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12/17/2009

Ken Hutcherson: Hijacking the costume shop's martyr aisle

by Jeremy Hooper

"Gays are hijacking The Civil Rights Movement." It's a familiar refrain from those who are working to hijack gays' civil rights. In terms of far-right clichés, the phrase shares a home alongside other nuggets like "protect the sanctity of marriage"; "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve"; and "Go away Pinocchio and take your warnings with you -- we have an in-house plastic surgeon who takes care of our growing noses!"

But apparently it's totally fine to draw historical references from the African-American civil rights movement, just as long as you are a homo-hostile pastor who is using America's unfortunate past to speak to the supposed marginalization of modern-day Christians. This from Pastor Ken Hutcherson:

Christians are the new Negro

I did not become a Christian so I would have to fight for my constitutional freedoms all over again.

Growing up in Alabama being black, knowing how that felt and the way I was treated in an all-white world of power and control, I had to fight for equal rights under the Constitution. How ironic now as a Christian to have those same thoughts and feelings again and to have to try and wrestle control of my constitutional rights from the secular community.

Hutchersonpastor-1Many reading this may not understand where I came up with this concept of calling Christians "the new Negro."

The reason is because there are undeniable similarities. Jim Crow laws were passed to keep me from having my constitutional rights and my rights under the Declaration of Independence of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Even though the Constitution gave me those freedoms, man was smart enough to be able to keep me from living those freedoms by saying I was "separate but equal."

Today, my constitutional right of freedom of religion is being eroded again by laws such as the Hate Crimes Bill and repeated attacks by the politically correct crowd. Threats that came along as a result of an African American wanting to get out from under Jim Crow laws were formidable and scary and designed to keep African Americans quiet. The same thing is happening to Christians today.
KEEP READING: Christians are the new Negro [WND]

Whether or not you read the rest, it doesn't matter. You know the gist: Everyone from Sarah Palin to Carrie Prejean to pastors from completely different nations with entirely different speech laws are supposedly being crushed by the big, bad, evil gays. Hutcherson's preconceived script casts demonstrably unequal gays in the "bigots" role, with various social conservative talking points (all of which seek further gay oppression) shoehorned into the "principled" parts. The thing is more miscast than a women's college production of Naked Boys Singing!

And you wanna talk about offending black citizens? Well how about comparing their struggle for freedom with a Miss USA contestant? Or comparing lynchings with freedoms that have IN NO WAY been changed because of hate crimes law? Or looking at a hastily vetted, insufficiently qualified Vice Presidential candidate and claiming that she's being "attacked" because she's a woman, the same way that African-Americans were (and sometimes still are) attacked for their skin color? Because Hutcherson is doing all of those things and more in his piece! If anyone is undermining our collective struggle to drag this country over the wall of bias, it is Pastor Hutcherson. His own skin color does not change that fact.

It doesn't take a civil rights scholar to see the clumsiness of Hutcherson's words. But if you are a student of minority oppression, you'll know that the accurate connection is between his current victimization routine and all of the past bits of propaganda that oppressive movements have used to mask their own actions, shirk responsibility, and make themselves look like the sympathetic characters. It has NEVER worked. It won't work this time either.

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Your thoughts

"Christians are the new Negro"

If it weren't for the so-called christians, the plight of the African Americans would NOT have been nearly as brutal and maliciously inspired as it was. And by his fallaciously circuitous reasoning, "Christians are the new Negro," could have been used equally as inaccurately back during the Civil Rights era by the christianistas who were then ardently fighting against equal treatment of African Americans.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Dec 17, 2009 3:45:48 PM

Pastor Hutcherson has also been battling prostate cancer. it truly blows my mind that people can stare so closely at their own mortality, then return to wasting their short time here on earth on the goal of hurting others.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Dec 17, 2009 3:49:06 PM

Maybe all of those probing fingers up the rectum, and cameras up the urethra are touching that "sensitive" nerve that just reinforces his (obvious) self-loathing and internalized xenophobia. It's pretty evident that he gives "The (white christian) Man" a pass on racism - by minimalizing racist bigotry with such stupid analogies.

But maybe the tingle in his dingle has now internalized his vicious rage against all things LGBT. Rage that is even more powerful than the realization of his tenuous mortality - especially if it might also be directed at himself??? Oh, how the realization that one likes (LOVES, LOVES, LOVES) being "probed" can be quite the accelerant to the already engulfing flames of homophobic (homosadistic) hatred.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Dec 17, 2009 4:19:00 PM

I do hate to say it, but a large majority of the anti-gay side is coming from the Christian blacks, which in my opinion, is not only devastating, but some sick form of white oppression it its own sense. Whites encouraged Christianity among blacks, and blacks took faith as something they could hold onto despite poverty or racism - a good thing. But a lot of the faith has turned into a bully pulpit that is being used against the gay community. See Prop 8.

This guy baffles me. He is the ultimate conundrum. He speaks about the civil rights issues he faced as a black man in Alabama, yet is defending a white beauty pageant loser who had her boob job paid for. He talks about the harms of being "PC", when I can guarantee it was this guy and his whole ocngregation that probably raised funds for the Duke lacrosse accuser and blamed every white lacrosse player for being a white racist mysoginist rapist without even considering the facts. He is defending sarah palin, but probably voted for Obama because he's black. It sounds horrible, but this mentality is dangerous.

Long story short? Dude wants his cake and wants to eat it too. Do as I say, not as I do.

The selfishness of these types of people is unfathomable. Dude thinks the world should stop and bow down to his right to believe in an invisible man in the sky, but that those who are seeking to be treated as equal human beings are the ones who are out of bounds.

Posted by: Stef | Dec 17, 2009 4:44:31 PM

I think I would rather listen to Julian Bond rather than a stupid ex jock like Hutcherson.

From Julian Bond's statement before the NJ State Senate:

I actually don’t live in Georgia anymore but live in the nation’s capital. I’m proud to say that last week our city council voted 11 to 2 to legalize same sex marriage, and I am here to urge you to do the same. That’s because I believe that gay rights are civil rights.


As my late neighbor and friend Coretta Scott King said in 1998: "Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity, and their personhood."

That is why, although the NAACP has no position on same-sex marriage, in 2005 the NAACP board of directors unanimously passed a resolution stating “the NAACP shall pursue all legal and constitutional means to support non-discriminatory policies and practices against persons based on race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or cultural background.”

We acted in order to ensure equal protection under the law, for all, and to create a more civil and just society.

Black people, of all people, should not oppose equality. And that is what gay marriage represents.

It does not matter the rationale – religious, cultural, pseudo-scientific. No people of goodwill should oppose marriage equality. And they should not think that civil unions are a substitute. At best, civil unions are separate but equal. And we all know separate is never equal.

Two years ago we celebrated the 40th anniversary of a case aptly called Loving vs. Virginia, which struck down anti-miscegenation laws, and many years later allowed my wife and me to marry in the state that declares “Virginia is for lovers.”

Then as now, proponents of marriage as-is wanted to amend the United States Constitution. Introducing a constitutional amendment in 1911 to ban interracial marriage, Rep. Seaborn Roddenberry of my former home state of Georgia argued: “Inter-marriage between whites and blacks is repulsive and adverse to every sentiment of pure American spirit. It is abhorrent and repugnant; it is subversive to social peace; it is destructive of moral supremacy. Does any of this sound familiar?

Than as now, proponents of marriage as-is invoke God’s plan. The trial judge who sentenced the Lovings said that when God created the races, he placed them on separate continents. The fact that he separated the races showed that he did not intend for the races to mix.


Well God seems to have made room in his plan for interracial marriage. He – or she – will no doubt do the same for same sex marriage.

No less an expert on the subject than Mildred Loving understood herself this. Widowed many years ago, she chose to live a very private life, turning down countless requests to be interviewed, to make appearances, and to be honored.

But on the 40th anniversary of this ruling, three members of Faith in America visited here, seeking her support for gay marriage. She was undecided, and remained so for several days. When she eventually agreed to allow her name to be used in support of gay marriage, she was asked: “Are you sure you understand? You’re putting your name behind the idea that two men, or two women, should have the right to marry each other.” Mildred Loving replied: “I understand it, and I believe it.”


That’s when I’m asked if gay rights are civil rights, my answer is always: “Of course they are.”

Civil rights are positive legal prerogatives, the right to equal treatment before the law. These are rights shared by everyone. There’s no one in the United States who does not, or should not, share in enjoying these rights.

Gay and lesbian rights are not special rights in any way. It isn’t special to be free from discrimination. It is an ordinary, universal entitlement of citizenship. The right not to be discriminated against is a commonplace claim we all expect to enjoy under our laws and our founding document, the constitution. That many had to struggle to gain those rights does make them precious, but it does not make them special. And it does not reserve them only for me, or restrict them from others. And they should never be subject to popular votes.

When others gain these rights, my rights are not diminished in any way. My rights are not diluted when my neighbor enjoys protection from discrimination. He or she becomes my ally in defending the rights we all share.

For some people, comparisons between the African-American civil rights movement and the movement for gay and lesbian rights seems to diminished the long, black historical struggle with all its suffering, sacrifices, and endless toil. However, people of color ought to be flattered that our movement has provided so much inspiration for others, that has been so widely imitated, that our tactics, our methods, our heroes, our heroines, even our songs, have served as models for others.

No parallel between movements is exact. African-Americans are the only Americans who were enslaved for more than two centuries. And people of color carry the badge of who we are on our faces. But we are far from the only people suffering discrimination. Sadly, so do many others. They deserve the law’s protection and civil rights, too.

Sexual disposition parallels race. I was born black and had no choice. I could not, and would not change it if I could. Like race, our sexuality isn’t a preference. It is immutable, unchangeable, and the constitution protects us all against discrimination based on immutable differences.

Many gays and lesbians worked side-by-side with me in the civil rights movement, and many do so now. I am to now tell them thanks for risking life and limb helping me win my rights, but they’re excluded because of a condition of their birth? They can’t now share in the victories they helped me to win? That having accepted and embraced them as partners in a common struggle, that I can now turn my back on them and deny them the rights they helped me win, that I enjoy because of them? Not a chance.

We know there are many whose opposition to same-sex marriage is religiously based. But they ought not force their beliefs on people of different faiths, or people of no faith at all. In addition to being a civil right, marriage is a civil rite – that’s R-I-T-E. If you don’t want gay people to marry in your church, all right. But you shouldn’t say they can’t be married in city hall because of your religious belief.

Black Christians have always discarded scriptures that damned us in the name of religion, like the curse of Ham in Genesis or support for slavery in Ephesians. We should just as easily and just as eagerly discard those which marginalize others.

For 20 years, I sat where you sit now, as a member first of the Georgia House and then the Georgia Senate. There were times when popular sentiment and my constituents said “vote this way.” And I said no, because I thought “this way” was the wrong way. Although I can’t claim to have always done it, I always felt better when I acted on conscious, instead of following the popular choice.

I close where I began by asking you to cast an affirmative vote when this legislation comes before you. You’ll be standing for right, and on the right side of history.
Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of the committee for giving me this time.

And thank you Julian Bond

Posted by: John Ozed | Dec 17, 2009 4:47:10 PM

Once again, a religious person is complaining about how his religious rights are being violated. The only right being violated with marriage equality is the right of religious people to boss everyone around.

Posted by: DN | Dec 17, 2009 5:25:49 PM

"If it weren't for the so-called christians, the plight of the African Americans would NOT have been nearly as brutal and maliciously inspired as it was. And by his fallaciously circuitous reasoning, "Christians are the new Negro," could have been used equally as inaccurately back during the Civil Rights era by the christianistas who were then ardently fighting against equal treatment of African Americans. "

No you see practically every single Christian to live before about 100-50 years ago wasn't a True Christian. They believed god supported them on such obviously evil and wrong things like denying blacks and women equal rights because they completely misinterpreted. Yep, every single one of that 96% of white Americans in the 50s who opposed interracial marriage were all fake christians who never really read the bible.

The only True Christians to ever exist are the ones of the past 20-30 years or so who fully support racial and sexual equality but hate gays, er, oppose the gay lifestyle.

Well actually its even smaller then that, 20 years ago all 'True Christians' supported laws criminalizing homosexuality. Now that the idea is repugnant to most Americans they dropped it and claimed everyone wanting that was twisting the bible's words, despite it being less than a decade ago several states still had laws against it.

50 years from now no 'true christian' will think homosexuality is a sin. We'll have to sit and be lectured about how no True Christian ever hated gays and how every single person who voted against equality misinterpreted.

And then they'll tell us about the Bible's objective, eternal and never changing morals...

Posted by: wackadoodle | Dec 17, 2009 5:50:51 PM

"If you still don't think Christians are being attacked for our beliefs, consider Pastor Ake Green in Sweden and Pastor Stephen Boisson in Canada..."

OK... I've considered them. They both were acquitted. Both were found by their courts to have constitutional protections. Even protections to incite violence.

Now having considered your examples, Hutch, I reject your accusations.

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | Dec 17, 2009 7:27:37 PM

What, Timothy, you think because you investigate issues and find out facts you have a right to refute people? Come *ON!* These guys have dogma!

What are facts worth in the face of dogma?

PS: I love btb - keep it up

Posted by: DN | Dec 17, 2009 11:57:46 PM

How easily do people forget that it was religion that told us in those days that slavery was acceptable because it was part of the Scriptures. Now they are using it again to condemn homosexuality. But should they not also condemn eating shell fish, or adultery, or working on the Sabbath? The erroneous interpretations of the Scriptures is a travesty to society. If God was to judge everyone on the grounds of merit, these bigots and homophobes would not gain "salvation" as their actions are filled with hatred and ignorance.
If you opt to wallow in the mudpuddle of ignorance and superstition, that is ok by me, but don't drag me there with you.
You have freedom of religion and I defend that, but the minute you get together with others of the same mind set and make laws that discriminate against me, that is when I put my foot down.

Posted by: raulito | Dec 18, 2009 6:02:10 AM

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