Lee Fang links to some very important writing on the rise of a neo-fascist Christian hate group in Amarillo, Repent Amarillo.
One of the nation's most conservative cities (McCain won Potter County 69-30), Amarillo already seems like a really tough place to be gay, an environmentalist, or even a Democrat.
And it's gotten much worse.
The Texas Observer has a great piece about Repent Amarillo. It has targeted the underground swinger scene in Amarillo. Because no one in Amarillo really wants to defend the swingers, Repent Amarillo has been able to intimidate with fervor, gain credibility, and expand their targets.
What’s next for Repent? They’ve posted a “Warfare Map” on the group’s Web site. The map includes establishments like gay bars, strip clubs and porn shops, but also the Wildcat Bluff Nature Center. Repent believes the 600-acre prairie park’s Walmart-funded “Earth Circle,” used for lectures, is a Mecca for witches and pagans. Also on the list are The 806 coffeehouse (a hangout for artists and counterculture types), the Islamic Center of Amarillo (“Allah is a false god”), and “compromised churches” like Polk Street Methodist (gay-friendly).
The statement of future targets reads:
1. Gay pride events.
2. Earth worship events such as “Earth Day”
3. Pro-abortion events or places such as Planned Parenthood
4. Breast cancer events such as “Race for the Cure” to illuminate the link between abortion and breast cancer.
5. Opening day of public schools to reach out to students.
6. Spring break events.
7. Demonically based concerts.
8. Halloween events.
9. Other events that may arise that the ministry feels called to confront. These large events may involve both the intercessory prayer AND the soldier groups. Some of the smaller events that can be accomplished in between the larger events may be:
1. Sexually oriented businesses such as pornography shops, strip joints, and XXX-rated theaters.
2. Idolatry locations such as palm readers, false religions, and witchcraft. Many of the smaller missions listed above may be just prayer oriented missions for tearing down demonic strongholds or they may involve more aggressive use of soldiers and prayer warriors. Some other missions occasionally employed may be “undercover operations” where thegroups show up together but are not publicly visible together to effect the outcome of a public meeting such as city commissioners meetings, etc.
The group is also organizing a boycott of Houston because its voters elected a gay mayor. Repent Amarillo is using the term "sanctions" to describe what they are trying to do.
Repent Amarillo has already had a major impact in the community through their intimidation. Fang notes:
Repent has struck with some success at many of its enemies within the town. A community theater attempted to open “Bent,” a play about the persecution of homosexuals during Nazi Germany. But the day before opening night, Repent members helped shut down the play by calling in fire marshals to complain about the theater’s permit. Staffers at a nature preserve were featured on local news defending themselves against Repent accusations that their site represents something related to witchcraft.
I'm waiting for Repent Amarillo to attack breast cancer survivors on a Race for the Cure walk. Sadly, I see little reason that many in Texas and on the growing violent right won't support this.