Gay-baiting in Ohio
October 19, 2004 12:20 AM   Subscribe

During a question-and-answer period, someone says they'd once heard Johnston call for the execution of gays and lesbians. He vigorously denies the charge. Later, he tells me that the decision to put gays to death is a matter best left up to the states.
Ohio's precedent-shattering new ballot initiative and the people behind it. (Salon, ad req'd.)
posted by Tlogmer (76 comments total)

 
Some choice quotes for the click-lazy:
"Even if Ohio would be better off, gays should not be allowed to marry," he says, because homosexuality is a sin that "merits discrimination." In fact, he says, "I support and endorse the criminalization of homosexuality."

Unlike national religious right leaders, Johnston isn't coy about his agenda. He publishes poems like "America's Final Crisis," which prophesies that, unless the country adopts biblical law, "You'll be governed by queers and whores" and tyrannized with a "U.N. branded sword." In case that's not clear enough, he also offers a tract titled, "Convincing Reasons HOMOSEXUALS are HELLBOUND!"


Later, he tells me that the decision to put gays to death is a matter best left up to the states. "If we ever had a nation sufficiently Christian" to make homosexuality illegal, he says, imposing capital punishment for homosexuality would be a subject for "an in-house debate. There were capital crimes in the Bible, and that would be something debated."
How dare these fuckers call themselves Americans.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:55 AM on October 19, 2004


How dare these fuckers call themselves Christians, too.
posted by sciurus at 3:37 AM on October 19, 2004


There's an easy way to avoid going through Salon's ads, btw.

1> Click on the Salon link in question.
2> Go to http://www.salon.com/news/cookie.html (I keep the link prominently bookmarked.)

Ta-da. Free day pass, no ad.

You may now proceed to stone me for undermining capitalist society with HTML.
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:40 AM on October 19, 2004


Leviticus 18
22 [The LORD said to Moses] 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.'

Leviticus 20
13 [The LORD said to Moses] 'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.'

The fact is, these people are Christians, and they follow the bible. That's the book people put their hands on when they go to court, remember? These people are closer to following the letter and spirit of that book than the vast majority of other believers. Sure, you can follow the general and vague passages like "love thy neighbour", but these guys are actually following the specifics. They have a far greater right to call themselves Christian than most other followers do.

The Bible is hate speech. We need to reject it absolutely, and we need to offer help and education to those who believe in it. Democracy doesn't work without education.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:54 AM on October 19, 2004


They have a far greater right to call themselves Christian than most other followers do.

My point was that claiming to be American or Christian or whatever is often used to support whatever purpose someone has.

But to address the expected quoting of Leviticus: The NT is considered to be the new covenant, it supersedes all of the OT stuff. If they are really going to be Christians and follow the teachings of Christ then they only have two rules: Love God and Love Your Neighbor. There is also the whole 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone' thing. But these folks are more concerned with saving Christianity than being christian.

I'd love to tell these folks that when they have a nice pork tenderloin that they are just as bad as a homosexual.
posted by sciurus at 4:12 AM on October 19, 2004


scary.
posted by LouReedsSon at 4:18 AM on October 19, 2004


What's left behind when the brain drain and mass exodus of the decent but persecuted opt for other countries? Does the "kill 'em" mentality spread globally? Is it better to stay and fight it? It's sure got me thinking about my options. But where to go when the regime won't stop at anything less than ruling the world?
posted by yoga at 4:26 AM on October 19, 2004


I agree with P_G. But how can folk be educated about the hate speech in the Bible when the t(pr)eachers are so biased? For so many of them, the salvation offered by christ through forgiveness is irrelevant. Creating and maintaining out-groups is how they keep their grip on power (ie, stay in post as church leaders).

When these things pass, many people will no longer see America as a beacon, a model and an inspiration. They will see it as akin to the theocracies of the Muslim world, and the world we left behind. America is making it's choice, and I hope it's a humane one.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:31 AM on October 19, 2004


You want NT huh?

Romans 1
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.

1 Corinthians 6
9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders

Jude 1
7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

Also, Acts 11:4-10 specifically overturns the pork law. The NT doesn't overturn the hatred of gays, because the NT agrees with the hatred of gays.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:34 AM on October 19, 2004


If they are really going to be Christians and follow the teachings of Christ then they only have two rules: Love God and Love Your Neighbor.

Where does it say that? Who are you to say that Christians can ignore the teachings of the Bible?

Revelation 99:5
27 And lo, Christ did say unto me "Um, yeah, forget all that stuff I just said. And that old Jewish stuff. And, yeah, forget the stuff you were just reading, except where I said "Love God" and "Love Your Neighbour". You know, the nice stuff. Peace out, yo."
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:38 AM on October 19, 2004


Matthew 22:34-40

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."


We could bandy about Bible quotes and interpretation all day. I choose to live by the two I just quoted [and I'm a fool and need reeducated and all that] but in my view, these folks are using religion for the wrong reasons [like lots of other folks do]. Their arguments are specious, the motives suspect and their numbers are apparently strong.

To tack back toward the topic itself, I've seen lots of HRC folks around here [I live in Cleveland] but the rest of the state doesn't seem to offer much hope.
posted by sciurus at 4:52 AM on October 19, 2004


sciurus, do you believe the Lord said those things to Moses? If so, since they involve moral principles, why are they now untrue? If not, why are you so confident about the rest of the Bible not being a similar lie?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:57 AM on October 19, 2004


I'll send ya an email P_G.
posted by sciurus at 5:02 AM on October 19, 2004


This article is so deeply depressing.

And I find myself making that exact comment too often these days.
posted by orange swan at 5:04 AM on October 19, 2004


I've heard they purposely put this on the ballot just to get the fundamentalist and evangelical vote out in Ohio--a Rove move. But Ohio's new voter registration has been more Democratic according to all sources i've seen--i have faith that this won't pass, and if it does, will immediately be declared unconstitutional.

And it does not matter what the Bible says--this is not yet a country where the Bible is the law.

"If we ever had a nation sufficiently Christian" to make homosexuality illegal, he says, imposing capital punishment for homosexuality would be a subject for "an in-house debate. There were capital crimes in the Bible, and that would be something debated."
I'll take him down with me. These people need to be in asylums. And that Church needs to lose its tax-exempt status immediately.
posted by amberglow at 5:10 AM on October 19, 2004


Let's not miss the real point here, which hasn't anything specifically to do with Gays: It's to use government to promote traditional marriage.

Because as the article makes clear, the amendment isn't targeted at gays. In fact, it's targeted so broadly that anyone who's "just" shacked-up gets hit in the same scattershot blast.

Where's Troutfishing? This is right up his alley...
posted by lodurr at 5:11 AM on October 19, 2004


that Blackwell guy is still playing games with voting there too. (he's the paperweight Republican)
posted by amberglow at 5:18 AM on October 19, 2004


Yeah, it is pretty crazy here. The marriage amendment has been news for at least a year now and it seems like they're using the fear factor of gay marriage to convince people to vote FOR the amendment without making it clear that if the amendment DOES pass, not only will it ban gay marriage but there's a pretty good chance it will mean that gay couples will lose any other partner benefits.

They aren't making this clear. So people who are AGAINST gay marriage (but NOT against partner benefits) are accidentally being swayed into voting for it b/c they're not aware of the latter information.

I've got my Voter Registration Card and I intend to use it.
posted by sciurus at 5:23 AM on October 19, 2004


But where to go when the regime won't stop at anything less than ruling the world?

This isn't about the administration in power, exactly; it's more complex. It's in republican interest for lots of people to turn out to the polls to vote on this, of course, but there are promenent lower-level repubs. against it precisely because it's so insane (from a legal and procedural perspective; nevermind the rest). Looks poised for a victory anyway, of course (hah, my reflexive hatred of OSU has some merit after all).

About a year ago I wrote an article (yeah, self-link) saying this kind of backlash was in store if a concerted push for gay marriage happened. At this point I'm not really sure whether the added exposure makes up for it in the long run (kids no longer being taught by an absense of discussion that homosexuality is taboo) when in the short run people will be losing so much.
posted by Tlogmer at 5:24 AM on October 19, 2004


lodurr - Wha wha wha...... somebody called ?

Pretty_Generic, many Christians would agree with scirius - that the overall teachings of Jesus supercede the hatred of gays - even when such messages can be extracted from the New Testament.

Here's the pivot point of Christianity :

: Between those who claim that the Bible is an inerrant document of religious teachings which must be interpreted literally and which must not be interpreted within the temporal and cultural context in which it was written go......

[ Well, those folk tend to go more than a little insane - for there are many contradictions (see my next comment). ]

: And those who contextualize the Bible.

So for Christians, everything hinges on the question and controversy over literalist interpretations of the Bible (which still are all over the map) vs. contextualized interpretations which recognize that - among other things - Jesus was born into and taught in a specific time period, one in which the hatred of gays was widespread.

Still, there is - in fact - far more material in the Old Testament than in the New Testament which would lead literalists in very strange directions and further - to the extent that one follows the Old Testament...... life can get pretty messy!

The religious right in America - and the (Postmillenial, I believe) Dominionist and Reconstructionist theological movements now sweeping American Christianity - are heavily grounded in the Old Testament.

But, by definition, those who choose to emphasize the Old Testament (insofar as they can possibly extract prescriptions for a lifestyle from that religious text) are not acting really as Christians. The teachings of Jesus Christ are contained in the New Testament.

Remember that - those who go around quoting the Old Testament to the exclusion of the New Testament are acting no longer as Christians and yet - strangely - neither are they Jews. Judaism has an extensive body of work, going back hundreds or thousands of years, which interprets the Old Testament. Judaism has worked out, through an extensive body of interpretation, how to handle the Old Testament without running amok.

Not Christianity, or would be Christians.

So to those who come back, always, to Old Testament scripture I say : You are neither Christian nor Jewish, but something else, something in between and lukewarm. Hence, Revelations :

"that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth." - Revelation 3:15-16
posted by troutfishing at 5:51 AM on October 19, 2004


insomnia_lj, damn you for letting out the secret! Now they'll close the loophole and we'll be FORCED into watching 30 second flash ads!!!
posted by zsazsa at 6:02 AM on October 19, 2004


You have to be a Human before you become a Christian.
posted by acrobat at 6:03 AM on October 19, 2004


"On her radio show recently, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:"

(excerpted)

"Dear Dr. Laura.....

1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring > > > nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but > > > not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. The passage clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?........

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)"


By the way, some of the more hardcore Dominionist theologians (and I said "hardcore" intentionally - this realm is a sort of theological pornography) DO try to negotiate some of this complex territory - and do, in fact, sanction stoning as a punishment.

From the outside, that sort of approach sounds like either a bad Monte Python skit or a "B" movie remake of "Children of The Corn" - unless one is on one side of the flying rocks or the other.

Then, it's not funny at all.
posted by troutfishing at 6:05 AM on October 19, 2004


WHO'S SHRILL NOW, BITCHES??!!
posted by octobersurprise at 6:07 AM on October 19, 2004


If Einstein, Gandhi or Mandela were to say that gays should be executed, we would consider them to be bad people. We would say "Many of the things they say are good and true, but I am not one of their followers". Jesus and the authors of the Bible aren't held to the same standards, simply because they lived a long time ago. We need to say "Yes, certain things in the Bible are good and true, but I am not a Bible-follower."
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:08 AM on October 19, 2004


>How dare these fuckers call themselves Christians, too.

Leviticus is pretty plain about this. I mean, you religious folk can keep up with the "well, its not longer that way." Or play the "true Christian" card, but at the end of the day you are following a nutcase rabbi who thought he was god and was punished for it. End of story.

Its the 21st century and youre in the middle of the information age, and youre basis for your morals, cosmology, etc on dusty old books generated by theocratic societies which no one in their right mind would consider tolerant. Yeah, that makes tons of sense.

And as our buddy Pat Robertson says, "there will be a civil war." Sigh. Its time to drop religion, you'll be happy you did. Imagine no Xtianity, Islam, or Judiasm. The middle east would be quite the tourist spot, not the bloodbath it is today.
posted by skallas at 6:20 AM on October 19, 2004


The Salon article notes that ten other states (including the usual suspects like Mississippi and Kentucky, but also...Oregon!?) are expected to pass similar anti-gay laws in a few weeks.

Here's the article's ending, for non-subscribers or those too depressed or angry to read all four "pages":

After the service, I try to interview churchgoers on their way out. But before long, four security guards with walkie-talkies surround me and order me off the premises. In the moments before they get there, though, I speak to one elderly black woman, well-dressed but slightly stooped. "Are you going to vote for Bush because of gay marriage and abortion?" I ask her.

"Exactly," she says, a beatific smile on her face.

posted by kozad at 6:21 AM on October 19, 2004


I interviewed Phil Burress, the "driving force behind Issue 1," back in 1992 for a Cincinnati arts paper. (apologies for crappy Geocities link). He seemed like an ordinary guy. Like another born again, former "addict" we are all familiar with, he is driven by his faith, and that faith is unshakable. There are no nuances in a conversation with him, no areas open for debate. Reading back over that interview, I think this is quite telling:

For those of you who believe that Citizens for Community Values has gone too far, Burress would answer that they haven't gone far enough.

"The statements are made, 'where are we going to stop with this thing?'" he questions. "Where are you going to stop? If you go back and look at where we were, and then you look at where we are, it's getting worse. We're the ones that should be asking that question."


posted by Otis at 6:24 AM on October 19, 2004


We need another civil war in this country to cull the herd.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:25 AM on October 19, 2004


Its time to drop religion, you'll be happy you did. Imagine no Xtianity, Islam, or Judiasm. The middle east would be quite the tourist spot, not the bloodbath it is today.

Yes. Because all wars and violence are caused by religion. Except WWI and WWII, which were caused by nationalism and racial hatred. Or the war of 1812. Or the French, Russian, and American revolutions. Or the hundred years war. Or the Russo-Japanese war. Or the Gulf War, which was mainly about oil. American Civil War? well, the abolitionists were mostly Christian, so I'll give you that one.

Anyone who thinks that the abolition of Religion would bring peace is not a student of history. Numerous wars have been fought over religion. However, numerous wars have been fought over everything, so that's not a particularly impressive argument.
posted by unreason at 6:49 AM on October 19, 2004


Numerous wars have been fought over religion.

So atheism/agnosticism would reduce the number of wars. And it has the added bonus of not being bullshit! I'm sold.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:57 AM on October 19, 2004


What you just did is pretty much the definition of reductio ad absurdum, btw.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:00 AM on October 19, 2004


Atheism is great, but it never did anything to make the Soviet Union peaceful, nor has it made China a global seat of intellect and mercy. See, people have this tiny little part of our brain that makes us kill each other for no reason.
posted by Hildago at 7:06 AM on October 19, 2004


So atheism/agnosticism would reduce the number of wars.

Um, yeah, assuming that it wouldn't be replaced by more petty, hateful crap. It's fucking human nature.
posted by Stauf at 7:07 AM on October 19, 2004


So atheism/agnosticism would reduce the number of wars.

No. In most cases, religion was the excuse, not the cause. Get rid of religion, and you have the same war with a different excuse. Take a classic example of religious war: the Crusades. They were rationalized as wars "against the heathen", and lauded and promoted by the vaious Popes. But the root causes that made people go to war were more mercenary. You had a lot of impoverished aristocrats that had combat skillls, but little in the way of money or land. The middle east had both, so, time to grab it. In fact, the Crusaders did not restrict themselves to killing "heathens", in many cases they killed Christians as well. As Stauf said, if religion were removed, other excuses for war would be found.
posted by unreason at 7:20 AM on October 19, 2004


I live in Columbus. I grew up here. This sucks and would really hurt. Columbus has been a pretty open and friendly city. The pride parade is the same day as the Community Festival and the crowds mix well. When we lived in New York several gay friends were aware of Columbus' reputation as gay-friendly. It's been voted the top city for African-American families in recent years. We had a group of religious nuts from the Great Plains camp in our city for a week to tell us how much we're going to hell. We have growing immigrant communities that are mostly getting respect. Somalis, Mexicans, Russians, Indians, Arabs. We have a vibrant Jewish community, and relatively few incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism.
Our mayor and community leaders are taking serious the recommendations of this guy, who says that gay-friendly is important to a communities success, and no one with influence disagrees. Many of our county republican legislators opposed the State's DOMA law.

A lot of our problems come from outside. All statewide offices are Republican controlled. The legislature is controlled by rural politicians, as a consequence of term limits followed by redistricting. This tilts many questions toward the right. The state democratic party is pretty ineffectual as well. There was a big creationist history flap, also caused by fringe groups and outsiders. But, things are not all roses here, there wasJustice department oversight of the police department due to allegations of racial-profiling. A terrible arson last month killed ten Mexican immigrants a mile from my home.

These super churches like Rod Parsley's in the article are growing in size and influence. I think people see an uncertain world, waning prosperity, reduced financial security, less community engagement, and want an island of certainty. They want a community. They could engage in the difficult questions, work through evidence and institution to find a way to make it better, but that's hard work and hurts your head. They pick the flashiest and most certain denominations, fit themselves into salvation history and roll their lives to that great narrative in the sky, in the world, not of the world.

At the rapture, many Ohio cars will be unmanned.

I think that Ron Suzkind NY Times article from Sunday characterized the emrging cultural division. The "Reality Based Community" is facing more pressure from a growing millenial, medieval-minded community that rejects reason and all its works. Ohio is a battleground.
posted by putzface_dickman at 7:27 AM on October 19, 2004


In the good old days we'd just feed these Christian asshats to the lions. Things were easier back then. And a good time to be a lion.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:28 AM on October 19, 2004


OK. Here's my plan for A Better America.

Once we have stoned all the Homosexuals, then we stone:

1. Pedophiles
2. Prostitutes
3. Pornographers
4. Drug dealers
5. Drug addicts
6. Gamblers
7. Adulterers
8. Blasphemers
9. Thieves
10. People who read Harry Potter Books
11. People who don't attend church
12. People with piercings/tattoos/strange hair
13. Women who wear pants
14. Children who backtalk to their parents
15. People who don't mow their lawns twice a week, thereby letting property values drop in the whole neighborhood

posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:41 AM on October 19, 2004


I am not anti-Christian. I was raised Catholic. Protestantism is grounded is reason, debate, cooperation. I oppose the anti-rational, insular, millenial Christianity that is on the uptick right now. Sojourner Magazine is an example of how Christians canand do live their faith for the betterment of themselves and their communities while respecting others and a standard of truth.

If you haven't seen it, this article from Ron Suskind is a must read on Bush and the anti-Reality faith-based Community: Without a doubt.
posted by putzface_dickman at 7:55 AM on October 19, 2004


These people need to be in asylums. And that Church needs to lose its tax-exempt status immediately.

Agreed. And the tax exempt thing is one of the biggest burrs under my saddle. The second, and I mean the second, a preacher uses the bully pulpit to endorse a candidate, a proposition, a political race of any denomination...the tax exempt status of the church should be pulled.

I see no reason why I as a taxpayer should support churches to begin with...but I really see no reason for my money to go to hatemongers and political campaigns.

When I rule the world...and someday my precious, someday....when I rule the world, tax exempt status for all churches will be removed. Ain't no reason for citizens to underwrite other citizen's invisible man in the sky.
posted by dejah420 at 7:59 AM on October 19, 2004


related, i think: Redeem the Vote
posted by amberglow at 8:16 AM on October 19, 2004


"...Its time to drop religion, you'll be happy you did. Imagine no Xtianity, Islam, or Judiasm. The middle east would be quite the tourist spot, not the bloodbath it is today."

skallas - I suspect something else might rear up to fill that void but - in the case of the Christian Dominionist/Reconstructionist right - you can try to pry their faith from their cold dead minds.

Best of luck. Much of "Christian" America listens, watches, and partakes of a wholly different media than does Metafilter and the rest of the more secular and less ideologically zealous and theocratically oriented nation.

putzface_dickman put his finger on it : "The "Reality Based Community" is facing more pressure from a growing millenial, medieval-minded community that rejects reason and all its works. Ohio is a battleground." : A world aghast as America, in a slow spectacle of economic decline, reshapes itself as a fortress of heavily armed, pre-enlightenment cargo cultists ?

I'm going to drum up a mob of righteous Christians, right now, to go and stone a Cape Cod clam shack. Eating shellfish is an abomination. It says so in Leviticus.

I'll see you all on the up and up.
posted by troutfishing at 8:54 AM on October 19, 2004


....Or I'll at least organize a picket.

We'll have big white signs with cartoonish pictures of clams that have big black strikes through them, and quotes from the Old Testament.

We won't relent until we get our way.

This is a war.
posted by troutfishing at 8:58 AM on October 19, 2004


(including the usual suspects like Mississippi and Kentucky, but also...Oregon!?)

There was a piece on NPR this morning about inland oregon - the hippies are all on the coast, apparently, and much of the rest of the state is very small-town conservative. Anyway, the reporter interviewed people at a state fair and a high school football game (can you get more quintessential?) and it was seriously frightening.

One woman at the game (maybe all the testosterone had revved her up) didn't want to vote for Bush because she felt he hadn't done enough about Iraq. She said she woulda been in there on 9/14, and blown 'em all to hell. When the reporter seemed taken aback, she said, well they're the ones who declared war on us & we have to keep a strong defense. When the reporter reminded her that that was al quaida, not iraq, the woman said something like, oh who cares, they're all in the same area.

It was fucking scary. It's hard to maintain hope for the very premise of democracy when you hear things like that.
posted by mdn at 9:14 AM on October 19, 2004


Because all wars and violence are caused by religion. Except WWI and WWII, which were caused by nationalism and racial hatred.

Those go next.

After that, everyone gets to pick their favorite new friend from Mister Sunshine's Free Pony Ranch, and then we all go out for ice cream!

I don't see why these religious nuts don't concentrate on the more egregious sinners making a fortune from their gross iniquity.
posted by majcher at 9:18 AM on October 19, 2004


You may now proceed to stone me for undermining capitalist society with HTML.

where's the HTML? i didn't see any HTML.
posted by quonsar at 9:19 AM on October 19, 2004


This hardly surprises me. I can not count the number of people who have told me personally that they are voting for Bush because Kerry "is for the gays" or something along those lines. I usually walk off rather than try to argue with them, I have typically found these people to be so close-minded that you can not even make them hear you, much less think about what you are saying.

One of the people being the most hateful about it has a gay sister, and I am pretty sure he knows she is gay. I just do not understand people.

As for the churches and tax-exemption, I am absolutely fed up with the largest local church. The Sunday morning service is televised and recently the pastor started in on how he wasn't supposed to tell you how to vote but he was going to do it anyway. Along came praise for Bush. And why not? Nothing will be done about it. Of course he keeps saying "Vote God" now, but he had already explained that voting for the guy in the sky means voting for Bush.
posted by bargle at 9:30 AM on October 19, 2004


the main problem i have with the anti-gay legislation (aside from the fact that it's legislating hate and intolerance) is that i've never once seen a single reason why homosexual marriage is bad that didn't invoke morality based on religion. not once, not ever. (don't go genetic on me here, either. there's a clear biological basis to homosexuality - one of the many reasons the fundies don't want us to listen to that evolution bullshit.)

last i knew this country had a separation of church and state. legislation based on religious principles should in any sane world be unconstitutional, as it enforces the world view of one group of fundamentalists over all the others who do not choose to follow that particular brand of the jesus cult, as well as those who don't believe in jesus, and those who just don't believe in anything.

too bad the supreme court can't take the constitution at face value and call this for the bullshit that it is. the day we decided that "all men are created equal" meant men AND women (and not just the white landowners), our country took a big step. but the damn document doesn't specify "all straight men". nor does it say "all christian men".

--

and to add to the fray, killing off religion might not end all wars, but it ought to help stop folks from investing so much personally in the fight. you don't willingly blow yourself up to take out a bus full of kids unless you're damn sure you'll be rewarded for it in the afterlife.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:39 AM on October 19, 2004


majcher - you rule. And God DOES hate shrimp. That's why they are SHRIMP, get it ?

See - shrimp used to grow very huge once, like whales, and they ate people too. It's in the Bible. That sea monster that swallowed Jonah ? - a shrimp. But God became offended by this abomination, of shrimp eating his chosen people - even such a chosen person as Jonah, who God was heaping misfortune on to improve Jonah's character - and so God took vengeance on all the shrimps of the world and stunted their growth, cursing them for all time until the end of days to be, well, shrimp. Believe me, they yearn to be large again.

I think it was a little mean, but God has to be that way - like the President - doing random, vengeful things. Otherwise people wouldn't respect God : they'd think he was a wuss and walk all over him. It's like that with the President too. After 9-11, if President Bush didn't invade some random country like Iraq which had no connection at all to 9-11, then everyone else in the World would have thought George W. Bush was a wuss for not acting like an unpredictable and vengeful deity.

It's like in a movie with Christopher Walken where he's playing, maybe, some mafia boss and he just shoots some random guy in the head to impress people with how baddass he is. It's also like when new initiates to gangs shoot little kids or run down grandmothers crossing the street to prove how baddass they are (the gang initiates, not the grandmothers). So, like God, George W. Bush was proving his baddassedness and, plus, Saddam Hussein was a REAL bastard of a baddass and so taking him out at a distance, with the massive projection US military might, took balls. Big ones - you know - cajones, jeuvos.

Just saying....I'm sorry for derail. But, I'm not gonna apologize. It's a respect thing.

Later.
posted by troutfishing at 10:20 AM on October 19, 2004


PedantryFilter:

the day we decided that "all men are created equal" meant men AND women (and not just the white landowners), our country took a big step. but the damn document doesn't specify "all straight men". nor does it say "all christian men".

The Constitution doesn't refer to anyone being created equal. You're referring to the Declaration of Independence, which, while a good thing, is not the Constitution and doesn't carry the weight that the Constitution does.

on preview: gro├če Eier
posted by oaf at 10:28 AM on October 19, 2004


The least, the last, the lost.
What you have done unto the least of these, you have also done unto me.

Where in there is a misunderstanding of what is required to become "christ-like" or Christian?
Getting stoned should only be recreational.
posted by nofundy at 10:35 AM on October 19, 2004


We can talk about what the Bible says about Homosexuality just as soon as they make their home kitchens kosher.
posted by ilsa at 10:40 AM on October 19, 2004


And another thing.

Doesn't the Bible clearly speak of slavery as though it is a quite acceptable practice in both the Old and New Testament?

Shall we also have laws to vote on in November to make certain that our "Christian" rights of slave ownership are not infringed upon?

Gee, same argument, different time, different group to discriminate against. And, naturally, God's ALL FOR IT!

Bastards.
posted by nofundy at 10:42 AM on October 19, 2004


They're starting with us law-wise, because they see it as easy-- it'll eventually be Handmaid's Tale.
posted by amberglow at 11:06 AM on October 19, 2004


"...you can try to pry their faith from their cold dead minds."

That quote, my friends, is a thing of beauty.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:18 AM on October 19, 2004


When I finished reading this article yesterday, I felt a wave of hate sweep over me. I hate these people.

Which I find, frankly, rather disturbing. After all, I don't even know Phil Burress. Shouldn't you need to know someone personally to feel this kind of intense hatred? It just doesn't bode well for the future of this country; yesterday, I looked at an electoral vote map, and I saw battle fronts.

Maybe Jesus was right: it would be better if I were able to love my enemy. I'm not sure I can, though. I feel like these people are like the Nazis, or the Klan, or, at least, civil rights-era segregationists. My entire life, people like this have been portrayed to me as the face of evil. How the hell are we going to cope with this? A 60 percent majority?! How could so many people be so wicked?

I'm confused, and worried, and pissed off.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:46 AM on October 19, 2004


When I finished reading this article yesterday, I felt a wave of hate sweep over me. I hate these people.

And they possibly hate gays in the same unreasoning, instinctive way. Scary isn't it.
posted by iain at 1:08 PM on October 19, 2004


God. It really is getting to the point that if Bush wins I really could imagine moving to europe. Most of my life I have enjoyed and even been proud of being american, (despite being a NYer first, USer second) although I've always had problems with our mass consumerism /etc... but I have appreciated that americans in comparison to the english are less snooty & less reserved in general, and tho' I have family in london, I've never seriously considered moving over there. But if he gets in and this culture is encouraged, I may have to find a way to complete my grad school ed. across the pond, because this is just sick & depressing. I hope it is just that they are desperate as the younger generation turns away from this blind prejudice. Even so it won't be a fun few years.
posted by mdn at 1:15 PM on October 19, 2004


"It's the most over-advertised book in the world. It's very pretentious to claim it to be the word of God, or accept it as such and perpetuate this tribal mythology, justifying all kinds of violence to people who are not members of the tribe.

The thing I see about the Bible that's unfortunate is that it's a tribally circumscribed mythology. It deals with a certain people at a certain time. The Christians magnified it to include them. It then turns this society against all others, whereas the condition of the world today is that this particular society that's presented in the Bible isn't even the most important. This thing is like a dead weight. It's pulling us back because it belongs to an earlier period. We can't break loose and move into a modern theology.

One of the great promises of mythology is, with what social group do you identify? How about the planet? To say that the members of this particular social group are the elite of God's world is a good way to keep that group together, but look at the consequences! I think that what might be called the sanctified chauvinism of the Bible is one of the curses of the planet today." Joseph Campbell on the Bible
posted by JohnR at 1:15 PM on October 19, 2004


The only intolerance that is allowed is intolerance of those who are intolerant.

Oh wait.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:18 PM on October 19, 2004


And they possibly hate gays in the same unreasoning, instinctive way.

Is it unreasoning to hate those who are trying to destroy the freedoms that I cherish? Isn't hate a reasonable emotion to feel towards someone who is trying with all their might to hurt their fellow human beings? These people want to cause suffering: they want to destroy families built around same-sex couples. If I had been alive during the civil rights era, would I have been wrong to hate George Wallace or Strom Thurman? Hate seems like a reasonable emotional response to their actions, actually. I'm looking for a sincere answer here, 'cause I'd rather not hate anyone.

These are all ridiculous questions, I suppose: there's nothing reasonable or logical about any emotional response; emotions by their nature ignore the rules of logic. I know, however, that these people are my political enemies, and that I must work to stop them. If hate helps me do that, then I suppose it could be good thing.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:43 PM on October 19, 2004


mdn - me too, and I need to do some more travelling.

But I'm afraid that - for me - to run from this contagion of hatred will only amount to a temporary buying of time which - when those most concerned and appalled about this leave the US - would very likely also allow the rise of this new strain of religious hatred to continue unchecked.

I've been thinking about the religious right quite a lot lately, and I think it's perfectly possible to stop them - but that would take creativity, passion, committment, and lots of money....and George Soros I'm not. All I have are ideas (example), tactics, strategies....

To deal with the problem - at it's widest scope - requires dedicated media, think tanks, activist organizations, and new tactical and strategic approaches that have not yet occured - or are only just now starting to occur - to secular and non-religious right religious elements of American society.

That takes a lot of money. Hundreds of millions even to start.

However - lacking that - an apocalyptic confrontation between the US, radicalized Islam, and the entire world seems likely.
posted by troutfishing at 1:49 PM on October 19, 2004


The only intolerance that is allowed is intolerance of those who are intolerant.

Oh wait.


No, that's right. It's like Godel's Theorem of tolerance or something.
posted by majcher at 2:00 PM on October 19, 2004


mr_crash_davis - thanks. I owe it all to Charlton Heston. His gun is fine by me, and he was a fine Moses.
posted by troutfishing at 3:38 PM on October 19, 2004


Leviticus 18
22 [The LORD said to Moses] 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.'


You know, it's not physically possible to do what's mentioned in Lev 18:22... unless of course anal sex is not only Kosher, it's the normal way for married people to have sex. Which I don't think is what is meant in that particular passage.

Problem solved.
posted by clevershark at 3:55 PM on October 19, 2004


as a gay man, i double dog dare a fundy to stone me*

*no dirt weed, please.
posted by moonbird at 4:06 PM on October 19, 2004


Ohio = America's Hate State
posted by EmoChild at 4:48 PM on October 19, 2004


Leviticus 18:22 [The LORD said to Moses] 'Speak the truth among men, lie like a motherfucker with a woman...
posted by quonsar at 5:11 PM on October 19, 2004


One of the reasons I emigrated from the United States was because my same-sex relationship was absolutely not recognized in the country my family has lived in for three hundred years. My Ph.D was paid for largely by the American government, but now I work in Canada. One of my American colleagues married her girlfriend. They too, settled here. Her Ph.D was also paid for by the government.

Many of my father's Ph.D. students are seeking employment in Europe, because N.I.H. has become too political, and it's just safer to research in Europe. Is this a national disaster? No, not yet, but it hurts us (yes, I still consider myself American).

We can go the route of Afghanistan, we can reject modernity, but it will cost us. I think there are going to be an awful lot of Mary (and Dick) Cheneys that are going to regret their use of the rightwing wackos to push their economic agenda.

I try hard not to be anti-Christian, but it's hard when I read shit like this.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 6:01 PM on October 19, 2004


gesamtkunstwerk:

my mother's family came on the Mayflower, and I too will most likely be looking very hard at medical schools in Canada. The only reason I moved to OH two years ago (after being in NYC all my life) was to help care for my dying father (who frankly would have been dead 10 years ago without his excellent health insurance.) Being here now, I feel like I did when I was 12 -- scared, closeted (or as much as I could be after being out for so long) and trying to understand why.

It just makes me really sad. And unfortunately, sadness is rarely a motivator to action. Anger, however, is.

Being constructively angry may be the best thing in these times. Hopefully, I'll get there after the first couple stages of grief.
posted by ltracey at 6:12 PM on October 19, 2004


mdn: But if he [Bush] gets in and this culture is encouraged, I may have to find a way to complete my grad school ed. across the pond, because this is just sick & depressing. I hope it is just that they are desperate as the younger generation turns away from this blind prejudice. Even so it won't be a fun few years.

You are hardly the only one looking at Europe for salvation vis a vis higher education. As it's about the only way I'll be able to leave this country since I'm not rich enough to afford such travel, I'm also looking hard. Everyday the urge to flee gets a little bit stronger.

If it gives anyone a beacon of hope, OH has one of the largest concentration of colleges in the country (Ohio State alone is one of the biggest universities in the country) and a lot of those students are liberal-minded -- and a lot of them, including myself, have registered here in hopes of making a difference, Sec of State Blackwell be damned. There has been a big effort to get the younger generation to vote, no matter how they choose to vote, and it's about the only sliver of hope I cling to as 11/2 draws near.

ltracey: The only reason I moved to OH two years ago (after being in NYC all my life) was to help care for my dying father (who frankly would have been dead 10 years ago without his excellent health insurance.) Being here now, I feel like I did when I was 12 -- scared, closeted (or as much as I could be after being out for so long) and trying to understand why.

Thanks be you didn't grow up in the Bible-belt South. OH is actually a big step up from the hatred that resides in those recesses...but maybe that's my northern-OH on-a-college-campus bias.

dejah420: When I rule the world...and someday my precious, someday....

Could you hurry it up? Or do you want to make us suffer so we'll appreciate you all the more?
posted by somethingotherthan at 7:43 PM on October 19, 2004


>And they possibly hate gays in the same unreasoning, instinctive way. Scary isn't it.

Yeah, because us pussy liberals are supposed to tolerate intolerance right? Wrong. They deserve our hate, disdain and a lot more. Not to mention I can dislike you for your beliefs, but disliking you because you got a few genes that make you different is a whole different ballpark.
posted by skallas at 7:47 PM on October 19, 2004


It's not unreasoning or instinctive at all to hate people that are actively working to restrict the rights of others. (of course, i'm one of those "others") It's what you do with that hate.
posted by amberglow at 7:59 PM on October 19, 2004


I don't like hate. Even hating people who hate you. It's not a motivator to action; it's poison. (To quote Yoda: Hate leads to suffering.) One of the few high points of the bible, when it stops being tribal and gets all weird and counterintuitive, is "love thy enemy".

I do think we ("we" principally in the sense of non-straights, but also reasonable people in general) have to be pushed into some sort of strong emotion over this; we wouldn't be human if we weren't. But hate sucks. Sadness and rage are much better.
posted by Tlogmer at 2:12 AM on October 20, 2004


I just had a waking dream of sorts :

Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young were resurrected (in several ways) to do a song remake :

"You're gay in Ohio"

It was a big hit.
posted by troutfishing at 5:52 PM on October 20, 2004


Blackwell offers 'barnyard' take on gay marriage

The flap began Tuesday night when Blackwell told members of a Toledo-area church, "I don't know how many of you have a farming background, but I can tell you right now that notion [gay marriage] even defies barnyard logic . . . the barnyard knows better."

It's time for Ken to go.
posted by Otis at 1:35 PM on October 22, 2004


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