For the past decade the ministerial alliance in Taylor, Texas has partnered with City Hall to produce an annual Christmas parade.
But that partnership was severed after pastors objected to a float filled with drag queens singing Christmas carols.
The ministers said parade entrants must be consistent with traditional biblical and family values. They determined drag queens did not fit those values.
“We do not feel like drag queens dancing in the Christmas parade, that these are the values we want to communicate to our children,” Pastor Jeff Ripple told the Washington Post.
They posted a lengthy message on the ministerial association’s Facebook page:
TAMA has hosted Taylor’s only Christmas Parade for years. All people and all families, no matter what they look like, are welcome to enjoy the parade. The Taylor Christmas Parade of Lights is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. TAMA is an organization of churches that holds to traditional Biblical and family values. We want to make sure all entries do not contradict those values. Last year Taylor Pride, a recently formed group made it into the parade due to an unfortunate oversight on our part. To be clear, the group known as Taylor Pride, which seeks to promote the LBGTQ+ lifestyle as biblically accepted, with two men inappropriately dressed as women, should never have been allowed to participate and put their promotion on display to families who had no warning about what was coming.Taylor Ministerial Association
That being said, it has always been the case for our Christmas parade that business, organizations, religious or government schools, political organizations, groups, individuals, etc. who have participated in the past have absolutely no requirement to be Christian or religious. Further, there have been no Christian or religious theme requirements for floats and that remains completely unchanged. We have had many participants who would disagree with our Biblical and traditional beliefs and that is perfectly fine. That is no problem for us. That has not changed at all this year. All are welcome to participate, however, as an explicitly Biblical organization, this year TAMA has taken steps to ensure that no participant under the Taylor Area Ministerial Alliance explicitly contradicts, with their entry, what our entire organization is built on, the Word of God. Further, our views of what is “family-friendly” are in step with what would have been the plainly accepted and agreed upon definition up until very recently. On the other hand, up until very recently, the idea of gaudy and overtly sexualized transvestites being put on public display during a parade which celebrates the Biblical event of Jesus Christ being born into this world to save sinners like all of us, would understandably have been unthinkable.
TAMA’s parade will continue like normal. We will do something to make it clear when our family-friendly parade is over and the City’s parade begins. The traditional Taylor Christmas Parade of Lights will go on.
“I don’t hate LGBTQ individuals. I don’t hate adulterers. There’s lots of sin out there. I believe the most loving thing I can do is tell people the truth,” he said. “That if they don’t repent of their sin — and that’s any sinner — they will spend an eternity separated from God.”
That decision sparked a huge culture war fight in the small Texas town.
The Washington Post reports that the school district barred students from marching in the parade. The Chamber of Commerce pulled out as did City Hall.
“We couldn’t co-sponsor an event that wasn’t open to everybody in the city,” city spokesperson Stacey Osborne told the Washington Post. “Not only did we not want to open up the city to any type of legal action, but more importantly we have worked hard to make the city a welcoming place.”
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City leaders then announced they would host a separate parade that was open to everyone — including drag queens.
But that was still not good enough for the local LGBT activists.
Denise Rodgers, president of Taylor Pride, told the Post that while the group has received local support, she wished the city had pulled the ministers’ parade permit.
“Just the fact that they are allowed to have this exclusive parade on public property is already breaking the rules,” Rodgers said of the ministers’ group. “They have to choose a side. Because this has become a hate group. And we saw what happened with that … in Colorado.”Washington Post
The pastors refused to back down and they refused to forsake the Gospel message for the gospel of inclusivity.
No doubt that jingled somebody’s bells.