of Solidarity --Cornerstone Church, S.A. Texas, June 28, 2009
Photos by Antonia Padilla
S.A. LGBT activists visit Hagee's
Photos by Antonia Padilla, QSanAntonio.com, June 28, 2009
Fifty LGBT activists, organized under the auspices of Soulforce
and Atticus Circle, attended services at anti-gay pastor John Hagee’s
Cornerstone Church in San Antonio on June 28. The action was the first
of many planned to take place across the country as part of Soulforce’s
Sundays of Solidarity.
Those who attended the services and the meeting afterward tell QSanAntonio
that the atmosphere at the church was cordial and polite. No special mention
was made during the service of the LGBT attendees. After the service,
the group was escorted into a side chapel where they were offered light
refreshments and interacted with Cornerstone members.
Pastor Hagee briefly welcomed the group before he and his wife took a
private meeting with Jeff Lutes, executive director of Soulforce and Jodie
Eldridge, executive director of Atticus Circle.
Writer Toby Johnson told QSanAntonio that while the conversations with
Cornerstone members were friendly and respectful, it was clear that Hagee’s
followers were firm in their belief in scriptures which say homosexuality
welcomes gay groups
San Antonio Express-News, June 29, 2009
This Sunday, as the 40th anniversary of Stonewall — the birth of
the gay rights movement — was being observed, the Rev. John Hagee
also welcomed a community that doesn’t traditionally attend. They
were lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Hagee agrees to meet with GLBT activists
at his San Antonio church
QSanAntonio.com, June 16, 2009
Cornerstone Church pastor John Hagee has agreed to meet with a delegation
of LGBT activists after they attend a worship service at his church on
June 28. The date is historically significant to organizers -- it’s
the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, considered
to be the start of the modern LGBT civil rights movement.
The action, which is co-sponsored by Soulforce and Atticus Circle, launches
the groups’ Sundays of Solidarity. Organizers say they are looking
to develop dialogue about civil rights with members of faith communities
across the nation by visiting churches, synagogues, and other faith community
Soulforce executive director Jeff Lutes sent a June 4 letter requesting
a meeting with Hagee; in a response letter received by Lutes, Hagee noted,
"We look forward to our meeting anticipating the respectful, charitable
and healing communication that will develop."
The letter Lutes sent to Hagee expressed concerns that LGBT equality supporters
have with his teachings. Lutes noted in the letter, "We want to discuss
how you and your congregation can embark on a new course of love, respect
and understanding toward our community, and in the process, come to a
greater awareness of the common ground I suspect we share."
According to Lutes, "This action isn’t designed to create tension;
rather, it’s designed to expose and reduce the tension that already
exists around LGBT rights in this country. Our hope for Sundays of Solidarity
is that participants are able to talk to people in their own faith communities,
visit other faith communities, and help people understand the fundamental
need for LGBT equality."
Atticus Circle executive director Jodie Eldridge notes, "Our organization
is made up of straight people who realize that LGBT Americans should enjoy
the same rights as straight Americans do.
"One of these fundamental rights is practicing one’s faith,"
Eldridge added. "For some LGBT individuals, being recognized and
accepted within one’s faith community is a first, crucial step toward
achieving equal rights."
See story below for more information about this event.
Gay activists plan visit to Hagee’s
Cornerstone Church in S.A.
QSanAntonio.com, June 6, 2009
Soulforce, an organization that "promotes freedom for lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression,"
is asking LGBT activists throughout Texas to attend Sunday services at
anti-gay pastor John Hagee’s Cornerstorne Church in San Antonio
on June 28. The date of the visit coincides with the 40th anniversary
of the Stonewall riots in New York City.
In 2006, Hagee blamed the devastation of Hurricane Katrina
on the "level of sin" by gays in New Orleans. In the past, Hagee
also has made disparaging remarks about women, blacks, Muslims, Jews and
Catholics. (See story below.)
Hagee is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio,
a non-denominational charismatic church with more than 19,000 active members.
He is the chief executive officer of Global Evangelism Television, and
John Hagee Ministries, which telecasts his national radio and television
ministry carried in the United States on 160 TV stations, 50 radio stations,
and eight networks, including The Inspiration Network and Trinity Broadcasting
Soulforce’s demonstration, dubbed Sundays of Solidarity - From Stonewall
to Cornerstone, is meant to peacefully demand that Hagee "recognize
the separation of church and state, and end his campaign against the rights
and well-being of LGBT people and same-gender couples who simply want
to marry, raise their children, and live in their communities without
An open letter was mailed to Hagee announcing the visit. The letter expresses
Soulforce’s desire to meet with him after the services.
In order to be a part of the demonstration, Soulforce is asking activists
to attend a one-hour "mandatory training" at the Beacon Hill
Presbyterian Church before heading out to the Cornerstone Church. Name
tags, lapel buttons (that read "gay? fine by me"), and a nonviolence
pledge card will be distributed at the training.
"Sundays of Solidarity -- From Stonewall to Cornerstone"
-- Mandatory Training at 9:00 am on June 28, 2009, at Beacon Hill Presbyterian
Church, 1101 West Woodlawn, San Antonio Texas 787201. Attendance at services
to follow at 11 a.m. at Cornerstone Church, 18755 Stone Oak Parkway, San
Antonio, TX 78258. For more information go to Soulforce.org.
S.A. minister who endorsed McCain
blamed Katrina on gays
QSanAntonio, March 1, 2008
John Hagee, the pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio who this
week endorsed John McCain’s presidential bid, made statements in
2006 that blamed the devastation of Hurricane Katrina on the "level
of sin" by gays in New Orleans. In the past, Hagee has also made
disparaging remarks about women, blacks, Muslims and Catholics. He also
actively advocates attacking Iran.
On September 18, 2006 Hagee made the following statement to National Public
Radio reporter Terri Gross:
"All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens.
I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God,
and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that. The newspaper
carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally, that
there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina
came. And the promise of that parade was that it would was going to reach
a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other gay
Actually, there was no gay pride event scheduled in New Orleans at that
time. The event to which Hagee referred is actually a circuit party called
Southern Decadence that takes place annually during the Labor Day weekend.
Hagee has also called the Catholic Church "The Great Whore,"
an apostate church and a false cult system. He has been quoted as saying,
"Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling
Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference
between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist."
Catholic Groups have called on McCain to reject Hagee’s endorsement.
McCain responded by saying he was, "very proud of the Pastor John
Hagee's spiritual leadership to thousands of people and I am proud of
his commitment to the independence and the freedom of the state of Israel"
but that it "does not mean that I support or endorse or agree with
some of the things that Pastor John Hagee might have said or positions
that he may have taken on other issues."
Hagee is the founder of Christians United for Israel and leader of the
Christian Zionists and has written several books. He founded the Cornerstone
Church in San Antonio in May 1975. The church, located at 18755 Stone
Oak Parkway, boasts a membership of over 19,000.