What A World

By their Websites, Ye Shall Know Them

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It’s not just about the dollars for Pastor Dave

by Nancy Ford

NancyFord at deskPastor David H. Grisham, director of Repent Amarillo and Raven Ministries, was full of Christian love during the Christmas season.

“A lot of the time we end up giving gifts that people don’t even want, much less need,” the Texas Panhandle evangelist compassionately wrote in a post on ThePrairieNews.com, the web presence of West Texas A&M University’s student newspaper. “We need to change the way we think. This year give something to someone who needs it. Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Show love to the lonely. Jesus will thank you. . . .”

Now that Christmas has come and gone, it appears Pastor Dave is taking a break from feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and showing love to the lonely to call for an economic boycott of Houston.

Pastor Dave doesn’t appreciate the fact that Houston voters just elected a mayor who is a lesbian, adding that he has nothing personal against our new mayor, mind you. It’s just the sodomite thing. He likes Planned Parenthood’s new facility on the North Loop even less.

“Houston has elected an openly homosexual mayor and built the largest abortion clinic in the United States and you can do something about it!” Pastor Dave writes on BoycottHouston.com. “Please make your voice heard and join our cause. By signing the online petition you send Houston a message: That you are tired of babies being murdered and the radical homosexual agenda being shoved down the throat of normal society.”

For a time, Amarillo was known as the helium capital of the world. I mention this because if you imagine Pastor Dave’s words being spoken in a high-pitched, gas-sucking, chipmunk voice, it’s slightly more entertaining.

Pastor Dave continues by calling on like-minded believers to withhold any kind of financial support from our sinful town. That includes vacationing Christians planning a trip to AstroWorld OsteenWorld. That includes sick Christians needing essential medical care provided by Houston’s Medical Center (providing they can find comparable care at another facility, Pastor Dave charitably adds.)

It’s possible that Pastor Dave forgot that the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is scheduled next month. This might not be the best time to ask his fellow Amarillites (Amarillards? Amarillonians?) to stay away from Houston, what with Amarillo also being known as “Beef City,” and the rodeo being Texas’s prime venue to sell that beef. One word of reminder, Pastor Dave, lest ye forget: Oprah.

A quick perusal of Pastor Dave’s other website, RepentAmarillo.com, with its pervasive military theme, reveals that Pastor Dave’s call for an economic boycott of Houston may be the least of our worries. Here we see images of combat-ready, saluting soldiers in uniform. A helicopter hovering over an armored Humvee. A soldier’s helmet with the image of a raven gashed into it in blood. Bullet holes materializing to the sound of gunfire. An erect tank. Scripture referring to battle and swords and all that butch stuff. The site’s definition of a “Soldier for Christ” reads, in part: “. . . A soldier for Christ wants to leave no man behind.”

Now, just stop it with your Greek Army jokes. This is serious.

The definition continues: “We will fight unto death for the cause of eternal life through Christ Jesus. We will wage a good spiritual warfare untill [sic] our King calls us home. May we leave this earth desperately clinging to one more lost soul.”

Did somebody say jihad?

There’s more. The website’s handy-dandy “warfare map” indicates with differently colored pushpins the locations of various Amarillo businesses and other venues that “need your prayers.” Blue pins for “occult witchcraft,” like the Wildcat Bluff Nature Center which Pastor Dave believes hosts a pagan “Earth Circle.” Green pins for “idol worship,” like at the Universalist Church and the Islamic Center of Amarillo. Yellow pins for “compromised churches,” like St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, which welcomes gay and lesbian worshippers. Red pins for “sexually oriented businesses,” like the Panhandle Regional Family Planning Clinic and OutStanding Amarillo, the city’s LGBT community center.

According to the 2000 U.S. census, there were 67,699 total households in Amarillo. Of those 67,699 households, 82 were headed by male couples, and 186 were headed by female couples. In other words, simple math tells us that 10 years ago, at least 536 gay people lived in Amarillo. Make that 536 openly gay people. Who knows how many gay and lesbian families there prefer to stay in their Amarillo closets, fearful of their whereabouts being flagged by one of Pastor Dave’s colorful pushpins?

God help me, I agree with Pastor Dave: these locations and the people who frequent them do need our prayers. This guy, this “man of God,” has a fixation on guns and warfare and men in uniform, and a thing against the gays. And a tactical map to help him find them.

On July 27, 2009, Jim D. Adkisson walked into Knoxville, Tennessee’s Unitarian Universalist Church with a shotgun and 76 shells and opened fire, killing two people and wounding four others. In a letter found after the attack, Adkisson justified his actions by citing his hatred for the church’s support of liberal social policies, including its acceptance of gays and lesbians.

Please pray for the safety of our friends in Amarillo. Jesus will thank you.

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