When President Hillary Rodham Clinton signed into law the newest revision of the Patriot Act, I was fired up. Now, the government considered any speech, including the sermons of a pastor, that spoke against a LGBT lifestyle, an act of Terrorism. Up to this point, through the Bush and Obama presidencies, this act primarily dealt with any actions or communications that threatened the physical safety of the United States of America. It provided for roving wiretaps, searches of business records, and they conducted surveillance of “lone wolves” – individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups.
There had been renewed violence against the Family Equality Council. This led to increased pressure on the Democratic controlled Executive and Legislative branches to protect groups that protected the rights of Lesbians, Gay, Bi-sexual, and transgendered (LGBT). Of course, conservative pundits thought the Democratic controlled branches overstepped the constitution by including in this new Patriot Act violence against these sexual preference individuals.
The religious right was furious. They declared that it was an abomination. They feared that America was truly now at this point no longer a Christian nation. They feared that Pastors would be forced to marry those they were conscience bound not to marry. They feared what this would do to the way their children looked at sexuality in the public school. They saw wide-spread immorality there and throughout the world.
There was one nobody Pastor in a decent sized town in the United States of America. He wasn’t spectacular. He wasn’t flashy. He wasn’t on the television as one of the outspoken opponent of this new Patriot Act. But secretly, agents in the United States government in favor of this new treatment of gays, lesbians, and transgendered were searching for someone just like him. They would strike against him and a few others like him. They would make public examples of them. They would employ the Patriot Act and its quick tribunals. They would force these men to stop their hypocrisy and see the justice of their cause.
The very Sunday after President Hilary Rodham Clinton signed this revision into Law, the Right Reverend James Winrox stood up in his pulpit and he preached like he never had before.
“Brothers and sisters,” he preached. “I want to tell you the story of a world turned upside down. No, that isn’t quite what has come of the world. I want to tell you about a country that had once had the blessings of God – his touch had come upon the land. But the people grew proud. The people became enflamed. They could not be satisfied with the good things that God had given them. They wanted more. They made it. And they built, created, and sold, but they were enflamed for lust for more. They turned their back on God. Then, they looked at each other and said, ‘I want the person who is not my spouse.’ They began to divorce the spouse of their youth – both men and women did this. And still their lust was not satisfied. They looked at each other, their own sex, and they lusted for that which God called an abomination. Man wanted to have sex with men. Women wanted to have sex with women. Men were not satisfied to be men – they wanted to be women.”
The Right Reverend James Winrox stopped for dramatic effect. He looked down at his wife and adorable children dressed in dazzling white in the front pew. They were the picture of Christian modesty. There was no sin or grossness to see as you looked upon them. They nodded their heads in approval at this fiery speech of the man of God in front of his church. He looked out and he made his biblical clear pronouncement.
“Oh, people of God, our God is not pleased. For all that I have said is an abomination. This is sin in the sight of God. It was never God’s will that a man would sleep with anyone other than a woman. It was never God’s will that a man could change what God created and become a woman. Women were never created to live together as wife and wife. Women were never intended to be able to change themselves into men. But man thought he knew as much as God and made it so.”
This was just a sampling of Rev. Winrox’s fiery sermon on the point. And it was received with loud, “Amens! Alleluia! You tell them, Reverend Winrox.” They shook his hands and patted him on the back. He had stood up to this new development and broken the law, but he had done God’s work.
But there were two people who left the church that day, with printed copies of Reverend Winrox’s sermon. They had secretly taken audio and video as well – even though if they would have waited twenty four more hours, his church secretary would have had it podcast for the world to hear. These visitors without a single shake of the good Reverend’s hand took their evidence and returned to Chicago where their regional headquarters was. They showed their evidence to their superior, and she ordered the arrest Monday morning in the Reverend’s church office.
It was Monday morning as the Right Reverend James Winrox was working in his office, preparing for his week among his flock, when the FBI was knocking on the door. His secretary had to let them in. They took everything out of his office - his desktop, his laptop, his tablet, his files, and himself. They whisked the Right Reverend James Winrox away in a big black suburban and took him to one of the new tribunals established for those who violated this new provision of the Patriot Act.
On Tuesday at 10am, James Winrox stood before a special Federal Judge who had been appointed for this area of the country to deal with people such as Rev. Winrox examined the evidence. In less than an hour, the Honorable Judy Wapser had her verdict. "James Winrox, I find you in violation of the Patriot Act of the United States of America. Therefore, by the power given me by the United States of America, I sentence you to join the sensitizing program that has been established for this crime. I think you will find as we looked at all the evidence that you might enjoy this."
Immediately two FBI agents took possession of James Winrox and took him by black suburban to an undisclosed location. He was now held in a place where no one who had known him would be able to find him: his wife and children, his parents, and fellow pastors. He was taken to the place established for this. He was relieved of all his possessions. He was stripped naked. Two men roughly shaved him of all his body hair - they left the hair on his head. They shaved even around his private parts. Then, he was issued a pink jumpsuit and placed in a pink five by five cell.
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