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Civil debate? Absolutely. Ignoring past demonizations? Never!

by Jeremy Hooper

Jim-GarlowJim Garlow was an incredibly vocal Prop 8 proponent, saying whatever, whenever in order to get the hurtful ban passed:

"[If] we lose [the fight for Prop. 8], we go to jail. How soon I don't know. But the fact is this is the kind of case where political correctness is bearing down," the pastor contends. "If a pastor refuses to perform a homosexual wedding, if we lose on this, he will be or she will be so incredibly vulnerable at that time."
-Jim Garlow, 7/29/08

6A00D8341C503453Ef011570F209Db970CThen there's pastor Miles McPherson, the even more vocal Prop 8 proponent who's string of anti-gayness includes claiming that marriage equality means that "the evil one is having a field day," linking homosexuality to pedophilia, and likening marriage equality advocates to cockroaches:

So where were these two men one day this past May? Well, they were in Washington DC, having a friendly meeting with the Human Rights Campaign's Joe Solmonese, natch:

"I had a delightful time and consider [Solmonese] a friend and would welcome him into my home or church," says Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa, Calif.
Most of the meeting, which happened in Washington in May—when Garlow was in town to receive an award from the Family Research Council—saw the pastor asking Solmonese questions about his life and beliefs. "I'm fascinated by people's individual stories," Garlow says.

"My heart was moved" by Solmonese, Garlow continues. "The real moving moment was when he talked about his father dying when he was 13 or 14, which he described with some degree of pathos."

Garlow invited McPherson, who is a pastor at a nearby church in San Diego, because the two had attended a meeting together just before the scheduled session with Solmonese. "I definitely felt an increased level of compassion for him and that community," says McPherson, while adding that his opposition to same-sex marriage is unchanged. "My views on that have nothing to do with my emotion or intellect," he said, "and everything to do with what God has designed.".

FULL PIECE: Human Rights Campaign President and Prop. 8 Architect Become Friends [US News &WR]

Strange bedfellows.

Now, we totally understand the need for civility and dialogue, and operate this here website on the premise of taking on the messages rather than the personalities. But let's be clear here: No matter how much heated passion Joe Solmonese or anyone on our side may show in terms of the equality fight, there is simply no comparison -- NO COMPARISON! -- between our emotional reactions and Garlow/McPherson's hurtful rights rollbacks. Because Joe Solmonese is not accusing these men of being controlled by Satan. Joe Solmonese is not working to roll back these men's civil rights. Joe Solmonese is not throwing out abject, fear-mongering lies about jail time just so he can get one of his measures passed. He is making a case for civil fairness -- the same civil fairness that Miles McPherson and Jim Garlock are protesting on the basis of their personal fairh beliefs. In terms of their work (as opposed to their person), there is a major difference between these three men that cannot be fairly reduced in an "agree to disagree" sort of way!

So yes, let's talk, frankly, cordially, and openly. But in that talk, we on the pro-fairness side must quite unapologetically point out the clear difference between our two battles. Only one team is on the offensive here, and it ain't the "cockroaches."

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Your thoughts

I'm assuming he is in fact sincere, but there's really no rational seat at the table for folks who conced "my views on that have nothing to do with my emotion or intellect".

There just cannot be sane resolutions when emotion & intellect aren't considered to be reasonable factors.

Posted by: PM | Jul 30, 2009 12:06:50 PM

These are the same factions that justified their support for segregation using exactly the same arguments. They also opposed the right of women to vote, they also opposed (many still do) the right of mixed race couples to marry. This may, in fact, have nothing to do with their emotions or intellect.

But they do prey upon the weak intellect and hateful, prejudiced emotions of those who flock around them in order to stoke the supremacist flames. If you give the hordes an air of superiority, and stroke their egos.. they'll ignore their own plight and tow the line; they'll vote for your candidates; but most importantly, they'll open their wallets. Religion truly is the opiate of the masses for precisely that reason.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jul 30, 2009 2:09:54 PM

I don't throw around the term "hater". But that one applies both to Garlow and McPherson. You cannot say what they have said about us without it coming from a place of hate.

McPherson just made up a story to tell his church about a woman convicted for 47 years for having a bumper sticker on her can that said homosexuality is sin. It's just plain evil.

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | Jul 30, 2009 7:45:38 PM

Every damn day on this site you point out these bigot's lies, hypocrisies and demonizations. imagine if one of the people meeting with them had the spine to put them on camera and tear apart their bullshit. But saying people who took rights away from fellow Americans did something wrong, or pointing out that it makes them hateful pricks, is 'rude' and 'militant'.

Posted by: penguinsaur | Jul 30, 2009 10:41:45 PM

Penguinsaur: They're getting the message. Trust me -- I know firsthand. Much of it's happening behind the scenes in off the record capacities. But the opposition knows what I and others are saying, and it is forcing them to change their tactics.

We just can't let up. If we stick to our truth and shout it out as far and wide as we can, they lose. This new, transparent media world is their movement's Kryptonite.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jul 30, 2009 10:51:48 PM

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