Rainbow Flag Brings Out Bigots in Kansas

Rainbow_flag_kansas

A heterosexual couple who display a rainbow flag next to an American flag outside their bed and breakfast in the small town of Meade, Kansas have now found themselves the target of local bigots and a newspaper that they say is trying to put them out of business. After the local paper ran an article about the flag, a nightmare of bigot hell broke loose that had nothing to do with those other haters from Kansas:

Knight says the radio station has called him threatening to remove the restaurant’s commercials if he does not remove the flag. A local pastor stopped by said it was equivalent to hanging women’s panties on a flag pole. When Knight jokingly said he might consider that – the preacher said he would have him arrested.

His business has suffered – down to only a few local customers. The folks in Meade who’ve boycotted say it’s too offensive for them to eat there.

Local resident, Keith Klassen says the flag is a slap in the face to the conservative community of Meade. “To me it’s just like running up a Nazi flag in a Jewish neighborhood. I can’t walk into that establishment with that flag flying because to me that’s saying that I support what the flag stands for and I don’t,” says Klassen.

The B&B’s owner, J.R. Knight, is standing his ground despite the hate he is facing from certain townspeople.

Said Knight: Any gay or lesbian people that do stop by will be treated with the best service I can give you. When this rainbow flag shreds, I will buy another one, and another one, and another one – just like my American flag, I’ll buy another one.”

This man is a hero in my book. When in Kansas, stay at the Lakeway Hotel, and somebody give this man a medal! J.R. Knight, we applaud you.

Rainbow Flag Creates Controversy [kbsd]

Comments

  1. GBM says

    In a horrific twist, homophobes now appropriate the Holocaust in defending their bigoted views, despite the fact that the Nazis rounded up and persecuated homosexuals too.

  2. gordon says

    what is wrong with Kansans, for the love of G-d?! this just makes me really, deeply sad.

  3. ben says

    I think that it is so cute that the little boy bought it because it reminded him of over the rainbow from the wizard of oz, it goes to show that kids like things because they think these items are cool, why can’t adults think back to when they were kids how no matter who you were or what an item represented they liked them or it because of the “cool” factor. Also the fact that no one in the town know what the rainbow flag stood for until some hateful, ignorant, ADULT, polluted the minds of the townspeople, goes to show you how “sheepish” some people can be.

  4. Mike says

    I think Kieth Klassen means to say, “It’s just like running up a Jewish flag in a Nazi neighborhood”.

  5. Barry Grubs says

    I’m sending them a donation to help defray the cost of the loss of business…remember guys, this is Kansas…a few bucks will go a long way!

  6. Zeke says

    These people are true accidental heros!

    I sent them an e-mail expressing my appreciation for their courage and willingness to stand against bigotry and hate in their community.

    I also went to their website at http://www.lakewayhotel.com and paid for a weekend for two in a “QUEEN Suite” (thought it would be appropriate). It was only $158 plus tax. I donated the weekend stay back to the owners to give away, preferable to a gay couple, as a promotional gift.

    It feels so good to be able support this family. I challenge anyone who can afford it to book a room for a night, a weekend or a week and donate it to the owner’s to use to promote their business.

    They are losing business because of this shameful smear campaign. We can help to take up the slack.

    I’m honored to be able to help.

  7. says

    Zeke is right, it’s great to write and send support, but this guy is going to be boycotted out of business. If anyone can afford to send some kind of monitary contribution, then please do so, as he is going to need it.

  8. says

    JR and I really appreciate all the support we have received from everybody. You are all awesome! :) Business has been really tough, your thoughts, words and selfless acts of giving are truly helping to ease the situation. Sitting down to a PILE of supportive emails at the end of a long hot day and actually being thanked for what we are doing and standing up for makes it all worth while.

    From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

    Robin, JR and Anthony Knight

  9. Mark Ingersoll says

    I’d like to suggest a different twist. Call and purchase 2, 3, 10, 20 breakfasts or dinners – whatever you can afford. If some of the locals would just come in, sit down and have a meal or two with us, maybe they would come to see we aren’t such a threat.

    I was born and somewhat raised in Wichita – and can all too well remember very similar occurences at work and at clubs.

    Dorothy would be ashamed. And I’m calling now.

  10. Mark Ingersoll says

    I’ve booked Room 207. I probably won’t make it there in time to use it…. :)

    Talked with JR. He’s one cool guy and I appreciate his simple and brave act.

  11. jimmy says

    Here’s to our community, standing proud and supportive, behind our fellow, “one human family” of citizenry …’accidental heroes’…living through example, how we woud all like to live each day… I live in Key West, where the simple act of flying a rainbow-colored flag, has sometimes also had its detractors…but nothing compared to this situation in Kansas. Nevertheless, in a small, isolated community, such as this one, located within a Red State, far from the more diverse cities of our coasts, we all need to lend our financial, and spiritual support…to such people! Remember! This state is ALSO home to Fred Phelps’ organization!

  12. says

    Reading this post and the wonderful comments really cleans the bad taste out of my mouth after reading about that hag Ann Coulter.

    Thanks to all that have written emails and financially contributed to that hotel. It helps restore my faith in humanity.

  13. PSMike says

    wow……I’ve been sick and tired of my own cynicism lately…….I can’t believe the things everyone’s done today. I have been wrong..there are still plenty of gay men with hearts and minds left in this world. This is incredible.

  14. says

    Send them an email of support:

    innkeeper@lakewayhotel.com

    Done and done! Here’s what i wrote:

    Hello,

    I read an article about your hotel’s gay pride flag and the community’s bigoted reaction on towleroad, a website I often visit.

    If I were coming down to Kansas, I would stay in YOUR hotel! You are to be commended for exercising your freedom to declare your support for any cause you wish, especially that of a beseiged minority. I also think you should take the local pastor up on his suggestion, and put up some women’s underwear next to the flag.

    The most absurd statement I heard was that putting up a gay pride flag in a conservative town is somehow unacceptable, or even more ridiculous – equivalent to putting up a nazi flag in a jewish neighbourhood? That’s totally ridiculous, especially considering the fact that the nazi party persecuted and killed not just jews, but homosexuals as well.

    I am saddened to see the decline in business at your hotel and hope that conditions improve given the publicity this event has raised. At the very least, I hope the town reconsiders its hateful, disproportionate and silly response to your flag.

    Cheers,

    Peter,

    Vancouver, BC

  15. Kevin says

    I think the most atrocious thing is that some of these townspeople, who profess to promote “family” values, would turn an innocent and well-meaning gift from this man’s son into such a vile, nasty and evil crusade. That symbolism of which his son was so proud to buy a souvenir flag is a gift from his child’s heart to his father, and of course the parents would want to fly the flag!

    It is onerous enough that the local newspaper could claim to be a “news”paper when they cover a story and don’t even think of interviewing the subjects – but when certain people of a town vilify a resident and business owner for honoring the gift from their child, the act is just heinous.

    I salute these people for not only honoring their family, but not letting the petty gossip of irresponsible adults ruin the beauty of their child’s gift. And I thank them, in turn, for being so kind as to be welcoming to our community, even through the unfair hatred they are enduring simply because of its symbolism to us.

    Maybe we should send a rainbow flag to every business in Meade. . .and then find out when that local radio station’s license is up. Seems to me we could throw a few FCC complaints about serving the public – ALL the public. . .and ask the Kansas Newspaper Association why this unskilled reporting in their county rag passes the ethical test for membership in any journalism body.

  16. says

    When I lived in the Little Apple (Manhattan Kansas), we would frequently get chalkings on the University campus of a rainbow accompanied by messages to ‘take it back’ and how it was a symbol of Gods promise, not gay rights. To fundamentalist christians, the rainbow is a symbol of Gods promise not to flood the earth, and they take it very seriously that gay rights groups have adopted the rainbow, seeing it as a misappropriation and corruption of a religious symbol.

    I have to wonder if the owners of the B&B had said they were flying the rainbow flag to protest flooding in Kansas whether they would have met the same hostile reception.

  17. bones says

    The local community could force this hero out of business. Is there a fund people could contribute a buck into to help him survive. A buck from a half million people buys a lot of mortgage payments and supports a hero.

  18. Mark Ingersoll says

    Ever see one of those photos of some little baby holding up the middle finger? Ever see anyone not laugh – or at least chuckle – at it? I’ll bet a couple of babies have done it in Meade.

    So then I wonder if the town’s people of Meade persecute the baby’s family every time the baby “flipped off” somebody?

    Probably not.

    So, basically “fuck you” is ok in Meade.

    ~~~

    This whole thing is really eating at me. Being from Kansas….and at 51 yo I STILL feel that the Wizard of Oz is a great film….it pisses me off right down to the bone what these people are doing. They have taken a small child’s loving and harmless expression and turned it into hate. And it just continues to eat away….

    Andy, I’m really hoping you will move this article to front and center, and maintain fresh updates. Every blog and media outlet needs to run it.

  19. Amanda Cherry says

    Wow-
    Of all the things for people to get up in arms about, they have to pick a flag. A flag that is being flown under the innocent impetence of a 12 yr. old boy, who was reminded of someplace that makes him happy. I’m ashamed of those people in Meade. I truly am ashamed. Its obvious to me that they are unhappy people.

    That flag represents love and compassion to me… God’s love or Gay love- doesn’t matter to me in the end its just love, and nothing wrong with that. I understand being offended by a symbol, but a symbol doesn’t represent the humanity behind it. Even some of the most offensive symbols still have good people standing behind them. If I can’t see the person behind the symbol, then what kind of human am I?

    I for one will be visting this B&B… if nothing else to applaud a man who won’t back down from others hate and fear. Good for him.

  20. says

    UPDATE: Lakeway Flag

    This morning we found our flag cut from its cord on the flag pole. Only corners of brightly covered cloth attached to the grommets remaining. It truly saddens me to think someone in this town would actually cut down my sons gift to us. Fortunatly, Kelly Rettig & Family from Lawrence KS who are coming down to stay at the B&B this weekend have offered to pick us up another one. So the flag may be down, but rest assured, it will fly again, and again, and again if necessary.

    Blessings to all our supporters!
    The Knights
    lakewayhotel.com

  21. Kevin says

    Thank you for this update, Robin. I hate that you and your family have to go through this, but admire your courage and your determination to honor your son’s gift in the manner in which he intended. I hope he’s holding up well with this – and that he knows that his gift was a wonderful, thoughtful idea.

  22. Zeke says

    I just had the pleasure of speaking with Robin Knight, one of the kindest and most charming ladies you could ever meet. She asked that I pass along some information to the readers here at Towleroad (one of her favorite blogs, Thanks Andy!).

    Robin wants us to know that they are being bombarded with THOUSANDS of well wishing, and I’m sure some negative, e-mails from around the world. Due to the volume it is unlikely that she will be able to read every e-mail sent though they are trying to read as many as possible in their all too limited spare time. If you would like to contact the Knight family you should send a letter or postcard to:

    PO BOX 1029, Meade, Kansas 67864-1029.

    DO NOT SEND POSTCARDS OR LETTERS TO THE PHYSICAL ADDRESS OF THE HOTEL.

    Meade does not have regular letter carriers, so any mail sent directly to the hotel will not be delivered and will be returned to sender.

    Robin didn’t ask me to share the rest of this with you, but I don’t think she’ll mind if I pass this information on to those of you who are interested in being updated about the situation in Meade and have taken a particular interest in the welfare of this wonderful family.

    The saddest and most infuriating development in this saga is the terrible toll it has taken on the Knight family, especially their innocent son. JR and Robin have had to send their son back to California to live with his Grandparents due to the threatening environment that has developed in Kansas. How ironic and shameful that the assault on this family is being carried out in the name of Christ and Christian family values. As a Christian and as a human being I could not be more ashamed and offended.

    The courage and determination of this family is astounding. Remember, this is a straight couple who innocently and by chance found themselves in the middle of a gay rights battle. They have been stunned by the level of hatred and homophobia that they have seen and experienced. It has been a real wake up call to them as I think it has been to thousands of people around the country and around the world.

    How many of us in the gay and lesbian community would have the strength and courage to stand up and make such a sacrifice for an oppressed minority to which we didn’t belong? Better yet, how many of us would be willing to make such a sacrifice for a cause of social justice for a group to which we DID (DO) belong?

    Robin and JR are people of honor and they are two tough cookies. They have dug in their heels and are ready for a fight. Robin says they will replace the flag as often as necessary. (They could probably use a couple of flag donations by the way). An interesting side development has resulted from this nightmare. Straight friends of the Knights in California have heard about their now famous friends’ plight and have bought and hung rainbow flags at their homes as a display of support and solidarity. The Knights may have inadvertently started the next Rainbow Revolution! in support

    The Lakeway Hotel has been very creative in drawing new business to replace the boycotters. This past weekend they had a motorcycle Biker event. With all the motorcycles lined up across the front of the hotel, with its proudly flying rainbow flag, one passerby commented, “Oh great, now they’re turning it into a gay biker bar”. Isn’t that fricken hilarious?! Once again, as they did in response to Fred Phelps’ despicable displays at dead soldiers’ funerals, the Bikers come to the rescue! Who woulda thunk it? There again, I guess Bikers know what it’s like to be unfairly judged by pious jerks.

    I hope Andy will consider refreshing this story so that it’s comment board will remain on the front page. It’s important that we show support for this family of heroes. I assure you, this story is for real. Please try to send the Knights a note of support. They can really use the moral support. Also, if you are at all able, consider renting a room or suite for a night, weekend or week. If you can’t use it yourself, consider donating it back to the Knights to use as a promotional gift. I’m sure donations, no matter how much or how little will be appreciated.

    My church, the United Church of Christ in Tampa, will be taking up a donation on Wednesday, to rent a suite for a weekend. It is important to my fellow members that we show the Knights, Kansans, Americans and the world that not all people who call themselves Christians follow the message and example of Christ, but some of us do. I challenge readers who belong to progressive congregations like MCC, UCC, and Unitarians to copy this story and pass it on to your churches. Maybe others would be interested in joining my church with a message and a gift of love and appreciation.

    Jimmy in Key West, I know you’re already on board, Thanks.

    Sorry for going on but I REALLY think this is important.

  23. Donnie says

    I stumbled across this story this story this morning and was appalled by what this family is having to endure. The people in this town should be ashamed of themselves and if they think God is going to look down favorably upon them after the way they are treating his other children they are sadly mistaken.
    Keep your heads held high Knight family and know that around the country you have support.

  24. Zeke says

    Here is the e-mail that the Knight family is sending in response to the thousands of letters of support that they have recieved. They have given me permission to reprint it here to thank all of their Towleroad supporters.

    I think it is a beautifully written letter that shows us the hearts of these courageous souls. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, They are MY heroes!

    JR Knight’s letter reads as follows:

    Robin & I can¹t even begin to come up with words strong enough to convey our
    appreciation for all of your support and well wishes. Especially to those of
    you that have booked rooms and even just sent money to help pay our bills.
    Your the best.

    We are getting so many emails every day that we barely have time to read
    them let alone respond to each of them in a timely manner. So I thought I¹d
    send out this Big thanks to everyone and then do individuals as time
    permits.

    First of all, reading your letters at the end of a long day makes it allot
    easier getting up the next day. So a BIG thanks for that!!!

    As you know our rainbow flag was hung outside of our hotel because we dearly
    miss our son. It signified to us that he is just over the rainbow and as
    soon as we can we will all be together again. When my good neighbors told me
    to take it down, I assure you there was no hesitation. It will not come
    down. Last night, July 30, 2006 some ³person² cut it down, well most of it
    anyway. Robin & I want you all to know that as soon as we can get a
    replacement here, the rainbow will proudly fly again.

    My son¹s Rainbow flag is gone, cut by the very closed minded bigots that we
    sent him home to get away from. Our new Rainbow flag will serve a different
    purpose, it will stand for the very thing that THEY (the schalooses) wanted
    it to stand for. Gay Rights, Gay Pride, Human Rights, Equality of the Sexes,
    Equality of the Races, Diversity, Unity, Peace, The International
    Co-operative Alliance’s, The Inca banner, The Flag of Cusco, Peru, The
    Wizard of OZ, God¹s Gift to Mankind, and everything else that the
    homophobic, bigoted, ignorant … people of the world fear.

    Our new Rainbow flag will fly as a reminder to my son, never to back down to
    prejudice and tyranny no matter the cost, because once you do it will never
    stop. Money and business is one thing but peoples dignity is much more
    important.

    Before we bought the Lakeway Hotel a gay couple looked at it and the same
    good christians that want my son¹s rainbow flag down told the bank, Oif you
    sell to those gays, we¹ll all pull our accounts.¹ They¹ll never be happy,
    and their hunger for control will never subside. Never!!! They change
    scripture to suit their purpose. They are spreading ignorance and bigotry
    one child at a time. Not my son.

    Our new Rainbow flag will wave :
    At our friends that never made it to their 30th birthdays, Jim, John, Jimmy,
    and Richard.

    At the group I counseled in High School who I vowed I would never reveal
    their names or what we talked about.

    To my 7th and 8th grade teacher who taught me that gay people are just
    people, and who the kids that called him a fagot behind his back eventually
    named as their favorite teacher of all.

    To the two retired teachers Ruth and Madge who still reside in this old
    brick Hotel, playing jokes and helping me see, I don¹t know if they were
    really a couple, but if they were, good for them.

    To the gay and lesbian people of Meade and elsewhere, hiding in closets and
    garages, letting you know that someday you¹ll just be able to be you.

    To all of the people traveling on hwy 54 who are afraid to stop in these
    hick towns because they don¹t think they¹ll be accepted or worse.

    To Shawn and all the other people in the world that had the terrifying and
    heart wrenching task of telling their parents that they are Gay or Lesbian.

    To Shawn¹s dad, my good bud Robert, who although probably didn¹t want this
    for his son, hugged him, loves him and is very proud of him. I wish all
    parents were like him.

    But most importantly our new Rainbow flag will wave in the face of Hatred,
    Bigotry, Ignorance and the people who embody these traits as a constant
    reminder that they can¹t control everyone or every thing. That god loves
    every one the same. And that hate is a much bigger sin, than 2 people loving
    each other ever could be.

    George Washington once said that the thing that separates the American
    People from all other people of the world is that we will die on our feet
    before we will ever live on our knees.

    I think it¹s time that we get up off our knees and stand together for what¹s
    right. Even if we are a bit squeamish about what the right thing is.

    We might not be able to fix stupid,
    but it sure is fun taking it apart!!!!
    😉

    A BIG Thanks Again to All

    we¹ll remember you, long after you forget us

    JR & Robin Knight
    Lakeway Hotel – Bed and Breakfast Inn
    115 N. Fowler, Meade, Kansas 67864
    PO BOX 1029, Meade, Kansas 67864-1029
    Toll-Free: 877-276-2700 – Phone: 620-873-2700
    lakewayhotel.com – innkeeper@lakewayhotel.com

    If you want to be inspired, give them a call!

  25. Chris W. says

    I cant beleive there is such hatred and ignorance in this day and age. I hope JR & Robin can hang in there. If they can change the minds of just one person then it will have been worth while.

    Best of luck!

  26. Mark Ingersoll says

    I spoke with JR also when I booked my room. The man is absolutely incredible. No whining. No bitching. Just determination and his kindest regards by “helping” with the room.

    I will continue to “help” as I can. This is far, far, far from over.

    Please, Andy, keep this near the top. These folks need all the support they can get.

  27. Cindy says

    I have read with interest all the statements about Meade and it’s residents. I live in Meade and would like to comment. First, I have nothing against the Knight family and personally feel that their flying a rainbow flag is their right. And yes, having lived in the San Francisco area, I was fully aware of the flags meaning before the newspaper article was published. The flag flying in front of the Knights hotel has nothing to do with whether or not I frequent their establishment, whether it is a statement of gay pride or merely a pretty flag. So, with that being said, what I would like to comment on are the statements being made about “all” the citizens of this town. Contrary to the comments I read here, I am not filled with hatred, a bigot, or homophobic; and I don’t consider myself ignorant. Unfortunately, there are people in this community that have all these traits. But to generalize and say we are all that way because of the actions of a FEW is just not correct. I really think you would find it difficult to find a community where some level of these traits DIDN’T exist, sadly they are everywhere. I would like to think I am part of the majority here in Meade with respect to traits and beliefs but maybe I’m part of the minority…either way, thanks for letting me comment. I wish the Knights success with their business. Meade can use all the business successes it can get.

  28. Kevin says

    Cindy – I appreciate you speaking up for those residents of Meade who aren’t involved in this issue. It’s important for people to know that not everyone in the town agrees with the way the Knights are being treated. I suppose one reason Meade is getting such a broadbrush is that the television coverage didn’t quote anyone in the community who said they had no problem with the rainbow flag – we only saw the resident comparing it to raising the Nazi flag and the account of the minister demanding it be removed.
    And you are right – there are, sadly enough, traits like this in other towns – unfortunately, it appears a few people in your town chose to make this non-issue a big deal.

    I do have an couple of issues with the town, Cindy – one involves Mr. Knights account of a gay couple who looked at the business before and the members of the community which threatened to close their accounts at a local bank if it did business with them. . .and a local newspaper that seems more dedicated to spreading idle gossip than reporting facts. Seems to me the newspaper could have stopped this whole thing instead of fueling the fire.

    Of course you have no control over those events – and I’m sorry that this ends up making the whole town seem intolerant.

  29. Kay says

    I am from Meade and would like to let you all know that you are being scammed big time. The Knight’s gay pride flag has absolutely NOTHING to do with the fact that their business has dropped to almost nothing or the fact that their son left town. The reason their business has declined is because of their coziness with a few of the city council members in Meade. Right now Meade is a very divided city because of the actions of a few city council members and firing some key city personnel. The Knights have been anti-city since they first moved here because the previous owners didn’t pay their bills and when they moved here, the title company didn’t get that cleared before they took ownership and therefore, the Knights were stuck with the bill. They blamed everyone on the city council, the city attorney and the city manager. They cried and whined about it and threw a big fit until the new city council members forgave the bill. JR then managed to worm his way in with the four idiots (two by the way are in the process of being recalled) on the city council and managed to fire the city manager and city attorney. Most of the residents of Meade are outraged at this and have now taken a stance against the city council and Knight who has aligned himself with them and makes an ass of himself at every meeting. He has also recently evicted the local pharmacy owner who rents space from him. The reason: because she has gone out on a limb to support those that were fired and has signed the petition to recall the councilmen that did it. This is the only pharmacy within 45 miles of Meade! So what about all the people that need prescriptions filled? Are they going to have to drive everyday to get those prescriptions filled? He did this just because the pharmacist isn’t on his “side”. And believe me, this has NOTHING to do with that flag. All of this started WAY before the flag was put up.

    His son left many weeks ago WAY before the flag was put up. AGAIN, nothing to do with the flag. Don’t kid yourselves into thinking he is just a sweet innocent boy. He got in many fights at school and was always in trouble. That’s why he left! We’re talking about a kid who is 6 feet and 200 pounds so let’s get the picture clear people. You are being SCAMMED big time. This is NOTHING more than a scam artist who has opened his big mouth and aligned himself with a few idiots of the city and now is paying the price for it because no one will step foot in his establishment (except for the few councilmen and their families). He needs a way to pay the bills so why not cry “foul play” about the flag? I’m sure there are a few people in this town that were actually bothered by the flag but the majority of us were not. I would still be frequenting his restaraunt if he wasn’t such a rude, crude and completely disrespectful person. And yes, I’m sure you all are getting a COMPLETELY different side of JR and Robin when you talk to them on the phone or read their emails. THEY NEED MONEY PEOPLE and they are good actors! Of course, they are going to be nice and play the “woe is me” card!

    I don’t care if you all rent a room or eat at his restaurant. It makes no difference to me. I just wanted you all to know the real reason for the boycott of the place. AGAIN, it has NOTHING to do with the flag and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that he comes into this town and thinks he can tell us all how to run it and who should be doing it (by the way, he wants to be the mayor). So if you want to continue to be SCAMMED, feel free. Just know that this is not the true story of the demise of his business. His demise is his mouth.

  30. Jaxebart says

    Kay,

    Somehow I think you are the one doing the scamming. You have no credibility whatsoever.

    Jaxebart

  31. Kevin says

    Kay – if this is indeed the case, where did the television station dig up the doofus with the little Nazi flag quote? And what about the minister who decided he had the right to show up at the door and issue demands?

    If your city council is divided, I’d wager this has more to do with some group trying to impose a theocratic dictatorship in the community – and trying to run a business out of town is a standard small town way of handling dissent or difference. From what I gather (reading Dodge City Globe stories), the hotel has been pretty active in the community, including recently helping a sick woman with a fundraiser. Is that the kind of act of a scam artist?

    This has nothing to do with the flag – that’s why it was ripped down.

  32. nooneknowsthetruth says

    its absolutely hilarious how gulible people who dont live in meade are acting, you people have never seen the true side of the knights like this community has and when someone trys to tell u the truth u write them off as quacks just because the local news stations say otherwise. it is true we have some over zellous church goers in this town but they in no way speak for this community. J.R knew exactly what he was doing when he put the flag up and he knew what would happen so if u people would like to keep sending him ur hard earned cash thats fine but quit bashing this community were not gay bashers or homophobes what ever u wanna call us we just dont like JR’s attitude ever since he moved here he thinks just because he’s from big old california he can come into this small town and take over that attitude is why he isnt favored in this town so again plz quit bashing our small community were not bigots.

  33. more of the truth says

    Kay is telling the truth. Everyone has the right to believe what they want and say what they want to say, etc…. but one thing you dont know and what JR hasnt told you guys is that the guy who made the comment about the Nazi flag also said more than that but the news cut it out of the interview, so this guy went to JR and told him what he said before it was ever aired on the news and had a nice talk and JR told him how much he appreciated his straight-forwardness. JR could defend him a little here but he hasnt.

  34. Kevin says

    the guy who made the comment about the Nazi flag also said more than that but the news cut it out of the interview, so this guy went to JR and told him what he said before it was ever aired on the news and had a nice talk and JR told him how much he appreciated his straight-forwardness.

    —————————————–

    Um…how does someone go to someone else to explain what he really said in the television interview before the interview was aired…did the guy know which part of his quotes were going to be broadcast ahead of time?

  35. more of the truth says

    He told me that he didnt know for sure what they were going to air, but he felt bad just the same and felt like he needed to go and talk to JR about it. He is strong in his beliefs, just as anyone else is, but is really a nice guy. This whole mess has really gotten out of hand and the majority of the Meade residents just wish things could go back to the nice quiet way things used to be.

  36. Kevin says

    Sorry, More of the Truth – but it’s kinda hard to swallow the idea that a man who compared flying this flag akin to flying a Nazi flag in a Jewish community is merely someone who is “strong in his beliefs.” That isn’t conservative thinking – that’s extremist.

    I can understand why the majority of Meade residents want this to go away – but the point remains that certain citizens in your town allegedly threatened to pull accounts from a local bank if they did business with two gay men, and certain citizens either demanded that someone’s personal property be removed from his private business, and compared the symbolic nature of “gay pride” to flying the Nazi flag. I’m an American citizen. . .and I’m not going to have anyone try to make me feel like I can’t travel anywhere I like or do anything I want simply because some “conservative” spouts off on the public airwaves.
    There is the matter of your local newspaper and your local radio station as well, and the incident of vandalism at the business.

    If the people of your town want this to just go away and get back to normal, they sure have a strange way of going about it. You know, other than this hotel owner, I’ve seen no Meade resident or public official come on here and say that gay Americans are as welcome as anyone else to visit your town.

  37. MeadeNeedsAMagazineRack says

    i live in Meade, and I’ll just tell you what i have thought this thing the whole time: I think that this flag issue is stupid.

    J.R. does have a bad rep in this town no doubt; he kinda had one before, but it really went out of the control with the flag business. And I really think the fact that he flew the flag is no one elses place to care, especially the citizens of Meade. I have troubles on both sides of the issue. because, there are things being left out, and things being exxagerrated, and people just trying to save face, ON BOTH SIDES. my first thought is this, why should any other business in town have to fly the raindow flag of love when everyone should be accepted at every place. I am going to say, if anyone comes to Meade, you are welcome to stay, eat, and purchase from any business, whether there is a flag or not, it’s your right as an american and is protected, so do not be afraid. besides, i am told other businesses in town have no opinion over homosexuals anyway, so it’s really not the issue at hand.

    The issue is this, The local radio station is a christian radio station. They have the right to pull advertisement (as long as the remaining air time is refunded), if they want to.

    The newspaper did not press the flag issue, they had a picture of the flag and put beside it, “Want to learn abotu the gay pride movement? go here (some web address).” there was no article defacing the flag or the owner.

    And as far as I know, I have only talked to a handful (if even that)of people here who actually think the flag flying was not really a big deal. everyone else usually had jokes, but i do not talk to everyone in town so i cannot speak for all. as all of the community should not be judged for the actions and the words of a few.

    And remember this, whether you are gay, straight, black, brown, white, muslim, hindu, jewish, christian, european, asian, african, south american austrailian; You are welcome in this town through my eyes. in fact, you’d be welcome to my house.

  38. Kevin says

    It appears to me that the newspaper did indeed press the “flag” issue by photographing the flag, immediately labeling it as a gay pride flag without interviewing the owners, and refering to some “web site” in which apparently readers would learn about gay pride. As for the radio station, it may call itself a “Christian” station, but it is still broadcasting on the public airwaves, and might need to prove that a flag symbol of “gay pride” is automatically anti-“christian” and violates community decency standards. While they may be within their right as a private business to deny advertising, using “Christian” as the reason doesn’t fly. And since the only two media in town have taken this position, why would any gay American feel safe about stopping in Meade to do business?

    The worst thing about this situation is that this doesn’t even really directly involve gay people at all – just a SYMBOL of that flag which set off people in your town. A piece of cloth. The same kind of flag that was flying a week ago in San Diego when six gay Americans attending a pride celebration were attacked and beaten with baseball bats and a knife. The same flag that is a symbol for a group of people who have seen violent acts against them rise in the past two years, often in direct relation to the “Christian” rhetoric coming from broadcasting and public sermons by “ministers” in the Christian faith. It’s the same flag that is a symbol to our brave fighting men and women who are booted out of the armed forces after being decorated for doing a good job – and then “outed” by some anonymous email campaign.

    It’s a safe bet here that your local newspaper didn’t really learn all about “gay pride” or the “gay pride flag” simply by directing people to a web site. If they had, it would be even more an embarassment to the community of Meade to witness this kind of petty behavior over flying a rainbow flag at a business.

    You might be right that no one should feel like they HAVE to fly a rainbow flag to welcome anyone into their business, but we also already know that there is at least one business and one church in your town that proudly holds up the Cross and makes it clear that we are not welcome. And you have a minister who apparently has no problem attempting to control the simple action of flying that flag on private property simply because their “religious” beliefs apparently dictate persecuting other Americans. Is anyone ordering their cross be removed? Is anyone challenging this “Christian” radio station and this local newspaper’s inability to use even the most basic journalism ethics in publishing and broadcasting their policies?

    Don’t get me wrong here – I’m sure we all appreciate your kind invitation and your belief that anyone should be welcome in your town – and even your home. That does mean a lot and it shows courage on your part to be strong in that statement. But as you know, you can’t control the way some people hold and express their opinions about this situation, and it is apparent there are citizens in Meade (as there are in many places) who can’t handle seeing a simple rainbow flag, let alone an actual real gay American. That should be an embarassment to your town. Even with about 1,600 people, do you honestly believe no one lived there who was gay? That no one was ever born there who was gay? That no one in this country might call Meade County home but had to eventually run away because they were gay, only to now read about their hometown in this stupid fight over a flag?

    You see, to me, it doesn’t matter whether the Knights are universally popular in Meade, or if there are some residents in the community who have had issues with them or their business over other things. What does matter is that your town, your newspaper and your radio station dragged 20 million American citizens into your little world by attaching US to that battle. Meaning was assigned to that flag and WE had to witness one of your local residents comparing it to raising a Nazi flag over a Jewish community. And whether some of you know it or not, we read about or hear about or witness the petty, nasty jokes being made about us in relation to that flag and then see the vandalism which caused it to be ripped down. We get to read about how two gay men who were apparently interested in business property in your town were perhaps smiled upon while some of your residents threatened the bank with pulling their accounts if it did business with them. Is that Meade’s idea of protecting our rights as Americans to go where we please and do business anywhere we like?

    You know, someone posted on some discussion forum about this issue that a small town in the Northwest witnessed a hate crime against a Jewish citizen – and in protest over that event, citizens all over town put up yellow stars to symbolize their support for the victim. But we already understand that Meade wouldn’t do that in our situation, even though that flag also stands for God’s creation of the rainbow and for all the diversity in creation.

    If some people in your community cannot even respect the basic right of a property owner to fly a rainbow flag given to him by his son at his business/residence, how could anyone easily believe that those same people are going to respect the right of a gay American to walk down the street in their town?

    Please understand this is not directed toward you or your comments. . .I very much appreciate how you are trying to explain this situation as best you are able – and that you want people to understand that you don’t (along with some other Meade residents) believe in hurting other people. I believe you when you say a gay person would be welcome in your house. . .and that many local businesses may not care if someone is gay or not if they came in to do business – and you are right, that is the way things should be done. Unfortunately, we’ve seen that this isn’t the way some people feel, and they will go to amazing lengths to do harm to others.

  39. somepplaresoarrogant says

    No offense kevin but SHUT Up u have never met any meade people before your just taking the medias take on things why dont u shut up and come talk to an actual meade person instead of insulting us so before insulting us again talk to someone BESIDES JR KNIGHT HE’S NOT THE ONLY ONE IN THIS TOWN!!!!!

  40. LJ says

    Just out of curiousity, has Andy logged the IP addresses of all these people who claim to be from Meade to see if it’s the same person (who can’t be bothered with spelling or punctuation) playing sock puppets? And if so, can we possibly find out if this is the same “reporter” who didn’t bother to interview the hotel owner? I’m getting the feeling that most of these “people from Meade” are the same person who for whatever reason has it in for JR. Maybe the same bigotted asswipe that made that Nazi comment, even.

  41. Moses Black says

    I have an idea. Let’s have a gay pride week in Meade, America. Come to Meade and find out that there are a lot less bigots here than in your big cities.

  42. born&raisedMeade says

    JR Knight has used this flag issue to cause attention to be diverted from his real agenda. One minister out of nine made the remark. I would suppose that this intolerance would be statistically representative of almost any community in the country. This minister is not representative of the whole community. I, and everyone I have talked with, do not care at all that Knights fly their flag, nor do we have any anti-homosexual feelings. I repeat—this is not the cause of the bad feelings toward Mr. Knight. His business was dropping off before the flag—before any talk gay issues. Mr. Knight has moved here and caused a lot of trouble through our city government. He is behind unlawful Open Meetings violations with some newly elected councilmen. I could go on and on. Believe me—most people have other reasons to dislike Mr. Knight—don’t feel sorry for the man.

  43. Mark Ingersoll says

    Maybe we are being played like a fiddle. And if JR is, well, then he is quite skillful.

    Unfortunately, what is most evident is the handful of players in this scene that we have seen over and over and over again.

    Although a good majority of us are your basic, standard-issue, God-fearing, American citizens…the “Christian” right has directed significant amounts of energy, time and money to sway public opinion and has repeatedly pushed and leveraged legislation solely created to deny any extension of equal rights – all in God’s good name – and all directed at us.

    We can mow your lawn, fix your car, advise on investments…but we still aren’t equal. Folks don’t know us, but they make us the butt of their jokes and innuendos; they snub us in their “family” neighborhoods and pull their children in off the sidewalk should we dare venture out to the curb to get the mail; and we run the risk of assault in towns where “Christians” have taught their children that homosexuals are the devil’s deviants.

    These shoes we wear are “damaged goods, antique, unacceptable, and just misunderstood”. But they will continue the path trod by many before us.

    Our history now puts us ready to defend all of ourselves. It is a sign of solidarity: of finally standing up and saying “No”. Whether it is the back of the bus, or back in the closet, we’re not backing down anymore. Is this hostility? Heck no. It’s just a small committment we have all made to ourselves at one time or another when the persecution finally became to much to bear.

    JR is the benfactor of our support not because of what he did — but what others did because of it. And oddly, neither the minister, the radio station, nor the newspaper have issued any denial or apology that I am aware of. More unfortunate is that the good citizens of Meade are being labeled anti-gay due to the actions of a few. But, looking the other way is a quiet sign of acceptance and aggreement.

  44. Local Girl says

    Whoa, whoa, whoa! I am a local from Meade County, KS, and ya’ll are only getting one side of this story.
    First of all, how dare anyone insinuate that we support anything that Fred Phelps does! Meade is an older and quite reserved community, but the Knight’s business is not being boycotted just because of a flag. JR Knight has NOT been well liked by a great deal of people in the local community and county. He is not the most friendly or likeable person, and has angered a lot of people in the Meade community with the way he has tried and possibly succeeded in influencing some of the members of the City Council. There is a lot of animosity amongst the community right now because of some choices made by the council that most feel were the wrong choices. JR Knight always has his nose where it doesn’t belong and this is where it has gotten him. All of the attention that your website is giving him – he sees it as great publicity for his business and probably nothing more.
    As far as them sending their son back to California because of the angry and threatening enviornment in Kansas? BULLSHIT!! There is not a person around that would harm anyone – ESPECIALLY A CHILD! The only thing that has a chance of being harmed is the Knight’s business, but as I mentioned before, not just because of a Gay Pride Flag but because JR Knight is an asshole.

  45. Kevin says

    Whether some Meade residents like JR Knight or not is not the issue here, is it? That rainbow flag was ripped down and a report was filed. Someone is responsible.

    Someone else stood before the television camera and made that statement about that rainbow flag being like raising a Nazi flag over a Jewish community. That was a resident. I’m still waiting to see someone call that resident an asshole.

    One minister “out of nine” allegedly came to the business and DEMANDED that flag be removed. No one seems to be denying that story. I haven’t seen a local resident calling that poor excuse for a man of the cloth an asshole. Everyone seems to indicate they know which minister this was, and yet he goes about his little business of ordering people around in the name of the Lord every day. Has anyone removed the cross from his “church?”

  46. says

    I find interesting that everyone says JR is an a**hole but never wants to say who they are. This community thrives on GOSSIP. Everyone says JR has stuck his nose where it does not belong, he has no business telling the council how to do their job, he has brought all the hate and annimosity upon himself. Perhaps this is true, he has brought it upon himself, but lets let the truth be known.

    I am his wife, we purchased this property almost 2 years ago. My background includes nearly 20 years working in the field of Real Estate from private investor to managing a large office in one of the fastest growing markets in Southern California. We purchased this property as a foreclosure. I made absolutly sure that we had a clear title, I even checked all the facts over myself. It’s not the first property we bought. Shortly after the COE the city of Meade filed an unlawful $4800 lien on our property for the previous owners unpaid electric. The City Manager and Attorney said “You will pay it” We said “NO”. It entered into a 1 1/2 year drawn out battle before the city council agreed to drop it. We had the opportunity to take it to court but preferred to handle it at council. We would have easily won, but did not think that when the evidence was proven that anyone would actually wish to continue pursuing this ridiculous path, causing the taxpayers even more money. Your city manager pursued it, and he is the one that made the mistake in the first place, your city attorney advised the city council to leave the illegal lien in place and foreclose on us in 3 years. Your Mayor supported both of them.

    Fortunatly the council members that were elected to help break this triangle of power finally stepped up to the plate and did their job. And a few of you are bitching.

    JR and I stood up to this city and refused to pay a bill that was not ours. We made a lot of noise about it because no one would listen. The people in this town would rather turn their backs than fight. And when confronted with evidence proving the truth they would rather cross their arms over their chests and turn their faces to the wall than consider the possibility that an “outsider” might have a valid point.

    Most of the information people in this town have about JR & Myself they got from someone else, who got it from someone else, who got it from someone else. Very few of you have ever gone to a council meeting. You don’t even know what the issues are. But your neighbor, who heard from her hairdresser, who talked to her babysitter said…..whatever, and you believe it. Just like someone in a previous blog talking about JR and insinuating that he is doing something illegal with respect to the open meeting act. You don’t even know what the open meetings act is, otherwise you would realize how ignorant you sound. Most of your councilmen, your Mayor, and certaintly your newspaper reporter (the infamous Denise Kuhns) doesn’t even understand the Kansas open meetings act(KOMA).

    KOMA was designed to ensure that the Public gets a certain degree of openness in the management & conduct of its public business. KOMA applies to all the meetings of all legislative and administrative bodies and agencies of the state and its political and taxing subdivisions (including cities), and the councils, task forces, commissions and committees created by the governing bodies thereof. There are many rules governing the meetings and a particular format to follow with requests for “Executive Sessions” that specifically requires that the subject of the discussion be identified in the motion that calls for such a session and furthermore that any binding action that results from such a session must occur in the open public meeting. These are just a few of the rules that govern our city council. They have been put in place to protect us, the citizens. If your city does not follow these rules they are putting you, the citizen at risk. But it is up to us the citizens to know and understand these rules and requirements, otherwise how would one know when they are being done properly and in our best interest.

    JR actually went out and purchased the current Kansas Governing Body Handbook, he studied it, he searched the statutes, the ordinances and policys of the city. He did his homework. He found that none of your city council members even had a current version of the handbook, not your mayor, your attorney, or even your city manager. Yet these people are your leaders???

    Thanks to JR, You will now find current copies available at your library as well as your city hall. All council members, the mayor, and other city officialshave also received them. JR was exposing violations of the open meetings act that were occuring at every council meeting because of the lack of knowledge of your city officials. And your problem with this is that because he is an outsider he has no business doing this. Well we own a piece of this town too, and we pay taxes as well. So what exactly is your reasoning that we have no right to protest that the job that our city officials is doing is not being done in our best interest? Why are we not allowed to stand up and demand our rights without being labeled a troublemaker? Just because you would rather lay down and let people run roughshod over you, does not mean that we are willing to do the same. It’s your choice, it’s ours too. We will fight, however uncomfortable it makes people because it is our right. If you don’t think this is right, you pay a $4800 bill that you don’t owe.

    Unlike the rest of you on this blog who hide behind fake names and make allegations We will stand front and center and ask you to prove yourself. You know where we are, come on over and lets discuss it. We will be happy to share any of the information that we have gathered that proves our claims. We will allow you to see any document, view the video tapes of the council meetings that JR tapes or openly discuss any aspect of our city government or us personally that you seem to find so offensive. We only ask that you do it in a civil manner. No harassment, no name calling, etc. Bring “Your” evidence, but come with an open mind. If you are unable to do this and would continue to “bash” us without any proof than you are no better than the coward that cut down our flag.

    Like our flag, most of you never botherd to find out why JR has made such a loud protest with respect to our city government. You would rather assume that because so & so said such & such that it is true. That my friends is known as Gossip. And Gossip is for people who are too lazy to seek the truth. JR has shaken your world, he is big, loud, and agressive. But that does not mean he is not right. You have taken a dislike to us from the start for a variety of reasons, you dismiss JR as being a trouble maker who does nothing but harass your city government. But you never take into consideration that he may have very valid points. As with the flag, it can have many different meanings, but if you don’t ask what the meaning is to us then you will have nothing but assumptions. I am sorry we shook your world, I’m sorry someone “Moved your Cheese”, but sometimes change can be a good and positive thing.

  47. born&raisedMeade says

    Robin Knight writes:
    “You don’t even know what the open meetings act is, otherwise you would realize how ignorant you sound. Most of your councilmen, your Mayor, and certaintly[sic] your newspaper reporter…doesn’t even understand the Kansas open meetings act(KOMA).”
    I suggest she (and you readers) try reading again from the KOMA document itself from the Ks Attorney General website found at:
    http://www.ksag.org/OPEN/KOMA.pdf
    and pay particular attention to Article III. Meeting, Sections A. and B. 1., 2., 3., 4.
    Their private meetings prior to council meetings are a direct violation of KOMA. This is particularly interesting since these councilmen make these same accusations of previous councils for “invoking Executive Sessions improperly”. Maybe Ms. Knight needs to familiarize herself with the terminology of “serial” and “agent of the body” before she accuses anyone else of ignorance.
    Wait, didn’t the Knights claim ignorance…that they, although previous residents of southern California, had no idea of the significance of the flag?!?
    Oh yes, and that Madge & Ruth portion of their tirade, THEY ARE DECEASED and have been for MANY years. The Knights have dedicated the flying of their flag to a host of individuals, Madge & Ruth being so named. So, these newcomers know these ghosts?? Right…Again, they have no clue to what they are talking about.
    Back to the flag. Knights came to a small mid-west community with a large Mennonite population (closely akin to Amish, but more progressive), with one of the largest Christian radio stations in the country, with a largely elderly population, which, at the time they moved here, was a “dry” city and have opened a club, flown a flag to irritate the conservatives, insulted most of the citizens one way or another, served eviction notice on our only pharmacist in the whole county (after raising her rent), finds fault with almost every entity and organization in town, and proceeds to act as an unelected 6th city councilman. Why would anyone here in Meade be upset? Take your pick. IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT THE FLAG!!!

  48. says

    Born&raisedMeade or Debbie P, whichever you prefer to go by. You claim “JR is behind unlawful Open Meetings violations with some newly elected councilmen”, again I extend my invitation to come on over, bring your evidence and lets have a discussion about the issue. I do not think this forum is the place to discuss our city politics, but I will gladly sit down with you and whomever you would like to bring and we can have a good time.

    As to the rest of your allegations…We never claimed we had no idea about the significance of the flag, we mearly stated that THAT was not the signaficance to us. You claim that we flew the flag to irritate the conservatives in this town, that was not the case, but I don’t see why we should have to please them in any case.

    As for Madge and Ruth, well that seems to be JR’s idea. He seems to think they still visit here often. Just because I don’t feel the same, does not mean it’s not true, only that we disagree. It does not seem to be a point that could be proven, so why discuss it?

    You state:”Back to the flag. Knights came to a small mid-west community with a large Mennonite population (closely akin to Amish, but more progressive), with one of the largest Christian radio stations in the country, with a largely elderly population, which, at the time they moved here, was a “dry” city and have opened a club” SO???? What is your point exactly. We purchased the building. Not a local. We spent OUR money remodeling it and building OUR business. If you did not want an “outsider” coming in and conducting business then you should have had the city purchase it and it could sit here and rot like the rest of the buildings that line HWY 54. But since you did not, you don’t really have any right to bitch about it now! If I want to put in a bar, cater to gays, hang panties from my flagpole or whatever, it is my building, my business, my right. It is your right not to come in, please don’t. We have strict rules about catering to bigots.

    Oh! There is that word again! Several people have gotten on this blog and claim that the town is not prejudiced, they just don’t like the knights. Well as that may be a true fact that you don’t like the knights, but it is also a true that there are people in this town that are bigots as evidenced in the Hutchinson Paper this morning Aug5,2006(http://www.hutchnews.com/news/regional/stories/meade080506.shtml)that quotes “Waitress Vicky Best, meanwhile, taking a moment between orders as the lunchtime crowd at the eatery blossoms, says such a flag – a symbol of gay pride – has no place in Meade, population 1,600. “It’s hard enough to keep your kids on the straight and narrow without outside influences like that,” she complains. “We stay in a small town to stay away from the crap like that that’s happening in big cities,” she said, calling homosexuality “biblically wrong.” …You claim “we insulted most of the citizens in one way or another”…This town has insulted the entire LGBT community!

    You have also stated that “we served eviction notice on our only pharmacist in the whole county (after raising her rent)” Oh poor Angela! Another fine example of one sided stories that run rampant thru this town. In her zeal to tell everyone how the knights have pursecuted her did she give you any of the following facts??? Her original rent of $325 dollars per month (for the best, most visible space in town with ample parking) was set by her “Mother” when she worked for the bank Angela was renting from. One of the first things on our adgenda when we purchased this property was to raise it to a more realistic level. However, Bachman came up pregnant and not wishing to cause her ANY undue stress we waited over a year to serve her with a rental agreement. It was not a lease, it was a simple month to month agreement with 3 main points. Raise the rent to $650, give either party a 60 day notice if they wished to discontinue the agreement, and ask for indemnification upon tenants insurance(Standard business practice). It did not request an unrealistic rent, especially when one considers the volumn of business she does. It did not lock her into a long term lease agreement. But we were told each month for the first 3 months after giving her this agreement that her “lawyer” was “looking it over” even though she paid the increased rent. The next two months we were ignored, told she would “take care of it” and soon found her closing the gate between our establishments and locking it to discourage us from making visits. In the mean time she purchases a piece of property, designs a building and obtains permits to build on in, paks up her basement and never bothers to say a word to us. When we ask her Mother and employees if they are planing a move, we are told NO, even though she clearly intends to build a pharmacy across from city hall. So Angela does not elect to sign the simple agreement even though she has had it for 5 months. She has ever intention of moving anyway, aparently just without giving us any notice, there are at least 20 empty store fronts within the town of Meade that she can relocate to but WE are the bad guys….WHY, because we beat her to the punch and inconvienced her so that she will have to move twice now??? I will point out again, she had 5 months to sign the agreement, and elected not to, it’s her own damm fault!

    You state We “find fault with almost every entity and organization in town” which ones might you be referring to exactly because I was not aware there was a problem other than our issues with the local government which I have already explained?

    You also state that JR “proceeds to act as an unelected 6th city councilman” and local girl states “he has tried and possibly succeeded in influencing some of the members of the City Council. There is a lot of animosity amongst the community right now because of some choices made by the council that most feel were the wrong choices. JR Knight always has his nose where it doesn’t belong and this is where it has gotten him” Again, check the facts…would be happy to have you over for a cup of coffee and a discussion. You know where we are.

  49. Local Girl says

    Once again, it should be pointed out that those making a big deal about anything to do with homosexuality are in the minority. JR and Robin are using the Gay and Lesbian rights to their advantage or as a crutch and nothing more. If anything, it has just been a way for them to make some extra money from those of you that have been crazy enough to “donate a weekend”. It is more than likely that if prior to them hanging this flag and having sh** hit the fan the way it has, JR Knight would have probably been one of the first ones to raise a huge stink if someone tried to move to town and open a gay bar or something of that sorts.
    JR and Robin either need to get used to the fact that they live in a very old and conservative community or move on. I’m not saying that I agree with everything that is going on, however, this community has always been like this and probably always will. There are a lot of conservative communitites in Southwest Kansas, heck, all of Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, shall I go on? This is a community that has never had a lot of change, it is in a sense, “old school”. This community isn’t conservative just to be prejudiced, but people have to realize that the gay community is a big unknown to people around here. The unknown can be really scary no matter what it is.
    Myself as well as my family have no ill feelings towards the gay community. I believe that Vicky Best is in the minority when it comes down to having ill feelings towards the gay community. Again, this “boycott” of the Knight’s business has been a long time coming and is for so many more reasons that a gay pride flag. Don’t let Robin’s pitty party stories fool you.

  50. Kevin says

    Robin –

    Thanks for the link to the Hutchinson newspaper story – and yet another example of ignorance displayed in the form of Vicky Best’s comments.

    To the rest of the Meade residents:

    I’d sure like to know why some people in Meade appear to think that gay Americans aren’t born in that community, nor aren’t forced to grow up among a bunch of bigots who choose to interpret scripture as a means of persecuting others. Is there some reason why Ms. Best believes that she is a more valuable, more worthwhile, more productive, more deserving person who is entitled to live in Meade, but some gay American who might choose to relocate there should be banned?

    It amazes me that people like Best don’t consider themselves aligned with the likes of Fred Phelps, yet how far from his rhetoric are her own words . .her own condemnation? I just find it amazing that people like this waitress believe that HER religious choices should be not only tolerated, but celebrated in a community, but those she chooses to hate must be ostracized. Am I supposed to expect, as a gay American who works hard, pays my taxes, has to fight for every stupid little civil right the rest of you take for granted. . .that I can walk into that place of business and sit down and believe Ms. Best will treat me the same way she’d treat everyone else?

    Well let me tell you people what is crap. What is crap is that people like that waitress think it is perfectly fine to prevent someone living with me for 20 years from stopping a relative from moving my body from my chosen grave. And people like that waitress think it is just great to tell me that I can’t make a decision for someone I fall in love with and live with for 20 years. What is crap is that people like her demand that I pay attention to HER religious beliefs and have my own life punished even if I don’t have any interest in her chosen church and the chosen bigotry which her minister attaches to it. And that apparently some members of your town seem to think that you are the only Americans entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that every gay person must live in the depraved big cities. Well, that just ain’t the case. . .and it never has been and it’s past time you people opened your eyes and joined the world.

    There are gay people who like living in small towns, on farms, on ranches – and they don’t deserve the crap dished out to them by people who don’t mind their own lives. Over the past week, I’ve had to read stories about six gay men attacked by baseball bats and a knife while leaving a pride celebration in San Diego. And then I got to read how a young gay man and a woman friend was kidnapped, locked in a camper all night, and the man beaten and kicked repeatedly to change him into being “straight.” Is that the kind of “straight and narrow” Ms. Best has in mind for raising your young people? To use three young men to brutally attack another man and repeatedly, savagely torture him for hours on end over his damned sexuality?
    And then your local newspaper, who apparently employs a reporter with likely half (or less) the credentials of my own advanced degrees in journalism, runs a picture and a link to learn about gay pride because it’s just “reporting the news? ” Bullsh*t.

    If there is one thing I am sick and tired of reading about every day of my life, it is the self-righteous hypocrisy of a bunch of idiots who run around screaming that they alone are the sole interpreters of God. Where in God’s name did you people get the idea you were Americans? Or for that matter, patriots? Do you have any idea how many times I, as an gay AMERICAN, have had to watch someone’s life be made a living hell just so one of your bigots can satisfy the need to crucify someone and feel better about yourselves? And then ya’ll have the nerve to complain that your town gets painted with a broad brush? We have watched good young men and women, who happen to be gay, some heroes who saved their units in battle in Iraq, in Vietnam, in World War II, get kicked out of their service just because some other American is insecure or trumps up an accusation. I’ve seen gay partners thrown out of the homes they shared with a life partner because some ‘religious” relative who hated the couple has legal right to walk in and steal the home and all the possessions.

    You see. . .you wouldn’t want me to come visit Meade – none of you would. Because the first thing I would likely do is to look up Ms. Best and tell her that no one gives a rat’s ass what church she wants to attend and how she likes using God as an excuse to hate other people. And I’d have no problem telling Keith that if he wants to see a Nazi, he can take a good long look in the mirror – and to stop claiming to be a conservative when he’s really just a radical who thinks he deserves special rights because his peepee apparently points in the proper direction. And I’d sure look up some of the gay veterans and ask them to come to your town so you people might see what a REAL patriot looks like – people who served their country only to come home and have to deal with scum. And maybe I’d ask a few of those young people who have been victims of such wonderful christian upbringing – the ones who learned how to hate just enough to torture someone all night long with punches and kicks and taunts as he is helplessly tied up – and the ones who had no problem tying Matt Shepard up on a fence and left to die. Or how about that good christian man in Florida, who, a year ago, beat his three-year-old son to death because he was afraid the kid wasn’t toughening up enough and could grow up to be ‘gay.”

    It just strikes me that this is the most petty excuse – a FLAG – for hating people and for fighting in a small town. I would wager that I could go door-to-door and dig up a scandal or history in every house in that community, and yet someone would still point fingers at someone else as being much worse. The sad thing is that some of the folks in your town feed on ignorance until it overwhelms all of you – and yet no one puts a stop to it so your community can grown and prosper. That is the goal here, isn’t it? You need a town where you can be proud to raise children who want to stay there – or nearby, who feel like they belong- ALL of them – and who feel safe from the ignorance and the hate that seems to be spreading around the community.

    You can bet that we will make sure there is a rainbow flag to replace every one that the bigots in that town rip down for as long as the Knights, or anyone else in your town, has the courage and the patriotism and the guts to fly one.

  51. Local Girl says

    Kevin,
    I totally understand your feelings on Keith and Vicky’s comments. I am from this area. I am not gay, nor are any of my family members. However, my brother’s best friend came out a couple of years ago and he is still the same kid/guy he always was. We love him no less now than we did before. Yes, Keith, Vicky and the mystery pastor were all asses for what they said. BUT, as I said in an earlier post, they are the minority that feel that way. I am in no way standing up for these people, but everyone out there has to know that new things/choices/ways of life are scary to some and unfortunately for those people they don’t necessarily know any better. Does it make it ok that they have spoken out like they have? No, but again, as someone has said in another post, it is their right to feel that way. You all need to know though that most people don’t feel that way. We are rural america and yes, some don’t know any better, but as you said, of course there have been people that have grown up here and are gay. There are people in Meade County that are gay, and they live their lives just like the rest of us do. I invite you and anyone else to visit our county and the community of Meade. We really do have a nice place to visit and to live… just remember that the unknown is quite scary. It makes me very sad at the hate and discontent this entire situation has caused. As I have previously said (more than once) this entire controversy is not about the flag, but about so many other issues – too many to pick from.
    Something that people need to realize – no matter what I say and no matter what issue I or anyone else may bring up, the Knights will always have an excuse as to how or why something is the way it is – they will never admit that they might have done something wrong or handled something the wrong way. That is exactly why there are always two sides to every story (and sometimes more!).
    Meade County and the community of Meade are not just a bunch of biggots. There are a few out there, but I dare you to show me one town or place that there are none! This is just a small community that has had anger building up for quite some time and now that it has finally erupted, it has caused a stir-up over something (the flag) that really has nothing to do with the situation.

  52. Cheryl says

    WOW. That was passionate. And I have to say I agree with almost all of it. First of all I will say to you Ms. Knight that I am using my first name and my correct e-mail address, if you care to find ME, I’m just down the road north of you. You may have heard me called many of things, but a liar I’m not. When a family member from out of town called me this morning, mostly to heckle me about the front page of the hutch news, I was wondering how long I could prevent myself from opening my big mouth and inserting both feet. I made it to 12:20 a.m. Sunday morning. I have been boycotting your place for the better part of a year. Why you may ask yourself? well let me answer that unspoken question. Last year around labor day my daughter came home for her first visit, she ask me if we could eat at your place. You, Ms. Knight waited on us. We ate our meal, without any refills on our drinks as other more wealthy people were asked if they needed more to drink. As we were finishing, your oh so kind and caring, not to mention sweet husband greeted four other “prominent” families and ask how their meal had been. He walked Right BY our table without a word. So I have been cool before I even knew it. My daughter hasn’t step foot in your restaurant since. I on the other hand had my arm almost broke to eat their with friends, it was not enjoyable. As for your nice pretty flag, I could care less. Fly the Nazi flag for all I care. By the way Kevin both Mr. Klassen and the preacher IN MY OPINION ARE ASSES!!!!!! And now that the Hutch News has hit this web blog, so is Ms. Best. Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stone. As everyone in this town is afraid of being sued by the Knights if they speak up please let it be known that it would be ill-advised to sue me as the bank owns 99.9% of what is in my name. Hard to get blood out of a turnip. When we moved to this town 13 years ago we were ask a lot of questions about why what when where and so on. I was asked if we were natives of Meade and with some humor I took to calling ourselves “foreigners”. Not so much any more. I’m pretty much a local now as 2 children have graduated for the high school with one more to go. My husband and I have taught them what they needed to know, and no,bigotry is not in their vocabulary. Come to Meade county Kansas, Please!!! As a small business owner, i hope that you may need a haircut, perm,or color. I could use the extra money and so could a lot of local business. As for my feelings about the local city government…….Again only my opinion…..The councilmen just cost this town a lot of money, money I really didn’t want to spend. They were not thinking about the good of this community as the said they would, and they have not saved us any money either. They had an ax to grind and it is ground. Thanks for Breaking the backs of the 60 to 75% of this community, the elderly. Everytime the four councilmen open their mouths something stupid comes out. I’m sick to death of them. And Mr. Knight I have wanted to say this to you for along time but I knew that if I went to a council meeting I would lose my temper .I am tired of the city handing you everything you want for fear of a lawsuit, you get more freedoms than my business ever could. SIT DOWN, SHUT UP AND TAPE THE F***ING MEETING. you ARE NOT A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL IF YOU WANT TO BE RUN FOR THE POSTION SO WE CAN VOTE YOU DOWN. OH AND BY THE WAY TELL YOUR CRONIES TO QUIT MEETING IN DARK ALLEYS, AND TAKING THE LONG WAY TO EACH OTHERS HOME. ITS ILLEGAL. SOMEDAY SOMEONE WILL HAVE A CAMERA. Thank you towelroad for allowing us to air Meade’s dirty laundry on your site, maybe we need to get our own. And by the way each and every person that has written anything on here would welcome you to town(i hope). Most small towns are the same, we just have more people that embarrass us publicly. To the Knights fly the rainbow flag as much as you want, but could you PLEASE quit taking these peoples hard earned cash, and if that’s to much to ask could you donate it back to their cause?

  53. Mark Ingersoll says

    Seems to me the initial point has been lost due to money and politics, and some personal feelings that are now flapping more wildly than the flag itself.

    I think any further discussion should be focussed on the anti-gay reaction to a flag. Now that the cat is out of the bag, it looks like Meade is not much different than a lot of communities. The issue seems to have been living in the dark for quite awhile.

    What Meade will become known for is how they deal with the anti-gay issue. It sounds like there are some good folks there that are not bigots or hate-mongers, yet will they openly stand up to the rest of the city and plead for change?

    It’s noted above that 60 to 75% of the community is elderly. Why are the young ones moving away? Usually the standard answer is “better jobs” in the big cities. But I also wonder if it isn’t also to get away from old thinking that doesn’t support their views of the world anymore. Listen to their conversations. Are they wanting to move “to” or “from”? Either way should provide a clue as to how the community is failing to retain its youth.

    With the new ways of global communication, a closed community is a thing of the past. In every home that has a connection to the outside world, the young ones are seeing different ideas and different ways. The anti-gay rhetoric is only one part. Are there other parts in your community that are offending their “sense of belonging” so much that they leave it all behind?

    The ultimate purpose here is hopefully that the folks in Meade will launch their own personal inquiries. Hopefully, as a community, they will let their young ones know they will try harder to understand and support them. The young ones ARE your future….or will they leave to find a better place?

    Get involved! Let that preacher and newspaper and radio station know you will NOT support them or their hateful ways. One by one, every person in Meade can make a difference. Mouths and/or money make change.

    The gay and lesbian “community” is global, and will survive with or without Meade. But, Meade is on a small patch of Kansas plain with its future directly connected to the retention of its youth. Can it survive if it continues to loose? Think about it, please.

  54. MURPHY says

    HOLD UP FOLKS> Your forgetting one thing. The reason I personally quit going to the lakeway was because the food and service was lousy.. They have a private club there also and when we tried to join they acted like it was too much trouble to find an application. I couldnt give one rats &*( what their views and opionions are on sexuality. Like their opinions are earth shattering or something. Its laughable what you people are believing about this situation. This guy is a lousy business man and a worse cook. LOL thats it in a nut shell. And lets not forget about the big hairy dog they keep in their restaurant.. I dont know about you but the last thing I want in my meal is dog hair. I hope you all dont waste your money on this con. There are far better causes in this world than helping a worhtless (so called ) business man out of a hole he dug for himself and his family. As someone who rode against Phelps I believe in helping people who are in need. This guy needs only one thing. Jail for this con he is pulling on you all. As far as this flag situation, this is something he set up himself to try to get the reaction he wanted. I believe he destroyed the flag himself. Why? To get you all to send money to the poor Knights who were just defending their beliefs. Riiigght Give me a break. Hes a liar and a half assed con. Dont fall for his crap folks. The people in Meade and Meade county are not the way this jerk is making them out to be. Want proof?? Come and see for yourselves. 99% of us are too concerned with day to day life to bother with this B.S.

  55. SomethingNeedsToChange says

    I’m not going to get into the whole ‘this side is right and this side is wrong’ deal. Both sides of this argument have their strengths and weaknesses.

    I’ll start with Meade.

    The towns folk have the right to boycott a buisness for any reason they think appropriate; i.e. moral issues, political views, opinions on whether or not alcohol should or shouldn’t be served; they have this right just the same as Mr. and Mrs. Knight have the right to fly their flag. Because a person chooses not to support a buisness because that buisness supports gay rights does not make that person a ‘bigot’. Would a liberal aethist be considered a bigot because he refuses to attend a church fund raising dinner?

    The local radio station has a policy about only advertising for buissnesses that show good Christian morals and values and playing the music of artists with the same attributes. Last time I checked Romans 1, I think that the Bible is clear on whether or not homosexuality, or even sex between an unmarried man and woman, is indeed wrong. The radio station has no choice on whether or not such a buiness can be advertised on their station.

    However, the Bible instructs us to be loving to ALL. Meade has not done such a good job of that lately, as you who are reading this can very well see by reading the previous comments. We must remember to accept and be loving to people who are different or commiting a wrong-doing, but that certainly does not mean we have to be tolerant of and accept what those people are doing. As I read that, I find my wording a bit confusing…I hope my point came across.

    Now it is the Knights’ turn.

    I’ll start with this: I am refraining from going to your buisness because I don’t agree with a number of things you have done or support. I find it very difficult to give buisness to a place that sells alcohol by the drink and supports gay rights. I am saddened by the Knights’ decisions on those topics (and others) because their restaurant was a great place (out of Meade’s five restaurants) with wonderful food. (and a huge, but nice, dog!)

    There are politcal issues that have been made clear in previous posts that bother me.

    How many lies have been told? I thought the innocent rainbow flag had been purchased 40 minutes from here in Liberal, KS, at Dorothy’s House. Now the Hutch News says it was sent to the Knights from thier son, who is in California. Is this the only lie, or are there more serious ones?

    I have rambled on far too long. I hope this have given you all something to think about.

    As a citizen of Meade who does not support homosexuality, I will accept a person; I may not support their actions.

  56. Kevin says

    SomethingNeedsToChange –

    I’m not exactly sure why you think anyone in the world should give a damn whether you “support homosexuality” or not – any more than anyone should care if you attend a church which may interpret the scriptures you use in that manner as well. Does that give citizens who neither believe that interpretation nor subscribe to that religious belief license to tear down the cross at the church?

    I think one of the issues here is that it seems that one side believes it particularly appropriate to condemn others’ actions, but feel their own “religious” beliefs rise above such scrutiny. Well, to quote our Vice President a few years ago, “Freedom means freedom for everybody.”
    So how many people are being quoted in the newspaper about that minister and that church? And what is this crap about infering that a “Christian” radio station has to adhere to certain “Christian” values and yet obviously ignore some others? Are you trying to say that gay Americans aren’t “Christians” just because the local radio station has declared itself “Christian” and there is some checklist of offenses dictated by some owner-ayatolluh?

    It seems to me that the newspaper and the radio station should be boycotted – no one has assigned them the definitive right to claim the exclusive interpreter of God. Instead, it is just too easy to hide behind this “Christian” cover as just an excuse to commit acts of deception and hate. It just doesn’t fly to me. But there’s a difference here – you expect the gays in your community to “accept” the waitress and the “Nazi flag raised over a Jewish community” crap but don’t believe anyone should be making public statements slamming your church or that radio station. Now why is that? Because you think you are exclusively “right” and those people are “wrong?”

    Well, that’s your interpretation and your belief. Unfortunately, gay Americans don’t believe that nonsense. Which means if people like you expect to be accepted as residents of that town, you need to understand that they might not support your actions, either. The difference is that they accept you enough that they aren’t using the airwaves and the newspaper to attack and humiliate.

  57. SomethingNeedsToChange says

    Take it for what you will. I was trying to be a compromisor, but apparentely it was a very good compromise.

    You mentioned nothing about the lies that the Knights have been caught in. Is that because their side is the only side that matters to anyone? Are they just automatically right every time because ‘they are the victims’?

    Is it bigoted to not accept what a person does or believes but still accept that person? I have several Catholic friends, but I don’t agree with all of their beliefs and customs. Am I a bigot for that?

    I will admit that our newspaper leave A LOT to be desired, but I will not say that of the station. I challenge you to read the first chapter of Romans starting with verse 26. Read it and see how you interpret it before you discredit my interpretation.

    In the last few weeks, you have not convinced us of your beliefs and ways just as we have obviously not convinced you of a word of ours. Maybe we should stop wasting our valuable time typing away on a silly message board about all of this nonesense!

    Think twice before you believe every word the Knights have said–a lot of it is true, a lot of it most likely is not true–they’ve been caught in one lie. How many more are there?

  58. Kevin says

    Well, I’m surprised you consider this a “silly message board” because it obviously has provided your community more of a discussion forum than both your local newspaper and your “Christian” radio station. That alone should make you pause and think about the status of ability to discuss issues with respect in your community. Your two modes of local media communication are awash in ideological extremism so deeply that they only serve a particular group in the community, rather than the town as a whole.

    This is, of course, because they have been deemed religiously correct…or is that con-servatively correct? So automatically when you talk about respect and bigotry, you try to compare the plight of gays with your opinion of Catholics…except you expect the gays to listen to your fantasies about why you think their behavior is “wrong” and then use the public airwaves to read bible verses to others to push those beliefs. The gays, of course, aren’t supposed to have a point of view, can’t criticize the “Christian” radio station, and aren’t supposed to have any way of expressing their opinion of, say, tyranny, because you are biblically correct. It’s a nice tidy little system.

  59. kevin-ish says

    Kevin…get over it already, seriously. I think it is sad you have so much of you time devoted to arguing on a message board in which you make yourself sound like an ass.

  60. Something stinks at the Lakeway says

    I have been to the Lakeway one time and vowed to never go back. This was over a year ago, long before the rainbow flag was ever flown. The service was so terrible that the couple sitting at the table next to us got up and left. The Knights problems are the result of their own actions. Maybe the people sending money to the Knights should take that money and come to Meade for a week for an unbiased view of the Knights and the City of Meade.

  61. Something stinks at the Lakeway says

    In front of the Lakeway flys the rainbow flag with the American flag flying over it. What disappoints me is that if the American flag would have been ripped down along with the rainbow flag I don’t know if anyone would have ever mentioned the American flag. This saddens me.

  62. Local Girl says

    I drove by there several times tonight 8/9/06 and neither flag was flying. I haven’t heard of another flag being destroyed. What’s the deal with the Knights? If the whole gay rights issue is so important to them, why was it not flying this evening? Also, if it is so important to them, why not put up a spotlight???

  63. Kevin says

    To Kevin-ish –

    I’m not interested in what you find is “sad” about others. It’s a discussion forum. That was your paltry contribution.

    To Something Stinks At the Lakeway –

    If you don’t think anyone would have mentioned the American flag, perhaps you need to bring that issue up with your local newspaper and that “Christian” radio station. . .that is, if they actually let people who aren’t ‘religiously correct” write letters or participate on the public airwaves.

  64. outcasts of meade says

    Let me start by telling you what i have learned from the little ass town of meade kansas. My parents were born and raised in meade kansas as were I. This is a town who would/will help out when the help is needed. I remember helping out during my many years as a teen to the people in and around meade. When my boyfriend and i started dating we had problems from the whole town. They wanted us apart. I was the goodie goodie and he was the trouble maker. Right after my high school graduation we moved and swore we would never be back. Once we left the town realized they had more on their hands then a few kids wanting something to do in a small town. During my senior year we had our election for the city council, there were many questions on who to vote for. Well they found out that they didn’t make the best choices when voting. They voted for people who were power hungry. The first time we came home to see family we were shocked by all the houses that were for sale. These people won the vote were driving people out of this nice small town. Once we got home and read all the news papers we realized why people were moving and were glad we didn’t live here and have to deal with it all. Then we got phone calls from friends and family worring about going to work and finding that they no longer had jobs. They were getting rid of good working people for no reason. They got rid of the “city manager” who has done nothing but good to this town. They eliminated a lot of jobs saying that it was to much to pay them, which when you added up all the figures, which i did, it was costing the city more money to fire these people and still have to finish paying their contracts out and hire new people from out of town to do their jobs.
    And the whole thing with JR Knights son. He was gone before i even moved and i’ve been gone awhile.His business has gone down hill because he charges too much for too little. When he first opened up they had food that people around here don’t eat very often. It was considered by alot of people to be a place for people to go on “dates” on, and not just out to eat. Which is not bad, but that is not something for a small town to have. I ate there and the food was awesome. Then they lost their cook, and their food turned to…..well pretty much shit, and nobody went to eat there anymore. Their business was lost before they even started it, and then him causing trouble with the whole town didn’t help the matters any. He should of kept his big ass mouth of his shut.
    He kicked our pharmacy out of their building and they have been there as long as i can remember. We have alot of elderly people who just can’t drive the forty miles to get medicine, and he want’s to make them because he “can”? because they don’t support what he’s doing??? that is not right.
    People in the town knew what the flag meant. You sit here and read a few things about that a few people say and you got the town figured out don’t you????? Think again. I thought i had the town figured out, and i have gotten suprised everyday that i have moved back. The town is just trying to stick together, and get past the mess that Knight has started, and you read about a flag being “ripped” and “cut”(I have heard both)down you jump right to his aid, and have no idea that he is feeding you full of shit. We do have gays and lesibans that live here, and we don’t outcast them for it. We may not believe it’s right, but we still accept who they are. We are not rude, and hateful to them, but helpful when needed. Don’t believe all that you hear and read. Take the advice and get a copy of the news papers and see what trouble Knight has caused. I didn’t believe it myself until i read them, I always thought he was a nice guy until i learned more about him. And for the record i drove by there about 10 minutes ago and he has yet to put p another flag like he said he would. Dorthy’s house doesn’t sell the flags. I’ve been there and never seen one

  65. Tiffany says

    I am a local for 6 years now and I admit it is not easy to be accepted in this town at first. I applied at 26 busnisess and could not get a job because I was “new to town”. In the 6 years that I have been here I have never seen such hatred toward one person.
    I will start to say that the flag has nothing to do with JR, yes it might have caused some people to speak to the news and make asses out of them selves but that is there belief. I couldn’t care less if you were gay, colored or disfigured I would still accept you. We live in a retirement town. The young people are moving out because there is nothing to do here. You have to drive 3 hours to get to a mall, an hour to get to a Wal-Mart and an hour to eat at a decent restaurant. I know pretty much every one in this town and they don’t have much to say about the flag accept that he knew what he was doing when he put it up. He has been caught in a lie. He first told the news that his son bought it at Dorothys house because it reminded him of somewhere over the rainbow, now he says his son bought it in California and sent it to them. They say they miss him dearly, yes they might but they also treated there DOG better than they treated there only son. They would not give him a key to his own house, he had to ring the door bell or go though the pharmacy door to get home.
    I will tell you why he evicted the pharmacy also. He had his 12 year old son bring over a lease for her to sign and walked out smiling. The lease said that he (JR) owned everything in the pharmacy except her inventory, she had to give him proof that she had liability insurance, it was her responsibility to fix anything damaged in the store and she had to fix any exterior property that was south of the pharmacy (sidewalk, windows, siding, ect.). The lease was also a month to month lease. To get this straight Robin, her mother did not set the rate, the rate was already set when she bought the place.
    Okay yes someone was stupid enough to cut down the flag, WHY hasn’t he put another one up. He receives one to two everyday. Kevin might think the flag issue and the Nazi issue are a horrible problem but does Kevin live here. Apparently ALL he cares about is the flag and the Nazi’s. Does he really know what has been going on in this community, I think he needs to get a clue.
    Thanks for listening to me……………

  66. Lynn says

    I can not believe everyone.Half of this town did not no what this flag meant.Not evan me until a asked my friends and family who are gay.This man is a drama queen,and i do know he is not telling everyone the truth.There is a reason he put that flag up,and a lot more stuff going on then what people think,and for everyone to believe in one persons word with out fact.Remember their is two sides to every story.I hate to say this but this man is playing games with everyone and i would not send him a dime.And to bring his kid in this was wrong.We have haters every where in this World but we also have people that love everyone and don’t care about if your gay,black,haspanic,white,yellow or green.We have so much other things going on in the World that needs our focus.Remember two sides to every story.

  67. Local Girl says

    Is anyone that reads this blog getting it through their heads?? If anyone would pay attention to what the locals are saying (I being one of them) is that this truely is not about the gay rights issues. (Yes, we realize that is had pissed a lot of people off that it seemed to have started over a Gay Pride Flag, but this is a small community, find another cause because you are not going to get anywhere with this one – because there really isn’t a problem with gay rights in little ‘Ol Meade, Kansas.)

    What about all of the lies that the Knights have been caught in?? How about the fact that Robin Knight hasn’t posted anything for almost a week? Maybe Kevin – she has realized that she has dug herself a pretty deep hole and can’t get out of it. Ever hear about someone being up a shit creek without a paddle? Well JR & Robin Knight – SOMETHING STINKS!!

    It’s been said before and I’ll say it again. Meade is a nice community. They accept everyone. Of course you have an asshole hear and there, but I DARE YOU to show me a place where there aren’t any.
    You keep asking why the young ones are leaving Meade? It is a small community, there aren’t many jobs here. When these kids go off to college and get these fancy degrees – there aren’t very many jobs in Meade County to support that. It has always been a small community. Just because people go off to college, we can’t wave our magic wand and create 20 new businesses overnight to bring our kids home. It isn’t that they don’t want to come back, some do, but again it has mostly to do with the jobs available. This entire county is predominately farm ground.

  68. Mark says

    Ok. So the Knights lied about the flag, their food sucks, they booted the pharmacy out in the street, and they are just unworthy to be on the planet.

    But how does any of that explain the newspaper’s link to the gay URL? Or the radio station threat to cancel the ads? Or the mystery preacher who compared the flag to women’s panties?? The Knights didn’t do any of that!

    And where the hell did that come from…comparing a flag to women’s panties? Is there something about women’s panties that I don’t know? Can you hang ’em out on the line to dry? Or is that forbidden?

    And it sounds like that radio station is anything but Christian. Issuing ultamatums is far outside of the bounds of christianity.

    Why is that newspaper just trying to stir it up? What..they thought nobody outside of Meade would catch on to their prank?

    Somebody said there wasn’t a town around without an asshole or two. Looks to me that ya’ll got at least 3.

    You keep saying its a great place, but you can’t get a job if you weren’t born there? And anyone with an education has left town? What’s left??

    And the city manager gets booted by some power hungry control freaks?

    I mean, I know we all have our problems, and usually its just the faces and names that change…..but sheeeesh! Ya’ll got a full plate of misery going on there! No wonder Wal-Mart won’t come to town!

    Are you reapin what you sow? Did any of you actually stay awake in church? Or did the effects of the sermon not last more than 45 minutes after the service let out?

    This whole thing ain’t got a damned thing to do with the knights. Cheese and rice! It has to do with the bigot preacher, the newspaper, and radio station. That’s where your bigots are…and they are the same ones who are supposed to be providing service to the community. Sounds like they all got a paddle stuck in the shit bucket and they stir it up anytime something comes along that they don’t like.

    Now that you have kicked the crap out of the Knights, why don’t you go kick some ass over at the radio station, the mystery preacher’s church, and the newspaper?

    The biggest problem is you can’t focus on the real problem long enough to even know you got a problem. You just keep venting your spleens on a couple of people from the outside, and loosing site of what this is really all about.

    You blogging on a GAY site. We don’t give a shit about the bad food, or the pharmacy deal. We’re concerned about the newspaper, preacher and radio station bigots which it seems nobody wants to confront!

  69. anothermeadelocal says

    First of all, the newspaper here is a joke. It’s the opinions of one woman and one woman only. Any resident of Meade County who thinks the Meade County News is a reputable news source is plain foolish.

    Secondly, gay pride is completely against the values and beliefs of our Christian radio station and they were right to pull the advertising.

    Third, to Meade locals, the mystery preacher is no mystery. He preaches hatred and bigotry from the pulpit every Sunday and revels in small town gossip.

    Fourth, the Knight’s business was never exactly thriving.

    Fifth, city council meeting have become a three-ringed circus and a laughing stock.

    Sixth, i happen to know a gay or two in Meade. They’re in the closet for a reason. The small minds of this town would not hesitate to form a lynch mob. No, not all of the minds are small, just the followers of our very own California preacherman.

    And no, i will NOT give my real name. I still have small children here and i know just what judgemental assholes in power can do.

    We are getting the heck out of this hick town, i chose to live here to get away from things like hate crimes.

  70. Tiffany says

    I am not saying the paper was right to say what she said but as miss Robin Knight states up above “it is my building, my business, my right” well guess what Robin it is DK paper, her business, her right. She did not ask a question she just stated a fact, gave a web site to visit and a preacher and radio station went over board. As far as I am concerned ANOTHERMEADELOCAL, when you move from this town you will move into another town just like it except they won’t have someone causing havac and trying to shove gay pride in your face.

  71. Mark says

    “won’t have someone causing havac and trying to shove gay pride in your face”

    Not too long ago, women went through what the gay community is going through. Before the Women’s Rights movement, women didn’t count. Being beaten by a drunken husband was a “personal matter”. Saying “No” didn’t count. Being raped indicated the woman was a slut and that she provoked the attack. Heck, for a long, long time, women weren’t even allowed to vote! And the church just never saw a woman fit to deliver a sermon. (I guess God only trusts men!?) Women were meant to be, and kept sub-serviant. Second class. Less than. Not worthy of. And all this during a time of major conservativeness in this nation.

    Women bore and raised children. Women cleaned house. Women wear weak and emotional. Women were to be seen but not heard.

    Finally, you stood up and demanded your inalienable rights. You still have some glass ceilings to knock down, but you have come a very long way in taking what is rightfully yours.

    The women’s movement for equality made a HUGE difference as they banded together to push their agenda. And, women caused havoc and shoved their pride in everyone’s face as they marched on Washington, sued companies for discrimination, and demanded laws that prohibited discrimination based on sex/gender.

    Now, we, the gay community are demanding the same consideration. We are going through the same trials and tribulations women experienced just a few years ago.

    Yet it sometimes seems women are the more vocal opponents of the gay movement. Maybe you’re just dishing out what you got so many years before. Maybe you hope that if “gay” is outlawed then none of your children will be gay. Maybe, just maybe, you’re afraid you will loose some of your own ground in the battle for equality if the attention focusses elsewhere.

    And, isn’t it odd that in many ways, gays are considered to be weak, effiminate, emotional, less than…..kind of just like women. Now I wonder why the media and the politicians do that? They used that ploy on women for decades – until women had their fill of being looked down on.

    So, while some of the ladies in Meade may not support what we are trying to do – to understand us – they need only to whip out their compact mirrors and take a look. They will probably see the eyes of someone who is damned tired of being considered second class, less than, not worthy of. They know the story. They’ve done it for a very long time. When, dear God, will you get your chance to just be you?

  72. born&raisedMeade says

    Your point is taken that the discussion is digressing from the focus of the blog. I fully support the gay rights movement, as do many people in this community. I do know though that many times, opinions are modified, not so much by the crazed person yelling from a soapbox, but through people living as neighbors, quietly showing that they are more similar than dissimilar. Personally, I would love to support the gay rally in Meade on Sunday, but I will not show an ounce of support for the Knights.

  73. Terry says

    Come on people it’s time to move on.Every one has problems,your not the first town and you wont’ be last.Lets face it the News Paper almost never prints the facts the way thay should.But we buy it and read it,to see what thay print about something or someone.It’s gossip for small towns.Everyone is going from one thing to another,MOVE ON!!!

  74. Mark says

    Great. Just slam the door in their face. You seem to be the only one advocating “move on”. You should.

    If opening dialogue with these folks will in some way make it better for even one person there, then it is a win for all.

    You may have more important things to contend with. Please do so.

  75. cheryl says

    Mark, everytime I read something you wrote I am amazed at the wording. I may not agree with every word but I am still amazed. have you ever thought about writting a book or something? p.s. i’m being serious not catty.

  76. Mark says

    Cheryl, thank you for the compliment. And, thank you for not agreeing with every word. I can’t think of anything that is 100% agreeable with 100% of the people.

    But if we can talk about things…and those things gives us a place or a start at exploring ourselves…then we can find a way to understand and accept. (I think this is where we all put on the togas!)

    Again, thanks for the compliment!

  77. smalltowngirl says

    The citizens of Meade Kansas are kind and caring-we care about all people, and will not support hate towards any beautiful person that our God has created. The article that I have posted below came from the website – godhatesgfags.com, and was posted on the schedule of events for a group led by Fred Phelps. This man is supporting a horrible cause, and I urge all readers to show support for our the community of Meade. As I said above we are a small town, that will stand up for the common good of ALL PEOPLE. This man’s cause is unjust!!!

    WBC to picket the Lakeway Hotel in Meade, Kansas, at noon, Sunday, August 27, in religious protest and warning: “God is not mocked.” God Hates Fags, and Fag-Enablers. Ergo, God hates the Lakeway Hotel and the so-called Kansas Equality Coalition for promoting sinful sodomy. And, WBC to picket 5 mainline churches in Meade, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Sunday, August 27 – for creating an evil, antichristic zeitgeist in Meade wherein it is acceptable for the rainbow flag (international symbol of so-called gay pride) to be flown, attracting filthy fag activists to Meade like maggots to dead carcasses.

  78. thisdoesntinvolvethem says

    ok we cant allow them to protest like this. this is between mr knight and the citizens of meade and i dont know who u are small town girl but ur flippin crazy no one should support that crazy s.o.b fred phelps please help keep wbc out of meade ks

  79. smalltowngirl says

    Dear This Doesn’t Involve Meade,

    Why are you calling me crazy? I don’t support Mr. Phelps! Did you not read what I wrote? I think that he is crazy, and that he is supporting an unjust cause.I don’t want him to come to Meade, I am simply asking all readers to support Meade in our crusade against Mr. Phelps, and his horrible followers. Watch out before you go calling people crazy, that’s the kind of ignorance that caused all of this in the first place.

  80. Mark says

    Ah! The Phelps! The crown jewels of ignorance and insanity! These people crack me up! They are definitely the biggest joke around.

    I highly encourage every single person in Meade to line the streets and simply laugh your asses off at these crazies. Maybe if the whole town paraded as clowns and other circus performers. Hell, dress up the dogs and cats….and take ’em to town. In other words, meet crazy with crazy. Make it a complete carnival day in Meade!

    (Of course, when we really ..REALLY… need a house to fall on a wicked witch….!)

    Believe me, this group has no concept of logic and their ability to twist and distort reality and truth is hilarius. They are a complete mockery of Christianity.

    Meade IS bigger than the crazed rantings of the Phelps (aka WBC). Laugh ’em out of town!

    And then, you may want to talk with that newspaper editor about her “opinions” and that shit bucket she keeps over by the printing press. It completely amazes me how one insect can damage so much grain.

  81. Mark says

    I forgot to mention…

    The Phelps will do their very best to stir up emotions with their signs and chants of hate. Don’t get sucked in to a confrontation. THAT is their GOAL!

    You have zero chance of any level of logical communication with these folks. They are way, way out there.

    The worst part is what their antics expose to the young ones. So drown ’em out with a day of fun in a complete carnival setting. Scrape up some orange wigs, and red noses, stilts for tall men, beards for women, some jugglers, the high school band. Hot dogs, corn dogs, and bull dogs. Some fat cats, too.

    Either they get to run the show…or you do. Stand up, Meade, and run these fools right on out of town on a flat-bed rail car. Or you will become their target time and time again.

    I suppose another approach would be to coordinate their protests to complete vacancy. Go inside, pull the blinds, turn out the lights. Even close businesses. It’s hard to preach when there is no one to listen.

    Either way, Meade has what it takes. Just don’t let them suck you into a confrontation!

  82. thisdoesntinvolvethem says

    small town girl i apoligize i didnt read ur post as close a i should of again i am sorry

  83. clod says

    Suck a fat one people his place was a disaster from the get go. The flag had nothing to do with hiss business failing. Don’t just believe everything people