Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« O They Will Know We Are Conser... | Questions for Mark Penn? »

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

“The Latvian Connection”

posted by on October 10 at 9:02 AM

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report explores to “the furious anti-gay movement in Latvia, [which] has spilled over into the United States.” Ken Hutcherson is prominently featured. Read it here.

RSS icon Comments

1

This makes me ill.

Posted by monkey | October 10, 2007 9:23 AM
2

During the past year, the Watchmen have met twice in the United States, first in Sacramento, then in Bellevue, Wash. They gathered to strategize against same-sex marriage and build a political organization to fight "gay-straight alliances" in public schools and push for the boycott of textbooks that mention homosexuality in any context other than total condemnation.

Good Lord. All I can say is...Alexey Ledyaev is kind of hot. Sigh. Shame.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 10, 2007 9:25 AM
3

Man, that is scary. I did appreciate the comic relief of this, though:

"At 56, Ledyaev is still youth-oriented enough to promote his vision of global theocracy through elaborate, large-scale Christian rock operas that Ledyaev writes, directs and stars in, and which are replete with lasers, smoke machines, and spandex-clad actors in ghoulish makeup. One of the rock operas, which young Russian-speaking anti-gay activists promote on video-sharing websites, features a hero character wearing a tuxedo battling men in black tights armed with tiki torches. Over heavy-metal guitar riffs, a military-like chorus sings of 'victory over the gays.'"

Posted by Levislade | October 10, 2007 9:39 AM
4

They should do that rock opera in Seattle, it would totally fly as satire.

Posted by Katelyn | October 10, 2007 9:44 AM
5

I used to snicker at Prayer Warrior posts, but now I'm angry. That Ken Hutch has thousands of supporters cheering his association with these violent thugs is deeply disturbing. In their eyes: Gays = anti-Christ and need to be eradicated.

There is nothing "hot" about these criminals.

Posted by Polka Party | October 10, 2007 9:50 AM
6

Yeah, I'll bet Ian at Re-bar is all over that one...

Posted by COMTE | October 10, 2007 9:50 AM
7

Yikes. I've been thinking of the bizarre Rev., Dr., Special Envoy Hutch as a misguided kook and a blowhard, but I had never really thought of him as directly dangerous. This is scary shit. I'm suddenly finding Prayer Warrior a lot less funny.

Posted by SDA in SEA | October 10, 2007 9:59 AM
8

Oh my god -- this is horrible. I'm in Canada, but this kind of extremism is WAY too close to home. Christianity in America is out of control. These assholes need to be STOPPED.

Posted by Irena | October 10, 2007 10:13 AM
9

And how do you propose to STOP the Christians? We could write a rock opera about it...

Posted by Katelyn | October 10, 2007 10:24 AM
10

@8

Just as a pedophile who preys on little boys is not representative of gayness, these local and imported hate groups are not representative of Christianity. They are groups of violent bigots who seek to wrap up their fear and hatred in the cloak of religion. They are hypocrites who claim that Jesus' message of love informs their hate.

Posted by Greg | October 10, 2007 10:27 AM
11

Deport the Mutha F** back to Latvia.

Posted by Dept of Homo security | October 10, 2007 10:28 AM
12

But Greg @10 - there's no founding text of gayness that tells The Gays to prey on little boys. This is where your analogy breaks down.

Posted by Levislade | October 10, 2007 10:47 AM
13

Anti-Gay sentiment is an immigration issue!

Kill every mexican who can't landscape!

Posted by MC Confused | October 10, 2007 10:53 AM
14

it makes you sound like a bigot if you start chanting "go back to russia!" i don't think that is the correct response.

levislade, you have to twist the text to make it say you can just attack a man you suspect is gay. ask any random christian you find, and 99.9% will tell you as much. if you run into a fundiecrazy, they might tell you it's wrong, but even then it takes a special bunch to think attacking or killing is actually okay.

that said, christian leaders, conservative and liberal alike, really need to send a message that attacking gays is not okay. silence is often viewed as implied consent.

this makes me want someone to follow up on hutch's claims to be a special envoy of the white house. i do not want my government associated with this kind of hate. either hutch is guilty of a crime our government should take seriously, or someone in our government needs to be fired for granting a title to him.

Posted by infrequent | October 10, 2007 10:56 AM
15

@10, I completely agree with you that there are plenty of decent Christians, and I know they are as horrified by this as I am. What freaks me out is how extreme certain groups in the States can get, while using the Bible to back up their hateful actions. (And yes, I know it happens in Canada too, but not to this extent.)

And @9, as I said, I don't advocate stopping ALL Christians, just the psychotic ones. How? Swift law enforcement, education, awareness, activism -- any tools we can get (including Dan Savage's column, his books, and the Slog -- and hey, a rock opera can't hurt).

This kind of crap affects us all, and I take it really seriously. If anything good can come out of it, it's that maybe it will inspire more people to get active.

Posted by Irena | October 10, 2007 11:11 AM
16

Re: @14's

"that said, christian leaders, conservative and liberal alike, really need to send a message that attacking gays is not okay. silence is often viewed as implied consent."

Exactly.

Posted by Irena | October 10, 2007 11:17 AM
17

Jesus' message is kind of inconsistent on the compassion thing, so it's hard to tell. In one passage he challenges he who has not sinned to cast the first stone at an adulteress (thereby making it impossible for anyone with a sense of compassion and integrity to 'cast stones'). (Jn 8:7, and it should be noted this passage's inclusion in the canon is somewhat controversial as it is not included in the earliest texts.) But then he'll turn around and make a fig tree wither and die because it was his WHIM to eat figs out of season, and the tree would not comply. In Matthew's version, Jesus tells the disciples that they too can wither noncompliant fruit trees and move mountains on their whim, if they have faith and do not doubt. (Mt 21:21)Just one example.

So really, the New Testament (let alone the Bible as a whole) is not very clear on how to treat that which infuriates us.

Posted by Katelyn | October 10, 2007 11:20 AM
18

kayelyn -- um... i'm a bit confused. are you calling homosexuals noncompliant fig trees? i really thought you were above that sort of name-calling.

Posted by infrequent | October 10, 2007 11:23 AM
19

Haha, no, I personally am not calling homosexuals noncompliant fig trees. Just saying that's how a conservative Christian might view a gay person who is "unwilling" to change his/her sexual orientation to please Christendom. With faith, the Christian should be able to make that dude wither! (Or so it would seem according to that passage.)

Posted by Katelyn | October 10, 2007 11:35 AM
20

@12 There is, in fact, no central text for gays at all. Unless you count Plato's Symposium, also known as "The Joy of Pederasty."

Oh, and as for the Bible's stance on gay bashing? Yeah, it says to stone the gays, right there in Leviticus with instructions for how to make an animal sacrifice, exhortations not to eat the fat of an animal killed by wild beasts, prohibitions of eating shellfish, wearing clothing made from more than one type of fabric, and touching anything which has been sat on by a menstruating woman, etc. I guarantee you that modern Christians, even the crazy Latvians, ignore about 95% of this book. But for some reason they leap on the passage that says homosexuality is an abomination. Convenient, huh?

So yes, you can cherry-pick the Bible to support homophobia, or slavery, or nationalism, or an absurdly prescientific notion of the solar system. You can pull quotes and dance your way to all sorts of interesting conclusions. Doing that, however, makes you a Pharisee, someone more interested in using dogma as a prop than in doing justice.

Posted by Greg | October 10, 2007 11:41 AM
21

Jesus kissed men on the mouth!!! This is an outrage

Posted by MC Confused | October 10, 2007 11:42 AM
22

Christians outside of the post-industrial West are, on the whole, FAR more conservative about social issues than their US/Canadian counterparts. This is surprising to many US Christians, who would like to think they have reached the epitome of Biblical faith-based values. For instance, the Anglican church in Africa was FURIOUS at the Brits for deciding to ordain women. And in turn, even more infuriated by the Episcopalians here ordaining openly gay men and women. We are talking about churches in the southern hemisphere which surpass even the sincere US Pentecostals in speaking in tongues, doing spiritual warfare with demons on a daily basis, and severity in dealing with sin in their community.

Christianity is MILD in the US compared to the rest of the world. Here though, the mild Christianity has permeated politics to a very dangerous extent, and that's what scary.

Posted by Katelyn | October 10, 2007 11:58 AM
23

The reference to a conspiracy of Gays and Muslims to control the world is the line that jumps out at me. Can there be a bolder lie? Do countries like Iran, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia hang, stone, and beat homosexuals to disguise our supossed alliance? These people are so profoundly bigoted that there is no sense in trying to seek dialogue. These are rabid animals.

Posted by gay elitist | October 10, 2007 12:10 PM
24

Do you suppose they have parties and read from the bible while they fill bags with shit? Isn't throwing shit what monkeys do? If they are throwing shit, isn't that an argument for evolution? They just haven't evolved past the "throwing" stage.

Posted by jamesb | October 10, 2007 12:12 PM
25

You want to know scary... The "watchmen" are meeting here... at the Lynnwood Convention Center on October 19, 20 and 21.

http://www.watchmenonthewalls.com/issue363.html

Some real winners like Hutch, Ledvaev, Scott Lively and others will be there. Seems like they're expecting an attendance of 700 or so.

http://www.lynnwoodcc.com/web/do/event/list

I want to organize a picket.

Posted by Dave Coffman | October 10, 2007 12:14 PM
26

@23

Did you miss the whole press whoring thing between Ahmadinnersready and Chavez undeer the flag of "Montheism"?

Buckle up, the fucking prophethuggers are gearing up for a rampage.

And you name is super gay and I don't mean gay in a cool way, homonazi.

Posted by Adolph Hetero (Now Who's Winning The "I'm Stupid" Contest?) | October 10, 2007 12:18 PM
27

@25

Ooooh! Lynnwood!? Looks like they're trying to avoid a protest.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 10, 2007 12:37 PM
28

Um, am I the only one to see the disturbing similarities between this group of bible-thumping bigots and the postings of a certain Darren D. Misklashuvacis ?

Posted by MirrorMan | October 10, 2007 1:16 PM
29

@22

I take your point in a general sense, but come on -- there is nothing MILD about an organized group of "Christian" hate-mongers beating a gay man to death in public! That's my whole point -- if Christian extremism was 'mild' in America before, it sure isn't now. What more evidence do you need?

@25: Good for you, and good luck.

Posted by Irena | October 10, 2007 1:27 PM
30

@25 Dave I'm with you there. I wonder if forwarding on the article from the SLPC to the Lynnwood Convention Center would do any good. For that matter I wonder if forwarding that same article on the Lake Washington School District about the Antioch Bible Church's use of the Lake Washington H.S. gym would be useful. There has to be a way of using these groups own weapons against them. I'm sure that the group down in Sacramento is walking a very fine line so that no one gets deported, etc..., but they have to trip up somewhere.

Posted by Sweetie | October 10, 2007 1:57 PM
31

I spoke with Maggie who is the secretary to the mayor of Lynnwood and a very nice lady. She was kind of shocked that Lynnwood would be hosting a hate group so she kindly asked me to forward her the links on The Watchmen on the Wall, the article from the Southern Law Poverty Center, etc... I have also contacted the Lynnwood Convention Center directly asking why they are hosting the group. In addition I have contacted the Seattle Times to ask if they would be covering this gathering of hate mongers with a special guest appearance by Ken Hutcherson. If Hutcherson could be ambushed by the press and asked about his involvement with a group that has been implicated in hate crimes and a murder then it might just be possible to start his downfall. I would urge all of you out there who find this group to be totally repugnant to start contacting the Lynnwood Convention Center to complain about their hosting of the group. Contact the press as well to see if they'll be covering the gathering. If the meeting of skinheads down in Portland last week can get such negative press so can this. Let's use this groups weapons against them in a positive way.

Posted by Sweetie | October 10, 2007 3:08 PM
32

I have also contacted the Lynnwood Convention Center directly asking why they are hosting the group.

Same. Everybody should.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 10, 2007 3:16 PM
33

Yep, have done the same. I also have us looking at asking Homeland Security why they would let in Ledyaev given he has been banned from other countries in the past for his hate speech. Then again, there was that photo op with him, Hutch and Jay Hein of the Office of Faith Based Initiatives at the White House.

Posted by Dave Coffman | October 10, 2007 4:29 PM
34

This is terrifying and I'm calling... anybody have an easy list of numbers they can make available on here?

Posted by Dono | October 10, 2007 4:30 PM
35

Is the Stranger sending anyone to this event?

Posted by Greg | October 10, 2007 4:31 PM
36

Here is the translation of the text (which was in Russian) from their website:

In the USA soon there will pass(will take place) conference Guards on walls

In October in the USA the fourth will pass(take place) under the account(invoice) правозащитная conference Guards on walls . Movement Guards on walls has already born real fruits on protection of Christian values in the former USSR, the Europe and the USA. Now this movement continues to develop the activity in America.

Правозащитная conference will pass(take place) in Seattle from October, 19 till October, 21st state of Washington. Christian speakers will take part(participate) in the program with a world(global) name: Alexey Ledyaev - the pastor of the Riga church New generation , Scott Лайвли - Christian апологет and the legal expert, known pastor Kenneth Khatcherson, preacher Dzhzef Fyuten and the owner of media-group " The Speaker " Vlad Kusakin. You can see the detailed information on a place and time of carrying out of conference in a photo gallery on the right or under this news.

Conference is devoted to protection traditional Christian and moral values which because of liberalization of customs are under threat of extinction, - makes comments on importance of carrying out of conference Vlad Kusakin. that Christians did not see threat from the gay-communities, already existence and development of christianity is under threat of .

Christian правозащитное movement Guards on walls has begun the active work about one year back, and for this time has proved as the influential organization which defends religious freedom and Christian values worldwide. Guards on walls operatively react to infringements of human rights, and and the public the attention of power structures draws to the arisen problem.

" Guards on walls is a similarity of Christian trade unions which protect and represent the rights of church and Christians, - the known legal expert speaks Scott Лайвли. - Who has organized the scale protest нелегалов from South America? - their trade unions. Who has lifted a wave of youth actions(shares) in France? - their trade unions. Who has organized the gay-parades? - their trade unions. The problem(task) of trade unions is reduced to studying a situation, monitoring of accepted laws, and also to immediate reaction in case of infringement of the rights. Legal, political, information and administrative resources are necessary for high-grade work ".

Basic principle of a social system is the right of citizens to awareness, on the one hand, and freedom of their self-expression fixed by the Constitution, with another. To play an active role in a life of the country, people should be politically correct and are informed.

" Guards on walls " spend scale actions at a level of city administrations with attraction of pastors, politicians, singers and musicians. Such conferences play also the positive role in dialogue of church with the state.

Under patronage of the organization Guards on walls were spent such actions(shares) as the Holiday of family in Riga, Day of family in Kiev Ukraine, protest actions against oppression of the Belarus church New life , at which authority wished to select a building, and also protests against legalization of unisex marriages(spoilage) in Sacramento, state of California and many other things.

You can see the detailed information on a place and time of carrying out of conference in a photo gallery on the right or under this news or receive by phone in the USA: 425-268-0211

Posted by Dave Coffman | October 10, 2007 4:35 PM
37

I did call the number listed on the site. It was answered by a person speaking with what appeared to be a Eastern European or Russian accent. He did not identify himself and it appeared to be a cell phone. I did ask whether there was an agenda and he said it was on the website but that it was in Russian. I asked if it was for all three days or if I should attend just one meeting; he indicated it was workshops and discussions on all these matters for all 3 days.

Posted by Dave Coffman | October 10, 2007 4:38 PM
38

@34 www.ci.lynnwood.wa.us/ is the best place to start. There are a ton of contact numbers and e-mail addresses on there. I would suggest contacting the Lynnwood Convention Center directly as well at www.lynnwoodcc.com (there is a contact link) as well as local press about this gathering. @35 While it would be great to see The Stranger there covering the event if it does end up happening the mainstream press needs to be there as well.

Posted by Sweetie | October 10, 2007 4:39 PM
39

@36 Dave getting that translated text to the City of Lynnwood would probably be helpful. They now have the Southern Law Center article so have a better idea of what the outfit is about. It would just be an added bonus to really get some traction on having Hutcherson linked with this group in the mainstream press. Is there any way of getting the INS involved in this? Maybe this Ledyaev guy could be busted for violating the terms of his visa.

Posted by Sweetie | October 10, 2007 4:43 PM
40

we've already seen this here...micah painter (attacker's: Vadim Samusenko, 21, David Kravchenko, 20, and Yevgeniy Savchak, 18)

Posted by J | October 10, 2007 4:43 PM
41

You're right, Irena, there's nothing mild about hate. Ever. Good point. (I do maintain that religion doesn't equal hatred, inherently, though.)

Auuugghh, Lynnwood! How the mighty have fallen! (Oh wait, Lynnwood never stood for much in the first place.)

Posted by Katelyn | October 10, 2007 5:30 PM
42

Katelyn, I agree with you. People will find all kinds of ways to justify actions that are based on fear and ignorance. And Christianity is regularly hijacked by these wackos. It isn't right, but there it is.

I just really, really don't want to see anyone else die at the hands of these creeps.

Posted by Irena | October 10, 2007 6:44 PM
43

@8 -- There are plenty of Ukies in Western Canada -- are they anti-gay as well?

There are tons of hot Slavic women in Sacramento, who came with their parents as religious refugees starting in the late 80s, just as the article says. Somehow their ancestors clung to fundamentalist Christianity, I think spread originally by American missionaries. I didn't know they were homophobic.

Posted by Borscht fever | October 10, 2007 10:41 PM
44

I haven't heard anything about any rabidly homophobic Eastern European Christians organizing here, but if they're holding meetings in Seattle, it's very possible that they're having an influence over the border. If so, it would likely be on a much smaller scale. As I said, we do have our share of extremists, and Stephen Harper IS Bush Lite, but even he would think twice before having one of these guys over for pancakes!

Posted by Irena | October 11, 2007 12:20 AM
45
Posted by wow | October 15, 2007 10:09 PM
46

just really, really want to see end OOOPPS www.nopride.lv

Posted by WOW | October 15, 2007 11:06 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).