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Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for August, 2011

LaBarbera Award: Tony Perkins

Jim Burroway

August 19th, 2011

Observers of gay youth suicides can point to many different factors leading to their deaths. Fundamentally, suicide is what often comes when a person loses all hope of things ever changing for the better. Many gay kids who survive suicide attempts say that they reached their breaking point when they came to believe that their mere presence was disgusting, immoral, a gross pervert, and that the very thought of them makes people want to throw up.

And where do they get these ideas? They get them from the people around them. From classmates, teachers, preachers, neighbors, parents, relatives, and Tony Perkins. And Perkins is raising money off of it, with this fundraising plea that was sent out in the mail:

Now accepting blood money: Family "Research" Council's fundraising plea (Click to enlarge).

If you’ve not yet heard about this true story, get ready to be shocked–and to take action.

For President Obama to use the power of his office to promote such aims is truly appalling. I was especially disappointed to see pro-homosexual videos aimed directly at young people recorded at the White House. They were made in partnership with Dan Savage, a homosexual extremist who built a career on hatred of Christians and their values.

The videos are titled “It Gets Better.” They are aimed at persuading kids that although they’ll face struggles and perhaps bullying for “coming out” as homosexual (or transgendered or some other perversion), life will get better.

President Obama, Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, and many White House staffers recorded and posted “It Gets Better” videos on the first-ever White House web pages devoted exclusively to the so-called LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) “community.”

Can you imagine George Washington, Ronald Reagan, or any other president telling school children that it’s okay to be immoral and that they’ll eventually feel better about it?

It’s disgusting. And it’s part of a concerted effort to persuade kids that homosexuality is okay and actually to recruit them into that “lifestyle.”

Thanks for giving what you can and for praying for FRC–and for our nation.

He knows what he's doing

All of the names are in there: immoral, perversion, disgusting, appalling. And of course the rest of FRC’s mission is to drive home the message that gay people makes Tony Perkins want to throw up. Their solution to the youth suicide problem? More of the same name-calling from other kids and all of the adults around them — and even from the President and First Lady of the United States if he were to have his way. We already have several examples of the kind of messages Perkins would be perfectly happy with from one presidential candidate and prospective First Lady.

There is a saying that’s going around in management circles: the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I don’t think Perkins is crazy. I think he’s evil because I don’t think he expects a different result. He’s fine with things exactly as they are right now.

It’s just one more reason why Perkins’s Family Research Council is among a very tiny handful of anti-gay groups on the SPLC’s list of certified hate groups.

[via Right Wing Watch]

LaBarbera Award: Bryan Fischer

Jim Burroway

June 2nd, 2011

Admittedly, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer could qualify for this award virtually every day, so we’ve had to raise the bar for his nomination for this award. (He’s won three times before.) Yesterday, Right Wing Watch caught Fischer saying this:

You’re going to have the homosexual lobby committing one hate crime after another against service members, especially officers, who have deeply held convictions about the acceptability of homosexual behavior. And so I’m predicting that things are about to get very ugly in the United States military for people of faith. We are going to see principle-driven officers, one after another, are going to become to victims of systematic hate crimes. This is going to be a pogrom, this is going to be virtual genocide, military genocide, career genocide for people of faith in military, perpetrated by the homosexual lobby.

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Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty have both appeared on Fischer’s program trolling for anti-gay votes.

LaBarbera Award: Dan Ramos

Jim Burroway

March 16th, 2011

Bexar County (San Antonio, TX) Democratic Party Chairman let loose with some seriously demented statements last week to the San Antonio Current:

While the LGBT community has long found support within the national Democratic Party in its search for equal rights for gay, lesbian, and transgendered individuals, Ramos called the gay-rights movement a “very sinister movement” that is out of touch with San Antonio’s values.

In an interview with the Current today, Ramos blamed homosexuals in the party for both undermining his authority and for the poor election results in Bexar County in 2010. “They are all connected to the gay Democratic Party, the so-called Stonewall Democrats. Just like termites they managed to get some of their people in key positions,” he said.

The party faithful has been largely divided over Ramos since he was elected to office in May, 2010, but his chief detractors are all homosexuals, Ramos said.

Ramos said he opposes homosexuality on religious grounds and doesn’t believe gay-friendly Democrats like Stonewall reflect the values of Bexar County voters. “I liken them to the Tea Party — the Tea Party and the f*cking Nazi Party — because they’re 90 percent white, blue-eyed, and Anglo, and I don’t give a f*ck who knows that. Just like the blacks … they’re American, but you can’t get your way just because you’re black.”

Dan Ramos (Photo: Antonia Padilla/QSanAntnonio.com)

On January 31, 2010, Ramos appeared before the Stonewall Democrats asking for the group’s endorsement in his quest for Party Chair. At the time, he said “I do not condone discrimination.” It is unclear whether he received Stonewall Dem’s backing.

Democrats statewide have angrily denounced Ramos and are demanding his resignation. Unfortunately, state party leaders are powerless to remove him. A bill has been introduced in the state legislature to remedy that situation. Meanwhile, Ramos has called a press conference for tomorrow morning, but he hasn’t revealed the topic. According to the Dallas Voice, a spokesman for the Bexar County Democratic Party’s steering committee speculates that Ramos has “been in the trenches for a long time and he’s not going to go without a fight.”

LaBarbera Award: Bryan Fischer. Again.

Jim Burroway

August 5th, 2010

Disenfranchising LGBT Americans from the institution of marriage isn’t enough for the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer. He also thinks LGBT Americans should be legally banned from public office:

He is Exhibit A as to why homosexuals should be disqualified from public office. Character is an important qualification for public service, and what an individual does in his private sexual life is a critical component of character. A man who ignores time-honored standards of sexual behavior simply cannot be trusted with the power of public office.

He also thinks that this should have disqualified Elana Kagan from the Supreme Court:

This, by the way, is why Elana Kagan should not be elevated to the Supreme Court. Although she has not come out of the closet herself, her lesbian partner has, and Ms. Kagan’s sexual preference is an open secret in Washington circles. Her indulgence in sexually aberrant behavior should make her ineligible to serve on the highest court in the land.

Kagan’s lesbian partner? Where did this rumor come from?

Bryan Fischer is a repeat honoree. The Prop 8 decision has spawned two other award winners in the past twenty four hours so far. Prop 8 is really bringing out the crazy, isn’t it?

LaBarbera Award: Family Research Council

Jim Burroway

August 5th, 2010

The Family Research Council has detected a conspiracy:

After two decades of criticism that he wasn’t gay-friendly enough, the 65-year-old judge paid back his skeptics with the most powerful rebuke against man-woman marriage this country has ever seen. Back in 1987, his impartiality on homosexual issues was so stunning that Democrats actually opposed his nomination to the court where he now sits. But the reporter writes, “We now know what Walker never bothered to reveal when he was being castigated as anti-gay: He is gay.”

It turns out that the Judge behind Proposition 8′s undoing was just biding his time until he could unleash his ultimate agenda: decimating marriages that have defined civilization since the beginning of time.

How clever is that? Judge walker threw everyone off by his “impariality” for twenty-three years. First, in a particularly inspired stroke of brilliance, he got himself blocked for being too “anti-gay” when conservative icon Ronald Reagan tried to appoint him to the Federal bench in 1987. But hat was okay because he knew, clever as he was, that another Republican President, George H.W. Bush, would manage to get his second appointment attempt through the Senate just two years later. Successfully embedded, all he had to do was just wait there for the next two decades until someone would decide to propose, campaign for, and pass a state constitutional amdendment banning same-sex marriage. And to do that, of course they would use animus against LGBT people to achieve their noble aims. Because, you see, Walker knew that would happen. He also knew that he would still have to bide his time until someone else brought a Federal suit against the state of California and file it in San Francisco. And he just sat there, omnicient and all-powerful, waiting for his trap to spring as the random selection process that assigned cases to judges landed the lawsuit onto Walker’s docket. And with that, his diabolical plan had come to fruition and he could finally “unleash his ultimate agenda.”

Genius!

For good measure, the FRC ominously hints that the decision striking down Prop 8 may lead to violence:

 In the meantime, the Left might want to think twice about its victory lap. Instead of aiding their cause, this decision is feeding the unrest across America that our government has become tyrannical.

Insane consipracy theories and warnings of violence. That’s a very combustible combination. Be wary folks. Things are going to get really rough for a while.

LaBarbera Award: Maggie Gallagher

Jim Burroway

August 4th, 2010

It’s official. Maggie Gallagher had spent several years trying to cultivate an image of a well-informed and reasonable pundit with her Institute for Marriage and Public Policy. But founding the National Organization for Marriage, Gallagher has become among the more hysterical voices against LGBT people. And as we noted earlier today, she is now in full meltdown mode over the recent Federal Court decision declaring Prop 8 unconstitutional. More evidence of her unhingedness comes this op-ed in tomorrow’s San Francisco Chronicle:

If this ruling is upheld, millions of Americans will face for the first time a legal system that is committed to the view that our deeply held moral views on sex and marriage are unacceptable in the public square, the fruit of bigotry that should be discredited, stigmatized and repressed. Parents will find that, almost Soviet-style, their own children will be re-educated using their own tax dollars to disrespect their parents’ views and values.

That’s right: today marriage equality, tomorrow Soviet-style education camps.

Say, didn’t we just read something just yesterday about bogus threats to children?

LaBarbera Award: Bryan Fischer

Jim Burroway

June 11th, 2010

Speaking of paranoia, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer also seems to have an overly-active imagination:

Some of England’s leading newspapers – The Sun, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail – all had feature stories yesterday about the latest Taliban terror tactic: burying dirty needles with their bombs in an effort to infect troops with HIV. They are planting hypodermic syringes below the surface with the points facing upward in hopes that bomb squad experts will prick themselves and become contaminated with hepatitis and HIV.

If the bomb goes off, then the needles become deadly flying shrapnel.

Said a member of Parliament, “Are there no depths to which these people will stoop? This is the definition of a dirty war.”

If we connect the dots here, the inescapable conclusion is that gay sex is a form of domestic terrorism.

…Now if gays are allowed into the military, they will be inevitably be put in battlefield situations where donated blood from soldiers may be necessary to save the lives of wounded comrades. An HIV-infected American soldier whose blood is used in those circumstances may very well condemn his fellow soldier to death rather than save his life.

If open homosexuals are allowed into the United States military, the Taliban won’t need to plant dirty needles to infect our soldiers with HIV. Our own soldiers will take care of that for them.

All members of the military, gay or straight, are tested for HIV before they enter. Once in the army, everyone, again gay or straight, is tested every two years. Only those who are HIV-negative are sent into war zones. Other services have similar policies. A simple Google search can uncover this information in just 0.32 seconds. Fischer’s vision of hoards of AIDS-infected soldiers posing as a terrorist threat is purely a figment of his imagination. And it’s that creative spark that we look for whenever we award someone the LaBarbera Award.

LaBarbera Award: Two Tennessee Tea Party Candidates

Jim Burroway

May 1st, 2010

Today’s LaBarbera Award is a two-fer, and goes to two Republican candidates for Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District. Ron Kirkland of Jackson and Randy Smith of Mercer were among the candidates speaking at a Tea Party forum in Paris, Tennessee, on Thursday evening. That forum included discussions about the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, the military’s ban on LGBT people serving openly. All five Tea Party candidates opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but Mercer and Smith excused violence toward gay people as a method for keeping them out of the military:

Ron Kirkland (left) and Randy Smith (right).

Kirkland, a Vietnam veteran, said of his time in the military: “I can tell you if there were any homosexuals in that group, they were taken care of in ways I can’t describe to you.”

Smith, who served in the first Iraqi war, added: “I definitely wouldn’t want to share a shower with a homosexual. We took care of that kind of stuff, just like (Kirkland) said.”

The Tennessee Republican Party had no comment about the candidates statements when contacted by The Associated Press on Friday.

The Tennessee Equality Project has demanded an apology from Kirkland and Smith. A spokesperson for the Kirkland campaign said that the candidate has no plans to do so. Smith, who has a 19-year-old lesbian daughter,  said on Friday that he apologizes to those who were offended, but he maintained that he was “telling it how it is actually.”

When asked later whether either candidate had personal knowledge of violence against gay people, Smiths said that he only knew of it “in concept” but never learned of a specific incident. Kirkland dismissed the question, saying “it was a joke.

Jonathan Cole, of the Tennessee Equality Project responded, “Without a sincere apology, I don’t consider it to be a joke. I would question his fitness to serve in elected office if he can’t show common respect for those who’ve put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms we enjoy in this country.”

LaBarbera Award: Pat Robertson

Jim Burroway

January 13th, 2010

Pat Robertson richly deserves the LaBarbera Award for this one:

“Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French … and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story. So the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.’”

“Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after another,” Robertson said, referring to the country’s poverty.

Robertson was speaking on the Christian Broadcast Network during a drive by the network, which he founded, to raise money for disaster relief.

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Usually, when we award someone with the LaBarbera Award, we post commentary explaining why the winner merits the honor. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then here’s a far more eloquent essay than I could ever hope to write:

Haiti

Haiti

LaBarbera Award: Cliff Kincaid

Timothy Kincaid

January 5th, 2010

Cliff Kincaid is not, to my knowledge, a relative. But he is the editor of Accuracy in Media, a watchdog group that “critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage.” What that means is that anything that isn’t presented from the perspective of an ultra-conservative worldview is denounced and “corrected”.

Cliff is not one to mince words. He is bold, he is strong, and at times so extremist that he makes good comedy.

Take, for example, this “un-slanted” description of the Stonewall Riots.

What they did was attack the police when officers conducted a lawful raid.

The police raided the bar because it was operated by the Mafia and illegally serving alcohol. It was a “Mafia-run, Christopher St. bar,” noted the New York Daily News. This information is easily ascertained through a basic Google search.

But Obama and his homosexual backers in and out of the media want to perpetuate the myth that Stonewall is a symbol of an unprovoked police attack on homosexuals, not a symbol of a sleazy lifestyle.

Hmmm. No slant there.

Or consider the bias he observed in the 2004 media coverage over the failed attempt to pass a federal amendment to the US Constitution to bar gay couples from obtaining equal protection under the law:

A supporter of the proposal says, “A two-thirds vote is a difficult margin to achieve in the current Senate on anything even remotely controversial.” But if and when it goes down to defeat, the outcome should be attributed at least in part to a vicious and nasty “outing” campaign against closeted gays in the House and Senate, including members and staffers.

The Washington Post ran a matter-of-fact story about this campaign, never once using the terms “bribery” or “blackmail.”

As the LaBarbera Award is given for the most outrageous, offensive, malevelent, crazy or excessive statement or claim, Cliff’s comedic rants should have long since earned him recognition. Bizarre statements about how gay Republicans (included elected officials) might be “a Democratic Party dirty trick” or that George W. Bush was a pseudo-socialist.

But it is not the wacky or the laughable that has earned Cliff Kincaid our attention. Rather it is a claim that is shocking in both its irrationality and in its callousness.

Cliff has been for months now waging a mostly-ineffective war of smear, accusation, and insinuation on Kevin Jennings, the gay Department of Education official currently being targeted by the right wing. Cliff has been stating the litany of accusations (most proven false) and ranting and wailing when main stream media doesn’t run with his conspiracy theories or claims of guilt by association by association.

But now he has crossed the pale.

Today in an article titled, NAMBLA-gate: The Strange Case of Kevin Jennings, Part One, Cliff concocts a reason why he thinks that no one is giving any attention to his efforts to connect Kevin Jennings to NAMBLA by means of mention of admiration for Harry Hay: too much attention is given to the Anti-Homosexuality bill in Uganda.

But the controversy over Jennings, which had been growing since his appointment in May, has been skillfully deflected by some journalists and commentators who have been attacking the government of Uganda for considering a law that would toughen laws against homosexual behavior that threatens public health and children. “Uganda wants to execute people for being gay,” lesbian commentator Rachel Maddow asserted on her MSNBC program on December 2. She called it the “kill-the-gays bill” and demanded that Christians in the U.S. denounce it.

Jumping on the story, the New York Times has claimed the bill would “impose a death sentence for homosexual behavior.”

These claims are flat-out disinformation.

Dr. Scott Lively, who visited Uganda in March of 2009 to encourage efforts to protect traditional family values, says the proposed death penalty in the bill, just one of many provisions, is for “aggravated homosexuality,” which is actually pederasty, pedophilia, homosexual parent/child incest, homosexual abuse of a disabled ward, and knowingly spreading AIDS. Dr. Lively is the author of The Pink Swastika and the president of Abiding Truth Ministries.

You’d think that someone interested in correcting slant and bias would bother to read the bill. Either Cliff Kincaid couldn’t be bothered or he has no regard for accuracy. Yes the death penalty is but one provision but it targets more than he claims. It also sends a “repeat offender”, so broadly defined as to include anyone who has had a relationship with more than one person or who had sex with the same person more than once, to death by hanging.

So yes, the provisions included in this bill would be a death sentence for virtually every gay man or woman were this the law in the Western World.

But not content to broadcast flat lies about the Ugandan bill, Cliff Kincaid makes an arrogant assertion that is staggering in its presumptions and callous disregard for life.

It would appear that the purpose of the orchestrated controversy over the proposed law in Uganda is to divert attention from the real scandal involving Obama Education Department official Kevin Jennings and his praise for the founder of the modern gay rights movement, Harry Hay, a supporter of adult-child sex.

No. Our efforts to stop gay men and women from being slaughtered in Uganda are not in response to Cliff Kincaid’s attacks on Kevin Jennings. Indeed, Box Turtle Bulletin has been following the Uganda situation since before Jennings was appointed or Kincaid’s slur campaign began.

The Jennings stories have no legs because they a weakly constructed weapons in a Culture War and the public, saturated by radical extremism, sees through them. The Uganda story, on the other hand, is a reporting of true evil. And unlike Cliff Kincaid, decent people are less concerned about contrived baseless controversies than they are about an attempt to scapegoat a subset of the population and threaten them with death.

LaBarbera Award: Rep. Louie Gohmert

Jim Burroway

October 7th, 2009

Some have been given the LaBarbera Award for comparing gay relationships child molestation. Others to necrophilia. And others still to Nazism. And we’ve even seen gay people blamed for the economic crisis. It takes a rare bird to say all of these things in the span of just a few minutes, but that’s exactly what Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) did last night in speaking out against the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill.

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We fought over this hate crimes bill in committee and on the floor and over and over. We made amendments, offered amendments because we could see that the definition of sexual orientation is wide open to all kinds of interpretation. And some someday, some court somewhere will say you know what? Sexual orientation means exactly what those words mean. If you’re oriented — and I hope this doesn’t offend, but this is part of the law. It’s laws in most states or has been certainly in many states. If you’re oriented toward animals, bestiality, then, you know, that’s not something that can be used, held against you or any bias be held against you for that. Which means you’d have to strike any laws against bestiality, if you’re oriented toward corpses, toward children, you know, there are all kinds of perversions, what most of us would call perversions. Some would say it sounds like fun, but most of us would say were perversions. And there’ve been laws against them. And this bill says whatever you’re oriented towards sexually that cannot be a source of bias against someone.

Well that’s interesting. And someone said surely they didn’t mean to include pedophiles or necrophiliacs or what most of us would say is perverse sexual orientations. I’ve heard some people say that if you question our president because he happens to be black, that gee, you must be a racist. Well, that’s kinda tough for me because because I voted for Alan Keyes back in 1996. I never told Sen. Graham, but I liked the way Alan Keyes was able to articulate things that I believed him. I thought he was a fantastic candidate and would have made a great president back at that time.

[edit]And I go back to what our friend Chuck Colson had pointed out earlier this year, and that is when you lose morality in a nation, you create economic instability leading to economic chaos. And when you have economic chaos, it is tragic but people have always been willing to give up their liberties, their freedoms in order to gain economic stability. It happened in 1920 and 1930’s Germany. They gave up their liberties to gain economic stability and they got a little guy with a mustache who was the ultimate hate monger. And this is scary stuff we’re doing here when we take away what has traditionally been an important aspect of moral teaching in America.

Rep. Gohmert is still pushing a version of the “thirty sexual orientations” lie, which we examined last May. Not only is sexual orientation clearly defined by the APA, but it is also clearly defined in law.

Rep. Gohmert gets bonus points for his strange sidelong self-defense that he’s not a hateful person because he voted for Alan Keyes. What voting for a Black homophobe is supposed to say about Gohmert’s homophobia is anyone’s guess. There are some things that just cannot be untangled.

LaBarbera Award: Dan Riehl

Jim Burroway

September 28th, 2009

Bill Sparkman’s decomposing naked body was found hanging from a tree in eastern rural Kentucky with the word “Fed” scrawled on his body. He’s a part-time census worker, leading many to believe he fell victim to some of the more virulent anti-government rhetoric emanating from the extreme right-wing. (Rhetoric which, I might note, coming from people who would be screaming “treason!” if others had said it just a year ago. What a difference an election makes — but I digress.) I grew up in Appalachia, and can say that there are many other possible reasons for Bill’s murder. This is a part of the country where people are extremely suspicious at outsiders poking around, especially in places with very few jobs and pot is a lucrative cash crop. A friend of his, a retired state trooper, warned Sparkman to “be careful.

Dan RiehlRight-wing extremist Dan Riehl has another theory about what’s happened, but he’s not about to even contemplate blaming the murderers. He goes after the dead man himself, and accuses him (okay, technically he’s ‘”simply speculating”) of being a child molester — and a gay one at that. And what is his evidence for this accusation?

Nothing but thin air and a wild imagination. Both of which make up the entire contents of his frontal lobe:

The executive functions of the frontal lobes involve the ability to recognize future consequences resulting from current actions, to choose between good and bad actions (or better and best), override and suppress unacceptable social responses, and determine similarities and differences between things or events. Therefore, it is involved in higher mental functions

A man is dead — someone whom neither Riehl nor anyone else has ever heard of before — his family is grieving, and Riehl tries to score political points by calling him the worst of the worst kind of criminal. And then when others call out on his despicable, he celebrates his renewed burst of  notoriety while simultaneously shutting down comments on his original post.

When the truth comes out about this murder, don’t count on Riehl apologizing for this. Non-humans, sociopaths and people with thin air for frontal lobes are incapable of remorse.

LaBarbera Award: Laurie Higgins

Jim Burroway

August 25th, 2009

The Nazis, of course, were notorious for having murdered an estimated six million Jews, along with another six million undesirable Poles, Ukrainians, Russians, Hungarians — and let’s not forget homosexuals — for good measure. We all know that; that’s why you can say “Nazi” or “Hitler” without having to describe the abject evil they represent. And Laurie Higgins, of the Illinois Family Institute, thinks that Hitler’s atrocities are on par with homosexuality.

In an article she penned last July, Higgins says the “church should fight homosexuality like it did Nazism,” a confusing title given that she goes on to lament the church’s failure to fight Nazism as a parallel to today’s affirming churches:

What is alarming about the account of the German Evangelical Church’s reprehensible failure is its similarity to the ongoing disheartening story of the contemporary American church’s failure to respond appropriately to the spread of radical, heretical, destructive views of homosexuality. Don’t we today see church leaders self-censoring out of fear of losing their positions or their church members? Don’t we see churches criticizing those who boldly confront the efforts of homosexual activists to propagandize children and undermine the church’s teaching on homosexuality? Aren’t the calls of the capitulating German Christians for “a more reasonable tone” and a commitment to “honor different views” exactly like the calls of today’s church to be tolerant and honor “diversity”? Don’t pastors justify their silence by claiming they fear losing their tax-exempt status (i.e. government assistance)? Don’t they rationalize inaction by claiming that speaking out will prevent them from saving souls?

…I’ve asked this question before and I will ask it again: How depraved does the behavior have to be and how young the victims before the church, starting with those who have freely chosen to assume the mantle of pastor or priest, will both feel and express outrage at the indecent, cruel, and evil practice of using public money to affirm body and soul-destroying ideas to children?

Higgins asks, “where is the outrage?” Well I have some outrage for her. Virtually every question she asks is a strawman. First, is it even possible for Higgins to portray LGBT people less humanely than this? Nowhere is there even a hint that gay people are people, let alone fellow citizens, neighbors, parents, children, families, co-workers, care-givers, soup kitchen volunteers, or anything else remotely human. Instead, she equates her fellow citizens with the vile racism behind slavery and the horrific anti-Semitism of the Holocaust. Is that not, too, an outrage?

And further, how can she overlook massive numbers of evangelical, Catholic and Mormon churches which have actively fought to demonize LGBT people at every turn, including blaming gays for all sorts of natural disasters, economic crises and other evils in the world. They’ve accused LGBT people of conspiring to molest your children, abolish Christianity, and generally destroy civilization. They’ve collectively spent millions — probably even billions when it is all counted — to permanently render LGBT people as second-class citizens. I’m not one to draw parallels, but since she brought it up, I can’t help but notice that second-class citizenry was a tactic employed by the Nazis against a reviled minority back then.

Some Christians who think that being gay is a sin will say, in moments of pious reflection, that homosexuality is no worse a sin than any of the other sins and, heck, we’re all sinners. But Higgins is not that kind of Christian. She thinks being gay is a much worse kind of sin, a special Hitler-and-Nazi-Germany kind of sin. Higgins needs to bone up on her history and closely observe the consequences of labeling a hated minority with that kind of evil. And accept responsibility for her part in it.

LaBarbera Award: Steven L. Anderson

Jim Burroway

August 21st, 2009

It’s been a while since we’ve given one of these awards out. Maybe I’ve become so jaded that nothing much shocks me anymore. But then something like this comes around and all I can do is shake my head. The latest LaBarbera Award winner comes from just up the road from where I live. Meet pastor Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist church in Tempe, AZ:

You want to know who the biggest hypocrite in the world is? The biggest hypocrite in the world is the person who believes in the death penalty for murderers and not for homosexuals. Hypocrite. The same God who instituted the death penalty for murderers is the same God who instituted the death penalty for rapists and for homosexuals – sodomites, queers! That’s what it was instituted for, okay? That’s God, he hasn’t changed. Oh, God doesn’t feel that way in the New Testament … God never “felt” anything about it, he commanded it and said they should be taken out and killed.

And why should all of these sodomites and queers be killed? Because they’re recruiting:

How are they multiplying? Do you not see that they’re multiplying? Are you that blind? Have you noticed that there’s more than there were last year and the year before, and the year before that? How are they multiplying? They’re reproducing right? No, here’s a biology lesson: they’re not reproducers, they’re recruiters! And you know who they’re after? Your children… They’re being molested by the sodomites. I can tell you so many stories about people that I know being molested and recruited by the sodomites.

They recruit through rape. They recruit through molestation. They recruit through violation. They are infecting our society. They are spreading their disease. It’s not a physical disease, it’s a sin disease , it’s a wicked, filthy sin disease and it’s spreading on a rampage. Can’t you see that it’s spreading on a rampage? I mean, can you not see that? Can you not see that it’s just exploding in growth? Why? Because each sodomite recruits far more than one other sodomite because his whole life is about recruiting other sodomites, his whole life is about violating and hurting people and molesting ‘em.

So how many sodomites is one sodomite going to produce? A lot, and that’s why it’s just exploding. The only way to stop it, you say “how do we stop it?” … You want to know why sodomites are recruiting? Because they have no natural predators.

Jeremy Hooper found the audio, and Right Wing Watch has a transcript. There are more bon mots from this guy at Pam’s House Blend.

LaBarbera Award: Rep. Virginia Foxx

Jim Burroway

April 29th, 2009

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) is our latest winner of the LaBarbera Award for her explanation of why she opposed the The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, otherwise known as the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act. That bill passed the House this afternoon.

During the debate leading up to the vote, Rep. Foxx lambasted the bill and the young man for whom the proposed legislation is named. While Matthew’s mother, Judy Shepard watched the debate from the House gallery, Foxx called Matthew’s hate crime murder a “hoax”:

The hate crimes bill that’s called the Matthew Shepard Bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay. This — the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it’s really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills,” Foxx said from the floor of the House of Representatives.

A hoax? Really? That’s not what Laramie investigators found:

…[D]etectives dismissed the idea that the murder was the mere result of a robbery gone bad.

“Far from that!” scoffed Sgt. Rob DeBree, the chief investigator in the case. “They knew damn well he was gay … It started out as a robbery and burglary, and I sincerely believe the other activity was because he was gay.”

…[Convicted killer Russell] Henderson provided a detailed account of that plan. The killers identified Shepard as a lonely homosexual, an easy mark, and retreated to the bathroom to hatch their plot. Henderson made the first advance by whispering a come-on in Shepard’s ear, and “McKinney tried to feminize his voice to continue the lure,” DeBree said.

Laramie’s detectives and prosecutors had no doubts whatsoever that Matthew Shepard’s murder was a hate crime, and that he was specifically targeted because he was gay. The only hoax here is the reprehensible comment by Rep. Foxx. Making those comments in front of Matthew’s mother is beyond all measures of human decency. Which is exactly the sort of behavior we expect from a LaBarbera Award winner.

LaBarbera Award: Four Guys In Minnesota

Jim Burroway

March 18th, 2009

Our latest LaBarbera Award goes to a collective effort in Minnesota consisting of four fundamentalist leaders with the Minnesota Family Council. They held a press conference to explain what would happen if Minnesota doesn’t pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships:

“If everyone is a gay, this world will cease to exist in 10 years,” said Ikram ul-Huq, the imam and religious director of the Muslim Community Center of Bloomington.

“Homosexual unions are forbidden and cannot be licensed with the term marriage,” said Rabbi Moshe Feller, Shliach of the Rebbe to the Upper Midwest, a Chabad-Lubavitch sect of Hasidic Judaism.

“We see this as a pivotal issue to life, not just for our nation but the life we have known for 3,000 years,” said Tom Parrish, administrative pastor of Hope Lutheran Church. Parrish represents Hope Lutheran Church, whose senior pastor, Tom Brock, raised some eyebrows in 2003 when he insisted the 9/11 attacks were God’s wake-up call.

“That’s a lifestyle that God says is sinful,” Brock said of homosexuality in 2003. “Something happened to this nation in the ’60s,” he continued. “It’s just become more and more godless. I think God is going to judge us. I think 9/11 might be a wake-up call from God, saying America needs to repent.”

Another Christian pastor said life itself is at stake if same-sex marriage isn’t banned permanently. “This is not a political issue, or an issue of choice or rights. It is an issue of life,” said Andre Dukes, pastor of Shiloh Temple Ministries in Minneapolis.

Four guys from Minnesota, with a fifth from 2003 thrown in as a bonus.  My obvious favorite is Imam Cease-To-Exist. The others are pretty light weight in comparison, although Rev. Wake-Up-Call from 2003 is pretty good. That’s what you would call and oldie but goodie.

Maybe we should help them out. You can add your shocking predictions of what will happen in the comments. Here’s mine: Same-sex marriage will cause a run on fine china, leaving straight couples to pick from among the uglier, less desirable patterns.

LaBarbera Award: Igor Panarin

Jim Burroway

March 4th, 2009

A Russian “scholar” has some remarkable predictions for the U.S. in the coming years. President Barack Obama will order martial law, the U.S. will split into six rump-states by 2011, and Russia and China will emerge as the new superpowers of a new world order. He’s been predicting the U.S.’s demise for more than a decade, but he’s pretty sure he has it nailed this time. Why?:

Paranin argued that Americans are in moral decline, saying their great psychological stress is evident from school shootings, the size of the prison population and the number of gay men.

Paranin isn’t just some ordinary loon. He’s a former spokesman for Russia’s Federal Space Agency and reputedly a former KGB analyst. He is currently the dean at the Foreign Ministry’s school for future diplomats, and he makes regular appearances on Russia’s state, err, “guided” TV channels.

Panarin also thinks that Alaska is destined to revert back to Russian control. If that happens, Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin character will definitely see Russia from her front porch.

LaBarbera Award: Mat Staver

Jim Burroway

February 27th, 2009

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver spoke before the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) where he charged that allowing same-sex marriage would lead to an epidemic of criminality:

Same-sex marriage sets forth a fatherless policy. It will deprive children of ever having the opportunity of being raised in an environment where mom and dad are present. You don’t have to read thousands of sociological research studies to know that marriage matters and moms and dads and genders do matter to the well-being of children. You can go to any violent jail or crime area within the jail or a prison, and go to the men’s section of the prison or the jail and ask where the violent offenders are housed. And when you go there, ask them one question. And the one question is this: what was your relationship with your father? Universally, the answer will come back “I had no father.” There is a correlation between fatherlessness and and why these young men are behind bars for committing violent crimes.

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If that were true, then I guess we shouldn’t allow lesbians to marry. But men on the other hand, who would provide two fathers, would double-inoculate their children against criminality.

But of course, this is nonsense. Staver says “you don’t have to read thousands of sociological research studies,” but he should perhaps read a few of them rather than remain in willful ignorance. Because none of those studies comparing families comprising of two lesbian parents or two gay men as parents to families headed by two heterosexual parents have been able to discern any measurable differences in the general outcome of children — and most certainly not in the criminality of children.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics — who know a thing or two about children — conducted a wide ranging review of the vast professional research literature, and they concluded that:

A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with 1 or 2 gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual. Children’s optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by the particular structural form it takes.

In other words, good parents, very broadly speaking, make for good children. Inadequate parental relationships or adverse family dynamics lead to a greater risk for negative outcomes. And that’s true regardless of the parental makeup.

So we award this latest LaBarbera Award to Mat Staver, because no one needs to remain mired in willful ignorance rather than acknowledging what the research actually says.

LaBarbera Award: CO State Sen. Dave Schultheis

Jim Burroway

February 25th, 2009

One might conclude that Colorado GOP state Senators have become jealous over all the attention being paid to the abundance of anti-gay shenanigans over in neighboring Utah, How else can we explain this two-fer in three days?

On Monday, we had some serious nuttiness from Colorado State Sen. Scott Renfroe (R-Greeley). Now just two days later, we have another state Senator from the Rocky Mountain state making an award-winning bid. Colorado State Sen. Dave Schultheis (R-Colorado Springs) thinks that having an HIV-positive baby is just punishment for its mother’s promiscuity:

“What I’m hoping is that, yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that,” he said. “The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior.”

That’s what Schultheis said to the Rocky Mountain News when asked if he really meant what he said when he spoke in opposition to a bill on Wednesday requiring all pregnant women to be tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. If the virus can be detected early enough in the pregnancy, the unborn baby can be treated to prevent the transfer of the virus.

Schultheis however believes that leaving babies untreated and increasing the risk twelve-fold that they will become infected is just what the doctor ordered. Speaking form the Senate floor, Schultheis said:

Colorado State Sen. Dave Schultheis (R-Colorado Springs)

Colorado State Sen. Dave Schultheis (R-Colorado Springs)

“I’m trying to think through what the role of government is here. And I am not convinced that part of the role of government should be to protect individuals from the negative consequences of their actions.

Sexual promiscuity, we know, causes a lot of problems in our state, one of which, obviously, is the contraction of HIV. And we have other programs that deal with the negative consequences – we put up part of our high schools where we allow students maybe 13 years old who put their child in a small daycare center there.

We do things continually to remove the negative consequences that take place from poor behavior and unacceptable behavior, quite frankly, and I don’t think that’s the role of this body.

As a result of that I finally came to the conclusion I would have to be a no vote on this because this stems from sexual promiscuity for the most part, and I just can’t vote on this bill and I wanted to explain to this body why I was going to be a no vote on this.

Former Republican Gov. Bill Owens stated the obvious: “It’s extremely inconsistent for any person who is pro life to oppose this effort to potentially save the life of a child.” Every other Republican in the state Senate supported the bill. But despite this latest embarrassment, Senate minority leader Josh Penry said, “It’s not my job to go around and censor people and tell them what to say.”

But there’s something else that’s not being said. It’s the reaction on learning that someone is HIV-positive: that the person is without morals and somehow deserves his or her infection. A person can have sex only once and still contract AIDS. That sexual act can be consensual — it can be the result of having sex with her legally-wedded husband who is infected — or the “sex act” could nonconsensual, whether it’s rape or molestation.

This blame-the-victim mentality so emphatically articulated by Schultheis, the assumption which springs so automatically whenever the subject of HIV and AIDS is broached, that is the very same mentality which hinders efforts to curb the epidemic — all to the detriment of mothers and their unborn children. And other sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, spouses and partners, and all the others who become infected every year.

This latest controversey came on the heels of another embarrassing outburst by a fellow Colorado State Senator. On Monday, State Sen. Scott Renfroe (R-Greeley) spoke out against a gay-rights bill comparing homosexuality to murder. This was just after reading aloud a verse from Leviticus 20:13, which mandates the death penalty “if a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman.”

LaBarbera Award: CO State Sen. Scott Renfroe

Jim Burroway

February 24th, 2009

Okay, so maybe homosexuality isn’t like terrorism. Maybe it’s really more like murder:

Debating a gay-rights bill on the floor of the state Senate on Monday, a Republican lawmaker took the rhetoric to new heights by equating homosexuality as a sin with murder.

“I’m not saying this (homosexuality) is the only sin that’s out there,” said Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley. “We have murder. We have all sorts of sin. We have adultery. And we don’t make laws making those legal, and we would never think to make murder legal.”

The gay rights bill in question would allow state employees to provide health insurance for their same-sex partners. Last I checked, that move would possibly save lives, not kill them. The bill passed an initial vote in the state Senate.

Meanwhile, Utahns are relieved it’s somebody somewhere else for a change.

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