Posts Tagged As: Seamus Hasson
December 10th, 2008
…there have been at least ten churches painted with swastikas, threats to close down or else. There’s been six churches with small-bore rifle fire through their windows. By my count, there have been at least six instances of burning Books of Mormon on the church steps. These aren’t isolated occurrences here and there; this is an uprising of some sort.
I checked up on Hasson’s claims by reviewing newspaper reports of vandalism following the passage of Proposition 8. While I may have missed some reports (if so, please advise), my numbers are substantially different from those of Hasson.
Instances of swastika vandalism:
Other use of swastika:
I do know of at least one instance of spray painting on a church. In the days following the vote, a Mormon Church in Utah was tagged with “Nobody is born a bigot”. This was likely related to Proposition 8, but no swastikas were used.
So as for “churches painted with swastikas” by protesters over Proposition 8: Hasson’s count: ten; my count: zero.
Burning Books of Mormon:
So as for “instances of burning Books of Mormon on the church steps” by protesters over Proposition 8: Hasson’s count: six; my count: one.
I found no instances of churches being threatened to “close down or else”. None. And by “small-bore rifle fire”, Hasson means a bb gun (as in “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid“).
Which leaves me with the following conclusion: Either
I’ll let you decide.
December 10th, 2008
Yesterday we gave the LaBarbera Award to Pat Boone for comparing the peaceful protests against Prop 8 to Mumbai terrorists who killed 163 people in what is now being referred to as India’s 9/11. That was the day after the Becket Fund placed a full-page ad in the New York Times falsely characterizing these same peaceful protests — protected by the First Amendment’s peaceful assembly clause — as “mob violence.” Now we have a new LaBarbera Award winner in Seamus Hasson, the founder and chairman for the Becket Fund itself.
On yesterday’s “The Morning Show” on KPFA, host Aimee Allison spoke with Hasson about the New York Times ad, and asked him about the broad brush characterization of the movement as violent:
Aimee Allison: So, Rev. Russell was commenting, there may be a few individuals, but not a movement. Seamus Hasson, your response to that: if there are individuals, why are anti-Prop 8 movement folks being painted with that broad brush?
Seamus Hasson: Well, whether it’s an organized movement like Al Qaeda or whether it’s the Al Qaeda-like, um, inspired acts of terrorism elsewhere, people are right to be concerned about, um, radical Islamist violence —
First it was Mumbai terrorists, now we’re Al Qaeda-like. You know, the people who flew planes into buildings and killed more than three thousand people. That Holocaust analogy is just around the corner…
[Hat tip: GLAAD Blog]
December 8th, 2008
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty published a full page ad in the New York Times today decrying the “violence and intimidation being directed against the LDS or ‘Mormon’ church” by opponents of Propostion 8. Those signing the missive included:
Although the signatories claim to “differ about a great many important things” including “the wisdom and justice of California’s Proposition 8”, I find little evidence of this assertion.
The chief signatory, Kevin “Seamus” Hasson is, on the surface, neutral. However he has on several occasions stated his opinion (and that of his organization) that marriage equality is “very expensive in terms of religious liberty“, has an impact that is “severe and pervasive“, and that he opposed the court’s actions legalizing same-sex marriage.
Some others on the list, including Alveda King, Chuck Colson, Roger Scruton, and William Donohue, represent the extreme of anti-gay activists – those who not only oppose marriage equality but any rights or freedoms granted to gay persons. Armando Valladares and Nathan Diament, while not outright haters, are on record in opposition to gay marriage as well as other rights and freedoms.
Others are lesser known and some are liberal on environmental or economic issues. Douglas Laycock advocates for the separation of religious and civil recognition. And Marvin Olasky advocates that “same-sex marriage be opposed only in ways that treat gays as still possessing human dignity”. Rick Civik supports some civil unions recognition.
But I was unable to find a single instance of anyone signing onto this list that was either directly effected by Proposition 8 or opposed to its passage. The range within the signatories is from “I oppose gay marriage” to “I really, really, really oppose gay marriage and anything else that would benefit gay people in any way.”
Now let’s examine this “mob violence and intimidation” against Mormon Churches and their members and see if it merits a full page of condemnation.
Becket and Pals listed a grand total of one objectionable event, so we’ll look at it first:
It has never been determined just who sent the powder or why. That, of course, doesn’t deter those who think that gay people should quietly accept a second class status from making the baseless accusation.
The other incidences of “violence” (if you really stretch the word) through November 24th have been itemized by the Salt Lake Tribune. They consist of:
In addition to the items listed by the Tribune, I also know of:
Incidents of physical violence seem to have been limited to two, one on each side, and both before the election:
But from the language of Becket and Pals, you’d think that buildings were aflame and hospitals full from the victims of rampaging homosexual mobs terrorizing the nation:
Regrettably, some public voices have even sought to excuse the threats and disruptions simply as “demonstrations” that got out of hand. Perhaps that’s true in some cases. Far too many, however, seem never to have been demonstrations in the first place, but more nearly mobs, seeking not to persuade but to intimidate. When thugs send white powder to terrorize any place of worship, especially those of a religious minority, responsible voices need to speak clearly: Religious wars are wrong; they are also dangerous. Those who fail to condemn or seem to condone that intimidation are at fault as well. Consciously or not, they are numbing the public conscience, which endangers us all.
I condemn the behavior that is listed above. I do not, by any means, seek to justify or excuse vandalism. It is not appropriate to break someone’s protest cross even if she is seeking to insult and offend. It is absolutely not acceptable to trespass onto a church property in order to disrupt services.
But the sole instance that could even remotely be considered “nearly a mob” was the instance in the Castro. And while one incident may be “far too many”, this language is intended of obfuscate rather than clarify.
I have to conclude that this ad had nothing to do with violence against Mormons. Rather it is a way of demonizing gays and using insinuation to portray a community as violent and aggressive.
Wayne Besen at Truth Wins Out lists some examples of the religious bigotry spouted by some of these very signatories.
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.
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.