Repent America members have been arrested numerous times for commandeering and shouting down city council meetings, public festivals, even baseball games. (Previous XGW coverage.)
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, an organization of avowed pro-violence socialists called Philadelphia Anti-Racist Action apparently decided Dec. 6 to give Marcavage’s group some of its own medicine: Seven PARA members caused a disturbance outside the home of Repent America activist Linda K. Beckman, who had spent 10 days in jail for her own efforts to thwart police and disturb the peace in Philadelphia.
Like Repent America and its supporters (including Exodus International), Anti-Racist Action is anti-tolerance.
The Anti-Racist Action web site promotes warfare against opposing ideologues — and (in Ohio) against police who get in the way of that war. Here’s a sample ad for the site. Note the human hand brandishing a lit petrol bomb:
Repent America disturbs the peace and incites police action in order to achieve arrest. PARA employs a similar strategy. Let’s compare the two groups’ tactics.
Repent America disrupts public events by using megaphones to drown out the event with fundamentalist condemnations and self-righteous songs. Sometimes they seize control of the podium and microphone, and refuse to allow others to speak. Then they resist arrest.PARA allegedly shouted foul language and taunted Beckman to come out of her house and fight. One PARA member who allegedly slugged a police officer was arrested. After failing to post bail, 26-year-old Jason Robbins was hauled off to a county prison.
Marcavage told the Philadelphia Inquirer that his group shouldn’t be treated the way it treats others: “You can’t be chanting profanities and having signs with obscene messages. That’s not protected by the First Amendment.” Repent America’s tactics aren’t protected, either. In fact, Repent America strategically chooses to violate others’ freedom of speech and association in order to get arrested and gain the publicity that it seeks.
Ex-Gay Watch opposes the disruptive shoutfests and anti-police activities of both Repent America and PARA. But, since Exodus supports Repent America’s warfare and voices insincere opposition to their publicity-seeking arrests, I trust that Exodus will (in all fairness) applaud PARA’s “free speech” rights as well.