Tell Me How I Harm You And Maybe I’ll Stop!

A couple of weeks ago, in Setsuna’s entry, Answers in Genesis indeed, our very own commenter Rev. Eric Ragle lamented:

“It’s funny to be (sic) that the liberal left claims they want tolerance for all, but by doing so they are intolerant to Christians. And that’s not to imply I know anyone here’s political agenda, just making a point.”

He included five links to reports of Christian’s being persecuted and the same individual showed up in each story: one Michael Marcavage, head of Philadelphia based Repent America.

Now, I understand that some of this nation’s most important social advances have been accomplished via protest, and I have no aversion to groups peaceably assembling; I’ve done so myself on occasion. But you need to be a disenfranchised entity to get my pity or my support. Followers of Christianity are usually not such an animal and often are even the oppressor. So, I wasn’t surprised to see, when reading a report titled TESTING THE FAITH :11 Christians arrested at homosexual event, that Mr. (is HE a Reverend TOO) Marcavage is still up to his same tricks.

According to a statement from Life and Liberty Ministries, on Sunday the Christian protesters were “preaching God’s Word” to the crowd of people attending the outdoor Philadelphia OutFest event and displaying banners with biblical messages.

Not long after the group began their activity, members of the Pink Angels, which the statement describes as “a militant mob of homosexuals,” confronted the protesters and attempted to drown out their message with whistles, while hiding the signs with large sheets of pink Styrofoam.

“Even though the Christians obeyed all laws, city ordinances and lawful requests by the Philadelphia police officers on hand,” said Life and Liberty Ministries, “they were promptly and without warning arrested and hauled off to jail, where they spent 21 hours before being released on Monday morning.”

Eight charges were filed against the protesters, including three felonies and five misdemeanors. The charges were: criminal conspiracy, possession of instruments of crime, reckless endangerment of another person, ethnic intimidation, riot, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct, and obstructing highways.

“This is one of the most remarkable and unlawful actions by police that I have ever witnessed,” said Michael Marcavage, director of Repent America. “Their blatant disregard of the law by allowing hecklers to impede our way, block our message and then arrest us, is inexcusable, especially by police officers who are specially trained to protect civil rights.

“Christians are now being labeled as ‘haters’ and any speech that homosexuals perceive to be intimidating, such as our Christian witness at OutFest, makes them a prime target for ‘hate crimes legislation.’”

I don’t have pictures of the event but I would be willing to bet that Repent America protesters had signs suggesting that God hates homosexuals and that they will burn in hell, and this would make their assembly confrontational. With hundreds of thousands of churches in this country, all protected by the Constitution, assisted through tax codes and accepted as valuable, even necessary, expressions of human community, it’s hard to imagine these people don’t have enough outlets in order to preach and assemble. Why would they need to go to such places as OutFest when their religion is given so many opportunities to be expressed?

I suspect Repent America, and so many other organizations like it, just seek to be antagonistic. I can’t imagine how my sexual identity and the benign ways I express it harms others. I certainly have no desire to be a negative influence on American society. Truth be told, I have many of the same aspirations, dreams and hopes for a successful existence that others have. I don’t enjoy being part of a special class of individuals. I would much rather fade into the surroundings but present circumstances won’t allow it. Right now I need to speak up for equal rights and equal acceptance. But I won’t go into Churches with signs saying “Christians are clueless idiots who spread hate and intolerance!” or “AIDS is nature’s way of punishing Christians!” I’ll simply use my resources for communication and respectfully present the subject and my views, as long as it hasn’t been covered enough, in forums and blogs such as SEB.

I have little patience with people like Vice-President Cheney pretending that private issues (see GeekMom’s entry)  were needlessly publicly exposed. His and his daughter’s lives are in the public domain because they have made public statements concerning gay issues. You can’t thank one debate antagonist for mentioning the existence of a gay daughter then turn around and chastise another for doing the same. Well, you can but then it just seems like more of the baseless “I’m being abused” bullshit that people like Eric Ragle bring to the discussion.

So here is my challenge – Prove to me that my lifestyle is dangerous to you personally. Please avoid using arguments such as pedophiles seeking equal rights because I find pedophilia just as abhorrent as most of you do. Nor do I support making love to or allowing marriage between a man and a donkey. Just show me how I compromise your chances for health and happiness, by loving and making love to, and even wishing I could marry another man.

If it’s just an attitude adjustment that you need and then I will not threaten you, by all means search for a way to adapt that attitude. After all, it could be that you are harming yourself more than I ever could.

Source: From that bastion of impartial reporting: WorldNetDaily
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=40929

 

80 thoughts on “Tell Me How I Harm You And Maybe I’ll Stop!

  1. Yes, I can well imagine since I live out here in Fred Phelps land. If you don’t know who he is and are not familiar with his tactics, you can visit his site.

    Fred Phelps

    He’s one of the reasons I’m ashamed to say I’m from Kansas. The other is the whole school board/evolution thing. Believe me we’re not ALL like that.

  2. Brock, you harm them by infringing on their god-given right to force you how to live your life. You hurt them by rejecting their love and insisting on that hateful behaviour.

    Les, we need that sarcasm font.

  3. It’s time that G-d’s Holy Homosexuals start attending these evil fundamentalist and evangelical Christian gatherings so as to witness to them of their corrupt ways.

    I know, personally, that G-d has called homosexuals to deliver Christians from their evil, anti-truth ways.  They may hate us because we love them, because we try to help them—but in eternity they will thank us for our love and guidance.

    If the season after season droughts, yearly tornadoes, multiple hurricanes, and longterm economic downturn in their Christian-majority lands is any divine indication, then they are surely in need of the Homosexual Gospel as revealed by G-d, King of The Universe.

    The Righteous Homosexuals shall triumph over the Corrupt Christians, with the continued assistance of G-d Almighty in Heaven and Earth.  They shall be remnant from which his Truth shall spring forth and replenish the Earth.

    Christians, turn from your evil ways towards the one true G-d of Homosexuals and Humans alike.  Otherwise, so shall you reap in how you hate and judge.

    (Seriously, i think it’s time homosexuals start organizing a massive Christian outreach program.  Their moral sickness must be addressed.)

    rob@egoz.org

  4. Christians crying about how “oppressed” they are when they’re confronted with counterprotestors is like Klan members marching in Harlem and then cryin’ about how “oppressed” they are when people start throwin bottles at them.

    Here’s a clue—getting kicked in the head because you’re an asshole does not mean you’re being “oppressed.” 

    Or, in the words of The Princess Bride’s Inigo Montoya, “That word you keep using?  I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    Funny spoof .rob, and timely post Brock, particularly in light of Cheney’s “outrage.”

  5. After reading Rob’s very funny post, I realize I have nothing left to add.  Just wanted to pile up the response numbers for ya, Brock muh man.

  6. You know, I went from reading Wired’s article on the Ohio School Board mess to this post and I am convinced that every argument the religious right has boils down to a simple counterargument:
    show me how this hurts you

    The Religious Right could, if they wanted to, adopt a few tiny paradigm shifts that would allow them to live peacefully with everyone, enjoy the benefits of stem cell research, and still keep the major tenets of their religion.  They choose not to because then they might actually have to face their own real, disgusting flaws and God, what a tragedy that would be.

    I just found this site and it is such a tasty combination of leftiness and geek, thank you for making it.

  7. Welcome, Shana!

    maryh, where the hell have ya been, girl?  I’ve missed you.

    .rob, you slay me.  I’m all over that outreach shit.

  8. Actually, nobody has the RIGHT to protest as they see fit.  Just like other aspects of freedom of speech, there are limits.  The right to protest CAN be proscribed by time, place, and manner.  Although it wasn’t stated directly, it can be safely assumed that the original gathering had a legal permit, while the protesters did not by reading what they were charged with.

    The right to protest does not extend to inciting a riot, no more than the right of free speech extends to yelling fire in a movie theater.  They were using this protest as a means for inciting the injury of other people.  At least that’s they way that the police on the scene saw it, and that’s what it sounds like to me.

    The problem with these fundies is that any time they are denied the ability to push their insanity on everyone else, they turn around and cry an bitch and moan that they are being oppressed.  Complete bullshit.

  9. Thanks all, for suggesting through comments that this subject matter hasn’t been “covered enough” and thanks even to maryh for thinking of me. *grin*. I bet you could think of something relevant to say if you thought for a moment or two. Though I do hope I’m not writing too much about these issues.

    I think nowiser was using the term “kicked in the head” as a metaphor for being clued in. I doubt he was really advocating kicking someone in the head.

    I found the description “a militant mob of homosexuals” to be hilarious and will likely have more to say concerning this lawless band. Forgive me in advance if I end up writing of their exploits here.

    I have to agree with Rob that there are limits to protest rights and would question that even if Repent America has the right to protest, does that mean it should? I mean, let’s settle the harm issues first. Once that’s established, it might seem this organization is, in effect, clubbing kittens.

  10. Brock, if I were worried about you posting too many gay issue entries I wouldn’t have given you the opportunity to do so. I want you to write about whatever interests or concerns you and if that means you end up writing about gay issues a lot then so be it. There is certainly plenty that could and should be said on such issues and SEB only benefits from your participation.

  11. Thank-you Les, you made me fweel awl bettah. It’s really too bad you aren’t “one of us”. Any man would be lucky to have you for a mate.

    Seriously, you caught something that really concerns me and that is that gay issues can only be of limited importance if you aren’t a victim of their effects so I try to illustrate how “normal” I am in spite of my inclinations. I guess I need to show everybody that it isn’t about gay rights but human rights instead.

    I sometimes wish I could see the world through the eyes of someone who has only an academic awareness of the issues/ a second hand understanding. I wish I could have a dispassionate connection to it, but something tells me I’m underestimating the level of understanding others can have without being that way themselves. I guess that’s another reason I seek to talk about homosexuality and religion or homosexuality and society.

    But you said something very comforting and want you to know I appreciate it.

  12. Dave appears to believe that silencing someone (using force) constitutes oppression, no matter what group that person belongs to.

    Yeah, that’s about right.

    I respect his position, but I strongly disagree.  Not all violence is “oppression.

  13. Short of that nose-end being violated or swing being taken, a kick upside the head against protesters is as reprehensible and dangerous against Fundamentalist hate-mongers as it is against peaceful anti-war flower children.

    Yep.  Head-kicking is also not a very effective way of suppressing hate-mongers, or effecting social change.  MLK had more social impact than Malcolm, IMHO.

    As for what was -really- going on at that protest, I suspect some nut-jobs started pushing their way around the “pink wall o’styrofoam,” and they might have been swinging those signs around too.  Hence Riot, Reckless Endangerment, and Possession of Instruments of Crime.

  14. Seriously, you caught something that really concerns me and that is that gay issues can only be of limited importance if you aren’t a victim of their effects so I try to illustrate how “normal

  15. As for what was -really- going on at that protest, I suspect some nut-jobs started pushing their way around the “pink wall o’styrofoam,

  16. It IS about human rights.  If we only care about our own little issues, we’re not moral humans.

    I agree GeekMom (thank-you), and that’s one reason why I hate it when people who have public attention usually only get behind an issue because it affects them personally. Take Christopher Reeve and stem cell research for an example – Why did it take personal injury before he would become so vocal about it’s potential benefits?

    Too, I’ve been meaning to tell you how much I like your Gravatar. The glasses you chose really compliment the shape of your face. Why did it take you saying something nice to me before I would tell you that?

    *grins then ducks and runs for cover*

  17. Despite my original message, i have to be honest and say that i originally intended to post a comment akin to Dave’s.  People should take to heart his well placed points.

    Make no mistake, i’m not a big fan of Christianity, much less the evangelical or fundamentalist flavours.  But, i have noticed a number of times on this system fairly bigoted rhetoric when it comes to Christians in general—and that i’ve repeatedly found disturbing, especially in this here thread.

    Before i continue, for sake the integrity and full-disclosure, there are two things i should put on the table:

    [1] I originally came to this site investigating several claims that GeekMom and Les were, in actuality, Madeline Murray O’Hare and her son.  Yes, yes, i know they’ve both been “murdered” [imagine me holding up my two hands and doing the bunny-rabbit-ear quote thingy when i say that word].  Although they were, by all mainstream news accounts, liquidated for their gold, the JDL and ADL had marshaled considerable resources researching persistent rumours that this story had been a hoax constructed by some atheistic cabal in America’s SouthWest.  Regardless, i submitted my report months ago:  GeekMom and Les are, indeed, who they claim to be *and* Madeline Murray O’Hare and her son are truly dead, dead, dead.  Copies of my report are available via PDF for anyone wishing such.  Moving on…

    [2] Although i am Jewish and attended Hebrew University my area of study was Comparative Theology, with a concentration on Pharisaic Judaism and 1st Century Christianity.  For this and several other reasons not worth mentioning, i was given the opportunity to also attend an evangelical college (Nazarene) for one year in the States.  During the first half of that year no one (literally, no one) knew i was a practicing Jew (try doing morning prayers in the bathroom and keeping kashrut amongst this group of swine and milk eaters).  Having a goy name (my mother remarried a man who later adopted me, thus my last name) and also having, for the lack of a more succinct term, distinctly Aryan features (i look a lot like Luke Skywalker) allowed me to keep my Judaism a closeted secret.  I’ve done a lot of work with the Aryan Nations, too, so this whole stint wasn’t exactly too difficult, i admit.  But, anyways…

    What i learned during my time there is that people are drawn to this in-your-face Christianity for a number of reasons—some are healthy and constructive, and others merely serve to enable deep seated pathologies best addressed, IMO, by long-term analysis and group therapy encounters.  No joke there.

    To generalise all born-again-ish Christians as the last ilk is, well, misguided.  For sure, there also exist ardent atheists who, equally so, are merely serving some dark, psyche-deconstructive need (i know, i’ve met those, too).  Generalisations on both ideological fronts on serve to detract from your expressions of Truth.

    Although i’d be the first and stand up to witness that i’m guilty of button-pushing rhetoric (who here hasn’t fallen into my emotional traps?  hmm?  (with the clear exception of GeekMom-O’Hare)), it’s important to remember that discourse is only meaningful when it is able to circumvent another’s fears, hates, and desires.

    I dare say some of the things i’ve read in this thread do not serve your position’s best interests, no matter its Truth.

    rob@egoz.org

  18. Seems my suspicions that you weren’t what you appeared to be are now confirmed.

    First let me say that I try to make it clear when I write that I do not intend to paint all Christians with the same brush and I try to remind folks that we shouldn’t over-generalize when speaking of them collectively.

    Now then as to the following:

    [1] I originally came to this site investigating several claims that GeekMom and Les were, in actuality, Madeline Murray O’Hare and her son.  Yes, yes, i know they’ve both been “murdered

  19. I’m glad you laughed.  #1 was, truly, a joke.  If the JDL or ADL sent me on such a venture i’d think it was a joke, too, and would refuse unless i got a cut in the gold.  (I thought the atheistic cabal in America’s SouthWest would give it away.  You don’t belong to any cabal, right ?)

    Fear not, no one thinks your the son of O’Hare—well, ok, they might now.  ohh

  20. My first thought on that was: “What atheistic cabal in America’s South West?” But I don’t claim to know everything so I was willing to accept that such a thing might be possible and I’d look into it later.

    Thing is, I wouldn’t put it past some folks to think I was O’Hare’s son for some stupid reason.

  21. Although they were, by all mainstream news accounts, liquidated for their gold, the JDL and ADL had marshaled considerable resources researching persistent rumours that this story had been a hoax constructed by some atheistic cabal in America’s SouthWest.

    Holy crap, are you for real?  An atheistic cabal? BWAHAHAHAHA

  22. I tend to find that folk usually assume that *those* protesters are violent troglodytes who deserve a bit of time in the clink, while *our* protesters are being picked on by the evil police …

    I chose not to address this possibility in my first post, but it -did- occur to me.  I prefer to think of them as violent troglodytes who got their *just desserts,* however, and will continue to think this until I’m confronted with evidence to the contrary.

    Because it’s an assumption that makes me warm and tingly inside.

  23. Oh well, I tried to save you Nowiser, but if you believe it’s advisable to kick fundies in the head, I haven’t been led wrong by you yet. Look out fundie heads!

    And .rob, clever comment once again but I’m going to have to investigate YOU now, dude. A gay Jew who looks like Luke Skywalker…I don’t think so!

    Just answer the man’s questions when he calls your cell.

  24. Not “having, for the lack of a more succinct term, distinctly Aryan features…”

    All Jews look like Jakob Dylan or Yasmine Bleeth, don’t they?

    Hey seriously, don’t pay any attention to me. I’m a mutt!

  25. Too, I’ve been meaning to tell you how much I like your Gravatar. The glasses you chose really compliment the shape of your face. Why did it take you saying something nice to me before I would tell you that?

    Awww, thanks, Brock—I’m thinking of getting contacts, actually.  What do you think?  *bat*bat*  I was wondering what it would take to get some sugar from you … wink

    .rob and Les, her name is spelled MADALYN Murray O’Hair.  ( And I would have to have had Les when I was FOUR, for crying out loud.)

    .rob, you slay me.  No, really, you do.  You slay me.  *urk*

  26. From GeekMom:

    Brock, we’re all gay here, if that’s what it takes. (“Nous sommes tous Americains.”) Don’t worry about it.  Many of us have been on the receiving end of discrimination and/or violence for SOMETHING we are, and if we don’t speak up for one group, we’re likely to be next.  It IS about human rights.  If we only care about our own little issues, we’re not moral humans.

    Well said, GM.  If ever there was time in American history when empathy was called for, it’s now.  (And I should know, because I’m over 170 years old.  Spite has kept me young!)

    Hey to GeekMom!  Long time, muh lay-dee!

  27. [T]hat’s one reason why I hate it when people who have public attention usually only get behind an issue because it affects them personally. Take Christopher Reeve and stem cell research for an example – Why did it take personal injury before he would become so vocal about it’s potential benefits?

    I was thinking about this some more, Brock, and to be fair, there are SO many issues out there that one could possibly pick that you can’t fault someone for not doing any particular one.  And once you’re affected by an issue, you understand it better from the inside (as Reeve did with his paralysis).  I don’t fault him for getting that motivation; I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

  28. I’ve always had to question the motives and indeed sexuality of dudes who waste so much time and energy on the moot issue of where another guy sticks his pecker.  Who cares?  As for the marriage thing, I’ve been married, and I think gays are crazy to want the “right” to shackle themselves legally like that.  That said, if someone actually WANTS to pay higher taxes, who am I to complain?

    As for “christians” being persecuted, some feel that they can be as disruptive as they want, and then hide behind the fact that they were “only reading the Bible.” How would they feel if a Muslim, or a Wiccan stood up in a christian service and started “preaching”? Wouldn’t that be freedom of religion?

    Some conservatives decide “civil disobedience” is a great thing, until they get arrested.  Then they whine about how they’re being persecuted.  Where would the world be if true christians, like Dr. Martin Luther King, were as wimpy as this guy Mercavage? King knew that civil disobedience is only effective if you shoulder the burden and accept the consequences of your actions.  Mercavage is always in the news. He forces confrontations with the police and gets himself arrested a couple of times a year.  Then he sues the police for “damages,”  and tries to extort money from them. He will not take any responsibility for his actions. In my opinion, that makes him no more than a punk.

  29. Same guy near as I can tell. He links to the same Christian Fundy website and is a big fan of “Dr.” Kent Hovind. I suspect he gave up on the other thread and only stopped by this one because he was Ego-Googling and happened to have us pop up as a link. (His name does appear in Brock’s entry.)

    In fact, if you type Eric Ragle into Google the first two links are to his website, then his blogger profile, then his Flickr photos, etc. and then the 9th and 10th links are, you guessed it, us fine folks here at SEB. Interestingly, both are links through the alternate templates I set up for testing purposes. grin

  30. Ah. I don’t particularly care if it’s the same guy or not, the message simply sounded odd in my sleep-deprived state. There is some unfinished business in the other thread, but perhaps it’s for the best to let it slide.

  31. As Michael Marcavage said: “Christians are now being labeled as haters” and one visit to Eric Ragle’s website will tell you why they often should be. This Christianity business is strange in that it breeds some of the most imbecilic, most hardened, least thoughtful outlooks I’ve ever known.

    I don’t understand how it wins so many converts and then I consider that humans love to condescend. Too many times the quickest way to self promotion is through the degrading of others. It isn’t a humbling religion at all. In fact it seems opposite in practice to what it teaches.

    It is also a schizophrenic religion that encourages victim identification and I don’t know why it’s followers can’t see how detrimental to society it has become.

    Maybe it had potential to enlighten and strengthen societies at one time, but now it just seems antithetic and counterproductive to beneficent social development.

  32. I don’t understand how it wins so many converts and then I consider that humans love to condescend. Too many times the quickest way to self promotion is through the degrading of others.

    Indeed.

  33. one visit to Eric Ragle’s website

    I may just keep it bookmarked for comic relief.

    Just to offer something for discussion, here’s an anecdotal observation. When browsing atheist websites that elaborate their position, even though they reach the same conclusions for roughly the same reasons, I get the distinct impression that they’ve thought things through themselves. When I’m looking at “those other sites”, I feel like I’m in an echo chamber. The same “arguments” appear repeated almost verbatim all over the place.

    What does this signify?

  34. To some extent, it was a rhethorical question.

    Clearly, a traditional dating back many centuries makes the possibility of original thought a remote one. I find myself, however, complaining about the same thing good old David did – not using their own words.

    Anyway, I’m just a bit miffed about difficulties in communicating with some folks. Back to the regularly scheduled program…

  35. Maybe it signifies we’re studying the same book, or quoting the same Author?

    You may be but you still can’t agree on absolute truths. If you could reach a consensus, that would help to lend credibility to your beliefs but the best you usually have to offer is denominational specific biases.

    I’ve got an idea: let’s chuck this contradicting and illogical religion called Christianity and create a new set of explanations for why we are here and why we act as we do. Lets call this collective of observations/conditions Abler-Humanism and accept that every individual is already an allowed member of it for now and ever more or for at least as long as the species endures.

    Life itself makes no value judgments; humans do, and those are usually assessments that reveal more about the values of the person making the assessments than about the reality of what is being assessed.

  36. Maybe it signifies we’re studying the same book, or quoting the same Author?

    Yes and no.  More often than not, it signifies that the same tired old arguments are trotted out by both sides until an impasse of some sort is reached, at which point one or both sides either give up or start a food fight.

    Both sides are often guilty of simply quoting sources they imagine are authoritative, without really understanding the issues.  Unfortunately, both sides of the argument are rather difficult to understand, and need some hard brainwork, which most are unwilling to do.  But there is an assymetry in the difficulties.

    The creationist position is difficult, because there are so many ways of selecting and interpreting the rather contradictory and allegorical Biblical passages that might be thought to apply.  The evolutionist position is difficult, because it is complex, like any science. The caricature of it presented by creationists does not reflect a real understanding of it.

    The impasse usually reached is that of the doctrinal versus the scientific view of truth: doctrinal truth is eternal, inerrant, and not subject to revision; while scientific truth is provisional, approximate, and subject to revision.

      Most of the creationist attacks on evolution stem from a basic misconstrual of the way science works- they point to errors (Piltdown man is a perennial favorite) or gaps (exactly how life started) and say the whole ball of wax is a wash.

      But this is exactly how science works- it proceeds by fits and starts, makes mistakes, corrects them and goes on.  The creationists, however, start with The Truth, and try to squeeze and bend everything to fit this preordained idea.  Not that scientists are not guilty of this, too- they’re only human, and sometimes defend their hobby horses irrationally.  But the self-correcting nature of science cleans this stuff up as it moves along.

    I’m glad, Kelly, that you’ve enjoyed these posts.  I have too.

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