So have you heard the one about the pastor who wants to sentence gays to 10 years’ hard labor?


Yeah, sure you have. It’s the latest thing blowing up the atheist blogosphere and social media. Some utter fool named Pastor Michael V. Williams, who runs a website called PreachingPolitics.com (to which I am not linking — take note of this brilliant trick, other atheist bloggers), has, in a YouTube video, offered up this solution to the homersectionality problem as he sees it.

Can I just make an observation?

Yes, this is a recapitulation of the “don’t feed the trolls” thing, but it bears mentioning that Williams’ YouTube channel, on which this drivel appears, has all of 10 subscribers. Generally, his videos get fewer than 100 views, and most get fewer than 50. He has some that have gotten only one.

Except this one, which has, as of this writing, gotten close to 10,000. Because some people got their panties in a twist, decided this mouth-breather was actually someone in a position of being able to influence real policy and lawmaking decisions (here’s the Progressive Secular Humanist blog calling the utterly obscure Williams a “Christian leader” and treating his “proposed amendment” like it’s a clear and present danger and something that may be about to go up for a vote on Capitol Hill any minute now), and have — O! irony, you cruel mistress — given Williams exactly the exposure he’s always dreamed of but never would have otherwise gotten by embedding and sharing his asinine video everywhere they can.

For fuck’s sake.

Look, religious bigotry against gays, atheists, women, minorities, what have you, is a vile thing and an ongoing real problem that produces real victims. This is not in dispute. But the real battles against those things are being fought in a much bigger arena, and while there is a long long long way to go, headway is being made. There has been a sea change in public attitudes towards marriage equality, for instance, and the momentum is on the side of the good guys here. We are almost certain to see nationwide legal gay marriage by the 2020’s, at least.

But the ongoing threat to equality does not mean we need to do the enemy’s work for them, overreact to every online outlier with a webcam and a Neanderthal opinion, and elevate his importance by giving him unwonted and undeserved exposure. The proper reaction to the Williamses of the word is to point and laugh, people. History is already leaving the pathetic, benighted clowns behind. So let us make merry at their increasing irrelevance, and their butthurt at this state of affairs. Point and laugh.

Comments

  1. Narf says

    So have you heard the one about the pastor who wants to sentence gays to 10 years’ hard labor?

    So they can make themselves all buff and sexy for his immoral purposes?

  2. xscd says

    “The proper reaction is to point and laugh!”

    Great thoughts, Martin. Of course, sometimes elevating these kind of people from obscurity to temporary social fame helps to generate the maximum amount of pointing and laughing. I mean, if people like this are going to act like an idiot, they don’t really have any legitimate complaint if they are subjected to massive public ridicule.

    Of course, if I were this guy and “the liberals and atheists” started pointing fingers at me, I might be inclined to play the Christian martyr and proof of the “war on Christianity.” I mean, he’s just telling society to hate gays the way Jesus did (uh, wait–)

  3. Narf says

    Sounds about where I’m standing, Martin. Should we point this guy out?

    Absolutely!
    I love this kind of insanity. I think everyone who says anything this insane in all seriousness should be held up for everyone to see, until the conservatives start edging towards gay marriage legalization, just to get further away from this guy.
    That blog post you linked was entirely too serious in tone, though. There had to be a lot more laughter and rib poking going on, while he was pointing this guy out.

    On a side note, are there any other bits in the Constitution that list a specific punishment for a particular offense? I think this preacher is clueless at an even more basic level than you’re thinking.
    It’s bad enough that he thinks something like this is even worth talking about. It’s even worse that he doesn’t understand what the Constitution is for and what laws are for. The Constitution does broad strokes, people.

  4. Narf says

    I’m all for the sentiment expressed at 3:12 of the video: “And remember, only vote for those who promise to adopt this amendment.”

    Excellent. Yes, people who are this insane should not vote, since they probably won’t be able to find anyone who supports this amendment.

  5. Narf says

    I’d love to watch him try, though. Hell, doesn’t even Santorum talk about his one gay friend that he loves in Christ, and apparently his gay friend thinks that Santorum is right to deny the friend’s right to marry someone he loves?

  6. ChaosS says

    This guy’s a softie compared to Rick Wiles:
    (Link is to Right Wing Watch so I don’t feel bad including it, very entertaining site)

    Now this Ebola epidemic can become a global pandemic and that’s another name for plague. It may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming,” he said. “Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion.” – See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/rick-wiles-ebola-could-solve-americas-problems-atheism-and-homosexuality#sthash.sHpEorI4.dpuf

  7. Monocle Smile says

    Yeah, Santorum’s “friend” is either the gay S.E. Cupp or about as real as Mitt Romney’s tax payments.

  8. Monocle Smile says

    That guy’s an End Times radio host, meaning he gets paid to go on the air and vomit word salad. What’s more troubling is that a Congressman agreed to interact with this cockroach.

  9. Narf says

    Wouldn’t S.E. Cupp be a lesbian? Thank you for putting that image in my head, by the way.

  10. ChaosS says

    Yes, that was Rep. Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican, who Wiles interviewed right after he made these comments. Wolf was there to talk about Al Qaida crossing the Mexican border (eyeroll).

  11. Jesse Kindwall says

    Um… Isn’t linking to his video the social media equivalent of the “point” part of “point and laugh”?

  12. says

    I’d be less critical of those linking to him if they were pointing and laughing, and not being all panicky Chicken Little and taking him seriously, as if his dreamed-of imprisonment of gays was only a tender heartbeat away.

  13. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    “Don’t feed the trolls” is not a good tactic. It actually helps the trolls. Instead, if there’s a troll problem, then remove the troll. Problem solved.

    What we have here is something completely different. Rather, we decided to give the troll a much larger platform than he previously had, which is the exact opposite of the correct solution which is removal from the community. the proper advice is more like “don’t elevate two-bit trolls to the top of internet search results”.

  14. pianoman, Heathen & Torontophile says

    sometimes I think you have to take people like this douchenozzle and hold them up for the ridicule they deserve. It can also be entertaining to watch other christians start sweating and tugging at their collars trying to explain away the lunatic fringes among their membership.

    i know it’s tough to give them exposure that they presumably desire, but sometimes ya need to handle some cow shit before ya git yer crops to grow…or some expression.

  15. edmond says

    It certainly seems that 10,000 people pointing and laughing will have more of an effect than 100 people doing it.

  16. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Meh…

    Sure, but… at the very least, don’t pretend he’s a “Christian leader” as some blogs have. That might actually give him more voice.

    Also don’t take him more seriously than warranted. There’s maybe, what, at best 10% of the US population who would be in favor of 10 years hard labor for “being homosexual”? I think I’m being generous here too. If you take him too seriously, it helps move the Overton Window back.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window
    At least, I see no reason to take this person seriously in the US. Now, if you were in Nigeria on the other hand…

    Also, as Martin said, if you can avoid giving a link that will bump his search status in search results, that would be nice too.

  17. L.Long says

    This is a perfect example for the reason I NEVER look at religious sites, they have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to say of any value to anyone. As to their mind set, and knowing how they think??? They don’t think and phuck their mind set. Until they can prove anything they say has REAL value, they can piss into the wind for all I care.

  18. Narf says

    Well, Rick Wiles has an audience, as scary as that fact is. This guy from the video does did not.

  19. Narf says

    That and calling him a Christian leader is a little bit strawman-y. He probably leads about 20 or 30, most of them too old to even have YouTube. We should point to him and say, “Hey, here’s this nut out in some podunk-nowhere church who wants to be famous. We should help him out and see if we can help spread his idea to the mega-churches, so that they’ll drive their congregants out the doors in droves.”

    For that matter, why is he on YouTube? Shouldn’t he be on GodTube?

  20. Narf says

    I dunno, man. I can’t seriously believe that this video would have a positive effect on the window. I think the backlash against it would have a greater impact than the effect of the video itself.

  21. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Narf
    I said taking it seriously, and taking him as a leader of many Christians, might affect the window.

    Ridiculing him as a nobody loon should be fine.

    I think I originally overstepped.

  22. Narf says

    Ah, I must have missed the context shift, before that point.

    Although, even given that, I’m not sure that treating him seriously would result in a shift in the window, in his direction. I think the backlash would have a greater effect than he would, himself.

    It’s a calculated risk, of course, either way, I guess. Look where the anti-abortion platform of the Republican Party got to, with the anti-rape-exception and anti-life-of-the-mother proponents, in the 2012 election cycle.

  23. Pam Fez says

    “So they can make themselves all buff and sexy for his immoral purposes?”

    Narf, you are just jumping to conclusions about this Pastor.

    How do you know he is not attracted to “bears”, or plump good cooks? Clearly there is a S & M aspect to his otherwise tired statements, but you want to pigeonhole the range of repressed homosexual pastors. Their repressed homosexuality is expressed in a whole range of ways- an attraction to altar boys, an attraction to Antonin Scalia, drunk on communion wine, a settlement by their insurer. They may not covet buff victims. We need to stop labeling repressed sexual freak pastors and instead appreciate the difference between Warren Jeffs and Ted Haggard.and the Catholic rapist priests of Africa, as well as the horny buff-guy coveting snake-handlers..

  24. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    IMHO, it’s actually hard to get this right, and I think I grossly oversimplified it in my original post here. My bad. I uhh… rushed to conclusions. Sorry.

  25. Narf says

    How do you know he is not attracted to “bears”, or plump good cooks?

    Ooh, you really think I have a chance? :D

  26. Narf says

    Well, yeah. We’re spit-balling about something that isn’t even vaguely close to a hard science.

  27. Pam Fez says

    Depends how freaky you can get, Narf. Mega-Church pastors like Joshua Harris and C.J. Mahaney
    have set the bar high. You betta bring it!

    PS If you are a Christian and not an a-hole sex abuser- you cool w/me. My snark is
    for those who use God to screw people. I don’t go for civilians ….

  28. Narf says

    I was an altar boy, back before I turned 18 and could refuse to go to weekly mass. It was less boring that sitting in the pews.
    Of course at the time, I didn’t know what kind of risk I was exposing certain parts of my anatomy to. I have kind of a twisted sense of humor about my religious upbringing, probably in part from not believing a damned bit of it, while being brought up with the nonstop brainwashing attempts.

    And nope, I lean towards the giving end of things, in terms of sexual behavior. If the woman I’m with isn’t enjoying herself immensely, I can take care of my own needs on my own, so what would be the point?

  29. says

    please tell me what a “mouth breather” has to do with anything? are “mouth breathers” bad people? should we discriminate against them? golly, grow up.

  30. Monocle Smile says

    kind of funny…this troll was dumb enough to sign in with facebook, so now we can all lose a little faith in humanity seeing that this cockroach managed to spawn four times thus far.

  31. Narf says

    Someone doesn’t seem to be aware that situational homosexuality is a thing. At least I assume that’s what he’s referring to, speaking about prison statistics, even if he isn’t aware that that’s what he’s referring to.

    He also doesn’t seem to be aware of the fact that far more than 2% of the population is homosexual, depending upon how you read the statistics. It’s probably a lot higher than the statistics show, in reality, given all of the “straight” people like Ted Haggard running around.

    I doubt he has put much thought into it, though. It was probably just a throw-away slur against gay people, since that sort of thing probably plays well with the bigots that he normally hangs out with.

  32. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    kind of funny – the ‘free thought’ blog has moderation.

    Oh noes! We prevent vandals from defacing our shared living space! We “free-thinkers” want to have a good signal-to-noise ratio, and we do so through the dreaded censorship of trolls! We’re such horrible, horrible hypocrites! Worse, we don’t expect the owners of the blog to be here 24-7, and we are ok with how they shirk their responsibility by taking the lazy approach out of vetting every new poster before allowing him to post, as a way of stopping trolls with minimal effort! THE SKY IS FALLING!

    /sarcasm

  33. Narf says

    Hell, it isn’t even really to stop trolls. I see them let the most mindless idiots through moderation all the time. An initial post has to be amazingly terrible, before they’ll prevent someone from posting, and they’ll usually let the comment through, for laughs, then add something about banning the idiot. This guy probably has unrestricted access, now.

    It takes persistent, aggressive trolling before they’ll ban someone. The initial moderation is mostly to catch spambots, I believe.

  34. Monocle Smile says

    Narf’s on point. You basically only get banned off the bat if you admit that you’re here to troll.

    It’s pretty ridiculous how much criticism this blog gets for “moderation.” Then again, most of that criticism comes from the ass end of the internet.

  35. Pam Fez says

    Folks: let’s not feed the trolls. Mock them or pity them, depending on the circumstance.

    I understand the urge to report on the crazies, but we need to keep our eye on the prize:
    Scalia, Utah officials, megachurch pastors, Scott Lively- the man who may be almost
    single-handedly responsible for US involvement in anti-witchcraft, pro-homicide,
    pro-rape, anti-gay churches.

    Hey- if you want the man to beat up- go for a supposedly hetreosexual small town
    potato named Scott Lively whose pathological fascination and repulsion with homosexuality
    compels him to preach anti-gay bs to mobs in Uganda.

    Greg Howard- think before you post. I am not convinced you are a troll- but
    you did toss stuff out around some very smart people. I think that you
    and I can co-exist in a place where we can both condemn Scott Lively
    and acknowledge the importance of family, and community, and the
    advantages to mutual respect on some issues. If you will look at Scott Lively,
    I will promise to look at an issue or news story that you would like me to look at.

  36. houndentenor says

    This is known in the PR world as The Streisand Effect.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

    I actually laughed when I read this guy’s “plan”. It incredibly hard to pass a Constitutional Amendment (as well it should be), and there’s just not enough public support for this. Fringe things like this are better off ignored, not publicized. If a sitting Congressman had said this it might be noteworthy, but just some person with internet access is probably not worth anyone’s time.

  37. Narf says

    @40 & 41
    Well, it’s still for filtering out the worst trolls, too. It just isn’t as common of a thing as people think, I suspect.

  38. Pam Fez says

    Homersectionality: Abstract noun relating to which populations
    are Homer Simpson-like.

    Used in a sentence: “Their Homersectionality manifests itself in
    the consumption of donuts and a tendency to say “d’oh a lot.”

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