This animal. This cretin. This travesty. This demon.

This is Tony Perkins. He is much scarier than the Tony Perkins who played Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. This Tony Perkins makes blood spinning down a bathtub drain look like a cup of Kool-Aid spilled at a Girl Scout fundraiser.

This Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council, the political offshoot of Focus on the Family, which is James Dobson’s main organization.

James Dobson is a person very keen on calling himself a Christian. So is Tony Perkins. So are all the people who work for and/or support their organizations.

Tony Perkins carries “a tremendous burden to reclaim the culture for Christ.” That’s what it says about him on the FRC website. So it must be true.

Oh, and that little kerfuffle you might have heard about last winter, when the Southern Poverty Law Center designated the Family Research Council as a hate group, because it’s that virulently anti-gay? According to Perkins, that was nothing more than “the left’s smear campaign of conservatives.”

It’s all just part of Tony’s big fat Christian burden.

Being a lobbytitian (half-lobbiest, half-politician—and isn’t that what they all are anymore?), Tony’s other big burden is money. Tony wants lots and lots of money. And he knows that nothing makes a certain kind of person reach for his or her wallet faster than the fear that there are actually gay people in the world.

Hence, this recent fundraising letter sent by Tony to Family Research Council supporters:

tonyletter

Sigh.

So, I just came back from five days spent at The Hotel del Coronado, where my wife and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Upon returning home I found a few emails alerting me to the letter above. So I thought I’d write a little something about it. After all, Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and the Family Research Center are still to so many the public face of Christianity. And that’s a travesty that I, an everyday, normal, non-insane Christian, am inclined to help combat.

But as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t write a decent piece about this letter. No clever angle for the story came to me; no witty perspective, no engaging spin. It’s like at some level I just didn’t care about Tony Perkins and his pathetic letter. I got as far as what you now see written above the letter, and no further. After that I just ran out of writing juice.

I chalked it up to some sort of anniversary hangover.  After all, I am still on the week off I’m spending with my wife. I dunno. But I can tell when I’m just not going to be able to write a piece, and this was one of those times. So I let it go.

And I spent a wonderful day at home with my wife.

And just now, as I was heading off to bed, it occurred to me why I couldn’t figure out how to write this piece. It’s because my feelings about it are so … extremely absolute. There’s zero traction in it for me. It’s like trying to run on ice. No grip.

Every single time I think of Tony Perkins and this letter, nothing more interesting or edifying comes to my mind than a block of feelings that, broken down, runs about like this:

This animal. This cretin. This travesty. This demon. This parasite. This blight. This twisted purveyor of evil. This insidious enemy of everything for which Christ stood. This sickening mule. This heartless charlatan. This shameless huckster. This vile opportunist. This creator of human suffering. This trafficker in pain. This braying bully. This puffing affront to decency.

This preening, flag-waving goon.

This grinning, slavering creature who, in exchange for money, induces children to commit suicide.

This odorous, rotten chum pretending he’s nourishment.

This lover of hate.

If you’re a Christian who actually understands and cares about Christ, please tell anyone who will listen that Tony Perkins is to Christianity what a slimy, chewing worm is to a perfectly wonderful apple.

So. There’s that bit of venting.

For the next week or so I’ll make a point of sincerely including Tony Perkins in my morning prayers. Consider joining me in that, if you will. For surely no heart in the world more than Tony Perkins’ could benefit from the delivery into the molten core of its sulpheric toxicity and rage the uplifting, healing message that it gets better.

If Perkins couldn’t hear that message from Dan Savage, perhaps he’ll hear it from God himself.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • A’isha

    John, that’s exactly what I was thinking when I read his letter. How on earth can a Christian think it’s okay to promote hatred like this? How can a person be so driven to fight against helping young people? I am so incredibly thankful that you and some others are working to give Christians a better name, one that truly reflects Christ. I will join you in prayer for Tony Perkins if for no other reason than to help me not hate this person who Christ commands me to love.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Thank you as always, A’isha, for your inspired graciousness.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ sdgalloway

      I think that is sound solution A’isha. It does us no good to hate people who are so bent on spreading hate. Instead I think we should wonder how fulfilling their lives really are and conclude that there must be, like all of us, emptiness, and fear. I think that in the case of Mr. Perkins, fear may be a huge factor. He’s been lied to by someone who has told him that gay people are a threat to his livelihood, his religion and his manhood. Despite any evidence to support that fear, he and others like him have bought it.

      What is even sadder is that so many others believe the lies and perceive the supposed threat that the lie perpetuates. So they either chime in to spread the lie, or do what they can to “avoid contact” just in case they get contaminated by that which they fear. There are so many missed opportunities, possible friendships and partnerships, things that could be done, problems that could be addressed, so much, and yet the gospel of “hate your neighbor” seems to resonate as a God-given sonnet.

      I just don’t get it.

      I think we should offer prayers for softened hearts, for a continued rise in the community of believers to quietly, yet emphatically the opposite way to interact with our LGBT neighbors, for the core concepts of love, respect, kindness and understanding to take hold of all of us, and those concepts to shrink back to the shadows the core concepts of condemnation, bigotry and hatred.

      We can only so much, but we should be doing it.

      And of course thanks John, as always. Only by pointing out these things can we discuss, consider and address these issues.

  • http://worleydervish.blogspot.com Worley Dervish

    “If you’re a Christian who actually understands and cares about Christ, please tell anyone who will listen that Tony Perkins is to Christianity what a slimy, chewing worm is to a perfectly wonderful apple.”

    I am, and I will.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Beautiful, WD.

  • Todd

    This disgusting human being Tony Perkins and his ilk are the reason I hated myself as a child and into adulthood. They just don’t get how their hatred has REAL effects on REAL gay kids. I wasn’t recruited of persuaded, I was JUST ME. And because of these awful people, I never had a chance to have a normal childhood, without fear of being found out. I never got to feel the joy of that first kiss of a boy I had a crush on in school or that first date. No, my dates were all fake dates with girls just to not be found out. What kind of loving way is that to be to kids Mr. Perkins! I’m just grateful I made it this far despite years of depression and addiction to finally discover how to love myself for who I am and that God and Spirituality can be a loving part of my life.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Wonderful, Todd. Very encouraging, and righteous.

    • A’isha

      Well said, Todd. You make a great point about having joys stolen from us because the hatred has been spread for far too long. I too had those “fake dates.” It was miserable getting kissed by a boy when I really wanted to have a first kiss from a girl I thought was just gorgeous and sweet! Instead I dated guy after guy just hoping it would turn me straight! Didn’t work, obviously. :) I guess that’s proof that the hate doesn’t have to win. Most of us find it gets better and when we start living our lives openly, proving we can be gay and still love God or be good people, then the hate dissipates.

      • Dave Bowling

        I wish there was a ‘like’ button on this blog … A’Isha & Todd have said the things that are also in my heart about my life before accepting myself for who I am. The fake dates I had were with girls I cared for, but always knew it was not what it could be. But I thought I would change … I soon realized that would not be the case.

        Thanks John for your post about this letter. I will try to not be mad or hate-filled about someone who just does not seem to get it.

  • http://kenreads.wordpress.com KenLeonard

    Does Tony Perkins have a heart?

    I remember a couple years ago when he said that he’s all for helping the poor, but that the church has bigger priorities — like preventing gay marriage and pushing school prayer.

    In reference to the letter … No, I can’t picture Ronald Reagan participating in the “It Gets Better” campaign. The man who said that ketchup was a vegetable for the purpose of feeding schoolkids might not be able to find it in his heart to show that kind of sensitivity to hurting children. Never mind the fact that he has to have known and worked with open homosexuals in Hollywood.

    George Washington, though? I don’t know. Move him forward 200+ years and it’s tough to say how he might have acted. Move Lincoln 150 years, and I’m sure he would have totally been participating in “It Gets Better.”

    A program designed to keep kids from killing themselves over bullying. Only a member of the “Religious” Right could oppose such a thing. And would completely miss the irony when he opposes “Sharia Law.”

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Nicely said, Ken, as always.

    • A’isha

      Ken, your last sentence says it all! I’ve been truly baffled by so many of the religious right who oppose Sharia Law without realizing how much they want laws that are very similar.

      • Diana A.

        They want Sharia law–just not by that name.

      • http://kenreads.wordpress.com KenLeonard

        Thanks.

        I have challenged a couple of Sharia-paranoid friends of mine by putting up what they want (school prayer, blue laws, “sodomy” laws, etc.) against interpretations of Sharia.

        But I have to say, getting some of the “Religious” Right to think outside the box is very much an exercise in frustration.

  • tavdy79

    For surely no heart in the world more than Tony Perkins’ could benefit from the delivery into the fiery pit of its toxicity and rage the uplifting, healing message that it gets better.

    I do have a problem with this final comment.

    Box Turtle Bulletin’s LaBarbera awards are only given to those whose statements are the most extreme in their inhumanity. Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council have won three awards, the most recent for that letter above; only two others (Bryan Fischer and Mike Huckabee) have won more than one. This is what BTB’s Jim Borroway had to say when awarding Tony Perkins his third LaBarbera:

    There is a saying that’s going around in management circles: the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I don’t think Perkins is crazy. I think he’s evil because I don’t think he expects a different result. He’s fine with things exactly as they are right now.

    The kind of cruelty Tony Perkins specialises in is called “heartless” for good reason. I have trouble accepting the idea that someone could spout the kind of poisonous bile he does and still be in contact with his own heart, his own basic humanity. Either he’s blocked his own heart off because if he didn’t the self-hatred for what he’s done over the years would destroy him; or his heart is so twisted that it has rejected love entirely. Either way, I doubt that the message that “it gets better” will work. At best he’ll be unable to acknowledge it, making it ineffective; at worst it will make him redouble his efforts spreading hatred and misery.

    Or perhaps I’ve just seen so much of this kind of bile spewed for so long that I’ve become cynical about even God’s abilities. I know there is supposedly no-one beyond salvation, but for me Tony Perkins stretches that statement beyond breaking point.

    • tavdy79

      Hmm, that didn’t work properly. My last section of free text got bunged into the Jim Burroway quote! Grrr @ HTML.

  • Janey

    John (or someone),

    Can anyone explain why Focus on the Family has backed off the gay issue (try searching their site; there’s no mention of “gay” or “homosexuality”) but FRC has not?

    Janey

    • A’isha

      My opinion, not based on fact at all, is that FRC shot off from FotF and took up the “gay issue.” This left FotF free to get more money from people who might not be as inclined to donate to a rabid group. FRC then does all the work against gays, but the two are really intertwined kind of like a marriage to a first cousin.

      • Diana A.

        Gag!

      • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

        That theory reminds me of an episode of “The Simpsons.”

        Kent Brockman: Everyone in the media knows that Fox (main) runs racy shows so they’ll get sued by the FCC, and then they funnel that money to their politicians and pundits through Fox News!

        (Er, something like that, as I remember the episode. It was the one where Springfield’s local anchorman got fired for saying a swear word on air and wound up working with Lisa on an online alternate news outlet).

        • Diana A.

          Funny!

      • Janey

        A’isha, you may be right. But the new president of FotF is getting slammed pretty hard for moving away from it by some supporters. We’ll see. (I’m living proof that conservatives do change sometimes.)

        Janey

    • http://www.dailyreflectionsforsingleparents.blogspot.com/ Scoti Springfield Domeij

      Dr. James C. Dobson left Focus on the Family as the President and started http://myfamilytalk.com/Home

      Jim Daly is the new President of Focus on the Family. In an interview with World Magazine, Focus on the Jim said that people in their 20s and 30s were especially likely to support same-sex marriage. Daly was asked by the magazine how evangelicals were doing in their efforts to support traditional marriage, in comparison to the success they have had advocating against abortion.

      He answered: “We’re losing on that one, especially among the 20- and 30-somethings: 65 to 70 percent of them favor same-sex marriage. I don’t know if that’s going to change with a little more age – demographers would say probably not. “We’ve probably lost that. I don’t want to be extremist here, but I think we need to start calculating where we are in the culture.”

      The interviews below with Jim conducted by the Colorado Springs Independent may give you further insight into why Focus no longer mentions “gay” or “homosexuality.”

      http://www.csindy.com/colorado/change-of-focus/Content?oid=2244124

      http://www.csindy.com/colorado/cooling-the-rhetoric/Content?oid=2244126

      http://www.csindy.com/IndyBlog/archives/2011/06/09/more-from-jim-daly

      http://www.csindy.com/colorado/fact-checking-the-interview/Content?oid=2244125

      http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/05/focus-family-weve-lost-gay-marriage

  • Gene Stephens

    Watch this video where Tony Perkins “declares before God” not to have an ounce of hatred or hostility for homosexuals:

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/perkins-there-not-ounce-hostility-or-hate-my-heart

    Then watch this video where Tony Perkins says of gays and lesbians, “they’re intolerant, they’re hateful, they’re vile, they’re spiteful.”

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/perkins-will-lead-response-prayer

    What a sorry caricature of Christianity this man is. How tragic is it that, to so many Americans, he and Dobson and their cohorts are the face of Christianity.

    • Janey

      Gene,

      Thank you for posting the links to those videos. Tony Perkins’s statements and attitude, especially in the first one, were far worse than I imagined.

      I used to believe that too.

      One fact that helps conservatives understand the situation is letting them see Dr. Robert Spitzer’s comments at the bottom of this page. Dr. Spitzer’s findings were misquoted and misused by several Christian organizations and re-quoted by others. The error was passed around so much it became common to believe that change was possible in most if not all cases, something that is clearly not true. http://www.truthwinsout.org/in-dr-robert-spitzers-own-words/

      Even if a person believes it’s a sin, he/she needs to accept that some sins are incredibly tough to get rid of and each sinner is equal at the feet of Jesus. We need to love, accept, and encourage one another to love God and our neighbor as ourselves. We repent and get up and keep on going.

      No one should cast stones: Our churches have an epidemic of pornography. Porn subscriptions are just as high in parts of the country with high “religious service attendance” as they are in others.

      This is my Str8 Apology!

      Janey

  • Kara

    John, I think your straightforward response said it all. I really don’t give two flips about what Mr. Perkins thinks about me. My prayer for him is the same it is for every person. May they know the love of Christ more fully. Honestly, though, at this point he doesn’t hurt me.

    What does hurt is when my family members send money to support him. I hope people don’t get so caught up in focusing on the caricatures that they neglect to pray for and engage with those in their day-to-day life who – whether from ignorance, fear, or malice – agree with the horrific views this man espouses.

    For God’s sake, let’s be louder voices.

    • Diana A.

      Thank you, Kara. I agree 100%!

  • Suz

    John,

    You might consider putting a “Duct Tape Warning” at the top of such posts. I’m feeling a need to wrap some around my head to keep it from exploding! People like Perkins are entitled to publish their opinions, but I just don’t understand why that man is near the top of the Christian/political hierarchy, instead of on the fringe where he belongs. He and “Reverend” Phelps could be twins separated at birth.

  • Dirk

    Well put, John.

    The SPLC has not (yet), for instance, labeled NOM a hate group, although they are on their watch list and may well soon be.

    To actually be so abominable as to merit this designation from the SPLC, one must be absolutely vile.

    And Perkins is.

    This man is exactly what I mean when I speak of ‘conservative Christian’. The fact that the entire Republican party has gone over to his side does not make things any better.

  • John F. (London)

    So Tony Perkins supports suicide!

    • http://kenreads.wordpress.com KenLeonard

      Actually, Clint McCance of Arkansas took exactly that position.

      http://kenreads.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/then-dont-do-it-2/

      “Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide.”

      There is a segment of the population which actually wants LGBTQ people to suffer in every way imaginable, and if that means that they kill themselves, then it saves gay-bashers the bother of getting their hands dirty.

      And they presume to call it Christianity.

      • Lauren

        The only words that come to mind are, “Lord, have mercy.”

      • Diana A.

        Pure evil. I’m with Lauren–”Lord, have mercy.”

  • Brook Mantia

    Thank you, I couldn’t have said it better myself. May I quote you?

    Everything about these people screams ANTICHRIST, as they invoke the name of Christ while flatly rejecting the grace of salvation in the most hateful way possible.

    Tony Perkins, Fred Phelps and their ilk are certainly demons in human form, with nothing but empty void and darkness where a soul should be. Enemies of God and enemies of humanity.

    • Rob Eagal

      Using your last two sentences as the heading for my re post.

    • Diana A.

      Yup.

  • Mindy

    I read Perkins’ letter with my jaw hanging open. It is like a bad satirical version of what the left thinks the fringe right is all about. Except it *is* what the fringe Christian right is all about.

    Thank you for alerting us to it, John – I will make sure the evangelical wing of my family understands how cruel this is.

  • http://www.sisterfriends-together.org Anita

    And he’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack. So how was that anniversary week anyway? :)

    And of course, I couldn’t agree more but I simply can’t bare to discuss Perkins (or others like him) because I find it irritating as all hell that I would have to waste a single breath on arguing against their lunacy. While espousing love and the life of Christ, every word he speaks pertaining to gays/lesbians, liberals, progressives, (i.e. anyone who doesn’t agree with his every utterance) drips with hate and I continue to be perplexed at how great his self-denial must be that would avoid him even a single night of sleep.

  • http://www.djfree.blogspot.com/ DJ

    John, thank you for reminding me to pray for Tony Perkins. Honestly, after I read this letter a couple of days ago, all I could see was RED. I was speechless.

    I have tried so hard and so long to come to terms with my “conservative past”…to move beyond my anger and hatred. And I feel like I’ve made great strides in that regard, and have been able to see the good in people who are often ignorant of how their views hurt other people. And there have been many times where I could see a small shred of good in Tony’s motivations – however misguided he was.

    But I could not find ONE IOTA of good in this most recent letter. It is absolute bile. And he is absolutely vile. I can’t even believe anyone could be this disgustingly out of touch with their buttered up vitriol. Even now, I find myself unable to fully articulate how EVIL this letter is!

    And so, it’s good to be reminded that the righteous path is to pray for our enemies. After all, if Tony was my “friend” – if we agreed on things – it would be easy to love him. Yet Jesus reminds us that there’s something significant to be found in loving those whom we would call enemies. I HAVEN’T A CLUE WHAT THAT IS, so I guess I’ll just “fake it until I make it”…

    In the meantime, I need to walk away. Just thinking about this again is working me up. UGH!!!!

  • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    *Looks at title and blinks.*

    On behalf of the horses I work for, every adorable snarky cat I’ve ever loved and every sweet, loyal dog I’ve ever known…

    Don’t insult animals .

    • Diana A.

      This.

      • http://www.poesies.com Gina Cirelli

        I agree! If not for my dogs I’d be in a padded room somewhere.

  • Greg

    Actually the video was made by my Ft Worth, TX City Council Member, Joel Burns. It was a video of a speech he made during a City Council meeting earlier this year. He was later invited to the White House for a meeting regarding bullying.

  • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    Another thought:

    I’d like everyone in the whole wide world to know that if they think they can bully, shame or ridicule someone out of something – they’re wrong.

    My experience in growing on for being picked on for my general weirdness only lead me to:

    1. Become weirder. Seriously, the isolation of not having the friends and popularity and of being hurt all the time just made me more withdrawn, more of a loner, and weirder. In my adult life, I’m a weird loner who keeps most human contact to the Internet because I’m more comfortable this way. Sometimes dream of a world without humanity, too.

    2. Become suicidal, but not enough as yet to actually go through with it. Hello, this is me waving from the bipolar coaster.

    3. Become grittier and more determined/defiant. Again, the bipolar coaster.

    So far, “Weird and Determined” have been winning out. The point is, I never changed into what the bullies/kids who picked on me saw as their ideal. In fact, I’m pretty sure they never wanted me to change, anyway, because people who bully don’t want to change anyone – they just want a chew-toy, someone to feel superior to.

    This isn’t even for being gay, becuase I’m not – just the whole “different / outsider kid” thing, it’s just from my experience, the idea of “bullying is good for someone becuase it will get them to change” that I’ve seen (from FoF was it)? makes me headscratch and think of all the therapists and clinics that need to brace themselves.

    • Diana A.

      Shadsie nails it again! Damn, you’re smart! And absolutely right to boot!

    • Gene Stephens

      It never occurred to me before, Shadsie, but I think you’re right: Tony Perkins really isn’t interested in changing people, and certainly not for the better. He’s more interested in wanting someone to feel superior to.

    • http://spierlee@yahoo.com Rev Nancy Spier-Lee

      Brilliant Shadsie … from one ‘weird and determined’ human to another … way to go!

  • Lauren

    This kind of blind hate has a tendency to make me frothing-at-the-mouth angry, or curled-up-in-a-fetal-position depressed. And while i agree that Perkins is a completely noxious creature that sorely tests the limits of my compassion for my fellow human beings (his status as a “fellow human being” feels questionable at best), i will agree to pray for him, that God might replace his heart of stone with a heart of flesh.

    I thought it was interesting that no sooner had i finished reading this post than i came across this:

    http://www.believeoutloud.com/boltoday/20110816/what-your-christianity-used-justify

  • DomainDiva

    Sometimes a rant is just what the doctor ordered. This one is priceless and on target.

  • tavdy79

    It’s just occurred to me that Tony Perkins’ letter is a perfect example of Poe’s Paradox. It’s based on Poe’s Law:

    Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a fundamentalist in such a way that someone won’t mistake it for the genuine article.

    Poe’s Paradox is essentially Poe’s Law flipped over: anything sufficiently extreme that it can be accepted by a fundamentalist risks being rejected as parody. If I didn’t know that letter was from the deadly* serious Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, I would have assumed it was a parody, because it’s just about extreme enough to be one.

    * pun intended.

  • Jen

    It just blows my mind that someone can be so closed-minded.

    How can ANYONE, no matter how much they disagree with someone, deny them soothing words for the pain they are in?

    Simply saying, “It gets better,” is so innocuous, yet beautiful. Something we would do for a stranger if needed, and mean it too.

    That’s why I don’t hate Tony Perkins, I’m afraid for him. I can’t imagine the kind of pain (or manipulation) a person has to be suffering from to deny another comfort, and I don’t want to. I want to weep for him.

    Hatred doesn’t fill up, it only consumes, empties, and burns. And though my first thought is to condemn him, my second is to pray for him.

    • Janey

      Jen,

      I agree. Thanks for saying that. I was going to express similar thoughts, but I didn’t think anyone else would understand.

      Someday, I hope, he’ll wake up and realize he’s been on the wrong side. He’ll see the hurt and damage he’s caused to devout gay Christians and those who are still seeking. Misery is good for the soul. I hope he has the courage to renounce his ways publicly.

      Janey

    • Lauren

      Well-said, Jen.

  • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

    Let’s talk about something more pleasant: Did you know Hotel del Coronado figures prominently in 2 classic films, SOME LIKE IT HOT and THE STUNT MAN? (In light of Perkins et al, the SOME LIKE IT HOT connection is particularly apt)

  • http://www.poesies.com Gina Cirelli

    So this is what a modern-day Hitler looks like.

  • Don Rappe

    I don’t know who it was that said “bestiality is not a characteristic of the beasts”. So I join with Shadsie. Clearly an animal like Mr, Perkins would be put down.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    Today a reader (one Anne Young) left this message on my FB wall: “The commenters on your site are the smartest and most insightful anywhere.”

    I’ve been reading these responses. You guys turn darkness into light. thank you SOOO much.

  • Rebecca

    I am utterly exhausted — to my bones, to my soul, to the depth and breadth of my being — from being boiled alive in this sort of venom ever since I had the misfortune of being born in the Bible Belt. Morris Deas and the SPLC are personal heroes of mine, specifically because they call hate like they see it, and this, my fellow humans, is nothing but the purest, most finely distilled hatred known to mankind. James Dobson (who *also* foolishly advocates punishing your children *WHILE* angry, specifically so they experience “wrath”) and the so-called “Reverend” Donald Wilemon, and their ilk have done NOT ONE THING to make this world a better place, but they certainly have sown the seeds of hatred and misery all their lives. We have that much more work to do because of these detestable bigoted animals. God help us all.

  • David J Martin

    Christ warned of those who would come after Him…supposedly spreading the Good News – simply and totally summed up on Resurrection Evening ” As I have loved you, so too, should you love one another”. We live in a free country – a blessing. So, like it or not, ALL people have to right to speak their mind – even in hate. We have the power NOT to listen to their poison. It is because of this right – freedom of speech – that hate groups such as the KKK, Neo-Nazis, etc. – have diminished in numbers, attention and political power. As more and more LGBT Christians and other Faith groups “come out” – more and more people will come to know as as human beings, like them in the hopes, dreams, avocations/vocations – identical to theirs. Yes, we are gay, but we are not defined by our gayness. They will come to know and accept us as friends, relatives – loved ones. Anti-Christians like Perkins and Dobson will be silenced by lack of of an audience. And remember Shakespeare’s adage “Me thinks the lady protests too much” – these men hate what they see in free, confident LGBT people what they perceive in themselves but have not the conviction to accept their own gayness.

  • Paul Rusch

    So I am not sure where the hate is here. In your post or Tony Perkins letters. Yours sounds far more heated. From his I just gather he thinks like most christians have through history, except this cultural moment.

    • Dirk

      Paul, except for a very brief cultural moment ushered in a few years back through Galilean science, most Christians believed the earth was flat.

      The Jews in Europe were tortured and murdered by the millions because most Christians in Europe and the US felt they weren’t ‘our’ concern. That went on for thousands of years, culminating in a brief moment of 12 years of holocaust.

      I could continue with several more examples of what most Christians through history have believed, however, you will by now have understood the fallacy of your statement or you won’t have.

      Understood but rejected that understanding, if your past statements are any basis to go by.

      Perkins, Maggie, Brown – and quite a few other haters know that a quiet voice, a reasonable demeanor and the endless restatement of pleasant sounding lies is key to winning over low-information voters and those bigots who don’t want to feel bad about hating gays, lesbians and the transgender.

      You aren’t in that group. You hate us and you feel good, even godly about doing so.

      • http://spierlee@yahoo.com Rev Nancy Spier-Lee

        Paul, just because “most Christians” has held this mind set does nothing to bolster your cause. There was once a time, not that long ago, that slavery was acceptable because the Bible said so; when it was acceptable to force women and children to “submit” to the rule of husbands and fathers, because the Bible said so. Finally, light dawned, and the United States decided that it was illegal for one human being to own another. Finally, women were given the right to vote and laws were adopted to protect children … from parents and corporations, (early child protection laws were drafted on the model of animal protection laws … says a great deal about how this country sees the value in people) because it was the legal thing to do. “Thinking like most Christians” is a poor defense. Perkins ought to be thinking like Jesus.

        • Diana A.

          Like.

    • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

      So you’re saying that Paul, Peter, Mark, Matthew, Luke, John and JESUS would *not* have wanted people to encourage young people to *not* commit suicide?

      *Headscratch.*

    • Serita Turner

      I wonder, Paul, were there those at the time who thought Jesus’ response to the money changers in the temple was an over reaction and more hateful than was merited?

    • DR

      This is such a classic “look over there” tactic, trying to somehow compare the “hate” of being called a name or two, to Tony Perkins declaring that God has declared gay men and women to – in his words – being vile and repulsive and unfit to sit in a church alongside other Christians (for your information, Tony Perkins won’t worship anywhere there are gay men and women. This is a direct quote from his as well, Google it).

      Those of you can keep doing this, I guess, if you want to. You attempting to put John Shore and those who post here on the same level of “hate” as Tony Perkins because of our anger at the abuse of gay children done in the name of God? Talk about vile and repulsive, it’s one of the most narcissistic things I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s a little scary that you actually don’t see any difference between the two.

  • Paul Rusch

    Actually John, I am sure. You just called a fellow christian with whom you disagree a cretin and a demon. How christian of you. Who is the real fundamentalist here? Demonizing another human being hardly justifies your own position.

    • Don Whitt

      People who think we should all “play nice” with people who promote hatred under the guise of Christianity are as demonic as those haters. How insidious to suggest that we should stand silently and watch this sort of evil gain momentum while it uses Christianity as it’s impetus. This sort of “you called a fellow Christian a bad name” bullshit is exactly that: pure unadulterated bullshit. if Perkin’s goal was to promote loving acceptance of all people, then John’s name-calling would be uncalled for. But Perkin’s goal is blood- he wants to stamp out an entire group of people through systematic and focused misinformation and the spewing of hatred. To call-out John for pointing that out is simply lame and pathetic. Good Christians stand-up to bullies like Perkins.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        Don: THANK YOU! I just didn’t have the energy to respond to Rusch. And I’m glad I didn’t even try, because I wouldn’t have said this half as well as you. Perfect.

        • http://spierlee@yahoo.com Rev Nancy Spier-Lee

          Paul, honey, bless your little pointy head. It isn’t possible to demonize another when they’ve already accomplished it on their own. Tony may be a fellow Christian, but he’s not my fellow Christian. We all belong to Jesus and I’m very glad that Jesus loves Tony because it’s just a little beyond my skill-set at the moment. And, I’m not sure what kind of Christianity Perkins practices … actually, I am … his belief system isn’t Christian at all. His system is all about him and all about money. Sounds like idolitry to me. Bless you, Paul … open that mind and let in some fresh air … it’ll do ya a world of good.

        • Don Whitt

          The rhetoric that’s passed-off as ideology these days is poison. We live in a time when so many people are impressed by those who demonstrate ignorance and hatred, by those who would kill to protect and uphold antiquated cultural mores. Hate is not love. Hate is hate. To stand for these Orwellian and selfish bloviations is complicity in the ignorance and the violence that these charlatans pass-off as values and we either call the liars out to their faces or we lose everything that actually has value.

        • Paul Rusch

          Wow. None of you even know where I stand on the actual issue, you just assume and name call and engage in logical fallacy. Wow. Nice crowd here John!

          • Dirk

            Paul,

            If your do not believe as your comments here as well as in the past clearly show, then they were either at complete odds to your true beliefs or you are withholding a great deal of information in your comments.

            Perhaps this is all just a cold philosophical discussion for you. For those of us who are under physical attack, it is anything but.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            It is a nice crowd here, Paul; it’s a terrific crowd. And you just got your snarky self moderated out of it.

          • DR

            Paul why don’t you address the actual points people are making to you? You’re the one who made your very first comment here, prioritizing John’s tone and choice of word instead of just being you know – a grown up – ignoring whatever bothers you about that – and actually offering your “stand on the actual issue”. You created the dialogue that you wanted to have, stop insinuating that your “stance on the issue” is somehow being shot down before you offered it. You chose to offer something else instead.

    • sadie

      the Bible says there will be wolves in sheep’s clothing. He is bringing a gospel other than the “one we have received”. he will be eternally condemned, if the Bible is correct, according to Paul. and a Demon is someone who possesses evil and spreads lies. it is not a sin to warn others of someone who seeks to bring the church down from the inside…it is, instead, a good thing.

    • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

      Paul, If the Pharisees had been paying attention they might have tried the old “well why don’t you take the plank out of your own eye, cuz I’m rubber and you’re glue whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you” when Jesus laid down a healthy dose of righteous whoop-ass on their sorry selves in his 7 woes against them. I’m sure they didn’t take too kindly to being called a den of vipers, white washed tombs, and makers of twice the sons of hell than they were.

      Dr. King was criticized for his methods. While his clergy brethren surely sympathized with his plight and that of his fellow men and women they were sure there must be a more Christian-y way to address the issue than causing economic harm to local businesses through boycotts, and sit-ins, and marches.

      And his namesake Martin Luther earned himself a place in the heretic hall of fame when he told all that was held to be holy and right within Christendom that they could take their Mother Church and their piety and their rules and regulations and put it where the sun don’t shine because without Her he and his fellowmen would be just fine in their direct relationship with the Divine standing under God’s blue sky.

      Power never likes it when Truth speaks to it. The Status Quo never gives up its privilege without a fight. This struggle will be no different.

      It takes courage and selflessness and compassion to speak out for the oppressed. It takes Divine courage to be mirror holders in our hate-filled world. A world where evil disguises itself as good.

    • DR

      Why is it that Christians can’t handle being called names? I find it so odd that those of us who are christian have some expectation that exhortation or chastisement must come in a very kind, gentle package – without names – or we attack it. Or even better, dismiss it outright.

      Did Jesus somehow not equip you with the emotional maturity to face people who see you as actually “bad” for what you may believe? I’ve been called evil, I’ve been called a bitch, I’ve been called a “false prophet” and I don’t care about any of it. And at times, people have been angry with me and that anger woke me up.

      Grow up a little bit. Consider that people are furious with those of us who are Christians and they are saying so. Consider facing it instead of pulling the “You are too angry so I’m not going to deal with you” card. Face it instead. Try to listen.

  • Jeff Huckaby

    As a 40-something year old gay man, Tony Perkins has been one of my greatest teachers of why it is important to live my best life. I have gone through much soul-searching about what to do with the emotions he stirs within me as someone who believes that we are all on our right path (as-is) and that everything serves a purpose for the greater good. His message to the public has caused me to grow my self-esteem beyond labeling myself as merely “gay”. Meaning that, as a human being, I am called upon to be a caring and honorable person everyday. I am more than gay. I am a fully functioning and valuable member of American society. The best remedy that I have found for his statements is to live my best, most honorable life EVERYDAY. This is not done for him, but for me and the people I love. I don’t do it with any bad feelings directed at him or the need to show him he is wrong about me (that will take care of itself), but to show myself that I can be more than I thought I could ever be when I was a younger person. It matters. It matters to be your best self even when nobody is there to witness it. Tony has given me that gift. While I support an end to his voice being seen as a legitimate one to pay attention to, I wholeheartedly believe that “what you resist will persist”. I find it futile to “fight” him. (Don’t misunderstand me; I donate to Human Rights Campaign, etc.) However, the very best way to counteract his message is to be…my…best…self…everyday. I invite all of you to use his misdirected, venom-filled message to cause great personal growth within your selves. A shift in perception is a powerful tool. We probably won’t ever change Tony’s perspective. However, we can change ours and use the emotions he stirs within us to fuel our own personal evolution towards living up to being our best selves everyday.

    • Dirk

      Very well written, Jeff.

      A little question, if I may: Are your parents being physically threatened because you are gay?

      Mine are.

      • Jeff Huckaby

        Dirk, This is very different situation from what I wrote about above. Anyone who is being threatened with physical violence needs to take steps to protect themselves.

        Have you contacted the local authorities to report this? You should if you have not already. Do not wait for something to happen. There is nothing wrong with being pro-active in protecting yourself and your folks. I would advise against engaging these people who are making the threats, unless it is through a lawyer or law enforcement officer. If the threats are made by phone and you can record them, you then have a case for prosecution.

        • Dirk

          Jeff,

          I think you probably didn’t see the very long threads on the threats a while back. Don’t bother looking them up, they are sick making.

          Basically, after the awful storms this spring, I went back home to Dixie to help out the poor, elderly, widowed and children dig out from under.

          Was told by the good Christians in our home town to leave or they’d take care of my folks.

          So I left.

          A county sheriff who is still identifying parts of dead bodies (tornadoes don’t mess around) and dealing with looting is not exactly going to have too much time to devote to protecting my parents.

          So what do you do with good Christians like that down home?

          Easy.

          You ask you cousin in the DMV to look them up. You ask a friendly lesbian in CPS to look them up.

          You get your husband’s best friend in the FBI to look up the out-of-state transgressions.

          Then you contact the appropriate authorities and, hey presto! Four red-nex good Christians are going to be more worried about bubba getting hairy on their virginal Christian asses in the slammer than hurting my parents.

          • Diana A.

            Good for you. I’m glad that you were able to do this.

          • Jeff Huckaby

            Dirk, oh…sorry. no I didn’t read all of that. I suppose you are to be considered a kharma-helper then. ;) Yes, I suppose another reason to be nice to people is you never know who you may piss off, eh? It is sad that your good intentions were met with that kind of hostility. It was their loss for certain. Sometimes, you just have to scratch your head in amazement at the lack of understanding some people have.

    • DR

      This was very helpful to me this morning, thank you.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ sdgalloway

      Bravo Jeff. Your method is the one that works and will be proven to stand the test of time in the end.

  • http://motheringbythefield.blogspot.com Hazel

    Oh my goodness, surely even for the most homophobic of people, there isn’t that much in the ‘It gets better’ vids to upset them?? They hardly ‘Promote’ homosexuality, they kind of very tastefully defend people against bullying. That’s the way I took them anyway.

    Haven’t got time to read through everyone else’s comments, I wish I had, but just wanted to chime in saying ‘WHAAATTTTT???!!!!’

    • Diana A.

      To their way of thinking, anything other than absolute disapproval and judgement toward gay people is “promoting homosexuality.” They want gay people to hate themselves. They want gay people to choose death over living as a homosexual. This is what makes the haters so evil. They don’t even see gay people as “people.” They see gay people as sub-human. Cat Reynolds is right. If these haters have their way, the U.S. will be the new Nazi Germany.

      • john abbott

        Dear Ones, the US already is like Nazi Germany in the early 1930s-the parallel is uncanny, actually. I fear the KKKristofascists will come for all of us one day, and when they do it will trigger the most massive war imaginable. I will NOT go quietly into the ovens for these self-identified KKKristians, or the RepubliKKKans either. No one is going to get my cooperation in my own extermination-I will fight and take as many of the evil religious people with me as I am able. Let them come-they will have no idea of how very much we are capable of defending ourselves-they have provided plenty of opportunity for all of us to learn to fight and defend ourselves already by the bullying they inflicted upon us as students. Oh, yes, we are much stronger than they imagine-it will not be easy to exterminate us, we know how to fight back now. I will be there with you side by side fighting the great evil, the Darkness that consumes these ‘religious’ types. They are entirely evil, like the Ayatolas in Iran-pure evil! Same sorts of people-fundamentalists are all about evil, horrible hatred and bigotry-not about god, or even religion-they are about hatred, ignorance, intolerance, persecution, prejudice and oppression, and their own deep need to be ‘better’ than all other people (in their own little minds).

        • Diana A.

          What you say is so true.

        • mary

          WORK to get out the vote in 2012!

      • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

        Don’t let the fearmongers on the left get to you. It would take a complete re-writing of the American Constitution (do you know how difficult it is to do that?) for anything like Nazi Germany to exisit here. The fearmongers on the right say the same thing, only the reverse (Christians will have their children taken away for teaching biblical principles!). Fearmongering gets attention and TV ratings. Don’t let them poison your mind and life.

        • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

          How true about the rhetoric / fear from both sides

          • http://asblasphamiesCoalesce.tumblr.com EeveeChan

            The difference here is that Christianity isn’t illegal in 18 states.

    • Amelia

      I posted a really great It Gets Better vid to my Facebook and was immediately set upon by conservatives I’m friends with. ALL they care about is that people are reminded that homosexuality is a choice and a sin. It was infuriating.

      • Lauren

        I’m sorry you got that response, but thank you for posting your video. I know the whole “It Gets Better” movement would have meant a lot to me when i was a kid.

  • Karen

    I just did some research on The Family Research Council. Did you know that even though it has been identified as a hate group, it still qualifies as a 501 tax exempt charity? Is there anything that says that once a group gains the status of being a hate group it can lose that status? Does the KKK have tax exempt status? Do American cells of Al Qeda have tax exempt status?

    • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

      It was declared a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which doesn’t mean much since pretty much any group that they don’t agree with, is virtually assured of being labeled a hate group.

      • DR

        Huh? Who else have they “labelled”? They are a very reputable organization on both sides of the political fence when it comes to these matters, Brian.

        • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

          First, I was being a wee bit sarcastic about labeling anyone who disagrees with them as a hate group, it was not to be read as a literal statement. The SPLC is definately a liberal group, hardly a friend of conservatism or even an “apolitical” organization. It is quite political and quite liberal, which is fine by my book.

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            Was Martin Luther King Jr. liberal in your book, Brian?

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Don’t know…let me check

          • DR

            Did you check?

          • DR

            You’re wrong, actually, there’s a number of conservative groups who’ve referenced their social justice criteria. They are liberal politically but in terms of legal precedence, both sides of the political fence use them quite a bit.

  • Erika

    Can anyone explain what the supposed motivation to “recruit” young people to the “gay lifestyle” would be? That’s always puzzled me…

    • cat rennolds

      Victims, of course. Compliant partners. Sex toys. Souls for Satan. That’s just the kinda people we are.

      • Erika

        Ok, but what about the supposed recruiting by non-gay people? For example, the President. Or is that the Souls for Satan part? I guess it’s the fear component that matters to FRC types though, not the logic!

        • cat rennolds

          Oh, we pay them to do it. And we vote for them.

          • Erika

            I knew it! A vast…gay…conspiracy!!

  • cat rennolds

    I swear, between this lot, Brown et al, Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann and all their constituators, I’m 15 years old again this morning and scared out of my mind. It gets better? Really? WHEN? I want to go find a bomb shelter somewhere and eat canned goods for the next 30 years. I’m literally afraid for us if one of these people gets elected.

    I have been so thrilled and pleased at so much of the commentary on John’s blog. But I wonder; how many straight people, straight Christians, would stand in front of a cop who came to take my kids because it was discovered I’m bisexual, and thus an unfit parent by legal definition? How many straight Christians would risk their lives to bail somebody out of jail for cohabiting in defiance of an anti-gay marriage law? Worst-case scenario, never happen here? I bet that’s what the Germans said, too.

    I think I need major hugs.

    • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

      Major hugs, Cat. If I were in the same room with you, I would take you by the head (gently), forehead to forehead, and say until you believed me: We’re in this boat together. Nobody gets thrown out of the boat. In our defiance against the status quo we are all equally heretics to them. Nobody gets left behind. Nobody.

      • cat rennolds

        Ohana.:)

      • Diana A.

        May I have the courage to stand with you when (I hope it’s if) the time comes, for you’re right–”we are all equally heretics to them.”

      • http://asblasphamiesCoalesce.tumblr.com EeveeChan

        *hugs* I’d stand by you, and block the way… but i’m trans… so I’m probably the first to get arrested. There’s no hiding it quite yet. But if i make a big enough struggle maybe you all could get away?

    • Lauren

      For what it’s worth, Cat, i’ve never had my courage really tested in this way; but, if it ever came to it, i like to think i’d be the first one blocking the doorway when the “bad guys” show up. Well, until they find out i’m bisexual, too. Then i guess we’ll both be calling Christy for backup ;)

      Ohana indeed.

    • Kate

      Cat…I read here, have never posted. But, do know that my husband and I have had the conversation of whether (as in the time of the Nazi regime…) we would harbor, speak up, or whatever those in need, even knowing we or our children could be tortured or killed? (Yeah, we cover the deep stuff sometimes, lol)

      What we both came to is that what are we living for, if not what we believe in? I would have to take that risk, because I could not live my life knowing I had taught my kids it was ok to stand by while someone was taken, killed, or tortured themselves, when I could have stopped it.

      I know I’m not the only straight person out there that feels this way about my gay brothers and sisters…take heart. Whoever said that our boat either makes it all together or we all capsize is spot on.

    • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

      Cat, there are more of us Christians who support you than you think. *hug* The politicians are all bark. There are very few Americans in general who would stand for any legislation that said simply because of sexual orientation someone’s kids could be taken away from them. The majority of Christians are struggling with God’s command to love versus the anti-gay sentiment being preached. Because they’re mutually exclusive.

      • http://asblasphamiesCoalesce.tumblr.com EeveeChan

        Thank you. You deserve a hug for that too. *hugs*

        God Bless you.

      • Rose M. Welch

        You don’t have to ‘stand for’ it. It already exists and even if it didn’t, most people wouldn’t notice if it passed. I like in Oklahoma and people here would cheer for these laws, if we didn’t already have them.

    • http://www.barnmaven.com Mary @Barnmaven.com

      Then major hugs you get. Virtual ones, but hugs nonetheless.

  • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    Okay, this is weird… but this thread, this whole conversations reminds me oddly of something I wrote in a short story of mine, one of the fantasy series I have on my blog: http://sparrowmilk.blogspot.com/

    Keep in mind, this is from a story that’s a first-draft. I’ve not had anybody critique it yet. It could be that people have tried and Blogger was stupid and wouldn’t let them post as it often is (is WordPress any better? I need a free blogging system that’s also not-stupid).

    From “It’s a Secret to Everybody” – a story of the Static-Lands Saga. The characters are a pair of people living displaced in a society/nation/city that does not want them. (Zahm is the last of his people, Sen is an immigrant of a people with-deer-horns that is heavily discriminated against).

    “You know,” Sen began, “There’s talk of a tribe of Ilkhan that were kinda like your people. They lived up in the Draklore Mountains – some of ‘em are supposed to still be up there. They say they’s innocent-minded, which is why the other Ilkhan tribes fought so hard to protect them in the last war. They needed to be protected, like children. They couldn’t conceive the worst of human evil, you see?”

    “The worst of human evil?”

    “Well,” Sen continued, “They couldn’t understand why so many of the Valiens hated ‘em – all of us – so much. This tribe believed that the world was filled with spirits, both good ones and wicked ones. After the first time they met Valien war parties, this tribe – get this – they start speakin’ ‘bout a kind of evil spirit, not one that can posses someone outright, but curls up inside ‘em.”

    Zahm leaned forward, his elbows on the table and his knuckles on his chin. Sen, noting the strange look his friend was giving him, continued.

    “This kind of spirit,” he said, “it just sits inside a person, feedin’ off their soul, changin’ their brain all subtle-like. They don’t make themselves known, but they change the will of a man so that he don’t even know his own will is bein’ changed. This kinda demon is all ‘bout hatred. It feeds offa it, creates it. Accordin’ to the mountain tribe, these demons are responsible for reasonable people actin’ unreasonably – rational people holdin’ irrational attitudes and thinkin’ that they’re rational despite living evidence against their prejudice.”

    “What do you think, Sen?” Zahm asked.

    “I don’t think its demons,” the Ilkhan replied, taking a small bite of bread. He swallowed hard. “I can definitely see why that tribe thinks evil spirits are involved… some folks who pride themselves best on calm an’ logic make the least sense when they talk ‘bout things they hate – and even less sense when those things are people. Seems downright reasonable to me for somethin’ supernatural to be involved, as strange as such a thought is, but no, I don’t think those demons exist. Seems to me those poor mountain-folk are just too kind to face the fact that people are a cruel, unreasonable lot. People’s prejudices make ‘em feel secure, ya know? I won’t lie and say I got none of my own.”

    The story is here: http://sparrowmilk.blogspot.com/2011/05/it-is-secret-to-everybody.html

    I wrote it a while back. I got this idea of not-fully-possessive hate-demons from watching people (online) who proclaimed their “rationality” from the rooftops act completely irrational when something didn’t fit their sterotypes, plus my genreal befuddlment over the existance of people like Fred Phelps.

    (Just prior to the above conversation, Sen was talking to Zahm about going to one of their city’s suicide clinics. The nation they are stuck in, shall we say, strongly encourages those who struggle in it toward suicide. Sen is one of the downtrodden due to his race and economic condition. Strangely enough, homosexuality is a non-issue in this nation – it’s one of the *few* things the society gets right. It’s kind of strange that I was thinking upon these themes for another story and I see this topic and thread come up).

  • Heather Leigh

    I have to say, I am deeply offended by this idea that the LGBT community tries to “recruit” children or anyone else. I am a lesbian, and I am super excited about that and absolutely LOVE that part of my identity, but never, ever would encourage someone to identify as something they are not. Homosexuality is intrinsic, it is not a choice or something that someone can be convinced into being. The only thing being encouraged is to be true to ones self.

    • Dirk

      So true, Heather.

      Thank you for giving voice to such beauty.

    • Ben

      Being a christian, my belief in homosexuality is backed by the bible.. God made all and if he made it then it must be what he wanted.. And no I am not gay, I just believe in God and Jesus and believe in what Jesus said… take care of the sick, the hungry, and the poor…..

      Ben

      • Mindy

        Ben, raise your voice in your home church community – I find it lovely to read someone believing IN homosexuality because of the Bible. Kudos to you – - -

      • http://asblasphamiesCoalesce.tumblr.com EeveeChan

        You are a wonderful person. There should be more like you. God Bless.

  • Kwaayesnama`

    IMO Tony Perkins is a money making machine. He used the ignorance of weak minded people to accumulate millions of dollars. The sad thing is he used the name of Jesus to act in a very non-Christian way.

  • Kwaayesnama`

    No one is promoting homosexuality, the president is asking for acceptance of all people. There are hundreds young people committing suicide each year because they are bullied to death by so called Christians. I’m sorry but knowing a young person that committed suicide I am in complete agreement with the White House encouraging anti bulling.

    http://www.facebook.com/WhiteHouse?ref=ts#!/StopBullying.Gov

    • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

      Most, actually almost all, of the physical and psychological bullying of young GLBT teens is not by “conservative Christians” but by unbelievers or wolves in sheeps clothing – groups that call themselves Christian, but are really just hate mongers. Bullies bully everyone and anyone.

      • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

        Would you consider Perkins and the Family Research Council and James Dobson and Focus on the Family two of those “groups that call themselves Christian, but are really just hate mongers”?

        • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

          Not really, I define hate mongers more as people that promote physical violence against people based on race, sex, religion, sexuality, beliefs, color, appearance, etc. Since speech is a protected right, speech can be hurtful and even hateful, but I wouldn’t call a person that exersizes their right to “hate speech”, necessarily a hate monger. That is just my opinion. Someone who disagrees with you doesn’t by default mean they’re a hate monger. On a spiritual level a Muslim has little, if any, agreement with a Christian or a Jew, but that doesn’t mean they hate one another.

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            Would you classify them then as, “unbelievers or wolves in sheeps clothing”?

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            neither

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            You wrote: “Most, actually almost all, of the physical and psychological bullying of young GLBT teens is not by “conservative Christians” but by unbelievers or wolves in sheeps clothing – groups that call themselves Christian, but are really just hate mongers. Bullies bully everyone and anyone.”

            Which groups calling themselves Christian but who are really just hate mongers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and unbelievers are doing most of this bullying to which you refer here?

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Some that come to mind are the “Christians” that identify with the “Christian Identity Movement”, The “Arian Nation” and other psycho para-military-Christian-milita groups, skinheads, some Christian-Goth groups and on it goes. Trust me, there are a lot of weirdos out there that twist the Bible, identify as some hertical fringe group of Christians that are very violently anti-gay. Most kids that get bullied in school because of their sexuality are committed by NON-Christian people.

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            I’ve never met a single member of one of these groups, but I know how disgusted my Evangelical and Fundamentalist friends are about homosexuality. So, I’m having trouble believing you. Do you know any people in the groups you mention?

            My brother-in-law said, “I wouldn’t let my kids be anywhere near any of those kind or people who support them.” He’s a Southern Baptist. On Easter Sunday his church preached a “welcoming” sermon for homosexuals where the minister quoted statistics (without references) of how gays are more likely to commit suicide, be depressed, and suffer from a multitude of STDs. It was a “We love you and God loves you – we just loathe and despise, as does God, everything about you and how you live your life and we aren’t going to apologize for saying so because we’re just speaking the truth. It doesn’t get better. It gets much worse – see how welcome and loved you are in our church” kind of sermon.

            Or there’s my 20 something friend who fell in love with her college roommate and she’s the daughter of a minister. And every time she talks to her family they remind her how they are praying that she realizes how unhappy she really is and how unhappy she is making them and that she and her wife will break up and she finds a nice boy.

            There’s two of my real life examples. Do you have any?

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Christy,

            No I don’t know instances as detailed as you. I have gay friends, a gay brother-in-law, gay co-workers I deal with gay customers in my line of work, but I don’t know “their stories”, like you. I know some gays (like Dirk) who are as equally “disgusted” with Christians as some evangleicals are in their disgust with “the gay agenda”. Furthermore there are gays that wouldn’t want their kids around evangelicals because of what they believe about homosexuality, so it can be a two way street Christy.

            These radical pseudo Christian gay hating groups I mentioned were from documentaries I have seen, stories I have read, internet searches, blogs, videos, interviews, etc. I know evangelicals for the most part do not believe that same gender sex is natural and normal nor do they support same-sex marriage, I know that. Still, that does not mean they hate homosexuals, some do, most do not.

            Why is it if someone doesn’t believe and condone that same gender sex / love is completely natural and normal and fully support same-sex marriage, they’re a hateful bigotted homophobe? In California the majority of the citizenry voted down same-sex marriage, does that mean that the majority of the voting populace in California is hateful and homophobic? No it does not.

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            Brian: you said: “if someone doesn’t believe and condone that same gender sex / love is completely natural and normal and fully support same-sex marriage, they’re a hateful bigotted homophobe?”

            You and Californians and everyone on earth has the right to BELIEVE whatever they want. Everyone’s thoughts and feelings and ideas are innately personal. I’m not stopping you or anyone else from believing what they want. You can have your belief. Religious freedom protected.

            Where limitations on rights comes into play involves ACTIONS. When your belief compels you to say or do or limit someone else’s activity or life or rights because of your belief then as a civil society we have a problem. Because your rights end where the next person’s rights begin.

            NOWHERE did Jesus teach us that it is OK to treat people differently because of our belief. So, to legislate limitations on other peoples civil rights because of our religious beliefs goes against both our ideals as Americans and is not supported by the teachings of Jesus.

            An example:

            1960′s example: Restaurant owner decides he doesn’t find people of certain races desirable in his restaurant so he refuses to serve them.

            1970′s example: Bob Jones University, a private fundamentalist school in Greenville, SC, holds a religious belief that interracial dating is amoral and therefore does not admit students of races other than white.

            Current examples: A Bed and Breakfast owner in Kentucky refuses to rent a room to a gay couple stating his moral opposition to homosexuality. Same thing happened with a wedding photographer who refused to provide photography services for a gay wedding.

            You can believe privately whatever you want. Publicly everyone has to be treated the same…..otherwise – that’s discrimination. The State and Federal government has an interest in protecting the civil rights of its citizens and the members of the body of a faith have a compelling interest to point out the teachings of their leader when the actions of a segment of it’s members do not match what Jesus taught us.

            No one is keeping people from their orthodoxy.

            But I will tell you this….Jesus was right in Luke 12:34 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

            If in your heart you harbor ill feelings toward someone – then this is how you will treat them. But a heart full of love can’t help but treat others as we ourselves would want to be treated.

          • DR

            Why is it if someone doesn’t believe and condone that same gender sex / love is completely natural and normal and fully support same-sex marriage, they’re a hateful bigotted homophobe?>>>

            Brian, I think I’ve just figured out what you might be struggling with. Consider something.

            You are fighting hard to make sure that people who are angry with conservative christians – who have a problem with them – don’t have the last word on who you and the others are. You keep reminding us that “not all conservative christians” are hateful and angry. You want to have the last word on who you are as a conservative christians because those of us debating you aren’t – we are observers, former members, but we’re not present-day conservative christians. We’re not in your head so our representation of who you are isn’t accurate. As a conservative christian, you want the last word on who you are.

            This is the same thing you’re doing with regard to homophobia. You want the last word on what being “homophobic” looks like, and sounds like. But like my first example, you’re not gay. You don’t know what an *experience* of homophobia is. You can only observe it. Given that, you don’t get the last word on what homophobia is. Gay men and women do. In this instance, you actually don’t get the last word on what being homophobic means, THEY do. And if they are telling you that it is homophobic to not want them to get married? It is. Period.

          • cat rennolds

            This is actually in response to a response that doesn’t have a reply button…..”that doesn’t mean they hate homosexuals…” You’re confusing the emotion of hate with the action of hating. A person might not feel hate towards me, and still be treating me in a hateful fashion. By the same token, someone can say they love me and even feel the emotion of love, and still be treating me hatefully. That is, in a way that diminishes my well-being. In a personally destructive way.

            Can you think of anything more spiritually destructive than telling someone God hates them? Telling them God doesn’t love them is a close second. You know that, whatever else you believe. Telling them “God will only love you IF….” is right up there.

            The reason the anti-bullying efforts in school are so important is that I’m an adult. Treat me hatefully, and I have choices. Choices about what to do, where to go, who to listen to. Choices about what to believe. A child doesn’t have those choices.

            Use your imagination just for a minute. Imagine if the situation were reversed. Imagine people telling your young children that you and your wife were evil, perverted and going to hell because of your love for each other. Imagine your child coming home every day in tears, and some days bleeding or black and blue, because of your marriage to a woman. Imagine you went to the authorities at the school and they said something like, well, we can’t interfere in people’s religious beliefs. It’s not an appropriate topic for school. Or, well, if you weren’t living in sin, your kid wouldn’t get beaten up.

            How much worse when it’s the child who is different. How much worse when it’s the Christian parents who are telling the child, or even just saying in the child’s hearing, how much God hates those awful, horrible people….and never realizing their kid IS one of those awful horrible people until it’s too late.

          • DR

            Brian, Focus on the Family tried to stop an anti-bullying campaign in schools because they believe it was inspired by “the gay agenda”. They succeeded in an area where six months later, two gay kids killed themselves. As a result of being bullied. I just wanted you to know more of the facts of their position. They actually did an entire show on it.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            DR,

            Perhaps you’re right, but did they actually commit the bullying? Would this anti-bullying campaign have actually prevented this tragedy? Do you really think bullies even listen, let alone care about this anti-bullying campaign? Bullying is wrong, but it happens and more straight kids get bullied than gay kids, by far, since 95% or so of kids are straight, but they get bullied for many other reasons. These anti-bullying campaigns do seem to focus on gay bullying specifically, than bulllying in general. Bullying is wrong for ANY REASON. The problem is man’s sin nature, the answer is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the love of God…

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            Brian, the bullying campaigns aren’t meant just for the bullies to hear. It’s meant for all to hear so that victims of bullying feel empowered to stand up for themselves and seek help, so that uninvolved bystanders realize their role in caring about those who are being bullied and feel empowered to speak up for them, defend them, report abuse, and stand up to bullies when they see it happening. It’s a message for bullies that says: what you’re doing – it ain’t cool; it won’t be tolerated; and we’re not going to let it slide. It demonizes making gay kids feel bad about their sexual identity.

            The trouble is FOF WANTS gay kids to feel badly about their sexual identity. They want them to think it’s wrong and they believe that saying it is wrong is protected free speech and part of expressing their religious beliefs – so they will fight tooth and nail anything that smells of acceptance of people just as they are.

            I know you are smart guy, Brian. Awareness, Information, and Empowerment is what helps stop abuse – of all kinds. Silence is what propagates it. FOF wanted to silence the Awareness, Information, Empowerment and Acceptance. And if you aren’t part of the solution…..that makes you part of the problem.

            Bullying is the sin, Brian. Being perceived to be gay or admitting one is gay is not.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            No arguing with you here girl, well said….

          • DR

            Brian, why in the world would it matter if these people went out and ran a gay man down with his car? They tried to stop an anti-bullying campaign that had substantial data behind it around raising awareness of bullying gay kids. Why can’t you just stop and acknowledge a point I or someone else make without frantically drawing the “It’s a two way street!” analogy? You’re taking away from the actual bullying when you do that and it creates an impression that all you really care about is making sure that people know that conservative christian reputation being intact is your priority.

            Bottom line, these campaigns around gay bullying are working. And why it’s important to stay very specific on “gay” bullying is because we’ve created a culture where a lot of kids going into schools are already hearing from their parents that being gay is repulsive and bad. So naturally, kids aren’t going to feel like bullying repulsive, bad kids is wrong. Expecting children to apply some kind of “hate the sin, love the sinner” in this situation is way too sophisticated for their cognitive and emotional development. (Plus it doesn’t really work anyway).

          • that Mike guy

            So, if a group stopped a town from organizing a volunteer fire department, and then some children died in a fire, would you comment that the group didn’t start the fire, and maybe the fire department would have failed to save those children, so it’s all good?

          • DR

            Who is telling gay children that their sexuality is against God’s plan if not conservative christians? Brian if you watch any of the “It Gets Better” videos, there is a tremendous amount of testimony from adults who tried to commit suicide and failed that pointed to this message being the reason. While it’s not “bullying”, it is an obvious contributing factor.

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            Brian, you wrote: “On a spiritual level a Muslim has little, if any, agreement with a Christian or a Jew, but that doesn’t mean they hate one another.”

            Not true, but I get your point. On a human level they often disagree; on a religious level the commonalities take a willing heart to see; but on a SPIRITUAL level, they know they are all part of the same family and worship the same God. The devil, of course, is in the details; paradise for all of them can be found in the big picture. But that’s another topic.

            Walk with me here.

            Disagreement is fine. Agreeing to disagree is fine. You can believe what you believe. I can believe what I believe. As Americans, we have that right. The right to our belief.

            What we do not have the right to do as Americans or as Christians is to treat people differently because we disagree with them. Our civil laws say we can’t discriminate and our religion says we have to love one another. Nowhere did Jesus teach that it is ok to treat others differently because we disagree with them.

            In fact he said this: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43 -48

            I, like God, don’t care as much about what Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council believes. I and God do care how Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council treat people. And they have been clear that they intend to raise and spend millions of dollars to influence government policy and decision-making that influences how others will be treated….and it isn’t for the better.

            They swallow the gnat of their perceived “right belief” in order to ignore the weightier matter of what the Lord has required of them: He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. To do justice and love mercy and walk humbly with their God. Micah 6:8.

  • http://none Ron Morrison

    I grew up on a farm in the 40′s/50′s. Please don’t insult mules! They are wise, patient and much more logical than horese. I loved walking beneath them to hook up their harness’ and to have them literally follow me around, although I thought I was leading them at the time.

    This loathsome creature in this article is no where as decent, loving or as intelligeht as a mule. Nor is he as good looking!

  • Robert

    Hey…

    He is the kind of bigot I prefer… I like em loud and openly evil…

    Better than Erwin McManus of Mosaic LA or Blake Mycoskie of TOMs Shoes….

    Erwin and Mosaic hide the fact that they are a sourthern baptist church… pretends to be a new kind of hipster church but equates gays to “pigs eating their young” in a similar manner that Bush equated Iraq to 911.

    And Blake Mucoskie… is running a for profit shoe business under the illusion that it is a charity… sitting on his house boat raking in profits and was a speaker at “Focus on the Family” and then denied he knew the extent of FOTF homophobia. And he attends Mosaic…

    Erwin and Blake want to be though of as progressive… but they are reactionaries…

    Give me the old time bigots anytime… better than these posers.

    • Diana A.

      I see your point on this!

    • DR

      This is a fantastic point.

    • Don Whitt

      Wonderful point.

  • charles

    the sin is judgement….

    • http://asblasphamiesCoalesce.tumblr.com EeveeChan

      Amen.

  • Nevada S. Huaute

    Hello, all! I just wanted to thank you all for restoring my faith a bit! I’m actually not Christian (I’m a practicing Witch) and I’m not gay…but I have tons of Christian, Gay, and gay-Christian family members and friends, and have been SO distressed by all the hate out there.

    I’m now an inveterate reader of John Shore (and the comments on his stories!). I’m so pleased to see that there are courageous Christians who don’t listen to the hate or let themselves become part of that evil wave. There are so many gay folks whom I love dearly, and I just can’t comprehend that level of hate or intolerance. I’ve been fortunate in my life to have met a number of wonderful Christian folks who genuinely live their beliefs…like you folks do…and I’m genuinely hoping that all of us together can work on getting out the tolerant vote and getting the tolerant word out there.

    There is just so much ignorance and intolerance out there, and we all know the wise statement about how all it takes for Evil to triumph is for the good people to do nothing. Seeing the good hearts of all of you, and the decency you represent to the world really makes me feel so much better…since lately, the hate has amped up to such an extent that it’s just awful! It’s obvious that you good people are not satisfied to “do nothing”…and that is the best news I’ve had in a long time.

    Politically and socially, I think we’re beginning to see a lot of what the Bible refers to as “false prophets” out there…people with that “my way or the highway” sense of religious belief that fosters hatred of anyone who isn’t THEM. We Pagans get much the same treatment from these people as the gay folks…lies and ignorance that make us social pariahs…threats to our safety and sanity, and all of it based on hateful lies.

    Much more than we Pagans get, though, is the level of hatred and evil directed at the LGBT community (and what’s with the quotation marks on “community”, Tony Perkins? The community exists…your hatred cannot and will not change that!). I’ve lost gay friends to suicide…stood with them against the threats…and have marveled at the idea that there are people out there who can hate what they so obviously do not understand in the slightest.

    The “It Gets Better” campaign is wonderful, and I’ve been so happy to see it spread as it has. I’m proud as an American to see that the White House recognizes the LGBT community (instead of just courting it politically in front of elections, when it suits them). I hope that this and other anti-hate campaigns are successful in educating people and in keeping young gay people from taking dire steps in the face of hate and bullying.

    Thanks, all of you fine people…and thanks, John Shore, for following the spirit of Christ and being so accepting and tolerant. What a world it will be when we outnumber the haters!

    Blessings,

    Nevada

    • cathy

      Couldn’t have said it better… not a witch and not gay buy have many friends and family that are gay and a few witches too. … any the “it gets better” campaign is wonderful! and I am sure that it is saving many young Americans.

    • Kristi

      Rock on Nevada!

      I have serious issues believing witches, pagans, Muslims, Hindus, etc. etc. are going to Hell because they aren’t Christian. There are 7 billion people in this world, each one unique.

      I am a follower and try daily to be a do-er in the ways of Jesus, and stand by the Golden Rule as the best way to get through life. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Why is that sooooo difficult??

      I really enjoyed reading your comment.

  • cathy

    Having a very hard time with my faith because of people like him….

    • Kara K

      cathy – His hate has absolutely nothing to do with God and everything to do with control. Hold on to your faith in our loving God.

  • Carolyn Walsh

    Now, if we can only harness that old fashioned compelling indignation and help these twisted loathsome worm-tongued hate mongers set themselves on fire so they can join their master down below, we might start to make some progress in the world. Fascists have always depended on fear ruling the general population. Kurt Vonnegut said it best. ” Fascism will come to America wrapped in her flag and singing the National Anthem.” I am so sorry to see he was a true prophet.

    • http://contemplativenontheist.blogspot.com/ Jason

      The quote, which is actually, in full, “Fascism will come to America wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross,” is often mistakenly attributed to Sinclair Lewis. Vonnegut did not pen those words either, and no source (apart from a spate of bumper stickers) has been found for them. It is prudent to do a little research before posting.

      • DR

        Jason needs massive amounts of therapy. What a miserable man, it leaps off the pages. Woof.

  • Linnea

    I had to respond to the comment above by Brian W. Hate to break it to you, Brian, but the Southern Poverty Law Center does *not* label groups as hate groups just because they disagree with them. Their standard is this: If a group (like the KKK) engages in lies, demonizing, or violence against an entire group of people because of their class characteristics (ie, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc), then that group is declared a hate group. And BTW, the SPLC has been around for many years, and is well-respected by such bodies as the UN.

    Educate yourself before you spread more lies and wind up with egg on your face.

    OK, rant over. Perkins is an asshole. Pardon the blunt assessment, but let’s just say it like it is. Perkins would rather justify hate than accept truth.

  • rose cawley

    mr. perkins,

    it’s true, i cannot imagine any other president taking such a step. i can only be grateful that we finally have such a just man to lead our country to true equality. how much better off we would be if only one of our previous presidents had undertaken to rectify this social injustice. so many suicides would have been prevented, so many people would have a better quality of life, devoid of guilt and fear. no one wants to destroy christianity, no one will stop you from practicing your religion. and please rest assured sir, that if your religion is based on hatred and bigotry, we will continue to pray that the lord in his heaven will someday see fit to show you the light. a light of love and acceptance. a light based on love your neighbor. a light exemplified by his saving mary magdalen from being stoned. and why was she being stoned? because a mob decided that they did not like her lifestyle. he stopped them…”let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. that is the religion that you have chosen to desecrate. he did not point to anyone as a sinner, he simply said that no one is truly pure of heart and therefore should not set themselves as judges to their fellow man. it may behoove you to follow in the footsteps of this distinguished character, but as i stated previously, you may practice the religion of your choice.

  • anaisninja

    Tony Perkins is a closet case.

  • http://contemplativenontheist.blogspot.com/ Jason

    Wow. You had me until you said that you were a Christian too. You expect me to support you when you wear the same brown shirt as the rest of that despicable army?

    “Non-insane Christian” – I’m struggling to see how your belief in an invisible, unprovable, supernatural deity based on a 2,000-year-old book who happens to love LGBT persons differs from the invisible, unprovable, supernatural deity based on the SAME 2,000-year-old-book of the Christians who says he hates them. In essence, you simply want me to accept that your imaginary friend is nicer than theirs.

    I’ll stand with Bertrand Russell, who rightly observed that Christianity is without a doubt the biggest barrier to moral progress in the world. Give up your fictions and self-soothing fantasies and then, one day, we shall have equality and peace.

    • Don Whitt

      Troll much?

      • http://contemplativenontheist.blogspot.com/ Jason

        Unfortunately for you, perhaps, no.

        • Don Whitt

          Okay, by “much” I meant you’re a Troll. If you read this blog, you understand that there is a very diverse group of believers here: Christians and philosophers whose consistent hallmark is openness re. Faith, Love and Sprituality. To come on here and spew your immature, hateful nonsense is the consistent hallmark of a Troll. Someone who is loathsome and gets their rocks off baiting people. Now, tell me I’m not being Christian because I’m pointing out the obvious about your little plot to stir shit up. Employ the logical judo of a freshman intellect. Go on, we’re waiting, “Jason”.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501162343 Jason Paul Bachand

            I’m open to love, certainly. I love my daughter, I love the work I do
            and the universe I inhabit, even without fairies at the bottom of it.
            Nonsense, it need not be pointed out, is the kind of risible and
            unsubstantial claims made by people of faith – noncognitivist hokum
            declared without any regard for its lack of correspondence to the
            material reality of the cosmos. Why would I care to correct your
            definition of ‘christian?” The word is meaningless. If you choose to
            style yourself as such, or if you care to posit that the moon is made of
            cheese for that matter, I cannot comment on that which is axiomatically
            absurd. It’s akin to asking me to answer the question “What color is
            four?” Immaturity, further, is the inability to discern between that
            which is and that which is wished to be – certainly a deficit in one’s
            frontal lobe (the medial pre-frontal cortex) and arguably a lack of
            fortitude. I find it quite amusing that you deem the mature, responsible
            position taken by 92% of the world’s most esteemed scientists, that of
            empirical realism, to be “freshman” while the belief in magical men in
            the sky is brilliance par excellence.

            Oh, I’ve taken the step of
            posting quite openly under my real name, lest you imply that I lack
            courage in my convictions. Your turn, “Don.”

          • DR

            What a tool (I thought this was current).

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            People still SEE what you’ve written, so I LIKE it when people comment on older comments. Even if just for that moment, it keeps the conversations fresh again, which (for me anyway) is nice. This is the clown who recently did the big rant about me on his blog about how, since I didn’t go to Harvard the way he did, I’m intellectually unprepared to say anything about God, and shouldn’t answer the letters people write me. So you get a sense of how long he’s been … sliming my blog.

          • DR

            Oh yeah, that guy. Yep. People like that are easy to forget, their creepy hostile tone gets blends in with all of the other fundamentalist clanging. He’s clearly really smart, too bad he’s a one trick anger pony.

          • Allie

            I hadn’t seen this before, so I appreciated the link on the side bar to a recent comment. Please everyone keep commenting on old stuff!

            A friend of mine who is German told me he objects when people call Hitler a “monster,” because calling him a monster is distancing yourself from the reality that he is, in fact, a human being – that it is human beings who are capable of becoming exactly that bad, and that you yourself have the potential to do things that bad, so please don’t.

            But I tend to be with John. I can’t understand where such people are coming from. I do think it’s important for those of us who are sane, normal, nice people to be aware that Focus on the Family exists, because they spend an awful lot of money to shape our national thinking and our elections. When your barber or the girl behind you at the checkout line spews the latest fashionable hate, ask where she heard that.

  • http://micksgrill.com Mike Elliott

    So glad I left Christianity. I left the Church because it was an us vs them victim mentality – even Christian Vs Christian. No one wanted to look out for their fellow man. It was so bad that someone in the church (who is anti-everything) managed to kick out our pastors. At the same time I was a youth leader. I was interested in reaching ALL young people whether they were unemployed, drug addict, gay, emo, nerd, whatever without Bible bashing them… you know the same Jesus in the Bible? These people who kicked out our pastor shut down our youth program that had 25 teenagers in it – ALL of them messed up in some way – the ones we were ‘supposed’ to be Jesus to (We didn’t even see out the school term!). The young people only came to hang out with their friends and that was ok – actually more than ok because they were excited to be there. They actually did me a favour coz I’m able to see everything for what it is now – Bull crap.

    The church is no longer relevant!

    Thanks for allowing me to share my story.

    • http://contemplativenontheist.blogspot.com/ Jason

      Thank you Mike. I agree – church is the problem, not the solution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501162343 Jason Paul Bachand

    I posted my response as an atheist to this article, and I notice my comment is now gone. Another atheist posted shortly after I did, and their response has also been expunged.

    Delightful to see that the so-called “progressive” Christians are not above censorship and disdain of the other. Fundamentalists of another stripe, it seems.

    • DR

      Oh please. Seriously, consider growing up a little bit. If you were deleted it’s because you’re being an arrogant a-hole, there are literally dozens of atheists, agnostics, gnostics and all sorts of non-Christians who post here regularly. How about you take a little responsibility for being someone who appears to have a massive chip on his shoulder and is a fairly boorish communicator? There are several atheists here who share your perspective – who are angry at what Christianity has done and continues to do, have every right to be angry, who challenge the existence for religion in an educated society and aren’t assholes. If anyone is mirroring the attributes of Fundamentalists, it’s you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501162343 Jason Paul Bachand

    I’m open to love, certainly. I love my daughter, I love the work I do and the universe I inhabit, even without fairies at the bottom of it. Nonsense, it need not be pointed out, is the kind of risible and unsubstantial claims made by people of faith – noncognitivist hokum declared without any regard for its lack of correspondence to the material reality of the cosmos. Why would I care to correct your definition of ‘christian?” The word is meaningless. If you choose to style yourself as such, or if you care to posit that the moon is made of cheese for that matter, I cannot comment on that which is axiomatically absurd. It’s akin to asking me to answer the question “What color is four?” Immaturity, further, is the inability to discern between that which is and that which is wished to be – certainly a deficit in one’s frontal lobe (the medial pre-frontal cortex) and arguably a lack of fortitude. I find it quite amusing that you deem the mature, responsible position taken by 92% of the world’s most esteemed scientists, that of empirical realism, to be “freshman” while the belief in magical men in the sky is brilliance par excellence.
    Oh, I’ve taken the step of posting quite openly under my real name, lest you imply that I lack courage in my convictions. Your turn, “Don.”

    • DR

      Your need to assert your alleged superiority regarding your rational approach to a world you believe to be absurd is certainly fine and with all due respect, totally unoriginal. I’m just as bored and unimpressed by your need to control and assert your own ego as I am the Fundamentalist in their obsessive need to control the world via their belief system. It’s two sides of the same coin. No one is terribly impressed by someone who is entirely one-dimensional in their posture toward life and you being so – while needing to diminish what people of faith do believe – is far more telling of your limitations than anyone else’s.

  • Luke Friesen via Facebook

    if the term closet case ever is put in the dictionary it will not need a definition, just his fat mug next to the word will suffice

  • Darren Nowell via Facebook

    Thank you John.

  • Susan

    I’m from Long Beach, CA, the town with a HUGE gay population juust north of what we So Cal folk call “The Orange Curtain”- the border between Los Angeles and Orange Counties. North of the Orange curtain: Pride parades, reconciling congregations, “The Gayborhood”. South of the Orange Curtain: Mega Churches, Pastor Chuck, homophobia, pro-lifers, etc etc etc. ALL egged on and cheered on by the sanctimonious asses at “Focus on the Family”. I nearly stood up and cheered the day that I heard Focus on the Family decided to move to Colorado because “Orange County was too wordly”. And I voted with other artists and musicians to defeat the “Focus” jerks when they tried to pass homophobic legislation in their new state. But it looks like what they really wanted was a more gullible population to bully into their bigoted fold. Thanks for outing them a little more clearly and bringing these cockroaches into the light.

  • Patricia L. Money via Facebook

    Thanks John, I always love reading what you’ve written and seeing my own thoughts tripping across the page.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mockwriting Michael Mock via Facebook

    Would this be the same guy that Slacktivist unerringly refers to as “the liar Tony Perkins”?

  • Brook E Mantia via Facebook

    He is to religion what Norman Bates is to motel proprietors.

  • Pam Palmquist Bingham via Facebook

    Tell us how you really feel! ;-) Where’s the share link?

  • http://www.facebook.com/sharon.chrust Sharon Dolson Chrust via Facebook

    Love it, John. I don’t know what he has done to again make the news, but I love, love, love that post!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sue-Tathwell-Wille/1213687635 Sue Tathwell Wille via Facebook

    Brook E Mantia – RIGHT ON!

  • Robert

    Holy cow, there are a lot of posts to this article! As usual, where religion is concerned, it doesn’t take much to get a lot of people breathing fire.

    I imagine there is a lot of cognitive dissonance among Christians, inasmuch as a lot of them WANT to be good, friendly, people, but then run up against a lot of the passages in the Bible that explicitly declare homosexuality to be antithetical to the faith (to put it mildly).

    I’m not a Christian, but I’ve read the Bible a lot, and I’ve come to the conclusion that, as a good Christian, you could jettison 99.9999% of the book, and still be a good Christian. The only sentence any Christian should pay attention to is, “Love the Lord with all your heart, and mind, and vital force. The second command is like it; love your neighbor as yourself.”

    Done. Finished. Go home and do that. Nothing to see here, folks. All the rest of the claptrap in Leviticus (which nobody, not even the most orthodox Jew, does anymore), Revelation (which reveals jack-squat), the Pauline letters, the Ten Commandments, is necessary. If everyone who professed love of Christ did those two things, all these discussions would never take place.

    • Tom

      The Old Testament was not meant to be taken literally. It’s a historical document that proves even in that time, men were asses. If you’re truly a Christian, you make every effort to embody the teachings of Jesus. Most fundamentalists couldn’t care less about Jesus or his teachings. He does not support their view of the world. People like Perkins continue to crucify him every single day of their existence. Just ask any of them about The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ most important teaching. 90% of the time you will get the dear-in-the-headlights look. They are so focused on all the evil that’s in that book, they fail to see any of the light. When any of you can put yourselves in the place of a gay man who is about to be burned at the stake by the likes of Tony Perkins, then you can have something to say about unconditional love. Until then I’m not interested in any of that BS.

  • Stephanie R. Atkinson via Facebook

    I have issues with MSNBC’s Chris Mathews now. If Matthews and his wife are such big supporters of LGBT rights, then in my opinion he really doesn’t understand that when he allows Perkins to spew his hate on national TV that he is, in effect, allowing that hate to be free of any consequences that might become of it. Yes, I have to tolerate other people’s opinions, but the person that spews a hateful opinion is not free from the consequences of that hate.

  • Brena Easterday via Facebook

    Jesus told us that we will be judged with the same measure we use to judge others. I would hope I get judged on loving my neighbor as myself. I then work at it, and work at it a lot, but I will not call a bully “someone whose opinion must be tolerated.” Nope. If I am being mean and unfair or too intolerant I want to be convicted by my spirit at quickly as possible. If I don’t notice, then I want someone to slow my roll for me. I will use that measure on others because it is loving them the way I want to be loved.

    Judging by physical traits that cannot be changed is an unjust measure that none of us want to be used on us in the day of Judgement Jesus spoke of. We are guaranteed to be judged by idle words- Jesus.

    So, basically I am in a position to speak my convictions of loving my neighbor, keeping money changers in mind as not the church Jesus was looking for, and calling a wolf a wolf and not a “confused and rabid sheep who should be tolerated.”

    Now as far as measuring is concerned…it will be funny when the judgment day comes and the righteous homophobes who think gays go to hell have to pass a marriage/sex quality test for their own salvation. The measure you use= to the measure used against you. The Big Guy said it. I can’t be sure, but I won’t risk it.

  • Tom Maxwell via Facebook

    Tony Perkins needs a good ass pounding. I’m sure he’s just a big homo anyway.

  • Tom

    I think someone should analyze this guy’s signature. Isn’t it a little curious that his first name is in script but the entire last name is printed in all caps? What does that mean?

    Anyway, as a professional name-caller who enjoys labeling these people as the filth that they are, I can’t even begin to spew anything like John did here, so I won’t.

    I’ll tell you what, it’s really hard sometimes to embrace your enemy when guys like this are the enemy.

    • Shawna

      Lots of red flags in his signature Tom. Very little true emotion being allowed to show through, hiding something or protecting himself (maybe believes he’s protected?), anger/frustration about sexuality. The difference between first and last names sometimes points to a bad relationship with the father or family of origin. Would need a full sample to be more accurate though – a signature is what you what the world to see so his is fairly clean and legible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marlene.lund1 Marlene Lund via Facebook

    Thank you, John, for reminding me that even someone as hate-filled as Tony Perkins is not beyond God’s redeeming grace. I will follow your example and pray for him, as well as those his words and actions brutalize.

  • Raphael Nora Rose via Facebook

    Gotta wonder how anyone so full of Satan can be so sure he’s doing H’Shem’s work. Sort of expect his head to swivel around as green stuff spews from his guts. Poor Wretch. Hope our prayers soften his heart to the suffering, torture and death he’s been party to.

    I don’t want revenge on him. I would like folks to realize he’s not a Christian in any sense of the word.

  • Charles

    shades of Westboro Baptist…..

    as Ghandi said- ““First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    and as Napolean said as well- never stop your enemy when he makes mistakes.

  • Linda

    Thank you John. Your “no traction” perfectly sums up my frustration over how to respond to sad, dangerous people like Mr Perkins.

  • John Clemens

    The concern I have is that these buffoons are a major source of escalating the current violence against lgbt’s. In our little town we are about to have our 3rd Pride weekend and the protesters (out every year) are beginning to concern me. I fear someone will be hurt this year. There is an art to exorcism and this turd clearly needs one. Continuing to live our lives with integrity is probably the “loving force” they need to see to eventually be properly exorcised. But how many martyrs must we have first? That is the real test of faith.

    • Elizabeth

      This. Thank you for your courage.

  • Daniel Tolan

    His pretending to know what our Founding Fathers would have thought about our current issues shows forth this man’s deplorable ignorance. He is incapable of interpreting history correctly and should be banned from doing so. I just recently read Benjamin Franklin’s Speech given at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention wherein he states “I confess that I do not entirely approve of this Constitution at present, but Sir, I am not sure I shall never approve it: For having lived long, I have experienced many Instances of being oblig’d, by better Information or fuller Consideration, to change Opinions even on important Subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise.” Franklin freely admitted to the progression of ideas in this country that what might be good for his generation could possibly be in error for future generations. Perkins interpretation was developed out of a Medieval train of thought…and the sad thing about that, he and his own do not even know it.

  • Tom

    One thing people need to stop doing is referring to these people as Christians because they are anything but. They are an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. I can guarantee you that much. Old Testament thuggery. The teachings of Jesus DO NOT in any way support their world view and if He came back today, people like Tony Perkins would kill him. They would find the highest tree.

    I don’t often use the word hate but I don’t know what else to do. These people are so evil they make Satan look like a saint. I am here to declare war on them. Absolutely.

  • Lea

    I do realize this will be an unpopular viewpoint, but here is what I think: this is not an exception to the command to love one another. Mr. Perkins is human and he is wrong, but he is God’s beloved child and is to be treated with love. Unless we can love him, we are hypocrites at pointing out*his* lack of love for others. Are his words and actions offensive? Yes! But that is irrelevant when it comes to how we should treat him. Express disagreement– passionate disagreement– but do it lovingly. If not, Christ is not alive in our words. Secondly, I think that if Mr. Perkins were to change his beliefs, it would be because he encountered the overwhelming love of Christ, not because he experienced counter-attacks and rage. The love of Christ will change hearts and will work miracles. It blasts down the very gates of Hell. I think that divine love should be always the strategy and the tactic. :)

    • Tom

      You go right ahead and believe that. If you want to do that with the belief that people like this piece of shit can change, go for it. I’m not going to adopt that attitude while he continues his assault. Ain’t happenin’ for me. Thanks.

    • Josh

      Allow me first to say that I am not a Christian. I believe in higher powers, but I do not make the choice to woship the God of the Church; instead I choose to practice moral rightness, compassion, and love for the people around me.

      However, there are, and must be, exceptions to that love. This man is one of them; as the tale of Christ tells of the moneychangers being thrown out of the temple, so must men who preach hate for cash be cast aside by your religion. To ask for “Divine Love” to have sway on a man whose greatest adoration is for the value placed on what amounts to credit with another man is a bit foolhardy; such a man will place no value on said love, and thus come away unaffected. Better to affect his credit score should you wish his undivided attention; the God of Money and the God of your Church are vastly different ideas indeed.

      If prayer for such a man is your wish, by all means, do what feels right in your heart.. but understand that many of us on the outside of such beliefs believe that a square kick in the ass will do more to shift such a man’s perspective.

      • Lea

        Hello, Josh. I understand what you’re saying and I agree that Perkins is hard to love. I do subscribe to the belief “Love one another– no exception,” so for me, he is not an exception. And I ascribe invincibility to Divine love. But that’s me, and I certainly understand that others see things differently. :)

        • Barbara Rice

          (I copied this from the Facebook page of Elizabeth Gilbert (“Eat Pray Love”). It may help give perspective. Or not.)

          LET’S TALK SERIOUSLY ABOUT UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

          Everyone, will you help me (and a fellow seeker) out with this?

          A visitor to this page has just asked me whether “unconditional love” means staying in an abusive relationship and learning how to love the person despite how he harms you.

          This question makes me want to cry.

          Dear one, dear friend, dear heart — the answer to that question is very simple: NO.

          No, no, no, no, no, no.

          Also:

          Never, never, never, never, never.

          The wisest teaching I’ve ever heard about this came from a dear monk friend in India who told me, “We must love everyone. That is what God asks of us. But some people can only be loved from a safe distance.”

          And in regards to some people, that “safe distance” may mean: Never See Them Again. Never Take Their Calls. Never Let Them Near You. Never Let Them Know Where You Live.

          Pema Chodron, the great Buddhist teacher, has also taught beautifully on this subject. She explains that we should not close our hearts to anyone, but that we must also set healthy and safe boundaries. She urges us not to mistake compassion for compliance. As she said once in a lecture, “Put people in jail, if they are unsafe to others, but do not close your hearts to them.”

          Being a compassionate person does not mean allowing anyone in the world to treat you (or anyone else) abusively. There is nothing to be “learned” in an abusive relationship (except how to finally leave.) There is no emotional growth waiting for you in an abusive relationship. There are no day-to-day lessons that will make you a more enlightened being if you learn how to bear it, how to endure it. You will not be a better person in any way for staying. On the contrary, it will corrode your soul. Staying with somebody who harms you (in any way) does not mean you are compassionate; it only means you are co-dependent and very likely in psychological, spiritual and/or physical danger.

          This one absolutely breaks my heart, guys.

          Please, if somebody is harming you in any way: GO. Today.

          • Jon

            Barbara, you make several excellent points, particularly the quotes from Buddhist teachers. Lea’s comment did not conflate compassion with codependence. It simply is how we are to view others around us. We can still love our abuser (Martin Luther King, Jrs.’ sermon on loving your enemies makes this clear), while separating ourselves from them so we don’t get hurt. With regards to Tony Perkins, none of us, I believe, have a relationship with him, so that he is not abusing any of us individually.

          • DR

            Of course he is abusing me personally. He wounds and weakens my Chirch community which I utterly sepend upon for my optional and spiritual growth. Please don’t speak for others. Thank you.

          • DR

            (depend)

            (emotional)

            :D

          • DR

            Thank you for this! The detailing attention some give to a users instead of victims is frustrating. I want Perkins stopped and those he abuses protected. Period. That is the priority. If he learns, repents and heals AFTER he has been stopped? More power to him. But unrepentant sin with zero remorse causes huge waves of damage. Treat the gunshot victims first, then try to help the shooter figure out why he shot the gun.

          • Lea

            Never said he shouldn’t be confronted/challenged/corrected. :)

          • DR

            Lea, telling those that are exclusively focused on stopping abuse that we are to “love” the abusers derails the energy and effort from first and foremost, protecting those that someone like Perkins is destroying. You need to understand that.

          • Lea

            Hello DR. I do get what you’re saying. And certainly, your feelings are understandable. I still do believe that it is important to respond always with love, even if it involves confrontation and criticism. I agree that those who are harming others should be confronted. I just really, really feel strongly about the “They’ll know we are Christians by our love” concept. I understand if others feel differently.

          • Matt

            In my opinion, Tony Perkins will never get the message we’re trying to send if we send it through gentle love.

            Mr. Perkins has spent his entire life on top–as a man, as a white person, as a heterosexual person, as a Christian. A little bit of digging reveals he has also been a police officer and news director of a radio station. There is no option not available to him, there is no facet of society from which he is barred. He sees versions of himself everywhere: Men just like him doing exactly what he’s doing. He has probably spent a lot of time hearing how absolutely right he is, how true is words are, how infallible his logic is.

            When a person has lived their life that way, it’s like they’re wrapped in layers of thick, white, fluffy blankets. And like real blankets, they do smother something–empathy and compassion. Mr. Perkins may have had to physically grow up just like the rest of us, but he’s never had to really, truly spiritually and personally grow.

            But he doesn’t see it that way (naturally). So the only way is to remove the blankets–and we can’t do that through hugging.

          • Josh

            Indeed. Like the immune system, the soul, the personality, the character of a person grows most through conflict and adversity; finding your views challenged, and thusly examining them more closely, enriches our self knowledge and, frankly, keeps us from talking out of our ass. Note; some of us never pick up this last part. ;)

          • http://myjourneytogodsfaith.blogspot.com TattooedKupcake

            While yes, showering this man with love will probably never change his viewpoint, the sad fact is, neither will showering him with criticism and confrontation. In fact, with men like this, fighting him and standing against him will only fuel HIS desire to fight harder and press onward with this slanderous hate campaign.

            I’m all for “love thy neighbor as thyself” and strive for it every day. But we are HUMAN, and unconditional love of everyone is just not achievable. Christ loved everyone, but we are not Christ. We are not as perfect as he was, no matter how hard we strive to be so. And with that imperfection comes the less-than-holy feelings of anger, defiance, and even hate. We can battle these emotions as much as we want, but let’s be honest, when confronted with a man like this who is so inherently evil, who commits such acts of travesty, and who builds a career, even a LIFE, off of sending out the message to America’s youth that if you are gay, you are disgusting (which I don’t even what to know the statistics on gay youth suicides based solely on this very attitude), unconditional love isn’t just hard, it’s damn near impossible.

            Now, does that mean I think it’s okay to freely hate such people. No. Ultimately, we should still try our best to love everyone, even when it’s the hardest possible thing to do. But when confronting a man like this, who has such a twisted, dark, and unfortunate view of what he thinks “Christianity” is, no amount of hate OR love will sway him.

            So, all that being said, I DO believe we should try our best to love everyone. But I also know that loving (truly loving) everyone as Christ did is humanly impossible. I also know that just because you love someone, doesn’t mean you can’t fight them with anger (anyone who is married will know exactly what I mean!). Me, I believe that a man like this is WORTH fighting against, but that doesn’t mean I believe fighting him will sway him. It’s much more likely that it will just add fuel to the fire.

          • DR

            What’s offensive is that you’re suggesting that others “feel differently”. No one “feels differently”, for goodness sake.

          • DR

            OK, it’s pretty clear that we’re at an impasse here I’m just continuing your diversion from the actual focus of the abuse by enabling this kind of dialogue as I respond to you. It’s silly.

          • Elizabeth

            I don’t love you, Lea. I hate you. I despise you and who you love. You are a sinner. You’re unworthy. You can do nothing to fix it except stay alone and loveless forever. God said so.

            That’s how that feels. Ask again about understanding Mr. Perkins. It’s time to yank his effing chain.

          • Anakin McFly

            Am I the only LGBT person here siding with Lea? :/ Because I do similarly ascribe to the ‘love your enemies’ dictum, and try to live my life accordingly. And I have seen it succeed in changing a few bigots’ opinions in the course of my life, when attacks had done nothing and/or simply made things worse. All people want to be understood.

            At the same time, I agree with the quotes about how loving someone does not mean allowing them to abuse you, and sometimes that love has to be done from a safe distance.

            But for all his flaws, Perkins is human too. Just as fallible, as flawed. For all I know he might be a better person than me in another area, and I find it hard to judge as a result. I’ve seen lots of great people – including my parents, at one point – who had opinions very similar to those that Perkins expresses in the letter. It wasn’t because they were evil; it was because they were ignorant, and had been taught the wrong thing, and had never had reason to question it, and fear and human nature did the rest of the work.

          • Elizabeth

            Hi Anakin. I’m sure you’re not the only one. For me, the analogy is tough love. Perkins is a bully. He’s so committed to stopping equal rights for LGBT he paid $82K for the mailing list of a former KKK leader. He spoke to a white supremacist group. I appreciate your empathy, but average people aren’t that driven by their ignorance.

            In order to stop, he needs to get cut off from the power and attention he craves. He’s an addict insulated from the effect of his message. He needs an intervention. That doesn’t mean I don’t love him in the Christian sense.

          • Tom

            Awesome Elizabeth!

          • DR

            I’m sure you mean well, I think we’re just two very different people with very, very different priorities. Thanks for the discussion.

        • DR

          I don’t get it. This post of John’s is nothing but love. What would “loving” Perkins look like and sound like specifically?

      • Tom

        Thanks Josh. Well said.

    • DR

      I think many of you who react with this kind of comment are afraid of conflict and standing up firmly against abuse triggers pain and fear in your own heart and mind. This kind of behavior of Tony Perkins is often emabled by very gentle, well-intended people who may need to understand that kindness is not always gentle or nice.

      • Jon

        Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in his famous sermon of loving one’s enemies:

        “A second thing that an individual must do in seeking to love his enemy is to discover the element of good in his enemy, and every time you begin to hate that person and think of hating that person, realize that there is some good there and look at those good points which will over-balance the bad points.”

        Martin Luther King was in the forefront of the struggle for equality for African Americans. He definitely was not afraid of “conflict”, and his words above were directed towards those who hated African-Americans.

        As MLK, Jr. also noted: “the end does not justify the means, rather, the means *define* the ends.” Using the language and words of confrontation, of war, of disgust, of hate, rather than words of reconciliation and love, are means that will define the end in a way we don’t want. This is why Jesus said about those who are being oppressed: “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”

        The teachings of Jesus are clear on how we must conduct ourselves in the world around, including our activism. There is no compromise, there is no room for hate. None. Follow Jesus’ template, or follow the template of human ego.

        http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/documentsentry/doc_loving_your_enemies/

        • DR

          Martin Luther King – away from the camera – did not suffer fools lightly, Jon. Nor did Mr Theresa, both of them were sharp and direct and both had a huge set of enemies as a result of not putting up with any sh**. if you read anything on either of them in depth, you’d know that. They were candid about the cruelty and the hatred that drove the injustice both of them gave their lives for – be careful about painting their commitment to non-violence with an enabling brush, neither of them were gentle or “nice”. They were both quite aggressive in their personal lives and they are to be admired for how they stared down the evil that killed them.

          • Jon

            DR (and some others who have commented here), it appears that it is very important to you to retaliate and to handle conflict or disagreement by wanting to get in Mr. Perkin’s face. Because it seems so important to you, I realize there is nothing I can say to divert you from that path. So, I will simply say that I wish you well, and hope you get the result you are looking for. If I am wrong about the strategy and tactics to which you seem very committed, then I apologize. I believe an important part of navigating conflict is to try to understand the other person. So, if I have misunderstood you, then feel free to disabuse me of my wrong perception. :)

          • DR

            Oh for goodness sake, the degree to which you are twisting peoples’ comments here is bewildering and frankly, pretty creepy. No one is “getting in Tony Perkin’s face”. This is the internet. This is a blog post. I sense that you’re inserting a lot of your own issues with conflict into what you read here and as a result, you can’t really read this clearly. Best of luck to you.

          • Jon

            I guess you have not yet read the sermon by Martin Luther King, Jr., so I’ll post another quote from that article:

            “So I want to turn your attention to this subject: “Loving Your Enemies.” It’s so basic to me because it is a part of my basic philosophical and theological orientation—the whole idea of love, the whole philosophy of love. In the fifth chapter of the gospel as recorded by Saint Matthew, we read these very arresting words flowing from the lips of our Lord and Master: “Ye have heard that it has been said, ‘Thou shall love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.’ But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.”

            “Certainly these are great words, words lifted to cosmic proportions. And over the centuries, many persons have argued that this is an extremely difficult command. Many would go so far as to say that it just isn’t possible to move out into the actual practice of this glorious command. They would go on to say that this is just additional proof that Jesus was an impractical idealist who never quite came down to earth. So the arguments abound. But far from being an impractical idealist, Jesus has become the practical realist. The words of this text glitter in our eyes with a new urgency. Far from being the pious injunction of a utopian dreamer, this command is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. Yes, it is love that will save our world and our civilization, love even for enemies.

            “Now let me hasten to say that Jesus was very serious when he gave this command; he wasn’t playing. He realized that it’s hard to love your enemies. He realized that it’s difficult to love those persons who seek to defeat you, those persons who say evil things about you. He realized that it was painfully hard, pressingly hard. But he wasn’t playing. And we cannot dismiss this passage as just another example of Oriental hyperbole, just a sort of exaggeration to get over the point. This is a basic philosophy of all that we hear coming from the lips of our Master. Because Jesus wasn’t playing; because he was serious. We have the Christian and moral responsibility to seek to discover the meaning of these words, and to discover how we can live out this command, and why we should live by this command.”

          • Elizabeth

            Yeah, no, DR. I’m willing to get in Tony Perkins’ face. (Because clearly he’s trolling this blog.) And, Jon, I’m not playing. My Jesus is a whole lot more thieves in the temple than turn the other cheek.

            Look at that! I could say it five sentences instead of blathering on. Your turn.

          • DR

            Jon seems pretty intent in seeing people based on his very, very specific terms, so you know – whatever. :) I’m always kind of bewildered by how much projection we can often insert but I’m sure that happens with all of us from time to time.

          • DR

            My entire year’s master’s project was on MLK. I’ve read the text as well as about 180 other works on him as well as all of his written and spoken words, recorded for public and not. Thanks for the discussion.

          • Matt

            I love Tony Perkins (wow, that is weird to actually write out) because I recognize that he is a fellow human being. I can see how his positions may partly stem from a genuine caring for his family and others that he is close to. I can appreciate that I don’t know him personally, and so there may be loveable, wonderful things about him that I don’t know about.

            But what I also know is that I don’t trust him. I am afraid of him. If we were in the same room, I would have the strong urge to run away. These feelings don’t come from nowhere, but from the things that he has said and done. He doesn’t have to do anything to me personally; that is how much power he wields, that he can make someone like me who he doesn’t even know afraid of him.

            I would never want to harm him physically, kill him, or harm his family. I would just want to remove those layers of protection he’s built up around himself so that he could finally be a strong, courageous man and understand the real pain he has caused. I wouldn’t envy him as he went through that realization and processed it, but it wouldn’t kill him, unlike those who have been the victims of his hatred. As I have said before, this would not be gentle, but it would not cause the same kind of lasting damage that he has inflicted. If he did not make the choices that he did, if he did not continue to mentally turn away from the consequences of his actions, this wouldn’t be necessary. He has ultimately brought it upon himself, and it is a further shame on him that at 50 years old anyone should have to hold up a mirror for him at all.

            Treating him with the verbal/psychological equivalent of kid gloves only reinforces what he has been told all this time: You are special, you are above the rest. You are not only right, you are righteous.

          • DR

            Love this. Thank you.

          • Anakin McFly

            this

        • Anakin McFly

          I love this. Thanks.

  • Elexa

    I have a question… Which culture is it that he’s reclaiming for Christ? At what point in the history of America was the culture “Christ’s culture?” 1950s? 1940s? 1890?

  • Elizabeth K

    I know I’m not the most full grown Christian, but I often wonder if these verses apply to certain ‘Christians’ that are doing things today. “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)– if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish. They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed–an accursed brood! They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey–an animal without speech–who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity–for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”” 2 Peter 2:1-22

    There is a parallel version in Jude,”Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling–these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct–as irrational animals do–will destroy them. Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm–shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted–twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage. But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy– to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” Jude 1:3-25

    So, if you feel that these are the animals who follow mere human instincts of greed, rebellion, bloodlust, and other sexual sins (I can’t tell you how many sex scandals the churches have been having, I really have no idea but I hear about it a -lot-), at least you know that these sorts of things are not unexpected, and (incidently that the scoffers otherwhere mentioned are not the atheists everyone seems to want to blame things on). I hope you don’t doubt that the bible has strong language for using God as an excuse to murder your brother.

  • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

    Fuck Tony Perkins.

    Fuck the horse he rode in on.

    Fuck the guy who shoed the horse.

    • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

      No, wait, I’ll take that back.

      The horse is okay…


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