It’s inevitable that something as controversial as the National Day of Silence would encounter some opposition.
The annual event, now on its 12th year, directly counters homophobic bullying in schools. This, of course, means that we have a “gay issue” within the halls of lower education, which really, really pisses off conservatives.
Thus, it should come as no surprise to hear that Washington state’s Mount Si High School saw itself turn into a culture war battle field today as Reverend Ken Hutcherson led a group of about 100 “prayer warriors” against the school.
There were other demonstrations across the country, like Arizona, but Hutcherson gets – and deserves – special mention for a few reasons.
Today’s numbers alone are impressive: 100 “prayer warriors,” 50 silent protesters, 500 students who stayed home and about 250 demonstrators in total and an unknown number of coppers keeping it all in check. That’s going to attract some attention
Then there’s Hutcherson himself. He’s obviously going to draw the eye. You see, before he was a pastor, Hutcherson played professional football. An athlete turned man of God? That’s a story in and of itself.
Add anti-gay fundamentalism and a penchant for public displays of insanity and you’ve got a media powder keg! Not to mention his recent attack against Microsoft, whom Hutcherson lambasted for their pro-gay politics. (No word on whether Hutcherson knows Bill Gates owns a bunch of stock in PlanetOut.)
All of this already makes Hutcherson pretty scary – he’s got a ready-made platform for his spotlight grabbing antics. If that light’s moved just a bit, however, Hutcherson’s unique ghoulishness reflects an entire ideology. And provides a perfect example of a movement’s insidious rationale.
Consider Hutcherson’s statement on today’s protest:
It is time for us as moral people to be unashamed and take a stand. We must make a moral statement in our public schools. It is time for opponents of the ‘Day of Silence’ to come out of the closet.
Despite Hutcherson’s clever attempt to make so-called “moral people” into the central victims, he doesn’t make enough effort to camouflage his true message: the Christian right needs to infiltrate the schools. Hutcherson, in fact, wants to do the same thing he accuses gays of doing. But, of course, Hutcherson’s self-explanations just perpetuate his narcissistic mission.
Here’s what he had to say about Microsoft’s domestic partnership support:
I said (to Microsoft), ‘When you stepped outside of your four walls, you gave me the right to step inside your four walls because you’re trying to make your policy my policy by pushing state law.’
This isn’t our world or God’s world. It belongs to Hutcherson and his holy roller friends. That’s what they believe, anyway. And that’s precisely what makes people like Hutcherson so frightening. They are insane enough to believe they’re meant to spread an exclusionary “moral statement.”
The United States may be inching toward progress, but it’s at a snail’s pace. Regardless of local and state victories, people like Hutcherson are still going to come out against gay rights. And his comments provide a pretty good road map of their ideological stagnation. It’s always good to brush up on the basics, because your “moral” enemy won’t always be as headline grabbing as Hutcherson. You want to know what to look for, right?
Here’s some PageOneQ-provided video from the Hutcherson Battle: