Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, March 27, 2006

Battle Cry Article

An Evangelical Youth Rally is coming to Detroit, to be held at Ford Field near St. John's. We not only have youth going, but due to our proximity we have several large groups of people from out of town staying at St. John's for 'sleep-over'. The first of the three nationwide events happened in San Francisco this weekend, and it was interesting to note the coverage of it by the San Francisco Gate newspaper. Below is some snippets from the article. Note the photos attached from the article- the Christians are joyful. The protester, a minister in The Church of Natural Grace (whatever that is) is a picture of anger. The other protester picture in the paper is someone in drag dressed as a nun. A link to the full article is at the end of this post.
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More than 25,000 evangelical Christian youth landed Friday in San Francisco for a two-day rally at AT&T Park against "the virtue terrorism" of popular culture, and they were greeted by an official city condemnation and a clutch of protesters who said their event amounted to a "fascist mega-pep rally."
"Battle Cry for a Generation" is led by a 44-year-old Concord native, Ron Luce, who wants "God's instruction book" to guide young people away from the corrupting influence of popular culture.
Luce, whose Teen Mania organization is based in Texas, kicked off a three-city "reverse rebellion" tour Friday night intended to counter a popular culture that he says glamorizes violence and sex. The $55 advance tickets for two days of musical performances and speeches were sold out, but walk-up admission was available for $199.
After stops in Detroit and Philadelphia in the next few weeks, Luce wants to unleash a "blitz" of youth pastors into the communities to do everything from work with the homeless to find new ways to bring others to Christ. He challenged youth leaders to double the size of their groups in the next year.
And then he plans to return to San Francisco next year to chart their progress.
That's bad news to Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who told counterprotesters at City Hall on Friday that while such fundamentalists may be small in number, "they're loud, they're obnoxious, they're disgusting, and they should get out of San Francisco."
Luce didn't flinch in the face of the counterprotest. The author, host of the "Acquire the Fire TV" cable television program and a President Bush appointee to a federal anti-drug-abuse commission, wants teens to find Bible-based solutions for the spread of sexually transmitted disease, teen pregnancy, drug abuse and suicide.
The villains, Luce said, range from the promiscuity and "sexualization" of young people on MTV and the popular online meeting hub MySpace.com to a corporate culture that spends millions trying to woo the under-21 crowd.
Battle Cry will try to bring them back to God through two days of religious rockers, speakers and the debut of what Luce called a Christian alternative to My Space.com.
"This is more than a spiritual war," Luce said. "It's a culture war."
Military metaphors abound in Luce's descriptions of the struggle. He tells young people of how "an enemy has launched a brutal attack on them." At a pre-Battle Cry rally Friday afternoon on the steps of City Hall, Luce told his mostly teenage audience that "terrorists of a different kind" -- advertisers -- were targeting them and that they were "caught in the middle of the battle."
"Are you ready to go to battle for your generation?" he asked, and the young people roared "yes!" and some waved triangular red flags flown from long, medieval-looking poles.
Luce's approach has been praised by conservative leaders from the Rev. Jerry Falwell to Fox News commentator Sean Hannity. Much of the statistical backing for the horrors Luce sees on TV is provided by the Parents Television Council, which is funded by conservative foundations such as the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.
Those alliances weren't lost on the 50 protesters representing a rainbow of San Francisco's left -- from abortion-rights advocates to anti-war activists to atheists -- who staged Friday's counterprotest.
"There is a real intolerancy to homosexuality in a lot of these organizations," said Peter Cobb, an organizer with Not In Our Name.
Earlier this week, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution condemning the "act of provocation" by what it termed an "anti-gay," "anti-choice" organization that aimed to "negatively influence the politics of America's most tolerant and progressive city."
Luce said it was the first time one of his events has been officially condemned.

To see the rest of the article go to http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/03/25/MNG6OHU6RR1.DTL