– posted by thehim
Eric Earling posts about one of this region’s most colorful characters, Pastor Ken Hutcherson:
Perhaps you’ve caught wind of the latest brouhaha regarding the words of Pastor Ken Hutcherson.
I have. As was reported in the PI, he made some kind of a joke trying to illustrate the importance of men not allowing themselves to be too soft and effeminate by saying, “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.”
A column in the Seattle P-I may have been first to break the story, followed by predictable outrage from Horse’s Ass and the Slog.
So a preacher with a well-known history of bigotry jokes about the use of extreme violence. What could one possibly be outraged about?
After listening to Hutcherson talk to Goldy on Dave Ross’s radio show this morning it seems clear that yes indeed, the left is utterly mystified by Hutcherson’s broader context.
Due to internet problems at my office this morning, I didn’t have a chance to hear it. However, I’m far from convinced that we’re the ones who are mystified by Hutcherson’s broader context.
A regular attender to his church, or many other Evangelical churches in the area, would likely grasp his point.
And they’d also be more likely to believe that homosexuality is a choice.
Suffice it to say the protesters linked above aren’t counted in that number.
First, a caveat: critics have been quick to focus on the “God hates…” statements employed by Hutcherson, presuming he’s referring to gay men because of some of the language involved.
Let’s put this together logically. Here we have a man who has headed up a number of high-profile initiatives in order to attack companies and government institutions that have made moves towards providing equality for homosexuals. He then preaches that “God hates effeminate men.” Anyone who thinks that we can’t conclude that that’s a veiled statement in support of the notion that “God hates gay men” is being willfully ignorant.
It is fair to say that in the era of Fred Phelps and his repulsive Westboro Baptist “Church” that pastors should be cautious when employing any “God hates…” phraseology. This particularly applies to pastors of large, prominent congregations in a given community.
Well said, captain obvious.
Fairly or not, they face higher scrutiny and news about them in many cases serves as a window into the world of the faithful to those not otherwise engaged in a church. Hutcherson should be more cognizant of that modern reality.
In other words, he should come up with better ways to hide his homophobia.
That said, Hutcherson’s broader message about the importance of strong men is being wildly misunderstood.
Well, yes. But it’s being misunderstood more by Hutcherson himself than by either Goldy, Erica, or the numerous others who are appalled by his bigotry.
Anthony Robinson didn’t get it. Erica Barnett didn’t either. And David Goldstein certainly didn’t grasp it, though he admirably gave Hutcherson a serious, fair hearing on KIRO today.
It’s not their job to make excuses for him, Eric. That’s your job as a Republican hack. You often do that well, but this time, you’re trying to defend the indefensible and you’ve gotten yourself in over your head here.
The quotes that have captured attention are in the context of a message familiar in many Evangelical churches – including this author’s: the importance of men living up to the purpose God has for them in life.**
Again, no one denies that Hutcherson thinks he’s following that message. The problem is that his unhinged homophobia distorts that message into something truly absurd and frightening.
Contrary to the fears of misogyny Barnett articulates, the full specter of the message here is that men shouldn’t be passive.
No, it’s not. The message here is that Hutcherson believes that the lesson of men not being passive is related to some implied importance of men not being gay. There are large numbers of effeminate gay men who are very assertive and there are large numbers of macho straight men who have people walk all over them their entire life.
They should be proactive; as fathers, as husbands, as friends, and as employees. In a modern world where it’s all too easy and comfortable not to engage, God calls men to be serious about their responsibilities in life.
Absolutely. But this has nothing to do with homosexuality, and yet Hutcherson disagrees with that. He equates proactiveness with heterosexuality. Otherwise, there would be no reason for him to tell that joke. It just wouldn’t make sense in any other context.
That doesn’t mean domineering. The theology of Hutcherson’s broader point centers in many cases on the concept of “servant leadership,” where while the man may be in a leadership role in a given situation, he is concurrently sacrificial – just as Christ himself was entirely sacrificial in his leadership role establishing the church.
I find it appropriate that this entire discussion boils down to an oxymoron.
Such teaching is utterly contrary to the fears that are invoked in the minds of Goldstein, Barnett, and other liberal critics.
Absolutely not. Distorting the idea of proactivity by equating it with masculinity is the problem here.
They fear Hutcherson’s reference to “soft men” refers to those not achieving a certain macho stereotype, ranging somewhere between the beer-drinking, bigoted, redneck and a 1950′s Ward Cleaver.
No, they recognize his reference to “soft men” as a way to avoid saying “homosexual.”
Example: Goldy lamented to Hutcherson today that his own personal enjoyment of musicals and his time spent as a stay-at-home dad make him the “soft man” Hutcherson was railing against. Not true – though there might be other reasons Hutcherson would label him accordingly.
And what would those reasons be? Does Eric really believe that Goldy is not a proactive individual who takes his responsibilities as a parent, friend, or employee seriously? The reason that Goldy asked that question of Hutcherson is not because Goldy believes that it’s the Evangelical outlook, it’s because he believes that it’s Hutcherson’s outlook.
Personal tastes in leisure and entertainment are largely immaterial, and there are certainly instances where the stay-at-home dad can actually be an excellent example of the very “servant leadership” this teaching envisions.
OK. Then I assume that Pastor Hutcherson is ready to praise Dan Savage and his partner, right?
It should further be stipulated that Hutcherson’s style of preaching, which he himself attests is designed to have some entertainment and almost shock value (in a good way), is often not conducive to full and fair analysis based on selective quotes. Yes, some of his preaching and particularly some of his activism is controversial. But misunderstanding what a person is saying and taking words out of context is still a poor way to have a serious debate. Hutcherson’s latest critics are guilty of both.
No Eric, they’re not. The person who’s distorting people’s views here is you. I don’t doubt for a second that Hutcherson believes very strongly in the Evangelical beliefs you talk about, but that’s not what people have a problem with. The fact that Hutcherson expands this notion of personal responsibility to deride non-masculine men and homosexuals as being non-proactive is the real issue. This is not a belief that derives from the Evangelical teachings that you’re talking about here. It derives from homophobia. And sadly, while Pastor Hutcherson believes that this is what makes a man strong, it actually does the opposite. It demonstrates his own weakness. I completely agree with you that men in our society need to be more proactive and need to be more responsible in all aspects of life. But there’s no one who is failing at this more spectacularly than Pastor Hutcherson himself.
**Note: this discussion is intended in large part to be a generalization of the general Evangelical message in question, not necessarily an exact reflection of Hutcherson’s teaching or his views.
Then what was the fucking point to all of this?