Church rep calls member of Abolish Human Abortion a ‘religious anarchist’ escorts him off property
Wearing a “God Hates our Worship” shirt, a member of Abolish Human Abortion was escorted out of a Memphis church a week after the group, which opposes abortion, passed out their pamphlets at the church during their national conference.
AHA abolitionist and director of the Abolitionist Society of Memphis-Mid South, John Brindley, claims that when he attended Bellevue a week after AHA held their national “Against the World For the World” Conference in Memphis, all he planned to do was hear speaker David Platt preach, “I respect that guy and was interested in what he had to say. I would not have planned on going to the service if he would not have been there,” he wrote on YouTube.
Platt praised Bellevue Baptist for their support of the pro-life Amendment 1 in Tennessee. Abolish Human Abortion, although they oppose abortion, also opposed the Amendment, which may have motivated their decision to target the church.
A local news article described Brindley’s views, “According to him,” writes The Daily Helmsman, “people have been lied to about “the pro life [movement].” Brindley believes that while the passing of Amendment 1 would most likely lessen the amount of abortions, it wouldn’t do away with them entirely. According to Brindley, abortion should not be regulated, but done away with altogether. Even in the case of rape, incest or a threat to a woman’s health, abortion should never be an option.”
In a video Brindley uploaded to YouTube it is not clear what preceded the request that he leave, however you can hear a member of Bellevue tell the Abolitionist, “You’re not welcome, you’ve got to leave campus.”
When asked why he was being told to leave, the Bellevue representative who identified himself as Andy Willis said, “I don’t have to give you a reason.”
Willis is listed as the Director of Security Services at Bellevue Baptist Church on his Twitter page.
“When the Bellevue leadership spotted me with my friends who met me there, they asked me to go to the lobby,” Brindley wrote on YouTube.
“Thankfully I put my GoPro in my pocket. Abolitionists use GoPros and don’t apologize for it. It’s just a wise thing to do. The video starts as I was in the process of being escorted out of the sanctuary. I was unsure of what he wanted to speak to me about. I was disappointed that I was unable to hear David Platt today but more disappointed that leaders of this church would not only escort a fellow brother out of the church but would threaten arrest under criminal trespass if ever returned. He accused me of being a religious anarchist,” he said.
As Brindley walked to his car, members of the church told him, “Also notifying you, at this point you are no longer allowed on any Bellevue Baptist property. And if you come onto this property again, sir, we will arrest you for criminal trespass.”
Brindley replied, “Yeah, that’s a nice Christian stance you’ve got there.”
The church representative then refers to Brindley as a “religious anarchist.”
Brindley notified his Facebook followers just after the incident, “I just got escorted off Bellevue’s campus with the instructions that if I ever step foot there again, I’ll be arrested and charged with criminal trespass. That was right before he told me that I was a religious anarchist,” he wrote.
A friend, Elaine AbOso replied with an assessment as to why the church reacted the way they did, “Leadership is still agitated, from last Sun. We did accomplish gentle agitation. Woke-up hopefully a few there, that is if they are not brainwashed, by the leadership. Sorry John, I personally am glad you went back, just stay safe…”
According to Shawn Viland on November 2nd, during the AHA event in Memphis, he said the group “attended a church service at Bellevue Baptist Church and afterward talked to people about abolishing abortion and handed out pamphlets. Security told some of us to stop and soon the police arrived to escort us out…Yes! Security informed us that only literature produced by their church is permitted to be handed out. So we tried just talking and that apparently wasn’t permitted either.”
John Brindley described the AHA agitation during their national event at Bellevue this way on Facebook, “Let me put this out here. Me and over 100 abolitionists attended Bellevue Baptist on Sunday, Nov. 2nd. Two weeks prior I stopped by as a common courtesy to let them know that a large group from around the country would be in attendance in the Lord’s house. The woman who was secretary to the Missions Director (everyone in leadership was either in a meeting or out) told me that it was great. She even said that they often have groups visit and that it would be a good chance that we would publicly be recognized. I told her that it was not necessary, but I do want to leave my name and # with a brief outline of what we are doing in Memphis this week with an open invitation to join us. I never received a call.”
Abolish Human Abortion then posted this to their group’s Facebook page, “About a hundred Abolitionists attended this mega-church worship performance and religious lecture. We bowed our heads and prayed during the singing and sat quietly and attentively during the sermon. After everything was concluded we talked to people and gave a “Does God Hate Our Worship” pamphlet to anyone who wanted one. The institution called the cops and had us kicked out of their building.”
Rhology, an outspoken AHA member had this to say, “Thankfully, abolitionists’ attendance of Bellevue Baptist Church on Sunday caused something of a stir, which is one of the things we were hoping for. That the hearts of Pharisees revealed themselves afterward is a bonus.”
Below is video I located of AHA at Bellevue Baptist where you can hear the church’s security team politely ask the AHA members not to hand out any pamphlets. According to the church, they do not allow pamphlets that are not approved by the church to be passed out. According to the members of AHA, on the video, this request by the church amounted to persecution.