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Posts for April, 2012

The Daily Agenda for Tuesday, April 24

Jim Burroway

April 24th, 2012

TODAY’S AGENDA:
College Republicans Host Bradlee Dean to Speak: St. Cloud, MN. Bradlee Dean, whose You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Ministry is a one-man SPLC certified hate group, was invited by the College Republicans chapter at St. Cloud State College to speak today. The firebrand self-styled hard rock pastor once said that Muslims were more moral than Christians because Muslims don’t shy away from calling for the execution of gay people. The invite from St. Cloud’s College Republicans have drawn fire from the state GOP, with state party executive director Ben Zierke warning that if they go through with the event, they better not plan on any future jobs with the state GOP in the future:

“Sometimes young people need to have better judgment in who they invite to things under the Republican banner,” said Minnesota Republican Party chair Pat Shortridge. “If you are going to do dumb things, and not take the advice of the state college Republicans and the state chairman of the Republican party, it might have some consequences.”

But Abbey Gooch, chair of the St. Cloud College Republicans, is not backing down because, she said, Dean has been “so nice to us”:

“I have been praying and praying and praying and just saying lord I don’t know what to do any more,” she said. But she said they are going to go forward.  “I am sticking with my guns and going through with it.”

So it looks like it’s game on, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Richie Auditorium.

TODAY IN HISTORY:
University of South Florida President Denies Hiring Homosexuals: 1963. Dr. John Allen, president of the University of South Florida, strongly denied charges that the school “harbored homosexuals” on its faculty. He also denied that the school was “soft on communism,” was anti-religious or that controversial writings by “‘beatnik’ authors was typical of literature found in the school’s reading program.

All of those charges were levied against USF and other Florida state colleges and institutions by the Johns Committee, Florida’s version of the McCarthy Red and Lavender Scares in Washington. Named for its first chairman, state Senator and former Governor Charley Johns, the Johns committee was established in 1956 to investigate so-called communist links to the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In 1957, the Florida legislature broadened the committee’s mandate to investigate gays in the state’s colleges and universities, and reiterated that mandate again in 1961. Florida’s leaders of higher education proved eager to demonstrate that Florida’s sons and daughters were safe in their institutions, with many throwing their campuses open to heavy-handed investigators calling individual students and teachers out of class for interrogations. The results of those investigations were made public in a report in 1963, in which Johns claimed credit for “flush(ing) 71 homosexual public school teachers and 30 homosexual deans and professors of universities.” Dr. Allen responded, quite forcefully, that his school was certainly not infested with homosexuals. The committee, he pointed out, established only one clear case of a gay teacher among the entire 500 person-staff, which was only “one-fifth of one per cent,” as he put it. That person resigned immediately. Charges had been levied against two others which could not be supported, and reports indicated that they “later left the university for other reasons.”

New Orleans Police Institutes Massive Gay Roundup: 1981. In a 1982 article published in the Columbia Journalism Review, Randsell Pierson wrote a very informative piece wondering aloud, “Can the Straight Press get the gay story right?” Pierson had interviewed several closeted gay reporters at the New Orleans Times-Picayune who all said that they feared pitching gay-related stories to their editors for fear of being identified as gay. It was that silence, Pierson said, which helped to explain why homosexuality was still illegal in 25 states and the District of Columbia. Lapses in coverage of gay issues was surprising, and among the many examples that Pierson offered up was this one:

Over a period of three days on the weekend of April 24, 1981, New Orleans police rounded up and jailed more than 100 gay men and women in a series of raids in the French Quarter. Those arrested were charged with “obstructing sidewalks” in front of gay bars. The arrests prompted a vigorous political response from the local gay community, which charged that the police were trying to drive gays out of the French Quarter. A protest meeting attended by 700 gays helped to persuade Mayor Ernest Morial and Police Chief Henry Morris to promise to investigate charges of police harassment. All charges against the arrested gays were subsequently dropped.

Two of the city’s three television stations — WDSU (NBC) and WVUE )ABC) — followed the breaking story and sent film crews to the protest meeting held on the Tuesday following the weekend arrests. The Times-Picayine/States-Item waited five days after the first arrests to report on the story. The account, buried in section 5, said nothing about the protest meeting, which would seem to have been the logical peg, and failed to include in its tally the arrests a group of thirty-nine gay men picked up the previous Sunday. Reporter Allan Katz, who wrote the story, says: “They wanted somebody to do something in a hurry. You would think that because the story was four days old before they assigned it to a reporter they didn’t consider it a major story. About the only time in my experience we really try to relate to gay news is when something really controversial comes up.” Apparently, the arrest of more than 100 men and women in a city not under martial law was not considered “really controversial.”

[From Randsell Pierson's "Uptight on Gay News: Can the Straight Press Get the Gay Story Straight? Is Anyone Even Trying?" Chapter 59 in Larry Gross & James D. Woods (eds.) The Columbia Reader on Lesbians & Gay Men in Media, Society, & Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999): 368-376]

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?

The Eleven New Additions to the SPLC’s Anti-Gay Hate Groups List

Jim Burroway

March 8th, 2012

The revision came out this morning, but at the time I didn’t know who was new and who wasn’t among the now 26 hate anti-gay hate groups. Based on this cache from archive.org, these are the additions:

  • United Families International, Gilbert, AZ. (Carol Soelberg)
  • Save California, Sacramento, CA. (Randy Thomasson)
  • SonsOfThundr / Faith Baptist Church, Primrose, GA (Billy and Sandra Ball)
  • You Can Run, But You Cannot Hide, Annandale, MN (Bradlee Dean)
  • Parents Action League, Champlin, MN (Note, this is the group that fought anti-bullying programs at the Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District)
  • Jewish Political Action Committee, Brooklyn, NY.
  • Windsor Hills Baptist Church, Oklahoma City (Tom Vinyard)
  • Misson: America, Columbus, OH (Linda Harvey)
  • True Light Pentecost Church, Spartanburg, SC (H. Walker)
  • Tom Brown Ministries, El Paso, TX.
  • Public Advocate of the United States, Falls Church, VA (Eugene Delgaudio)

The San Diego-based Biblical Family Associates is no longer on the list this year. It appears to be inactive. Sandy, Utah-based America Forever has also been dropped after reportedly disbanding in 2010.

SPLC: Number of Hate Groups Rise in 2011

Jim Burroway

March 8th, 2012

[NOTE: In the post below, I mistakenly identified Sharon Slater with being affiliated with United Families International. I've been informed that she was "booted out" in 2006 and is no longer with the group. She is currently with Family Watch International, which is a UN accredited organization, as is UFI. While Sharon Slater does support countries which seek to impose the death penalty for LGBT people, I am not aware that UFI has such a position. My apologies for the misidentification.]

The Southern Poverty Law Center issued an update to their listing of hate groups being tracked across the U.S. According to their report:

The growth was fueled by superheated fears generated by economic dislocation, a proliferation of demonizing conspiracy theories, the changing racial makeup of America, and the prospect of four more years under a black president who many on the far right view as an enemy to their country.

The number of hate groups counted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) last year reached a total of 1,018, up slightly from the year before but continuing a trend of significant growth that is now more than a decade old. The truly stunning growth came in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement — conspiracy-minded groups that see the federal government as their primary enemy.

The number of anti-gay hate groups has also risen from 17 to 27 26 in the last year. The SPLC doesn’t say which new ones were added, but as I look through the list, I’m seeing names that I don’t recall seeing before. For example, Arizona-based United Families International, headed by Sharon Slater, has made the cut. UFI, which is an accredited lobbying group for the United Nations, is on record as opposing the removal of the death penalty for homosexuality, a position that I have heard Slater defend in person as well as in her book. Another one is Bradlee Dean’s You Can Run But You Cannot Hide. You will recall that Dean, who has had close ties to Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN), spoke favorably of Muslims because Muslims call for the execution of gay people. Also making the list is Brooklyn-based Jewish Political Action Committee, which posted signs claiming that cases of child molestation “surged” immediately following New York’s enactment of marriage equality.

In 2010, the Family Research Council, American Family Association, and Peter LaBarbera were among those who were added to the SPLC’s list of anti-gay hate groups.

It takes a particular set of behaviors to land on the SPLC’s list of anti-gay hate groups. As the SPLC explained:

Generally, the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods – claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities – and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.

Bradlee Dean Discovers Running And Hiding

Jim Burroway

July 28th, 2011

Bradlee Dean, who spoke of his admiration for Muslims because of what he described as their commitment to uphold their religious laws calling for death to homosexuals, is now suing Rachel Maddow and the Minnesota Independent for, as far as I can tell, repeating verbatim what he said. Ordinarily, when someone files a lawsuit like this, one would generally want to correct the injustice one believes was done to him and make his views known, but so Dean has ditched interviews with Michelangelo Signorile, Newsweek, The Shannon Files, and even his own press conference. Dean calls his ministry You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, but it turns out that’s wrong. You really can do both.

Update: It turns out that when he does run, he runs to sympathetic extremist talk show hosts who will reliable throw softball questions and allow him to claim that all he’s doing is protectiong the children:

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Anti-Gay Extremist Sues Rachel Maddow for Quoting Him

Jim Burroway

July 27th, 2011

Minnesota extremist Bradlee Dean, who spoke favorably of Muslims because Muslims call for the execution of gay people, is suing MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow for playing his quotes over the air. That’s the only reason I can think of for his suing her. That and her deep pockets; he’s suing for $50 million.

According to a press release from Dean’s attorney:

In the course of his ministry, Dean once made a statement on radio criticizing his fellow Christians for not taking a stronger stand about the gay rights lobby promoting homosexuality in the schools. He made a strong reference to Muslims taking the issue more seriously in the context of Shariah law, but did not condone their practices. It was Bradlee’s intent to focus attention on the issue, not to advocate harm to anyone.

Despite the very clear disclaimer by Bradlee Dean on his ministries website and elsewhere regarding the false accusation that he was calling for the execution of homosexuals, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and others seized on and accused Dean on her show of supporting the killing of homosexuals, as is the practice in some radical Islamic countries. This seriously has harmed Dean and the ministry, who pride themselves on respect and love for all people.

Here’s the clip that Dean is upset about, in which Dean clearly shows his respect and love for all people:

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Actually, Maddow’s comment is rather minimal. She basically let Dean do the talking, although she did read Dean’s disclaimer. It’s a sad commentary on the integrity of those who claim to proclaim the “truth” when all you have to do to be called a liar is to play a recording of their own words. Just replay his tape, and you’ve engaged in a “malicious attack” on Dean:

This explains the malicious attacks on Bradlee Dean and his ministry, which are being used to harm the presidential campaign of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who is a conservative Christian.

In the past, Dean and his ministry have been complemented by presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (who prayed for the ministry) for their work in promoting values for the nation’s youth. The left wing media’s effort to defame Dean is an obvious way to try to harm Bachmann’s presidential prospects, who they fear and despise. Other left wing media outlets have followed MSNBC and Maddow in their slanderous efforts. This suit may just be the first in a series of cases meant to protect the fine reputation of Dean and his ministry.

You can hear Dean’s full remarks and judge his reputation for yourself here:

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And here’s his defense here, if you care to hear it. In essence, he’s upset that we’re not all thanking him.

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Update: The Dump Bachmann Blog has more:

“Justice is coming in Jesus’ name,” he says. Thank you Bradlee.

Minnesota House Passes Marriage Ban

Jim Burroway

May 22nd, 2011

The Minnesota House, after a long debate that went late into Saturday night, the Minnesota House has approved a measure to write discrimination into the state’s constitution by a vote of 70-62. Four Republicans voted no, while two Democrats supported the measure. Same-sex marriage is already illegal in Minnesota, with that precedent established nearly forty years ago. This measure, which goes before Minnesota’s voters in 2012, would make marriage equality even more illegaller in the state.

The vote comes on the heals of an acrimonious controversy on Friday when Bradlee Dean, of the “You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Ministry, gave the opening prayer in which he contended, during the prayer, that President Barack Obama was not a Christian.

The Minnesota Independent notes that Dean is no stranger to outrageous statements :

The Minnesota Independent noted that Dean has a history of controversial remarks, “including advocating the incarceration of gays and lesbians, that the LGBT community is trying to usher in Sharia law in Minnesota, that gay men molest an average of 117 children “before they get caught,” and that Muslim nations that execute gays are more moral than American Christians.”

Dean is known to be close with Minnesota GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann. His prayer before the Minnesota House was so embarrassing to the Republican leadership that they delayed the scheduled debate on the marriage bill until late Saturday evening, when fewer people would be paying attention to the chamber’s proceedings. GOP leaders also rushed to apologize and distances themselves from Dean following outcry from Democratic legislators.

Harry Jackson: Marriage Equality “Is A Satanic Plot to Destroy Our Seed”

Jim Burroway

April 18th, 2011
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Via Right Wing Watch comes this audio of an interview between Bradlee Dean of the You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Ministry and Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., discussing his fight against marriage equality in Washington, DC.

Bradlee Dean: The bond that men have when they are persecuted for rightesousness’ sake, those are brothers. And it doesn’t matter what color. We’re all one blood. What I like about what’s going on here with you is you’re the one taking the forefront on the gay issue here, you’re reaping it from let me say the wicked, let me say from those that want to overthrow righteousness, overthrow law. This is the homosexual agenda that’s going on in D.C. and the capital of the United States right now from some of these people…

Harry Jackson: They’re playing hardball…

Dean: They are, big time.

Jackson: I’m an African-American, and I especially believe that what we’re dealing with is a satanic plot to destroy our seed. I think that where we are now is that there is an issue of justice that is being perverted, and we have a minority group, in a sense, that has decided that they are going to impose their will on the culture and…

Dean: By force

Jackson: … by force, and redefine God’s law and not care whether a whole generation of people are so confused that they don’t even remember the role of a mother and a father. And men did not create the concept of femininity or masculinity. It is in the heart of God. Where we are is an interesting period of time. I believe that a great awakening is about to come forth…

Dean: Amen.

Jackson: …I believe you’re a part of it. I believe those who are hearing the sound of your voice are called to be revolutionaries that rise up and interact. We’re not going to take up guns in terms of fighting with those kind of weapons. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but are mighty through God to the pulling down the strongholds. We’re going to turn America around as we contend lawfully for our sacred rights.

According to Jackson, contending “lawfully” includes lying about where his legal residence is.