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Supreme Court Denies Hearing on School Anti-Harrassment Measures

February 25, 2009 By: jaysays Category: LGBT News, Youth Issues

In 2002, students at Boyd County High School requested to be allowed to form a Gay Straight Alliance (“GSA”).  Unfortunately, due to religious bias and prejudice against homosexuals, they were met with adversity.  Although the GSA was approved, within two months of its formation the school banned the GSA and purportedly banned all other student organizations for that term.

As a result, several students (along with their parents) filed suit against the school district in federal court.  A preliminary injunction was issued which required the school board to provide equal access to the GSA and mandated anti-harassment training for all students. The school district then adopted a policy against “Harassment/Discrimination” defining such as:

…unlawful behavior based on race, color, national origin, age, religion, sex[,] actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, or disability that is sufficiently severe, pervasive or creates a hostile or abusive educational environment.

In a further effort to fulfill its requirement, the school board created two training videos. One of the videos included a passage from a clinical psychologist, which advised:

…We all get self-centered and start to think that our way is the right way and our way is the correct way.  We all want to believe that we have evidence that our way is the correct way…

So… no matter where you go, no matter what you do, no matter who you meet, you are going to find people that you don’t like.  You’re going to find people that you disagree with.  You’re going to find people that you don’t like the way they act.  It can’t be avoided, not, not anywhere in the world, it can’t be avoided.  You’re going to find people that you believe are absolutely wrong.  You’re going to think[,” B]ut not to them.  Because they believe you are wrong.  You can’t avoid meeting people that you believe are wrong.  But here is the kicker, just because you believe, just because you don’t like them, just because you disagree with them, just because you believe they are wrong, whole heartedly, absolutely, they are wrong.  Just because you believe that does not give you permission to say anything about it.  It doesn’t require that you do anything.  You just respect, you just exist, you continue, you leave it alone.  There is not permission for you to point it out to them.

The video concluded with a statement by Matthew Spade, the High School Compliance Coordinator, wherein he advised:

In today’s video you learned about bullying, you learned about name calling and we hope you learned a little bit about how to treat people with respect, and with that respect also comes the school’s respect for your beliefs, your religious beliefs and your sense of right and wrong.  We would never try to influence those things.  They are very sacred and they should only be influenced by you and your parents and family.  Please realize that with the video that we showed today we are only trying to instill a sense of honor amongst our students to learn not to treat someone unfairly or harass someone because they are different from us.  If you have any questions about the video that you just saw, there will be a short question and answer session at the conclusion of this video.  If you do not feel comfortable asking these questions in front of your classmates, feel free to contact the counselors through the school email system.  We would hope that you would also discuss these issues with your family at home.  Thank you.

In spite of Mr. Spade’s statement, parents of the would-be hecklers feared that the new polices and the mandatory training would not only discourage, but prohibit their children from speaking about their religious beliefs regarding homosexuality.  Eventually, a group of parents sued the school board claiming the policy was a violation of their constitutional rights, including: (1) due process; (2) equal protection; and (3) free exercise of religion.  For these alleged violations of their rights, the Plaintiffs (Morrison, et al.) sought relief in the form of a declaratory judgment (non-monetary), injunction (non-monetary), actual damages (monetary), nominal damages (also monetary), costs and attorney fees (obviously monetary).

Six months after the original filing, the school board revised its policy and codes of conduct.  Under the revised codes, anti-homosexual comments would be allowed unless it was “sufficiently severe or pervasive that it adversely affects a student’s education or creates a climate of hostility or intimidation for that student, both from the perspective of an objective educator and from the perspective of the student at whom the harassment is directed.”  [thud noise added]

These revisions should have rendered the Plaintiffs’ claims moot; however, the plaintiffs, having already forced the school district to change their policy in order to ensure religious students can tell other students that they are going to hell, plaintiffs continued the litigation.

The parties then filed motions for summary judgment and the district court granted the defendant school district’s motion while denying the motion filed by the plaintiffs.  The court, in its opinion, stated it “was not inclined to adjudge the constitutionality of policies no longer in effect.”  [Can I get an Amen?]  The court further decreed that the plaintiffs claim for damages failed because the plaintiffs had no measure or amount for the damages they were alleging.

However, in October, 2007, the Court of Appeals disagreed with the district court and declared that the plaintiff’s request for “nominal damages” does not require support by fact.  Further the appellate court found that nominal damages do not require proof of actual injury as they are “symbolic”.

This left the court to decide whether or not Morrison had “standing” to bring his nominal-damages claim, or, in other words – does Morrison have sufficient stake in a controversy to obtain judicial resolution of the controversy? Because the Court felt Morrison “chilled” his speech to prevent punishment, the court held that it constituted “injury-in-fact.”  The court went on to declare that “Morrison easily satisfies the causation part of the standing inquiry” and surprisingly found that he meets the third test of standing, redressability. The court actually wrote in their opinion:

Although a favorable decision cannot provide Morrison an opportunity to travel back in time and utter the speech he withheld, it can provide him with nominal damages. Even though these damages amount to little, they serve to vindicate his rights.

The dissenting justice wrote:

… the fact remains that they [the Morrisons] have already won that challenge when they forced the district, under court supervision, to change its policy.  All that remains is an as-applied pre-enforcement challenge for nominal damage based on Morrison’s choice to chill his own speech based on his perception that he would be disciplined for speaking.

I tend to agree with the dissention on this one in spite of my relentless support of free speech and expression.  I just couldn’t understand how the court determined that Morrison had standing for the suit.

Then, I was affirmed.  After a petition for rehearing was filed by the Board of Education, The 6th Court of Appeals amended their decision in April, 2008.  In the amended ruling, the court affirmed the decision of the lower court due to the Plaintiff’s lack of standing declaring that there was no “injury-in-fact.”  Justice, it seems, is served.

Then, in November, 2008, approximately six years after the original lawsuit was filed, Morrison filed a Petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court.  The issue presented to the Supreme Court was:

Whether the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit correctly determined that Petitioner lacked standing and could not pursue a claim for even nominal damages.

Within 3 months, the Supreme Court denied the petition.  The result is thus:  Regardless of whether you believe someone is bad, wrong or unlikeable, you can no longer call them things like “jew“, “spick“, “gook“, “nigger” or “faggot” while at a Boyd County school because such language is hostile – yet you can tell them all they are going to hell for being “jewish”, “black”, “disabled, “a woman”, “asian” or a “homosexual.”  The harshness of the language may be downplayed, but the message remains the same mantra, “I think I’m better than you.”

Plaintiffs relevant to Appeal Court decision were Timothy Allen Morrison II, his parents, Timothy and Mary Morrison, Brian Nolen and Debora Jones (Brian and Debora are parents of other Boyd County Middle School students).  They were represented by Kevin H. Theriot, Alliance Defense Fund, 15192 Rosewood, Leawood, KS  66224, kevintheriot@bellsouth.net, (913) 685-8000.  Inquiries made to Mr. Theriot were not responded to prior to publication.

The defendant Board of Education of Boyd County was represented by Winter R. Huff, Law Offices of John G. Prather, PPSC, PO Box 616, Somerset, Kentucky 42502-0616, (606) 679-1626.  Special thanks to Ms. Huff for providing documentation to support the research involved in this article.

CLICK HERE for the complete text of the Amended 6th U.S. Court of Appeals decision.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Gays Attempting to Obtain Privilege Nobody Else is Allowed

February 17, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Stupid Things People Say About Gays

In part 20 of my posts exposing the stupid things people say about gays, we will analyze the following comment as it related to the gay marriage debate:

It’s not about equal rights. It’s about homosexuals obtaining a privilege that nobody else is allowed to have. Colorblind people are expected to accept red as red, green as green, and yellow as yellow. If they don’t have the capacity to see it that way, it’s nobody else’s problem. It’s their lot in life. Nobody is depriving them of their right to see. Same with homosexuals. Hemaun (a 36 y/o vlogger and religious zealot)

First, I’m going to talk about the comment, “It’s about homosexuals obtaining a privilege that nobody else is allowed to have.”  As a long time resident of Texas, USA, Earth, I know with certainty that no one has ever been allowed to marry except the homosexual.  In the United States, homosexuals already receive numerous privileges that are denied to everyone else, like marriage, adoption rights, 401K benefits from a spouse, Social security death benefits, etc…etc…etc…  Those privileges are provided gladly by our government to homosexuals, but no one else… they are exclusive to us. (Note the sarcasm?).  It is relevant to note that same-gender couples can, and often do, “marry” in a religious ceremony sanctioned by the church they attend.  Such is just not recognized by law.  It is the law denying recognition that is at the core of the issue.

Colorblind people are expected to accept red as red, green as green, and yellow as yellow. If they don’t have the capacity to see it that way, it’s nobody else’s problem.”  Wow, how myopic (pun intended).  I’ll have to use that argument against the fundamentalist Christians, that they are like Colorblind people and they just have to accept the fact that their anger, disillusionment, invocation of fear, bigotry and hatred is why the religion is dying.  I find it ironic that he uses such a very poor metaphor to say one group should just accept themselves and not try to force a belief on another when the group in which you are a part has been and continues to do just that!  Again, I say: How many gays have showed up at your door asking you to be gay?

Why DOMA was Actually a Pro-Gay Move.

February 12, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

I recently read the article “The Land of the Till Murder” written by an African American author in 1956 for Ebony magazine.  I was so moved by the words of the author, I thought I would share them:

So he fights integration on every level, puts up more and bigger white-colored signs, enacts more laws, writes new ones when these are found unconstitutional, forms more economic pressure groups, boards more bullets, taps more phones, listens to more speeches painting the “horrors” of integration.

And the tension rises, thickens, tightens, until the grip of it is agony and something must be done to relieve it and sometimes the relief is found in violence. — Ebony (April 1956): 91–96; By Clotye Murdock.

I felt as though articles I’ve read or even written more recently mimicked the words of Clotye Murdock.  Each time LGBT people are successful on one law, another is passed that reads “differently” in order to fit the requirements of the constitution, then that law is deemed unconstitutional by the Courts and another law is put into place.

In the mid-1990’s, it appeared that Hawaii would become the first state in the United States to recognize same-gender marriage.  The fundamentalists began screaming for the Federal government to do something before we fell into a horrible pattern of sin (similar to the argument against racial integration).  Pressure was on for an amendment to the United States Constitution.  Clinton then did something that enraged LGBT people; he signed the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) into law.  Although obviously an unconstitutional action, DOMA remains in full force and effect today (with the small exception of an Internal Court Order of the 9th Circuit deeming it “unconstitutional”).  In spite of this, DOMA may be considered the smartest pro-gay action of any president.

I can hear it now: how can you consider DOMA to be “pro-gay”?  What sort of activist would say such a thing?  Frankly, at the time DOMA was passed it was VERY likely that the United States would ratify an amendment to the Constitution banning gay marriage.  Such Amendments, although repealable, are much more difficult to pass and even more difficult to repeal.  In fact, to repeal the constitutional amendment, ratification of an Amendment repealing it would have been required.  Such ratification of a Constitutional Amendment to repeal a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage would require either a 2/3 votes of the legislature (2/3 House, 2/3 Senate) and acceptance by the state legislatures or a Constitutional Convention [which has never been used to amend the U.S. Constitution].  With DOMA, we can argue the case in Court and the Court’s have power to repeal it without the super-majority requirement.  This is not to say that the laws provided for in DOMA are in any way, pro-gay; however, the repeal of DOMA will certainly be an easier hurdle than a repeal of a Constitutional Amendment.

Gay Bashing and Christian Bashing – A Video Comparison

January 30, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Hate Crimes, LGBT News

I found this video to be informative, passionate and otherwise remarkable.  It says it all:

Inauguration Declares Equality for All – Except Gays

January 21, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, LGBT News

My hope for enjoying the inauguration as an American and citizen of the world was lost when, openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson’s invocation was not aired due to a “misunderstanding” between HBO and the Obama administration.  The Obama inauguration committee apparently “mistakenly” advised HBO (the network with exclusive broadcast rights) that this very politically charged invocation by Robinson which was seen by many as Obama’s effort to include the gay community, was part of the pre-show and should not air.  I was sick.  I kept imagining how such a mistake could be made in the spirit of inclusion.  Tuesday came and, having took the day off work for the inauguration, I sat myself in front of the TV to watch the event and hope for some sort of “apology” and recognition of all of us as part of this country.  Instead, what I received was a message of equality and diversity, in Black and White.

By now you’ve all heard the controversy regarding Rick Warren’s invitation to deliver the invocation at the Presidential Inauguration.  Many LGBT activists and their allies called the Obama administration out on his invitation to Warren.  Warren, who compared gay marriage to pedophilia, incest and polygamy, did deliver the invocation.  In true religious hypocracy, he said:

Help us, oh God, to remember that we are Americans. United not by race or religion or by blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all. When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us.

When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches and civility in our attitudes—even when we differ.

I died a little inside and the inauguration – what was supposed to be the greatest moment in my life as it relates to the greatness of the United States was now nothing but meaningless sidebar.  Warren, asking God to forgive when “we fail to treat our fellow human beings… with the respect that they deserve…” while he continually fails to treat a large segment of human beings with ANY respect, reminded me of the man who beats the hell out of his wife every night only to apologize the next morning – over and over again.  Stop asking God to forgive you for your wrongs Mr. Warren and start doing something to earn forgiveness from those you are holding under the water.

I then spent the remainder of the inauguration thinking too much about how the statement “equality for all” was met with such great applause – how comments about the end of discrimination and segregation were met with such great fanfare – yet people are still suffering under the foot of those that rule.  We build a wall against the Latinos, we profile the migrant worker, we bash gays and lesbians and disenfranchise our transgendered brothers and sisters – all the while we celebrate our great victory in the civil rights movement, a movement which is now being defined as “black and white” rather than “we the people.”

The following is what you didn’t see:

Right Wing Showing More Signs of Weakness In Anti-Marriage Arguments

January 14, 2009 By: jaysays Category: LGBT News, Marriage Equality

A lack of support in the first push to add a same-gender marriage ban to Indiana’s constitution makes no difference to the right in their efforts to deny homosexuals equal legal protection.  The first proposed amendment was largely criticized for potentially denying domestic partnership benefits to same-gender couples that would otherwise be permitted by their employer.  As if to say, “O.k… so we will give gays those rights, but not any more,” the legislature is at it again – this time in a shockingly bipartisan push.

Although Indiana already has a law banning same-gender marriages, supporters of the measure note that Courts are overturning such legislation all over the country.  Thus, the basis for them to push forward with a constitutional amendment seems to be that the current law, because it is discriminatory and violates Due Process, might be overturned – so to protect it, we have to make it part of the Constitution.

The argument is indicative of a cause suffering from its own lack of rational thought and legal backing.

One of the strongest and most believed lies has been that providing civil marriage benefits to same-gender couples would result in churches being forced into performing religious ceremonies recognizing those relationships and such would be a violation of their religious freedoms.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Reverend Al Sharpton responded to this allegation by stating:

Even though we live under the law in a secular democratic society, religious groups must still be able to maintain their spiritual and moral option to either give or withhold a religious or sacred blessing to such unions.

He went on to declare:

However, the government should not have that option. It must affirm the human and legal rights of everyone.

The desperation in the voices of marriage inequality supporters can further be illustrated by their continued arguments (by way of the American Family Association *which would be more properly called the Anti-Family Association* that same-gender marriage will:

  • bankrupt social security (which same-gender couples pay into);
  • result in children being taught about homosexual sex in school;
  • result in the violation of the sanctity of their own marriage;
  • lead to instant, drive-through divorces similar to obtaining a hunting license;
  • “Perhaps most important, the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be severely curtailed. The family has been God’s primary vehicle for evangelism since the beginning.”
  • “The culture war will be over.”

Some of the above are paraphrased, some are direct quotes when paraphrasing cannot do the ridiculousness of the argument justice.  To expose this blatant lie, let’s ask: what is the “culture war”?  The phrase “culture war” is generally used to describe the conflict between progressives and traditionalists and includes such hot debates as censorship, abortion, separation of church and state, gun control, and homosexuality. Obviously, the introduction of same-gender marriage will instantly dissolve the conflicts surrounding gun control, censorship, abortion and church involvement in state matters.  [insert sarcastic tone here].

It is unfortunate that “religious values”, which are generally respected, are being abused and degraded by the spread of LIES.  Yes, I’m calling them liars, a word I seldom use.  Liars are sinners… and since I am an atheist and thus free from “sin”, I can cast that stone.

The AFA is lying to you, they are trying to scare you, they are trying to use our fears against us and they are losing.  They are losing because we have been a country ruled by fear for far too long and people are recognizing those tactics when they hear them.  People are asking questions and getting make-shift, unreasonable answers.  People are calling the AFA out on their lies and demanding they support their allegations – and they can’t.  Keep asking questions, keep demanding answers and expose these groups for the power hungry, lying people that they are.

See: New proposal to ban gay marriage protects partner benefits | IndyStar

Christian Right Wingers Claim Gay Friendly Christians to be “Another Religion”

January 13, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Religion

The American Family Association [a group which I’ve always thought to be misleadingly named] is at it again, this time declaring that those that support gay rights and equality are not Christians, have laid down the gospel and essentially created another religion.

The comments made by Jeff Chamblee on AFA Report (January 12, 2009) were spawned by Gene Robinson’s appointment to speak at the Obama Inauguration.

You can’t have an understanding of man that he can simply make up his faith as he goes along… for man to lay that down and say I’m just going to give you something that applies to all men is tantamount to another gospel, another religion that’s completely foreign to the gospel.

As I listened to the audio version of this posted on one of my favorite gay blog sites Good as You, I couldn’t help but think that the AFA has done it again, ostracized more Christians from their “Family Association.”  We all know that many Christians have committed the very same self-serving changes to their religion of which Mr. Chamblee complains.  For example, many Christians I’ve met eat bread which is leavened, have charged or paid interest, worn blended fabrics, acted unjustly, eaten rare steaks, lobster, shrimp or a rack of ribs.  I don’t know any Christians that have not participated in slave trading or sold their daughters nor any that have sacrificed a lamb.

Before hypocritically telling Christians that those who alter the gospel to fit men rather than staying within the confines of scripture, Mr. Chamblee had this to say about Obama’s inauguration:

I am really hurt and broken at what’s happening here because you are seeing played out on the national stage a man who goes under the banner of Christian and carries the name of Christ doing something that is an absolute abomination and doing it with no shame, doing it under the guise of love and mercy and understanding, and we see people being lolled to sleep and hypnotized by this and deceived into the fact that well hey this is just another branch of Christianity this is just another idea.  You know, you cannot carry the name of Christ and have such a misunderstanding of God and his holiness.  [emphasis added]

The most frightening aspect of Mr. Chamblee’s commentary is that he is considered by many to be a man of “God” and thus honest and forthright.  That’s been the real problem in defending ourselves against such religious intolerance and filthy lies – if we call them on their lies, deceit and hypocrisies, many believe we are attacking God and the Church, when in reality, we are defending ourselves from power hungry so-called Christians whose hypocrisy has grown to *cough* Biblical proportions.  People like Mr. Chamblee are the ones deceiving people into believing that they speak true – they are the ones promoting the use of God as a great sword. They have launched a “crusade” against LGBT people and will continue to justify the rapes, beatings and murders of LGBT people under the premise of our blood being on our own hands.  Of course for many of them, while they are fighting so hard, they are tapping their toes in a rest area bathroom or paying male prostitutes to satisfy their own sexual desires.  They then crawl back to their church with their apologies and repentance and suddenly, everything is fine for them – until the next time they are caught.

Lawsuit Filed to Remove “God” from Inauguration

January 09, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Religion

As Rick Warren prepares to take the stage at the Obama Inaugeration, a lawsuit was filed naming Plaintiffs as:

Michael Newdow; Mel Lipman; Dan Barker And Annie-Laurie Gaylor; Marie Castle; Herb Silverman; Kirk Hornbeck; Catharine Lamm; Richard Wingrove; Christopher Arntzen; John Stoltenberg; Katherine Laclair; Louis Altman; “Unnamed Children;” The American Humanist Association (“AHA”); The Freedom From Religion Foundation (“FFRF”); Minnesota Atheists; Atheists For Human Right[s] (“AHFR”); Atheist Alliance International (“AAI”); New Orleans Secular Humanist Association (“NOSHA”)

and Defendants as:

Hon. John Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice Of The U.S. Supreme Court; Presidential Inaugural Committee (“PIC”); Emmett Beliveau, Executive Director, Pic; Joint Congressional Committee On Inaugural Ceremonies (“JCCIC”); Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairperson, JCCIC; Armed Forces Inaugural Committee (“AFIC”); Major General Richard J. Rowe Jr., Chairperson, AFIC; Rev. Rick Warren; Rev. Joe Lowery.

The lawsuit has spawned much controversy due to the outrage held by many members of the LGBT community to the non-gay friendly Rick Warren’s appointment to lead the invocation.  In one posting regarding the lawsuit, the author states:

Those who were responsible for the lawsuit, these individual atheists and their organizations,The American Humanist Association; The Freedom From Religion Foundation ; Minnesota Atheists; Atheists For Human Rights; Atheists Alliance International; New Orleans Secular Humanist Association, coupled with the gay terroristic activities surrounding the passing of Proposition 8 in California, and Rick Jacobs, who chairs the California’s Courage Campaign and the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), are the abject clearinghouse for America’s immortality and anti-America sentiment. These groups are nothing less than moral nazis and terrorists.  See: Postworthy

Try as I might I can’t decide which group will suffer the most from the association.  Will the reputation of the LGBT community suffer from the association with the atheist organizations the most or will the atheist associations suffer the association with the LGBT community the most?  As a gay atheist, I find myself battling for equality on two fronts – my lack of religion and my lack of heterosexual desires.  The primary difference between the two is, although I did not choose to be a gay man, I did choose to “come out” – whereas I not only chose to “come out” as an atheist, but I also chose to “be” an atheist.

Further to that, I’m sick of the inappropriate use of the word terrorists when referring to the actions and reactions of the LGBT community to the passage of proposition 8.  I remember a time in America where terrorists where generally those doing the attacking, not those defending themselves from attackers.  I refer you to another post regarding resin poisoning threats against gay bars in Seattle.

Near the beginning of the Rick Warren scandal, I made this post about how we [LGBT people] are upset that the prayer leader is against civil equality for homosexuals, but could care less about the fact that the Government is again sanctioning religion.  Looks like someone was listening.

Supporters of the oath of office, which has “traditionally” included the words “Under God,” claim that it was inserted into the oath by George Washington – this claim is debatable as many believe it is a myth.  As a side note, “Under God” was not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954 due to pressure from the Knights of Columbus.

NJ Posed to Accept Gay Marriage but Election Woes Stop Legislature

January 05, 2009 By: jaysays Category: LGBT News, Marriage Equality

2009 is an election year in New Jersey.  A fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the voters and the legislatures as more and more anti-marriage folks line up proclaiming that if New Jersey recognizes same-gender marriage, they will make it an issue during the election.

Of course, voters should raise their voices anytime the legislature goes toward a policy they are against, but  advocates of the policy should sing out as well.  New Jersey folks should pick up their pen (or keyboard) and send a message to your state legislatures now stating that you stand with the governor in support of marriage equality and demand that your elected officials represent your best interests and honor your freedoms of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and YOUR freedom of religion as required by the United States Constitution.

You can find out who your legislators are here.

For more information, you are encouraged to read JoeMyGod’s blog regarding New Jersey’s great possibility.

A History of Christian Violence and Intolerance Repeated

December 17, 2008 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Religion

Religion has often been used to excuse violence and intolerance throughout history.  Today, even I have to argue that things are much better than they were during the Crusades, Inquisition or Holocaust as far as violence in the name of “God.”  However, such violence still exists and will continue as long as religions remain exclusionary – believing that anyone who does not believe the way they believe is “damned” to some sort of eternal rot.  Throughout history, such exclusionary views have caused:

  • The Crusades (Beginning 1095):  As a religious driven military movement, the Crusades, fought mainly against Muslims, were efforts to recapture the “Holy Land” which lead to irrational claims of “crosses” appearing on chests of leaders, demoralization of non-Christians and mass murders of innocent men, women and children.
  • The Inquisition (Beginning 1184):  The purpose of the Inquisition was stated in a 1578 handbook for inquisitors as, “… for punishment does not take place primarily and per se for the correction and good of the person punished, but for the public good in order that others may become terrified and weaned away from the evils they would commit.”  Such as statement makes it clear that the goal was to inspire fear amongst a people in order to rule and conquer them.  During the Inquisitions church leaders often supported the enslavement and/or murder of “heretics”.
  • Reformation (circa 1518):  The intent of the Reformation was to restore Christianity to a more “pure” form.  In order to do so, millions upon millions of Europeans were murdered as Catholics murdered Protestants and Protestants murdered Catholics.  In some instances, those that “opposed” the church authority were murdered and hung in cages as a reminder to all what happens to such persons.
  • Witch Hunts (beginning circa 1480 in Europe):  The witch hunts in the United States were short lived and resulted in very few deaths compared to the witch hunts in Europe where countless people were wrongfully murdered after bogus trials.
  • The Holocaust (beginning circa 1933):  Christian Fundamentalism was a primary cause of the Holocaust.  Jewish persons had been murdered and enslaved throughout Europe’s violent Christian history and the Nazi’s continued this long tradition of murder – claiming it to be for the betterment of God and God’s wish.  Although the Jewish people took the largest number of casualties, other groups were murdered including, homosexuals, Soviet citizens, political prisoners and the disabled.
  • The Christian Identity Movement (circa 1915):  Crimes Against the Jewish, African Americans and Homosexuals continued in the name of “God” with the advent of groups such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) during the Christian Identity Movement.  These groups again made claims of their intentions to purify the Christian religion and use violence, intimidation and other horrifying methods to make their case.  Other groups which are considered part of the Christian Identity Movement include: the American Nazi Party; Aryan Nations; Church of Jesus Christ Christian; Jubilee, National Association for the Advancement of White People; The Order; Scriptures for America; White Aryan Resistance (WAR); and White Separatist Banner.

Modern times have changed in that government sanctioning of such murders and methods no longer exists.  Fewer people are being murdered in the name of “God”; however, the longstanding use of “God” to cause fear remains by way of group such as “Focus on Family” which forgets that homosexuals are members of families and websites such as godhatesfags.com (non-linking intentional).  Each of the above listed examples show an embarrassing time in our world history.  As we look back in time, we label these groups as radicals, extremists, egotists and murderers, not as the righteous.  If we have learned nothing else from the above examples, let us learn that history will again repeat itself and the supposed “Christian Groups” of today will be known in the future as enemies of freedom and goodwill.

Sources include:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/cr_ident.htm
http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/christian/blfaq_viol_index.htm
and the world of wikipedia