Chanting Points Memo: Emmer And The Yellow Quote

Over the years, we’ve become used to the Minnesota Independent’s sloppy, agenda-driven “reporting” on issues.

Yesterday, Andy Birkey at the Mindy topped himself in a piece about a “donation” from the Tom Emmer campaign to “You Can Run International” (YCR(, an Annandale-based ministry. 

YCR is a fundamentalist group that started as a metal-rap music ministry that started doing assemblies in schools, and have branched out into multimedia, including a weekly radio program, “Sons Of Liberty” on WWTC-AM, where my “Northern Alliance Radio Network” also broadcasts.  Disclosure:  I know Bradlee Dean via the station; we talk radio quite a bit; I disagree with him on not a few things, theologically and politically, and he and his ministry say a few things I don’t personally endorse.  But we’re on the same team (and I’m waiting to see which leftyblog is the first to copy and paste “we’re on the same team” while omitting the previous couple of sentences).

Birkey:

The Minnesota House campaign of Rep. Tom Emmer donated to the ministry of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Intl., Inc., according to the press secretary for Emmer’s gubernatorial campaign. Emmer is one of several Republican leaders involved with the ministry of Bradlee Dean, who leads a hard rock band that brings its message of Jesus Christ into public schools and recently affirmed the practice of Muslim countries executing gays and lesbians.

First, the “donation”. 

According to a source very close to the Emmer campaign, “the “contribution” was nothing more than buying seats at a dinner”, a teen outreach event.   It was not a direct cash donation to YCR, as Birkey’s article implies.

Tomayto Tomahto?  Not really – accuracy and context count. 

But Birkey goes farther into the weeds.

According to campaign finance reports, Emmer’s campaign gave You Can Run $250 in late 2008 (pdf).

In the last few months, Emmer has appeared on Bradlee Dean’s radio show — the same show on which Dean said, “Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America. This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination.”

Well, no.  Emmer did not appear on “the same show” where Dean gave the quote above.  He appeared on a completely separate episode of the program.   And they talked about politics.  Not Islam and Christianity’s views on gays.   Birkey’s wording is incredibly misleading; the subtext – that appearing on a radio show implies agreement rather than trying to engage an audience – is even worse.  

And if Birkey wants to believe appearance equals agreement, he might want to have a word with NARN guest R.T. Rybak.

And Dean was talking about traditional biblical and quranic theology, not advocating actions by a civil government.  Fundamentalist Christianity and Islam are both rather harsh on the subject of homosexuality, and Dean is nothing if not a fundamentalist.  But it’s crazy to take Dean’s quote – about an outrage on the part of Muslim governments – and spin it as sympathy for lynching gays (see “UPDATE”, below).

So to summarize, Andy Birkey wants you to believe that seats “donated” at an outreach dinner in November 2008 for a group whose radio program didn’t go on the air until August 2009  implies…what?  That Tom Emmer harbors some sympathy for putatively outrageous views on gays?

Seem a little stretchy to anyone?

Emmer also posed for a picture with leaders of You Can Run,

As he did with pretty much everyone who attended any Republican function in the past year or so, myself included.  Heck, if Andy Birkey had shown up, he’d probably have gotten a picture with Emmer too. 

Emmer, by the way, responds pretty definitively to the issue to MPR’s Tom Scheck.

UPDATE AND CORRECTION:  I talked with Bradlee Dean – that’s how I roll, reporting-wise. 

First the correction:  Dean interviewed Emmer on their old KKMS program, before he started on WWTC.  KKMS is Salem’s religious station, while WWTC covers politics.

Now, the update.  I asked Dean “Do you advocate or approve of the government executing homosexuals for being homosexual?”

He laughed a long, deep bellylaugh.  That’d be “no”.

“Would it be fair to say”, I continued, “that the context of the quote Andy Birkey ran was discussing biblical and quranic theology, rather than advocating or tolerating actions by a civil goverment, and that neither Bradkee Dean nor You Can Run International advocate the murder of gays?”

“Absolutely”, Dean replied.

I don’t know about you, but that was not the impression I got from Birkey’s quote.

75 thoughts on “Chanting Points Memo: Emmer And The Yellow Quote

  1. You certainly have not shown that Dean is specifically calling for the execution of gays. In fact he has denied it.
    There are times that I think you have a screw loose, Dog Gone.

  2. “The other problems have to do with definitions of sexual terminology – not all individuals who engage in same sex pedophilia are primarily same sex oriented – some are bi-sexual, and many more are far far more heterosexual in orientation with a far lesser interest or arousal for same sex activity, but who still engaged in same sex activity as a matter of availability.”

    Lady, you are a kook. Apply all the moonbat pap you want, the fact is that men that bugger men, or boys are homos. 60% of the Catholic priests that have been busted abusing kids, are homos. The Catholic Church has a really bad homo problem, and unless you’re going to try and convince us that most homos are priests, the evidence leads one to rationally conclude that homos are more prone to abuse kids than heteros.

    “The number of species where homosexual behavior is observed in nature is expanding rapidly.”

    Wow. Now DG says homo’s are animals….kind of harsh, even for me.

    “expanding rapidly.”

    Do you think some gay group has been sneaking into the woods to teach bears how to bugger each other, DG? Or are there so many gay guys buggering each other in the bushes that bears get some on them just walking by?

    LOL! You’re a nut! Have another VG&KA.

  3. Lets start with the last first, as it exemplifies your misstatements Swiftee.

    I said that there are more instances than Dean acknowledges that same sex same species sexuality exists in nature. And if – big IF – your stats for the problems of same sex pedophilia in the roman catholic church are correct, at most it proves that the church is ordaining same sex pedophiles, not that it is representative of either pedophiles generally or homosexuals generally, either. Bad example, and shame on you for trying to falsely extrapolate that to broader experience. But you obviously feel no need to famliarize yourself with any facts other than the few about the Roman Catholic church which suit your argument.

    Terry, Dean states that the same laws exist in the Bible that exist in the Koran, he states that Islam calls for the execution of gays. He claims that if the Biblical laws are not enforced God will raise up a foreign enemy if we don’t execute gays according to Biblical and Koranic laws. And he praises the morals of muslims for executing gays.

    From that Terry, either you are asserting that Dean is calling for the U.S. to defy God, or Dean is calling for the execution of gays by the U.S. to avoid God inflicting foreign enemies on us —- who will kill gays for us.

    All his statement to Mitch really proves is that he waffles when confronted with his stupid statements. You have failed to reconcile in ANY way the statements he has made (and he has made many many more than just the ones here in the same vein) and his denial. The denial contradicts the rest.

    Now it IS true he didn’t call for the GOVERNMENT to order or carry out the executions; he didn’t address who should which is what prompted my question. If you look at his words strictly, he simply agrees that he isn’t calling for the government to kill gays, not that he isn’t calling for gays to be executed.

    His claim that muslims execute gays is misleading – very few muslim governments execute gays – it is largely limited to Iran, and even there, they have gone for long periods of time with open tolerance. I have yet to see any muslims calling for the execution of homosexuals here specifically, and given how relatively rare in the muslim world generally these executions or enforcement of sharia law is practiced, it is a misleading and deceptive statement about muslims. Sharia law varies surprisingly by geography. In any case, Sharia law is not the Koran, so the claim that this is a comparison between the Bible and the Koran is bogus as well.

    I frankly think this is a really bad interpretation of Biblical law as well.

    And the claim that homosexuals are all molestors or a majority of molestors are homosexual is also crap.

    So frankly, the kindest thing Dean could do would be to get off the side of those who have been supporting him. The man has bizare and stupid ideas, no factual support for them, and he is a bigot. No way this guy should be speaking to school children.

  4. DG,

    And he praises the morals of muslims for executing gays.

    Really? In the context of a larger statement where he was condemning Muslims for…executing gays?

    From that Terry, either you are asserting that Dean is calling for the U.S. to defy God, or Dean is calling for the execution of gays by the U.S. to avoid God inflicting foreign enemies on us —- who will kill gays for us.

    Provided that everything in that rohrshach blog of a rhetorical logical construct is correct? Sure. It’s exactly what Terry is saying.

    All his statement to Mitch really proves is that he waffles when confronted with his stupid statements.

    Alternate and less-inflammatorily-biased possibility: he’s providing context that Birkey did not.

    You have failed to reconcile in ANY way the statements he has made (and he has made many many more than just the ones here in the same vein)

    Really? He has? Feel free to produce them, and we can go over them. Until you do, they are on the same plane as Penigma’s never-ending stream of world-class experts who live across the alley from him and support him in every particular of his every case, but can never go on the record because, y’know, they’re world-class experts.

    Bring the actual material, in context, and we can discuss. Or better yet, do it on your blog.

    The denial contradicts the rest.

    That is what denials are.

    Now it IS true he didn’t call for the GOVERNMENT to order or carry out the executions

    Which, since the subject is TOM EMMER’s non-existent “involvement” with the group, is really all that we need to know.

    he didn’t address who should

    And a reasonable person might look at that and assume “because it’s not what he believes”.

    If you look at his words strictly, he simply agrees that he isn’t calling for the government to kill gays, not that he isn’t calling for gays to be executed.

    Really, DG?

    Not saying “gays should not be executed” is the same as saying “gays should be executed?”

    His claim that muslims execute gays is misleading – very few muslim governments execute gays – it is largely limited to Iran, and even there, they have gone for long periods of time with open tolerance.

    Ah. So they’ve reached a level of acceptable brutaility?

    You didn’t NOT say there ISN’T an acceptable level of gay-lynching.

    Oh, and you’re wrong – gays are executed in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, and Taliban-controlled parts of Afghanistan. They are murdered by pseudojudicial bodies all over the muslim world.

    I have yet to see any muslims calling for the execution of homosexuals here specifically,

    Just a tad obtuse. Moslems that call for world-wide sharia are calling for world-wide execution of gays.

  5. Well, yeah. DG? Do you think it’s meaningful if you’re unable to find that those Muslims calling for world-wide shariah, including the lynching of gays, don’t specifically say, “yeah, and we mean those gays in Edina, and, kaffir, like, don’t get us started on the ones in Uptown”?

    I mean, like, huh?

  6. 1. Gays are not child molestors. Same sex attraction or gratification is not the same thing as a sexual attraction or gratification from children. They are two separate attractions. Promoting this misinformation is promoting hateful misunderstanding in the name of Christianity.

    2. There is no truth to the statement that gays average 117 molestations before being found out. Promoting this misinformation is promoting hateful misunderstanding in the name of Christianity.

    3. Claiming Sharia law or Islam calls for the execution of gays is misleading and misinformation. There is no agreement in Sharia law that homosexuality or conduct should receive the punishment of execution. That is a cultural interpretation, not religion based. The DISagreement about homosexuality and punishment within Islam is huge. There is no more support for it than there is support among Christians interpreting the Bible to call for the executions of gays. A Biblical equivalent that Dean argues exists with Islam or the Koran – it does not. More promotion of hateful misinformation in the name of Christianity.

    Since you seem not to be aware of it, the prohibitions against homosexuality go back to the story of Lot (Lut in Islam). The actual prohibitions in Islam DO call for punishment for repeated homosexual practice, but do NOT state what that punishment should be. The reflection of the story of Lot or Lut in Sharia and in the Hadiths is widely disputed.

    So to claim that Muslims calling for wold wide sharia law is STILL not the same thing as Muslims calling for execution of gays world wide OR in the U.S.

    And the only thing even close to that statement was a group that claimed that IF- note IF – sharia law was enforced in the U.S., gays could be executed (not would be). That is not the same thing as muslims calling for gays in the U.S. to be executed.

    Praising the notion that Muslims would somehow be more moral is repugnant, and shame on nay of you who support that statement.

    And none of you have shown how Dean is NOT calling for gays to be executed or otherwise made into criminals in a repugnant way by the most damning statement of all “If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that.
    Do you approve or condone that statement Mitch? Are you on the same side with THAT?

  7. And none of you have shown how Dean is NOT calling for gays to be executed …

    You’re right, of course; my apologies. He also hasn’t explicitly called for left-handed bicyclists with mohawks and a preference for lukewarm coffee not be hung up by the heels and whacked with squash rackets, either.

    The cad.

  8. And let us not pretend that there are not currently similar proponents of executing gays within Christianity, making the connection for you that Dean was claiming a perceived link between Christian / Biblical law and his mistaken notion of Islamic law – here is the youtube video of the Polish Roman Catholic priest calling for the auto-de-fe to be brought back (oh, wait, wasn’t Terry just joking about the auto-de-fe and christianity on this same discussion? Yes, I know that wasn’t what you meant Terry.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCmzXZu70jY&feature=player_embeddedween Christian Biblical law and the ‘law’ of Islam:

  9. And let us not pretend that there are not currently similar proponents of executing gays within Christianity…

    Well, yeah, as long as “similar” means something like “very, very different.”

  10. And as to the question I raised with you Mitch about the supposed enforcement (the only enforcement that he mentions IS execution), and raising the question about who does Dean want to carry out this enforcement, if not the governement?

    I would draw your attention to Dean’s statement in the same broadcast as the excerpts previously quoted, “We are ruled by God, not policy.”

    We are ruled by law, and we ARE ruled by our government policy. Religion is a personal and private matter, not something to be enforced by government.

    Maybe you should listen to a bit more of the broadcasts that come on after yours, and hear a bit more, listening critically, before being so supportive.

  11. Joel R, muslims proposing the execution of gays is exactly like the roman catholic priest in the video proposing we should execute gays.

    And it is also exactly alike in that it does not reflect the views of the majority of those two religions, contrary to the positon of Bradlee Dean.

  12. Does anyone else find it rather interesting that – as Bradlee Dean links them — the basis in Judaism for all of this talk of execution is the religious text of Judaism – the Torah or Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible – but so far as I can find, Jews have never executed homosexuals during any period of their religion.

    So really, Dean should leave out the ‘judeo’ part, shouldn’t he? (grin)

  13. Joel R, muslims proposing the execution of gays is exactly like the roman catholic priest in the video proposing we should execute gays.

    Well, no. There is no majority-Catholic nation whose political leadership shares those view to the point of making them public policy.

  14. so far as I can find, Jews have never executed homosexuals during any period of their religion.

    Inasmuch as that’s a very picayune area of history, I suspect that your research didn’t even qualify as “cursory”, especially since from the diaspora until 1948 there was no Jewish legal system.

    I’m sure one of Penigma’s neighbors has a trove of pre-diasporic Judaic court records she’ll anonymously lend you, though. Dig in.

  15. I would draw your attention to Dean’s statement in the same broadcast as the excerpts previously quoted, “We are ruled by God, not policy.”

    So your choice here is to…:

    a) Admit you’re assuming that really means Dean is calling for extralegal executions – murder – based on nothing more than your extrapolation on his quote (while painstakingly ignoring the answer to my direct question to Dean, which contradicts you completely, much as you try to logically gyrate around the fact), or…

    b) Ask him.

    All else is a waste of time and intellectual effort.

    Maybe you should listen to a bit more of the broadcasts that come on after yours, and hear a bit more, listening critically, before being so supportive.

    Why would you assume I don’t?

  16. DG,

    What Joel said. You’re trying to stretch a nickel’s worth of content to cover a five dollar tab.

    And let us not pretend that there are not currently similar proponents of executing gays within Christianity, making the connection for you that Dean was claiming a perceived link between Christian / Biblical law and his mistaken notion of Islamic law

    Er, no. Just…no. This is so wrong on so many levels it just needs to be hammered.

    For starters, Dean is NOT mistaken; the Quran calls for killing homosexuals, no less so than Leviticus does. And Iran not only does it, but there’s been a surge in the practice.

    Are there proponents of the same within Christianity? Sure. Not a single one of them has any power to follow through on it, via government or via any significant church body (which would, under the laws of every western nation, be subject to criminal sanction for following through on it, unlike in countries govered by Sharia).

    No, all you have is a few isolated crazies like…

    the Polish Roman Catholic priest calling for the auto-de-fe to be brought back

    To compare crazy, irrelevant priests in Poland and Uganda with the mullahs in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria and Indonesia is almost too obtuse to even be able to respond to.

  17. Joel R, muslims proposing the execution of gays is exactly like the roman catholic priest in the video proposing we should execute gays.

    Well, no. I’m not going to defend the priest — I think he’s a nutjob, m’self — but it’s not at all irrelevant that, in none of those countries controlled by Catholics (whether it’s Vatican City, Lesotho, or Malta) are gays executed — or anything close to it — for consensual homosexual conduct. Mitch is, simply, right. Those few fringe Catholics who urge that sort of stuff are politically impotent; they’re fringer outliers, no more affecting thought and behavior than the Phelpses. Even in Uganda, which is about as far-out as Catholic countries get on the subject, the move to go all Taliban/Iran/Nigerian about it has been stopped.

    Yup; there was a time when that was otherwise. No question. It’s about as clear as it can be from this remove that, back before what later became the Sanhedrin was the final court among the tribes, there was a fair amount of stoning going on, for lots of things.

    And Emmer, as we know, is a strong supporter of Israel; the DFL contenders less so, but still…

    Which of them are you interested in throwing under the bus because, quite probably, a couple of millenia ago, the Kingdom of Israel executed gays?

  18. Did you ever notice that about the only time Leviticus gets dragged out is when someone wants to find an excuse to indulge their bigotry? The content of the New Testament is pretty clear about freeing believers from the old law of Leviticus – so no, for modern Christians to clami Leviticus is a poor interpretation of Christian beliefs and the Bible.

    Pretty much the only documented executions for homosexuality in the last 1500 or so years was among Christians and Muslims, which certainly raises doubts about how much of a Judeo – early Christian law it was. In the countries which are muslim where it is practiced, it is pertty consistently a reflection of the existing cultural taboos and predates Islam. Otherwise you would find it in all Muslim countries – and it is not. There is a lot of objection to the interpretation of sharia as justifying execution of homosexuals for homosexual sex.

    Before challenging the claim that the Koran calls for the killing I looked it up to confirm what I had read earlier. The Koran does call for punishment; it does NOT call for execution, and it also calls for forgiveness for the acts, which it does not do for other actions that more clearly are punishable by execution.

  19. The only reason that people like Dean lie about homosexuality and child molestation is to gain support for fear of homosexuals. It was clearly the case for example from Christians in Uganda.

    Homosexuality is distinctly different from pedophilia. The overwhelming majority of homosexual and heterosexual activity is between adults, and it is not a result of gender preference (same sex or opposite sex) when pedophilia occurs.

    The sexual act is not what defines a homosexual either. There are heterosexual couples that engage in anal sex. Nor were the majority of those boys abused by priests ‘buggered’ to use Swiftee’s term for it. The majority were touched or engaged in some form of masturbation, and in some cases in oral sex —also actions engaged in by both homosexual and heterosexual adults in non-abusive sex.

    There is no basis for criminalizing homosexuality. That Dean claims imminent divine retribution if people don’t follow what he is preaching is hateful fear mongering and a distorted form of Christianity.

  20. Long discussion about the nature of homosexuality will be ignored, since it’s off topic.

    Before challenging the claim that the Koran calls for the killing I looked it up to confirm what I had read earlier. The Koran does call for punishment; it does NOT call for execution, and it also calls for forgiveness for the acts, which it does not do for other actions that more clearly are punishable by execution.

    Distinction without a difference; judges and mullahs and whatnot acting in the name of Islam cite Quranic authority in carrying out executions/lynchings of homosexuals.

    Apparently they found an emanation of a penumbra.

    DG, you are digging into ever-more-picayune territory to argue points I either don’t contest or ignore because they’re irrelevant to the real point of this post; Andy Birkey’s attempt to smear Tom Emmer by association with Brad Dean is wrong and stupid.

    That is really all that matters.

  21. I don’t know the relationship between Emmer and Dean, this an apparently closer relationship between Dean and Bachmann. I think it is a fair subject for examination in assessing what Emmer does and does not represent.

    The issue of how Dean presents homosexuality and other issues in the context of religion does matter, as does your claim to support him as a member of the same team. It will be interesting to see how close or distant future political associations develop.

    The distinction is that in areas that didn’t have a pre-existing pattern of executions for homosexuality, it has NOT been practiced in the name of Islam by clerics or anyone else. I think it is a fair statement that Dean has been off the mark in his claims, and that is something that is important in who one claims to share a common view.

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