Now, last time I checked, children were far more likely to be sexually abused (or at least meet their abusers) in certain churches, parochial schools, and orphanages. Other schools, yes, but not in nearly the numbers as the other places. In fact, the statistics show a rather strong correlation between how anti-gay the rhetoric of a church is, and how likely it is to harbor such child abusers.
Of course, this is all tangled up in notions that Manning has about sexual orientation that have been debunked by many, many studies now. And clearly he isn’t interested in facts.But what really takes the cake this time is the other side of the sign. The sign claims that the way the church has been treated since they’ve begun posting the previous homophobic and violent messages is the same as the horrific and despicable bombing of a church in Birmingham in 1963, when white supremacists bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church on a Sunday morning. A group of children were just entering the basement of the church for the children’s service, when the bomb exploded, injuring 22 people and killing four girls.
It was evil and totally reprehensible act whose victims were primarily innocent children.
And what horrors have been visiting on Pastor Manning’s church since his homophobic church sign messages have become news? A lot of news sites and bloggers made fun of them. A woman embarrassed a church employee by showing up to say she was there for her stoning. Someone vandalized the sign with spray paint.
And that’s it. As I wrote before, the spray paint vandalism was wrong, and shouldn’t have happened. But none of these things compare, in any way at all, to the horror or magnitude of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.
Usually it’s clueless white people who make the mistake of trying to compare their minor inconvenience to actual hate crimes and acts of terror that resulted in bloodshed. Pastor Manning, as an African American, should therefore be doubly ashamed for this crass attempt at self-martyrdom.
I started to write that words can’t describe how Pastor Manning’s latest antics make me feel. Then I realized that someone has already described Manning and his ilk quite well:
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.—Jesus, Gospel According the Matthew, chapter 7, verses 22-23