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Fundamentalist hatefest held in Asheville

BlogAsheville, Scrutiny Hooligans, and Brainshrub have excellent coverage of an unhinged hate rally that was held in Asheville over the weekend.

A group of fundies took out an ad in the Asheville Citizen-Times to promote a rally “in SUPPORT of CHRISTIAN and CONSERVATIVE BUSINESSES and their RIGHT TO OPERATE according to FAMILY VALUES SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE (between one man and one woman) WHOLESOME WORK ENVIRONMENT (without oppression from the Sodomites & The Liberal Media).”

Brainshrub has additional scans of the spread.

They spent $6,300 on a two-page spread for this crap (gee, how many homeless, hungry people could that have helped?).

The “they” are groups calling themselves “Christians United” and “IBOM”. IBOM is International Baptist Outreach Missions, headed by fringe loon Dr. J. Wendell Runion. The scary thing about Runion is that his bio touts that he “has also served with the Congressman of the 11th Congressional District as an advisor on church and religious matters since 1990.”

That would be the repugnant U.S. Representative Charles Taylor. Scrutiny Hooligans contacted Taylor’s office and his spokesperson said at first that he “declined to participate in the rally.” Then it got interesting.

The phone-answerer at the Taylor office is now saying that no one knows anything about Dr. Runion or the rally. She said that no one is in the office to answer questions. She suggested I contact Dr. Runion for more information.

So I tried. Here’s the phone number to his local radio station: 1-828-252-1380 as well as a toll-free number for our farther flung Hooligans, 1-800-809-WKJV. The woman answering phones there said that Dr. Runion and Charles Taylor “talk sometimes” but was unable to confirm or deny anything further.

It sounds like Taylor’s running for cover. Well he didn’t run far, in fact, he came out four-square against the homos, in Saturday’s Asheville Citizen-Times:

“Runion, who also spoke at U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor’s prayer breakfast earlier the same day [Saturday, March 12], said the rally was not meant to debate the issue of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, but to make a declaration solidly against it.

Taylor, R-Brevard, said he was supportive of “Christian businessmen trying to be Christian in their work lives as well as in their personal lives” when asked about the rally. Taylor did not attend the rally.

During the event, a number of pastors spoke in support of marriage between a man and a woman and traditional Christian family values.

“It’s not that we’re mean,” said the Rev. Larry Sprouse of Oak Ridge Baptist Church. “Christian people don’t stand for homosexuality.””

Scrutiny Hooligans also got a hold of Runion on the phone, and the former pastor explained his reasoning for holding the rally, in true unhinged form.

Regarding his advertisement, I asked how he felt he was being oppressed by homosexuals or the media. Runion recounted the Wolf Laurel Ski Resort controversy. When I asked how this had oppressed anyone, he replied that the Wolf Laurel management was “scrutinized”. I asked him how scrutiny amounted to oppression, and Runion declared he wasn’t going to debate it.

Screwy Hoolie: “When Christianity is the dominant religion in America, it’s hard for me to stomach the idea that you’re oppressed.”

Dr. Runion: “Christianity is the most loosely used word in the English language.” He went on to explain that real Christians are far fewer, “I don’t know very many of them.”

You can read my post about the Wolf Laurel incident — a lesbian couple lost their photography assignment at the ski resort when the owner learned that they were gay after their marriage announcement ran in the local paper.

And here some pictures from Saturday’s rally, via Scrutiny Hooligans and BlogAsheville (note the good homos of Asheville came out in full force to mock the bible-beaters):

Enraged fundie speaker.

“The warmup band gets the crowd moving with some old-time Gospel.”

“The evil homos violently protested by dancing to the strains of that old-time Gospel music.”

Blogger Brainshrub sorts out the crowd.

Surf over to the sites for more details on the rally and peaceful counter protest.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding