Gay Lobby Prevents Tebow from Endorsing Anti-gay, Anti-Catholic, Anti-Judaism, Anti-Mormon Pastor. How Dare We??

Rob Tisinai

February 22nd, 2013

Quarterback Tim Tebow recently cancelled an appearance at the opening of Robert Jeffress’ $115 million church after finding out about Jeffress’ controversial reputation.

The good pastor has spoken out against:

and, of course,

Of course, while Jeffress is merely exercising his religious freedom, any attempt to disagree with him is an attack on that freedom:

Denny Burk, a cultural commentator and professor at Boyce College in Louisville, Ken., said Tebow’s decision is a significant event for the nation’s Christian community and could serve as a troubling bellwether.

“This moment will appear to many as another marker of Christianity’s cultural marginalization,” he wrote on his website. “In the broad tolerance of views in our public discourse, who’s in and who’s out? What voices are allowed in the cacophony that is American democracy? Which voices should be excluded? Christian voices have long been a part of the din but moments like these make it seem like those days are coming to an end.”

Pass the smelling salts! I’ll need them when I stop laughing. Apparently disagreeing with Jeffress, deciding not to associate with him, suggesting that others rethink their association with him, is an assault on Jeffress’ liberty — wait, no, that’s not right — is an assault on Christianity itself and American democracy along with it.

See, it’s fine to call someone a Satanic, heretical pervert from the pit of Hell, but if your target calls you a bigot in reply then you get to be all, OMG, Can you believe what he just said??

I actually got into a twitter battle with Super-Anti-Gay Peter Labarbera over this. Frankly I stumbled badly at first. I’m a big opponent of measures that stifle freedom of speech. I’m horrified by European hate speech laws and I’m against  the notion that some ideas are too egregious even to be debated:

For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it. [Thomas Jefferson]

I stand by that, but in this case it led me down the wrong track, when Labarbera invoked the Gay Thought Police. My basic error? Letting my opponent set the terms of the debate. I forgot this:

When debating someone, you don’t have to respond to the words they’ve chosen. You don’t always have to offer a point-by-point rebuttal. Sometimes the best thing is to offer an alternative perspective, one that renders your opponents’ words obsolete.

That’s a hard lesson for me because you know how I love my point-by-point rebuttals. But twitter 140-character limit forced meto change strategy. After stumbling about offering hypothetical reasons why the Gay Lobby might not have been the main pressure on Tebow, I got a reply from LaBarbera saying, “Who started the campaign? It was the Gay Lobby. Own it.”  And I thought…

Why not?

All that would mean is the Gay Lobby prevented Tebow from endorsing an anti-gay, anti-Catholic, anti-Judaism, anti-Mormon bigot. It would mean Catholics, Jews, and Mormons should thank us, and Tebow should be grateful, too. It would mean we’re doing God’s work. And I said so.

Peter LaBarbera stopped responding after that.

Some of you may be thinking, “Well, DUH, Rob.” But this was a good experience for me. I can get so wrapped up in the minutiae of a debate that I forget to step back and wonder if we’re even talking about the right thing. I forget to touch base with the basic principles that led me into the debate in the first place.

Of course, before I congratulate myself too hard, I have to remember I was arguing with Peter LaBarbera, and that presents all the challenge of trying to overpower an elderly squirrel.

If you’re curious, the tweet sequence is after the jump.












February 22nd, 2013

Rule One: never let the “Christians” frame the debate. They have to be forced to acknowledge that other legitimate viewpoints exist. Of course, most of the time, they do what LaBarbara did — they bail.

Point, set and match.

Priya Lynn

February 22nd, 2013

“When debating someone, you don’t have to respond to the words they’ve chosen. You don’t always have to offer a point-by-point rebuttal. Sometimes the best thing is to offer an alternative perspective, one that renders your opponents’ words obsolete.

That’s a hard lesson for me because you know how I love my point-by-point rebuttals.”.

I sometimes have the same problem. I started out having a debate with Scott Lively over morality. I countered him perfectly at first and then asked him a series of questions on the topic. He responed saying “Its very easy to answer those questions.” but didn’t do so and instead changed the subject to the Nazi party supposedly being made up of gays. I responded to his argumenst point by point and then repeated my questions on morality. He just ignored them again and again and kept changing the topic back to “the nazis were all gays” and eventually I said “Either you respond to my questions as I have to yours or the “conversation” is over. He of course ignored my questions one more time and continued to rant about Nazis being gays and that was the end of it.

Should I have just ignored his off-topic Nazi/gay rants and repeatedly replied only with my questions on morality?

Lindoro Almaviva

February 22nd, 2013

Peter LaBarbera gets pwned in 140 characters or less.


February 22nd, 2013

The hard part, whether dealing with attention-seeking whackjobs or attention seeking children (and it can be hard to distinguish between the two sometimes) is deciding at what point you starve the beast.

On the one hand, if you feed the beast, it reinforces and reinvigorates them. They get off on it. (And if we’re being honest, to a certain degree we do to, even though we have reason to believe, for the most part, we’re engaged in justifiable parenting… I mean corrective argumentation).

On the other hand, if you don’t stand up and speak, you may wind up allowing a temper-tantrum to result in real damage as arms, legs, and arguments flail.

More relevant to our community, you run the risk of apparent tacit approval through silence. And we know through hard experience what silence equals.

And, like I said, we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t relish a little righteousness of our own – and that’s our cross to bear, and it’s what makes it all so tricky – when to stop arguing and let them cry it out all by themselves in the corner.

IMHO, a lot of folks here put a little too much stock in the Labarberas and Livelys of the world. I say that knowing full well that sometimes we turn our back on them for two minutes and they rile up an entire region of Africa to hunt down gay people like it’s pheasant season. It’s a tough call – draw attention to them to discredit them, or ignore them so no one will know who they are.

In my experience, Rob, you seem to get a solid B+, so I’m inclined to say “trust your judgment and go forth”. Priya, you’re a little too much like me. To both of us I’m inclined to say “sleep on it before hitting post” sometimes. Either way, though… I’m glad we’re all here. Someone needs to keep an eye on the kids…. err I mean whackjobs. And, let’s admit it, it’s a little fun.

Timothy Kincaid

February 22nd, 2013

The Peter is praising Jesus that he fought against the evils of The Deceiver. And just as soon as God reveals the best way to respond, he’ll be right back at you with the perfect rebuttal.

Unless God places something much much more important in this path. Like, I dunno, researching just how many porno movies were released this year with “leather” in the title. But something really really important.

It’s not that he ran from the debate at all and don’t you forget it. It’s just that God has him doing more important things. Much more important things.

Hmmmm… maybe he should expand it to all pornos that have a man in leather on the cover.


February 22nd, 2013


“The hard part, whether dealing with attention-seeking whackjobs or attention seeking children (and it can be hard to distinguish between the two sometimes) is deciding at what point you starve the beast.”

Immediately. Don’t even let them get to first base.

Ben In Oakland

February 22nd, 2013

We gay people are just so powerful. And mean. And strong. We can convince the Boy Scouts that sodomizing Cub Scouts is a good idea, allrighty.

Why, just the other day, i saw Teboy on the street. This 62 year old man walked up to this 25 year old, 6’3, 236 pound man, and said,

“Teboy, you better not talk to that church. Because if you do, I’m going to pound your face into rubble. I will destroy your career. I will ridicule you in the press everywhere.”

That pus**yboy was so frightened that he got down on one knee, put his hand to his forehead and capitulated on the spot. I was going to make him foreswear his Christianity and worship Cthulhu, but Cthulhu said I had to have pity on that pu**yboy.

Why is that a certain class of so-called Christians need to believe they are persecuted? Oh yes. Because it’s for “my name’s sake.” and being Jesus’s BFF is almsot as good as being Jesus yourself, without having to do all that humility and forgiveness stuff.

so annoying. Next up: my secret cabal in the catholic Church will force Benny the Rat to resign.

I’ll get you, my pretty. and your little altar boy, too.


February 22nd, 2013

I’m of a different belief. Sometimes you do have to challenge them point by point but to me, it’s all about putting them on the defensive. LaBarbera used to bother me on twitter and email but has stopped as well as blocked me on twitter because I would put him on the defensive by challenging his “Christian” beliefs in lieu of some of his claims about gays and tactics he engages in. You can let them frame the argument, but then take the frame from them.


February 23rd, 2013

I don’t think it’s a good idea to accept their assumptions — I don’t see giving them the home team advantage, at all. Demolish their assumptions, first. Then, if there’s anything left, go point by point.

William O'Donnell

February 24th, 2013

I agree with Hunter. They must be demolished at the core of their assumptions.

Peter Labarera spews, obfuscates, and misrepresents the work of a pantheon of evangelical theologians, who misrepresent science daily and think they have the intellect to represent science correctly.

I really have to be updated. Per the above and twitter, Peter Labarbera states:

“Tim Tebow now joins pantheon of celebrities who’ve cowered before the Homosexual Lobby. Very sad that he threw Jeffres under the bus.”

This is a laughable statement. If Tim Tebow cowers to any “lobby” it is his fault, not the fault of homosexuals.”

I have done a number of Internet seaches. I have found no direct evidence that Tim Tebow “cowered” to any lobby.

Peter Labarbera makes up shit on a daily basis.

We shall thank BTB and TWO (Truth Wins Out) for being vocal.

Labarera in his rhetoric uses superlatives at every chance he gets – he has no history of language arts – and rewords the work of theologians in a dumbed-down way, misrepresenting his education.

I have no doubt that Pete L, a minion of R. Gagnon,who states such things as the “immutability of race and skin color.” What? The Jesus people eschew science, investigation, and inquiry daily.

Genetics is a very hard study – it does require a working knowledge of Algebra.

As a student of evolutionary biology, I do stand with Richard Dawkins in that there is no such thing as immutability of race and skin color.

Skin color has been mutable since the emergence of australopithecus afarensis, and the ancestry walked with the shifting sands of time. Genetics (color of skin) can be reversed when the need arises.

Labarbera and Gagnon are idiots. They only have one looking glass, pointed into a past that they relish but cannot claim.

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