The head of the fringe-right Houston Area Pastor Council has just published a new screed attacking politicians and others who support equal rights for gay people. But Dave Welch — who isn’t shy about promoting his ties to elected state officials, including the governor — reserves his most vile rhetoric for politicians and other people who are gay, and his contempt for Houston Mayor Annise Parker is especially clear.
The subject of Welch’s new diatribe was this past weekend’s Pride Parade in Houston. That annual event in cities across the country marks the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York, which sparked the modern gay rights movement.
Welch’s hit piece includes heated criticism of candidates, elected officials and representatives of the Houston police and fire departments who participated in the city’s Pride Parade. Addressing “pastors and Christian men of greater Houston,” Welch highlights the participation of Parker, the city’s openly lesbian mayor elected by voters last fall:
“It was OUR failure to stand in the gap that allowed the election of a sodomite who has now proven (remember cross dressing men in the women’s restrooms?) that her lifestyle IS her public policy agenda. It is not OUR duty to see that we redress this grievance by assuring we choose leaders of faith, character and virtue to provide moral leadership rather than amoral depravity.”
Welch joined other religious-right leaders last fall in warning Houston voters of a “gay takeover” of City Hall if Parker were elected mayor. Their coordinated anti-gay smear campaign failed miserably, however.
It might be easy to dismiss Welch as just a fringe, right-wing gadfly if he were not connected to various high-level politicians and policy-makers in Texas. Those connections, unfortunately, make him an influential fringe, right-wing gadfly.
Last year, for example, Welch’s group hosted Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Attorney General Greg Abbott, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, and state Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright at a so-called “Pastors Policy Conference” in Austin. The Pastor Council billed the event (which was closed to the press) as an occasion in which “the state’s political leaders are convening behind the city walls with pastors who are willing to engage our leaders on behalf of Texas families and our God.” Around the same time, Welch wrote an Internet essay in which he attacked people he labeled as “Christians in Name Only” because he didn’t approve of their political and faith convictions.
Welch’s new anti-gay diatribe continues his theme of viciously attacking the faith of people he opposes:
“By the way, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union were also in the parade – again. The common denominator of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender movement, the pro-death, pro-abortion movement and the anti-religious legal attack dogs is demand for freedom from the ‘tyranny’ of Christianity and its ‘restraints.'”
For Welch, faith is a weapon for bludgeoning political opponents and dividing voters. And in his intolerant mind, anyone who believes that gay and lesbian people should be treated with dignity or wants to defend the reproductive rights of women can’t possibly be people of faith and especially not Christians. We wonder: are Gov. Perry, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, General Abbott, Commissioner Patterson and Justice Wainwright still proud of sharing the stage with Welch last year?
30 thoughts on “Group’s Leader: Houston Mayor a ‘Sodomite’”
Law of Inverse Attribution: Brag about your weakest virtue, bllame with your strongest vice.
Law of Inverse Relevance: Spend 80% of one’s time over the most trivial issues, 20% over the most important.
Every self proclaimed hero, is somebody else’s bastard.
After a while one can get the subtext between the lines.
See? This is why the Lord is smiting Texas with the first hurricane of the year. God is warning/punishing Texas that it has lost it’s moral compass in regards to pretty much everything.
I’m a conservative and can’t stand these sanctimonious, intolerant religious groups. Forboy1965, go sacrifice a goat or something. Don’t pretend to have any special wisdom for the rest of us.
We think Forkboy1965 was just being facetious.
I very enthusiastically sarcastically agree with Forkboy.
. . . wait, what?
Lesbians are sodomites? But I thought . . .
I’m so confused.
Welch sounds a lot like Pastor Ted Haggard before he was caught doing dope with a rent boy.
I’m beginning to wonder about the utility of AFN. It seems TFN is more interested in publicizing comments by nuts and wackos than promulgating items of real substance. I am forgoing my TFN membership; I get better news from Slate, and the New York Times.
Well, we hate to see you go W Rubink, but we do think we provide a lot of substance on here. Recently, we reported about the court’s decision against the Institute for Creation Research, the new Texas Republican Party platform, the split among Roman Catholics on the new health care law and Gov. Perry’s silence about what the State Board of Education is doing. We also provided the most comprehensive coverage of the State Board of Education’s revision of social studies and science standards the last two years — far more substantive and detailed than what was available in the mainstream media. That’s just to name a few examples. But we also think it’s substantive to note what our elected officials and their supporters have to say about public policy issues, including when what they say betrays their extremism. One example of how what we’re doing is making a difference: we believe exposing that extremism is already helping shift the State Board of Education closer to the center with the recent electoral defeat of Don McLeroy and Cynthia Dunbar’s decision not to run for re-election. Moreover, Texas lawmakers have begun focusing on ways to rein in the state board’s authority. We plan to keep up the pressure going forward. We hope you’ll support us.
I meant ‘TFN”
I think the lack of interest, the neglect, that responsible adults in Texas demonstrated to the TSBOE that led to its hijacking by a cadre of wingnuts is exactly why we need to pay attention to any and all crackpots who have a sufficient level of exposure and
power to exert leverage on our civil society, before they become a major obstacle to progress, rather than just a nuisance.
It was probably me. My incessant posts have corrupted TFN with negativism, smallishness, and fruitcake envy. I apologize (biting my tongue with crossed fingers).
Keep it up, TFN. No better way to fight the religious radicals than to expose their insanity.
Dave Welch said: “Houston citizens’ tax dollars, elected officials, and emergency service personnel reveling in a festival of sexual behavior that would shock most people – and should. There is no shortage of video materials to graphically illustrate what this lifestyle and agenda are really about. However, I felt it important that pastors and Christian men of greater Houston see that this is happening in our city, on our watch and now with the formal, official blessing of our mayor, so I drove to Montrose armed with video camera.”
1) Wait a minute? How does he know there is no shortage of video materials to graphically illustrate what this lifestyle and agenda are all about? Does he mean boys doing boys and girls doing girls in porn movies? It occurs to me that you would have had to watch a whole bunch of them in first person to know that there is no shortage. I think he needs to explain that in more detail.
2) How does a sex act suddenly become a lifestyle. Does this mean that porking your wife is a lifestyle? I’ve seen “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” It shows an awful lot of huge houses, fancy cars, and bathtubs as big as swimming pools. I must confess that I never saw any sex acts in those episodes. So Dave, write me back and tell me how a sex act is a lifestyle. Have you and your wife stumbled onto some sexual secret that the rest of us should know about?
Oops. Gotta go. My wife is out of town tonight, and Bruce is coming over to watch TV.
Never mind. Cancel that. Fruit………………………………………………………………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, what is sodomy exactly? I thought I knew but although I am far from an expert on things lesbian it has never been my impression that this is a primary sexual act for female lovers (although listen, if it is I surely don’t give a s***). Hell, I thought it took at least one man to have sodomy.
Anyway, I think that having Perry attached to this lune could be a real coup to get out the gay votes in Houston, Dallas, and Austin, and maybe tip the vote for Bill White. People have got to learn to attack these people blow for blow in the quest to beat back The Crazy (I’ve come to believe that crazy is an actual preexisting archetype).
So he’s a fundamentalist, evangelical preacher obsessed with other people’s sex lives, hysterical about the threat these lifestyles pose to Christian morality.
How gay can you get?
He could be a interior decorating aficianado of the Westminster Dog Show and the opera, be a charter member of the Rue Paul as well the John Waters fan club, have all of Rock Hudson’s movies on dvd, and have a lifesize cut out of Liberace in his front hallway and not come across as any more gay.
AN interior dec. afic…
Don’t worry about Rube. I’ll triple my annual donation to cover his sorry membership.
What we have in Welch is nothing short of rampant bigotry. “I’m not a bigot, I just hate – fill-in-the-blank.” I hear it more and more. My response has become short and sweet: STFU, you’re stupidity is giving me an aneurism.
That goes for you, too, Dunbar!
Forkboy has it wrong. Taking the Lord’s name in vain is a serious no-np which accounts for the first hurricane of the season being God’s vote of no confidence on the vanity in the rulings of SBOE.
The nuts and wackos are beginning to crawl out from under rocks like cockroaches. Some of them have worked their way up into positions of authority, or have great influence on the weak minded. We must be aware of these people and know what they are up to. As seen in the Texas school boards incredibly asinine decisions, these nuts and wackos can have an impact on the lives of sensible people.
Well, I told you folks about the two stick-bundle prophecies that came to me from the Lord in 2006 and 2008. Basically, I was told that the Republican Party, American conservatives, and their Religious Right toadies would be decimated in the elections—and they were. The feel of the prophecy was that this decimation was a good and happy thing that was well deserved by those on the receiving end.
I have received another prophetic message within the past 6 months, but it was not as detailed and powerful as the stick bundle visions, which were visually very graphic and intense. This one came as what the Bible calls “a still small voice.” It was a simple little message—calmly stated. At the time when it came, I was thinking about the Republican Party, Tea Party people, and Religious Right, how they had been smitten in the 2006 and 2008 elections, and how it appeared that they were beginning to surge back again towards the election this fall. I clearly felt uneasy about it. Then the still small voice intervened and said, “Don’t you worry about them. I’m not finished with them by a long shot. Just you wait and see.”
That was it folks. It happened just like that. I have received these visions off and on most of my life—never practiced any occult stuff, never sought out visions, and never tried to be psychic. They just come out of nowhere when I am sitting around minding my own business—and they come true. That is they scary part. They come true. My wife and I, who are both Christians, know that these messages are from the Lord. She has them too sometimes, and we ended up getting married in a most improbable way that was a direct result of a message that my wife received 30+ years ago.
Now, from these messages and visions, all I know is WHAT is going to happen. WHY it is going to happen is God’s department. Anything beyond that would be pure speculation on my part. However, I will speculate. My speculation is that the Republican Party, American conservatives, and the Religious Right decided to do what Pharoah did after the 2006 and 2008 elections. You folks remember what Pharoah did (Cytocop and Beverly do). That’s right. He did not take in the message from the Lord’s plagues on Egypt and instead HARDENED HIS HEART. The message to the far right fruitcakes in 2006 and 2008 was this. God was tired of the way they had been treating the least among us (poor, sick, oppressed, hurting, etc.). He was also upset about the politicization of the church. The church is Christ’s bride—not Mitch McConnell’s. Husbands do not like it when their bride is hijacked to a rogue stranger’s bed, and the husband comes gunning for him eventually. I would also speculate that the Lord is tired of the Republican Party, American conservatives, and the Religious Right claiming to be his best buddy while making him LOOK STUPID in front of a hurting world with creation science, ID, the Texas SBOE, and outright heresies against the church like Christian reconstructionism, dominionism, theonomy, and all of this other man-contrived crap they have invented over the past 30-50 years. They may be standing next to Jesus and saying, “Hey, see me standing next to the BIG GUY. He’s with me.” However, I think the jury is still way out on whether He is with them—way out for a long spell.
You all remember it don’t you—the hardening of the fruitcake heart. It came when the far right fruitcakes decided that they lost the 2006 and 2008 elections because they had not been CONSERVATIVE ENOUGH. Therefore, rather than hearken to the message from the Lord, let up on their nonsense, and be merciful to the unfortunate, they decided instead to fix their perceived plight by tripling and quadrupling their hard-hearted fruitcakeness. Obama’s election was a miracle and a respite from suffering—provided by the Lord in the midst of a very dark storm churned up by the fruitcakes. This current oil spill is another piece of their dark storm. What happens this fall in the election is beyond my ability to predict, and the prophetic message this time was not about the election this fall—not at all. The Republican Party, American conservatives, and Religious Right may do quite well in the election—but that will not release them from the message I received. Election or no election, the Lord is coming after them with a baseball bat as big as a utility pole, and he is going to smash their heads silly with it—because they dared to harden their hearts in the face of his clear and unequivocal messages to them in 2006 and 2008. A hard rain’s a gonna fall—a mighty hard rain.
While writing this message, I had another vision. The vision was a gnarled old oak tree with spreading branches, like you see on old southern lawns near the center of small towns. The leaves had fallen and the vision was stark. Mitch McConnell was hanging from the tree dead—with a rope around his neck. Like I said, they just come from out of nowhere. It may be that the far right fruitcake’s heart-hardened policies drive our country into bankruptcy, depression, and armed revolution. Only time will tell. Based on the past track records for my prophetic messages, I recommend buying the next steamboat ticket out of Dodge. The next five years are going to be mighty rough. The fruitcakes in this oven are about to be smashed and badly burned, and I fear that all of us will feel the heat from it in some uncomfortable way.
Wow, Charles, that’s a powerful essay you wrote. And brillianty written, may I say.
I’ve had similar visions. I foresaw disaster in Iran when Jimmy Carter allowed the Shah to enter the United States for medical treatment. I didn’t know exactly what would happen as a result but I knew it would be spectacular.
Likewise, when Pres. Reagan ordered the Marines to Lebanon, my vision was even more vivid: I immediately saw U.S. flags at half-staff.
The correlation between the Israelites and Pharoah with what’s happening now is a brilliant analogy. The Biblical story has always baffled me because God is working at cross-purposes against Him/Her/Itself: trying to get someone to do something while at the same time trying to prevent it. That’s what I call a “conflict of interest.” However, I’m no Torah scholar so I should leave the midrashic commenting for those who are.
Perhaps God was trying to show the Israelites the nuttiness of Pharoah but I’m confused because I’m sure they had already gotten the message long before Moses showed up on the scene. So if that’s what God is doing now – hardening the hearts of the RNC and the Religious Wrong to show the world how whacked-out they are – maybe the message will work this time, thanks in part to the multiple instant news services of today; Faux News notwithstanding.
I agree the next 5 years are likely to be really rough, the outcome of which may determine the course of history for a long time to come. And yes, I AM keeping it on the back-burner of my mind the possibility of fleeing to another country. It will be the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do as I really LOVE the United States of America. But if the Religious Wrong and the teabaggers and their RNC puppets continue their destructive course, a lot of us – especially those of us who are not Christian – may have no choice but to leave – before it’s too late (a la Nazi Germany).
In conclusion, Charles, I hope your vision comes true in the sense that the November elections of this year and 2012 bring an end to this rising conservative tsunami. I hope your visions aren’t just wishful thinking. Mitch McConnell hanging from a tree….now THAT would be something to see. Him along with John Boehner and John Cornyn and…. OK, so I’ll accept that your vision is probably metaphoric rather than literal. Although if the Republicans keep up their outrageous treasonous policies (such as continuing to deny funding for the unemployed!), those visions might actually come true…and not just metaphorically speaking.
“In conclusion, Charles, I hope your vision comes true in the sense that the November elections of this year and 2012 bring an end to this rising conservative tsunami. I hope your visions aren’t just wishful thinking. Mitch McConnell hanging from a tree….now THAT would be something to see. Him along with John Boehner and John Cornyn and…. OK, so I’ll accept that your vision is probably metaphoric rather than literal. Although if the Republicans keep up their outrageous treasonous policies (such as continuing to deny funding for the unemployed!), those visions might actually come true…and not just metaphorically speaking.”
Just a clarification. I didn’t say they are going to lose the elections this fall. That was not part of the message. In fact, I very much expect them to win this fall. The crux of the message was that it will not matter if they win or lose this fall. Either way, God is not finished by a long shot with taking them down. The 2006 and 2008 elections were just the overture to the opera. If I had to guess right now, they will win the election this fall—just in time to be the Congress that inherits a double-dip recession. They will try to stave it off by cutting taxes for rich people and totally ignoring the suffering of the little people like you and me, and it will drive away what little progress the Obama administration has been able to make on the economy—after that—what the French revolutionists called “Le Deluge.”
n. pl. blas·phe·mies
a. A contemptuous or profane act, utterance, or writing concerning God or a sacred entity.
b. The act of claiming for oneself the attributes and rights of God.
2. An irreverent or impious act, attitude, or utterance in regard to something considered inviolable or sacrosanct.
Aren’t prophecies blasphemy? I think so.
One cannot know the mind of God. It is unknowable. And for mortals, inscrutable.
Judging others in the name of God is arrogance and unauthorized.
You don’t have a need to know what is in the mind of God.
Unless there is more than one god, who compete in the physical world, in which case God is not almighty nor omniscient.
I don’t know Gordon. Assorted people have been getting messages from God, seeing visions, etc. for centuries. If it were blasphemy, we would have to retire most of the Old Testament. To have the mind of God or know they mind of God is one thing. Getting a phone call from him might be a little different. Chew on this vision for a while Gordo:
I don’t get visions, phone calls or words in the head attributable to any other than my own ravings. I get the rod and staff approach which does in fact steer me in ways I wouldn’t otherwise have taken, often with resentment at each bounce off the next wall.
Resistence is futile, and delays painful. The path of least resistance or most logical isn’t there. After all, I am only here for the ride.
“Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel,
Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel,
The future’s not certain and the end is always near…”
I said I’ve had visions. If one prefers to call them hunches, hallucinations, delusions, a raving….whatever, I don’t care. Your guess as to what they are is as good as mine. What I have NEVER said is that they come from God, nor have I EVER claimed any of God’s attributes. Sometimes, Gordon, I have no idea where you get your ideas from. Dismiss the origin of mine as wishful thinking if you want to….or the result of having eaten too much chocolate; I am prone to do that.
I understand prophecies to be blasphemous if they (1) denounce God, or (b) denounce or contradict Torah. However, that’s the Jewish definition. I have no idea how anyone else defines blasphemy. I don’t see where my “ravings” have denounced God or contradicted Torah since they have nothing to do with those subjects.
As for trying to figure out the mind of God, that’s what we do in Torah study – if one equates Torah with God. I understand Christians reject Torah but, in Judaism, Torah is our source that provides us a common religious language). We usually spend the entire hour discussing one verse; in fact, we rarely get beyond one verse. Rabbi distributes copies of rabbinic commentary, and we discuss those too. Everyone has their own ideas as to why a certain verse is in the Bible and is encouraged to share their ideas. Why is it there? Why do you think caused it to be there? What might have been the problem that the verse is trying to solve? A commonly asked question is: ‘What’s bugging Rashi?’ (“Rashi,” who lived in the 11th century, is considered the greatest Torah commentator). Discussion and debate are VERY Jewish activities and seem to be uniquely Jewish activities. We don’t consider this blasphemy or claiming God-like attributes or judgeing others or anything of the sort. I can understand why Christians would consider it so, Christianity not being open to interpretation or discussion or brain-storming. You either accept it as is or you don’t. But for Jews it’s considered a commandment and a blessing to study Torah. And studying Torah doesn’t mean mere rote memorization alone but also discussion. I understand Christianity to be solitary study in historical terms with monks, etc. But Judaism has always been very community-based.
Charles, sorry for my misunderstanding your writing. I guess I totally missed the boat. Yes, I agree there is going to be a conservative (Republican or Tea Party) tsunami this November. I am just so hoping I’m wrong. But I very much doubt it. I’d bet money on it.
I do not agree with the “conservative tsunami” idea. Nationally, there may be a pickup for the GOP, due to disgruntlement.
However, it seems that the polls change very rapidly, and right now the polls reflect generalized ,unfocused dissatisfaction rather than, “I really prefer this candidate over that candidate because what he’s saying makes sense, and I can trust him to deliver.”
Also, I think people have been brainwashed into making a knee-jerk assessment of the economy on the basis of the Dow rather than on significant other indicators. “They say” that unemployment numbers are the crux, but I think that only matters for those that are unemployed. Everyone else makes a simplistic calculation based on the simplest data. If the Dow is climbing before the election, the Dems. will have a rebound. The decisions that people make at the polls will be different than the annoyance they express right now.
Everybody wants every other Congressman to be conservative about earmarks, not their own. They want him to protect their pork.
When the BP well is finally capped, they’ll start looking at the admin.’s response differently. Etc.
Visions and “feelings” and stuff are great, but, “we’ll see”.
So far, as far as I know, all the “Christian” visionaries , Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, alive during this period have routinely and without exception been wrong in their predictions. However, they have raked in a lot of the old “do-re-mi.”
Visions, burning bushes, and other phantasms like St Joan’s orders from God to save France, are more likely the conclusions of a mind working very hard in background mode. Western philosophy often holds that the mind “thinks” by the manipulation of symbols, when in fact that accounts for less than ten percent of mental energy,
The bulk of thinking is multi-dimensional finding solutions defying definition at the concious level. Visions, messages, et al, are the minds way to present findings in a manner more familiar to the user. In short, conclusions are often made by the brain when the body is asleep and prsenting it’s results in whatever manner the individual can accept. Joan of Arc likely figured out the danger France was in, and via subconcious means delivered to her the necessary propaganda, and knowledge she needed to save France,
It means that the brain is a very powerful tool that is capable of using convential symbols to espress the fantastic.
. It means that people who get visions have a very active mind which need marketable means of expression.
That doesn’t mean that God wasn’t involved