Discrimination | Missouri | Religion

Rev. Phil Snider Flips Gay Rights Script, Wants Bible Read With 'Integrity': VIDEO


Voters in Springfield, Missouri, spent much of their summer debating whether or not to expand their town's non-discrimination policies to LGBT people. At the height of the back-and-forth, a local reverend named Phil Snider appeared before the city council to deliver what is being described as a "fiery sermon" about gay rights.

"I worry about the future of our city," he said last August. "Any accurate reading of the Bible should make it clear that gay rights goes against the plain truth of the word of God. As one preacher warns, man in overstepping the boundary lines God has drawn by making special rights for gays and lesbians has taken another step in the direction of inviting the judgment of God upon our land.”

Then, toward the end of the nearly three minute remarks, Snider, who preaches at the Brentwood Christian Church, is on Twitter and has a blog, flips the script, admitting that all of his speech had been lifted from racist speeches calling for segregation.

I'm sorry, I brought the wrong notes with me. It turns out what I've been reading to you this whole time are direct quotes from white preachers from the 1950s and the 1960s all in support of racial segregation. All I have done is simply take out the phrase 'racial integration' and substituted it with the phrase 'gay rights.'

The non-discrimination measure was tabled, unfortunately, but Snider's incredibly clever appearance lives on in video form AFTER THE JUMP.

Before that, though, read this blurb from an essay he posted on his Facebook page last July, before his appearance. The essay is called "What Does the Bible Really Say About Homosexuality? - Part I":

The question, it seems to me, is not based on whether we have uniformity of interpretation but rather integrity of interpretation. Whatever our personal beliefs might be, we are charged with interpreting the Bible with integrity, to ask how it serves as a guide for our beliefs, which demands understanding it to the best of our ability, in relationship to its original context, and in light of the teachings of Christ.

Alright, find the August video of the august pastor AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. Clever, but 1) I am concerned that people will lift the first portion of the speech and omit the second and 2) did the people really understand what he was saying? I thought that there would have been a crowd response when he revealed the true meaning of his quotes.

    Posted by: gr8guya | Oct 20, 2012 2:59:23 PM

  2. Brilliant!

    Posted by: greg | Oct 20, 2012 3:02:12 PM

  3. It's a great tactic but at the same time it would have been more effective (IMO) if he done only a minute of those comments then dedicated the bulk of his time to speaking FOR gay rights.

    For many years I was a rare book dealer and I have held my hands books written in the 1800s South in DEFENSE of slavery. One of them was a book written by a minister on how to be a "proper" Christian slave-owner, his recommendations drawn directly from the Bible. (Which in case you don't know, says you can't beat a slave to death, but if you beat a slave and he/she doesn't die until 3 days later then you're OK. Those 3 days of agony somehow make it better and you're off the hook so far as God is concerned.)

    (To be fair, there were also minsters and religious folks who opposed slavery too.)

    At EVERY advancement in human rights the Priests and Preachers were there waving their holy book around, opposing it because "The Bible says...."

    Ending slavery.
    Equal votes for blacks.
    Votes for women.
    Ending segregation.
    Allowing interracial marriage.
    The Equal Rights Amendment.

    Every. D@mn. Time.

    Posted by: Caliban | Oct 20, 2012 3:30:07 PM

  4. Wonderful. Wish he'd had more time to put forward his own views, but what an ingenious and measured argument.

    Posted by: Tristram | Oct 20, 2012 3:37:13 PM

  5. It's interesting to watch the audience during the first part of the speech. You can see how comforting those words of scripture can be when they support your own subliminal bigotry. Everyone is listening in auto-pilot mode to those familiar words sucking it all in. But this was well played. And most of the audience probably did not like finding out that their comfort zone was in the last century. It might take a while for this to sink in, but the speaker made his point very well.

    Posted by: ChuckC | Oct 20, 2012 3:48:37 PM

  6. God Bless this real Christian for standing on the side of truth and justice and equality for all, black and white, gay and straight. God has blessed this man to do his good works.

    Posted by: Bob | Oct 20, 2012 5:03:39 PM

  7. A smart and compassionate guy. If all "Christians" were like him I would respect them.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Oct 20, 2012 5:12:31 PM

  8. Frankly, I don't think that sank in at all. The point needed to be hammered home much ,more forcibly......subtlety is lost on that crowd,IMO.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 20, 2012 5:13:23 PM

  9. @ Caliban. You're absolutely correct. If you look around the world, the most religious areas have the least human rights because organized religion keeps people down. In places such as western Europe religion has it 's least power and human rights are the best in the world.

    This is no accident. Organized religion is ALL ABOUT MONEY. ALL of them - no exceptions. They are all profit making businesses. People are too afraid/stupid to see that.

    People give more money to these organized religions if they are more in need. Therefore, it's in the best interests of these organized religions to keep people down. If everyone had great human rights and great quality of life they would forget about religions which means religions would go financially bankrupt.

    Religions are the ones who are working to ensure people don't get any life improvements. They are always the most against any kind of progress on human rights. It's the biggest con in history, it's been happening for centuries and it will continue because most people are morons.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Oct 20, 2012 5:18:42 PM

  10. Did those folks look like they had just swallowed some punch or what? If someone told me they were all first cousins...I would say ah-ha, that explains everything. Couldn't figure out if they liked what he said or even got the punch line. Welcome to Springfield, Mo.
    Personally...I thought it was delightful.

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Oct 20, 2012 5:29:13 PM

  11. @caliban. Trollery and bullcrapon your part. Slavery: ever hear of the Quakers and the underground railroad. The abolitionist movement and its most fiery advocate, the REV. William Lloyd Garrison. John Brown the martyr of abolition and his frquent quotation of scripture. In England, William Wilberforce and others of FAITH. Segregation: the entire movement for freedom from MLK on down was black preachers. I guess you never took history in school or your need to push atheism trumps truth. Your "to be fair" insertion is a meaningless afterthought once you nailed your atheist hostility to the flagpole.

    Posted by: Contrarian | Oct 20, 2012 5:59:32 PM

  12. @Contrarian, bite my @ss.

    EVERY word I said was true. If want EXAMPLES of it, you apologist POS, feel free to use your own Google finger.

    Did I say ALL religious people were in agreement? No, I didn't. But the fact remains that from the Inquisition to the Witch Hunts to the Defense of Slavery there have been so-called religious folks right there on the frontlines crying that if those they perceive as enemies don't suffer, if you don't hate and fear who they TELL you to hate and fear, then the "natural order" will be interrupted and God will burn us all.

    That is unarguable, historical fact.

    Posted by: Caliban | Oct 20, 2012 7:58:55 PM

  13. @Caliban..."bite my @ss"?? Cute! I do agree with most, if not all, of what you say though.
    You're obviously more well read than I am but my gut tells me that organized religion has almost always been proudly & loudly on the wrong side of history. Certainly as a born & bred catholic...I know it's a fact. Other religions not positive. Of course there were mavericks, but generally speaking I think they play follow the leader.

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Oct 20, 2012 8:59:17 PM

  14. Sadly, Pastor Snider has NO feedback because I wanted to thank him so much because up until that moment in the video clip I was under the impression that ALL pastors believed that God didn't make gay people only Satan did - if you will. Please, because you have feedback, will you pass along the word to the pastor he brings hope.

    Posted by: peter white | Oct 20, 2012 9:11:41 PM

  15. I think this pastor should come speak in a lot of gay clubs where racism is so prevalent. :o)

    Posted by: Kissyfur | Oct 20, 2012 9:43:33 PM

  16. The only reason we as Christians are still here, is to speak truth otherwise God would have taken us home the moment we were saved. There is no debating the Bible, but we do have to read it. And be careful, the Bible also clearly states that we will be held accountable for leading others astray... and for our actions or lack of.

    If a man lies with a man as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination Lev 20:13, "as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gove after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire" Jude 7. Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    Posted by: Melissa | Oct 21, 2012 12:05:13 AM

  17. Blah, blah, blah, Melissa. The Bible also says that women should basically keep their pieholes shut, NEVER preach or lecture to men, so why don't you follow the dictates of your OWN "good book" and STFU, hmmm?

    And unlike many of the passages you're citing from the OLD Testament, those bits about the proper role of women are from the NEW Testament so from the Christian Bible.

    Do I believe that? It doesn't matter what I believe, does it? I'm not the one citing the Bible as the ultimate authority, YOU are, so it's up to you accept the authority of those passages that apply to women and obey them. Or is it only the Bible verses that apply to OTHER people that really count?

    Posted by: Caliban | Oct 21, 2012 3:04:10 AM

  18. @ MELISSA :
    You are just another "one book creed" advocate.
    There are many others who would challenge you with their one books; the Koran,
    Book of Mormon, Dianetics,the Brothers Grimm.
    Any chance of you ever thinking for yourself or are you doomed to actually accept what a desert nomad wrote three thousand years ago because he didn't like the Greeks and their culture of sleeping with men......or else he was hearing voices.

    Any chance of you ever being an individual with an active brain actually analysing what you have been force fed ?
    No, I guess not.
    and why are you bible thumpers so obsessed with sex ? What about the meek inheriting the earth or the martha story or the loving the prostitutes story.
    Why do you always quote the sex sex sex parts ??????

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 21, 2012 8:22:05 AM

  19. @ Melissa :

    "there's no debating the bible...."
    what does that mean ?
    it is only a series of words written thousands of years ago by a man, a nomad.
    Maybe he was hearing voices or just hated the Greeks.....and so was obsessed with sex between men. whatever.
    But to suggest that the bible was written by god is absurd. he does not have hands , or use ink, or knowHhebrew/Aramaic.greek......and probably can't spell in any language.
    And why would he be as obsessed as you and the nomad are about where we put our *ricks ? why would that even interest him ?
    of course it's debatable....ask any Buddhist, Atheist, Islamic, Hindu.....
    not debatable ? maybe in your closed mind it's not but it is everywhere else.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 21, 2012 8:55:35 AM

  20. Oh JackTwist...that was just too good ! And so easy. You ripped her a new one...and hardly had to open your eyes this morning to do it.
    They make themselves such easy targets, and you took aim. Thank you for taking the time to address this fool...I would have done it myself but I had to make gay love to my husband before the kids got back from church...yuck, yuck!

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Oct 21, 2012 12:00:09 PM

  21. Kudos to this Christian Church pastor!

    There was a similar email passed around gay circles a decade or two ago - but it was based on anti-miscegination rhetoric. One of the talking points - believe it or not - was that mixed-race marriages would be sterile.

    I do understand the temptation to paint with a broad brush institutional religions. On the other hand, this liberal Episcopalian has found all of the serious social activists I know are part of a religious tradition. (Even if that means being embarrassed by the organization's leadership.)

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Oct 21, 2012 1:35:40 PM

  22. @ Paul B :

    Dude, love is good......

    Endlessly quoting boring Leviticus shows a significant need of torid passionate coupling !!!!

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 21, 2012 2:09:53 PM

  23. God does not exist.
    Jesus was not the son of God, since God does not exist.
    There is no heaven. There is no hell.
    There is no immortal soul. There is no afterlife.
    When we die, consciousness is extinguished.
    When we die, our bodies decompose and are reabsorbed by nature.

    Posted by: rhino79 | Oct 22, 2012 1:34:39 AM

  24. At least with Catholics and Mormons, the lack of biblical literalism and the ability to change theology gives them a future "out" on gay rights. Catholics, knowing that the old and new testaments were cobbled together very haphazardly, always relied on the catechism to be the word of the church, subject to updates through "divine revelation". The Mormons were ruled by con men that changed their minds on theology every other Tuesday, and kept that tradition alive just in case. Evangelicals don't have an "out" and risk marginalization in the coming years.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 22, 2012 8:46:23 AM

  25. @Anon: I'm not as optimistic as you are about Rome. In addition to theology, there's their philosophy. Rather than looking at their philosophy as a unified explanation of current practice, they see it as eternally valid. Hence, the status of homosexuality cannot change. Right-wing Catholics beleive that The Church was right in condemning Galileo. The spin is that it wasn't his science that was condemned, but his philosophical errors. Can we say rewriting history?

    I'm a bit more optimistic about a "Mormon conversion" about gays parallel to the one about blacks. LDS is notorious for changing its beliefs and history. They let a number of years elapse so that a certain belief more or less disappears from common consciousness and can be replaced by another without it appearing that their unchanging, infallible organization has changed.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Oct 22, 2012 12:20:42 PM

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