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Seeing the sights of Homo-no-mo

Daniel Gonzales

February 25th, 2008


My weekend in Memphis was absolute non-stop activism but one afternoon we had a little free time to see some of the less traditional sights of Memphis. In Peterson Toscano’s one-man-play “Doin Time In The Homonomo Halfway House” he references a local mega-church nicknamed “Fort God” or “Six Flags Over Jesus.” This would be that church.

Of course I’ve got loads of video footage from the weekend which I’ll be releasing over the next week or so once I get a chance to sort through it all.

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Emily K
February 25th, 2008 | LINK

that is just CREEPY

Timothy Kincaid
February 25th, 2008 | LINK

I guess we can just forget “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore” because Emma Lazarus was a Jew.

Besides in this statue Liberty doesn’t lift her lamp beside the golden door.

TJ McFisty
February 25th, 2008 | LINK

Embarrassing. My hometown, and I’m embarrassed to say I’m from there. Totally red faced.

Did you get some Rendezvous and/or Corky’s BBQ? About the only (current) good thing to come out of that town.

Daniel Gonzales
February 25th, 2008 | LINK

No, Jim and I were staying downtown and had very little free time so we went to Neely’s cos it was nearby. Their shredded pork and ribs were phenomenal. The beef brisket and chicken not so much.

quo III
February 25th, 2008 | LINK

That’s a very striking image. It’s also probably inadvertently blasphemous.

Emily K
February 25th, 2008 | LINK

Timothy, they LOVE us Jews! Don’t you know they see us as CHOSEN?? They would rather convert a SINGLE JEW to Christianity than 1,000 non-Jews. THat’s how valuable we are to them. Can’t you just feel the love!

Peterson Toscano
February 25th, 2008 | LINK

Give me your poor, your tired, you huddled masses, and I will beat them bloody with the Gospel!

Daniel, great sharing the lesser known Memphis sites with you!

And as for BBQ, as a vegan, I went to RP Tracks for the Tofu BBQ sandwich. Yummmmmmm.
Peterson

Robguy
February 25th, 2008 | LINK

When I first saw the picture, I thought it was a photoshop spoof. Frightening.

Jim Burroway
February 25th, 2008 | LINK

I did a full-on gay gasp as we were driving down the street and I saw the statue emerge from behind the gas station! I live for sights like this.

As for embarrassemnt for being from Memphis, I can say this: it has to be the friendliest city in the U.S. Everyone from the hotel people to the security guards at the airport went out of their way to show a friendly face. And the city is genuinely beautiful, Graceland and tacky Liberty’s and all.

The airport, on the other hand… well, I’ve seen Mexican bus stations run better than this one. Oh well.

Tom
February 25th, 2008 | LINK

The first thing that came to mind when I saw that photo was this Sinclair Lewis quote:

“When fascism come to America, it will be wrapped in the flag carrying a cross.”

Barry
February 25th, 2008 | LINK

The church building in the background is where I attended my ex-gay group, but that statue (pictured) was not there at that time. That congregation grew and moved east several miles and a different congregation now occupies the building. It is the new congregation that put up the statue.

TJ McFisty
February 26th, 2008 | LINK

Well, we did used to call that church (when it was simply “Central Church” which I think moved) Space Mountain Church, but you guys did miss the behemoth out in Collierville/Germantown–dunno if it’s still Bellevue Baptist (Adrian Rogers’ before he died), but it was definitely Church of Big Fat God ‘n’ Spa. Can’t miss it from the interstate for the skyscraper-sized crosses.

I do agree about the friendly part, and honestly, after living in DC for the past 15 years, I do miss the driving there. Way way way more courteous than here and understand what four-way stops and yield signs mean. Little bad on the left turns nowadays, I hear, but that was always a local game for Memphians–how many can get through that left arrow? Everyone! Yay!

Bruce Garrett
February 26th, 2008 | LINK

I did a full-on gay gasp as we were driving down the street and I saw the statue emerge from behind the gas station! I live for sights like this.

I saw a similar sight, and I deeply regret not getting a photo of it. When Christine and I were out getting frames and such for the art show, I saw on the tall billboard by I-40 and Bellevue a sign that read:

God Loves You Just The Way You Are

The words were inscribed above a photo of about a half dozen or so happy looking people, all smiling down on the highway traffic passing by. It was amazingly ironic, Bellevue being one of the sponsors of Love In Action. I really wanted to climb up there and spray paint …But Change Is Possible on it.

I didn’t have time to grab a shot of it, and when I left Memphis on Monday morning that billboard had been replaced. Drat.

werdna
February 28th, 2008 | LINK

Re: Sinclair Lewis on fascism… There’s an interesting page here: http://shii.org/knows/Fascism_comes_wrapped_in_the_flag discussing the cloudy origins of the quote that Tom referenced. It appears that Lewis never actually said or wrote it. The Sinclair Lewis Society agrees that it’s most likely apocryphal. Doesn’t stop it from being mis-attributed all the time, though (heck, sometimes it attributed to Upton Sinclair!). Is the idea less powerful if it’s not in the form of a quote from someone that most people these day have never heard of anyway?

Anon
February 28th, 2008 | LINK

Having lived in Memphis, I can confirm that the church referred to as “Fort God” and “Six Flags Over Jesus is not the one pictured. No, these two sobriquets concern none other than Bellevue Baptist Church — http://www.bellevue.org.

Regan DuCasse
February 28th, 2008 | LINK

TOFU BBQ sandwich?!???!
Peterson, my brother…eating tofu in Memphis is some kind of sacrilege!
I shoulda warned you. Folk might beat ya with a the jawbone of a steer for that.

I love you so much, it’s a testament to your vegan discipline that you even FOUND tofu in Memphis!
But for sharing wonderful veggie meals with you, I won’t be too hard on you. I respect every bit of you and your life.

This statue is soooo tacky! Thanks for the picture. If I didn’t love that beautiful statue so much, I’d point and laugh at the way these people have used it.
Still, that’s the Bible Road for ya. I know I told you all the “Church of Jesus Christ and Body Shop” story.

I guess the folks at this church have forgotten certain creeds that founded this country and inspired that statue. Like religious persecution. No surprise there.
Peterson, I hope we talk soon. I miss your voice.

Beyond Ex-Gay Memphis Wrap-Up | Ex-Gay Watch
March 6th, 2008 | LINK

[…] Additional reflections on the weekend have been posted by Peterson Toscano, Bruce Garrett, Christine Bakke and Daniel Gonzales. […]

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