A prominent social-conservative activist group is using comments made by readers on a gay-rights Web site as "evidence" that the LGBT movement is mulling using "organized terrorism" against Christians.
The Liberty Counsel released a statement on Monday linking Nidal Malik Hasan, the alleged shooter in last week's Fort Hood massacre, to the gay-rights movement.
"In the wake of the horrific act of Islamic domestic terrorism at Fort Hood Texas, it has been learned that militant homosexual activists recently made similar online postings to those of Nidal Malik Hasan, threatening additional acts of terrorism against Christians," stated an email from Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel's director of cultural affairs, as well as an associate dean at Liberty University Law School.
Liberty University is an evangelical school founded in 1971 by televangelist Jerry Falwell. Barber's email came from a Liberty University account.
Barber's email continued:
In response to Maine’s natural marriage victory last Tuesday, “gay” activists have directly threatened to retaliate with “terrorism” and the “killing” of Christians on the popular homosexual activist JoeMyGod weblog. Liberty Counsel notified the FBI which is investigating the matter. As of this morning, the offending blog entry had been removed.
Matt Barber commented: “All potential threats of terrorism and murder are very serious business. As we learned just last week, there are ideologically driven terrorists who walk among us. After passage of Proposition 8 in California we saw that many homosexual activists are capable of threats, vandalism and even violence. Those who either threaten or attempt to incite terrorism must be immediately brought to justice. Churches and Christian leaders around the country need to be on high alert. These threats of homosexual activist terrorism must be taken very seriously."
Barber's statement did not address the question of whether Christians and heterosexuals are also "capable of threats, vandalism and even violence," or whether he believes that to be the domain of Islamists and homosexuals.
The statement listed off a long series of reader comments on the JoeMyGod blog by people evidently upset at the loss of a gay-marriage initiative in Maine in last week's elections.
According to the Liberty Counsel letter, a commenter calling himself “ColdCountry” wrote: “Will someone please give me a gun?” Another commenter, dubbed “Fritz,” warned: “What I fear is that once gay and lesbian people give up hope of achieving equality through nonviolent means, there will be radicals who will begin to hunt down haters. … All it will take is a small group of radical zealots who are willing to kill for their cause.”
The Liberty Counsel statement said commenter “tex” replied: “Fritz....you say this like it's a bad thing? Maybe a bit of well organized terrorism is just what we need. ... This happens in all cases where people are oppressed and lack representation. We will have gay and lesbian people strapping bombs to their chests and blowing up churches. All it will take is one or two more losses like this.”
As the Liberty Counsel email noted, the comments have since been taken down from the site. The group did not provide evidence that the people writing the comments were "homosexual activists," as the email claimed.
But it does appear that Barber may have been motivated by a personal element: The story on which the comments were purportedly made quoted his hailing of last week's loss for gay-marriage rights in Maine. In the wake of that outcome, the Justice Counsel referred to same-sex marriage as "oxymoronic" and "counterfeit."
The Liberty Counsel has been a prominent promoter of conservative social values for two decades. This week the group announced its seventh annual "Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign," which argues for the use of the word "Christmas" instead of "holidays" and seeks to suss out who is a "friend" of Christmas and who is a "foe."