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Posts for August, 2013

CBN Forces Takedown of Robertson’s “Gays Use Infected AIDS Rings” Clip, Defends Claim

Jim Burroway

August 28th, 2013

If you tried watching the YouTube clip this morning put up yesterday by Right Wing Watch in which Pat Robertson claimed that gays in San Francisco were walking around wearing rings that will cut you and infect you with AIDS if you shake hands with them, you’ll see a notice that the video has been removed “due to a copyright claim by CBNOnline+vid.” Funny how that’s the only clip that CBN objects to. That’s why I painstakingly transcribed the clip for posterity. You’re welcome. Meanwhile, in a statement emailed to Joe Jervis, Robertson is doubling down on the claim:

 ”In my own experience, our organization sponsored a meeting years ago in San Francisco where trained security officers warned me about shaking hands because, in those days, certain AIDS-infected activists were deliberately trying to infect people like me by virtue of rings which would cut fingers and transfer blood.

“I regret that my remarks had been misunderstood, but this often happens because people do not listen to the context of remarks which are being said. In no wise (sic) were my remarks meant as an indictment of the homosexual community or, for that fact, to those infected with this dreadful disease.”

Robertson indicted gays of using special jewelry specifically designed to spread AIDS, but that wasn’t an indictment. Got that?

Pat Robertson: Gays in SF Have Special Rings to Cut Your Finger and Give You AIDS

Jim Burroway

August 27th, 2013

Did you know?

Terry Meeuwsen: This is Mary, who says, “My Sunday school was asked to give transportatin for a man from a nursing home to Sunday services because ‘his elderly father could not drive anymore.’ I drove him 20 plus times over several months. I found out 2 weeks ago he is dying of AIDS. I think those driving him should have been told his diagnosis in a private way. A few people in church knew; I did not know. I feel deceived — what if we had had an accident? Did someone have a moral obligation to tell the drivers the truth? I haven’t been back to church since I found out. I’m going somewhere else until I sort this out. — Mary.”

Pat Robertson: You know, I must confess I don’t know all of the ramifications of infection with AIDS. I used to think it was transmitted by saliva and other things. Now they say it may be sexual contact, so… What do you want to say if you’re driving an elderly man whose got AIDS? Don’t have sex with them. But that’s a little too simplistic. I don’t necessarily think … you didn’t get AIDS, so unless there’s a cut or some bodily fluid transmission, I think you’re not going to catch it. But it’s a horrible thing and I don’t know what to say.

There are laws now, I think the homosexual community has put these draconian laws on the books that prohibit people from discussing this particular affliction, you can tell somebody you had a heart attack, you can tell them they’ve got high blood pressure, but you can’t tell anybody you about AIDS. … So you didn’t catch anything so keep going to church and praise the Lord. You got any thoughts on that one?

Meeuwsen: Well, you know I think you were doing a good thing by transporting this man. I have known many people with AIDS and have never felt fearful of a scenario like this. I guess I think even if you have had a car accident …

Robertson: You know what they do in San Francisco, some in the gay community there they want to get people so if they got the stuff they’ll have a ring, you shake hands, and the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger?

Meeuwsen: Really?

Robertson: Yeah, really. I mean it’s that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder. But anyhow, for that one, you go back to your church, you’re fine.

[via Right Wing Watch]

LifeSiteNews’ Ben Johnson misrepresents “Christian position” on transgender people, fails to actually cite the Bible

Daniel Gonzales

August 1st, 2013

Eunuch Ebed-Melek successfully argues against the rest of King Zedekiah’s court and leads a team of 30 men to rescue the prophet Jeremiah from a well. (Jeremiah 38)

 

Ben Johnson of LifeSiteNews is in a tizzy over Pat Robertson’s declaration that transgender people altering their bodies is not a sin and thus he will not condemn it. Johnson cites multiple sources attempting to condemn transgender people.

Traditional Christians have condemned such actions as a form of self-mutilation since the days of the ancient church.

Well that’s overly broad and has no source to back it up.

Speaking specifically of castration, the Apostolic Canons, a fourth century Syrian document, states, “If a layman mutilate himself, let him be excommunicated for three years, as practising against his own life.”

The Apostolic Canons were merely church orders issued in 692, many of which were rejected by Pope Constantine.  The Apostolic Canons were written several centuries after the last books of the Bible were written.  Johnson continues to cite irrelevant sources:

More contemporary teachers uphold the Christian admonition to maintain one’s biological gender and respect our bodies.

“To destroy organs purposefully that are healthy and functioning, and to try to create imitation organs which will never have the genuineness and functioning of authentic organs lacks charity,” said Fr. William Saunders, professor of Catechetics and Theology at Christendom College’s Notre Dame Graduate School. “Such surgery which purposefully destroys the bodily integrity of the person must be condemned.”

Continuing to avoid citing the Bible at all costs, Johnson instead cites the National Catholic Bioethics Center for his final jab at trans people.  I won’t bore you with a quote.

Had Johnson bothered to open his Bible he might find clarity with Matthew 19:12 which quotes Jesus:

For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. [KJV]

Yes, the King James Version quotes Jesus as using the phrase “born that way.”  I’m sure printing that would cause LifeSiteNews all sorts of problems.

Or perhaps Johnson could ask why God hasn’t selected the transgender person mentioned in The 700 Club to spread the gospel.  This would be Biblically consistent with Acts 8 : 26-39 in which God selects an Ethiopian eunuch to spread His word to Ethiopia. That eunuch by the way was the modern day equivalent of Secretary of the Treasury to the queen of Ethiopia.

In fact in Biblical days eunuchs held the most powerful positions in government. In the Book of Esther eunuchs ran the royal court of King Xerxes and a eunuch by the name of Hegai personally selected Esther to ascend to the throne from the royal harem.

And I haven’t even cited all the references to eunuchs in the Bible, just my personal favorites.  Transgender and gender non-conforming people play major rolls all throughout the Bible and consistently held positions of power and importance.  Rather than looking to the Bible for his article, Johnson grasps at straws to condemn them.

 

Huh?

Jim Burroway

July 30th, 2013

A question was posed to Pat Robertson at the 2:30 mark:

I work with two people who have decided that they are females. I know what the Bible says about homosexuality, but is it wrong to refer to them as females since they have had their gender status changed in the eyes of the law?

Robertson’s answer certainly wasn’t what I expected:

I don’t understand all of that but I think there are men who are in a woman’s body. It’s very rare but it’s true. Or women that are in men’s bodies. They want a sex change and that’s a very permanent thing, believe me. When you have certain body parts amputated and you are shot up with various kinds of hormones. It’s a radical procedure. I don’t think there’s any sin associated with that. I don’t condemn somebody for doing that. But if somebody just says “I’m really a woman,” I question the validity of that statement. They say they’re counted as female… You don’t count somebody as female unless they really are, or male unless they really are.

Q: In this instance though this is a person who works with two people, so he doesn’t really know their intention. He doesn’t know their personal medical scenario.

Robertson: It’s not for you to decide or to judge.

Please Forward / Re-Tweet / Vomit

Jim Burroway

July 8th, 2013

Right back at you, Pat.

Pat Robertson is a heretic, a blasphemer, perhaps the Anti-Christ

Timothy Kincaid

December 10th, 2012

From James Gurney’s charming children’s book Dinotopia, which has nothing to do with Pat Robertson or young earth creationists.

From our dear dear friends at the American Family Association:

On a broadcast of The 700 Club late last month, Pat Robertson disputed the belief that the earth is about 6,000 years old, suggesting billions instead.

“I know people will probably try to lynch me when I say this,” he stated, “but Bishop Ussher — God bless him — wasn’t inspired by the Lord when he said it all took 6,000 years. It just didn’t …. There was a time that [dinosaurs] were on the earth and it was before the time of the Bible. So don’t try to cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years. That’s not the Bible.”

Well! I declare!

Can’t he read the simple English in which the Bible was written? It’s right there in black and white, to be taken literally and exactly!

My oh my!

But not to worry:

Moreover, the AIG researcher notes that Robertson’s claim that dinosaurs existed before biblical times is illogical, because there is no pre-biblical time; the Bible starts with the creation of the world.

Nuff said.

How to respond when a damaging person comes out

Timothy Kincaid

April 1st, 2012

I have struggled with how to discuss James Langteaux. I’ve started three times in three different directions and I think the only way to get through this is to tell his story, suggest what is perhaps the best response and invite you to weigh in

Langteaux was raised in a conservative pentecostal family, went to Oral Roberts University, and immediately upon graduation began working for The 700 Club. He is also gay, a fact that seems to have gone through a number of closet stages.

I was SO far in denial that I convinced myself that I wasn’t gay. I just had this inconvenient attraction to men – exclusively. But I sure the hell wasn’t gay!

Langteaux became a power player in Christian Television, wrote a couple of books and even earned himself some cachet by being an ex-gay example. And through his work at the 700 Club, a vehicle for pushing conservative Christian viewpoints, he hurt a number of people. Mainstream Christians, people of other faiths, atheists, liberals, and gays – always gays – were portrayed with little regard for honesty and the empire thrived to praise the glory of Robertson and those who think like him.

So what advise is there to offer someone like James Langteaux? Come out of the closet, tell your story, expose the hypocrisy, and live with integrity from this day forward.

And he has. He came out, wrote a book, and offers words of encouragement to young gay people from conservative families.

But the truth is, I am finding it difficult to like this man. There’s a pinch less remorse and a punch too much self congratulations to make me think that he understands what he has been a part of.

But I am no where near ready to join Dan Avery at Queerty and pen a hate piece. For one thing, I see no value in blanket hate. I’ll criticize a behavior but should it change I consider it counterproductive not to change my response.

Yes, it is tempting to heap abuse on his head and tell myself that he deserves it. But I’m reminded of a shared wisdom that many of our philosophers have told us but we find so hard to fathom; a truth that prophets and messiahs and theologians have expounded but which churches find hard to actualize:

What we do impacts ourselves far more than it does anyone else.

I could hate on Langteaux and if he ever heard of it, it would have little lasting impact. But I would have become that guy, the one who spews hate. I could refuse to forgive him but Langteaux doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who cares what anyone else thinks. And I would become bitter and angry and resentful of any of his future successes.

So to James Langteaux I say, “Congratulation. I know you will be much happier. I hope you have the opportunity some time to heal the harm you’ve done. I wish you well. Good bye.”

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Pat Roberston: God Will Punish the US for “Enforcing” Homosexuality On Other Nations

Jim Burroway

December 7th, 2011
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Isn’t it appalling that the United States of America would try to enforce the acceptance of homosexuality on other nations, but at the same time we would not force them to take care of their religious minorities and they would permit discrimination and persecution of Christians? What kind of a country have we got? You know there is a God in heaven, and he is just. Thomas Jefferson: “I tremble when I remember that God is just.” He is just. He is not going to allow this thing to go on forever. This country cannot continue to violate God’s principles and to make a mockery of his laws and think we’re going to get away with it. And when the blow comes, it’s going to be horrible.

Cuz, you know, jailing and killing gay people is God’s will after all.

Pat Robertson seemingly baffled by someone else’s Thanksgiving food tradition

Daniel Gonzales

November 23rd, 2011

Given Right Wing Watch‘s scare quotes around “black thing” in the video title I think I’m supposed to be offended by Pat’s confusion regarding a tradition of mac and cheese served at Thanksgiving celebrations in many black families.

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My dad’s family is from Las Cruces, NM and every Thanksgiving we serve New Mexico red chile and corn tortillas with our dinner.

It’s totally a “New Mexico thing” and I’m proud of that.  Would I expect it to befuddle a person with an incredibly narrowly focused cultural and world-view like Pat Robertson?  Duh.  He’s probably still confused by women who wear pants.

Feel free to start a discussion in the comments about your own family’s cultural food traditions at Thanksgiving.

Red chile photo via the food blog Girl With Spoon

So What’s Holding Up Jesus’s Return?

Jim Burroway

September 13th, 2011

Why it’s the Jews, of course.

Pat Robertson Says God Will Destroy America Because of Marriage Equality

Jim Burroway

June 27th, 2011

We’re doomed, and it’s all the homoosexuals’ fault:

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I think we need to remember the term sodomy came from a town known as Sodom and Sodom was destroyed by God Almighty and the thing that they practiced was homosexual activity and even they tried to rape angels who came down there, so that’s the kind of people they were. But beyond that, Jesus when He spoke of Sodom He didn’t say anything about the homosexuality he talked about just the fact that business was as usual until God decided to destroy it. And He sent an angel down there and He said to Lot and his family, “get out now because I’m gonna destroy this whole area.” That’s where sodomy came from, we use the term sodomy and it means Sodom.

What’s it like? We’re heading that way as a nation. In history there’s never been a civilization ever in history that has embraced homosexuality and turned away from traditional fidelity, traditional marriage, traditional child-rearing, and has survived. There isn’t one single civilization that has survived that openly embraced homosexuality. So you say, “what’s going to happen to America?” Well if history is any guide, the same thing’s going to happen to us.

…It’s not a pretty world we live in right now, and we need all of God’s help we can get. And I don’t think we are not exactly setting ourselves up for His favor.

[Via Right Wing Watch]

LaBarbera Award: Pat Robertson

Jim Burroway

January 13th, 2010

Pat Robertson richly deserves the LaBarbera Award for this one:

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

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

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

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

Haiti

Haiti

Pat Robertson: Gays are Gay Because They Were Abused

Jim Burroway

June 10th, 2009

Televangelist Pat Robertson advised a mother of a gay son that she needs to understand what causes homosexuality before she can begin to understand how do deal with the “problem.” Robertson is convinced that most people are gay because they were abused by “a coach or guidance counselor or some other male figure.” Here’s the video and transcript:

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TERRY MEEUWSEN (co-host): This is Theresa. This is difficult. She says, “How should we, as parents of a homosexual son, handle the ongoing challenges facing us, such as staying true to our faith and following the commandment to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’? This is very difficult for us.”

ROBERTSON: Well first of all, he’s not your neighbor, he’s your son. That’s a different thing. You owe him, you know, advice and counsel and guidance. You’re his parent.

First of all, you didn’t say how old he is. Secondly, I am not at all persuaded that so-called homosexuals are homosexuals because of biological problems. There may be a very few, but there are so many that have been made homosexuals because of a coach or a guidance counselor or some other male figure who has abused them and they think there’s something wrong with their sexuality.

So you need to get deep into why he is what he is, instead of just saying, “Well, he’s a homosexual so how do I handle him, and how do I be Christian?” Well, I think you ought to tell him, “Listen, son, you know, here’s what the Bible says about this, and it’s called an abomination before God, so I’ve got to tell you the truth because I love you.”

That’s what I think. All right, what else?

MEEUWSEN: And then you do that — you love him.

ROBERTSON: You love him, of course you love him and you accept him. You love him, but at the same time, you can’t let him just go, you know, he’ll wind up…

MEEUWSEN: Without knowing truth, yeah.

ROBERTSON: Well I mean, if somebody’s on their way to hell, they’ll… I mean you’ve got to love them to rescue them.

This is an extremely common belief in evangelical circles, that gays are gay because they were sexually abused. Some would have you believe that sexual abuse is a universal formative experience among gay people. Focus On the Family’s Melissa Fryrear always makes a point to tell Love Won Out audiences that:

“I never met one woman who had not been sexually violated or sexually threatened in her life. I never met one woman. And I never met one man either, that had not been sexually violated or sexually seduced in his life”.

Fryrear, of course has been told publicly and privately by many gay and lesbians that they have never been abused. But not only that, I reported on the very painful heartbreak that some parents experienced upon hearing her confident and pointed assertion that their sons and daughters have certainly been abused — even though before attending the conference these same parents had no reason to suspect that their child had been abused.

Yet that bone-chilling fear is essential to the ex-gay message. Without fear, they have nothing. And because of that, I am willing to bet a steak dinner that when Fryrear speaks at the next Love Won Out conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan this coming weekend, she will repeat those same cruel words yet again, and she will induce once again unwarrented fear and heartbreak in yet another crop of unsuspecting parents.

Not only is the myth of gays-abusing-children as a form of recruitment cruel, but it simply isn’t true. Researchers have looked long and hard at the gays-as-predators myth and have found nothing to support that belief. It’s not out and openly gay people who are abusing young boys in large numbers, it’s men who steadfastly say they are straight — and research bears them out in their claims. They are married or have girlfriends, they are fathers and step-fathers, who no one would even think twice about being gay. And when researchers look at their adult romantic sexual attachments, they are almost never interested in other adults of the same sex. Those are just the cold hard facts, whether Robertson, Fryrear, or anyone else wishes to acknowledge the truth or not.

But on a logical level, it doesn’t add up either. Dan Savage responded to Robertson’s latest tirade by blowing the myth this way:

Who’s raping all these Christian kids?

Not openly gay people. Fundamentalist Christian parents don’t allow their children hang out with openly gay men and women. Openly gay men do not get hired to work as a guidance counselors at fundamentalist Christian middle schools; out lesbians do not get hired to work as coaches at a fundamentalist Christian high schools; openly bi graduate students don’t get to serve as dorm captains at fundamentalist Christian colleges. So it isn’t out gay men and women—openly gay coaches and counselors and youth pastors—who are raping all these Christian kids and leaving them “confused” about their sexualities. Most fundamentalist Christian kids have never met an out gay or lesbian person. Which can only mean…

All these Christian kids are being raped by straight-identified, nominally-Christian coaches and counselors and youth pastors and dorm captains.

If you buy into Robertson’s theories on origins of homosexuality then you have to embrace a highly unflattering picture of Christian America.

Sex With Ducks

Jim Burroway

May 30th, 2009

Building on the “thirty-sexual orientations” lie, Pat Robertson last month asked his “700 Club” audience if passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act would protect people having sex with ducks. Garfunkel and Oates has the answer:

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“Highway to Holiness” Becomes Highway To Hell

Jim Burroway

December 14th, 2007

Remember the street evangelists who sought to make I-35 a Highway to Holiness? Pat Roberson enthusiastically reported on this revival effort on his television show a while back. That report prominently featured James Stabile, a young man who was supposedly cured of his homosexuality at a “purity siege” held in Dallas’ Oak Lawn gayborhood.

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John Wright of the Dallas Voice has followed up on the story. He contacted Joe Oden of Heartland World Ministries Church, who was also featured in Robertson’s report, to discover what happened after Stabile was “cured”:

Oden told me Stabile had been shipped off to Pure Life Ministries, which operates a residential treatment program in Northern Kentucky.

“It’s a program for people who’ve lived alternative lifestyles just to get totally clean,” Oden told me.

Upon further investigation, I discovered Pure Life Ministries is also the place where Mike Johnston — remember him?! — is director of donor and media relations.

Johnston was the HIV-positive “ex-gay” who was featured in the anti-gay video “It’s Not Gay” before he was busted in 2003 for hosting orgies and having unsafe sex with other men on the side. (Despite all that, the American Family Association is still selling his video as if nothing every happened.)

Wright also contacted Stabile’s father, the Rev. Joseph Stabile, who is the pastor at Dallas’ oldest church, the Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church. Rev. Stabile said he’s fully accepting of his son’s sexual orientation and believes that being gay is neither a choice nor a sin. When asked what happened, he said that his son simply left home that Friday evening and never returned:

James called a few days later and told his parents he was moving out, and that he’d be back to get his stuff. James apparently had moved in with some folks from Heartland.

After that, it would be some time before James’ parents heard from him, as his church friends reportedly advised him not to contact them.

Joseph Stabile said the Heartland folks also may have advised James to throw away his medication, telling him that God would cure his bipolar disorder, too.

Joseph’s parents said James has a tendency to be less than truthful, especially when he’s off his medication, and that he loves attention. They said they don’t believe he’s ever questioned his sexuality, but that the folks from Heartland manipulated and exploited him for publicity.

Not surprisingly, James Stabile didn’t stay in the program for very long.

When James was kicked out of Pure Life, his father asked if they could provide him with a bus ticket home. After all, James had paid $2,100 up front plus $150 a week to be part of the program. Pure Life refused.

Now nearly four months after that fateful “purity seige,” Jame has returned home where he’s seeing his therapist once again and is hopefully back on his meds.

Paul Cameron in EDGE New York — and NARTH

Jim Burroway

July 27th, 2007

EDGE New York published an article by Arielle Chavkin about Paul Cameron’s “Scandiavian Gay Lifespan Study.” Her report includes several observations by Jason Cianciotto and yours truly.

And speaking of Paul Cameron, Ex-Gay Watch’s David Roberts noticed that NARTH has added yet another link to a study using Paul Cameron’s research. Just scroll down a bit on NARTH’s front page and you’ll see this in the center column:

7.25.07 – Distortions of Science
Studies of Homosexual Parenting: A Critical Review [link]

That handy little link will take you to a paper by George Rekers and Mark Kilgus that was published in the Regent University Law Review back in 2002. Regent University, if you’ll remember, is the school established by Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson. That same law review issue contained two other articles which cite Cameron, Child Molestation and the Homosexual Movement (PDF: 76 KB/16 pages) by Stephen Baldwin (not the actor), and Homosexuality: Innate and Immutable? (PDF: 340 KB/42 pages) by A. Dean Byrd and Stony Olsen, 2002. Meanwhile, NARTH continues to maintain their own articles citing Paul Cameron on their web site.

These are just a few of Paul Cameron’s many collaborators who are complicit in not only perpetuating his pseudo-science, but who also help to support his stated agenda for gays and lesbians.