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Local bigot pastor spends $7600 on "Christmas" ad. How many homeless people could that money have fed?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

First-class local homophobe and pious pastor Patrick Wooden, Sr. of Raleigh's Upper Room Church of God proudly bought a full-page newspaper ad urging 'all Christians to spend their hard-earned dollars with merchants who include the greeting 'Merry Christmas' in their holiday advertising promotions this Christmas'. The church spent $7,600. How many homeless could that have fed? (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

This guy makes me sick. He has been a hostile local force against gay people in the Triangle and has no problem railing on about gays in print:

"I cannot stand by and say nothing while this wicked phenomenon takes place."

"We have to block the use of euphemisms when we talk about homosexuals," he said. "They are not gay. We've got to use terms like 'deviant' and 'abomination.' "

"If we're labeled as being fanatical Christians, we embrace it."

"[Homosexuality is] 'one of the greatest enemies of Christianity.'"

Now he's graduated to religious intolerance:

"There is a revival taking place in our nation that is causing Christian and right-minded people to say, `Wait a minute. We've gone too far,'" says the Rev. Patrick Wooden Sr., pastor of the Raleigh church. "We're not going to allow the country to continue this downward spiral to the left."

But to many, the threats and demands that stores put up "Merry Christmas" signs are no laughing matter.

"Why not simply require stores owned by Jews to put a gold star in their ads and on their storefronts?" the Rev. Jim Melnyk, associate rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Raleigh, wrote in a letter to the editor.
  • Oh, please, Pam.

    This is no different than all the people over on Americablog urging people to "buy blue", or the regular exhortations that we get to patronize gay-friendly establishments, or the national "boycott day" last October, or the "shop at home" promotions that the small town near where I grew up is running this winter.

    To them, as to the good Reverend, I say the following: Thank you for the information and I will certainly consider it in my decision on where and how to spend my money.

    By North Dallas Thirty, at 2:13 PM  
  • Jeff, you haven't seen or heard this fool. He appeared at an open town hall meeting about legal issues regarding gay partnerships and marriage with a group of his flock and he proceeded to try and shout down and scare people that had turned up just to get advice and discuss the issues. Friends of mine were there and they were very concerned that Wooden's mob would turn violent.

    For the Upper Room people, they truly believe that their way is the only way. No gay groups have turned up to protest at his church -- all his demonstrations have been completely one-sided, and worse, his attitude is what is making it extremely hard to address the spread of HIV in the minority community. Imagine being a Christian black man that happens to be gay and struggling. You're going to stay on the DL rather than come forth if you hear someone like Wooden calling you evil at every turn.

    The fact that he's turning to this "Merry Christmas" issue with his little ad means more to him than a little "buy blue" campaign.

    By Pam, at 2:21 PM  
  • Aside from which, if my pastor spent my tithe on this kind of nonsense, rather than feeding the hungry or housing the homeless or helping members of our church who have family members and breadwinners out of work or overseas in Iraq, I'd be pretty furious. For some reason, when I put my money in the plate, I want to assume that it's going to make the world a better place. If he wants to spread this kind of message, that's what the sermon is for, or the newsletter. Seven thousand bucks would print a lot of bulletins, even after you helped the family that's not getting home heating aid this winter.

    By Anonymous, at 2:39 PM  
  • Amen to that. Unfortunately, based on my comment above, I don't think anyone in his church has a problem with the way that money was spent. They are a truly scary crowd.

    By Pam, at 2:44 PM  
  • Oh please, Jeff.

    Pam has pointed out a little more here than what this guy is advocating for holiday spending habits.

    By impeach bush, at 5:46 PM  
  • Not only that, but he's pretty much spending church money to basically say to Jews, "My religious holiday is bigger than your religious holiday."

    Values win!

    By Justin Cognito, at 6:12 PM  
  • I'm more upset at this than anything else. Seems to me that you put the "Christ" in "Christmas" by giving, not buying an expensive ad and featuring yourself in the newspaper. Bush winning the election has so far been the worse thing to happen to Christianity than anything I have seen. We have these so-called Christians worrying about symbols (i.e. ten commandment statues) than substance. We have rich megachurches in black communities betraying their gay brothers and sisters just to get some of that faith based charity money that is being given out. And we have people talking "reclaiming" the nation for Christ by the power of force. Whatever happened to humility.

    By Anonymous, at 6:13 PM  
  • He revealed his political, not religious motivation by saying "continue this downward spiral to the left."

    By Pam, at 6:22 PM  
  • So sorry, but just have to say it: it was Cheney showing off that 'downward spiral to the left', and we all saw it!

    Me naughty ;)

    By impeach bush, at 8:20 PM  
  • Ugh. I feel sick again. No need to think about Cheney's log. :)

    By Pam, at 10:23 PM  
  • No, Pam, I've actually seen worse than this fool -- I live in Dallas, remember? Not only have I seen and dealt with "reverends" of all colors practicing blatant homophobia during the discussions for our city nondiscrimination ordinances, I've seen and dealt with black politicians engaging in horrific gaybaiting on the streets against an openly-gay candidate for City Council.

    What I have found in all these cases is this -- the best way to fatally cripple these fools is to step aside and let them speak. From a logical standpoint, if people are bigoted enough to buy into their statements, they certainly are bigoted enough to interpret your attempts to bash them or shut them up as "proof" that all gays are "out to get" them. Conversely, you will be amazed at how quickly these ranting fools embarrass their flock and degrade their power base when given the opportunity to speak. Moreover, once they've finished embarrassing themselves, you still have the potential for bridges to the people who see these folks as the bullies they are, having not burned them with any icendiary words or actions yourself.

    As my mother always told me, when you're right, you don't have to argue. We are right. Let people like the Reverend exercise their freedom of speech to make utter fools of themselves.

    By North Dallas Thirty, at 1:49 AM  
  • Actually, the gay community here has pretty much let the guy hang himself, most of the published criticism has come from other ministers.

    By Pam, at 7:40 AM  
  • Great point and great post, Pam...

    Hello from Raleigh: Home of this Wooden moron...

    By Brian, at 2:01 PM  

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