I like to think of myself as a nice guy. I hold doors open for people, even for other guys. I actually feel bad if I forget or accidentally let go of a door and it closes on somebody. If someone opens a door for me on my way into the office or somewhere else, I usually hold the next door open for them. It’s what I do.
I agonize about whether to give up my seat on the bus or the train. If the person standing is elderly, handicapped, infirm, carrying packages, traveling with a small child, or with child, I stand up and offer my seat. (Note: I finally decided not to make that decision based on gender but on factors, with the exception of pregnancy, that can apply to men and women.)
Sometimes they happy accept the offer and take the seat. Sometimes they decline, saying they are getting off after one or two stops. Then I usually ask one more time (“Are you sure?”), and if they decline again then I go back to whatever I was reading, satisfied that I at least made the offer.
Now, apparently, I need to memorize Ken Hutcherson’s face, because Ken Hutcherson will kill me if I open a door for him.
On a Sunday when Tarico was present, Hutcherson was preaching on gender roles. During his sermon, Hutcherson stated, “God hates soft men” and “God hates effeminate men.” Hutcherson went on to say, “If I was in a drugstore and some guy opened the door for me, I’d rip his arm off and beat him with the wet end.”
“That was a joke,” Hutcherson said Friday, when I asked him about the comment. But it’s not really funny, is it?
No, it’s not, but that material will get you a laugh, and a few amens from the right audience. It even works in Russia, where Hutcherson’s friend Russ Lively actually had to stop an audience from applauding as he recounted the beating and subsequent death of Satendar Singh. (He also reminded them that it was a bad thing that Satendar died, because it gives gay activists “ammunition.”
You can see the same sort of paranoid, fragile masculinity on display in this old video from one of Jimmy Swaggart’s sermons, about how he’ll respond if a gay man “looks at him like that.”
Note, again, the response he gets from his audience. Overwhelming approval, and no admonishment from the preacher, this time. You can hear the same thing in the homophobic sermons of two D.C. ministers, Willie Wilson and Alfred Owens. (True to form, Owen’s church was recently rocked by an outing scandal, after a member of the choir wrote a letter to Owens identifying more than 60 choir members a gay. Owens’ response? He called a meeting of all the choirs, for the purpose of identifying those concerned so he could “help people who wanted help to not be gay.” Owens was also heard to say, “I’m going to meet with all the people mentioned in the e-mail and use my discernment to figure out who needs to be monitored or sat down from what they do …”)I’ll leave it to Ed to sum up guys like Hutcherson, Wilson, and Owens. (There’s also an interesting discussion in the comments, about Ed’s use of a certain word, that’s worth checking out.)
And the mask is pulled off. Behind all that pseudo-macho posturing lies someone so incredibly insecure in his manhood that if another man opens a door for him, he feels the need to maim him in order to soothe his self-doubts about his machismo. Ken Hutcherson is a pussy, a sissy, a pathetic and frightened little boy haunted by nightmares of his own inadequacy. And if that’s all he was, no one would care. But he turns that insecurity into a need to oppress and harm others. And that’s why he must be stopped.
No, it’s no joke. In fact, there’s a whole religious movement around it, called “muscular Christianity.” Hutcherson may not have raised a hand to anyone, yet, but you can draw a line straight from rhetoric like his and Swaggart’s to the recent murders of Lawrence King and Simmie Williams Jr.
Hutcherson may think of his remarks as a joke, but there are a lot of people who can’t laugh at the idea of violence against someone who’s gay or perceived to be gay, because that kind of violence ended their lives. I’m talking about people like Arthur Warren and Paul Brousard, Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder, Julio Rivera and Edgar Garzon, Daniel Fetty, Michael Sandy, Danny Overstreet, Sean Ethan Owen, Richie Phillips, Jason Gage, Glenn Kopitske, and Satendar Singh.
If we could ask them, I wonder how amusing they’d find Hutcherson’s remarks?
For what’s worth, next time I stop to hold a door open, I’ll check to make sure Ken Hutcherson isn’t behind me. If he is, I’ll let the door fly back in his face.
He’d want it that way, apparently.