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North Texans Stand up for Gay Rights

"Jesus Called, He wants his Religion Back" says one of the signs outside the First Baptist Church in downtown Dallas

 

 

 

 

The amazing election results on November 4th have given North Texans, and probably everybody else, enough confidence to enlist in our own local part of the ongoing class war. For example, it is nothing unusual for church leaders to preach gay-baiting hatred in Texas, but Dallasites are showing that they don't intend to lie down for it any more!

When the preacher at one of the bastions of Southern Baptist right-wing evangelical churches, First Baptist of downtown Dallas, decided to preach on "Gay is Not OK," he drew a hundred-strong protest on Sunday morning, November 9. He told reporters that he would continue the topic, and found triple the number of protestors on November 15!

People just aren't afraid any more!

LBGT activists and their supporters carried out an enthusiastic rally across San Jacinto Street from the First Baptists' Criswell Center, where churchgoers enter and exit the mammoth church facilities. They sang the old Baptist Sunday School standard, "Jesus Loves Me," and a slightly altered version of "Jesus Loves the Little Children." Chants included, "2-4-6-8 Dallas Doesn't Want Your Hate!" and "1-3-5-7 Bigots Do Not Go To Heaven!"

Many of the signs reflected a new use of the numeral "eight" in reference to anti-gay Proposition Eight that Californians have accepted. Around 1,000 protested Prop. 8 at Dallas City Hall on November 15. At the Baptist Church, "No H8," was popular. Many hand-made signs reflected a certain irritation with the evangelicals' mis-use of isolated biblical quotations. "Jesus called, he wants his religion back," said one of them. Another said, "Holy Bible: Slavery OK, Gays Bad, Women Property, Snakes Talk!"

Divisiveness is not the sole property of one North Texas preacher. On November 15, the Fort Worth Episcopal Bishop led a split from his international organization because they ordained a female priest and a gay bishop. Reporters said that 50 of the 55 congregations would go with him into an Anglican sect based in Argentina. Way down at the end of the article, though, it is revealed that the 5 remaining churches, less committed to pious bigotry, have over half the membership!

People are choosing sides. Right after the election, a Tulsa woman not previously known for bigotry went to Louisiana to join a racist KKK sect, but apparently changed her mind and let the Grand Kleagle know that she wanted to return home. Police say he shot her to death.

--Jim Lane

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