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Friday, October 24 2014 @ 07:45 AM CDT

Bash Back! Lansing: Why We Chose Mount Hope Church

News ArchiveIn the past weeks there has been an unprecedented amount of controversy and reaction to the Bash Back! action at Mount Hope Church, in Lansing
Michigan. Thanks to the media (who have failed to cover this with any amount of effort or concern for the truth), as well as incessant blogging. Many important pieces of information have been lost, and at times, changed completely. We would like to set some things…”straight”! In order to provide a full explanation, we will break this into parts. Bash Back! Lansing: Why We Chose Mount Hope Church

This is reposted from bash back! news. A member of Bash Back! Lansing explains why Mt. Hope Church was the target.

Ok, so again I feel the message of Why we chose Mt. Hope is getting lost.
Here again is the piece we crafted to explain. Feel free to forward
widely.

What was that noise !?

Bash Back! responds to the backlash

In the past weeks there has been an unprecedented amount of controversy
and reaction to the Bash Back! action at Mount Hope Church, in Lansing
Michigan. Thanks to the media (who have failed to cover this with any
amount of effort or concern for the truth), as well as incessant
blogging. Many important pieces of information have been lost, and at
times, changed completely. We would like to set some things…”straight”!
In order to provide a full explanation, we will break this into parts.

* Why Mount Hope Church?
* Why these tactics and what did we hope to accomplish?
* Dispelling myths.

Why Mount Hope Church?

The first issue we would like to address is the nationally wide-spread
question of, “Why Mount Hope Church?” (MHC) Good question. The first
thing to realize is we did not just randomly pick a place, nor did we
pick the biggest place. A lot of issues went into our decision; I will
discuss the major ones: First, MHC’s stance on queer identities. In their
recent press release, Dave Williams (or D-Willy as we affectionately
refer to him) states that they simply see being gay as a sin equal to any
other, such as, lying or stealing. This is a sneaky way of getting off
the hook. You can see for yourself that they take it much more seriously.
According to one of MHC nearly all forms of sexual expression (and
specifically homosexuality) are considered “sexual addiction”. Openly
lumping homo’s in with such sinners as peeping-Toms, flashers and even
rapists!!! These “addictions” they work to “cure” through strict “support
groups” such as Dunamai (see web link at bottom).And at times even send
men to live in brainwashing camps such as Pure Life Ministries (see
bottom). They also organize with other ex-gay organizations such as Love
in Action, Homosexuals Anonymous, and L.I.F.E. Ministries. It is clear
that MHC takes an active approach to repress queer identity and all forms
of sexual expression out side of the Christian, straight, married and
husband controlled structure. This ruins people’s whole lives and
families by making them repress their desires so completely that they
grow to hate themselves and/or act out against or ignore their spouses
and families. This church is nothing short of a disease in the community,
and in the minds of those who attend.

“D-willy”, Pastor of Mount Hope, (and personal enemy of Bash Back!)
stated that he did not “choose to identify MHC as anti-choice”.
However, every Halloween the Church puts on the heavily protested
“Hell House”, an extremely offensive and yes RADICAL approach to shock
people into their right wing belief structure. One of the rooms within
this Hell House completely inaccurately depicts a womyn receiving an
abortion. In the act, the doctor uses dirty tools, and horrible
machine sounds play over loud speakers. With the presence of demons,
and her screams of pain, one leaves feeling like they just witnessed a
most violent atrocity. How is this not actively anti-choice?

Another important reason that MHC was chosen, was the deep personal tie
many organizers have to the church. Some members of Bash Back! have
been members of MHC. Others were raised in evangelical churches very
similar in message and method. For them, this was a liberating step. A
personal confrontation with those who had made the journey to adulthood
and personal identity a struggle wrought with self-hate, repression,
guilt and loneliness. All of which eventually evolved into healthy
anger, strength, free sexual expression, and activism. This has helped
to build a strong community within Bash Back! And we support their
choice to confront those that would choose to put them back in that
dark place of self-hate!

From here I could go into all the other reasons MHC should be
confronted. For example, the undeniable fact that mega-churches are
really just big business. Seen by the way they pressure their
“congregation” (or audience) to buy their books and DVDs and other
product. Or the incredible amount of money grossed by that church in a
year. Another reason is the international church plantings. MHC has No
regard for indigenous culture. There are dozens of reasons we chose
Mount Hope Church.

Related links:

L.I.F.E. Ministries:
http://www.freedomeveryday.org/men/index.php

Pure Life ministries:
http://www.purelifeministries.org/

Dunamai:
http://www.dunamai.org/

related article that mentions MHC’s involvement in ex-gay work
http://www.ecinc.org/RealChanges.htm

“Our culture is permeated with sexual imagery. Magazine racks offer
pictures of girls in teensy bikinis. Primetime situation comedies almost
continually revolve around sexual storylines involving teenage
promiscuity, extra-marital affairs, homosexuality and worse.”

“At times, a pastor or counselor may very well find himself helping men
who frequent adult bookstores, strip clubs, massage parlors and
prostitutes. On occasion, he may also be compelled to minister to men
involved with peeking in windows, exposing themselves to women, making
obscene telephone calls, sexually assaulting others, or even having sex
with animals. He will most certainly deal with promiscuity—among teenagers
and adults. More than likely he will minister to homosexuals—both male and
female.”

What did Bash Back! hope to accomplish? Why these shocking tactics?

There were a few main points and goals of this action:

* To confront the oppressors that run the church and show them some of us
are unafraid and will resist them. Calling them out IN FRONT of their
congregation was an important part of that. Showing that we are angry with
their destructive behavior was also an important part of the message.
* To provide a space for those who had been mentally tortured by MHC and
other places similar to confront their “demons” and fight back! Their
emotional health was a very real concern of this action.
* To show the youth we are not alone! With an action of great energy and
helpful fliers we wanted to send a message of acceptance and
understanding. We realize that thinking you might be queer in a church
like that is terrifying. And unbearably lonely. By tossing out a thousand
flyers we provided a way “out”. Or at least planted the seed.
* And to generate visibility to Bash Back!! To build momentum and give us
energy to our movement. I think we nailed that one.
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