This week, a number of Christian friends have shared a video featuring Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Church in Juliet, TN. In short, he’s pretty angry (as usual), this time with his local Target store’s policy to obey (wait for it)… the law.
Following the time-honored example set by click-baiting YouTube pastors who exploit controversial headlines to make a name for themselves by fanning flames of persecution among their fans, the pastor’s video comes on the heels of the Tennessee legislature’s failure to pass an anti-transgender bathroom bill that would require people to use the restroom of their gender at birth (regardless of whether they had already undergone full gender reassignment surgeries and lived successfully as their identified gender for decades). As of this writing, the video rant has been shared over 150,000 times, with almost 400,000 individuals signing a AFA pledge to boycott Target stores. Over what? Which type of genitals are connected to the waste factories in the stall next to them.
Side Note: Pastor Locke also become famous in certain Christian circles for encouraging students to “take an F” in history class in order to avoid “brainwashing” as part of the “Islamic invasion” into our schools.
EMPTY THREAT? Of course, many of these potty-shy petitioners also promised to boycott Target over their support of marriage equality and employment equality over the last few years. Why the need for a new boycott? Apparently, in practice, one’s deeply held religious convictions are no match for affordable housewares.
OH, THE SAD IRONY: Many viewers have been impressed and/or confused by the pastor’s random forced testimony of “doing dope” in the midst of his diatribe about perverts and pedophiles. However, what Pastor Locke doesn’t tell viewers is that he knows a thing or two about perverts preying on kids. Less than two years ago, Locke’s church re-hired a 34 year-old youth pastor who was later arrested on multiple accounts of raping a 13 year old girl from youth group at his previous church in North Carolina. (We’ve been unable to find any information on the final trial or sentencing, just mention of an alleged confession of guilt.)
To be fair, I must give pastor Locke the benefit of the doubt as to any prior knowledge of the assaults carried out by his youth leader at a previous church. Likewise, I certainly applaud the pastor for reporting the allegations to authorities as soon as he was made aware and removing the youth pastor from the staff of the church in order to protect others from harm. Due respect, Pastor Locke.
However, if you want to have a conversation about real threats to children in the community, let’s start with his own church.
In an attempt to obfuscate his wrath as something other than just another closed-minded discriminatory loudmouth bigotry, Locke claims that such laws and policies are only “stupid” because they create loopholes for perverts and pedophiles to prey on children in gender neutral bathrooms. The irony of Christians claiming that they “aren’t worried about transgender people”, but that these laws create loopholes for perverts, really only shows how they, themselves are using the overhyped false threat/fear of “perverts” as a loophole of their own to justify their latest bigotry and add to a growing persecution complex. (Just wait, as I’m sure this article will result in claims of hatred and attacks against the church.)
Locke goes on to trivialize the issue by implying that no public provisions should be accommodated for such a tiny subset that only “make up 0.03% of the population.” (By that standard, should we no longer accommodate people with cerebral palsy – making up less than 0.003 %?)
If Pastor Locke really thinks the stick figures posted on bathroom doors are protecting kids from perverts, well… it’s no surprise that he was honestly naive enough to be surprised that a shocking number of youth pastors are arrested for sex crimes against their own flock. Personally, I’d be much more worried about people washing their hands before touching the bathroom door after they poo than I would be worried about a “pervert” hiding outside the public bathroom stall, pleasuring himself to the sounds and smells of your kids’ plop-plops.
SERIOUS QUESTION: So, Pastor Locke, tell me again who it is that parents and their children are supposed to fear? Year after year, countless kids are molested by their pastors and youth leaders (though most would never come forward publicly). No, it doesn’t happen in public restrooms, just the recreation room at the neighborhood church on the corner. And, don’t get me stated on the “it’s mostly Catholic priests” nonsense – Protestants just get away with it more often because there isn’t a central body for media/investigators to focus on.
So, where’s your big public outrage video about actual pastors actually raping their students? Where is the mock anger? Where are the forced tears? Where is the video from when a member of your own staff was arrested for multiple counts of child rape?
In short, if you really want to protect kids from pedophiles and abusive indoctrination, why not boycott… the churches?
1. Mt. Juliet student pastor arrested for sex crimes in NC
2. Former Straightway Baptist Church youth pastor charged with 11 counts of sex crimes
3. Former Alamance Co. youth pastor charged with sex offenses
4. Youth pastor faces sex offense allegations
5. Youth pastor charged with sex crimes
6. Judge to rule on former youth pastor’s alleged statements prior to rape trial (latest news)
7. Tennessee pastor tells kids to ‘take an F’ because history class is part of an ‘Islamic invasion’
BONUS: If you want a little terrifying giggle, check out the grammatically challenged comments on this page, Tennessee Pastor Is Telling Kids To Rebel Against Islam In Their Schools And We Love It!
UPDATES: Apparently, according to timelines of YouTube videos, Michael Light actually served as a youth pastor at Greg Locke’s church on more than one occasion, bouncing back and forth between churches in TN and NC. Here’s a clip announcing Light’s original departure in 2012 (after the alleged NC rapes had already occurred, but before he bounced back and forth to land at Global Vision Church again, where he was eventually arrested and charged with 11 counts of sexual misconduct with a minor in 2014). Though, I’m sure this particular clip won’t remain online for long. They never do.
In other news, apparently Pastor Locke wasn’t happy with our story, as he popped by our Facebook page to say hello on Sunday:
We tried to follow up for clarification, posting links to all of the new stories I cited above, asking which part of the story was “bogus,” but the pastor never responded and simply deleted his post (mostly likely at the advice of his attorney who was on Sunday speed-dial).
Apparently, when some people who go out of their way to climb atop high horses in order to assume the position of judge and moral authority, they don’t appreciate being challenged for their own ironic hypocrisy? But of course, as expected – Pastor Locke followed articles like this one with a public post on Facebook (which has led to a self-fulfilling prophecy; more rally cries of persecution.)