Is the culture war going to turn into a shooting war?
No one knows. But in light of what some pro-family advocates have experienced lately, the question cannot be dismissed.
A gay activist recently used the Internet to suggest that a sniper target Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth (AFT), Illinois. LaBarbera’s home address was published on a lesbian blog, Pam’s House Blend, in January. A homosexual militant in South Dakota posted this message with it:
“It’s [LaBarbera’s home] across from a park in an area with cul de sacs … Snipers take note.”
“A lot of pro-family leaders have received death threats,” LaBarbera told Chalcedon. “The gays are the most intolerant special interest group in the nation.
“I trust in God to protect us. But we are taking precautions, and an example should be made of this guy. There are probably many others like him out there.”
LaBarbera has reported the incident to law enforcement, and a police investigation is in progress. He called the FBI first, “who directed me to call the Durham, North Carolina, police.” (The owner of the lesbian blog lives in Durham.) He has consulted an attorney who, he said, has advised him that the sniper threat made against him may have constituted a criminal offense.
The threat badly frightened his wife, LaBarbera told police.
The blogger, Pam Spaulding, said the threat was posted on her blog without her knowledge or consent. The message remained posted for almost a month, and was removed after LaBarbera made it public.
Spaulding has apologized to LaBarbera and his family.
“Probably she removed it after the police called her,” LaBarbera said. “I don’t know how you can run a blog and not know what’s being posted on it.”
The militant in South Dakota, Barry Wick, also apologized. Wick denied that he meant to make a real threat, saying he was only using “hyperbolic language … As a new member of Ms. Spaulding’s blog community, I got carried away with the atmosphere … I humbly ask your forgiveness.” AFT has published both apologies.
“While of course I’ll accept his apology,” LaBarbera said, “I believe that if he engaged in criminal acts, he should be prosecuted.”
The whole incident, he said, reveals “abject hatred and anti-Christian bigotry. I don’t know how seriously the police are taking it. But if I put something like that on my blog, threatening a gay activist, I’ll bet there would be an FBI agent on my doorstep in an hour.”
An Intimidation Campaign
LaBarbera’s experience is only one of many instances of militant homosexuals using the Internet to intimidate or threaten pro-family advocates and ordinary citizens.
“They’re very nasty,” said Evelyn Reilly, with the Massachusetts Family Institute. “We have one threat here that I’m going to talk to the FBI about.”
Reilly said she was not at liberty to reveal the particulars of the threat — which, she added, was not made against her personally. “But if our side did anything like this,” she said, “somebody would be in the can.”
The threats aren’t always physical, or specific. Sometimes the tactic of choice is general intimidation.
In 2005 a pair of militant homosexuals in Massachusetts vowed to publish on the Internet the names and addresses of everyone who signed a petition to ban court-ordered “gay marriage” in their state. They kept that promise, “outing” the signers on a website called knowthyneighbor.org.
“Many people were called and harassed about signing the petition,” Reilly said. “The gays used the threat of exposure to dissuade people from signing. They used automated phone calls, making people think their signatures had been stolen.
“I think some people were intimidated. Others got mad and went out of their way to sign. At the end, we broke all records in state history for signatures.”
At the end of 2006, the state legislature voted to put the ban on the ballot for a statewide referendum.
“Legislators who voted for the amendment got hateful and threatening emails,” Reilly said. “We also get plenty of hateful emails here at our office.”
Although the tactic failed in Massachusetts, Know Thy Neighbor tried it again in Florida last year, publishing the names and addresses of some 455,000 citizens who signed a defense-of-marriage petition.
A comment on the organization’s Massachusetts website reads, “[A]nyone who signs this awful petition has the right to receive such intimidation” (see http://knowthyneighbor.blogs.com/home/2005/09/test.html).
Know Thy Neighbor plans to “out” petition signers in Illinois this year (http://emllinoisreview.typepad.com/emllinoisreview/2006/06/how_well_do_you.html). Apparently the fact that tens of thousands of citizens have signed these petitions in spite of the intimidation campaign has not discouraged activists.
“I’m not afraid of these people,” Reilly said, “although I don’t know why. They just don’t scare me.”
“It’s not so much that I’m worried about myself,” LaBarbera said. “But the effect this could have on my wife and children — that has me extremely upset.”
Americans for Truth has posted a statement by a pro-family blogger, Clayton Cramer, who says:
“There is one, and only one, group of political activists that have ever made harassing phone calls to me (repeated calls at 6 a.m. with silence at the other end), made lewd phone calls to my children (who fortunately were small enough to be confused rather than shocked), tried to get me fired from a job, or threatened my safety with threats of violence” (http://americansfortruth.com/news/conservative-blogger-says-homosexual-activists-are-most-extreme.html). Since “the unrelenting campaign of harassment started in the early 1990s,” the blogger writes, “I started to regularly carry a gun because of it.”
A History of Hatred
Homosexual rage against Christians is nothing new. Writing in 1982, in his preface to The Institutes of Biblical Law, Vol. II, R. J. Rushdoony says, “[T]he comments on homosexuality [made in Vol. I, 1973] outraged many. No other aspect led to more intense (if covert) opposition, slander, and sheer venom … The homosexual clergy are sometimes great champions of love from the pulpit and savage practitioners of hatred on the sly.”
And introducing Volume III in 1999, “Writing The Institutes of Biblical Law, volumes I and II, certainly brought on me savage hostilities.”
Why should this be? Rushdoony explains: “The homosexual is marked by a deep hatred of God and man, which, while often concealed, comes readily to expressions.”
What has changed is that now these expressions of hate can be instantly made public over the Internet, reaching a much wider audience than ever before. What has not changed, Rushdoony says, is that homosexuality “is a central offense against God, and the essential burning out of man in his hatred of and war against God. (In Romans 1:27, ‘burned’ should be translated as ‘burned out.’)”
The homosexual has always played for very high stakes, and never more so than now, when he has a powerful political lobby. “The goal of ungodly sexuality is chaos,” Rushdoony writes. “Homosexuality, bestiality, and every other violation of God’s law have as their purpose the destruction of order, God’s order.”
The Gay Agenda
We should expect gay activists to react furiously when pro-family advocates work to deny them their dearest dream, the destruction of God’s order. The cause of homosexual behavior is sin. Why should we be surprised when an evil tree bears evil fruit? It would be surprising, even astounding, if gay activists pursued their quest to dominate society by being reasonable, charitable, and civil. It would be amazing if they “fought fair.” Lesbian Rosie O’Donnell’s anti-Christian tirades on television typify their usual approach.
The “gay rights” movement demands the radical redefinition of marriage and the family, the adoption of children by pairs of homosexuals, and the rewriting of the criminal code to make offenses against homosexuals — both real crimes, and offenses that exist primarily in the mind of the offended — subject to more serious penalties than offenses against non-homosexuals. It also demands the restriction of free speech and, finally, government interference in the free exercise of religion: especially Biblical Christian religion.
“Look at what these guys are saying,” LaBarbera said. “They don’t believe this is a free society.”
“Gay rights” is not compatible with our basic civil liberties. The gay agenda cannot be made to stick without abridging free speech or stifling the open profession of Christian religious principles. It’s no wonder at all that gay activists have tried, on their own, to impose these restrictions: they are impatient for the government to get around to it. The sin that drives their private behavior drives their political behavior, too.
We are waiting to see how seriously law enforcement takes these latest threats. Are they, in the language of the law, “real” or “sincere” threats, or simply an indulgence in intemperate language?
We cannot know for sure until one of the threats is actually carried out. For the victim, of course, that will be too late.
For now, it’s against the law to make terrorist threats, and we ought to insist that law enforcement officials take them seriously and act appropriately.
The one thing we cannot do is to surrender our families, our churches, and our public institutions to gay activists. But political activism by Christians can only be a stopgap measure. As we have seen in Massachusetts, this ceases to be productive as soon as the “gays” have more political muscle than the Christians — for instance, control of the teachers’ unions that fund and staff political campaigns. If we cannot ignore politics, neither can we allow ourselves to be sucked into and absorbed by politics.
Strong Christian faith, strong Christian families, strong Biblically faithful churches, and strong Christian communities will always be the best defense against the gays’ ambitions.
As this went to press, police in Rapid City, South Dakota, decided not to prosecute Barry Wick for his “Snipers, take note” reference to Peter LaBarbera’s home. Police told LaBarbera that the comment was “too vague” to constitute a credible threat of violence.
“We are still considering our options,” LaBarbera said. “We want to send a message to radical homosexual activists that there is zero tolerance for threats of violence or physical intimidation against people of faith (or anybody) who stands against the radical homosexual movement. We want the next pro-homosexual zealot to think long and hard before making a violent threat against a Christian.”
 R. J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, Vol. II: Law and Society (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1982), ix.
 R. J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, Vol. III: The Intent of the Law (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1999), ix.
 Vol. II, 636.
 R. J. Rushdoony, Revolt Against Maturity, 1987 edition, 66.
- Lee Duigon
Lee is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels and a contributing editor for our Faith for All of Life magazine. Lee provides commentary on cultural trends and relevant issues to Christians, along with providing cogent book and media reviews.
Lee has his own blog at www.leeduigon.com.