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Monday, February 25, 2008


posted by on February 25 at 11:25 AM

The Rev. Ken Hutcherson, everybody’s favorite anti-gay crusadin’ Christian, went off the deep end in a recent sermon, telling his flock at Antioch Bible Church that “God hates soft men” and “God hates effeminate men.” He continued, “If I was in a drugstore and some guy opened the door for me, I’d rip his arm off and beat him with the wet end.” On the religion page of last Friday’s P-I, writer/consultant Anthony B. Robinson took Hutcherson to task for the “joke.”

What it sounds like are the kinds of words that have paved the way for atrocities in such places as Serbia, Kosovo and Rwanda. You have to dehumanize somebody before you beat them up. Labeling some men as “soft” and “effeminate” and saying “God hates them” does that.

Well, no. “Effeminate” only dehumanizes men if you accept the premise that women are not fully human. Hutcherson’s homophobia (and Robinson’s more-than-implied misogyny) is based on the premise that, for a man, being perceived or treated as female is so insulting that violence is an appropriate reaction. Hutcherson hates gays not just because they engage in “abominations,” but because they challenge traditional gender roles. In the world of “men’s movement” men like Hutcherson, any challenge to those roles—men as warriors for God, women as their submissive helpmates—is “feminizing”: the ultimate insult.

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Awesome. Maybe he and Driscoll can have a sermon shootout on the topic of soft men and the roll of women in the household.

Posted by seattle98104 | February 25, 2008 11:25 AM

That's hilarious. Ken thinks someone would hold a door open for him.

Posted by Mr. Poe | February 25, 2008 11:26 AM
"Effeminate" only dehumanizes men if you accept the premise that women are not fully human.

Wow, non sequitur! ECB, you spot the obvious interpretation about violating gender roles, but the leap to women being sub-human is completely unsupported.

Posted by lostboy | February 25, 2008 11:29 AM

You can be damn sure that Hutch pisseth against the wall.

Posted by K | February 25, 2008 11:30 AM

someone should coordinate a door-holding team to follow hutch around for a day. we can take bets on how many doors he makes it through before snapping.

Posted by seattle98104 | February 25, 2008 11:32 AM

The man isn't less than human for behaving like a woman; he is dehumanized for behaving like the "wrong" gender. A gruff, dykey woman is equally offensive to Hutcherson, however he doesn't suggest beating them with their own dismembered limb because they're a real woman (and real men don't maim the ladies, even manly ones). The masculine woman and effeminate man are, ultimately, less than human for not being in God's vision of do-right Adam and gullible Eve.

Posted by Tuna | February 25, 2008 11:35 AM

If Hutch so much as touches my arm after I hold a door open for him, he's going to have to learn how to piss lying down.

Posted by Fnarf | February 25, 2008 11:37 AM

This is an Obama nation before God!

Posted by Ziggity | February 25, 2008 11:38 AM

I'll happily hold the door shut for him.

Posted by pox | February 25, 2008 11:40 AM

That quote again: "Effeminate" only dehumanizes men if you accept the premise that women are not fully human.

Yeah. IF you do. I don't, most people I know don't... what's with the self-loathing?

Posted by Jason Josephes | February 25, 2008 11:45 AM

Wait a second... didn't that Jesus character go around washing other men's feet? Not exactly masculine... you going to beat up Jesus, Hutch?

Posted by Lauren | February 25, 2008 11:46 AM

I heard Goldy talking about the sermon this morning. He had a former fundie psychologist on discussing Hutch's mental problems.

Posted by Mike of Renton | February 25, 2008 11:47 AM

We need a really butch lesbian to rip Ken Hutcherson's arm off and beat him to death with it.

Only then can poetic irony be fully satisfied.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | February 25, 2008 11:49 AM

Maybe I'm alone here, but I view the term "effeminate" as degrading to both men and women (though perhaps moreso to men). It's still a sexist term, as it describes the negative characteristics associated with female, as opposed to "feminine".

It's the equivalent of "chauvinist" or "macho", which are negative male characteristics, as opposed to "masculine".

These aren't my values I'm describing here, but more my interpretation of the language being used.

I still think that Hutch is a jerkface.

Posted by Raphael | February 25, 2008 11:55 AM

@5 - totally agree. Is there a new public intern? Sounds like a job for him/her.

Posted by Julie | February 25, 2008 11:57 AM

Misogyny and homophobia are both stock in trade for football players.

Posted by Greg | February 25, 2008 12:00 PM

Ken's never held a door open for anyone? Wait, on second thought, I'll bet he hasn't. Loser.

Posted by J.R. | February 25, 2008 12:07 PM

I absolutely agree. All of the misogynists and homophobes I've ever actually gotten to know have been deeply insecure about their own masculinity (the men, anyway, the women have had other problems). They have a fear of what they believe to be their own weakness, and that fear finds its expression in their gay-bashing and woman-hating. The root problem that causes both hatreds is the same. Men need to find different ways to be "strong".

Posted by Morgan | February 25, 2008 12:10 PM

And ultimately, Homophobia = Autophobia. It seems like every person I've ever known, either personally or mediagenically, who had a nasty habit of spewing profane and homophobic bile to anyone unlucky enough to be within their receptive distance, turned out to have a certain (ahem) secret (ahem) in their past.

How much you wanna bet that Ken Hutcherson = Larry Craig, and we'll all hear about it very, very soon?

Just sayin'...

Posted by Jeff Stevens | February 25, 2008 12:10 PM

Good on you, Erica. This point can't be made often enough.

Posted by Kiru Banzai | February 25, 2008 12:11 PM

The "reverend" seems like a frightened little man.

Posted by Heather | February 25, 2008 12:13 PM

I would think it would be very hard to beat someone with a detached human arm. It would flop around too much, don't you think?

Now, if you ripped it off at the elbow, and beat the person with the forearm, it might make more of an impression.

And for an older man like him, with his mysterious medical problems (remember the blood tests?), and lack of coordination (remember the propane tank?) it would be doubly hard. He probably couldn't even get the arm detached in the first place.

For the record, I hold doors open for people all the time. Not because I'm gay - although I am - but because I was raised to be polite. Hutch's mama must have been a real mess not to have taught him that.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | February 25, 2008 12:19 PM

WTF? So common courtesy is being "soft"? Oh, wait, that's right, I'm trying to make sense of an idiotic, close-minded bigot's understanding of gender. Sorry.

Posted by bookworm | February 25, 2008 12:24 PM

Somehow I have difficulty envisioning Jesus "Turn the Other Cheek" Christ, our Lord and Savior, ripping someone's arm off and beating said person with the wet end. Follow your own Bible, Hutch. Ya know, the red parts?

Though it might be helpful if Pastor Hutch attempted to do such a thing, as he could then be put away and get some professional help.

Seriously, Pastor Hutch: Get. Some. Help. You have a phobia here that's clearly endangering your sanity.

Posted by Andy Niable | February 25, 2008 12:31 PM

Right-efin-on ecb. great post! As a male primary caretaker, I can't tell you how many times people react with passive aggressive bs to the characteristics that make up my role and don't fit the male stereotype.

Posted by LMSW | February 25, 2008 12:49 PM

I hold doors open for people every chance I get. It's a small, ramdom act of kindness to a stranger that actually makes me feel good. After 38 years on the planet as a straight guy, turns out I'm gay, and always have been. News to me, I better start dressing with more style now.

Posted by Gabriel | February 25, 2008 12:54 PM

Like Gabriel @26, it seems I'm much softer and more effeminate than I ever knew. The Antioch Bible Church website unsurprisingly offers no e-mail links, so this letter is going the church office by snail mail:

Senior Pastor Ken Hutcherson:

I am writing in response to your reported remarks during a recent sermon that "God hates soft men" and "God hates effeminate men," and that "If I was in a drugstore and some guy opened the door for me, I'd rip his arm off and beat him with the wet end." (Seattle Post Intellgencer, Articles Of Faith: Ridiculing gay men is hateful way to preach, Friday 2008 Feb 22)

Although I am a man whose interests include motorcycles, fast cars, things that go boom, and a well-developed appreciation of attractive young women, it seems that I may nevertheless fit your notion of a soft or effeminate man, as it is my custom to hold open doors for people of all descriptions whenever opportune, a small habitual kindness instilled in large part by my Christian upbringing.

My efforts are typically met with smiles and polite thanks from men and women alike. While Im sure the violent response you describe was meant jokingly, you appear to lead a congregation that is disinclined to see any religious teaching as metaphor or hyperbole.

I intend to go on holding open doors for people, and I want to point out that the consequences of an attempt to rip my arm off would be severe. There are doubtless many in the Puget Sound area of whom the same is true.

I strongly encourage you and your congregation to respond to any kindness with the charity that the New Testament teaches.

Posted by lostboy | February 25, 2008 1:14 PM

Good job, Erica! This Robinson guy was starting to sound like he could be an ally, but you sure did find a way to pick a fight with him!

Don't you sort of picture Hillary's brain trust sitting around getting into doctrinaire pissing contests exactly like this, late into the night? Meanwhile, the competition is planning how they are going to win.

Posted by elenchos | February 25, 2008 1:20 PM

a generous interpretation of robinson's remarks would be that Huterson's audience would consider the feminization to be de-humanizing. It might not be Robinson's position that it is.

Posted by vooodooo84 | February 25, 2008 1:36 PM

anyone as flabby as the Hutch, doesn't need to be playing the "soft" man card...

Posted by michael strangeways | February 25, 2008 1:39 PM

Until this weekend, I used to view Hutcherson as a humorous crank. Someone with whom I strongly disagreed, but nothing more.

I'm no longer amused. He should be in jail. If that isn't language meant to incite violence, I don't know what is. He's no longer simply saying that gays shouldn't have rights. He's now joking that it's okay to dismember us and assault us with our own body parts.

Not funny, fucktard.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | February 25, 2008 1:49 PM

Julia Serano might suggest that misogyny=transphobia.

Posted by Veronica | February 25, 2008 1:56 PM


I think the greater irony would be if the butch Lesbian ripped Hutch's arm off (choice of separating joint at their discretion), and then used it to brace open a door that she then shoved his pathetically deranged, hypocritical ass through.

Posted by COMTE | February 25, 2008 2:30 PM

That made me giggle.

Posted by bill | February 25, 2008 3:01 PM

Erica - When I read the column I thought that Robinson was describing -not endorsing- Hutcherson's use of the word effeminate as a put-down. Robinson's actual text places quotes around "effeminate," so I think you're not on a strong foundation when you use his word choice to label Robinson as a misogynist. I'm gay, my partner's gay, and Robinson was fine with us and other lesbians when he was preaching down the street at Plymouth UCC. And he's a HUGE fan of strong women and women preachers! I think you missed the significance of Robinson (an ordained minister) bearing witness to the hatespeak of the fundies.

Posted by jackseattle | February 25, 2008 3:51 PM

jackseattle @35:

...Robinson was fine with us and other lesbians when he was preaching down the street at Plymouth UCC.

I didn't know about the Plymouth UCC connection. It's worth pointing out that Plymouth UCC strongly supported the founding of Bethany UCC whose paster, Angela Ying, is a very strong and very progressive woman.

Posted by lostboy | February 25, 2008 4:08 PM

Merriam-Webster apparently agrees that it's a pejorative term:

having feminine qualities untypical of a man : not manly in appearance or manner OR
marked by an unbecoming delicacy or overrefinement

"Effeminate" does not mean the same thing as "feminine." And Anthony Robinson is one of the good guys.

Posted by Geni | February 25, 2008 4:44 PM

Dear Hutch:

Please keep this up. You are making it so much easier for you to be painted as being toxic to others all the time. You're making my life much, much easier.



Posted by Dave Coffman | February 25, 2008 5:23 PM

Sounds to me like Hutch likes rough trade.

Old Lenny Bruce quote I'm doing my best to remember accurately:

"I'm not a pervert! And anybody who thinks any different can whip me with a big, black belt with a shiny, silver buckle!"

Posted by CP | February 25, 2008 11:10 PM

ECB is a pathetic hack.

That is why she works at a rag like the Stranger.

Perhaps one day she will actually experience what an orgasm is and will stop being such an insufferable bitch.

Posted by ecce homo | February 26, 2008 2:49 AM

I don't know about that Ecce. You spend days at Club Z, and you're still a bitch.

And what were you doing up at 2:09am? Sitting up with one of your "kids", or did Basic Plumbing kick you out again?

Posted by catalina vel-duray | February 26, 2008 6:39 AM

Awesome, but I think it's not being called female that's the insult, it's being called something you're not.
Call Dan straight and he might be pissed, call a straight guy a homo and he might be pissed. I'm sure you'd be insulted if I implied you were a guy but that doesn't mean there's something wrong with being a guy eh :P

Posted by arandomdude | February 26, 2008 7:23 AM

If I was in a drugstore and some guy opened the door for me, Id rip his arm off and beat him with the wet end.

It brings a tear to my eye to see the love of Jesus as expressed by man.

Posted by Colin | February 26, 2008 12:58 PM


Posted by Miss Poppy Dixon | February 27, 2008 6:57 AM

i think everyone is missing the point whilst trying to prove how PC they are. i dislike girly men, i also dislike butch men. in fact i dislike anyone who defines themselves by their sexuality. many of my female friends complain that camp gays are more girly than the girls. camp is an artform, let's leave it in the theatre and stop showing off shall we children?

Posted by mary james | March 3, 2008 9:42 AM

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