Posts Tagged As: Pentecostal

Embarrassing images from NOM’s Providence Rally

Timothy Kincaid

July 19th, 2010

When NOM’s Big Bus of Animus pulled into Providence, Rhode Island, things veered from the usual. Previously, counter-protests had been non-confrontational: Augusta’s was off-site, Manchester’s stayed a distance, and Albany’s surrounded NOMmers but did not disrupt the speakers.

Not so in Providence.

There the counter-protesters at first stood outside the anti-marriage rally and chanted, hoping to distract and annoy the speakers. And, as the equality supporters – by all accounts other than Brian Brown – outnumbered the anti-gay rallyers, this did serve to agitate them.

And some of them began to pray… more on that later.

But then the counter-protesters failed to stay united. Some went behind the speakers and began chanting and a few went up and began screaming in the face of NOM President, Brian Brown.

Not smart.

While I’m sure the young people in the picture certainly felt at the time like They Told Him!!, all that really happened is that they allowed the National Organization for Marriage to have an opportunity to capture an image that they could sell as The Militant Homosexual Activists!!being disruptive. A version of this picture – not including NOM’s “security” guys standing there unconcerned – has been making the rounds of anti-gay sites.

And this confrontation did something even worse than creating an embarrassing image, it made NOM’s Summer for Marriage Tour interesting.

Consider for a moment: you’re a nice young Catholic lady who is trying to decide what to do for the afternoon and you’ve come up with three options: finally write to Great Aunt Melba to thank her for her lovely Christmas fruitcake, pull weeds in the petunia bed, or go stand for an hour in the sun and listen to Jennifer Roback Morse and Brian Brown lecture you about marriage. Weeds seem pretty exciting by comparison.

And NOM’s circus hasn’t had much draw so far. No celebrities or prominent politicians; even Rhode Island’s anti-gay governor Don Carcieri didn’t make an appearance. It’s just mostly senior citizens and uber-religious folk and, heaven forbid, you might run into Aunt Melba.

But now suppose that there’s a possibility that you might get to confront Militant Homosexual Activists. Well, that might be interesting. Good for a story next Thanksgiving when you’re stuck sitting next to Aunt Melba, at least.

So confronting Brown was an ill-advised choice. It took an extremely boring situation and gave the press a reason to cover it and anti-gay activists a reason to bother.

Now, this is not to say that I don’t understand the emotion which led the kids to go confront Brown. Rhode Island is expected to be the next Marriage battle ground and, depending on November’s election, may have a legislative vote in 2011. I would be emotional as well.

And equality supporters were not the only ones who let their emotions cloud their wisdom. So did Pastor Jay Stirnemann of the Christ Temple United Pentecostal Church in Tiverton:

YouTube Preview Image

For those unfamiliar with the phenomenon, Stirnemann is “speaking in tongues,” also called Glossolalia, a religious practice is predominantly engaged in by Pentecostals and other Charismatic Christians. There are a variety of hypotheses about speaking in tongues, but most include a high level of emotionality and lower level of logic or direct communication.

Those who speak in tongues experience it as letting go of themselves and letting the Holy Spirit speak through them. Some think Glossolalia is God’s spirit within them communicating in a celestial tongue, some as a way to praise without distraction of thought or of Satanic influences (Satan being unable to understand the language), but all agree that this is a very holy experience. And they agree that speaking in tongues is an evidence that God has granted them with specific spiritual powers.

In this case, Stirnemann clearly believes that he is engaging in spiritual warfare, that his praying in tongues enables angelic forces for good to invisibly battle demonic forces for evil. His prayer is one of authority and power and he is “binding spirits of darkness.” He genuinely believes that the chanting gay people are attacking him spiritually and that his prayer is effective in defeating such attacks.

But it doesn’t matter so much exactly what it is that Pastor Jay believes, what matters is what he is doing and how it will be perceived. And NOM can’t be too happy about the latter.

The National Organization for Marriage is in many ways a Catholic lay organization. And it is rather unlikely that Brian Brown or Maggie Gallagher are comfortable in the presence of those who are praying in tongues. Nor are legislators, voters, or contributors to their cause.

Remember our young Catholic lady above. She would rather spend a whole day visiting with Aunt Melba discussing her bursitis than spend any time with “crazy people babbling nonsense.”

So in Providence, I’d have to say that both sides suffered from image issues. And remember, this whole campaign – along with the counter campaign – is crafted solely for media and public image consumption.

Going forward, the winners in the battle over image and perception will be determined by which can avoid appearing to be raging lunatics or babbling nutjobs.

    

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.