Wednesday, May 23, 2012

America's Fascism Problem 2: Concentration Camps For The Queers

Earlier this month, I kicked off this series of articles with a piece about a North Carolina "pastor" who, in the midst of that state's debate over an anti-gay ballot initiative, urged his followers to violently abuse their young children if said children show what his fevered brain regarded as early signs of homosexuality. His antics--and, more importantly, the uniform approval they received from his congregation--are a disturbing example of the ugly fascism that has, for years, gestated, across the U.S. in, among other places, reactionary fundamentalist churches.

A few weeks later, the same state birthed another example of it. "Pastor" Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church of Maiden, North Carlolina used his Mother's Day "sermon" as an opportunity to go on a rampage against homosexuals. In rhetoric that rather inescapably invokes an obvious historical precedent, he suggests "lesbians and queers" be rounded up, dropped into concentration camps behind electrified wire and left to die:

"I figured a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers... Build a great, big, large fence--50 or 100 mile long--put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified 'til they can't get out... And you know what? In a few years, they'll die out... They can't reproduce."

Worley was particularly upset about President Obama's recent endorsement of same-sex marriage and left no doubt about his own political affiliation, blatantly violating the tax-exempt status granted his church in railing against

"our president gettin' up and sayin' it was all right for two women to marry or two men to marry. I tell ya' right now, I was disappointed bad, and I tell ya' that right there is as sorry as you can get. The Bible's agin' it, God's agin' it, I'm agin' it and if you've got any sense, you're agin' it... Hey, I'll tell ya' right now, somebody said 'who you gonna' vote for?' I ain't gonna' vote for a baby killer and a homosexual lover!"

In the immediate aftermath of this, Worley essentially went into hiding and his church's website was taken down. CNN, in a sudden, uncharacteristic decision to practice journalism, uncovered an audio recording of an old Worley sermon from 30 April, 1978, one that suggests his poisonous preaching on this subject is far from a recent innovation:

"We're livin' in a day when, you know what, it saddens my heart to think that homosexuals can go around, bless God, and get the applause of a lot of people. Lesbians and all the rest of it. Bless God, 40 years ago, they'd a' hung 'em, bless God, from a white oak tree. Wouldn't they? Amen."

Those "strange fruits" left hanging from white oaks--and other trees--in the South 40 years before this remark were, of course, those unfortunate enough to be black and in the South at a time when Jim Crow was law and backed up by racist terrorism. In 1938--exactly 40 years before Worley's remarks--Southern Senators filibustered to death a major effort at an anti-lynching law to put a stop to this. Worley's nostalgia is telling.

His fantasies about the murder of homosexuals are hardly unique though. They've been a perpetual fixture on the reactionary fringe for decades. Like so many fringe views, these have been creeping into the "mainstream" for years.[1] North Carolina's anti-gay ballot initiative, like similar initiatives passed in about 30 states, are a reflection of the same impulses.



[1] Only a few days ago, Mississippi state Rep. Andy Gipson called for putting homosexuals to death. Responding to an effort to get him to apologize for this, he replied "To be clear, I want the world to know that I do not, cannot, and will not apologize for the inspired truth of God’s Word."


Niceguy Eddie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Niceguy Eddie said...

Well done.

But didn't anyone tell you?

Fascism is a LIBERAL thing!


Anonymous said...

Your series would benefit a great deal if you focused instead upon the fascism that actually harms the greatest number of people rather than a few nut jobs you're quoting here. Read Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning by Jonah Goldberg. And, interestingly, I see you removed a comment by another poster here- a surefire sign - the suppression of other peoples speech - of liberal fascism. Gays are not American's problem, nor are those who hold religious beliefs close to their hearts. The real threat to American Democracy are guys like the mayors who what to prevent businesses opening in their cities because of the views of their owners. That's fascism in action. Liberal fascism.

Anonymous said...

Here is another example of why your one-sided attacks are more fiction than anything else. The Left is full of outright hate- on many levels, not just a few cases like you think make your point.

Read this and learn:

classicliberal2 said...

I've never removed any comment posted here. Not one. Not ever.

The notion that you'll learn anything at all about fascism by reading Jonah Goldberg is amusing, at best. Get out of the kiddie section, and look into some serious scholarship.

The business with Chick Fil-A perfectly illustrates the absurdity of your own position. In your reactionary fairy-tale version of reality, the opposition to Chick Fil-A's actions is characterized as hate and fascism, while Chick Fil-A's millions of dollars spent funding actual hate groups and fascist organizations--the thing to which everyone was objecting--goes unmentioned.

You have absolutely no point, sir.