March 27th, 2007
Pam Spaulding has published an amazing interview with Joe Murray, a former columnist and staff attorney for the American Family Association. Pam had written about some of his anti-gay columns before. That’s why she was very surprised to read a column in which Joe Murray attacked the AFA’s “borderline bigoted” behavior and condemned the manner in which the AFA supported General John Pace’s remarks that “homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral.”
Pam was very impressed with Joe Murray’s column. She contacted him and asked if he would be interested in doing an interview. He agreed, and that interview is now online. Here are some highlights.
On Murray’s evolution in his opinion on homosexuality:
After adopting the AFA party line for some time, something in the back of my head kept tearing away at my conscience. How could AFA, an earthly organization, declare the divine intention of the God and condemn the souls of homosexuals? How was it that men could make the declaration of who was getting into Heaven and who was getting the one-way ticket to Hades?
I thought who are these people to say who is getting into Heaven and who is not? I thought of the story of Joan of Arc, who, when she was being burnt at the stake, was ask the question of whether she would go to Heaven.
Her response? “If I am not, may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there.” In other words, it is God, not man, who decides who gets to pass through the gates of Heaven. So, how could groups like AFA even hint that gays were doomed to hell? This smacked of the politics of man, not the divine mercy of God.
On why he wrote some of the things he did:
…I have always been concerned about the values coming out of the Castro District. I see the hatred some of these people have towards my Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and I just took their anger as proof that some folks on the Christian right were accurate in their depiction of the “homosexual agenda.” I failed to investigate the matter and just adopted the party line — this was a monumental error on my part.
It was not until I began to look closer at the issue that I came to realize that: (a) not all of the gay community is represented by those marching in the streets of San Francisco and (b) those in the streets had a right to be angry, for they have been told for years that they were immoral, sinful and shameful. How horrible must it be to be condemned due to a trait you had no control over. I thought, hell, I would be angry, too. Even further, when I looked at society, I found that most of our societal institutions worked against the gay community.
On the AFA’s obsession with homosexuality:
As for the fixation with the “homosexual agenda,” you are right — it is a significant part of the ministry’s drive. I am not able to judge the hearts of other men, so I cannot speak to whether they truly believe that homosexuals are out to “convert” the children of America or they are merely using this issue as a method of fundraising. Either scenario, though, is disturbing.
And I while say, it is my own personal view that at least some inside AFA find the obsession with this issue uncanny. AFA needs to open its eyes to the idea that gays are not the enemy. I did.
On why the AFA do what they do:
… I am equally confused with AFA’s actions. AFA preaches the Gospels, but uses broad stereotypes to pigeonhole an entire community of individuals. I will not tell you what is in the hearts of these people, but I will look at the evidence.
If AFA believes they are trying to help people, they are sorely misguided. As stated by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, “an ounce of help is better than a pound of preaching.”
On the evangelical church’s reaction to Ted Haggard:
As for me, it always amazes me how quickly some Christians turn on one another. The Haggard story is one of sadness, for it tells the tale of a man who has been so indoctrinated with hate and fear, that he has been fighting something he cannot fight. He is denying his very identity. I only hope that Haggard’s story humanizes the treatment of gays inside the church and causes people to reevaluate their position, but I am doubtful about this.
On anticipating the anti-gay lobby’s tactics in the near future:
My best guess is that AFA, and groups like them, will try to paint the gay rights movement as a radical fringe that is poisoning the cultural well and seeking to impose their will on a defenseless America. In other words, fear will be the main motivating force.
I am sure that pictures of half naked gay men will make their way into action alerts, as well as concerns over homosexual indoctrination in the school house. Hate crimes will be an issue and many will try to scare preachers into believing that the passage of the hate crime bill will penalize the Sunday morning sermons. This is shameful.
This is an amazingly candid interview. Pam is soliciting questions in her comments for a possible Part Two. Go over there and read the entire interview for yourself. It’s a rare and informative glimpse into one of the more powerful anti-gay lobbying groups in America.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.