Monday, August 06, 2007

Bible-Thumping Buckeye Bullies Disrupt Worship

I'd be curious to know if State Sen. Tim Schaffer, whose 31st District includes Granville, has any opinion about this. I'm all the more curious because Schaffer hails from Lancaster, which is pretty much dominated by Pastor Russell Johnson, founder of the Fundamentalist Ohio Restoration Project that backed Ken Blackwell so fervently -- and unsuccessfully -- in 2006.

Two central Ohio churches recently had their worship services disrupted by members of a group calling themselves "Minutemen United," as I discovered when I opened this morning's email and found the following:

I invite you to keep the First Baptist Church of Granville and their pastor,the Rev. Dr. Kathy Hurt, in your prayers. First Baptist is a welcoming and affirming congregation [that is to say, a congregation that accepts gays, lesbians, etc. into full membership and participation] and is in partnership with the United Church of Christ as a member of the Alliance of Baptists. The church has been picketed because of an art exhibit and a week ago their worship service was disrupted. Kathy wrote last week to her church: "The protests by a group called Minutemen United, which began in conjunction with our hosting of the art exhibit 'Love Makes a Family,' are continuing in an especially unsettling way: individuals from the group have been coming to our Sunday worship services. Their intent seems not to be to join us in worship, for they do not participate in any fashion (and in fact some make a point of avoiding interaction with us), but rather to discover ways to challenge, even intimidate us.

Two Sundays ago, two members of the Minutemen group attended worship and simply observed. Last Sunday, six members of the group came to the worship service. During our time of joys and concerns, one of the group members, who identified himself as their pastor, came to the microphone and shared not a personal joy or concern, but some of their judgmental message. When it seemed that he intended to "kidnap" the service and move into a criticism of our welcoming and affirming perspective, I took the microphone away from him, at which point the entire group of Minutemen stalked out of the service."

Many of us have been subject of protests because of positions we or our churches have taken but seldom have our worship services been disrupted. We do want to welcome all people to worship, affirming that wherever you are on life's journey you are welcome here, but we do not want and can not allow the sacred time of worship and praise to be disturbed by persons who disagree with our welcoming of all of God's children. I understand this group has also recently targeted King Avenue United Methodist Church.

If this sounds like a case of persecution for righteousness' sake, you must have it backward. Visit the Minutemen United web site, which is one long lament about how persecuted they are. For instance, this event took place in Coshocton County.

Our Dear Friend Pastor Bill Dunfee and the men of his congregation had an attempt made on their lives' as they shared the Gospel at a local strip club. The Sheriff to whom they are speaking to as the explosion occurs told the press that it was a "fire-cracker", and that it was merely a Hatfield (stripclub) and McCoy (Christians) thing. The voice heard in the [YouTube] video saying "you guys go...go..." is the voice of the sheriff. Pretty intense firecracker, Huh? [To me it sounded like a cherry bomb going off in a dumpster -- some "attempt on their lives".]

Fifteen minutes before the explosion several peaceful Christians were leaning against the dumpster in which the explosion occurred....thank God for their lives.

The Coshocton County Sheriff's department will not protect the rights of Christians.

Is it just me... or does this not seem to be an act of terror?

It's just you.

Then there's the shock and outrage expressed on behalf of two members of Operation Rescue / Save America (and their child) who disrupted a recent U.S. Senate session in which -- horrors! -- a Hindu cleric was invited to the give the invocation. The disruption was severe enough that the they were removed from the chamber and arrested.

HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN! Have our elected officials forgotten so quickly the God of our Pilgrim Forefathers, the God of our Founding Fathers, and the God who has blessed America and made her the mightiest nation in the world? Has Jesus, who made this nation free, been prostrated to the same level as every other religion?

The events that took place in the Senate chambers yesterday [July 12] would indicate that the answer is, “YES!” Well then, what happens when United States senators fail to stand for truth, and bow their knee to the false god of political correctness? Simple Christian moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, sons and daughters, must stand up for Jesus! . . .

As the Hindu clergyman began his prayer to his false god, Ante rose up. Bible in hand and held high, he proclaimed, “Lord Jesus, forgive us Father for allowing the prayer of the wicked which is an abomination in Your sight.” The gavel was sounded by Senator Casey who commanded, “The Sergeant at arms will restore order in the Senate. The Sergeant at arms will restore order in the chamber.”. . .

The falsehood of Hinduism was eloquently challenged yesterday by those who know the truth that sets people free - Jesus. We pray that their lives will inspire many to do the same and call our nation to repentance and to return to the God of our fathers. May the hallowed halls and chambers of the Congress of the United States of America never again entertain the false religions of this age.

And while you're at the Minutemen United web site, check out the cool Minutemen United gear available for purchase.



Blogger Jill said...

Wow. Thanks for posting this Mark. These kinds of incidents make me so sad.

2:10 PM  

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