February 9th, 2008
UPDATED: See Below
Rev. Ken Hutcherson is the senior pastor of a 3,500 member church in Redmond, WA. Hutch, as he’s called, was also a linebacker for the Cowboys, Chargers, and Seahawks in the mid 70’s. But what he’s best known for is as a vocal opponent of civil rights and equality for gay people.
Hutcherson is a founder of the anti-gay group Watchmen on the Walls, which has been known to justify violence and murder, he’s lobbied to overturn Microsoft’s anti-discrimination policies (including a bizzare scheme in which he encourages Christians to buy shares of Microsoft and give them to him), and most recently seemed to reject the Christian notion of loving gay people (“The Bible says when a sinner will not separate himself from a sin then he is condemned with it.”)
Hutcherson’s beliefs are not a secret. But somehow the principle of Mt. Si High School in the Snoqualmie Valley either did not know or did not care about Hutch’s very vocal and visible campaign to reinstate legal discrimination against gay folks in Washington State. So he invited Rev. Hutcherson to come speak at the school’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day assembly.
Hutcherson, whose daughter attends the school, did not speak about his homophobic social activism but instead discussed growing up black in Alabama.
But some students and teachers were shocked that such a vocal opponent of gay civil quality would be brought in to talk about civil rights on a day recognizing King’s contributions. One teacher booed when Hutcherson was announced and another teacher asked Hutcherson at the end of his presentation how he could claim to speak about civil rights when he so actively opposed them for gay people. Hutch got offended.
The principle sent out a public apology to Hutcherson and gave each of the two teachers a “letter of discipline” in their permanent files.
Well this event has stirred up a firestorm in the community. The assembly has now been the subject of two contentious School Board meetings. Some parents are furious that any teacher should voice their “personal and political views” while others are angry that the administration would not support the teachers who stood up to bigotry. Hutcherson’s wife, Jan, claimed at the meeting that the beliefs of Hutcherson have resulted in the family being “boldly called names like ‘bigot’, ‘homophobe'”.
But as the event was scheduled on his birthday, I can’t help but wonder why no one is asking what Dr. King would have done had he been in attendance.
Good-As-You brought to our attention a letter that Hutcherson wrote to his church:
Saturday, 09 February 2008
Last night at the Snoqualmie Valley School Board Meeting, the teachers supportive of the Gay Straight Alliance drew a line in the sand, and I am stepping over it. I spoke to the Superintendent this morning and he promised, “…it’s for the children.”
I said I want him to protect my daughter and I want Kit McCormick removed from the classroom.
Another teacher at the meeting last night, George Potratz, said that if I am trying to repeal rights for gays, he thinks we should start a movement to bring back slavery.
Mr. Potratz does not deserve to be on the faculty of the school and should be fired immediately. Over the next few days, I will be talking with the School Board and the school officials.
My theme will be a line from a Pink Floyd song, “Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!”
In response to what happened, one of our members, Steve Dudgeon, wrote the following letter: Click here to read!
I find it very disturbing that this man is trying to bully the school into firing a teacher for simply asking him a question at a school assembly. Does he really think that getting someone fired for disagreeing with you is remotely “Christian”?
The letter is even more laden with martyrdom language. Hutch and his congregation believe that they are the victims whenever those whom they are attacking stand up to them.
I was amazed at the vitriol and hatred shown by several pro-gay rights teachers toward us as Christians. They hate our guts.
In some rather strange parable about bull fighting, Dudgeon argues that a Christian is to go into a bull ring and wave a red flag. If the bull charges, the Christian demands that the owner of the bull build a smaller ring.
Oddly enough, I think that pretty well describes Hutcherson’s attitude and approach.
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