When hurting or killing people is the goal of religious fanatics
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Journal Contributing Writer
Jul 13, 2006, 00:37
The great Irish novelist James Joyce was no fan of organized
religion. His last enigmatic novel, Finnegans
Wake, began where it ended. That approach seems appropriate here too.
�Organized religion and the self-serving, self-righteous dogma it inevitably
produces may be the worst ideas
humanity has ever concocted: �Bounty� For Killing Gays At World Pride.�
On July 5, SouthBendTribune.com carried a story by
Associated Press writer David Eggert. The headline said it all: �Conservative
group sues MSU for offering health insurance to partners of homosexual workers.�
The American Family Association of Michigan filed a lawsuit
on July 5 �to stop Michigan State University from offering health insurance to
the partners of gay workers.� According to the AP article, the Michigan
affiliate of Don Wildmon�s American Family Association hopes �to get a ruling setting a precedent that
would block domestic partner benefits at other state universities.�
Why? The only answer
seems to be to demean, denigrate, disenfranchise, and hurt gay and lesbian
Americans and their families as much as possible and in any way possible.
Don Wildmon�s American Family Association is well known for
its anti-gay boycotts meant
to hurt businesses -- and the families
they support -- if they treat all their employees equally and/or advocate
civil equality for all Americans.
In a June 2 article carried
by Agape Press, self-proclaimed �pro-family� Wildmon claimed that AFA�s boycott
was hurting the Ford Motor Company: �More than 20 pro-family groups are
currently boycotting Ford . . ."
The �pro-family� designation is blatantly fraudulent,
hypocritical and, in this case, malevolent. How many families -- including Christian and �traditional� ones -- are being
adversely affecting by this �pro-family� boycott and the destructive social
bigotry it inspires? Do the AFA and its allies care? Apparently not.
That was made clear by Rev. Wildmon in his mid-June statement:
The American Family Association says
that its boycott of Ford Motor Company over the automaker�s support for LGBT
issues is having an impact.
�The boycott of Ford Motor Company is
working! Sales of automobiles made by Ford dropped 2 percent in May,� AFA chair
Donald E. Wildmon said in an email to supporters.
What kind of man, what kind of �Christian� would take
pleasure in hurting people and their families?
In a July 7 Agape Press article that
began with sleight-of-hand deception, �pro-family� Wildmon was again gleeful
about AFA�s boycott hurting Ford:
The latest sales figures for Ford Motor
Company continue the ongoing story of the company�s declining bottom line -- a
several-percentage-points drop in sales that the leader of a pro-family group
ties in with a boycott and the economy.
What the writer of the article, Ed Thomas, conveniently
forgot to mention was that Ford�s 7 percent decline in sales was the smallest
far -- among the three major U.S. automakers. General Motors� sales
fell 25.9 percent; DaimlerChrysler�s, 13 percent.
The AFA and its state-affiliates are also well known for
other activities meant to hurt people they don�t know and don�t care about.
Activist Blasts Penn. Senate�s Civil Union Compromise
The president of the American Family
Association (AFA) of Pennsylvania says lawmakers in her state have voted to destroy traditional marriage. The
pro-family group is decrying a move by Pennsylvania senators that weakened a
proposed state marriage protection amendment by stripping from it a ban on civil unions.
Last week, the state Senate voted
38-12 in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment protecting marriage but
removed language prohibiting civil unions. . . .
[Diane] Gramley [president of the AFA
of Pennsylvania] says Pennsylvania senators have abandoned their Christian and pro-family constituents by
supporting a constitutional amendment that would allow civil unions to be
legalized. [italics added]
�Abandoned their Christian� ideology?" Apparently Ms.
Gramley knows more about Christianity than Jesus did.
�Abandoned their pro-family� ideology?" Ms. Gramley
seems totally unaware -- or just doesn�t care -- that gay and lesbian parents
are rearing hundreds of thousands of children in loving families. Obviously Ms. Gramley is unconcerned about these children
and their families and wishes to do them as much social, legal and economic
harm as possible. Does that sound �Christian� to you? Does that sound
�pro-family� to you?
Nevertheless, the �pro-family� and �destroy traditional
marriage� mantras opened the June 27 story [about the
Pennsylvania AFA charges] in James
on the Family's CitizenLink.org: �A pro-family group is charging
Pennsylvania lawmakers with destroying traditional marriage for stripping a
proposed state constitutional amendment of language that would prevent civil
�Destroying traditional marriage?� How? They never seem to explain that �how� part, do they?
Fact: same-sex civil unions and companies (or universities)
offering same-sex partners benefits hurt no one (not
even budgets), and they certainly don�t �destroy traditional marriage.� But
they do help
people and their families. Isn�t that the �Christian� thing to do?
Clearly the American Family Association, its Pennsylvania
and Michigan affiliates are interested only in their own parochial agenda that
is intentionally designed to hurt gay
Americans and their families.
�Ah, but we can change gays into �normal� people� is the
ridiculous rejoinder from the megalomaniacal leaders of the Christian Right and
those who run for-profit �ex-gay� therapies:
The obvious truth and equally obvious hypocrisy were pointed
out by Alan Hicks in his recent OpEd:
therapy unnecessarily tampers with the mind
Saturday, July 01, 2006
In response to Harlow J. Keith�s June
23 letter, which addressed a June 11 article on the ex-gay ministry Exodus
International, I address a couple of Keith�s misconceptions regarding
homosexuality, reparative therapy and the �only way out� Exodus International
and the evangelical Christian community portray.
Reparative therapy, the
psychotherapeutic process pioneered by Joseph Nicolosi and Charles Socarides,
is widely condemned by the vast majority of mental health professionals, including
the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the
American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the
American Counseling Association. In addition, the National Association of
School Psychologists, the National Association of Social Workers and the Royal
College of Nursing also have renounced it. . . .
The supposed need for reparative
therapy derives solely from this assumption, that homosexuality is a mental
illness and, therefore, in need of treatment. The fact that this assumption is
based on spiritual-scriptural interpretation, rather than on scientific
research and evidence, is apparent in that most reparative-therapy
practitioners and centers are financially backed and supported by conservative
Christian transformational ministries. They maintain that homosexuality is a
socially destructive and undesirable chosen behavior, and that change is
necessary and possible. Despite contradictions with current mainstream research
results, reparative-therapy supporters continue to use biased research to
purport this therapy to be an effective and safe alternative to an unhappy
Reparative therapy is, in short, a
tampering and manipulation of the mind and conscience, the psychological
well-being of a human being, something that we as humans do not have the right
to tamper with. It is interesting and peculiar that this segment of the
Christian community, which claims confidence in the power of prayer and the
power of the Holy Spirit, would stoop to and participate in such medically
unsound, potentially psychologically harmful techniques simply to satisfy their
own egos and scriptural understanding. . . .
What else can one say about the AFA and its affiliates�
rhetoric and actions, the �ex-gay�
sham -- that has strong
ties to the Christian Right�s campaign against civil equality for gay and
lesbian Americans -- other than their goal is to demean, denigrate,
disenfranchise, and hurt gay and lesbian Americans and their families as much
as possible and in
any way possible.
But the Christian Right is not alone, or
even the most extreme:
Killing Gays At World Pride
July 11, 2006
(Jerusalem) Hundreds of leaflets
distributed to homes in Jerusalem�s ultra-Orthodox area and other parts of the
city overnight offer 20,000 Israeli new shekels or about $4,500 US to anyone
who kills gays marching in next month�s World Pride in Jerusalem.
The flyers bore the name Red Arm for
Salvation and said the money would go to �anyone who will cause the death of
one of the Sodom and Gomorrah people.�
�During this parade, 300,000 corrupt
animals are anticipated to march through the holy city of Jerusalem, waiting
avidly for the chance to put themselves on display before our children and our
sacred Torah. They will try as hard as they can to defile as many of our
innocent children as they can,� the leaflets said.
The flyers also gave detailed
instructions on how to make a Molotov cocktail, an incendiary bomb using a
bottle, to be lobbed into the parade.
religion and the self-serving, self-righteous dogma it inevitably produces may
be the worst ideas humanity has ever concocted.
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