Lancaster Councilwoman Sherry Marquez Finds a Vocal Local Ally: Audie Yancey, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Quartz Hill

Lancaster city councilwoman Sherry Marquez has dug in on her essentialist remarks on the true nature of Islam (it is a violent religion dominated by violent people who are properly exemplified by the recent beheading of a woman by her Muslim husband in New York), and it appears that she won’t be apologizing to her Muslim constituents anytime soon. Here is how her local paper in northern Los Angeles County, the Antelope Valley Press (January 27, 2010), reported the exact words that she wrote this past week:

LANCASTER—Councilwoman Sherry Marquez is under fire from a Los Angeles Islamic organization and from the Antelope Valley Muslims for comments she posted on her personal Internet page concerning a Muslim man charged with beheading his wife in New York.

“This is what the Muslim religion is all about—the beheading, honor killings are just the beginning of what is to come in the U.S.A,” Marquez wrote on her Facebook page.

“We are told this is a small majority (sic) of Muslims in America but it is truly what they are all about,” she said.

Of course, Sherry Marquez has the right to say anything that she wants to, and to essentialize and reduce to a cultural stereotype a billion individual adherents to one particular religion, and to blow off the Muslim vote in her community. But what is alarming to me is how much sympathy her remarks have received from Antelope Valley residents. There was even a small turnout on Friday of about a dozen people outside of Lancaster City Hall, not to express disagreement with her statements, but to support them. One of those who came out to support her was Audie Yancey, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Quartz Hill. And on Saturday, January 30, 2010, the Antelope Valley Press published his letter to the editor, which said in part (on page A13):

Beating wives (Surah 4:34) and killing is only a small part of the horrors of Islam. These are not only justified, but commanded in the Quran.

You [Sherry Marquez] are right. Beheadings and honor killings are only the beginning.

Research by the Christian Action Network of Forest, Va., uncovers Islam’s goal to take over, not only the United States, but the entire world, by the year 2020.

Of course, all proselytizing religions have fantasies of one day seeing whole nations—and even the world—uniting under their particular religious banner—including Christianity—but Audie Yancey apparently is not thrilled by the competition. And as the letter proceeded, he elaborated on his conspiracy theory for a few more paragraphs, then concluded with this utterly paranoid admonition:

Beware of the Muslims who are meeting with interfaith organizations. This is a direct violation of the Quran, Surah 5:51, “O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies.”

They might be only liberals, but they might be covert operatives.

The Republican Party is the only party with a majority still standing for America’s Judeo-Christian values and for the Constitution of the United States of America. It would be an affront to the party [i]f they repudiate the statement of Councilwoman Marquez.

Ironically, Audie Yancey, by quoting the Quran in absolutist terms, is inadvertently inviting local moderate and liberal Muslims to engage in the very practices of decontextualized scriptural literalism and reductio ad absurdum rationality that he professes to be alarmed about in the first place. He is saying, in effect, that it is not moderate and liberal Muslims, but the most fanatical and literalist zealots among them, who properly represent Islam’s future. Perhaps Audie Yancey, in the grip of his own scriptural literalism and reductio ad absurdum rationality, is confusing Islam’s future with that of the Republican Party.

And so perhaps Audie Yancey is someone that Sherry Marquez is unhappy to have as an ally, but if so, she has yet to repudiate his comments. Instead, on the day that Audie Yancey stood with others outside of City Hall to support Sherry Marquez, the Antelope Valley Press reported that she “briefly came out to greet the crowd,” and said to them (Jan. 30, 2010, A4):

You don’t know how humbled I am that you all would come out to support me.

Humbled, indeed. If you make an intemperate and prejudicial overgeneralization about a whole group of your fellow human beings—and then people come out to cheer you on for it—you ought to be more than humbled: you should be humiliated. Sherry Marquez might have done well to tell her supporters that she had said something uncivil and stupid in the emotional heat of having read a news article that had upset her, and that she did not, in calm retrospect, really think that most Muslims are characteristically violent people.

But she didn’t do that, did she?

Instead, she came out of City Hall and encouraged Audie Yancey and the others gathered on her behalf, telling them that she was humbled to have their support. Maybe she could engage in such a shameless act, not because she is cynical, but because she actually shares Audie Yancey’s views concerning Muslim people. And if she doesn’t, then as a public official maybe she should at least tell us so. It would be informative to know whether a person sitting on the Lancaster City Council thinks in Audie Yancey’s terms about a whole class of people. And it would be informative, not just to voters, but to businesses contemplating a move to the city.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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9 Responses to Lancaster Councilwoman Sherry Marquez Finds a Vocal Local Ally: Audie Yancey, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Quartz Hill

  1. Ron says:

    well if you look at radical muslims in Europe and see what they are doing over there you might want to think twice about allowing muslims into our country. Radical islam is out of control. You got muslims standing in the streets with signs that say behead all those who insult islam. Muslim women walk around with veils on there faces. 40 % of young muslims under 30 want to live under Sharia Law. That means strict islamic rule. If you got 40% of muslims in the U.K. who want islamic rule you are really creating a very dangerous country. 32 % of young muslims also support suicide bombers. Do the math. If you have 10 million muslims and 1 million are really hardcore radicals your commiting suicide for your country. hey it only took 19 msulims to kill 3000 Americans. Islam is the greatest threat to the world and to freedom. Go on youtube check out radical islam in Europe and you will see the threat im talking about.

    • Jo says:

      You got some sources to support your statistics? I can just as easily say that 82% of Baptists want to overthrow the U.S. Government, but unless I have proof it means nothing. Zip. Nada.

      • Audie Yancey says:

        Jo, did you ever get your answer on sources on Muslim statistics? Read the Qur’an through and you will find that the religion is a religion of war and murder.

  2. Ron says:

    Islam is a very very dangerous threat to the whole world.

  3. Ron says:

    Go to youtube radical islam in Europe they have all the stats. Let me ask you if a bunch of muslims were to pour in the Antelope Valley lets say get alot of muslims coming here would you be a little worried? How would you like muslim women walking around wearing veils on their faces. Just think if we had 600 muslims standing on the streets of Palmdale Blvrd holding signs that read behead all those who insult islam your 9/11 is on the way. would you be worried? How would you like to have 30% of muslims under 30 saying they think that suicide bombers are o.k.. This is Europe now. this is not made up this is whats happening there. Check out youtbube. what happens over there will one day happen here. i bet you change your tune if muslim women in the Antelope valley started walking around with veils on their faces.

  4. Ron says:

    the point im trying to drive is muslims do not want to co-exist with other religions they want to take over and destory the west. They want to bring in Sharia, bring in stonings beheadings force women to wear veils etc. england has already agreed to some ofrms of sharia when it comes to marriage for muslims. Chek out sharia in britan you will see all the stuff im talking about. Look up youtube radical islam in europe scroll down all the videos see what some of the writers polictians others say about radicl islam in europe. Im telling you people if you only new whats happening in Europe you would not be enbracing islam. YOU DO NOT WANT THESE MUSLIMS HERE.

  5. Marauder says:

    You’re right, Ron, but it isn’t just radical Muslims, it’s also the fawning appeasement from the PC gang who for whatever reason think they’re great people, beheadings, stonings, and “honor killings” included. Of course, Israelis and the rest of us conservative westerners are bad, probably for nothing more than speaking the truth and being Jews and Christians.
    Stand up to them, Sherry Marquez. As Sir Winston said, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

  6. Brian Judd says:

    Wow I am literally the only comment to this awesome post?

  7. A. T. Yancey, Jr. says:

    I just read this page for the first time. I was not even at city hall during that rally, you lying Muslims!

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