Saturday, November 15, 2008

Gays Riot, Chase Christians from Castro District

2nd UPDATE: To watch the video of the testimony of one of the Christian girls go here.

UPDATE: Some details from the Daily Kos. (I don't link to this because the post is gloating about it.) "Every available police car in the district and some from outside of it were dispatched to deal with the resulting melee. It took a squad of 15 or 20 police officers with batons at the ready to escort the group of preachers several blocks to their cars, while the crowd dogged their heels every step of the way, chanting "Bigots out of our neighborhood" and "Don't come back".""

KTVU has some amazing raw footage from last night --- a mob of gays chasing Christians out of San Francisco's Castro district, with the police in riot gear trying to keep the gays back. I can't embed the video, so you need to go here to see it. Here's the story, but I hate to post it as it starts with the usual "both sides" falsehood. (I wonder if that is an official gay "talking point"?)
In San Francisco's Castro District, people on both sides of the same-sex marriage controversy confronted each other on Friday night, as police tried to keep the peace. Proposition 8 passed in a close vote and eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Members of the gay community said that almost every Friday night, a Christian group meets at the corner of Castro and 18th Streets. They try to convert gays and lesbians into a straight lifestyle.

This Friday night, the message didn't go over well. Some gays and lesbians reacted by trying to chase the group out of the Castro.

"Their rights were respected," said Joe Schmitz, an opponent of Prop 8. "They got a chance to go ahead and pray on the sidewalk and I had the opportunity to express my freedom of speech which is telling them to get out of my neighborhood."

San Francisco Police officers in riot gear formed a line and escorted the religious group into a van to safely get them out of the area.

Members of the gay community insisted that their reaction to the Christian group was spontaneous. "It was not an organized thing. We're tired of it. It's not religious. It's not a racial thing. It's about hate. We're trying to send a message across the world that we're standing up and we don't want this to go on anymore," said Adam Quintero.

So watch the raw footage of the police in riot gear and the crowd. At the two minute mark, or so, one gay man speaks into the camera:
“It’s our neighborhood! … And we don’t ever want them coming back! Ever! Do you understand that, other Christians? Do you understand that, other Mormons? I’m talking to you people! Yeah, you! Stay out of our neighborhood if you don’t like us! Leave us alone!”


Robert said...

It's a challenge to confirm love for someone who feels marginalised, and harder to overcome the sense of marginalisation, but isn't this, more than politics, what Jesus has called us to? Not at all that I would say for any one to open the church doors for "gay" rites, but after all, the Church's rites and sacraments are for her own, aren't they? How can we re-focus to see the "gay community" more as neighbors in need rather than as our enemies?

Perpetua said...

Hi Robert,

I think you are saying that the appropriate reaction to this story is not to view the "gay community" as our enemy but rather to view the individuals as in need.

But what are you suggesting we view them as in need of? The local Episcopal Diocese does view them as in need of God's message of all encompassing unconditional love and approval.

The Christians being chased out in this video probably had a message of God's redeeming love, offering redemption from sin. I am thinking their message is the more traditional one that God's love is unconditional but God's approval is not.

I think these Christians were chased out because the gays in the video are furious at the idea that they are perceived as sinners, overcome with hatred and anger that these Christians believe that homosexual behavior is not approved by God.

Robert said...

The philosophy prof here was invited to a bit of a roast a few years ago. It was a panel discussion on homosexuality & Christianity. He was the Christian respondent on a panel with NOW and (I think it was ACT UP), and about 45% of the crowd was "out." At the end of the discussion, the floor was open for questions and the first question to him opened with a word of thanks for his care, the question was more of a pastoral than belligerent nature, and that man sought him out after the event to thank him personally. Did he condone their "lifestyle?" Not a bit, but he showed concern for the people involved over and above an opinionated reaction to their rhetoric.

Why do we, as Church, get so upset about this particular manifestation of human sin? Could it be that we see the road map in Romans 1 and see the upcoming results of our incorporating all the other milestones as decor? Unless salvation applies to the whole life, "Christianity" becomes nothing more than an ill-defined label for any number of philosophies, quirks, and opinions. The good news is that there is no limit to the depth of new life in God for all who "with a true heart turn to Him."

Dave Raes said...

I heard one of the victims of the ordeal's version of the story. They were not preaching. They were worshiping and praying, not confronting anybody. They had hot coffee poured on 2 of the young girl's faces, one of them was being kicked, one of the girls was got punched in the head. Who was being hateful? Not them. Also, whistles were being blown in right in their ears.

Robert said...

For what it's worth, Dave, I wasn't putting an ounce of blame on the folks in the story, but the Church, generally, is the larger "target" here and, Prop 8 aside, have tended to make two mistakes up to this point. First, we have accepted, and lived out, a "Gospel" based much more on opinion than faith, and social normality rather than godly righteousness. Second, we've presumed to uphold our own adopted standards to the world instead of the standard of Christ.
The difference is that in the one we're all holding hands, or hands-in-pockets, in our own holy comfort zones, the other would have us "heart to God, hand to man" in a true heart of holy love.
The first we can all fake just fine: The second requires, and reflects, a real work of God.

Perpetua said...

Dear Dave Raes,

How truly terrible. Thank you for sharing what you have heard about this. There has been nothing in the local press since the one KTVU report.

Best regards