[media id=10360] Sure enough, just as Nicole wondered, Juan Williams was pretty bent out of shape over Warren Ballentine's calling him out -- using b
October 17, 2009

Sure enough, just as Nicole wondered, Juan Williams was pretty bent out of shape over Warren Ballentine's calling him out -- using black cultural lingo -- for being such a willing supplicant to the "Limbaugh is being oppressed by mean black people" meme currently popular in right-wing circles.

So who does he bring on to buttress his claim that liberals are being bigots? Why, none other than Tammy Bruce and ... the Rev. Ken Hutcherson!

Bruce is bad enough. This is the person who called Michelle Obama "trash"

and opined that "President Obama has some malevolence toward this country". She's also suggested that torture is no worse than a bad day in West Hollywood. We also remember her classy tweet on learning of Ted Kennedy's death: "[He] left a woman to drown and now he's left us to drown." In other words, hardly an ideal person to be claiming a lack of civility from the left.

But Hutcherson? That's rich.

Folks outside the Seattle area may not know a lot about Hutcherson, so

they just see him as a black conservative. Which is common enough, especially on Fox. It's more genuine than being a fake liberal like Williams, at least.

But he's also one of the most prominent anti-gay bigots in the state, and for that matter on the West Coast.

This is a man who told his flock that "God hates effeminate men".

He also headed up an initiative to legalize anti-gay discrimination in Washington state. (It went down in flames.)

Of even deeper concern is his heavy involvement in promoting a virulent and violent anti-gay organization called Watchmen on the Walls. This is a global evangelical-Christian outfit that, elsewhere in the world (particularly in Eastern Europe) is associated with violent anti-gay hate crimes.

I reported on a Watchmen gathering in nearby Lynnwood a couple of years ago (photos here). I also remember his sermon very clearly:

Hutcherson's talk was similarly soothing, following the "hate the sin but love the sinner" reasoning common among fundamentalists, but clearly belying his own war-oriented rhetoric and the talk of gay "abomination" pervasive among the Watchmen.

"I don't believe all discrimination is wrong," he said. "I discriminate based on what is right. God discriminates too.

"Today, disagreement means hate. If I disagree with you, I hate you. Evidently, God is the biggest hater in the world. The first thing we Christians need to take back is the right to disagree."

Of course, if it were only disagreement -- and not condemnation and eliminationism -- that Hutcherson and the Watchmen on the Walls were proffering this weekend, no one would have minded. But it wasn't.

The odd thing about hearing this kind of lame rationale from Hutcherson is that he is an African American man. As it happens, I've listened to a sermon that used nearly identical logic -- that discrimination isn't about hate if God commands it in the Bible -- at least once before. It was delivered by the late Rev. Richard Butler at an annual Aryan Nations Congress in Hayden Lake, Idaho. And he was talking about black people.

Hutcherson also believes that laws against anti-gay discrimination are different than those against racial discrimination because the latter is "an immutable characteristic" while the former is "a chosen behavior." (The problem with that rationale, of course, is that those same laws cover anti-religious discrimination. Is religion an "immutable characteristic", or a "chosen behavior"?)

In any event, Hutcherson is scorned not because he's a conservative, but because he is a bigot himself. Which is bad enough in any American, but incredibly obtuse for an African American.

Which makes him a perfect complement to Juan Williams.

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