The champions of the bullies

Timothy Kincaid

July 14th, 2011

In recent years bullying of gay children and those perceived to be gay has caught the attention of the nation. While this is not a new phenomenon, the rise of “new media” has allowed for stories that individually may have received little notice – or may have been intentionally misconstrued – to be seen as a pattern and an ongoing problem. And as the list of names of children tormented to the point of suicide grew, so too did a collective awareness that our culture has a serious problem with bullying.

Secular concern has been consistent and compassionate. Individuals, celebrities, corporations, and the President of the United States have all sought to give kids a message of hope that they should hold on because it gets better.

But the response to this problem from people of faith has been mixed. Some, mostly in Jewish and mainline Christian denominations, have condemned the bullying and expressed acceptance, love, and support for the gay and presumed gay victims. Others have agreed that bullying is not a good thing, but have dismissed its seriousness and resisted anti-bullying programs as being homosexual propaganda.

But generally there has been agreement that slurs are not appropriate behavior for Christian youth.

Yet there are those among conservative evangelical Christianity who don’t just downplay slurs and expressions of contempt but engage in such behaviors themselves. One such person is Daniel Beckworth, youth pastor at Union Grove Baptist Church in Opelika, Alabama and regional representative of Youth for Christ.

David Rattigan, at Ex-Gay Watch, chronicles an email exchange between himself and Beckworth which was initiated by a slur that Beckworth left on the site. When David reached out to Beckworth to remind him of the consequences of bullying kids who are “different”, he was met with a particularly telling rebuttal:

Maybe you should speak to the young boys who wish they had someone to help them be manly. You dont need to reply. You have no chance of convincing me that we need to pamper young boys.

David does not see Beckworth as an isolated instance. Rather he traces his views to rhetoric and example from Mark Driscoll, pastor of Seattle’s mega-church Mars Hill Church. Driscoll too, it appears, practices a religion that values contempt over compassion and arrogance over kindness.

But while Driscoll engages in a pattern of insult followed by pseudo-apology, his example gives cover to those like Beckworth who find virtue in abusing the weak. Go read the entire story at Ex-Gay Watch and keep it in mind for the next time that some conservative Christian tells you, “It isn’t us, it isn’t kids from our churches that are doing the bullying!”

In coming commentaries I’ll be discussing some things I’ve observed about a growing tension in a conservative denomination as well as how some recent correspondence illustrates the peculiar logic and self-deception required to justify cruelty.

mariele

July 14th, 2011

Hmmmm…. Do you suppose Jesus would want to belong to a lot of these supposed “Christian” churches? Do you suppose Jesus would want to claim them as following in His footsteps?

Dave Rattigan

July 14th, 2011

Dave Rattigan, not Roberts. Heh. ;)

Thanks, Timothy. Let’s keeping calling these guys to account.

Edwin

July 14th, 2011

These are just bullies in sheeps clothing. No pun intended . With church pastors like this it is no wonder churches are losing people. I quit churches about 15 years because My God dosen’t preach hate like these bullies do.

Ezam

July 14th, 2011

Kinda off-topic but ExGayWatch has been crashing my browser for quite some time.

Timothy Kincaid

July 14th, 2011

Sorry, Dave. Fixed it.

Matt

July 14th, 2011

But while Driscoll engages in a pattern of insult followed by pseudo-apology, his example gives cover to those like Beckworth who find virtue in abusing the weak.

I’m not really comfortable with the characterization of effeminate and/or gay individuals, or teens, as “weak,” though maybe that’s not what you mean by this.

Individuals like Daniel Beckworth are not strong, and what they celebrate is not strength.

Timothy Kincaid

July 14th, 2011

Matt,

I meant weak in the general sense. Those vulnerable to attack due to real or perceived differences.

The word weak also fits well with the language of faith.

For example, Psalm 82:3-4:

Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

Gregory Peterson

July 14th, 2011

Some Catholics have dredged up Fulton Sheen on “false compassion” to justify that attitude. “Homosexuals” are like muggers, mugging conservative delusions of moral superiority, I guess, by their mere presence.

“Compassion is a sympathy, a pity, an affinity to be wounded when others are wounded…There’s always been a right kind of compassion.”

“False compassion which is gradually growing in this country is a pity that is shown not to the mugged, but to the mugger…There are some judges..some social workers (not all), there are sob sisters, the social slobberers who insist on compassion being shown to the mugger, dope fiend, beatnicks, prostitutes, homosexuals, punks…For that today, the decent man is practically off the reservation. This is a false compassion.” http://bryanhehirexposed.wordpress.com/2010/06/05/on-the-issue-of-false-compassion-to-homosexuals/

Ben in Atlanta

July 14th, 2011

Atlanta Pride is in October now. Here’s what we did Stonewall Weekend.

Churches can get together.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3RoUT9c9_M

John

July 15th, 2011

Perhaps part of the national discussion on bullying needs to include what it means to be masculine or “manly”, whatever that’s supposed to mean. I can only guess that unless one looks and acts like a pro football linebacker, one is not masculine or manly enough. I have noticed that those men who are comfortable with their gender and sexuality as heterosexual men have no problem with LGBT people.

Sammy

July 15th, 2011

Speaking of Seattle and religion, this will haunt me forever:

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/god-was-with-them/Content?oid=20917

Jim Burroway

July 15th, 2011

I look forward to the coming commentaries.

Richard Rush

July 15th, 2011

Typo? “David does not see Beckworth as not an isolated instance.”

Timothy Kincaid

July 15th, 2011

Thanks, Richard, i removed the double negative.

AdrianT

July 16th, 2011

As well as being a pretty nasty individual, Mark Driscoll is also nuts, as a cursory search of ‘darwin’ on his ludicrous Resurgence website conforms.

“…..Then, in six literal days God prepared the earth for the creation of mankind and on the sixth day made the first man and woman. While our elders are split on this view, I personally find it quite compelling for two reasons…..”

People of his ilk perform any type of mental gymnastics to warp reality so that fit one’s own world view.

cd

July 16th, 2011

For those who keep an eye on Mark Driscoll, he has serious anger issues and remarkably (ahem) homoerotic fantasies.

Some suspect he’s the next Ted Haggard.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

FBI Reports Massive Surge In Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes in 2015

Baptist General Convention of Texas Warns Churches in Dallas and Austin Over LGBT Inclusion

Trump Selects Alt-Right Nationalist As "Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor"

WITNESS: Bean Blossom, Indiana

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

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.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

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.

Paul Cameron’s World

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.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

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"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

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.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

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.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

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.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

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.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe 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.