On Sunday, November 9, a band of about 30 gays stormed a church in Lansing, Michigan. Some were well dressed—as if they were legitimately attending the church service—and were stationed inside Mount Hope Church; others were outside of the building dressed in pink and black. The group of self-described homosexual anarchists, Bash Back!, claimed the evangelical church is guilty of “transphobia and homophobia.”
The protesters outside the church were beating on buckets, shouting “Jesus was a homo” on a megaphone and carrying an upside-down pink cross. Inside the church, the well-dressed protesters set off fire alarms, stormed the pulpit and unfurled a huge rainbow-colored flag with the inscription, “IT’S OKAY TO BE GAY! BASH BACK!” The church was vandalized, obscenities were shouted and worshippers were confronted. There were no arrests.
Bash Back!, a nationwide organization, had been planning on terrorizing the church for a month before executing their protest.
The facts are indisputable—all one has to do is visit the website of Bash Back! There one will find that on October 12 and 23, a memo was sent to members of the group to commemorate the founding of “Michigan’s newly formed chapter” asking “Queers and Trannies” to join in storming the church. The group boasts that in 2008 there has been “an explosion in Radical Trans/Queer organizing,” citing progress that has been made from “Maine to the Midwest to The Bay Area.” Bash Back! was founded to fight “State recognition in the form of oppressive institutions such as marriage and militarism”; it says both are “steps towards heteronormative assimilation.” The radical nature of the organization has led it to protest pro-gay marriage organizations like the Human Rights Campaign.
Eaton County Sheriff Mike Raines was able to ID the protesters, but unfortunately the pastor of the church did not want to press charges; therefore, the guilty got off scot-free.
This urban fascism was labeled by the left-wing site, the Daily Kos, as a “funny story,” and it conducted a survey on the subject. Only 19 percent thought what Bash Back! did crossed the line.