Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Ministry Unraveling, A Call For Murder, A Convicted Sex Offender: We're Not Making This Stuff Up!

"...take 'em all out and 
shoot 'em with a scatter shot gun."

Perhaps it's just the evolution of hate speech.

Written at 12:30PM:

I knew, as did many people, that it would come to this: a mega-church preacher overtly calling for the death of gays. Who now says that what he said was wrong and that he was The MP4 was yanked from YouTube, but Joe Jervis (Joe.My.God) was able to save both his initial speech and the more "gentle" speech. You can compare them. 

Fire up your printers and create some awesome posters.

Owens is in the midst of a nationwide speaking tour. Why don't we show him what we think of his "slip"? The schedule is posted here. The list goes into 2012 and covers at least 30 Baptist churches in the U.S. and Canada. Would it be fair to say that any of the Baptist churches espouse his views? Protests in each town should spark debate. Maybe his tour could be "shortened" by cancellations.

Here's a transcript of his short, but exceedingly vicious tirade:
In America we need to stop burnin’ flags and start burnin’ fags. It’s about time somebody said what needs to be said, it’s vile, it’s reprobate, and AIDS is a curse sent from God. It’s a curse sent from God. You say that “you shouldn’t say that” Well (indecipherable) it’s my turn. (prolonged cheering). We need hunt-a-homo week. We do! Straighten it up and put it on television. Put it on television. That’ll put em’ back in the closet. I’ll tell you somethin’  - those that are yellin’ ‘n screamin’ ‘n shoutin’ the reason they came out of the closet ‘cause there weren’t enough men on the other side of the closet to keep ‘em in! If you’d been a man, you wouldn’t have that problem. Ya know, we should take ‘em all out ‘n shoot ‘em with a scatter shotgun.

Written at 8:30PM:

Pastor Owens has been hit with a barrage of phone calls, emails, whatever. He's written an apology, recorded it and posted it on his website. It seems that he had delivered that sermon in about 1995 when he was "young."
I no longer preach like that and I purposely teach and train others to preach and behave properly as well. The hurtful words in that sermon tape were erased many years ago and somehow have resurfaced much to my disappointment and embarrassment. I realize I have disappointed many who have heard those words in that sermon. May I include my disappointment in myself. Once again, I offer my humble apology.
"I no longer preach like that." That remains to be seen. Last year Owens delivered his "Sodomy Sermon"and while it avoids the calls to kill, it's just as venomous. Listen to it on YouTube, it's divided into 7 parts. Listen to it and count all the buzz-attack words, faulty reasoning, and outright b.s. Listening to the sermon (Sodomy, Part Five) makes for a depiction of depraved and sinful people. According to Owens, most people who are gay are simply bored with normal sexual relations. (?!). The irony: it was recorded on Christmas Eve. Absolutely no good will towards men. None. 

Defense of his words and actions rests almost entirely on his "youth" and "stupid(ity)" And he evidently thinks that some people will believe that, but a little research into his career shows us that he was PREACHING FOR TWENTY YEARS when his tirade was delivered. 

Note to Pastor Jeff Owens:
Pastor Owens: Where were you in 1995? I know where I was: volunteering for the AIDS Emergency Fund in San Francisco. The epidemic was churning out victims at an alarming rate, but people were no longer dying in the streets. By that time it was known that AIDS could not be caused by casual contact, but people like you (TWENTY YEARS INTO YOUR MINISTRY) continued to stoke the fires of fear and hate with your "AIDS is a curse sent by God" mantra. A great many people were kicked out of their homes while they were sick and dying. Even when you were only abou 26 years old, And let's not forget that NINE YEARS INTO YOUR MINISTRY (1981),  God gave you a fantastic opportunity to practice your belief in compassion...and you blew it.

OK ,so we have a pastor who said some despicable things 15 years ago and who is still  demonizing gays and lesbians albeit with less overtly menacing rhetoric. He's apologized, but that apology looks very weak in the light of his present "Sodomy Sermons."

But Wait - There's More!!

From The Seminal:

Jeremiah Daniel Owens pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault charges from an eight-count indictment handed up in October 2007 that charged him with sexual assault and sexual abuse against two girls, ages 15 and 13, and that stemmed from separate incidents earlier that year.

Owens had been had been convicted before of burglary, but with these particular crimes, he will be a registered sex offender.

According to a previous report, the mother of the 13-year-old, whose name will not be published to protect her identity, said her daughter met Owens at the Shenandoah Bible Baptist Church in Martinsburg where Owens’ father is the pastor.

... AND MORE!!!

Dr. Jeff Owens has written a children's booklet. The title, however is confusing: it's marketed as Character Lessons for Children although the book cover is pictured with the title Obedience Lessons For Children. Presumably, the title with "Obedience" is too strong, even to the pastor-father of a child molester. Owens' book is available for sale now.

Now Icing On Top: REAL homophobes love gay porn

One articlethat came out of the recent Rekers scandal pointed out that a study done of virulently homophobic men showed them to be aroused by gay porn. (!?) It left the door wide open to the possibility that "practicing homophobes" were really epic cases of gay men steeped in denial and self-loathing. Hmmm. So could Pastor Jeff be...

But he apologized! Remember the fracas that ensued when Jimmy Swaggart  told his congregation:

"I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry."  (shouts, applause) "And I'm gonna be blunt and plain, if one ever looks at me like that I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died." (laughter, applause) "In case anybody doesn't know, God calls it an abomnation (sic).  It's an abomnation (sic)!  It's an abomnation (sic)!"  (applause) Swaggart later apologized and laughed it off as a joke.

A spokesperson of HRC at the time had this to say about Swaggart's apology and it applies to Pastor Jeff Owens as well:
"Apologies don't discourage violence - action does. We hope that he takes action. His language only encourages an environment where hate crimes occur."
A thirtyfour year ministry preaching against homosexuality. A twenty year history of telling people to kill homosexuals. An apology. A children's book on obedience. A son in jail for sexually molesting a 13-year-old girl. Owen's life is sick...and sad.

Wowie Malawi, Dude! Africa's Getting More American Every Day!!

And Bart Simpson May Be Right!!

So many African countries are trying to emulate America that I'm sure there's an "Afro-Disney" in the works. At most, the attempts to be like America are very palpable: 

A visitor to South Africa today can scarcely help but be struck by how American it seems. Yet few appreciate the long historical roots of the U.S. presence in South Africa, or the complex political and cultural conflicts to which it has given rise.
Dr. James Campbell, Brown University

But in some countries, the "aping of America" goes only as far as the amount of money they receive. Or the amount of aid from American faith-based charities.   And while we do not know approximately what Rick Warren's P.E.A.C.E. program in Uganda and Rwanda   dishes out, it is enough to allow it and others like it to proselytize (excuse me) evangelize whole nations.

With the encouragement of people like Lou Engle, Tony Perkins, Rick Warren and a host of evangelizers Africa has shunned the virtues of compassion and tolerance: people are scouring the villages and towns for sinful gays to report on.. Many are practicing "corrective rape" on lesbians and now... 

From The Times Online:

A court in Malawi yesterday convicted a gay couple of gross indecency and unnatural acts in a case that has highlighted the persecution of homosexuals in Africa and drawn international condemnation.

...Large crowds have jeered and pilloried the men on each occasion that they have been brought to court. At a previous court appearance Mr Chimbalanga, who was sick with malaria, was forced to return to the court room to mop up his vomit.

The Malawi Government insists that the men broke the law. Church leaders say that the West should not be allowed to use its financial power to force Malawi to accept homosexuality. Some analysts believe that the rows over homosexuality in Africa are really a proxy war in an American cultural dispute, with both evangelicals and gay rights groups in the US pouring money and support into the continent. (emphasis mine)
That last statement should be qualified because the amount of money to subsidize hatred against gays is staggering in comparison to amounts raised to save the lives of many Malawians. If the Mormon Church paid over $40 million to back California's Proposition 8, think of what they're willing to spend on a people who are ripe for conversion.

Talk of withholding financial aid to Malawi has begun in the U.S. and Europe (especially Britain), but there are some people who insist that "starving the people of Malawi into tolerance" is not the answer.

While [Dan] Savage and most of the civilized world is rightly outraged at the decision to imprison homosexuals, it doesn't mean we punish the rest of the country for the crimes of its government.
And Madonna jumped into the fray:
Today, Malawi took a giant step backward. The world is filled with pain and suffering; therefore, we must support our basic human right to love and be loved. 
But is that "basic human right" restricted to heterosexuals simply because Africans feel obligated to legislate what the evangelizing American Christians tell them to legislate? Lou Engle lied when he stated that he did not agree with Uganda's "kill the gays" bill, then appeared in Uganda at a prayer rally praising the "courage" of the proposed law's authors. And as with many right-wing actions, you can tell they have influence when they choose NOT to do something; in this case, actively intervene.  Rick Warren only stated his opposition to the Uganda bill after an enormous public outcry, and did nothing to intervene and talk to local religious leaders. 

The Christian Right is tired of today's "culture wars" and views Africa as a new place  entrench, regroup and plant the seeds of their (strictly) American Christianity in a land  rife with the problems of 3rd world chaos, 3rd world poverty 3rd world disease and 3rd world gullibility. Today's uber-Christians come to Africa with stories of their own beleaguered land, a land in which they are "persecuted", a great land which has buckled under the yolk of hedonism and sin, a land that will not listen to their pleas to make that land holy and righteous.

So, is Africa really getting Americanized? Depends. Which America are you from?