The Rev. Gregory Stevens

Too radical for America's tech overlords: liberal Baptist pastor rattles Silicon Valley

Too radical for America's tech overlords: liberal Baptist pastor rattles Silicon Valley

I first saw the story in the Guardian with this headline -- “Elitist den of hate:” Silicon Valley pastor derides hypocrisy of area’s rich liberals.”

There's more. The sub-head proclaimed: “Gregory Stevens resigns after tweets about Palo Alto, slamming tech industry greed and empty social justice promises”

Whoa. I had to read that. Textured stories about the religious left aren’t easy to find. Plus, when “rich liberals” slam someone, it’s usually a conservative, not one of their own. Not only that, here was a person taking on Facebook and other tech companies.

So I dove in:

A Silicon Valley pastor has resigned from his church after calling the city of Palo Alto an “elitist shit den of hate” and criticizing the hypocrisy of “social justice” activism in the region.

Gregory Stevens confirmed on Monday that he had stepped down from the First Baptist church of Palo Alto, an LGBT-inclusive congregation, after his personal tweets calling out the contradictions of wealthy liberals in northern California surfaced at a recent council hearing…

“I believe Palo Alto is a ghetto of wealth, power, and elitist liberalism by proxy, meaning that many community members claim to want to fight for social justice issues, but that desire doesn’t translate into action,” Stevens wrote, lamenting that it was impossible for low-income people to live in the city. “The insane wealth inequality and the ignorance toward actual social justice is absolutely terrifying.”

My first question was to wonder what sort of Baptist we’re talking about: The centrist/liberal American Baptist Church or the vastly more conservative Southern Baptist Convention?

That distinction should have been drawn out -- pronto. It’s an ABC congregation, their web site says.

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