|Christ died for|
our articles about
|Devil's in the details|
Greg Locke (1976–) is an American transphobic, homophobic, climate change-denying Baptist pastor and professional grifter at the Global Vision Bible Church, in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.
Locke's first notable foray into the public sphere (after his many arrests, of course) was an example of the "stopped clock" saying: it was a takedown of Israeli Arab (i.e. Palestinan) faith healer Benny Hinn in a 2005 self-published book entitled Blinded by Benny.
Locke uses his substantial online following on Facebook,
Locke came to prominence when he criticized Target's decision to provide gender-neutral toilets. Locke's prophetic and godly status was somewhat tarnished when it was reported that he cheated on his wife with the church secretary and packed the wife and children on a bus out of town so he could focus on the sinful delights of his new girlfriend. He eventually divorced his wife to marry his girlfriend, so no doubt he thinks that God has forgiven him for his breach of the Ten Commandments.
If so, however, some of his fellow Christians have not. He has been roundly criticized for among other things abandoning the Church of the King James Version, but much more seriously for having allegedly abused his wife both physically and psychologically.
|+||This section requires expansion.|
Descent into madness
Wingnuttery and Christian Nationalism
Increasingly in the 2020s, Locke's church started looking less like a temple dedicated to worshiping Jesus and more like a proxy of the radicalized Republican party, dedicated to a pro-Trump (until he renounced his support) vein of Christian nationalism.
Locke continued to be vocally supportive of Donald Trump, grumbling about how Joe Biden stole the 2020 U.S. presidential election, right up until Trump urged people to get their COVID vaccinations.
In late August 2021, Trump political operative Roger Stone was a guest speaker at the church, and the congregation accordingly was decked in MAGA paraphernalia. Later, Locke hosted the conservative youth activist Charlie Kirk as a guest.
In a late June 2021 sermon, Locke's tone even took on shades of QAnon when he called Joe Biden a "sex trafficking, demon-possessed mongrel" and Kamala Harris a "jezebel demon", with non-sequitur references to typical QAnon targets like "pedophiles in Hollywood", Pope Francis, Oprah Winfrey, and Tom Hanks.
On October 24 2021, Locke's guest speaker was Mark Burns a pastor who also happened to be a Republican Congressional candidate. While guest preaching, Burns spread transphobic lies concerning the "bathroom" debate and relished when the crowd spontaneously erupted into a chant of "Let's Go Brandon" (a minced oath for the phrase "fuck Joe Biden"). Burns and Locke later, in September 21 2021, appeared at a "Salt and Light Conference" (hosted by an organization run by Ralph Reed, the first executive director of the Christian Coalition) along with several other prominent Republican politicians, and other noted conservative figures such as Joe Arpaio and E. W. Jackson.
In mid-November 2021, Locke appeared at an event (that was part of a tour called "Reawaken America") at John Hagee's Cornerstone Church alongside many other far-right conspiracy theorists, such as Roger Stone, Mike Lindell, and Alex Jones. The event notoriously featured Trump associate and QAnon nut Michael Flynn calling for America to have only "one religion under God", rejecting the freedom of religion principle that is a major part of America's foundation. The event was also marked by yet another "Let's Go Brandon" chant erupting in a church.
All of this, of course, attracted much attention from the media. Reportedly Locke was extremely angry about media coverage about him, and in a late June 2021 sermon announced his plans to sue CNN and Newsweek for the "defamation" of accurately quoting him and posting clips of his "sermons".
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Locke displayed unusual hostility towards public health measures and vaccines, and even dismissed the notion that a pandemic was happening at all (Locke called COVID-19 a "fake pandemic" in December 2020). In fact, Locke has been so openly hostile to COVID restrictions and vaccinations, that he has threatened to kick anyone out of his church simply for wearing a face mask during his services. Likewise, in early August 2020, Locke posted a video threatening violence against a Dunkin' Donuts employee (whom he referred to as "Nazi Skippy") for merely trying to enforce a store face mask policy.
He has also ranted against vaccines, making a mostly false claim that they are made with "aborted fetal tissue." [note 1] In May 2021, he also spouted a bizarre conspiracy theory that vaccinated "political elites" are actually getting "a bunch of sugar water" instead of the vaccine. (If one thinks otherwise, according to Locke, they are "smoking meth in your mamma's basement.") In early August 2021, he even ranted against Republican Tennessee governor Bill Lee for signing an executive order that merely ensured that hospitals had adequate staffing and support during the pandemic. (This order unfortunately was necessary because the Tennessee healthcare system was in danger of collapse by people who listened to people like Locke, refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, got sick with COVID, and ended up in hospitals' ICU units, overwhelming them.)
At a late August 2021 rally, Locke encouraged people to "quit playing the coward" and "stir your school board meeting up for the glory of God," which in this case for some reason meant fighting against pandemic restrictions.
Locke's misinformation-filled preaching probably helped contribute to the death of at least one member of his church, who believed everything Locke said and ignored all health precautions on COVID-19, later dying from the disease.
On September 14, 2021, Locke was banned from Twitter for spreading COVID-19 misinformation.
Support for insurrectionists
“”Let me tell you something: You ain’t seen the insurrection yet. You keep on pushing our buttons, you low-down, sorry compromisers, you God-hating communists, maybe you’ll find out what an insurrection is. Because we ain’t playing your garbage. We ain’t playing your mess. My Bible says the church of the living God is an institution, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it and the Bible says that we’ll take it by force. That’s what the Bible says. That’s what the Bible says. It’s going to get worse.
|—Locke on May 15, 2022|
On January 5, 2021, the day before the coup attempt, Locke prayed for the Proud Boys and its leader, Enrique Tarrio at a rally by advocating Christian nationalism.:23-24
Locke was present during the 2021 Capitol riot, preaching to a crowd of Trump supports at Freedom Plaza with a bullhorn on the day before the event. Shortly before this, Locke referred to himself as part of the "black-robed regiment" in a Facebook post. This obscure term was popularized among certain crowds by Glenn Beck and David Barton in a 2010 political rally, and referred to Protestant ministers who supported the American revolution. Naturally, this became a battle cry with a few dominionist Christians.[note 2]
Later, Locke called Mike Pence a "Judas" for merely stating in a speech that the violence at the Capitol riot was a bad thing.
Demons, demons everywhere
In January 2022, Locke continued his unabashed fundamentalist crankery by blaming autism on demonic possession. In early February 2022, he revived the fundie tradition of book burning, targeting both old targets like Harry Potter and new targets like Twilight for being full of "spells, demonism, shape-shifting and occultism".
In mid February 2022, another insane clip of a Locke sermon went viral. In this clip, he claimed that, while supposedly casting a demon out of a woman who had recently begun coming to Global Vision, he learned the names of six witches who supposedly had infiltrated his congregation. During this unhinged rant, he accused the alleged witches of wanting to destroy the church, blamed recent illnesses in the congregation on the alleged witches, and also threatened to doxx them.
- ↑ COVID-19 vaccines were tested against immortalised cell lines, such as HEK 293 cells, a line that came from a fetus of unknown origin. However, these type of cell lines are used in the testing process of multiple vaccines and medications, to the point where your pharmaceutical options would be quite limited if this truly was an ethical concern.
- ↑ The origin of the "black robe regiment" quote is based on a bastardization of a quote made by a British loyalist named Peter Oliver.
- ↑ Bill Nye is not a scientist, uses made up statistics, lies about Climate Chamge, has zero concept of biology and uses the language of a wanna be gangsta rapper. by Pastor Greg Locke (11:59 am - 13 May, 2019) Twitter (archived from June 22, 2019).
- ↑ Blinded by Benny by Greg Locke (2005) Sword of the Lord. ISBN 0873980948.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Tennessee pastor Greg Locke accused of spreading false info about COVID banned from Twitter by Natalie Alund (September 14th 2021) The Tennessean.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Target-blasting pastor Greg Locke channels anger in new way by Brad Schmitt (May 1st 2016) The Tennesseean.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Mt. Juliet pastor’s video blasting Target goes viral by Andy Humbles (April 25th 2016) The Tennessean.
- ↑ Since @converse promotes an 11yr old drag queen that strips in gay bars, I’ve decided to burn my pair and stop preaching in them. What one generation tolerates, the next generation celebrates. This country has gone buck wild crazy. #ConverseKiddiePorn #DragRace by Pastor Greg Locke (21.05 - 9. toukok. 2019) Twitter (archived from August 14, 2021).
- ↑ Greg Locke Divorces Wife, Finds New Girlfriend (January 8th, 2018) Pulpit & Pen.
- ↑ Pastor Greg Locke: 'Adulterer in God's Eyes' Marries Church Secretary by Seth Dunn (August 7th, 2018) Pulpit & Pen.
- ↑ Pastor Greg Locke Exposed by Steven L. Anderson (February 10, 2017) Blogspot.
- ↑ An Evangelical Pastor’s Ex-Wife Is Finally Talking About How He Abused Her by Hemant Mehta (March 8, 2018) The Friendly Atheist (archived from September 28, 2018).
- ↑ The Pastors: They preach the Bible — and the big lie. With it, Pastors Ken Peters and Greg Locke are tapping into the pro-Trump vein of Christian nationalism. by Rob Kuznia & Majlie de Puy Kamp (2021) CNN.
- ↑ Pastor Greg Locke Continues to Insist Trump Won Election, Biden 'Is Still a Fraud' by Christina Zhao (5/30/21 at 4:42 PM EDT) Newsweek.
- ↑ Far-right pastor Greg Locke turns on Trump: ‘He was lied to and he knows it — and his arrogance won’t change his mind.’ by Palma Sky (January 10th 2022) DeadState.
- ↑ Roger Stone and Pastor Greg Locke deliver energetic church service in Mt. Juliet by Andy Humbles (Published 3:21 p.m. CT Aug. 30, 2020; Updated 10:41 a.m. CT Aug. 31, 2020) The Tennessean.
- ↑ GOP activist Charlie Kirk to speak in Mt. Juliet with Pastor Greg Locke at Global Vision Bible Church" by Andy Humbles (11:42 a.m. CT Oct. 16, 2020) The Tennessean.
- ↑ Right Wing Pastor Greg Locke Insists Biden, ‘Jezebel Demon’ Kamala Harris are Leading ‘Sex Trafficking’ Ring Below the Capitol in INSANE Rant by Leia Idliby (Jun 28th, 2021, 11:58 am) Mediaite.
- ↑ Pastor Greg Locke's Speech Against 'Pedophiles in Hollywood' Viewed Over 1.5M Times by James Crump (6/28/21 at 11:28 AM EDT) Newsweek.
- ↑ GOP Candidate Laughs As Church Crowd Yells Anti-Biden Slogan 'Let's Go Brandon' by Hemant Mehta (October 24, 2021) Friendly Atheist.
- ↑ Radical Right-Wing Pastor Greg Locke to Join Multiple GOP Politicians at North Carolina Conference by Kyle Mantyla (September 21, 2021 12:00 pm) Right Wing Watch.
- ↑ Just a Church Full of People Chanting ‘Let’s Go, Brandon’ (November 15, 2021) Relevant Magazine.
- ↑ Michael Flynn calls for ‘one religion’ at event that is a who’s who of the new Christian right by Bob Smietana (November 19, 2021 at 3:47 p.m. EST) The Washington Post.
- ↑ "Christian Hate-Preacher Greg Locke: I'm Suing CNN and Newsweek for Defamation" by Hemant Mehta (June 27, 2021) Friendly Atheist.
- ↑ How a pastor’s spread of Covid misinformation divided one Tennessee family by Elle Reeve et al. (10:09 AM EDT, May 29, 2021) CNN.
- ↑ "I meant what I said," pastor doubles down on church's mask ban by Alex Heider (July 28, 2021 7:10 AM) KESQ News Channel 3.
- ↑ Trump-loving pastor threatens Dunkin’ Donuts employee, chain changes mask policy by Eilish O'Sullivan (Aug 1, 2020) Daily Dot.
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 How a pastor's spread of Covid misinformation divided one Tennessee family by Elle Reeve et al. (10:09 AM EDT, May 29, 2021) CNN.
- ↑ If Any Drug Tested on HEK-293 Is Immoral, Goodbye Modern Medicine by Matthew P. Schneider (January 28, 2021) Patheos.
- ↑ Pastor Greg Locke Claims 'Political Elites' Fake Getting Vaccinated, Inject 'Sugar Water' Instead by Jason Lemon (5/23/21 at 4:12 PM EDT) Newsweek.
- ↑ The South’s health care system is crumbling under Covid-19. Enter Tennessee. The state is a poster child for how rural areas are suffering disproportionately amid the pandemic in the worst public health crisis in a century. by Daniel Payne (03/19/2022 07:00 AM EDT) Politico.
- ↑ "Tennessee pastor: Governor a 'coward,' 'chicks' in hospitals doing 'Tik Tok dances'" (August 10th 2021) 13 ABC WHAM.
- ↑ "Ballad Health: 91% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 unvaccinated" by Mackenzie Moore (Dec 22, 2021) WJHL.
- ↑ Post-Trump, Christian nationalists preach a theology of vaccine resistance: Recent rallies have intermingled resistance to COVID-19 vaccines with calls for a resurgence of Christian influence. by Jack Jenkins (September 14, 2021) Religious News Service.
- ↑ Family Speaks Out Against Hate-Preacher Whose COVID Lies Led to Uncle's Death by Hemant Mehta (May 28, 2021) Friendly Atheist.
- ↑ Preacher Of Christian Nationalism: A Tenn. Pastor Gains National Attention For His Extreme Views by Liz Hayes (Sep 29, 2022) Church & State Magazine, Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
- ↑ Preacher reported to IRS for sermon saying Christians can’t ‘vote Democrat’: Violating IRS tax exemption rules, hate-preacher Greg Locke said Christians had to vote for Republicans by Hemant Mehta (May 17, 2022) Only Sky.
- ↑ Christian Nationalism and the January 6, 2021 Insurrection by Andrew L. Seidel et al. (2022) Baptist Joint Committee.
- ↑ Middle Tennessee pastor says he was censored on social media following Capitol riots by Jackie DelPilar (January 13th 2021) WGXA News.
- ↑ How White Evangelical Christians Fused With Trump Extremism by Elizabeth Dias & Ruth Graham (January 11, 2021) The New York Times.
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 What the Black Robe Regiment Misses About Revolutionary Pastors: Christians calling for clergy to rise up against the government should take a closer look at the complex approaches by America’s early preachers. by Jonathan Den Hartog (January 20, 2021 ) Christianity Today.
- ↑ "Pastor Greg Locke Calls Mike Pence 'Judas' Following Speech on Capitol Riot" by Darragh Roche (6/4/21 at 5:24 AM EDT) Newsweek.
- ↑ Christian hate-preacher Greg Locke said this morning that children with autism actually suffer from demon possession. 'Your kid could be demonized and attacked, but your doctor calls it autism.' He added: 'Ain't no such diagnosis in the Bible.' by Hemant Mehta (11:25 AM · Jan 23, 2022) Twitter.
- ↑ Tennessee pastor burns 'witchcraft' 'Harry Potter,' 'Twilight' books" by Brooke Migdon (Feb. 07, 2022) The Hill.
- ↑ Pastor Greg Locke threatens to dox ‘witches’ that infiltrated wife’s Bible book club by Justin Vallejo (15 February 2022 21:15) Independent.
- ↑ Tennessee preacher Greg Locke says demons told him names of witches in his church" by Bob Smietana (February 15, 2022) Religion News Service.