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Posts for November, 2011

Occupy Hate, a.k.a. Scott Lively

Jim Burroway

November 21st, 2011

A contingent of the Occupy Springfield, Massachusetts, movement took time out to deliver a special message to Scott Lively’s drop-in coffee shop. Lively counters with a bit of preaching of his own.

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[via Joe.My.God]

Manager At Scott Lively’s Coffee Shop A Convicted Child Molester

Jim Burroway

January 13th, 2011

Scott Lively (left), Michael J. Frediani (right)

Anti-gay extremist Scott Lively, who travels the world to preach that the international gay cabal is recruiting young children into homosexuality through child molestation, hired a convicted child molester as manager of his Springfield, MA coffee house. The manager, Michael J. Frediani, 38, who lived in an apartment above the coffee house was arrested this morning by Springfield police for failing to register as a Level 2 sex offender.

In New York, Frediani was convicted of sexual abuse in the first degree and aggravated sexual abuse in the second degree in 1996.

The charge relates to an arrest by police in Canandaigua, N.Y., in 1995 in which the victim was an 11-year-old girl. The description of the offense was “deviate sexual intercourse.”

He was sentenced to two to four years in state prison, serving at the Midstate Correctional Facility from September of 1996 to February of 1999, according to Carole Weaver, a spokeswoman for the state’s Division of Parole.

New York determined that Frediani was a level 3 sex offender under that state’s classification which indicates that Frediani is considered most likely to reoffend again. Lively says he didn’t know about Frediani’s past, and didn’t appear too concerned about it:

Frediani had told Lively that he had a “rough past before he became a Christian,” Lively said, adding that he did not know any specifics and that he saw no need for a criminal background check.

“That’s the beauty of the salvation of Christ,” Lively said. “When you come to Jesus Christ, and you accept his forgiveness for your sins, then you are forgiven by Him and enter a new life. It doesn’t surprise me that he had a rough past, that he has a criminal record.”

Right. He warns everyone that they should keep gay people away from their children, but just anybody can hang out with the local teens at Lively’s coffee shop. Yeah. Good thinking.

Lively’s coffee shop drew criticism last week from local officials when his new storefront ministry became a hangout for truent teens while skipping school.

Oh, and that bit about Lively turning over a new leaf and no longer being interested in anti-gay activism? I was skeptical. “‘Let’s see where we are, say, a year from now,” I wrote. Well…

Lively said he continues to serve as a conference speaker around the world on the topic of homosexuality, but “it has nothing to do with the ministry in Springfield.”

That wasn’t even a full week.

Scott Lively’s New Leaf?

Jim Burroway

January 5th, 2011

The Boston Globe has an interesting profile of Scott Lively this morning, in which he claims that he is turning aside his old ways and focusing more on helping the downtrodden in his adopted hometown of Springfield, Massachuetts:

Every day, patrons stream to the Christian folk shows and Bible classes at Holy Grounds Coffee House, the café he opened about two months ago on a block not far from downtown. A thousand people turned out for the March for Jesus he led from the café to the steps of City Hall on the day before Easter. And dozens of children and parents flocked to a city park for his annual Family Day celebration, featuring a water slide, face painting, and grilled food. Even the mayor stopped by that event.

“You can’t walk down the street without being greeted by somebody saying, ‘Hey, Rev. Scott!’ ’’ said Lively, an evangelical pastor who moved to Springfield from California in January 2008. “It’s very satisfying.’’

…“He has won the hearts of his people with his sincerity and the things he’s doing in the community,’’ said Archbishop Timothy Paul, pastor of the Basilica of the Holy Apostles and president of the Council of Churches of Greater Springfield. “But I don’t believe people in Springfield really know who he is.’’

Who Scott Lively really is, is the virulently anti-gay activist whose Abiding Truth Ministriues has been on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s very short list of  anti-gay hate groups for a few years now.  Not only that but Lively is co-founder of Watchmen On the Walls, another identified hate group (it was those Watchmen connections that brought him to Springfield), and he has worked with Massachusetts-based School of Christian Activism and MassResistance, two more identified hate groups. He is the author of author of the widely discredited book, The Pink Swastika, in which he claims that the Nazi movement was, at its core, a gay movement, and that the inevitable result of LGBT equality would be the imposition of murderous fascism.

In 2009, he took his message to Uganda with Exodus International board member Don Schmierer and International Healing Foundation’s Caleb Lee Brundidge (Brundidge went on behalf of IHF head Richard Cohen). He would later brag that his messages was  a nuclear bomb against the gay agenda, which helped to prepare the groundwork for the introduction of the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda’s Parliament.

The Globe provides considerable coverage of those events. Lively is unrepentant in his views about gay people, but he now says he has changed his focus.

“We’re not fighting the culture wars here in Springfield,’’ he said. “The issues here are more fundamental than that. You can’t deal with the culture wars with people who are struggling to survive. Those issues are not relevant. These are people who are trying to live.’’

“This whole mission in Springfield is to show by example the positive side of all this — that when you follow the Biblical approach and try to be as true to him [God] as you can, you get the maximum positive benefit for yourself and society,’’ he said. “It’s completely different from all the things that I’ve done in the past, which is going against the wrongs. We’re working toward what is right.’’

…Lively’s café features soft music and free Bibles, but no copies of “Pink Swastika,’’ or “7 Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child.’’ On a recent day, two teenagers chatted at one table, and two lounged on a sofa, while a few regulars talked with the long-haired manager, Michael Free, who offers blessings to patrons.

So, has Lively fully abandoned the culture war? I doubt it. He’s made similar noises before, but since then has argued that repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would result in a Nazi takeover of the U.S. military, and he went on The Daily Show to say that gay men exhibit absolutely no moral restraint whatsoever. More recently, he ran as a write-in candidate for Massachusetts governor with MassResistance’s endorsement.

The Globe closes with Lively saying;

“If someone were looking for Scott Lively to stop being involved in the other stuff, this is it,’’ he said in an interview in his café. “Those people who criticize me, they should be happy.”

Believe me, I will be very happy when I never have to write about him again. Let’s see where we are, say, a year from now.

CNN on Anti-Gay Bullying

Jim Burroway

April 15th, 2009

CNN’s Anderson Cooper did a marvelous story last night on Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover and Eric Mohat, and the daily anti-gay bullying which drove these boys to kill themselves. He was buried on Friday. Meanwhile, Focus On the Family, Exodus, and the Alliance defense, among many others, continue to defend the current status quo which leads to more deaths of young people — including straight kids as well as gay.

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The Consequences of Anti-Gay Bullying

Timothy Kincaid

April 13th, 2009

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover was so mercilessly bullied with gay taunts that on Monday he tied an electrical cord around his neck and hung himself. He was eleven.

Carl is not alone. Anti-gay bullying is a serious problem in public schools. It is rampant, it is pervasive, and often times it is ignored by those responsible for preventing it.

In Mentor, Ohio, the high school doesn’t think it has a problem with bullying. So they are being sued by the parents of Eric Mohat with a lawsuit that doesn’t ask for money but instead that the administration implement an age-appropriate anti-bullying program. The Mohats feel that the school has ignored the reasons why Eric, who suffered from persistent anti-gay bullying, killed himself in 2007. He was one of four bullied Mentor High School students who committed suicide that year.

Considering that children are dying and that the cause is obvious, you’d think that everyone would support programs to stop the bullying. You’d think wrong.

Anti-gay activists consistently oppose any effort to target and prevent anti-gay bullying. They say that programs which identify specific targets, including those tormented for being perceived as gay, are really “indoctrination of homosexuality under the pretext of anti-bullying curriculum.”

And they would much rather let children die than muffle those “students and school officials who object to homosexuality.”

Incidentally, neither Carl nor Eric identified as gay. That didn’t protect them.

The Watchmen In Riga, Part 1: “Become A Missionary To America”

Scott Lively announces his move to Springfield, Massachusetts, and invites the world to join him as "missionaries to America."

Jim Burroway

November 26th, 2007

The Watchmen On the Walls held another conference two weeks ago, this time in Riga, Latvia, home of Alexey Ledyaev’s New Generation church. Ledyaev is one of the Watchmen’s founders, along with holocaust revisionist Scott Lively and Seattle-area pastor Kenneth Hutcherson. This latest conference garnered very little attention here in the States, but since Ledyaev’s New Generation church put the video of the entire conference on their web site, I thought it might be informative to learn what was discussed in Riga.

Pastor LedyaevPastor Alexey Ledyaev opened the conference on Wednesday evening, November 14, with a strident sermon on the weapons of spiritual warfare. While he described these “weapons” as spiritual in nature, the war metaphors were pushed to their most militant limits as he whipped the crowd into a frenzy:

Liberalism is penetrating into our brain, but we must return to the fundamental things and name things as they are. If God names it evil, then we must name it evil. When you tell the truth, strength comes to you.

…We’re in the war and we’re in it because of trophies — human souls.

Today our home is being ravaged before our eyes. Our weapons are being taken away. We were strong when we had those weapons.

Conference audienceLedyaev stoked the crowd even further by describing the “danger” in the most ludicrous terms:

They are trying to wash our brains and explain that Bible is obsolete, that the form of the traditional family is obsolete. Today homosexualists boldly enter the schools with the bold slogan “Your kids are our kids. We will re-educate them.” Sexually immature kids are being seduced and taught about traditional and non-traditional sex. They are forced to cross-dress in order to feel which orientation is inside them. They are being told that if you are born as a boy, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will become a man. If you were born as a girl, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will become a woman. It’s all happening now.

The devil is ravaging our home and I want to ask our Church: where are we? We are told to surrender our weapons and be silent – but we are refusing to take this dictation down. Because we have another commander-in-chief and he tells us to act!

Scott LivelyThings had calmed back a bit the following morning when American author and holocaust revisionist Scott Lively took the stage. And even though his talk was lower key than Ledyaev’s, it was no less provocative.

Lively began by bringing the conference up to date with the Watchmen’s activities over the previous months. He talked about going to Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia, and then followed that with an account of the U.S. conferences in Sacramento and Seattle. And here’s where his grip on reality became somewhat tenuous. He began by talking about how the Watchmen had been “attacked” in a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center:

There’s an organization in the United States called the Southern Poverty Law Center. This is a very powerful and influential organization. This is an organization that got its start fighting against the Ku Klux Klan and racism in the Old South in the United States. And it became very famous for fighting against hate groups.

Then in about the nineteen nineties, then there was very, very little racism left in America. And this organization had no more people to investigate. So they picked a new target, what they called the Christian Right. Christian Conservatives. And they began taking the side of the homosexuals against the Christians.

Scott LivelyLively then went on to embellish the story about the attention the Watchmen received in Seattle:

The devil was trying to kill Watchmen On the Walls in Seattle. But God was with us. We had a very good conference and we got publicity throughout the whole state of Washington that we never would have had. But at the very beginning of the conference we held a press conference. And we met with the media and we told them who we were. And we wrote a statement about the Watchmen On the Walls and who we are. My translator, Lev here has translated it and it will be posted on the Watchmen On the Walls web site.

And the next morning, when we came to the conference, the sidewalks was filled with homosexuals with signs attacking us. And the media was back again. They were looking to see if there would be a fight. But what they saw was Christians coming to together to praise God and to stand strong on the values that he has given us about the family. And the next day, in the biggest newspaper in the whole state, was a very positive story about Watchmen On the Walls and about how it was not the hate group that we had been called. Glory to God! Hallelujah.

The largest newspaper in the state, The Seattle Times, did indeed write about the Watchmen. But it does not appear to draw any conclusions about who they are, as Lively claimed in Riga.

Scott LivelyBut Lively was clearly flattered by the attention, calling the Watchmen a very important international movement. And since they are now “very important,” they have to be careful with everything they say. “We have to understand that we are being watched by people all over the world. There are probably even homosexual spies in this room.”

These “spies,” Lively warned, would love nothing more than to catch someone associated with the Watchmen saying something ugly. And that’s where Lively coached his Russian-speaking audience with a new phrase that he claimed would inoculate them against the charges of being a hate group:

In America, the Christians have chosen a phrase that explains what we believe. And you may have heard this phrase. “We love the sinner, but hate the sin.” Amen? Okay. Say that with me. “We love the sinner, but hate the sin.” That must be your phrase because that will protect you from being misrepresented. And it will bring you in harmony with Christians around the world.

And with that, Lively went on to speak in those “harmonious” terms that many Christians all over the world have used to describe gays and lesbians:

You have to understand how this battle works. We follow the God of truth. They Holy Spirit, who is called the Spirit of Truth, lives inside of us. But our adversaries follow the father of lies. Scripture calls him the “father of lies.” They can’t tell the truth, and they to tell the truth because they don’t want people to listen to what we have to say. But we can’t say anything that would give them proof that what they teach is right… So we must be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. We won’t stop telling the truth, and they won’t stop telling the lies. But this is a war.

Scott LivelyThat’s quite a long ways from loving the sinner.

Lively ended his talk that morning with an announcement that he and his wife will be moving to Springfield, Massachusetts to join a New Generation church which serves the Russian-speaking community there. And he invited others in Riga to join him in his quest to change America:

We’re going to Springfield as missionaries to America. We want to do the three tasks of the church. We want to take that goal of transforming society and to apply it in all the areas of life. And I want to invite you, whether you’re here in Riga, whether you’re watching on the Internet, or whether you’re watching on DVD, come to Springfield. Come and be part of the experiment. Help us to develop New Generation and the Watchmen On The Walls into the English-speaking world.

(Thanks to Ruslan Porshnev of the Russian LGBT web site Anti-Dogma, for generously providing the English translations of the Russian speakers at the conference. You can read more about his work here.)

See also:
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 1: “Become A Missionary To America”
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 2: From Babylon To Jerusalem
The Watchmen In Riga, Interlude: A Pastor’s Prayer
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 3: The “Secrets” Of Homosexuality
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 4: “A Militant Army Marching Against Evil”