incitement, death, IRL, long 

Sac is a city with a very high ratio of churches to population. It is a very conservative community with a liberal cross-section. Some of these churches sponsored Prop 8, which was the first state level ban against gay marriage.

Back when I lived in Sacramento, I was friends with a local pastor whose church supported everyone, from every walk of life. They specifically ministered to LGBTQ, and the homeless, and people struggling with addiction.

cont'd

re: incitement, death, IRL, long 

The head minister for my friend's church (MCC) became the target of conservative churches for vilification and condemnation. One of these churches was very explicitly clear that the MCC head minister should die for his sins.

And that congregation listened to their pastor. Several of them, based on instruction from their pulpit, planned and executed the beating and murder of the MCC head minister in his home.

cont'd

re: incitement, death, IRL, long 

My friend was the roommate of the MCC head minister, and walked in on the murder. The perpetrators fled. The murderers were identified and eventually arrested.

Throughout the time from the murder through the trial, I volunteered as in home security for the witness. This was because the police, in spite of knowing this was an entire church involved in planning a murder, would not provide a protective detail for the witness.

cont

re: incitement, death, IRL, long 

Our guess was that the police would not protect someone who was gay and trans, where the victim was also gay, for a church that ministered underserved communities.

So, I stayed with him. I and a couple of other people made sure he stayed safe, and that when he left his hideout he wasn't followed back. Yes, people did try to follow him home. He definitely wasn't safe on his own as a witness.

cont.

re: incitement, death, IRL, long 

The pastor of the conservative church who incited the murder was also arrested. The three "faithful" who did what he asked were convicted of murder. He walked off scott free because his defense attorney was somehow able to argue a freedom of religion and speech defense.

I ended up watching over my friend again, until he could move in secret to a new home.

This gutted me emotionally for several reasons, but it also made me proud to know him and his parish.

ctd

re: incitement, death, IRL, long 

My takeaway from that experience is I have personally witnessed the kind of hate that motivated the Jan 6 coup. I've heard the specious arguments of justification. I've experienced betrayal of responsibility and duty by the police. I've held onto and comforted people living in real fear of a mob, who were not expecting any help coming.

This man's suffering did not go away with a conviction of his friend's murderers. Those deluded monsters had support.

cont

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re: incitement, death, IRL, long 

@bill I have no words. The only words I can think of are for your friend: "Stay safe, I hope things go better for you, take the support from those that believe in you." I hope things go better for him from now on

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