Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Namesake of ministry suing SPLC once endorsed obscenely homophobic comic

A ministry currently suing the Southern Poverty Law Center for being designated as an anti-LGBTQ hate group may soon learn the lesson about past actions coming back to bite.

D. James Kennedy Ministries, based at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, has filed a federal lawsuit in Alabama against the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center for calling the ministry a hate group. The lawsuit was filed Aug. 22 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama in Montgomery. The lawsuit alleges that the SPLC "illegally trafficked in false and misleading descriptions of the services offered by DJKM and committed defamation against DJKM arising from the publication and distribution of false information that libels the ministry's reputation and subjects the ministry to disgrace, ridicule, odium, and contempt in the estimation of the public," according to a statement by the ministry. 
The ministry is named for the late TV Evangelist D. James Kennedy, who was the longtime pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and host of the nationally syndicated "Coral Ridge Hour" TV program. He died in 2007. Kennedy played a role in helping form the conservative Presbyterian Church in America denomination, which organized in Birmingham in 1973 at Briarwood Presbyterian Church.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has made it clear that anti-LGBTQ hate groups are designated so because they demonize the LGBTQ community in the most lurid, inaccurate terms:

The religious right in America has employed a variety of strategies in its efforts to beat back the increasingly confident LGBT rights movement. One of those has been defamation. Many of its leaders have engaged in the crudest type of name-calling, describing LGBT people as "perverts" with "filthy habits" who seek to snatch the children of straight parents and "convert" them to gay sex. They have disseminated disparaging "facts" about gays that are simply untrue — assertions that are remarkably reminiscent of the way white intellectuals and scientists once wrote about the "bestial" black man and his supposedly threatening sexuality.

And that brings up to the late James Kennedy. The D. James Kennedy Ministries has a huge section dedicated to his life and his work.  One thing it doesn't have is when Kennedy endorsed the following 1986 comic book:

How do we know Kennedy endorsed this comic book? Because his endorsement is the first one on the back cover, with his official title as "Senior Minister, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church."

Reflections on 11 years as a blogger, Trumps's attack on Dreamers split evangelical coalition, & other Wed midday news briefs

Eleven years ago, this blog began because there needed to be a spotlight on the junk science, lies, and discredited arguments religious right groups were using to dehumanize the LGBTQ community and deny us our God-given equality.

Since that time, a lot of progress has been made in calling out groups like the Family Research Council, the Alliance Defending Freedom, and others. Thanks to groups like Media Matters and the Southern Poverty Law Center fueling the discussion, the tactics of these groups have entered the public debate and will not be going away. I like to think I was a part of that.

However, so much more needs to be done. It has been my biggest disappointment how the LGBTQ community leadership - and community in general - have been dropping the ball on this. Even before Trump took office, we constantly find ourselves drawn into repetitive little skirmishes. Bathroom bills, religious liberty bills, etc.  Before our very eyes, the same lies which exploited the fear of gay men and children are being used against our transgender brothers and sisters. And while we fight like hell against in these skirmishes, we fail to weave the thread, i.e. bring into the public debate how all of these attacks on us are connected. How arguments against marriage equality, transgender rights, LGBTQ equality in general are following the same distorted patterns.  We fight the arguments emanating from the anti-LGBTQ empire but have not taken the initiative to attack the empire itself.

We allow ourselves to be put in the position time and time again to have to justify our existence even though we have won major victories in terms of our families, our children, even our private sexual behavior. We fight from a reactive position rather than a proactive position.  And we shouldn't be doing that. We are winners and we need to start acting like winners. We need to start demanding that these groups justify their lies and their tactics. There is nothing wrong with us picking a verbal debate with religious right groups before they begin their latest attack on our physical and spiritual persons. There is nothing wrong with us, just out of the blue, demanding answers to their constant lies about how we harm children.

As they are becoming more aggressive in pushing back against being labeled as hate groups and hungrier because Trump is in office, we shouldn't just be sitting and waiting. It is a war. A war of position, debate, and narratives.   It's time we took control of all of these things.

On that note, I am announcing that I am developing a new visual project. Provisionally, I call it "HELL." And when I'm done with it, I hope that it will be hell . . . for the opposition

In other news:

Southern Baptist Minister: Anti-LGBT “Nashville Statement” Is An “Expression Of Love” - Why is it that every time the religious right shows us love, it makes us feel that we've been pistol whipped for Valentine's Day?

This 6-Year-Old Spent A Year Of Her Life Fighting To Use Her School’s Bathroom - Why we must always not be blase about standing up for our rights. We aren't just standing up for ourselves, but also our children. 

Trump Abandonment of DREAMers Splits Religious Right - Looks like some members of the religious right are showing just a tad bit of integrity. 

47 LGBT Groups Send Letter Opposing Trump’s Justice Department Pick Eric Dreiband - We got another one of Trump's appointments to knock on his ass. 

  Anti-LGBTQ hate group submits pro-discrimination arguments to Supreme Court - Small case with large repurcussions.