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Thoughts on how my words have consequences

A Commentary

Timothy Kincaid

August 16th, 2012

I cringed when I first heard about the shooting at the extremist anti-gay group Family Research Council. I’d like to say that it was out of concern for those who work there, and I was concerned, but truthfully I was more afraid of the political fallout of the situation and desperately hoped it wasn’t someone gay who was the culprit.

By the time we learned that Floyd Corkins was not only gay but also a volunteer at an LGBT center, I’d calmed down enough to realize that while this event was jarring, it didn’t exactly come as a surprise to me. Nor would I have been shocking if it had been, as it so often has, an attack on a LGBT person or organization by a deranged person on the far right.

A suicide bomb. A place of worship defaced. An innocent kid shot in a drive-by. A racist epithet hurled at a politician. A shooting at FRC.

These things get attention and news space. They get public outcry and denunciation. As they should. And I am proud that my community spoke with one voice in denouncing the violence yesterday. It was the only appropriate response.

But these are not events that occur in a vacuum. No one wakes up one day and decides – purely on whim – to shoot up a Sikh temple because it was the first building they happened upon. No one steps aboard an airport bus full of Israelis with a bomb because he thought it had the best air conditioning.

And it was not purely out of happenstance that Floyd Corkins walked into the lobby of the Family Research Council.

I don’t know Corkins’ intentions yesterday. Perhaps he left the house thinking that he would confront someone at FRC and tell them off or throw a chicken sandwich at them. Or perhaps he thought that he would go make a brave act of political assassination and be hailed as a hero who took out someone who doesn’t deserve to live. Perhaps we will eventually know, perhaps not.

But we do know that Corkins took a gun with him and we can surmise that his intentions were to do harm. And if not, I think it’s fair to say that if it wasn’t Corkins, it would have eventually been someone, some gay person who believed that violence against the Family Research Council was justified.

And that is what Corkins believed. Because that is the message that Corkins heard.

Oh, I doubt anyone ever said to him, “Tony Perkins should be shot!” But I’m certain that during his volunteer work at the center he heard plenty about how Perkins was a H8ter and a ReTHUGlican and a Christer. I’m sure that he learned that the Family Research Council consisted of people who hate him and who would see every gay person dead if they could get away with it.

Cartoon villains. Single faceted characters without any redeeming qualities. Evil personified.

Disposable.

The world would be better off without them.

How do I know Corkins heard that message? Because I’ve heard it; you have too. And sometimes I’ve used language about our political opponents that failed to recognize their humanity. I’ve allowed my contempt of someone’s beliefs and advocacy result in contempt of them as a person.

Of course I feel no hesitation about opposing bigotry and discrimination. I believe that it is not only justified but necessary to call the Family Research Council what it is: a hate group. Nor will I wrap Tony Perkin’s efforts to diminish our lives in the false piety of “love” and “religious opinion”. Lies are lies and Perkins is a liar.

I’m comfortable with that. I know that most people who read here would never ever see anything that might cause them to think that violence towards Perkins, or any of our adversaries, is in anyway encouraged or acceptable. Most people know that “it goes without saying” that such a response would condemned without exception.

But for some people, it doesn’t go without saying. For some people, it has to be said. Some people have to be told that we will not see them as heroes if they take – or even threaten – the life of someone else.

Do I say it enough?

In our culture, in which one half of the population seems to be engaged in war with the other half, a lot is said. A lot is insinuated. A lot is claimed. And a lot of it has basis in nothing more that the dehumanization of people with whom we disagree.

We see it so often that we don’t even hesitate. Today I read that only a “privileged white lady” would call and ask police to base their actions on her religion. And that because of Republican victories in 2010 that it wouldn’t be surprising if someone called for a constitutional amendment declaring women as property. And I shrugged. It’s just hyperbole.

Of course it comes from the other direction as well. And in our community we document and expose the crazy rantings of Bill Donahue and Bryan Fischer. As we should.

And we decry the failure of those who claim that they are only trying to protect the family and love the homosexual but look away when their allies call us child molesters who shake our fists in God’s face. And yes, it absolutely is odious that NOM’s Brian Brown would dare to self-righteously claim to have “condemned all violence and vilification” when he’s often their number one cheerleader.

But I think that – more often than I care for – I allow their attitude to dictate my own. Because NOM says heinous things, I can say them back. Because they are H8TERS, I’m justified in hating them.

But does it really matter “who started it”? Is my own sense of morality so unstable that the words or behavior of someone else should justify doing or saying something that I know to be wrong?

And every bit as important, can I let stand outrageous things that others say? I know that if I too aggressively chastise “my side” for extreme language then I become an aider and abettor, a kapo, a quisling, and lose any power to impact the conversation.

But do I go far enough? Or do I look away while those who disagree with me are depicted as fascists, racists, and misogynists?

And I know that writing this commentary runs risks. Some readers will see this only in terms of whether I’m blaming our community for Corkins’ actions. I’m not. Some who advocate for anti-gay political positions and are cynically capitalizing on this tragedy might claim that I’m validating their outrageous assertions. Of course I’m not.

But does that mean it shouldn’t be said? Should I wait for someone else who can better articulate or who will be better received?

And I also know that I can too quickly make this about “them”, the ones on the right or left, gay or anti-gay who “go too far” and leave the wrong impression. I can get lectury and lay out a sermon about what “we” could have done when I really mean what “you” could have done. Because it’s a lot easier to see others’ errors than one’s own.

Do I really own this problem to the extent that I think I do? Or am I being all self-congratulatory and better?

I don’t have answers. I’m not even sure I have the right questions. But I do know that I will try and pay more attention. I’ll try to to be aware that that which “goes without saying” doesn’t. And I’ll try to remember that my words – not just those of Tony Perkins and Linda Harvey and Brian Brown – have consequences.

Comments

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esurience
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

But our opponents truly are evil and the world really would be better off without them… that doesn’t give anyone the right to shoot them, however.

There’s a difference between making a crude characterization of a person/group based on facts, and making a crude characterization of a person/group based on malicious lies.

Stop it with this false equivalence nonsense, please.

Rowan Bristol
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

Nothing like Timothy Kincaid to remind us what terrible people we all are because we object to being lied about and mistreated by people who make money off of doing the same. Why can’t we be friends with them? It’s all our fault someone walked into a space with a bag of chik-fil-a. Because we didn’t bend over and take it enough for Tim Kincaid.

Robert
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

esurience, No, the world would not be a better place without then, it would be a better place without their rhetoric and their hate. They have famalies, they have friends, loved ones who may or may not agree with their views, but who still love them, and whom they love as well. It is NOT a false equivalence. When we use the tactics of, the language of, and take the attitutde of those who wish us harm, we quickly BECOME them. It is difficult to struggle and work in the face of such hatred, but we do ourselves a disservice when we morph into them with the hatred of an entire group of people. We often see ALL Christians lumped together as haters, we see all Catholics lumped together with the pedophiles. WE don’t stop to articulate the difference. My aunt, a very devout Catholic who runs her local food bank, loves me very much, and loves my husband very much, and does not see us as wrong. I have many friends and supporters in my Christian friends, and yes, we lump them all together. And we lump our own Christian LGBT’s into a group that is deemed unacceptable, because they have Faith in God, and since people like Perkins profess a faith in God, they get told they don’t really belong and are belittled for their views.
Hate is the easiest of emotions for people. It is much easier to lump everyone together, without thought of their individuality and hate them all, then to understand that they are NOT all the same.

Yes, they lie about us. That is true. But their lies don’t justify using their tactic of hatred and vitriol. WE HAVE TO BE BETTER THAN THEM, or we lose.

Chuck
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

I’m sorry that so many of our community continues to act and behave the way esurience and Rowan do.

This was a beautifully written post Thomas, and it really meant something to me. I sincerely hope that people like you, and others I have met are simply a silent majority, and not the unspoken minority.

We won’t get anywhere if we continue to try and divide our communities and paint everything in black and white.

Chuck
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

Did I say Thomas? I mean Timothy. xP

Robert
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

Rowan,

I felt that this was an honest rumination on where the writer is after this event. I see that it did not affect you in the way it affected the writer, but you do go on to prove his worries about how it would be taken. As an attack on the community, an admonition of some guilt, as telling others they are not justified in being ANGRY.

What we must realize is that there IS a difference between HATE and ANGER. We have every right to be angry, but I personally don’t believe we have the need to be full of HATE. I watch Perkins, and Brown, and Gallagher and what I see in THEM is HATE. And I have to say I feel my brothers and sisters in the LGBT Community are far too precious and wonderful to be THAT.

We often forget our own words, HATE is NOT a Family Value. NO HATE campaign. Were those just words, or were they the cause of a revolution?

TampaZeke
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

I just wish that the anti-gay industry had people on their side who spoke up against the hateful words and actions on their side the way we do on our side.

charz
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

Where does it say that Corkins is gay?

TampaZeke
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

The HUGE elephant in the room that neither Timothy nor anyone else seems to be considering is MENTAL ILLNESS.

When I see stories like this, Aurora and the Sikh temple the very first thought that comes to my mind is mental illness, not the political persuasions of the shooter. You can check the archives. No matter the circumstances of any of these shootings, or the shooters, I don’t jump on the “hate” and “evil” labeling bandwagon.

America ignores mental illness until it manifests in tragedy and then, rather than waking up, acknowledging the problem and treating it, we demonize the person and blame it on “evil”.

Let’s take the incident seriously without talking about “hate” and “evil” until we know if this man, the Sikh shooter and the Aurora shooter is truly evil or perhaps yet another untreated, ignored victim of mental illness.

Robert
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

charz-
FRC and the like do not care if he was GAY, they only care that he was a supporter of and voluteer at the LGBT Center. Being a supporter is the same as being, to them. According to their rhetoric, one must be against us, or they are US.
At least that is how I see their message. I don’t think anyone has a full answer on his orientation, as far as I have seen reported.

Rowan Bristol
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

What a wonderful trap, robert.

I take the blame for another’s actions, because I’m not sufficiently kind to people that turn a profit over hurting me. And because I vent my outrage over this ridiculousness, I’m simply ‘proving Tim’s point’ and thus again I’m a horrible person for not being properly deferential to the people who make a profit out of hurting me.

Fine. I am a horrible person. I object to people making money off of harming me. And I object to people whimpering about how my not being sufficiently deferential to those people is hurting the cause. Because as we’ve proven time and time again, if we treat them like kind people with good intents and reasoned arguments…They’ll let us be!

-They won’t legislate against our families
-They won’t steal our children to foreign countries.
-They won’t make up diseases that we must have.
-They won’t sell harmful therapies that cause lifetimes worth of damage.
-They won’t run camps that cause irreperable harm and sexual abuse.

Because we’re so -NICE-.

Robert
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

Tampa Zeke,

I agree with your vies on how we deal with mental illness, but I don’t see that it really has any bearing on the issue this writer is talking about. Except for where he states there are people who need to hear this is not ok. For as long as we, asa society, allow the mentally ill to roam free without help or treatment, we do need to heed HOW we say things. Mentally ill people don’t live in a vacuum but are aware of rhetoric and in some cases makes the difference. So, until we deal with that issue, one of the ways to be responsible is using our language carefully and not blustery and inflammatory. And is the idea of just watching the rhetoric really all that bad? There is enough hate out there already do we need to keep adding to it? Where does it end? If we can’t talk civily, we will eventually implode as a society.

Robert
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

Rowan,

I didn’t say any of the thngs you believe I did. I simply commented on your way of talking to the writer, belittling him, expressing anger at him, and calling him the names he predicted he would be called. You proved his point, that this article would elicit the response you gave in how you addressed HIM, not on how you addressed your views of FRC or NOM, or any of the Hate Groups.

I did not say you were a horrible person, because I don’t know you to be able to say that.

No one is asking you to be sufficiently deferential to anyone. But one does not have to be HATEFUL to be able to stand up. There is a difference between ANGRY and HATEFUL as I said before. The author is only suggesting we be ANGRY without being HATEFUL. That is asking us to take responsibility for how we address things. And in this Nation we don’t need MORE hate, we need less.

And I am sorry that you cannot see the difference. I really am.

Rowan Bristol
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

You’re right, robert. We need to love the people who steal our children. We need to speak nicely about them. We need to realize that they’re wonderful people with families who love their children so much, they don’t give a second thought to stealing ours to nicaragua.

We need to love the people who make a living of reparative therapy. We need to remember that they make a living too, and that the harming of children and adults with unlicensed abuse helps feed somebody’s family. And some of them might be troubled closet cases. Don’t they deserve our sympathy?

We need to love the people who just registered the ‘herofgstreet’ website, so they could fundraise of ginning up a perception of us as violent hatemongers…A perception of us that hasn’t changed IN 50 years. Isn’t their fundraising valid? Shouldn’t they be allowed to make money to feed their families? Who cares if it’s based on harm? We need to love them.

Hate the sin, love the sinner. Just like they do.

esurience
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

If being gay was equivalent to being a child molester, it would not be wrong to call gay people child molesters.

The problem is not the language that are opponents using, it’s the TOTAL LACK OF MERIT that their anti-gay case has.

It completely lacks merit. They cannot make a truthful case against us, so they make one with lies.

It’s not wrong for US to call THEM what they ARE, when we actually have truth and merit on our side.

Neon Genesis
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

” I believe that it is not only justified but necessary to call the Family Research Council what it is: a hate group.”

So it’s ok to call the FRC a hate group but it’s wrong to call the people who work there haters because somehow that enables violence?

Rowan Bristol
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

Yep! They’re all lovely people with good intentions. They’re just in the unfortunate position of making money off of harming us! They’re not haters! They’re just fluffy cuddly mercenaries, making a living off ginning up fear and hatred. Or, if they like to play pretend, they can be therapists, and lovingly inflict a lifetime of damage, and maybe get some happy loving touching out of it!

pax58
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

Carl Jung once said that we all have a shadow, a part of us that we hind because it not so nice. Jung stated that only by claiming our shadow do we control it.
Over the last few months I have had close family members refer to me as having an illness, being told that my being gay will be the worse thing they take to their grave, and that I bring them shame and embarrassment from simply living.
Well, let me tell you, my shaddow is in full work out mode….the word hate is an honest assessment of their attidute toward me and at this point my attitude toward them…in is way too personal to not be taken anyother way.
That being said, I do struggle with the honest hate that I fell toward those whom I wanted love and I do hope to come to a place where I can allow their hate so little a space in my life that I no longer fill the same.
But groups like NOM and FRC continue on a day to day basis to speak with hate: we need to be honest about how that makes us feel before we start feeling guiilty about that hate we feel toward them in response.
and there is a big difference between being honest about the hate we feel toward them and advocating physcial violence against them.
In the history of justice, justice has never been won by simply being nice.

TampaZeke
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

Robert, I pointed out the mental illness aspect because Timothy’s commentary asked questions about what could have driven a person to do such a thing. My point was that the possibility of mental illness should enter into any such discussion. I think Timothy will agree.

Another point, in response to Robert and Timothy, this commentary questioned how the rhetoric among gay people may have motivated this person but didn’t consider the reasonable possibility that FRC’s rhetoric could have been the primary, if not exclusive source of his motivation. Even still I would have to wonder about the mental stability of ANY person who allows ANYONE’S rhetoric to motivate them to acts of terrorism.

Smith
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

This is drivel. I think Kincaid felt a need to spew words on this topic, but his piece is incoherent at best.

Kincaid, the total number of shootings by gay activists across the entire United States of America and spanning the last 5 decades is precisely 1. That would be this week’s incident at FRC. Think about that. This happened one time in five decades and you are spouting off like it is some kind of social phenomenon whose roots must be analyzed and understood for the good of society. Maybe next week, you can grapple for the deeper meaning of Balloon Boy or deaths from giant squid attacks. Because those phenomena are just as common as a gay activist shooting someone.

The reality is that, although the gay activist crowd can be conformist and nasty, it isn’t violent. It is probably one of the least violent social movements in modern America.

Proof? The most despised anti-gay activist in America is Maggie Gallagher. Everyone knows what she looks like. Yet she felt perfectly comfortable attending a packed reading of the play “8”, which was also a fundraiser and thus attended by activists. Here one of the people responsible for Prop 8 sat, surrounded by hundreds of these activists for several hours and an intermission. The result? She munched on pretzels and enjoyed the show and went home. Not one of the hundreds of activists even thought of doing anything violent. Maybe you can draw life lessons from that event too.

Hunter
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

I’m only surprised that it took someone this long to carry a gun into FRC’s offices with intent to do harm. I think our community deserves praise for its restraint.

The larger question is how to respond. Like Timothy, I have no problem with calling Tony Perkins a liar — that’s not name calling, it’s documented fact. But we need to take it away from focusing on the individuals and bring it back to challenging their statements and ideas. It’s not Tony Perkins who is important in this — it’s what he says that does the damage. He, himself, is nothing. Knock him down and there will be another to take his place. But the ideas are out there and need to be countered.

And we need to challenge the talk-show hosts who let them get away with it. The first comment out of anyone’s mouth who is to appear opposite someone like Perkins should be “Why is he here? He’s a known liar and has nothing constructive to offer for this discussion.” And be prepared to document his lies — while demanding sources for his ridiculous assertions.

And I wonder if that kind of controversy might be enough to intrigue the media pundits enough to allow our message to get out there.

Jay
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

There are going to be more of these incidents. They are utterly predictable. The hate machine that is the FRC and other right-wing groups are not going to stop spewing hate. We increasingly, though the Internet and blogs, learn what they say. (It used to be they mainly spoke to each other and we weren’t exposed to their bile unless we sought it out, so we were able to live in a kind of fool’s paradise.) And because they are not going to stop spewing hate, some overwrought people are going to snap. Some of those overwrought people who commit the gaybashings that are so tiresomely familiar. But other overwrought people will be gay and lesbians who have simply had enough.

Civilized countries have hate speech laws to contain this kind of violence. In Canada or England or other advanced countries, the FRC and its allies could not spew such hatred and, consequently, they have a much lower level of this kind of violence.

This country is not about to pass hate speech laws any more than it will pass gun control laws. So we must prepare ourselves for more incidents of this kind.

I deplore all kinds of violence, and I do not think that Floyd Corkins’ actions are a good political move. However, I feel deeply for him and for the toll that the hatred espoused by the FRC took on him. I hope that he gets good mental health help and goes on to live a productive and happy life.

The proper response to this incident is neither to censor ourselves, nor to be cowered by the bigots. We need to be steadfast in decrying violence, but equally steadfast in pointing out the hatred of their views and voices.

Blake
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, may you take the personal attacks dished out above as proof that you’ve touched a nerve. Not many adults like being reminded that we have a responsibility to keep the dialog above the board. Dan Savage comes to mind…

As I’m sure you’re aware, when people start attacking you personally it’s because a part of them knows they can’t refute you.

Thank you for your pertinent commentary. I, for one, will take your words to heart. I will not let the other side make me into a hater anymore. I will try to recognize their humanity even when I don’t want to or when their actions are so despicable as to make base characterizations more palatable than critical thinking. And I pledge to take my time in order to do my best to overcome rush, assuming, sloppy reasoning, and ambiguity in commenting. Starting right now.

Argo
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

An apropos TED talk was recently added to their website. In it, the founder of Oxford Research Group and three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Scilla Elworthy says “Anger is like gasoline. If you spray it around and somebody lights a match, you’ve got an inferno. [But] if we can put our anger inside an engine, it can drive us forward.”

From the ted.com website:

How do you deal with a bully without becoming a thug? In this wise and soulful talk, peace activist Scilla Elworthy maps out the skills we need — as nations and individuals — to fight extreme force without using force in return. To answer the question of why and how non-violence works, she evokes historical heroes — Aung San Suu Kyi, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela — and the personal philosophies that powered their peaceful protests.

Reed
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

The jump from “I don’t know Corkins’ intentions” to “we can surmise” (and you’d been doing so nicely in first person singular until then, with minimal editorial “wes” pompousing-up things) and then to “that is what Corkins believed” was dazzling.

And the rest was interesting enough. Loved the use of the Jessica Naomi/Scott Rose style “ReTHUGlicans” (and other neo-perojatives).

I don’t think writing this commentary really held much risk. It seemed the usual contrarian Kincaid style.

Richard Rush
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

FRC creed? . . .

“When the people who are the rightful targets of our crusade of denigration, persecution, and demonization speak out boldly against us, it simply proves that they hate us because of our sincerely held beliefs, and thus our crusade has been righteous all along.”

Michael K
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

What a load of garbage.

I totally agree with Smith.

Robert
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

Rowan, it’s pretty obvious that you are not reading ANYTHING I actually write. I never said you had to be swet and pretty to the people who are hateful to us. I NEVER SAID THAT. PERIOD. And for you to keep saying that I did is a flat out lie.

My comments to you were on how YOU, ROWAN, addressed the writer of this piece. Instead of simply talking about the issues, you launcehd a personal attack on the person who wrote this article. I feel sorry for you that you can’t find a way to express your anger that doesn’t personally attack the writer of this piece, and me. THAT is, from my reading of this article, the entire POINT of the piece.

When Sarah Palin was talking about cross-hairs, and keeping something in the “sites” people were clammering for her and the right to watch their language, as some times langauage like that incites people who are not stable, or ar not very intelligent. But I see, that you, like them, do not want to take responsibility for YOUR actions.

Taking responsibility for the vitriol that comes out of your own mouth is pretty much the message of this article. It doesn’t ask you to be lovey dovey with those who hate us, but that we take our own advice and temper our langauge. No one is saying “Don’t fight back”. No one is saying “LOVE those guys”. What is being said is listen to your own words and be aware if what you are saying might be inflammatory to the point of dangerous, to not become what you despise.

Evidently that is lost on you.

Rowan Bristol
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

My actions never abducted a child.

My actions never put anyone in false therapy designed to cause harm and sometimes sexual abuse.

My actions never made millions off of the hate and fear of my neighbors.

I have never called for anyone’s death, I have never called for anyone’s injury. However, our opponents have done so. But apparently my objection to treating these people with anything other than criminal contempt causes murders.

Robert. I do listen to my own words.

Timothy Kincaid is a contrarian nitwit.
The FRC, The ALDF, NOM, and Exodus make money off of our suffering.
The Millers and the Liberty Council are criminal kidnappers.

And in saying all of these true things, I should be aware of the danger that puts other people in. And the more I say these things, the more likely I am to kidnap children, engage in abusive therapy, and make money off of others suffering.

I shall listen to what I have to say, Robert, and say Go fuck yourself.

Priya Lynn
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

Robert said “We often see ALL Christians lumped together as haters, we see all Catholics lumped together with the pedophiles.”.

I’ve sometimes seen the first you mention, but I’ve never seen the latter.

Robert said “What we must realize is that there IS a difference between HATE and ANGER.”.”.

That’s no different than people claiming they hate the sin and love the sinner – its B.S. While hate and anger may not be exactly the same thing, they are certainly closely related and anyone who says “They make me angry but I don’t hate them in anyway” is no more honest than the “hate the sin love the sinner” types.

Robert said “FRC and the like do not care if he was GAY, they only care that he was a supporter of and voluteer at the LGBT Center.”.

Nonsense. They’d have been just as thrilled to have this incident to demonize the gay community if the shooter had just been gay and not a volunteer at the LGBT centre.

TampaZeke said “Another point, in response to Robert and Timothy, this commentary questioned how the rhetoric among gay people may have motivated this person but didn’t consider the reasonable possibility that FRC’s rhetoric could have been the primary, if not exclusive source of his motivation.”.

Excellent point and certainly a large oversight in Timothy’s commentary, not that it occurred to me either as I was reading it.

Blake said “Timothy…As I’m sure you’re aware, when people start attacking you personally it’s because a part of them knows they can’t refute you.”.

While I’m sure that’s true some of the time and the thought may make the target feel better all the time, it is not necessarily true all of the time.

Timothy said “And if not, I think it’s fair to say that if it wasn’t Corkins, it would have eventually been someone, some gay person who believed that violence against the Family Research Council was justified. And that is what Corkins believed. Because that is the message that Corkins heard.”.

Reed said “The jump from “I don’t know Corkins’ intentions” to “we can surmise” (and you’d been doing so nicely in first person singular until then, with minimal editorial “wes” pompousing-up things) and then to “that is what Corkins believed” was dazzling.”.

Good point Reed, Timothy is in no position to claim Corkins heard the message that violence against the FRC was justified. This is an unjustified smearing of the entire LGBT community.

Esurience said “There’s a difference between making a crude characterization of a person/group based on facts, and making a crude characterization of a person/group based on malicious lies. Stop it with this false equivalence nonsense, please.”.

While I think that Timothy has a point that its a good idea for people to consider their rhetoric and whether or not it goes too far I think Esuriences comment really sums up an acknowledgement that was sadly missing from Timothy’s commentary. Timothy frequently makes commentary to the effect that in some areas one side is as bad as the other. I think that’s rarely the case, and its not the case here.

Priya Lynn
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

Robert said to Rowan “When Sarah Palin was talking about cross-hairs, and keeping something in the “sites” people were clammering for her and the right to watch their language, as some times langauage like that incites people who are not stable, or ar not very intelligent. But I see, that you, like them, do not want to take responsibility for YOUR actions. Taking responsibility for the vitriol that comes out of your own mouth is pretty much the message of this article.”.

Robert, you have not demonstrated that any vitriol or excessive actions have come from Rowan. You’re just assuming it has and accusing him of something you’ve got no proof for. Apparently you didn’t get all of the message you are berating others to receive – don’t characterize others negatively without proof.

It is not over the line to refer to the FRC as a hate group, that’s what they are. There’s no equivalence between a group that says gays are out to sexually assault children, destroy society, and end the human race and those who say such language is hateful, evil and contributes to an environment that leads to suicides, assaults and murders of LGBTs. If Corkin took that as a call to violence thats on him and not on the LGBT community.

Jonathan
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

Thank you Timothy. I think you’ve articulated an identity question.

“What does it mean to be a moral person?”

And your struggle is the Christian question of what it takes to be “In Christ”. Turn the other cheek. Don’t be like them. Don’t sin. Don’t stop loving your brother and sister. Assume that they can “change” and be willing to forgive.

We don’t have to forgive the FRC and other hate-groups. The people are another matter. Some of them are truly dangerous and need to be restrained by the laws that keep them from harming others. Some are caught up in an anti-gay cult and will flee and repent when they are ready.

Priya Lynn
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

“What does it mean to be a moral person?”

Do your best to avoid harming others.

Regan DuCasse
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

I went over to NOM’s FB page. And the sentiment there is similar to what Tony Perkins just said recently.

There is no sense of proportion on this WHATSOEVER.
NOM’ers, the FRC et al, do not differentiate or care to, what SYSTEMIC injustice is, and who has had the power to inflict in and a lot of other socio/political ADVANTAGE for a very long time.
We can cite a long, horribly tragic list of gay and lesbian casualities. Not just of homicide, but of loss of child custody, brilliant careers, parental and familial connection and school access.

Yet, to hear NOM’ers and Perkins tell it, they are suffering from gay people.
The straight man’s burden, so to speak.

The INDIFFERENCE to the legitimate anger, pain and frustration of gay people is so amazing.
More’s the point: this attack at FRC seems very half hearted to me. All things considered.

But the FRC and the others complain as if they are the targets of terrorism, if gay people just show up to protest.
The didn’t keep their powder dry for actual acts of violence, because anything gay people do is perceived as such.

When it’s all said and done, there has never been any appreciation for the essentially non violent way in which gay people have responded to everything.
Even when a gay child is MURDERED coldly and horrifically, the gay community still responds patiently and waits due process of law.

When that beautiful teen lesbian couple was shot execution style, there was a vigil held for them.
Not a riot.
And we have all attended many, too many VIGILS for our dead and silenced, haven’t we?
And yet, our pain at this, is treated as if wrongful, and an injustice against those whose words are a liability to gays and lesbians.

There is no balance in response here, no balance in the infliction of injustice or violence, nor in language and expression.
The gay community has already shown MUCH restraint, a great deal of patience and immeasurable courage, all things considered.
And so far, any acts of vandalism, or even berating of a CFA drive thru worker, was responded to with arrest of the former (who turned himself in), and the firing of the latter.
So, our community is held accountable, FAR more proportionately for offenses, than the other way around.

The incident at the FRC wasn’t nearly as tragic as other recent shootings. Not even close.
And even then, the shooters in CO and WI had an outrage at people who’d never done anything to them.
The FRC has done awful things when it comes to the defamation and political discrimination of gay people, and the gay man who committed this act, is very likely to have something in his history that harmed him because of anti gay sentiment.
There is far more widespread damage to gay lives, and the motive for this shooting is a bit more understandable. And whenever mass killings happen, especially when the culprit has no connections to their victims, there is much post examination of motives and possible means of lessening the risk.
NOM and so on, have no such introspection going on.
That their rhetoric has gone too far, their political influence has truly harmed people who deserve better.

No, they aren’t going there.
They are treating this incident as if gay people now have WAY too many rights, and power over the lives of Christians and heterosexuals and must be restrained even more.

Ryan
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

First off, Timothy, that’s an awful lot of hand-wringing and self-recrimination. Are you sure you’re not a liberal? :)
There was a time when violent acts were blamed on rock music and then video games. Now apparently it’s the fault of assholes on the internet. Sure, the shooting was bad and wrong and thankfully no one was seriously hurt or killed. But I can’t believe for a second it had anything to do with accurately calling a hate group a hate group. To be sure, there are plenty of assholes on our side making hyperbolic nasty statements about Christians and others. I enjoy sites like joemygod and towleroad for the links, but the comments usually make me embarrassed. There’s not a lot of difference between comments there and comments on NOM or Breitbart or Free Rublic. Plenty of rude, stupid idiots on both sides of the aisle. (Sometimes that rude, stupid idiot is me). I think that that kind of talk reflects poorly on the one doing the talking and can hurt our cause in the long run, but…violence? No. On the whole, as a people, we are FAR less violent than we’ve ever been in humankind’s history. The sort of person who enters into a building with a weapon looking for a victim would be doing that no matter what. I believe as Americans our most treasured right is the first amendment. Nothing should threaten that, ever. The FRC is a hate group. The reasons have been well articulated. Tony Perkins is scum, no different than Fred Phelps or his friend David Duke. We should say that early and often.

Neon Genesis
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

“Timothy, may you take the personal attacks dished out above as proof that you’ve touched a nerve. Not many adults like being reminded that we have a responsibility to keep the dialog above the board. Dan Savage comes to mind… ”

So disagreeing with someone means that the person is right? Obviously since you felt the need to respond to our responses, we clearly must have touched a nerve and this proves we’re right.

Robert
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

Pria Lynn,

my original comment to Rowan was based on his response to the author, who predicted he’d have people calling him out and calling him names. I have no idea on his language and attitude outside this bolg. But I base my opinion on his language here. WHICH I STATED OVER AND OVER AND OVER. My comments to him were based on his comments here, how HE addressed the author, and proved the authors point about how he would be called things. So, yes, I was acurately describing Rowans comments here. And I do not violate the ideas I expressed as the proof of what I say here is in his own words:

Rowan Bristol
August 16th, 2012 | LINK
Nothing like Timothy Kincaid to remind us what terrible people we all are because we object to being lied about and mistreated by people who make money off of doing the same. Why can’t we be friends with them? It’s all our fault someone walked into a space with a bag of chik-fil-a. Because we didn’t bend over and take it enough for Tim Kincaid.

Which WAS vitriolic and hateful to the writer for expressing his view. The person attacked the WRITER, not the writers IDEAS. Ther is a difference. It’s like being in a discussion and getting the other person in a spot where they just say “Well, your fat and an asshole” rather than adress and discuss the point.

As for There being a difference between anger and hate. You may not agree with me, but I believe I am correct. I sometimes get angry at my husband, but I do not hate him. I never told anyone, nor suggested that anyone NOT be ANGRY. I suggest that people understand that you ccan express and should express, your anger but not WITH hate. One can make a perfectly logicl, heartfelt argument of their views without HATEful language.

And NOWHERE in any of my posts do I react to people with Hatred, maybe a little annoyed, but not hatred OR anger. I don’t instruct people to go guck themselves, for expressing a point of view. I discuss the point of view. I don’t consider a discussion on a blog with my community to be berating people with a view. People adamnatly describe their position and I discuss with them why I believe it wrong, or right. That’s not berating, I was under the impression that that was a CONVERSATION.

And lastly (Aren’t you glad LOL) I really do not think that FRC cares one way or another if this shooter was gay or just a gay supporter. They do lump us all in the same boat. One need only look at the heterosexual man who did the video and was discharged from his job. When they attacked his views, they associated it ALL with us. To them it is the same thing. Either you are part of “THEM” or you are part of the “OTHER”.

Robert
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

Rowan, I really wish you would stop trying to put words in my mouth, as you can se from my writing, I have more than enough.

You said to me:

Robert. I do listen to my own words.

Timothy Kincaid is a contrarian nitwit.
The FRC, The ALDF, NOM, and Exodus make money off of our suffering.
The Millers and the Liberty Council are criminal kidnappers.

And in saying all of these true things, I should be aware of the danger that puts other people in. And the more I say these things, the more likely I am to kidnap children, engage in abusive therapy, and make money off of others suffering.

I shall listen to what I have to say, Robert, and say Go fuck yourself.

I never asked or implied that you not say the things you typed here. They are indeed FACTUAL. My response to you originally was about the manner in which YOU addressed the AUTHOR of this piece, My very first response specified WHY I was addressing you:

“I felt that this was an honest rumination on where the writer is after this event. I see that it did not affect you in the way it affected the writer, but you do go on to prove his worries about how it would be taken. As an attack on the community, an admonition of some guilt, as telling others they are not justified in being ANGRY.”

Your first post put a lot of words into the mouth of this author which this author did NOT say. And I spoke out about your response to HIM, not to how you respond to the people against us. Because I do NOT KNOW how you respond to those against us, just how you responded here.

And I see a lot of people syaing that the Author is saying don’t speak out against these people. That is NOT what he said, he spoke about being BETTER than them in how we discuss and address the issues we face. We can still be angry, we can still speak out LOUDLY, but do we really need to resort to THEIR langauage and how THEY address us?

People who have no side in this issue, and yes, there are some, see these conversations and do not understand the complexities of the issues, nor KNOW our pain in how we are addressed. They just see one side calling the other names and being rude, heinous and vitriolic. How does that serve our long term objectives about our Community? I do not see that it does.

Priya Lynn
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

Robert said “my original comment to Rowan was based on his response to the author, who predicted he’d have people calling him out and calling him names. I have no idea on his language and attitude outside this bolg. But I base my opinion on his language here. WHICH I STATED OVER AND OVER AND OVER. My comments to him were based on his comments here, how HE addressed the author, and proved the authors point about how he would be called things. So, yes, I was acurately describing Rowans comments here. And I do not violate the ideas I expressed…”.

You accused Rowan of calling Timothy the names Timothy said he’d be called – he did not up until that point and although later Rowan did call Timothy a nitwit at the time you accused him of name calling he had not done so. In that you did not accurately describe his comments and you did hypocritcally do what you exorted others not to do.

Robert said “As for There being a difference between anger and hate. You may not agree with me, but I believe I am correct. I sometimes get angry at my husband, but I do not hate him.”.

I agree there is a difference, but the two are closely related and you claimed one can feel one without the other, that one can love the sinner and hate the sin – that’s B.S. Who we are is not divorced from our actions. Our actions spring from who we are as people and if you hate a person’s actions, or a person’s actions make you angry then you hate at least that aspect of the person that gave rise to those actions. To claim otherwhise is trite dishonesty.

I love my husband like I’ve never loved anyone before, his love literally makes me jump for joy. But sometimes he loses his temper over trivial things and it makes me stressed out and I’d be a liar if I claimed I didn’t hate at that time that aspect of him that makes him do that. When I sum up our relationship as a whole its overwhelmingly about love, but to say one can hate the sin and not at least hate that aspect of the sinner that gave rise to the sin is a lie. I hate that people at FRC seek to justify and bring about the oppression of gays. That means I hate that significant aspect of who they are that gives rise to that wrongdoing. The FRC hates gayness. Gayness is a core aspect of who gays are and by hating that it necessarily means they hate a core part of who gays are as people.

I never told anyone, nor suggested that anyone NOT be ANGRY. I suggest that people understand that you ccan express and should express, your anger but not WITH hate. One can make a perfectly logicl, heartfelt argument of their views without HATEful language.

Robert said “I suggest that people understand that you ccan express and should express, your anger but not WITH hate. One can make a perfectly logicl, heartfelt argument of their views without HATEful language.”.

You cannot express anger without hate anymore than you can love the sinner and hate the sin. I do however agree that one can make a logical heartfelt argument of their views without hateful language. Whether or not that is the best idea I’m open to debate on but I suggest it would be determined on a case by case basis.

Robert
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

Priya, PLEASE, refrain from stating the lie that I used the phrase “Love the sinner Hate the sin”. I did NOT. YOU and others used it to describe my views. Which I find inaccurate. I never said it, yet you and others state I did. You prescribed that statment to me in your first post. I DID NOT SAY IT. It was Rowan who implied I stated that. NOT ME.

You don’t see Rowans first comment as an attack on the author? He belittles, without rebutting, and he claims the author is telling everyone to bend over and take it. He says the author is saying we are all bad people, which the author never stated. So he falsely desiminates the articel, and proves this point of the Author:

“And every bit as important, can I let stand outrageous things that others say? I know that if I too aggressively chastise “my side” for extreme language then I become an aider and abettor, a kapo, a quisling, and lose any power to impact the conversation…..And I know that writing this commentary runs risks. Some readers will see this only in terms of whether I’m blaming our community for Corkins’ actions. I’m not. Some who advocate for anti-gay political positions and are cynically capitalizing on this tragedy might claim that I’m validating their outrageous assertions. Of course I’m not.”

He also asserts that the Author said we shouldn’t call people out on their hate, or that we shouldn’t label groups as Hate Groups, the author did not say that:

“Of course I feel no hesitation about opposing bigotry and discrimination. I believe that it is not only justified but necessary to call the Family Research Council what it is: a hate group. Nor will I wrap Tony Perkin’s efforts to diminish our lives in the false piety of “love” and “religious opinion”. Lies are lies and Perkins is a liar.”.

It is perfectly fine for people to disagree with the author and with me, but it isn’t ok to attribute to people things they did not say. Period. The author DID not say what Rowan said he did, and I did not say what you said I did. Saying we did, is wrong and distasteful.

And again, I can be angry without feeling hate. I’m sorry that your view does not allow you the same. I don’t hate any part of my husband, I may dislike, I may mention that dislike and approach it in a manner that expresses that dislike, but HATE? Not one aspect nor iota of hate for his differences from me. And I am also sorry that you cannot express anger without it being tied up in hate. I don’t know you, nor do I know your heart. But for me, I am able to differentiate between HATE and ANGER. To imply that I can’t because YOU can’ is wrong.

I’ve said all I have to say on this issue, and I’ll leave it at that. Unless of course I see that I am being accused of something I did not say or imply.

I never told people to love the FRC, I nver told people that they have to defer to them. I never claimed anyone should ignore their attacks and not respond to them. I only suggested that we, as a community, use language no so steeped in HATE. Because to be quite honest, the people watching these discussions DO NOT differentiate between the hate of them and the hate of us. ALL they see is a heated battle steeped in Hate, from both sides. We have justification to be ANGRY. And to respond in strong terms.

That’s MY view. In an blog post discussing this premise I do not believe I was telling people how to respond, but how I THINK we should respond. Feel free to ignore me, but please, don’t twist my words to mean what I did not say, and if you think I might have said soemthing, ask me. I’m more than willing to discuss things. And I do believe I approached all my comments on here with that ideal.

Robert
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

And I apologize that my typing is atrocious.

Rowan Bristol
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

So, robert has moved the goalposts of his arguments again.

First i was a bad guy for calling tim out, as i had when tim asked only the ‘normal’ gays to attend pride.

Then he reminded us all that members of the frc had families, and i contested that it was irrelevant when those devoted family members cause harm.

Then he told me to look at my hate speech, because my words operated on the same level as abduction, extortion and rape.

I contested this, and others reminded him that the things i’ve said were not only true, but were worthy of fury.

Then it was back to tim again, and how i’m obviously a hatemonger, and wouldn’t it be better if we all said nice things to our oppressors in a stern way.

I wallow in the jism of robert’s self righteousnes, and ask him again how what i said compares to abduction, extortion, and rape. And how calling tim kincaid a vacuous mouthbreathing jackass coerces people to sshoot up the frc.

What a special snowflake.

TampaZeke
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

Two more things have come to mind.

Why has no one talked about, discussed or even wondered about the SHOOTERS religious identity? The vast majority of gay people I know identify as Christian. What if the shooter identifies as Christian? That would throw a monkey wrench into the works if you really think about it. Of course the media will never ask the question or do any investigation to get an answer just like the NEVER identify the faith of people who commit acts of terror against gay people and the gay community. They don’t even talk about the religious affiliation of ANY of the people who have been committing acts of terrorism lately. Aurora? NOPE! Sikh Temple? NOPE! And on and on it goes yet IMMEDIATELY after this shooting the media knew EVERY contact that this shooter had to the gay community and gleefully reported it. You see the double standard here? You see why we are still so disadvantaged even in the “Librul Lamestream Media”? The VAST majority of domestic terrorism is committed by people who identify as Christian; there can be no doubt of that in spite of the fact that no one talks about it and the media sure as hell doesn’t report on it.

This is precisely the reason why the FRC is able to come out of this whole thing looking like a shrinking, victimized violet and smelling like a rose and how the community YET AGAIN is being vilified as hateful, powerful, out of control bullies beating up on powerless, gentle, oppressed Christians. The two EDITORIALS (NOT letters to the editor but EDITORIALS) in the Washington Post slamming the SPLC and praising FRC for standing up for Christian values just make my blood boil. And yet WE’RE the ones who are being asked to be kinder and gentler. Give me a break. As many others have pointed out, NO community has been more gentle and passive in the face of hatred and systematic assault than the gay community.

Robert
August 18th, 2012 | LINK

Rowan,

My comments were always in direct response to your baselsess alegations, even the first where you did in fact attack Tim, as you even admit. The rest was my responses to your allegations that twisted my words.

It is painfully obvious that you only wish to fight with someone because they do not agree with inflammatory and hateful words.

It’s sad, because on the actual issue of what FRC and their ilk believe and do we actually agree. I agree that they are a hate group, I agree at that label. I just happen to believe in the one rule. Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. I don’t approve of certain ways of approaching people, and you do. That’s fine. Unfortunately, you seem bent on painting me in a certain light. I have not called YOU names, yet at every opportunity you choose to call ME names. Therein is the exact issue discussed in this post.

I have expressed my point of view, reject it, as it appears you are wont to do. That’s your perogative.

As for Tim’s other writings, those are meaningless to me as I have only just started reading this blog. I was addressing an issue in which I thought there would be a conversation about an issue I believe in and feel strongly about. As do you. Obviously, we disagree. But I do note, not ONCE did I call you something nasty because of your views, I expressed, quite politely, MY VIEWS. I didn’t exort you to go fuck yourself, or anything like you did me.

Twist my words to your best ability, you seem accomplished in that arena.

Best wishes.

Donny D.
August 18th, 2012 | LINK

I have to agree with Smith. The gross INfrequency of APPARENT political violence against the anti-gay movement makes the FRC shooting the exception that proves that rule that there is almost no violence perpetrated by pro-LGBT people against those on the other side.

Compare that to how much violence is perpetrated against our activists, and against non-activist LGBT people. The two situations are totally different. Trying to relate them at all is the false equivalence that other commenters here have been saying it is.

So what if we say mean things about anti-gay movement activists? I don’t see ANYone on our side making eliminationist comments, saying that they are a direct threat to children or a threat to civilization.

And Timothy, I have NO idea why you feel the need to do soul searching to see if you, “too”, have gone overboard in your writings against the anti-gay movement. You don’t get anywhere near to objectionable rhetoric against the anti-gays, so stop this silliness.

Sometimes, Timothy, I think you must have been so badly damaged by the viciousness of the homophobia of the reactionary family, faith and community that you were raised in that you still can’t help but cringe whenever one of the anti-gays snarls in our direction, and that you still feel apologetic and like you have to justify yourself and other LGBT people to them. And being a right of center member of the lopsidedly left of center LGBT community makes this tendency more pronounced, given how anti-LGBT the political right is now.

I generally like contrarianism, because it’s an antidote to lockstep thinking, even when the contrarianism is misconceived. However, it’s hard to see concession to the other side’s rhetoric as true contrarianism.

The FRC is showing how badly SPLC’s labeling them a hate group has hurt them, by spending the political capital this shooting has given them to try to get SPLC to de-label FRC, or if not that to put SPLC in such a bad light that what it says about FRC won’t matter. SPLC needs to stand strong against this political offensive and so does the pro-LGBT movement in general. Our rhetoric isn’t hateful, theirs is.

Rowan Bristol
August 18th, 2012 | LINK

Just answer the question, robert. How is what i said to tim comparable to abduction, extortion and rape? How will my words to tim to tim incite a murder? Tell me that, and i will let you return to cheerfully gazing into the depths of your own colon.

gsingjane
August 18th, 2012 | LINK

Hopefully these words will not earn me the same admonition that Robert received (which in any event is even less anatomically possible for me). I hope, though, that my contribution will be taken in the spirit in which it’s offered, which is in peace and healing.

My guess is that pretty much everyone here shared the identical set of feelings when we first heard about the FRC shooting: “oh, please, let it NOT be a GLBT person!” I had so hoped, once I learned that there had not been any deaths, that the incident was the result of an employment or personal dispute, rather than political.

I was shocked and embarrassed, even, when I learned that there was, in fact, apparently some political dimension to what happened. Many of us, not all of us, but many, feel somewhat on the defensive about what happened. Whether or not it should be construed as a “black eye” to the GLBT community (and I don’t think it should), we’re all too well aware that in many circles it will be. That’s scary and upsetting, too.

These are not comfortable feelings to have. And, I can’t help but think that some of the rage exhibited in these comments has to do with these feelings. I’m no shrink, but I can’t help but think that perhaps folks are turning on each other out of frustration, anger and fear.

But, it isn’t helpful (now or ever) to turn on each other. That is how social movements self-destruct and end.

In our culture, we strongly reject the notion of “shared guilt” or “shared responsibility” for wrong-doing. This isn’t true for every society – for instance, in Japan, it is customary for a criminal’s parents, siblings, employer and even school-mates to apologize for his or her behavior, even when they had absolutely nothing to do with it. Obviously, that notion is antithetical to some of our most deeply-held and core beliefs, as seen by the very strong language used in the comments to Tim’s essay. But, again, let’s think a little bit about where we’re “coming from” before we hit “post” the next time?

Robert
August 18th, 2012 | LINK

Rowan and the Strawman. I never once implied or even stated directly that you did any of the things you just recently typed.

You have an agenda and you can continue following it for whatever reason you wish.

YOU and I both KNOW my first post was in fact about Tim and your reaction being exactly what he predicted, as you admitted.

Then I had to respond to your putting words in my mouth and twisting the intent and the actual words I wrote. Because you didn’t agree with what I said. You are a name caller and a bully and I’m done discussing this with you.

Rowan Bristol
August 18th, 2012 | LINK

Fair enough that you didn’t answer the question as to how my comments incite violence, extortion, rape, or abduction. How my comments and behavior are equivalent to rape, extortion, abduction or violence. I am asking a question that you presented multiple times in your posts that my words and behavior are equivalent to the actions of the people who actively seek to harm us, and my commentary towards tim incites violence. It makes me wonder what your agenda is when you remind people that our abusers have families. My father had a family. It was me. He still beat the shit out of me. How does his having a family make him a good person, as you mentioned in your post about your sainted aunt and her enablement of an institution that has turned child rape into a class-based privilege.

How does my calling you out on your moving goalposts encourage others to violence. Why is my calling out tim or telling you to go fuck yourself hate speech?

Robert
August 18th, 2012 | LINK

Priya Lynn

I mentioned earlier the fact that all Catholics get tarnished or blamed for the actions of their Priests, even those who condemn the actions and call for it to end and for the Priests who did it to be prosecuted. You claimed you never saw that one before, well, just look to Rowan Bristols latest screed, where he attacks my Aunt, and he says:

you mentioned in your post about your sainted aunt and her enablement of an institution that has turned child rape into a class-based privilege

This is the man you defend, when the issue gets complicated, he attacks me. He attacks my family. And he labels ALL Catholics with the issues of some of their priests.

Priya, you also wrote:
Robert, you have not demonstrated that any vitriol or excessive actions have come from Rowan. You’re just assuming it has and accusing him of something you’ve got no proof for. Apparently you didn’t get all of the message you are berating others to receive – don’t characterize others negatively without proof.

And having reviewed my posts, and his, I see that you pretty much ignored his name calling and his personal attacks on me and the author and claim no vitriol or excessive actions, well, I hope you know see the vitriol.

I do not attack individuals and their family members, I do not mock individuals and their family members, yet somehow this is acceptable by Rowan, and I am somehow judgemental on the issue or neglect my own ideas.

Rowan is a perfect example of the issue discussed here. He doesn’t seem able to have a discussion or make points WITHOUT personal attacks.

I am gay. I am living with AIDS. I AM a part of this community. I am married to a man. I have spent the last 20 years working for Marriage Equality. I have spent 15 years of my life doing volunteer work in the AIDS community. On the actual issue of labeling groups as Hate Groups, we are on the same page. And yet, because I think we should, and can be BETTER than our enemies, I am somehow a pariah.

I see you and others adamantly defending Rowan while ignoring the personal attacks, and that speaks volumes.

I’ll leave you with Rowan’s last words in his post to me and ask YOU to answer the question:

Why is my calling out tim or telling you to go fuck yourself hate speech?

Ahh, the irony. Yes, how is attacking Tim just as he predicted, and telling people to go fuck themselves because you disagree with their views on language, attacking my family members as pedophilic enablers considered Hate Speech. Well, I WONDER!

Rowan Bristol
August 18th, 2012 | LINK

I do. Actively.

Your aunt enables an organization that treats child rape as class privilege. I know. At Loyola academy, where I attended, the president of the school utilized both a safehouse for troubled youth and a pre-fraternity social club as a tool for grooming his sexual exploits. For this, he was allowed to stay at the school from the 60’s until 1990, when the first hints of legal action were to be taken. He then ‘graduated’ from the high school to the university, where he was on the board for disciplining sexual offenders. He was part of the same religious order that would send pedophile members to native outposts in Alaska, so they could abuse people that weren’t white.

Look up Larry Reuter and the Jesuits, if you like. Keep in mind that the money that went to defend Larry and other members came from lay people. The institutional structure that kept him abusing my classmates was managed and paid for by lay people. Every single catholic that contributes to the catholic church ultimately finances and enables this activity, and its legal defense.

This is the truth.

If you believe the truth is hate, we have a difference. We’ve already proven time and again that you’re willing to lie to get your way. And that you’re unwilling to leave when you say you’re done.

I’m a hater, but your aunt enables rapists. Congratulations.

Richard Rush
August 18th, 2012 | LINK

Robert, your comments would be much easier to follow if you remembered to use “quotation marks” when you’re quoting people.

Robert
August 18th, 2012 | LINK

Thanks for the advice Richard, I’ll keep it in mind. My typing skills are a little rusty and I sometimes forget. :)

John
August 19th, 2012 | LINK

Thanks Rowan for so eloquently demonstrating the false equivalence between their rhetoric and ours.

And thanks everyone else for proving that Timothy’s fears were unfounded by so quickly denouncing in no uncertain terms those on our side who even hint at dehumanizing our opponents. Well done! Why can’t just even one person on their side do the same?

And for those thinking that we should be better than our opponents (Robert), thanks for sabotaging our efforts and setting an impossible barrier to equality. Even straights convicted of the most foul crimes imaginable do not lose their right to marry, for example. Even if we were to a person worse than they, we would still deserve equal rights. We will win because we’re right, not because we’re better.

Robert
August 19th, 2012 | LINK

John, I have been working on Marriage Equality for twenty years, first with Civil Unions and then with Domestic Partnerships until we finally started getting Marriage Rights. I have also been a volunteer in AIDS organizations since 1989, and have done a LOT of work for and in our Community, and believe I have a right to express how I feel about the language we use.

I hardly think a discussion on the WORDS we use is setting an impossible barrier to our goals. And yes, we will win becasue we are right, but in the climate we are in, in order to sway public opinion, we DO have to be better than our foes. I also don’t have any idea how you equate what language we use in our struggle with losing the right to marry, I doubt that because we are articulate, responsible and respectful that that will move people against us. Quite the contrary, discussing the issues in a respectful manner has gotten us more support than calling people hateful names.

And Again, I don’t disagree with labeling Hate Organizations as such, I simply believe that when we adopt the language of those we disagree with, it does us more damage than good.

Pretty harsh words because I choose to express my view on a subject that came up on a blog. I don’t DEMAND that anyone follow my advice. You and everyone else are free to ignore it. I voiced my opinion and I believe what I stated, and I live my life that way. That’s all I think any of us can do, is live the way we believe we should.

I never once said to give up the fight, I never once said to cowtow, I never once said we were not deserving of Equal rights. I don’t see why a few of you are upset because I felt the language we use is sometimes just as nasty as that used agianst us. If you were honest, you’d admit the language gets ugly, like calling my Aunt a rapist enabler. That’s a sure way to convince someone to stand up and support our rights. And until the government actually does the right thing, that’s the only way we are going to get them.

I’m married, and live in a state that recognizes my marriage. For all intents and purposes, I’ve got mine and could walk away not caring if you got yours, but I don’t. I keep donating, writing letters, speaking up and doing the right thing. It’s shameful to say I stand in the way of our equality.

John
August 19th, 2012 | LINK

Robert said, “WE HAVE TO BE BETTER THAN THEM, or we lose.” ” We Do have to be better than our foes.”

Asking us to be better sets an impossible condition for winning our rights. We are just as human as they, no better, no worse. Asking us to be different from them by being better to get the same rights makes it impossible for us to gain our rights. Am I clear yet?

And shouting like that seems pretty demanding to me.

“I also don’t have any idea how you equate what language we use in our struggle with losing the right to marry…”
Because I didn’t. Please read more carefully. By being worse than us they do not lose their rights, so why should we lose rights if we are worse than they are?

“It’s shameful to say I stand in the way of our equality.” Now you’re using their tactic of shaming.

And I’ve been doing this work a lot longer than you in a place where we’ve won a lot more rights than you have. Don’t try and teach your elders how to suck eggs.

Robert
August 19th, 2012 | LINK

John, first, the Original Civil Rights movement was predicated on the behavior and attitutde of the protesters being BETTER than those they were protesting. That is what I am saying, and was saying. That we are the ones fighting for our rights against people who don’t think we should have them, and in doing so, we DO have to be better than them. We have to present ourselves better than they do, we have to articulate our arguments better than they do, we have to treat them better than they treat us. That is pretty much how most Civil Rights stategies have been formed. I doubt Martin Luther King would have gotten far if he’d have started personally insulting people.

And no, I’m using my own feelings when I say it’s shameful to tell an individual who has worked for their rights and the rights of others all their adult life that they are standing in the way of your rights. I personally would feel ashamed if I laid that accusation on you or anyone else for expressing their view on a subject on a blog.

No, you are no clearer in your explanation than you were in the original post. You talk about us losing rights, but we haven’t. We haven’t been granted them or have had them recognized Nationally. So, the idea that I believe we need to be (maybe COMPORT would be a better term?) better than them to get where we need to go isn’t placing any barriers at all.

As for the work I have contributed, it was NOT an effort to teach you to suck eggs, it was a defense when someone tells me that I am the one standing in the way of our rights. As for you being older than me? I have no idea what age you are, nor you me. Don’t make the assumptions. I didn’t list ALL my efforts, just enough to explain why I disagreed with your assumptions.

Sorry about the caps, they are not intended to be yelling, I do not, unfortuantely know how to do italics and bold on this blog, and as such type the words I would have italicized or made bold in caps.

Robert
August 19th, 2012 | LINK

John, I do have to ask, are you in canada or another fully inclusive Country? I only ask because you say you live somewhere with a lot more rights than I have. I’d be curious to know, as I live in a state with full Marriage Rights and recognitions and Employment non-discrimination rights. Unless you live outside the US, you couldn’t possibly live somewhere with more rights than I currently enjoy.

The Lauderdale
August 21st, 2012 | LINK

“We are tolerant. Those who oppose gay rights come from many different points of view, as do those who support equality for gays, lesbians and bisexuals. It doesn’t matter if you’re Republicans or Democrat; liberal or conservative; Christians, Jew, Muslim or Buddhists; or even agnostic or atheist. Gays and lesbians are members of each of these groups, as are those who oppose equal rights for gays and lesbians. That’s why we must remember that group leaders are unable to speak for all members of their group, nor can every member of a group be held accountable for the actions of every other member of the group. Consequently, we will not denigrate anyone’s religious beliefs or political affiliation based on the actions of individuals in a given religious or political organization.
We are civil. We speak, and we listen. We consider other points of view, and we formulate our arguments with respect to those points of view. We will acknowledge when opposing arguments are valid, and we will point out errors of fact where we find them. We will carefully characterize opposing positions without putting words in anyone’s mouth. We don’t shout, we don’t use straw-man arguments, and we don’t toss the term “homophobic” around carelessly, which happens all too often. We will refrain from facile moral equivalency arguments. We recognize that the best atmosphere for debate is one in which emotions do not get in the way.”

Points 2 and 3 from the Box Turtle Bulletin mission page.

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