Just in case you missed these headlines . . .
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Jun 19, 2007, 01:18
finds evangelicals� addiction to Internet porn on the rise.� That June 7
headline exposed what many of those holier-than-thou evangelical Christians are
doing when they�re not beating their Bibles: �A new survey shows that five of
ten Christian men in the U.S. -- and two of ten Christian women -- are addicted
to pornography. The survey was conducted by ChristiaNet.com, an online
Christian Internet community.�
Since Internet porn is one of the main targets of virtually
every organization in the Christian Right, the hypocrisy of the sheeple who
support these groups publicly while enjoying their Internet porn privately is
more than obvious. The same is true for the �save marriage� campaigns.
On September 8, 2004 -- during the height of the Christian
Right�s pre-election �save traditional marriage� campaign -- the Christian
marketing-research Barna Group issued a report with the headline �Born
Again Christians Just As Likely to Divorce As Are Non-Christians.� It
documented that �among married born again Christians, 35 percent have
experienced a divorce. That figure is identical to the outcome among married
adults who are not born again: 35 percent.� Barna also documented that �nearly
one-quarter of the married �born agains� (23 percent) get divorced two or more
times.� If �traditional marriage� is at risk, it certainly isn�t because gay
and lesbian Americans want to strengthen the institution by supporting it.
June 8 brought this headline: �Christians
should know candidates� views on creation, says Ken Ham.� Mr. Ham is the
president of Answers in Genesis, the organization that just opened a Creation
Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.
Some of Mr. Ham�s
�scientific� notions underwrite the exhibits at the Creation Museum. They argue
that the earth is 6,000 years old, Adam and Eve were real people (modern-day homo sapiens, no less), human children
played with dinosaurs in Eden, Tyrannosaurus rex was a strict vegetarian, every
kind of dinosaur was among the passengers on Noah�s ark, dinosaurs went extinct
only a few hundred years ago, and the waters from Noah�s flood quickly carved
the Grand Canyon just a few thousand years ago. Ham�s museum also features an
exhibit suggesting that belief in evolution is the root of most of
modern society�s evils. It shows children leaving a church where the minister
believes in evolution. Soon the girl is on the phone to Planned Parenthood,
while the boy cruises the Internet for porn sites . . . just as many of their
evangelical parents do, after church, of course.
Another June 8 headline -- �Creation museum�s
�Adam� owns naughty Web site� -- was as revealing as ChristiaNet.com�s porn
The man picked to play Adam by a museum
based on the Bible�s version of Earth�s history led quite a different life
outside the Garden of Eden, flaunting his sexual exploits online and modeling
for a line of clothing with an explicit mascot.
Registration records show that Eric
Linden, who portrays Adam taking his first breath in a film at the newly opened
Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., owns a graphic Web site called Bedroom
Acrobat. He has been pictured there, smiling alongside a drag queen, in a
T-shirt brandishing the site�s sexually suggestive logo.
But Mr. Ham is right about people knowing candidates� views
on Genesis as literal history. Everyone should consider whether presidential
candidates are intelligent and reality-based or dimwitted and live in
fantasyland. The last thing the country needs is another stupid president who�s
blind to reality.
June 11 was marked by this headline: �Baptist
pastor calls preachers to fight for the truth.� But �the truth� was really
not what Roger Spradlin, senior pastor of Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield,
California, was talking about at the annual Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)
meeting in San Antonio , Texas. He was advocating religious bigotry and
intolerance: �We have to resist the pluralism of our culture that says you can
come to God through Jesus -- but you can come through Buddha or Allah or any
other way.� In other words, only the SBC version of Christianity is valid. All
other religions and belief systems are false, evil, and need to be . . . eradicated?
More from the Southern Baptist Convention came on June 12: �Clergy
sex abuse survivors call for Southern Baptist leaders to investigate �growing
An activist group that tries to raise
awareness of sexual abuse by clergy members is asking the Southern Baptist
Convention (SBC) to do more to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct
among its pastors.
Several members of the group, Survivors
Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), stood outside the Henry B. Gonzalez
Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, Monday afternoon, asking the nation�s
largest non-Catholic denomination to take action against what they claim is a
growing problem -- sexual abuse committed by pastors.
And then, right on cue, a June 13 headline proclaimed �Bush
praises Southern Baptists�: �President George W. Bush thanked
Southern Baptists for their Christian witness, defense of liberty, and
commitment to building a culture of life.�
In the echo chamber that passes for George W. Bush�s brain,
religious bigotry and the demeaning of other people�s belief systems, covering
up and protecting pastors who sexually abuse children are tantamount to
�defense of liberty, and commitment to building a culture of life.� Perhaps they�re
also the essence of the Christian witnessing that led Rev. Richard Thebo,
director of the Open Door Mission in Fort Collins, Colorado, to throw a
34-year-old homeless man out of the shelter because
he was gay.
But a June 10 headline offered real hope: �Christian
separatist readying move to new homeland�:
The leader of a small group [Christian
Exodus] that ultimately wants to secede from the United States and form a
Christian republic is preparing to move to the South Carolina county his
organization has picked as a good base of operations. . . . Christian Exodus
aims to claim a voice in the South Carolina state government, and eventually
secede from the United States to form its own separate Christian republic.
Cory Burnell, leader of Christian Exodus, seems as ignorant
about history as AIG�s Ken Ham is about science. The previous attempt to secede
from the union didn�t turn out too well. But perhaps a small, remote,
uninhabited island could be found for Mr. Burnell and his followers. Hopefully
they�ll take Rev. Roger Spradlin of the Southern Baptist Convention and Rev.
Richard Thebo of the Open Door Mission with them.
And for God�s sake -- as well as everyone else�s -- please,
Mr. Burnell, take Peter LaBarbera with you. LaBarbera heads a �Christian� organization the sole purpose of
which is to demean, denigrate, and hurt gay and lesbian Americans, their
children and their families as much as possible and in any way possible. Better
yet, take all those who pervert religion and use it to encourage hate, bigotry,
and the violence that inevitably follows.
June 14: �The
Gruesome Death of Shorty Hall: Indiana�s Matthew Shepard�:
But the story�s twists and turns, as
disgusting as they are tragic, have gone largely unreported outside blogs like Daily Kos and
and a crusading local paper in Indiana, the Bloomington Alternative . . .
The victim in this new outrage wasn�t
called Aaron �Shorty� Hall for nothing. Shorty was 5-foot-4 and weighed a mere
100 pounds. In beefy rural Indiana, that passes for almost invisible.
On April 12, Shorty was allegedly
beaten to death by Coleman King, 18, and Garrett Gray, 19 . . .
The description of what happened . . . is
horrific, a savage assault that eerily echoes the tortuous death of Matthew
Shepard. This time it took the form of a relentless beating that went on for
several hours at Gray�s house before Shorty was finally dragged down the wooden
stairs, his head banging loudly on each step.
King and Gray told cops they beat Hall
again at the bottom of the stairs, threw him into a pickup truck and continued
beating him as they drove down a remote dirt road.
Once there, one of them had the
audacity to send a friend a cellphone photo of the dying Shorty. Then they
dumped him, naked but still alive, in a ditch. According to weather reports, it
was 39 degrees that night.
As Gabriel Rotello noted in his Huffington Post story about
Shorty�s murder, when the rhetoric of perverted religion is heard �in a place
teeming with vengeful right-wing Christians who continue to infect the young
with a vile hatred of gays,� it is, to say the least, a �combustible
combination.� But the effects of anti-gay, theofascist rhetoric can be seen
anywhere, even in some of the nation�s largest cities.
June 15: �Chicago Cops
Accused Of Brutally Beating Man Because He�s Gay�:
A gay Chicago man has filed a federal
lawsuit alleging two police officers beat and denied him his civil rights
solely because of his sexuality.
Alexander Ruppert, 35, says he was
beaten nearly unconscious while the cops hurled anti-gay remarks at him and
then was placed in a holding cell for two days without food or water . . .
The lawsuit claims he was removed by
the two officers from the Uptown Lounge following an altercation on March 5 and
placed in a squad car.
He was not initially charged with any
offence and was not handcuffed, court papers say.
The suit says that Ruppert then was
driven to [a] deserted area behind a theater where he was beaten while the
officers called him a �faggot� and other derogatory remarks . . .
Also June 15: �Woman Charged
With Beating Gay Marriage Supporter�:
A woman who was part of a conservative
Christian group rallying Thursday at the Massachusetts Statehouse for a
proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is charged with
assaulting a gay marriage supporter who was attending a rally across the street
opposing the amendment.
Diane Steele, 52, was arraigned Friday
on charges of assault and battery . . .
It is not the first time that a member
of a conservative Christian group has been accused of accosting a gay marriage
In April the former leader of a
Catholic group advocating for a constitutional ban on gay marriage was been
arraigned on assault and civil rights violations stemming from a demonstration last
Larry Cirignano, 50, who at the time
was the head of Catholic Citizenship, was alleged to have attacked a woman
taking part in a counter demonstration at an anti-gay rally in front of
Worcester City Hall last December 16.
Sarah Loy, 27, was part of a group who
stood near the front of the rally where Cirignano was speaking . . .
Cirignano reportedly had just finished
leading the Pledge of Allegiance when he spotted Loy and her sign.
Police allege that he left the podium
and tackled Loy to the ground. �You need to get out. You need to get out of
here right now,� he reportedly told her as her head was pushed into the
As Loy lay bruised and bloodied on the
sidewalk Cirignano reportedly returned to [the] lectern . . .
June 16: �Teen cites �gay
panic� in Brooklyn slaying�:
A Brooklyn, N.Y., teenager has been
indicted on murder charges for fatally stabbing a man because he was gay, Kings
County prosecutors said Thursday.
Roberto Duncanson, 20, also of
Brooklyn, died soon after the May 12 attack . . .
Willock and Duncanson passed each other
on St. Marks Avenue in Crown Heights, and Willock became enraged, accusing
Duncanson of looking at him, prosecutors said in a written statement. Duncanson
continued walking to a friend�s house as Willock shouted antigay remarks . . .
On his way home Duncanson again passed
Willock, and Willock again berated him for his sexual orientation. Duncanson
tried to walk away, but Willock came after him, first with his fists and then
with a knife.
Paramedics found Duncanson on the
sidewalk, stabbed four times.
all you need are the headlines . . .
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