Bebbington, schmebbington: Evangelicals’ politicized animosity to gays and women is not a media invention

At the Christian Century, Dennis Sanders echoes Skye Jethani’s contention that evangelical hostility to LGBT people is an exaggeration — a media creation resulting from disproportionate attention given to the loud voices of “politically rabid evangelicals” who “fit the narrative advanced by the news and entertainment media.”

It’s certainly true that we’re not all like that — that all of us white evangelicals are not “politically rabid” right-wingers obsessed with anti-feminist and anti-gay activism. But Jethani’s claim that such evangelical rabidity is nothing more than a “myth” simply doesn’t hold water.

Because some of us are like that. And white evangelicals who are like that are completely secure in their place within the subculture. They get speaking gigs, tenure, book deals and constant affirmation from throughout the larger white evangelical community. Their standing within the tribe is unquestioned, unchallenged and  not “controversial.” But those of us who aren’t like that are, at best, treated as “controversial” and only semi-legitimate members of the tribe. We aren’t usually even allowed to say that we’re part of us.

Just look at the lines drawn here at Patheos. Owen Strachan — a rabidly anti-feminist and anti-gay, politicized culture-warrior — is comfortably welcomed into the evangelical channel. So are David and Nancy French and that poor kid who blogs for the Manhattan Declaration. But John Shore isn’t allowed in that club. Tony Jones keeps getting kicked out and fighting to be reinstated. And even St. Francis Schaeffer’s own kid doesn’t make the cut.

The tribe draws its own boundaries. That’s done by the gatekeepers within the tribe — not by some conspiratorial “narrative advanced by the news and entertainment media.”

Those rabidly political types who claim to represent all of white evangelicalism are allowed to do so. The tribal gatekeepers never refer to Tony Perkins or James Dobson or Pat Robertson as “post-evangelical” conservatives. Yet folks like Brian McLaren or Jay Bakker are routinely classified as no longer legitimate members of the tribe.

The message there is clear: Rabidly political evangelicals who revile LGBT people in the most vicious terms remain welcome in the tribe. Bible-quoting, Jesus-loving evangelicals who refuse to condemn LGBT people have crossed a boundary and are no longer welcome. The news and entertainment media did not create that boundary, the tribal gatekeepers did.

Sure, there are plenty of white evangelicals who aren’t rabidly anti-gay — millions of Very Nice People like those described by Dennis Sanders and Skye Jethani. If folks like that encounter an LGBT person, they will be personable and kind. Very Nice evangelicals like that would happily welcome LGBT people to their table and offer them the shirt off their backs. And as long as those folks — like Ned Flanders, or Ed Stetzer, or Ron Sider, or Skye Jethani — don’t go any further than such Very Niceness, they will be permitted to remain as members of the evangelical tribe in good standing.

But if any of them took another step — arguing that niceness isn’t the same as justice, and that LGBT people ought to be recognized as fully equal members of society and of the church — then they would quickly be branded “controversial,” and be cast into the outer darkness with McLaren, Bakker, Rob Bell and the wretched mainline Protestants.

Jethani’s “it’s a myth” spin can’t account for the aspects of evangelicalism that exist independent of, unnoticed by and unreported on by any of the “news and entertainment media” he wants to blame for them. Consider the angrily anti-gay Defenders of the Authority of Scripture who troll the comment sections of blogs like this one or who fire off hate-mail when Rachel Held Evans endorses unconditional love for gay children. Or consider the casual cruelty that Registered Runaway writes about here, or stories like this one, or experiences like this and like this and like this, or the continuing “mainstream” respectability of venomously hateful publications like Charisma magazine.

Those are all organic aspects of the white evangelical subculture. They are not creations of some outside media narrative.

Or, to put it another way: Here is Jason Micheli’s response to the Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality. Here is James Dobson’s response. One of those men is an evangelical icon, was the subject of a hagiographic Christianity Today cover story, and his books can be found in the homes of millions of white evangelicals. The other is not regarded as an evangelical at all, even though he’d fit any Bebbington-style theological definition anyone would care to use.

Such theological definitions don’t matter. You will never be branded as “controversial” or banished from the evangelical tribe for insufficient biblicism. Or because your enthusiasm for crucicentrism, conversionism or missional activism is regarded as suspect. But if you’re feminist or pro-gay, you’re out. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

Bebbington, schmebbington. The tribe defines itself: An evangelical is a white Protestant who opposes legal abortion and homosexuality. Period.

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  • Invisible Neutrino

    Much thanks for your evisceration of the self-righteous claims of those who would style themselves as the correct kind of Christian and dismiss all who seek to extend a kind word to QUILTBAG people as unworthy of their faith.

  • AnonymousSam

    Clay, and their fare is the same as what their hearts pump: dust.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    In addition to all the ways Fred points out that this argument is wrong, I suspect there’s another factor at play. I suspect that when Sanders and Jethani talk about “disproportionate attention,” they mean that the media focus on evangelical attitudes toward whatever issues are currently relevant outside of the church rather than evangelical attitudes that have no bearing on anyone outside of the church. Jethani writes, “In my 30 years of involvement with evangelical churches, parachurch ministries, and mission organizations, I cannot recall hearing a single sermon about homosexuality.” This is almost exactly the argument Timothy Dalrymple made last year (in which he blamed people like Fred for empowering people like Tony Perkins and Bryan Fischer). But what Dalrymple, Sanders and Jethani fail to understand is that (to put it broadly and simplistically) the rest of us don’t care what they do in the sanctuary of their church on Sunday morning and the media serves little public function by describing a sermon on whichever parable or point of doctrine; but we do care deeply about what they do in the privacy of the voting booth on the Tuesday morning of Election Day, and the media would be derelict not to focus their coverage of evangelical attitudes on this public dimension.

  • FearlessSon

    Parachurch ministries? Is that anything like a paramedic? I can see it now, the ministrymobile speeding along, its lights flashing as its sirens blare Amazing Grace, racing to preform an emergency baptism…

  • ShifterCat

    THIS. “Why are you judging us about abortion and homosexuality when we do so much other stuff?” “Because those are what you base your votes on.”

  • Redwood Rhiadra

    Their votes *and* their lobbying efforts – the latter of which is probably even more influential than the former.

  • valarltd

    Some years ago, I noticed I was getting into weird arguments with Christians, when we should have been on the same side. I finally realized it was because I was operating under the premise that Fred Phelps was right, that the Christian God hates gay people. After all, it was all I had ever heard in churches. Three different states. Six different cities. Same message. It was why I had left the church. Because no matter how much of my personality I destroyed in my quest to be a Good Christian Woman, I would never really make it.

    The war is very real. And in Africa, they have taken it to the next level: imprisonment and execution. All America is one good cataclysmic event, and the QUILTBAG is the scapegoat of choice.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Oh, it’s not like they haven’t already TRIED scapegoating us. The recent shootings, superstorm Sandy, the fires in Colorado (although I did hear one guy blame the fires on “women who wear pants”–ooops, still got me there.)…Pick a disaster. The two most likely causes according to the RWNJs are “America embracing homosexuality” and “the holocaust of abortion.”

  • Wednesday

    Not even three hours after the Boeing 777 crashed at SFO last week, there were pundits (talk radio, IIRC) blaming the crash on Teh Gheys.

  • Baby_Raptor

    What, does Gayness clog engines?

    How do we drive cars, then?

  • Carstonio

    Heh. In fairness, those pundits probably meant that their god hates homosexuality so much that everyone gets punished, even the people who themselves hate it. Their universe is run by an enraged alcoholic, apparently

  • Enoch Root

    But Fred… How will these leaders continue to bilk gifts of support from their flock if the mainstream media keeps talking about how it’s wrong to hate people?

    I mean, think of the money!

    Seriously, it’s not just a spiritual or theological or social concern. It’s an economic one. Gay rights and abortion are the only issues that matter because they’re money-makers. No one ever got poor by saying they were fighting for the unborn, or against the gay agenda.

    These issues continue to dominate religious and political discourse for the exact inverse of the reason given by the authors you’re criticizing: The evangelical media keeps these issues alive in order to perpetuate their gravy train.

    It’s a large-scale example of ‘I know you are, but what am I?’

  • SisterCoyote

    Your points are awesome, and your name is also awesome. (Have I already said this? Maybe. But I don’t remember it, so I’m saying it again.)

  • FearlessSon

    It is not just the money, but the power; political power in particular. Much of the religious right, as a solid voting block, was formed in opposition to the desegregation of public schools down in the south (note how many of the big evangelical schools are formerly public ones that went private rather than accept integration.) But as that kind of overt racism has faded from public acceptability, they had to latch onto other subjects in order to keep the coalition together, such as abortion and keeping gays in the closet. Now they are losing at least one of those things and stepping up their focus on the other.

    Over time other issues will be added to the list of things they make a fuss about, simply because there are a lot of people who find it politically expedient to keep them all riled up.

  • The_L1985

    It’s also a pretty good example of “No man can serve two masters.”

    I’ve been joking for a while now that all Christian Bookstores are positioned on the corner of God Lane and Mammon Street.

  • Marg Herder

    Thank you. For all of it.

  • Sytan

    It is the duty of media to report that which affects our lives. If the evangelical branch of Christianity didn’t keep engaging in politics and public in such vast and misanthropic ways, the media wouldn’t report it. Do news items of any other religion come up half so often? There is a reason for that. There is nothing to report.

  • histrogeek

    True up to a point. The media can sensationalize, oversimplify, distort, or go for an emotional angle that obscures the facts.

    In this case, that isn’t true. There really is fire to go with the smoke. If anything the media goes out of its way to excuse religious-based bigotry.

  • Ethics Gradient

    And one church was being picketed because, while it opposed LGBT equality and abortion, it was being too nice in the way it opposed them:

    The Rev. Rich Nathan, senior pastor of Vineyard Columbus, said he and his congregation are tired of “baffling hate speech” and inappropriate behavior that members of Minutemen United have directed at church members.

    Minutemen has been protesting the church’s “passive resistance” to abortion and gay marriage each Sunday for five months, said James Harrison, its local leader.

    Harrison said the church does not speak out against homosexuality and abortion, helps women recover from abortions and accepts gay members. Harrison’s group is targeting Vineyard because it has about 8,500 members.

    Vineyard, 6000 Cooper Rd., in Westerville, is an orthodox, evangelical church with a mission of having “broad and inclusive” boundaries clearly stated in the Bible.

    Nathan said the church is anti-abortion and against gay marriage and last year helped deter as many as 300 single mothers from having an abortion.

  • themunck

    Proving, once again, that they don’t care about abortions -.-.

    “Look, I have convinced 300 women not to have an abortion, and thus, in my view, saved 300 lives!”
    “Yeah, but did you publicly shame them and make sure they hate themselves for ever even considering it?”

    “Well no, because that wouldn’t have worked, and 300 unborn would be dead?”
    “Well, too bad. It’s the shaming that matters. I’ll have to revoke your tribe membership for not condemning abortions hard enough.”

  • Mordicai

    The rabid anti-everything culture on Patheos is part of the reason why I was surprised you joined it; I felt like if the tables were turned, I wouldn’t. Then I thought a little more about my job, & working with people whose opinions I find abhorrent, & I wondered if it was more like that & I should get down off my high horse.

  • FearlessSon

    I remember when Fred transitioned to Patheos, and his reasoning was that he worried his blog, while enjoyed, would not be put in front of the eyes of people he felt most needed to see it. He wanted the dialogue and the back and forth, and he wanted to put it somewhere where people who disagreed with him on matters of faith would be exposed to it.

    Of course, this produced a big furor among some of the commentary community old guard because that pretty much opens up the door to trolling…

  • Mordicai

    I do think it changed the tone of the blog; when I started reading it, Slacktivist was a blog by a Christian…now it is a Christian blog. I don’t mind; I can handle change! But as an atheist, it is a bummer; the signal to noise ratio of the blog is still very good, but not as good as it used to be. What is the clever internet acronym, though? YMMV.

  • Donalbain

    The sad thing is, I havent seen much in the way of back and forth. The channels are all pretty closed in on themselves.

  • Daniel Björkman

    I tend to think of it as the difference between nice and good, which is very much something I learned from this blog.

    A Ned Flanders is nice. He never hurts anyone, and he even tries to help everyone he comes into contact with in what limited way he can. And that’s not nothing. Being nice, day in and day out, even when you’re tired, even when you’re angry, even when you have a thousand problems of your own… that takes an awful lot of commitment, and it really does make the world around you just a little bit better.

    But Ned also isn’t good. To be good, you need to stand up and shout. You need to be a pain in the ass to people who are in a position to make bigger changes until they do make those changes. You need to tell people that they’re being jerks when they’re being jerks. You need to make things a little worse right now, so that in the long run they might be a lot better. And that’s not just energy-consuming, but difficult and unpleasant and maybe even dangerous.

    Knowing when to be one or the other isn’t exactly easy. I have no recipe for that. But I am very sure that you can’t defend yourself from allegations of being not good by arguing that you are nice. It may be true, but it’s irrelevant – they are two different things, and the person making the allegation clearly wants one from you and not the other.

  • Jasdye

    Nice:Good :: Charity:Justice

  • Carstonio

    I found Adam Hamilton’s pastoral letter both heartwarming and disturbing. Hamilton seems to believe that it’s very difficult, if not impossible, for a culture’s mores to have any grounding in moral principles. He implies that these are little more than expressions of popular will, and I admit that I might be misreading him.

    I’ve long argued that mores and norms should be judged according to consequentialist principles – society is arguably a better place to live for everyone when individuals can pursue their own happiness in ways that don’t interfere with others’ pursuit of their own happiness. That doesn’t mean that any non-consequentialist mores are automatically invalid, but it does mean that defenses of them based on concepts like “tradition” are questionable at best. With homosexuality, this means that individuals have the freedom to pursue relationships according to their orientations. And to refuse to pursue those relationships as well.

    I’m not sure that Hamilton understands that this freedom works both ways. His prediction that most churches will accept gay and lesbian families in 20 years sounds like an inevitability, like the churches have to adapt to changing cultural mores as a matter of survival. He doesn’t question the conservatives who insist that a church like his must “stand its ground” and “hold the line.” Churches are free to forbid homosexuality for their members and to refuse to admit gay and lesbian families, and I know of no one who seeks to force the church members to be gay or to admit those families. As part of the freedom working both ways, those members shouldn’t seek to force non-members to be straight, or demand that other organizations limit membership to straight people.

    Suppose that Hamilton’s prediction comes true and the majority of churches the Biblical passages on same-sex attraction as reflecting cultural norms, except for one particular denomination. There should be no reason that the denomination should feel the need to change. It could simply treat homosexuality the way that devout Jews treat non-kosher food or the Amish treat certain technologies.

    That’s why the language about holding the line makes no sense on its face. And that’s why we shouldn’t believe the opponents who cry persecution. They’re not defending their right to refuse to be gay. They seek to deny everyone else’s right to refuse to be straight. It’s not about conscience, it’s about control.

  • Jasdye

    The tribe defines itself: An evangelical is a white Protestant who opposes legal abortion and homosexuality. Period.

    Now, that’s not fair, Fred. An evangelical can also be Black, Mestizo, East/South Asian, Pacific Islander, First Nation, etc, Protestant who opposes legal abortion and homosexuality. As long as they agree with pretty much everything else White Protestant Culture Warriors tell them to.

  • AnonaMiss

    To expand on what else they have to agree on, they have to not only oppose legal abortion and homosexuality, but also oppose affirmative action, oppose welfare, oppose immigration reform and shame illegal immigrants, support gun manufacturers’ rights, hate rap music and “urban culture”. If you’re a person of color, you have to “make up for it” with additional tribal signifiers that a white person wouldn’t be disqualified for not adhering to.

  • Ross

    I dunno. I think even then, the non-white memebers get classed as something more like “friends-of-evangelicals”. Sidekicks to the Real True Proper white evangelicals. Always “But we aren’t racist, look at them: we’ve got some black people over there!”, never “Look at us! Some of us are people of color right here!”

  • Persia

    A quick glance at the Evangelical Channel here at Patheos shows many white faces and only a few women.

  • Jenny Islander

    For a look at how this plays out, check out Doug Phillips (whose proper signifier is “Is a Tool”) holding a little African-American kid dressed up as a Confederate camp follower at his latest dress-up extravaganza, I mean, “History of America Mega-Forum.” It’s somewhere in the Photos folder here:

    Much cheerful racism and pig-ignorance about history to be seen on display.

  • Will Wildman

    When I tell people about you, Fred (which happens more often than you might think), they’re always kind of surprised by the ‘evangelical’ label, which I then have to explain–but I’m always happy to do that, because it comes back to this same bigger point, which is that we shouldn’t give ownership of labels (of words, of language) to whomever can be the biggest jackwagon about them. A messy conflict, but one worth struggling over.

    Also, not to distract from the main subject, but the one time I tried to engage with John Shore on his blog (praising his intentions and goals, but raising some serious concerns I had about what I felt were some exclusionary and exoticising statements about queer people) he mocked my views, deleted my comments, and banned me from further commenting, so I’m not especially fussed about which clubs he’s kept out of. He’s written some very good things, but I think he’s an example of how those searching for truth are often preferable to those who are convinced they’ve found it.

  • ScorpioUndone

    Fred, I noticed a typo:

    Those rabidly political types who claim to represent all of white evangelicalism are allowed to do so. The tribal gatekeepers never refer to The Liar Tony Perkins or James Dobson or Pat Robertson as “post-evangelical” conservatives. Yet folks
    like Brian McLaren or Jay Bakker are routinely classified as no longer legitimate members of the tribe.

    There. Fixed that for you.

  • The_L1985

    I don’t know how I missed seeing that. This has to be the first time in ages that Fred’s said “Tony Perkins” without his proper title.

  • ScorpioUndone

    He overlooked it. It’s understandable, he’s got a lot going on: Kids, work, etc. ;-)

  • LL

    They must think we’re all as stupid as they are.

  • WereBear

    It’s really a totally different way of thinking; not that it’s not stupid, mind you. But they don’t even use the same WORDS.

    Like when they say “gay is a choice” they don’t mean people choose their orientation. They mean that people are supposed to decide what emotions to feel, and then feel them. That people should have total control over what they feel.

    So they are saying that LGBT people are just supposed to pick the “right” emotions, and then feel them. And their failure to do so shows they want to sin!

  • Ross

    I think a lot of them are fine with LGBT folks feeling whatever they feel, just so long as they suppress those feelings and act in the approved manner. Remember, with folks like that, stance is what matters.

  • qalady

    Every movement is defined and influenced by its leaders and their speeches, writings, and publications. No one here pays attention to what the major gay leaders wrote that is publicly-available for everyone to read, and how these leaders promoted bestiality, pedophilia, polygamy, and other “free” practices while these leaders were also involved in very strange occult practices (Thelema, O.T.O., etc.). Harry Hay is a good example of a gay leader that all the gay history books mention and whose writings these books refer to, and include calling Harry Hay the “great leader” and even “messiah” for gays and lesbians. As a former witch, I know you and other Christian writers are either very unaware of the occultic backgrounds of many gay and lesbian leaders or else you are doing the same thing that a bunch of Christian pastors and other leaders did in the past who were secretly part of our covens and witchcraft circles. Harry Hay, the primary founder of the modern gay movement, promoted acceptance of all gay practices along with bestiality, pedophilia, and some really nasty forms of the occult / witchcraft that also involved animal sacrifices to the spirits through his involvement with the master occultist, Aleister Crowley, who claimed to be the 666 Beast of the Book of Revelation.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Citations needed

  • qalady

    There are several books from Amazon that you can do an INTERNET SEARCH for, but here are some links about that illustrious gay Messiah (as a replacement of Jesus)

  • EllieMurasaki

    NAMBLA is not a valid source. Try again.

  • qalady

    Actually it is one of many sources that really do VALIDATE the fact and past history of when and where the gay movement leaders really did openly interacted with not just N.A.M.B.L.A., but also supported the various pedophile activities and support groups besides just N.A.M.B.L.A. Harry Hay and some other gay leaders marched in parades for N.A.M.B.L.A., other pedophile groups at that time, and for pedophilia in general (and you can find that by doing an Internet search for their support during the 1980s, for example). There were others in the Mattachine Society (if you know anything about recent gay groups) who also wrote for pedophilia and for different groups, N.A.M.B.L.A. included.

  • Pseudonym

    That word “past” is sure doing a lot of work.

  • qalady

    And your point is? So what about “lot of work”?

  • Pseudonym

    My point is that you’re not only making a pathetic little attempt at an ad hominem argument that in no way invalidates the rationale behind sexual equality, you can’t even bother to update your decades-old talking points to apply to any current leaders.

  • qalady

    How about something better than a very pathetic cut-down and doing some basic research and showing which of the modern
    history books with details on the gay history does NOT mention Harry
    Hay and the Mattachine Society????

  • dpolicar

    Is it because of Harry Hay and the Mattachine Society??? that you say a very pathetic cut-down and doing some basic research?

  • Lori

    qalady seems to think that comparing someone to Harry Hay & the Mattachine Society is an obvious put-down. I have no idea why zie thinks this since it’s not actually the case. I can only assume there’s some corner of wingnuttia where Harry and the Mattachine Society are boogymen and complaining about them is a shibboleth, but this is the first I’ve heard of it.

  • dpolicar

    Yeah, I’ve noticed. As I infer it from qalady’s comments the narrative seems to be that they supported some bad stuff, and they supported gay rights, and consequently anyone who supports gay rights supports the same bad stuff they did. It’s news to me too; I had to look them up.

  • AnonymousSam
  • Lori

    The thing is, pretty much everyone knows who Hitler is and is aware of why he’s bad. The same can’t be said for Harry Hay and the Mattachine Society (at least outside of whichever corner of wingnuttia qulady is visiting from).

    If you’re going to work a fallacy at least do it right, you know?

  • AnonymousSam

    I think the relative obscurity is part of the point. It lets him imply that we may be trotting Hayisms and not even know it. This threat does not much concern me.

  • Lori

    Yeah. That would still come a lot closer to working if it was actually widely known and obvious why association with Hay is a bad thing. Obviously it still wouldn’t work because fallacy is fallacious, but it would likely get a bit better response.

    If you compare someone to Hitler, no matter how stone stupid the comparison, they tend to feel compelled to respond. The vast majority of the time comparing someone to Hay isn’t going to have that effect. The whole thing is just dumb.

    We’ve been going back & forth on this and I’m still not sure why comparison to Hay is supposedly so awful. I can see disagreeing with him. Plenty of people do. I’m just not sure why he’s supposedly such a boogyman. Is it because he was called before HUAC? Because decent people don’t think that’s exactly the mark of the beast.

  • Pseudonym

    People’s right to live their lives in tune with their sexual orientations are no more contingent on the history of the gay rights movement than people’s right to freedom and political participation is dependent on the USA’s founding fathers not being racist sexist slaveholders.

  • qalady

    Your words are almost word-for-word from Harry Hay and other gays in the Mattachine Society, but just like most others, the rest of what these gay leaders promoted is either not read or conveniently ignored so that the real basis for these “slogans” is not addressed.

  • AnonymousSam

    What precisely is your goal here? Do you hope that by pointing at the past, you will shame people into giving up completely unrelated positions in the present?

    If so, you are marvelously succeeding — at making a disingenuous argument. Pedophilia and homosexuality are unrelated. Advocating one does not advocate the other.

  • qalady

    What is your goal? If it’s not to look at the actual writings of Hay, members of the Mattachine Society, and other leaders, then doing pretty good. Oh, these leaders are still referred to and quoted in current gay publications, so it’s not the “past”, but current writings still.

  • AnonymousSam

    My goal is equal rights regardless of the acts which are no business of anyone’s but mine and the person who provides meaningful consent to share them with me. I couldn’t care less what Hay has said or done before my time. It is irrelevant. You, however, are coming across like an obsessed pervert.

  • qalady

    Sigh, typical response from those who have not read Hay’s and others’ writing in detail and yet can only resort to low-level name calling without addressing the writings ot those writers.

  • AnonymousSam

    You have yet to demonstrate why Hay has any relevance. Individual people do not invalidate an entire movement.

  • qalady

    Just about all the common sayings, slogans, mantras and repeated words that gays and their supporters have their origins in the books, articles, and speeches by Harry Hay and his associates. Even some gays who started to read Hay’s writings now see what is the source of their “slogans”.

  • AnonymousSam

    A broken clock is still correct at least once a day. Your argument remains irrelevant, you obsessed weirdo.

  • qalady

    And so?

  • Lori


  • dpolicar

    Yeah. Don’t know why you put up with us. It would serve us right if you never spoke to us again.

  • qalady

    Typical response — years ago, gays were pushing to have their voices heard, and now they and their supporters want to silence anyone who does not agree with them 100 percent, just as Harry Hay and others in the Mattachine Society wrote about and spoke for publicly.

  • dpolicar

    Yeah, that’s me, silencing everyone all over the place. It’s a good thing for the sake of public discourse that I’m so horribly incompetent at it that you get to say whatever you want anyway.

  • Lori

    At least in the US almost no one is actually trying to silence you and the other bigots. That’s just your butthurt talking.

    What decent people are doing and trying to get other people to do is stop listening to you. That’s not the same thing, no matter how much you whine.

  • qalady

    It’s about the source for all of the repeated words, slogans, and mantras used by those who use that “reason” you list. The sources do matter as to how those slogans were used for by the creators / leaders.

  • Lori

    What are you talking about? What reason did I list and what are you trying to say about the source?

    Frankly, it sounds like you’re talking about your side of the issue. All the repeated words, slogans, and mantras that come out of bigot-groups sponsered by the Catholics and the Mormons, which then get broadly transmitted by Fox News and then get repeated by bigots like you.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    That hasn’t been true since, duh, the 1980s. The flimsy rationalization (and some people said it was even at the time) was that all “marginalized” groups ought to stick together, but that never held a lot of water and NAMBLA has been rightly abandoned as the perverts they are.

  • AnonaMiss

    As a former witch

    Oh, honey. This is the wrong place to pretend to have been a witch. We have real, practicing witches here, and they’re nothing like your church culture has taught you.

    Feel free to come back when you’re ready not to lie to us.

  • qalady

    Typical cut-down from people who do not ever ask about a person’s history, nor have anything better to say, especially when they know nothing much about the Mattachine Society and the various writings from its leaders and members, etc.

  • AnonaMiss

    If you can’t be bothered to do basic research on the lies you tell to lend credibility to your point, why should I be bothered to do basic research on the point itself? Clearly it’s flimsy enough that you felt you had to lie to support it.

    Or is the homosexual conspiracy responsible for your being a bad liar, too?

  • qalady

    Basic research was started, but how about showing which of the modern history books with details on the gay history does NOT mention Harry Hay????

  • AnonaMiss

    I’m sorry, are you implying that if a history book doesn’t mention someone, that means it’s actively covering that person up?

    What dark unspeakable agenda must the book publishers have to cover up the name, and indeed the very existence, of Mark Smith, medieval serf! Clearly there is a shadow organization of serfs are running a conspiracy to erase their links to bestiality, incest, witchcraft, and the One World Government from history textbooks.

    Basic research was started

    The passive voice reveals more than you want it to, here.

  • qalady

    There history books on other topics, such as countries and cultures, that do not cover every single event. Not always some “agenda”, but in some cases the writers do admit to what their “goals” are even in the books they wrote.

  • qalady

    Maybe people need to clean their runestones or perhaps try a different skrying method to see things clearly?

  • Ross

    As a former witch, I know

    No, you weren’t.

  • qalady

    Easy to “jump to contusions” when don’t have anything better to say and don’t want to actually inquire about things.

  • Ross

    When you affirm from personal experience things which are demonstrably untrue, calling you a liar is hardly “jumping”.

  • qalady

    When you only disagree and cannot prove anything as untrue, then that is doing more than jumping.

  • dpolicar

    I agree; jumping to contusions is, unfortunately, very easy. Especially where there are low ceilings.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    Oh, how cute. You can’t even spell “conclusions”.

  • qalady

    Spelled “contusions” on purpose, but you missed the intent…..

  • Invisible Neutrino


  • qalady

    Does someone need to clean their runestones or to try a different skrying method to see things clearly?

  • qalady

    Perhaps a different method of skrying or divination is needed?

  • AnonaMiss

    You seem to think this is a particularly cutting put-down, given the frequency with which you repeat it.

    As you only seem to be directing it at people who have called you out on lying about having been a witch, I see two possibilities: either you are continuing to try to get away with pretending to be a witch, doubling down in the hope that we will believe your witchcraft background if you mention a couple Hollywood divination techniques; or you believe we are witches, and you are trying to taunt us with how the powers you assume we’re trying to use are ineffective against the Jesus Shield.

    However, as Ross and I are neither witches nor idiots, your continued, confident repetition of a jab which flew wide the first time you made it is getting a little embarrassing

  • qalady

    Not embarrassing to those of us who read the writings of Hay and the Mattachine Society, who knew some of those members and their associates, and knew what most of them did in their spiritual “circles”, which also included times with Native American shamanism, etc.

  • AnonaMiss

    Oh no, Native American shamanism of an unspecified tradition, how terrifying. Clearly if anyone who was even tangentially connected to gay rights was not a Christian, gay rights is part of the Satanic agenda.

  • qalady

    this is about the source for the slogans, mantras, and repeated words found in the writings of Hay, members of the Mattachine Society, and other leaders

  • AnonymousSam

    You are an even more convoluted model than the typical sort, clay child.

  • qalady

    Just another cut-down from people who do not ever ask about a person’s history, nor have anything better to say, especially when they know nothing much about the Mattachine Society and the various writings from its leaders and members, etc.

  • AnonymousSam

    What they may or may not believe may or may not be reprehensible — but are certainly quite irrelevant. There’s room in any movement for people to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. In the event that I encounter someone who believes pedophilia, incest or bestiality should be decriminalized, I will hear their arguments and counter them with my own. That is irrelevant to the question of whether or not homosexual people deserve rights and protections, the answer to which is “Yes.”

  • qalady

    Not so. Every movement is defined and influenced by its leaders and their speeches, writings, and publications. Ignoring what these leaders wrote, gave speeches on, and marched in parades for is very relevant and defines the basis and reason for these movements to exist.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Which totally explains why the people who call the Slaveholders’ Rebellion the “War of Northern Aggression” insist that it had nothing whatsoever to do with slavery.

    No one who argues in favor of NAMBLA can possibly be a leader of the queer rights movement. They may have a significant following overlapping with the queer rights movement, but we don’t want those people either.

  • AnonymousSam

    You have a curious amount of arrogance to assume you have the right to declare who is and isn’t a leader within a movement. Prior to this thread, I had never heard of this man. Would you like to explain how his writings, speeches and parades, none of which I have ever seen or participated in, have influenced me in my quest to have rights in equal standing with other people?

  • qalady

    Wrong again, the arrogance is in not checking out the books on gay history (especially the older ones) and not checking out what a large numbers of writers (both gay and otherwise) themselves wrote about the leaders. These publications are PUBLICLY available…

  • AnonymousSam

    I’m not disputing that such a person existed, or even that he may have written such things. I simply find it completely irrelevant. I don’t support marriage equality for his sake and his goals, real or imagined, are irrelevant to the topic. You’re attempting to poison the well by pointing out a supposedly prominent figure within a movement as being a bad person — but whether or not such a person exists and is reprehensible does not invalidate the movement itself.

    In short, this is yet another poorly disguised manifestation of the PIB argument.

  • qalady

    Wrong, a number of regularly-used slogans and theme words used today come from Harry Hay, members of the Mattachine Society, and other previous gay leaders who also promoted these other “practices. Their writings and books are used in many colleges and non-college class on gay history. The writings of members of the Mattachine Society are still used and quoted by gay writers to the present. The other writings (Harry Hay included) have been quoted and used in gatherings, assemblies, presentations, etc., and the quotes are from certain pages, the other parts of the quoted documents are often not presented since it would be rather uncomfortable to quote what they said in support of pedophilia to a class or assembly.

  • dpolicar

    So, do you generally endorse “some people who historically endorsed X are frequently quoted by members of group Y and in classes about Y history, therefore group Y endorses X” as a legitimate derivation?

    Do you conclude that Christians, for example, endorse everything that was historically endorsed by any Christian writers who are significantly quoted by Christian groups today? How about U.S.patriots? Or men? Or white people?

    Or is this line of reasoning only appropriate to use against queer folk?

    If it’s a generally valid strategy, we can learn all kinds of things about what Christians, patriots, men, white people, etc. believe… that could be enlightening. Come, let us reason together.

    OTOH, if it only applies to queer people… well, that’s odd. Why should that be?

  • qalady

    When the gays and lesbians use the very same slogans and mantras that were written by Hay, Mattachine Society members, and other leaders who wrote those for specific reasons, including the support for pedophilia, then I don’t have to “conclude” anything you mention.

  • dpolicar

    You don’t have to conclude anything at all; you have free agency. Consistency, charity, logic, these things can only compel you if you choose for them to. Similarly, you’re under no obligation to answer my questions; you’re free to evade them and continue to repeat your original point, however irrelevant.

    That said, the more blatantly you do those things, the less compelling you are to people who care about consistency, charity, logic, and relevance.

  • qalady

    As stated before, every movement is defined by the words and writings of its leaders and founders. The mantra and slogans used now can be found in Hay’s own writings, and the reasons for why he wrote those also define their direction for people using them.

  • dpolicar

    See? That’s much more relevant. Thank you.

    It’s also wrong, but that’s OK. Being wrong is a far easier state to recover from than a refusal to engage with questions.

    Harry Hay did not found queer equality; there were people treating queers as human beings and advocating for such treatment long before Hay was born. He did found one of the first successful gay rights groups in the United States, though, so perhaps you’re just talking about U.S. queers.

    And, yes, he supported NAMBLA. Also Marxism. The queer equality movement rejected both of those positions.

    Which gets me back to my original question: how generally does your strategy apply? For example, if it turned out that many founders of the United States were slave-owners, and had written extensively on slaveowning as part of United States culture, would it follow that I, as a United States supporter, probably endorse slavery? Or is the fact that the United States rejected slavery in some way relevant?

    I’m curious about the slogan thing, though. Can you list a couple of slogans in common use by the queer equality movement that Hay created, and his reasons for creating those slogans?

    Obviously the intentions of a writer or speaker don’t define the intentions of those who later quote him — like the man said, the Devil can quote Scripture to suit his purpose — but the history can be interesting, regardless.

  • AnonymousSam

    Putting aside that I have never heard of this person despite campaigning for gay rights for the past decade, my question remains: So what. I don’t dispute this person’s existence, I dispute their relevance of his alleged beliefs. Marriage equality and acceptance of homosexuality are the goals, not legalizing pedophilia, and that’s not going to slip in under the radar. You’re trying to poison the well by pointing out flaws in one person as if that undermines the entire movement. It doesn’t. It just makes you look curiously obsessed with pedophilia.

  • Veleda_k

    If you’re at all curious about Harry Hay, Box Turtle Bulletin did a good write up on him:

    What that blog post really makes clear is how little Hay’s ideas matter to the current queer rights movement. We acknowledged he was messed up and moved past him.

  • Giles

    “white evangelicals”? Really? You think the black churches are less homophobic? Do you know any gay black people? Are you unaware of the Episcopalian split caused by white liberals outraging the feelings of African bishops? If you were writing about economic justice you could say black evangelicals are more progressive but to drag race into this makes you look like one of those ostentatiously pro black liberals who find it impossible to actually treat blacks as equals because you see them always as victims. To believe everything is down to white guilt is another way of saying “it’s all about us”. I hope this doesn’t sound hostile. I know your intentions are good. But you don’t need to flaunt your anti racism in every post even in contexts where race is irrelevant, or as here where racial differences in attitudes actually tend in the opposite direction to that you imply.

  • AnonaMiss

    1) The African Episcopalian bishops in question are/were not African-American, but African, as in living in a completely different culture and on a completely different continent. Using bishops (of indeterminate race, mind you, as it is perfectly possible to be a white or azn or pacific islander African) in a completely different culture as an example of how black Americans are homophobic is stupidly racist of you. And don’t come back with ‘well I didn’t say AMERICAN black people’ because if you were really confused about whether or not it was the specifically the American white-evangelical subculture Fred was talking about, you could have brought up all the white progressive evangelicals in more progressive countries as more evidence for how racist you think Fred is being.

    2) Fred said 0 words about black evangelicals, and 0 words about the whiteness of white evangelicals. His use of the term ‘white evangelical’ instead of just ‘evangelical’ is an acknowledgement of his familiarity with only the white (American) evangelical subculture, which I’m sure you’re aware is a different beast from the black (American) evangelical subculture. It’s also a refusal to make the black evangelical subculture invisible by referring to the white evangelical subculture as just the ‘evangelical subculture’, as though there were no other evangelical subcultures, or as though the white subculture is the normal subculture from which all other subcultures must be distinguished.

    3) Piss off

  • Giles

    Perhaps I should qualify my last comment by saying that I live in the UK and have a lot of gay black friends any one of whom would tell you black people tend to be more homophobic. Perhaps it different in the US. But my gay friends include African Americans and they seem to think otherwise. And the bible is one of the main tools black homophobes use to bash them.