Michael Crawford

From Russia, With Hate

Filed By Michael Crawford | October 16, 2007 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Media
Tags: Christian fundamentalists, hate crimes against LGBT people, LGBT, Southern Poverty Law Center

A new and dangerous group of immigrants has entered the U.S. from Russia, the Ukraine, Latvia and other countries of the former Soviet bringing with them a virulent strain of homophobia that has already resulted in one death. Many are affiliated with an international hate group called Watchmen on the Walls which was formed by homo-hater Rev. Ken Hutcherson, Holocaust denier Scott Lively, and Latvian megachurch pastor Alexey Ledyaev. The group has taken root in West Coast cities including Portland, Sacramento and Seattle.

In July 2007 a group of Russian immigrants possibly affiliated with the Watchmen murdered Satendar Singh, a 26 year gay Indian-American. Two men were charged in connection with Satender's death. One fled to Russia and is being sought by the FBI.

From the Southern Poverty Law Center:

The anti-gay tactics of the Slavic evangelicals in the U.S. branch of the Watchmen movement are just as crude and even more physically abusive than Fred Phelps' infamous Westboro Baptist Church, and they're rooted in gay-bashing theology that's even more hardcore than the late Jerry Falwell's. Slavic anti-gay talk radio hosts and fundamentalist preachers routinely deliver hateful screeds on the airwaves and from the pulpit in their native tongue that, were they delivered in English, would be a source of nationwide controversy.

Got that? The Watchmen are even more physically abusive than Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps who pickets the funerals of American soldiers killed in Iraq claiming that their deaths are God's punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality.

In the twisted minds of these "Christians" LGBT people are equated with thieves, murderers and adulterers and are considered an "abomination" that must be rooted out and destroyed.

Vlad Kusakin, the host of a Russian-language anti-gay radio show in Sacramento and the publisher of a Russian-language newspaper in Seattle, told The Seattle Times in January that God has "made an injection" of high numbers of anti-gay Slavic evangelicals into traditionally liberal West Coast cities. "In those places where the disease is progressing, God made a divine penicillin," Kusakin said.

To me, the Watchmen and their founders amount to nothing more than domestic terrorists who threaten the lives of American citizens while preaching a perverted version of Christian values. And they must be treated as such.

The Watchmen movement's strategy for combating the "disease" of homosexuality calls for aggressive confrontation. "We church leaders need to stop being such, for lack of a better word, sissies when it comes to social and political issues," Lively argues in a widely-circulated tract called Masculine Christianity. "For every motherly, feminine ministry of the church such as a Crisis Pregnancy Center or ex-gay support group we need a battle-hardened, take-it-to-the-enemy masculine ministry like [the anti-abortion group] Operation Rescue."

Elected officials need to take notice and must take action to prevent more violence against LGBT Americans. Fair-minded Americans both LGBT and allied must speak out against this hate group and not let their virus-like hatred spread.

The Watchmen will be holding a conference in Washington State October 19-21 to build their ranks and further spread their message of hate and violence. It will be interesting to see if elected officials will stand with LGBT Americans and speak out loudly and clearly against the Watchmen.

Much love: Box Turtle Bulletin and From the Left.

Cross-posted at Bloggernista

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I have a hard time believing that Jesus would want to have any part in this. Does he even matter to these people any more?

Pam Spaulding also put up a good post about these whacko fundies on Sunday. Folks should check it out too for more info.