Friday, March 5, 2010

This Is What Militant Looks Like

I've complained before about Christians regularly calling atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris "militant", and I've also restrained from applying the same charge back towards Christians. However, I don't think I'm out of line when I call Repent Amarillo a gang of militant Christians. Just take a look at their website (fair warning: be ready for annoying music, sound effects, and excessive graphics that scream, "I'm trying too hard to impress you with my web design skills!").

Judging from the images (the above image is the site's header), you'd think they're a full blown military outfit with humvees, helicopters, and self-propelled artillery. They even call themselves the "Special Forces of spiritual warfare". Don't be fooled. They're little more than a small band of thugs who run around in black shirts and camouflage pants terrorizing those they dislike. Their leader, David Grisham, is a security guard for the Pantex nuclear facility, but he becomes a "pastor" in his spare time who cares far too much about the private activities of others.

The Texas Observer was the first (that I'm aware of) to highlight the group's activities. Apparently, Amarillo is an extremely conservative and Christian city to begin with, but Repent Amarillo fancies itself as the city's enforcers of Christian law. Nevermind what the US Constitution says. Anyway, Repent Amarillo regularly shows up at gatherings and businesses they find disagreeable, which includes the usual Christian gripe list. From their website:

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.


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 the groups show up together but are not publicly visible together to effect the outcome of a public meeting such as city commissioners meetings, etc.

Their tactics include harassing private citizens at the above locations and calling the police to report infractions, no matter how mundane. Over the last year, they've became downright frightening with a local swingers' club. They would wait outside in the parking lot with cameras, blaring Christian music, and harassing the swingers when they left. The gangs members would also take down license plate numbers and retrieve the swingers' personal information, which they would then use for a personal smear campaign. In a conservative town like Amarillo, the swingers have lost their jobs and become ostracized from society. David Graham says he's only doing it to save the swingers' souls and drive the devil from Amarillo. Listen David, if you want these people to become Christians, you're doing it wrong.

Now they've set their sights on the favorite target of Christian nutjobs: the gays. Repent Amarillo recently managed to block the showing of Bent, a play about the persecution of homosexuals within Nazi Germany. Um...yeah. When you find yourself trying to cover up some of the more egregious activities of the Nazis, you should really rethink your position.

Many others have already commented on this group, and the usual title for them has been the "Texas Taliban". I can't think of a better way to describe them. They already act like the morality police within several Muslim countries. Thank science they don't have the force of law behind them too. Let's make sure it stays that way.

You can read what others have said about Repent Amarillo here, here, and here.

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