James Hartline is among the nuttiest of so-called "ex-gays" and has even claimed to have prayed away AIDS. He is so extreme that he once attacked Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as "one of the biggest anti-christian supporters of homosexuality and abortion in the American government." In other words, he is a demented zealot who may need to get some professional help.
Now, he is grossly distorting my op-ed on race, education and Prop. 8. His goal is a typical right wing swift boat campaign designed to discredit me. Unfortunately, he is only proving, once again, that his mental fitness is in question.
I encourage people to Google this poor man and see what kind of person he truly is. It is hard not to feel sorry for such people who are not playing with a full deck.
Yes, no need to worry, Wayne. I visited this man's website. When I got to the part where he said, "Planned Parenthood was founded by a Hitler worshiper," I knew we were dealing with just another kook. Your column on race, education and Proposition 8 was great scholarship. Sure, we were disappointed and hurt to see the black community go for Prop. 8 in such large numbers, but infighting is NOT the answer. Of course, it is no surprise that the far right, which Hartline represents, would try to unfairly exploit these feelings in order to drive a wedge between blacks and gays. This is, plainly, just "politics" of the worst order.
posted by Chris L., at
11/09/2008 11:05 AM
I'm with Chris, Wayne has nothing to worry about.
Judging from his own bio's scattered on the net, he spent his life selling his rotten ass, breaking & entering in people's homes, partying it up with harsh drugs, and has been in and out of jail and prison.
And now that he's no longer a jailbird, he feels he must try to make gay people as miserable as he is. Reading his own third-person writing is torture in itself LOL
Just for fun, here's an old piece where I mock Hartline, and was promoted by Pam at The Blend a few months ago:
What concerns me is the comment left by the black lesbian. If I read it right, it essentially says white gays need to "get it", to understand black communities.
Sorry, but I don't live in a black community. I agree the gay movement in general needs to focus more on racial diversity and more effective outreach, but in the end, people change their beliefs about homosexuality when they have close friends or family members who are gay, and without that personal connection, few homophobes have any reason or incentive to question their anti-gay beliefs (mind you this is backed up by research).
I'm white, I have no power to influence the black community. I can't walk into a close-knit black church and convince a bunch of Bible-thumping strangers living on the other side of a racial and cultural divide to listen to what I, an atheist honky, have to say on an issue they already feel strongly (and might I add profoundly irrationally) about.
Like it or not, black gays, the responsibility is yours to explain gay rights issues to your own larger black communities. It's your community, your families, your friends, your churches. You need to step up and communicate to them. The rest of us don't speak the language.
And I don't accept the excuse that blacks see civil rights in terms of religion and can't separate the two, especially since it was precisely Christianity and the Bible that was used for centuries to justify slavery, segregation, bans on interracial marriage, etc. The only reason blacks are so Christian in the first place is that European Christians conquered and enslaved your ancestors, and forced them to convert to Christianity!
If your religion is really the foundation of your understanding of civil rights, then you've got a serious problem, because it means you have no objective or universal basis for your understanding of right and wrong, and of civil rights. Your beliefs are narrow and confined to your own culture, and all the more impossible it is for outsiders to reach you. This is exactly what Obama was talking about when he said if people of faith want to get in on public discourse, they need to be able to discuss things like morality and politics in universal terms that everyone can relate to, because we live in a pluralistic nation of many faiths and points of view.
And you know, since you are so high on the Jesus juice, it's really not surprising that your community would turn around and oppress other minorities that have also historically been targeted by the Abrahamic religions. Actually it makes perfect sense. You've assimilated to the religion and attitudes of your oppressors and now you act just like us. Oldest story in the history books.
And I do understand you are a double minority. My partner is a gay person of color, he feels the burden of being a double minority, I won't pretend to understand what he goes through and he certainly has his share of qualms when it comes to the mainstream gay rights movement. But he doesn't dismiss one struggle as completely trivial or meaningless just because another struggle seems more difficult or salient to him personally. He might emphasize one or the other depending on the particular social situation, but generally he fights them both, not only because he is both, but because he can sympathize with the struggles of other people.
The woman who posted that comment admitted she didn't even try to discuss the marriage ban with black voters. I have only one word for that: FAILURE.
Nobody ever said homophobia should trump racism. Nobody ever said gay marriage is more important than all other causes. Equality means ALL people have the same rights. All social justice issues are important. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, didn't someone important once say that?
I routinely stand up against racism and other forms of bigotry when I am confronted with them, and I think it's the people like me, who are willing to fight for everyone, who feel especially betrayed.
You can blame the HRC or the No on 8 campaign all you want, but in the end, you are the one who had the attention of your fellow people of color and you passed up the opportunity. Now grow up and deal with the consequences of your inaction.
posted by Eshto, at
11/09/2008 9:21 PM
It is so sickening how religion has become a haven for dumb people who are contaminated with such profound ignorance and division. Just take a look at these people, for goodness sake. They claim to follow the One who said, "Love your neighbor as yourself," and yet, they have always been unwilling to live in peace with their neighbors. What they have done with Proposition 8 is truly outrageous; they have become the American Taliban.
It reminds me of the saying, "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups." But when you're dealing with people who think their feelings are equal to God's, you know you have a problem.
Some church member at Sunday's protest at Saddleback Church stopped her car and said to the protesters, "The Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman, read it!" The obvious response to this Neanderthal is to say, "It says divorce should be forbidden too; does that mean you'll be gathering signatures to outlaw divorce in the next election?" Of course, that's the last thing they'll be doing, because their efforts are based upon bigotry, not the teachings of scripture.
Don't be fooled. Basic logic doesn't even OCCUR to these people as they continue their rampage against gays and lesbians. It's time to stop trying to educate them, because they are unwilling to be educated. They want to stew in the idiocy of their superstitions and silly, outdated fables. We cannot appeal to their decency; for they have none. The time has come to simply defeat them, and we will.
posted by Chris L., at
11/10/2008 12:47 PM
Chris, it actually says that marriage is between a man and a woman in the bible? I never knew that. I always thought it was something devised by men and marriage up until recently was almost always construed as a contract giving men the power over women, actually owning them as well as any children, as such it implied property ownership. These same bigots claim that their god forbade homosexuality (in the bible) but there is no mention of it coming from god or jesus for that matter.
posted by Robert, NYC., at
11/10/2008 2:25 PM
Chris, I've already posted this under the Proposition 8 and Race story.
Right now, christian pastors, conservative republicans and democrats are already getting together to figure out how to defeat marriage equality legislation in New York State. I just hope we don't see a repeat performance of proposition 8. Its really worrying.
posted by Robert, NYC., at
11/10/2008 2:29 PM
Yes, Robert, the actions of these brainwashed religious zealots are so truly objectionable that we have no choice but to keep fighting them; we must defeat them. These people cannot be reasoned with; for they lack the basic intellectual skills and strength of character to get through each day without embracing the belief that an invisible man exists in the sky who is looking out for them.
Countless of them have said, in response to Prop. 8's passing, that "the people have spoken." How absurd! The Constitutional guarantees of equality under the law are NOT subject to majority vote; and yet, we confront a whole gaggle of ignoramuses who seemingly can't enjoy their own lives without having someone to step on.
Religion is all too often a cover for the individual who lacks basic decency and good character; the unaccomplished, defeated dolt who must avoid reality by living in a fantasy world made up completely out of the human imagination.
Normally, I would simply ignore them and not feel the need to make these judgments, but what they have done is so despicable that the truth must be told about them. Shame on them. They wonder why religion is becoming so unpopular; all they need to do is look in the mirror for the answer.
posted by Chris L., at
11/10/2008 2:53 PM
Oh and Robert, another thing: Even with the Dems controlling the NYS Senate, we may not get marriage equality here. Ruben Diaz, the Penetcostal Minister who is also a Democratic State Senator, has said that he will never vote in favor of same-sex unions. Yes, these zealots contaminate the legislative body of our very own New York!
posted by Chris L., at
11/10/2008 2:57 PM
Chris, yes...Ruben Diaz is venomous. I predict this will be a very nasty battle when it comes to the floor for a vote. There has to be a way we can block a proposition 8 type addendum to the bill. What needs to be done is to get the information out to voters by mail way ahead of time and ahead of the right wing smear ads and videos taking over and instilling fear in people. There must also be emphasis within the marriage equality bill that this is about our right to "civil" marriage in which there is absolutely NO religious component and that religious denominations will not be bound to perform same-sex marriage nor face any prosecution for not doing so. The right wingers of course deliberately distorted the facts in California and the dumb voters fell for it, lock, stock and barrel. They must not be allowed to do that again, ever.
I also think we as a community need to be more vocal about revoking the tax-exempt status of any religious denomination interfering in the political process, its illegal after all. We need to hold our representatives' feet to the fire on that one.
posted by Robert, NYC., at
11/10/2008 4:51 PM
I think going after the tax exemption is a mistake, because it will simply never happen, and it will accomplish nothing for us. We cannot lead with our anger, but must recommit to advancing our efforts with justice and truth. And of course the supporters of Prop. 8 lied to the people; religious people have to lie to get out of bed every morning and continue to believe as fact their silly fables. Lying is as basic to them as is speaking into their hands.
State Sen. Ruben Diaz is an abomination; a horse's ass who is completely and totally full of himself. He is no different from the Muslim who seeks to institute sharia law.
When I was a teenager, I was a Pentecostal. (Long story.) Trust me, I saw "up close" what my Pentecostal friends really are all about: unstable, angry, fearful, scared and given to a world of almost total fantasy. Their days are filled with ongoing conversations with God; so much so that it's amazing that their feet actually touch the ground when they walk down the street. Hey, if you had to pretend to babble for a few minutes in order to be accepted by your church, maybe you'd cut that corner too, who knows.
Almost 5 years ago, in February of 2003, Massachusetts legalized gay marriage. It's now five years later; we have two states (MA and CT) and possibly more on the way (NJ, RI). I think NY isn't ready yet, but we are clearly making progress. It is never the instant justice that we want, but justice never is. There are evil factions that oppose equality and our common humanity.
Make no mistake about it; One day, we will celebrate the repeal of Prop. 8! This is going to happen, because we will NEVER give up. This isn't going away, and we will never let up; and we will never rest until this sickening testament to bigotry is removed once and for all.
posted by Chris L., at
11/11/2008 11:32 AM
Chris, I hear you, but there are also many straight people who are for removing tax-exempt status of religious denominations meddling in the affairs of state. Maybe it won't accomplish much for us but at least its another weapon we can throw at them every time they start interfering with legislation. They'd dare us to do it. If the Mormon church had no tax-exemption, I doubt if it would have gambled $22 million to throw at proposition 8's success. These mega churches need very close government scrutiny and most of them have already overstepped the boundaries in regard to their tax-exempt status anyway. Its our task to hold our elected officials' collective feet to the fire and go after them. Obama is playing a very dangerous game playing to these bigots just to get elected....exactly what Palin did for the republicans. We've got to keep religion out of the political system altogether. This would never happen in western European politics and elsewhere and I don't understand why in America of all places we allow religion to dominate and influence politics. Why is it necessary for any politician to profess a belief system to get elected and why the god bless America mantra at the end of every political speech? What's that all about? We're the only western country that does it. Nobody questions it and its about time we did. Keep religion in the home where it belongs, not in my bedroom and definitely out of politics. Lets not forget that its learned behavior and a choice and so is the hate that is inherent in a lot of it.
posted by Robert, NYC., at
11/11/2008 12:05 PM
I hear what you're saying, but we would never get the votes to remove the tax exemption for non-profits/churches. Robert, these politicians aren't even willing to stick their necks out for the most basic things; they'd be cowering in the corner if we ever brought this up.
However, I agree 100% with you on religion, as should be clear. I am stunned at how many Americans don't seem to know that while they are entitled to enjoy their beliefs, those beliefs simply cannot infringe upon guaranteed liberties. I doubt the California Supreme Court will strike this down, but we will certainly be more ready when it comes time to vote on the REPEAL of PROP 8, and what a glorious day that will be!
posted by Chris L., at
11/11/2008 12:55 PM
I don't think it is fair or accurate to lump churches in with non profits. Churches are in it for the money.
posted by libhom, at
11/11/2008 8:43 PM
There's a point where all you can do is holler "Pants on fire!", then let it drop. Sorry he tried to distort what you said, though.
posted by CrackerLilo, at
11/11/2008 11:34 PM
Hartline is a horrible little tart. I have nothing further to say until we need to poke him with a pitchfork for his next hateful distorted spew. I must qualify that what i say i say figuratively. yikes. What a tortured monster.
posted by mail, at
11/12/2008 2:31 AM
I remember reading this comment a while back on The Blend LOL:
"I had the pleasure of sitting next to Jimbo on the bus a couple of weeks ago here in sunny San Diego. I recognized him immediately. The guy is a bundle of nerves, looking around and fidgeting like someone is about to discover the explosives under his jacket or the bloody head in his satchel. I was honestly relieved when he got off the bus in our little homosexual stronghold in Hillcrest.
If anyone reads the comments at his post, you'll note that he's running around garnering sympathy for his AIDS diagnosis, with what appears to be (according to the CDC) an HIV+ diagnosis. There is a difference. I'm sure Wildmon and Jimbo's other handlers prefer the sound of their flock's gasp of Christian sympathy for their token ex-gay, as they lighten the flock's purses."
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