Cason, TX is a small community, barely on the map and tucked deep inside NE Texas among pine trees and red clay earth. Proud people live there – good people of God, quick to lend a hand when help is needed and slow to change as the world passes them by.
On May 29th, all of that changed. What happened that day to cause such a horrific act of nature? Was it a sign from God, as many residents now whisper to each other in closed circles – or was it simply an electrical fire caused by faulty wiring?
“No way that was anything else but a direct answer from God. Our God is a God of love, but he’s also a God of vengeance. I believe it was the homosexuals that caused this,” stated Joanna Bates, owner and manager of the only gas station in town. “If it were up to me, that youth minister would have been right in the middle of those flames. But I am a woman of God, so I let him do his own work.”
The Concord Baptist Church in Cason recently hired Steven Rutledge, a charismatic and jovial young man, to lead the youth of their church and train them to be the leaders of tomorrow in the fight for Jesus. But some question his message to the young crowd, and even go so far as to say that Mr. Rutledge himself is responsible for the raging fire that leveled that community church late that Sunday evening.
A man known to dress in rather flamboyant clothing and speak with a noticeable lisp, Mr. Rutledge is no stranger to such negative comments. “I’ve always been referred to as a homosexual, which isn’t true at all. I just love sparkling water and I don’t mind telling people that I masturbate. Is that so wrong?”
According to several youth who attended his class earlier that evening, Mr. Rutledge announced to the children that masturbation was healthy for you, does not make you a homosexual, and could actually provide some health benefits to the Christian man or woman who took part in raping their own bodies in order to resist the temptation of sex out of wedlock. That was at 7:50 PM, according to class participants.
At 8:01, members of the congregation smelled smoke, and the fire alarm was sounded. All members managed to escape unharmed, although Mr. Rutledge received 3rd degree burns on his crotch and anal area attempting to escape out of a window in the social hall. “The doctor says I might not ever be able to father a child. I’m okay with that, I guess, but my really good friend Bill is taking this very hard. I’m going to cook him up something really special tonight to make him feel better.”
“It was as if the devil himself was in that church,” proclaimed John King, a lifelong resident of Cason and a blue collar steel worker three generations strong. “The firemen kept spraying the church, and the flames just licked into the sky, higher and higher, until the heat was so intense that we all just stood back and watched it go. Watched it burn to the ground.”
“I’m not sure if the devil or Jesus was involved in this,” said George Greenway, a longtime deacon of the church, “but I will say this – several of us saw the face of God in those flames, and we could hear him screaming, screaming something about homosexuals and rape, and sparkling water. Something like that.”
*update – at the time of printing, we have received the tragic news that Steven Rutledge was killed in a freak accident at home later that night involving a toaster oven and a Keurig coffee machine. Although the cause of death has not been released, traces of duct tape, some sort of oil based lubricant, PVC pipe and small animals of undetermined origin were also found at the scene.