As Seth & Amy would say, “Really, Washington Post? Really, you’re going to deliver another puff piece on a hate leader hiding behind faith and ‘traditional marriage’ without identifying this person as a bigot? Really?” Except that’s just the what the newspaper did with a profile of Bishop Harry Jackson, the fearmonger who professes his anti-gay marriage crusade is “not a mission of hate.” And no, the newspaper didn’t call him on it.
After printing, and then apologizing for a puff piece of “smiling bigot” Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, the Post today lets Jackson — of the Pentecostal Hope Christian Church, who is spearheading the campaign against gay marriage in D.C. — run his mouth about how gay marriage will ruin America without so much as a counterpoint.
It’s not that there’s a problem with profiling America’s hate leaders; that’s fine, and worthy journalism. We like that the Post is telling us about how Jackson, a black man, battled racism in the 60s, attending the white schools in the white neighborhoods — particularly because it sheds light on the same guy who denounces bigotry in race, but applauds it in sexuality.
But when it comes to identifying Jackson for what he is — a bigot — the newspaper falls short. If this man were lashing out against whites, he would be branded a racist. But because his brand of hatred is anti-gay, he gets the “smiling” treatment.
His neck is thick — nearly stretching the clerical collar — and his voice is smooth as molasses.
[…] “I believe that the Bible teaches that same-sex marriage is an oxymoron,” he says. “If you redefine marriage, you have to redefine family. You’d have to redefine parenting. I’m looking at the extinction of marriage. And black culture is in a free fall.”
With fame came backlash.
Someone slipped a note under his door at his apartment. “Bishop Jackson, 50% of the people in this building are gay!”
“I was in line someplace recently,” Jackson says, “and a woman who obviously opposes what I’m doing looked at me and said, ‘You better go back to Maryland.’ ”
His wife says: “We have been verbally abused by the best.”
Some of his appearances unleashed vitriol, even threats.
At a Board of Elections hearing in June, some of Jackson’s followers gave it back — mini-tirades that seemed cruel and mean-spirited, that Jackson says he regrets.
Jackson allows that his church is hardly a one-note crusade. “In my church we have a gang-prevention group. We’re concerned with all those things — social ills. But the reason the gay marriage issue is so polarizing is that, from a theological construct, it is clear that gay marriage shouldn’t be the order of the day.”
Critics have accused Jackson of being a tool of the right wing, a preacher suddenly in love with the klieg lights and big auditoriums.
Religious conservatives: Always the victims of their own hatred, never willing to accept responsibility for their divisiveness.
So far, we haven’t heard from GLAAD on this one. But who needs them? The Post is waving a cheerleading banner around Jackson’s head. This isn’t objective journalism. This is the promotion of hatred.