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Sticks and stones are completely whack, and words work better anyhow

by Jeremy Hooper

We just want to take a brief moment to say we STRONGLY denounce any sort of violence being suggested towards anyone! Those of us who put ourselves out there to defend our positions in this "culture war" do so with the knowledge that our words will be unpopular with a certain sect of the population. But we feel so passionately about our stances that we choose to enter the political discourse. No matter how much we may disagree with the message (and you can be certain that few disagree with the "pro-family" position on gay rights more than us), everyone has a right to say their piece without fear of physical harm.

Fight for your side with the ferocity of a bulldog! Don't, however, let your barks turn to actual, rabid bites.

What's right, and what's not [PHB]
“Snipers Take Note”…Lesbian Pam Spaulding’s Website Posts Violent Threat against LaBarbera [AFT] (**It should be noted that Pam Spaulding was NOT the one who posted Peter's home address, even though CWA's release makes it sound that way! It is not always easy to monitor each and every comment made to your site.)

**NOTE: We are a bit troubled by the way Mr. LaBarbera is presenting this situation. In an email just sent out to AFT subscribers, he says:

"Lesbian activist Pam Spaulding, creator of the viciously anti-pro-family-Christian “Pam’s House Blend” blog, has removed a series of posts on her blog that advocate and justify violence against Americans For Truth founder Peter LaBarbera."

A "series of posts"? The threatening comments were made in the COMMENTS SECTION of Pam's site. Mr. LaBarbera is certainly Internet savvy enough to know that it wasn't "a series of posts."

The way it is being presented, it leaves room for one to interpret that Pam was somehow responsible for the threats. For those who read AFT's email alerts yet know nothing about blogging, this could very much confuse them as to the nature of what happened. We ask that from this point forward, Mr. LaBarbera please more clearly reinforce the point that the comments section of Pam's site is a place for others to share their views, and that it's difficult for any site operator to monitor each and every comment.

***UPDATE: Peter has added this correction:

[Editor’s note: in our e-mail version of this story, I mistakenly reported that there were a “series of [pro-violence] posts” on Pam Spaulding’s, when I meant to say “comments.” I confess that I am still learning all the blogging lingo. There was only one controversial POST in question (which we saw) advocating violence; that post contained several violence-endorsing COMMENTS (by Barry Wick) in the overall thread. I apologize for the error–PL]

Thanks, Pete! However, we do have one issue: There was not "one controversial post"! There was absolutely NO POST advocating violence! There were ONLY comments made on a completely benign post that Pam had made. Hip to blogger lingo or no, this does not seem to be a hard concept to understand!

**UPDATE, 2/8: Neither LaBarbera or his buddies at CWA (who are also politicizing this story) have yet to mention that the commenter has faxed a personal apology to both CWA and LaBarbera. This is a very important piece of information that has gone unacknowledged! Basically, this whole situation needs to stop being politicized and linked to Pam in such an unfair manner!

**UPDATE, 2/10: LaBarbera has now posted the apology from "Barry Wick." Quite unfortunately, however, he has also chosen to link to a post from conservative blogger Clayton Cramer, who claims that in all of his years of conservative activism, "Homosexual activists" are the only group who "have ever made harassing phone calls to me (repeated calls at 6:00 AM with silence at the other end), made lewd phone calls to my children (who fortunately, were small enough to be confused rather than shocked), tried to get me fired from a job, or threatened my safety with threats of violence." For those of us on the pro-gay side of things, we know firsthand how ridiculous that assertion is! Extremism crosses all political spectrums and ideologies!!!!

We continue to be dismayed and a little surprised to what level Mr. LaBarbera has attempted to politicize these horrible threats. And we're very saddened by the way the misinformation mentioned above has confused others about Pam's role in all this.

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Your thoughts

This update should be a separate post I think because of the signifigance of it.

Posted by: Daimeon | Feb 8, 2007 1:08:30 PM

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