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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 February, 2014

Scott Lively Blames Russian Gay Bashings on “Ultra-Macho” Gay Nazis

Jim Burroway

February 11th, 2014

Scott Lively has a long history of blaming gay people when they become hate crime victims. So it comes as no surprise that in a rambling blog post at Matt Barber’s website, Lively says that the recently viral compilation of videos posted by Russian anti-gay extremists of their gay bashings are fake because Nazis!

I have one final, very important point to make in this article.  I am NOT saying that all of the incidents described in the video are fakes. While it is true that “gay” activists are masters of public deception, and their ranks include not just veteran political propagandists but also billionaires like George Soros and movie producer David Geffin — with the capability of staging any possible scenario flawlessly –  I believe some of the incidents depicted on the film are probably real.

But that raises the question, who are these perps?  Q. What sort of men go out of their way to find and harass effeminate “gay” men on the public streets?  A. They are, literally, NAZIs!  Ultra-Macho Nationalists, of which Russia has many.  Q. And who makes up a significant part of the Nationalist movement everywhere in the world through all of modern history?  A. Masculine oriented homosexual men of the very same sort that created the Nazi Party of Germany.

In the infamous 2009 anti-gay conference in Kampala, Uganda which ultimately led to the introduction of the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill in that nation’s Parliament, Lively blamed the 1994 Rwandan Genocide on “super-macho” homosexuals.

The compilation of videos assembled by Human Rights Watch that Lively refers to is here:

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Reactions to Exodus’s Closing Continues To Pour In

Jim Burroway

June 20th, 2013

Also, this:

HRC Promotes LaBarbera’s “Press Conference” at HRC HQ

Jim Burroway

June 5th, 2013

Peter LaBarbera, whose sparsely attended press conference yesterday in front of the Human Rights Campaign headquarters (“the world’s most powerful homosexual lobby organization,” he calls it) but hidden away behind a temporary construction wall, “was a success,” so sez The Peter. I guess HRC agrees. They posted video of the event so you don’t have to miss it.

It’s Not the Principle, It’s the Prejudice

Rob Tisinai

May 22nd, 2013

Here’s something that baffles me. Our opponents complain that laws banning anti-gay discrimination violate their religious liberty, but they have no qualms about laws against religious discrimination.

For instance, Catholic Charities of Boston chose to shut down adoption services rather than place kids with married same-sex parents, and decried it as a violation of their religious freedom — even though they were fine with not being allowed to discriminate against Jews. For many faiths, belonging to the wrong religion, or failing to accept the right Savior, is a permanent ticket to Hell. What could be more important to them when choosing a parent than that?

Yet we hear not a peep from them about these religious discrimination laws. Somehow it’s only a violation of their freedom when it comes to the gays. But principles are only principles if they apply them consistently. If they search for why we sometimes see their principles as bigotry, this is a good place to start.

For example, picture this scene a newly-promoted manager being mentored by an executive.

Exec:  You need to foster a safe and productive work environment. Don’t disparage people based on their gender.

Manager: Of course not.

Exec: Or their race.

Manager: Of course not.

Exec: Or their religion.

Manager: Of course not.

Exec: Or their orientation.

Manager: How dare you! This is an egregious violation of personal liberty! I’ve never seen anything like it! What is this, the Soviet Union?

I can imagine your reaction: Rob, you’re being an ass. You’ve mocked our opponents before, but this goes too far. They’d have to be ridiculous, self-righteous loons without an ounce of self-awareness to have such an over-the-top reaction, so divorced from reality, and it does us no good to tar them with such ridicule.

And I would kick shamefully at the ground and admit my fault.

Wait, no, I’d point you to this controversy over DOJ Pride.

DOJ Pride is a group for LGBT employees in the Department of Justice. They’ve distributed some helpful tips to DOJ managers about dealing with LGBT employees (I haven’t confirmed that they’re genuine, though I hope so), and the National Organization for Marriage is wallowing in a mucky sty of outrage. They’re promoting this spin on it from super-anti-gay Matt Barber:

The document is chilling. It’s riddled with directives that grossly violate – prima facie –employees’ First Amendment liberties.

You can view the document here and decide for yourself whether these are “directives.” They seem more like “helpful hints” from a group with no policy-making authority. But let’s look at what the document says:

Managers are essential to creating a workplace climate that is welcoming to and inclusive of all employees, and thus maximizes performance and productivity. In fact, managers have a more direct impact on workplace climate for employees, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees, than nondiscrimination and EEO policies and even co-workers.

Creating a work environment in which LGBT employees feel welcome and included has been shown to boost the performance and productivity of LGBT and non-LGBT employees alike. It also allows LGBT employees to build the kinds of open and trusting relationships with coworkers and managers that
are necessary for professional success.

So, what can a manager do? Here are seven practical tips to help managers create a truly inclusive workplace climate for all employees, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Here’s what Matt Barber and NOM tell us is really going on:

Following are excerpts from the “DOJ Pride” decree. When it comes to “LGBT pride,” employees are ordered:

  • “DON’T judge or remain silent. Silence will be interpreted as disapproval.” (Italics mine)

That’s a threat.

And not even a subtle one.

Got it? For Christians and other morals-minded federal employees, it’s no longer enough to just shut up and “stay in the closet” – to live your life in silent recognition of biblical principles (which, by itself, is unlawful constraint). When it comes to mandatory celebration of homosexual and cross-dressing behaviors, “silence will be interpreted as disapproval.”

All italics belong to Matt Barber. And so do the lies. This excerpted bullet is not about “LGBT pride” or “celebration” of anything. According to the guidelines, this is about what to do when an employee comes out to you. That’s it.

(Just as a side note, here’s the eternal, self-answering question: If our opponents have such a good case, why must they tell lies?)

DOJ Pride offers further guidance:

  • If an employee comes to your office, closes the door, and says “I’ve been meaning to tell you this for a while: I’m gay,” DO thank them for trusting you enough to tell you, ask if they’ve been made to feel safe and welcome in the workplace, and let them know about DOJ Pride.
  • Sometimes the best reaction is a “non-reaction,” meaning not silence but a matter-of-fact, don’t-skip-a-beat response. For example, if an employee mentions her same-sex partner in passing, as in “My partner Janet and I saw the best movie this weekend,” DO react the way you would had she said “My husband Jeremy and I saw the best movie this weekend.” Ask about the movie, where they saw it, if they went out to dinner beforehand, etc.

What a strange world our opponents inhabit, where treating your gay staff  the same way you treat your straight staff is some kind of special treatment and celebration of LGBT pride.

But what if you’re a manager who thinks personal lives shouldn’t be mentioned in the workplace? Simple — follow the guidance and treat everyone the same: impose this gag order on all employees, gay or straight (though I’ve never worked in such a hellhole).

Also, let’s be clear on this freedom of speech issue. If you’re at the office and your employee tells you, “We had my son’s bris on Saturday,” don’t silently ignore them and certainly don’t say, “You know if he doesn’t get baptized by a real minister he’s going to Hell, right?” Because you don’t always get to say any damn thing you want to at work, not when your job as manager is to foster a healthy work environment, not when that’s what you’ve been hired to do.  This isn’t widely or wildly controversial — until it comes to gay people.

But Barber and NOM continue in their break from reality:

Another excerpt:

  •  “DO assume that LGBT employees and their allies are listening to what you’re saying (whether in a meeting or around the proverbial water cooler) and will read what you’re writing (whether in a casual email or in a formal document), and make sure the language you use is inclusive and respectful.”

Is this the DOJ or the KGB? “[A]ssume that LGBT employees are listening …”?

You thought my Soviet Union crack was parody, didn’t you. But no. Good lord, apparently it’s now a sign of LGBT-tyranny for us to listen when people speak and read what they write.

This is paranoia. This is why we speak of bigotry and homophobia, of psychological issues that run so deep its victims (and I mean the homophobes themselves) break from reality and drop into an abyss of derangement.

It’s not just NOM. Barber’s cry against tyranny has swept through the blogosphere. And some of these people who are so upset often are our bosses, our managers, our colleagues. It’s a great reminder for us. However far we’ve come, there’s still a population out there who feels the boot of oppression when they’re told to treat gay people like…people.

Yes, hate groups have African Americans too

Timothy Kincaid

January 17th, 2012

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

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

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

In total only 16 groups currently make the cut:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anti-Gay Extremists Have A Cow Over Obama’s Foreign Policy Memorandum

Jim Burroway

December 6th, 2011

"You have the right to be jailed."

Any day our opponents are driven to fits of apoplexy is a good day if you ask me. Family “Research” Council’s Peter Sprigg is positively sputtering over the Obama Administration’s memorandum directing American international agencies to take action in countries where LGBT abuses are taking place. Sprigg’s sputtering, but unfortunately he’s not speechless:

It is startling that President Obama is prepared to throw the full weight and reputation of the United States behind the promotion overseas of the radical ideology of the sexual revolution. If he did the same on other issues, his own liberal allies would undoubtedly accuse him of cultural imperialism. Threats to withhold foreign aid from poor countries unless they conform their laws to the views of Western radicals are unconscionable.

The United Nations, like the United States, remains sharply divided on the issue of whether special rights should be granted on the basis of sexual conduct, sexual orientation or gender identity. No treaty or widely accepted international agreement has established homosexual conduct as a human right, yet the Obama administration’s actions seem guided by this fiction.

Right. Obama shouldn’t be listening to “Western radicals” who think gay people shouldn’t be jailed. And we already know Sprigg’s opinion on that topic, and given the Family “Research” Council’s lobbying Congress against resolutions condemning Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, it’s safe to say that the rest of FRC shares Sprigg’s position.

Knows a thing or two about foreign intrigue.

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber chimes in with his own outrage:

The announced policy, according to Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel Action, “displays the arrogance of the Obama administration.”

It is “frankly offensive,” says the attorney, that President Obama “feels compelled to export American culture’s decline in morality, and export that immorality to other nations that are trying to adhere to traditional principles relative to human sexuality.”

Barber also notes that the administration is apparently ignoring the fact that foreign nations — like the United States — are sovereign countries. He adds that the U.S. is “using essentially blackmail and the purse strings” of the nation to force countries to change their moral principles.

Speaking of exporting immorality, has anyone seen Lisa Miller lately?

Matt Barber Says Gays Committing “Economic Terrorism” And Want To Jail Christians. Meanwhile, AFA Boycotts Home Depot And Wants To Jail Gays.

Jim Burroway

August 31st, 2011

There is a fundraising group called the Charity Give Back Group (CGBG), whose innocuous sounding name hides its political activities. When customers shop with major name-brand companies through their virtual shopping mall, proceeds go to CGBG affiliated groups including the Family “Research” Council, Focus On the Family, Liberty Counsel and others. LGBT activists have pressured companies to cut ties with CGBG, and so far Apple, Microsoft, Delta Airlines and Wells Fargo are among the big names that have withdrawn from the program.

Anti-gay groups are now crying foul over “homo-fascist” tactics, despite their own well-established pattern of boycotting companies who don’t fall lockstep into their program of anti-gay politics. Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber calls the pressure against companies participating in CGBG “economic terrorism” with the ultimate goal of putting conservative Christians behind bars:

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it right now. The sexual anarchist lobby, this radical, militant lobby, wants three things in this order: they want to see those of us who hold traditional values and have a biblical view of sexual behavior and sexual morality; they want to see us behind bars. Absent that, if that doesn’t work, they want to see us discredited, our licenses, my law licenses revoked, unable to teach in schools and so forth. They want us completely discredited and marginalized to the fringes of society. Finally and included in that is the inability, they want to see people like us not able to make a living. And that’s why they’re going after these organizations and they’re using economic terrorism, for lack of a better phrase.

He might want to try to come up with a better phrase. In 2008, Barber joined with Peter “Porno Pete” LaBarbera and others for a bit of “economic terrorism” of their own when they announced a boycott of McDonalds and rallied in front of their headquarters. The American Family Association regularly launches acts of “economic terrorism” against such big name companies as Home Depot and Pepsi. And by the way, their jihad against Home Depot is on again, in case you’ve had difficulty keeping track.

And speaking of wanting to put people behind bars, AFA’s spokesman Bryan Fischer yesterday pined for the days when homosexuality was a felony in all fifty states and says, “There is no reason why it cannot be a criminal offense once again. Absolutely none.”

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LaBarbera Acknowledges Tax Problems

Jim Burroway

August 2nd, 2011

Accountability buddies? Matt Barber (left) and Peter LaBarbera (right)

The Peter LaBarbera as notified in May, 2011 that the IRS had revoked his tax exempt status. That revocation became effective June 10, 2011. The cited reason was his failure to provide tax returns for three consecutive years. Today, seven weeks after his tax exempt status was revoked, LaBarbera finally gest around to commenting on the issue:

Americans For Truth About Homosexuality is working to comply fully with IRS regulations, whether we end up as a 501(c)3, c-4, or LLC. As always, we will endeavor to report information on the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) movement that is ignored by the liberal, pro-homosexuality “mainstream” media. Currently, per notification by the IRS received by AFTAH June 10, 2011, donations to Americans For Truth are not tax-deductible.

In his 2009 tax return, Matt Barber is listed as a board member for LaBarbera’s “group” (if you can call what is essentially a one-man operation a ”group”). Barber is supposedly a lawyer, and before that a corporate fraud investigator. Boards of directors are supposed to oversee the organizations operations and ensure good governance, and Barber’s background indicates that he should know his way around a very simple tax form (PDF: 255KB/4 pages). I’d say The Peter needs a better accountability buddy.

Barber finds the outer edge of wackadoodle, and leaps off

Timothy Kincaid

November 19th, 2010

One of the saddest indignities that gay couples suffer is when hospitals deny them the comfort of love amidst serious illness. Using definitions of “family” that elevate an estranged third-cousin above a decades-long partner, “rules and procedures” can actually result in emotional torture to a sick person who is forced to die alone while administrators lock their spouses and children away from them as though they were nosy interloping strangers.

Fortunately, most people aren’t cruel. And even many of the most stalwart “defenders of the family” will concede that people should be able to be with their partners in the hospital. In fact, when President Obama required that those hospitals that receive Medicare funding revisit their policies to allow patients, not pencil-pushers, to define their family, few complained about “the homosexual agenda.”

I say “few” and not “none” because some folk can be counted on to react negatively, even to the most benign of ideas. Anything whatsoever that might possibly be considered to benefit a gay person will evoke a Pavlovian response. Gay marriage – hate it. Gay military service – fight it. Gay apparel – won’t don it. Gay ol’ Time – not for a minute.

One such pillar of predictability is Matt Barber, the Associate Dean of Liberty University School of Law. Yes, Matt can be counted on to scoop up a big steaming pile of nastiness and throw it at our community. And the issue of having your loved ones in the hospital with you is no exception.

Now Matt, who just isn’t all that bright (no, I’m sorry, it’s not just his opinions – the guy really is stupid) makes the following argument:

* You can have any visitors you like
* So no one is discriminating against gay people
* But allowing gay people to have their partners visit is unfair to Catholic and Baptist hospitals who don’t want to allow gay visitors

Yes, Barber literally makes an argument for denying gay sick people to have their partners visit. He thinks – and I kid you not – that hospitals should have the “liberty of conscience” to emotionally torture their patients.

“Certainly there are Catholic hospitals and Baptist hospitals that recognize homosexual behavior as sinful behavior,” he points, “and they do not want to take part in affirming homosexual sin under the strong arm of the government.”

Some religious hospitals may have to make a decision as to whether to conform to the rules or not accept Medicare patients. Barber says what the Obama administration is doing is casting liberty of conscience aside and forcing acceptance of homosexuality.

It’s no wonder that when I read Matt Barber’s name, I find myself whistling:

World Net Daily’s magazine: for folks who are astonishingly stupid

Timothy Kincaid

November 4th, 2010

World Net Daily, the website who never goes a day without at least a few Shocking! Discoveries! about the Homosexual! Agenda!, is declaring that America has a gay obsession. Other than the obvious observation that WND is looking at a mirror and thinking its a window, they offer evidence that is even stupider than usual. It’s even stupider than when they told us that homosexuality is caused by soy products.

In fact, so gay obsessed are WND… oh, I mean America… that WND’s “magazine” Whistleblower (only $40 for the year, buy now!!) is dedicating the next issue to AMERICA’S ‘GAY’ OBSESSION.

It’s full of fascinating and fanciful articles such as:

* “The ‘gay’ deathstyle” by J. Matt Barber, in which the attorney explores implications of the shocking news that 20 percent of “gay” males in the U.S. are HIV-positive [actually it's 11.8%, but Barber isn't very good at comprehension and can't read beyond the first paragraph]

* “The zero-sum game of ‘gay rights’” by Peter LaBarbera, an eye-opening survey of casualties in the escalating war between homosexual activism and Americans’ freedom of conscience

* “What’s causing all the ‘gay’ teen suicides?” by Linda Harvey, who shows that while some blame anti-homosexual bigotry, the truth may be quite the opposite

Yes! Buy now and read that what America really needs today is more anti-homosexual bigotry so as to stop ‘gay’ teen suicides. And WND is so impressed with its magazine that they are printing testimonials from, well, themselves.

“This issue of Whistleblower is simply terrific,” said WND Editor Joseph Farah, “and there is no other news organization that will provide this kind of amazing information and analysis on a critical issue most are afraid to touch.

“Everybody who wants the America of the future to remain ‘a shining city on a hill’ needs to read ‘AMERICA’S GAY OBSESSION’ – and share it with others,” he said.

Added Kupelian: “I know everyone these days is preoccupied with politics and the economy, and may feel that ‘gay rights’ is just some ‘marginal social issue.’ I have news for you: This ‘marginal’ issue is increasingly outlawing the Christian faith. That’s not an exaggeration: Owen and Eunice Johns, a lovely Christian couple, want to open their home to foster children – but the government refuses and condemns them because they’re Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin.

“Get it? It’s no longer a matter of whether homosexuals are fit to adopt children or take them in as foster parents,” said Kupelian, “but rather, it is now Christian parents who are considered unacceptable to raise children. This is happening more and more.

“If you want to stop the rapid criminalization of Christianity, you need to read ‘AMERICA’S ‘GAY’ OBSESSION.’”

Just one small problem… the Johns are not exactly a clear example of America’s gay obsession or even of America’s “rapid criminalization of Christianity”. In fact, the Johns aren’t American at all. They live in Derby, about 130 miles north of London. And “the government” which is “condemning” them is not the United States but the United Kingdom.

But it’s okay. World Net Daily knows that their readers never look up anything for themselves. Or, if they do, they probably won’t know that England is not part of America. You see, WND counts on its readers being stupid. Really stupid. Astonishingly stupid.

A Wackadoodle extravaganza

Timothy Kincaid

September 7th, 2010

In times past it hasn’t been always easy to distinguish between the garden variety of conservative activist, and the wackadoodles. You had to pay attention; both held conservative positions, but some did so because of logic or principles or tradition or even hesitancy towards change while others came across as obsessed, irrational, or frankly (in some cases) insane.

For example a conservative may oppose President Obama’s healthcare policies, but yet not believe that the President really was born in Kenya. He may favor controlled immigration policies without thinking that Hispanics are seeking to take over the Southwest and make it part of Mexico. She may oppose marriage equality and yet not declare that opposing the rights of gay people is the last best hope of saving Western Civilization from utter and immediate destruction.

But lately its becoming ever easier to distinguish between conservatives and raving loons on the right (and, yes, the left has their raving loons as well). In a somewhat unexpected move the conservatives and the wackadoodles seem to be sorting themselves out for our convenience and gay rights seems to be the determining factor.

Some conservatives have either dropped or repackaged their positions on gay issues, now stating objections to nomenclature or timing rather than just displaying animus towards gay people in general. Now it isn’t gay people serving in the military that is concerning, but just waiting for reports and analysis and opinions. It isn’t gay couples that are destroying society, but just the words used to describe them. Policies may not have moved significantly for all (but certainly have for some) but the language and the attitude has markedly changed.

Even gay and gay-supportive Republicans are not enemies seeking to destroy from within, but good Republicans with whom we disagree on some issues. In fact, rather than be RINOs, they may even be wives of Republican Presidents or nominees.

But while some conservatives have had a change of heart (or figured out which way the wind is blowing), others have abandoned all pretense of reasonableness and have run shrieking into crazyville. They see those who have moderated their position as traitors, and with each new act of treason they lash out at their newfound enemies and band closer with the purists, the true conservatives… oh what am I saying… the raging loons.

And now, in a display of what can only be seen as total meltdown, the wackadoodles have now broken from CPAC, the convention of very conservative ideologues, to form their very own extra-special-uber-conservative convention, the Taking America Back National Conference sponsored by World Net Daily. And I certainly hope there are enough red noses and clown shoes to go around.

Not just anyone is quite wackadoodle enough for this convention. They booted Ann Coulter for daring to speak to GOProud – a very conservative gay group which endorses politicians that Log Cabin would never get near. Although I think GOProud verges on loony themselves, they have Teh Gey!!

You see, hating Teh Gey is a very very important distinction for this wackadoodle extravaganza, and they aren’t going to forgive anyone who does it by half. To get a sense of WND’s purpose and criteria,

WND’s “Taking America Back National Conference” in Miami, Sept. 16-18, was conceived and organized, in part, because of the conservative movement’s capitulation to the radical homosexual agenda:

* The Conservative Political Action Conference welcomed GOProud as a co-sponsor of the largest annual gathering of conservatives this year. CPAC has already gleefully announced the return of GOProud as a sponsor next year – even though GOProud’s inclusion cost the conference Sarah Palin and other top-notch speakers and some long-time co-sponsors.

* The executive director of CPAC is actively promoting GOProud’s “Homocon” conference in New York later this month.

* Conservative leader Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, serves on the board of GOProud.

* One of the most well-established conservative media companies in America is run by a homosexual activist.

* Conservative celebrity Glenn Beck announced on Fox News that he doesn’t believe same-sex marriage will hurt America.

* Conservative celebrity Ann Coulter agreed to deliver the keynote speech to GOProud’s “Homocon” event in New York later this month – an engagement being shamelessly exploited by the group as further affirmation of its conservative bona fides.

While all of this was happening, there was no more than an undercurrent of conservative protest.

And why is this important? Remember that whole Western Civilization thing I mentioned? I wasn’t kidding.

Because I don’t believe there is any development that could more quickly destroy America’s ability to remain a self-governing society and the very fabric of western civilization than the tacit acceptance of [pro-gay] ideas – ideas that are steamrolling over our political and media culture.

There is no compromising with radical ideas like this. They need to be soundly rejected, repudiated, exposed and discarded.

Yes, my friends, there is a growing separation between the conservatives and the true-blue wackadoodles. And they are ever so gracious as to let us know exactly where they stand. True most conservatives are not going to start championing our rights any time soon, but as this divide grows I believe that we will find fewer and fewer rational conservatives willing to be seen as part of the coalition of birthers and the conspiracy theorists and the wild-eyed loons.

In addition to the WND staff and few obscure politicians, the wackadoodle extravaganza includes:

Michele Bachmann – US House of Representatives
Alan Keyes – political gadfly and onetime presidential candidate
Tom Tancredo – Former Congressman and illegal immigrant opponent
Chuck Missler – Koinonia House (post-prison) Ministry
Rusty Humphries – The Rusty Humphries Show
Matt Barber – Liberty Counsel
Gary DeMar – American Vision
Michael Farris – Home School Legal Defense Association
Robert Knight – Coral Ridge Ministries
Jerry Newcombe – Coral Ridge Ministries
William Federer – American Minute
William Murray – Religious Freedom Coalition
Doug Giles – Clash Radio
Gary Cass – Christian Anti-Defamation Commission
Judith Reisman – Freud revisionist
Victoria Jackson – Conservative Activist/Celebrity
RC Sproul, Jr. – Biblical Economics
Tim Daughtry – Patriot Coaching
Floyd Brown – ExposeObama.com
Mark Graham – First Founders Financial

And that, my friends, is a whole lotta crazy. I wonder if Brian Brown is going to join them.

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.

Matt Barber adds names to Hate Group list

Timothy Kincaid

March 24th, 2010

As we told you, Peter Labarbera’s amusingly misnamed website, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, has been named a hate website by the Southern Poverty Law Center. And while I see this as a reasonable classification for a man whose “religious objection to homosexuality” always seems to be expressed in the vilest terms of contempt for gay individuals, fellow anti-gay activist Matt Barber (who sits on AFTAH’s board) has leapt to the Peter’s defense.

Writing in third person, he declares that this addition to the hate list entirely discredits the SPLC. And besides, AFTAH is no different from a number of other groups.

“It’s a ‘hate group,’ mudslinging good time!” joked Barber. ” Let’s try it on for size. In exercise of the SPLC’s trademark ‘I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I’ criteria for determining ‘hate group’ status, I hereby declare the Southern Pov Law Center an officeal ‘anti-Christian, anti-conservative hate group.’ Try it, it’s fun.

“But seriously,” continued Barber, “If AFTAH is a ‘hate group,’ then so is Liberty Counsel, Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, American Family Association, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Roman Catholic Church.”

Well now, Matt, those are interesting nominations. You’ve given us something to think about.

Two Anti-Gay BFF’s Mend Their Near-Falling Out

Jim Burroway

December 21st, 2009

Matt Barber is patching things up with Peter LaBarbera over a statement by Barber posted on LaBarbera’s web site. It was a bit touchy there for a while, with Barber’s employer, the Liberty Counsel, getting involved with the dust-up. But now things are all smiles.

It all began when Peter “Porno Pete” LaBarbera was trying to build support over a proposed boycott of the Conservative Political Action Conference over its co-sponsorship by GOProud, which describes itself as  “the only national organization for gay conservatives and their allies.” LaBarbera is completely beside himself over this, and when he gets beside himself, his rhetoric becomes even more intemperate than normal (if you can imagine that). This time, I guess words failed him, so he turned to his good friend Matt Barber to supply the pithy line:

Matt BarberIt boils down to this: there is nothing “conservative” about — as Barber inimitably puts it — “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’” Or two women awkwardly mimicking natural procreative relations or raising a child together in an intentionally fatherless home.

That got Exodus International vice president Randy Thomas’ attention, and that, in turned, spurred a letter by Exodus president Alan Chambers to Matt Barber’s employer, the Liberty Counsel. (You see? Exodus International really is capable of rapid response when they want to call others on the carpet, but not when it comes to keeping their own house in order.) That letter led to a response from the Liberty Counsel, which essentially called Peter LaBarbera a liar:

Neither Matt Barber nor anyone with Liberty Counsel wrote or made any such public statement that is being alleged in this blog. Liberty Counsel promotes the traditional family of one man and one woman because we believe that such relationships are best for society and for children. While we strongly disagree with the sexual politics and agenda of activist organizations and individuals, we also believe that each person is entitled to respect. While there are some that hate us because of our message of sexual integrity, redemption, change, and hope, we have never, and will never, confuse the person with the agenda. We have never sought to dehumanize people to promote our message. Our message is one of redemption through the power of Jesus Christ.”

Nice huh? Barber would never really say anything like that, would he? After all, that would be dehumanizing. LaBarbera defends himself in a comment on the Exodus blog:

Peter LaBarberaThe quotation in question by Matt Barber — a brutally honest and necessarily accurate description of homosexual sodomy — is printed verbatim and was made in conversation between the two of us years ago — long before he went to work for Liberty Counsel. I asked Matt at the time if I could quote him on it and he gave me permission to use it, and ultimately I did — in the context of showing how CPAC or any organization that defends sodomy (as GOProud and countless other GLBT organizations implicitly and explicitly do) cannot call itself “conservative.”

LaBarbera also denounced Exodus for being unbiblical. I guess Exodus is too “nice” for LaBarbera’s taste. LaBarbera has also followed up with this on his own web site, and he wants the world to  know that he quoted Barber correctly with this clarification from Barber himself:

“This is for clarification only. As affirmed in Liberty Counsel’s statement, neither I nor anyone with Liberty Counsel ever publicly ‘wrote or made’ the comment in question – an unapologetically direct and accurate depiction of the sin of sodomy (a sin that God directly and accurately calls both an ‘abomination’ and ‘detestable’). Some years before I began working with Liberty Counsel, I made the comment in private conversation with Peter LaBarbera. At the time, Peter asked if he could ‘quote me on it’ and I said yes.

Now that Barber is happy to claim ownership to the quote that his own employer characterized as dehumanizing, can we expect another “clarification” from the Liberty Counsel? It looks like the ball is back in their court now.

Liberty Counsel and The Peter call the FBI

Timothy Kincaid

November 10th, 2009

lababs2You know how anti-gay activists can rant all day long about the (imagined) evils of homosexuality? How they can make up nonsense and stretch every fetish by some lone gay person into evidence of depravity and perversity? You know how no lie is too extreme, no accusation too foul, no denunciation beyond the bar?

And you know how for those who live day in and day out in a constant state of anti-gay hysteria that any comment, however ironic or benign, that is remotely critical of the bile and venom they spew is an Attack On Christianity, America, and Jesus Himself?

Sadly, some of these nuts have started to believe their own rantings. And to act on them.

Joe. My. God. reports of a reaction by Peter LaBarbera to some comments made on his website.

In response to “Fritz”, a commenter, warning that if social equality is not achieved democratically then some gay extremists might respond with violence, “Tex” said:

“Fritz … you say this like it’s a bad thing?

“Maybe a bit of well-organized terrorism is just what we need, er, I mean ‘civil disobedience.’”

Is the comment tacky? Yes.
Is it silly? Yes.
Is it a credible threat of terrorism? Only a fool would think so.

But LaBarbera is a fool. Because he either believes his own rhetoric or he has decided to use the Federal Bureau of Investigation as his own personal political plaything.

From LaBarbera’s Americans for Truth About Homosexuality site:

The pro-family Christian defense organization Liberty Counsel has contacted the FBI regarding the threatening post.

Peter is accustomed to wild exaggeration and seeking to use any means possible to present himself as a martyr to the nefarious machinations of a sinister gay agenda. And he’s used to those in authority rolling their eyes and laughing off his extremism and hyperbole.

But I think that by involving the FBI he may have overplayed his hand.

The FBI is not known for their sense of humor. And they do not lightly take efforts to distract them from their real job of protecting the nation. Peter’s bogus claims of “terrorism” may work well on an emailed fundraising appeal, but distractions of this sort are not likely to be viewed benignly by overworked investigators.

If, of course, the FBI was really called. LaBarbera isn’t exactly known for his honesty or integrity.

Some Folks Are Never Satisfied

Jim Burroway

November 4th, 2009

You know, just when I think anti-gay nutcases can’t surprise me anymore, Peter LaBarbera and Matt Barber proves that there just isn’t enough hatred — yes, Peter and Matt! I’m calling you out on hatred now — for some of these people. Anti-gay activists won their contest in Maine, denying marriage to LGBT citizens of that state. You’d think that LaBarbera and Barber would be thrilled at that victory.

Guess again. They’re mad that even though Stand for Marriage Maine won, they weren’t hateful enough:

Christians PROMOTING homosexual relationships and “gay civil rights”? Above is a frame from the Stand for Marriage Maine TV ad “It’s Possible,” effectively endorsing the state’s “domestic partnership” law and “civil rights” based on homosexuality. See controversial text of ad below, and view the full ad HERE.

I agree with my good friend Matt Barber, who is also a Board Member of Americans For Truth in addition to his important work at Liberty Counsel. It is not ethical nor good strategy for the “pro-family” movement to promote one evil and public-policy disaster (changeable and sinful behavior as a government-backed “civil right”) to fight another (homosexual “marriage”). Yet that is precisely what the Yes on 1 campaign’s pro-domestic partnership ad called “It’s Possible” did. …We who claim to follow God are lacking in integrity if we promote the normalization of homosexuality as part of some (perhaps well-intentioned) utilitarian plan to ostensibly “save” traditional marriage. [Garish colors and boldface in the original]

Don’t you get the idea that nothing could possibly make these two happy? I don’t know about you, but I would love for these two to run a p0liical campaign. It would seriously make my day.

Exposing the Children, Oh My!!

Timothy Kincaid

July 29th, 2009

Matt Barber is not exactly an intellectual giant. While some anti-gays present logical, thoughtful, and principled defenses of their ideological beliefs, Matt is a bit more inclined to lean to the hyperbolic and histronic.

Sometimes he’s so illogical and ridiculous that you just have to laugh. His latest, a rant against Home Depot, is one such situation.

Barber is upset that Home Depot sponsors a children’s craft area at Nashville Gay Pride and at pride events in other cities. Here’s a snippet from OneNewsNow:

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel tells OneNewsNow the home improvement store is facilitating the exposure of children to sinful behavior.

“Out of some kind of notion of political correctness and being tolerant, Home Depot is contributing to all of this,” he notes. “They’re contributing to the corruption of children, and they need to answer for that.”

Many parents are already outraged and are taking action, according to Barber. “I would tell parents to go tell Home Depot that they don’t appreciate it and that if they continue it, they’re going to take their business elsewhere,” he adds.

But wait. Exactly what children are being “exposed to sinful behavior?” What children are being corrupted? Is it the children of outraged parents?

No.

There aren’t any children wandering in off the street at Nashville Pride. Unlike, say, Vacation Bible School, events of this sort generally don’t let unaccompanied children wander in.

The only children being “exposed” are those attending with their parents. It is either children of gay parents or of those who support our rights.

As for the parents of children “exposed” at Nashville Pride being “outraged”, they no more exist than the bumper-sticker woman in Pennsylvania.

(hat tip Jeremy Hooper)

Lying About The Hate Crime Bill, #2: “A Danger To Religious Freedom”

Jim Burroway

July 16th, 2009

Among the many claims of opponents to the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (H.R.1913) — known in the Senate as the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (S.909) — is the contention that this bill represents a danger to religious freedoms. The proposed legislation would expand the already existing federal hate crime law to include violent crimes based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and/or disability. The current law already covers actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color and religion. This is very important to remember because it makes the “danger to religious freedom” argument particularly illogical.

That argument, as promulgated by anti-gay activists, insists that the proposed hate crimes prevention act will effectively criminalize religious objections to homosexuality and will “muzzle” pastors. Here’s how the Family Research Council recently put it:

Let’s say you preach from Genesis 19 or Romans 1, referencing the homosexual agenda or lifestyle. Your sermon could be heard by an individual who applies it in a way prohibited by a hate crimes law. Not only would the offender be prosecuted under this law, but you could also be prosecuted for conspiracy. Consequently, hate crimes laws would radically impact our freedom of speech as Christians.

Matt Barber puts it this way:

This creates both a sociopolitical and legal environment wherein traditional sexual morality officially becomes the new racism. Those who publically [sic] express medical, moral or religious opposition to the homosexual lifestyle are tagged by the government as “homophobic bigots” to be treated no differently by law enforcement, the courts or larger society than the KKK or neo-Nazis.

Barber’s warning is particularly relevant. What would happen if “homophobic bigots” were treated exactly the same as the KKK or neo-Nazis?

Well, to answer that, we could well ask how does the current hate crimes law treat the KKK and neo-Nazis?

The KKK at the Minnesota state Capital, August 2001

The KKK at the Minnesota state Capital, August 2001

The federal hate crime law already protects against crimes motivated by hatred of religious groups, but that didn’t keep neo-Nazis from winning the right to march in predominantly Jewish Skokie, Illinois (with the ACLU’s help, I might add). The current hate crime law also protects against crimes motivated by racial hatred, but that didn’t stop the KKK from marching and shouting slogans in Cleveland (again with the ACLU’s help). Hate groups have rallied at state houses in Minnesota, Nebraska and South Carolina, In fact, White Supremacist groups have held nearly a hundred rallies, demonstrations and meetings across America in this year alone — and the existing hate crime law at both the state and federal level have deterred none of it. And yes, they’ve even protested gay pride parades as well, something that they have in common with more than a few conservative Christian groups.

“Pastor” James Wickstrom

“Pastor” James Wickstrom

Extremist hate groups are also free to practice their hate speech, including when they do so under the guise of religious belief. There are some three dozen racist Christian Identity groups active in America right now. Some even operate radio broadcasts and “prison ministries.” One such “pastor,” James Wickstrom, argued that Jews should be beaten, thrown into a wood chipper, and “give them the holocaust they rightly deserve.” This, even though current hate crime laws already protect on the basis of religion.

Now if “pastor” Wickstrom can say something as offensive and dangerous as that with the existing hate crime laws in place under the guise of his religious beliefs, then there’s nothing that Matt Barber can say now that can’t be said should the Matthew Shepard bill become law. And that’s because the First Amendment to our constitution provides a pretty ironclad guarantee of freedoms of speech and of religion:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

And under that Ironclad guarantee of freedom of speech and religion, some pretty unsavory groups have freely spouted their unsavory beliefs. Our First Amendment protects our right to say pretty much anything we want, no matter how ugly, hateful, or factually wrong we may be. And no law — not even this proposed hate crimes law — can get in the way of that.

But that’s not what opponents to the hate crimes bill would have you believe:

If we do not act decisively at this time, S.909 will make illegal every word in the Bible describing the destruction wrought by this vile behavior, and prepare the way for total censorship of the Gospel of Christ. Our children will pay a horrible price for our cowardice.” Rev. Flip Benham, National Director, Operation Rescue/Operation Save America

But S.909, the senate version of the bill, won’t make illegal any words whatsoever, because it only expands the current hate crimes law to cover sexual orientation. And the current hate crimes law doesn’t make illegal any words either. And in case there’s any confusion about this, the version of the Matthew Shepard act which passed the House says so specifically:

Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by, the Constitution.

And the Senate version is even more expansive in its assurances:

(3) CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief), including the exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment and peaceful picketing or demonstration. The Constitution does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence.

(4) FREE EXPRESSION- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs.

Now notice what I just did. I linked directly to both the House and Senate versions of the act so you can read it for yourself. Ever wonder why our opponents won’t do the same when they make these outlandish claims?

But What About Pastors in Sweden, Britain and Canada?
Anti-gay opponents often bring up examples from other countries, claiming that what can happen over there can happen here. Focus On the Family has a so-called “Facts Sheet” which claims (PDF: 44KB/2 pages):

In Sweden, Canada and Great Britain, “hate crimes” laws have been used to prosecute Christians speaking their disapproval of homosexual behavior, posing a serious threat to religious liberty and free speech.

The Family Research Council adds:

Don’t believe it? Just Just ask Pastor Ake Green who was charged and sentenced on June 29, 2004 to one month in jail for showing “disrespect” against homosexuals because of a grace and truth filled sermon delivered in Borgholm, Sweden on July 20, 2003 . Thanks to the efforts of our friends at ADF, that sentence was overturned on appeal, but you can see what a chilling effect that hate crimes laws would have on the freedom of speech and religion.

But Sweden’s example simply doesn’t apply here. Sweden has a hate speech law that goes back to 1948, when it was originally written in response to the Holocaust. Laws which limit hate speech are quite common in many European countries. But that’s because their constitutions allow such laws to exist. Ours doesn’t. Swedish journalist Tor Billgren, who writes the blog Antigayretorik, reminds us that no preacher has been fined or jailed for quoting the Bible:

Pastor Åke Green was sentenced to 1 month imprisonment by the district court, but was acquitted by the court of appeal and the supreme court. He wasn’t jailed. There’s another case as well: Leif Liljeström, a Christian (not a preacher) who owned a discussion forum on the web. He was sentenced to 1 month for things another person wrote on the forum (according to the Swedish law the owner of the forum is responsible). However, this wasn’t quotes from the Bible, but extreme hate speech. This case will be dealt with by the Supreme Court. He hasn’t been jailed.

Britain is often cited as another example by anti-gay activists. But the U.K. has no written constitution, nor does it have a Bill of Rights like ours which enumerates inviolable rights among its citizenry. (If I remember, that was one of the sore points between us more than two hundred years ago.) Consequently, Britain has a long history of banning all sorts of speech. As recently as 1988, Margaret Thatcher’s government banned the broadcast of all appearances and interviews of members of Sinn Fein and the IRA. (According to the BBC, “instead of hearing Gerry Adams, viewers and listeners would hear an actor’s voice reading a transcript of the Sinn Fein leader’s words.”) You just try to get that past our Constitution here.

Canada also has a hate speech law. Bill C-250 criminalizes certain types of hate speech towards persons of any sexual orientation: homosexuals, bisexuals, or heterosexuals. In other words, it protects everyone equally. But there is a clause which specifically exempts religiously motivated speech. In other words, religious freedom always trumps hate speech in Canada according to this particular law. But again, Canada’s constitution does not prohibit curbs on speech the way the American constitution does.

But What About the “Philadelphia Eleven”?
But some claim that just such a curb on freedom of speech has actually happened here:

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer claims the legislation “does not affect free speech or punish beliefs or thoughts. It only seeks to punish violent acts.”  But Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, says Hoyer is ignoring the case of eleven Christians in Philadelphia who were charged with hate crimes for sharing Scripture verses at a homosexual pride rally.

“Ask the Philadelphia 11. We know what these supposed ‘hate crime’ laws are meant to do. In Philadelphia, Christians were arrested and jailed based on hate crime law,” she points out. “So we know that what the other side is saying — that it will not affect pastors or youth pastors or Christians — we know that is not true.”

Philadelphia organizers, participants, and police were willing to tolerate the signs and taunts from a group of Repent America protesters when they remained at the edge of the event’s grounds. But then those protesters pushed their way onto the festival grounds to try to forcibly disrupt the event, they were surrounded by Outfest supporters armed with pink whistles and eight-foot-tall pink-colored boards mounted on sticks.

Repent America, who didn’t have a permit for their gathering, was trying to disrupt an OutFest rally which did have a valid permit. So police were called, and they instructed the demonstrators to go back out to the the edge of the Outfest area. The demonstrators ignored three separate orders to move. When they were told by police they would be arrested if they refused to move, they sat down, forcing the police to arrest them.

Prosecutors charged the protesters with violating several laws including the state’s hate crime law. But the court dismissed those charges, calling them an infringement on the protester’s First Amendment rights.That’s right. Just like with with the Klan and the neo-Nazis, Repent America’s actions were protected by the First Amendment.

This may be a case of overzealous prosecutors misapplying the law. But that doesn’t mean the law itself is flawed. We’ve had cases where overzealous prosecutors have pinned far worse charges on innocent people. Some have even ended up on death row for wrongful murder convictions. The answer to that problem isn’t the elimination of laws against murder, but to ensure that everyone has a speedy and fair trial — which is another of our cherished constitutionally protected rights.

And in this particular case, the problem wasn’t with the police who removed Repent America from OutFest; it was with the prosecutor’s decision to charge them under the state’s hate crimes law. In fact, when Repent America tried to sue the city of Philadelphia for wrongful arrest, that court ruled that the police acted properly. It was Repent America’s disruptive actions which led to their arrests, not the content of their speech.

Those who claim that the proposed hate crimes bill is a danger to free speech or religious freedoms need to not only dust off their copy of the Bill of Rights, but also look around at what a lot of people are already getting by with under the current hate crime law. Even if Repent America, Focus On the Family, or the American Family Association were to wind up in the same classy company of the KKK and neo-Nazis as Matt Barber fears, they will still be free to say whatever they damn well please.

See also:
Lying About The Hate Crime Bill, #2: “A Danger To Religious Freedom”
Lying About The Hate Crime Bill, #1: “The Thirty Sexual Orientations”

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