Vanguards Of The Revolution

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Memo to Repent Amarillo and Operation Exodus: IT'S VERY COLD IN MINNESOTA.

I know I pick on the South a lot here, and I know it's true that there are religious wingnuts, paramilitary whackjobs, and bigoted pigfuckers all over America. But at the same time, we don't have Operation Exodus in Minnesota, there's no such thing as Repent St. Paul, and nothing could make me happier.

Where do we start? With the Texas fundie assholes or the Louisiana xenophobic fucknuts? Bossier Parish, where a loose association of good old boys is firing up the war wagon in preparation for vaguely-defined and somewhat off-putting threats? Or Amarillo, where the self-appointed, self-righteous moral monitors feel free to destroy your life if they decide they don't like how you live it?

On the basic principle that scary now should be dealt with before scary later, let's start with Repent Amarillo, the self-described "Special Forces of Spiritual Warfare". I'm pretty sure their website has been updated recently since they got attention from the Texas Observer, because there are a lot of messages for people who might misinterpret the excessive use of camo, olive drab, military fonts, etc. on their site. For example. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"To better understand what Repent Amarillo is, you must understand what it is NOT. It is NOT a 'protest group'. We do not protest. Protesting is political. We expose the darkness to the light of Jesus Christ, we reach out with the grace of Christ through a call to repentance, and we stand against the lies of the enemy by speaking the truth in love."

Now, if you're even remotely familiar with the antics of Christian fundie moralists, you know just what form that "speaking the truth in love" takes, but I think the details are worth mentioning. For example, Repent Amarillo found out about, or suspected the existence of, a private "swinger's club" in town. So, to speak the truth in love, they all got dressed up in fatigues, grabbed bullhorns, played Christian music really loud outside the club building, took down license plate numbers, filmed the members entering and leaving, and took it upon themselves to notify neighbors and co-workers about shit that was none of their fucking business.

They've also shut down a local production of "Bent", and accused a nature preserve's employees of witchcraft. Their "Warfare Map" has a bunch of colored pushpins in four categories: sexually-oriented businesses, idol worship, occult witchcraft, and "compromised church's" [sic]. Most of this is what you'd expect, but some of it is completely batshit insane.

For example, the Unitarian Universalist Church, which first, incorrectly has the red "sex" pushpin, and has the following description: "Pagan and witchcraft headquarters for Amarillo. Pagan and witchcraft celebrations and rites are performed here." Um, no. I realize that books, you know, other than that one book, are the embodiment of evil, but a bunch of light agnostics talking about them in a meeting room is not a pagan rite. You'd know that if you ever read one.

Christian Scientists, Muslims, Buddhists, and Masons get lumped under "idol worship". The only compromised church, which makes me wonder why they even bothered making it plural when it was clearly beyond their grammatical capability, is the Episcopal Church. So, you know, take that, Episcopalians. The only outlier amongst the actual sexual businesses is a family planning clinic, targeted because it "Brainwashes the young into using birth control rather than abstinence. Encourages abortion."

The fact that they think young people have to be brainwashed into fucking tells you all you need to know about these cosmic pigfuckers. I don't know what, if anything, the Amarillo authorities are doing to stop them (because I can't get to the Observer article for some reason), but I hope it's something.

I can't say the same about Operation Exodus in Louisiana, because, well, the authorities are in charge. Specifically, Bossier Parish sheriff Larry Deen, who is outfitting 200 hand-picked volunteers with riot shields, shotguns, and a motherfucking "war wagon" with a .50 cal machine gun mounted on it FOR FUCKING FUCK'S SAKE. Why is he doing this? What threat is this hick army supposed to confront? That's where Operation Exodus lacks the detail that makes Repent Amarillo so much fun.

"As evidenced by recent terror threats, it is apparent that homegrown terrorists are in our midst. With the easy accessibility of the internet, it is quite possible that these local and international terrorists can form a national or multiple location attack on our nation at any given moment. And no matter whether we are a direct target or not, fear and panic will still permeate our community." - the Operation Exodus press release, notable for its failure to mention either .50 caliber machine guns or war wagons.

You know what would cause fear and panic right now? Living in Bossier County and wearing a beard. There are two hundred deputized hicks with shotguns and a WAR MOTHER FUCKING WAGON HOLY SHIT, all on the lookout for homegrown terrorists using the Internet. Seriously. If you live in Bossier County, shave every day and wear sunscreen at all times. Your tanned ass will get shot by these people.

I don't worry much about Glenn Beck's audience getting up off their Dorito-encrusted couches and "taking back our government", but local militias and self-proclaimed spiritual armies? They will fuck up your day incredibly quickly. Which is why I do my damndest to live in a state where, nine months out of the year, the war wagon can't go on patrol until the plows have been out. Just saying.