Fair warning: this will make you angrier and a little dumber

Remember the pastor who said he wanted to put LGBT people behind electrified fences and left there until they died of starvation (which, someone said, was not tantamount to murder).  Well, he has a 1200-member congregation (they were the ones shouting “Amen” at the idea of the genocide of normal people), and one of them took the airwaves to defend pastor Worley.

Take away one neuron from this woman and she’d have to be watered regularly.

This is one of the many lousy things about faith.  In general we reserve reverence for the opinions of the wise while rejecting the opinions of the foolish.  But with faith, the beliefs of the foolish are privy to the de facto reverence reserved for faith-based beliefs in our culture.  Faith allows people to be stupid and to think the judge of their stupidity is god (who, it turns out, always backs them up with his infinite wisdom – remember, it’s not Christians judging gays, it’s god!) rather than the minimum human standard for bleeding-from-the-ears stupid.

She treats pastor Worley like Christians treat the parts of the bible that call for slaughter of gay people: context!  Like saying, “Don’t you know that the people to whom I look for wisdom are less talented communicators than I?”  Then, once it’s pointed out that context doesn’t make it better, their mind doesn’t change, they just start babbling more excuses.

Anderson pissed me off at one point.  He asked, “Does it sound Christian to say that?”  This is a completely irrelevant question.  The idea’s status as morally reprehensible does not depend whether or not it’s truly Christian.  I hate it when moderate Christians see stuff like this and their first response is to tell us that those people aren’t really Christians or aren’t really behaving as a Christian would, as if there were a dependably solid idea of how a Christian should act.  What bugs me is that people like Stacy and pastor Worley are just as likely to be right about god’s will as the moderates, even if they’re different.  That’s the part that should make the moderates worry.  It’s the part that makes them and Stacy brothers/sisters in Christ.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • LeftSidePositive

    And the fact that what the nutters say is Christianity is actually IN THE BIBLE, whereas the moderates who want to get all prissy about what it means to be a “Real Christian” have to twist, evade, revise, and reinterpret until they’re blue in the face…

    • leftwingfox

      Meh, both sides pick and choose the passages to emphasize. Liberals will choose Matthew, Conservatives choose Leviticus. It’s _all_ “true” Christianity, to the extent that they call themselves Christians.

  • Zengaze

    I question whether it is faith, or allegiance to the group.

    It’s how movements, religions, countries, get people to accept the mot abhorent parts of their ideology, if you don’t swallow the pill you’re out. It’s how the fascist party in Germany was so successful, it offered big rewards to the ingroup.

    You know the actual Gestapo were relatively small, but they had that many average citizens supplying them with information, they were very effective. Group think, and when these people are shown the causal reports where they accused people of being traitors or Jew lovers back in the thirties, they flat out deny it, even though the evidence is conclusive, they assert they could never have done such a thing.

  • Metaphysical Ham Sandwich

    God damn this made me embarrassed to be a North Carolinian.

    • ibelieveindog

      I almost hate to post this, but half my family’s from Maiden, though they’re mostly dead now. I lived there for a handful of years as a teen and young adult.

      Yes, it’s really that bad.

  • fastlane

    “Take away one neuron from this woman and she’d have to be watered regularly.”

    *snort* Thanks for the chuckle in an otherwise rage inducing post.

    • Rebecca

      No shit. I think i peed a little when i read that.

  • Kryten

    I’m a little more charitable on the whole “that doesn’t sound very christian” thing – the way I see it, Anderson was saying “here are the standards you claim to live up to, and your pastor violated them. What do you have to say to that?” He’s pushing her to do a little critical thinking (apparently something that was beyond her abilities) and attempting to engage her on her terms.

    I agree, however, that it’s a pretty stupid and meaningless question, and this approach is generally pretty worthless, as the people to whom you might pose this question are generally too clueless to actually answer it.

  • slc1

    <i?I hate it when moderate Christians see stuff like this and their first response is to tell us that those people aren’t really Christians or aren’t really behaving as a Christian would, as if there were a dependably solid idea of how a Christian should act.

    Prof. David Heddle, I’m looking at you.

  • Emptyell

    It’s all totally true in so far as god is whatever anyone imagines it to be. It’s all totally false due to the total lack of any actual confirming evidence outside of “they agree with me”.

    The coexistence of these viewpoints is what allows people to be absolutely certain of their own, and their congregation’s, convictions due to their belief ingod(s), while being equally sure of the falseness of others due to the total lack of evidence.

    It is also why the existence of atheists cannot be tolerated. Doubt doesn’t work in this equation. Only absolute certainty born of divine imagination.

  • Joshua Fisher

    I hate to be coming to the defense of this guy, but he didn’t say anything about starving them to death. His idea was of segregating them and letting them die off because they can’t reproduce.

    I am not defending that idea either. I think its a reprehensible idea, but certainly not as bad as penning them up and killing them outright. However, JT, you do yourself no favors when you misrepresent what he says, because now all he (or his apologists) have to do is claim you misrepresent what he said (which you did), rather than defend his actual (horrible) statement.

    • Steve

      Even if he organized regular food drops, as claimed, what do you think would happen? Do you really think the food would be distributed properly? No. Of course not. There would be factions, with the most powerful hoarding more food and using it to control others. Some people would lose out. Not to mention that diseases would kill a good percentage of the people, just as they always do in prison camps.

      This is is a ridiculous “argument”. Wow, he doesn’t want to starve people, he just wants to look them up in misery. What a humanitarian!

      • Joshua Fisher

        Who claimed anything about organized food drops? I am saying attack what the guy said, not what you assume the natural progression of what he said is.

        He said put them behind fences, and electrify those fences so they cant get out. You are making assumptions about the conditions behind those fences. Those assumptions may or may not match what Rev. Worley imagined. The only thing we know about what he imagined behind those fences is that after YEARS they would die out BECAUSE THEY CAN’T REPRODUCE.

        Clearly he envisioned some sort of establishment behind the fence that would allow them to survive until they died out from lack of reproduction as opposed to starvation.

        And as I said, I think its a reprehensible idea. I am not saying, “It’s not so bad, lets try it out.” I am not saying the guy is a humanitarian. What I am saying is this: Stop tilting at strawmen. Attack what he said, which is horrible enough in its own right.

        • http://livingafterfaith.com Deanna Joy Lyons

          Pastor Worley said something about food drops.

    • Rando

      Try that argument with a Holocaust or a Japanese internment camp survivor. Word of advice, you might want to step back after you say it to avoid their fist. Rounding up people to put them into an internment camp is wrong, I don’t care if the pastor himself feeds them Filet Mignon every day, it doesn’t make it better. Imprisoning people for no reason other than who they are is wrong no matter what. You should fell bad for even TRYING to rationalize this kind of cruelty.

      • Joshua Fisher

        I am not trying to rationalize his cruelty. I am saying to attack what he said, not a strawman. What he said is horrible enough on its own.

        • R Johnston

          I am not trying to rationalize his cruelty.

          This is what’s known as a lie. Stop lying.

          • ccaldwell314

            I believe what Joshua is trying to say, is that we should be attacking him for the things he said. Not for the things he didn’t say. The pastor never said they should be starved, so it’s just a wee bit dishonest to go around saying that he did.

            Of course, I’m sure the pastor WOULD say that if he thought he could get away with it (just like he thought he could get away with the electrified fence bullshit). But until he says that, we should avoid attacking him for it. There’s plenty of bigotry and bullshit to condemn him for, no need to go about making more of it up.

          • R Johnston

            The obviously foreseeable consequences of policy are always attributable as intended. Defending someone by claiming he didn’t mean to intend the obviously foreseeable consequences of his proposed policy is a lie and a distraction, and it’s intellectually vacuous to claim otherwise.

          • R Johnston

            If a man’s policy is to propose throwing gays out windows of tenth story buildings and someone says that the intent is to splatter gays on the pavement you have no right to defend the proposer of the policy by saying that maybe he wants to teach gays to fly.

          • ccaldwell314

            What you argue in your counter-example is purely semantics and clearly not a similar situation. If Joshua had said something like, “He’s not imprisoning them in concentration camps, he’s sending them to an electric-fence-guarded resort!” THEN your analogy would be valid. 

            I don’t see your extrapolation as being as obvious and unavoidable as you do, but I absolutely see your point. Perhaps a better way to come at this conversation would be to say, “If X is what Worley wants, Y could also happen as a possibly intentional side-effect.” But let’s not go around putting words in people’s mouths. 

            Also, saying someone is defending the guy for accurately pointing out that he never said something he did not say is a bit of a stretch. 

          • Joshua Fisher

            R Johnston you are a jackass. Why don’t you go read the oringinal quote, and everything I said, and tell me one time where I said Rev. Worley is a stand up guy (or anything good at all). And tell me what he says that indicates they should starve. He says they will die out because they can’t reproduce, after years. It doesn’t take years to starve. It takes months or less.

            The good Reverend is a fucking ass. Even worse than you. But it only weakens our argument when we misrepresent his argument. My statement was meant to protect JT, not the Reverend.

          • Joshua Fisher

            that should have been:

            But it only weakens our argument when we misrepresent his arguement statement.

          • julian

            Not for the things he didn’t say.

            So what? I can’t criticize pro-lifers now because they’ve never advocated the killing of pregnant women and only a very small few (within the US) have encouraged doctors to let those at risk during pregnancy die?

            Fuck that. It’s going to happen. One will lead to the other and I’m not going to pretend otherwise.

  • R Johnston

    What bugs me is that people like Stacy and pastor Worley are just as likely to be right about god’s will as the moderates, even if they’re different. That’s the part that should make the moderates worry. It’s the part that makes them and Stacy brothers/sisters in Christ.

    Absolutely. This is why I will never understand accomodationists. There’s no controlling religious faith. You can’t profess respect for religious faith without enabling the crazies. Once you say it’s alright to be completely wrong it becomes infinitely harder to say why some completely wrong is better than other completely wrong, and wherever religious faith is respected there will always be con men and assholes out to get people to believe and do ridiculous and dangerous things in the name of faith.

    And accomodationism is actually worse than that. The crazies know full well that they have at least as much evidence in their favor as do the milquetoast moderate faithists, and they know full well that accomodationists are hypocritical lying schmucks when they chastise the faith of the crazies but accommodate and profess respect for the faith of the moderates. Trying to accommodate some faith but not other faith only gets you dismissed out of hand for fully proper logical reasons when you chastise that other faith–dismissing the arguments of people who are known to lie about the things they’re arguing is the only reasonable course of action. (“Fibbers’ forecasts are worthless”) Giving the crazies the logical upper ground is insane.

  • teawithbertrand

    This woman is weapons-grade stupid, no doubt. I’m sure that Pastor Worley’s congregation fills her with a sense of kinship and belonging.

  • comfychair

    No, no – I clearly heard him say he wanted to put LGBT people behind electrified fences and then let them be eaten by giant robot tigers from outer space! I mean, if it’s a valid argument that the details don’t matter because the end result would be the same, then we can just make it up as we go, right?

    Look, this douchebag pastor is an embarrassment to the entire human race and is a walking talking example of the kind of evil that results from thinking your morality comes from a magic book written by an invisible sky tyrant. It’s not as if the argument against him falls apart if you accurately portray what he said.

    • R Johnston

      It is a flat-out lie to say that it’s inaccurate to characterize what this pastor said as calling for the mass starvation of gays. That would be the inevitable result of putting his proposal into practice, and you know it. When someone threatens to point a loaded gun at someone else and pull the trigger without using the words “kill” or “murder” you don’t get to complain that it’s inaccurate to characterize the threat as a threat to commit murder without being called a lying shitstain who’s a total waste of oxygen.

      Stop being a lying puddle of santorum.

      • comfychair


        “Have that fence electrified ’till they cain’t get out, feed ‘em… an’ you know what? In a few years, they’ll die out. You know why? They cain’t reproduce.”

        So did you not bother to see the video or read the transcript yourself, and just went by the edited snippet in the earlier post here? What part of those words right up there implies starvation as the cause of death, instead of zero birth rate? I’m not lying, I typed exactly what the scumbag said in the video. If you listen, as I did, and hear different words come out of the speakers, you should probably make an appointment for a hearing test.

        Watch the video. Listen to the words. Compare with the first sentence at the top of this page: “put LGBT people behind electrified fences and left there until they died of starvation”. Note the mismatch.

        We rage at the other guys when they do shit like this, we’re better than they are (aren’t we? I mean, I’ve been accused of lying, just for accurately quoting what the guy said, which is frankly bizarre and more than a little disturbing). This should not be even remotely controversial. There’s an error in the post, and it needs to be corrected. Doing so will IN NO WAY lessen the critique of the repulsive sermon.

  • Supermental

    “Take away one neuron from this woman and she’d have to be watered regularly.”

    I like that .. that is funny :)

  • Tâlib Alttaawiil

    i have a theory that religion, christianity in particular, makes its adherents stupid. let this be exhibit a.

  • left0ver1under

    If Dan Savage called for the pastor and his church to be locked behind barbed wire and starved to death, wingnuts would be calling for his arrest and assaulting or shooting him if no arrests came.

    But no one is calling for that. Civilized people are simply asking that the pastor no longer be allowed to spew hate speech, but that’s being protrayed as “violating their freedom of religion”. Yawn.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

    Sorry this has taken so long. I’m in Kansas City living like a king and haven’t been paying attention to comments.

    Worley did not say he’d starve them. I think I conflated “let them die out” with letting them die of natural causes. Not better, but still not what he said.

    Post has been changed to reflect that. Thanks for keeping me on my toes!

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

    Also, go see The Avengers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=19217851 travisdykes

    I liked the part where Anderson essentially asked if someone saying we should put all Jews behind an electric fence would bother her, and she had to take a couple seconds to think about it. Not sure if she had to debate the right answer to that question or if she was just too slow to comprehend the question, but either way…

  • FredBloggs

    I still don’t know exactly what she was saying. Was she saying that she agreed with the pastor or not?