In Australia on Saturday, Christian protesters descended upon a gay marriage rally, and claims of assault from the march participants ensued.
Operation 513, a group based out of Brisbane, Australia, alleges violence from participants marching in the rally and that it started when one of them stole the hat of 513, escalating to signage theft and vandalism, and claims of choking and strangling. The group says in its statement: “A difference in opinion can be and should be discussed, but at no point is violence acceptable.”
The group claims many of the events were caught on camera. As of Tuesday, the group had not posted the alleged video on their website, but did have a disclosure of their take on what happened at the rally. If the video exists, why was it not posted with the blog, or on the ‘video’ part of their website or at the very least on youtube? Is it locked up in legislative issues? Is the video being shopped around, or does it exist at all? Is this an attempt at publicity?
Are non-profits and church organizations, even international groups, most of which receive a tax-free status, just trying to secure quick wealth by blasting opposition to one of the most controversial and convenient global religious topics? Take the recent broken campaign of Harold Camping’s organization, or the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. Family Radio based out of Oakland, California, reports a solid $100 million in assets
It seems like multi-million dollar religious organizations are a dime a dozen these days, the recipe simply calls for outrageous, hateful statements against something controversial.
Cody Patterson, of Act Out Savannah, who just interacted with Westboro, believes that “they hide under the guise of churches” and use the reactions as leverage in law suits. Act Out is creating ways to handle radical groups based around hate speech, such as one-liners and signs.
“You are going to hell” has just as much brevity as “F*** you” or the middle finger in traffic, which in some places will land you in road rage classes.
By telling someone that, it is hoping for a burning, physical destruction that few other attacks can achieve by way of words. The desire is to inflict pain upon another person, or to see them in pain. Is this any different than threatening someone by saying “watch your back”?
Why aren’t these bullying religious groups seen preaching outside of the Bunny Ranch in Nevada, the adult xxx store in the middle-of-nowhere-Texas, child pageants, or on various A-lister’s doors? Sexual deviance according to their biblical basis, exists everywhere.
Operation 513 states in its mission that they “confront sinners in their sin”. A gay marriage rally is not the most logical forum for civil discourse, especially on a topic that is by all merits, non-debatable on either side. Hate speech will usually be met with an adrenaline based behavior. Freedom to say it or not, it is hateful.
As a community, LGBTIQ persons must not engage in any act of violence or aggression, but creatively enlist groups at events to handle counter-protests – such as signs, prepared speeches and chants, and so on, just like Act Out Savannah, and several others. Violence is only giving hard-pressed zealots fuel behind the false claim of instability, or in some cases, “nazis”.
If groups like this believe fully that the opinion they have is the only way that it can be, what really should be, and can be discussed?
Get in the discussion!