Thursday, August 7, 2008

"Love Jesus and love to ride hard"

That subject line is an actual quote from the Christian (?) group Set Free Soldiers. Roland (from the book) tells me the quote is quite funny if you think about it in the dirty way. Read the quote for yourself in the LA Times. This story is particularly interesting to me for two reasons:

1. It made me late for work (it happened about a mile from the branch library I work at) because the street was completely blocked off.

2. This is the church my grandparents famously started going to in the nineties after they had a renewed interest in faith. The church was in a different part of the city then (actually, today I don't think they actually have a church...I think they just own four houses, and they have studies out of them; many of their members live in the houses if I understand right, and it's kind of like their compound), and I remember them taking me a few times; the street would always be full of more motorcycles then I had ever seen in my entire; it was in a large warehouse, and it reminded me of the Steve Martin movie Leap of Faith--people jumping everywhere, a sweaty pastor, a gospel choir, and, of course, Bikers who looked like they probably had killed people in their younger days.

My grandparents left the church for a smaller, quieter, church when a scandal of a different kind broke out (I don't remember the details). FYI, the church has had many scandals, and the guy in charge of the entire movement was once in prison for molesting children...I remember my grandparents telling me about the prison part, but not the molesting kids part. Here's another fun, "alleged," fact...women had to go to the leader to ask permission to use birth control. This site and this site tell you a bit more about some of the past scandals.

This scandal is actually quite interesting...I recommend you read the whole story at the link above; it will have you saying "The Hell's Angels are still around?" Followed by "What kind of church is this? They have pictures of fist fights on their website?" It sounds like really the police had been looking for a reason to arrest them for years, and they finally got their chance because one or two members messed up big; once they got into house they found a bunch of weapons (I'm assuming unlicensed) and 11 arrest were made.

You can also check out the groups MySpace page and watch one of their videos, which has clips of, what appears to be, training people how to street fight! They actually show a guy throwing punches (I don't know if they're punches for Jesus or what the deal is?). The video also has a bunch of Anaheim cops...I'm not sure if they are pro cops or against cops, but I'm guessing against.

Hopefully it all works out in the end; whatever that means...

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