So, you kids may have noticed that we changed the image for our story “Anti-Gay Protester First Amendment Suit Tossed“. You see, the original post had an image of some people protesting what we thought to be Philadelphia’s 2004 gay pride. We later got an email from anti-gay, anti-abortion activist group Repent America‘s director Michael Marcavage insisting that the picture’s not, in fact, of his group, nor is it from 2004 at all. It’s from a 2003 protest. Silly us, right? So, we agreed to switch the picture. Thus, we headed on over to Repent America’s website to get one.
Little did we know the wealth of notables we’d find.
First and foremost, viewers have a choice to make upon entering. You can either go through the Christian portal or the “All Others” link. The Christian portal takes you directly to their main page, which features their top news stories and calls to action (including appeals to boycott Wal-Mart and Ford). The link of the damned, meanwhile, takes you to a page that asks the eternal question: “Are You Good Enough To Go To Heaven”. It’s really just a list of the ten commandments with extraordinarily long explanations written by the perhaps inappropriately named Reverend Ray Comfort. Once non-Christians have either faced their eternal damnation, they can poke around the rest of the site. One place where we poked was the “Frequently Asked Questions” section. Apparently Repent America’s audience isn’t that inquisitive, because there are only four. One question’s the perfectly reasonable: “Why Does RA focus so much attention on homosexuality?”. Citing five passages of The Bible’s hundreds, RA replies:
We focus on homosexuality for two reasons; First, because the Bible focuses on homosexuality… Secondly, RA gives special emphasis to homosexuality because our society gives special emphasis to homosexuality. It is a lifestyle associated with a massive political lobby and propaganda campaign.
By that logic, shouldn’t people protest the Christian right’s lifestyle?
You may recall ex-ex-gay Peterson Toscano’s chat with journo Scott Moore in which Toscano recalled his progression toward the ex-gay movement:
What happened immediately wasn’t just a religious conversion, but a cultural conversion. Looking back, I see that my faith didn’t just change, but my political beliefs, my style of dress, how I talked, my activities. So I became a very staunch Christian, which meant I had to be anti-gay, anti-abortion… That became my identity, particularly because I saw in my own life what I thought were the dangers of sin and immorality, because of my own struggles with same-sex attraction.
So, if the gays have a “lifestyle”, so, too, do the Christian rightists. This brings us to another one of Repent America’s FAQs, “What about someone who is born ‘gay’?”, to which they reply:
What if someone is born a thief? A liar? A rapist? Certainly having those desires “naturally” does not justify fulfilling those desires. A part of being a mature individual is self-control. Controlling and subduing desires that we may have which we know to be wrong… If we will humble ourselves and ask the Lord Jesus to cleanse us of our sin, putting our life in His hands, this will become a reality in our life.
Nevermind the fact that they compare fags to rapists and thieves, let’s focus on the constructionist part of it. They admit that humans are flawed and must fight urges, specifically those of the homosexual variety. Well, if people have the ability to resist such distasteful temptations, why can’t Repent America fight the urge to stop being douches? We don’t think this Jesus they speak of would approve.
Also at the site, you can find a lovely poem from a one Judge Roy Moore imaginatively (and purposefully ironically) entitled, “America The Beautiful”. Here’s the first breathtaking stanza:
America the Beautiful, or so you used to be.
Land of the Pilgrims’ pride; I’m glad they’ll never see.
Babies piled in dumpsters, Abortion on demand,
Oh, sweet land of liberty, your house is on the sand.
Abortion on demand? Great! If only they were retroactive. Oh, shit, did we just say that? Sorry. We meant, “If only people had more foresight”.