Scott Lively: The Apocalypse Is Coming

Yesterday, Right Wing Watch featured Scott Lively and Rick Wiles waxing apocalyptically on Wiles radio show.  The essence is that September 23, 2015 is a pivotal date. On that day, the Antichrist (said personification of evil is said to be the leader of the “largest superpower in the world”) will pardon all the world’s debts and be hailed as the “hero of the world.” From there, the Antichrist will bring in the Apocalypse.

Lively then praises Vladimir Putin for his efforts to stifle free speech and association in Russia. Lively believes homosexuality is a tool of the Antichrist and a part of the great demonic plot to launch the reign of the Antichrist.

Here is what I don’t get. If these guys believe the evidence points to a September 23, 2015 beginning of the end, then why do they think their efforts matter? If September 15, 2015 is an appointment on God’s calendar, then who or what could change that? As this website reminds, the New Testament makes it clear that only God knows when the The End Time cometh. If these guys think the fireworks begin on 9.15.15, then shouldn’t they just get out of the way?

There are other problems with their scenario. The description of the Antichrist sounds like either Obama or Xi Jinping. Although I lean toward Obama as Lively’s mystery AC, I wonder if Lively means Xi because China could forgive a lot of debt. I don’t know how Obama forgives debt since we owe so much.

In any case, with Lively all roads lead to Gay. Gays are the ruination of the world and for reasons not totally clear to me, nations of the world need to deprive certain citizens of their rights. As noted above, I am not sure how that is going to help since these guys have the times and the seasons all figured out. Maybe Lively thinks he can prevent the Apocalypse or push it back a little.

It is distressing to think that Lively’s single-minded efforts are driven by  eschatology gone awry.

  • ken

    Hey, predicting the end of the world worked out so well for Harold Camping.

    FYI: Sept. 23, 2015 is Yom Kippur. Maybe Lively is hoping to be forgiven for making that prediction :)

  • Lynn David

    Then I best get in all the fishing I would like to by then.

  • Richard Willmer

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dearie me.

    (This ‘in praise of Putin’ nonsense is pretty rich coming from a man that keeps bleating on about his First Amendment ‘rights’. Not that I think that President Putin is always wrong, of course … but it is interesting to see that some really rather unlikely [no pun intended] characters suddenly think VP is such a splendid fellow. And, yes, it’s really all about gays, as usual. Yawn!)

  • Richard Willmer

    Right on cue, the Holy Father (whom Lively sees as fast becoming his new nemesis) warns of the dangers of being obsessed with ‘homosexuality’: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24166434

    (Obviously, Pope Francis is making a wider point here about approaches to morality … and also perhaps even what morality itself is really about.)

  • Jim Guinnessey

    Scott Lively is the anti-Christ!

  • Richard Willmer

    Just heard from a friend in UG that Martin Ssempa (a Lively ally in Uganda) is apparently exceedingly annoyed with the Pope.

    If I were the Pope, I’d take it as a compliment!

  • Carol A Ranney

    As far as Scott Lively and his ilk, I think there’s a lot of truth in saying that those who struggle the most with same sex attraction are the loudest and most fervent protesters against the rights of the LGBTQII group of people.

  • stephen

    As far as gay Americans are concerned this vile man is the face of evangelical christianity. I can’t begin to guess at his own personal demons but I refuse to have my life defined by his obsessions. It’s not funny. The man is sociopath who has been unleashed on the world by evangelical Americans.

    Yes. You are directly responsible.

    How do you begin to atone? By uncovering his funding. Tell us who pays for this filth.

  • Ann

    The man is sociopath who has been unleashed on the world by evangelical Americans.

    Yes. You are directly responsible.

    How do you begin to atone? By uncovering his funding. Tell us who pays for this filth.

    Stephen,

    Unleashed by evangical Americans or some evangical Americans?

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    Ann# ~ Sep 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    The man is sociopath who has been unleashed on the world by evangelical Americans.

    Yes. You are directly responsible.

    How do you begin to atone? By uncovering his funding. Tell us who pays for this filth.

    Finding the dumbest and most wack MFers out there and using them as a tool to beat on a whole group of people [evangelicals in this case] is stereotyping, bigotry and flat out filth of its own.

    [FTR I'm not an evangelical. And yes, some are pretty wack. But that's true of every group.]

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    ^ ^ ^ The comment above^ ^ ^ accidentally misattributed Stephen’s comment to Ann and should be deleted.

    _________________________________

    stephen# ~ Sep 20, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    The man is sociopath who has been unleashed on the world by evangelical Americans.

    Yes. You are directly responsible.

    How do you begin to atone? By uncovering his funding. Tell us who pays for this filth.

    _________________________

    TVD: Finding the dumbest and most wack MFers out there and using them as a tool to beat on a whole group of people [evangelicals in this case] is stereotyping, bigotry and flat out filth of its own.

    [FTR I'm not an evangelical. And yes, some are pretty wack. But that's true of every group.]

  • stephen

    Ann,

    does it matter?

  • Richard Willmer

    Scott Lively is ultimately responsible for his own actions. He might seek to hide behind a particular ‘position’ (which IMO is a heretical one) – although to be fair to Lively, I do not see him as that kind of person; whatever his wrongdoing may be, he does at least ‘stick his head above the parapet’.

    Like Tom, I am not an evangelical; like Tom I would caution making generalizations about evangelicals.

    The new Archbishop of Canterbury (my own de jure ‘boss’) is from the evangelical tradition, but he has perhaps gone further that the Pope in urging respect for gays, although he has stopped short of supporting in principle marriage equality (although he does not oppose civil partnerships that give couple the same legal rights as married couples): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21860447

  • Patrocles

    Scott Lively is right in one core point: The Antichrist will be the leader of the largest superpower and will be hailed as the hero of the world. (Notwithstanding, Obama cannot be any more than a precursor.)

    Why have Christians believed this? Because true Christians shun power – as pupils of a master who did not lead a (cultural) war, who did not win a (cultural) war, but lost his life in vicarious suffering. True Christians are interested in peace, abstainment and consent.

    Now, the worldwide gay movement (as its “friends” on the left) is infatuated with the idea of power, of force. of shoving people around and intimidate them.That’s why they are so glad with the idea of a cultural war. But who wants a war, must live with an enemy. So, Lively has become quite rightly the bane that the gay movement has earned itself.

  • Patrocles

    Scott Lively is right in one core point: The Antichrist will be the leader of the largest superpower and will be hailed as the hero of the world. (Notwithstanding, Obama cannot be any more than a precursor.)

    Why have Christians believed this? Because true Christians shun power – as pupils of a master who did not lead a (cultural) war, who did not win a (cultural) war, but lost his life in vicarious suffering. True Christians are interested in peace, abstainment and consent.

    Now, the worldwide gay movement (as its “friends” on the left) is infatuated with the idea of power, of force. of shoving people around and intimidate them.That’s why they are so glad with the idea of a cultural war. But who wants a war, must live with an enemy. So, Lively has become quite rightly the bane that the gay movement has earned itself.

  • ken

    stephen# ~ Sep 20, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    “The man is sociopath who has been unleashed on the world by evangelical Americans.”

    Evangelicals are no more responsible for Lively, than muslims were for Bin Laden.

  • Ann

    does it matter?

    Stephen,

    Well, yes, it does matter to me – doesn’t it to you?

  • David

    @TVD:

    “Finding the dumbest and most wack MFers out there and using them as a tool to beat on a whole group of people [evangelicals in this case] is stereotyping, bigotry and flat out filth of its own.”

    You just described evangelicals’ treatment of gay people for the last 30 years. Described it with precision. Find the most radical quote you can by any gay person anywhere in the world, even if the quote is 40 years old and then use it to describe what “the homosexuals” are saying. Find a satirical piece by an anonymous author that ran 25-years ago in a community newspaper with a circulation of a few hundred, leave off the part about it being satirical, get it read into the Congressional Record and then cite it for decades to come as evidence of the “homosexual agenda.” Get a photo of the most outlandish drag queen at a gay pride event and make it the centerpiece of every fundraising letter for your Christian organization.

    So is stephen’s comment above about Scot Lively merely a mirror of Christian tactics used against gay people? No, I don’t think so. Scot Lively is not just some individual plucked from the street or from some internet bulletin board or from some obscure writings 3 decades ago and then held against all Christians. He is a Christian leader. He has been leading Christians for 20 years. He would not be where he is today had he not been celebrated and nurtured in his poisonous ideas by Christians.

    He first realized great success as the number 2 man at the Oregon Citizens Alliance in the 1990s. That Christian outfit spent its entire existence demonizing gay people. With the exception of 1 proposed ballot measure on abortion, everything else it did for its entire existence concerned homosexuals. And it flourished for years, all because Christians decided that it – and Scot Lively – should flourish. Then, Lively went to a Christian law school, which further shaped his mind into, well, what it is today. Then he authored the Pink Swastika, one of the most vile and transparently defamatory books I have ever read and one worthy of Joseph Goebbels. That too, became a hit and elevated his profile. The singular reason it became popular is because Christians wanted to believe it, did believe it, and embraced it. From there, he went on the speaking circuit, which consists entirely of Christian venues, including a church in which the entire congregation broke out into laughter when he described how a gay man was murdered.

    So while not all Christians agree with every lie Lively tells, it is not unfair to conclude that Scot Lively is a child of American Christianity. And like any child, he resembles his parents.

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    Get a photo of the most outlandish drag queen at a gay pride event and make it the centerpiece of every fundraising letter for your Christian organization.

    That’s the mirror image of what’s being done with Scott Lively here. That’s the point.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

      Just trying to imagine Scott Lively as a drag queen.

      Furthermore, trying imagine a drag queen having influence in the legislation in Uganda and Russia.

      While I don’t believe Lively represents evangelical Christians, I can certainly understand why those outside the fold would think he does, given his influence.

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    I think some people are using Lively as a weapon to batter evangelical Christianity’s refusal to accept homosexuality as “equal” to heterosexuality. As for evangelical Christianity as it exists outside the Scott Lively/Fred Phelps fringe, this interview with Jerry Falwell in 1999

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/assault/interviews/falwell.html

    is civil and sane, even if you disagree [which you probably do]. And of course, it was spot-on in the prediction department.

    You’ve talked a lot on this subject. What’s changed in your view of homosexuality? Something’s changed.

    Nothing has changed behaviorally in the homosexual community. What has changed is that, somewhere back there, society–particularly the media and education–decided to normalize this, and to make homosexuality an acceptable, normal lifestyle with heterosexuality. So great minds and great technology have been put to bear to make what is wrong seem right. . . .

    Why do you think that’s happened?

    Because the gay and lesbian agenda is normalization, and and bona fide minority status. In the next five or ten years, the homosexual community will have the same minority status as Hispanics and African Americans and women and so forth. There’s a huge economic benefit thereto. All of the affirmative action privileges of bona fide minority status become incumbent. Add to that family benefits, governmental benefits and so on. . .

    Vermont is right on the edge now on same-sex marriage, and the Vermont Supreme Court may rule the other way. Once one state has legalized same-sex marriage, then a clause in the Constitution requires that all the states honor that. There will be huge litigation efforts on all sides, and they’re happening right now.

    Unless the Supreme Court surprises me, maybe ten years from now there’ll be a 5-4 vote at least, saying it’s okay. When that happens, we have a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah. We have a corrupt society where the family is trashed and where everybody loses.

    If gays don’t want to be [unfairly] judged by Gay Pride parades, that door swings the other way too with the Scott Livelys and Fred Phelpses. Picking out the worst on the other side is an intentional tactic, let’s be honest about that.

  • Throbert McGee

    Furthermore, trying imagine a drag queen having influence in the legislation in … Russia.

    A Russian artist named Konstantin Altunin already imagined this, and subsequently had to flee the country after the oil painting was seized.

    Personally, I’m tickled by the idea of “Vova/Dima” slash fanfic in Russian, but I really don’t see Putin and Medvedev as being into the drag scene — I think it’d be leather chaps and dog collars.

  • Throbert McGee

    I’m tickled by the idea of “Vova/Dima” slash fanfic in Russian

    Okay, I just did a bit of Googling in Russian, and gawdelpus, Putin/Medvedev “slash” actually exists!!! (Incidentally, “Vova” and “Dima” are the common nicknames for “Vladimir” and “Dmitri.”)

    Admittedly, the first few examples I found with Google appeared, based on a quick skim, to be written more for laffs than titillation — lots of longing glances, heaving bosoms, and mawkish weeping, but nothing explicitly sexual. In other words, basically parodying the softcore gay shonen-ai genre favored by some Japanese girls, and not at all pr0nographic.

  • Throbert McGee

    “Vova, turn around,” said Dima. “I want to gaze once more upon your… you know.”

    Vova understood immediately. He dropped his trousers slightly in the back, and turned away.

    Just above his buttocks, Vova had a tattoo. It was a simple Latin inscription. Dima read these words aloud: “Amor Vincit Omnia”.

    “Yes!” repeated Vova, weeping from happiness, “Amor Vincit Omnia, Love will conquer all!”

    They again fell into a tight embrace, and never again broke up with each other.

    THE END

    [I just had to quote that... I'm still ROFLing!]

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    Falwell was right.

  • Richard Willmer

    Falwell said: “Unless the Supreme Court surprises me, maybe ten years from now there’ll be a 5-4 vote at least, saying it’s okay. When that happens, we have a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah. We have a corrupt society where the family is trashed and where everybody loses.”

    @ Tom

    Are you really suggesting that this is “civil and sane”? There is absolutely no justification whatever for comparing a consenting gay couple with the crowd in the Sodom & Gomorrah story. Playing the ‘Sodom & Gomorrah card’ in this way is simply baseless, low-down, dirty anti-gay propaganda.

    Sorry, Tom – no sale.

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    You seem to have a low threshold for disagreeing opinions, which is the point. Falwell’s remarks are far more moderate than some in this thread from the other side. You think “love stories” about anal sex are amusing and fit for mixed company–they didn’t even raise your eyebrow. Your outrage door swings only one way.

    I don’t give Scott Lively a pass–dude’s wack–but clearly Falwell was well within the traditions of 1000s of years of his religion and of Western Civilization. Neither–if you read the whole thing–does Falwell attack gays. His objection is to homosexual conduct, to the attempt to institutionalize it, and to the place of sexuality in relation to marriage and family.

    But is it irrelevant to the question of whether homosexuality is a choice? If he did all of that, and had electroshock therapy treatments and all kinds of psychological therapy, and he still felt that that’s who he was–

    I don’t think he needed any of those treatments. All he needed to do is keep his commitments. The horrible thing that Mel has done, and I’ve said so to his face, is that when a man leaves his wife and children for another woman, he has done a terrible thing. He has crushed lives and left behind wreckage that he can never correct. God can forgive him, of course. . . . But when you leave and go off into the homosexual lifestyle, you have said, “My sexual gratification is more important than those children, that woman, those grandchildren. As long as I feel good and I have my sexual gratification, so be it.” That is so selfish. It is so wrong. There are people who never marry, who live their whole lives chaste and pure. Our Lord Jesus was never married. Paul was never married, or the apostle Paul. It is not a terrible thing for a man to have bad desires and bad drives. Temptation is not sin–yielding to temptation is sin. He didn’t have to yield to that temptation.

    I don’t agree with everything Falwell said in the interview, but he’s not Scott Lively.

  • Zoe Brain

    Warren wrote:

    While I don’t believe Lively represents evangelical Christians, I can certainly understand why those outside the fold would think he does, given his influence.

    See “No True Scotsman” fallacy.

    Scott Lively doesn’t represent all evangelical Christians. There are still some who he doesn’t represent. But a lot of those tolerate him without demur. Lively, and Cameron, and LaBarbera and…..

  • ken

    Zoe Brain# ~ Sep 22, 2013 at 5:46 am

    “Scott Lively doesn’t represent all evangelical Christians. There are still some who he doesn’t represent. But a lot of those tolerate him without demur. ”

    What percentage of evangelical christians does Scott Lively represent Zoe? What percentage of evangelical christians have even heard of him? of those who have heard of him, how many are aware of how extreme his views are?

    I think you are making a lot of assumptions here Zoe.

  • Richard Willmer

    I suspect there are many evangelicals who are not ‘represented’ by Lively. However, there could be – and IMO should be – much stronger condemnation of homophobia. Here I think Zoe does have a valid point.

    Tom cited Falwell’s speech as “civil and sane”. I would not agree with that: there was still a clearly homophobic tone, as exemplified by the totally inappropriate reference to the story of Sodom & Gomorrah. While may not be as extreme as Lively, there is still a major ‘cleaning up job’ that needs to be done, especially in the field of dialectics. The Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury do, I believe, understand this, although neither is particularly ‘liberal’.

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    Tom cited Falwell’s speech as “civil and sane”. I would not agree with that: there was still a clearly homophobic tone, as exemplified by the totally inappropriate reference to the story of Sodom & Gomorrah

    The origin of the word “sodomy” is relevant here. Sorry you don’t like his message, but that was to be expected. And if you read the entire interview, Falwell is nowhere near Scott Lively polemically.

  • Richard Willmer

    It’s not a question of ‘not liking’ something; it is about the wrong use (designed to smear and degrade others) of a story in the Bible.

    One can be ‘nowhere near Scott Lively polemically’ and still be dangerously offensive.

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    He thought you were dangerously offensive. So it goes.

  • Richard Willmer

    I don’t follow you, Tom. Please explain. (You aren’t lapsing into ‘relativism’, are you?!)

    But let’s return to the point (always best, don’t you think?): to use the Sodom & Gomorrah story to make generalizations about gays is not intellectually tenable; we all know that from experience – most gays do not behave like the crowd in the story. Therefore to make such generalizations is untruthful. Therefore Christians should not do it.

    (If you, for whatever reason, wish to contend with my assertion above, then I’d be most interested to hear on what grounds you do so.)

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    If you read the interview, and read the remark in context, to say that Falwell was referring to the Sodom & Gomorrah story literally is absurd. There’s nothing to discuss here. Cliches like “homophobic” beg the question, because in this case it simply means “someone who disapproves of my conduct.” Well, Falwell did. Sorry.

    You point out, rightly I believe, that he left behind a commitment. And that’s terrible when anyone does that. But he gave up a marriage and grandchildren and his place within the conservative Christian movement in order to come out as gay. Doesn’t that say something about this not being a choice?

    No, it doesn’t. He came out because he was caught and exposed. . . . Once it got out, then of course he came out. Many people come out just because they wish to do it, but that wasn’t the case with Mel. I’m Mel’s friend; I’ve clearly said so. But it’s a terrible thing to leave behind the wreckage of a family, just so that I can sleep with somebody I want to sleep with. Big deal. You don’t have to sleep with anybody. You can spend the rest of your life doing good things and helping people. . . . Millions of people, for whatever reason, never had the opportunity to marry, and they don’t live immorally. The idea that you must be able to fulfill your sexual desires . . . is totally self-centered. . . . It just doesn’t fit in the context of kindness and fairness and love and concern and commitment. Mel is wrong. He can’t talk himself and thousands like him out of it. Life is supposed to be lived for God and for others. A little gratification, that’s fine, too. But amazingly, when you put God and family first, you do get gratification.

  • Richard Willmer

    Falwell spoke of a possible Supreme Court decision he disagreed with leading to (and I quote) “a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah.”

    Given what is described in the story of S&G, this constitutes a dishonest misrepresentation of most gay people. That is my point, and I’m most interesting in why you insist on ‘arguing the toss’.

    It is “homophobic” not because it expresses disapproval of certain conduct, but because it constitutes a lie.

  • Richard Willmer

    (If Falwell wished simply to express ‘disapproval’ of something, then that is what he should have done. By effectively citing a story that really has nothing to do with what he was talking about, ie. the legitimization of consensual same-sex partnerships, he puts himself firmly in the wrong.)

  • ken

    Falwell’s interviews are laced through out with homophobic comments. Clearly demonstrating his ignorance of sexual orientation and the homophobia that it breeds. That fact that you can’t see this Tom say a great deal about you as well.

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    You’re taking one line literally from what he said , which is nonsense. he’s not predicting mobs of homosexual rapists. Please, Richard.

    FTR, I gave a fundie preacher named Bayly some guff for his use of “sodomite,” which I find uncivil, indeed unChristlike. But I pretty much have the same antipathy for those who lazily throw around “homophobe.” It’s a meaningless cliche. Falwell disapproves of your conduct; he does not condemn people for their urges, only for acting on them.

    Why would God put that kind of temptation in front of so many people?

    Temptation has been here ever since the Garden of Eden. When God placed Adam and Eve here, he put also Satan in the garden, and God put the tree of life in the center of the garden. . . . Adam immediately wanted the forbidden fruit. . . . and he was expelled from the presence of God, and sin entered the human race. Temptation and sin aren’t new in the twenty-first century. Men have always had the opportunity to do right or wrong. We are creatures of free moral agency. . . . It is a choice we all have. Promiscuous heterosexuality had been here since man’s been here. It’s a matter of choice. As ministers of the gospel, we’re supposed to urge the little children right up from beginnings through adolescence that you do have a choice, but if you’ll choose God’s way, you’ll realize the maximum good out of life.

  • David

    So the above was my first and last attempt to engage TVD. He is not worth it. He doesn’t even read what is written for him. And he attempts to hijack the discussion, as he does in this case by trying to make it about Falwell. This is a textbook case of trolling and it is telling that Throckmorton allows it to go on. No more time wasted on him.

    I appreciate that no one has refuted my central point, which was NOT that every evangelical agrees with every point that Lively makes. My point was the Lively would not be in the position of influence he is today without the collusion of hundreds of thousands of evangelicals in Oregon. And I would further note that Lively and his boss, Lon Mabon, expanded the Oregon Citizens Alliance to Idaho, Washington, and Nevada. These weren’t shell groups; they were real organizations with staffs and budgets and legions of fear-driven, cruel and inhumane evangelicals to spur them on. They actually passed one statewide measure in OR, came close to passing a second, and passed dozens of local ballot measures throughout Oregon. In Idaho, they came within 2 percentage points of passing a statewide measure. By 1994, Mabon and Lively had incorporated a US Citizens Alliance as part of their plan to go national. Every single step of his progress depended upon the active support of a multitude of evangelical Christians.

    He is not some random guy on the internet that the gays are pumping up. He was and is an evangelical leader. That is why it is perfectly legitimate to hold evangelical Christians accountable for the harm he does today.

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    [Scott Lively] is not some random guy on the internet that the gays are pumping up.

    Well, a google search of his name

    http://tinyurl.com/p7eoct9

    turns up more attacks on him than support. He’s a convenient and easily mocked and refuted bogeyman. You didn’t engage me atall, “David.”

    Finding the dumbest and most wack MFers out there and using them as a tool to beat on a whole group of people [evangelicals in this case] is stereotyping, bigotry and flat out filth of its own.

    [FTR I'm not an evangelical. And yes, some are pretty wack. But that's true of every group.]

    You jumped into this discussion and have tried to disrupt it. As for who’s trolling, although Richard Willmer and I are disagreeing, we’re having a principled discussion–and often have them here at Warren’s blog. We don’t try to silence each other, let alone try to steamroll the discussion. I don’t call him a sodomite, he doesn’t call me a homophobe. Each is ignorant, and worse, is unkind. So back off a bit, bro. This blog is a very interesting place.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Tom

    On what grounds might someone call me a ‘sodomite’? I don’t understand.

    If I were to describe you as ‘homophobic’, it would be based on something you said or did.

    I can see what you’re trying to do, but I don’t think it works.

    @ David

    Who are, in your view, “evangelical christians”? What do you mean by “hold accountable”?

  • Richard Willmer

    Actually, Tom – with the greatest respect, I do think that using Falwell’s speech was a very effective way of making your point.

    You might feel that I have ‘overplayed’ the S&G angle. I would counter by saying that this ‘angle’ is bandied around by many who seek to discredit gays, and is done so without an objective basis. Thus the ‘S&G line’ is both homophobic and dishonest, and Falwell used it.

    Let’s now look at something else you have quoted Falwell as having said: “Because the gay and lesbian agenda is normalization, and and bona fide minority status. In the next five or ten years, the homosexual community will have the same minority status as Hispanics and African Americans and women and so forth. There’s a huge economic benefit thereto. All of the affirmative action privileges of bona fide minority status become incumbent. Add to that family benefits, governmental benefits and so on.”

    This strikes me as highly disingenuous on all sorts of levels, and is clearly designed to propagate the idea that gay couples want legal recognition solely out of some sense of greed or desire for ‘preferential treatment’. So I would submit that this too is homophobic.

  • Richard Willmer

    OOOPS! I of course meant to say that “using Falwell’s speech was NOT a very effective way of making your point.”

    (Falwell did on occasion apologize for particular ‘goofs’, most notably perhaps the 9/11 one, but I fear that never really let go of the idea that gays per se constituted some kind of ‘threat’ to society.)

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Tom – My problem with your line of thought is that Lively is not a bogeyman (a scary creature used to scare someone into compliance); rather, he is a real person who has accomplishments in the real world. There is reason to call him out and take issue with his statements and tactics.

  • Ford

    Tom Van Dyke –

    “Fighting the normalization of homosexuality” is a statement of a naked desire to marginalize an entire group. Gay people exist; those who use this phrase wish we didn’t. They try to pathologize us and erase us. The natural actions that flow from this line of thought is a fight against all things gay – anti bullying efforts, protection from employment and housing discrimination, etc. Scott Lively’s malicious and dangerous efforts against humans who happen to be gay is a logical extension of this thinking.

    I’m not sure how you can call this position moderate or Christian. It utterly lacks tolerance or compassion. This thinking is absolutely contrary to the example of Christ who stood in solidarity with the marginalized.

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    Warren# ~ Sep 23, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Tom – My problem with your line of thought is that Lively is not a bogeyman (a scary creature used to scare someone into compliance); rather, he is a real person who has accomplishments in the real world. There is reason to call him out and take issue with his statements and tactics.

    I dunno. The radio show is one station in Dallas and the rest is shortwave or over the internet. I don’t think you’ve illustrated what his effect actually is, and entities like “Right Wing Watch” and the SPLC make their living trolling the depths of the fever swamp.

    Then, without objection, you let religiophobic bigots pile on evangelical Christianity using Scott Lively as the jumpoff point. I think this fosters dishonest attacks and a false Scott Lively> therefore> gay marriage dynamic, all black hats and white hats.

    I would say the same objection if anyone tried to tar all gays with the gay pride parades, which are intentionally obscene and transgressive. Trolling for the worst of one side is simplistic and dishonest.

    _______________

    Ford# ~ Sep 23, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Tom Van Dyke –

    “Fighting the normalization of homosexuality” is a statement of a naked desire to marginalize an entire group.

    Gay marriage and adoption is far across the simple line of “tolerance.” The discussion–such as it is*–is always that there is nothing in between Scott Lively and the death penalty for homosexuality, and complete equalization with heterosexual nuclear families.

    ______

    *As RR Reno points out today, the only permissible “discussion” is total capitulation. Anything short of that is “homophobic.”

    http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2013/09/francis-our-jesuit-pope

  • Ford

    Tom Van Dyke -

    “Fighting against the normalization of homosexuality” extends far beyond gay marriage or adoption.

    Rusty Reno may be right insomuch as protesting the inclusion of gay people in marriage may be viewed as undue intolerance. I think it’s a stretch to say those who protest will be viewed as having animosity. But time will tell.

  • Tom Van Dyke

    Well, phrasings such as “including gay people in marriage” beg the question. [The opposing premise is that it cannot be a marriage atall without a man and a woman.] So it’s just a word game at that point.

    Frankly, I picked Falwell somewhat out of a hat as he’s a favorite whipping boy of the anti-religious left but can fairly be called representative of traditionalist evangelicals. But nobody really laid a glove on him, nor does he leave much room to compare him to the “sociopath” Scott Lively.

    And I do think the knee-jerk reaction against him argues against your point that “I think it’s a stretch to say those who protest will be viewed as having animosity.” I have seldom seen it viewed as anything else.

    Thx for the civil discussion. My starting point in all this remains what’s best for the children and therefore the cohesion of society–and I don’t think we know at this point. My opinion is that if there were no such thing as children, there probably would be no such thing as marriage in the first place, so a discussion that separates marriage from procreation is built on a false premise.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Ford

    Yes, I think you’ve got it about right. We’ve just legalized gay marriage here in the UK. My own view is that the whole exercise was actually pretty pointless, given that civil partnerships in the UK are, in practical terms, identical to marriage; noone has criticized me when I’ve suggested that it was really not necessary, and the parliamentary time might have have been used for much more important matters.

    And yes – “fighting against …” does extend far beyond gay marriage etc. Falwell (to use the example provided by Tom) didn’t say something like “as long they don’t use the term ‘marriage’, I’m just fine with fair treatment on matters such as taxation or inheritance”; rather he continued to imply that gay people were somehow sick and/or dangerous (the latter is what all Sodom & Gomorrah leitmotif is really about: “if we accept gays, God will punish us, therefore …” is the [rabidly homophobic] message behind the S&G propaganda line).

  • Tom Van Dyke

    No, Falwell wasn’t literally talking about mobs of homosexual rapists that are in the Sodom & Gomorrah story, Richard. The Biblical literalism game against Falwell fails by your own standards.

    And “homophobic” is a cliche used when a person runs out of actual arguments. It’s just putting words in his mouth at this point, not arguing against what he actually said.

    And sorry, we all have things we find morally or religiously unacceptable, things we think are harmful to society and to the human person. Falwell didn’t leave an opening to just call him a hater. That frustrates some people who prefer the lazy tactic of “Scott Lively is nuts, therefore so is any opposition to homosexual conduct and its institutionalization in our society.”

    Not to mention tarring evangelicals generally with Scott Lively, which we saw in the comments above. Sophistries all.

  • ken

    Tom Van Dyke# ~ Sep 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    “I don’t think you’ve illustrated what his effect actually is,”

    Then you haven’t been paying attention. Just ask any gay person in Uganda what effect Lively has had on them (which Warren has blogged extensively on).

    “Then, without objection, you let religiophobic bigots pile on evangelical Christianity using Scott Lively as the jumpoff point. ”

    There were several objections raised when people tried to tar all evangelicals with Lively’s brush.

  • Richard Willmer

    The message being sent out by those who use the Sodom & Gomorrah story in a homophobic way is pretty clear, Tom. It’s not about literalism; it’s about perceptions. (And in places like Uganda – since ken mentioned that country – people do get very ‘psyched up’ against gays on the basis of what they are told the story means.)

    I, like you, have said that it is not right to ‘tar all evangelicals with the Lively brush’.

    I have never suggested that everything that Falwell said should be ignored.

    Finally – “homophobia”: well, using a story, that is not about ‘homosexuality’ per se, from the Bible to try to discredit gays is as blatant a case of ‘homophobia in action’ as one can see.

    With respect, I think you are kicking up sand …

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    Well, once people start playing the “homophobia” monster over and over, it means they’re out of arguments.

    Everybody had their say, even Jerry Falwell. Peace.

  • Ford

    Tom Van Dyke –

    Issues of marriage and adoption aside, do you believe that homosexuality should be discouraged in society because it is morally objectionable? If so, what does that look like in practical terms?

    The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is currently fighting ENDA legislation (employment non-discrimination act for gay people) on the grounds that it “affirms” extramarital sex; they think it is good and right to deprive a person of a paycheck as an expression of moral disapproval. Not all conservative Christians are as harsh as Lively or Westboro, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t working to intentionally harm gay people.

    Ironically, the USCCB is also warning against religious persecution and pleading for religious tolerance. Religious types who are calling for tolerance are often not willing to extend it themselves because they view their position as morally superior. That is, by definition, bigotry.

  • ken

    Tom Van Dyke# ~ Sep 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    “Falwell didn’t leave an opening to just call him a hater.”

    yes he did. His interview has several homophobic comments in them. Granted they aren’t at the same level as some of Lively’s comments, but they are still there. You just can’t (or won’t) see them.

  • stephen

    David made the point I was trying to make with more reasonableness and sense. If I get emotional it’s because Lively is only one among many who make their livings, in the case of the loathsome Jerry Falwell a very handsome living, from gay-bashing. I swear, if we weren’t around to vilify and defame they’d have had to invent us. Or some class of person like us. Perhaps who had darker skin. Hm. Or who were perhaps known for their ability with money. Hm.

    It is the sheer volume of filth that is directed against gay people today as we are taking our earned place in the world that is distressing. And if it seems sometimes we overreact that, I believe, is the reason why. I understand that straight people don’t get this since, unlike Lively and his ilk, they don’t spend every waking hour obsessing about The Gay. Matter of fact, neither do I. But let him speak for himself:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiateDgcxKU

    My point, Warren, and David did express it better, should have been that of course not every evangelical American is responsible for his filth but no one seems to try to speak out against him. No one exposes where his money comes from, and that I think is the important point. At least no one that I’m aware of. Operations like Lively’s and Falwell’s are always about money.

    Sodom and Gomorrah? Good grief. That story is clearly not about sex, anal or otherwise, just as the story of Onan has nothing to do with masturbation. As a narrative of homosexual desire it makes no sense. And if we’re going to have to draw conclusions from it then let’s not leave out the rest of the story. After Lot’s wife is turned to salt and Lot finds himself alone with his daughters they get him drunk on two successive nights so they can, as Lively might express it, fornicate with him and thereby get pregnant. with their FATHER. The sheer icky nastiness of that cannot be read literally. It seems to me to be the shadow of an older creation story. Just as is the story of Noah (who had his own troubles with drunkenness) and the flood. However, as Jesus himself stated, or so it’s reported in Matthew and John, the OT is out of bounds. Since He gave as the purpose for His mission His imperative to temper the mosaic law with love He directed His followers to ignore what we know as the OT. If we want an example of Jesus’ attitude towards same-sex love we can look at the account of the Passover/Last Supper in John which presents Him stripping naked, wrapping Himself in a towel (echoing David), taking His followers’ feet into His lap to wash them, and then reclining with the head of the disciple He loved best (John?) on His breast. As a touching example of romantic homosexual love that does make sense. To me it presents Jesus at His most human just as He is about to be hauled before the religious court to answer the charge of blasphemy for which He was tried and executed. In fact it’s recreated to stunning effect in the fine French film which in English is entitled Of Gods and Men. A beautiful account of faith and love among a group of French monks living in North Africa. Why yes it available on Netflix.

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    Same-sex love in the Bible. Uh huh. Falwell was right.

    As for the Catholic bishops, this is their position:

    For the sake of clarity, permit us first to state two basic tenets of Catholic Church teaching on this issue. First, persons with a homosexual inclination “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” and second “[u]nder no circumstances can [homosexual acts] be approved.” Catechism of the Catholic Church (“CCC”), nos. 2357-58.

    Catholic teaching states that all people are created in the image and likeness of God and thus possess an innate human dignity that must be acknowledged and respected, by other persons and by law. We recognize that no one should be an object of scorn, hatred, or violence for any reason, including sexual inclination. The Church affords special concern and pastoral attention to those who experience a homosexual inclination and stands committed to avoid “[e]very sign of unjust discrimination in their regard.” CCC, no. 2358.

    The Catholic Church makes an important distinction between actions and inclination.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Tom

    You said “Well, once people start playing the “homophobia” monster over and over, it means they’re out of arguments.”

    Not at all: just because you like the concept of ‘homophobia’ very much does not mean that references to it can be ‘brushed aside’. Using bible stories (especially ones that are not about ‘homosexuality’ per se) to create misrepresentational perceptions of gay people is an homophobic course of action (in the meaning of the word ‘homophobic), and an intentional one. You just have to face up to that. (It is of course also manifestly dishonest, so – if you prefer – I’ll drop ‘homophobe’ and say ‘liar’ instead. Would you prefer that?)

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    “Homophobia” is not an argument, it’s a meaningless word. If you want to respond to what jerry Falwell or the Catholic bishops actually said, I will read it.

    This conversation was intended for questioning people to read what they said in their own words and maybe think about it. We are all tempted, the question is what we choose to do about it.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Tom

    You’ve veered completely off the point.

    Falwell was perfectly entitled to express his view. What he was NOT entitled to do was to make associations with the Sodom & Gomorrah story, because to do so is dishonest. And since it promotes negative stereotypical thinking about gays, it is also homophobic. (One could also construct an argument that such behaviour is also ‘unbiblical’, as other references in the Bible to the S&G make no mention of ‘homosexuality’ as such.)

    Most people understand perfectly well what is homophobia. That you don’t is your problem.

  • Tom Van Dyke

    No, the point was my objection to using that nut Scott Lively to tar all evangelicals and others who don’t favor normalizing/institutionalizing homosexual conduct.

    I know what “homophobia” is–it’s a rhetorical trick to use genuine “homophobes” like that nut Scott Lively to discredit evangelicals and others who don’t favor normalizing/institutionalizing homosexual conduct but still respect the dignity of all human beings.

    Such as the Catholic bishops:

    For the sake of clarity, permit us first to state two basic tenets of Catholic Church teaching on this issue. First, persons with a homosexual inclination “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” and second “[u]nder no circumstances can [homosexual acts] be approved.” Catechism of the Catholic Church (“CCC”), nos. 2357-58.

    Catholic teaching states that all people are created in the image and likeness of God and thus possess an innate human dignity that must be acknowledged and respected, by other persons and by law. We recognize that no one should be an object of scorn, hatred, or violence for any reason, including sexual inclination. The Church affords special concern and pastoral attention to those who experience a homosexual inclination and stands committed to avoid “[e]very sign of unjust discrimination in their regard.” CCC, no. 2358.

    The Catholic Church makes an important distinction between actions and inclination.

    http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/labor-employment/upload/joint-letter-on-enda-senate-help-2013-07-09.pdf

    The epithet “homophobia” is the Godwin’s Law of discussing homosexuality. But it’s not checkmate, it’s merely overturning the table.

  • Patrocles

    I’ve spent a lot of time to understand what people want to say when they call somebody/something “homophobic”.

    The term obviously covers an extremely broad range of phenomena.

    I think that there’s one definition which covers it best. If we see homosexuals as people who promote their interests, “homophobic” is everybody/everything which stands in the way of that (promotion of interests).

    “Homophobia” can be reasonable or irrational, it can be justified or unjustified. (Different people attempt to restrain the concept in a way that it does only refer to irrational and/or unjustified behaviour, but as we all know, different people have different ideas about “irational” or “unjustified”, and these individual attempts don’t help us to understand the general meaning.)

  • Flawedexistence

    Just revisiting this old topic. Lively has recently decided to run for governor of Massachusetts. I’m wondering exactly how this fits into the whole end times scenario.


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