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As I watched that hideous video showing Pastor Charles Worley's recent headline-grabbing rants about penning gays and lesbians inside miles-long electrified corrals until they die, I couldn't help but notice his surroundings. (Okay, go and watch it if you haven't seen it. But then come back and we'll talk.)
He preaches his particular style of self-righteous, good ol' boy hate from the pulpit of the Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, NC. This is not a store-front or a rustic, backwoods building, it's a beautiful traditional church, obviously designed and built with the prospect of honoring the Christian God.
If you could turn off the sound and watch this man Worley as he clutches his bible and moves around his pulpit, you might be lulled into thinking you were watching a man of God preaching in God's house. No such thing exists in that building posing as a church.
Picture a wedding in that space (a wedding between straight white adults, of course--signs of intelligence apparently not required), a baptism (poor baby), a funeral (I'm not going there). Many loving hands keep that interior pristine and lovely. Deep pockets provide the heavy-duty funding necessary to keep the building maintained. All so that their chosen pastor can step to the front on a Sunday morning and propose a final solution for lesbians and gays.
A group called the Catawba Valley Citizens against Hate is planning a peaceful protest at Providence Road Baptist on Sunday, May 27. They're trying to organize the rally on Facebook and I'm trying to help them by posting the link here. (Please pass it on.)
This is how those good people want it to go:
Reminder: This event is a peaceful protest organized in the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King and Gandhi. All participants of this direct action must vow to remain peaceful and non-violent. We will not scream, shout or taunt Pastor Worley or his church's members. We will not vandalize, threaten or injury property or persons. We will allow law enforcement to handle harassment and disputes that may arise. Protest Peace Keepers will be in charge and will provide instructions. If you cannot vow to remain peaceful & non-violent, then this event may not be for you.
If you're going to be anywhere near that area in North Carolina, please help them out. Huge crowds of peacekeeping activists would be great, but if you can't get there (as most of us can't) let's show our support by visiting their Facebook page to cheer them on.
(By the way, please don't confuse the Providence Road Church with the Providence Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC. They don't like that. With good reason.)
(Cross-posted at Ramona's Voices)