Main | Monday, November 09, 2009

Peter LaBarbera: The Liberty Counsel Has Called The FBI Over JMG Commenters

According to arch homophobe Peter LaBarbera, the Christianist legal firm Liberty Counsel has called the FBI to report "terrorist threats" made by JMG commenters.

Dear Readers,

Homosexual activist blogger Joe Jervis of “Joe.My.God” website contains a post attacking AFTAH founder Peter LaBarbera followed by a reader comment suggesting that “domestic terrorism” against pro-family leaders who oppose the homosexual agenda is justifiable.

In the post, titled “Haters vs. Haters: Peter LaBarbera Attacks Maine’s Stand for Marriage” — which has been live online since last Wed., Nov. 4 — a reader named “Fritz” writes:

“What I fear is that once gay and lesbian people give up hope of achieving equality through nonviolent means, there will be radicals who will begin to hunt down haters like LaBarbera and [National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie] Gallagher.

“All [it] will take is a small group of radical zealots who are willing to kill for their cause….”

Responding to Fritz’s suggestive “warning,” “Tex” writes:

“Fritz … you say this like it’s a bad thing?

“Maybe a bit of well-organized terrorism is just what we need, er, I mean ‘civil disobedience.’”

More coming …. We will reproduce all the offensive comments on our website. The pro-family Christian defense organization Liberty Counsel has contacted the FBI regarding the threatening post.
The two comments excerpted by LaBarbera don't pass the laugh test as a "terrorist threat." The first, by Fritz, expressed concern that any violence against anti-gay activists would HURT our cause. Which it would. The second, by Tex, is clearly a joke. Nevertheless, I've taken that post down for the time being, mostly to prevent your names from being re-posted on other wingnut sites. After I've thoroughly reviewed all the comments, it'll go back up.

But please let this obvious attempt to intimidate me and my readers serve as a warning to you all. The Christianist right monitors this blog and what we all say very closely. They read every post and every comment, clearly. Please don't post anything, even in jest, that you wouldn't mind saying in a signed letter to your local newspaper. Nothing is truly anonymous on the internet, ever.

Courts have held that bloggers, newspapers, and other online forums are not responsible (PDF) for libelous or threatening comments made on their sites. But cases have been brought, although rarely successfully, against commenters whose identities can be determined. Especially, you must never post the home addresses or personal phone numbers of any public or private persons. Calls to action that include links, addresses, and phone numbers for government agencies, advocacy groups, and businesses are perfectly legal.

According to figures provided by JS-Kit, the commenting service provider for this blog, the volume of commenting here is in the hundreds of thousands per year. Obviously, I cannot monitor them all, so I ask that if you see a comment posted here on JMG that you feel incites to violence, violates someone's personal privacy, or otherwise puts its author in legal jeopardy, please email me at and I'll investigate.

UPDATE: Raw Story has posted an email from Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber, in which he compares the Fort Hood massacre to "terrorist threats" from JMG commenters.
A prominent social-conservative activist group is using comments made by readers on a gay-rights Web site as "evidence" that the LGBT movement is mulling using "organized terrorism" against Christians. The Liberty Counsel released a statement on Monday linking Nidal Malik Hasan, the alleged shooter in last week's Fort Hood massacre, to the gay-rights movement.

"In the wake of the horrific act of Islamic domestic terrorism at Fort Hood Texas, it has been learned that militant homosexual activists recently made similar online postings to those of Nidal Malik Hasan, threatening additional acts of terrorism against Christians," stated an email from Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel's director of cultural affairs, as well as an associate dean at Liberty University Law School. Barber's email continued:
In response to Maine’s natural marriage victory last Tuesday, “gay” activists have directly threatened to retaliate with “terrorism” and the “killing” of Christians on the popular homosexual activist JoeMyGod weblog. Liberty Counsel notified the FBI which is investigating the matter. As of this morning, the offending blog entry had been removed. Matt Barber commented: “All potential threats of terrorism and murder are very serious business. As we learned just last week, there are ideologically driven terrorists who walk among us. After passage of Proposition 8 in California we saw that many homosexual activists are capable of threats, vandalism and even violence. Those who either threaten or attempt to incite terrorism must be immediately brought to justice. Churches and Christian leaders around the country need to be on high alert. These threats of homosexual activist terrorism must be taken very seriously."

I guess Barber is really upset about his book reviews. So like any dissed author, he called the FBI.

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