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NOM, Tony Perkins Do Logistic Backflips To Blame SPLC For FRC Shooting

The wound on security guard Leo Johnson’s arm wasn’t stitched up before National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown hopped on CNN’s Early Start to blame pro-LGBT organizations for the shooting at Family Research Council headquarters yesterday morning in Washington, DC.

“Everything points to the fact that this was politically motivated,” said Brown. “Groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center which has labeled the Family Research Council, which is a mainstream group, a hate group. That sort of talk… is totally irresponsible and unacceptable and I think this incident makes that clear.”

Not to be outdone, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins himself came forward today to also blame the SPLC for the shooting: “Floyd Corkins was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organizations hate groups because they disagree with them on public policy,” Perkins told Fox News today. “I believe the Southern Poverty Law Center should be held responsible that is leading to intimidation of what the FBI has characterized as domestic terrorism.”

Okay, so we admit there was a teensy part of us that thought Perkins might take the high road and just call for unity and respect after such a shocking assault. We won’t make that mistake again.

If SPLC is expected to apologize for the rogue actions of Corkins, shouldn’t NOM, FRC and their ilk be on their knees apologizing for the deaths of Matthew Shepherd, Lawrence King, Tyler Clementi, and the thousands of other kids whose lives were lost—either directly or indirectly—because of anti-gay attacks?

We’re trying to remember if Perkins, Brown or any of their peers expressed empathy (forget about regret) over the countless of gay-bashings and suicides that have plagued our nation in just the past few years alone.

Did they condemn Pastor Charles Worley when he said gays and lesbians should be put in concentration camps behind electrified fences?

Or Maryland pastor Dennis Leatherman, who said his “flesh” agreed with killing gays and lesbians?

Or minister Scott Lively, who advised the Ugandan government on its still-being-discussed “Kill the Gays” bill?

Did they come out against the horrible murder of two people at Tel Aviv’s LGBT center in 2009?

When you think of all the things fundamentalists have called gay people, “hate group” seems pretty soft.

Mark Potok, Senior Fellow of the Southern Poverty Law Center, addressed Perkins’ accusations (in a much more civil tone than we would have taken):

Yesterday’s attack on the Family Research Council and the shooting of a security guard there was a tragedy. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) deplores all violence, and our thoughts are with the wounded victim, Leo Johnson, his family and others who lived through the attack.

For more than 40 years, the SPLC has battled against political extremism and political violence. We have argued consistently that violence is no answer to problems in a democratic society, and we have strongly criticized all those who endorse such violence, whether on the political left or the political right.

But this afternoon, FRC President Tony Perkins attacked the SPLC, saying it had encouraged and enabled the attack by labeling the FRC a “hate group.” The attacker, Floyd Corkins, “was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center,” Perkins said. “I believe the Southern Poverty Law Center should be held accountable for their reckless use of terminology.”

Perkins’ accusation is outrageous. The SPLC has listed the FRC as a hate group since 2010 because it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people — not, as some claim, because it opposes same-sex marriage. The FRC and its allies on the religious right are saying, in effect, that offering legitimate and fact-based criticism in a democratic society is tantamount to suggesting that the objects of criticism should be the targets of criminal violence.

As the SPLC made clear at the time and in hundreds of subsequent statements and press interviews, we criticize the FRC for claiming, in Perkins’ words, that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem” — an utter falsehood, as every relevant scientific authority has stated. An FRC official has said he wanted to “export homosexuals from the United States.” The same official advocated the criminalizing of homosexuality.

Perkins and his allies, seeing an opportunity to score points, are using the attack on their offices to pose a false equivalency between the SPLC’s criticisms of the FRC and the FRC’s criticisms of LGBT people. The FRC routinely pushes out demonizing claims that gay people are child molesters and worse — claims that are provably false. It should stop the demonization and affirm the dignity of all people.

In other words, the difference between us and them, is that we can see the distinction between criticizing and calling (sometimes literally) for someone’s head.

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Aug 16, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • 45 Comments
    • Woody
      Woody

      Good job Mr. Avery. Clear and concise truth without unnessessary camp.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 6:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hephaestion
      Hephaestion

      The Family Research Council serves little purpose aside from the dissemination of discredited lies about gay people. Everyone who works there seems to be either a closet case or a professed “ex-gay,” which of course doesn’t exist. It is a hate organization, with a little anti-abortion work on the side. Spreading lies aimed at making gullible people hate gays is their primary function. You know that every computer in that place has probably been used to see a whole lot of gay porn.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 7:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hephaestion
      Hephaestion

      It is very sad that an innocent guard was shot. Does the gunman have mental health issues? As deplorable as the FRC is, no one deserves to be shot. My prayers are with Leo Johnson.

      And no, I never heard any kind of kind words from the FRC when Matthew Sheppard or any other gay person was killed. They never behave as Christ would have.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 7:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aidan8
      Aidan8

      Tony Perkins and FRC make me sick. They are reaping what they have sowed…. HATE.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Z
      Z

      Too bad Tony wasn’t the one tagged — he promotes government coercion against gays in the form of criminal sanctions. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tony Perkins is an abomination. He has made millions of dollars by openly calling for the murder of gays. He couches his calls in bible quotes, of course. But he clearly has incited others to murder gays, regularly, for most of his career. Thousands of gay men have been murdered, directly as a result of his “Christian” teachings.

      No gay organization calls for “Christian” people to be put to death, of course. They just point out that the so-called “Christian” organizations, routinely, DO call for gays to be put to death.

      No one should be surprised that someone decided to shoot back. While no one condones the recent shooting, no one should be surprised that it happened. At least, in this case, the shooter will be prosecuted. Most “Christian” criminals who shoot gay men, are not.

      Aug 16, 2012 at 10:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      As much as I loathe this organization, violence is not the answer.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 12:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DF
      DF

      Violence is never the answer. My grandfather was a 2 war veteran, served in many countries, he would say to us – When words end, bullets begin. It would be nice if we could have civil discourse with the FRC, but if they are not willing to talk and find ways to compromise, at least on the foul media they distribute that is false, then I guess bullets begin.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 8:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hooper
      Hooper

      My problem is that everyone here seems to think this nutcase was justified in his actions because his victims were deemed to be “haters.” Listen, as a conservative gay man I can tell you first-hand where I see most of the hate coming from: the gay community. You guys are relentlessly vicious toward me and my kind because you see us as traitors, Uncle Toms, Nazi Jews, the list goes on and on. You claim that conservatives want you dead, dead, dead. You believe that Muslims love and embrace you. You think you’d be warmly welcomed in any black church, but that you’d be lynched if you walked into a Catholic church. Your hypocrisy is staggering.
      @DF: Your statement, “When words end, bullets begin . . . but if [the FRC] are not willing to talk . . . then I guess bullets begin” is truly terrifying, but I take comfort in the knowledge that you’re way too much of a little girl to ever handle a firearm—as Corkins was, apparently, since he opened fire and only managed to knick someone in the arm. Thank God that gays and guns don’t mix.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 9:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LandStander
      LandStander

      @Hooper: “Listen, as a conservative gay man I can tell you first-hand where I see most of the hate coming from: the gay community.”

      I like how you accuse gay people of hating you, and then you say things like “You all believe muslims love you, and you all think that black churches love you”…. Dude you do not even make any sense!

      “You believe that Muslims love and embrace you”

      What? Yes, we all just cannot wait to vacation in Iran.

      “You think you’d be warmly welcomed in any black church, but that you’d be lynched if you walked into a Catholic church.”

      There are gay-affirming churches of all colors. I do not think I would be warmly welcomed in MOST churches, regardless of whether its a “black church” or not. Why? Is it because I’m a little, incompetent closed minded fool? No, its because THEIR HOLY BOOK SAYS TO KILL ME. Of course we are wary of them ;-)

      Aug 17, 2012 at 9:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LandStander
      LandStander

      @Hooper: Plus, I do not think I would be lynched in a Catholic church. Molested maybe.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 9:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DF
      DF

      @Hooper: Thanks, I’ll take the little girl comment (even thoug it is pretty full of hate), even though I am a 6ft, 240lb man that served in Desert Shield (but I didn’t think that meant anything to this article, don’t think that I killed anyone, but who knows). I only mentioned my grandfather’s statement because it seems to be true and fit this bill. I’m certainly not a sissy by any means, I just have a little more common sense than to go shooting people in public to get attention. As I said “Violence is never the answer”. Let’s debate this one, let’s see a security guard is shot and a man is in jail, nothing more was accomplished by this, no rights were given, no less hate mongering from the FRC, and obviously no less hate mongering by the likes of you. Since I never posted it, I will now, I am pretty conservicative myself, but you never asked. This is the begining of a long revolution, wake up and see what happens next, I’m sure it won’t be pretty. PS Thanks again for the compliment!!!

      Aug 17, 2012 at 10:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DF
      DF

      @DF: PS, I am volunteering at the St Elizabeth Catholic Church Festival this weekend, it’s a great time, with a youth band, chuc-a-luc, rides, silent auction, you know, the whole bit. I will be the big guy sweating my A** off, making pizzas in the heat (I don’t even eat pizza). Father Ryan and I have been close friends forever, he and my father went to Catholic School together. By the way, I went to St. Aloysius until 6th grade, never got lynched or molested, so that part missed me as well.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 10:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hooper
      Hooper

      @LandStander: Sorry that facts enrage you so much, but that also is par for the course from my experience: Why are you so angry? Why do you think the world hates you? Why don’t you at least TRY to get along with others, rather than your typical in-your-face, I’ll-destroy-you-at-any-cost tactics? Why are hate and anger your drugs of choice?
      ps- I don’t think the bible dictates its followers kill homosexuals, but I do believe the quran explicitly states such a thing. I know that facts are terribly inconvenient for the liberal mind, but you might want to check that out.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 10:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hooper
      Hooper

      @DF: Please elaborate on your statement, “This is the begining of a long revolution, wake up and see what happens next, I’m sure it won’t be pretty.” Not sure what you’re referencing.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 10:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DF
      DF

      @Hooper: I’m finished talking to you. You are an idiot!!!!

      Aug 17, 2012 at 10:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TomMc
      TomMc

      @Hooper: Relgious bigotry against Muslims is just as bad as religious bigotry against Christians. Members of both faith groups haven’t historically been terribly kind to those they’ve perceived as being ‘outsiders’ (and no, I don’t just mean gay people). Regardless Hooper, your postings are thought-provoking.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 10:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hooper
      Hooper

      @DF: So much for Christian empathy. Father Ryan needs to discuss the virtues of tolerance with you.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 11:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hooper
      Hooper

      @TomMc: I agree, Tom. I’m neither anti-Christian nor anti-Muslim (I consider myself fanatically agnostic), was just trying to make a point.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 11:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DF
      DF

      Evidently the definition for Christian Empathy is:
      …but I take comfort in the knowledge that you’re way too much of a little girl to ever handle a firearm—as Corkins was, apparently,…

      Aug 17, 2012 at 11:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John McLaren
      John McLaren

      Went to NOM’s website and found it interesting that they have suspended any comments posted from the usual crazies, haters and the religious zealots. I guess they know that can’t claim they are being victimized by SPL as a hate group if their site is spewing vile, hateful comments from their supporters whose postings are mostly anti-gay and not not pro traditional marriage.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 11:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cam
      cam

      So according to Perkins…

      It isn’t the criminals fault that some people got hurt, it’s the fault of the witness who pointed out that he was committing a crime.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LandStander
      LandStander

      @Hooper: Ah yes, completely ignore my valid points and come back with nothing but “you are hateful!” I’m not sure why you took my facts and smiley faces as anger mate! I’m just saying you do not make sense, and none of your points are valid ;-)

      Aug 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles
      Charles

      “My problem is that everyone here seems to think this nutcase was justified in his actions because his victims were deemed to be “haters.” Listen, as a conservative gay man I can tell you first-hand where I see most of the hate coming from: the gay community. You guys are relentlessly vicious toward me and my kind because you see us as traitors, Uncle Toms, Nazi Jews, the list goes on and on.

      Hmmm. Everyone else on the forums are in error and only one lone wolf here has the solutions. From my experience, no man is an island unto himself. He whom is determined to practice this form of isolationism eventually becomes alone and outcast by all the ones he has lashed out at. The act of lashing out is indicative of profound inner anger. When a person holds fast to this kind of anger, it winds up being very destructive to that person. Like unto a house with termites, the damage goes visually unnoticed with the passage of time. This of course until the house has a catastrophic collapse.

      Aug 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hopper
      hopper

      @Hooper: Let’s be objective for a minute here and put down the emotional commitments and stick to the numerical reality.

      There is no pattern of violence evidenced by gays against anti-gay activists. The shooting at FRC the other day sticks out precisely because it is almost entirely unheard of for homosexuals to fight back against hate groups using violence.

      On the other hand, JD stats show that anti-gay bigots violently assault a couple of homosexuals at the rate of around two per day, and then anti-gay bigots commit one or two murders every couple of weeks. For example the mainstream media didn’t report on the lesbian couple shot to death by an anti-gay bigot a few weeks back, or the gay kid that was stabbed to death the week before that by an individual who hated gay people.

      It is virtually impossible to find a gay person who hasn’t been harassed, beaten or threatened for being gay, just as it is virtually impossible to find an anti-gay bigot who has ever been subjected to even a second of violence due to their hatred of gay people.

      Aug 18, 2012 at 12:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hopper
      hopper

      @Hooper: “I don’t think the bible dictates its followers kill homosexuals”

      Leviticus 18:22 directly states that homosexuals are to be put to death.

      “I know that facts are terribly inconvenient for the liberal mind, but you might want to check that out.”

      I double-checked with a different translation, same result. God requires the execution of any person engaging in homosexuality even once right there in two of my Bibles in black and white.

      So if the liberals are so bad with facts, why did I know more about your religion than you do? And why are all the scientists and mathematicians liberals?

      Aug 18, 2012 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hopper
      hopper

      “You guys are relentlessly vicious toward me and my kind because you see us as traitors, Uncle Toms, Nazi Jews, the list goes on and on.”

      If you didn’t know that the Bible very definitely states that God requires anyone engaging in homosexual relations even one time to be executed (it actually calls for their execution in two different places, and God demonstrates how it is done by wiping out a couple of cities) then you are lacking in even the most rudimentary insight into this issue. That profound level of ignorance combined with your hatred of homosexuals and determination to undermine them leads me to suspect that you’re probably one of the hundred-odd bigots I’ve run into on the Internet who pretend to be something they aren’t so they can undermine other people.

      Aug 18, 2012 at 12:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles
      Charles

      Here is the commandment quote: Leviticus 20:13

      King James Version (KJV)

      13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

      Fundamentalists abound take this commandment literally and in what Hopper says, some within this group have no problem following up on this directive. In fact those that actually participate in doing these things genuinely believe that they are doing the will of God.

      Aug 18, 2012 at 1:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles
      Charles

      When the fundamentalists of Jesus time had Him crucified, they too believed that they were doing the will of God.

      Aug 18, 2012 at 1:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 26 · hopper wrote, “@Hooper: “I don’t think the bible dictates its followers kill homosexuals” Leviticus 18:22 directly states that homosexuals are to be put to death.”

      The last sentence in Levicitus (Leviticus 27:34) states, “These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.”

      If you are not one of the “children of Israel”, Leviticus 18:22 does not apply to you. The problem is that the Bible thumpers take quotations out of context. Basically, they don’t understand their own “sacred” texts.

      Aug 18, 2012 at 1:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hopper
      hopper

      @hopper:

      It’s Leviticus 18:13 where God explicitly commands his followers to execute anyone engaging in homosexual activity. 18:22 also clearly justifies execution of homosexuals but it is not couched in the terms of a direct commandment, just points out that pretty much nothing makes God angrier than hot gay sex.

      Aug 18, 2012 at 1:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hopper
      hopper

      @B: That’s actually true of almost every dictate in the Bible (i.e. that’s its dictates and commandments are typically limited or qualified to just one group of people who are being addressed).

      The 10 Commandments for example also explicitly states that it is a contract only between Jehovah and people who were enslaved in Egypt. That whole ‘thou shalt not kill’ thing doesn’t apply.

      Of course the point was to debunk the fake-gay conservative troll Hopper, who was claiming that the Bible never calls for the execution of homosexuals.

      Aug 18, 2012 at 10:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 32 · hopper wrote, “@B: That’s actually true of almost every dictate in the Bible (i.e. that’s its dictates and commandments are typically limited or qualified to just one group of people who are being addressed). The 10 Commandments for example also explicitly states that it is a contract only between Jehovah and people who were enslaved in Egypt. That whole ‘thou shalt not kill’ thing doesn’t apply.”

      The point was that limitations or qualifications are typically ignored by the Bible thumpers. BTW, the “thou shalt not kill” example is problematic due to translation issues. http://www.askmehelpdesk.com/other-religion/do-not-murder-vs-do-not-kill-27485.html has a discussion: the Hebrew word in the original text can be translated as “kill” or “murder” but if you pick “kill”, that is inconsistent with various “put to death” verses. Some Bible translations render it as “Thou shalt not murder” (or “You shall not murder,” to fit contemporary English usage.)

      Aug 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 3 · Hephaestion wrote, “It is very sad that an innocent guard was shot. Does the gunman have mental health issues? As deplorable as the FRC is, no one deserves to be shot. My prayers are with Leo Johnson.”

      If the press reports are accurate, don’t worry about Leo Johnson – it seems that after being shot in the arm, he tackled Corkin, which suggests an injury that is not life threatening and without any major damage. Hopefully that is in fact the case – that the bullet did not break any bones or sever tendons or nerves, so the injury will heal quickly and without any long-term medical problems.

      I can guess what Corkin was doing with the Chick-Fil-A stuff based on the video, which showed him with his shirt unbuttoned. What isn’t clear is whether he unbuttoned it or the police did to make sure he wasn’t carrying any more weapons, but regardless let’s just say he obviously not on anything close to a starvation diet.

      Tony Perkins is obviously lying. While blaming the SPLC is the obvious lie, he also made the unlikely claim that Johnson was a friend of his – usually people in Perkin’s position don’t socialize with security guards if only because they are way too busy.

      Aug 18, 2012 at 7:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hopper
      hopper

      @B: True it’s there and sometime fun to bring up to watch them sputter.

      However, from a scholarly perspective it would be dishonest of me to argue that it’s invalid for thumpers to interpret it as a dictate applicable for all time and to all people. Statements of the nature “an abomination before God” are universal and really can’t be mitigated by any clever semantic loophole we try to impose on it. The statements are crystal clear that homosexuals should be executed everywhere and by all people who follow this God person.
      People who were actually in a much better position to understand its original meaning than any scholar alive in the modern world have always understood it this way and acted accordingly, they executed millions of homosexuals over the centuries in perfect compliance with this crystal-clear passage, and it is reasonable to interpret it as still being in effect in the present day.

      There’s this ongoing project of trying to find some disingenuous semantic jujitsu that lets us revise a few millenia of consistent interpretation of simple and clear statements in order to make them more complex and palatable to modern sentiment and scientific understanding, always forgetting that this stuff was written a couple thousand years before the invention of logical thought. These revisionist attempts always end up more ridiculous than the original interpretation (eg “when it says 7 days it REALLY means 5 billion years!” is way more obviously wrong than creationism if you ask me).

      A much more satisfying and correct approach is to assume the Old Testament is just blazing insane and ignore most of it except for academic purposes. Since I’m not religious it isn’t a problem for me that you can’t spin gold out of lead.

      Aug 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randallreynolds
      randallreynolds

      Tony Perkins invokes “public debate” regarding the making of our Laws. Unfortunately for Perkins, the Family Research Council, and all other bigots in America: their opinions regarding LGBT Rights remain irrelevant.

      No debate needed. The Supreme Court will grant full Marriage Equality within 2 years.

      Aug 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KARUADAM
      KARUADAM

      @Hooper: virtues of tolerance?? what a shit!! you may don`t know it, but you are butthead. Christianity, is a mental illness!humanity bigger lie to the world. Christian are mentally ill! and should be all killed.

      Aug 18, 2012 at 10:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 35 · hopper wrote “@B: True it’s there and sometime fun to bring up to watch them sputter. However, from a scholarly perspective it would be dishonest of me to argue that it’s invalid for thumpers to interpret it as a dictate applicable for all time and to all people. Statements of the nature “an abomination before God” are universal and really can’t be mitigated by any clever semantic loophole we try to impose on it. The statements are crystal clear that homosexuals should be executed everywhere and by all people who follow this God person.”

      Probably not true: I’ll refer you to http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibh2.htm which points out that the Hebrew word often translated as “abomination” has multiple meanings, one of which might be better translated as “ritually impure” and that meaning would indicate an (ancient) Jewish-specific taboo. Futhermore, Leviticus 18:22 is sandwiched between Leviticus 18:21 “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord,” and Leviticus 18:26 “Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:…”

      Now, it appears that Molech worship involved having sex with male temple prostitutes, so it is possible (but not provable) that the taboo in Levicitus 18:22 was intended to keep “Israelites” from going to nearby pagan temples and using the excuse, “Oh, I was just getting my rocks off, not idol worshiping.” Meanwhile Levicitus 18:26 seems to suggest that the restriction was for “Israelites” and “any stranger that sojourneth among [them].” So, there is a reasonable argument that the text was meant to apply to ancient Israelites alone and might have been due to the pagan rituals of their neighbors more than anything else. As a possibly general statement there is only Leviticus 18:29, which says, “For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people,” but that does not indicate a death penalty.

      As to the statement, “People who were actually in a much better position to understand its original meaning than any scholar alive in the modern world have always understood it this way and acted accordingly,” it is worth noting that the Romans didn’t execute people for homosexuality until much later (after the Christians took over, specifically around the 4th century with male prostitutes banned earlier). They possibly had less understanding than we do today: if you look at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/roman-jews.asp you’ll find some surprising statements due to Tacitus about common misconceptions of the time (around 110 CE). Tacitus’ statements would outrage current Christians (and many if not most Jews): “The people, who had been collected after diligent search, finding themselves left in a desert, sat for the most part in a stupor of grief, till one of the exiles, Moses by name, warned them not to look for any relief from God or man, forsaken as they were of both, but to trust to themselves, taking for their heaven-sent leader that man who should first help them to be quit of their present misery. They agreed, and in utter ignorance began to advance at random … Moses, wishing to secure for the future his authority over the nation, gave them a novel form of worship, opposed to all that is practiced by other men.” As to ancient Jews, we have no good records of any executions, possibly because Talmudic restrictions made executions extraordinarily rare – http://www.myjewishlearning.com/life/Life_Events/Death_and_Mourning/About_Death_and_Mourning/Death_Penalty.shtml (so given the 3% or so of any population that is 100% gay, we might suppose that “put to death” was not taken literally in practice, at least past one point in Jewish history ( http://www.myjewishlearning.com/life/Life_Events/Death_and_Mourning/About_Death_and_Mourning/Death_Penalty.shtml ) and we may have little to go on as to what went on earlier (if you find something, let us know).

      Aug 18, 2012 at 10:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hopper
      hopper

      @B:

      I’ve already seen most of the stuff you’re linking to (I was a Latin scholar in junior high, Tacitus was a fave, thanks for that). But none of it is very compelling.

      For example, it’s completely ludicrous to state that a to’evah is anything other than the highest of prohibited offenses or that it wasn’t intended to be an eternal, universal condemnation from Jehovah that would necessarily have to be in effect in all times and places. “Abomination” is a more accurate translation than the one you provided. Jewish law definitely extended those major prohibitions to non-Jews as well, both the Torah and Talmud agree that non-Jews are also subject to these extreme prohibitions and there are examples right there in the Torah of executing non-Jews for disobeying tribal Jewish law, such as gathering sticks on the Sabbath.

      The expected punishment for homosexuality was death and pointing to glitches and technicalities in the system by which they executed people as evidence that they didn’t have a death penalty for these offenses is obviously a desperate ploy, akin to arguing that the US doesn’t have a death penalty because sometimes the sentence is blocked.

      The archaeological evidence would strongly indicate that public execution was quite common for this culture (that or they had a problem with large amounts of rocks spontaneously falling out of the sky back then). Lack of documentation of executions for this and other offenses aren’t at all surprising, since executions were usually carried out by the local community rather than taken to the appropriate authority. Mob justice was a bit closer to the reality, once everyone decides their neighbor is guilty, they just carried out the sentence themselves.

      Aug 19, 2012 at 12:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 39 · hopper wrote, “@B: I’ve already seen most of the stuff you’re linking to (I was a Latin scholar in junior high, Tacitus was a fave, thanks for that). But none of it is very compelling. For example, it’s completely ludicrous to state that a to’evah is anything other than the highest of prohibited offenses or that it wasn’t intended to be an eternal, universal condemnation from Jehovah that would necessarily have to be in effect in all times and places. “Abomination” is a more accurate translation than the one you provided.”

      LOL. You took a junior high school course in Latin and you think that makes you a “Latin scholar”, and then claim you know more about the translation of Hebrew than the experts? As I pointed out, there are two meanings, and one simply means “ritually impure”. Furthermore, the text in Levicitus 18:26 indicates that the preceding list of “offenses” is qualified: “Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you.” That wording indicates that the rules apply to the “Israelites” and people passing through or living with them. It could have said everyone in the world, but it doesn’t. It isn’t even silent about that.

      As to “once everyone decides their neighbor is guilty, they just carried out the sentence themselves,” they apparently required multiple witnesses. So, all two guys had to do was to do it in private. Regardless, I’ll note that I provided some citations and you provided none, just assertions.

      Aug 19, 2012 at 1:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Re No 39 and No. 40: one thing to add …
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoning#In_history also indicates that stoning was quite rare in ancient Israel, just as the other sources do. If you have evidence of widespread stonings (not people hit in the head by stones launched with slingshots during warfare), please provide it.

      Aug 19, 2012 at 1:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hopper
      hopper

      @B:

      Obviously I didn’t stop my study of Latin in junior high, it just started there. I’ve translated entire volumes from the ancient world first-hand, so I have at least a tenuous grasp on how translators tend to impose modern concepts that didn’t exist at the time on people who are long dead, and that is very obviously what is going on here. I’m guessing you have no background in translation, hence your lack of skepticism when modern people try to revise a document to meet their modern tastes.

      Also you’ll have to excuse my lack of linking as you do to non-scholarly Internet message boards to support my assertions. It goes without saying that I can cite plenty of Hebrew experts who would dispute what your experts are saying, since you are presenting a minority view that most scholars would reject. If you want to resort to actual peer-reviewed scholarly journals rather than message boards we can certainly go there as well and you’ll see the same thing: your scholars are a minority view that is disputed by the majority.

      Your problem here is that my experts’ argument is a lot less strained and reaching than the argument being put forward by your experts, and has the advantage of being continuous with the historical and archaeological record. Your experts represent a well-meaning but clean break with history.

      Aug 19, 2012 at 2:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jack
      jack

      Tony Perkins is doing what most social, religious and political folks do. Instead of speaking the plain truth, they spin every story to their own advantage. The truth be damned.

      Aug 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No. 42 · hopper wrote, “@B: Obviously I didn’t stop my study of Latin in junior high,”
      What you said was “I was a Latin scholar in junior high,” so don’t be surprised if I don’t take you seriously – junior high school students are not scholars.

      Then you tried to dismiss various links as being to “message boards”, which is a dishonest statement on your part. I gave you three references. One was to a Fordham University resource page. Another was to an article appearing on a website named myjewishlearning.com and included a short bio of the author: “Rabbi Dr. Louis Jacobs (1920-2006) was a Masorti rabbi, the first leader of Masorti Judaism (also known as Conservative Judaism) in the United Kingdom, and a leading writer and thinker on Judaism.” Finally, I included a link to Religioustolerance.org which is clearly not a “message board” in any sense. The page belongs to a small organization that tries to provide an impartial discussion of various religious beliefs, mostly by stating what various groups believe and discussing some translation issues.

      When you play games like that, presumably to cover up the fact that you cannot seem to produce any citations, I’m simply not going to take you seriously.

      Aug 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jaack
      jaack

      @Hooper: As a Vietnam Vet, many gay men do know how to shoot & hit what they aim at. The man was lucky he didn’t get shot in the head. Really a bloody scene.

      What the hell happened to the “New Covenant”? The OT bible was written by & for the Jews. The NEW TESTAMENT is the Christian message from Christ’s own lips. He condemned the hypocricy of the religious leaders. Their greed and hatred is so similar to today’s religious leaders, it is uncanny. Using the bible for your own hatred is the true abomination. Love one another was the message of Buddha 500+ years before Christ, it was Christ’s own message and Ghandi’s too. Start taking the true message to heart of love one another and judge not.

      Jan 31, 2013 at 8:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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