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This will be a short entry (and I don't mean editing tapes, "Breitbarting", let's not go to their level).  I have been thinking a lot about the efforts to continue to fight the bigoted amendment that passed last night.  I have several ideas, but one stands out as highly practical and fitting to deal with this problem.  We know that the people who attacked us with this amendment are clinging to their churches as their means of justifying their bigotry.  Why don't we cling just as close?  It is easiest to put pressure from within.  There is obvious legal tactics that we must take to get this ruled unconstitutional, but we should fight even harder.  We should look into their hatred and capture it to win the war socially on a national level.

I am recommending that we consider having couples appear at these right wing churches that pushed their hateful agenda into law.  We should have these people attending doing innocent things like hand holding, having your arms around your spouse, speaking to people in polite ways, etc.  Enter their lives with a smile and an agenda, just like they do ours in everyday society.  We should not do anything to make ourselves out to be the bad guys. Let's go to their churches and record their reactions.  These are people who harbor deep rooted hatred of us for who we are, vitriol will come out on its own.  They can smile easily out in public because they know people are watching, but in their comfort zone, we have heard their true intentions revealed on multiple occasions.

I recommend that we have groups of couples at all of these churches and just start regularly attending and privately recording.  Let's listen to the preacher's message and document it.  I can bet many will not be able to resist to continually make the sermons about how gay needs to change or is wrong or is a sin, repeatedly.  One of the most effective criticisms of Santorum to independents was that he was fixated on one group so much that the rest of his message just seemed to be along for the ride.  Let's highlight this by interaction.  I am betting that, even in the first week, we get reactions that are worthy of posting.  These tapes may not be admissible in a court of law, but they should be admissible to be heard by others (according to the right's beloved Breitbart).  Let's make this a campaign that doesn't end here.  Let's make the effort to document what these people really feel about us.  Their biggest impact has been that they can hide behind a mask of faith, but we need to get under that mask to show the world the real truth.  This amendment alone should be enough to shame them for being bigots, but we can do it more effectively by getting past the smiles into their hearts.  Moderates will see the bigots strike at us and understand.  The bigots blood will boil at our audacity.  Even if they try to kick us out to avoid the sit-in, that shows their true message isn't one of forgiveness, love or wanting to "protect" marriage, but to divide and keep us down.  This is a civil rights matter.  Let's attack it with old world tactics and modern technology.  Let's enter one of their most sacred places, a place they claim to be purely based on love, and let's make them face us.  Our fight is just and their bigotry is something that will shame sensible people in the future.  Let's draw them out from that shroud of religion and expose them for what they are... hate.

Sorry that this is kind of jumbled with little paragraph structure, but I am not at a great place to be writing it.

10:15 AM PT: Maybe we don't do it.  I just hate to cease operations in this state completely.  Hopefully we really get things kicking up to get the amendment ruled unconstitutional quickly.

Originally posted to GabrielinNC on Wed May 09, 2012 at 06:52 AM PDT.

Also republished by Maryland Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I just want someone with... (13+ / 0-)

    ....eyeglass-cams just record the stuff they say and when they get political, use it as a lever to hassle them with the need to "Breitbart" them....(I regard the term "Breitbart" to include dishonest editing, which I'm NOT suggesting at all-I think the crap they say openly speaks for itself without clever presentation.)

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:05:26 AM PDT

    •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III

      I'd rather have a buntle afrota-me than a frottle a bunta-me.

      by David54 on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:07:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Like I said at the start (3+ / 0-)

      I mean have them under surveillance without prior knowledge, not editing.  I think it would be a good thing to listen to the things they say and use them against them.  Not through editing, but through constant surveillance.

      •  I'm with you. Spy on the bigoted bastards. (0+ / 0-)

        Record the pastors' sermons and so on.  Record group conversations and personal conversations in states where this is legal.  Then start broadcasting the stuff where it will make the point that these people are not motivated by Christian love and compassion, but by blunt bigotry and hatred and cruelty.  

        Make their "victory" as meaningless today, and as despised tomorrow, as the "victories" of segregationists and their ilk became in an earlier era.

        And I would not be opposed to revenge protests that seek to use any nonviolent means to completely disrupt the sermons and suchlike in these places.  

        Mic Check is a fantastic technique.  "Mic check!  You took away our civil rights, now you're going to reap the whirlwind!"

        "Parking violations" are a highly useful technique.  Double-parking, parking in front of their driveway so they get bottled up in the parking lot after their Sunday services, etc. etc.  Sometimes these can be cleverly disguised as something else, e.g. "oh darn my car is making a funny noise," and put up the hood and pull out the cellphone and call a friend to "come over and help me fix this."  Or "can someone tell me how to get to (location on a map)?"  

        Even a few minutes of blocking a parking lot exit can lead to a nasty traffic snarl in the parking lot that can take a half hour or more to work its way out.

        Though, don't interfere with their marriages or especially their funerals.  Leave that to Phelps and his disgusting creatures, we do not need that kind of publicity.  

        Acoustical techniques can also be used to great effect.  About which more in my next comment...

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:44:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Be very very careful.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...with conducting actions in or in front of a church.  The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act from the nineties makes it a federal crime to block access to clinics, and, in order to get it passed, language was added applying the same rules to churches.  
          So, if anyone is planning something like this, I'd urge them to get a copy of the statute, and maybe go over their plans with an attorney, before moving forward.  

          •  excellent advice! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bill W

            And in that spirit, the following should be entirely legal since it's a variation on what the extreme right does at clinics:

            Gay couples holding hands lining but not blocking the sidewalk at the entrance to the churches, chanting SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:36:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Acoustical disruption. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Also known as Sonic Attack, credit to the band Hawkwind for that one.

        Annoy-A-Tron, Micro Sonic Grenade, EvilTron, and similar devices.  Inexpensive fun for the whole flock!

        And one specific example:


        Turn it on, discretely stick it under a pew or somewhere else, and watch the fun & games begin.

        ....Beep!...  (random long pause) ...Beep!....  (random long pause)  ...Beep!...

        "What's that?"


        "It's not the smoke detector."


        "Where's that nasty sound coming from?"


        "I don't know, well, don't pay any attention to it, just continue the sermon..."


        "Kids, don't giggle, this isn't funny.  Stop laughing.  I said, stop laughing or God's going to punish you!"



        Some of these devices make sounds that may be interpreted as "evil spirits."  All the more amusing!

        Some just emit a loud shrill continuous bleeeeeeep that doesn't stop.  These are useful when the pastor starts going into a big anti-gay rant.  Think of them as electronic Mic Check or something:-)

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:01:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  last but not least: the Flying Fuck RC Helicopter! (0+ / 0-)

        It's a radio-controlled helicopter in the shape of the word FUCK in dark letters.   Only $30.

        Imagine the fun and merriment when you fly one of these in the window of some rightie-winger church in the middle of a sermon and just let it hover there.  Imagine them trying to swat it out of the air but being unable to, because it's flying up high where they can't get it.  

        This might also be usable in the air outside the church as services get out and people are walking into the parking lot.  Best when there is absolutely no wind blowing, for example on those hot muggy southern days of summer.  Fly it above the parking lot, controlled from a car parked nearby.  Better yet do it from inside a van where you can look out the window but they can't see anyone in the driver's seat.

        Be sure to practice so you have enough battery time to fly it away from there and recover it for later re-use.  The best way to do that might be to have a friend parked in front of you in a pickup truck, and just land it in the truck bed and drive away.  For that matter the truck bed makes a good launch platform too, so long as you set up the helicopter so it's pointing upward before you start it.  

        Remember, even the word FUCK is 1st Amendment protected speech!  

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:11:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Changed the title to better express my intent. (3+ / 0-)

      Although, I did have it in the parenthesis of the first sentence already.

  •  A very interesting idea, thanks. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    means are the ends, G2geek

    Churches are happy for attendance--aren't they? And who says  you aren't sincere if you leave something in the collection plate?

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:14:48 AM PDT

    •  You want to give them money? (5+ / 0-)

      These kinds of Churches should be reported to the SPLC.

      Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:29:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It gets ambiguous here, I believe. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III

        What would be the most potent form of protest? Isn't there some truth to the idea that that which you resist, persists? On the other hand, you and I have seen built from the ground floor up what turned out to be some very effective boycotts and other actions against hate speech. This, certainly, qualifies as "resistance."

        So, I don't know.

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:39:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I think we have to push (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Horace Boothroyd III, karmsy

          We can't be still.  "An object at rest stays at rest" or as my mother would have said (would she be on my side in this), "the squeaky wheel gets the grease."  If we sit and do nothing, we lose.  Their greatest victories are only possible if we do nothing to stop them.  I am of the opinion that passive resistance has worked for so many in the past that it could work here.  They inject themselves into our lives and make policies against us, but claim it isn't bigotry.  We can force them to confront us everywhere, even in the strongholds of their hateful ideology.  We shouldn't make churches a new front line because they are churches, but because the church is being used as a tool of their hateful agenda.  They want to take away the public square from us, we can fight back by sitting amongst them in their churches.

      •  Wouldn't have to be MONEY (3+ / 0-)

        Maybe just a slip of paper with what Jesus said about homosexuality:

        Put it in an envelope and they'll never know where it came from.

        Mitt Romney: the Etch-A-Sketch candidate in the era of YouTube

        by Cali Scribe on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:03:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Give them Monopoly Money (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III

        I can spare a few ones.  They always have way too many of them in that game anyway.

        "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

        by Steven D on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:48:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not sure if legal in MD (0+ / 0-)

    There's a law (someone in one of my Dem groups mentioned it) that prohibits recording conversations w/o the other person's consent or knowledge.

    Don't know if that applies to churches (public speaking?) or conversations w/ groups.

    I like the idea, but best research laws just in case.

    •  It would be nice to hear from an attorney on it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I am not sure about an state in specific, but I am betting that you can record and submit if it isn't to gain profit.  It may not be admissible in court, but we don't want court... we want the court of public opinion.

      •  speaking from expertise on surveillance... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        labwitchy, GabrielinNC

        ... nowhere that I know of is it illegal to record a speech given in a forum that is open to attendance by the general public.

        What's illegal in some states, is recording personal conversations, for example with other members of the church after services.  

        Consult with an attorney in the states in which you want to use this tactic.  Initial consultations about such things are usually available at low cost.  

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:32:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think one of the best things that could happen (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          is that they start to ask us to leave for nothing more than attending, and, maybe even, post signs to ban us from appearing there.  I think they are emboldened with their victory enough to make mistakes like that.

  •  Even Jesus (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    believed that it was necessary to sit with and converse with those despised by society. He showed that no one was worthy of hatred, that all people deserved loved and faith.

    How sad that all those churches that proclaim they follow His word are the ones leading the US away from that Chrisitan ideal.

    I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

    by woolibaar on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:40:54 AM PDT

  •  Good luck (0+ / 0-)

    I'd rather spend my time and energy getting young people registered and to the polls. They are already pro-glbtq.

    Oklahoma: birthplace of Kate Barnard, W. Rogers, W. Guthrie, Bill Moyers & Eliz. Warren. Home to proud progressive agitators since before statehood. Current political climate a mere passing dust cloud; we're waiting it out & planning for clearer days.

    by peacearena on Wed May 09, 2012 at 07:45:48 AM PDT

    •  That is your choice, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      there isn't going to be another vote here in NC or any of the places where constitutions are already in place against us.

      I prefer to make their voices even stronger against it.  A big drive to action is hearing how bigoted people sound when they speak and act against us.  This is a way to change the dialogue for even more people and leave those in congress, who fight for DOMA, outwardly standing amongst the loons.  I want to make it a shameful thing, as it should be, to stand against us having rights.  The youth vote is great, and very important, but we need more than just young blood.  We need to attack on all fronts and make it as uncomfortable for the bigots as it is for us.  We will not change them, but we can help shape the dialogue even more so that it is seen for what it is.

    •  This is why I say this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, rat racer

      There are so many of them in high places that we need to get out.  We need to not only get young voters to vote, but to make this an alienating quality for a politician to have among independents.  The progress shouldn't have to age like wine to become ready to enjoy.

      These people make it their life's work to make us suffer.  The least we can do is fight back in every possible way that we can.  I want to pull these snakes out from under their rocks and let them be known so we can better deal with them within the entire public sphere.

  •  Outting Political Churches (5+ / 0-)

    Go to church. Listen for them to endorse a candidate or any political action. Bring a lawsuit against the church with the intent to MAKE THEM PAY TAXES. Left Wing and Angry - Add your voice!

    •  Amen to that! Make them pay their fair share. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If they are going to promote candidates, they can pay their taxes like everyone else.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:33:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think individuals can sue for that. (0+ / 0-)

      You could give a tip to the IRS and put public pressure on them to investigate, but I don't think individuals have standing to sue churches for violating their nonprofit status.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:52:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In some states it's a crime (0+ / 0-)

    to disrupt a religious service. You might want to check the NC laws. Here's the one from NY:

    S 240.21 Disruption, or disturbance of religious service.
    A  person  is  guilty  of  disruption  or disturbance of a religious service, funeral, burial or  memorial  service  when  he  or  she  makes unreasonable   noise  or  disturbance  while  at  a  lawfully  assembled religious service, funeral, burial or memorial service, or within  three hundred  feet  thereof,  with  intent  to  cause  annoyance  or alarm or recklessly creating a risk thereof.  Disruption  or  disturbance of a religious service, funeral, burial or  memorial service is a class A misdemeanor.
    Don't give them the satisfaction of having you arrested!
    •  I am thinking it may be best to simply (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      operate as observers.  Smiling, holding hands or showing innocent affection (an arm around your spouse) will likely be enough for a lot of these people to go nuts.

      •  Be prepared (0+ / 0-)

        to have the cops arrive and arrest you even for that.  not saying it will happen but its a foreseeable outcome.

        "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

        by Steven D on Wed May 09, 2012 at 09:51:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess that is why it is good (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Steven D, Ekaterin

          to be recording everything.  Kind of documents that no illegal activity has occurred (except for the unlawful arrest).

          •  Well, if the first thing they do is... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...ask you to leave, and you don't, and they call the cops, and you still refuse to leave, they can legally arrest you, I believe.

            •  I suppose, but isn't getting them forcing us to (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bill W, Ekaterin

              leave on tape one of the things we can use against them?  

              I would expect that the continuance of them forcing people to leave a place that is supposed to be for sinners to come and hear the word of God looks pretty bad on the "moral majority".  Some may even get arrested, but isn't that what civil rights leaders did in the fight for rights before us?  Didn't they act to highlight the inequity of the treatment being given to the marginalized people?  It would show that "even the word of God and religious freedom is too good for homosexuals in the eyes of opponents of marriage equality."

              •  Yes, I agree. (0+ / 0-)

                I only wanted to point out circumstances under which activists could wind up getting arrested.  If that's the goal, go for it, but make sure everyone participating knows what they're getting into.  

      •  I think you're right (0+ / 0-)

        Even the mere presence of a gay couple will cause many of the people to demand that the pastor throw teh gays out. They'll say they don't want their children to see this. It will cause all kinds of confusion!

        And if they try to have you arrested for simply attending church, they will look like the idiots they are.

  •  The idea sounds nifty, at first.... (0+ / 0-)

    .... but considering that GLBT people have been murdered for simply walking down the street, it would take 8 kinds of courage (and IMO, a large side helping of Teh Stoopid™) to walk into Bigot A-hole Church and show PDA (public display of affection).
    The *BEST* outcome would be that the couple is politely asked to leave.
    I think covert and sneaky surveillance, however, is a nifty idea, and I think those bigot churches should be taxed until Hell itself won't have 'em.

    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." - Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées, #894

    by maf1029 on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:01:56 AM PDT

    •  It is where numbers count. (0+ / 0-)

      If we have sufficient numbers, we could be effective in being safe.  We could have people outside recording the parking lot, etc.  If we are asked to leave, we get it on record and have another point in the argument that this isn't defense of marriage, but bigotry.

      •  Oh lord..... (0+ / 0-)

        Well, except for churches being private property and the ensuing criminal trespass charges....
        Honestly, I don't know which is more exhausting -- fighting the bigots or talking our own down from a revenge fantasy high. ☺  

        "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." - Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées, #894

        by maf1029 on Wed May 09, 2012 at 12:30:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, they can list no homosexuals (0+ / 0-)

          if they want.  We don't have to do it.  I am just sick of having to live with the religious Nazis of our country.

          •  I share your pain..... (0+ / 0-)

            ... trust me.
            A FB friend of mine today posted this lovely statement:

            In the Middle East, when religious law becomes state law, it's called Sharia. In North Carolina, it's called Amendment 1. Eff you, North Carolina. Eff you in your fat NASCAR face.
            And personally, I'd rather see this:


            or even this puerile, heartless crap:

            Seriously, I think it's time to just let those "Teh Gay™ is icky becuz my religion said so" bigots show their true colors from under their white sheets and cowls.
            Let people make up their own minds.
            And if they choose wrong, we need to not be afraid of calling a bigot a bigot.

            "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." - Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées, #894

            by maf1029 on Wed May 09, 2012 at 06:33:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  A waste of time (0+ / 0-)

    they aren't doing this in secret and they document it themselves proudly in pamphlets, public printed broadsides, and political contributions.

    No one will dare go after them or their tax exemptions because they are too politically powerful.

    Churches like the Catholic church consider themselves above the law ( even child rape laws), and they are right.

    If altar boys could get pregnant, contraception would be a sacrament.

    by tiponeill on Wed May 09, 2012 at 10:22:40 AM PDT

    •  The southern baptists and other groups (0+ / 0-)

      try to masquerade around with a smile and the velour of southern hospitality was my point/problem.  I just get sick of their fake personalities towards the outside world.  Their private conversations are much different.  They use derogatory terms against us and make bold claims that we need to be killed, beaten, etc.  It would just make them look worse was the point.  Catholic churches weren't the ones I was intending to bother.  It was redneck churches that lack the intelligence to censor themselves within those walls.

  •  The risk of arrest + Freedom Riders (0+ / 0-)

    The risk of arrest has been mentioned above, but the Freedom Riders faced this kind of thing + over-the-top violent reactions. Many Freedom Riders were arrested in trying to get bus stops desegregated even though they were supposed to be desegregated.

    I really like this Diary, and I think you're on to something GabrielinNC. Maybe we need to take a page out of the Freedom Riders movement and commit ourselves to something much bigger and potentially more dangerous. Lets cram as many activists into these churches and see where this takes us.

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