Monday, May 28, 2012

Standing up against a gay-genocide pastor for Memorial Day

The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.
- Carl Sagan
On Memorial Day, Americans honor the men and women who died while serving in the Armed Forces. As Lincoln noted in his Gettysburg Address, “the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.”

As the son of a World War II veteran, the task before me this Memorial Day weekend was therefore clear. An independent Baptist preacher from my home town (Maiden, NC) recently suggested genocide as a solution to the “homosexual problem” -- perhaps in jest, but he has yet to unambiguously repent for using these words. In response, over 1,000 people gathered on the lawn of the Catawba County Justice Center in Newton, North Carolina on Sunday. The protest was organized to provide a message of love and tolerance in response to these hateful words. Some say it was the largest protest in the history of Catawba Country.

A Georgia preacher and counter-protestor told the Hickory Daily Record that "the preachers that hate these people are at home." I suspect Martin Niemöller would agree on this point. But there were no restless dreams and no one walked alone in Newton on Sunday.


  1. No thinking human being supports the idea of genocide. OTOH, what thinking human being gives a tinker's damn about anything some hillbilly preacher in the backwoods of North Carolina says or thinks about anything? I think the largest benefactor of the incredible press this idiot has gotten, and arguably the protest against his words itself, is the preacher. It is a fool's errand to think his thinking can be altered and by granting him such tremendous attention, don't you think you've elevated his relative import substantially?

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  3. Update: AC360 ran this clip tonight.

    Note that the footage of Worley was from Sunday (same day as the protest). Note also that there was unfortunately an arson attempt on the church the night before this footage was taken.

  4. Reason the pastors weren't there... mmmm it was held on a Sunday.. oh during church hours. Gee I wonder why they weren't there. By the way the pastor isn't gay, and if he was well then why is everyone upset he said this he was talkin about himself too. Maybe it was what GOD wanted him to say.

  5. Erik: please take some time to watch this talk by Nate Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church.

  6. Here's what troubles me about all this. We spend time on these non-issues and never address the large issues that affect us all. And I'm sorry, the rantings of a Southern Baptist preacher in a small town in the rural South is an issue that pales in comparison to the fact that we're allowing Wall Street to dictate how we are governed. It pales in comparison to Mitt Romney's comment in the past few days that sometimes he doesn't do the rationale thing because of what God tells him to do when Mitt Romney could be the next POTUS. It pales in comparison to the fact that we have a Democratic Vice President who brags about the "strength" of the President in decimating the UAW. And it most certainly pales in comparison to the fact that we still have young men dying in the Middle East. There are almost uncountably many issues larger than this one. And our owners (to borrow George Carlin's term) know it and they want us to keep from recognizing that we have far more in common with one another than we have differences. As long as our owners can keep us occupied with these non-issues (gay marriage, abortion, etc.) we'll never address the real issues and they can remain happily in power while we become poorer and less free.

    So, keep railing about this inconsequential stuff. You'll make your owners happy.

  7. Anonymous: so why are you spending time commenting on my blog post about these "inconsequential non-issues?" Shouldn't you be out protesting against the "owners" instead?

  8. Because I have a delusional best friend who occasionally lets his eye slip off the ball. :0)

    There is something worth considering about this though, since it seems that we'll be arguing over "gay rights" and "gay acceptance" for a while. I think I have a solution that will work (as opposed to protesting Xian preachers - which only exacerbates the problem). Re-classify homosexuality as a mental illness. In 1975, if the American Psychological Association had not decided to change the definition of homosexuality in order to "remove the stigma associated with mental illness," would the violent reactions like this one would be the same? I don't think so. I can't imagine even this preacher calling for the rounding up of mentally ill people.

    If homosexuality were still considered a mental illness, the so-called "gay bigots" would be less likely to be "bigots." The term "homophobic" only makes sense in an environment where it is deemed "normal" to be a homosexual.

    In an environment where homosexuality is considered a mental illness, does that word have any meaning aside from "being afraid of mentally ill people?" I think not. Further, I think it less likely to be afraid of the mentally ill than being classified as somehow defective in one's thinking (i.e. that homosexuality is wrong).

    The truth of the matter here is not what I'm talking about. I'm only suggesting that if homosexuality were still considered a mental illness, the Xian sense of morality would not be offended by its existence. And that might be a Good Thing for the gay community.