39 responses

  1. grantdale
    September 24, 2007

    You can imagine what kind of a mood I was in by then.

    Zonked, and seriously looking around for a large glass of “mummy’s medicine”???

    But thanks from us for putting yourself through those days — some fascinating observations that I doubt will reach the readers of CitizenLink.

    Must say… have also noticed how ballistic these people go when challenged on their self-proclaimed expertise.

    It seems more than just a matter of keeping their jobs — many seen to have an awful lot of ego invested in it, and a barely concealed burning desire to say nasty things in public and gay men and lesbians.

    Will look forward to your summary etc.

    (and a big cheer for Cathy — brave enough to stand up, and tough enough not to put up with any of their nonsense. Must have bought a lump to your throat Jim.)

  2. Bruce Wilson
    September 25, 2007

    Thank you very much for writing this !

    It’s a wonderful account of personal bravery and lucidity in the assertion of human rights. I’d add that the wholesale demonization of the Islamic world is another staple of Christian right conferences and has grown perhaps more prominent even than gay bashing.

    For example, at the CUFI 2007 DC conference, I heard one speaker, Bridgette Gabriel, declare of Muslims and Arabs, her voice rising to a sharp pitch, They Have No SOULS !”. At the October 2006 “Voter Values” conference hosted in DC by the Family Research Council, I heard Bill Bennett suggest that Fallujah should have simply been leveled “like Hiroshima” for the killing of 4 Blackwater mercenaries.

    Also at the 2007 CUFI conference, Max Blumethal called out CUFI founder John Hagee for blaming Jews themselves for the Holocaust.

    There’s strength, I have come to believe, in calling out such hate speech along a broad spectrum – whenever and wherever it is found.

    Thanks again.

    Best,
    BW

  3. Jason
    September 25, 2007

    Kudos to you and a big shout out to Cathy for standing up, speaking up, and remaining calm and collected.

  4. Emily K
    September 25, 2007

    Cathy, if you’re out there, and you come across this, you are now one of my personal heroes.

  5. Josephine Snow
    September 25, 2007

    Dear Cathy James,

    Thank you for your lucid comments — I have to think basic and rational talk like yours will have affected somebody there.

    And thank you for working hard everyday as a good neighbor and mom. I know that the gay parents in my town are their own best evidence for the basic claim of equal rights.

  6. Ryan
    September 25, 2007

    Civil Marriage was created for one purpose only…property and how to divide property? Does that make sense?

    If two parties are worried about how their joint property will be divided upon their death or in the event that they just simply don’t want their property held jointly any longer, does marriage seem like the best way to determine who will get what property? It seems like a will or a contract would be a better fit than a marriage agreement, does it not?

    It seems like there must be some additional motivations involved for the government to offer and people to bind themselves to a marriage agreement than property.

  7. Randi Schimnosky
    September 25, 2007

    This comment by Peter Sprigg summed up the bankruptcy of their position:

    “Each person’s relationship choices serves as an example to the rest of society… and if that example becomes more widespread, more people will make the same choice, more children will suffer.”

    The idea that heterosexuals are going to be convinced to become gay merely by seeing gay couples is laughable. Is Peter that insecure in his sexual orientation that he believes he’d become gay from seeing that example?!

  8. homer
    September 25, 2007

    The more I read about these so-called “experts,” the more I wonder what drives them. The need to be superior in some way to someone else? The recognition? The money, if there is any, in being a speaker? Political power?

    It doesn’t make sense to me why someone would waste their life on an issue that will have absolutely no effect on their lives. The most rational explanation is that these people are the ones suffering from a mental illness- homophobia.

  9. Jim Burroway
    September 25, 2007

    Ryan,

    Civil Marriage was created for one purpose only…property and how to divide property? Does that make sense?

    For centuries, including the early part of American history, governments didn’t get involved with marriage. That was entirely the church’s domain. Government only began to care who was legally married (hence the “civil” part of civil marriage) when questions arose as to who was responsible for what, and that mainly involved property and taxes, primarily when marriages ended either through death, abandonment, or later, divorce.

  10. Zeke
    September 25, 2007

    As for the couple, you bet we were in there. Sorry though, it wasn’t for the perverted reason you thought. And such comments in a house of worship no less, now who’s the ones fixated on sex and should be ashamed of themselves?

    Cathy, I’ve always been in awe of your courage, tenacity and ability to educate others. As difficult it was to hold you down while the panel spewed their deception, lies and misinformation. But, when the time came to untie you, you took the head hate mongers on and left them speechless. My dear friend, you did more to educate the people attending this seminar than any member of the panel ever could. But most importantly, you did it with eloquence and respect. Know how much you did for our community to feel proud and gave the people atending the seminar some food for thought.

    Thank you Cathy James for standing up for us.

    Big Hugs
    Zeke

  11. Emproph
    September 25, 2007

    Randi Schimnosky: “The idea that heterosexuals are going to be convinced to become gay merely by seeing gay couples is laughable. Is Peter that insecure in his sexual orientation that he believes he’d become gay from seeing that example?!”

    Randi, I was whining about this on Soulforce a while back and someone put it into a perspective that seemed to make a lot more sense. So for what it’s worth:

    novaseeker: “I think what they mean is that they are afraid that if there are positive GLBT role models out and present in the community/neighborhood, this may (1) encourage young people who are GLBT to accept themselves (which Dobson et al do not want, because they think it is a sickness) and thereby get “recruited into the gay ‘lifestyle’”, and (2) encourage younger people who are not GLBT to be more tolerant of GLBT people, and thereby get “recruited into the ‘gay worldview’ of ‘tolerance’, ‘inclusion’, etc.”. In other words, they are afraid that the presence of us in that context will deter their ability to pour their own hate and prejudice into their minds of their children, and will instead “recruit” their children into a more accepting perspective … which of course will lead to the end of cilvilization as we know it.”

  12. TlalocW
    September 25, 2007

    I’ve noticed that when someone like Cathy confronts one of these religiously insane gasbags – and I mean the kind who try to put on the front of being professional, not the Fred Phelps type – they’re suddenly out of their element because they expect to, literally, be preaching to the choir. The fact that the guy reading the book was becoming louder and louder tells me that just underneath the surface, they really just want to yell out, “God hates fags!” with the rest of their cruder brethren but can’t for fear of being perceived as crazy as well as losing the argument. Of course, they also didn’t have the intelligence to come up with any kind of coherent response so they lost anyway.

  13. Kimberly Boshears
    September 26, 2007

    Great Job Kathy,

    I love to hear that these so called experts, could not combat your statements with an adequate answer.

    Thank God, for Heros such as yourself.

    My partner and I are lucky to be a part of this wonderful group.

  14. Timothy Kincaid
    September 26, 2007

    Randi and Emproph,

    you make good points.

    But remember that a segment of the anti-gay population still see homosexuality similarly to alcoholism or drug addiction. They think it’s an addiction. They believe that people become exposed, try it, and get hooked.

  15. Randi Schimnosky
    September 26, 2007

    Yes Timothy, I’ve frequently encountered that idea as well. What makes it equally silly is the fact that strong sexual desires appear before any sexual experience takes place. I find it amazing or perhaps simply disingenous that so many heterosexuals can know that in their experience the desires appeared before any sexual experience and then somehow suggest that this isn’t true for gays as well.

  16. Randi Schimnosky
    September 26, 2007

    In other words Timothy, do they honestly believe that they, as someone with strong opposite sex attractions and an aversion to same sex sex tried gay sex that they’d become addicted to it? I seriously doubt it.

  17. Timothy Kincaid
    September 26, 2007

    Randi,

    I think they see it like drug addiction. They know – being good moral people and all – that THEY would never do drugs and get addicted. But weak people might.

    And they know – being good moral people and all – that THEY would never try gay sex and become addicted. But weak people might.

    Hey, I didn’t say it’s logical… but they like believing it. It allows them to be both condeming and condescending.

  18. Ben in oakland
    September 26, 2007

    Randi–they do believe it. That’s what the whole recruitment thing is about, as well as we-can’t-discuss-it-because-people-will-turn-gay. On the one hand, they claim that gay sex is disgusting, abnormal, perverted, against god’s will and law, sick, perverted, against nature’s plan, painful, raunchy, perverted (did i say that already?), sinful,horrible, perverted, a sure sign of mental illness and child molestation, blah blah blah. then, on the other hand, it is so alluring, attractive, exciting and, well, FUN(!) that if you are even exposed to the idea, let alone try it even just once, you will be hopelessly addicted and never be able to stop without expensive reparation therapy and big donations to Jeebus.

  19. Randi Schimnosky
    September 26, 2007

    I’m not buying it guys. I don’t believe that people like Peter Sprigg or others are sincere when they suggest being gay is catchy or like an addiction. I think any argument that sounds superficially plausible to them is a useful tool in the war on gays. Deep inside they know it doesn’t make any sense and their afraid to dwell on it because at some level they know its absurd and that thinking about it too much will expose that absurdity even to themselves. At best its willful blindness, at worst outright deception

  20. Ben in oakland
    September 26, 2007

    Randi– that, too. I think you find it all, in vairous amounts. Deception and stupidity often go hand in hand– the easiest person to deceive is yourself

  21. Jason
    September 26, 2007

    let’s not forget that our current D.A.R.E. society tends to view any recreational drug user as an addict.
    Somehow it’s possible for someone to go out every friday night, get drunk, blow off some steam, have some non-violent and just plain silly fun and not be an “alcholic”. However someone who has a similar experience with a less lethal drug (marijuana) is a drug-addicted pot head.

    Somehow, you can enjoy alcohol on a continuum from “social drinker” all the way up to “serious partier” before you reach “alcoholism” but any recreational drug use, no matter how small, no matter how infrequent or sporadic, makes you a “drug addict”.

    And thus, they link homosexuality with addiction.

    They seem to not understand that the only real difference between pot and alcohol is that one is legal and the other is not. Use of either can be recreational and safe.

    So I find it hilarious when someone suggests that being gay is like being an alcholic. By that analogy, someone is just being TOO GAY! If it’s possible for people to drink and not be addicts, then it would follow that it’s possible to be gay and not be a raging homo-holic!

  22. Randi Schimnosky
    September 26, 2007

    Good point Jason. Next time I hear someone tell me being gay is like being an alcoholic I’ll ask them if everyone who drinks the slightest amount is an alcoholic.

  23. Emproph
    September 27, 2007

    Jason: “So I find it hilarious when someone suggests that being gay is like being an alcholic. By that analogy, someone is just being TOO GAY! If it’s possible for people to drink and not be addicts, then it would follow that it’s possible to be gay and not be a raging homo-holic!”

    Yes but we’re fighting for the right to marry our partners, which would then make the analogy apt.

    Our partner would be considered our drug of choice, and since our love isn’t real, and it’s all about our addiction to homo-sex, then our relationships (assuming they’re monogamous) would be considered nothing more than confining our “promiscuity” to one person.

    Well now that that’s settled…

  24. Jason
    September 27, 2007

    Emproph,
    Good point, but I think the analogy becomes even more ridiculous when people are treated as “drugs”, don’t you think?

  25. Michelle
    March 11, 2008

    Hi all,

    I just kind of stumbled across this site, in a search of Sprigg’s name-I was in an organization he used to be in, so I was curious.

    As a pretty conservative Christian, I have to admit that most of the gay debate/information I’ve heard has come from one side-that of the conservative Christian angle. Looking at my own motives honestly, I think I was coming at it from an angle of having had a bad experience.

    One thing that I think has been woefully forgotten by many bible-reading Christians (or at least people who say they are) has been the respectful, compassionate attitude that Christ Himself had toward people-particularly the ones that society as a whole had rejected. His harshest critiques were saved for the religious leaders.

    I can’t say for sure what Jesus would have done, but I wonder if it might have been similar to what that lady did-go up to the mic and put the leaders on the spot? And one thing I’m pretty sure He would do is choose to go to lunch with her, rather than the speakers…

    Just rambling thoughts from a random Christian, for what they’re worth.

  26. Timothy Kincaid
    March 11, 2008

    Michelle,

    Thank you for stopping by. Please continue to keep your eyes and ears, and more importantly heart, open in this ongoing discussion.

  27. Jason D
    March 11, 2008

    Michelle, Good points, all of them. Please stick around and favor us with more “rambling thoughts”.
    They seem to come from a solid place of love.

  28. Byrdeye
    March 24, 2008

    Uh, it’s a proven fact that single-mom homes produce more disadvantaged children – whose parenting burdens then fall upon taxpayers (see African-America where 70% of babies got no daddy):

    “children who grow up with their married parents do better on a wide variety of measures, that means family structure is playing an important role in the rise of inequality and the decline of immobility. Worse, because the children of single mothers are more likely to become single parents themselves, the marriage gap is self-perpetuating.

    As for children, no one really had much to say about the effect of this radical transformation on them, or if they did, they implied that since the nuclear family was such a hot house of patriarchal dysfunction, the kids might be better off too. It’s mind-boggling to read what passed for social science research on the family throughout the 1970′s and 1980′s. For those decades family researchers either ignored the question of family structure entirely

    early 1990′s that social scientists designed more serious studies and began to reach a consensus that kids do better on average with married parents”

    But these are for hetero-married couples. I don’t think there’s data for homo couples yet, although it does strike me as unnatural.

  29. Timothy Kincaid
    March 24, 2008

    Birdeye,

    Uh, it’s a proven fact that single-mom homes produce more disadvantaged children

    Which is of absolutely no relevance whatsoever when we are talking about two-parent homes.

    We do know that single-parent homes are more difficult for children. And while it was not the case in every situation, I agree with you that there have been too many instances in which heterosexual couples were too lazy, too proud, too selfish, or too obstinate to work out their differences and chose instead to disadvantage their children.

    But what we are talking about is taking a two parent family and instead of helping nurture that family, anti-gays are doing anything they can to make it more difficult for that family to survive intact – solely because the parents are the same sex. That’s not only stupid and contradictory to their stated goals, but it is also cruel.

    I don’t think there’s data for homo couples yet, although it does strike me as unnatural.

    What strikes me as unnatural are people who base their opinions on nothing at all whatsoever… but still think that their opinion is valid and worth sharing with others.

  30. Wendie
    December 19, 2009

    I’ve been trying to figure out why there needs to be a law on the books that allow gays to marry. In searching the US Constitution, I’ve found nothing that says a marriage must consist of 2 opposite-sex people. It does mention the age of consent, but neither race nor sexual requirements. So if there is nothing in the Constitution that forbids same-sex marriages, what makes it illegal? Why do we have to create a specific law that extends the rights of marriage to people who should already have that right under the laws of the land? Why hasn’t anyone challenged these votings? The state of Maine voted to allow same-sex marriages. At the last election, those opposed spent $10 MILLION to overturn that law. Much to my disappointment, they won. But, shouldn’t it be unconstitutional to requre a law to be in place before two consenting adults can marry? And wouldn’t that $10 MILLION have been put to far better use elsewhere? A man should not be allowed to marry his favorite sheep. But as long as you are of the same species, it shouldn’t be anyone’s business.

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