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March 3, 2010 3:43 PM   Subscribe

Over the last few days, a fair bit of attention on the web has been focused on Repent Amarillo MySpace YouTube, an organization dedicated to converting Amarillo, TX to the organization's particular brand of Christianity. Their tactics include "Spiritual Warfare" and witnessing, but also appear to involve harassing people who they believe to be sinners. They've even got a map of sinful places in Amarillo, including gay bars, Masonic lodges, rival churches, and other religions' places of worship. But not everybody is all that amused; blogs and websites have started springing up in response.
posted by Pope Guilty (139 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
What a bunch of assholes. You know they're hardcore when they don't even like other Christians.
posted by charred husk at 3:46 PM on March 3, 2010


Pope Guilty, I'm pretty sure you made a mistake about this being a Christian organization. Based on the background music and dramatic flash interface, this is clearly a promotional site for Battle For Blood II: On His Honor, coming to the PC, Spring 2003.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 3:47 PM on March 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


Maybe someone can try and book Phelps out there and get the two groups in a nice brawl.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:48 PM on March 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


oh man you know what i hate

when gays and atheists knock on my door every saturday morning and tell me i should be a gay or atheist
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:48 PM on March 3, 2010 [99 favorites]


I don't say this sort of thing often, but these people should be hit with sticks.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:49 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


That map is awesome. Now I know all the cool places to visit in Amarillo next time!
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:50 PM on March 3, 2010 [38 favorites]


Obligatory God Warrier video.
posted by sallybrown at 3:51 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I strongly dislike many followers of Christianity.

(Is that said politically correct enough?)
posted by Malice at 3:51 PM on March 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Some of the possible missions that these two groups may be called upon to work will be some of the following:
...
4. Breast cancer events such as “Race for the Cure” to illuminate the link between abortion and breast cancer.


OH MY FUCKING GOD
posted by charred husk at 3:52 PM on March 3, 2010 [15 favorites]


You know they're hardcore Christians when they don't even like other Christians.

And going after the Masons isn't a great idea, is it?
posted by The World Famous at 3:53 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Handy map with all the highlights if I ever get to visit Amarillo though, so that's useful at least.
posted by Abiezer at 3:53 PM on March 3, 2010


You know, now that you mention it, a map of sinful places might be a handy thing to have.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:54 PM on March 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


And going after the Masons isn't a great idea, is it?

Why? The Masons are probably running the whole operation in secret.
posted by empath at 3:55 PM on March 3, 2010


Why? The Masons are probably running the whole operation in secret.

Well, sure, since they're running every operation in the world in secret, that makes sense.
posted by The World Famous at 3:57 PM on March 3, 2010


And going after the Masons isn't a great idea, is it?

More powerful men have tried.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:57 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Amarillo, a town that shows up in at least a couple of good songs that come to mind, surely doesn't deserve this. Anyway, here's the songs I'm thinking of:

"Route 66"

Now you go through Saint Looey
Joplin, Missouri,
And Oklahoma City is mighty pretty.
You see Amarillo,
Gallup, new mexico,
Flagstaff, Arizona.
Don't forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernandino


And of course, Kinky Friedman's (the Texas Jew-boy!) "London Homesick Blues"

I wanna go home with the armadillo
Country music from Amarillo and Abilene
The prettiest women and the friendliest people you ever seen.

posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:58 PM on March 3, 2010


Yes, the Masons might have a charity pancake breakfast at you.

DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN THOSE SAUSAGE PATTIES?
posted by entropicamericana at 3:58 PM on March 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


I first read that as they were wishing to convert Armadillos to be christian. Because we can't have heathen armadillos!
posted by birdherder at 3:59 PM on March 3, 2010 [9 favorites]


His hate map is a comedy mine. Look, a rich vein:

Wildcat Bluff Nature Center
Behind the North building there is an earth circle. There is a pagan group in the Amarillo area with the same name. "Earth Circle" is one of the common names used for a worship area for pagans and witches.

Unitarian Universalist Church
Pagan and witchcraft headquarters for Amarillo. Pagan and wichcraft celebrations and rites are performed here.

posted by gurple at 3:59 PM on March 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the Masons will be playing 121-dimensional chess as usual. This is probably just part of their plot to make white the big fashion color in 2013 or something.
posted by No-sword at 3:59 PM on March 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


That repent Amarillo website.
Probably some kind of satire I am not intelligent enough to pick up on.
posted by notreally at 4:01 PM on March 3, 2010


Hey! That is "Historic US 66" that rolls RIGHT THROUGH the intersection of sin! Cool. Let's go!
posted by R. Mutt at 4:02 PM on March 3, 2010


Kinky Friedman, BTW, appears to be throwing his hat in the ring for the Texas governorship. It'd be so cool if he won.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:02 PM on March 3, 2010


Wow, Crystal Pisol's still there? I haven't been to Amarillo in close to 20 years.
posted by melt away at 4:02 PM on March 3, 2010


Probably some kind of satire I am not intelligent enough to pick up on.

I thought so at first, but then I saw the Dallas Observer page linked in the post. They're very real, and they're already working to ruin peoples' lives.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:02 PM on March 3, 2010


Nice to see the local citizenry not taking this crap lying down.
posted by Xoebe at 4:03 PM on March 3, 2010


I want a soundtrack in my life as man-chest-beating as this website. It will make muscled men flock to me in uniforms, spouting gibberish that I can silent with well-placed duck tape before I take advantage of their mesmerized, dutiful minds.

Also: Related posts appearing below this thread:

Homophobia in Halo 3
Children of a Flirty God
Is Jesus a solution or an excuse?
Lord, please make me a werewolf today
Strangest Story Ever Told - The Weird Legend of Jesus in Japan

Hell's yeah. That's why I <3 me some Metafilter.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 4:03 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


*silence

Edit function, please!!
posted by whimsicalnymph at 4:04 PM on March 3, 2010


Probably some kind of satire I am not intelligent enough to pick up on.

Nope, these guys are both legitimate and scary. Imagine that you rent out some bar space for a wholesome 30th birthday party and invite your friends, family, and coworkers. When they arrive, you find that the whole bar is being picketed by loud, intrusive, angry, potentially violent "missionaries" because the bar also hosts events for gay patrons.

The fact that this sort of terrorist activity is tolerated in the city of Amarillo must mean something.
posted by muddgirl at 4:06 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ha! Amarillo is the home of The Big Texan, Repent Amarillo and me.
posted by the biscuit man at 4:09 PM on March 3, 2010


I'm glad that map shows me where all the "Compromised Church's" are. I only eat un-compromised fried chicken.
posted by Jon_Evil at 4:09 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ignorance and a bible are a dangerous combination.
posted by Max Power at 4:09 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Only evil hides in the dark.

Is that all they got on Masonry? Good soldiers are gonna need more propaganda than that. Like, 5000 calories more.
posted by circular at 4:09 PM on March 3, 2010


I am relieved to see that the Big Texan Steak Ranch (home of the original 72 oz steak dinner with trimmings, get it for free) has not been marked as gluttonously sinful.
posted by Comrade_robot at 4:11 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Kinky Friedman, BTW, appears to be throwing his hat in the ring for the Texas governorship . It'd be so cool if he won.

Hate to break this to you flapjax, but actually was running for Agriculture Commissioner after promising not to get into the governor's race this time. The primaries were yesterday and Kinky lost.
posted by birdherder at 4:11 PM on March 3, 2010


Somehow I missed this strategy last time I read the book of Acts.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:11 PM on March 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


Ignorance and a bible are a dangerous combination.

That even works with Carl Sagan. Nice one.
posted by circular at 4:12 PM on March 3, 2010


His hate map is a comedy mine. Look, a rich vein:

Unitarian Universalist Church
Pagan and witchcraft headquarters for Amarillo. Pagan and wichcraft celebrations and rites are performed here.


Well... as someone who was raised UU, I'd say they're correct about that one. Don't know about the "headquarters" bit, though.
posted by brundlefly at 4:13 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


oh man you know what i hate

when gays and atheists knock on my door every saturday morning and tell me i should be a gay or atheist


At least they give you the choice
posted by filthy light thief at 4:14 PM on March 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


The fact that this sort of terrorist activity is tolerated in the city of Amarillo must mean something.

We'd better send in the troops.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:16 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Texas Observer site is down currently, so here's the main story via Google cache.
posted by the biscuit man at 4:21 PM on March 3, 2010


In college, I went to bible study with other Christian kids, some who were taking part in our own I Agree With Tyler. For those who haven't seen, it's an evangelical campaign on college campuses to get people talking about Christianity without having to push yourself on them. Instead, you wore bright orange shirts that simply say "I agree with (some guy's name)." At the end of a week or month of this, That Guy (or Girl) comes forward and talks about their faith (Christianity). Amongst our bible study, there was a split between the two camps: (1) the shirts and method are obnoxious, and we're turning people off of Christianity, which is a bad thing, and (2) the shirts get people talking and thinking, and any new Christian is one step closer to the return of Christ, based on the idea that Christ would return when the last person to believe in Him would open their eyes to this truth.

Some people will do anything to get that last person to convert, even if it pisses off everyone else.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:24 PM on March 3, 2010


I'm guessing sotonohito will be showing up soon as he lives in the area as well.
posted by the biscuit man at 4:26 PM on March 3, 2010


Sadly, Texas is not nearly as sinful as these people would like to believe.

Seriously, their website is proof that, in the end, all theocracy is self-limiting. Sure, we can kill all the gays, the atheists, the Buddhists, the Masons and so forth -- but as soon as The Enemy is dead, they'll turn on each other.

If Christians ever gain a stranglehold on this country's government a forge a Thousand-Year Kingdom, they'll spend 1 year killing the rest of us and the next 999 slaughtering each other.
posted by Avenger at 4:27 PM on March 3, 2010 [11 favorites]


Masons-ruling-the-world jokes aside, they're actually quite a persecuted group. They did well in the early U.S. because we were a bastion of social and religious liberalism at the time. The sect was associated with enlightenment thought, and so was fashionable amongst the revolutionary leaders. They still do well because of historical tradition, and the right to assembly and religion.

When cultures go militant right wing, the Freemasons are always on the undesirables list, just below the Jews, gays and gypsies. The NSDAP sent them to the camps too.
posted by clarknova at 4:30 PM on March 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Only evil hides in the dark.

Tell that to fucking Batman.
posted by Amanojaku at 4:36 PM on March 3, 2010 [44 favorites]


I think with the Spiritual Warfare, Spiritual Mapping, The Demonic Strongholds, and general weirdness... despite my not bothering to track down all the personal links I think it's safe to say: [previously]

and point directly to that Talk2Action report on the Joel's Army/Third Wave/New Apostolic Reformation movement within modern Evangelical Christianity.

Here's a Christian take down of this type of thing...(might as well let the insiders do it, eh?)

Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare - Spirit of Error
posted by ServSci at 4:38 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Their tactics include "Spiritual Warfare" and witnessing...

Onward Christian Soldiers!
posted by ericb at 4:42 PM on March 3, 2010


Are Amarillo hops sinful? Because I could change the recipe a little.
posted by box at 4:42 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


soldiers, hummvees and machine guns, and a flash intro ending punctuated with a gunshot. maps showing locations of "sinners."

This is terrifying.
posted by ScotchRox at 4:46 PM on March 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Masons-ruling-the-world jokes aside, they're actually quite a persecuted group.

Bemoaning their persecution here.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:47 PM on March 3, 2010


Oh, hey, these are indeed the same folks who wanted to boycott Houston because Houston elected a lesbian mayor. I was wondering about that.
posted by immlass at 4:48 PM on March 3, 2010


I wish I lived in the US and was able to book that swinger's club premises out. In these magic days of social media can it not be arranged for the place to be packed out every night?
posted by Abiezer at 4:56 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jesus god, what is wrong with the right wing fucks?
posted by zzazazz at 4:57 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Amarillo, a town that shows up in at least a couple of good songs that come to mind

Like this most awesome number: Is This The Way To Amarillo?
posted by grounded at 5:00 PM on March 3, 2010


Only evil hides in the dark.

That would explain, then, why only the good die young.
posted by The World Famous at 5:02 PM on March 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have to agree with ScotchRox; all the military imagery raises this from Westboro-kooky to kinda worrisome. We've already got Christian extremist terrorists murdering doctors in the name of Jesus.
posted by Nelson at 5:03 PM on March 3, 2010


The problem with Christianity is that for every Sermon On The Mount telling you to be nice and forgiving, there's another passage saying you ought to brutally slay people you don't like.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:06 PM on March 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Oh those crazy Protestants. I don't know what they put in the water in Amarillo but every time I meet someone from there they have some pretty lol opinions on just about everything but the sex is always amazing.
posted by hamida2242 at 5:12 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


You've had sex with every person you've met who's from Amarillo?
posted by brundlefly at 5:17 PM on March 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


It is fun to hate Texas. C'mon, let's find more stories!!!
posted by Senator at 5:21 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


The problem with Christianity is that for every Sermon On The Mount telling you to be nice and forgiving, there's another passage saying you ought to brutally slay people you don't like.

I just deleted the five paragraph screed I wrote, and will sum it up with: wow, that's really not accurate at all.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:23 PM on March 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


fun thought experiment: imagine that muslims were using these kinds of tactics

now guess how many seconds it would be before they were charged with harassment by local and state law enforcement

answer: twenty-seven seconds
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:25 PM on March 3, 2010 [11 favorites]


now guess how many seconds it would be before they were charged with harassment by local and state law enforcement

Charged? We're charging Muslims with things now?
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 5:26 PM on March 3, 2010 [9 favorites]


Some people will do anything to get that last person to convert, even if it pisses off everyone else.

Perhaps, but that is a damn smart marketing campaign.
posted by dw at 5:29 PM on March 3, 2010


It is fun to hate Texas. C'mon, let's find more stories!!!

Do you believe that I would've refrained from posting this if it had happened in Bangor?
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:29 PM on March 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Kinky Friedman, BTW, appears to be throwing his hat in the ring for the Texas governorship . It'd be so cool if he won.

No it wouldn't. He ran before, and all he did was take votes away from legitimate candidates because people thought it was SO HILARIOUS LOL KINKY FOR GOVERNOR WHY THE HELL NOT. I mean, the Republican is just going to win anyway, I know that, but it's the principle of the thing.
posted by DecemberBoy at 5:29 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


It is fun to hate Texas. C'mon, let's find more stories!!!

I thought this was about dipshit evangelicals, not dipshit Texans.
posted by Max Power at 5:31 PM on March 3, 2010


Imagine the next local Masons meeting: "OK, boys, who wants to be Jack the Ripper this time?"
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:33 PM on March 3, 2010


"Compromised Church's"

I dated a girl who believed (along with her church) that mainstream churches had been infiltrated by witches or were otherwise run by Satan. It seemed to be a very entertaining ARG-like world-view and mostly harmless nuttery.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:35 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


He ran before, and all he did was take votes away from legitimate candidates because people thought it was SO HILARIOUS LOL KINKY FOR GOVERNOR WHY THE HELL NOT.

I must confess basic ignorance when it comes to Texas state politics and politicians, but no matter who his "legitimate" opponents might be, everything I know about kinky Friedman leads me to believe that, as I said before, it'd be cool if he won. So, yeah, it'd be cool if he won.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:37 PM on March 3, 2010



You've had sex with every person you've met who's from Amarillo?


Yes and I live near Texas.

No regrets.
posted by hamida2242 at 5:39 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Come on, people, it's not a repressive theocracy if it's CHRISTIAN, duh!
posted by Legomancer at 5:50 PM on March 3, 2010


When faced with a situation like this, there's only one thing to do: draw them unwittingly into a Spiritual Warfare ARG. There's all sorts of potential for mischief. You could set up an Opposition Coalition Force map of the city with blocks marked off as reclaimed by the pagans, gays, Presbyterians, etc. Blast out press releases to the media announcing staged gay-ins & coven meetups at key locations designed to disrupt the Jesus force field around their strongholds. When you have people who really believe in magic & anti-magic, the possibilities for messing with their minds are endless.
posted by scalefree at 5:58 PM on March 3, 2010 [34 favorites]


Yeah, this isn't a "hate on Texas" post, not at all.

Read that article from the Texas Observer (at least the Google Cache version), and make sure to catch the comments at the bottom. They are a pretty good touchstone of how other Christians in Amarillo think about this Xianist group in their community.

Of course, all of this actually speaks to the horror of living in the closet and the dangers it poses when you try to live a life where you are keeping secrets about Who You Are. If there is one thing the swingers could have learned from the gays and lesbians, it is that only through open living and pride (being the opposite of shame) that you can truly fight against bigotry.

I'd love to see the swingers install a mole or two inside the Xianist group and start gathering information to take them down. Taping meetings, listening to specifically threatening plans or hate rhetoric. Under the new federal hate crimes bill, it wouldn't take TOO much of that kind of evidence plus documented actions on behalf of that group to get the FBI involved in investigating them.
posted by hippybear at 6:02 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


It seemed to be a very entertaining ARG-like world-view and mostly harmless nuttery.

When life gives you ARG-people, you make ARGs. I rest my case.
posted by scalefree at 6:02 PM on March 3, 2010


Unitarian Universalist Church
Pagan and witchcraft headquarters for Amarillo. Pagan and wichcraft celebrations and rites are performed here.


HA HA HA, FUCK YES, UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS

CAN MY SIXTH SOURCE MOTHERFUCKERS GET A SHOUT OUT, OH YES THEY CAN
posted by Greg Nog at 6:16 PM on March 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


Just wanted to point out that that "spiritual warfare" link in the post appears to have dandruff.
posted by koeselitz at 6:22 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Abiezer: “Handy map with all the highlights if I ever get to visit Amarillo though, so that's useful at least.”

I know you've been in the outlands for a while and therefore might not recall the basic rules of the English language, but I just thought I'd point out that you're using your verbs wrong. Amarillo is not a place you "get to visit." Amarillo is a place you "are forced to suffer through."

But the road's pretty straight, so it doesn't have to be for long.
posted by koeselitz at 6:32 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow. "Teaches that everyone is going to heaven. This calls Christ a liar. You cannot be Christian if you call Christ a liar."

Bonus: "Allah is a false god and Muhammad is a false prophet."

If anyone wants a reason why I'm not a big fan of most religions, it'd be proselytizing. Please, feel free to have your own beliefs. I won't stop you, in fact, hey, it makes you happy, and happy people make the world a better place. But please, please don't ask me to join you. And if you do, and I say no, please, pretty please don't keep telling me about it. And if you tell me I'm going to hell, or that I'm a bad person because I don't share your faith, that's pretty much the end of me talking to you, and the beginning of me trying to supress Mr. Punchy, my less friendly, more punchy alter-ego.

And, just in case someone wants to feel I hate Christians, I don't. I attended (even as a heathen Jew/Christ-killer) a Christian college, and found the school and its teachings to be incredibly enlightened, and all in all pretty wonderful people. Then again, the ELCA seems to be full of people like that.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:38 PM on March 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well, to be fair, it actually says "...and Muhammad is a false prophef." So that's ok.
posted by sneebler at 7:03 PM on March 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Blast out press releases to the media announcing staged gay-ins & coven meetups at key locations designed to disrupt the Jesus force field around their strongholds.

I'm having a wonderful time speculating about what a "gay-in" is.
posted by brundlefly at 7:08 PM on March 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


But Koselitz, we are all just sojourners here in this Vale of Sorrow (or is that on Route 67?)
posted by Abiezer at 7:08 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Holy crap...I just realized you can move that map around and find more sinful places...it's like an indie videogame!

Scroll down south and get bonus points for finding:


Hindu Temple of Amarillo

Hindus can't make up their minds what is and is not god so they worship 2.5 million false ones.

posted by the bricabrac man at 7:09 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I read this as "Repellent Amarillo" and I was surprisingly correct.
posted by unknowncommand at 7:11 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've said it before and I'll say it again: Jesus wouldn't be Christian enough for these guys.
posted by litleozy at 7:17 PM on March 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Fucking hell. Fucking HELL! I spent half my childhood in Amarillo. Holy crap.
posted by zarq at 7:22 PM on March 3, 2010


Fun pastime for those who like to live dangerously: when in Amarillo, pronounce the name of the town correctly [13kb .wav]. Take it from me, you might risk your life, but it'll be entertaining.

I love Texas. San Antonio is an awesome, awesome town. That's why I can hate Amarillo.
posted by koeselitz at 7:23 PM on March 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


And of course, Kinky Friedman's (the Texas Jew-boy!) "London Homesick Blues"

I know it's parenthetical to the subject at hand, but I can't let this one slip idly by.

Kinky might have covered it at some point, but it was written by Gary P. Nunn, and the definitive recording was by Jerry Jeff Walker, on his 1973 album Viva Terlingua.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:25 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow.

Amarillo has swingers?!
posted by Leezie at 7:36 PM on March 3, 2010


These guys are the Amarillo Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.
posted by vibrotronica at 7:41 PM on March 3, 2010


What is stopping someone from rounding up the names of the Repent Amarillo folks and starting a smear campaign? Take pictures of the members cars in proximity to the strip club they're picketing and then make a huge media buy of newspaper ads and billboards stating that Joe Blow, Repent Amarillo member, was seen at a strip club.

Seems like if the people being persecuted used the same tactics to legally harass them they might actually make some headway in shutting these assholes down.
posted by photoslob at 7:48 PM on March 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Their damn site (which is "not designed for non-christians") is refusing to load and is making my browser crash so that must mean I'm a really superbad sinner.
posted by blucevalo at 7:55 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, I grew up about 45 minutes from Amarillo.

Also a Christian, and a pretty devout one at that. And I think this is ridiculous....there's most certainly such a thing as Christian radicals, and this group is proof of that. There's a map? Really?

Some of the craziest people in the world are crazy for religion.
posted by DMan at 8:04 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I used to think that the best retorts to "You're going to hell" were "Yep, that's where the best coffee is" and "Yep, all my best friends will be there" but it's a whole new ballgame when there are people running around who would happily kill you to make sure you get there quicker.
posted by amyms at 8:05 PM on March 3, 2010


While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
For the life of me, I can't figure out how to get from this to getting a bunch of swingers fired. My only guess is that David Grisham was reading his Bible for the pictures.
posted by dw at 9:19 PM on March 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


If they could only repeat this for other cities, we'd have a mean competitor to Yelp, but with sin-power.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:13 PM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Those little bits of light falling down the website, those are angel-tears, yes?
posted by Hoenikker at 10:13 PM on March 3, 2010


Their map seems to be missing Terry Funk's world-famous Double Cross Ranch, which is nothing but a monument to treachery, violence, and deceit.
posted by jtron at 12:18 AM on March 4, 2010


i got as far as this

Their leader, David Grisham, a security guard at nuclear-bomb facility Pantex who moonlights as a pastor, explained the action

a person who would take an active role in a DEATH system that has held billions of people and god's creation hostage for decades has no business telling anyone what their morality should be
posted by pyramid termite at 12:26 AM on March 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


I just deleted the five paragraph screed I wrote, and will sum it up with: wow, that's really not accurate at all.

This is Metafilter. Five paragraph screeds (and rants and conspiracies and manifestos) are par for the course. Screed on!
posted by zardoz at 12:46 AM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Their leader, David Grisham, a security guard at nuclear-bomb facility Pantex who moonlights as a pastor...Honestly that sentence is a Werewolf the Apocalypse plothook. Only they spelled Pentex wrong.
posted by Peztopiary at 1:46 AM on March 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


If Christians ever gain a stranglehold on this country's government a forge a Thousand-Year Kingdom, they'll spend 1 year killing the rest of us and the next 999 slaughtering each other.

I wouldn't mind so much if they did it the other way around.
posted by WalterMitty at 2:09 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Honestly that sentence is a Werewolf the Apocalypse plothook. Only they spelled Pentex wrong.

The Wyrm makes cameras. And air filters.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:15 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not a christian really, but I went to Catholic school and had mandatory religion classes, weekly Mass, and had to sit by and even participate with my friends' participation in the sacraments for the 12 years I went to school there.

I spent a summer with my Catholic Gramma when I was about 9, and I read the New Testament because everything else was boring. I've reread it a few times since then.

My favorite miracle of Jesus was the water into wine thing at the request of his mom, so the host of the wedding wouldn't be embarrassed. Gallons of wine. So the party wouldn't be interrupted.

My favorite story of Jesus was when he was begging God (you know, his Dad) to not have to die in an agonizing way the next morning, and his boys kept falling asleep. Gethsemane? That was so human.

Anyway, the Jesus that gets portrayed in the New Testament is a kind, loyal, charitable, fair, self-sacrificing, stubborn, mostly gentle (I like his getting mad at the money changers), forgiving, and good guy. I like that guy. I take that guy's advice (treat other people like you'd like to be treated is good advice) a lot of the time, but I don't go to church. I happily talk about Jesus to my kids, who get taken to a variety of churches when they're off on visitation weekends and come back asking me questions about why I don't go to church.

I don't think Jesus would be down with a hate list.
posted by lilywing13 at 3:05 AM on March 4, 2010 [13 favorites]


Unitarian Jihad: "Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States."

Using our natural warlock powers, we have issued a response to the Army of God five years in advance.
posted by nangar at 5:13 AM on March 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


What is with these sorts of groups? They clearly are getting the simple decree to "go forth and witness" with "go forth and convert anyone not like you at all costs". There's a huge, huge difference.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:40 AM on March 4, 2010


Anyway, the Jesus that gets portrayed in the New Testament is a kind, loyal, charitable, fair, self-sacrificing, stubborn, mostly gentle (I like his getting mad at the money changers), forgiving, and good guy

Spoken like a hell-bound euro-commie. All God-Fearing White Christians know that the Old Testament is where the action is, except that instead of Abraham and Moses, we substitute Muscular Jesus. Everything makes perfect sense that way.

You'll repent. (cracks knuckles) Oh yes, you will repent.
posted by aramaic at 5:58 AM on March 4, 2010


Brother Flaming Sword of Moderation noted the possibility of there being no God at all, and his objection was noted with love by the secretary.

nangar, that is the most awesomeist thing evar!
posted by charred husk at 6:00 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man, ever since Jerry died, what the hell happened to David Grisham?
posted by box at 6:10 AM on March 4, 2010


Oh, wait, I'm thinking of David Grisman. David Grisham's the one that wrote all those lawyer books.
posted by box at 6:11 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


What is stopping someone from rounding up the names of the Repent Amarillo folks and starting a smear campaign? Take pictures of the members cars in proximity to the strip club they're picketing and then make a huge media buy of newspaper ads and billboards stating that Joe Blow, Repent Amarillo member, was seen at a strip club.

Seconding this. Someone, please, please do this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:26 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


David Grisman has been making fantastic music.

Also, yay religion.
posted by unSane at 6:27 AM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I really like your comment lilywing13, however you would lose any standing with these folks because for some reason they hate Catholics too. Something about icon worship and our Lady of Guadalupe I think. I know I'm probably not telling you anything new.

I also really don't get the hate and anger.

A few months ago I was in St. Pete's FL on a work vacation walking to the hotel after supper with my husband and this gang of angry teenagers started trying to engage us about GOD. It was scary. There was about 7 or 8 of them and they were rapidly, progressively getting more and more aggressive. We're just trying to walk down the street. They were screaming so hard about it they started to spit.

In retrospect I wish I'd called the police on them because they made me fear for my personal safety. Next time I'm yelled at by angry Christian youth I will because that was unnerving. Not because I fear hell, but they seemed to working themselves up into such a fervor that things could progress to physical violence over something stupid.

I think they've turned their religion into how they get high. They're like crack addicts for god. They can't bring themselves to actually do any drugs or masturbate (or if they do they feel so guilty about it) so they get high off of god stuff. Work themselves up into an angry self-righteous fervor until they feel a rush over that. Then they want to feel that rush again.

It's a sad corruption of Christianity. And Amarillo too. I like that town. People are nice there. There's some gorgeous State parks around there. And if any of those gay bars were there in the late 1980's I might have been there with some wonderful people. I tried looking at that map to see if I could remember but I cannot.

I like to fondly remember this King Missile song (charmingly synced with Linus of Peanuts fame) because Jesus really was way cool.
posted by dog food sugar at 6:52 AM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


That's really insightful, dog food sugar.

When I was a teenager, the straight edge movement was becoming more mainstream among the punk kids at my school and simultaneously less militant. It actually sounds really similar to me, although militant straight edge kids operated on a much smaller scale.

I think there's a segment of the population who just really get off on controlling the behavior of others, whether through persuasion or violence or both. Evangelical christianity may seem to attract a disproportionate number of these types of people, because what other organization gives them the opportunity to block access to Planned Parenthood and shame people going in to adult book stores?
posted by muddgirl at 7:09 AM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Looking at their web site, I am am speculating about the female members of that church. Do they exist? Do they have any power in the church?

In June, when the building reopened, Repent Amarillo became an almost-constant presence, shouting through bullhorns, blasting Christian music, haranguing club members, following swingers in vehicles and sticking video cameras into people’s faces.

I also have to wonder about other church activities. Do they put any effort into administering to the poor? Are they feeding the hungry? Raising college money for orphans? Helping the elderly with chores? I'm guessing that the surveillance activities are more...what's the word...sexy, leaving little time or energy left for anything else.

I interview Grisham and his fourth wife, Tracy, a pleasant, moon-faced woman whose bangs hang in her eyes,

hmmmm

Also on the list are The 806 coffeehouse (a hangout for artists and counterculture types


It's good to know that once they get the gay bars and the swinger clubs closed shut down, they will still have plenty of work to do. "Artists" jesus H. christ, we can't have any of those types polluting the sacred air of Amarillo.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:30 AM on March 4, 2010


I like that they have xsnow on their front page. Kind of a non-seq, but hey, it always charms me.
posted by everichon at 7:51 AM on March 4, 2010


I love Texas. San Antonio is an awesome, awesome town. That's why I can hate Amarillo.

koeselitz - I'm from San Antonio, where the approach to religion is a little different.
posted by lukemeister at 8:16 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Looking at their web site, I am am speculating about the female members of that church. Do they exist? Do they have any power in the church?

My aunt married a Southern Baptist man (she was raised Methodist as the rest of my family was) and told my mom that she loved it because she wasn't being asked to think; there's a set of rules, and as long as she follows those rules, she's fine. I don't think this is perfectly representative of conservative Christianity, but I'd be shocked if there isn't an element of that.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:20 AM on March 4, 2010


My only guess is that David Grisham was reading his Bible for the pictures.

This is my new favorite thing to say.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:24 AM on March 4, 2010


They've even got a map of sinful places in Amarillo

How is Thomas AUstin Preston's house not on this map?
posted by adamdschneider at 8:25 AM on March 4, 2010


I don't think this is perfectly representative of conservative Christianity, but I'd be shocked if there isn't an element of that.

Oh, heck no it's not representative. My in-laws were Southern Baptists, and my mother-in-law ran the Sunday School for years. And I mean ran it -- picked out the curriculum, taught the kids, recruited people to help, whole nine yards. And she read, read, read, just like her husband. She had kids that went to elite, non-Christian US universities. She expected her kids and her Sunday School kids to be endlessly curious about the world and always learning. Yet, she was a conservative evangelical.

There are certainly women out there who want to cede their brains to men. Many of them end up with controlling husbands from conservative to fundamentalist backgrounds. Some are conditioned that way in Dominionist or splinter Protestant or Mormon groups. But the thing I've noticed is that religion doesn't seem to matter. Some women want to marry rich and let their rich husbands do their things. Some marry military men and use military life as their set of rules. You can certainly see why women who think this way would be attracted to a controlling relationship based around religion, but religion's not the only way to get that.
posted by dw at 9:26 AM on March 4, 2010


Only evil hides in the dark.

Tell that to fucking Batman.


He doesn't hide in the dark. He stalks in it. Hiding is for the wicked and cowards.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:43 AM on March 4, 2010



I just deleted the five paragraph screed I wrote, and will sum it up with: wow, that's really not accurate at all.

This is Metafilter. Five paragraph screeds (and rants and conspiracies and manifestos) are par for the course. Screed on!


A second vote for Pater Aletheais to screed on. Let your reasoned, guy-who's-studied-the-actual-book flag hang high for the rest of us mainstream Christians (wherever we may be on the believer-atheist continuum at the moment).
posted by availablelight at 9:56 AM on March 4, 2010


The fact that this sort of terrorist activity is tolerated in the city of Amarillo must mean something.

Amarillo has swingers?!

From my (brief) experience, Amarillo is the perfect target for these schmoes, i.e.:

"tolerant enough to mostly accept ____" (insert: dancing; gays, interracial or intersex dating; non-Christians; gambling; drinking; drug use; etc (though i'm guessing abortion is still a big no-no)

+

"repressed (and possibly persecuted) enough not to defend ____ publicly"

It's the only real "city" in that evangelical Texas panhandle region. It seems natural that Amarillo would be a target for Christian fundamentalists. I would guess that the areas around the city are much, much more conservative Christian than the city itself. That's pulled completely out of my ass and brief exposure to the area.

I thought this was about dipshit evangelicals, not dipshit Texans.

Is there a difference? Oh, don't take offense. I'm just KIDDING!

There are certainly women out there who want to cede their brains to men.

And vice versa.

Using our natural warlock powers, we have issued a response to the Army of God five years in advance.

I <3 Jon Carroll.

Randall Sammons says he was fired from his job of 13 years in August after his boss learned Sammons was a swinger from another employee, a Repent member.

Doesn't that scream "unlawful termination"?

Repent Amarillo seems much more like terrorism than the guy who flew his plane into the federal building. Not sure why, but I'm wondering if empathy may be a factor.

Lastly, I always confuse Hal Lindsey with Hal Linden, yet they are nothing like each other.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:20 AM on March 4, 2010


Doesn't that scream "unlawful termination"?

Welcome to Texas, where a few weeks of "documented work issues" is enough to CYA.
posted by muddgirl at 11:05 AM on March 4, 2010


Actually, I don't even think you need that. Having a kinky sex life is not, I believe, a protected class.
posted by muddgirl at 11:11 AM on March 4, 2010


Seems like the Repent Amarillo people could get in trouble for loitering if they're there every time the owners of the swingers club come out of there. Or stalking.
posted by dog food sugar at 11:25 AM on March 4, 2010


Actually, I don't even think you need that. Having a kinky sex life is not, I believe, a protected class.

But you don't have to be a protected class to file an unlawful termination suit, right? If you were an otherwise model employee and fired because you were a competitive clogger, you'd have the same claim.

Anyway, I'm curious what the rights of employees are when their employees find out "damaging" personal information that is completely unrelated to their job.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:54 PM on March 4, 2010


I'm not a lawyer, but I thought the whole point of living in an "at will" state is that the employer can fire an employee at any time, for any reason, as long as that reason isn't "discriminatory" (where "discriminatory" means "the employee was part of a suspect class" such as race, gender, age, disability.) or "retaliatory" (ie, I can't be fired for reporting an ethics violation to a higher authority) or a few other federally-mandated reasons. A relevant passage:
Other reasons an employer may not use to fire an at-will employee are...
* not following own termination procedures – often, the employee handbook or company policy outlines a procedure that must be followed before an employee is terminated. If the employer fires an employee without following this procedure, the employee may have a claim for wrongful termination.
Most small companies don't even have employee handbooks, in my experience.

So, in Texas, if my boss found out I play with troll dolls after work, and he has a troll doll phobia, and either he follows company procedures or the company HAS no documented procedures, then I can be fired.
posted by muddgirl at 3:09 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I guess I could technically still file a suit for wrongful termination, if that's what you're asking. No one can stop me from filing the suit, unless Republicans pass all those legislative reforms that prevent businesses from getting sued.
posted by muddgirl at 3:11 PM on March 4, 2010


Wow, what a bunch of assholes "Repent" are. Not saying anything new, but damn.
posted by agregoli at 3:49 PM on March 4, 2010


My guess is we are going to be seeing more of these type of "churches." The Christian Right made mixing politics with religion attractive and popular and now the internet is spreading the news: you, too, can become a power player by starting your own church. A pinch of Fascism, a dab of fundamentalism, a heaping spoon of Patriarchy, stir...and voila..you have a potent cocktail sure to give drinkers a buzz that goes right to their head.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:17 PM on March 4, 2010


My guess is we are going to be seeing more of these type of "churches."

Remember, this kind of church is based on Ted Haggard's New Life Church in Colorado Springs, complete with the spiritual warfare nonsense, the wandering around neighborhood praying and claiming them for Jesus, etc. It's a model which has been spreading throughout the country for at least a decade now, if not more, and we will only see more of it as Millennialism and Dominionism take deeper hold on the Xianist mind in the US.
posted by hippybear at 4:52 PM on March 4, 2010


My guess is we are going to be seeing more of these type of "churches." The Christian Right made mixing politics with religion attractive and popular and now the internet is spreading the news

I agree with you on the result but not the cause. There's a doctrinal shift underway towards Dominionism, Reconstructionism & the New Apostolic Reformation/Latter Rain Movement. All of them include Spiritual Warfare in their core beliefs. Sooner or later they're going to start implementing it in a serious way & we'll start seeing more of this nonsense as they lay out maps & tagging buildings, streets & neighborhoods as Saved or Unsaved.

I still don't really understand the societal forces that brought it about because it bears no resemblance to any of the forms of Christianity I was exposed to growing up, but we're here now so start getting used to it.
posted by scalefree at 5:10 PM on March 4, 2010


Remember, this kind of church is based on Ted Haggard's New Life Church in Colorado Springs

No it's not.

New Life is a bunch of white suburbanites who want their nice teaching from their nice pastor and the status of being among the 10,000. Most of them wouldn't know what to do with a swinger if they saw one. Their theology is conservative evangelical, a couple steps short of fundamentalist. Yeah, they're anti-gay, but they're running the license plates of cars in gay club parking lots.

Repent Amarillo isn't even really a church. If it functions like any church, it's a cell church, but even that's tenuous since their actions look more like a terrorist cell.

Saying Repent Amarillo is based on New Life is like saying Al-Qaida is based on the Dome Of The Rock.
posted by dw at 6:30 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I agree with you on the result but not the cause. There's a doctrinal shift underway towards Dominionism, Reconstructionism & the New Apostolic Reformation/Latter Rain Movement. All of them include Spiritual Warfare in their core beliefs. Sooner or later they're going to start implementing it in a serious way & we'll start seeing more of this nonsense as they lay out maps & tagging buildings, streets & neighborhoods as Saved or Unsaved.

That is so ten/fifteen years ago. We were doing that stuff back in the mid-nineties. Heck, I even went to Thailand and prayed there. But the thing is, we did it quietly and didn't bother anyone. But the sort of stuff we were taught to pray was -well. things like blessing neighborhoods and asking God to prosper the neighbors and suchlike. And yes, this was taught out of Haggart's church as well as our own (My pastor knew him back then.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:42 PM on March 4, 2010


Remember, this kind of church is based on Ted Haggard's New Life Church in Colorado Springs

No it's not.


Well, I can only refer you to The Family, by Jeff Sharlett. My extended quote here begins on page 296. The chapter on New Life Church is pretty extensive, but I will only give you a page-and-a-half dealing with the beginnings of the church. It sounds exactly like what this guy is trying to start in Amarillo.

New Life began with a prophecy. In November 1984, a missionary friend of Pastor Ted’s named Danny Ost—known for his gifts of discernment—asked Ted to pull over on a bend of Highway 83 as they were driving, somewhat aimlessly, in the open spaces north of the city. Pastor Ted—then twenty-eight, married, father to Christy and Marcus, given to fasting and oddly pragmatic visions (he believes he foresaw Internet prayer networks before the Internet existed)— had been wondering why God had called him to this bleak city, then known as a “pastor’s graveyard.” Ost got out of the car and squinted. “This,” said the missionary, “this will be your church. Build here.”

So Pastor Ted did. First, he started a church in his basement. The pulpit was three five-gallon buckets stacked one atop the other, and the pews were lawn chairs. A man who lived in a trailer came round if he remembered it was Sunday and played guitar. Another man got the Spirit and filled a five-gallon garden sprayer with cooking oil and began anointing nearby intersections, then streets and buildings all over town. Pastor Ted told his flock to focus their prayers on houses with For Sale signs so that more Christians would come and join them.

He was always on the lookout for spies. At the time, Colorado Springs was a small city split between the air force and the New Age, and the latter, Pastor Ted believed, worked for the devil. Pastor Ted soon began upsetting the devil’s plans. He staked out gay bars, inviting men to come to his church; his whole congregation pitched itself into invisible battles with demonic forces, sometimes in front of public buildings. One day, while Pastor Ted was working in his garage, a woman who said she’d been sent by a witches’ coven tried to stab him with a five-inch knife she pulled from a leg sheath; Pastor Ted wrestled the blade out of her hand. He let that story get around. He called the evil forces that dominated Colorado Springs—and every other metropolitan area in the country—Control.

Sometimes, he says, Control would call him late on Saturday night, threatening to kill him. “Any more impertinence out of you, Ted Haggard,” he claims Control once told him, “and there will be unrelenting pandemonium in this city.” No kidding! Pastor Ted hadn’t come to Colorado Springs for his health; he had come to wage “spiritual war.”

He moved the church to a strip mall. There was a bar, a liquor store, New Life Church, a massage parlor. His congregation spilled out and blocked the other businesses. He set up chairs in the alley. He strung up a banner: SIEGE THIS CITY FOR ME, signed JESUS.He assigned everyone in the church names, taken from the phone book, they were to pray for. He sent teams to pray in front of the homes of supposed witches—in one month, ten out of fifteen of his targets put their houses on the market.8 His congregation “prayer-walked” nearly every street of the city.

Population boomed, crime dipped; Pastor Ted believed that New Life helped chase the bad out of town. His church grew so fast there were times when no one knew how many members to claim. So they stopped talking about “members.” There was just New Life. “Are you New Life?” a person might ask. New Life moved into some corporate office space. Soon it bought the land that had been prophesied, thirty-five acres, and began to build what Pastor Ted promised would be a new Jerusalem.

posted by hippybear at 9:51 PM on March 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Matthew 24:24:
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.


Conveniently, it is the belief of these kinds of people that it simply isn't possible for them to be deceived.
posted by Goofyy at 10:10 PM on March 5, 2010


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