San Antonio megachurch pastor John Hagee had this to say to nonbelievers in a “War on Christmas” sermon delivered over the holidays:

If you pass a manger scene and someone is singing “Joy to the World,” you can take your Walkman and stuff it into your ears, or you can call your lawyer. Or you can just exercise your right to leave the country. Planes are leaving every hour on the hour, get on one.

Yeah, well, an increasing number of people are taking the first flight out of America’s churches, and pastors like Hagee are a reason why.

But given Hagee’s history, it’s a bit of a surprise that he stopped with atheists. He somehow forgot to tell the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Mormons, Sikhs, Shintoists, Bahá’ís, Taoists, Rastafarians, Pagans, Flying Spaghetti Monsterists, Jedis and any Christian that wants no part of Hagee’s divisive rhetoric to get out of the country.

Oh, and gay people. Let’s not forget gay people.

Because it’s John Hagee’s Christian nation and the rest of y’all are just here visiting.

Here’s the video, courtesy of our friends over at Right Wing Watch:

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This is what rapidly changing attitudes and a shift toward acceptance and equality across the country, and even in Texas, will (potentially) do to the stridently anti-gay religious right.

The San Antonio-Express News is out with a story this week about the Alamo City’s efforts to pass a non-discrimination ordinance that, among other things, says businesses can’t tell prospective patrons to take their business elsewhere simply because they’re gay or lesbian. You can read the story here. Sorry, but it is behind a paywall.

The story notes two things we think are interesting and telling.

First, the city’s smaller churches have opposed the proposed ordinance. But Catholic leaders and San Antonio’s larger evangelical congregations have been somewhat mum on the matter. Writes the Express-News:

There’s a reason for that silence, some observers said: No single topic in recent years has so polarized congregations and entire denominations as same-sex attraction.

Even conservative pastors worry about its potential for discord in their own flocks — or about being called homophobes for making religious arguments against gay marriage in the public arena.

Next thing of note is the reporter’s attempt to get comment from San Antonio’s… Read More

Did you know that students attending private schools in Texas today face discrimination like African-American students did during the era of racial segregation? Sen. Dan Patrick, the Republican chairman of the Texas Senate Education Committee, seems to think so.

Sen. Patrick was speaking at Tuesday’s Education Committee hearing on Senate Bill 573, a measure that would permit private and religious schools as well as home-schoolers to compete with public schools in the state’s University Interscholastic League (UIL):

“When you say the UIL has functioned for a hundred years, and everybody’s been happy, if you were black in this state before the civil rights movement, it didn’t function for you. And now I feel there’s discrimination against Catholics and Christians in these parochial schools. And the same testimony would have been given before this committee in the 1950s, ‘it’s going to be an unlevel playing field if we let those black players play.’ You know, traditions must be broken, people must be accepted, and no one should be discriminated in Texas, and we’re one of only four states that do not allow this this. And I really hope the coaches would remember what happened in the civil rights… Read More

Many of the hateful, sometimes highly political comments some of the people connected to The Response — the Gov. Rick Perry-hosted and supposedly nonpolitical prayer rally in Houston later this summer — are anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Home Depot, anti-Barney the Dinosaur, anti-you name it. And also pro-violence? The event's info packet lists  Pastor Stephen Broden as one of the endorsers of The Response. Broden, of Dallas, ran for Congress as a Republican in 2010 but was defeated in the general election. A few weeks before the election, a Dallas TV reporter confronted Broden about comments he has made from the pulpit, including that the violent overthrow of the government was "on the table" if elections did not produce the results he wanted. Vote for me, or else? From Broden: We have a constitutional remedy. And the Framers say if that don't work, revolution.…… Read More

Gov. Rick Perry and his spokespeople have for a couple of weeks continued to claim that The Response, a Christian prayer and fasting event organized by the hate group the American Family Association and the governor, is not a political rally. Gov. Perry can continue to make that claim, but the people he's partnered with have no reservations about mixing religion and politics. Read More