Though incessantly threatening to stay away in droves from Gay Mecca, ultra-Christian fringies can’t seem to make up their righteous minds.
Boycott–kinda, sorta, maybe, not really I:
Within a week of calling for a “nationwide boycott” of Eureka Springs, the rabidly anti-gay Jericho Riders (so-called) Christian Motorcycle Ministry had an apparent change of heart and announced that it would be returning to hold yet another cast-out-the-queers “prayer walk” in Basin Park December 7.
As you may recall, Basin Park was the scene of an ugly incident Nov. 3 when one leather-clad bible thug and two minions surrounded, badgered and bellowed at city councilwoman Kathy Harrison and her young son until bystanders came to the rescue.
Though based in neighboring Missouri, the Jericho Riders are warmly welcomed locally by Rev. Phil “Flip” Wilson of the First Christian Church of Eureka Springs and Al Pryor, publisher of the weekly newspaper, Patriot’s Herald. Both vigorously opposed the city’s Domestic Partnership Registry which gives official city recognition to unmarried gay and straight couples. Wilson hosted a rally for the homophobic Riders at his church Nov. 2. Pryor writes blatantly-biased accounts of their visits.
Rumors are rife that Wilson’s homophobic grandstanding may soon cost him his pulpit and that mortified members of the congregation are prepared to hand him his hat.
Boycott–kinda, sorta, maybe, not really II:
From the We-really-didn’t-mean-it file: Eureka Springs resident and Jericho Rider associate, Kevin B. Thompson attempted to clarify the terms of the Riders’ “nationwide boycott” on the onenewsnow.com website: “Do not boycott our city, if you must boycott, then boycott the business that support the homosexual lifestyle.”
Falling on Deaf Ears
Earlier this fall, Thompson and sidekick “Pastor” Mike Mercer tried to convince the Eureka Springs Ministerial Alliance that the word “eclectic,” recently incorporated into the city’s campaign to attract tourists, was a “code word” for gay.
According to Thompson’s account on the Jericho Rider’s forum, the meeting did not go particularly well: “On September 13, Pastor Mike stood before the Eureka Springs Ministerial Alliance and spoke the truth to them. He told them that there is a homosexual agenda being pushed in the ‘branding’ of Eureka Springs, and he spoke against it. His words were met with apathy and complacency . . . Pastor Mike also spoke the truth to a group of Eureka Springs citizens and challenged them on ‘branding’ Eureka Springs with a homosexual message. His words were met with anger and hatred, and he was verbally attacked . . .”
Film flam: Run for Your Lives,The Homos Are Coming–to a DVD player near you
The notoriously anti-gay American Family Association has just released a video–starring Eureka Springs–entitled, “They’re Coming to Your Town.”
Guess who “they” are.
How, the AFA wants to know, “did a little town in Arkansas–with a name that is tied to religious events like the Great Passion Play–find itself under the control of a city government that has fully embraced the homosexual lifestyle?”
The AFA, it seems, has come to think of Eureka Springs as “gay hot spot” and a “national hub for homosexuals.” Apparently they’re trying to one-up Rev. Phil Wilson’s glorious slogan: “Eureka Springs is the most homosexual city in the South.”
“What we found,” says the film’s producer, “is a small town where approximately 10 percent of the population is either homosexual or ‘gay-friendly.’ And those pro-homosexual activists have effectively taken over the city’s government.”
Without firing a shot.
Boycott–kinda, sorta, not really III:
A tad savvier than the Jericho Riders, the AFA stops far short of advocating a Christian boycott of Gay Mecca: “But canceling trips and vacations in Eureka Springs is not hurting the homosexual activists, it’s hurting the Christian-owned businesses there.”
Boycott–kinda, sorta, maybe, not really IV:
Meanwhile, “traditional family values” newspaper publisher Al Pryor is blaming the Eureka Springs gay community for his publication’s potentially dire financial straits. In an editorial rife with sweeping generalizations he claims: “With the gays up in arms against us because we would not run the diversity weekend ad, they threaten to stop all business transactions with businesses that do run ads with us.”
“The gays,” Al? “They”? As in “all of them”?
Still, Pryor has the temerity to preface his broad-brush accusation with: “We have never mentioned anything in the Patriot (Herald) that could be considered anti-gay.”
No? How about this, earlier in the same column? “I chose not to run the (Diversity Weekend) ad because we do not believe it falls within the traditional family values that we have set as standards.”
Oh. Well, that’s different then. Nevermind.