“He who lives in love lives in God”
Brazoria County resident Scott Feuless challenged anti-gay and anti-trans hate speech made by Steve Hotze and other members of a shadowy pastors council in a room of well-known pastors and public figures earlier today at the Houston Country Club during a brunch titled the “Pastors Roundtable Lunch” put on by Recover America Now. Love?
The program began with discussions by Hotze and several others heralding the “success” of defeating the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and presenting their strategy to amend the city charter of Houston to ban Drag Queen Story Hour. After the first few presenters, the program took a 15-minute intermission so people could take a few moments to chat and eat.
That’s when Feuless took the stage.
“This reminds me of a Bible verse that I’m very fond of that I think applies today. John, Chapter 4, verse 16. He who lives in love, lives in God, and God lives in them,” he said.
“Not ‘he except for gay people’. Not ‘he except for transgender people’. Everyone.”
Recover America Now’s founder Rick Scarborough moved Mr. Feuless away from the pulpit immediately after the statement, then threatened briefly to call security on him. Scott said “I would love that”; nothing further came of it.
Feuless was also confronted at the door by a member of the organization, who called him a rebel and said “you know what? You were very rude” to which he replied “How are you going to sit here and judge?... ‘Judge not lest ye be judged the same way.’”
“God’s going to condemn you,” the member said as the conversation ended.
This wasn’t Feuless’ first rodeo confronting bigotry. Feuless was actively involved in standing alongside Kai Shappley, a transgender elementary school student whose story went national when the Superintendent of the school district compared being trans to “bestiality” in response to concerns from the student. In 2017, Pearland city council candidate Dalia Kasseb faced discrimination from her opponent in the race based on her religion. In April, a Pearland email went out targeting anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant voters. In each of these fights, Feuless has pushed back against discrimination in his community. Just these past few months, widespread allegations of anti-black racism have also come to light in Brazoria County, including two young white boys joking about physically harming a young black kid with a machete as he jumped the fence out of their yard.
Featured speakers for the Pastors Roundtable Lunch were Dinesh D’Souza and General William Boykin. D’Souza is a conspiracy theorist with a long career of virulently racist distortions of history, including saying slaves were treated “like property, which is to say, well” and that the “cultural left” caused 9/11. He once openly mocked school shooting victims. You may remember him as the guy Trump pardoned for committing campaign finance violations.
Boykin, a foreign policy adviser to Ted Cruz’s 2016 campaign, has directly attacked Muslims for years through crackpot theories and claims so vile that even most prominent voices on the right throughout his career have distanced themselves from him. He once wrote that "most mosques in the United States already have been radicalized, that most Muslim social organizations are fronts for violent jihadists and that Muslims who practice sharia law seek to impose it in this country." Boykin has also alluded to anti-trans sentiment in the past, once saying he didn’t want a “man in the restroom with his daughter”.
Hotze is infamously anti-trans. He once referred to trans people as having “perverted thinking” and that they were “promoting a Satanic movement” and held a press conference after the roundtable to attack Drag Queen Story Hour following the event.
Scarborough once called same-sex marriage a sign that America is moving "closer to hell" and told E. W. Jackson he is willing to be burned to death opposing gay rights. He describes AIDS as "God's judgment" and supports filing class-action lawsuits against homosexuals for "subjecting people to becoming AIDS sufferers".
The host committee also featured Pastor Ed Young of Second Baptist Church, who said at John Culberson’s defeat party that Democrats were members of a “Godless religion”. Young also supported SB6, The Texas Legislature’s notorious anti-trans bathroom bill from the 2017 Legislature.
This also coincides with a rise in the national consciousness of the systemic power issues surrounding Dominionistic cults. In 2018, it was widely reported that Dominionists had launched a legislative assault called Project Blitz in which they tried to pass two dozen bills in as many state legislatures as possible, including denying LGBT couples marriage and adoption access and using loopholes to inject Dominionistic influence into all aspects of school curricula. Most recently, the best-selling book and popular Netflix show “The Family” has revealed a globally connected network of hyper-conservative prayer breakfasts that have inherently inspired crackdowns on civil rights and influenced worldwide markets, geopolitics, and electoral outcomes.
(Video Credit: Joseph Say of Pantsuit Republic)