I’m fighting the temptation to type out a bunch of exclamation points and various other characters, paste the hyperlink, and hit post.
But no, let’s look at this. Robert Knight of Coral Ridge Ministries, and former Concerned Woman for America, has written a piece in which he claims that the New York Times editorial “Hate Begets Hate,” which correctly points out that American Evangelicals Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundige and Don Schmierer helped feed the culture of hatred against gays which has led to the awful “kill the gays” legislation in Uganda, is merely a smear piece focused on “crucifying Christians.” Well, get up off the fainting couch, Bob, because we need to have a discussion.
First let’s look at Knight’s complaints about the NYT piece:
This humdinger of a self-descriptive screed has it all: wild, unsubstantiated charges; villains; hysterical calls for action and a smug, holier-than-thou tone that would put Saturday Night Live’s Church Lady to shame.
I don’t know Mr. Brundidge, but I do know Mr. Lively and Mr. Schmierer. Both are honest and courageous men who, out of Christian compassion, dare to tell the truth about homosexuality. For this, the Times brands them as hatemongers.
While Mr. Lively has written perceptively and passionately about countering the homosexual activists’ political and cultural agenda, there is no evidence of “hate.” Trying to steer someone away from destructive, immoral, changeable behavior is an act of love, not hate.
And it is beyond absurd to label as a bigot a man like Don Schmierer, who supports AIDS ministries and reaches out to sexually conflicted people with the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ. Casting the gentle, soft spoken Mr. Schmierer as a “hater” is like calling Mother Teresa a foul-mouthed harpy.
Honest? Christian compassion? The truth? Perhaps, you’ve missed the news, Bob, but we now have video evidence that your compassionate, honest friend Scott Lively, who has spent his entire career smearing gay people as serial killers, murderers, and Holocaust instigators, indeed told that Ugandan audience that gay people were responsible for the Rwandan genocide! I don’t know in what possible world that could be considered honest, compassionate, or anything resembling the truth, but if that’s the world where you live, Robert Knight, I hope never to visit it. In case you’re not aware, no credible historian supports Lively’s specious and evil claims.
Also specious and evil is Robert Knight’s claim that one’s sexuality can be changed through “therapy,” an idea which is condemned by virtually every authoritative body which has weighed in on the subject. I could look around the internet for links, but there’s no need. It’s all on this little website called Truth Wins Out. Perhaps Mr. Knight has heard of it.
And as to Don Schmierer, the fact that he’s gentle and soft-spoken is quite irrelevant, and as I’ve pointed out before, Don Schmierer’s life’s mission of convincing hurting gay people that they have to change who they are in order to find favor with God is not love, but instead, intense hatred at its core. Schmierer may not feel that he’s being hateful, but because he is working within the hateful, unscientific, and verifiably harmful “ex-gay” movement, he is a party to that hatred, and any blood that is spilled is equally on his hands. Besides, people much closer to the situation than I am tried to warn Schmierer not to go. Schmierer doesn’t seem to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, in general, but when he allowed himself to be associated with this, even after being warned of the nature of the event and the character of the people involved, he signed off on it.
You can read Knight’s entire bilious screed if you want, but the quote above is really all you need to know. As he comes near to the close of his piece, he says this:
The Times’ editors need to come to terms with their knee-jerk spasms against evangelical Christians and others who defend family values. They routinely depict pro-marriage Americans as motivated solely by hatred and prejudice, never by genuine, heartfelt concerns.
Yeah, well, this isn’t about “pro-marriage Americans,” Bob. This is about three men who went to a nation already rife with homophobia and handed them the proverbial gun needed to justify their desires to go ahead and start killing gay people.
You should be ashamed of yourself, for the hatred and prejudice you euphemistically refer to as “genuine, heartfelt concerns,” and to which you are now giving aid and comfort, is on the verge of producing a verifiable bodycount in Uganda.
I’m quite sure there were apologists for the Spanish Inquisition, and I bet they had “genuine, heartfelt concerns,” too.
UPDATE: Wayne left this comment below, but I thought it deserved to be highlighted within the piece:
I stood next to Mr. Knight in 1998 at The National Press Club in Washington. He was there to tout a million dollar Pray Away the Gay advertising campaign called “Truth In Love.” Mr. Knight called this effort the “Normandy Landing in the Cultural War.”
The press conference featured John Paulk and Michael Johnston, the two ex-gay poster-boys of this time period.
In 2000, I photographed Paulk in a gay bar. In 2003, with the help of attorney Michael Hamer, we caught Johnston having gay Internet orgies. He disappeared after admitting a “moral fall”.
The bottom line is that Mr. Knight has paraded so-called “ex-gays” in front of America before. His so-called success stories did not pan out. His track record is abysmal.
Clearly, Mr. Knight has squandered his credibility on this issue and is the last person in America who should be saying that one can go from gay to straight. His own very public activism strongly suggests otherwise.
Mr. Knight must believe people are either stupid or have amnesia. However, many of us remember the fraud he perpetrated in 1998.
To try to pull the same craven and cynical publicity stunt in 2010, suggests a man with few scruples, a capacity for intellectual dishonesty and an addiction to propaganda that neatly fits into his warped world view.
Mr. Knight, is it not time you tiptoe off the public stage before you further humiliate yourself and do more harm to your cause?