THE HOPES AND DREAMS OF
25 FAITH-BASED HATE GROUPS
In the Bring-It-On fashion of Pat Robertson during his "700 Club" broadcasts, bloggers on religion and politics like myself have to gird ourselves for the intense and the ridiculous. Unlike Pat Robertson, however, we can't afford to be righteously arrogant in our dealings with hypocrisy.
Nor can we afford to be senile.
It would be a relief to think that Robertson represents the "social conservative" movement: a doddering mass of self-righteousness, hypocrisy and delusions of grandeur bestowed by God on his way out of the mainstream, but the moment we think that, we've lost a battle with a ferocious tiger that's been wounded but is not dead by any means.
And when one looks at the ferocity of the Christian Right's attacks on America's progressive society in 2012, any wounds inflicted on it come off as minimal: from Pastor Dennis Terry's famous exhortation to "Get Out!" to Pastor Gary Cass' canon law of "You can't be a Christian and not own a gun," animosity and aggression were rampant. Pitiful cries of persecution coming from broadcasters and news henchmen who fulminated against the building of mosques, supported the idea of "legitimate rape", railed against same-sex marriage as the downfall of civilization, and called President Obama the Anti-Christ brought WTF's from the more rational and reality-based among us.
But they persisted ... and grew.
The Hopes and Dreams of Hate Groups for 2013
The number of hate groups rose in 2013 as well as the number of crimes ... and hate crime enablers. And to view the intensity - the worst of the worst - we must look at some of the largest groups who concentrate on hating one of the smaller groups in society: faith-based organizations and their fixation on all things homosexual.
According to the SPLC, the follwing groups are faith-based anti-gay hate groups The wikipedia entries are accompanied by their website links and - if applicable - their own "One Man Hate Group" designee)
Abiding Truth Ministries - One Man Hate Group: Scott Lively. After building a minor reputation as a debunked author/researcher, Lively's continuing focus is on inculcating foreign (nee third world) countries. He was instrumental in Uganda's "Kill The Gays" bill.
American Family Association (website) - One Man Hate Group: Bryan Fischer. The AFA is joined at the hip to the Family Research Council and between the two, garner over $50 million of donations per year.
American Vision (website)- One Man Hate Group: Gary DeMar. While actively touting creation science (Adam and Eve cavorted dinosaurs, Pebbles and Bam Bam), it also strenuously promotes the death penalty for all homosexuals.
Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (website) - One Man Hate Group: Matt Barber - "Countering The Truth About The Homosexual Activist Agenda" is a study in convoluted reasoning and interviews with other hate group leaders. Another One Man Hate Group, Peter LaBarbera (aka "Porno Pete"***) is linked to other organizations.
Bethesda Christian Institute (website) - a pseudo intellectual church run by a pseudo-rational thinker, J.V. Foster.
Chalcedon Foundation (website) - For a while, the Chalcedon Foundation was the most dreaded affiliate because of its Reconstructionist views: absolutely no one wanted to be connected with it. Founded by the "Father of Reconstructionism" R.J Rushdooney, the concept of Reconstructionism (as Dominionism or Seven Mountains Theology) is making a comeback and is probably the most theocratic organization of the bunch.
Dove World Outreach Center (website) - One Man Hate Group: Terry Jones. Too much publicity has been given to the Quran-burning pastor who was kicked out of Germany by his own cult. And that publicity has been deadly.
Faithful Word Baptist Church (website) - One Man Hate Group (literally, since there are not many who follow his strip mall church): Pastor Steven Anderson
Family Research Council (website) - One Man Hate Group: Tony Perkins. Even with ties to white separatists, this group (Founded by Focus On Th Family) continues to influence politics with its anti-gay political hate-fest, the Values Voters Summit.
Family Research Institute (website) - One Man Hate Group: Paul Cameron. Being debunked and kicked out of professional institutions on a regular basis has never stopped Cameron from spreading the lies that are used by the likes of the Family Research Council. E.G: according to Cameron, I'm a medical wonder, since I'm over 65 and the average age of homosexuals (according to his "research"**) is 42.
Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment (website) - Besides having the dumbest looking website featuring animated doves, this organization with it's "peace" symbolism is probably the most disingenuous.
Illinois Family Institute (website) - Connected with American Family Association and Americans For Truth About Homosexuality. Enough said.
Jewish Political Action Committee (website - inactive)
MassResistance (website) - Rabidly "pro-family" and rabidly anti-gay, their site takes an "American Patriot" stance and looks to be connected with the Patriot Movement itself but supposedly is not.
Mission: America (website) - One Man Hate Group: Linda Harvey. Harvey's main target is parents: children must not be exposed to homosexuality, gay teachers oir doctors.
Parents Action League (website) - Concentrating on the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota, the irony of which is not lost to people following gay teen suicides and bullying.
National Organization for Marriage (website) - Along with American Family Association and One Million Moms (not designated a hate group but decidedly anti-gay), this organization's campaign against same-sex marriage has exploded with boycotts of retailers across the country. It's boycott of Starbuck's attempted to go global but fizzled within the first weeks.
Public Advocate of the United States (website) - One Man Hate Group: Eugene Delgaudio.
SaveCalifornia.com (website) - This organization attempts to save California children from "Sexual Brainwashing"
Sons of Thundr (Faith Baptist Church) (website) - With graphic depictions of aborted fetuses and auto accidents (due to alcoholism), you don't want to see what they think of gays and AIDS.
Tom Brown Ministries (website)
Traditional Values Coalition (website) - One Man Hate Group: Lou Sheldon. This organization and its founder can best be termed as the granddaddy of anti-gay faith-based hate groups, going back to 1984. Although tarnished considerably during the Jack Abramoff scandal, it continues to tout over 43,000 affiliated churches.
True Light Pentecost Church (website) - When you don't believe in Christmas or Easter and dress like a demented Mennonite or Mother Theresa you're a cult.
United Families International (website)
Westboro Baptist Church (website) - One Man Hate Group: Fred Phelps. Volumes have been written about the Man Addicted To Hate who catapulted to the Hate Hall of Fame by picketing Matthew Sheperd's Funeral.
Windsor Hills Baptist Church (website)
You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International (website) - One Man Hate Group: Bradlee Dean. When you play rock hate music at school assemblies under the guise of "education" you are a fraud. When you state that "on average, they [homosexuals] molest 117 people before they’re found out" you're a hate group.
As you can see, the groups run from the highly organized (Family Research Council), to the hopelessly inept (Faithful Word Baptist Church*) and just plain weird (True Light Pentecostal), but it is their intensity across the board that provoke discrimination, violence, bullying and suicide. All in the name of God, of course.
Reading their websites can be a confusing amalgam of "we-hate-them-but-we-love-them" platitudes, faulty (if not outwardly fake) research, junk science, cherry-picked quotes from Scripture, rages against a "Homosexual Agenda" that never was, and ubiquitous family portraits (sometimes unintentionally hilarious) Some tout a great deal of books (inspirational or otherwise) by their pastors and spiritual leaders, few published by any mainstream publisher.
But confusing as they might seem, the hopes and dreams of their hate groups can be read between the lines:
Family Research Council:
"To make matters worse, President Obama's fiscal cliff deal would impose a marriage penalty on many American families. For real, long term solutions to our nation's fiscal problems, the government should not be working to further dissuade couples from getting married."IOW (In other words): we're losing the battle for same-sex marriage, but we will continue to attack Obama, if even from an oddly tangential standpoint. Our 2013 goal will be to go after the legislators who even think of giving in to the dreaded :homosexual agenda."
Linda Harvey, Mission America:
"Our hearts should be torn apart by the schoolroom lies that spawn callous disregard for God and each other, embedded in lessons on evolution (“you are just a higher animal”), lessons covering every loony worldview except Western civilization (“white male racism and patriarchy”) and “anti-bullying” programs that are often hijacked as vehicles for children to embrace or applaud homosexuality."IOW: Since schools are evil spawns of secular humanist homosexuals our goal in 2013 (barring home schooling) is to root them out and sack them. They are un-Christian and certainly un-American. Note: Linda Harvey has said previously that there is no "proof that homosexuals exist."Other One Man Hate Groups To Watch Out For
Being listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center has, for some, become a badge of honor - and indication that they are true Christian Right zealots and proud of it. And while some others have not made the grade, they are certainly worth mentioning as One Man Hate Groups (links to related articles)
Cindy Japan-Is Shaped like A Dragon Jacobs
Martin Ssempe, the "Eat Da Poo-Poo Pastor"
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone
Shattering Those Hopes And Dreams: Back To The Wounded Tiger
Although hate is on the rise, and enablers are on the attack, many people have been lulled into a sense of complacency: after all, marriage equality is making strides and given time ... The problem is that such complacency masks what is currently happening and will continue: organizations such as the Family Research Council will continue to demonize gays to the point of suicide (esp. gay teen suicide****). Pastors will continue to make inane comments about putting homosexuals behind barbed wire fences. Christian broadcasters will continue to excoriate gays as Nazi-driven perverts.
And Pat Robertson will continue to maintain that gays are demonically possessed.
The Hopes and Dreams of Hate Groups are ready to reap the benefits of the intensity. But they will be shattered if we counter that intensity with these weapons:
Vigilance Determination Education Activism
*Pastor Anderson's claim to fame, you will recall, was praying for the death of Obama. In statements that would make a rock look intelligent, he said that homosexuals recruit through molestation and should be executed.
** Cameron still sticks to his research - which was garnered during the Age of AIDS from reading gay newspaper obituaries.
*** LaBarbera is known to attend events such as the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco in order to take pictures and collect "material" (note: his collection of sex toys is said to be FABULOUS!
**** Or as Dan Savage put it: "Tony Perkins sits every day on a pile of dead gay kids ... and h,e calls himself a Christian."