Monday, May 21, 2012

Crazy North Carolina pastors? Blame the Amendment One vote

It's been said that during an argument, the first person who accuses the other of being a Nazi is automatically the loser. I think whoever said that would make an exception in the case of North Carolina pastor Charles Worley of of Providence Road Baptist Church:


"I figured a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers, but I couldn't get it passed through Congress. Build a great, big, large fence — 150 or 100 mile long — put all the lesbians in there, fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can't get out…And you know what, in a few years, they'll die out."

Now the most creative of my lgbt brothers and sisters would accuse this pastor of slyly talking about concentration camps and unfortunately they aren't off the mark.

However, I think the old man thinks too much of himself. For centuries the gay community have withstood violence, hatred, and ignorance wrapped up in a religious package. We have withstood scorn, ridicule, and also disease. I hardly think that the silly plans of a backwoods preacher can bring us down.

But sadly, I don't solely blame Worley for his outrageous comments. I also blame the National Organization for Marriage and its recent successful Amendment One campaign. I've always said that wherever the organization goes, it leaves destroyed communities in the wake of its anti-marriage equality campaigns with people having to make amends with each other for voicing negative opinions about gays that were brought to the forefront.

Now in the case of North Carolina, NOM's sickness has infected several pastors.

Patrick Wooden and a cell phone?
Worley is just one. Let's not forget the diaper pastor Patrick Wooden who, because of NOM's Amendment One campaign, claimed that gays have so much sex that we require stitches and diapers. He later doubled down on that lie and also claimed that gays use cellphones a sexual instruments.

That's Wooden right there on the right at the Amendment One victory party. Doesn't that look like a cell phone in his hand? If it is, I don't want to know where he got it.

And let's not forget about Pastor Sean Harris of the Berean Baptist Church Fayetteville, who advised parents to use violence against their potentially gay children:

What it comes down to is that NOM's campaign against marriage equality made it permissible for some of these folks to let their freak flags fly. But now they can't seem to pull them back down.

North Carolina's gay community will survive the Amendment One vote. But I am seriously worried about some of the state's pastors. If another pastor pulls another outrageous outburst, I'm going to be calling the guys with the white coats.

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'The most nauseating picture of anti-gay violence you will ever see' and other Monday midday news briefs

This awful scene is Svyatoslav Sheremet, head of Gay Forum of Ukraine, is beaten as he met with members of the media to inform them that a scheduled gay-pride parade was cancelled. (Anatolii Stepanov, Reuters/Landov)

Kiev Pride Cancelled, Two Beaten - Box Turtle supplied the picture and details of this awful scene. You see this is what the Obama Administration was talking about when it made its stance against anti-gay violence. No matter how the religious right tries to bamboozle the situation, let this picture provide the truth of the situation for you.

NAACP Endorses Marriage Equality - The resolution not only helps gay equality but it also helps the NAACP in that it indicates that the organization is growing in a positive manner to encompass the universal struggle for equality.

 NOM pushes extreme video; pushes away remaining stake in political moderation - The National Organization for Marriage is now embracing a fraudulent video pushed by the Family Research Council. For more information on this fraudulent video, see Family Research Council pushing another video of anti-gay lies 
Civil rights group says school censored students - Rainbow symbols promote gay sex. Who knew?

Will the Family Research Council acknowledge error of using recanted study?

Editor's note -  It's one of those two post mornings. After reading this post (and hopefully tweeting Tony Perkins and/or Peter Sprigg, check out my other post below regarding elected officials attacking the gay community - Why do some American Christians anoint the lazy and ignorant as their 'heroes?'

On Friday, something monumental happened.

Dr. Robert Spitzer announced plans to officially apologize to the gay community for a 2001 study he published which claimed that gays can change their sexual orientation.

This apology is a boon for the gay community and closes the book on a long controversy. I detailed it in my 2007 book Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters:

Robert Spitzer is one of the psychiatrists who was instrumental in getting the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses in the early 1970s.

In 2001, he published a controversial study that seemed to claim that small number of people can change their orientation from gay to heterosexual. In 45-minute individual telephone calls with 143 “ex-gays” and 57 “ex-lesbians,” Spitzer asked them 60 questions dealing with their feelings and behavior before and after they allegedly changed their orientations. They also talked about their strategies, feelings and motives for changing.

Many of these individuals were referred to Spitzer by “ex-gay” groups. When Spitzer’s findings were made public, the anti-gay industry lauded him, making sure to mention that he was one of the principle people who led the American Psychiatric Association’s 1973 decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.

They also made sure to portray him as a martyr of political correctness, making it sound as if some sort of gay Mafia was attempting to suppress his study. Concerned Women for America even sent out a press release claiming that Spitzer’s life and livelihood was being threatened.

The Traditional Values Organization published its own press release of Spitzer’s study. Like other so-called “pro-family” groups, it manipulated the findings without going into detail about how Spitzer came to his conclusion, but making sure to emphasize his support of gay rights.

Over the years, Spitzer has denounced how the religious right used his study for its own agenda. In a 2006 interview with The Los Angeles Times, Spitzer said that he believed that some of those he interviewed for his study may have been either lying to him or themselves. In that same year, he teamed up with Dr. Judith Stacey, Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc and Soulforce, a group that combats “spiritual violence” against the gay and lesbian community, in a press release demanding that Focus on the Family another religious right group, stop distorting research.

Why do some American Christians anoint the lazy and ignorant as their 'heroes?'

I am simultaneously amazed and disappointed in how some American Christians choose their heroes these days.

Mississippi state lawmaker and minister Andy Gipson recently cited a Biblical passage that condemns gays to death as his way of speaking against out President Obama's support of marriage equality. And in the face of criticism, he says that he is not backing down.

To put it succinctly, I hate when these incidents happen. A lawmaker says something homophobic while hiding behind the Bible, our community demands an apology, the lawmaker refuses to back down and finally the lawmaker is looked upon by some as a hero for supposedly standing up for Biblical principal.

Gipson is not a hero. He is lazy.

If you want to talk about true heroes of the Christian faith, then let's talk about those who spent their lives fighting injustice like Desmond Tutu or Mother Teresa. Let's talk about those who gave their lives for the sake of equality like Oscar Romero or Maximilian Kolbe.

All Gipson did was to sit on his ass and repeat Biblical verses in an attempt to bash a group of people who, to my knowledge, has never done him any harm a day of his life.

Just when were the requirements of heroism of the American Christian faith reduced to lip service designed to tear people down based on assumptions of sin?