The Christian Right’s Worldwide Anti-Gay Crusade

Scott Lively, the founder of Abiding Truth Ministries and the author of the Holocaust revisionist anti-gay book, The Pink Swastika, is taking his anti-gay crusade overseas and declaring war against the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In between battling the homosexual menace in the U.S., hawking his notorious holocaust revisionist book The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party, and declaring war against the Southern Poverty Law Center for refusing to remove his Abiding Truth Ministries from its list of hate groups, Scott Lively president of “Defend the Family” — a service of Abiding Truth Ministries — has again taken his anti-gay crusade on the road.

Earlier this year, UGPulse.com reported that the Family Life Network, “has organized a training seminar to equip Ugandans with information and skills to fight what it calls spiraling promotion of homosexuality in the country.” Stephen Langa, the executive director of Family Life Network “says that Uganda is now under extreme pressure from homosexual groups to de-criminalize homosexuality,” UGPulse.com noted. “He says homosexuals in the country were boosted by a December 2008 Court victory which declared that it is unconstitutional to discriminate against homosexuals and that they should enjoy the same rights as enjoyed by other Ugandans.”

Lively, who has spoken at previous African events organized by Langa, was joined in early March at the Hotel Triangle in Kampala by Don Schmierer from International Healing Ministries and a board member of Exodus International, and Caleb Lee Brundidge, who works with a ministry that, “rehabilitates homosexuals and lesbians.”

According to Don Burroway, writing at Box Turtle Bulletin, Schmierer, “the author of five books related to ex-gay counseling” — including An Ounce of Prevention, What’s a Father To Do?, and Celebrating God’s Design — has been “quite a globetrotter lately, having traveled to Seoul, South Korea, in March of last year, as well as to the Ukraine last summer.” According to Burroway, all of Schmierer’s books “have been translated into several languages, including Russian and Ukraine.”

Brundidge is a staff member at Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation, “which advocates the controversial ‘holding’ or ‘touch’ therapy to cure homosexuality,” Burroway pointed out.

At the Kampala conference, Lively is quoted by Ugandan activist Kasha Jacqueline from Freedom and Roam Uganda as saying that “The gay movement is very evil and we must stop it immediately.” Lively went on:

You have a gay movement in Uganda that is operating at a high level, which you must bear in mind. This gay movement around the world has a handbook that they use and that is what the Ugandan gay movement is using now. You must be ready to stop this gay agenda. And don’t think that fighting the gay movement is the solution — you will be fighting a losing battle because this movement has come to stop humanity. They have a clear vision, mission and strategies. The only way to defeat them is to compete with them. Their movement is 70 years old and that’s why they don’t care about you. They know you will die soon and they will replace you and take over the nation. They have decided to recruit the youth.

You have a lot of work to do. Homosexuality is immoral and we cannot sit back and see immorality controlling nations. Homosexuality is equivalent to pedophilia in many ways. Homosexuals cannot control their sexual desires and behaviors. If all of us acted upon our desires and feelings then where would the world be? Families would break up because of adultery. People would continue to molest children, etc.

This is only the latest stop for Lively on what might be termed an International Hate Tour.

A few years back, Lively — whose book The Pink Swastika is still advertised prominently on the home page of Defend the Family.com — arrived in the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk for a speaking engagement at that city’s Sverdlovsky Palace of Culture. “Many countries of the former Soviet Union, which had been the outposts of family values recently, have submitted to the pressure of homosexuals,” Gay Republic Daily reported Lively as saying at one of his Russian stops. Lively also noted that a gay parade that had taken place in Lithuania, and that there was an event in Kiev where the Ukrainian President stood “on one stage with George Michael, a homosexual singer, who has been caught making love in the bushes recently.”

Lively pointed out that in the Russian town of Omsk “homosexuals penetrated into a local university and formed their own club, which tried to breakdown” his lecture. “But I believe,” Lively went on, “that Russia will become a country, where ‘the blue plague’ will be stopped.”

A short time later, OneNewsNow, a news service operated by Donald Wildmon’s American Family Association (AFA), reported that Watchmen on the Walls (WOW) — designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group — had announced its “participation” in AFA-sponsored boycott of Ford Motor Company.”

WOW’s spokesperson is Scott Lively. According to OneNewsNow, WOW “says it will … help spread it [the boycott] to Russian-speaking countries near its headquarters in Latvia. OneNewsNow quoted Lively as saying that WOW helps “coordinate pro-family opposition to the international homosexual movement.” He added that, “the organization will promote the boycott using its network of activists in more than ten countries.”

OneNewsNow also reported that Lively maintained that the “people of the former Soviet Union’s Russian-speaking countries are among the strongest opponents of the homosexual agenda in the world, and he expects the automaker’s sales to significantly shrink once news of the boycott reaches InVictory.org, a Christian news service in those same countries with an estimated one-million readers.”

Lively co-founded Watchmen on the Walls, “a quasi-religious anti-gay hate group which calls homosexuality ‘inherently evil,’” Talk2Action pointed out in a December 2007 post. Lively’s “collaborators” include Alexey Ledyaev, the leader of the Latvia-based international New Generation Church, and Ken Hutcherson, a former National Football League player turned preacher who is the founder of Antioch Bible Church, another anti-gay enterprise located near Seattle, WA.

Hutcherson, who grabbed some headlines during this past December’s annual “War on Christmas” battle in the state of Washington, spoke at Ledyaev’s Latvian church in March 2007, according to Box Turtle Bulletin. “While there,” the Bulletin reported, “he claimed that he was speaking on behalf of President Bush, saying that the White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives named him ‘Special Envoy for Adoptions, Family Values, Religious Freedom, and Medical Relief.’ When the Seattle Stranger asked the White House about it, spokeswoman Alyssa J. McLenninghen said nobody gave Hutcherson any such title or authority to speak on behalf of the White House. Hutcherson promised to prove his status by producing video of him being given the “power,” but no such proof has surfaced.”

Last year, Lively moved from Temecula, California to Springfield, Massachusetts, where he joined the New Generation Christian Center as pastor and leader of The School of Christian Activism, Talk2Action’s Laurel reported. “Interestingly,” Laurel noted, “his arrival has only been announced on the church’s Russian page, not on the English page.”

The Murder of Satender Singh

Ledyaev made news in 2007, when members of his church in California murdered Satender Singh, a 26-year-old Fijian of Indian descent. At the time, Lively called the murder “unfortunate” and Watchmen on the Walls released a statement that refused to apologize for the murder. The statement insisted that the group is a “world association of men and women of all races, colors and nationalities who believe in the superiority of the natural family and marriage of one man and one woman.”

The statement noted that while the organization is “against cohabitation, divorce, abortion, adultery and other acts that undermine society on which civilization is based,” it is especially opposed to “homosexuality because this destructive practice in the evils of organized political movement and became the principal enemies of the natural family.”

Watchmen on the Walls maintained that it did not “support violence and did not condone violence.” However, it stated that it would “not apologize for the fight against homosexuality because it is inappropriate and harmful unnatural phenomenon, in both moral and physical, and psychological relationships.” The organization claimed that while “some hate homosexuals,” it is not among them. “We see homosexuals similar to alcoholics, that is, as the unfortunate people who have been held hostage by their harmful lifestyles.”

The statement extended the alcoholism metaphor saying that by “refusing treatment, they [homosexuals] are on a par with alcoholics’ right to privacy in their own dwellings. But public recruitment adherents of this way of life that is unacceptable.”

Watchmen spelled out it “task” as “merg[ing] with associates around the world and assist them in the approval of the natural family and traditional marriage, as well as the healing of homosexuals, which in this endeavor. We will help those who share our beliefs, to take key positions in education, business, government and the media around the world,” the statement warned.” The group pledged not to be cowed by critics that “believe homosexuality is normal and useful, especially journalists in Europe and America, many of whom are themselves homosexual or their active supporters.”

The statement concluded by declaring that it is “searching for the sense of cooperation between men and women in different countries and different nationalities. We do not like cowards, who, for example, dare to speak out against same-[sex] marriages, but does not dare to say that homosexuality is inherently evil. We do not need chauvinists who hate homosexuals in the same way as some people hate other races and strangers. We need a courageous and decent people who love the natural order of imams and the human family, wishing her approval, promotion, improvement and protection as the primary sources of any society on earth.”

In August 2007, one month after the murder of Satender Singh, Lively described the situation to an audience in the Siberian capital of Novosibirsk in the Russian Federation. The response from the audience was shocking, perhaps even to Lively.

Now, I’ve been working with the Russian community in Sacramento. And I want to tell you this is an example of how bad things are in the United States. Because we’ve come to a place in the United States where the homosexuals have achieved very high power. And they’ve begun to punish . . . They’ve begun to cause the political powers to punish anyone who says that homosexuality is wrong.

There was a situation in Sacramento a few weeks ago in a public park. There was a group of homosexuals and they were very drunk and one of the homosexual men was taking off his pants. And there were children in the park. And a Russian man went over to these homosexuals and he was rebuking them and there started a fight. And the Russian man punched the homosexual. [The audience starts to shout and applaud.] No, no, no, don’t . . .The man was very drunk . . . the homosexual was very drunk. He was very drunk and he fell down and he hit his head and he died. [Some in the audience start to applaud and laugh] No. . . no . . . .

Now the Russian man has been accused of murder and the FBI is seeking him. And all of the powers in Sacramento have been accusing all of the Russian community of being murderers. And the goal is to silence everyone who speaks against homosexuality. And this is a very dangerous situation because we don’t want homosexuals to be killed. We want them to be saved. Amen?

Lively Takes on Southern Poverty Law Center

In a recent piece titled “Help Expose the Southern Poverty Law Center,” Lively, clearly upset over the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) listing his organization as a hate group, maintained that he is “not the violent hatemonger they [the SPLC] portray me as,” and he suggested that readers go to his website to “confirm” that assertion. “After being placed on the hate list the first time,” Lively tried to get the SPLC “to remove us on the grounds that we really don’t belong there.” He discovered through a reporter’s inquiry of the SPLC’s Mark Potok, “that we were added because I am the co-author of The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party” and that he “would need to repudiate the claims of the book to be removed from the list.” Lively then states that he has “no intention of distancing [himself] from my accurate, factual documentation of the homosexual roots of the Nazi regime.”

Tired of “being smeared” and defamed on the internet by ‘gay’ apologists, Lively has “decided” that he “will not, by my silence, embolden the SPLC [efforts] to widen its attack on the pro-family movement beyond the several groups already on their ‘hate’ list (most of which as undeserving as ATM of this designation).” Lively, who is a lawyer, has decided not to sue. Instead he is embarking on a campaign “to give them a taste of their own medicine and expose the SPLC as the blindly partisan, anti-Christian hate group which it has become.” While “SPLC leaders have every right to their bigoted views . . . “they do not have the right, at the same time, to claim the status of independent, neutral arbiters of the homosexual issue.” (For more of Lively’s declaration of war against the SPLC, his fundraising plans for the campaign, and his three letters to the SPLC, go here)

Contrary to what Lively claims, Mark Potok, the director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., told me via telephone, the SPLC does not “associate Lively with violent activities.” Potok acknowledged the fact that Lively contacted the SPLC and he said that he “replied to him about how he could get off the list.” Potok pointed out that the main reason Lively is on the list is because “in our view he consciously lies about, and defames, gay people. His theory of the Holocaust is equivalent to the flat earth theory. It’s obvious to us that he has to know his allegations are completely false.”

“In fact,” Potok added, “we don’t ordinarily list groups that say homosexuality is wrong or see it as a sin; we list very few anti-gay groups. They have to be very extreme in their views. We see Lively the same way we see Paul Cameron; the two of them in our view consciously promote easily provable false defamations. They don’t seem to care at all what the truth is.”

Potok had no comment about Lively’s new anti-SPLC campaign.

Bill Berkowitz is a longtime observer of the conservative movement. His column, "Conservative Watch," documents the strategies, players, institutions, victories and defeats of the American Right. Read other articles by Bill, or visit Bill's website.

10 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Michael Kenny said on May 6th, 2009 at 11:52am #

    People in Europe don’t foam and froth about sex like Americans do and, indeed, Europeans generally regard Americans as sex-obsessed maniacs. That probably was what amused the Novosibirsk audience: the absurdity of this solemn-faced American huffing and puffing about such a ridiculous subject. Essentially, they were laughing at Lively! And, of course, the more he talks about “Russian-speaking countries”, the more people will laugh at him.

    Don’t lose sight, either, of the fact that all these countries are members of the Council of Europe and, as such, parties to the European Convention on Human Rights and subject to the compulsory jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.

  2. Yanaar said on May 6th, 2009 at 4:47pm #

    Well, they’ve got a big job. Homosexuality is here to stay, and that these folks want legal unions is pretty darn clear. I don’t think they’re going to “just go away” to suit the Christian right.

  3. Scott Lively said on May 6th, 2009 at 5:34pm #

    This is Scott Lively. I won’t address the several inaccuracies I spotted skimming through this piece. My only point is this: if The Pink Swastika is so filled with “easily provable false defamations” why won’t the SPLC, or any other apologists for the “gay” agenda debate me on the topic? I’ve offered a standing challenge to publicly debate the allegations of the book since the first edition was published in 1995. They won’t because they can’t counter the weight and magnitude of my documentation: more than 25% of which is from “gay” writers and historians and most of the rest from unimpeachable mainsteam sources, including many who lived through the Nazi era and several who knew Hitler and his homosexual buddies personally.

    Btw, the book, which is co-authored by Orthodox Jewish researcher Kevin Abrams, says very little about the Holocaust, none of it “revisionist.”

  4. Monkismo said on May 7th, 2009 at 12:03am #

    Mr. Lively–

    Most of the child abuse that takes place is committed by self-proclaimed religious conservative heterosexuals like yourself. Religious nonsense doesn’t prevent the Southern Baptists from having the highest divorce rate in the country, nor does a high per capita rate of church attendance keep the poor from having half their children out of wedlock.

    The same Old Testament in the same Bible you base your bigotry on was also used to deny human rights to blacks and to deny rights to women. Do you believe those forms of social progress were also wrong because they violated “God’s will” as state in the “revealed Word of God?”

    The same Old Testament in the same Bible which you think gives you authority to judge homosexuality endorsed a man selling his own daughter into slavery and a believer killing his own family members for challenging his faith. Are these moral tenets which you also believe should be forced on our society?

    As a straight and happily married man myself, I think the reason gay marriage and homosexuality are so threatening to the religious right is that they prove that marriage can be about love between two equals, instead of the loveless business arrangements and breeding agreements that many religious marriages are. It reveals the empty marriages of gold-diggers and misogynists for what they are.

  5. Monkismo said on May 7th, 2009 at 12:10am #

    And your historical revisionism is an exercise in denial, like that of other Christian conservatives who call Hitler an atheist or an occultist, and link evolutionary theory to his atrocities.

    Hitler was an outspoken Christian who declared that he was doing God’s work, even in reference to his genocide against the Jews, which was just the worst incarnation of the Christian anti-Semitism that had permeated European society for hundreds of years. Nazi troops wore belt buckles that proclaimed “Gott Mit Uns” (God is With Us). Hitler was photographed going to Church, praying, and meeting with church leaders. High church officials were photographed giving the Nazi salute while wearing their vestal robes. The truth must hurt, but it is what it is.

  6. earthling said on May 8th, 2009 at 3:59pm #

    Monkismo’s words are truer than any revelation from any god.

  7. John J. Coghlan said on May 8th, 2009 at 9:15pm #

    Homosexuals don’t need to be cured, because they don’t have a disease. Some forms of ignorance and bigotry are a disease, and they are contagious. The uneducated, and the young are the most susceptible. Children should be kept away from the Christian Fundamentalists, because these people are intent on robing them of their minds.

    They seem to have a need to put a face on evil so that they can rally together and defeat it. Yesterday the devil was Godless Communism that was intent on taking over the world. Today their new boggy man is the gays.

    You can’t talk to these people because their ramblings defy all logic. They go on, and on about subjects that they have no knowledge about. They think they know everything about sexuality from a few lines in the bible, and from the opinions of other uninformed people in their flock. They dismiss, or will not even look at mountains scientific studies and research which has been done over many years. If you try to show them this, they will float off into their little fantasy world. They will start cursing, condemning, chastising, and thumping on their little bible.

    Homosexuality is a state of being for some people, not a membership in a club. In proportion to the population, their are not any more gay people in the world than their ever were at any time in history. Their numbers are not going to increase at all, due to civil rights or marriage rights legislation. Pedophilia, and homosexuality are two different things. Modest sexual activity, celibacy, and promiscuity are human variables which exist in all groups of people. Recent revelations of Christian Fundamentalists leaders being caught with their pants down in brothels, and public men’s rooms show that the faithful have their flings as well.

    Love and respect for one another is what is important, not who we love or how we love. Exclusion, mistrust, and hate are not Christian.

  8. cblood said on May 23rd, 2009 at 2:06pm #

    yeah a lot of nazis were gay (mostly closeted) and so are a lot of high up republicans. kind of weird to think about. doesn’t mean that homosexuality should be illegal or that christian groups should spend money sending anti-gay speakers to africa instead of for food and medicine for them.

    hilter was also a health food nut. so what.

  9. Jose Nungaray said on October 13th, 2009 at 2:17pm #

    Jesus came to this planet to save the lost. The Faith belongs to him. The gospel is his good news, not the church’s. The job of every true christian is to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. Jesus died, not the church. Jesus saves , not the church. Jesus forgives not the church. Jesus is the living Son of God . He is the only and true Messiah. So, let the church preach and Jesus will come to the rescue. Obey His commanment, “love one another with the love of God the Father”. Sincerely, Jose Nungaray

  10. Annie Ladysmith said on October 13th, 2009 at 10:31pm #

    It has been my steady observation that when a society has hit it’s peak ( per capita wealth), and is tumbling headfirst into the pit of decay, there is an increase in homosexual behavior accompanied with a universal disregard for the child, and resulting in an epidemic of sexual child abuse by perverts of all makes and parties. Condon this behavior AT YOUR OWN PERIL.

    And what is this rubbish about Eurpeans and RUSSIANS?????
    Like they know what to **** is going on in their shabby little huts, rubbing their hands together so as not to get frostbit! Yeah! Let me hear what the ******* Russians have to say about ANYTHING!

    O! and Berkowitz, or whatever your name is, you can find some ‘Christain’ to feed to the lions, it’s all the rage, and there’s plenty of feeble-minded ones to victimize, but in the end, that is what you are doing, finding a scapegoat to vilify, and thereby justify, your own little grubby, near-sighted belief-system. You are a big Ashzenazi ZERO! Why don’t you move to Moscow I understand they do a lot of homo porn there, it’ll be right up your alley.