There is no craziness we are not a magnet for.
Our latest national story is the ousting of a City Manager in Largo, FL (large suburban town close to St. Pete) for making the decision to become transsexual. According to all sources, as a man, he has been a great city manager with glowing reviews. However, as a man attempting to become a woman, he is a miserable failure that deserves to be fired.
Since Florida is a Right-to-Work state the Largo City Commission has the right to hire or fire anyone they want, whenever they want and for any reason they want. Also, I don't feel terribly sorry for the City Manager because the Commission did the "right" thing by giving him a full year's severance ($140K +) and his 500 hours of accrued vacation time. I would take that for my troubles and move to California. I am sure they have a city or two not caring about his sexuality (as long as he is good at his job).
The thing that causes me to make this public for my 10 readers is the reaction of the church community of Largo (not only the church community, but the Evangelical community- more specifically, Southern Baptists, my former family). Following are actual quotes from members of a large local church and the Pastor of a small SBC church (if this pastor wonders why he has only 30 members, he should look at his statements of hate and unBiblical theology- thank God only a few people want to follow him). Why the pastor of such a small church spewing hatred and misquoting Jesus (I think this may actually qualify as "taking the Lord's name in vain") actually gets quoted in two separate articles proves that loudness and meanness gets you in print.*
"He's not going to be a man, and he's not going to be a female," said Lighthouse Baptist Church Pastor Ron Sanders, who leads a 30-member congregation. "He's going to be an 'it.' It's going to be the most sorrowful decision he has ever made." Really, I guess this Pastor is actually clairvoyant
"Mr. Stanton is not a role model. He's proven that. I think for the sake of our young people today, you need to do what's right, and that's terminate him. ... If Jesus was here tonight, I can guarantee you he'd want him terminated. Make no mistake about it." Actually if Jesus were here tonight, he would remind you of the fact you are a "white washed tomb"
- Ron Sanders, pastor, Lighthouse Baptist Church of Largo
Peggy Schaefer was one of about 60 members of the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks who turned out for the meeting.
"I don't want that man in office," she said. "I don't think we should be paying him $150,000 a year when he's not been truthful. We have to speak up. Of course, we don't believe in sex changes or lesbianism. They have their rights, but we do, too."- WHAT???????? Please only quote people that actually make a bit of sense
link to original story
link to St. Pete Times' columnist deriding the decision and Pastor's comments
Remember, I do not live in the Bible Belt or the deep south. This is a metropolitan area of 3 million persons in a cosmopolitan state.
* This reminds me of the situation with Westboro Baptist Church's anti-gay rhetoric. If you are inarticulate, hateful and have no influence in the real world, you can always get a journalist to encourage you to make a fool of yourself.