Box Turtle Bulletin

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…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Posts for October, 2013

NOM quotes Laurie Higgins; claims it’s Chicago Tribune

Timothy Kincaid

October 8th, 2013

Once a voice for those who opposed marriage equality in a somewhat civil tone, the National Organization for Marriage is racing down the fast lane towards anti-gay extremism. In the past few months, as it has became unavoidable clear that equality is the near future, NOM has abandoned all pretense of principled opposition on the issue of marriage and has been edging towards becoming just another of the shrill voices screaming about the homosexual agenda and ranting about what the evil radical homosexual lobby is trying to do to destroy America and harm Christians (as they define them).

Today is another example: (NOMblog)

Same-sex ‘marriage’ radicals are at it again… the latest example comes from Chicago.

In what the Chicago Tribune rightly called “a stunning public admission” openly homosexual Democratic State Representative Greg Harris of Chicago, outright admitted in a public debate that the proposed law in Illinois redefining marriage did NOT provide religious liberty or conscience protections for individual Christian business owners.

The article continued, saying that “it was clear that both he and homosexual Chicago Alderman Deb Mell (a former state representative and co-sponsor of SB 10) oppose any such protections.” (emphasis added).

That seemed odd to me, as the Trib hasn’t referred to someone as “homosexual Chicago Alderman” since the 90′s. This is the rhetoric not of reporters or even editorial boards, but of anti-gay activists. So I did a little searching and, sure enough, this didn’t come from the Chicago Tribune’s reporters or editorial staff at all.

It came from Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute, one of only 34 groups listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an active anti-gay group (a “hate group”). And that “stunning public admission”, yeah that was only Laurie being “stunned”.

Now most of us can pretty easily distinguish between raging bias-based ranting and news coverage. But it is becoming increasingly evident that Brian Brown and others at the National Organization for Marriage live in a world where anti-gay epithets and paranoid raging against gay Americans seems normal and ordinary.

Laurie Higgins hates the sinner

Timothy Kincaid

April 15th, 2011

Laurie Higgins is an activist who writes strident florid diatribes decrying “the normalization of homosexuality” for the the anti-gay hate group, Illinois Family Association (IFI is one of only seventeen groups so designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center). But Laurie doesn’t see herself as a hater – or not of people. Laurie only hates sin.

Higgins’ specialty is schools and one can usually find her railing about the evils of gay-straight alliances, often at about the same time that the news is covering the story of a gay teen who committed suicide. And as part of the small but shrill collection of truly outlandish wackadoodle activists, Laurie is dedicated.

Annually, she calls on Christian parents take their kids out of school on the Day of Silence to show that they oppose its goal of drawing attention to anti-gay bullying and harassment. She considers No Name-Calling Week to be “devilish” because the curriculum, which call on students to not use ‘gay’ as a slur, “manipulate[s] emotions while never exposing or critiquing the assumptions embedded within the activities.”

And it isn’t that Laurie thinks that these are admirable efforts which go too far in their efforts to stop bullying. Nor does she simply think that such efforts unfairly portray conservatives as hateful or uncaring.

Rather, Laurie believes that there should bea culture of disapproval and condemnation” towards homosexuality. She believes that Christians students have a moral obligation to denounce the homosexual agenda in public schools and cultivate a such a culture.

But Laurie owns no shame for this. She feels no responsibility whatsoever for any consequences that come from her campaign. That children suffer is not due to her words of truth but due to the confusion from others lying to them and deceiving their soul.

And Laurie is firmly convinced that it is she who genuinely loves those who experience a disordered sexual attraction to their same sex. Unlike the depraved, carrion-devouring culture, Laurie loves them enough to tell them that a celibate life lived in submission to God is not a lonely, unfulfilled life. She alone is brave enough to tell children that a life in which they will never kiss, hold hands, date, infatuate about, fall in love with, marry, build a life with, and grow old together with anyone ever is a life defined by real love and real peace.

And as much as she loves those depraved and disordered people, she hates their sin. And it is her hatred of the sin of homosexuality that drives her to feats of rhetoric that have contributed to IFI’s recognition as a hate-group.

In fact, Laurie can stand as Example One of the embodiment of St. Augustine’s call to Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin. But the little problem with loving the sinner and hating the sin is that Laurie, like most who live that principle, just can’t tell where the person lets off and their sin begins.

Let’s look at a paragraph from her most recent article. Although it is titled as though calling the church to care, it is just one of her usual encouragements to hate. The sin, of course.

When I think about the evil done to children by teachers who tell them that homosexuality is deserving of respect and affirmation, I become angry, and I desperately want others to experience the righteous anger that should well up in decent people who see young children taught that evil is good. We do not embody the love of Christ when we remain silent while body and soul-destroying lies are being affirmed to and in children, teens, and adults.

Laurie would have us note that it is homosexuality that she opposes. But is it? Are teachers telling children, “homosexuality is deserving of respect and affirmation”?

No, they are not.

Rather, teachers are telling students that homosexual persons are deserving of respect and admiration or, at least, that their homosexuality is not cause for precluding such persons from respect and admiration.

And Laurie doesn’t believe that at all. She thinks that society should be withholding respect and admiration for these people. It should reject and condemn. It should make them feel shame.

When we consider the honesty of the situation, what Laurie really means is:

When I think about the evil done to children by teachers who tell them that homosexuals are deserving of respect and affirmation, I become angry, and I desperately want others to experience the righteous anger that should well up in decent people who see young children taught that evil doers are good. We do not embody the love of Christ when we remain silent while body and soul-destroying lies are being affirmed to and in children, teens, and adults.

But that looks too much like hate so say in public.

And besides Laurie would tell us that she does think that they are, like all of us, “deserving of respect and admiration as a Child of God.” She would go on about their eternal soul and what “real love” means and sacrifice and freedom in Christ and a whole lot of other phrases that allow Laurie to see herself as separate from the misery, pain, and death of innocent children for which she will have to answer to her Maker.

But the truth is that when it comes to real gay people in real situations, Laurie’s sees the sinner as inseparable from their sin. And her only response is hate.

The Peter’s wackadoodle school exposed

Timothy Kincaid

August 11th, 2010

Last weekend Peter LaBarbera and a host of wackadoodle anti-gay activists held a three day seminar to teach young recruits how to demean, disparage, and fraudulently portray gay people. Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist, sent in two infiltrators to report on Peter’s nonsense.

They provide some interesting information about the speakers and the audience:

Quite honestly, I found that many of these people were not “hateful” in the sense that they don’t actively wish LGBT people harm. They truly believe that if homosexuals would only live the lifestyle and hold the beliefs they themselves hold, those homosexuals would go on to live richer, more fulfilling lives. I experienced many of those attending the conference to be kind, concerned individuals.

By my count, around 45 people attended the conference on any given day. That’s including the speakers and the families of the speakers, so actual attendee numbers on any given day were lower, and some new attendees were there on Friday and Saturday. Of the people attending, a large majority were older. On the first day there were only around five people attending who looked to be under the age of 30.

Also present are synopses of the speakers’ views. For example, this is from a group session:

Barber: We should not be politically correct. It’s natural for gays to be reviled. It’s important to focus on the health risks of homosexuality, but we need to be aggressive and unapologetically loving.

Quinlan: If you Bible-thump or talk about sex, it turns pro-gays off. If you give them the science, you sound like somebody in authority and they don’t know how to respond to that.

Goldberg: We need to use the term “homosexual” instead of “gay” because it has a more negative connotation. No one is gay; they’re only “gay identified.”

Kincaid: This issue of homosexuality affects you because gays are demanding to give blood. The hemophiliacs are outraged by the homosexual lobby saying they have a right to give blood. They want to force themselves into the blood supply in a callous and arrogant manner. Mothers need to speak up. Mothers, your children are at risk!

Quinlan: The church has to be involved in politics. Politics are dirty. Our Founding Fathers were all religious men. They weren’t all just deists. They were Bible-believing men. We do have the truth and the truth is this: a family is made up of a mother and a father because it takes a mother and a father to raise a child.

Higgins: Parents need to remove their children from public schools. Even after doing that, they need to make law changes because our taxes go to the public schools. When we are silent on this issue, we teach our children through role-modeling to be cowardly conformists. We bequeath a legacy of much greater oppression to our children and our grandchildren. At least I can say to my children that I did everything I could.

Lindevaldsen: We need to work to completely eliminate public schools — government schools — and push a Christian/Biblical model of educating our children

Sorba: We need to unify behind common winning talking points. Boycott the term “gay.” They are in no way attached to any kind of identity because it’s not an identity. They’re not functioning in accord with their design. We need to repeat over and over and over again that there is no scientific evidence that people are born gay. There is no study that proves causation. Psychiatrists need to reclassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

LaBarbera: “Born gay” evidence is unreliable. There was once a pro-gay activist yelling as loud as he could that I was a maniac who wanted to kill gay people. This shows how unstable these guys are.

Sorba: Genes code for proteins, not for behaviors. The “born gay” thing is a debate that we’re definitely going to win. Nobody’s a meat puppet dangling from the strings of the chemical reactions of their brain. It’s letting your emotions rule instead of your reason. It’s a debate about if you’re able to define reality vs. your ability to intellectually understand the reality of world around you. We should be able to argue for the re-criminalization of sodomy and overturn Lawrence v. Texas — the punishment would just be a fine. It would inhibit gay night clubs from springing up where AIDS is spread. It’ll inhibit pornography. We need to go on the offense. Then we know we’re gonna win. You’re not born gay; it’s a vice. These people need help.

Barber: The reality of ex-gays poses an enormous threat to the homosexual movement. Their entire argument hinges on the immutability of homosexuality.

LaBarbera: [Discussing LGBT protesters] They come there with their hateful signs; this is the level of fanaticism we’re dealing with. It’s just as hard to convey how radical the movement is as how bad the behavior is.

Barber: At gay pride parades, they have sex in the street in front of children.

Kincaid: Left-wing student groups are leading boycotts of blood drives, because they’re “discriminatory.” This movement is expanding. If this keeps getting bigger and bigger, we are going to face a shortage of blood. It’s extortion. I remember when AIDS happened. I remember covering this. You have to be older to understand what was happening at this time. I really don’t think a lot of the young people today remember the panic and catastrophe that enveloped the nation because of AIDS. They don’t understand how it developed. They don’t understand the devastation. We need to educate the young people about this disease as well as new-and-potentially-just-as-deadly diseases that may not be being detected currently through blood tests. It’s not a matter of discrimination. It’s a matter of life.

Sorba: Of course romantic attraction can happen between any two people, but the question is whether it adheres with the “Good.” A thing is Good insofar as it helps actualize the potential for humanity. Man is a rational animal. His final end is to know God and truth; truth means correlation with reality. Absent truth, what’s the point? Absent correspondence with reality, what are we doing here, dreaming? If Eros is the thing by which you define the Good, a man leaves his wife and kids in the name of “love.” Love is not the supreme decision maker for us. The Good is.

Go check out the multi-page report. It is well worth reading

Convicted Wall Street Felon To Speak At Peter LaBarbera’s “Truth Academy”

Jim Burroway

August 4th, 2010

Peter LaBarbera’s so-called “Truth Academy,” which kicks off tomorrow, has an interesting lineup of characters. Among the invited speakers is Arthur Goldberg, of JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing — and what is an alternative to healing exactly? An alternative to something is something other than that something and not including that something, isn’t it? Okay, I digress).

In 1989 Goldberg was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Government. The conspiracy, in which he engineered a phony bond and investment scheme, netted him nearly $11 million in illegal fees. U.S. Attorney William O’Connor told the court at his sentencing that Goldberg’s crime was “a fraud of spectacular scope.”

More recently, one of JONAH’s  so-called “life coaches” was accused by two former clients of inappropriate sexual misconduct. Alan Downing, described as a lead therapist for JONAH and who is himself a so-called “former homosexual” who admits he is still attracted to men, essentially instructed his clients through a sort of strip tease as part of their so-called “therapy.” Alternatives to healing indeed.

Speaking of frauds of spectacular scope, another speaker at LaBarbera’s little confab is Cliff Kincaid, of “Accuracy in Media.” Kincaid has vigorously defended Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill which would impose the death penalty on LGBT people under certain circumstances, and would criminalize any one else knowing or providing services to gay people.

Other speakers include Robert Knight, Coral Ridge Ministries; Ryan Sorba, Young Conservatives of California; Prof. Rena Lindevaldsen, Liberty University Law School; Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel; Laurie Higgins, Illinois Family Institute; and Greg Quinlan, Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays.

Timothy Kincaid has a great rundown of the other speakers here.

Learn to be a Wackadoodle

Timothy Kincaid

June 9th, 2010

It looks like Peter LaBarbera is seeking to put more seats in his Wackadoodle Express and he’s looking for fresh young bodies to fill them. Yes, the Peter has started a “school” and is now out recruiting children.

We’re delighted to announce the debut of our ongoing “Americans For Truth Academy,” designed to train young people (as well as older pro-family advocates) how to answer “gay” activist misinformation and fight the homosexual-bisexual-transsexual agenda.

And from the folks he’s lined up as “teachers”, it’s clearly a Wackadoodle School:

  • Robert Knight, Coral Ridge Ministries
  • Peter LaBarbera, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality
  • Ryan Sorba, Young Conservatives of California
  • Prof. Robert Gagnon, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
  • Prof. Rena Lindevaldsen, Liberty University Law School
  • Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel
  • Laurie Higgins, Illinois Family Institute
  • Greg Quinlan, Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays

I could not have hand-picked a more extreme group than this one. Wackadoodles, one and all. But don’t get your hopes up, this is a double triple super secret Wackadoodle School.

Prospective attendees will need to be approved with references; this is not open to pro-homosexual activists but only to those who share AFTAH’s belief that homosexuality is immoral and that the GLBT movement is destructive to America and a direct threat to our religious freedom.

And what will they learn?

I know it’s all secret-secret, but I’ve taken the liberty of imagining a syllabus.

Robert Knight may open off by sharing that Matthew Shepard is burning in Hell and then may go on to quote a little of Paul Cameron’s work before defending racist and homophobic violence.

Matt Barber will teach them that homosexuality is one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it love. And Laurie Higgins will tell the kiddies that it is their Christian duty to support the culture of disapproval and condemnation towards their gay classmates.

Robert Gagnon will provide the scholarly religious perspective by insisting that because the gospels are actually a retelling of an earlier writing, therefore the Roman Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his “pais” was actually a Jewish administrator asking about his son… but any Scripture that might possibly condemn homosexuality is to be taken literally and applied as condemnation of today’s gay and lesbian community. (Students may not wish to sit in the front, Gagnon is inclined to angry ranting.)

Next Greg Quinlan will give a personal touch by telling how he once was a homosexual but now he is a very heterosexual man who out of Christian conviction is living celibately since his wife divorced him. And Ryan Sorba will support him by declaring that reparative therapy is a proven success, regardless of what pro-sodomy activists say. Quinlan may also spend some time arguing that ex-gay is an orientation and that Disneyland is the devil’s playground. (Students are advised not to ask questions to either of these presenters as they might incite confrontation and claim martyrdom.)

Finally Rena Lindevaldsen will give you secret tips on how kidnap the children of militant gay activists and flee the country to South America – all without a job or speaking Spanish – so as to make sure those children have a stable normal life.

And before breaking at the end of the weekend to return to fight the good fight, Peter LaBarbera will announce the much anticipated 2009 Grinch Award winners, followed by an exciting slide show of sodomites in action. This will have much nudity and will emphasize kink and S/M so it should be very stirring and uplifting. LaBarbera will be on hand to model the leatherman outfits he uses to infiltrate sex parties and to discuss in detail the exact mechanics of specific sexual acts for a select few; be sure to apply for this very special presentation.

Laurie Higgins’ mixed-up crazy loony-toon topsy turvy notions about “biblical truths”

Timothy Kincaid

May 26th, 2010

Laurie Higgins is part of that small select number of anti-gay activist who dedicate their efforts to demeaning and denigrating gay men and women. This group, which includes such folk as Peter LaBarbera, Linda Harvey, and Matt Barber, all seem to believe that it is their Christian and civic duty to work against any measure of civil equality or minor decency that might be directed toward gay people.

At one point, even as recent as a few years ago, their job was relatively easy. Society at large, and Christianity in particular, shared a basic ignorance and mistrust of homosexuality. Lies were readily believed, fears were easily exploited, and it was not difficult at all to convince your audience that gay people were not really human or deserving of rights.

But visibility has changed that. More and more Americans have come to know and love their gay family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors and are find inflammatory denunciations inconsistent with the truth. Increasingly, Laurie and her buddies come off as shrill and ineffective and their extremism is rapidly placing them outside of mainstream Christianity.

And Laurie’s not taking it lightly.

Laurie believes that she’s been “called to activism” as her vocation (presumably by God) and this, in her mind, justifies any wackadoodle notion that tumbles out of her mouth, no matter how vile, offensive, or mean. She worships an angry, vengeful, and vituperative deity and as his acolyte she seeks to live up to expectations.

And further, she’s frightened that her angry god is becoming obsolete and that Christianity is coming to recognize the inherent worth of each individual. And as that’s not good for business (or her own moral certainty), she’s fighting back.

Her latest target is Dr. Warren Throckmorton, whom she believes is a traitor. Throckmorton used to be an advocate of ex-gay ministries until his observations (and his honesty) got in the way. And while Throckmorton endorses a conservative sexual ethic for same-sex attracted people, he had the nerve (such temerity) to oppose Ugandan legislation which would incarcerate or execute gay people for the heinous crime of being gay people (what she disingenuously calls “volitional homosexual acts”).

And even worse, Throckmorton did the unthinkable. He dared criticize those who are obsessed with waging culture war on the lives, freedoms, rights and dignity of gay people. Outrage! Heresy! He must be a homosexualist!

In her indignant wild-haired harangue against him (you can almost see the spittle flying), Higgins elevates her odious ranting to the level of the apostolic, equating herself with Paul and Dr. Martin Luther King. And using a twist of logic that surely makes sense only to her own select group, Higgins declares that opposing discrimination against gay people is the moral equivalent of supporting discrimination against black people.

In my estimation, there are far too few Christians who are willing to speak the truth in the public square. At different times in history, different biblical truths are attacked with particular ferocity. During the era of slavery and Jim Crow laws, biblical truth about the dignity and worth of African American women and men were attacked with special intensity. During those decades, an equally vigorous public response to the cultural lies that destroyed lives and families was necessary. Unfortunately, for far too many years, the white church failed to respond courageously.

Similarly, the church is failing now to respond with courage and vigor to the assault on biblical truth about sexuality, marriage, and the family from the mainstream news media, Hollywood, Madison Avenue, the music industry, and public education.

This was neither satire nor intended irony. It has never occurred to Higgins that the supporters of the civil rights movement in the 60′s were Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the music industry and that those who opposed civil equality railed against them in words almost identical to her own. And they probably attend her church today.

Poor sad deluded Laurie Higgins. It’s tragic how a gut full of hatred can twist your mind.

Another passenger on board LaBarbera’s Wackadoodle Train

Timothy Kincaid

March 12th, 2010

circus trainNearly every week on the elimination competition television show So You Think You Can Dance, highly excitable judge Mary Murphy will see some performance that especially liked and shriek at the top of her lungs, “Wooo-woooo, you’re on the Hot Tamale Train.” Well I figure that if Murphy can have a train just for “hot tamales”, then Peter LaBarbera can have one for wackadoodles.

And today yet another wackadoodle has jumped on the train racing forward in its quest to discredit Dr. Warren Throckmorton. Today’s passenger: Laurie Higgins.

We all know Laurie from her declarations that it is the Christian duty of children and teachers to “condemn volitional homosexual conduct” of gay students (i.e. bully them). And we remember when we awarded her the LaBarbera Award for equating homosexuality with Nazi atrocities.

So it’s not too surprising that this defender of “culture of disapproval and condemnation” had chosen to yet again climb on board with The Peter and his collection of wackadoodle extremist nutcases to attack the latest conservative evangelical Christian who is not adequately pure in his animosity towards gay people, Dr. Warren Throckmorton.

Now Laurie is not one to consider perspective, allow for differing understanding, or honor any opinion that veers in the slightest from her own. Black and white, all or nothing, these are notions that Laurie values. She’s don’t need no complexity; she’s a simple thinker.

“Nuance” — yet another manifestation of rhetoric serving the cause of sin.

You see, for Laurie, Christ means everything (a notion with which I’m sure she’d agree). And this Christ of Laurie’s is no namby-pamby, eat with sinners, forgive them for not knowing what they do, liberal activist kind of Jesus. No! He’s a hardcore conservative, follow The Law to the letter, kick over the tables of the religious folk I disagree with, stern Jesus who demands complete obsequience.

And Laurie loves this Jesus so much, so very very much, that she’d be privileged to pile the firewood and light the torches to defend his TRUTH.

And as for valuing professionalism or respecting the mental health of the patient, that’s not for Laurie. That sounds too much like nuance. It’s much much easier to demand that clients yield to the religious dictates of their counselor.

Throckmorton and Yarhouse’s statement could be made only by those whose allegiance to a secular worldview takes precedence over their allegiance to Christ. Unfortunately, Throckmorton and Yarhouse are not alone in their subordination of faith and truth to the demands of secular professional guidelines or requirements.

But what really gets Higgins’ goat is that Throckmorton considers that gay people may have some civil right to self determination and equality under the law:

In his interview with One News Now, Throckmorton also said that “he takes a more ‘nuanced’ view” on the topic of same-sex marriage. He said “that he opposes same-sex marriage but believes the Equal Protection Clause permits homosexual civil unions.” Tricksy rhetoric again. He cleverly avoids saying he supports homosexual unions, instead saying that the Equal Protection Clause permits homosexual unions.

Laurie is having none of that. It’s time, she thinks, for Christians to denounce civil law, to abandon professionalism, to throw freedom in the hopper where it belongs, and to become downright nasty to friends and family who don’t share her own passion for denouncing the sinners around them.

What seems clear is that many Christian mental health professionals are subordinating their faith to the professional standards established by a world largely hostile to faith. No serious Christian — no one who understands that Christ expects full submission of every aspect of the lives of those who accept the gift of eternal life that came at the cost of His life — would affirm to others either implicitly or explicitly profoundly sinful behavior, behavior that orthodox Christian doctrine teaches will lead to eternal damnation.

Increasingly, Christians from all walks of life are going to have to choose between their work and their faith, between friendships and faith, and perhaps even between family and faith.

But Laurie Higgins isn’t the only new passenger. Peter also hauled aboard “a reader” who had this to say:

Warren seems to compartmentalize “mental health/mental illness” as if it is entirely separate from the consequences of sinful attitudes, lustful thoughts, wicked behaviors — whereas a mature Christian (especially a counselor) ought to see a strong connection between the two.

Personally, if I were The Peter, I’d not want to look too closely at the strong connection between mental illness and religion. There’s a reason why asylums are full of sad folks who think they are Jesus or Joan of Arc.

Oh, yes. Peter has himself a whole train full of wackadoodle nutcases. But before he gets a full head of steam, he may want to peer down that track a ways. Rather than ‘roll across the trestle, spanning Jordan’s swelling tide‘ he may find that he’s heading for a derailing.

Your humble Grinch

Timothy Kincaid

December 21st, 2009

I have been nominated for an award. I am among a small selection of gay individuals for whom a unique recognition is being considered. By Peter LaBarbera.

lababs2LaBarbera, an anti-gay activist who runs the ironically named Americans for Truth About Homosexuality organization, has created the Gay Grinch of the Year award which he promises to “mak[e] light of the bald-faced hypocrisy of homosexual activists, who demand tolerance for themselves even as they maliciously attack and victimize their critics.” It is reserved for “the meanest, most deceitful, most socially destructive and/or most blasphemous “gay” activist of the year.”

The nominees are (drum roll please…)

  • Perez Hilton – for his vulgar, bigoted rant against Miss California Carrie Prejean during the Miss USA 2009 pageant
  • Wayne Besen — for his ongoing hatred and harassment of former homosexuals and Christians who help “gays” leave the lifestyle
  • Frank Kameny — for proclaiming that the God of the Bible is a “sinful homophobic bigot” who needs to repent
  • Rachel Maddow — for suggesting that rather than tossing two tomatoes at Sarah Palin, an activist in Minnesota should have thrown a pie at the former Alaska governor
  • ChadMichael Morrisette and Mito Aviles — for a parody at Halloween in which they propped up a nude female mannequin with “LIAR” written on the belly and a copy of the face of pro-traditional-marriage advocate Maggie Gallagher attached as the head
  • Timothy Kincaid — for preposterously accusing pro-family advocate Laurie Higgins of wanting to see students harmed
  • George Fornero — a superintendent of school District 113 in the northern suburbs of Chicago who wrote gossipy e-mails about the same Laurie Higgins

Me? Gosh, I hardly know what to say.

I suppose in fairness I should reveal that I didn’t actually say that Laurie Higgins wanted to see students harmed, something LaBarbera repeats several times in his interview with Concerned Women for America. What I said was that Higgins “believes it is a Christian kid’s duty to bully his gay classmates” and later that Laurie “sees her goal as defending the culture of disapproval and condemnation.”

But, shhhhh, don’t tell The Peter.

I’m sure there are a great many reasons that LaBarbera could find for determining any of the authors at Box Turtle Bulletin to be the “meanest or most blasphemous gay activist”. But the selection of my criticism of Laurie Higgins is fitting. After all, we did award Higgins with the Peter LaBarbera Award for the “most outrageous, offensive, malevolent, crazy, or excessive statement or claim.” So, in a way, this closes the circle.

And I am proud that we exposed the extremism in Higgins’ writings. I am glad that we revealed that she expresses no concern whatsoever for the real and measurable harm resulting from her rhetoric and that she believes it the duty of Christian students to disregard the concerns of their gay schoolmates.

But I’m realistic.

How could I possibly win when the competition includes Perez Hilton, Wayne Besen, and Rachel Maddow? With such formidable competition, it seems unlikely that I have a even a small chance. Surely this is how Kathy Griffin felt when she learned was being considered for a comedy album Grammy, only to hear that she was up against the recently deceased George Carlin.

But with this year being the inaugural year I say, as countless awards nominees have said before me, it’s an honor just to be nominated.

UPDATE: Dan Savage has now been added as a nominee for past extremism and not seeming to comprehend the radical difference between evolving reforms within marriage and the revolutionary homosexualization of “marriage” that essentially redefines the institution to mean anything.

Whew, that’s quite an accomplishment. Now I have no chance whatsoever.

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.

More from Laurie Higgins on why She Supports a Culture of Disapproval and Condemnation

Timothy Kincaid

April 28th, 2009

On April 15, Laurie Higgins, the Director of the Division of School Advocacy for hate-group Illinois Family Institute, wrote an article about why she opposed Dr. Throckmorton’s efforts to get Christian kids to follow the Golden Rule in response to GLSEN’s Day of Silence.

She argued that Christian kids should not “do to others what you would have them do to you”, but rather they “must condemn volitional homosexual conduct”.

I found this to be an endorsement of the bullying that GLSEN sought to counter as well as a perverse distortion of Christianity. I responded with a commentary in which I stated that “Higgins opposes the Day of Silence because she believes it is a Christian kid’s duty to bully his gay classmates”.

This did not sit well with Laurie Higgins.

She countered with another article in which she accused me of spreading “pernicious lies” and tried to draw a distinction between “condemnation, which means strong disapproval” and bullying. She even went so far as to argue that “censoring” the public condemnation of gay students by other students “constitutes an act of incalculable harm”.

Higgins expressed no mention of the harm of allowing this “strong disapproval”, such as the suicide deaths of two eleven year-old boys in the previous week.

I commented on her rebuttal,

To Laurie, Christians students should show contempt and disgust and derision. It is a good thing to abuse their fellow students that they think might be gay. It’s the Christian thing to do. It’s just condemnation of sin, not bullying, you see. It keeps society on the straight and narrow way.

Now Laurie has responded again. In her opinion piece The Bullying Tactics of “Anti-Bullying” Activists, she seeks to defend her honor.

Rather than review her bullet points one by one, I’ll let my previous writing stand on its own. I think that the observations I have made about her character, values, goals, intentions and agenda are far more evident in her writing than are her new protestations.

And, perhaps most important, Laurie and I have found a common point. Referencing something I wrote in the comments to my own commentary, she indicates that I have, indeed, identified her intention and purpose (in the comments an individual who called herself “Teri” said I “hit the nail on the head”).

Though Laurie truncates my comment, I’ll repeat it in full.

Laurie’s defenders play the same game that she does. They talk about “homosexual behavior”.

What they don’t tell you is that they define “homosexual behavior” to include the simple act of identifying as gay.

You see, to the IFIs and Exoduses and others who “fight the homosexual agenda”, they really don’t care so very much what you do in the privacy of your home – so long as you are suitably ashamed and believe that you are a sinner.

What they oppose is gay people openly and proudly identifing themselves and living with dignity.

Laurie and Teri and their pals would FAR rather have a teenage kid sneaking off to a seedly alley to have shame-filled anonymous unsafe sex than they would some virginal boy announcing that he is gay and plans to stay pure until he falls in love and marries the man of his dreams.

You see, as long as he hates himself they have a chance to save his soul. And that is far more important to them than his body or his spirit or his health or his character.

This is why they fight so hard against the Day of Silence and Gay-Straight Alliances. Not because of sex, but because these groups help counter the culture of disapproval and condemnation.

Because what Laurie wants more than anything is that the culture and society be dominated by disapproval and rejection of gays. Not gay sex, but gay identity. [The section in bold is quoted by Higgins]

And on this Laurie Higgins and I agree. We both acknowledge that she sees her goal as defending the culture of disapproval and condemnation.

Where we disagree is that I find the suffering and dead children she leaves in her wake to be abominable and horrific.

In mentioning the deaths of Carl Walker-Hoover, Jaheem Herrera, and Eric Mohat (the first time she’s been inclined to do so) she finds no evidence that “compassionate, intelligent expositions of conservative views of homosexuality” (the condemnation and strong disapproval in which she says Christian kids must engage) are in any way to blame.

Even though the parent of all three boys lay the blame for the death of their children at the feet of anti-gay bullying, Laurie thinks that she’s identified another culprit. Believe it or not, it’s me.

Laurie Higgins Seeks to Justify her Endorsement of Bullying

Timothy Kincaid

April 21st, 2009

Laurie Higgins, Director of the Division of School Advocacy of the certified hate-group Illinois Family Institute, is not at all pleased with my observations about her advocacy for bullying.

The homosexual blog Box Turtle Bulletin carried an article last week in which Timothy Kincaid spread pernicious lies about me. I don’t know Mr. Kincaid, so I don’t know if he has a limited capacity for following the logic of an argument or if he has a limited commitment to truth and an unwillingness to provide evidence for his defamatory claims.

The crux of Higgins’ argument is the indignant insistence that she does not personally bully children but that “There is an important distinction between interacting with individuals and participating in public debates”

In my interactions with individuals who identify as homosexual, I would never articulate my views about homosexuality unless the topic were introduced by them. If the topic were introduced by them, I would speak the truth graciously.

Higgins goes on at quite some length in her “graciously truthful” way, crafting a world in which schools are hell bent on promoting a radical, subversive, ahistorical view about the nature and morality of homosexuality and are conspiring to censor conservative views. This makes it “ethically legitimate for all citizens to participate in the public discussion regarding what best serves justice and the common good.”

But let’s stop for just a moment and remind ourselves exactly what it is that we are talking about, exactly what it is that Higgins finds so objectionable: anti-bullying programs.

The constant use of “faggot” and “homo” and the constant deriding of students who may not fit the stereotype of sexual norms is pervasive in our public schools. And it is resulting in the staggering truth that children as young as 11 years old are killing themselves rather than face another day of this abuse.

And let’s also keep in mind that there is nothing whatsoever that these kids can do about it. They did nothing to start it, do nothing to contribute to it, and have no way of stopping it. Many of them do not identify as gay and most of those who do have never engaged in any sexual behaviors of any kind. These are just kids who – for reasons that adults can never fathom – have been declared to be “a fag” and therefore deserving of torment.

Think about this when you read the next paragraph.

The truth is that public schools can find ways to curb bullying without addressing homosexuality. For example, students who engage in promiscuous behavior, particularly girls, are often called “sluts,” “skanks,” and “whores.” Public educators deplore such bullying, and yet even in the service of ending bullying they would never permit books, plays, films, days of silence, newspaper articles, essays, speakers, panel discussions, and “diversity” weeks to be employed in the service of transforming students’ views on the morality of promiscuous behavior. They would find ways to curb bullying of promiscuous teens without ever specifically addressing promiscuous conduct.

I want to be charitable. I want to believe that no one, not even Laurie Higgins, would oppose programs that seek to stop kids calling other kids “skank” or “whore”. I can’t.

I want to believe that Laurie thinks it wrong to push gay kids into lockers, beat them up, threaten them, and subject them to a constant barrage of insults. I can’t.

I want to believe that she feels more empathy and a closer association with those being tormented than to those who doing the tormenting of their fellow students. I can’t.

There simply is no way to avoid it. There is simply no other possible conclusion. Laurie Higgins supports the bullying of gay students, she just refuses to think of it that way. Higgins sees the abuse as the legitimate response of moral kids to the immoral conduct they see in others.

Just like Laurie finds it reasonable to call a promiscuous girl (or one so accused) a slut or a whore, so too is it reasonable to torment gay kids (or those so assumed) with taunts of “faggot” and to physically abuse and threaten them. Because in her world Christians are required to “condemn” objectionable behavior – which means public derision and abuse – even if most of their victims have never engaged in any behavior at all.

To Laurie, Christians students should show contempt and disgust and derision. It is a good thing to abuse their fellow students that they think might be gay. It’s the Christian thing to do. It’s just condemnation of sin, not bullying, you see. It keeps society on the straight and narrow way.

And if there is collateral damage, that is of little concern to Laurie Higgins. She has never shown the slightest care for the victims, not even in passing. The important thing to Laurie is that students who share her contempt for homosexuality be unhindered in their efforts to condemn and berate.

And if this results in dead children, that is of no consequence; to Laurie it’s a small price to pay.