Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Posts for April, 2008

Hutcherson Brags About Disrupting School

Timothy Kincaid

April 29th, 2008

bullhorn.jpg
On his church’s website today Rev. Ken Hutcherson posted the following:

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Praise for the Day of Silence outcome! Whether they blame me or credit me, the fact of the matter is over 600 students, almost half the student body at Mt. Si were kept home by their parents on the Day of Silence. The school officials must realize they have some very unhappy parents.

Last night I met with the NAACP. Please pray for wisdom for them as they discuss what their move will be in response to the Mt. Si MLK Day debacle.

Please pray for me as I travel to Southern California today and as I return home on Saturday.

Pastor Hutch

Like most braggarts, Hutch assumes that his actions are larger than they are.

Though he says students were “kept home by their parents”, even the most casual observer knows that many of these students just stayed away because it was a spring Friday and they could get away with treating it like a holiday.

And assuming that those who stayed away from Rev. Hutcherson’s bullhorned abuse are actually supporters of his message is downright delusional. Only 100 people turned up for his protest and there’s no indication that any of them were students.

But I do agree that there are undoubtedly unhappy parents of Mount Si students. I’m sure quite a few wish that Rev. Ken Hutcherson had decided to take his ministry to some other part of the country and left their school alone.

Hutcherson’s Bullhorn

Timothy Kincaid

April 26th, 2008

Rev. Ken Hutcherson’s response to the disruption caused by students sitting silently.
bullhorn.jpg

Picture from the Seattle Times.

Hutch’s Disrupting Protest

Timothy Kincaid

April 25th, 2008

hutch.bmpOne of the consistent (and consistently stupid) claims of the anti-gay wacktivists is that the Day of Silence is “disrupting” of schools. Sitting there silent (unless called on in class) disrupts the education process by (silently) shoving your views down the throats of other students (the other frequent but oddly chosen catch phrase), ya see.

So Rev. Ken Hutcherson decided to protest, along with 1,000 of his prayer buddies.

Well, the Day of Silence has come and gone at the Mount Si High School. And how did Hutch do in quelling the disturbance?

Well, let’s see…

Around 7 am about 80 parents and supporters of the Gay-Straight Alliance came and silently stood to welcome those students observing the DOS.

“We want to let students in the GSA know they have support in the community,” said Lucinda Hauser, a parent of a Mount Si student.

Then at 9:30 am, Hutcherson’s bus showed up with him, his bodyguards, and about 100 supporters. Although he had placed an add in the local newspaper and was hoping for 1,000 angry anti-gays, he didn’t come close to meeting his goal. Hutcherson’s group began to pray and sing and wave signs with messages such as “Silence for Unnatural Behavior? Not ME”.

The parents and supporters had left around 8, not wanting to deal with Hutch and crew. But another group of about 150 counter-protestors were there to challenge the anti-gays. Some, it seems, were from Tolt UCC Congregational Church who ran an ad of support for the students in the same newspaper.

Ken Lauren, a Redmond parent whose son-in-law teaches at Mt. Si, shouted, “Are these the values you want your kids to grow up with — bigotry, intolerance, hatred.” He carried a sign that said, “I believe in separation of church and hate.”

The chaos outside was in contrast to the silence inside. About 200 of the 1,400 students took part in the effort to honor Lawrence King and to draw attention to discrimination and violence against gay kids.

But theirs was not the only message. The Mt. Si Conservative Club passed out red, white and blue ribbons to display their opposition to the silent students.

Inside the school, students and administrators said there were many T-shirts expressing opposing views and some intense discussions.

And to avoid all the conflict (or, more likely, because they could get away with it), about 500 students stayed away from school.

So how well did Rev. Hutcherson do in his quest to stop the disturbing effect of the Day of Silence at his daughter’s high school? Perhaps it would do to compare Mt. Si to other schools in the area.

Seventeen of 19 high schools in King County participated in the National Day of Silence, but none of the other schools had any of the tense moments seen in Snoqualmie.

So I guess we can say that Hutch didn’t succeed in his goal of bringing order from chaos. But some have doubts that this was his goal anyway.

Reverend Hutcherson and his supporters said they were there because they didn’t think school is the place for a demonstration about sexuality.

However, school officials think Hutcherson’s stand may be pay-back after teachers, since disciplined, heckled him at a civil rights assembly. And the school says Friday’s tolerance should be a lesson to both students and parents alike.

“The reverend is going to do what he’s going to do,” said Mt. Si High School principal Randy Taylor. “We certainly are disappointed that he’s taken this form of protest on a student-initiated, student-organized activity.”

I’ll bet Taylor is praying that Hutch decides on private schooling soon.

Hutcherson Supporters Speak Out

Timothy Kincaid

April 25th, 2008

Ken Schram at KOMO TV in Seattle has been critical of Ken Hutcherson’s campaign against Mt. Si High School. He’s provided a sample of some of the responses to him.

They are all worth a chuckle or a cringe, but my favorite is

Elaine Biggerstaff writes: “You are the perpetrator of hate when you refuse to tolerate the obligation Christians have to believe what God has revealed.”

I’m not sure exactly what Ms. Biggerstaff thinks that God has revealed about the murder of Lawrence King.

Hutcherson and Barber Talk About the Day of Silence and Reveal Hutch’s Paranoia

Timothy Kincaid

April 24th, 2008

Rev. Ken Hutcherson spoke with Matt Barber on a Concerned Women for America podcast about Hutcherson’s protest of the Day of Silence. Barber and Hutcherson both make some claims that do not seem to be fact based and, in Hutcherson’s case, appear to demonstrate paranoia:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Barber claims

  • GLSEN is an “adult homosexual activist group” that uses children as “pawns to futher their very deceptive agenda”.
  • some Christians are taking a “very soft approach” to the Day of Silence rather than “challenge it head on” because they want “the path of least resistance”. [I assume this refers to the Golden Rule pledge]

Hutcherson claims

  • kids who are kept out of school on the DOS may make up an excuse rather than “stand up”.
  • he was invited to speak at Mt. Si because it was “a great time to ambush the Christian”.
  • he’s been labeled the “number one homophobe in the United States”. He told “them” that as long as Dr. James Dobson is alive then Dobson’s number one and he’s is number two. [I can't find any reference anywhere to Hutcherson being labeled as the number one homophobe, much less that he responded in any way to "them"]
  • there is a million dollar award out for information that would destroy his ministry.
  • the minute his daughter introduced him on MLK day, white teachers booed [although news reports indicate that one teacher booed, Hutcherson repeated referred to "white teachers", plural]
  • the school promised him that there would be nothing controversially done about his appearance
  • four or five teachers run the whole school, along with the principal and assistant principal and they are all afraid of the homosexual agenda
  • if you look through the Bible you cannot find one word in the Bible that relates to tolerance
  • the reason Jesus didn’t condemn the woman at the well was because was “set up to sin” and the man she committed adultery with wasn’t also brought. He implied that otherwise Jesus would have condemned both of them.

Barber also seems to imply that Hutcherson should engage in violence against the school authorities. Hutcherson said, “now you’ve got an angry dad”, to which Barber replies, “I don’t blame you and I seem to recall that you played a little football”. [Hutcherson played in the NFL in the 70's].

All in all, I have to conclude that Hutcherson is either paranoid or not particularly concerned about the accuracy of his statements.

(hat tip to Good-As-You)

Hutcherson to Annoy Mt. Si High School Again

Timothy Kincaid

April 23rd, 2008

Ken HutchersonRev. Ken Hutcherson is determined to be a general nuisance and all around pain in the ass.

He has opposed Washington’s non-discrimination laws. He’s threatened Microsoft with a hostile take-over because they support their gay employees. But now he’s set his sights a bit lower – Mt. Si High School where his daughter attends.

He has tried to get two teachers fired. He’s tried to get the Gay-Straight Alliance banned. He harassed and threatened the librarian. And now he’s going to be protesting the schoolkids who observe the Day of Silence.

Oh yeah, while kids on the inside are silently bringing attention to bullying, Hutcherson will be outside presenting himself as a screaming ranting example of the type of threat that gay kids face.

On his church’s website he says

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Prayer Warriors, it’s time to put on your knee pads and start praying! I am organizing a protest of Mt. Si High School and the Snoqualmie Valley School District. We will be protesting at Mt. Si High School on the Day of Silence, April 25 at 10:00 am. We have taken out a huge ad in the Snoqualmie Valley newspaper which will run next Wednesday. Please pray that over 1,000 people will participate.

Enough is enough. We have tried to work with the School District and they will not hear us. They will hear this protest. Pray it up! It’s time to make a moral stand in our public schools.

Pastor Hutch!

Please, no one tell Pastor Hutch that by next Wednesday the event will be over.

The Stranger reports that Hutch also took to the airwaves to spread his own special brand of hate-the-gay.

The Monday radio program that featured Hutcherson claimed that several high schools in and around Seattle are trying to stop the event from happening. All of the schools contacted by The Stranger, however, including some of those mentioned on the program, said the activity is going forward—sponsored by students and without interference from school administrators. “Of course we would hope that there’s tolerance of other people and other lifestyles, on any day of the year and not just one day,” said David Tucker, a Seattle Public Schools spokesperson.

Fortunately, the Reverend Ken Hutcherson will not be the sole voice of Christianity or community to be heard by gay kids at Mt. Si

A group at Tolt Congregational Church in Carnation plans to run an ad beside Hutcherson’s in Wednesday’s edition of the Snoqualmie Valley Record reading, “We are One in The Spirit,” and pledging to support the GSA. Another group, called “Friends of GSA,” is encouraging Snoqualmie residents to confront Hutcherson’s group outside of Mount Si on Friday morning, although McCormick isn’t thrilled about that. “A school is not the right place for this,” she said.

Poor Hutch. His efforts to stop the Day of Silence are not going to be any more effective than his bid to remove domestic partners insurance from Microsoft. But at this point I doubt that he has any illusions about his effectivity; he just likes to see his name in print.

Hutcherson Threatens and Intimidates High School Librarian

Timothy Kincaid

March 12th, 2008

Ken Hutcherson
Ken Hutcherson, known for his anti-gay activism, is continuing his harassment of teachers at Mt. Si High School where his daughter is a student.

The Snoqualmie Valley Record reports:

Mount Si librarian Elaine Harger said she had received an e-mail from Rev. Ken Hutcherson that referred to Mount Si’s Gay-Straight Alliance as a “sex club” and asked if Harger wanted to be added to the list of Mount Si teachers he was pushing to have fired.

“What had I done to justify that he would try to get me fired from my job? This is intimidation, pure and simple,” said Harger.

Hutcherson may call himself a Reverend and a Christian. He may even pastor a church. But I find his behavior to be indicative of a heart full of arrogance, anger, and self-righteousness and I want nothing to do with his form of religion.

UPDATE: (hat tip to reader a. mcewen)

The text of the letter was:

Dear Elaine Harger,

I see that my name was used many times in your letter to Mrs. Garding,(names removed). These are concerned parents, in which I am one, and not Hutcherson supporters as you have said. I could disappear at this very moment but the parents are not going away.

I want the teachers Kit McCormick and George Potratz fired and I will not stop until they are gone. Do you wish to be added to that list? I want the day of silence silenced and it will not happen during school time anymore. I have never said that the GSA should not be a club but have asked why a sex club is pushed on campus.

You have the right to invoke my name for being an invited guest, and as an invited guest that was treated very poorly, I demand that all students have a safe environment and not just the students of the GSA.

Do you think my daughter feels Mount Si is a safe environment for her? Do you think that conservative, ultra-patriotic, pro-war, Bible-stumpers as one administrator has said feels safe at Mount Si? Do you think Christian, Mormon, and any other religious groups of kid think Mount Si is a safe environment for them?

You and others may have wished I was never invited but I was so now you have to deal with me and how I was treated. I am here for the long run and I am not going away, even if letters like yours are continued to be written. Please do continue to write because I am collecting them for my case of a hostile environment for me as a parent, for me as an invited guest, for me as a Christian, and for me as a resident of the Snoqualmie School District.

Dr. Ken Hutcherson
Senior Pastor Antioch Bible Church

Gosh, Why Would Hutcherson’s Daughter Make the GSA Kids Uncomfortable?

Timothy Kincaid

February 19th, 2008

gsa.jpgAs we previously reported, Rev. Ken Hutcherson has expanded his war on the lives of gay people from Microsoft to Mt. Si High School.

Convinced of his moral superiority, Hutcherson has no hesitation in making outlandish demands and accusations. The new targets in his sights are the teachers who he feels disrespected him and the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance.

Hutcherson told OneNewsNow

In addition, says the pastor and father, teachers at the school have approached his daughter — and on at least one occasion, one of his daughter’s friends — in hopes of discouraging her from attending Gay Straight Alliance meetings in the aftermath of the assembly. They have reportedly advised that her presence causes members of the club to be “uncomfortable.”

On his church website, Hutch has the following message:

gsa.bmp

The text reads:

This poster is hanging in the window of a classrom [sic] at Mt. Si High School!

It’s time we wake up and realize we are in a culture WAR!

When teachers are allowed to hang posters like this in our local school, we’ve got a big problem. It’s time to take back our schools.

Pastor Hutch

Hutcherson knows that the poster is a product of the students – or he should. So why is he complaining that a teacher was allowed to hang the poster? Because he knows that he won’t be able to stir up anger against children and honesty always takes a back seat to effectiveness in war.

I don’t know Hutcherson’s daughter. She may be delightful. But if I were a student who was part of Mt. Si’s GSA, I too would be uncomfortable to see her – or her camera – in the room. Her father has declared WAR on their lives, and it certainly appears that she is a soldier.

Hat tip: Good-As-You

Isn’t It Ironic, Dontcha Think?

Timothy Kincaid

February 15th, 2008

Ken HutchersonIf you’re like me you’ve screamed at your radio, “No Alanis, rain on your wedding day is not ironic. It’s just unfortunate.” Irony is a discrepancy between what’s expected and what happens, especially when enlivened by ‘perverse appropriateness’.

For example:

Rev. Ken Hutcherson, an active opponent of gay civil rights, was invited to speak at Mt. Si High School on a day to recognize and honor Martin Luther King Jr’s work for civil rights. No, that’s not the example.

One teacher booed and one teacher questioned Hutcherson on his commitment to civil rights. Also, Hutcherson is very upset that some people in the community have began to think that he and his family are bigoted and homophobic because they hold anti-gay views. Still isn’t the example.

And Hutcherson objects that his daughter has been made to feel stress when teachers told her that other students feel uncomfortable when she monitors the Gay-Straight Alliance meetings. OK, we’re getting closer.

Although Mt. Si’s principal apologized to Hutcherson, he refuses to let this go. And though the two teachers received a letter of reprimand, Hutcherson demands that they be fired. One booed him and one questioned him and they need to go! And if the school doesn’t heed his demands they will “pay and pay dearly”.

“You can see the arrogance that’s going on in our public school system with the agenda of making our schools just so open and available to what the homosexual agenda is all about,” he remarks. “I’m absolutely amazed at the stubbornness that we’ve run into in our public education system, especially with teachers who think that nothing can happen to them.”

And that, Alanis, is ironic.

Hutcherson Attracts Conflict Again

Timothy Kincaid

February 9th, 2008

UPDATED: See Below

Ken HutchersonRev. Ken Hutcherson is the senior pastor of a 3,500 member church in Redmond, WA. Hutch, as he’s called, was also a linebacker for the Cowboys, Chargers, and Seahawks in the mid 70′s. But what he’s best known for is as a vocal opponent of civil rights and equality for gay people.

Hutcherson is a founder of the anti-gay group Watchmen on the Walls, which has been known to justify violence and murder, he’s lobbied to overturn Microsoft’s anti-discrimination policies (including a bizzare scheme in which he encourages Christians to buy shares of Microsoft and give them to him), and most recently seemed to reject the Christian notion of loving gay people (“The Bible says when a sinner will not separate himself from a sin then he is condemned with it.”)

Hutcherson’s beliefs are not a secret. But somehow the principle of Mt. Si High School in the Snoqualmie Valley either did not know or did not care about Hutch’s very vocal and visible campaign to reinstate legal discrimination against gay folks in Washington State. So he invited Rev. Hutcherson to come speak at the school’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day assembly.

Hutcherson, whose daughter attends the school, did not speak about his homophobic social activism but instead discussed growing up black in Alabama.

But some students and teachers were shocked that such a vocal opponent of gay civil quality would be brought in to talk about civil rights on a day recognizing King’s contributions. One teacher booed when Hutcherson was announced and another teacher asked Hutcherson at the end of his presentation how he could claim to speak about civil rights when he so actively opposed them for gay people. Hutch got offended.

The principle sent out a public apology to Hutcherson and gave each of the two teachers a “letter of discipline” in their permanent files.

Well this event has stirred up a firestorm in the community. The assembly has now been the subject of two contentious School Board meetings. Some parents are furious that any teacher should voice their “personal and political views” while others are angry that the administration would not support the teachers who stood up to bigotry. Hutcherson’s wife, Jan, claimed at the meeting that the beliefs of Hutcherson have resulted in the family being “boldly called names like ‘bigot’, ‘homophobe’”.

But as the event was scheduled on his birthday, I can’t help but wonder why no one is asking what Dr. King would have done had he been in attendance.

UPDATE:

Good-As-You brought to our attention a letter that Hutcherson wrote to his church:

Saturday, 09 February 2008

Dear Church,

Last night at the Snoqualmie Valley School Board Meeting, the teachers supportive of the Gay Straight Alliance drew a line in the sand, and I am stepping over it. I spoke to the Superintendent this morning and he promised, “…it’s for the children.”

I said I want him to protect my daughter and I want Kit McCormick removed from the classroom.

Another teacher at the meeting last night, George Potratz, said that if I am trying to repeal rights for gays, he thinks we should start a movement to bring back slavery.

Mr. Potratz does not deserve to be on the faculty of the school and should be fired immediately. Over the next few days, I will be talking with the School Board and the school officials.

My theme will be a line from a Pink Floyd song, “Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!”

In response to what happened, one of our members, Steve Dudgeon, wrote the following letter: Click here to read!

Pastor Hutch

I find it very disturbing that this man is trying to bully the school into firing a teacher for simply asking him a question at a school assembly. Does he really think that getting someone fired for disagreeing with you is remotely “Christian”?

The letter is even more laden with martyrdom language. Hutch and his congregation believe that they are the victims whenever those whom they are attacking stand up to them.

I was amazed at the vitriol and hatred shown by several pro-gay rights teachers toward us as Christians. They hate our guts.

In some rather strange parable about bull fighting, Dudgeon argues that a Christian is to go into a bull ring and wave a red flag. If the bull charges, the Christian demands that the owner of the bull build a smaller ring.

Oddly enough, I think that pretty well describes Hutcherson’s attitude and approach.