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Posts for March, 2012

Santorum’s Pastor Problem

Jim Burroway

March 20th, 2012
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I don’t care what the liberals say, I don’t care what the naysayers say, this nation was founded as a Christian nation! The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, there’s only one God! There’s only one God, and his name is Jesus! I’m tired of people telling my I can’t say those words. I’m tired of people telling us that as Christians we can’t force or beliefs, or we can no longer pray in public. I’m — Listen to me! If you don’t like… love American and you don’t like the way we do things, I got one thing to say. GET OUT! We don’t worship Buddha, we don’t Mohammed, we don’t woship Allah, we worship God. We worship God’s son, Jesus Christ.

…I believe the church is to be the conscience of the nation. The church needs to be the conscience of our state and our local community. Listen closely. Now hold on for just a moment. As long as they continue to kill little babies in our mother’s womb, somebody’s got to take a stand and say it’s not right! God be merciful to us as a nation. As long as sexual perversion is becoming normalized, somebody needs to stand up and say God forgives us, God have mercy upon us! As long as they continue to tell our children they cannot pray in public schools or pray in open public places today, somebody’s got to take a stand and say God forgive us, God have mercy upon us! As long as they continue to tear down traditional marriage… Listen! God intended for marriage to be between a man and a woman, and as long as they continue to attack marriage, somebody needs to take a stand and say NO! NO! NO! NO!

…I’m telling you my friend I believe the Christians in American are the key to revival. I believe that Christians in America is (sic) the key to the economy to turn it around. I believe that Christians in America is (sic) the key to the jobless rate continue (sic) to go down. I believe its a spiritual thing. If we would put God back in America, put God back in our pulpits, put God back in our homes and in our statehouse and then in Washington, D.C., then we can have revival in America! And the Holy Spirit will show up and great and mighty things will happen for this country!

The video closes with the camera on Sen. Rich Santorum, standing and clapping, after Greenwell Springs Baptist Church pastor Dennis Terry’s fiery speech yesterday calling on anyone who does not adhere to his particular brand of Christianity to leave the country so that they can finally establish their talibanic regime in the White House. Terry made those comments at a rally in Louisiana, which is the home of Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins. To tighten that circle just a little, Terry is also Perkins’s pastor, who was also on hand at the event.

If anyone wonders at the collapse of the so-called “Catholic vote” (I, for one, believe that Catholics never voted as a block to begin with), one only has to watch this video. Despite Santorum’s identification as a conservative Catholic, despite his reportedly attending Mass daily, what you see here is as alien — and as disturbing — to the majority of Catholics as it is to any other (yes, I’ll say it) ordinary American. Catholics have acquired a long history of shunning the pronouncements of the hierarchy on issues of private morality, and they have a much longer history of fearing the interference of government in religious affairs. Co-mingling the two are anathema to most Catholics in the pews, even as the Bishops have become increasingly politically active. That partly explains how Romney has been picking up most of the Catholic vote in recent contests.

At the rally’s close, Terry prayed over Santorum and asked God to “have favor upon Rick Santorum,” as Perkins stood next to them. When Jeremaiah Wright “goddamned” American, Obama was nowhere in sight, but he got the blowback anyway. Terry laid his hands on Santorum and — more relevant to our point here — Santorum obediently bowed his head for Terry’s blessing, nodding in agreement.

When pressed by reporters afterward, Santorum tried to half-heartedly back away from Terry’s comments that American “heretics” — and let’s be clear: that’s who Terry’s talking about — need to leave America. But the sad truth is, Santorum fully owns Terry and all of the other dominionists who would turn this nation into a theocratic Ameristan as the first opportunity. And to those who say that dominionism is a myth, all I have to say is that we have video proof of it right there, right at the top of this post. And one of them is running for President.

Ron Paul’s Easy Appeal Among Reconstructionists

Jim Burroway

December 28th, 2011

Warren Throckmorton seems to have found what may be the key to Ron Paul’s support among Christian Reconstructionists while also being spurned by Dominionists:

But back to (New Apostolic Reformation dominionists) vs. Christian reconstructionists; the focus of control is different. The NAR folks want to rule America as a Christian nation from the seat of centralized power in Washington DC. The Christian reconstructionists want to deconstruct central government in favor of state or local control of law. Bachmann and Perry promise to govern biblically and impose their view of Christian America on the nation. Paul promises to dismantle the federal government in favor of the states.

In fact, the Christian reconstructionists are afraid of the NAR dominionists. Recontructionist Joel McDurmon wants biblical law in place but he thinks the NAR approach is a dangerous power grab.

It’s notable that the most prominent pastor in Iowa to endorse Ron Paul (an endorsement featured on Paul’s web site) is Rev. Phil Kayser, who has deep reconstructionist (also known as theonomist) ties. At Biblical Blueprints, a reconstrucitonist web site, Kaiser posted a book (PDF: 4.1MB/60 pages) in which he justifies the death penalty for homosexuality:

(page 24): I should think that theonomists would be happy with this understanding of Biblical capital crimes since it is the Bible and the Bible alone that determines ethics.  But I would think that those who are concerned about how Biblical penology would apply in a pagan society and how it would dovetail with evangelism would be happy because Biblical penology beautifully dovetails with God’s program of the  Great Commission. There is no tension between Biblical law and the Great Commission. For example, in a society that was being converted, homosexuals could continue to be converted as they were in the church of Corinth. Even after a society implemented Biblical law and made homosexuality a crime, there are many checks and balances that would be in place. (See Appendix A page  40 for specifics.) The civil government could not round them up. Only those who were prosecuted by citizens could be punished, and the punishment could take a number of forms, including death. This would have a tendency of driving homosexuals back into their closets.

I think I have demonstrated how even capital punishment can be restorative.  Other aspects of penology such as restitution, indentured servitude, etc. are certainly restorative.

I should think that those who accuse Biblicists of a theology that would cause a holocaust should be happy since we advocate standing law, not the Herem principle, and since standing law could be implemented even in a society like ours without the need for massive bloodshed. After a few speedy executions of non-repentant criminals, others would think twice before despising God’s law.

Paul opposes Lawrence v. Texas because he thinks it infringes on states rights. Kayser likes the idea of states having the right to kill homosexuals, which neatly completes the circle to his support for Paul.

Later in the book, Kayser defends his support for capital punishment for gay people against the objection that his theonomist proposals would “lead to a bloodbath”:

(page 38): Objection 13 – “This would lead to a blood bath if we were to implement that law today because almost our entire nation is implicated in capital crimes.”

This objection is a mixture of pragmatism (we can’t do it) and emotional appeal (it would lead to a blood bath). But neither argument changes God’s definition of justice. Difficulty in implementing Biblical law does not make non-Biblical penology just. But as we have seen, while many homosexuals would be executed, the threat of capital punishment can be restorative.

What’s a few dead homosexuals in the greater scheme of things? And this is the man of whose endorsement Paul’s web site now brags. Along with Paul’s praise of the voter recall effort against state Supreme Court judges who ruled in favor of marriage equality, his opposition to Lawrence v. Texas, and the man who Paul selected to lead his Iowa campaign, suddenly those newsletters appear neither anachronistic nor anomalous. Ron Paul supporters have to ask themselves a really hard question: With his active courting of extremists like these, what kind of people do they think Paul will select for his administration?

Dominionism Is Not A Myth, Ctd.

Jim Burroway

November 14th, 2011

Yes, you can actually buy one of these so you can remind “both Americans and those abroad, of the Virtue that this Great Nation was founded on.”

Dominionism Is Not A Myth, Continued

Jim Burroway

October 11th, 2011

When concerns arose last August about the close ties that two GOP candidates for president, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, have with extreme elements of far-right Cristianism known as Dominionism, the reaction among the far-right was, incredibly, to complain that there was no such thing as Dominionism. They said that Dominionism was a myth made up by the “East Coast media elite,”, or that it’s just an artifact of “old anxieties among liberals about evangelical Christians.” Lisa Miller even claimed that because mainstream Evangelicals have never heard of Dominionism (and they probably haven’t) and that mainstream Evangelicals aren’t interested in taking over the political world (a point that’s arguable, but at least not in the sense that Dominionists would have it), then there is no such thing as Dominionism. Which is like saying that because mainstream white people don’t want to bring back Jim Crow, then that means there are no such thing as White Supremacists.

So I wonder how all of those naysayers will respond to Marsha West, whose post on the arguably small-d dominionist web site RenewAmerica warns that “Dominionists are on the move…and they mean business.” She’s a very conservative Evangelical Christian, and she seems about as alarmed over C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation as the rest of us.

Dominionism Is Not A Myth, Continued

Jim Burroway

September 8th, 2011

Evangelical Christian Warren Throckmorton has really taken this meme to heart, and he’s the only one I can think of who has. In his latest post on Crosswalk, Throckmorton takes fellow Evangelical opinion makers to task for developing mass amnesia with regard to the very real phenomenon of Christian Dominionism. And he has posted what amounts to a series of readings for Dominionism deniers on his own web site, and lays out why this new phenomenon matters:

The other issue for me is the erosion of the ability to dialogue with people of various viewpoints. The dominionists see their position as dictated by God. Thus, in a policy discussion, the dominionist can’t give up ground since it is holy. Opponents are not just incorrect, they are evil or as I quote in my article, one of the “enemies of God.” Who makes political deals with an enemy of God?

One can also substitute God for “patriotism” and make a damning indictment for the current state of political discourse as well, and I suspect that’s no accident. Dominionists aren’t alone among other Evangelicals more broadly who have conflated God with the Founding Fathers. So if questioning far right principles is heresy and makes one an enemy of God, questioning conservative orthodoxy today also makes one a traitor and an enemy of America. That’s how you reach the point where persistent accusations that the president is a secret Kenyan Muslim socialist hell-bent on destroying America with his terrorist pals is accepted as just another point of view by a major national “news” channel. Dominionists didn’t necessarily create that phenomenon, but they do dovetail quite nicely with the broader paranoia and self-anointing tendencies of the extreme right as keepers of pure American values. And it’s an extreme which is now becoming increasingly mainstream. That may explain why many voices on the political right can’t see Dominionists in their midst. They really don’t stand out anymore like they would have a decade ago.

Ugandan Health Minister Says Prayer Cures AIDS, Linked to American Dominionist Movements

Jim Burroway

September 2nd, 2011

Health Minister and pastor Christine Ondoa

Christine Joyce Dradidi Ondoa wears two hats. She is a pentecostal preacher at a Life Line Ministry in a Kampala, Uganda, suburb, and she is also the new Health Minister for the Ugandan government:

Asked if she expected to be named a minister, the Mount St. Mary’s Namagunga and Moyo SS alumna, said: “Yes and no”.

“Yes because I knew that I was always meant for good things and knew that God was preparing me for a big task. But I did not know that it was going to come this soon and at this time.”

Ondoa is not without qualifications. She is reportedly a trained pediatrician, and she served previously as the Executive Director of one of Uganda’s three national referral hospitals. However, as Bruce Wilson discovered at Talk To Action, she has some decidedly unorthodox medical opinions. According to the Ugandan news magazine The Observer:

The newly appointed health minister, Dr Christine Ondoa Dradidi, has told The Observer that prayer heals HIV/AIDS, and that she knows three people who were once positive but turned negative after prayer for deliverance.

She, however, said medical workers and the general public should be cautious about people who claim they were healed of HIV.

“I am sure and I have evidence that someone who was positive turned negative after prayers,” Ondoa told The Observer on last week, promising to ask colleagues in Arua hospital, where she once worked, to find the relevant documentation.

As pastor, at Life Line Ministries, she works under the direction of apostle Julius Peter Oyet, who is one of the most influential evangelical leaders in Uganda you’ve never heard of. Oyet was present in the gallery when the Ugandan Parliament first considered the introduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in 2009, and he has been very open about his belief that homosexuality should be a capital offense. Oyet, who is also President of the Ugandan branch of the U.S.-based College of Prayer (or COP, which itself is a ministry of Rev. Fred Hartley’s Lilburn Alliance Church in Atlanta), was made a member of M.P. David Bahati’s staff to lobby Parliament for the bill’s passage. While Bahati is the bill’s author and sponsor, Oyet played a crucial role in its drafting. He reportedly told a documentary filmmaker:

I was there. Id have been part of the brains behind it. We worked on it. We planned who should propose it. It is the Ugandan’s bill. It is the culture of Uganda to keep purity. It is everybody’s voice. I worked with Bahati on this.

Wilson, who was among the first to raise the alarm over role played by the particular branches of Dominionism — you know, the thing that’s supposedly a myth — known as the New Apostolic Reformation and the so-called Seven Mountains Mandate in propelling the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill into Uganda’s Parliament, has effectively connected the dots between Ondoa and Oyet, to U.S. evangelical groups headed by Fred Hartley, III and C. Peter Wagner. Wilson points out that one key rhetorical hallmark of these groups is that they refer to homosexuality as a manifestation of “Baal worship.” Wilson also reports that two weeks after the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced in Uganda’s Parliament in October, 2009, Hartley led a two day COP training session in Uganda to “mentor” Bahati and fifty other members of Parliament. Wilson’s report has many more details on the entire movement, tracing its inspiration from Christian Reconstructionist R.J. Rushdoony and Gary North, who advocated bringing back the Old Testament as the basis for civil law, including the mandate to kill gay people.

What Would Dominionists Do With Gays?

Jim Burroway

August 31st, 2011

Warren Throckmorton answers that question as he dives deep into the different flavors of Dominionism and comes up with many different answers, none of them good. Some are, as he puts it, “squeamish about ‘severe sanctions’ like death.” But others, not so much. It’s an excellent breakdown. You will want to keep this link handy.

Dominionism Is Not A Myth, Continued

Jim Burroway

August 25th, 2011

Last Sunday, I posted my reaction to an incredibly ill-informed op-ed on The Daily Beast by A. Larry Ross claiming that, despite all evidence to the contrary, there is no such thing as Christian Dominionism. It was all a myth, he claimed, made up by  the “East Coast media elite.” While Ross’s op-ed was grossly misinformed, Ross himself is not. His is, in fact, an Evangelical publicist whose client list includes such heavy hitters as Rev. Billy Graham, Rick Warren, and T.D. Jakes. None of those Evangelical clients hew to the particular definitional theologies of Dominionism, although some of them — Rod Parsely, for example — might be said at least to have some Dominion-ish tendencies, and another — Rick Warren — was taught by a Dominionist teacher (Warren denies having had any contact with theologian Peter Wagner since his seminary days).

It would appear that a few folks had a conference call and decided to plant the Dominionism-is-a-myth bug in more than one outlet. A few days before Ross’s piece appeared in the Daily Beast, Lisa Miller wrote a very similar piece for The Washington Post. Like Ross, Miller claimed that concerns over the Dominionist leanings of some GOP candidates and their advisers was exactly the same thing as being paranoid about Evangelicals overall — despite the fact that only a very tiny minority of Evangelicals hold Dominionist views. Critics can tell the difference between mainstream Evangelicalism and Dominionism, but Miller pretends that the word Dominionism is just a pejorative for mainstream Evangelicalism. And to drive the point home, she even puts “Dominionism” in scare quotes:

One piece connects Texas Gov. Rick Perry with a previously unknown Christian group called “The New Apostolic Reformation,” whose main objective is to “infiltrate government.” Another highlights whacko-sounding Christian influences on Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. A third cautions readers to be afraid, very afraid, of “dominionists.”

The stories raise real concerns about the world views of two prospective Republican nominees. But their echo-chamber effect reignites old anxieties among liberals about evangelical Christians. Some on the left seem suspicious that a firm belief in Jesus equals a desire to take over the world. … As Rachel Maddow so sarcastically said of the New Apostolic Reformation on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Aug. 10 : “Their goal, world domination, blah blah blah.”

Miller emphasizes that mainstream Evangelicals do not want to take over the political world, that mainstream Evangelicals aren’t of one mind, and mainstream Evangelicals aren’t militant. Fine, but a small minority known as Dominionists do and are. And to pretend that Dominionists don’t exist is like saying that since mainstream white people don’t want to bring back Jim Crow, then it follows that “racists” don’t exist and the word belongs in scare quotes. That kind of reasoning is patently absurd.

Rachel Tabachnick, who researchers the political impact of the religious right, appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross on Wednesday. She gave a very succinct description of one version of Dominionist theology promulgated by a movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR):

Tabachnick says the movement currently works with a variety of politicians and has a presence in all 50 states. It also has very strong opinions about the direction it wants the country to take. For the past several years, she says, the NAR has run a campaign to reclaim what it calls the “seven mountains of culture” from demonic influence. The “mountains” are arts and entertainment; business; family; government; media; religion; and education.

“They teach quite literally that these ‘mountains’ have fallen under the control of demonic influences in society,” says Tabachnick. “And therefore, they must reclaim them for God in order to bring about the kingdom of God on Earth. … The apostles teach what’s called ‘strategic level spiritual warfare’ [because they believe that the] reason why there is sin and corruption and poverty on the Earth is because the Earth is controlled by a hierarchy of demons under the authority of Satan. So they teach not just evangelizing souls one by one, as we’re accustomed to hearing about. They teach that they will go into a geographic region or a people group and conduct spiritual-warfare activities in order to remove the demons from the entire population. This is what they’re doing that’s quite fundamentally different than other evangelical groups.”

Get that? This is fundamentally different than other evangelical groups. And Tabachnick’s background allows her to tell the difference:

Tabachnick, who has been researching and writing about the apostles for a decade, says her own religious background has helped her with her research. She grew up as a Southern Baptist and converted to Judaism as an adult.

“Having the Southern Baptist background and growing up in the Deep South has helped me to be able to do this research and has also helped me realize something that might not be apparent to some other people looking at the movement,” she says. “This is quite radically different than the evangelicalism of my youth. The things that we’ve been talking about are not representative of evangelicalism. They’re not representative of conservative evangelicalism. So I think that’s important to keep in mind. This is a movement that’s growing in popularity, and one of the ways they’ve been able to do that [is because] they’re not very identifiable to most people. They’re just presented as nondenominational or just Christian — but it is an identifiable movement now with an identifiable ideology.”

A Bachmann Staffer’s Dominionist Worldview, Gun-Running Charges, and Ties To Ugandan “Kill-The-Gays” Pastor

Jim Burroway

August 17th, 2011

"The Bible represents the absolute source for the guiding principles and precepts for all governments": Peter E. Waldron

A close associate of Rep. Michele Bachmann who believes that the Congresswoman is fighting for the presidency with “the anointing of God upon her,” has come under scrutiny for his 2006 arrest in Uganda on gun-running charges, and for his close relationship with Ugandan pentecostal pastor Martin Ssempa, a prominent advocate for that nation’s “Kill the Gays” Bill.

Peter E. Waldron, the staffer for Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign responsible for her faith-based outreach in Iowa and South Carolina, had been arrested in Uganda in 2006 on charges of running illegal guns and ammunition. Garance Franke-Ruta’s profile at The Atlantic resurrected the details. He had been arrested for possession of assault rifles and ammunition just days before Uganda’s first nominally multi-party elections in 20 years. The charges were dropped after Waldron spent more than a month in 2006 in the notorious Luriza Prison outside of Kampala. He was freed, he says, after pressure from the Bush administration. Of course, when it comes to Ugandan police work, the charges should be seen with some measure of skepticism, although newspaper reports (via archive.org) in Kampala at the time are quite detailed. Waldron himself isn’t helpful in clearing up matters. On the one hand, he says that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni operates death squads, and then calls Uganda’s leadership born-again Christians and good friends.

Particularly worrying is the company Waldron keeps. Richard Bartholomew had written about the 2006 arrest, and in the process recalled a 2004 story from The New Republic by Andrew Rice in which Rice describes Waldron as speaking at Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa’s church:

The Sunday I attended Ssempa’s church, after he finished his sermon, the pastor told his audience that he had a special guest to introduce, a visitor from the United States. All eyes fixed on a stocky white man with a thick moustache who wore a gray safari suit. He introduced himself as Dr. Peter Waldron of Wyoming. Waldron told the congregation that he had once been a military man and that he used to travel around Africa a lot in the 1960s. He was vague about the nature of his work. (“I’m not at liberty to say,” he later told me.) But he claimed that, on one occasion, it resulted in some good people getting executed by a firing squad. After that, he contemplated suicide, he told the audience. Then he found Jesus. “When you were born again, you became a new person. You left your tribe,” Waldron said. Now, he said, they were all bound together by their common love of God. The audience reacted enthusiastically, warmly welcoming Waldron’s speech. When Waldron launched into a story about how he’d recently been invited to the real White House in the company of religious rapper MC Hammer, the audience was wowed.

Several days later, I met Waldron at a Kampala hotel. He told me more of his story. At different times in his career, he said, he’d been a syndicated talk-radio host, a lobbyist, and a Republican political consultant. More recently, he had run sports programs for underprivileged youths in Tampa, Florida. Now, he was in Uganda, trying to sell computer software to government ministries while preaching on the weekends. “They embrace Americans here,” he said enthusiastically. Indeed, as we sat together, a steady stream of young admirers who had seen Waldron in church came up to greet him. They made complicated handshakes, the way Ugandans do, and Waldron boasted to me that he had met privately with President Museveni and his born-again wife. It struck me that, for many Americans of faith, Uganda–a country where homosexuality and abortion are outlawed, where politicians freely mix church and state, and where outward displays of religious devotion are the norm–represents a kind of haven. The United States may have a born-again president, but it is far too diverse to ever fully be, as conservatives call it, “a Christian nation.” But Uganda is on its way to becoming one.

Ssempa, of course, was the prominent supporter of Uganda’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which calls for the death penalty for LGBT people under certain circumstances. While Ssempa’s theology clearly defends such a practice, it is unclear whether Waldron agrees with Ssempa’s position. But an examination of Waldron’s particular theology isn’t encouraging. Richard Bartholomew also pointed to this 36-page document (via archive.org) which had been stored on Waldron’s web site and was dated 2004, explaining the guiding theology of Waldron’s Cities of Faith Ministries. Waldron’s theology mirrors that of the father of Christian Reconstructionism, R.J. Rushdooney, whom Waldron quoted in one passage. In the introduction, Walrdon wrote:

For generations Christians have wrongly divided all the affairs of their lives into secular matters and spiritual matters. Many of those secular-spiritual divisions and classifications are artificial divisions and heretical in its origins based on humanist philosophy rather than the historic Biblical teachings of the Church.

The modern Evangelical Christian is often a person who has made one’s life a huge set of pigeon holes in which every matter is classified as secular or spiritual. This obvious double-mindedness prevents the blessings of God to overtake one’s testimony – in the spirit, the soul, the body, and/or one’s material possessions.

The whole life of a Christian is spiritual, and everything he does which involves conduct, attitude or one’s role in society or, even, relationships has spiritual significance.

Waldron wrote that “the history of liberty is the history of Christian self-government” — and not just self-government in the sense that all individuals govern the course of their lives through the choices they make. No, Waldron’s concept of self-government is much broader:

A totalitarian form of governance arises when the Word of God is compromised, ignored or denied.  A person will self-destruct from abuse of spirit, soul and body.  A nation will collapse under a “hard” or “soft” form of dictatorship, abuse of public or elected office, and a general denial of human freedom – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – arises.  The source of one’s belief system dictates the conduct whether it be personal or national.   The same goes for the end result.

The Bible represents the absolute source for the guiding principles and precepts for all governments in man (self-government), of families (family government), churches (church government), and for nations (civil government).

Waldron co-wrote a book with George Grant titled, Rebuilding the Walls: A Biblical Strategy for Restoring America’s Greatness. Grant is well-known in Christian Reconstructionist circles. In 1987, Grant wrote The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action, in which he made his call for a theocratic overthrow explicit. “It is dominion we are after,” Grant wrote. “World conquest. …If Jesus Christ is indeed Lord, as the Bible says, and if our commission is to bring the land into subjection to His Lordship, as the Bible says, then all our activities, all our witnessing, all our preaching, all our craftsmanship, all our stewardship, and all our political action will aim at nothing short of that sacred purpose.”

Waldron is the second close associate to Rep. Bachmann whose theology may at least condone remaining silent against the killing of gay people. Bradlee Dean, of Minnesota-based You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Ministries, commended Muslims who call for the execution of gay people for being more righteous than Christians. “This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws,” Dean explained on a local Christian Radio talk show. “They know homosexuality is an abomination.”

Waldron’s “Cities of Faith” web site appears to be gone, but his facebook page is quite active. On August 7, he wrote of Bachmann’s quest for the presidency:

HOW CAN ANYONE STAND ON THE SIDELINE? I am simply amazed that some folks are waiting for Saul-like characters who look everything like a king while Michele fights with the anointing of God upon her. She is fearless, fierce in battle, and focused on winning the nomination and securing the White House. Thinking about running, waiting to throw their hat in the ring – foolishness. The battle rages now and Michele needs an army.

Four minutes later, he added:

JOIN THE BATTLE FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE: I need 300 gallant Christians to stand with me to resist the works of the devil. We must stand like Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae – sheild to shield, shoulder to shoulder – Has not God got an army in the hour of His need? Arise, again I say, Arise lets stand like Christians once again for His glory and praise!

Following Bachmann’s winning of the Iowa Straw Poll, Waltron wrote:

BACHMANN WINS: All the praise and glory goes to the LORD for Michele’s extraordinary win. She was able to do in 5-weeks what other campaigns could not do in 1-year or 4-years. The Hand of the LORD is upon her. Thank you for your prayers. I leave for SC tomorrow. Blessings to all.

In an additional comment on that same thread, Waldron added some more detail. He clearly doesn’t like Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s entry into the race:

I will be in Columbia and travel the entire state extensively. From afar and during prayer I see a Saul and David scenario between Perry and Bachmann. One looks everything like a king while the other is anointed. One has a testimony that is almost 40 years old, walks the talk, and sees through a Biblical World View lens. This will be a true test of “salt” in the nation. I pray that a “Salt Brigade” will arise to affirim God’s blessing on America and to renew the Covenant made by our ancestors with Him in the 17th and 18th centuries.

[via Warren Throckmorton, and then it snowballed from there]

The Daily Agenda for Saturday, August 6

Jim Burroway

August 6th, 2011

TODAY’S AGENDA:
“The Response” Rally: Houston, TX. Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s is hosting a massive Day of Prayer called “The Response” at Reliant Stadium in Houston. The rally, which is being sponsored by the SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group American Family Association, will bring out a veritable who’s who of anti-gay extremists, including Family “Research” Council’s Tony Perkins, Rev. John Hagee (he said that the anti-Christ would be “a blasphemer and a homosexual”) five senior staff members of the dominionist International House of Prayer (members of which have endorsed Uganda’s “Kill-The-Gays” Bill), and “prophet” Cindy Jacobs (she said that birds were dying in Arkansas because of DADT repeal). And that’s just barely scratching the surface; Right Wing Watch has a good round-up of the players here. Perry organized the rally because, he said, Americans have “turned away from God.” He said that they rally would be apolitical, even though he invited every governor in the nation to attend. The only one to accepted was Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, although right now it is unclear whether he will actually attend. His office said only that he is “on vacation.” The rally is today from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CDT.

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Hamburg, Germany; Leeds, UK; Oakland, CA (Black Pride); Reykjavik, Iceland; Salem, OR; Stockholm, Sweden; and Windsor, ON;

Also This Weekend: Summer Diversity, Eureka Springs, AK; and Louisville LGBT Film Festival, Louisville, KY.

TODAY IN HISTORY:
Plymouth Colony Convicts Two Men Of “Lewd Behavior and Unclean Carriage”:
1637.
The crime wasn’t sodomy — that required proof of penetration — but it was shocking nevertheless. From the official record:

John Allexander & Thomas Roberts were both examined and found guilty of lewd behavior and unclean carriage one with another, by often spending their seed one upon another, which was proved both by witness & their own confession; the said Allexander [was] found to have been formerly notoriously guilty that way, and seeking to allure others thereunto. The said John Allexander was therefore censured [sentenced] by the Court to be severely whipped, and burnt in the shoulder with a hot iron, and to be perpetually banished [from] the government [territory] of New Plymouth, and if he be at any time found within the same, to be whipped out again by the appointment [order] of the next justice, etc., and so as oft as he shall be found within this government. Which penalty was accordingly inflicted.

Thomas Roberts was censured to be severley whipped, and to return to his master, Mr. Atwood, and serve out his time with him, but to be disabled hereby to enjoy any lands within this government, except he manifest better desert.

A Reported Case of “Adhesiveness”: 1836.The word “homosexuality” wasn’t coined until 1868, and it wouldn’t enter the English language until 1895. Without it, medical professionals struggled to find a scientific-sounding word to describe gay people that wasn’t among the usual pejoratives. One British doctor, known only as “Dr. Macnish,” wrote this very brief account in the August 6, 1836 issue of The Lancet:

ADHESIVENESS. — I knew two gentlemen whose attachment to each other was so excessive, as to amount to a disease. When the one visited the other, they slept in the same bed, sat constantly alongside of each other at table, spoke in affectionate whispers, and were, in short, miserable when separated. The strength of their attachment was shown, by the uneasiness, amounting to jealousy, with which the one surveyed any thing approaching to tenderness and kindness, which the other might show to a third party. This violent excitement of adhesiveness continued for some years, but gradually exhausted itself, or at least abated to something like a natural or healthy feeling. Such attachments are, however, much more common among females than among the other sex. — Dr. Macnish.

Not gay: Michael Johnston and his mother in a 1998 television commercial.

Ex-Gay Leader Experiences “Moral Fall”: 2003. Michael Johnston was literally the poster boy of the ex-gay movement. Five years earlier, he was the star of a high profile national print and television ad campaign claiming that gays could change their sexual orientation. Johnston, who is HIV-positive, appeared with his mother in a controversial print ad under the headline “From innocence to AIDS.” He and his mother also appeared in a television commercial, in which she said, “My son Michael found out the truth — he could walk away from homosexuality. But he found out too late — he has AIDS.” Johnston founded Kerusso Ministries in Newport News, Virginia, he began a program called the National Coming Out of Homosexuality Day, and he was featured in the widely-distributed ex-gay propaganda video, “It’s Not Gay.”

But all that ended when it was revealed that while Johnston was the public face of the ex-gay movement, privately he was engaging in anonymous sex with men without disclosing his HIV status. One man said that he had met Johnston, who called himself Sean, in a gay chat room in 2001 and had a six month relationship with him. “What we did was unsafe,” the man said, “I brought it up all the time, but [Johnston] didn’t seem to think it mattered. He would have these parties, get a hotel room, get online and invite tons of people — he just wouldn’t care.” Johnston quickly shuttered his ministry and fled to Pure Life Ministries, an ex-gay residential program in rural Kentucky. He is now Director of Donor and Media Relations at that very same ministry today where he is also a member of the “speaking team.” And his propaganda video is still for sale at the American Family Association web site.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS:
Andy Warhol: 1928.He didn’t invent pop art, but it is more his brand than anyone else’s. He was born to working class Ukrainian immigrants in Pittsburgh, and attended an Eastern Rite Byzantine Catholic Church. Maybe it was the religious icons that filled the church which inspired him to make icons of ordinary things and extraordinary people. Brillo pads and soup cans were more than their mere packages after his treatment, electric chairs became sculptures of transcendent mystery, and Marylin Monroe and Jacqui Onassis became the Madonnas and St. Catherines of the modern era. Even the white-haired wig he wore later in life became an icon of his personality. “I love Los Angeles,” he once said. “I love Hollywood. They’re so beautiful. Everything’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.”

Warhol’s personal life was as scandalous as his films and artwork. In 1968, he was shot by Valerie Solanas, a minor artist working off and on at Wahol’s studio The Factory, and very nearly died. But he would go on to live two more decades, and he remained a devout Catholic, attending Mass nearly daily. When he died after complications from gallbladder surgery, he was buried in Pittsburgh following a traditional Eastern Rite funeral with Yoko Ono making an appearance. His will left virtually his entire estate for the establishment of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which is one of the the largest grant-making foundations for visual arts in the U.S.

Angie Zapata: 1989.She died too young at only eighteen when she was savagely beaten to death by Allen Andrade, first with his fists and then with a fire extinguisher to the head. They had met through a social networking site and spent three days together, including one sexual encounter, before Andrade found out that Angie was transgender. In his murder trial, Andrade’s lawyer posed the trans-panic defense, saying that Andrade beat Angie after she smiled at him and said, “I’m all woman”. That, according to Andrade’s lawyer, was a “highly provoking act.” The jury didn’t buy it fortunately, and Andrade was found guilty of first degree murder with hate crime enhancements, and sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

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

The Daily Agenda for Friday, August 5

Jim Burroway

August 5th, 2011

TODAY’S AGENDA:
Response to “The Response”: Houston, TX. Tomorrow, Houston’s Reliant Stadium will be the site for Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer he’s calling  “The Response.” The rally, which is being sponsored by the SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group American Family Association, will feature virtually every anti-gay extremist this side of Westboro Baptist, including Family “Research” Council’s Tony Perkins, Rev. John Hagee (he declared that the anti-Christ would be “a blasphemer and a homosexual”) five senior staff members of the dominionist International House of Prayer (members of which have endorsed Uganda’s “Kill-The-Gays” Bill), and “prophet” Cindy Jacobs (she declared that birds were dying in Arkansas because of DADT repeal). A coalition of groups, including GetEqual and other LGBT organizations and affirming churches will hold two rallies tonight. The first one is from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Mount Ararat Baptist Church, 5801 West Montgomery Rd., Houston, TX. The second rally this evening is from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Tranquility Park in downtown Houston. There will also be an all-day rally at Reliant Stadium tomorrow, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

TransOhio Trangender & Ally Conference: Columbus, Ohio. TransOhio will host it’s fourth annual conference beginning today and through the weekend. Over 250 participants are expected to attend and participate in more than seventy workshops on such issues as health and safety, sex and sexuality, legal issues, family issues, religion and spirituality, education and culture. The conference takes place through Sunday at The Ohio State University’s Multicultural Center and Student Union.

Sweat for Equality: Arizona. Most communities in the lower elevations of Arizona have had solid triple-digit temperatures now for a couple of months. It’s the time of year when we carefully plan our movements, from an air-conditioned home to an air-conditioned car to an air-conditioned mall. But beginning today, seventeen Equality Walkers will walk 99 miles, representing the 99 years since Arizona’s statehood, in a state without marriage quality. The walkers will walk through eighteen cities and nine counties, and will follow the following route:

Friday, August 5th — Parker
Saturday, August 6th — Yuma
Sunday, August 7th — Casa Grande, Eloy, and Arizona City
Monday, August 8th — Tucson
Tuesday, August 9th — Nogales and Sierra Vista
Wednesday, August 10th– Bisbee and Tombstone
Thursday, August 11th — Safford, Thatcher, and Pima
Friday, August 12th — Clifton and Duncan
Saturday, August 13th — Florence and Queen Creek
Sunday, August 14th — Phoenix

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Hamburg, Germany; Leeds, UK; Oakland, CA (Black Pride); Reykjavik, Iceland; Salem, OR; Stockholm, Sweden; and Windsor, ON;

Also This Weekend: Summer Diversity, Eureka Springs, AK; and Louisville LGBT Film Festival, Louisville, KY.

TODAY IN HISTORY:
Clinton Forbids Denying Security Clearances To Gays: 1995. President Bill Clinton signed an Executive Order officially banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in granting security clearances. For decades, federal agencies routinely denied security clearances to gay people on the assumption that all gay people were subject to blackmail. But a GAO study found that eight government agencies had already stopped using homosexuality as a reason for denying clearances, including the Defense Department, State Department, the FBI and the Secret Service. A 1953 Executive Order signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower included “sexual perversion” as a basis for firing from the federal workforce. That ban was lifted in 1975, but policies regarded security clearances remained vague. Clinton’s Order established uniform standards for granting security clearances, and it added sexual orientation to the non-discrimination clause. This Executive Order came two years after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was passed by Congress.

The Family “Research” Council’s Robert Maginnis denounced the move, saying that “in all healthy societies, homosexuality is recognized as a pathology with very serious implications for a person’s behavior. … Even more importantly for security concerns, this is a behavior that is associated with a lot of anti-security markers such as drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity and violence.” FRC hasn’t changed much since then. Rep. Bob Dornan (R-CA), who was never at a loss for words when it came to outrageous statements, called gay people “promiscuous by definition,” and said that Clinton’s action was “something else he didn’t have to do that’s gotten in our face. I wouldn’t trust them with a $5 loan, let alone the nation’s secrets.”

Smashing the Stained Glass Closet

Rev. Gene Robinson Elected Episcopal Bishop: 2003. Overcoming eleventh-hour charges that he had sexually harassed a parishioner — charges which were withdrawn with regrets from the person making them – senior bishops at the Episcopal Church’s General Convention voted 62 to 43 with two abstentions to approve Rev. Gene Robinson’s election as bishop of New Hampshire. The election ended months of emotional debate, threats, and bizarre charges. One charge was that a web site run by a youth advocacy group that he supported had links to porn sites. The Boston Globe investigated, and found, that, yes, it was possible to find explicit photos from that web site, but it would take seven clicks outside of it to get there.

At issue was the fact that Robinson was not celibate and had been living with his life partner since 1988. During committee hearings leading up to his confirmation, Robinson said that his relationship with his partner was an essential element in his own spiritual life. “‘What I can tell you is that in my relationship with my partner, I am able to express the deep love that’s in my heart,” he explained. ”And in his unfailing and unquestioning love of me, I experience just a little bit of the kind of never-ending, never-failing love that God has for me. So it’s sacramental.”

When Robinson’s election was finally confirmed, about thirty delegates walked out, and opponents called the election ”a step toward moral disintegration in America. Anglican leaders in Asia and Africa immediately denounced the decision and threatened schism.

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