Michael Marcavage
February 5, 2005 9:51 PM   Subscribe

Michael Marcavage wants the government to kill you if you are homosexual. Through his organization Repent America you can contribute to his goal. Won't you help the poor gay babies?
posted by filchyboy (55 comments total)
In a way, I love people like this. A group of fanatical turbo-christians made up of the Marcavage's of this world can only get so big in the U.S. I seriously doubt they'll ever be anything more than a fringe group (but then again, I could be very wrong) but if they can take away enough support from the right, because, let's face it, only ultra-right wingers would support this loon, they can potentially act as spoilers in major elections.
posted by papakwanz at 10:09 PM on February 5, 2005

This guy is a rank amatuer compared to Fred Phelps. Maybe an internship is in order?
posted by hobbes103 at 10:10 PM on February 5, 2005

he's a sad, sad case (along with the tv people that book him, and the reporters that interview him--why is he acceptable for tv, but Phelps not?), and this was very telling:
To Lee, Marcavage is a huckster whose "whole goal in life is to get in front of the media and get arrested." Lee suggests that Marcavage is a paid agent of the American Family Association, a conservative Christian organization, which pays him to get in legal trouble so that the AFA can raise money to defend him. Marcavage and Brian Fahling of the AFA both say this is false, though the organization does provide the street preacher with free legal counsel. (When you visit the AFA's Web site, the "Philadelphia Four" are plastered all over the place, and if you click on a link to donate for the cause, you are led directly to a nonspecific AFA donation page. Fahling says the AFA does use cases like Marcavage's for fund raising).
posted by amberglow at 10:18 PM on February 5, 2005

The crazy ones help the moderates see how messed up bigotry is. So, you know, keep on preaching, Mike.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 10:23 PM on February 5, 2005

That's a good question amberglow.
posted by filchyboy at 10:26 PM on February 5, 2005

Why is he acceptable for tv, but Phelps not?

I suspect that enough people are familiar with Phelps that he's managed to acquire a reputation for being a psycho. This guy is new blood, and therefore his f*cked-up views can be more gradually insinuated into the mainstream. I'd be interested to know whether he said anything Phelps-like on TV.

Not surprised that this guy comes from PA. We're the unknown blue-state hotbed of the WWJD neocon movement.
posted by hifiparasol at 10:43 PM on February 5, 2005

let him march, freedom is freedom.
posted by Kifer85 at 11:11 PM on February 5, 2005

People like this make me understand why some people want to believe in Hell.
posted by interrobang at 11:27 PM on February 5, 2005

This is the part of the linked article that references killing gay people:

"According to the Scriptures, it's the government's job to enforce God's law and to uphold his law, and the Bible talks about how, I don't want to really get into this — it'll make me sound like I'm crazy — but it does talk about how [homosexuals] are to be put to death. The wages of sin is death. But I want to make [it] clear that I'm not advocating the [independent] killing of homosexuals. … I'm saying that the government's duty is to uphold God's law. … I know that's harsh, but we have all broken the law, God's law, and we need to be held accountable."

Um...if "we" have all broken "God's law," then isn't he actually advocating killing EVERYONE?
posted by davidmsc at 11:32 PM on February 5, 2005

He's clearly either gay himself or has other problems with his sexuality.
I mean, all this obsessing about teh gay and what other people do just isn't normal. In fact, it's clearly pathological, and possibly warrants some medical attention.
posted by sour cream at 11:48 PM on February 5, 2005

Um...if "we" have all broken "God's law," then isn't he actually advocating killing EVERYONE?

No, see that's taking it literally, but Marcavage is a Bible litera... Wait, it means that we're all sinners, and the wages of sin is death, and since Marcavage believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible, then that means that only gay ... Wait, it means we all should be put to death for our sins, but gay people a whole lot more, and someone has to be around to do all that executing. For all of us. Sinners.

Someone has to do it!
posted by krinklyfig at 12:02 AM on February 6, 2005

I don't know about that, sour cream. After all, I got the impression from the article that he is as against abortion as he is homosexuality. For your "pathological" linkage to stand, he'd have to be a closeted lesbian cross-dresser that is in denial about her past abortions. Tit for tat.
posted by catachresoid at 12:02 AM on February 6, 2005

Don't you understand what a metaphor means?!?! I wish we lived in the day where you could challenge a man to a duel!
posted by krinklyfig at 12:03 AM on February 6, 2005

catachresoid, there's one big difference between railing against abortion and railing against teh gay: Gay people mind their own business and don't cause any harm to anyone when they do whatever it is that they're doing.

Abortion, on the other hand, does cause harm to the unborn fetus; so *some* (not all, mind you) arguments of the pro-lifers do have some merit (e.g. we should protect the weakest members of our society). Gay bashers, on the other hand, are all just demonstrably whacky nutcases. In most cases (and I think Michael Marcavage is no exception), they seem to be compensating for something.
posted by sour cream at 12:19 AM on February 6, 2005

Penis-bagel eating contest. Awesome.
posted by ori at 1:08 AM on February 6, 2005

One explanation for his comment is that everybody has sinned and everyone should die including homosexuals. The more saner interpretation of his comment is that people should be punished for sinning. No doubt mefi would choose to believe the former everytime. Confirmation bias?
posted by drscroogemcduck at 3:22 AM on February 6, 2005

More dueling would solve so many problems, krinklyfig.
posted by blacklite at 3:47 AM on February 6, 2005

I totally agree with you about the "minding own business" thing, sour cream. And in a rational, fair world, that'd be the end. I also agree with you that the "compensating for something" argument is compelling.

However, demonization of the "enemy" isn't very useful when it comes to changing minds. Further, the idea that all gay bashers are sick in the head seems as much as an over-reaction to me as the idea that all gays are sick in the head. So I'd like to explore three possibilities for non-crazy, non-in-denial homophobia.

1. I would say that "traditionalists" compose an awfully large part of humanity. These people are just naturally resistant to change. How things were done when they were growing up is the Proper Way to continue doing things. Further, members of this group can have a strong urge to correct the "wrong actions" of others for their own good. If homosexuality wasn't treated as a normal thing during these people's upbringing, they're likely to be at least vaguely disapproving. If you throw into the mix a trusted historical document that vilifies a behavior that deviates from the Proper Way, well, things could get a bit more heated. (see SJ temperament here)

2. It may be that some homophobia in men is tied to the possibility of unwanted sexual attention. There may be a dimly felt fear that a society that has more gay men is a society in which men being raped is more likely. This would tie in to the apparent phenomena of men reacting more viscerally negative against gay men then against gay women. Note also that this hinges on the belief that homosexuality is a cultural choice that can spread indefinitely, rather then a genetic determination. This fear would extend to wanting to protect the children.

3. Given one or both of the above, a kid that is raised in a subculture that completely supports these views and actively describes the existence of gays as evil is very likely to accept that transmission as a matter of course. Blacks are inferior. Terrorists hate freedom. We have always been at war with Eurasia.

All that said, Marcavage may very well be a demented, repressed guy. Many things are possible.
posted by catachresoid at 4:10 AM on February 6, 2005

"I am a virgin," he says after some deliberation. "I'm not ashamed of that. …Paul said it was better to be alone."

He's wicked gay.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:21 AM on February 6, 2005

Oh, and krinklyfig : Get out of my face. If you are going to ask me a question, step back and let me answer!
posted by catachresoid at 4:29 AM on February 6, 2005

I'd like to see him advocating death for adulturous women or misbehaving wives, bad little children, and folks that eat sausage (ahem), as Leviticus commands. His agument should then be that America simply must kill itself, and he'll be the last man standing. (what a sad little twat)

Oh, and what Ori said.
posted by moonbird at 4:36 AM on February 6, 2005

Further, the idea that all gay bashers are sick in the head seems as much as an over-reaction to me as the idea that all gays are sick in the head.

OK, maybe I should have qualified that: not all gay bashers, but those who go out of their way to stage demos and go on TV to air their views. Those are definitely pathological. Also, I am not talking about demonizing them. On the contrary, I think that they are simply very ill people who need help. We should reach out to them. They definitely would be better off with proper supervision and possibly some medication.
posted by sour cream at 4:44 AM on February 6, 2005

Well, I'd have to say that I don't know why you're so sure of the presence of pathology in that case.
posted by catachresoid at 5:15 AM on February 6, 2005

They make penis bagels? Wonder what you spread on those.
posted by ChrisTN at 5:17 AM on February 6, 2005

The wages of sin is death

That is before taxes.
posted by srboisvert at 5:49 AM on February 6, 2005

Hey, is he also in favour of executing people who wear poly-cotton shirts? That's mixing fibres, that is, and Leviticus uses exactly the same term to describe people who do that as for homosexual acts.

Enquiring atheists want to know ...
posted by cstross at 6:30 AM on February 6, 2005

sour cream: spot on analysis - I agree.
posted by mlis at 8:00 AM on February 6, 2005

If I may speak up on behalf of the Gay Community®, we don't want this guy, sorry. Not that he's entirely without a certain dorky cuteness which we appreciate -- really we do -- but he just sounds like too much drama, and we've got enough. Thanks for thinking of us, though.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 8:09 AM on February 6, 2005

grrarrgh00: Yes, you may speak for this member of said community. I second. Time for the vote.
posted by sillygit at 8:33 AM on February 6, 2005

If you believed with absolute certainty that an unexploded nuclear device was buried under your city and was due to go off sometime in the near future you would do anything you could to convince everyone you met that unless accepted your belief as true and did everything they could to avoid destruction they were doomed. Such is the atitude of the devout Christian. Whether you consider it pathological or deluded or just plain crazy, it's a fact. I am not trying to excuse the behavior of people like Marcavage or Phelps but merely to put it into context.
There are extremists on both sides. Penis Bagel Eating and Dykes on Bikes are hardly the way to try and get people to take the gay lifestyle seriously. Gay Pride parades with tatooed, pierced leather freaks and flamboyant drag queens don't help matters at all. Stuff like that does more damage to the cause of gay rights than all the Phelps and Marcavages could hope to do.
posted by waltb555 at 8:49 AM on February 6, 2005

I got the impression from the article that he is as against abortion as he is homosexuality.

So that means he'll have to wait until the gay baby is brought to delivery, before the government gets to destroy it?

What a sad conundrum: you want desperately to kill gay people but you have to wait patiently to do it because of your anti-choice stance.

Sucks to be a hate-filled Christian fundynut these days: all these logical inconsistencies to deal with.
posted by AlexReynolds at 8:51 AM on February 6, 2005

Gay Pride parades with tatooed, pierced leather freaks and flamboyant drag queens don't help matters at all. Stuff like that does more damage to the cause of gay rights than all the Phelps and Marcavages could hope to do.

Advice: Put down the remote control and go outside. Meet some real people, who happen to be gay. We're not all wearing chaps and dog collars 24/7, dear.

That's a very select minority that do that, which the media latch on to because it needlessly stirs up people's irrational hatreds, gets good ratings, and sells advertising.
posted by AlexReynolds at 8:54 AM on February 6, 2005

waitb555, I really don't care if we're "taken seriously" or not. I'll be perfectly happy if they stop, you know, beating us to death and firing us and keeping us from getting married and all that. If they're going to keep doing that because I have a few tattoos, I rather think the problem is more on their end than mine.

There are plenty of groups I don't "take seriously". Oddly, I have no urge to kill them all.
posted by kyrademon at 9:09 AM on February 6, 2005

My favourite part of the article:
Like many born-again Christians, Marcavage refers often to his prior life. "I broke all 10 commandments," he says. According to the Bible, if you break one commandment, you've broken them all, he clarifies.

Way to narrowly dodge a murder confession, buddy.
posted by teg at 9:11 AM on February 6, 2005

ReligiousWingnutFilter. Useless, useless, useless FPP.

"Quick, trot out another absolute crazy. We need something new to laugh at."

Isn't there something more interesting going on somewhere?
posted by koeselitz at 9:23 AM on February 6, 2005

ReligiousWingnutFilter. Useless, useless, useless FPP.

Hardly useless.

Sorry to break it to you, but the religious nuts are on the move. They're taking over the country, one law at a time.
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:29 AM on February 6, 2005

Why has nobody brought up how HAWT he looks dressed up?
posted by davy at 9:41 AM on February 6, 2005

homosexuality a "public safety issue." The latter, he says, deserves special attention because it is one of the more "celebrated sins in our nation. … No one says, 'let's break the Sabbath today'. … No one's gonna say, 'greed is good'. … I don't know of any event where you have people coming into the streets of America celebrating adultery."

Boy he sure isn't trying very hard. He could be picketing stores and restaurants that open on Sundays; HumVee dealerships, Wall Street, and Rodeo Drive; and Divorce Court. But I guess that wouldn't be as popular.

It is stuff like this that makes me want to go back to basics. If Christianity is based on the life and teachings of Christ as well as the Bible, then there are some issues that need to be addressed:

1. Why do Christians continue to judge others in direct defiance of Christ's teachings? Christ, after all did say "Let he that is without sin cast the first stone." and "Before you worry about the mote in your neighbor's eye, worry about the beam in your own eye."

2. Also I don't remember Christ worrying about the government's laws. In fact "Render unto Caesar..."

3. Finally, it seems to me that Evangelical Christians should be asking themselves "What is my message?" If they are trying to get more people into heaven, then showing love and acceptance would surely be a better way to convince others of God's love. Spewing hate and calling for their deaths isn't the best way to attract people.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:13 AM on February 6, 2005

More on this guy from Americablog
According to the top religious right groups, the protesters were just innocent Christians arrested for practing their faith - and the religious right is now blaming "homosexual lawyers" working at the Justice Dept for the arrest. Well, Mike Tidmus discovered that the protesters were a bunch of nutjobs carrying "GAY - God Abhors You" signs, and more. These are the religious right's poster boys for tolerance?

At other protests, Marcavage's fellow protesters carried signs saying "GAY - Got AIDS Yet." Tidmus has photos of this on his site. I saw those signs at the Southern Decadence festival in New Orleans a few years back - and the people in the photo look familiar. If that's the same group, they were so unruly, one woman from the group literally shoved me - it would be no wonder they'd be arrested.

posted by amberglow at 10:15 AM on February 6, 2005

Death to moralism!
posted by pwedza at 10:34 AM on February 6, 2005

From the Citypaper article: 'The crux of Marcavage's worldview is biblical literalism. Even those famous instances where the Bible seems to wander from modern conceptions of right and wrong, Marcavage explains away as misinterpretations. Biblical slavery, for instance, is "not in the sense of based on the color of someone's skin, but about how people were admitted into voluntary slavery based on them wanting to be in service to others."'

What is he talking about? Even 2000 years ago very few slaves were slaves because they volunteered for it. Besides, for example, the Bible does not say even that Sarai's slave Hagar volunteered to be knocked up by Abram, or even that she consented to sex; as a slave she had no say, and had she resisted Abram would have been allowed to rape her because she was "only" a slave. Even a "heathen" like Margaret Atwood understood the Bible better than that.

Maybe I should understand Marcavage's "not in the sense of based on the color of someone's skin, but about how people were admitted into voluntary slavery" to mean that in his proposed "Christ-like" America white people too would be "volunteered" to be slaves.
posted by davy at 10:43 AM on February 6, 2005

(whistfully) Ooooh, what I'd pay to have Marcavage deep throat Glenn Danzig...
posted by moonbird at 11:08 AM on February 6, 2005

I'd pay to watch someone ravage any Santorum lookalike. ("Take it, bitch!") Call it scorn-porn.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:23 AM on February 6, 2005

"I'd pay to watch someone ravage any Santorum lookalike. ("Take it, bitch!") Call it scorn-porn."

That's the most hideous thing I've read in a long, long time. Really, think about it. Santorum may be a dick, but rape-porn is crossing a line, man.

Which just goes to show, again: useless. I know, I know, you think all religious people are nutters, and that we should give all airtime possible to proving it by picking out the worst of the worst and trumpeting them constantly. Go ahead. But don't lie and call it rational discussion, and don't put it on MeFi, eh?
posted by koeselitz at 11:51 AM on February 6, 2005

Santorum may be a dick, but rape-porn is crossing a line, man.

Erm, I don't think I'm advocating rape. More just angry, degrading sex for ironic purposes. It's all consensual: Santorum and his ilk love to feel like they're the ones being tortured by the pagans of the world, anyway.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:08 PM on February 6, 2005

More dueling would solve so many problems, krinklyfig.

Yeah, me and Zell, we go out to pick up women on the weekends and get in a duel or two. We like to think we're doing our part.

By the way, that Zell can drink anyone under the table. Don't even try it!
posted by krinklyfig at 12:30 PM on February 6, 2005

Oh, and krinklyfig : Get out of my face. If you are going to ask me a question, step back and let me answer!

Jeez, doesn't anyone watch or read the news anymore?

I wasn't really challenging you to a duel. It was a joke. Google for Zell Miller.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:36 PM on February 6, 2005

"Erm, I don't think I'm advocating rape. More just angry, degrading sex for ironic purposes."

Ah yes. That's not disturbing at all. Perfectly innocent. Sorry.
posted by koeselitz at 12:41 PM on February 6, 2005

Actually Koeselitz considering this fellow is in a group of five which were arrested protesting at a gay pride event & that the AFA will/is spend/ing a lot of money defending these folks in the name of free speech this fellow seems eminently newsworthy to me. He is being set up as a poster child for Christian persecution, he has big bucks behind him, and his actions seem to fall right at the juncture between freedom of speech & yelling fire in a theatre.

As for which folks get killed first I expect there will be a que. Me thinks though that Mr. Marcavage will be rooting for the homosexuals to get escorted to the front of the que.
posted by filchyboy at 1:19 PM on February 6, 2005

Gay Pride parades with tatooed, pierced leather freaks and flamboyant drag queens don't help matters at all.

Unless it's actually okay to be "tattooed pierced leather freak" or a "flamboyant drag queen". Which, you know, maybe it is?

No one is forcing you to befriend people you don't like, but a gay pride parade is a way to remind us that human beings come in all types, and we should respect and be concerned for the rights of all. If their activity is infringing your own rights, that's one thing, but if they're just behaving in ways you find personally distasteful, get over it.

One thing that's so great about gay pride parades is seeing brazilian dancers on a flamboyant float, wearing only fancy headresses and, like, penis sheaths, followed by a gay christian association wearing button down shirts and walking modestly in a group. It's awesome when people can recognize common humanity and not be freaked out by difference. Those guys aren't wearing leather to hurt you. It's just part of their self-expression.

This guy is definitely depressing. I hope the seeming upsurge in these kinds of people is indicative of death throes and not of an actual revival of these paleolithic beliefs...
posted by mdn at 1:25 PM on February 6, 2005

A few things to add to the maelstrom. Marcavage and his ilk would not know the teachings of Christ if they were bit on the ass by them. It deserves to be shouted: THIS MAN IS NO CHRISTIAN!

Secondly, he is the American equivalent of the Taliban. He's part of an irrational, death-obsessed, medieval cult.

Thirdly, he is completely gay, and hates himself for it. I'd bet good money on it.

It is lame how easy it is to get arrested protesting these days, which is the only point I'd agree with. However, that does not make Christians persecuted, and it is such a transparently stupid claim to make. The people that follow hucksters like Marcavage are being conned. This guy, and his legions of phony Christian preachers that conveniently ignore so much of Christianity to further their own ends, they are simple confidence men. Nothing more.
posted by teece at 1:35 PM on February 6, 2005

Right back atcha, krinklyfig.
posted by catachresoid at 2:33 PM on February 6, 2005

Oh, frink ... well, guess I'm the one who can't read inflection too well ...
posted by krinklyfig at 4:26 PM on February 6, 2005

No worries. In retrospect, I should've hammed the quote up with more exclamation, as you did.
posted by catachresoid at 4:54 PM on February 6, 2005

Sorry for being so prolix, but there's a larger issue here I'd like to briefly speak to.

Michael Marcavage is a honest, sincere Christian. By which I mean, he's not a hypocrite. In the Bible, God commands the faithful to put homosexuals to death. Anyone not following God's direct stated commands is, presumably, not a faithful follower of God. Marcavage is a faithful follower.

Jesus believed in the Torah, and that's why Christians believe it too. Jesus is recorded to have said, Matthew 5:17-18:
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Most modern Christians, of course, argue that whatever the Jewish laws were, Christ superseded those laws, or that only the "moral laws" of the Old Testament apply, and not the "ceremonial laws" or dietary laws. But is God's command to kill a homosexual (or a witch, or a woman who is not virgin when married) a "ceremonial" law? It's certainly not a dietary law. Leviticus 20:13 clearly calls homosexuality "an abomination" -- this is no mere ceremony, this is a God saying that homosexuality is immoral.

So how is it that a Christian can claim to be truly following God's commands, and yet cherry-pick only those commands he feels comfortable following?

But even if we stipulate the silver-tongued modern Christian theologian is correct, and has correctly figured out which Old Testament laws still apply (forgetting such things as that it's only in the last century or so that the Biblical acceptance of slavery as moral was "discovered" by theologians no longer to apply), Trinitarian Christians still believe that Jesus is God and God, Jesus. All Christians, even those not Trinitarian, still claim to follow the God of the Old Testament.

If that's true, then at least at one time, the God they follow -- the presumably infallible and inerrant, and morally always correct God they follow --, did command that His worship include killing homosexuals, and witches (Exodus 22:18), and anyone working on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:12-15), and even putting whole towns, including little children, to the sword (Deuteronomy 13:12-15; Isaiah 13:9-18). Again, this is the same God who is also Jesus. And He commanded that those who didn't worship Him be put to death too (2 Chronicles 15:13).

So how does the modern Christian theologian explain this? Does he say, "Yes, my God was once intolerant and full of bloodlust, and since he's infallible, that was morally right then, but He's changed, and so now it's morally wrong"?

If there's any point in following a God, there's no point in doing it halfway -- unless you're just in it for easy salvation. Be honest like Michael Marcavage and embrace your faith fully, wholly and holy, or admit that whatever the Bible teaches, it's not the morality of a just God. But why call yourself a Christian and practice hypocrisy?
posted by orthogonality at 1:47 AM on February 14, 2005

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