compatriots engaged in openly violent protest in front of everyone these two snuck away to potentially stage their own protest of sorts, and only by the grace of God did one of the hundreds of kids at the church not happen upon that particular restroom in those moments. Precisely how long they'd been there and precisely what they'd been up to we don't know.
Yeah, well, this is the church that, a few years ago, created a "Haunted House" at Halloween full of "horrors". When you went through, WITH your children, their horrors were: A room depicting a young woman about to get an abortion. A pedophile about to get head from a young boy. Two gay men about to have anal sex. A date rape. A terrorist beheading. And, oh yes, a marriage between two men ... performed by Satan himself. These were just a few of the atrocities they depicted with manequins and actors. It was disgusting and it took a few days before the press finally publicised it enough to force them to give it a rating and warn parents before taking their children in. ~by second gen on 11 November 2008 The Daily KosThe other complaint by Bash Back which prompted the protest and raid this past Sunday is that "the church works to institutionalize transphobia and homophobia through several repulsive projects including organized “ex-gay” conferences. Mt. Hope is complicit in the repression of queers in Michigan and beyond." This is in fact true! through its Dunamai Ministry (direct link) it partners with and specifically supports Pure Life Ministries in Northern Kentucky. What? Wait a minute. That name sounds familiar, like Ive reported on them before....
and another record of account and review
This Halloween season, Mt. Hope Church, the largest, most cult-like church in Lansing, has decided to host a House of Horrors. What they failed to mention is that it is a "realistic" house of horror. The depict everything from teen suicide to abortion to child molestation to gay marriage. According to one parent, she pulled out her children when "an older man started unbuckling his pants while a teenaged boy got down on his hands and knees." Their only warning about this "house of horrors"? Children under 11 should be accompanied by an adult. That's right--ELEVEN! Not only that, they charge $6 to see such "horrors". Conveniently, at the end of the tour, there is a pastor waiting indicating that you can be "saved" from this "Hell" by becoming a member of the church. This is completely irresponsible behavior for a church to engage in. You can see why my view of organized religion is a bit jaded. ~Reid Sprite 28 October 2004
PLM was previously covered on F6 throughout last winter. PLM came up at the end of the stories last year on the Prayer Movement on I35 from Laredo, Texas to Duluth, Minnesota. PLM was involved in the scandal involving the reporting by Pat Robertson's 700 Club on the 'conversion from homosexuality' of James Stabile (pic to right), because of the "purity sieges", which James later recanted and exposed the Evangelist Joe Oden and PLM in his interview with the Dallas Voice. James exposed the practices which were employed and put PLM under national media scrutiny in the past for physical and psychological abuses above and beyond what normal behaviour modification camps attempt for success of their "client/patients".
According to the Church website, they draw their curriculum directly revised by Steve Gallagher founder of PLM primarily and a secondary curriculum Dr. Douglas Weiss, from Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado (Focus on the Family's back yard).
So was the ACTION by BASH BACK still in fact a legitimate protest?
I would say yes since the Mount Hope Church's Dunamia Ministry's end goal is to "With this in place, we want to reach out to other churches in the area as we grow and are able to work with them in a cooperative effort to reach the city of Lansing and the surrounding areas. We, ultimately, would hope that this would eventually reach the secular realm when they see the success and freedom found by these men through Jesus Christ and realize the severity of the problem in this area." So we have a direct link and complete correlation now to both the accusations by Bash Back and the threat that Mount Hope Church intends to pose to the Gay Community members and all secular citizens of Lansing and all of Michigan, spearheaded by bad theology and science.
The question I am left to answer is, Was the action, protest, and riot/raid justified? Yes and No!
First of all realizing that Bash Back members are anarchist, it will do little to no good to bitch at them for breaking the law and violating the 1st Amendment and Civil Rights and Protections of the Church members by their direct infiltrating and inciting an attack and disturbing the peaceful assembly on private property. While I do think local law enforcement should investigate I dont think that it mandates a Federal or State investigation as of yet.
What we in fact have is a battle between the same types of protected associations and so therefore they are both mute and what is left is the violation of Private Property rights. Even though I must publicly condemn their riot and raid actions in so far as they violated the private property and the freedom of of the Church members to public assembly and have an expressive association (versus an intimate association, as previously explained in the bottom portion of this post from last Saturday). I cannot deny the validity of the protest outside either Mount Hope deserved every bit of protest it received last Sunday, because a Church cant have it both ways either.
However if the Church is a private entity it needs to stay that way and get the fuck out of public politics. They dont pay taxes; Gays however do pay taxes, typically at a higher percentage rate! Therefore, I condemn the Church also for being ignorant enough to follow a book (that has been mistranslated on a political basis so many times) "at face value" in order to validate their own bigotry and assumptions without looking at authentic sources to verify such ideas and thereby harm innocent queers by trying to "train them in self mastery".