Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Christian Hate Group Mars Corydon Celebration With Gay Bigotry

A large crowd gathered in Corydon's town square last Saturday to enjoy the Morgan's Raid Civil War re-enactment, an annual event for the home to Indiana's first capitol and the late-Governor Frank O'Bannon. Instead, the town was visited upon by one of Indiana's worst Christian hate groups, the Old Paths Baptist Church from Campbellsburg. The scene described in the July 13 edition of the Corydon Democrat was ugly. As reporter Randy West described it: "[M]embers of John Lewis's Old Paths Baptist Church from Campbellsburg staged a demonstration against abortion, homosexuals and "immoral" lifestyles, with incendiary, provocative posters and a graphic picture of a bloody aborted fetus in pieces. Hundreds of spectators had gathered on the square, and many were parents with small children, and they found the posters ("God hates fags," "AIDS cures fags") and pictures offensive."

West reported that organizers of the event pleaded with the demonstrators to stop, move away from the site or wait until the re-enactment was concluded but they refused. The situation nearly turned violent at one point. West said, "They declined [to leave] and continued to quote from their copies of the King James Bible and encouraged people to leave their lascivious lifestyle, with the aid of microphones. Some women in casual summer dress were accused of being 'harlots.' Several spectators confronted the fundamentalists angrily, and at one point several reenactors pointed their long rifles right above the demonstrators' heads before their commanding officer ordered an about-face. A member of the sect videotaped the encounters." Local police eventually dispersed the menacing group of bigots.

The disturbing scene at Saturday's civil war re-enactment became the central point of discussion at the Corydon Town Council meeting this week according to West. "This is serious business," council president Fred Cammack said after a discussion. "If these idiots are going to come back at every event, we might as well get out of the tourism business." The Council asked city attorney Ronald W. Simpson to look for legal ways to prevent Lewis' hate group from causing future disturbances in the future. West reported that West's 40-member congregation has staged similar demonstrations in cities and town througout Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky.

In an interview with West following Saturday evening's debacle, Lewis continued to spew hate-filled bigotry. West reported: "Lewis said he hopes to accomplish several things with his street preaching: He wants to please God; he'd 'love for America to repent and reject a lascivious, rebellious and blasphemous life,' and he would 'love to see the Sodomites go back into the closet. These people are dogs.'"

It is a very sad commentary on our state that fundamentalist Christians feel compelled to take to the streets and promote such hate-filled bigoted views towards gays and lesbians. These events are witnessed every year at gay pride celebrations. Even this year's 500 Festival Parade in Indianapolis was visited upon by this scourge. When the KKK carried out public demonstrations, its members hid their identity behind their hooded sheets. These people proudly reveal their identities seemingly without shame or fear of retribution. Why should they when so many of our elected officials jump and stand at attention every time Eric Miller of Advance America and Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana put out another alert warning that "the fags are coming-our families are endangered-take action now." They are responsible for helping to foment this kind of hatred towards gays and lesbians and giving these people a license to take their message of hate to the streets.

Corydon Town Council President Fred Cammack was right to worry aloud about the effect on the city's tourism. It's time for people to wake up and understand just how much harm the Eric Miller's and Micah Clark's do to our state's economy. Indiana will never move forward and develop a first-class economy as long as people with their bigoted views are allowed to control our state's agenda.


Anonymous said...

No, John Lewis' church is not a "hate" group. Like it or not, their message
is in line with the Bible. You can hate the message but c'mon, don't hate the messengers.

- Curt

Anonymous said...

For anyone who reads this post ... I emplore you to consider what I'm about you say.

Please do not allow false "groups" to skew your perception of Christians in our Country. I have personally witnessed his "message" of hate.

While the Word of God is clear about certain things this man mentioned, I could NEVER side with him because of the means by which he protests. He and his followers operate in riotous, chaotic HATE. He is a parasite that should certainly be given a psychiatric evaluation before someone is seriously injured.

Consider this before you judge all Christians by this man's actions:

The fruits of the spirit (as outlined in God's Word) are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, meekness, gentleness, etc. The very word "Christian" means to be "Christ-like."

A tree can be judged by the fruit it bares. He can call himself "pastor" or "Christian" all he wants, but actions speak louder than words, messages, chants, signs, protests, etc.

Jesus said,

"Men will know that ye are my diciples, if ye have love, one towards another."

This tells me that you can proclaim the rock-solid doctrine of the Word of God (with no compromise), while still maintaining a loving, gentle, Christ-like Spirit.

God is love.

FWsouthsider said...

People showing up to gatherings loudly proclaiming their views and holding up signs that offend is news... but history shows us it shouldn't be that surprising.

Women did it when they wanted the vote, which offended many men. Blacks did it when they wanted more equality in the South, which offended many whites. (Photos of the body of Emmitt Till were printed to shock people into changing.) Gays do it when they have their gay pride parades, offending many straights. This just happens to be part of life in America now. Sometimes sadly.

This church in question is conveying their message using this method. The members of this church are clearly offended that Biblical principles are violated in the society they live in as much as they are, and apparently set out to prove absurdity by being absurd. Thusly the 'shock value' of their message.

If a person is offended when another says God hates homosexuality, then they can take it up with the person saying it. They can also take it up with God Himself through reading the Word He gave us and through prayer. We are spiritual as well as physical beings.

If a person finds a picture of a baby torn into several pieces through abortion offensive, then I suggest they think about how the subject of that photo ended up like that in the first place... and be offended at that. The death of that innocent is far worse than a mere 2-dimensional representation of the outcome.

A last point is that this church did their demonstration an a reenactment of a Civil War event. That war cost the Union and the Confederacy 600,000 lives with many of them ending in a very violent and very grotesque fashion. There were scenes from some battles just as shocking as a picture of an innocent destroyed in an abortion. So would the people offended at the abortion image be less offended at one of a grown man blown in half whose body is bloating in the sun?

Sometimes life is ugly. Sin has done that. Explain that to your children when they're ready. It might even make them work hard to make this world a better place later on.