"Do you care more about the pigs around you or God?" BattleCry leader Ron Luce asked the crowd of more than 17,000 youth gathered at Wachovia Spectrum Stadium in Philadelphia on Friday, May 12. No, this wasn't a metaphor. After reading a passage from Luke 15 that mentions pigs, he actually had a bunch of those big, oinking, pink, farm animals on stage with him! Get it, you either get with Luce's hateful, hyperpatriotic, woman-bashing, racist god, or you're a... pig?
And it became clear during the BattleCry rally, all the talk of battles, warriors and war is not metaphor either.
White Man's Burden
Grainy images appeared on the stadium screens of indigenous Ecuadorians running and throwing spears. Proof of their "barbarism"? Never mind that their land was destroyed by oil development and their way of life undermined, these "savages" had killed five missionaries who came to destroy their belief systems decades ago. One of the supposed killers is brought on stage. He's been "civilized" by the Bible and calls on the youth to sign up for mission trips to go and convert others like him.
News flash to Luce's audience: These indigenous people, whose very existence is hanging by a thread""threatened by the encroachment of the "modern world" of exploitation, racism, environmental destruction and cultural genocide""are at least a hundred million people short of being "the most violent people in human history," even if they did what he accused them of.
Finally, after being programmed with these racist lies, Luce's flock flooded down to the floor of the stadium to sign up for missions this summer""to Africa, Latin America, the urban U.S., Australia, the Mideast and beyond. As they went, Ron Luce offered odd encouragement, "You guys are freaks of a whole different breed"You guys are a bunch of wild animals. Man!"
Ignorance and Patriarchy
Next up on the agenda""woman bashing. If you think the world needs an alternative to the worst misogynist heavy metal or hip-hop, but you still want to see women degraded, insulted, and dehumanized, Luce has got just the thing for you.
Lakita Wright, self-proclaimed "sexpert" who has spoken to nations, Congress, and more than half a million young people this past year, stepped up to preach the "naked truth" (get it?) about abstinence and purity. Her specialty seemed to be shamelessly promoting racist and sexist stereotypes that only a Black woman trying to outdo Bill Cosby might be able to get away with.
She began with a parable that portrays "Lies" as female and "Truth" as male, then launched an attack on all the established truths about safe sex and resurrected all the oldest stigmas against those, especially women, who would engage in sex outside patriarchal marriages.
She reserved special derision for the "stupid" young women whose lives are disrupted because they have a baby. "Don't blame him [the baby]. It's your fault. You should have zipped it up. Locked it down. Clank. Clank." She drew chuckles from many men when she "slipped" and called women "flea-males," saying, "Did I say that? Well, if you lie down with dogs""
Wright led a call-and-response about hundreds of sexually transmitted diseases and listed, with great drama, all the pain and disfigurement they can cause. Then, while claiming to care about these diseases, she went on to assail one thing that is proven to prevent them: "Condoms don't work."
Wright bemoaned the fact that judges in the U.S. today aren't required to study the Mosaic books of the Bible. These are the parts of the Bible that celebrate taking your enemies as slaves, killing their babies, and forcing women to be concubines (sex slaves), traded and controlled as possessions, and subject to the most horrific of abuses.
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