SHARE
Richerson: “I lead worship at Mercy Culture Church.” Courtesy of Facebook

According to Instagram, Landon Schott, the lead pastor at Mercy Culture Church, has no problem outing himself as a conspiracy nut in public or jeopardizing the tax-exempt status of his evangelical Northside place of worship. The IRS has long prohibited churches from supporting political candidates for obvious reasons. That still hasn’t stopped millions of “houses of God” from preaching politics, including, apparently, Mercy.

“Elections matter!” Schott recently wrote on his Instagram page. “Our tyrannical leaders have stolen our freedom and indoctrinated our children in schools.”

Tagged in his message is an Instagram handle that leads to vapid conspiracy peddlers Steve Penate, who was trounced in the recent Fort Worth mayor’s race, and Erik Richerson, who took in an abysmal 7.8% of District 9 city councilmember votes last year. One IGTV video shows Penate and Richerson excitedly preparing to protest against Critical Race Theory (CRT) at a Fort Worth school board meeting earlier this year.

BO22-Vote-Now-300x250

“Look for @nagefortexas on March 1,” Schott wrote on another post, referring to a local Republican candidate for state rep.

Based on his numerous comments, Schott apparently loves our news magazine’s Instagram page (@FortWorthWeekly), and we love hearing the voice of right-wing nuts like him who think their work has anything to do with the life and teachings of Jesus.

Last week, our editorial board took aim at DA Sharen Wilson’s public endorsement of Tarrant County judge candidate Tim O’Hare (“50 Shades of Public Corruption,” Feb 9). Her decision should be seen for what it is — a conceit that our local criminal justice system puts the interests of white supremacy over those of Tarrant County residents.

“Another biased, disappointing, and misleading article,” Schott commented.

The expressed aims of O’Hare’s supporters and the Political Action Committee (PAC) that he allegedly founded, Southlake Families, convey a perverse desire to turn back the clock on racial and LGBTQ+ equity. Schott’s reaction caught our attention because a new PAC, Tarrant County Conservatives, was recently formed for the sole purpose of targeting county commissioner candidate Betsy Price and because the PAC’s treasurer is an admitted member of Mercy Culture Church.

“I lead worship at Mercy Culture Church,” Richerson wrote on his Facebook page last year.

According to the PAC’s first and only campaign finance report, Richerson is the treasurer for Tarrant County Conservatives. The campaign disclosure is devoid of any information beyond listing Richerson and disclosing the PAC’s opposition to former Fort Worth mayor Price. No contributions or loans are disclosed.

The PAC somehow had the resources to fund a newish website that attacks Price and portrays the Republican as a liberal. We are not sharing the website’s address because doing so would support a concerted effort by powerful Republicans to perpetuate this country’s sordid history of racism and discrimination. Content from the website suggests coordination between O’Hare and Tarrant County Conservatives. The misleading and often baseless language used on the website mirrors press releases that we frequently receive from O’Hare’s campaign.

The Tarrant County Conservatives-funded website blasts Price for supporting LBGTQ+ youths. One website image shows Price supporting FWISD’s superintendent several years ago as the school leader pushed back on Republican state leaders’ efforts to force children to use bathrooms according to the gender on their birth certificates. Price’s political opponents appear to be pandering to transphobic bigots. The website’s information is misleading at best and outright fabricated at worst.

For her part, Price has shown that she is also willing to target minorities when it is politically expedient. Last month, she falsely stated that she “stood against Black Lives Matter.” She was never an ally of the effort, but nothing about her documented actions as mayor at the time showed her to be actively standing against the movement that seeks to end racial injustice and police violence toward unarmed Black men, women, and children (“ Primary Reasons to Worry,” Jan 26).

Though a huge political and moral misstep, Price’s campaign has largely refrained from appealing to Tarrant County’s baser instincts while O’Hare has not hidden his fundamentalist worldview that works against egalitarian notions of democracy.

Speaking at the home of a former Republican candidate on Friday, O’Hare, according to multiple sources, told the gathering that he does not manage the new PAC but does approve content for the anti-Price website. Organizationally, O’Hare may have intentionally distanced himself from this PAC, but the website bears all the hallmarks of a county judge candidate who remains hellbent on gaining Tarrant County’s top elected position by any means possible to spread misinformation and evil like the kind Jesus battled. l

 

This column reflects the opinions of the editorial board and not the Fort Worth Weekly. To submit a column, please email Editor Anthony Mariani at Anthony@FWWeekly.com. Columns will be gently edited for factuality and clarity.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Amazing how an “author” has the emotional push to write a column but NEVER state who they are. Shows how emotionally they write and not factual in anyway.

    • The article clearly states that it was written by our editorial board. We have one editor and one staff writer. It’s not hard to figure out. Thanks for reading.

  2. It says your articles are gently edited for factuality and clarity. I really don’t think that is true. It almost sounds like you guys are picking on the church because they don’t bow down to the media! Maybe Pastor Landon is just tired of corrupt government! We are expanding territory at Mercy Culture! Thanks to you a lot more people want to come to the church. Thank you for building Gods kingdom! No weapon formed against Mercy Culture will prosper according to Gods word!

    • Then the church should loose its tax exempt status, the pastor is clearly breaking the law no matter what his beliefs are.

    • yawn,,,,,,,,,,,awwwwwww,,,,,,tissue ?? don’t like your neo fascist buddies being called out ?????
      It would be great if you had bothered to become an actual educated citizen but it appears its far too late for that. Big Lies. Fear of American history. Book banning. Guns everywhere. And turning christianity into a magical beard man in the sky wack doodle cult. You’ve accomplished a lot jethro. Read the Constitution stupid.

  3. This article reads like a diary describing the social cliques at a high school. Clearly the writers have personal issues with these pastors. Why you so obsessed with them…christians do be dressing nice tho.

  4. How disappointing to read this. I’m going to Mercy Culture now BECAUSE of how much you have written against it. I figure the devil must not like what’s going on there, so I’m going to check it out. Pastor Landon Schott has been very, very clear that his personal political views do not represent the church’s. As a matter of fact, what he has said is for people not to vote for a party, but vote for what they believe. From what I can see, this church has such a heart for this Fort Worth and only wants to serve this city’s population. Before they were even a church, they were serving and ministering in the projects (when they were there.) The food bank has given millions of meals since its start just a couple of years ago. They are fighting against human trafficking. I see the fruit that is very much like that of what Jesus spoke of. Jesus asks you, “Do you love me?” You seem to have a definite agenda here so I am calling you out.

    • Are you disagreeing that Mercy Culture has endorsed specific political candidates from the pulpit? because it’s on YouTube… and I don’t doubt that Pr. Schott may have spoken a caveat here or there, but I have witnessed him asking for people to vote for specific candidates from the pulpit with no caveat as to it being “only his personal opinion.” If your church put him in that pulpit, then he represents the church when he is speaking from that pulpit and is “on the clock.” Lots (the vast majority) of churches walk that line and do it well/carefully. Some people may know the pastor’s political views, but the pastor does not straight-out endorse certain candidates from the pulpit, even if the candidates are members of that church. Seriously, that is a clear no-no.

  5. It’s okay Fort Worth weekly. You love Mercy Culture because you benefit from what we do too. We will keep paying your paycheck every 2 weeks by giving you something to cry over and write about.

  6. Mercy Culture is definitely a movement that people need to pay attention to – and not in a positive way. I have seen first-hand how this place has spread hate, fear, and misinformation throughout our city. It’s funny that their mantra is “spirit come, fear go” yet they constantly tap into fear in order to appeal to their base. The word cult is thrown around so easily these days but the markings are similar within MC. Christ does not embody hate and prejudice, and that is what resides in many of the leaders and church goers within MC regardless of how much they like to claim otherwise.

  7. Hmm let’s see

    Grooming children into sexual depravity.
    Embracing Marxism.
    Resisting the rights of citizens to a sovereign nation
    and allowing the poison that comes with it.
    Indoctrination so prevalent in ISD’s it interferes with a basic education.

    Seems to me it’s Y’all that ain’t right

LEAVE A REPLY