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"You need to DROP the HATE."
July 15, 2014 9:38 PM   Subscribe

"Why don't you read your own book, and actually follow the teachings to the letter of GOD? And learn to support and love?" [SLYT] Drag queen Mama Tits spontaneously walks up to religious anti-gay demonstrators and confronts them at the recent 40th annual Seattle Pride Parade. Demonstrators were attempting to block the start of the parade.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (53 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
(I found out about this via the Savage Lovecast, Episode 403. Here is Mama Tits' website. More here at Seattle Gay Scene.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:39 PM on July 15


Mama Tits is a goddamn treasure.
posted by palomar at 9:39 PM on July 15 [3 favorites]


Lol @ "not today, Satan"
posted by en forme de poire at 10:25 PM on July 15 [10 favorites]


Clearly she's a friend of Dorothy.
posted by Catblack at 10:40 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]




Mama Tits is the god damned best. Damned by the god of hateful barbarians. And that is one of the best gods to be damned by.
posted by munchingzombie at 11:11 PM on July 15


The Pen Of Haters were being held behind police tape toward the end of the parade in Spokane. They were a lot of fun to mock.

The local burlesque troupe (which is one of the most amazing groups of people ever, they do such amazing stuff) decided to confront them directly this year. They put together a float which had a giant sign saying "We will PRAY for your HATEFUL SIN" and the leader put on a preacher's robe and they were the very last group in the parade, and all along the route, the rest of the troupe was going through the parade audience handing out poster board and markers and inviting anyone and everyone to march with them.

When they got to the Pen Of Haters, they stopped their float and they were surrounded by this (by Spokane standards) pretty large crowd of people who were all doing call-and-response to the preacher's sermon against hate and bigotry, delivered through a sound system MUCH louder than any of the bullhorns the protesters had.

The sheer joy and exuberance of the crowd, bolstered by strength in numbers, actually made the haters leave. As in, by the time the float pulled away, there was nobody in the circle of police tape and foot- and bike-cops were escorting them back to their vehicles.

I've never seen anything like it before.

And I've lived here for 10 Pride parades now, and the first one was a frightened little side-walk march without a permit, took about 10 minutes for the group to walk, wasn't even 50 people in it and probably fewer watching. This year the parade was easily a half-hour long as an observer, and I think it stretched for well over a mile in length.

I'm so proud of my city. It's been great fun to watch it evolve.
posted by hippybear at 11:25 PM on July 15 [102 favorites]


That's right, smite'em mama!
posted by ouke at 11:54 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]


I've confronted these preachers of hate on the street before (not in a parade setting, and not armed with my own amplification).

I accuse them of being devil worshipers; and I mean that sincerely. "Why do you worship a god of hate?!" "Do you know what god-loving Christians call the deity of hate? Satan!"

In some ways I think the Phelps clan did some good - people started to recognize hate-mongering street preachers as something that has nothing to do with God and more to do with something that looks like mental illness.

Anytime I hear a preacher drone on about "God hates x, god hates y, god hates z" I think to myself - "oh, they worship a god of hate"

I think it's a useful exersize, as it helps me remember that many people worship a god of love. This is a more useful distinction to have than what one calls ones god (Allah, God, Jehovah, Yahweh, Hubbard, whatever).

Not coincidentally, devil worshipers (er, those that worship a god of hate) also tend to be the ones eager to go to war in the name of their god.
posted by el io at 12:16 AM on July 16 [15 favorites]


How curious that the groups best represented among the "God hates _____" contingent claim allegiance to a religion that, by definition, explicitly acknowledges the existence of basically the entire new testament
posted by DoctorFedora at 12:56 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


God loves everybody, unconditionally, gay, straight, bi, trans*. The Bible says it: "For God so loved the World..." There are no categories there. Can these people not even read?

(I am not a believer and this FPP is ace!)
posted by marienbad at 1:31 AM on July 16 [3 favorites]


I just finished an online debate with a friend who happens to be an Evangelical Christian; she's one of those "hate the sin, love the sinner" types. She was going on about how Jesus would not approve of homosexuality, but on doing some research I found that there is NOTHING in the New Testament representing any such thing. Also, the Old Testament has several passages about same sex relations but they are so varied that nobody can draw any conclusion about whether homosexuality was a "sin", or not, from the Old Testament.

Every time I hear a group like this using their religion to reinforce their ignorant prejudices it makes my blood boil!
posted by Vibrissae at 2:23 AM on July 16 [2 favorites]


Pride in seattle was amazing this year. I didn't see a single stupid thing happen that wasn't really, really low level for a weekend of people being hammered in seattle. Everybody was just super happy.

Super drunk as fuck too, but really positive and happy. There were even some lulztastic moments like me and my friends trying not to laugh to loud at a group of stereotypical bros going "Jeeze, what's with all these gay dudes". Every instance of some kind of hateful stuff trying to take hold i remotely saw was instantly shouted down like this, and then cheering happened.

It was pretty shocking in contrast with 4th of july the next weekend too... which was just a bunch of much angrier, gnarlier, bro-ier drunken energy that wasn't necessarily hateful, but just aggressive. I found myself wishing for a do-over on the previous weekend, after some of the stupid shit i saw and just the general attitude and energy miasma around the area i live.

I definitely like how much attention this video has gotten though. It deserves it.
posted by emptythought at 3:23 AM on July 16 [2 favorites]




Yeah, it really isn't about what the bible says, it's about what they believe it says.
posted by fungible at 4:24 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Or to put it another way "No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: he is always convinced that it says what he means." George Bernard Shaw
posted by Nothing at 4:44 AM on July 16 [14 favorites]


Saying that 'the Bible says x' is about as meaningful as saying 'English literature says x'. The Bible was written over nearly a thousand years in several unrelated languages and cultures. And then centuries later, through the canonization process, which was ironically organized and overseen by Roman emperors, many books were rejected from the canon for often political reasons.
posted by goethean at 5:51 AM on July 16 [10 favorites]


When my partner and I were searching for my next call we were explicit that I would only accept a call to a congregation that had demonstrated in word and deed that they were rooted on the right side of history with regards to LGBTQ civil rights.

I took a lot of grief for this from the regional ministers because they argued that I should "apply my gifts in bringing other folds over." In other words, I should shepherd other congregations through the Open and Affirming process. We chose not to, principally because we wanted to feel safe in a settled call and we wanted to invite our friends to church.

The church I serve had been blessed by the presence of three pro-LGBTQ senior pastors prior to my arrival. It is pure bliss and unexpected joy. Whenever I preach about David, or Jonathan, or Ruth and Naomi, or Lazarus, I can see most of them automatically going to the mental exigetical file labeled "Gay Heroes of the Bible." It is so, so wonderful.

This, I think, is precisely the sort of frame-shifting that Mark Jordan writes about as a possible "solution" to the rhetorical dilemma facing the church. I think it is similar, in a sense, to the way in which even moderately conservative Christian pastors now scoff at the idea that Jesus had long, wavy blonde hair and blue eyes. In fifty years (assuming there is some remnant of the church still breathing) there will then live in the scripture these affirming narratives of plucky outsiders overcoming great odds in service to God - and that some of them happened to be gay. This is my hope, anyway. The affirming narratives in scripture almost always out-perform the prohibitive verses.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:21 AM on July 16 [18 favorites]


At the risk of a tangent: Eleven Kinds of Verses Bible-Believers Like to Ignore
posted by achrise at 6:41 AM on July 16 [3 favorites]


Before I say this, I am queer, and I am a theologian. I think that the problem with both Tits and Jordon's hermunatics, and frankly Balrog's is that it might not be accurate to the text. It is comforting to think about queering narratives of the bible, but I am not sure it exists within the text.

The problem is staying put, while acknowledging and deconstructing the traditon of scripture and tradition--to use half of the quandrangle against itself.

I don't know how to do it, but seeing this video, i wonder if Tits and the hate crew are using scripture badly. I mean from a purely utilitarian pov, Tits can be forgiven, but I don't want to overly simplfy queer narratives...
posted by PinkMoose at 6:49 AM on July 16 [2 favorites]


It's a classic Onionesque headline that never grows old: "Area man strongly supports what he believes bible says."
posted by LastOfHisKind at 6:51 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


I believe the "not today, Satan" line is a direct quote from the incomparable Bianca Del Rio.
posted by themadthinker at 7:03 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


PinkMoose - I'll cop to encouraging a normative, English reading of the scriptures - wherein Jesus' demand that Lazarus "Come out!", when read in the Greek is probably quite far from Harvey Milk's similar demands to the LGBTQ community.

However, and this is pastoral theology, if my people confess a "still-speaking" God who encourages prophetic integrity through Bible-reading and a living hermeneutic, then there's no issue with a closeted gay man over-hearing Jesus' demands and applying it to the tomb of his own life. Likewise, when a father witnesses his son giving his most prized possessions away to another young man, and making a covenant with this young man, and when his anger is kindled against his son's "best friend," then suddenly the David-Jonathan-Saul triad comes bursting into stark relief in the lived experience of the reader.

So our midrash isn't historical. Meh.
For us, the Bible isn't a history book. Or a science text. It's a living and holy document that tells the story of our own struggles, over and over again. It contains multitudes because it's a mirror that reflects our own inconsistencies and contradictions. And I think this is a good and helpful thing.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:10 AM on July 16 [8 favorites]


goethean: Saying that 'the Bible says x' is about as meaningful as saying 'English literature says x'. The Bible was written over nearly a thousand years in several unrelated languages and cultures. And then centuries later, through the canonization process, which was ironically organized and overseen by Roman emperors, many books were rejected from the canon for often political reasons.

And beyond that, you can pick and choose from your translations (and what you think those translations mean, and which parts are the important parts). As Baby_Balrog mentioned, it is great, and tricky, that it is a living document for its followers. Such flexibility cuts both ways.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:14 AM on July 16


And then centuries later, through the canonization process, which was ironically organized and overseen by Roman emperors, many books were rejected from the canon for often political reasons.


Yeah, but they were guided by the hand of God or something.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:20 AM on July 16


My pastoral needs are not everyone's pastoral needs, and being Anglican, the scripture can move around a bit, but it is not just academics for academics sake. I think that as Christians, taking scripture seriously, means taking the traditions that come with that scripture seriously--and this is from the person who considers themselves a eunuch for the kingdom of heaven.

Also, it allows one to poistion a ecumenical position, and makes schism more difficult.

Can I ask which tradition you are working in?
posted by PinkMoose at 7:22 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


The Luciferian.
posted by goethean at 7:54 AM on July 16


It is wholly mistaken to say that the Bible can be used to justify just about any any position. On the contrary, the Bible is extremely clear:
Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?
Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.
As one of my conservative Christian friends said to me, “You guys will always have the Bible on your side.” Critics of conservative Christianity who try to relativize the intent of the Bible are not helping.
posted by No Robots at 7:54 AM on July 16 [5 favorites]


Critics of conservative Christianity who try to relativize the intent of the Bible are not helping.

How can a collection of Hebrew and Greek Hellenistic texts, written from c. 750 BC to c. 120 AD, and then later heavily redacted by church committees organized by Roman Emperors, have a single intent? If you stop and think about it, it's complete lunacy.

And normative Christianities are far more influenced by Paul and later theologians than by Jesus, whose teachings have been so marginalized, interpreted and translated (we have practically none of his words in Aramaic, the language we think he spoke) as to be irrelevant.
posted by goethean at 8:02 AM on July 16 [4 favorites]


I was watching World Without End last night (1300s costume drama) and there's this completely officious monk dude who is just evil.

At one point, (after many other evil things), he kills another monk after that monk asks that evil monk and his entourage sleep in the stable for a week to make sure evil monk and entourage aren't carrying the Great Mortality. Of course evil monk is all "WHAT!!!!! That's a curse from god and we're all godly!" And smart monk is like yeah, great, sleep in the godly barn.

As evil monk is wacking smart monk repeatedly with metal object, evil monk is saying "how dare you call me ungodly! How dare you!" (Actually not paraphrased.)

It's absurd, of course.

And every time someone screams out hate while saying "how dare you call me hateful and unchristian!" I have pretty much the same reaction...that's a pretty severe depth of self delusion.
posted by sio42 at 8:24 AM on July 16 [4 favorites]


Pinkmoose - in order, I am protestant, reformed, congregationalist, United Church of Christ. I was trained at the Chicago Theological Seminary and I think my posture reflects my educational heritage.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:51 AM on July 16 [2 favorites]


I think that as Christians, taking scripture seriously, means taking the traditions that come with that scripture seriously--and this is from the person who considers themselves a eunuch for the kingdom of heaven.

Pinkmoose, what do you do with the term "arsenokoitai"?

I constantly knock my head against it, I left the church over it, I can't figure out what to do with it, but it just sits there, in the text, regardless of what queer friends who remain Christian say about all-inclusive love. I mean, it's Paul, and Paul is always eye-rollingly grouchy anyways, but my intolerance for his bossiness does not seem to make the words go away. So I am always interested in how other people read that.
posted by mittens at 9:35 AM on July 16


And normative Christianities are far more influenced by Paul and later theologians than by Jesus, whose teachings have been so marginalized, interpreted and translated (we have practically none of his words in Aramaic, the language we think he spoke) as to be irrelevant.

This is so far from engaging with "normative Christianities" as they actually are...

In Catholic and Orthodox Christianity, there are no idealized "teachings of Jesus" apart from the teaching of the Church. The teaching of Christ comes to us through the Church. The Bible is not a transcript of the teachings of Christ and it's not supposed to be... it's a record of the apostolic teaching.
posted by Jahaza at 9:44 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


One misinterpretation doesn't cancel out another misinterpretation. You can't claim the Bible teaches something that it doesn't.

However you read scripture, sure, in some areas that can be looked at in different ways. But some things I have seen in this thread aren't in that category.

But the Bible as a whole is certainly worth reading no matter what you believe.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:50 AM on July 16


You can't claim the Bible teaches something that it doesn't.

Everybody does.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:10 AM on July 16 [5 favorites]


The Christians, in using the Bible, made it serve purposes altogether different from its original design, a dogmatic chain to fetter the intellect; the Jews use the Bible freely and rationally, because they are in possession of the key which does not idolize every word, but applies it to various needs in accordance with the varying time.--"The Attitude of Christian scholars toward Jewish literature" / Kaufmann Kohler. In Studies, addresses, and personal papers, p. 417.
The post-Christian critics of the Bible seem to reject the rational use of the Bible in favour of a hyper-relativist irrationalism. This is actually worse than the traditional Christian misuse of the Bible that Kohler is describing. It would be best if both Christians and post-Christians would learn something from Jewish Bible scholarship.
posted by No Robots at 11:04 AM on July 16


Torah, please. The Bible is the Christian one.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:07 AM on July 16


Torah, please. The Bible is the Christian one.

You can take it up with Kohler, reform rabbi and theologian.
posted by No Robots at 11:11 AM on July 16


The Bible is too long, boring, hateful, puzzling, and misogynistic to be worth reading, to me. Revelations is cool, I guess.

This post is awesome though - let us all shout down hate wherever it occurs.
posted by agregoli at 12:06 PM on July 16


The Bible is too long, boring, hateful, puzzling, and misogynistic
My students often see Jesus as a feminist who lived within a Jewish world that made the Taliban look progressive. To the contrary, the Gospels tell us about women’s substantial rights: owning homes, having use of their own property, having freedom of travel, worshipping in synagogues and the Jerusalem Temple, and so on. Women did not join Jesus because Judaism oppressed them, and the Jewish women who followed him did not cease to be Jews.--Interview with Amy-Jill Levine
posted by No Robots at 12:15 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


You can take it up with Kohler, reform rabbi and theologian.

The rabbi, as quoted, can say what he likes. I was directing my comment at your commentary.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:18 PM on July 16


The rabbi, as quoted, can say what he likes. I was directing my comment at your commentary.

I used the same word he did. Why the double standard? Besides, Torah applies only to the first five books, the Pentateuch. Kohler and I are talking about Jewish literature as a whole. This includes the New Testament. See, for example, Leo Baeck's "The Gospel as a Document of the History of the Jewish Faith."
posted by No Robots at 12:27 PM on July 16 [3 favorites]




This includes the New Testament

Not according to any Jewish person, including rabbis (Reform, Conservative, Chabad Lubuvitch; I've never had a conversation with e.g. a Hasidic rabbi), I have ever met. But, whatevs.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:34 PM on July 16


Not according to any Jewish person, including rabbis (Reform, Conservative, Chabad Lubuvitch; I've never had a conversation with e.g. a Hasidic rabbi), I have ever met. But, whatevs.

Oh for pete's sake. Thankfully we're not limited to considering your personal experience. Leo Baeck, author of the abovementioned article was a Jew and a rabbi. (And if you don't know that Lubavitchers are Hasidim, you're out of your depth here.)
posted by Jahaza at 1:45 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


I'm not out of my depth. I am talking about my personal experience. Which was pretty damn clear from what I wrote. Personal experience that included dating a Lubavitcher girl for quite a while, and neither she nor her family nor their rabbi ever brought up anything about being Hasidim. It was a whole new stream of Jewish thought/experience for me and there were many very illuminating discussions around the dinner table.

Sad that you decided to take the insulting route, though. Might want to rethink that in the future.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:04 PM on July 16


I happened to be on vacation in Seattle (and staying in Capitol Hill) over Pride Weekend and watched the parade for a bit. I forgot how much fun they are, what with the floats blasting dance music and all the deliriously happy people. Incredibly positive and energizing experience.
posted by Pocahontas at 2:05 PM on July 16


I had the honor of giving a little d'rash at this year's Seattle's official (sponsored by the Jewish Federation and most of the non-orthodox synagogues) Pride Shabbat. For the first time I can recall, having been the employee of the LGBT shul in town organizing that same event for many years, we were asked for specific, traditional Jewish text-based talks. I am working on a long-term project to bring local Orthoprax congregations into the publicly queer-supportive orbit. I would have loved to hear what their speakers would have said.

After some rabbis previewed my speech, I was asked to more strongly emphasize the wonderful variety of Talmudic gender. To be honest, when I wrote the thing I felt like I was doing one of those rabbinics exercises where one takes a few random Jewish texts, and has to link them together using traditional exegetic techniques. (Techniques so codified they're part of the daily prayer service!) There were no questions whatsoever that I misread or misused my texts. Not everyone would agree with my conclusions, but that's part of the tradition as well.

Imagine my surprise when 500 people showed up and thought hearing about gender queer Jews was fun dinner conversation. The world has changed even in the decade since I ran the queer shul. And living in Settle, far away from most big Jewish trends, allows us the freedom to experiment with what would be unthinkable or contentious somewhere with more Jews to disagree with each other.
posted by Dreidl at 2:27 PM on July 16


I am talking about my personal experience. Which was pretty damn clear from what I wrote.

So when you corrected No Robots, "Torah, please. The Bible is the Christian one," that was just your personal experience? What was the point of the correction then?

Personal experience that included dating a Lubavitcher girl for quite a while, and neither she nor her family nor their rabbi ever brought up anything about being Hasidim.

Are you trying to say that Lubavitchers are not Hasidim?
posted by Jahaza at 2:34 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]


No. I meant exactly what I said:

"neither she nor her family nor their rabbi ever brought up anything about being Hasidim."

Are we done now, thanks?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:02 PM on July 16


"I don't know how to do it, but seeing this video, i wonder if Tits and the hate crew are using scripture badly. I mean from a purely utilitarian pov, Tits can be forgiven, but I don't want to overly simplfy queer narratives..."

Interesting conversation here! OK, I'm no theologian, I don't really think Mama Tits is making a theological argument. Sure, she brings up some old testament rules to shows how ridiculous the fundamental interpretation of scripture is. The rest of her argument is simply- drop the hate. Embrace each other. For those of us who don't seek inspiration in a tradition or religious text, this is really all we have, and it's the one thing we all have in common. It's a powerful appeal. I don't think she reeeally trying to win over the protesters with a theological argument. It's a human one.

I watched this not expecting much but I was touched. Fighting evil with good indeed.

And on another slightly-related Pride/Faith note, the Grand Marshall for this year's World Pride parade in Toronto was a minister, Rev Brent Hawkes.
posted by beau jackson at 3:12 PM on July 16


Rev. Hawkes is a heck of a guy. ISTR him being at the forefront of gay marriage rights in Canada ages and ages ago. Really sweet man in person, too.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:22 PM on July 16


And apparently had to wear a bulletproof vest during the ceremony. That really wasn't too long ago (2001 I believe). I admire him, and I grew up Baptist in the Maritimes like him so I admire that he has emerged and been such a positive and non-cynical force for our city and country.
posted by beau jackson at 4:40 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


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