Rev. Harry Jackson is such a remarkable bigot, that he doesn't think gay bashing is a "real hate crime." In USA Today, he lied for the Lord, mischaracterizing federal hate crimes legislation, saying it would muzzle his right to free speech. What he conveniently omitted is that there are protections for religious speech (and other speech) in the bill.
It seems Jackson is so consumed by blind hatred, that he is afraid an unbalanced member of his congregation might take his words the wrong way and go on an anti-gay violence spree.
"Lets say a congregational member has a diminished (mental) capacity, goes out and hurts somebody or threatens to hurt somebody and is arrested and says, 'Pastor Jackson told me to do this.' Under the laws of the land, I could be implicated and brought up on charges as an accessory to that crime," Jackson says.
For Jackson to even conceive of this, one wonders what he is telling his congregation when no one is looking. I've been countering the extreme right for more than a decade, yet, I have never worried that a member of my organization would hurt somebody. That is because my rhetoric doesn't incite people to violence. If Jackson is worried that his preaching might lead to brutality or even murder, maybe he ought to reevaluate what he is spewing in his sermons.
Even more ridiculous, is when Jackson says the number of incidents involving gays "don't rise to the level of murder and lynchings that happened to black people." Yeah, tell that to Matthew Shepard's mother. Jackson tries to justify his religion-based bigotry and raw hate on the false notion that gay people can change. Once again, the ex-gay ministries are shamefully used to rationalize opposition to hate violence.
"I'm outraged by the fact that they get to ride on and hijack the civil rights movement," Jackson says. "I believe that much of the gay movement is a matter of choice vs. what my father went through. He couldn't change the color of his skin."
The truth is, one can change the color of his or her skin much easier than one can alter sexual orientation. Indeed, in countries where lighter skin is more favorably viewed, people do conform to social pressure and change their skin color with a degree of success much greater than that of the failed ex-gay myth.
I think society would be much better off if people accepted their differences and got out of the ugly business of "changing" others for no good reason other than prejudice.
Maybe Jackson should try to see if he can become Gay and see if its a choice. If he claims being gay is a choice then so is heterosexuality. Maybe we should start our own ex-straight ministries to prove the point.
Jackson sounds like a cheap streetwalking hooker who likes to feign indignation about morality while prostituting his soul for "jesus" by fomenting hate for profit.
Frankly, who gives a rat's behind if he is outraged about civil rights being "hijacked" or not? It ain't like he's the one who has some estranged third cousin pushing his live-in partner out of the way to make funeral arrangements.
These charlatans who like to pretend they have an inherent interest in harming the lives of other citizens are nothing but spiritual welfare queens who piggyback off of the sacrifices and achievements of others.
It isn't as if his ilk doesn't have any idea of what problems the GLBT community faces in dealing with everyday life - his personally interpreted, selected, and polished "religious" belief has long determined that this treatment is necessary. And when any man's "religous" beliefs depend exclusively on attempting to make other human beings miserable on earth, they don't deserve recognition as anything more than a cult.
It is bad enough that these "ministers" saw the prospect of dollar signs by turning their pulpit into a political action committee, but their level of shrill panic and spiritual bankruptcy is rising to a level where we should encourage them to consider Jonestown as a safe haven where they can control the thoughts and the sexuality of their flock.
I'm rather tired of listening to these political whores whine about their "religious" freedom to hate as they choose, yet deny other Americans the right to worship without harassment. The first step is, perhaps, to stop recognizing these spiritual fascists as servants of anything other then the face they see in the mirror - and despite their inherent megolomania, that ain't the face of God.
posted by Anonymous, at
6/15/2007 2:02 PM
Oh great, we have another paranoid African-American minister who thinks that "the homosexuals" are out for him. How original. I love it when these types, who know absolutely nothing about us or our daily lives, think that anything that they have to say even remotely reflects the reality at hand. Can anyone help me find the "dustbin of history", please? :-)
posted by Chris L., at
6/15/2007 2:29 PM
If this is the same guy I think it is, his "choice" he made to avoid being gay involved his childhood rejection of an older man's propositions. Excuse me, but when I was a gay teen, I would have instantly rejected the propositions of an adult woman. People like Jackson take any possibility of biological, ingrained orientation; any love and genuine attraction out of the equation. As a result, they assume rejecting the attempts at abuse by pederasts is the same thing as "coming out of homosexuality."
posted by Emily K, at
6/16/2007 8:46 AM
For me, the bottom line is this: These types of people are STUPID. I know, not eloquent, but, nonetheless, the truth, at least as I see it.
posted by Chris L., at
6/16/2007 9:59 AM
You know, if these people think homosexuality is a "choice" and therefore should not be a protected freedom, then what about religion? There's nothing biological or otherwise innate about being a Christian. They choose to adhere to a philosophy.
So why should Christians be protected, or any religion for that matter? They weren't born that way, right?
posted by Ryan, at
6/16/2007 1:42 PM
Ryan, I agree with you. While we're on the subject of protection, I think any religious denomination should have its tax-exempt status revoked when it interferes in politics and influences the outcome of discriminatory legislation such as DADT, DOMA and abortion. I also object to my tax dollars funding faith-based initiatives instigated by Bush and his evil cabal. Clinton, Obama and Edwards should keep their mouths shut about their religious beliefs, none of which have any place in political campaigns or in the political process. Religion is a personal matter and should be confined to the home and not used for political expediency. Our system is corrupt enough and we don't need religion to contaminate it any further.
posted by Robert, at
6/16/2007 2:02 PM
That's true Robert, but they have to play the religion card in this country if they want to get elected. Europe and Canada have evolved past that point, but as usual, we're still infected from our puritan and wild west past. By the way, as 'religious' as America is, we are still one of the most violent and crime ridden countries in the industrialized world. It's almost the mirror image of the extremely islamic countries, where there is mass poverty, unemployment and ignorance.
posted by Anonymous, at
6/16/2007 3:25 PM
Anonymous, its very sad that politicians have to play the religion card to get elected and very backward thinking. I think its one of the reasons why we're slipping and losing credibility in the world. Its at the root of all the corruption in the Republican party, pandering to right wing groups,subverting the constitution, suspending "habeus corpus" and what is even scarier is that many of them don't believe in evolution, stem-cell research, you name it. I would bet that no atheist (not since Jefferson) could ever win elected office. It goes to show how hypocritical this society is.
I think the reason that they are forced to pretend to be religious is because far-right religious people know full well that religion is on the way out, therefore the near hysterical demands for lip-service when it comes to their outrageous beliefs. This isn't a sign that religion has strength. It is evidence of the very opposite.
Fifty years ago, no one questioned the church. Today, we have books like "The God Delusion", "God is Not Great" and "Letter to a Christian Nation". This would NEVER have happened back then, and such titles certainly would never have been bestsellers, as those books are. The rise of the religious right is an inevitable part of religion's downfall. The biggest breath a person takes is often his dying one.
posted by Chris L., at
6/17/2007 2:50 PM
Chris, that's an interesting point, never thought of it that way, but thanks. I hope it IS on the way out, not soon enough though.
If this minister wants to say anything bad about homosexuality, then he has already misinterpreted the Bible, because firstly, the Bible doesn't say ANYTHING about homosexuality, and secondly because the Bible says that you should accept everyone. Being a bigot is not accepting everyone, and so clearly this guy is doing his job wrong. From my 13 -year-old perspective, it would seem that Christianity actually has pretty good intentions, but obviously bigots like this one simply use faith as a platform to attack minorities who are completely undeserving of this.
posted by Anonymous, at
7/02/2007 6:32 PM