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struct
03-15-2002, 09:02 AM
Matthew Shepard died for our sins, and I dare any of you bigots hiding in the woodwork to refute it. This week marks the third anniversary of the murder of Mr. Shepard, and my rage against homophobia and heterosexism continues to bubble at a slow boil. It's high time that the true moral majority rose up and spoke out against the immoral minority of Fred Phelps, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and their ilk! For every bible-thumping bastard that comes along quoting select passages from Corinthians and Leviticus out of context, there should be ten moral God-fearing citizens coming right back at them with "Judge not lest you be judged yourself," "Love your neighbor as yourself," "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," and even that Old Testament chestnut, "Thou shalt not commit murder!"

What is wrong with this primitive culture in which we live? Can't we realize that the ongoing crimes and oppressions committed against decent innocent law-abiding citizens who just happen to be G/L/B/T are the very same atrocities perpetrated against so many other minority groups targeted by so many other Inquisitors throughout history? Enough is enough, and guess what: God hates YOU for hating f-gs... and so do I.

Long story short: they came for millions of my people along with millions of other minorities in WWII, and now that they're coming again for the G/L/B/T's, this hetboy will put his life on the line to defend them. You wrong-headed religiose cavepeople had better keep an eye on your ill-informed bigoted antiquated dogma, because my moral karma is looking to run it over!

Oh, and BTW, here's a special message for you intolerant Christian evangelicals out there: guess what, your God was gay! It says so right there in the gospels: "Simon, called Peter, was more beloved to Him than any woman." Actually He was really bi, because He slept with Mary Magdalane too. Whatcha think of that, jerky!

Ok, I'm done venting. Whew. Guess I had a lot pent up there. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take shelter in my flame-proof bunker. :cool:

Note: I was tempted to use the subject "Matthew Shepard died for your sins", but I truly belive that we as a society are complicit in his murder. I've certainly done my part by not speaking out against the overtly prejudiced rhetoric of some Irish Catholic friends of mine, and I vow henceforth to be silent no more, even if it costs me their friendship. The dire importance of this issue must preclude any future silences by all of us.

Jack Batty
03-15-2002, 09:18 AM
Take a pill.

I'm just as outraged at this young man's murder as you are, but you seem to be doing one of two things...

1 - Preaching to the choir. This board has a history of preaching tolerance, and in particular, fighting Fred Phelps and his ilk. "Fighting ignorance since 1973"-- sound familiar?

2 - Painting with a mighty big brush. To attempt to denegrate Jesus Christ in order to offend Christians, is stooping to a level which seems incongruent with your initial stance.
Sorry, I know that last sentence sounded awful pretentious -- but it's true)

Matthew Shepard didn't die for my sins. He died because a couple of bigots were psychotically misguided. We should address the subject of violence and homophobia, but let's not get hoier-than-thou about it, huh?

Freyr
03-15-2002, 09:20 AM
A couple of points:

1) Matt Shepard was killed in October, not mid-March.

2) This is really a rant, not a debate. This needs to be moved to the Pitt.

Otherwise, I agree with you, especially about how the moderate and liberal Christians would speak up. For whatever reason, it seems only the conservative/fundamentalist voices are the loudest.

Mangetout
03-15-2002, 09:37 AM
Christian checking in here; 'Matthew Shepard died for our sins'; I don't have a problem with this statement in that I think it means he died because of our (collective) stupidity and bigotry, nope, you won't find me arguing with that - even if I have excised all bigotry from my heart (which I think would be a monumental achievement), it could quite reasonably be argued that I have not done enough to promote tolerance.

But the inevitable comparison with Jesus 'dying for our sins' will be made; I don't think the unfortunate death of Matthew has left me feeling clean and atoned for.

Mangetout
03-15-2002, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by struct
Oh, and BTW, here's a special message for you intolerant Christian evangelicals out there: guess what, your God was gay! It says so right there in the gospels: "Simon, called Peter, was more beloved to Him than any woman." Actually He was really bi, because He slept with Mary Magdalane too. Whatcha think of that, jerky!An interesting point of view in that it provokes thought, but like all other interpretations of the written account (and I include those on which the modern church dogma is based) it could be wrong. Interesting nevertheless.

struct
03-15-2002, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by Jack Batty
Take a pill.


Point well taken, and usually I'm pretty good at restraining myself to fully rational, well-reasoned arguments, but I'm PISSED damn it! Besides, isn't this the board for (if I must) testifying? :)


I'm just as outraged at this young man's murder as you are, but you seem to be doing one of two things...

1 - Preaching to the choir. This board has a history of preaching tolerance, and in particular, fighting Fred Phelps and his ilk. "Fighting ignorance since 1973"-- sound familiar?


I'm not worried about the choir, I'm worried about this thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=103853) and others of its ilk. I've also arrived at the point where I no longer feel that "tolerance" is sufficient -- we have to move beyond antipathetical tolerance to compassionate acceptance. The conventionally accepted standard of societal decency now expects at minimum compassionate acceptance of practically every other minority, so why not G/L/B/T?


2 - Painting with a mighty big brush. To attempt to denegrate Jesus Christ in order to offend Christians, is stooping to a level which seems incongruent with your initial stance.
Sorry, I know that last sentence sounded awful pretentious -- but it's true)

Screw the brush, I'm so mad that I'm painting with a Wagner Power-Roller! :) I will confess that I am certainly bear-baiting with my characterization of J.C., but isn't your label of "denigrating" inconsistent with your initial stance? How is theorizing that Mr. the Christ was G/L/B/T a denigration, except to those who think that G/L/B/T-ism is immoral?


Matthew Shepard didn't die for my sins. He died because a couple of bigots were psychotically misguided. We should address the subject of violence and homophobia, but let's not get hoier-than-thou about it, huh?

I say he died for our collective sins. I struggle to maintain the maximum amount of open-mindedness, but there are certain things that I can just no longer tolerate and IMHO shouldn't be expected to tolerate! If that makes me a bigotophobe and antibigotcentric, then so be it.

struct
03-15-2002, 10:22 AM
Originally posted by Freyr
A couple of points:

1) Matt Shepard was killed in October, not mid-March.

2) This is really a rant, not a debate. This needs to be moved to the Pitt.

Otherwise, I agree with you, especially about how the moderate and liberal Christians would speak up. For whatever reason, it seems only the conservative/fundamentalist voices are the loudest.

Aww balls, in my rush to blow off some steam I made an ASS out of U and ME by not double-checking the date and assuming that this was indeed the third anniversary because of the various films on the subject that are coming out or have come out lately. My bad.

I will also concede that I am riding the ragged edge of a rant here. Perhaps this thread could be split among two forums, oh mighty moderator?

struct
03-15-2002, 10:27 AM
Originally posted by Mangetout
Christian checking in here; 'Matthew Shepard died for our sins'; I don't have a problem with this statement in that I think it means he died because of our (collective) stupidity and bigotry, nope, you won't find me arguing with that - even if I have excised all bigotry from my heart (which I think would be a monumental achievement), it could quite reasonably be argued that I have not done enough to promote tolerance.

But the inevitable comparison with Jesus 'dying for our sins' will be made; I don't think the unfortunate death of Matthew has left me feeling clean and atoned for.

I'd be disingenuous if I were to claim that I weren't inviting comparison, but the comparison I'm inviting is that the crucifixions of both Christ and Shepard were slaughters of innocent lambs.

(I have studied the whole removal of original sin via the D&R of J doctrine in some depth, but I must confess that despite repeated explanation I still don't get what's so good about Good Friday.)

puddleglum
03-15-2002, 10:30 AM
Could I have a little clarification, Are you saying that the death of Matthew Shepard causes our sins to be forgiven and wiped away? or Are you saying that our sins caused Matthew Shepard to be killed? Or have I misssed your point entirely?
If you are saying either of the first two, please explain how.

Jack Batty
03-15-2002, 10:48 AM
Oh Great Lord of the Quotes, let this all come out right.

Originally posted by struct

I've also arrived at the point where I no longer feel that "tolerance" is sufficient -- we have to move beyond antipathetical tolerance to compassionate acceptance. The conventionally accepted standard of societal decency now expects at minimum compassionate acceptance of practically every other minority, so why not G/L/B/T?


I'll buy that.
By the way, I didn't see that other thread. I thought this one was just out of no where. Not like you need a reason, but it does bring things into a different light.

Screw the brush, I'm so mad that I'm painting with a Wagner Power-Roller! :) I will confess that I am certainly bear-baiting with my characterization of J.C., but isn't your label of "denigrating" inconsistent with your initial stance? How is theorizing that Mr. the Christ was G/L/B/T a denigration, except to those who think that G/L/B/T-ism is immoral?
The thing is, I knew you were bear baiting. Alluding to J.C.'s sexuality makes no never mind to me, because I'm not a Christian. I don't care if he was hetero, homo, bi, transgendered or a left handed lobster for that matter.

But you know that that kind of statement would offend a devout Christian. And I know, that you knew that. And you knew that I knew that you knew that. In fact, I know that you knew that I knew that you ... um ... gnu/new/knew/noo ...

Whatever. You get the picture.

Carry on.

andros
03-15-2002, 10:48 AM
Yeah, exactly what use of "for our sins" do you have in mind?

Steve Wright
03-15-2002, 10:57 AM
Hmmm. It's believed by many Christians that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, and was, therefore, not only a perfect man, but a perfect Jew. Which would mean full compliance with Mosaic law... which means (amongst other things) no sex outside marriage. Of course, there were instances where He deliberately broke some tenets of the Law (see, for example, Mark 2:23ff) in order to teach a moral lesson...

But, in any case, we really do need to lose the idea that "love" is necessarily sexual love. (In fact, if I could find that verse you quoted, struct, we could probably tell from the Greek what sort of love is intended here... can you give me chapter and verse? I'm not having any luck searching the online translations i've got bookmarked). After all, we have God's assurance that He loves all of us. I'd be very surprised if that was sexual in nature.

And, with reference to your main point: there are a lot of Christians who are speaking out against all forms of hatred and intolerance, and working against them too. Undoubtedly, they (I'm not presumptuous enough to say "we") should be working harder - after all, the Kingdom of God is not yet at hand - but they are working. The "religious Right" may be very loud and very visible, but they do not speak for the majority of Christians.

Guinastasia
03-15-2002, 10:59 AM
Our God is neither male nor female, gay nor straight, black nor white. He (or she I guess) is everyone.

And agreed that love is not always sexual. In some countries and cultures, it's not unusual for grown men to great one another in huge hugs and kisses-it's simply a sign of affection and greeting. Some cultures are more affectionate physically, but that doesn't make them gay.

struct
03-15-2002, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by Jack Batty
But you know that that kind of statement would offend a devout Christian.

More precisely, I knew that that kind of statement would offend a particular type of devout Christian, namely the fundamentalist "Gimme that old time religion" devout type. For that I am guilty as charged, but I would hope that the open-minded progressive-thinking devout types have not been alienated too, as that was not my intent.

struct
03-15-2002, 12:05 PM
I didn't come up with the "Jesus was gay" or the "Jesus hooked up with MM" theories, and I forget where I first heard them, but I'm guessing the cite used to support the theory is John 15:37, "Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved" along with subsequent references to a disciple that "Jesus loved more than all the others." I may have confabulated the "more than any woman" bit. I'm too tired right now to dig up additional cites, be they in Greek or any other language, but I will say that my hyperbolic invective can be given no more credence than any other interpretation of the gospels. Which only goes to reinforce my point of how dare these people claim to have cornered the market on the proper interpretation and implementation of divine pronouncement.

As for the religious right (Topic: the religious right is neither -- discuss) not speaking for the majority of Christians, I'm glad to hear it. However, like Steve Wright said, the fanatical fringe are very loud and very visible, and I don't see a correspondingly loud and visible response in return. I pray* that this is not due to intimidation, but I fear that it is.

*Prayer for me is a very dicey matter since I'm a lapsed Reconstructionist Jew turned devout agnostic. I do feel the need to pray every so often, but it's a pain in the neck having to always put qualifiers in my prayer like "Oh God -- that is, God, if you exist, and if you do exist than I pray to you in whatever form you do happen to exist in, that is if you even exist in a form that can answer my prayers..." Hey, did you hear the one about the insomniac dyslexic agnostic? He couldn't sleep at night because he kept wondering if there really was a Dog.

puddleglum
03-15-2002, 12:12 PM
How are our sins related to the death of Matthew Shepard?
I don't see how anyone's sins, except those of his killers, have anything to do with his death.

Steve Wright
03-15-2002, 12:41 PM
Ah. I see where you're coming from, struct. The "disciple whom Jesus loved", in John's Gospel, is usually taken as being John writing about himself, not Peter - hence my search-related confusion. (Yes, it's also generally believed to be love in the spiritual sense. I would seem to have committed myself to looking up the original Greek wouldn't I? And it's blinking years since I last read any Greek... this is just going to be a barrel of laughs...)

With regard to the condemnation of the "religious Right", the problem with being a moderate Christian is, you ain't allowed to condemn people. Even if you want to. I could rail about, say, Jerry Falwell and how he'll burn forever if he doesn't stop misrepresenting Christ's word, but that would involve me predudging Falwell's salvational status, which is definitely out. It is better this way, really... nobody wants heresy trials coming back. (You might take some comfort from the SeaHawk thread in the BBQ Pit, though, which at one point included a member of the Southern Baptists describing Falwell as.... errrr.... describing Falwell in terms unsuitable for this forum.)

Polycarp
03-15-2002, 12:49 PM
I'm one committed Christian who was not offended but amused by the thread title. It's of course obvious that the traditional doctrine of the Atonement is not applicable to Matthew Shepard's killing, but the idea of a relative innocent being killed for what he believes is part of the traditional definition of martyr -- which would make struct's rant quite on target. (Granted that it's probable what Matthew died in pursuit of was "rough trade" sex -- aside from a bit of "bad judgment" and "yuck-factor" comments, he believed in his right to have sex with willing partners, and evidently died for that belief. It's hardly up there with Jesus or Nathan Hale, but neither is it totally devoid of purpose.

Puddleglum, I submit to you the old adage that "if you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem." You're certainly welcome to disagree with me -- but I'd be interested in seeing the ethical grounds on which you do, as regards this case. There are a lot of us who have no personal investment in gay lib questions who see it as a part of Heidegger's classic "they came for..." line. Where exactly do you stand, and why?

BTW, as rephrased, I concur in your thinking on numbers. It was, however, my point that a large part of unthinking American society does categorize on similar bases to those I was citing -- and my reductio ad absurdam was therefore not at sea. I'd urge you to locate a willing friend and do precisely what David and Jonathan are described in Scripture as doing (no implied actions, but everything they are stated to have done in II Samuel) in your church's fellowship hall, and see what sort of reactions you get. I did, however, find it offensive that you suggested that the extremes I'd cited in my post were my definition of what constitutes "gay behavior" -- I had thought that any reasonable person would infer that I was showing the extremes of what various definitions can include.

RickJay
03-15-2002, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by struct
I say he died for our collective sins.
With all due respet, I do not believe in "Collective sins." I think the notion is ridiculous.

NOTE ON THE BIBLICAL DEBATE: Holy moly, do people still believe this Jesus-was-Mary-Magdalene's lover thing? Is this just because it's the only female name they remember from the gospels?

puddleglum
03-15-2002, 01:40 PM
I think that the phrase "Matthew Shepard died for our sins" is best undertood as a shibboleth and not as a statement of fact.
If I am wrong and the phrase does have meaning, is there anyone who could state what it is?

Odesio
03-15-2002, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by struct
Matthew Shepard died for our sins, and I dare any of you bigots hiding in the woodwork to refute it.


That isn't the dumbest thing I've ever seen on these boards but it would certainly make it to the final rounds. Please explain to me which of my sins Matthew died for? Matthew didn't die for anyone's sins. He died because a couple of people murdered him.


What is wrong with this primitive culture in which we live?


Let's get a little perspective here. In this culture we don't knock walls on homosexuals to kill them.


Enough is enough, and guess what: God hates YOU for hating f-gs... and so do I.


Maybe this is just a pet peeve of mine. For some reason it really gets my goat when people type G-d or f-gs. If you're going to say something then have the guts to type the whole thing out. You think f-gs is less offensive then fags?


Long story short: they came for millions of my people along with millions of other minorities in WWII, and now that they're coming again for the G/L/B/T's, this hetboy will put his life on the line to defend them.


Yeah, nothing has improved for homosexuals since the 1950's. Right now the teeming millions are coming for homosexual blood. Hmm....that last statement might belong on the "Ask the BDSM Guy" thread.


Oh, and BTW, here's a special message for you intolerant Christian evangelicals out there: guess what, your God was gay! It says so right there in the gospels: "Simon, called Peter, was more beloved to Him than any woman." Actually He was really bi, because He slept with Mary Magdalane too. Whatcha think of that, jerky!


So now you're a biblical scholar?



Ok, I'm done venting. Whew. Guess I had a lot pent up there. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take shelter in my flame-proof bunker. :cool:


If you're going to post a rant then we have a section called The Pit. Look it up some time.


Note: I was tempted to use the subject "Matthew Shepard died for your sins", but I truly belive that we as a society are complicit in his murder.


I wasn't complicit in his murders. I'll check with Matt_MCL, Gobear, and Esprix to see if they were complicit in his murder.


I've certainly done my part by not speaking out against the overtly prejudiced rhetoric of some Irish Catholic friends of mine, and I vow henceforth to be silent no more, even if it costs me their friendship. The dire importance of this issue must preclude any future silences by all of us.

You go, girl.

Marc

JohnBckWLD
03-15-2002, 06:10 PM
Originally posted by struct
Matthew Shepard died for our sins, and I dare any of you bigots hiding in the woodwork to refute it...It's high time that the true moral majority rose up and spoke out against...every bible-thumping bastard..."Thou shalt not commit murder!"

It's been my experience most Americans are very tolerant of people in the GLBT communities, but get a bit queasy when (justified/unjustified) rants are spewed. Let me turn the tables and ask how you'd feel if this was the OP...

Jesse Dirkhising died for our sins
Oct. 29, 1999 | Jesse Dirkhising, 13, was allegedly raped and suffocated -- gagged with his own underwear -- by a 22-year-old man while another man, described by police as his "lover," looked on. None of the reports went national. It appears nobody wants to say anything negative about homosexuals. It's surprising that the murder of an adult, Shepard, received enormous coverage in the big media and this multiple rape and murder of a child went so widely unreported. The men accused of killing him -- Joshua Macave Brown, 22, and Davis Don Carpenter, 38 -- were friends of his parents. The boy worked at Carpenter's hair salon and had been spending weekends there.

It's a true story and I used it for demonstrative purposes only.

My point is this; there is evil in many individuals...using a Wagner Sprayer to criticize and lambast entire groups (Christians, heteros, etc.) is very counter-productive. People of opposing viewpoints will both ratchet up their rhetoric and never come to terms with one another when either side starts making extremist / militant rants.

Originally posted by struct
... but I truly belive that we as a society are complicit in his murder. I've certainly done my part by not speaking out against the overtly prejudiced rhetoric of some Irish Catholic friends of mine, and I vow henceforth to be silent no more, even if it costs me their friendship. The dire importance of this issue must preclude any future silences by all of us.

Precluding war, Society doesn't kill...people do. Individuals may from time to time unite together as a group to carry out their will, but don't make the mistake of blaming entire groups of individuals for the actions of a evil few who hold similar, but more extreme views.
I think it's high time people tried to get away from this whole "group-think". We have been balkanizing ourselves in this country to the point where no one is judged as an individual anymore. I admit, there is a valid point to be made in pointing out the "strength in numbers" argument, however, when all people of like mind are banded together in their own seperate groups, individual good, deeds, evils and actions cease to exist.

W. Panic Snopes
03-15-2002, 06:43 PM
Let me first register my stats: I’m a 35-year-old agnostic openly gay male teacher in some order and I feel justified in saying that I don’t have self-loathing baggage, religious or otherwise. That declared, I have to admit that, maddening as the martyrdom of Matthew Shepard by ignorant bar trash was, his martyrdom by the gay community is just as sickening.

BIG DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT IN ANY WAY CONDONE THE KILLING OF MATTHEW SHEPARD OR IN ANY WAY STATE THAT HE DESERVED TO DIE

Matthew Shepard was, by all accounts, a miserable human being in all senses of the term. In addition to suffering from chronic depression he was described by many, including friends, as moody, arrogant, obnoxious, and self-centered. When a straight bartender he liked spurned his advances and cursed him, Matthew responded by charging him with attempted rape (not a rumor, but public record; in his “defense”, he later dropped the charges). He chose the University of Wyoming out of all schools he could get into yet is said to have continually denigrated both town and gown (you all know the type), and his past seems to have leant towards the promiscuous. Best evidence indicates that his murder was a burglary that quickly got fatally out of hand.

Shortly after Matthew’s murder, Billy Jack Gaither, a man from a small city in Alabama, was murdered by a white supremacist who set an ambush for him, bludgeoned him to death, and burned his body on a pyre of tires he had prearranged in the woods. The murder could not have been more premeditated had there been committee meetings and it was undertaken for no reason other than his sexual orientation.

By all accounts, Gaither was an exceptional human being. He left a successful career in Birmingham (a city of about one million with a substantial gay community) to return home to Sylacauga (a provincial outpost with no openly gay presence, though strangely it is the hometown of Jim “Gomer Pyle” Nabors) in order to nurse his elderly and infirm parents. He was active in his church and even those who were stunned to learn after his murder that he was gay still defended him, some even stating that the latter day outing changed their opinions of gays.

Matthew Shepard is the totem pole for everything from pro-hate crime legislation factions to all manner of tolerance organizations, the kid that few liked becoming overnight just short of “a god in Colchester”. Billy Jack Gaither is essentially forgotten by everybody but his friends and family. Matthew Shepard had pouty GAP model good looks, glossy photos, and a background including world travel and prestigious finishing schools; Billy Jack Gaither, for all his virtues, was an overweight and not particularly attractive redneck whose background was small town Baptist.

Coincidence? Or is it that Americans, including gay Americans, are so easily led by the sound-byte and Jennifer Anniston image tabloidization of the media that quality of personality is shoved aside like yesterday’s Whitewater scandal in exchange for waifish lips?

Feel free to disagree.

W. Panic Snopes
03-15-2002, 06:46 PM
The notion that Mary Magdalene and Jesus were lovers is to be found more in the Gnostic gospels than in the New Testament. The Book of Philip, for example, states that Christ
“loved [Mary Magdalene] more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her often on her mouth. The rest of the disciples [...]. They said to him "Why do you love her more than all of us?" The Savior answered and said to them,"Why do I not love you like her? When a blind man and one who sees are both together in darkness, they are no different from one another. When the light comes, then he who sees will see the light, and he who is blind will remain in darkness.”
The Gnostics also identify Marlena as the adulteress Jesus saved for stoning and as the woman who anointed him with fine ointment. (Jesus Christ Superstar, incidentally, was heavily influenced by the Gnostics.)

The “love dearer to me than the love of women” passage is a paraphrase of Jesus’s ancestor David’s comment about Jonathan which is also often used to suggest uranism. Personally, I don’t think in either case it implies more than a deep platonic love. If David had said “the ass of Jonathan is sweeter than that of any broad, and I ain’t talkin’ donkeys”, it would be more convincing.

W. Panic Snopes
03-15-2002, 06:52 PM
The Nazi persecution of gays, while brutal (moreso on the individual level than their persecution of Jews), involved thousands, not millions, of victims. The highest estimate I've ever read of those rounded up under Paragraph 175 was about 40,000, and the more accurate number is probably under half that.
Certainly this isn't comforting to those who were among the 40,000, but it's not on par with Jews. (An interesting study: if you look at the marriage records for Germany in the mid-late thirties, you'll notice lots and lots and lots of middle aged and elderly men suddenly getting married for the first time.)
Am I the only person to notice that there weren't nearly as many gay men in this country before Jessica Hahn posed naked?

Guinastasia
03-15-2002, 07:02 PM
Actually, Marc, I think typing "G-d" has something to do with Orthodox Jewish beliefs, or something-but I can't for the life of me remember the exact reason. Somebody help me out here!

W. Panic Snopes
03-15-2002, 07:19 PM
Originally posted by Guinastasia
Actually, Marc, I think typing "G-d" has something to do with Orthodox Jewish beliefs, or something-but I can't for the life of me remember the exact reason. Somebody help me out here!

Hebrew has no vowels (well, the classical version; the modern version does), besides which to actually say the name of God, or even to write it, is blasphemy, so G_d is done from respect and or devotion.

(It was revealed in one of the lost Gospels that G_d's sensitivity over his name was probably based on the fact that his parents named him Billy Earl Yahweh, Jr.; when asked for commentary, G_d gave the reporter leprosy, so who knows?)

Mr. Duality
03-15-2002, 07:28 PM
" Best evidence indicates that his murder was a burglary that quickly got fatally out of hand."

Minor quibble- it wasn't a burglary, but rather a robbery. Shepard was lured ot of a bar for the purpose of robbery.

My own theory: Methamphetamine abuse contributed greatly to the violence of the crime. Are you aware of why the perpetrators were nailed so rapidly? They were still out looking for trouble in the wee small hours the next morning (before Shepard was found tied to the fence). They pistol-whipped a Hispanic male whom they had seen slashing tires, and were arrested. I believe (though I'm no longer certain) they were still in custody when Shepard was found. A policeman recalled seeing Shepard's credit card on their dashboard, and the rest is history.

I believe the perps were so violence-prone because they were serious methamphetamine abusers.

struct
03-15-2002, 07:33 PM
Originally posted by JohnBckWLD


It's been my experience most Americans are very tolerant of people in the GLBT communities, but get a bit queasy when (justified/unjustified) rants are spewed. Let me turn the tables and ask how you'd feel if this was the OP...


Hooray, the woodwork dwellers cometh!


Jesse Dirkhising died for our sins
Oct. 29, 1999 | Jesse Dirkhising, 13, was allegedly raped and suffocated -- gagged with his own underwear -- by a 22-year-old man while another man, described by police as his "lover," looked on. None of the reports went national. It appears nobody wants to say anything negative about homosexuals. It's surprising that the murder of an adult, Shepard, received enormous coverage in the big media and this multiple rape and murder of a child went so widely unreported. The men accused of killing him -- Joshua Macave Brown, 22, and Davis Don Carpenter, 38 -- were friends of his parents. The boy worked at Carpenter's hair salon and had been spending weekends there.

It's a true story and I used it for demonstrative purposes only.


Thank you for your excellent demonstration of the type of misguided ignorance I have rededicated myself to fighting. The fact that this story is an implied indictment of homosexuality --"nobody wants to say anything negative about homosexuals" -- and the fact that you would use this as an example of "turning the tables" is a perfect illustration of what's wrong with American society. How would I feel, you ask? I would be appalled that two people could demonstrate such impraved indifference to human life. Would I associate such criminal deviance with homosexuality? Not for a second, because I would realize the foolishness of any such ad hominem (or ad homonem, if you will) characterization. Let me turn the tables on you and ask you if you could draw a negative conclusion about blacks if this were a story about two blacks killing another black, or two steel workers killing another steel worker, or even, dare I say, two fundamentalist Christians killing another fundamentalist Christian. That dog won't hunt.


My point is this; there is evil in many individuals...using a Wagner Sprayer to criticize and lambast entire groups (Christians, heteros, etc.) is very counter-productive. People of opposing viewpoints will both ratchet up their rhetoric and never come to terms with one another when either side starts making extremist / militant rants.


...and I say in return that there are certain extremist militants that by their very nature cannot be negotiated with (Al-Qaida, for instance) and must be dealt with fairly but firmly, even harshly. There can be no coming to terms with the Fred Phelpses of the world, for one simple reason: "Even the devil can quote Scripture to serve his purposes." Let me explain what I mean: Phelps comes along and says "God hates fags" (notice that I did not use the hyphen this time; I used it before because that particular word is one that I am unwilling to use, but I'll quote others using it if I must). I say back to Phelps "...Faith, Hope, and Love, but the greatest of these is Love." Phelps volleys back "Thou shall not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination. If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they should surely be put to death." I retort with "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." Long story short, after a protracted tennis match of scripture-swapping, the inevitable conclusion that Mr. Phelps will reach is "Even the devil can quote Scripture to serve his purposes," and ironically, that quote is the only common ground I can find with bigots like him.


Precluding war, Society doesn't kill...people do. Individuals may from time to time unite together as a group to carry out their will, but don't make the mistake of blaming entire groups of individuals for the actions of a evil few who hold similar, but more extreme views.


People may carry out the literal action of killing, but people don't exist in a vacuum. There has to be a substantial measure of societal complicity for the consistent pattern of hate crimes perpetrated against whichever minority the religious right happens to have targeted in their sights. At the moment, it's the gays. In the past, it's been the blacks, the Jews, the American Indians (I like "indigenous peoples" myself, but Am. Ind. or Amerindian is the preferred term of that particular minority) and a host of others. When will people stop hating, pillaging and killing in the name of divinity, of all things?

struct
03-15-2002, 07:42 PM
Mr. Snopes, your 411 on Mr. Gaither is sobering and excellent food for thought. I think it's an unfortunate effect of martyrdom that the less glamorous qualities of the martyr in question tend to get glossed over, but I don't think that necessarily shoud lessen the impact made by that persons untimely demise. Heck, even Jesus himself wasn't spotless -- he committed an act of egregious destruction of property, vandalism and disturbance of the peace on consecrated ground (even if it was for a good reason).

W. Panic Snopes
03-15-2002, 08:02 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Mr. Duality
[B]" Best evidence indicates that his murder was a burglary that quickly got fatally out of hand."

I meant to say "mugging" but had a brainburp. Sorry about that.

Odesio
03-15-2002, 10:24 PM
Originally posted by W. Panic Snopes
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Mr. Duality
[B]" Best evidence indicates that his murder was a burglary that quickly got fatally out of hand."

I meant to say "mugging" but had a brainburp. Sorry about that.

Weren't they also charged with kidnapping? If that was the case I don't see how it would be a simple mugging.

Marc

Mr. Duality
03-15-2002, 10:28 PM
Struct- would you be interested in a piece of the One True Fence?

struct
03-15-2002, 10:34 PM
Originally posted by Mr. Duality
Struct- would you be interested in a piece of the One True Fence?

I am going to choose to laugh, rather than groan, at that one. :wally

W. Panic Snopes
03-15-2002, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by struct


I am going to choose to laugh, rather than groan, at that one. :wally

What's depressing is that the grail is a Heineken can.;j

W. Panic Snopes
03-15-2002, 11:08 PM
Originally posted by MGibson


Weren't they also charged with kidnapping? If that was the case I don't see how it would be a simple mugging.

Marc

I didn't say it was a simple one.

It seems to have been an impromptu decision to get him away from the bar, mug him, and leave him stranded. After the mugging started, McKinney wouldn't stop beating him, probably the result of a borderline psychosis mixed with drugs and alcohol. The purpose of the entire incident was more money than fagbashing (they paid for their beer with loose coins), though they did evidently use the fact he was gay to get him to leave the bar with them.

Esprix
03-15-2002, 11:57 PM
Oh, my...

And for the record, the gay community has not forgotten Billy Jack Gaither.

Where's my righteously indignant matt_mcl?

Esprix

W. Panic Snopes
03-16-2002, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by Esprix
Oh, my...

And for the record, the gay community has not forgotten Billy Jack Gaither.

Where's my righteously indignant matt_mcl?

Esprix

Perhaps he's not totally forgotten, but there certainly aren't multiple screen projects commemorating him or celebrity soundbytes talking of the horror.
He actually did make the news in Alabama the other day. There was a candlelight tolerance vigil at the state capitol (the Confederate flag in the candlelight is so strikingly beautiful) on the anniversary of his death which happened to gain more attedance and attention than it normally would have coming as it did, coincidentally, in the same week that Roy Moore, the Chief Injustice of the T'Alabam' Supreme Court, wrote a 30 page opinion on why no lesbian mother should ever be allowed custody of a child (this in a lawsuit that was dismissed not on a gay matter but due to an open-shut procedural one). To paraphrase a quote of Cecil's (about bullshit and Nostradamus), Alabama is to posturing dumbass demagogery what Stonehenge is to pebbles. (No offense to intelligent Alabamians, who do exist but are underrepresented in the media.)

Odesio
03-16-2002, 02:12 AM
Originally posted by W. Panic Snopes


I didn't say it was a simple one.

It seems to have been an impromptu decision to get him away from the bar, mug him, and leave him stranded. After the mugging started, McKinney wouldn't stop beating him, probably the result of a borderline psychosis mixed with drugs and alcohol. The purpose of the entire incident was more money than fagbashing (they paid for their beer with loose coins), though they did evidently use the fact he was gay to get him to leave the bar with them.

Do you have any cites for this? I'm only asking because I've always heard that he was specifically targetted because he was gay. That's why MS become the poster boy for hate crime legislation, isn't it?

Marc

Odesio
03-16-2002, 02:23 AM
Originally posted by struct


...and I say in return that there are certain extremist militants that by their very nature cannot be negotiated with (Al-Qaida, for instance) and must be dealt with fairly but firmly, even harshly. There can be no coming to terms with the Fred Phelpses of the world, for one simple reason: "Even the devil can quote Scripture to serve his purposes."


For the future you might want to remember a few things. You're not going to win any moderates by claiming Jesus was gay or that he had affairs with Mary Magdalane. No mainstream christian church I know of believes these things. You might want to remember your role as the "devil" when you attempt to interprete scripture to suit your needs. Hmmm...sounds like Phelps.

Another thing you might want to remember is that you catch more flies with honey then with vinegar. If you take a hostile in your face attitude then you will find deaf ears where previously there were listeners. Just a bit of advice.



People may carry out the literal action of killing, but people don't exist in a vacuum. There has to be a substantial measure of societal complicity for the consistent pattern of hate crimes perpetrated against whichever minority the religious right happens to have targeted in their sights.


I take it there's also societal complicty for all rapes, murders, assaults, thefts, robberies, and income tax evasion?


When will people stop hating, pillaging and killing in the name of divinity, of all things?

Ok, let's hate, pillage, and murder in the name of political ideology instead.

Marc

struct
03-16-2002, 03:29 AM
Originally posted by MGibson

Another thing you might want to remember is that you catch more flies with honey then with vinegar. If you take a hostile in your face attitude then you will find deaf ears where previously there were listeners. Just a bit of advice.


Advice unnecessary, but appropriate, and I asked for it with my inflammatory tone. One may find my "A" game elsewhere throughout the SDMB.


I take it there's also societal complicty for all rapes, murders, assaults, thefts, robberies, and income tax evasion?


Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and of course not. :)

struct
03-16-2002, 04:36 AM
...and I wasn't trying to win over any moderates, I was trying to piss off conservatives, but your point is well taken. As mad as I am, it does my cause no good to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Mr. Duality
03-16-2002, 09:14 AM
Originally posted by MGibson
**************************************************
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by W. Panic Snopes


I didn't say it was a simple one.

It seems to have been an impromptu decision to get him away from the bar, mug him, and leave him stranded. After the mugging started, McKinney wouldn't stop beating him, probably the result of a borderline psychosis mixed with drugs and alcohol. The purpose of the entire incident was more money than fagbashing (they paid for their beer with loose coins), though they did evidently use the fact he was gay to get him to leave the bar with them.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Do you have any cites for this? I'm only asking because I've always heard that he was specifically targetted because he was gay. That's why MS become the poster boy for hate crime legislation, isn't it?

Marc
***************************************************
Of course we will never be certain of the truth, but I saw all the local newspaper and TV coverage. W. Panic Snopes has got it right enough. I'd say Shepard's gayness did have something to do with why he was beaten so severely, along with alcohol, drugs and borderline psychosis. The incident definitely started because of money.

Neurotik
03-16-2002, 10:09 AM
Yes, I've also heard that money had something to do with it. Shepard was supposedly flashing around large wads of cash and making it sort of obvious that he was fairly well off. He just happened to be doing so in the presence of two heavy meth users who had reached the state where they become almost permanently psychotic and extremely paranoid.

He was targetted for money, but beaten because of his homosexuality.

Siege
03-17-2002, 02:55 PM
Struct, I'm just a devout Christian checking in, but I do speak out against prejudice in all forms within my (Episcopalian) church. The head of the Boy Scout troop in my town knows that I am and will continue to boycott them because of their policy of discriminating against homosexuals because they're "not morally straight," and I have no hesitation about voicing that opinion. I'm also, FWIW, a member of the Diocesan Commission on Racism. I've also been known to do my imitation of the Wrath of God when I hear the kids in the church indulging in any form of racism. Since they know I fence and occaisionally have swords in the trunk of my car, this is pretty good.

Yes, what happened to Matthew Shephard is a horror. That kids should tease each other by referring to them as homosexuals [grammar?] is a smaller, related horror. I am not a bystander; I am a fighter. I will not stand to have a person condemned because of one aspect of his or her social/sexual life. Please do not condemn me or whitewash (power wash?:) ) me because of one aspect of mine.

CJ
Fighting Prejudice Since 1968 (I started young)

EasyPhil
03-17-2002, 09:43 PM
Originally posted by struct
...and I wasn't trying to win over any moderates, I was trying to piss off conservatives, but your point is well taken. As mad as I am, it does my cause no good to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Were you equally as mad when James Baird was dragged to his death behind a pickup truck because he was black?

Jack Batty
03-17-2002, 10:57 PM
I don't want to speak for struct, but as someone who agrees (more or less) with him in this thread, I can say I was absolutely mortified at the James Byrd murder (it's Byrd, not Baird)-- every bit as much as the Shephard murder, and the Gaither murder, now that I've been made aware of it.

I'm curious as to why that question would even pop up.

struct
03-18-2002, 12:00 AM
Originally posted by EasyPhil


Were you equally as mad when James Baird was dragged to his death behind a pickup truck because he was black?

YES! :mad:

struct
03-18-2002, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by cjhoworth
Struct, I'm just a devout Christian checking in, but I do speak out against prejudice in all forms within my (Episcopalian) church. The head of the Boy Scout troop in my town knows that I am and will continue to boycott them because of their policy of discriminating against homosexuals because they're "not morally straight," and I have no hesitation about voicing that opinion. I'm also, FWIW, a member of the Diocesan Commission on Racism. I've also been known to do my imitation of the Wrath of God when I hear the kids in the church indulging in any form of racism. Since they know I fence and occaisionally have swords in the trunk of my car, this is pretty good.

Yes, what happened to Matthew Shephard is a horror. That kids should tease each other by referring to them as homosexuals [grammar?] is a smaller, related horror. I am not a bystander; I am a fighter. I will not stand to have a person condemned because of one aspect of his or her social/sexual life. Please do not condemn me or whitewash (power wash?:) ) me because of one aspect of mine.

CJ
Fighting Prejudice Since 1968 (I started young)

If there is a Higher Power or Powers, then Praise Be to Her/Him/It/Them. Thanks for the reminder that not all Christians are the enemy. I wholeheartedly urge you to keep up the good work: we need at least ten voices like yours for every one voice like the Immoral Minority's.

Odesio
03-18-2002, 12:13 AM
Originally posted by cjhoworth
I've also been known to do my imitation of the Wrath of God when I hear the kids in the church indulging in any form of racism. Since they know I fence and occaisionally have swords in the trunk of my car, this is pretty good.


You're bragging about using intimidation to make a point to children instead of a reasoned arguement?


Marc

struct
03-18-2002, 12:21 AM
Originally posted by MGibson


You're bragging about using intimidation to make a point to children instead of a reasoned arguement?


Marc [/B]


hyperbole

\Hy*per"bo*le\, n. [L., fr. Gr?, prop., an overshooting, excess, fr. Gr. ? to throw over or beyond; "ype`r over + ? to throw. See Hyper-, Parable, and cf. Hyperbola.] (Rhet.) A figure of speech in which the expression is an evident exaggeration of the meaning intended to be conveyed, or by which things are represented as much greater or less, better or worse, than they really are; a statement exaggerated fancifully, through excitement, or for effect.

Besides, since when do children listen to reasoned arguments (or even reasoned arguements)?

struct
03-18-2002, 02:52 AM
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by EasyPhil


Were you equally as mad when James Baird was dragged to his death behind a pickup truck because he was black?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

YES!


I'm afraid I have to qualify my emphatic affirmative. Although I was equally as mad about the incident itself, I can't say I was as mad about the aftermath, given that no one showed up carrying picket signs that said "God hates niggers". No one would dare. Whoever showed up with a sign with such a horrible message on it probably would have been beaten to death on the spot if he/she/they weren't arrested for inciting to riot first. Abstract hatred of a minority is simply no longer acceptable in civilized society and is reviled by every established institution... with one notable, and already noted, exception.

Siege
03-18-2002, 04:46 AM
mgibsonYou're bragging about using intimidation to make a point to children instead of a reasoned arguement?

Sorry, my statement should have been followed by a :) . The kids and I get on well -- the fact that I fence and otherwise refuse to act like a conventional adult (I'm in my mid 30's) makes me qualify as coolest adult in church, I think. They know I won't get mad at them without reason, and I'll tell them what that reason is. I'll also give them every break I can, because I remember what it's like to be a kid.

As an example, a few weeks after our current minister joined the church, his absolutely angelic-looking daughter (she was about 7) came into coffee hour on the brink of tears saying her big brother had thrown a rock at her. I went out to find out to ask her 10 year old brother what happened (he could pass for Harry Potter, except for the scar, since I'm indulging in descriptions). It turned out he had thrown a small (less than 1/2 inch / 1 cm) rock at her which had caught her on the elbow [i]after[i] she had thrown one at him. He also said he'd intended to miss. Basically, they were horsing around, being brother and sister. I sighed and told him he'd better get in and defend himself before he got convicted in absentia. Both kids are good friends, as are their parents.

CJ

Siege
03-18-2002, 04:47 AM
Another one busted by not using the preview button.:o

Steve Wright
03-18-2002, 05:14 AM
Y'know, struct, insofar as I have a problem with your central argument, it's that you seem to be asking me to be as bad as the people you (and, to an extent, I) despise... to treat, for example, Fred Phelps the same way he would treat Matthew Shephard. This is kind of where I disagree; intolerance and hatred of homophobes isn't any better than intolerance and hatred of homosexuals - intolerance and hatred are bad things per se, no matter who they're directed at. I'm quite sure that Phelps and his ilk are totally wrong in their behaviour, but I think the, er, Christian, thing to do is to try to convince them of their errors, accept Christ's redeeming love and forgiveness, and go on from there. Which, I concede, may look like spineless toleration of their activities, from those who demand a more visible kind of action... but I still think it's the right way to go.

If I may fall back on a relevant quotation from Nietzsche: "Whomever goes to fight monsters should take care not to become a monster himself." (Or Tom Lehrer: "I know there are people in the world that do not love their fellow human beings and I hate people like that.")

So much for your central thesis; if I may return to Scriptural quibbling for a moment.... The verse you quoted about the disciple whom Jesus loved is actually John 13:23, "Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved" (KJV translation). This site (http://www.olivetree.com/cgi-bin/EnglishBible.htm) will get you to a Greek/English interlinear version, where you will notice that the word translated as "loved" is egapa (transliterating here), a form of agapao, related noun agape - love in the sense of "caring about", as distinct from eros, sexual love. So, if you genuinely want to convince me Jesus was gay, you'll need something better than that, or I will raise my stonily sceptical eyebrow at you.

(Yes, I realise this is irrelevant to the main course of this discussion, but I worked on this, it's years since I last read any Greek, I've suffered for my art and now it's your turn... )

Siege
03-18-2002, 05:36 AM
By the way, struct, I just wanted to send you a belated Thanks for both your compliments and your defence of de fencer:) .

CJ

struct
03-18-2002, 06:52 AM
Originally posted by Steve Wright
Y'know, struct, insofar as I have a problem with your central argument, it's that you seem to be asking me to be as bad as the people you (and, to an extent, I) despise... to treat, for example, Fred Phelps the same way he would treat Matthew Shephard. This is kind of where I disagree; intolerance and hatred of homophobes isn't any better than intolerance and hatred of homosexuals - intolerance and hatred are bad things per se, no matter who they're directed at. I'm quite sure that Phelps and his ilk are totally wrong in their behaviour, but I think the, er, Christian, thing to do is to try to convince them of their errors, accept Christ's redeeming love and forgiveness, and go on from there. Which, I concede, may look like spineless toleration of their activities, from those who demand a more visible kind of action... but I still think it's the right way to go.

If I may fall back on a relevant quotation from Nietzsche: "Whomever goes to fight monsters should take care not to become a monster himself." (Or Tom Lehrer: "I know there are people in the world that do not love their fellow human beings and I hate people like that.")


I respectfully disagree. If I were to crucify Phelps & company upon a wooden fence, or set fire to their houses, or shoot them in cold blood, or even commit lesser offenses against them like vandalizing their homes or businesses, or firing them without cause, or just not hiring them in the first place, or causing laws to be passed and court cases to be decided which kept them from getting married and adopting children, then I would truly be reciprocating towards them in monstrous fashion. However, inasmuch as Christian believers have an obligation to turn the other cheek, you also have an obligation to be good Samaritans and relieve the suffering of your fellow men and women. Since you do have an obligation to love the sinner, I won't expect you to echo my hatred of the bigot, but you also have an obligation to hate the sin, therefore I do expect you to not keep silent in the face of bigotry. (That is, assuming the "central argument" with which you disagree isn't that all human beings, G/L/B/T included, deserve to be treated with decency and respect.)


So much for your central thesis; if I may return to Scriptural quibbling for a moment.... The verse you quoted about the disciple whom Jesus loved is actually John 13:23, "Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved" (KJV translation). This site (http://www.olivetree.com/cgi-bin/EnglishBible.htm) will get you to a Greek/English interlinear version, where you will notice that the word translated as "loved" is egapa (transliterating here), a form of agapao, related noun agape - love in the sense of "caring about", as distinct from eros, sexual love. So, if you genuinely want to convince me Jesus was gay, you'll need something better than that, or I will raise my stonily sceptical eyebrow at you.

(Yes, I realise this is irrelevant to the main course of this discussion, but I worked on this, it's years since I last read any Greek, I've suffered for my art and now it's your turn... )

The only thing I'm out to convince any Christian of is that the true meaning of Scripture is all in the interpretation. I'll grant that the interpretive hypothesis I put forward is a stretch, but one can't entirely discount it, either, and therefore one can't entirely ignore it. What if it were true? Not that the immoral minority needs to be proven any wronger, but how much more evil and hypocritical would it make them if indeed their God Himself were gay?

Esprix
03-18-2002, 12:11 PM
This reminds me of my "Tolerance for intolerance?" thread of a while ago. Bottom line is, I, like struct, have none. Do I wish to see Phelps, Helms and Robertson strung up like Mussolini? Of course not. But I won't shed any tears if they get back what they've dished out tenfold, and I will drink a toast to their overdue departure when they finally kick the bucket - and happily, at that.

Esprix

Kirkland1244
03-18-2002, 04:59 PM
The war on terror will not be over until we bring our planes back home and destroy every Southern Baptist and fundamentalist "Christian church" in our country. if we're going to wipe out Fundamentalism, lets wipe out all of them.

Fundamentalists and decent people can never co-exist. They are bigotry incarnate, and a cancer on any society they infest.

JohnBckWLD
03-18-2002, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by struct

Hooray, the woodwork dwellers cometh!

According to a 1998 poll by the H(uman) R(ights) C(ampaign), {not to be confused with Hillary Rodham-Clinton} there alot more than just termites who are appalled by the recent anti-gay crusade waged by the Right. 75% of Americans believe job discrimination against gay people should be illegal. The poll also shows that there are political consequences for gay bashing with 48 percent of likely voters saying that they would be "less likely" to vote for a Congressperson who voted to overturn President Clinton's ban barring job discrimination against gays. Only 17% of respondents said overturning the discrimination ban would make them "more likely" to vote for their Congressperson.
My advice, sit down & talk to one of the oft avoided 'trolls' that frequent GLBT bars and let him tell you what it used to be like. Odds are, He'll quote the old Virginia Slims buyline..."You've Come a Long Way, Baby!"
The way I see it, Stonewall was only about 30 years ago and from my perspective, The GLBT has come along way toward being accepted. Take a deep breath, stop playing the role of the angry young man and take pleasure in the fact the glass is 75% full as opposed to 17% empty.
...this story is an implied indictment of homosexuality --"nobody wants to say anything negative about homosexuals" -- and the fact that you would use this as an example of "turning the tables" is a perfect illustration of what's wrong with American society...Let me...ask you if you could draw a negative conclusion about blacks if...blacks kill(ed) another black, or... two workers kill(ed) a...steel worker, or...two fundamentalist Christians kill(ed) a...Christian. That dog won't hunt.
When I used the Jesse Dirkhising story, I purposely avoided incendiary language or painting the homosexual community with a broad brush. To clarify, I honestly don't believe "nobody wants to say anything negative about homosexuals", I know there are a plurality of people that do. But on the other side of the coin, I find it disturbing that you'd even imply by your 3 examples that Jesse Dirkhising was himself gay. I don't think any (pre)pubescent boy has the ability to completely decide his sexuality.
...there are certain extremist militants that by their very nature cannot be negotiated with (Al-Qaida, for instance) and must be dealt with fairly but firmly, even harshly. There can be no coming to terms with the Fred Phelpses of the world...
As was pointed out by MGibson and others, and taking into account your acknowledgement of inflammatory and "non-A-game" tone, your original point and subsequent posts border on extremist and militant. IMHO, there'd probably be alot more Catholic acceptance of the GLBT community if Act-Up ceased their quasi-militant protests of running naked through St. Patrick's Cathedral throwing condoms at the congregation.
People may carry out the literal action of killing, but people don't exist in a vacuum. There has to be a substantial measure of societal complicity for the consistent pattern of hate crimes perpetrated against whichever minority the religious right happens to have targeted in their sights...When will people stop hating, pillaging and killing in the name of divinity, of all things?
Sorry, but I'll never in my heart of hearts accept hate-crimes legislation for anything other than garbage. All crime is based in hate. Trying to have government or the judiciary dole out punishment based on what's going on in a perpetrator's mind borders on the insane. If a criminal was to get the best of me in an alleyway, I couldn't care less if he did it for my wallet or my race or my sexual preferences.
People will never stop hating and killing, but we'll be one small step closer toward the goal of ending evil when people stop banding together as groups with a "circle the wagons" mentality in an unfactionalized, individualist-based society.

iampunha
03-18-2002, 06:53 PM
Originally posted by struct
God hates YOU for hating f-gs... and so do I.

God doesn't hate anyone, struct. At least not as far as I've learned, though I admit I don't know what's in His heart. But God (the God I worship, at least, and the God Polycarp, RTFirefly, yosemitebabe and Duck Duck Goose [to name a few] worship) doesn't hate.

An otherwise decent rant/OP, IMO. I also disagree with the bit about His sexuality, but that's rather tangential (IMO, again). He (as far as I can remember) has never expressed His sexuality, and I don't recall as He has any. He loves in a parental way, not a carnal way (which shouldn't surprise you, since He is not flesh [except in persona Christi] and as such isn't subject to its temptations).

Guinastasia
03-18-2002, 10:26 PM
Originally posted by Kirkland1244
The war on terror will not be over until we bring our planes back home and destroy every Southern Baptist and fundamentalist "Christian church" in our country. if we're going to wipe out Fundamentalism, lets wipe out all of them.

Fundamentalists and decent people can never co-exist. They are bigotry incarnate, and a cancer on any society they infest.

Pardon me, but we have a few fundamentalists here, and they are very good and decent people. As far as Southern Baptists, what about Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter? I don't think we need to wipe them out?

struct
03-19-2002, 01:57 AM
Originally posted by JohnBckWLD

According to a 1998 poll by the H(uman) R(ights) C(ampaign), {not to be confused with Hillary Rodham-Clinton} there alot more than just termites who are appalled by the recent anti-gay crusade waged by the Right. 75% of Americans believe job discrimination against gay people should be illegal. The poll also shows that there are political consequences for gay bashing with 48 percent of likely voters saying that they would be "less likely" to vote for a Congressperson who voted to overturn President Clinton's ban barring job discrimination against gays. Only 17% of respondents said overturning the discrimination ban would make them "more likely" to vote for their Congressperson.
My advice, sit down & talk to one of the oft avoided 'trolls' that frequent GLBT bars and let him tell you what it used to be like. Odds are, He'll quote the old Virginia Slims buyline..."You've Come a Long Way, Baby!"
The way I see it, Stonewall was only about 30 years ago and from my perspective, The GLBT has come along way toward being accepted. Take a deep breath, stop playing the role of the angry young man and take pleasure in the fact the glass is 75% full as opposed to 17% empty.


I'd like to read the cite for myself. However, giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming it's an accurate poll, that still doesn't make "the glass" 75% full, it just means that 75% of the populace, give or take a few percentage points, is willing to say that they're in favor of a progressive course of action. That's a far cry from that course of action actually being pursued. First of all, answering a question a certain way on a confidential poll is a far cry from taking that same stance in open view where one might be subject to the wrath of ones peers. I would lay dollars-to-donuts that that 75% figure plummets to 40% or less if the poll is conducted in a public forum (a verbal mall survey, for instance). Second of all, changing peoples attitudes alone won't do the trick. In addition to the lion's share of de facto discrimination, GLBT's have to labor under the burden of a good number of de jure obstacles as well. The tide may be turning in Vermont and forward-thinking communities like my dear old Oak Park, but IMHO the proverbial glass is only just now being filled, and the GLBT glass is a lot more empty than the glass of other minorities.


When I used the Jesse Dirkhising story, I purposely avoided incendiary language or painting the homosexual community with a broad brush. To clarify, I honestly don't believe "nobody wants to say anything negative about homosexuals", I know there are a plurality of people that do. But on the other side of the coin, I find it disturbing that you'd even imply by your 3 examples that Jesse Dirkhising was himself gay. I don't think any (pre)pubescent boy has the ability to completely decide his sexuality.


"Thud... thud... thud..." that's the sound of me kicking myself for not reading that article carefully enough. My bad. However, my point that the two men in question are not evil because they're homosexual is still valid. They're evil because they're molesters, rapists and murderers, traits that are regretfully universal and not indiginous in any way to any minority.


As was pointed out by MGibson and others, and taking into account your acknowledgement of inflammatory and "non-A-game" tone, your original point and subsequent posts border on extremist and militant. IMHO, there'd probably be alot more Catholic acceptance of the GLBT community if Act-Up ceased their quasi-militant protests of running naked through St. Patrick's Cathedral throwing condoms at the congregation.


You're not the crowd I'm trying to score points with, so I won't bother putting on a defense of how the prime content in my posts is neither extremist nor militant, even though my tone could be. However, I will say that your knee-jerk association of what I have to say with an ACT-UP shenanigan is very illustrative. It goes to show how rhetoric vented from anger can and will be seized upon by the other side and used as cannon fodder for its own purposes. I have unintentionally delivered rhetorical arms to the enemy, and I am wholeheartedly sorry for having done so and having hurt my cause in the process. I thought that the University experience had hewn me into always being a calm, rational, and logical orator, but clearly I've slipped this time and needed to be re-taught an important lesson. Well, the lesson has been well re-learned, sir. I'll be seeing you elsewhere on the boards, and I'll be armed with nothing but the facts, ma'am.


Sorry, but I'll never in my heart of hearts accept hate-crimes legislation for anything other than garbage. All crime is based in hate. Trying to have government or the judiciary dole out punishment based on what's going on in a perpetrator's mind borders on the insane. If a criminal was to get the best of me in an alleyway, I couldn't care less if he did it for my wallet or my race or my sexual preferences.
People will never stop hating and killing, but we'll be one small step closer toward the goal of ending evil when people stop banding together as groups with a "circle the wagons" mentality in an unfactionalized, individualist-based society.

I would agree with you 100% on this point IF overt perpetrators of crimes against certain segments of humanity didn't make it overtly clear what their intentions were -- in the process driving a wedge into the populace so as to create factions and force a circling of the wagons in the interest of self-defense. Hate crimes are a grim reality, not a politically correct concoction, and if the prosecution in a given case can meet her/his burden of proof as to the crime being committed in furtherance of bigoted hatred, then why on Earth shouldn't that be considered an aggravating factor?

struct
03-19-2002, 02:09 AM
Originally posted by Kirkland1244
The war on terror will not be over until we bring our planes back home and destroy every Southern Baptist and fundamentalist "Christian church" in our country. if we're going to wipe out Fundamentalism, lets wipe out all of them.

Fundamentalists and decent people can never co-exist. They are bigotry incarnate, and a cancer on any society they infest.

I've certainly had plenty of moments where I felt that way. I certainly felt that way when I wrote the OP. However, elimination of every Southern Baptist for the sole reason that they're Southern Baptists would be Phelpsian genocide, as evil an act as killing every GLBT for the sole reason that they're GLBT.

[SELF-HIJACK]
A better solution IMHO would be a strong self-defense, which is why (watch out, ironic plot twist coming) I support second amendment rights. Hey, y'all thought I was a mindless bleeding heart liberal, didn't you? Never expected that one, eh? :) Nope, that's one (and probably the only one) issue where my sympathies lie on the Republican side. Hate-mongers would have to think twice about hate-crimes if the possibility existed that their potential victim might be armed.
[/SELF-HIJACK]

struct
03-19-2002, 02:29 AM
Originally posted by Guinastasia


Pardon me, but we have a few fundamentalists here, and they are very good and decent people. As far as Southern Baptists, what about Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter? I don't think we need to wipe them out?

Interesting and thought-provoking point you make there, a point which could be a good new thread spawner. It's probably wrong to use "fundamentalist" as a blanket term, isn't it? A good place to start examining the question would be my good friend dictionary.com:


fun·da·men·tal·ism Pronunciation Key (fnd-mntl-zm)
n.

1. A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.

2a. An organized, militant Evangelical movement originating in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century in opposition to Protestant Liberalism and secularism, insisting on the inerrancy of Scripture.

2b. Adherence to the theology of this movement.


Sounds pretty bad on the surface if you ask me, but the heart of that definition is the key phrase "fundamental principles". It's my experience that those principles are often wrong-headed, but Guinastasia makes the valid point that it ain't always necessarily so. In a way, the points that I myself have made in this thread paint me as something of a fundamentalist in nature (except for the religious part, of course): I rigidly adhere to the fundamental principles of justice for all and bigotry against none, I insist that those doctrines cannot be in error by their very nature, I am intolerant of those who see otherwise, and I insist that my operative principles be implemented on a society-wide level. I've also shown that for those who are believers, there's plenty of Scripture to back up my points. So, if you're out there, I hope that you "good witch" fundamentalists will please turn up the volume, because all of the "bad witch" fundamentalists are giving you a bad name (and please hold off on the Wicca jokes, people :) )

Kirkland1244
03-19-2002, 02:34 AM
Originally posted by Guinastasia


Pardon me, but we have a few fundamentalists here, and they are very good and decent people. As far as Southern Baptists, what about Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter? I don't think we need to wipe them out?

If they support the Southern Baptist Convention and its disgusting agenda of bigotry and its mission to deny all Americans equal rights, then they are not good people, and should be treated no differently than any other terrorist.

Everyone who gives money to the Southern Baptist Convention, Jerry Falwell, Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson or any of their ilk helps to fund and suppport the institutional intolerance faced by gays each and every day.

If you give money to the Southern Baptist Convention, I want to thank you. Thank you for helping fund an organization that fights tooth and nail to prevent me from being able to marry, from being able to automatically inherit property from someone I am in a long term relationship with, from being able to hear ANYTHING positive about my orientation throughout my time in high school (which is already a very trying time for gays.... it does no harm to have a teacher say "there's nothing wrong with being gay" to any straight kids, and it could do a world of good for the gay kids in our schools).

I want to thank you for supporting an organization that lies about who people like me are (we do not choose our orientation, at least, no gay person I know did). About what we do (we are not all promiscuous Brian Kelley's going around screwing everyone and everything). And about who we serve (I've never met a Southern Baptist whose half the Christian most gay Christians I know are).

And then I'd like to thank you to stay the fuck out of my business (don't tell me who to love), the fuck out of my way (don't try to force the government to descriminate against me) and the fuck out of my life (just in general).

And if you refuse to do that, then I kindly invite you to gather up all your kids and go play in heavy traffic.

Kirk

Mr. Duality
03-19-2002, 08:28 AM
A collection of NY Times articles on the Matthew Shepard case can be found at

http://www.nytimes.com/ads/marketing/laramie/index.html

Registration may be required.

I will be perfectly happy to live and let live. Just don't ask me to support any so-called Hate Crimes legislation.

Mr. Duality
03-19-2002, 08:36 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/ads/marketing/laramie/index.html

Mr. Duality
03-19-2002, 08:38 AM
It seems a link to the NY times will appear as it should in preview, but disappears when a post is submitted.

Guinastasia
03-19-2002, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by Kirkland1244



And then I'd like to thank you to stay the fuck out of my business (don't tell me who to love), the fuck out of my way (don't try to force the government to descriminate against me) and the fuck out of my life (just in general).


You are new, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, but perhaps you are unaware-the above is inappropriate in this forum.

I never said ANYTHING about supporting or not supporting your right to get married. You may want to visit your doctor about that knee jerk of your's.


Get a grip on yourself.

Polycarp
03-19-2002, 12:20 PM
Kirkland: I know that Kirk is personally acquainted with online conservative Baptists, some of whom meet his criteria for bigotry and many of whom do not.

His point, I think, was directed at the Religious Right takeover of the SBC of the past 20 years which has caused the gradual evacuation of that convention by the vast majority of people who are willing to evaluate scientific evidence and interpret the Bible according to what it suggests, who see gay people as human beings like themselves rather than active doers of the Devil's work, and so on.

I've seen him trying to argue the point of human sexuality and its evaluation against people who are all too ready to cite a Bible quote and defend being negative against all gay people as a result (along with a couple who believe it defines what a Christian with gay desires ought himself to do but not what a Christian dealing with gay people ought to). I've seen him protest the citing of slanted news stories and be effectively ignored. (And I've seen him draw erroneous conclusions about those who did so.)

So if anyone is offended by his rhetoric, remember that he himself is a victim of such attitudes, and give him a little leeway in how he expresses himself.

= - = - =

Jesse Dirkhising: Anyone who sees this as in any way representative of what most gay people do should get a reality check. On the other hand, while the Advocate seems to have studiously ignored the issue, Atlanta's gay weekly, the Southern Voice took a strong stand that gay people ought to address what happened there and come out as strongly condemning what happened.

With regard to Jesse himself, it appears that he was drawn to and enjoyed sexual relationships with older men. What that says about his developing sexuality is subject to interpretation by the individual.

= - = - =

Hate crimes legislation: My understanding of how such statutes work is either to give jurisdiction where a criminal act not only violates a particular statute governing criminal behavior but also violates another statute governing intent when committing such behavior, and/or to constitute an aggravating condition with reference to degrees of culpability. I fail to see what is improper about either of these stances, other than the "thought-crime" gimmick, which is not applicable. If you sincerely believe that the world would be a better place if all gays, all blacks, all Mormons, or whatever were dead, that's your problem. If you act on this belief, you have not committed a "thought crime" but a normal action-with-criminal-intent crime per se, and your reasons for acting are within the purview of the court, same as if the question of whether this guy died when you hit him was because you were in a bar fight with him and were not aware of the potential he would die due to a medical condition if hit in that precise spot, or whether, knowing this, you hit and killed him because your fiancee stood to inherit most of his estate when he died. Hitting and killing him because he was gay, black, Mormon, or whatever and you hate gays, blacks, Mormons, or whatevers is the same sort of motive/intent question addressed by the above.

The Carters and other "good Southern Baptists": There is something called the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, composed of churches (and individuals) who have withdrawn from the SBC because of its Neanderthal stances on many issues. The Carter family is (and made the news when they became) affiliated with the CBF, not the SBC. They are still "Southern Baptists" as being Baptists of Southern heritage, but not members of a church belonging to a convention of that name.

Kirkland1244
03-19-2002, 12:46 PM
Originally posted by Guinastasia
I never said ANYTHING about supporting or not supporting your right to get married. You may want to visit your doctor about that knee jerk of your's.

If you support fundamentalists, Southern Baptists, or other groups that work day and night to withhold true equality to all Americans, then it doesn't matter what you personally think. You are suporting evil, and that makes you just as evil as the scum who run those so-called "Christians" churches.

There is no need for debate on these issues. There are simply two sides: those in favor of equality, and bigots who want to force the entire world to march lockstep to their twisted religious views. If you're on the side of the bigots, or help support them in any way, you're no different than the Ku Klux Klan or the other racists who tried to crush anyone who didn't look like them in the past century. Only today, the bigots are hunting down anyone who doesn't love like them. It's all the same cancer, and all deserves the same cure: the elimination of the anti-equality bigots and all who support them.

Esprix
03-19-2002, 12:56 PM
Was I ever this young? ;)

Re: Fundamentalism - painting with a broad brush is never a good idea, especially 'round these parts.

Re: The Roman Catholic Church - ACT-UP has zero to do with their intolerance.

Re: Angry Young Gay Men - been there, done that, do things different now. We all go through it. (Hell, my very first post on this very message board was a rant in the Pit on the very same issue.) This, too, shall pass, and change into something even better.

Esprix

Mr. Duality
03-19-2002, 01:12 PM
In polycarp's post above, the example of hitting a guy in a barfight without intent to kill would be probably be manslaughter, not murder with premeditation. Whether I kill you because I hate gays or because someone paid me to do it makes no difference. Hate as a motivation is no better or worse than greed.

There is no need for debate on these issues. There are simply two sides: those in favor of equality, and bigots who want to force the entire world to march lockstep to their twisted religious views.

What about equal protection for all victims?

Kirkland1244
03-19-2002, 01:18 PM
Hate crime laws are un-American, and say that certain lives are worth more than others, and that is wrong.

Retribution for crime should be swift, viscious and merciless, regardless of the demographics of the victim or the attacker.

Polycarp
03-19-2002, 01:36 PM
The point I was going for is that typically hate crimes laws address motive and function as a "classifier" of a crime. Hey, whether somebody died as a result of a cold-blooded premeditated act or through criminally negligent behavior, they're still dead -- but the culpability of the person who committed the act is quite different. In addition to which, in general all such laws are written in "neutral" ways -- if I am killed by a bunch of Lesbian Greek Orthodox black women because I'm a WASP male, then they are as guilty of a hate crime as a gay-basher, an antisemite motivated by hatred of Jews, etc. It's merely that there are suspect categories that are commonly the object of hate that makes people think anyone is especially protected -- the laws themselves do not set up such categories. If Falwell's 1980s stupidity about "mobs of gays targeting religious straight men" had any truth to it, it would be the sort of reverse bigotry that the law also encompasses.

Esprix
03-19-2002, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by Kirkland1244

Hate crime laws are un-American, and say that certain lives are worth more than others, and that is wrong.

I daresay you're not very well-versed with hate crime laws, then. Polycarp's explanation was pretty concise, so I suggest you read it again, as the laws proposed have nothing whatsoever to do with making one person's life somehow more worthy than another's. (Personally, I look at hate-motivated crimes as acts of terrorism.)

But perhaps this oughtn't devolve into a thread about hate crimes, n'est-ce pas?

Esprix

Kirkland1244
03-19-2002, 07:46 PM
If you pre-meditatedly (is that even a word?) murder someone you should get the same punishment (and it should swift, merciless and unbearable) regardless of if your motivation is hatred or greed or whatever. That's just not right. The crime is the same, regardless of motivation: someone is dead. Whether greed or hate is worse offense is the kind of moral decision making I don't care to let the incompetent bufoons that run our government make.

The penalty should be determined by the judge or jury, and not dictated by a group of legislators who are trying to win votes from blacks and gays. Hate crime laws are as bad as "three-strikes" laws -- they are the legislature intruding deeply into the judiciary's role of distributing punishments for the violation of the law.

JohnBckWLD
03-19-2002, 08:16 PM
Originally posted by Struct
I'd like to read the cite (75% of Americans believe job discrimination against gay people should be illegal) for myself.
Here it is, from 1998 http://www.commondreams.org/pressreleases/July98/073098d.htm. A more recent poll (6/2001) by Gallop showed 85% of Americans polled support equal opportunity in the workplace. 54% say homosexual relations between consenting adults should be legal, 52% say homosexuality is an acceptable "alternative lifestyle." Further, 44% favor allowing homosexual couples to form civil unions and receive some legal rights of married couples, according to the poll.
That cite http://www.hrc.org/newsreleases/2001/010604gallup.asp by no means portrays everything as peachy-keen. As I pointed out earlier, those numbers are rapidly improving (a 13% increase in 3 years on the job discrimination query). Things will continue to improve if the use of vinegar, or tactics that include throwing Trojans at my grandmother while she's in prayer are refrained from.

Speaking of which...

Originally posted by Esprix
Re: The Roman Catholic Church - ACT-UP has zero to do with their intolerance.
Here are some excerpts an old, but very balanced & well written editorial by Randy Shilts of the (now defunct?) SF Chronicle. There's not a word here:http://www.aegis.com/news/sc/1989/SC891213.html that I could find disagreement with;

...(Are) AIDS protesters who have been disrupting services and vandalizing Catholic churches...being paid by some diabolical reactionary group dedicated to discrediting the gay community?
How inflamed the gay community would be if militant Catholics burst into the gay Metropolitan Community Church in the Castro area, scribbled anti-homosexual Bible verses on the walls and stopped the sermon until the police showed up? Churches in North Hollywood and West Hollywood were vandalized two weeks ago...ACT-UP invaded services at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City...one protester even grabbed a Communion wafer -(symbolizing) the body of Christ -- and threw it on the church floor. Boys With Arms Akimbo plastered the front door of St. Mary's Cathedral with posters and red handprints meant to symbolize the blood on the church's hands for their gay-related teachings. The(se) actions represent a troubling new turn in the wave of confrontational AIDS protests that has swept America.

It's not surprising, of course, that these protests should materialize. The Catholic hierarchy's staunch opposition to condoms and safe-sex education has long been derided by people working to prevent AIDS and just about every credible spokesman in the public health community.

The church's sole advice to prevent AIDS -- strict monogamy within one lifelong heterosexual marriage (and) long-standing enmity to all things homosexual also was bound to attract AIDS protesters, most of whom are from the lesbian and gay community. Many Catholic gays harbor deep-seated -- and justifiable -- anger toward a church that affirms homophobia as, quite literally, an article of faith.

That, however, does not give gay protesters the prerogative to deny Catholics their rights, including the right to worship and the right of their leaders to deliver whatever pronouncements they like without having to worry about the intimidation of vandals.

It is not only morally wrong to violate these rights -- it is strategically stupid.

Messing around with houses of worship makes new enemies, not new friends. America has a long, ugly tradition of anti-Catholic prejudice, and undercurrents of it are certainly present in the rhetoric of some of the AIDS protesters.

There is a difference between opposing the doctrine of the Catholic hierarchy and opposing Catholics. Society should cast aside old prejudices and understand that every human has an intrinsic right to be treated with dignity, even if some of the person's actions might be repugnant to others.

This is a message that both sides of the AIDS debate should take pains to heed.

Guinastasia
03-19-2002, 10:06 PM
Actually, if you had been paying attention, you'd realize that I happen to be an extremely liberal Catholic who believes in gay rights. I don't agree with the position of the church-although they don't believe gays are mentally ill-they DO now believe that it is something like being left-handed, but they believe gays should be celibate.

I do NOT agree with that.

And had you taken the time to read what I've written, you might have realized that before you went into a tantrum.

*sigh*

People rushing into a Mass and doing things like that-no, that is wrong. It doesn't matter WHAT beef they had with the church.

You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.

Esprix
03-20-2002, 01:32 AM
Originally posted by Kirkland1244

If you pre-meditatedly (is that even a word?) murder someone you should get the same punishment (and it should swift, merciless and unbearable) regardless of if your motivation is hatred or greed or whatever. That's just not right...

The penalty should be determined by the judge or jury, and not dictated by a group of legislators who are trying to win votes from blacks and gays. Hate crime laws are as bad as "three-strikes" laws -- they are the legislature intruding deeply into the judiciary's role of distributing punishments for the violation of the law.

And, again, your ignorance on hate crimes legislation is showing. Hate crime laws do not in any way alter the punishment for the commission of a crime.

I'll leave someone more versed like matt_mcl or Polycarp for the cites, 'cause it's late and I'm going to bed now.

Esprix

Esprix
03-20-2002, 01:35 AM
Oh, and Jack, could you cite me somewhere where ACT-UP (which is, by and large, no longer the spokesorganization for gay or AIDS rights, and hasn't been for, oh, nigh on 10 years or so, right around the time the disease got "mainstreamed," for lack of a better word) did anything like this recently? And even if you can't, I daresay the Roman Catholic church has been anti-gay for just a tad longer than the AIDS epidemic. :rolleyes:

Esprix

struct
03-20-2002, 05:00 AM
JohnBckWLD, thank you for the cites.

Originally posted by JohnBckWLD

The church's sole advice to prevent AIDS -- strict monogamy within one lifelong heterosexual marriage (and) long-standing enmity to all things homosexual also was bound to attract AIDS protesters, most of whom are from the lesbian and gay community. Many Catholic gays harbor deep-seated -- and justifiable -- anger toward a church that affirms homophobia as, quite literally, an article of faith.


Not to mention an institution that in the name of faith has obstructed justice and hindered prosecution in order to cover up for certain of its raiment-wearing child-molesting members... but that's a subject for another thread.


That, however, does not give gay protesters the prerogative to deny Catholics their rights, including the right to worship and the right of their leaders to deliver whatever pronouncements they like without having to worry about the intimidation of vandals.

It is not only morally wrong to violate these rights -- it is strategically stupid.


I respectfully disagree. First of all, a vandal is one who defaces or destroys property. Running naked through a church service whilst lobbing condoms would be indecent exposure and disturbing the peace, but not vandalism. At any rate, religious institutions including the Catholic Church benefit from a special legal status in the USA. In addition to being covered by two provisions of the First Amendment, the "free exercise" and the "free speech" clauses, in a way that other organizations are not (e.g. any content it might publish is not subject to the review of any regulatory body like the FTC), the Catholic Church is tax-exempt and it has the power to perform (or not perform) weddings. This puts them under the purview of the public. Since the Catholic Church itself is denying other Catholics their natural rights, there's a perfectly valid prerogative for acts of civil disobedience against said Church.

struct
03-20-2002, 05:35 AM
Originally posted by Kirkland1244
The penalty [for a hate crime] should be determined by the judge or jury, and not dictated by a group of legislators who are trying to win votes from blacks and gays. Hate crime laws are as bad as "three-strikes" laws -- they are the legislature intruding deeply into the judiciary's role of distributing punishments for the violation of the law.

Disclaimer: IANAL, just a pretty well-informed and educated citizen as to the legal system.

Criminal Court judges pass sentences for crimes committed, but it is the legislature's job to set up the sentencing guidelines to begin with. The law grants discretionary powers to a judge in many cases to tailor an appropriate punishment to a given case. For instance, the legislated punishment for a crime might be a range of ten to thirty years imprisonment, and the judge picks a number within that range depending on the aggravating and mitigating factors in the case. However, the ultimate power to determine punishments for crimes lies in a legislative body, and it is not an "intrusion" to specify an additional penalty for a crime if it has a hate factor to it.

I suppose you could argue that the penalties called for by hate crime laws are "cruel and unusual" and thus violate the Eighth Amendment, but otherwise a legislature is perfectly within its rights when it passes anti-hate crime legislation. The only other possible legal challenge I can think of would be to argue that hate crime sentencing standards violate Fourteenth Amendment equal protection and due process guarantees. I invite any lawyers reading this thread to explain why those dogs won't hunt.

At any rate, Kirkland, I'm very surprised that you're so vehemently philosophically opposed to anti-hate crimes legislation. Is it because you don't want to be accused of asking for "special" legal protection? Are you saying that like political correctness and affirmative action, an argument can be made that hate crime laws do more harm than good? If I may, Kirkland, let me salve your conscience by pointing out that when a certain portion of the populace is specially targeted for egregiously wrongful and criminal treatment (the particulars of which I'm sure you're more familiar with than anyone else here), the state has a compelling interest to protect the targets of such disproportionate injustice with a proportionate legal response. Think of it as legal triage, if you will.

LonesomePolecat
03-20-2002, 08:30 AM
Originally posted by W. Panic Snopes

Matthew Shepard is the totem pole for everything from pro-hate crime legislation factions to all manner of tolerance organizations, the kid that few liked becoming overnight just short of “a god in Colchester”. Billy Jack Gaither is essentially forgotten by everybody but his friends and family. Matthew Shepard had pouty GAP model good looks, glossy photos, and a background including world travel and prestigious finishing schools; Billy Jack Gaither, for all his virtues, was an overweight and not particularly attractive redneck whose background was small town Baptist.



What we've got here is a prime example of class prejudice in America. If an upper class college kid gets killed for being gay (and it's not even clear that's the only reason he was killed), it makes headline news across the country, and lefties everywhere weep and moan. Let a poor or working class kid get killed indisputably because he was gay, and the news barely makes it off the back pages of the local papers.

I've long said that liberals hate poor and working class whites. The contrast in the amount of attention these two different cases received tends to confirm that view. Certainly this incident shows that lefties care nothing about what happens to us.

At least old fashioned socialists pretended to like us.

Kirkland1244
03-20-2002, 08:49 AM
A crime is a crime. The important factor is WHAT is done, not why they did it. if a person kills me becaus I'm gay, when another person kills my brother because he's well off, then they both deserve the exact same punishemnt (to be thrown in a hole for the rest of their lives, a crust of moldy bread to eat each day, and daily beatings until life is so miserable that they shatter their glass of dirty water one afternoon and jab the shard into their own throat). If you start saying "these thoughts or beliefs make these crimes more 'wrong'" how far is that from saying that "these thoughts and beliefs are in and of themselves illegal." That goes against the entire concept of freedom of speech, which inlcudes freedom to think things that are horrible and disgusting.

Hate crime laws are nothing more than candy liberal politicians use to try to dupe minority voters into continuing to vote for them. They're a political ploy.

Crime should be defined by what you do, not why you do it.

Kirk

KellyM
03-20-2002, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by Esprix
And, again, your ignorance on hate crimes legislation is showing. Hate crime laws do not in any way alter the punishment for the commission of a crime.Tsk, tsk, Esprix. You have it exactly backwards. In fact, hate crime laws cannot do anything other than alter the punishment for the commission of a crime. The Supreme Court ruled in R.A.V. v. St. Paul that making the expression of hate on its own a crime was an unconstitutional infringement of the right of free speech. Subsequently, it ruled in Wisconsin v. Mitchell that a court could permissibly consider as a factor in determining sentence that a crime was motivated by hatred of a minority class. As a result of these two holdings, all hate crime laws are expressed as sentencing enhancers.

Esprix
03-20-2002, 11:18 AM
FYI, the hate crimes hijack has been moved here (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=104890).

Esprix

jayjay
03-20-2002, 11:45 PM
To go back to the Jesse Dirkhising reference, I've seen this pulled up in tandem with the Matthew Shephard incident almost since the two events occurred. And I still don't understand the supposed connection.

Shephard was killed in large part because he was gay. Yes, they robbed him. But he was beaten and left to die because two hopped-up homophobes were feeling creepy about "playing gay" to get money for drugs.

Dirkhising, even if we ignore the evidence that suggests that he, himself, was indeed gay and into older men (disregarding the legality of participation by those older men for the moment), was not killed because he was straight. Evidence points to bondage play gone bad, in my understanding.

And the horrified gasps of "How dare you say Jesse was gay?!" are misplaced, IMO, and more than a little Mrs. Grundy-ish. I certainly knew I liked men long before I was 15. The idea that a teenager is some sort of sexual tabula rasa until they turn 18 is outdated, usually politically self-serving, and just plain wrong. Am I the only adult who remembers being a teenager?

This is not, of course, to say that what seemed to be going on between Dirkhising and his killers was right. It certainly wasn't legal (although legal != right, necessarily). And to suggest that Jesse gave his (non-legally-sufficient) consent to the acts that caused his death is not to blame him for it. In the same way that to recognize that Shephard was most likely looking for "rough trade" that night is not the same as blaming him for his own death.

But the incidents are nowhere near the sexual mirror-images that some people seem to want them to be.

jayjay