But he seems so nice

Jack Hibbs, pastor at Calvary Chapel, Chino Hills, preached last Sunday on the subject of "Authority, Submission, and Love." Before that - apparently in loving submission to heavenly authority - he recorded an announcement encouraging the blockage of The FAIR Act, California SB 48, a recently-signed-into-law bill that would prohibit


...a governing board from adopting instructional materials that contain any matter reflecting adversely upon persons because of their race, color, creed, national origin,
ancestry, sex, handicap, or occupation, or that contain any sectarian or denominational doctrine or propaganda contrary to law.

This bill would revise the list of characteristics included in this provision to include race or ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, nationality, and sexual orientation, or other
characteristic listed as specified.

Hibbs' words in the video, pointed mostly to the pastoral community, are a patchwork of interpolation vis-à-vis the relation of the law as proposed and gospel as he understands it:

“The indoctrination of our children regarding gay and lesbian, transgender lifestyles and practices as it relates to state history, as it relates to US history, and as it relates to our own economy…This new teaching, frankly, comes against the very ministry of Jesus Christ, the word of God, and you and I.”

“If we don’t stop it, this will be the indoctrination of our children, on our watch…There’s no opting out for your student, they must take this course, there’s no getting away from it.”

At the New Civil Rights Movement, David Badash implores:

Look at the face of the religious right’s kinder, gentler, anti-​gay hate... Pastor Hibbs apparently has made it his mission to stamp out California’s FAIR Education Act, aka SB 48, the new law signed by Governor Jerry Brown just weeks ago that seeks to include gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender folks, and the disabled in the public school teachings of history. In other words, if Michelangelo was gay (he was,) it’s OK for teachers to include that fact in a history lesson. If California’s own Harvey Milk was gay, (he was,) it’s OK for teachers to include that fact in a history lesson. If Walt Disney was dyslexic, and had ADHD (he was and he did) it’s OK for teachers to include that fact in a history lesson.

Oh, and Pastor Hibbs, it’s OK to say, “transgender,” really, it is.

And secondly, Pastor, “lovers of God’s people” means all people. Even the LGBT community.

StopSB48.com, by the way, has a curious file for download, "Constitutional Protections for Pastors," that explores the fine line of political speech in churches, the rights of speech of those churches' pastors, and the oft-considered IRS implications for same. Its letterhead is the logos of five key conservative groups.

Comments (2)

I don't understand why the paranoid preaching of one fundamentalist minister is noteworthy. Is this guy a particularly powerful or influential figure (I never heard of him before)?

Bill Dilworth

Bill, you ask a good question. I think the reason this is noteworthy - to me at least - has less to do with content and more to do with a handful of intangibles arranged around a certain style of delivery. It isn't smooth (my guess is the editing of the YouTube clips is masking some awkward pauses), but it comes across with an oddly earnest and dressed-down tone. I also find the consistent appeal to "Pastor" to be like some strange posturing: i.e., "just us leaders" having a conversation, and everyone else can clear out.

In other words, it's a strange assembly of characteristics lined up in an odd way, but I get the idea it won't be the last we hear of Jack Hibbs.

Hope that doesn't just muddy the water even further.

Torey Lightcap

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