Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Gay vandalism claim likely a hoax

Timothy Kincaid

October 19th, 2011

[Edited to include Point 6, provided by Jim Burroway]

On October 15, someone called “Pissed” posted a statement on the Chicago Independent Media Center website claiming that they had “put two chunks of concrete through the glass windows and doors of the Christian liberty academy” because of the scheduled Americans for Truth fundraiser featuring Scott Lively that evening.

I think it is a hoax.

Now it’s possible that the school was vandalized. It’s even possible that the vandalism was performed by outsiders and not staged for media effect. And if that happened, it’s likely that the vandals were either gay or gay-supportive. But the statement simply isn’t believable.

First off, Peter LaBarbera (who calls himself “Americans for Truth About Homosexuality”) claims that the statement was e-mailed to Christian Liberty Academy, Americans For Truth, Scott Lively and others within a few hours of the event. Those who blog know that this is some pretty quick writing.

Which leaves one of three possible scenarios: 1) the perpetrator of the violence rushed home to write a manifesto, research the details of Lively’s involvement in Uganda, and find the phone numbers and email addresses of a number of individuals; 2) the event was planned in advance with the decision to use strikingly different language in the statement than in a note accompanying the event; or 3) the author of the statement had no need to research the details contained in the statement or the email addresses to whom it should be sent.

I think the third scenario most likely.

After a while you learn the language of gay activists, the language of anti-gay activists, and (more importantly in this case) what anti-gay activists think is how gay people speak. This particular declaration is a combination of standard anti-gay-speak peppered with the phrase “hate group” and a few anecdotes to make it seem like it comes from a gay or gay-supportive individual.

Take, for example, the following paragraph:

In 2009, Lively and other American homophobes spoke at a conference in Uganda called “Exposing the Truth About Homosexuality and the Homosexual Agenda”. This conference stirred the anti-gay atmosphere that already exists in Uganda, a country with laws that punish homosexual acts with up to 14 years in prison. As a direct result of this conference, participants have drafted a bill that, if passed, would increase the sentencing for homosexual acts to life sentences and execution and make it a legal responsibility to report homosexuals in the community. Lively has also co-written a book called “The Pink Swastika” which claims that homosexuals created the Nazi Party and were responsible for the Holocaust, a book that has been repeatedly denounced as inaccurate by historians.

While this might fly with someone who was unaccustomed to reading the rants of those on both sides of the Culture War, this raised red flags with me.

  1. Few gay activists, especially of the ‘throw bricks’ variety, know the name of the Ugandan conference. In fact, here at Box Turtle Bulletin – the source of that source and the most thorough reporter of its detail – we referenced only once that this was the stated theme of the conference.
  2. Note the passivity of the language. Gay activists tend to discuss this event as being primarily driven by the Americans. This takes the opposite stance – they only “spoke at” the conference. (The truth lies in between. The American anti-gay evangelists were not the original organizers, but were the stars of the show. As published American authors with claims of political and religious authority, they were granted the opportunity to speak before the Ugandan Parliament, were treated with deference, and their statements accepted as fact.)
  3. This paragraph depicts the Kill the Gays Bill as being directed solely towards “homosexual acts.” Find me a single gay activist – brick thrower or otherwise – who describes the Ugandan Homosexuality Bill of 2009 in these terms. We rightly note that in Uganda (as in American and everywhere else) bills that target “homosexual acts” in reality target gay people. We know that America’s sodomy laws very seldom resulted in prosecution for actual sodomy but were, rather, the legal basis behind harassment of gay people. The raiding of gay bars, the cruel custody decisions, the military bans and other governmental employment bans, the prohibition of recognition of marriage, and other such official positions were not for the purpose of preventing “homosexual acts” and we don’t pretend that they were. Only those who refuse to recognize the humanity of gay people speak as though anti-gay laws are about “acts”.
  4. One of the more chilling aspects of the Ugandan Kill the Gays Bill (aside from executing gay people) is the requirement that family, neighbors, friends, doctors, ministers, and others report gay people to the government. And that if they fail (or refuse) to do so, they face the threat of years in jail. Scott Lively supports that provision. And I think “a legal responsibility to report homosexuals in the community” is exactly how he would word it.
  5. And look at the mild nature of criticism of the Pink Swastika: “a book that has been repeatedly denounced as inaccurate by historians.” No, it’s not “inaccurate”, it’s historical revisionism at its most insidious and it is denounced by every scholar of the Holocaust as being intentionally dishonest. But to the crowd to whom LaBarbera and Lively appeal, “historians” are ivory tower elitists dedicated to leftist views and therefore immediately suspect.
  6. Who calls gay people “homosexuals” anymore? That right there is a red flag. This “manifesto” uses the word “homosexuals” as a noun for gay people. Gay people or people purporting to support gay rights NEVER call gay people “homosexuals.” /li>

And that’s just one paragraph. Other language in the article feels more at home within the anti-gay industry than in the gay community (e.g. “counter the Homosexual Agenda”) and taken in its totality, this feels more like “this is what they say about us” than it does like the words of a gay person. For me, thee clincher was the listing of phone numbers to invite abuse.

So why would an anti-gay person write and post this?

That one’s pretty obvious. To portray the gay community as violent and lawless with goals of “shutting down” anyone who disagrees and, as The Peter put it, “signalling a new brazennes [sic] by homosexual activists”. And, equally important to their cause, to portray anti-gay activists as victims who are, in the words of this piece, “under constant attack.”

As could be expected, the more rabid members of the anti-gay community are chiming in. The American Family Association sent out a news article featuring Matt (Bam Bam) Barber:

“We are going to speak God’s truth in love without fear of reprisal, or even in this case, without fear of violence,” the attorney assures. “So I have a message to the gay terrorists that perpetrated this crime: Your terrorist tactics have failed, and you will not succeed in silencing God’s truth.”

So goal achieved.

But, of course, my analysis is based only on experience and familiarity with the language of activists. I have no inside information on this article and no way of knowing for certain that the person who wrote it was not gay. And though suspicion of the event is shared by others (Joe Jervis of Joe.My.God, for example), we could all be mistaken.

As I said above, it is entirely possible that someone did vandalize the Christian Liberty Academy. Peter LaBarbera has on his website pictures of a paver with “shut down Lively” written on it, along with a note saying “This is just a sample of what we will do if you don’t shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH … Fuck Scott Lively. Quit the homophobic shit”.

Now this sounds much more like an gay activist of the brick-throwing variety. Not very bright, not well thought out, stupid lashing out without any thought of consequence. And here at Box Turtle Bulletin we unreservedly condemn this behavior. It is wrong and if the perpetrators can be found, they should be held liable for their actions.

According to LaBarbera, the Arlington Heights police are investigating the situation. I wish them the very best success in finding out who threw the pavers, who wrote the statement, and whether they are the same party.

Towards this goal, I call on the Chicago Independent Media Center to voluntarily provide any information that can assist the police in identifying the person who posted the statement. There are times to stand strong on the media’s constitutional right not to divulge sources, and then there are times when a paper, as part of a community, can choose to participate in the protection of the community. I hope they do not to become a pawn of the author of the statement.

If a gay person or group vandalized the Christian Liberty Academy and then wrote a statement bragging of the event, I think I can speak for the overwhelming majority of “brazen homosexual activists” when I denounce the action and say that I hope that they are brought to justice.

And if the statement is a hoax written by an anti-gay activist posing as gay, I hope that they are exposed and that statutes dealing with false police claims are brought into play and that they find themselves facing jail time.

Full statement after the break

Christian Liberty Academy Attacked For Hosting Homophobic Events

Author: PISSED
Date Created: 15 Oct 2011
Date Edited: 15 Oct 2011 05:50:28 AM
Rating – Current rating: 8
License – public domainThis work is in the public domain.

In the early morning hours of October 15th, we put two chunks of concrete through the glass windows and doors of the Christian liberty academy(502 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights, IL)We did this because at 6pm today they will be hosting an event organized by the homophobic hate group Americans For Truth About Homosexuality that will be presenting an award to Scott Lively. Lively is an American preacher and founder of the hate group Watchmen on the Walls.

In 2009, Lively and other American homophobes spoke at a conference in Uganda called “Exposing the Truth About Homosexuality and the Homosexual Agenda”. This conference stirred the anti-gay atmosphere that already exists in Uganda, a country with laws that punish homosexual acts with up to 14 years in prison. As a direct result of this conference, participants have drafted a bill that, if passed, would increase the sentencing for homosexual acts to life sentences and execution and make it a legal responsibility to report homosexuals in the community. Lively has also co-written a book called “The Pink Swastika” which claims that homosexuals created the Nazi Party and were responsible for the Holocaust, a book that has been repeatedly denounced as inaccurate by historians.

Americans For Truth About Homosexuality is another U.S-based hate group that is based in Naperville, IL. Run by Peter Labarbera, the organization has previously organized day-trainings for youth anti-gay organizers on how to counter the “Homosexual Agenda” at the Christian liberty academy. Americans For Truth About Homosexuality lost their non-profit status this past summer.

On January 26, 2011, Ugandan gay rights activist David Kisule was murdered after being outed in a newspaper ad that listed names and photos of queer people in the community as a part of an anti-gay campaign that is a result of Scott Lively’s visit.

These chunks of concrete were thrown through these windows and doors for two reasons: to show that there is a consequence for hatred and homophobia in our community and to directly cause this event to be shut down. If this event is not shut down, and the homophobic day trainings do not end, the Christian liberty academy will continue to be under constant attack.

Please call scott lively, Christian liberty academy and peter Labarbera and tell them how you feel

Lively: 1-951-xxx-5933
Peter: (630)xxx-4439
Christian Liberty Academy: 847 xxx-2125

[phone numbers edited to discourage counter-productive phone calls]

Comments

POST COMMENT | COMMENT RSS 2.0

Ray Harwick
October 19th, 2011 | LINK

The typing style of that letter looks eerily familiar, like a frequent troll JMG gets on his site who registers as “guest” and various other names. I’m trying to think of the last blog post I saw there with this signature typing. I believe it was the post in which that HIV+ gay guy at the Occupy Wall Street event was being discussed when we heard the news about him being slugged by a policeman. There were several comments on that post that criticized the gay guy for “creating AIDS hysteria”, allegedly, because he expressed his concern that since the cop was exposed to blood after tearing his ear ring out with the blow (and make the guy’s ear bleed), the cop should see a doctor and get checked.

These guys were fanatical **while posing as gay** on that blog entry. There has been quite a bit of this “posing” behavior on JMG in recent times.

Ray Harwick
October 19th, 2011 | LINK

I should mention that if Joe hasn’t deleted those posts (lots of people were complaining about them) he might be able to get a reading on the IP address of the poster. He had tremendous success doing that with that Georgia congressman’s staffer who was posting crud while sitting in the congressman’s headquarters.

WMDKitty
October 19th, 2011 | LINK

This whole thing just doesn’t pass the smell test — it has to be a fraud/hoax.

Plus, these raging homophobes have a history of fabricating (out of whole cloth, no less) “attacks” and “threats” allegedly made against them by “the evil homosexuals”.

Jim Burroway
October 19th, 2011 | LINK

Great post. I would add a #6:

6. Who calls gay people “homosexuals” anymore? That right there is a red flag. This “manifesto” uses the word “homosexuals” as a noun for gay people. Gay people or people purporting to support gay rights NEVER call gay people “homosexuals.”

This is a forgery, and a very incompetent one at that.

Tony P
October 19th, 2011 | LINK

Of course it was all contrived. They are trying to paint themselves as the victim in order to garner support for themselves.

But thanks to your efforts, we know it’s all a big, fat, stinking lie on the part of the bigots.

DRR
October 19th, 2011 | LINK

Unfortunately, anything is possible, and the perp(s) could be someone — extremely misguided, of course — on our side. I hope that’s not the case, but it’s a possibility, at least until more information comes out.

But as this exceptionally thoughtful article points out, the language seems fishy.

Some observations:

1. The “PISSED” note reads like a press release. Like it’s trying to provide prosaic background information. That’s an odd approach for what I picture in my mind as an our-side perp, if there is one, i.e., a very misguided gay young person with a brick. I think if an our-side perp were to write anything, it would be vastly more damning, and convincingly, genuinely angry. “Repeatedly denounced as inaccurate by historians” is jaw-droppingly mild in light of the actual nature of Scott Lively and his book.

2. “SHUT DOWN LIVELY” – who would say something like that? Again it sounds like something a their-side hoaxer would like to imagine one of us homosexuals would say. It has a narcissistic, “legend in his own mind” quality. I can picture Lively and LaBarbera thinking “They want to shut me down!” (like “They want to shut me down, but they can’t shut down the Word of God!”). I think our-side people aren’t thinking, “Lively should be shut down”; instead we are thinking, “His views are extremely abhorrent, and his influence in Uganda is a scandal.” A different paradigm. Again, “SHUT DOWN LIVELY” really has a narcissistic feel to me.

3. I imagine Peter LaBarbera is very conscious of how profane language helps convey a negative image of gay people among his readership (we are crude, low brow, low class, barbarians). So I can picture a hoaxer intentionally throwing in a “f*ck” and a “sh*t” to make the supposed author seem even more like a contemptible “radical homosexual.”

4. Note the comment in the “PISSED” note that “The Pink Swastika” was “co-written” by Lively. I didn’t know it was “co-written” myself (and I’m not curious to know who the other author is). That’s a small, subtle detail from my perspective, but probably a huge detail from Lively’s perspective. I know that if I were a co-author of a book, I would be very sensitive to never convey that I was a sole author.

5. Scott Lively is not a well pup, to put it mildly. Let’s just say he’s as healthy as former chess great Bobby Fischer was in the later decades of Fischer’s life. So, there is not much I would put past him. It’s also the case that I suspect Lively’s and LaBarbera’s efforts are getting very little traction — they are very unwelcome by NOM and Fox News, even, for example — and they may be getting frustrated.

TJ Davis
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

The note is long enough to be scientifically analyzed. There are folks that do that kind of thing for a living. It is employed often when a document is found that was alleged to have been composed by some famous, now deceased individual. Aspects of the writing style can be compared to other known writings by that same individual and the probable authenticity can be quickly established.

This note is of sufficient length that it could be torn apart and then compared to known documents produced by the various individuals on that side of the argument who would most benefit from this kind of false publicity. If any of them are the author of this document they will stick out like a sore thumb.

TJ

Timothy Kincaid
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

DRR,

Lively makes a point of being co-author because the other author is Jewish. And in the world of those who want to believe Lively, that gives his Halocaust claims instant credibility.

“You say the Weisenthal Center refutes his claims? Well his coauthor is a Jew.”. Because the word of one Jew is equivalent to any other and the one saying what you want to believe is “admitting the truth”.

In the world of rational people, it’s possible to have individuals with diverse ideas and perspectives with minority groups. But when Jews and gays are stereotypes instead of people, any single one represents all.

Lynn David
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

I would have at least called Lively the liar that he is concerning his comments about Rwanda’s conflict and his Nazi book – were I to have written that press release.

Timothy (TRiG)
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Yes. I agree with Lynn David. I’ve not read the book (I’d have to buy it second hand), but from what I’ve heard of it I’d call it “outright lies”, not “inaccurate”.

TRiG.

Jaft
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Jim – I actually still use the term homosexual; that said, I also use the term gay. Being the more common one and – by all technicality – the default layman’s term, it would be weird not to use it.

Anti-gay activists, on the other hand, know that gay was meant to provide a purely positive term for us. Hence, they refuse to use it at all costs. So I still absolutely agree with you that’s an obvious give-away. *Particularly* for any activist willing to break the law to make a point, ze might use either gay or queer, but ze wouldn’t touch homosexual unless they had to.

Blake
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

I agree with DRR that it reads like a press release. Therefore, I think option 2 is as likely as option 3. While it would be nice if the note were a hoax, I really think we should reserve judgment until we have definitive proof (like a URL or a writing analysis or the results of a police investigation). Otherwise we’re just creating a conspiracy theory.

There is no reason it couldn’t have been locals who were fed up with the event being at the same location this year. They already picketed it the previous year (to no effect). I can easily imagine a different scenario than some rock-thrower running home and firing off some e-mails.

Why did the note have to be written after the attack? There were local protests already scheduled against the event. Most people in the community knew it was coming. There was an article in the local paper 6 days before the event itself talking about the leader of the protests. So the perps had at least most of a week to do research and prepare.

I can imagine two misguided young activists, frustrated by the slow pace of change & the apparent non-fruits of peaceful protest, deciding to resort to such action. I can imagine one is more of a more ‘press savvy’ variety and one is of a more ‘rock-throwing’ variety. Hence the difference in language. The accuracy and the terminology in the posting could be due to a desire to get published. Like it or not, the mainstream press still uses the term ‘Homosexual’ a lot.

I disagree that the vandalism claim is “likely a hoax” because it is equally likely that it is not.

I just think we want it badly to be a hoax because such a scandal would completely undermine the credibility of these folks, but come on. We’re lowering ourselves to conspiracy theories in an attempt to discredit people who are mostly discredited anyway.

Sure these guys are still dangerous — particularly abroad where their reputations are less sullied — but really they’re paper tigers. No reason to sacrifice our own credibility in conspiratorial accusations against has-been hacks. Let them bury themselves.

CPT_Doom
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

There is another reason, beyond the language of the “manifesto.” We are dealing with LaBarbara and Lively here, and they don’t exactly have a strong history for honesty. Lively, during one of his recent African speeches, went so far as to imply gays were to blame for the Rwandan genocide, and there is not a shred of proof for that.

I too abhor this kind of violence, if it happened, particularly because the LGBT community is known for much better protesting methods. As the Phelps clan has learned from the various counter-protests that have met their hatred, it is far better to laugh at than to lash out at these groups. A fun picket line and fund-raiser for local LGBT youth would have been a far better way to protest Lively and LaBarbara’s hate.

BTW – any note that does not refer to LaBarbara as “Porno Pete” is automatically suspect :-)

Reed Boyer
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

When I first read about this “incident,” I had a gut feeling that it was fake – laying the ground for cries of outrage and victimhood at JUST the right time to draw attention away from Moldova (Paul Cameron’s visit there this week).

And, of course, it allows Lively and Michael Brown to commiserate (and flack their dreck-tomes).

Excellent examination.

paul canning
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Great post.

One more point. When have you heard David Kato referred to as ‘David Kisule’? That was the big red flashing sign for me when I read it.

Priya Lynn
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy said “For me, thee clincher was the listing of phone numbers to invite abuse.”.

I agree that the language of the email makes it highly unlikely that it was the work of a gay person, but listing phone numbers sounds exactly like the sort of thing a rock throwing gay person would do (of course it also is the sort of thing a faker would do).

Roger
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Guys, one more point in the forgery path is the SO recent episode in dallas A-list. The same method the same idea – fake-brick-trown-with-a-message, just expanded with a highly suspect press release. Just something is really really rotten is the real of the high homoohobia, and they are resorting to all and every desperate tatic to get attention.
On anotehr take: our side is gaining momentum and more general support every day. We are not the ones felling we are loosing the war, and this kind of action signals an individual in state of deperation. So… the psichology also points to the same path, LIARS IN UTTER STATE OF DESPAIR, who could that be?

David
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Someone with the right investigative reporter skills could write a very full book about all the times homophobes have faked “gay vandalism” and death threats.

Blake
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

David, the same reporter could write a very similar book about fake anti-gay vandalism. The A-list Dallas, for example. And wasn’t there some kid up in Carolina who defaced his own car? We like to think we’re above these sort of shenanigans, but we’re not. Mean-spirited vandalism included.

Sure a conspiracy theory makes since, for all the reasons pointed out. But without any solid evidence that’s all we’re peddling in: A conspiracy theory. Alternative theories also make since. Especially since this was the second year in a row the Christian School hosted the banquet.

Besides, the point is, right now, we’re trying to find justifications for a wacko-conspiracy theory in an attempt to discredit the author of a wacko-conspiracy theory.

The whole reason they had their banquet at the school in the first place is because they’re so crazy they can’t even get a room at the airport Hilton.

Further, by insisting on the conspiracy theory, we’re making our sincere protestations against violence look half-baked. Essentially we’re saying to outsiders: “We abhor the violence, but it was probably self-inflicted anyway.” That’s like saying a murder victem committed suicide.

And finally,Tim, you could’ve saved me a lot of time by entitling your article “Gay Vandalism Claim MAY be a Hoax”

Priya Lynn
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Blake said “That’s like saying a murder victem committed suicide.”.

No, its not. It’s like saying a death in which all evidence points to suicide is a suicide. There’s no way a self-accepting gay person wrote that email.

Blake
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Priya all we have is circumstantial evidence. What hard evidence do we have that the note is a forgery? All we have is a theory. Granted, a theory that makes sense, but it is still only one theory of many possible theories that also make sense.

Priya, said “There’s no way a self-accepting gay person wrote that email.” and I agree that’s a possibility. Or the author could be in the closet and easing his way out by supporting gay rights. Or the author could’ve taken a high-school journalism course and thought he needed to carefully remove his own biases in order for his ‘press-release’ to be credible. Or the author could be straight, the rock-thrower could be straight and they both have estranged gay siblings. Or the author could just be not-that-worldly. And it goes on…

justme
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

“Gay vandalism claim likely a hoax”

In other news, the sky is blue.

I can’t believe anybody ever thought it wasn’t. These people lie. It’s all they do. Of course it was a hoax!

Priya Lynn
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Blake, it sounds very unlikely to me that someone in the closet and just easing his/her way into supporting gay rights would start by throwing rocks through windows. By the same token the language in the email is not at all what a straight gay rights supporter would use. Thirdly no one who’s throwing rocks through windows is going to be concerned with journalistic standards and “removing his own biases”, especially when he/she starts out with a “F-you message”. Fourthly, if one wants to look credible one does not soft-peddle the wrong-doings of the anti-gays and demean one’s own cause as “the homosexual agenda”.

Boo
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

The multiple uses of “homosexual acts” is a dead giveaway.

The only people who use that phrase are anti-gay.

Blake
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Pryia, the writer of the paver-note probably was a different person than the author of the e-mail. But they could’ve been working together (violence ain’t really my thing; manifestos ain’t really my thing: together we’re unstoppable).

The most plausible explanation in my mind is that this act of vandalism was perpetrated by someone locally who was embarrassed that this event was taking place in his community again. Most likely with an accomplice. The perps are probably immature (given their chosen action) and not very worldly (given the content of the note). My best guess is that its probably high-school students motivated by both dislike of AFTAH and the school/community where the event was taking place. My guess is that the whole plot was dreamed up at a kegger. That’s what it looks like to me. That’s what it looked like at first blush, that’s what it still looks like, to me. Until I see hard evidence otherwise…

And further: What if the perps purposefully wrote the note in the voice of an anti-gay in order to undermine the target of their violence further. Evey last bit of evidence points to the conspiracy theory I just laid out. Want to know why? Because its a wacko-conspiracy-theory based on circumstantial evidence, analysis by non-experts, and motivated by prejudice.

If you drop your well deserved prejudice against LeBarbara et. al and look at the evidence objectively the theory of “they attacked themselves” looses its punch. Don’t you agree?

fannie
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

I share your suspicions, Tim. I have similar suspicions about the “white powder” that was allegedly sent to the Mormon Church after Prop 8 passed.

Donny D.
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

There is so much that’s fishy about the “PISSED” email. My impression is that either it’s written by a pro-gay person who’s mentally disturbed, or it was written by someone other than a pro-gay person.

If the author was a gay person, he — rather than she, since lesbians are NEVER mentioned — is carrying around significantly more than the usual amount of gay self-hatred, based on the odd mix of language used. The word gay appears repeatedly within “anti-gay” but is only used to describe a single person as a “gay rights activist” activist. It’s never used to describe anyone as gay, which is also how the bigots operate, totally refusing to describe us as “gay”.

The word “queer” is used once to describe gay people. Which seems a slightly off, pass’e [sp?] use of the word, since now it tends to mean gay people and a bunch of other folks as well. But the author never mentions LGBT people as a whole, or any other LGBT people other than “homosexuals”. The complete lack of mention of women suggests the author is a self-involved gay man, or a misogynistic one, the latter attribute being much more likely in a miserable, unusually self-hating gay man. That is, IF the author is a gay person. It would fit the anti-gay movement, too, which so often sees “homosexuals” as male only. Leaving transgender people out of the picture fits the anti-gay movement too, since so many of these throwbacks still believe there’s no difference between gay and transgender people. Of course there are anti-transgender gay people, and the kind of gay men who are too self-involved to think of lesbians probably wouldn’t be thinking of transgender people either.

The tone of the post just doesn’t fit. The author calls himself “PISSED”, but the post isn’t angry, except in a few adjectives that could have been sprinkled in after the first draft.

Whatever is going on with the whole brick-throwing incident, this post doesn’t quite make sense on its face. There is something strange about it, and probably someone strange behind it. I can easily believe Lively, since it talks more about stuff he’s been involved with, though of course I don’t know for sure. Still, there are so many of us who come from horribly conservative, screwed up backgrounds, and not all of us come out of them whole.

Whoever wrote this post is not your average, thoughtless rock-thrower. This person might be a lot more screwed up than that. It could also be the result of multiple authors, which might explain some of its odd mix of word usages.

Timothy Kincaid
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Blake, you are welcome to come to your own conclusions. However, one of your argument points is, I believe, incorrect:

The accuracy and the terminology in the posting could be due to a desire to get published. Like it or not, the mainstream press still uses the term ‘Homosexual’ a lot.

Getting “published” at ChicagoIndymedia is not a difficult task. Log in, post, done.

And it is not true that mainstream press still uses the term “homosexual” a lot. Even the extreme-right blatantly anti-gay Moonie-owned Washington Times gave us the practice a year or so ago.

You are also completely off base when you accuse me of “lowering ourselves to conspiracy theories in an attempt to discredit people who are mostly discredited anyway” and of “trying to find justifications for a wacko-conspiracy theory in an attempt to discredit the author of a wacko-conspiracy theory.”

I wrote my analysis of the statement because, in my not-insignificant experience with the language and style of both camps, it appears to be a product not of a gay activist but of an anti-gay activist.

You are allowed to disagree, of course. And I won’t assume that it is due to ulterior or insincere motives.

marc adams
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

this is about as real as the gay alist texas gay republican claiming he was hate crimed. EVERYONE loves to play the victim.

ladybug
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

“Americans For Truth About Homosexuality lost their non-profit status this past summer.”

Seriously? A furious gay activist flung rocks around, ran home to write a screed about why he or she did what she did, and he or she includes years of events and *that* sentence? That’s the most boring statement in a fury-driven hate mail I’ve ever read. It’d be handy to include if you wanted AFTAH to look persecuted, though.

I think it might be possible that someone else committed the vandalism, but whoever threw the rocks didn’t write the email. And since no one else knew about the rocks but the thrower and the recipients…

Wayne Besen
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

The part that seems fishy to me is: “Please call scott lively, Christian liberty academy and peter Labarbera and tell them how you feel.”

A gay activist who throws a chunk of cement makes demands — he or she does not say “please.”

ladybug
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

There are a lot of fishy bits. How many activists have even heard of AFTAH, much less know specifics about their tax status? How many care about places and dates? Why would they take such a lecturing tone? It takes until the last paragraph to get to the threats, which is pretty odd, because there have already been rocks thrown. You’d expect they’d get down to business with the first paragraph.

Here’s another: “…gay rights activist David Kisule was murdered after being outed…” If a gay person says someone is an activist, they’re automatically considered out, because to be in the closet is to be hidden. And if that story’s true, it’s more like Scott Lively incited feeling that led to Kisule’s being publicly targeted and then killed. And *that* sentence is a lot more damning and angry than anything in the letter.

I’m not sure why the capitalization is so uneven, but at the very beginning and very end the author shifts to lower case. Is that supposed to disguise that the writer knows the rules of grammar?

I also get the feeling “tell them how you feel” is meant to curry calls of sympathy from indignant supporters. I guess this shows us it takes more than three hours to write a convincing forgery.

Despite years and years and years of supposedly studying us, they aren’t very good at us. Donators should ask for their money back.

cowboy
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

fannie,

I don’t think anyone with ties to the LDS Church would send an envelope to an “LDS Temple”. They know the HQ address is a half-block down from the Temple. Anyone with knowledge of the Mormon/LDS Church would know to send the package to the HQ and not the Temple.

So, it seems the white powder threat was probably from a disgruntled person from outside Utah. Whether that person is gay/gay-sympathizer or not is unlikely to be proven…but my hunch is that it was probably someone gay. The height of passion about Prop 8 and the Mormons in 2008 was hitting its zenith about then.

It did put another notch on the Persecution-of-Mormons Pole but I know the majority of the Saints don’t hold all gays responsible for such vandalism and hoaxes.

David
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Blake:

“the same reporter could write a very similar book about fake anti-gay vandalism.”

Not really. Fake “anti-gay attacks” are quite rare, particularly in relationship to reported anti-gay attacks. Factor in that 2 out of 3 anti-gay attacks are not reported to the police, and the ratio really skews – one in ten thousand.

At the same time, documented “anti-heterosexual” attacks are rare as well, averaging less than 1 in a thousand compared to anti-gay attacks. But the majority of “anti-homophobe” attacks have proven to be false, real such attacks are rare.

Even the Prop 8 Lady of the styrofoam cross case, was far less innocent than she made herself out to be. But while she got a lot of press in Palm Springs, there were multiple real violent attacks on GLBTQ people that were only barely noticed in the same city.

Whether this particular brick and email are a fraud or not, is really irrelevant in the grand scale of things – professional homophobes are not victims,but aggressors who endanger GLBTQ people day in and day out, with thousands of casualties every year.

“My guess is that the whole plot was dreamed up at a kegger.”

That would most likely be heterosexual, homophobic college men then, affirming the fraud theory. And it wouldn’t be the first time that young het homophobic men have faked “gay anger” to cast aspersions on GLBTQ people.

Michael
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

The minute I heard about this incident, I knew it was fake. It reeks of anti-gay activists trying to appear as pro-equality Americans. It reminds me of the alledged “swat teams” a certain anti-gay pressure group which claims to “support” marriage tried to create in order to swoop into online forums and give the appearance of major support for their evil anti-gay agenda.

Gary
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

I’m sure that whoever did this has serious problems. If gay, then he must have felt threatened by idiots. If anti-gay, then he must have realized that his efforts were ineffective in getting the attention of thinking people. As an evangelical Christian, I believe that “homosexual acts” are sin. Not worse than some of my own, but still sin. Sexual sins do seem to attract deep emotions from those who practice them and often from those who don’t even have friends who might be involved. Since I believe that in a free and fair discussion, truth will prevail, I also oppose any violence or other intimidation that would hinder that process. I love some people who are gay, but that doesn’t mean that I am supportive of their conduct. I’m sympathetic to the fact that they have strongly ingrained desires that are inexplicable to them. Some have struggled and resisted those desires with little or no success. Others haven’t had any real struggle with it because they understand that sexuality isn’t all there is to their personality. We are all a mixed bag of things that are accepted and things that aren’t. It may be confusing at times, but that’s part of the mystery of living in a fallen world. Aren’t you glad that God loves you just the way you are but too much to leave you that way? We all have areas where change and improvements are needed, but God is incredibly patient…even when His children aren’t. I hope all this makes sense. I’m in a hurry, so I have to stop without reading over my own comments.

Tom
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

Follow the money… or in other words, “donations.”

(I really shouldn’t jump on board with a “false flag” conspiracy theory, but this does sound sketchy.)

Here’s what stood out for me in that “manifesto.”:

“Americans For Truth About Homosexuality lost their non-profit status this past summer.”

“If this event is not shut down, and the homophobic day trainings do not end, the Christian liberty academy will continue to be under constant attack.”

Who would seriously think that throwing rocks through windows would cause fundamentalists to change their behavior? This was a very controlled attack – no risk of fire spreading, no smoke or stink, very visual, easy to avoid collateral damage, easy to clean up, creating big, boarded up windows for attendees of the event to see…

Ah, but if you’re hoping to get some free publicity for your event, and looking for some content for your fundraising campaigns, this stuff is freakin’ gold. “THEY want to shut us down, but your generous donation will ensure that the Lord’s truth is yaddayaddayadda…” “This was not a one-time event, the gay terrorists have promised to put us under CONSTANT ATTACK!”

The emphasis on these “day training” events in the “manifesto” is interesting. What rock-thrower would be so focused on the “day training” events? I shudder to think what goes on at an anti-gay “day training” event (particularly what goes on in the men’s room stalls… but I digress.) Someone probably makes their living running these “training” events and is probably a highly active, “true believer”. (I’m sure that the fees from all the gay porn websites they need to “research” add up!) Isn’t “gay terrorists singled us out with an attack and want to shut us down!” a great come-on when soliciting for donations?

It really isn’t that hard to maintain not-for-profit status. Unless, of course, you are a total scammer milking the right-wing gravy train for all it’s worth. (I’m making winky-winky at you Gov. Palin and “candidate” Gingrich..) Being stripped of NFP status tells me that the folks behind this group are pretty weasly. Weasly enough to stage “false flag” vandalism? It’s certainly possible.

So, follow the money. If this is a “false flag” act, I would think that the perpetrators would be found opening the sudden flood of donation envelopes and cashing the checks.

Regardless, I hope whoever did this is caught and fully, fairly prosecuted.

Timothy Kincaid
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

Gary

Aren’t you glad that God loves you just the way you are but too much to leave you that way?

This isn’t theology, it’s a nonsense phrase.

Among the many trite phrases that evangelical Christianity uses to deflect thought, this is one of the most banal. Okay, it’s not quite as bad as “love the sinner, hate the sin”, but it’s a close second.

Priya Lynn
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

Gary, don’t conflate “sin” and “wrongdoing”, they are not the same thing. Only that which harms others is a wrongdoing and gayness harms no one so it is moral by definition.

stock car driver
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

Gary, it’s your business if you want to disapprove of gay people who do gay things. It becomes my business, though, if you are working to interfere with my civil rights.

I saw a sign recently that is relevant here: Morality is doing what is right no matter what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told no matter what is right.

Gary, it sounds like you are entrenched in the second paradigm. Your thinking homosexuality is a sin is a choice you’ve made. You’ve adopted what an authority, or supposed authority, has told you.

“The Bible said it. I believe it. Nuff said.” is not thinking for yourself. And if you are not thinking for yourself, and let go of your own critical thinking capacities, you are vulnerable to all manner of manipulation, including of your intellect, by others.

Bob Schwartz
October 22nd, 2011 | LINK

We in GLN have said that the vandalism done to the Christian Liberty Academy may be the act of antigays, thus permitting the real enablers of violence and those who honor them to play the victim card. That would be Lively and LaBarbera, respectively.

However, we did not, and will not condemn the actions of persons who threw the pavers, assuming that they did so out of hatred of Lively, LaBarbera, and the Christian Liberty Academy. This far-right organization has also hosted antiimmigrant extremists, some of whom are identified as hate groups by Southern Poverty Law Center, as are Lively’s and LaBarbera’s outfits. In addition, the Academy as well as Lively and LaBarbera have no problem with cheering on the global violence of US aggression and occupation.

We urge that attention be kept on the real haters and violence cheerleaders who enable and honor the execution of “serial homosexuals,” and not on those who commit petty vandalism.

Peter LaBarbera
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

OK guys, does the fact that a co-leader of the leading Chicago “gay” group despising Americans For Truth has come right out (on this blog) and said that he “will NOT condemn” the recent hate-violence against Christian Liberty Academy disabuse you of your (paranoid) conspiracy theories that this was all some right-wing “hoax”? Or will some now suggest that Schwartz’s comment on BTB above is yet ANOTHER hoax perpetrated by AFTAH to fuel the idea that there is an anti-democratic wing of the LGBT movement that condones hateful violence against critics?! (Chuckling.)

Once again, Bob Schwartz and the Marxist Gay Liberation Network spread the lie about me and Scott Lively being “violence cheerleaders” who want to see homosexuals killed — despite our repeated and unequivocal statements opposing violence and genuine hatred against homosexuals. And somehow Schwartz misses the irony that he is accusing us of “enabling” violence in the very same post in which he refuses to condemn the brick-attack against CLA, with its accompanying note and online manifesto warning of further attacks.

I think the most likely scenario here is that a couple of Schwartz’s deranged, far-left followers took GLN’s hateful lies seriously and — frustrated that GLN’s considerable efforts to derail the AFTAH banquet had failed — decided to take their anti-AFTAH, anti-Lively campaign up a notch. I hope that the AFTAH-hating GLN was not directly involved in the assault, but clearly that possibility should be investigated by police and the FBI. Schwartz calls the CLA attack that he will not condemn “petty vandalism” — but I trust that most of us, despite our opposing beliefs, would agree that it is much more than that:

Imagine if a couple of right-wing, religious nuts had thrown two large patio bricks through the windows of GLN’s office, or the entrance doors of Human Rights Campaign’s headquarters in D.C. – with a note warning that further attacks would follow unless they stopped “promoting the sodomite agenda.” Surely there would be an immediate and serious investigation by local, state and federal authorities of the brick-attack as a “hate crime,” with plenty of appropriate media outrage demanding that the perpetrators be caught and punished.

All we seek is equal treatment under the law and from media, because to do otherwise – or dismiss this hate-motivated attack on a Christian school as a mere “hoax” – would only encourage further violent crimes against Christians and others who act on their sincerely-held belief that homosexuality is wrong.

Priya Lynn
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

Labarbera said “Once again, Bob Schwartz and the Marxist Gay Liberation Network spread the lie about me and Scott Lively being “violence cheerleaders” who want to see homosexuals killed — despite our repeated and unequivocal statements opposing violence and genuine hatred against homosexuals.”.

I’m not familiar with any comments you’ve made on Uganda but certainly Lively has cheered on the violence. When asked if he supported the Ugandan kill the gays bill he said it was “A step in the right direction”. And certainly you have done your best to create a climate conducive to violence against gays by demonizing them every chance you get.

Labarbera said “All we seek is equal treatment under the law”.

Wow! What a stunning lie. You do everything you can to see that rights you have are denied to gays – marriage, discrimination laws, adoption, employment, housing and services. You’ve been spouting BS for so long you’ve twisted your own mind.

Peter LaBarbera
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

Priya, it is a lie that Lively “cheered on the violence” in Uganda, and you should retract it. In fact, at both venues where Lively spoke surrounding our banquet (Oct. 14-15), he noted how he had expressly REJECTED the death penalty provision (for sex crimes) under the proposed Ugandan legislation.

Of course we are polar opposites on “sexual orientation” laws — which I argue end up undermining people’s rights to act on their faith and moral belief to oppose homosexuality. (Such cases involving the inherent conflict between “gay rights” and religious liberty are proliferating.) But hopefully we agree that the victims of crimes should be protected equally under the law — regardless of their ideology. In that vein, though I disagree with the “hate crimes” concept because IMO it creates a hierarchy of victims, I firmly support tough prosecution through existing law against anyone who attacks homosexuals, including school bullies who target “gay” students. That would include death penalty prosecutions for murder cases. I hope you similarly would favor tough and fair prosecution against anyone who commits a crime against people and institutions like Christian Liberty Academy who are merely exercising their freedom defend traditional sexual morality.

Priya Lynn
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

Peter, when Lively says the Ugandan kill the gays bill is “A step in the right direction”, he’s cheering on the violence and you’re certainly helping foment it with your demonization and lies about gays.

You think your religious freedom should be absolute and should allow you to oppress gays however you desire. In reality a just society balances freedoms between individuals, no one can have absolute freedom, at some point there has to be limits to what each of us can do to the other. Your right to swing your fist ends when it contacts my nose, but when it comes to gay rights and religious “freedoms” you don’t see it that way and that is unfair and unjust.

If your religious “freedom” demands that gays not be allowed to marry then by the same token my religious freedom necessarily means I am allowed to prevent you from marrying. You can see how unworkable that is and you’d scream bloody murder if we were trying to do to you what you are trying to do to gays. You most certainly don’t seek equal treatment under the law, anything but that.

I support the prosecution of the brick thrower, whomever it may have been, including if it was someone on your side.

Peter LaBarbera
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

Priya, I reject your simplistic description of Lively and the Ugandan bill. And we could spend all day going round and round on gay rights vs. religious rights. But I’m glad to see you support full prosecution of the brick thrower (and I too would support prosecution if it actually turned out to be a hoax). What you did not comment on was Bob Schwartz’s appalling statement that GLN “did not, and will not condemn the actions of persons who threw the pavers, assuming that they did so out of hatred of Lively, LaBarbera, and the Christian Liberty Academy.”

If a right-winger made such a callous statement following a violent, hate- or ideology-motivated attack against a gay rights group, you would be outraged, and rightly so.

Peter LaBarbera
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

Tim, this is projection at its finest. I assume you are aware that historically there are enough “hate crime” hoaxes staged by pro-gay activists to write a book about. At our banquet, Lively told the story of the supposedly wheelchair-bound lesbian, Azalea Cooley, who claimed that 21 crosses were burned in her front yard — until a couple of off-duty cops exposed that COOLEY was lighting them herself as part of a ploy to win sympathy for the fight against the anti-homosexuality Measure 9 in Oregon. Sorry, we don’t use such dirty tactics.

Timothy Kincaid
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

Bob Schwartz:

However, we did not, and will not condemn the actions of persons who threw the pavers, assuming that they did so out of hatred of Lively, LaBarbera, and the Christian Liberty Academy.

We urge that attention be kept on the real haters and violence cheerleaders …

It appears to me, Bob, that you would have to be put in the category of “real hater and violence cheerleader.”

When we base the acceptability of hatred and violence on whether we like or dislike the target, then we have no ethical basis at all. The ethics you display here are indistinguishable from any fag-basher who justifies his hatred and violence on the idea that the targets deserve it.

Your thinking discredits your endeavors. And to the extent that your group supports gay causes (your website appears to be dedicated to Afghanistan, immigration, labor activism, atheism and a whole host of causes that have nothing to do whatsoever with orientation), you harm my efforts.

Timothy Kincaid
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

Peter,

Thanks for dropping in to give your views. Here are my responses

1. You seem to be placing the matter in terms of “Marxism” and “right-wing” views. I don’t see civil equality for gay people in those terms, and I very much doubt that many people do. Folks like Fidel Castro, Ted Olson, and even Chris Christie display the logical fallacy of such tick-box thinking.

2. you have a different definition of love and hate than most of us. For most people on the planet, writing a book which asserts that only this group of people is sufficiently brutal to have started the Nazi’s, and declaring a group of people to be behind the Rwandan massacre, would be evidence of “genuine hatred”.

I know that you have the “I’m Christian and so therefore by definition what I do gets to be labeled ‘love’” belief, but it simply doesn’t stand up to Corinthians, does it? Like all the “tough love” and “real love” and “holy love” and other such phrases, it relies on qualifiers and exceptions and asterisks and explanations.

3. go ahead and condemn Schwartz’ statements; I’m certainly not going to defend them. He’s wrong and, frankly, much closer to you in thinking than he is to BTB. He sees the world in terms of “us” and “them” (just like you, Peter).

4. I notice that you are keeping your conversation limited to the actual brick throwing.

That’s wise. While I’m pretty certain that the manifesto is a complete hoax and was written and posted by someone who is anti-gay, the brick throwing may possibly have been genuine vandalism.

[By the way, Peter, you've read the statement and I suspect that you too have some doubts about its authenticity. I'm sure that if you could bring yourself to be completely honest with all of us 'gay' activists (and yourself) you'd admit that it just doesn't pass the smell test.]

5. your counter-example doesn’t quite work. If there were bricks thrown through HRC’s windows then yes, that would be investigated as a hate crime. The target would be the gay community. But if the message with the bricks demanded that Joe Salmonese be fired immediately and that Salmonese is an evil person, it probably would be considered to be personal and not a hate crime.

6. you seem to put yourself in the category of “Christians and others who act on their sincerely-held belief that homosexuality is wrong.” Be careful with that one. Your primary distinction is “act on” and that is a pretty small demographic. So small, in fact, that we could probably list all of the people in that category on one page, making the “group” that is targeted really just a small collection of individuals.

And it is “acting on” that might disqualify you from being a victim of a hate crime.

7. the violence in Uganda and the evil of the proposed bill is not limited to the death penalty. That you justify Scott Lively’s defense of the bill, the pogrom, and the related deaths says a great deal about your thinking. You may want to reconsider whether you love or hate. To wish anyone (pick a group: Asians, left handed people, short folk, Lutherans) and apply to them the provisions of this bill, you would immediately recognize this as hate. That you share his animosity against gay people blinds you to the darkness in Scott Lively’s heart.

8. You and I are not far apart on hate crimes. I don’t favor sentence enhancement (though I do favor hate crimes tracking). And while you may be unaware of it, religious hate crimes – including anti-Christian hate crimes – are tracked. You just choose not to see that fact.

9. If there were enough gay hoaxes to write a book, someone would have. Anti-gay activists are not a people inclined to reluctance when it comes to making accusations or seeking to point out instances in order to condemn gay people as a whole. In fact, it’s one of your favorite tactics.

But while there are instances, this Azalea Cooley person is one I suppose, I certainly am not “projecting” when I point out the likeliness of a hoax.

10. But let’s look here at your language: “Sorry, we don’t use such dirty tactics” with “we” being, of course, anti-gay activists.

I marvel. I really do.

I know that you genuinely believe that you all share a moral code that would preclude a hoax.

But it doesn’t preclude making up bizarre stuff about Nazis and Rwanda. It doesn’t preclude trying to portray gay people collectively as violent by listing all of the victims of a gay person (and really it’s time to let Mary Stachowicz go). And your moral code doesn’t preclude going to events, finding the most objectionable thing you can, taking a picture, and then sending it to your donors as an example of “what homosexuals do”.

How am I supposed to believe that a hoax is too dishonest for you, when you’ve spent your life in a years-long deliberate campaign dedicated to trying to create a false image of gay people.

Peter, dishonesty is what you do. It’s your occupation. You get up each day and look for things which will distort and give a false impression. Like a paparazzo who sells the cellulite pictures to the Enquirer, you live day in day out hoping for a “evil homosexual” story which will make your readers – and legislators and church leaders and my Dad – think that gay people are degenerate and not deserving of civil or social equality.

And you expect me to believe that “we” – people like you – would not stoop to this particular instance of dishonesty.

Jim Burroway
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

At our banquet, Lively told the story of the supposedly wheelchair-bound lesbian, Azalea Cooley, who claimed that 21 crosses were burned in her front yard — until a couple of off-duty cops exposed that COOLEY was lighting them herself as part of a ploy to win sympathy for the fight against the anti-homosexuality Measure 9 in Oregon. Sorry, we don’t use such dirty tactics.

I’m glad, Peter, that you acknowledge the existence of hoaxes. Admitting as much can be the first step on a long road to recovery.

But as for advocating violence, I think Timothy summed up that argument as well as anyone. All I have to add to that though is that not only does Scott Lively advocate violence — how else can one characterize imposing lifetime sentence in a Ugandan prison? — he is also an active participant. In his Oregon days, he was held liable for using excessive force against a photographer in 1992, when he threw her against the wall and dragged her across the floor.

Somehow I imagine he “forgot” to regale your audence with that tale.

Jim Burroway
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

And another thing Peter, if you are so opposed to violence as you say you are, then why did you praise Lively so highly so soon after the his visit spawned another wave of anti-gay violence and vigilantism in the media? You turned a blind eye to all that, saying instead, “Ugandans are a thousand times better off inviting Scott Lively to their country.” How can we take that except as a cheering on of the violence in the country.

And why did you try to get Warren Throckmorton fired from Grove City College for speakign out against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill? You wrote, “I’ve been trying to avoid the Ugandan “Culture War” on homosexuality because I figure we’re busy enough with our own here in the USA. But that hasn’t stopped American homosexual activists and fellow travelers like Professor Warren Throckmorton of the “evangelical” Grove City College from insinuating themselves into the Ugandan situation.”

If, has you claim, you don’t advocate violence against gay people, then why did you denounce a fellow Christian who was trying to prevent just that very violence you claim to abhor? Why did you try to get people to call Grove City College and question what Throckmorton was teaching them? Do you think it’s wrong to advocate that people ought not kill gay people? Do you think it’s wrong to adocate that people ought not throw gay people in jail for the rest of their lives?

I’m sorry Peter, but your own record does not match your empty words.

Peter LaBarbera
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

Jim, you are a victim of your own propaganda and willingness to always believe the worst about the likes of Lively and critics of the GLBT agenda. Funny you mention that case, because Lively actually did tell that story — the Friday before our banquet. I invite you to purchase a copy of that talk to educate yourself on how homosexual activists manipulated the legal system and used a trumped-up case involving a lesbian “reporter” who, yes, criminally trespassed at a closed pro-family (Oregon Citizen’s Alliance) meeting to smear Lively as a “batterer” in the lead-up to the Measure 9 vote.

It’s all classic propaganda and dirty tricks, yet you — because it involves the “evil” Scott Lively” — accept it as accurate history and “evidence” as to how Lively is supposedly prone to violence. This is why the history of the cultural struggle over homosexuality must NOT be written by “gay” partisans. More later.

Timothy Kincaid
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

Peter,

I wonder…

Part of me thinks that you actually believe the things you say. Perhaps you really do think that it was all trumped up, that a lesbian reporter criminally trespassed with the intention of smearing Lively as a batterer. Perhaps you actually believe that its all classic propaganda and dirty tricks. You might even think that gay people are the comic book villains that you portray us to be.

I’d almost rather think that you are cynical and (like some of those I’ve met who make their living churning out anti-gay rants) are laughing at the rubes.

Because at some point it steps out of the realm of rational and into the absurd. And at some point – if you actually believe what you say – it becomes very very sad.

Jim Burroway
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

It’s all classic propaganda and dirty tricks, yet you — because it involves the “evil” Scott Lively” — accept it as accurate history and “evidence” as to how Lively is supposedly prone to violence

Hey, it’s not just me who accepted the evidence as accurate. It was a judge and jury of Lively’s peers in open court, and it was a decision that was upheld on appeals.

Doug
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

I apologize if this is off topic, but I feel the need to speak.

Peter-
I’ve been a lurker on this and other gay blogs for a long time. I suspect I’m far from alone.

I would not begin to be so arrogant as to imply that I speak for some silent majority, I only speak for myself.

I work. I pay my taxes. I pay my bills. I am a vital and productive United States citizen. In today’s economy, I consider myself extremely lucky and thankful. I am in my late 40s. I lived through the 80s, social and active. I was in school in the 70s and was bullied. I have many friends, gay and straight. More straight friends than gay friends. I am gay. My friends and family know that. I have a goddaughter. One of the reasons I was chosen as her godfather was because her parents said they realize I may never have the opportunity to have a child of my own, and they wanted to do everything they could to make that possible.

My friends and I agree on a multitude of topics. We also disagree on a multitude of topics. We do not, however, actively seek out ways to enforce our disagreements on each other. We will debate, but we will not infringe. It’s human nature to seek out like minded people. That’s how groups are formed, friendships are forged, communities are founded. And you, like everyone else, has the right to align yourself with like minded people. But where does the line get drawn when those like minded people seek to silence or eliminate those who are different?

I am hardly an activist. Yes, I have been to my share of Pride celebrations. Yes, I vote. Yes, I support equality. Yes, I have opinions. Yes, I choose which organizations, companies, etc, to support or frequent based on their policies and views. Same as anyone else, gay or straight, when choosing who will receive my business or my donation. But supporting and spending my money at a business or organization that shares my views is dramatically different from actively campaigning to close a business that differs. Or actively campaigning to close a life that differs.

Why am I a threat to you? Our lives will never intersect. I will never have an impact on your life, positively or negatively. Why do you feel the need to have a negative impact on mine? Nothing I do, or will ever do, in my “normal day to day life as an American citizen” will ever affect your personally. Why do you feel the proportionately skewed need to have an affect on mine? Why do I scare you?

By all “social barometers” I would fly under the radar. I could pass you on the street and you would have no way of knowing I was your enemy in your mind. I could be standing next to you, behind you, across from you in any check-out line, bank line, movie theater, etc, and you would not know. A few of my straight friends introduce me to other straight friends of their’s who have no known experience meeting gay people, to prove we are not to be feared. In other words, for all intents and purposes… I’m normal! My story is not unusual, in fact I’d be willing to bet it’s quite average and ordinary.

How am I a threat to you? I don’t throw anything in your face. I don’t feel that I wear my “gayness” on my sleeve. I don’t feel that I have to. I don’t feel it’s any of your business. I also don’t hide it. If asked, I answer honestly… after I assess the purpose behind such an intrusive and personal question.

I struggle to try to make sense of the level of fear, and hatred directed at me, both individually and collectively, that has absolutely no impact on anyone’s life but my own, and the life or lives of those I choose to include. What, in my scenario, warrants making me live in fear of people so vehemently and obsessively devoted to undermining me and my life? What am I doing, or have done, to allow people to whip up an emotional frenzy against me?

I am not, nor will I ever, demand churches perform same sex marriages. I do, however, demand that federal institutions perform same sex marriage. I deserve the same civil rights as every other American. I do not, nor will I ever, demand churches be criminalized for preaching their faith. Divorce is legal, yet many denominations preach against it. Churches have not been criminalized for it. Abortion is legal, but many denominations preach against it. Same sex marriage can be legal and churches do not have to be criminalized for preaching against it.

I respect and admire Box Turtle Bulletin and numerous other gay themed blogs. Many people come here with differing views on numerous subjects. And for every Jim, Timothy, Priya, Rob, Regan, all of them, who comment and contribute regularly, we “lurkers’ owe a huge debt. But make no mistake. For every regular contributor, commenter, moderator, and activist, I’m willing to bet there are huge numbers everywhere, gay and straight, who like myself, are as confused as I am. As scared as I am. As disillusioned as I am with basic human nature. Is that legacy the ultimate goal here?

Erin
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

[ed: removed for violation of the Comments Policy]

I enjoy this site. When an interesting topic comes up, many of us have philosophical debates throughout the comment threads. Take for example, the recent Box Turtle Brief about Michele Bachman’s wardrobe. It got a lot of people stirred into a lengthy discussion about sexism. My point is, you’re totally free to comment here, and I encourage the moderators to let those comments through, but I should warn you, you’ll only look like a fool once again up against the thoughtful, insightful people who visit this site. Now, that’s not to say all of them are spot on about everything, or make flawless approaches to their arguments, but all in all, this is a pretty good site for productive discussion versus some other sites.

There’s just one more thing I need to say before I wrap this up; If you and Lively truly believe in all the stuff you say, and you’re not just both professional trolls, out to make a buck off the weird paranoia and fears of others, I really really really feel very sorry for the both of you. You have both embarrassed yourselves publicly over and over and neither of you know when to quit. You both need help. You need to figure out why plenty of straight men in this world are comfortable enough with themselves not to care what another’s sexuality is, yet the two of you are stuck in the junior high school locker room, poking fun at the effeminate boy who can’t catch the ball too well, to take the attention off of yourselves and your own insecurities. Perhaps you were the effeminate boy who couldn’t catch a ball. Whatever the case may be, figure out your rage. The both of you are a laughing stock among the gay community. I seriously doubt a homosexual individual took the time to spell out this threatening letter, and if he or she did, well then I guess that’s another person who needs to learn to pick his/her battles and have disputes with people who actually have their heads somewhere on this planet and who he/she actually has a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting through to.

[ed: this last paragraph dances on the edge. Erin, remember that thoughtful insightful comments need not include personal attack to get their point across. Okay?]

ladybug
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

“Sorry, we don’t use such dirty tactics.”

Um. One of the comments I posted discussed how we appeared to be reading a description of inflaming public opinion with anti-gay myths, leading to a person’s death. So I’m not sure that I believe that tactic wouldn’t be used because it’s the wrong type of slander.

But I do appreciate some form of apology as a good first step.

Erin
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

Are you guys kidding me? My comments were mild. I’ve read through the comments made by others, and they say basically the same things I have. This man is delusional. He should be allowed to comment here, but we should also be allowed to say what we think of his nonsense. This vandalism thing has bs written all over it, and the bs artist has come here, mad that he’s been called out on it.

Erin
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

Doug, the lurkers are the main reason I comment. I know I’ll never get through to old Pete. He’s a lost cause. But plenty of people who may have stumbled upon this site can see my take on a subject spelled out right above or below that of anti-gay trolls who post here. People on the fence can see who’s being rational, or merely defending themselves from attacks, as I apparently do too passionately at times, and who’s twisting facts, projecting, and making pathetic leaps in logic to accuse others of imposing on their rights simply for asking for equal treatment under the law. Scott Lively and Petey do a whole lot to help our cause. By the way, comment more often. I enjoyed reading it. You put your story out there. Only a willfully ignorant-arrogant person will ignore or push aside your personal experiences when trying to debate you on your own life. The rational lurkers out there, may read it and see yet another example of a decent person reaching out to others, asking for basic human dignity.

Timothy Kincaid
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

Erin,

Many gay sites are quite happy to filter based on viewpoint but have no rules of interaction. Many not only allow incivility, but encourage it.

However at BTB we have a different model. We allow viewpoints that differ and, knowing that debate and discourse can only exist where personal insults and slurs do not, we try to keep the conversation to the matter at hand, not declarations of contempt.

So, “that view is nuts” is just fine while “you are a clown” is not. It’s ok to say “that isn’t true” while “you’re a lying bastard” isn’t going to fly.

We assume that rational people will benefit from diverse views and will be able to distinguish truth. And as we too would like more input from those who seek social injustice and civil inequality (and who are unaccustomed to having to defend their views), we want to let them speak without calling them names.

While it is shocking the first time a gay person is reprimanded at this gay website for saying something to someone who makes a living off anti-gay activism, I think you’ll agree that overall this is a better way to go.

I know that you enjoy having diversity of expression – but that can only exist when personal comments or slurs are not present.

Erin
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy, “That isn’t true” and “you are a lying bastard” are the exact same thing. I think we’re adults and we can handle cuss words, but I’m cool with following your rules. I get what you’re saying but I stand by the fact that calling him a clown was extremely mild. We have had people come here and use the same old language pointing to our inherent inferiority and the fact that we deserve discrimination under the law and that we’re evil. But, because they use more subtle language than direct name-calling, it makes it through. I’m not advocating for any of it to be censored. I’m just saying, I think he can handle it.

Andy Thayer, GLN
October 24th, 2011 | LINK

Wow, Peter gets to come back 5 or 6 times on an LGBTQ news site, sort of hard for him to continue to claim that his voice doesn’t get heard in Chicago, as he often does (he once even put out a press release whining about his press releases being ignored).

As to his claims to be in favor of non-violence, he and Lively have very craftily distanced themselves from the capital punishment aspects of the Ugandan bill after that bill prompted widespread outrage.

But they are still in favor of criminalization of the bill — read incarceration. At least where I come from, unjust imprisonment is a very serious form of violence, something that the United States in particular already excels at.

It is precisely this sort of playing fast and loose with the truth that we’ve come to expect out of AFTAH. Thou shalt not bear false witness, Peter.

Richard Rush
October 25th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy said, “It’s ok to say “that isn’t true” while “you’re a lying bastard” isn’t going to fly.” Then Erin said they are “the exact same thing.”

I don’t mean to nitpick, but they are not equivalent. Someone making a statement that isn’t true doesn’t necessarily mean they are lying. They may be ignorant (even willfully?) and/or delusional. Saying “you’re lying” or “you’re knowingly making false statements” would be equivalent to “you’re a lying bastard” (minus the b-word).

Obviously, Peter LaBarbera occupies space somewhere in the realm of ignorance, willful ignorance, delusion, and/or lying.

Timothy Kincaid
October 25th, 2011 | LINK

Erin,

Thanks for understanding.

Timothy Kincaid
October 25th, 2011 | LINK

Andy,

I’ve told Peter that he is always welcome to comment here providing he follows the same Comments Policy rules that we all follow.

Bob Schwartz
October 25th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid wrote of me

“It appears to me, Bob, that you would have to be put in the category of “real hater and violence cheerleader.”

When we base the acceptability of hatred and violence on whether we like or dislike the target, then we have no ethical basis at all. The ethics you display here are indistinguishable from any fag-basher who justifies his hatred and violence on the idea that the targets deserve it.”

Problems I have with your ethics, Timothy, are that you appear not to distinguish between violence against property and persons. And that you find equilivance between the enormity of the violence experienced by gay Ugandans–violence stirred up by Scott Lively and honored by Peter LaBarbera– and the petty vandalism meted out to the property of the Christian Liberty Academy. There is no equilivance here.

LaBarbera calls the response of groups like GLN to his antigay crusade, “hatred.” Please don’t join him by calling our refusal to condemn petty vandalism “hatred and violance cheerleading.” Your thinking discredits our efforts and your own.

Timothy Kincaid
October 25th, 2011 | LINK

Bob,

I am quite capable of seeing the distinction between horror and minor misbehavior. Any equivalence that you see exists only in your imagination.

There is no question that the Ugandan Homosexuality Bill of 2009, as proposed, is a violation of human dignity on a scale that makes the broken doors inconsequential.

However, that has no bearing on whether the action which we are discussing is condemnable or worthy of implicit endorsement.

The vandalism is either acceptable or not. And the determinant cannot be your opinion about the character of the victim. That way of thinking can always find an excuse for whatever it wants.

So I’m sorry. But “yeah, but he’s worse” is no better excuse than it was in third grade.

And, just so you know, petty vandalism is not ‘meted out’. Justice is meted out.

Petty vandalism has no resemblance to justice. It is simply a coward’s foolish effort to feel better about his own lack of self-respect by hurting someone else, but lacking the balls to take credit. Most of us outgrow it while still young.

Priya Lynn
October 25th, 2011 | LINK

“[Petty vandalism] is simply a coward’s foolish effort to feel better about his own lack of self-respect by hurting someone else,”.

I’m sure if this was a gay person the act was motivated by anger rather than a lack of self-respect.

Roger Fraser
October 25th, 2011 | LINK

I wish to comment on three points Mr. Kincaid made yesterday against Bob Schwartz and his organization (Gay Liberation Network (GLN), which is also mine.

First, he stated that Schwartz is a hater because he refuses to condemn whoever it was threw a brick through the window of the Christian Liberty Academy. Second, Mr. Kincaid says that because Schwartz’s loathing of homophobes like Lively and LaBarbera is based on his “dislike” of the “target” (i.e. Lively and LaBarbera) Schwartz loses the moral high ground and has “no ethical basis at all.” Last, though he’s oblique about it, Mr. Kincaid is dismissive of Schwartz’s GLN because it’s concerned with a “host of causes that have nothing to do with [sexual] orientation,” leaving unsaid and for the rest of us to draw the implicit conclusion that his own organization BTB sticks to strictly LGBT issues and therefore has more legitimacy to address the latter.

Let me comment on each point in turn.

First, Schwartz clearly means to make the unexceptional point that the issue of petty vandalism at the Academy is a red herring taken up by LaBarbera to mask Lively’s partial responsibility for atrocities in Uganda. It seems to me obscene for anyone to suggest that Bob Scwhwartz, who marched with MLK in Chicago in ’66 and was in Selma for the famous march on Montgomery, is the moral quivalent of Peter LaBarbera.

The fact that BTB bloggers would allow LaBarbera to initiate, and themselves participate in, this lengthy discussion of the moral merits of condemning or refusing to condemn “violence” at the Christian Liberty Academy is, I submit, an example of the inexcusable insularity and narcissism of many American gays who can’t seem to get a handle on the radical disconnect between “violence” at the Academy in Arlington Heights and truly horrific and genuine violence in Uganda. One wonders, where is their moral compass and why do they allow LaBarbera to define the focus?

Second, does Schwartz “base” his loathing of LaBarbera and Lively and their message on his “dislike” of them and thus have “no ethical basis” for his loathing, as Mr. Kincaid literally says? Schwartz loathes them for what they say and do; any right-thinking person should do the same, including Mr. Kincaid, who seems to enjoy chatting with bigots on his blog as long as they are civil and cordial.

But Mr. Kincaid may be trying to make another, broader point about hate and violence. He may be trying to say something like the following: hatred and violence are never justified, under any conditions; when your opposition to something or someone is prompted by the emotion of hate and you attempt to justify violence on its basis, it’s ipso fact to take an unethical position, one that never can be justified on the basis of moral standards.

This is a popular position, and many people, not just Christians, accept it. But is it right? For instance, is to hate evil a moral contradiction? Is it unethical to hate the murderer of your parents? Indeed, is it unethical not to? Is the Jew who sets off a bomb in Gestapo headquarters and kills dozens the moral equivalent of the guard who shoots his mother? Is it morally inappropriate to hate Nazis and wish violence against them, or even commit violence against them, especially when they exercise real power and influence in a society? These are important ethical questions and, though Kincaid and others may think the answers are obvious, I don’t think they are and I bet Schwartz doesn’t either.

Finally, for my last point: GLN is a group that believes in solidarity politics. Single-issue activists like Mr. Kincaid may think a “host of causes” dilutes the effectiveness of gay-rights activists, but it is our contention, first, that struggles by powerless and oppressed peoples of all descriptions are inextricably linked. There are working people who are gay, there are African-Americans who are gay, as well as immigrants and Muslims, and so on. Many people suffer multiple oppressions.

Second, how can we expect others to join the struggle for gay rights if we in turn do not support them in theirs? The struggle, for example, against Proposition 8 in California three years ago might have been won had single-issue gay activists, both currently and in the past, had reached out to Latinos and Latinas across the state and stood by them in their struggles to avoid being scapegoated.

Priya Lynn
October 25th, 2011 | LINK

Roger, I don’t think it should be a big deal to say its wrong to throw a brick through someone’s window. Saying that is not the equivalent of saying that wrong is equivalent to the wrongs of Lively or Labarbera, nor is it saying that hating of them is unjustified. What determines right and wrong is the actions themselves, not who is performing them. Throwing a brick through a window doesn’t suddenly become okay just because a gay person with a legitimate complaint does it.

If we don’t expect our side to live up to the basic rules of justice how can we possibly complain if the other side doesn’t either? As Timothy said, saying “They’re worse” doesn’t justify a wrongdoing by our side. If we want to continue winning the battle of public opinion we can’t start saying there’s nothing wrong with doing something wrong, even if its trivial in comparison to the sort of things Lively has done.

emma
October 29th, 2011 | LINK

I find the fact that the guy in the picture holding the note is wearing gloves, kinda interesting too.

Blake
November 10th, 2011 | LINK

Better late then never… Tim I understand that you’ve seen a lot written by anti-gays and pro-gays. But are you an expert on written communication? What gives you the right to declare the vandalism is ‘likely’ a hoax based on your thoughtful and well presented analysis? Can you tell the difference between an anti-gay and young person based on written words alone? Can you tell the difference between an anti-gay and a straight with an estranged brother by their words alone? Have you seen sufficient samples of written works by various other potential authors that you can eliminate them from the list of possible authors of the manifesto which would justify the use of the term ‘likely’ in the headline?

I threw a lot of possibilities out there, on some points I was mistaken, but my basic argument remains:

1. Yes the manifesto looks suspiciously similar to something an anti-gay would write

2. The similarity to anti-gay writings in no way eliminates other suspects. i.e there are other explanations as to authorship which are at least plausible.

3. No expert analysis of the manifesto was cited in the article

4. So to entitle your article ‘likely’ instead of ‘may’ based on the analysis of the online-manifesto by well-informed amateurs is misleading at best and at worst is borderline yellow journalism.

Part of the reason I’m being so stubborn in my argument is because I have a tremendous amount of respect for you. Your well articulated and thoughtful articles are generally devoid of more sensationalist leanings common to other websites whose focus is the culture war. I thoroughly agree with your moral viewpoint as expressed in the response to Mr. LaBarbara above and I admire this site for its policies on commenting and discussion.

But there is a fine line between an informed opinion and an arrogant opinion & in this one instance I believe you have crossed the line by using the word ‘likely’ in your headline.

Allow me to explain further, one of my great pet-peeves of the contemporary conservative movement is the anti-intellectualism expressed by commentators. Because of the ‘liberal’ leaning of centers of higher learning all science is discredited and non-expert analysis is trumpeted. Of course the experts give better opinions because they are better informed, but the conservative rejects this better opinion because it does not conform to his worldview and instead grasps onto an amateur opinion which more closely fits in his worldview.

In this case I believe you are making a similar mistake by taking your amateur analysis supported by another amateur analysis from a similar world-view and then reporting the vandalism as ‘likely a hoax’ rather than as ‘may have been a hoax.’If you had included an analysis performed by a linguist you could’ve justified the declaration of likeliness.

And I would like to apologize for implying that you were involved in a wacko-conspiracy theory. I conflated your well-informed analysis with other-commentator’s assertions that the entire event was a hoax. I am sorry. Outside of the headline your article is, as usual, well thought threw, makes no claims as to know who did anything, and even admits that you may be mistaken in your analysis. It is the level-headed product I expect from a Timothy Kincaid article. It is the headline I object to.

Likely=Probably=Almost Certainly. ‘Almost Certainly’ is not what you conveyed in your article. Your article does not match your headline.

Priya Lynn
November 10th, 2011 | LINK

Blake, I don’t see where you think likely and probably mean “almost certainly” – not in my book.

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.