Wayne Besen, founding executive director of Truth Wins Out, was one of the signers of the joint LGBT statement condemning the FRC shooting on August 15th. One day later, he assured his readers that the FRC “loathes LGBT people with a special passion” and that the SPLC was “100% correct” in labeling the FRC a hate group, although “hate groups don’t deserve to be victims of hate crimes.” (My next article will focus on the deplorable irresponsibility and arrogance of the SPLC.)
Last year, at the gay pride event in Charlotte, about 400 Christians (including me) wore “God Has a Better Way” tee-shirts and handed out 2,500 bottles of water inscribed with “Jesus Loves You.” (For us, “the Jesus Revolution” means putting down swords of violence and hatred and picking up crosses of truth and love.)
In response, Besen wrote an article entitled, “Michael Brown Is an Anti-Gay Monster,” claiming that my “game is to try inciting followers to possible violence against LGBT people.” He stated, “I do strongly believe to my core that Brown’s ultimate goal is to create the conditions for a nasty physical clash,” claiming that, “The madman fully understands that he only has to create a hostile climate to inflame the most unstable of his thugs and they will eventually provoke the type of confrontation that this pathological monster deeply desires.”
What effect do such vitriolic, ugly, and hate-filled words have on an unstable gay reader? And how would that person recognize that there is not a grain of truth in Besen’s inflammatory words?
Not surprisingly, on the very web page featuring Besen’s excellent statement condemning the FRC shooting, he allowed comments like these to stand: “Have the hypocrites started their screams yet?” And, “You can only push people so far in oppression before they react. Shooting is NOT a way to dialogue. FRC will use this to beg and plead for more money to fight the ‘radical homosexual agenda.’ Thankfully the guard was only wounded, but the deeper wounding has been happening for over twenty years on the part of FRC.”
So, the shooter was guilty, but the FRC bears the greater guilt. As another commenter on the Truth Wins Out site opined, the shooting “was Lady Karma finally come a-calling on the FRC.”
Sadly, there are gay websites more extreme and inflammatory than Besen’s, and even those that are more restrained in their language continually fuel the fires of “hate,” as if any failure to affirm or celebrate homosexuality can be based on one thing alone: hatred of gays. (Question to gay readers: If you oppose plural marriage, does that mean you hate polygamists and polyamorists?)
I know this has worked well for gay PR, and I don’t doubt that many LGBT people believe the “hate” charge to be universally true, but it’s high time the gay activist rhetoric of hate be dropped before the atmosphere becomes even more toxic. Surely all of us who are spokesmen and leaders on both sides of the debate can step higher and maintain civility in the midst of our profound differences.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.