Box Turtle Bulletin

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Posts for August, 2012

FRC seeks to refute that they are a hate group by illustrating that they are

Timothy Kincaid

August 23rd, 2012

Family Research Council released this “clarification” of the reasons that they are (correctly) listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center:

Does FRC claim that “gay people are child molesters?”

FRC has never said, and does not believe, that most homosexuals are child molesters. However, it is undisputed that the percentage of child sex abuse cases that are male-on-male is far higher than the percentage of adult males who are homosexual. This suggests that male homosexuality is a risk factor for child sexual abuse. Homosexual activists argue that men who molest boys are not actually “homosexual;” but scholarly evidence undermines that claim. It also cannot be disputed that there is a sub-culture within the homosexual movement that advocates “intergenerational” sexual relationships. FRC’s writings on this topic–unlike the SPLC’s–have been carefully documented with references to the original scholarly literature.

We have illustrated clearly that the “scholarly evidence” refutes rather than supports FRC’s claims.

As for there being some sub-culture that advocates intergenerational sexual relationships, they must be very sub-culture indeed. So sub that no one knows who they are nor are we aware of any such advocacy.

These blatantly false claims alone would qualify FRC as a hate group.

Does FRC want to “criminalize” homosexuality?

FRC has made no effort to reinstate sodomy laws since the U.S. Supreme Court struck them down in the 2003 case of Lawrence v. Texas. In a 2010 interview on a different topic, the question of whether we should “outlaw gay behavior” in U.S. civil law was raised not by an FRC spokesman, but by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. The spokesman affirmed that FRC (like three Supreme Court justices) believed Lawrence was wrongly decided; but the interview left some viewers with the mistaken impression that “re-criminalizing” homosexuality is a policy goal for FRC. It is not.

You will notice that they do not deny that they want to criminalize homosexuality. Because they do. It’s simply not a stated “policy goal”.

This bolsters their case for qualification as a hate group.

Does FRC want to kick homosexuals out of the country?

Just days after an interview was posted online in 2008, an FRC spokesman publicly apologized on the FRC website for having used the words “import” and “export” as metaphors for voluntary immigration and emigration by homosexuals. The interview related to legislation which would grant special preference in immigration to foreign nationals who are the homosexual partners of American citizens.

Well, now, where I come from we call that a lie. Rather than “metaphors for voluntary immigration and emigration”, what Peter Sprigg actually said was:

I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.

I see nothing “voluntary” in that statement. And, frankly, lying about the original statement makes the subsequent apology somewhat suspect.

Does FRC support the execution of homosexuals in Uganda ?

This charge was refuted as soon as it appeared in 2010. FRC has publicly opposed the much-publicized bill (never adopted) in Uganda that would have imposed criminal penalties for various offenses related to homosexual conduct, and the death penalty for something known as “aggravated homosexuality.” We responded to requests from Congressional offices for advice on the wording of a resolution condemning the Uganda bill–then reported those contacts as “lobbying,” as is required by law. FRC did not “lobby” against the resolution; our advice was limited to suggestions for language that would accurately describe the Uganda bill and the state of international law.

I wasn’t in the room. But I’ll let you guess whether I believe they are telling the truth.

Yes, hate groups have African Americans too

Timothy Kincaid

January 17th, 2012

The Southern Poverty Law Center has long since earned its reputation as an honest monitor of racially based hate groups. At some point they expanded their scope to include hate groups which exist to instigate animus towards gay people as well.

It isn’t easy to get on the SPLC’s Hate Group listing. This isn’t the Maggie Gallagher and Dr. James Dobson and Southern Baptist preacher crowd. Ignorance, prejudice, callous disregard and presumptions of superiority are not nearly enough to quality.

To qualify as a Hate Group, one must engage in active defamation. In other words, a hate group must intentionally spread vicious lies which they must know – or certainly should know – to be untrue for the purpose of stirring up animus against gay people. These are the folks who manufacture fake studies, distort research, make totally fabricated claims, and do so under the presence of telling the real truth that the AMA, the APA, and everyone else with an education and credible reputation are conspiring to keep secret.

In total only 16 groups currently make the cut:

Being called a “hate group” is infuriating to those who identify as Christians. (For a year now I’ve been intending to address hate and love from the perspective of Christian theology, what qualifies as each, where boundaries lie and the difficulty of being human while aspiring to spiritual goals. Frankly, I’ve put it off because to do it justice is a daunting task, but I really do think it may be time to attack the job.)

In the past, those listed have mostly ignored the SPLC. As they didn’t run in circles in which advocating for the cessation of racism was highly admired, they didn’t much care what the “liberal activist group” thought of them. But with the addition of some more vocal and politically connected organizations, attention has been given to the SPLC’s listing. And, naturally, rather than ponder whether their behavior was hateful and should change, a decision was made to discredit the Southern Poverty Law Center.

So today a collection of Hate Groups protested at SPLC headquarters. It was the rather sad souls that we have become accustomed to seeing: Peter LaBarbera, who organized the event, and his best buddy Matt Barber, the Associate Dean of Liberty University School of Law. Also showing up to represent the “Nazis were gay” viewpoint was Rachel Connor of Scott Lively’s Abiding Truth Ministries.

But in hopes of embarrassing this institution know for is advocacy for racial equality, this cluster of unhappy clowns was beefed up by including some African American preachers, some particularly nasty hate-filled African American preachers.

DL Foster I’ve dealt with before. He’s perhaps the most mean spirited, personally vile, directly hateful individual I’ve encountered (with Robert Gagnon as his competitor). He’s the type of guy who blames the suicide of bullied kids on “homosexual activists”. He’s the sort of fellow who thinks that the beatings and murders of gay people in Jamaica are godly. Oh yeah, and DL is ex-gay.

Tim Johnson, founder of the Fredrick Douglass Foundation, doesn’t have a high profile for anti-gay activism. He is, however, a convicted domestic violence felon. On Christmas Day 1995 he beat his wife because “that’s the only way I can get her attention.” She was hospitalized with a broken nose and toes.

Then included was a collection of ministers from Church of God in Christ, DL Foster’s denomination: Pastor Glen Sawyer, New Mt. Zion Church of God in Christ, Elizabeth City, NC; Pastor Wil Nichols, Victorious Praise Fellowship COGIC, Durham, NC; Pastor Jon Robinson, Kingdom C.O.M.E. Ministries, Clairton, PA; and Pastor Kenneth Jefferson, Greater Harvest COGIC. The Church of God in Christ is a Pentecostal Holiness black church and it is HUGE, with about five million members and 12,000 congregations in the US alone. By comparison, the largest non racially specific pentecostal church, the Assemblies of God, has about three million US members.

But perhaps no participant in LaBarbera’s little “we got Blaa People too” charade is quite such an example of the type of Blaa People that are so blinded by their evil imagination and their hatred of gay people that they would seek to discredit a respected civil rights organization as Dr. Patrick Wooden, pastor of Upper Room Church of God in Christ. Right Wing Watch caught this particular doozy from an interview with The Peter of just a few days ago (via Joe Jervis):

My belief is that if the medical community would just step forward and just would share with the American people what happens to the male anus, what the problems that homosexuals have with their rectums, the damage that is done, the operations that are needed to sew up their bodies, if you will. And how many of the men don’t even give the stitches time to heal, before they’re back, they’re out there, practicing that wicked behavior. Some are “bleeders”, men who are not turned off by ingesting the feces of other men. If the truth was told, people would literally gag. And no one would want to be in a lifestyle like that. Who wants to practice anything that is ultimately going to lead a grown man to – by the time he’s in his 40’s or 50’s or whatnot – having to wear a diaper or a “butt-plug” just to be able to contain their bowels?

Who indeed? Certainly no one I’ve ever met, encountered, read about, or who ever existed outside the disturbed imagination of Dr. Wooden. If he keeps that sort of nonsense up, the Southern Poverty Law Center may find itself in the unenviable and ironic position of having to add an African American church to its list of Hate Groups.

Gay vandalism claim likely a hoax

Timothy Kincaid

October 19th, 2011

[Edited to include Point 6, provided by Jim Burroway]

On October 15, someone called “Pissed” posted a statement on the Chicago Independent Media Center website claiming that they had “put two chunks of concrete through the glass windows and doors of the Christian liberty academy” because of the scheduled Americans for Truth fundraiser featuring Scott Lively that evening.

I think it is a hoax.

Now it’s possible that the school was vandalized. It’s even possible that the vandalism was performed by outsiders and not staged for media effect. And if that happened, it’s likely that the vandals were either gay or gay-supportive. But the statement simply isn’t believable.

First off, Peter LaBarbera (who calls himself “Americans for Truth About Homosexuality”) claims that the statement was e-mailed to Christian Liberty Academy, Americans For Truth, Scott Lively and others within a few hours of the event. Those who blog know that this is some pretty quick writing.

Which leaves one of three possible scenarios: 1) the perpetrator of the violence rushed home to write a manifesto, research the details of Lively’s involvement in Uganda, and find the phone numbers and email addresses of a number of individuals; 2) the event was planned in advance with the decision to use strikingly different language in the statement than in a note accompanying the event; or 3) the author of the statement had no need to research the details contained in the statement or the email addresses to whom it should be sent.

I think the third scenario most likely.

After a while you learn the language of gay activists, the language of anti-gay activists, and (more importantly in this case) what anti-gay activists think is how gay people speak. This particular declaration is a combination of standard anti-gay-speak peppered with the phrase “hate group” and a few anecdotes to make it seem like it comes from a gay or gay-supportive individual.

Take, for example, the following paragraph:

In 2009, Lively and other American homophobes spoke at a conference in Uganda called “Exposing the Truth About Homosexuality and the Homosexual Agenda”. This conference stirred the anti-gay atmosphere that already exists in Uganda, a country with laws that punish homosexual acts with up to 14 years in prison. As a direct result of this conference, participants have drafted a bill that, if passed, would increase the sentencing for homosexual acts to life sentences and execution and make it a legal responsibility to report homosexuals in the community. Lively has also co-written a book called “The Pink Swastika” which claims that homosexuals created the Nazi Party and were responsible for the Holocaust, a book that has been repeatedly denounced as inaccurate by historians.

While this might fly with someone who was unaccustomed to reading the rants of those on both sides of the Culture War, this raised red flags with me.

  1. Few gay activists, especially of the ‘throw bricks’ variety, know the name of the Ugandan conference. In fact, here at Box Turtle Bulletin – the source of that source and the most thorough reporter of its detail – we referenced only once that this was the stated theme of the conference.
  2. Note the passivity of the language. Gay activists tend to discuss this event as being primarily driven by the Americans. This takes the opposite stance – they only “spoke at” the conference. (The truth lies in between. The American anti-gay evangelists were not the original organizers, but were the stars of the show. As published American authors with claims of political and religious authority, they were granted the opportunity to speak before the Ugandan Parliament, were treated with deference, and their statements accepted as fact.)
  3. This paragraph depicts the Kill the Gays Bill as being directed solely towards “homosexual acts.” Find me a single gay activist – brick thrower or otherwise – who describes the Ugandan Homosexuality Bill of 2009 in these terms. We rightly note that in Uganda (as in American and everywhere else) bills that target “homosexual acts” in reality target gay people. We know that America’s sodomy laws very seldom resulted in prosecution for actual sodomy but were, rather, the legal basis behind harassment of gay people. The raiding of gay bars, the cruel custody decisions, the military bans and other governmental employment bans, the prohibition of recognition of marriage, and other such official positions were not for the purpose of preventing “homosexual acts” and we don’t pretend that they were. Only those who refuse to recognize the humanity of gay people speak as though anti-gay laws are about “acts”.
  4. One of the more chilling aspects of the Ugandan Kill the Gays Bill (aside from executing gay people) is the requirement that family, neighbors, friends, doctors, ministers, and others report gay people to the government. And that if they fail (or refuse) to do so, they face the threat of years in jail. Scott Lively supports that provision. And I think “a legal responsibility to report homosexuals in the community” is exactly how he would word it.
  5. And look at the mild nature of criticism of the Pink Swastika: “a book that has been repeatedly denounced as inaccurate by historians.” No, it’s not “inaccurate”, it’s historical revisionism at its most insidious and it is denounced by every scholar of the Holocaust as being intentionally dishonest. But to the crowd to whom LaBarbera and Lively appeal, “historians” are ivory tower elitists dedicated to leftist views and therefore immediately suspect.
  6. Who calls gay people “homosexuals” anymore? That right there is a red flag. This “manifesto” uses the word “homosexuals” as a noun for gay people. Gay people or people purporting to support gay rights NEVER call gay people “homosexuals.” /li>

And that’s just one paragraph. Other language in the article feels more at home within the anti-gay industry than in the gay community (e.g. “counter the Homosexual Agenda”) and taken in its totality, this feels more like “this is what they say about us” than it does like the words of a gay person. For me, thee clincher was the listing of phone numbers to invite abuse.

So why would an anti-gay person write and post this?

That one’s pretty obvious. To portray the gay community as violent and lawless with goals of “shutting down” anyone who disagrees and, as The Peter put it, “signalling a new brazennes [sic] by homosexual activists”. And, equally important to their cause, to portray anti-gay activists as victims who are, in the words of this piece, “under constant attack.”

As could be expected, the more rabid members of the anti-gay community are chiming in. The American Family Association sent out a news article featuring Matt (Bam Bam) Barber:

“We are going to speak God’s truth in love without fear of reprisal, or even in this case, without fear of violence,” the attorney assures. “So I have a message to the gay terrorists that perpetrated this crime: Your terrorist tactics have failed, and you will not succeed in silencing God’s truth.”

So goal achieved.

But, of course, my analysis is based only on experience and familiarity with the language of activists. I have no inside information on this article and no way of knowing for certain that the person who wrote it was not gay. And though suspicion of the event is shared by others (Joe Jervis of Joe.My.God, for example), we could all be mistaken.

As I said above, it is entirely possible that someone did vandalize the Christian Liberty Academy. Peter LaBarbera has on his website pictures of a paver with “shut down Lively” written on it, along with a note saying “This is just a sample of what we will do if you don’t shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH … Fuck Scott Lively. Quit the homophobic shit”.

Now this sounds much more like an gay activist of the brick-throwing variety. Not very bright, not well thought out, stupid lashing out without any thought of consequence. And here at Box Turtle Bulletin we unreservedly condemn this behavior. It is wrong and if the perpetrators can be found, they should be held liable for their actions.

According to LaBarbera, the Arlington Heights police are investigating the situation. I wish them the very best success in finding out who threw the pavers, who wrote the statement, and whether they are the same party.

Towards this goal, I call on the Chicago Independent Media Center to voluntarily provide any information that can assist the police in identifying the person who posted the statement. There are times to stand strong on the media’s constitutional right not to divulge sources, and then there are times when a paper, as part of a community, can choose to participate in the protection of the community. I hope they do not to become a pawn of the author of the statement.

If a gay person or group vandalized the Christian Liberty Academy and then wrote a statement bragging of the event, I think I can speak for the overwhelming majority of “brazen homosexual activists” when I denounce the action and say that I hope that they are brought to justice.

And if the statement is a hoax written by an anti-gay activist posing as gay, I hope that they are exposed and that statutes dealing with false police claims are brought into play and that they find themselves facing jail time.

Full statement after the break

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