Longtime Sun City resident Bill Turpin organized a rally to find like-minded people who are opposed to big government, war and Muslims.
Instead, his neighbors called the pamphlets and emails he distributed hateful, and threatened to protest the Saturday event, scheduled to be held in the community’s ballroom. The outcry ended when a Sun City facilities official canceled the rally.
“The Sun City Texas Community Association and its Board of Directors respect residents’ right to individual opinions, but do not support use of community facilities by groups whose stated agenda includes discrimination against any person due to his or her religious faith,” said Jim Romine, community association executive director, in a statement.
The community association manages public areas in the 6,700-home Georgetown retirement community.
The original fliers for the rally said people who are “Socialist, Authoritarian, Totalitarian, and Muslim” subscribe to “unacceptable” belief systems. The flier went on to declare its opposition to “Islam because Islam is totalitarian.”
Turpin, sole organizer of the rally, said he has founded a new movement called Free Enterprise Democracy International that aims to carve out a new political ideology advocating for economic freedom, the right to life and religious freedom, among other things.
In an interview, Turpin said he was opposed to Muslims but not because of their religious beliefs.
“Because they’re totalitarian,” said Turpin, 84, an International Table Tennis Federation instructor. “And I don’t think anybody’s going to argue with me about that. They control both their subjects’ body and mind.”
As word of the event spread, however, many of Turpin’s neighbors expressed their opposition to his ideas. MaryAnn Freidin, president of the Sun City Democrats, said she contacted an official who works for the Sun City builder to inform him of the event.
“I think Democrats or Republicans would be upset about it. It was definitely anti-Islam, Muslim,” Freidin said. “And I don’t think we should be anti-anything.”
But Turpin, who said he believes the rally was halted to “keep the peace,” said he’s not letting naysayers stop him. Turpin said he’ll still try to start a Sun City Free Enterprise Democracy International Club.
And he still has the Sun City ballroom booked Thursday for a rehearsal of the rally, which includes an anthem he composed and a PowerPoint presentation, Turpin said. No one’s invited, Turpin said, but the practice run will go on.