Sunday, July 1, 2018

A supposed Church's offensive sign is actually a personal message

By now many of you are probably familiar with the idiotic sign pictured above. Claiming that Jesus would not approve of LGBT people is foolish. Claiming that being LGBT is a hate crime is outrageous. It is also quite stupid. However, a few things about this are not quite right. My own theory is below the fold.

Let's start with the Internal Revenue Service. From my database I have reviewed every religious organization in Auburn, Indiana and none of them are even close. The Church was seemingly founded last year and it is possible that the 501(c)3 application is pending.

Robert Sturges
Robert Sturges
Several media outlets have attempted to contact the church and they speak with someone named Robert Sturges who claims to be a church elder. The reason that they end up speaking to Sturges might be the fact that the telephone number is for Robert Sturges, Real Estate Agent. It is probably his home phone. Does the church not have a telephone? Why did he include his number on the sign?

Sturges is an agent for a company called Indiana Real Estate whose owner, David Stafford, is a conservative Christian.

That telephone number also resolves to Knowing Jesus Fellowship which is also unknown to the IRS. A church locator site lists Mr. Sturges as senior pastor.  There is no street view of the address (613 E. 3rd St., Auburn, IN). From the satellite view it looks like a single-family home.

According to the hate group American Family Association:
Robert Sturges, an elder at RFC, said that the sign is not a personal statement of the church – but that it serves as a warning from God found in Scripture, which cautions readers that a man who sleeps with another man is “detestable” to God, who stands against such sexual perversion.

"We're trying to reach a certain group of people," Sturges told NewsChannel 15 in an interview. "They're being told in our culture that homosexuality, transvestites, lesbianism and sexual immorality is OK, but the Bible clearly says that those who practice these things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
AFA posted a bad link to the NewsChannel 15 interview. They also posted bad links to the Church's Facebook page. In fact, the user (heartmindsoulstrength) doesn't exist. while they were at it they posted a bad link to the supposed organizer of a protest.

My hypothesis?

Mr. Sturges wanted some attention. He posted his own telephone number intentionally in order to get that attention. The sign is his personal message of hate and stupidity.

It is also a message of hypocrisy. Sturges is misleading people. We do not need ancient texts to know that is wrong. On the other hand, he concludes, based on slavish devotion to those ancient chronicles, that sexual minorities are not only disapproved of but also a hate group.

Whether you approve or disapprove, our mission is for equal protection and due process. Where protected by local law we have the temerity to expect service in public accommodations. None of that is hateful. We are not haters. We are the objects of derision and oppression from people like Mr. Sturges.

The fact that his disapproval defies science and is based on scribblings written before people had any understanding of sexual orientation or sexual identity is moronic.

If Sturges reads this post he will probably conclude that I am a hater of [Christians | God | Sturges | Fill in the Blank]. That is based on the utterly false notion that calling out hate is intolerant. Guilty as charged. I am intolerant of intolerance. Imagine that. “You reap what you sow.”

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