|The Reverend Donald Spitz (photo: Steven M. Katz, Virginia Pilot)|
I suppose that's as good a reason as any for me to have gotten this "godly admonition" in this morning's email from the Reverend Donald Spitz:
I just saw your church listed as a GAY friendly church on gaychurch.org.
To accept sexual deviancy as normal is a sin.
You put your soul in danger of eternal damnation for welcoming unrepentant homosexuals into God’s house. You blaspheme the Name of God.
Homosexuality should be criminalized. Homosexuals commit crimes against God, against nature, against the Holy Bible and against the human race.
Because of your church, I now know why God wrote:
Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Well, there it is, then.Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:SAY THIS PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am a sinner and am headed to eternal hell
:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
because of my sins. I believe you died on the cross to take away my sins
and to take me to heaven. Jesus, I ask you now to come into my heart and
take away my sins and give me eternal life. http://www.armyofgod.com
A quote from Holy Writ (in proper King James version) - which, apparently, "my" church has helped him to understand - some unsolicited advice, and a helpful little prayer to say.
Now, I don't know if, by referring to "my" church, he meant The Episcopal Church or the church where I was formerly rector. If you click on Gaychurch.org you have to click on a country and then a state and then scroll down to find my former church.
Which has nothing explicit on its website that would make it a "Gay church" - except that it still has something I wrote when I was there: "Absolutely everyone is welcome here."
It's pretty clear from the website that I'm no longer rector. Indeed, they have a lovely new rector - who will celebrate the first anniversary of her ordination to the priesthood next month - who, herself, has a husband and three sons.
Things that make you go, "Hmmmmm . . . .".
However, if you check out HIS website - Army of God (which I advise you not to do, unless you are prepared to get quite ill) - it's all about "saving unborn babies". There's nothing there about being gay.
Oh, and there is an "Honor Roll of American Heroes" who have murdered doctors who perform abortions, including Scott Roeder, who killed Kansas Dr. George Tiller, and Paul Jennings Hill, who shot and killed clinic doctor John Britton and his bodyguard, James Barrett, and seriously wounded Barrett's wife, June in Pensacola, Florida.
Now, I don't know what being an LGBT person has to do with reproductive rights, but if you're a "wild-eyed extremist", I suppose details don't matter much.
Spitz lives in rural, southern Chesapeake, Virginia, where he says he tries to demonstrate at least five times a week outside clinics where abortions are performed - usually by himself and without violence.
You know. It's just part of his spiritual discipline. His own "Rule of Life".
In a 2008 news article, he was described in this way,
"His friends and allies call him a religious man of passion. His detractors insist he remains a dangerous figure in a bloody, underground movement responsible for clinic bombings, killings of abortion doctors, and anthrax threats. Some even call him one of the worst possible names in this day and age: terrorist. He's proud to count as friends people who have been to prison - and one (at that time) who has been executed - for anti-abortion violence.Spitz, a first-generation American, says that his strict Roman Catholic upbringing as a child started him on his path. His father was in the military and he moved across the country a great deal. Spitz himself served in the Navy - joining at age 18 - and served in Vietnam for two years.
But, sitting in his home in rural, southern Chesapeake, Spitz seemed unfazed by the taunts.
"I think it's obvious, I'm not a terrorist," the 60-year-old said. "I'm just old Don doing my thing."
He moved with his wife to Hampton Roads from Queens, N.Y., more than two decades ago. He has no children and refuses to talk about how he supports himself and his cause.
He says that he is an ordained minister, but he does not have congregation - except those who follow him on his website and his work in "Pro-Life Virginia" (not to be confused, apparently with the Virginia Society for Human Life). In New York, Spitz ran a street evangelism ministry on Times Square - again, without evidence of any support from any denomination or congregation.
He appeared before grand juries in Alexandria and Philadelphia during separate investigations into Hill and Clayton Waagner, the man who sent hundred of anthrax scare letters to abortion providers in 2001.
The letters, containing white powder, stated: "You have been exposed to anthrax. We are going to kill all of you. From the Army of God, Virginia Dare Chapter."
Spitz sees nothing wrong with Waagner's tactics.
"It's fine with me," he said. "My two goals in life is to stop unborn babies from being murdered and to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ."
So, perhaps this is the reason for this morning's email to me. Just spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Or, maybe it's "just old Don" doing his thing.
Which, he insists, is not about murdering anyone. And, if his preaching and teaching lead others to murder? Well, he says, they are just being "righteous". They are his "heroes".
Which is why I'm giving this guy "air time" on my blog.
Spitz says he has no illusions that he's going to change abortion laws. He says he's given up long ago the hope of a Supreme Court reversal of Roe vs. Wade, the landmark decision legalizing abortion.
I suspect, with the defeat of the "Personhood" movement in Mississippi, and the inevitable momentum to defeat DOMA, combined with the growing support of Marriage Equality, he's expanding his ...."ministry".... to save the world from "teh Gay".
Indeed, I think he - or one of his supporters - "found" me on the internet and
I think it's pretty obvious that "old Don" Spitz is, in fact, a terrorist. Which is why it is a good thing that the FBI and organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Project keep a close eye on him.
I'm not worried, much less terrorized. I suspect his lawyers have advised him that, if he continues to inspire murder and acts of terrorism, there could be serious legal implications for him, as well.
I'm just keeping my eye on him.
He may consider himself part of an "Army of God" but he's really just a pathetic, pathological, narcissistic old man with a computer and access to the Internet.
Which is obviously dangerous enough to inspire some poor, unstable souls to do murder and commit acts of mayhem in the name of the "righteousness" of God.
So, "just old Don," here's my morning prayer for you. It's one of my favorite prayers written by Ted Loder. I remembered it and it reminded me of you.
I Want So To BelongAnd, let all the children in God's Army of Righteousness and Salvation who march on the paths of Mercy, Justice and Humility which lead to Divine Truth and Love, say, "Amen."
O God, I want so to belong;
teach me to accept.
I want to be close;
teach me to reach out.
I want a place where I am welcome;
teach me to open my arms.
I want mercy;
teach me to forgive.
I want beauty;
teach me honesty.
I want peace;
show me the eye of the storm.
I want truth;
show me the way to question
my unquestionable convictions.
I want joy;
show me the way of deep commitment.
I want life;
show me how to die.