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Shhh, Pete -- the genuinely heartfelt are trying to talk

by Jeremy Hooper

Reacting to the Tennessee church shooting and the genuine outpouring of support that's come from the typically compassionate LGBT community, Peter LaBarbera has given his thoughts to One News Now on topics ranging from hate crimes legislation to the death penalty to the so-called "homosexual agenda." We will now give Pete's words the credence they deserve:

The president of Americans for Truth says homosexual activists will use the recent church shooting in Knoxville, Tennessee, to advance their agenda and call for "hate crimes" legislation.

According to police reports, Jim Adkisson walked into the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville on Sunday and opened fire -- killing two and wounding five others. Authorities believe Adkisson selected the congregation because of its liberal social stance, including support for homosexual causes.

Shortly after the shootings took place, pro-homosexual groups such as the Human Rights Campaign were offering assistance to the church. Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality thinks groups with agendas similar to HRC's will use the tragedy to continue their push for federal hate crimes legislation.

"The fact is, this case will get the attention it deserves -- and I believe this man could be given the death penalty, without any extra help from the feds and any sort of hate crimes prosecution," he explains. "If he's guilty of murder, and [if] the facts are true, he should get the death penalty."

The pro-family advocate adds that the homosexual movement gets favorable treatment within the media, and LaBarbera says with that type of coverage there is no need for special legislation to "give more attention and better treatment to this case." He adds that with the media spotlight on the incident, "it proves our case" that hate crimes laws are not necessary.

During a candlelight vigil on Monday night, a representative from the Human Rights Campaign -- the largest pro-homosexual lobby group in America -- was on hand. LaBarbera expects homosexual activists to try and link Adkisson to the pro-family movement.

Sorry, Pete. The only ones deserved of a platform at this time are those who are actually trying to help the hurting, not those who seem to care more about furthering their own non-inclusive political views.

LaBarbera: No special legislation needed in TN church shooting case [ONN]

**EARLIER ONE NEWS NOW/TN SHOOTING THOUGHTS: 'They are doing Satan's work' [G-A-Y]

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Your thoughts

Peter LaBarbera is a tool. This is a hate crime, pure and simple: a hate crime against a RELIGIOUS GROUP.

Posted by: kNw | Jul 29, 2008 12:43:19 PM

In my opinion, an empty white space would have been more appropriate than the strikethrough.

Posted by: Baldran | Jul 29, 2008 12:51:59 PM

Thank you.

I almost hurled yesterday when I saw the "note" he had sent to some publisher here in Tennessee. It was like "Wow, Pete, you really don't stop, do you?"

This gay boy's mother taught him better than that.

Posted by: Evan | Jul 29, 2008 1:01:41 PM

Here is what is actually happening in Knoxville. (from 365 Blog by Pauline Parker)
in the wake of the tragedy, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam is being asked to acknowledge the city’s LGBT community, the Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting. “This is the time for you to actually and sincerely stand by us, as well as this tragedy’s victims, their families and all the citizens of Knoxville who value basic human rights and liberties,” wrote Gary Elgin, former director of the Rainbow Community Awareness Project, in an e-mail message to Haslam. “This is the time for you, when called upon, to answer and step up and be counted as our mayor as well.”

In response, the mayor issued a statement saying that “It is often easy to make these tragic events, which are far too frequent, about the community in which they occur. Knoxville is a caring, compassionate city where diverse viewpoints are shared and respected. Every person, regardless of race, religion, age, sex, or sexual orientation is a person of human dignity and a valued member of our community.”

If any good comes from this tragedy, it may well be in the tardy but welcome official recognition of the LGBT community in Knoxville as well as in the recognition that hate speech directed at ‘liberals’ and ‘gays’ can lead to acts of hate that kill.

Posted by: LOrion | Jul 29, 2008 1:02:00 PM

what a bunch of lowlifes. you don't see mongrel groups like Americans for Truth About Homosexuality going to help these people out. no they're much more comfortable on the sidelines criticizing the ones who actually care and are compassionate. they should have been stopped with contraception, the lot of them.

Posted by: johnozed | Jul 29, 2008 1:02:17 PM

I must have missed the part about what Peter and AFTAH are doing to offer assistance to the church.

Posted by: snappyback | Jul 29, 2008 1:03:27 PM

kNw is right. These hired mouthpieces for the radical religious right never acknowledge that Religion is already a protected class in hate-crimes legislation. The fact that this mass murderer carried out his carnage in a church by and of itself is proof that it is a hate-crime as defined by the current legislation.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jul 29, 2008 1:21:31 PM

It's funny he says the media will be all over it. It's hardly been mentioned by the corporate media (aka MSM), except yesterday on Good Morning America. Olbermann didn't even mention it last night on his show. I'm actually kind of surprised at how little press it's getting.

Posted by: larry | Jul 29, 2008 1:23:11 PM

Today on my own blog, There Will Be Truth (therewillbetruth com), I drew a connection between Animal Liberation Front bombers the Unitarian Church shooting, abortion clinic bombers, and Earth Liberation Front arsonists etc.

They are all domestic terrorists rooted in the same phenomena that have destroyed political discourse and consensus in American politics. Those roots would be:

The refusal of individuals to compromise their personal concepts of right and wrong in order to further the common good.
Insular, intellectually segregated groups of people who create and self-confirm extreme beliefs and their entitlement to act on them regardless of the impact on others.

Like many people, I have puzzled over the vicious, polemical extremes that dominate politics today. Discourse about differing opinions has been replaced by demonizing those who disagree. Both Left and Right, Democrats and Republicans resort to rants rather than persuasion.

The lack of moderation, and the permission granted by political leaders for their followers to engage in scorched earth tactics, inevitably incites the mentally unstable to acts of violence.

A newly published book, The Big Sort, sheds some light on why all this is happening now.

According to the book, "In the 95th Congress (1977-1979), 40 percent of the 435 members were moderates," Bishop writes. "By the 108th Congress (2003-2005) this moderate bloc had be whittled down to 10 percent."

Further, the book states that, "In 1976, less than a quarter of Americans lived in places where the presidential election was a landslide." The authors define "landslide" as winning by 20 percent or greater. "By 2004, nearly half of all voters lived in landslide counties."

Nothing illustrates this schism better than the county-by-county maps of presidential voting from 1976 to 2004.

Along with this, the book documents how, over the past three decades, Americans have chosen to segregate themselves in ways that avoid contact with people who might disagree with them politically.

Now, the match that ignites all this gasoline: The Big Sort presents numerous studies proving that people isolated from differing opinions become more extreme, especially with regard to political issues. In effect, people in homogeneous groups trend toward political extremes as they try to prove they have drunk the common Kool-Aid. They do not tolerate dissent or discussion. Moderates then must decide whether to comply with the group or allow themselves to be driven away.

A study published in 2006 by Penn political scientist Diana Mutz found that only 23 percent of Americans have regular discussions with people they disagree with politically. And the more education a person has, the worse this gets.

Moderates willing to work together for a common goal despite their differences have been replaced by tinhorn demagogues trying to stir up hatred and intolerance for anyone they disagree with.

The self-sorting polarization of the electorate is why both political parties have abandoned any attempt at trying to sway moderates -- there are damn few left. Instead, campaigns focus on inflaming their supporters' passions, encouraging them, to intimidate the opposition and make sure they go to the polls.

This is how both the Nazis and Communists came to power. It invigorates the ideological psychos on the fringes and gives them permission to burn, bomb and kill.

The political "leadership" of America is responsible for extremism that leads to death and violence.

Buy this book. Read it. Study it. It has no answers of its own, but knowledge is power and acknowledging a problem is the first step to solving it.

Posted by: Lewis Perdue | Jul 29, 2008 2:05:50 PM

"The pro-family advocate adds that the homosexual movement gets favorable treatment within the media"

I think ANY movement would get favorable treatment in the media, compared to Babs & AFTAH. He's been around long enough that people know who he is, and will likely avoid him; as most people are starting to do with WBC/the Phelps klan.

And compared to WBC, Peter is a bigger joke than they are. At least Fred doesn't go "undercover", chasing after naked men in bathhouses, and filming gay pornography for his own personal use.

Posted by: Scott | Jul 29, 2008 2:11:59 PM

My heart goes out to them. Hate Crimes in the state of Tennessee are often not discussed in the local media. As a member of the Unitarian Universalist church here in Nashville, I can say that our hearts go out to all of those within the congregation that are suffering at this point. And Peter is a jerk...


Posted by: Zak | Jul 29, 2008 3:58:46 PM

in response to Snappyback, Of course we will not be hearing any thing about Peter and AFTAH doing anything to help this church. Why would they, by their definition Unitarians are not "CAPITOL C - hristians" After all Peter and his kind have the exculsive in this area. Therefore, is it okay for him to say the things he says, this church is not a church anyway in his world.
Jeremey said this in his post earlier about his friend from college.

Posted by: Bob Miller | Jul 29, 2008 4:28:48 PM

and if it was an angry liberal who shot up the church because of its conservative beliefs and views they would all be crying hate crime against christians. They seem to forget that the "hate crime" laws they find so disgusting for gays are the same ones which protect there own community.

Posted by: Patrick B | Jul 29, 2008 5:54:56 PM

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