Recently, Dr. Michael Brown published a Tweet dialogue he had with a “gay” activist who was replying to his article “Yes, Gay activists are after your children”.
Because it is a good example of how many of them think of us Christians and how they respond to attempts at rational, intelligent conversation I thought it would be good to share it along with my brief commentary as to possible ways that Dr. Brown could have better replied to her. Many of these homosexuals have been abused by so called Christians an others have just been “brainwashed” to believe that all Christians are mean and evil because we oppose homosexuality.
The following is the complete exchange between Dr. Brown and Kathryn Brightbill. With my comments.
In response to a tweet about my article, “Yes, Gay Activists Are After Your Children,” a woman named Kathryn Brightbill responded,
“You're so ridiculously paranoid, why, it's almost like you're projecting the religious right's targeting of children on everyone else.”
MLB: When there's a thunder storm, it's not being paranoid to say it's raining. But in candor, your tweet seems like projection to me. So, let's deal with substance. Please point out to me any source that I manufactured in my article. It's all quite accurate.
While this was a good reply he should have been more direct to her comment. I would have added, yes we target, but our targeting is to help and yours is to corrupt. What is your point?
KB: Says the guy who's part of the religious right, an entire movement centered on turning children like me into foot soldiers for theocracy.
MLB: Actually, I don't work with anyone who wants anything resembling a theocracy, as I've stated time and time again. Does truth matter to you? From your bio here, I'd expect some substantive interaction, not throwing out empty (and false) rhetoric. Show me what I misrepresented. And show me where I have ever in 40+ years of ministry advocated for any kind of theocracy.
This is a good reply, forcing the issue of her irrational accusations.
KB: Your entire movement is trying to implement a theocracy and you're targeting queer kids in the process because you're soulless evil.
MLB: So, you repeat your lies and buttress them with vicious insults? I truly expect better of people, perhaps wrongly so. Extraordinary.
I would have added, perhaps you can document my representation of the “entire movement” and my contribution to implementing a theocracy. If not, will you admit you lied? Or do you consider yourself to be beyond the need to acknowledge your dishonesty?
KB: You're adorable. Just because you say it's not a theocracy doesn't mean you're not trying to make your anti-LGBT beliefs have force of law.
MLB: I might [as] well as say to you, "Just because you didn't threaten to shoot me tonight doesn't mean you don't intend to." Meaningless rhetoric.
This was a mistake on Dr. Brown’s part. He should know that they look for any kind of excuse to twist our comments in their favor and so he should never give them such wiggle room by saying something that could easily be misapplied. A simple reply of: “True, but it is also true that just because you say I am trying to set up a theocracy does not mean I actually am doing so, what is your point in just making accusation without backing them up? Is it your method to just plaster people with false accusations and hope your trusting reader believe what you say?
KB: Now you're implying I'm threatening you as a rhetorical device. You're sick and dishonest and you need to reevaluate your life. Goodnight.
MLB: Wow, wow, wow. What an incredibly revealing interaction. I speak the truth to you and ask for substance, you reply with lies & venom. Clear.
While Dr. Brown is correct here, he does not take advantage of the moment by first apologizing for using an example that she could so easily twist out of context, and then simply
Assured here that was not his intention and that he did not feel in the least bit threatened by her. This would have rendered her comment ineffective and petty.
KB: Just because you call something lies and venom doesn't make it so, dearie. Maybe you should stop implying someone might make threats.
MLB: Fact: You've stated lies about me repeatedly. Second, I used an illustration to make a point of putting words into people's mouths.
Notice that she still milks her accusation because he has no stated why her interpretation of his comment was incorrect.
KB: Your entire career is one giant mass of lies about LGBT people, it would take all night to scratch the surface.
MLB: First, most of my ministry activity doesn't focus on LGBT people. Activism came to my door, and I respond[ed]. Second, show me just 1 lie. All I hear from you is invective, false accusations, & hyperbole, while I keep giving you the benefit of the doubt & waiting for substance.
KB: You repeating over and over that we're recruiting children is a damn lie and a sick one. You need to repent of your lies about LGBT people.
MLB: What do I mean by recruiting children? I mean seeking to indoctrinate them, as I said explicitly in my article. Don't you want to do that? Don't you want them to believe that same-sex marriage is fine? Don't you want them to be open to being trans?
This is why our use of key words must be carefully chosen and defined, they will zero in on any word that can intelligently be misconstrued or misapplied. Now it is true that they will do so with any word we use, but the point is to use words so carefully that when they do misinterpret them, it is clearly an intentional misinterpretation. We should never make it easy for them.
KB: The only people indoctrinating children is the religious right. I don't believe in indoctrinating kids. You do. You're projecting.
MLB: So, you do NOT like what all the gay educators have been doing for years, as cited in my article? You OPPOSE GLSEN? I didn't know that. As for "the religious right" indoctrinating kids, we want to teach our own kids about our faith. We're not trying to teach your kids. OK?
I would not have added “We're not trying to teach your kids. OK?” Because the truth is that he would and we would at every opportunity. What he may have meant is that we do not infiltrate your private space or public schools to do so as you all do.
KB: If you want to talk indoctrination, let's talk about the right brainwashing LGBT kids to hate themselves and driving them to suicide.
MLB: You didn't answer me. Do you NOT support GLSEN? Do you NOT support those I quoted in my article? As for the message we bring to LGBT kids, it is one of the greatness of God's love, that we're created in His image but fallen, and that Jesus died for our sins and will deliver us from suicide and depression and fear. He does it all the time! It's a message of life.
Dr. Brown missed an opportunity here to challenge her irrational accusation, I would have asked how telling someone that they are destroying their lives by committing unnatural acts against their nature, and that God loves
them and wants to make their lives better as He intended it to be, was driving them to suicide? And why she would deny a person’s personal responsibility for self-preservation and put it on the expressed opinions of others?
KB: Just because you believe in brainwashing kids and not letting them think doesn't mean others do too.
MLB: What brainwashing? What are you talking about? And do parents NOT have the right to teach their kids about God?
I would have asked her to define “brainwashing” and if she did give the dictionary definition, (which is unlikely since they love making up their own definitions for key words), I would point out that if what we do is brainwashing, they how would she define what they do, which is force their view on others.
KB: If your "faith" teaches LGBT kids that their God hates them, it's an apostasy from the pit of hell.
MLB: My faith doesn't teach that, and I have told the opposite to LGBT's for years. Why do you keep manufacturing lies? Please deal with truth.
I would have added a question- how she arrives at her conclusions about people, by accepting what she reads about them from others that don’t like them? Because it is apparent that she is not interested in doing careful research about Christian public figures before she draws bad conclusions about them.
KB: Yes, it does. Or do you need me to quote back the tweet where you described being gay as "fallen"? We both know what that means.
MLB: Every human being is fallen! I've said that 10,000 times. We're ALL fallen and broken and in need of a Redeemer. You're projecting again.
A better reply would have been, on what do you base your definition of “fallen” as being “hated by God”? I would challenge her knowledge of what true Christianity teaches. And I would have said, if she cannot get my teaching right, why should anyone trust her opinion of me.
KB: Besides, you know full well that's not just what the right does. You try to turn us into brainwashed political footsoldiers. I lived it.
MLB: I've been following Jesus for 45+ years & haven't the slightest clue what you're referring to. Once again, you're projecting. What if I tell you, "You know full well the left is setting up concentration camps for the right"? How would you respond? You're doing this. If you were hurt personally, I'm sorry for that, but don't broad brush millions of good people. Tonight, here, the hate's not coming from me.
I think here Dr. Brown should not have said that he did not have the slightest clue what she was referring to, because it seems dishonest even if it is true, given his extensive research and publications on the topic. Though he may indeed not be aware of any Christian “brainwashing” tactics, he does know that good Christian churches do a decent job of training their youth on things to watch out for. To a dishonest liberal-leftist, that would be twisted to being brainwashing political foot soldiers. I would have challenged her to explain why their methods of training people was not brainwashing them to be political foot soldiers. I would have ended with an expression of sympathy for the abuse she feels she has suffered, and remind her that poor conduct by some Christians does not make all Christians bad.
KB: Dude, stop playing dumb. Generation Joshua, Summit, Teen Pact, all created to brainwash church kids into religious right footsoldiers.
MLB: Dude? Please. And I'm not playing dumb. We teach kids to love Jesus and love others. You call it "religious right footsoldiers." What if I looked at how you raise your kids and came up with some gruesome description like, "godless terrorists"? You're doing that.
Good, he is challenging her accusation and pointing out what it is an error. But he could have been more direct. Our teaching our children to identify and avoid ungodly behavior, and how to refute their unsound arguments cannot rationally be defined as brainwashing, though making them foot soldiers could be acceptable. But that would also apply to those trained by them.
KB: Dude, I lived it. I was trained to be a good little religious right foot soldier, but thankfully your side failed miserably.
MLB: I know folks raised by lesbians and it messed up their lives, then Jesus changed them. Do I demonize all lesbians then? You demonize us.
I would have added, that she has not explained what she “experienced” as a “Christian” trainee, and so I am at a lost to be able to reply to her claims. And that experience has nothing to do with me.
KB: I love how you've once again brought up accusations of violence as a rhetorical device. You're quite the slippery fish.
MLB: You're implying ugly & false things about me & you can't get through one tweet without an insult. The junk is in you, not me. Think about it.
I would have asked, what in my comment was an accusation of violence? There seems to be a communication problem here, are you redefining words, if so I would need you to define how your are redefining common words so that I can better communicate with you. (They love twisting normal word meaning).
KB: I answered your questions, but you're too busy indoctrinating and brainwashing church kids to see that you're projecting. Goodnight. #done.
MLB: First, how am I indoctrinating church kids when I'm interacting with you? Second, to be clear, you OPPOSE GLSEN & those I quoted?
I would have said, it is interesting that you would say that I did not answer your questions when our dialogue is public and can be read for anyone to see. And since you have ignored my question about opinion of GLSEN and the other homosexual organizations I mentioned in my article. Do you all operate by a double standard that does not hold you accountable for things you clearly try to hold others accountable for?
Dr. Brown concludes with these words:
And that was the end of our exchange. I did, however, check her tweets the next day, from which I learned that she was involved with Operation Rescue as a child, hence the reference to “religious right footsoldiers.”
My prayer for Kathryn is that if she was raised to follow the one true God that she would return to the faith of her youth. But if she was raised in hypocritical, man-made religious traditions – and consequently, deeply wounded by that – my prayer is that she will discover the one true God. He will melt her with His love.