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Posts for October, 2011

Gays Are Evil

Jim Burroway

October 3rd, 2011

So says National Organization for Marriage’s new honcho John Eastman:

Those fighting for traditional marriage can feel beaten down by the culture at large. Do you feel that victory for traditional marriage is possible?

Evil will be with us always, and it requires constant vigilance to defeat. I look at it as a litigator and an educator. There will always be threats to institutions grounded in human nature by those who think human nature doesn’t define limits. We need to be involved in the immediate defense of threats against marriage, but also take a long-range view by educating the next generation about the importance of the issues we’re confronting.

And so does Focus On the Family’s Glenn Stanton:

All sexual sin is wrong because it fails to mirror the Trinitarian image, but homosexuality does more than fail. It’s a particularly evil lie of Satan because he knows that it overthrows the very image of the Trinitarian God in creation, revealed in the union of male and female.

And yet Focus On the Family’s Tim Daly complained to CNN that it’s unfair to say Focus hates gay people:

But do we, as Webster’s defines “hate,” feel “intense hostility and aversion” to gays and lesbians? Do we regard them with “extreme dislike or antipathy”? Unequivocally not.

Uh huh.

[via Good As You]

Scott Lively endorses anti-gay violence in Uganda

Timothy Kincaid

February 3rd, 2011

It is not by coincidence that the three organizations with which anti-gay activist Scott Lively is associated are all deemed by the Southern Poverty Law Center to be Hate Groups. Lively has earned that well-deserved designation. And his latest commentary is not an exception. (RyanSorba)

Having accused gays of orchestrating Hitler’s Nazi regime and being responsible for genocide in Rwanda, it certainly isn’t beyond him to take the opportunity of David Kato’s horrific murder to declare that it is “lavender Marxists” that are murdering Uganda.

Uganda is being murdered. The nation once called “The Pearl of Africa” by Winston Churchill, a lush and beautiful country as fertile as the Nile Delta.

It is the nation that retained its self-rule through centuries of African colonialism, the society that survived even the atrocities of the cannibal cultist Idi Amin, the culture that has been thriving in Christian revival for over a dozen years.

This great and honorable nation, alone in Africa to have all but conquered the scourge of AIDS through abstinence – and whose First Lady led a holy gathering of thousands of believers on the eve of the millennium, dedicating her homeland “to Jesus Christ for a thousand years” – this Uganda, a shining light in the Dark Continent, is being murdered.

But while this nonsensical rhetoric is troubling, even more so is Lively’s endorsement of anti-gay violence in Uganda:

It is as if the militant ranks of “Code Pink” were transported back to 1890s America to agitate for “sexual freedom.” Our great grandparents would not have countenanced this. There would have been violence, as there has now been in Uganda. [emphasis added]

Lively claims that it is the gays themselves, “agents provocateur”, who deliberately goad naive innocents to murder them so as to “poison the gullible against the Ugandans.” It’s all a George Soros sponsored plot.

So violence is justified. Murder is justified. Pogroms are justified. Such things aren’t evil, just “reactions” to the murderous gays.

There is indeed evil in Uganda today, but it is not the reaction of Christian and Moslem citizens to the rape of their culture. It is the pink-gloved hand of western powers that are cutting the throat of Africa’s most God-fearing country, and one of the world‘s most promising Christian democracies.

Surviving an Exorcism To Cast Out the Gay

Jim Burroway

June 6th, 2010

In this month’s issue of Details magazine, Matt McAllester delved into the practice among some pentecostal and evangelical churches to perform exorcisms on gay people to drive out their gay demons. Peterson Toscano, a co-founder of Beyond Ex-gay, survived three separate exorcisms:

One took place in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, another in an apartment on the West Side of Manhattan owned by Joanne Highley, who runs L.I.F.E. Ministry. During the latter exorcism, Highley had him lie down on her bed, then she sat beside him and began to press on his body, commanding the demons to exit through his mouth and rectum. Before the rite was complete, Toscano, who says he felt increasingly violated by Highley’s actions, stopped the ritual and left her apartment. Highley did not respond to requests to be interviewed, but she has previously stated that her process is to “cleanse and bind demonic powers . . . out of genitals, of course out of anal canals, out of intestines, out of throats and mouths if there’s been ungodly deposit of semen in those areas—we cleanse with the blood of Jesus, and we cast out the demonic powers.”

Highley was one of the activists featured in the 2004 ex-gay promotional video “I Do Exist,” which was released as a counter to National Coming Out Day. [Update: For more on this, see the end of this post] Toscano’s recalls his experience as abusive:

“For a young person, being told that you house evil, that you’re basically a mobile home for evil spirits—that is a very, very damaging concept,” says Toscano. “It’s one of the most extreme manifestations of the anti-gay rhetoric within the church.”

Particularly concerning is the story of 20-year-old Kevin Robinson, who has undergone three exorcisms (one by his mother, another by an uncle who was the pastor at his church), bouts of severe depression, was kicked out of his home by his parents, suffered a severe nervous breakdown, and underwent six month’s treatment at a juvenile psychiatry hospital. He’s out now, living on his own in an apartment and going to college. He is also a bit more comfortable with his sexuality. But not entirely. He’s also back at his same church:

He’s back in the choir, attending practice every Thursday. He hasn’t undergone another deliverance, but the dogma is the same, he says. “They want you to change. It’s just a lot of stuff you can’t do. You can’t do this, you can’t do that. I’m getting overwhelmed—again. It just feels like it’s too much, like today I just felt so overwhelmed. There’s no possible way I can be Mr. Perfect Man.”

I ask Kevin whether he would make himself straight if he could. “Yeah, I would,” he says without hesitation. “I’m not going to lie—I would love to just fit in and be accepted.”

But that doesn’t seem likely. Not long ago, after choir practice ended, another singer—a young man Kevin’s age—took exception to the look of Kevin’s slicked-back hair and effeminate manner and accused him of being “the Devil’s child.”

“I said, ‘I’m not the Devil’s child, I’m one of God’s,'” Kevin says. “He was like, ‘Yeah, right.'”

Update: Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton, who produced I Do Exist, wrote me to explain that when he included Highley in his video, he didn’t know about Highley’s beliefs in exorcisms:

I want to make it crystal clear that the I Do Exist video never took the perspective that homosexuality is related in any way to demon possession. Ms. Highly did not mention these views when we interviewed her. No one associated with I Do Exist had any knowledge of Highly’s views when we filmed or edited the video.

Missionaries of Hate: Where Killing Gays Is the “Lesser of Two Evils”

Jim Burroway

May 25th, 2010

Scott Lively calls Uganda's bill "the lesser of two evils."

Wednesday night’s premiere of the Vanguard documentary “Missionaries of Hate” represents the most complete video record so far of the past year’s anti-gay turmoil in Uganda that began when three American Evangelical held an anti-gay conference in Kampala in March, 2009. That conference set the stage for a long, drawn-out anti-gay convulsion that rocked the nation and ultimately led to the introduction of the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill into Parliament.

Reporter Mariana van Zeller interviewed most of the key players in the drama that we’ve been following closely for the past year, including the bill’s sponsor MP David Bahati, Ugandan pentecostal pastor Martin Ssempa, and many LGBT people who were most directly affected by the conference and its aftermath. But for me, the most riveting interview came near the end of the program when Mariana sat down with Scott Lively:

van Zeller: Do you then support the rest of the bill if you remove the death penalty part of it?

Lively: I would not have written the bill this way. But what it comes down to is a question of lesser of two evils. What is the lesser of two evils here? To allow the American and European gay activists to continue to do to that country what they’ve done here? Or to have a law that may be overly harsh in some regards?  I think the lesser of two evils is for the bill to go through.

Maybe this explains why Lively has decided to go on the offensive, so to speak.

Lively also admits that he knew they wanted to introduce a “strengthened” anti-homosexuality bill before he conducted his anti-gay conference in Kampala alongside Exodus International board member Don Schmierer and International Healing Foundation’s Caleb Brundidge. He says however that he didn’t know what the new bill would contain. The earliest draft of the bill that we have been able to find was one dated April 20, about six weeks after the conference. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced into Parliament on October 15.

Reporter Mariana van Zeller with pastor Martin Ssempa.

One of the producers provided me with a preview of the documentary, and apart from a very few minor quibbles I cannot recall any other report in print or video which delves so completely and thoroughly into the aftermath of the infamous March 2009 anti-gay conference. Martin Ssempa’s bombastic presence looms large in the documentary, where we learn that his much-mocked predilection for showing gay porn was far more widespread than first reported. In fact, I lost count of the number of times he brought out his trusty laptop. We also see brief interviews with MP David Bahati who introduced the bill into Parliament (He believes that God chose Uganda for this battle), and we see footage of Lou Engle’s rally earlier this month on a sports field at Makarere University.

But most importantly, we see the effects of the bill through the eyes of LGBT people living in Uganda, some of whom were outed in the newspapers, experienced death threats, were arrested by police and beaten, and driven from their homes by their neighbors. Almost all of them remember the March 5-7 conference as the key instigator of the anti-gay hysteria that swept the nation last year. Referring to the three American evangelicals who lead that conference, Julius Kaggwa asked aloud, “I wonder if they are aware of just how much damage their visit caused?”

Whether they have been aware of it up until now, this documentary will leave no doubts about their culpability from today forward.

Missionaries of Hate” airs Wednesday on Current TV at 10:00 EST.

Update: A preview of “Missionaries of Hate” is also available on Hulu.