Antifa groups and gay rights activists protested a megachurch in Texas earlier this week and doxed the pastor's son all because they oppose the church's biblical views on sexuality.
Stonewall Militant Front-ATX and AZAAD Austin were among the groups protesting Celebration Church, a multisite nondenominational church in the cities of Austin and Georgetown. Antifa was reportedly protesting the Austin congregation on Sunday because they were meeting at the Austin Independent School District's Performing Arts Center. The activists' goal is to pressure the AISD to stop renting its space out to Christian "homophobes," PJ Media reports.
"Defend our youth from these attacks! Pride means fight back!" protesters said, waving rainbow flags, as worshipers walked into the auditorium.
When those attending the service left, protested yelled: "Bigots out of Austin; don't come back."
Under the Obama administration Antifa groups were designated as being a security threat and engaged in "domestic terrorist violence," according to documents obtained by Politico, the National Review reports.
This week was the first time the church has rented the performing arts center in order to host a regular service at another location, its second in the Austin area. Church officials did not indicate how long they intend to rent the facility.
Celebration Church's Executive Pastor Jim Kuykendall told The Statesman on Sunday that while the church is Bible-believing, he wants to welcome everyone, whatever their sexuality, religious views or political beliefs are.
"I think maybe the frustration may be that they feel like it's our position when we say that the Bible says that certain things are the way they are and that it's our statement," Kuykendall said.
"Its not our statement, it's what's in the Bible."
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The church hopes to expand and open additional campuses across the Austin area.
In the lead-up to the protest Sunday, SMF doxed the son of the church's founder and pastor, sharing his name and photo on their Facebook page. His photo was subsequently shared with other far-left groups that advocate for violence against people they consider "bigots" or "fascists."
Jasmin Patel, a member of AZAAD Austin, told the Statesman that she believes it goes against the Austin school district's policies to rent out the space to a church that does not support gay or trans-identified people.
The school district said otherwise, noting in a statement on their website that they are prohibited "from denying rental space from organizations once they have been made available to others."
"The use of district properties by outside organizations does not create an endorsement of, or an association of that organization with the district," the statement said.
The far-left website Incendiary News said the protest had been organized upon discovering that Celebration Church had "likened homosexuality and bisexuality to incest and bestiality on their website," along with a hyperlink to where they wrongly claimed it said that.
The Christian Post clicked the link and found that it was the statement of what the church believes theologically.
Under the heading "Marriage" the site reads: "Marriage is a picture of Christ's relationship with His Bride – the Church. It is defined from the beginning of Scripture as a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman. God designed sexual intimacy for a marriage relationship and does not endorse or condone it in any other context."
"We are not going to give up!" one masked protester reportedly said through a megaphone, according to Incendiary News.
"We won't stop until this bigoted church leaves Austin!"