View Full Version : PLease pray for the victims of last night's shooting
02-02-2006, 09:57 AM
Please keep the four victims of last night's shooting in a Mass. gay bar in your prayers today! I hope they all recover quickly and that justice comes to the man who did this.
02-02-2006, 09:59 AM
Just read about it 20 seconds ago. Those poor people! Certainly they will be in my prayers.
There seems to be an outbreak of more anti-gay violence than usual this week, according to news I've read. I don't understand people.
But I will be praying.
:pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love:
02-02-2006, 12:04 PM
I offer the following prayer for the victims and those that fired the shots. I also offer the following prayer for us as a GLBT community...because when one act of violence is committed against one of our brothers or sisters it is committed against all of us.
"I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."(Matt 5:43)
Lord, I come to You wounded and in pain; violence has been done to my Brothers, and Sisters. We are in need of Your gentle touch, Your tender voice and compassionate heart, Help us to transform our pain into new life.
Give us the strength and courage to live life vigorously again and to not be afraid of stranger or friend. Turn our despair into hope, our hate into love and our anger into joy.
Let us seek to be reconciled with those who have caused us harm. Help us to forgive, as You forgave. Help us to love our enemies and pray for those who have persecuted us, especially those who fired the shots in that bar. Bring justice and peace to the lives of those who have done us harm. Let them see Your face and feel the warmth of Your love so that they may never injure another.
Lord we pray for Your mercy and compassion, We live in troubled times, and the answers to our problems are not simple or easy. Send Your Spirit upon us to strengthen our resolve to root out the violence, hate, and fear in our lives. Replace it with Your forbearance and love. Create in us hearts of courage, grace us with the ability to stand against the violence of our day: the violence in ourselves, our homes, streets and communities.
In your many Holy and Sacred Names we pray,
02-02-2006, 12:49 PM
I will definitely remember our LGBT kindred in prayer who were shot last night.
02-02-2006, 02:28 PM
I pray for all of those involved in this awful incident, perpetrators and victims. I pray that all people who choose to judge us and persecute us could open their minds, hearts, and souls, and allow themselves to know us as the compassionate, faithful, loving, and awesome group that we are!! I become so fearful when an action of violence likes this happens, because I have such strong pride in myself and in my family, I get concerned about harm coming to me or us. I am praying for strength to live up to what I am, and to continue to face obstacles as bravely as possible....
I cannot find any specific information about this in the mainstream media, can anyone direct me to a site that has the information about this incident?
Be safe and secure in who you are, all of you out there. I pray for all of us today for a better tomorrow.......Peace:pray: :o
02-02-2006, 02:30 PM
Here is the link
02-02-2006, 02:49 PM
this hits home for all of us, I'm sure. How do you feel the connection? I feel it at least 2 ways:
My brother lives about 1 town away from New Bedford. It's easy to think that I could have been in that bar if I were visiting him. (although he's straight, it's not out of the realm of possibility that I'd be in that bar. perhaps even with him.)
I've experienced minor violence/attacks. 1 bar that I used to frequent was across from a convenience store/gas station. It was very well lit, so some patrons at the gas station would yell obscenities as we entered the bar. My car has been egged while parked in the parking lot of a gay bar.
And of course, we know this is a possibility any time we are at one of our "community gatherings."
I am cringing waiting to hear "why" this kid decided to do this. I'm hoping it's not because of the hate-speech that comes from the religious right, but I wouldn't be surprised if that becomes part of his defense.
02-02-2006, 03:03 PM
As the police went through his room, they found nazi stuff written on the walls. That right there may give us a clue as to what has molded his thinking. Sad, just sad.
One of the reasons I am so outspoken about hate speech and hate crimes is that I am the victim/SURVIVOR of not one, but two bashings in my life. Somewhere in my head, I get around that by trying to change what I consider the main cause if hate crimes. Hate speech!
I send my best energy to these folks. Especially the bar tender who seems incredibly scared and shaken. As someone who works in mental health I can tell you the brain is changed from trauma. Chemically and even in size, trauma effects people both physically and emotionally. I hope for the best for everyone invovled.
02-02-2006, 03:17 PM
I have friends that were victims of hate crimes as well, but I have never been physically victimized, but definitely verbally victimized at least a couple of times in my life. The speech is frightening, it seems to fuel more hateful ideas. I also do a lot of training for child welfare workers here in PA. on working with LGBTQ youth. I always end my training by talking about Matthew Shepard (you would be amazed at how many people do not know who he is), I show a picture of him, and play the song "Scarecrow" by Melissa Etheridge. It chokes me up with heartfelt emotion every time. When I hear about something like this, I feel powerless, and even more empowered and determined every time. If any of you are interested, the Southern Poverty Law Center also has a publication and website, teachingtolerance.org. I don't much care for being tolerated necessarily, but they cover many diversity issues including sexual orientation issues, hate crimes, discrimination, and how to have the courage to stand up and speak out. I have gained more courage by their information and sharing. Thanks for the link. Be well, all, :pray: :pray: :love:
02-02-2006, 03:55 PM
This is what happens to young minds when they are taught hate. "You have to be carefully taught." Very sad, indeed.
02-02-2006, 04:11 PM
Just yesterday I gave a new student a song from South Pacific and that got me to thinking about the song "you've got to be carefully taught." Funny you should mention it, Not-A-Lemming!
Yes, these incidents definitely affect us all. I used to work with gay bashers. Since I dealt with them all day long, I got to know them. I fell in love with them, if you will, and then they would go out on the weekends with baseball bats, and my heart felt like it was being torn apart all the time. Ultimately, I couldn't handle the emotions staying in that job, because of the exhaustion. I've also been in the crowd when some teens did a drive-by throwing glass bottles at us, and that was disturbing too. And I was thrown out of an apartment for making the landlord uncomfortable, once. Vanessa, sometimes I wonder too if there will be more scary things to face in the future, but you can't live your life wondering/fearing for some future thing that might or might not happen. You just have to live, knowing you will survive it all until the mysterious day when death comes and you will go "home."
Having survived numerous traumas as a youngster, I'm with ya Joe when you talk about brain wiring. I'm still re-wiring certain patterns that ingrained from very formative years, and I can attest to the enormous challenge of it. I'm still paying for the grave "mistakes" made by another person, even though I knew they were wrong and tried to prevent them - I was too small and could not help, so now I have to carry that burden. May I ask what you do, specifically, in mental health? Do you work with other trauma survivors? Know that I have immense respect for you and all the hard work you've put into overcoming those awful assaults and now towards protecting others from experiencing the same.
Incidents like what we're talking about scare me, but more than they scare me, they make me angry and want to fight. Yet more than they make me angry, they make me sad, and they make me want to just hold hands with everyone, pray, sing, live joyfully. I'm sad now reflecting on it all, but here are some hugs for all of you: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love:
(edited because I left a crucial adj out of a sentence)
02-02-2006, 04:28 PM
When one or more of our own are hurt, its hard not to want to be there for them, and feel a spiritual connection, if only indirectly, with them. When Matthew Sheppherd was martyred, our people (LGBT) cried out. Likewise, we must continue to cry out for justice, and fight against hatred with love and strength. The Religious Right are Wrong - yes, to put it bluntly, they are wrong, and perhaps a way can be found to illustrate nonviolently what their hatred (not love) does to our people. Perhaps posting pictures of fallen LGBT kindred at the RR buildings. Perhaps I am being too dramatic, but I just care deeply for our LGBT spiritual brothers & sisters.
02-02-2006, 04:34 PM
I work for a trade organization in my state whose members are mental health agencies. Mostly community mental health. I am the assistant to the training director and also the community organizer.
We organize trainings programs and workshops for those who work in the mental health field. We train case mangers how to work with their clients as well as training disater repsonse teams in Critical Incident Stress as it relates to behavioral health. We were actually doing a training the day after the Station Fire here in RI. I love my job and what I do. I am lucky to have the most awesome co-workers on the planet. They have become my friends. The people I work with even planned my commitment ceremony. It was held in my friend and Boss's backyard. My other fellow co-workers.really good friends planned everything else including getting dinning room tables to put in the garden, covered in nice linen and crystal. I am a lucky guy. I am try to appreciate that everyday! I am a lucky guy!
02-02-2006, 04:35 PM
Yes, this truely does hit home! I feel a connection with those who are just like me...but more than that...I feel a deeper connection...a human connection. Because, more than gay/lesbian, or straight...these people are human beings. All human beings should be effected by human suffering.
02-02-2006, 04:35 PM
Vigil to be held at Puzzles Lounge, 426 North Front St., New
7 PM Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006
A vigil will be held at Puzzles Lounge, the site of an anti gay
assault early this morning. The unprovoked attack by a single individual
wielding a knife and a gun left three men seriously injured with
face, head and chest wounds.
The Marriage Equality Coalition of the SouthCoast, in conjunction
with other community and religious groups, is organizing the vigil to
protest not just this horrendous hate crime, but violence of any
kind in our community.
The ongoing campaign to deny gay men and lesbians the right to marry
has resulted in the portrayal of the gay community as "less than
equal" by some, and has included hateful, bigoted rhetoric. When groups of
people are characterized as "second class", they then can more
easily become targets of others' rage and anger.
We deplore violence of any kind in our community. Gay men and
lesbians deserve to live their lives peacefully and securely, without being
targeted solely because of their sexual orientation.
02-02-2006, 04:56 PM
Agreed TX - we are a LGBT family & members of the greater human family.
Wow Joe about the vigil - lets hope more people will see that violence against others is wrong, and we LGBT are just the same and deserve equality like everyone.
My prayers are with the victims of this horrible crime. When I first read about it in Joe's blog it brought back memories of a similar incident.
Thanks for posting this story. I’ve been busy all day and didn’t hear any news. I don’t even know if the groundhog saw his shadow, but I do know that what happened last night in New Bedford was a hate crime, and I know that some in ex-gay ministries will probably try to dance around it to say it wasn’t.
I have been a patron at Puzzles many times, (I just remembered my avatar pic above was taken at Puzzles) and although it was a shock to hear this, I guess it is to be expected with all the hate that is being spread around especially by those who claim to love everyone.
Back in the 1980’s I was at a bar in Providence when something similar happened, as 2 thugs from my hometown by their own admission were out to kill some “faggots”. They started a fight on the dance floor and were bounced out of the club. I remember getting punched in the back of my head as they fought with the bouncer on the way out. When they were outside they waited for anyone who left the club. Then someone ran in yelling that those guys were shooting or stabbing people, and then a few minutes later I heard the sirens. It was very nerve wracking, and I remember thinking that I almost left the bar. Two young men were shot or stabbed and left for dead in the street. At least one of them died. Thankfully the thugs were caught. When I saw the flashing lights from the ambulance and police, I decided to leave, and that is when I saw what had really happened out there. I wasn’t ready for what I saw as I was walking to my car.
Two young men lying on the street in a pool of their own blood. Although I was fortunate enough to not be a victim, (It could very well have been me) I witnessed “Hate in action” that night and will never forget that numbing experience.
I think that the hateful person that commited this horrible crime last night should be seen, and I noticed there was no picture of him in the (link) article that Joe provided, so, here is the story with the picture.
02-02-2006, 07:17 PM
Agreed TX - we are a LGBT family & members of the greater human family.
Wow Joe about the vigil - lets hope more people will see that violence against others is wrong, and we LGBT are just the same and deserve equality like everyone.
Vigils are a great way of showing support and love, yet at the same time denoucing hate. I fullly support this.
I have said this a million times but here I go again ( i guess I haven't said it here).
Hate crimes are like FIRES.
You can put themn out when they start.
You can try to prevent them.
You can try to teach people to deal with them when they occurr.
You can try to teach people about how they ignite.
But you will never stop them until you find the cause and deal with it. For me, I believe thay cause is religious and political hate speech adding to a climate that fuels the fire, starts the fire, adds to the climate of hate against Jews, Gays, Blacks...etc....
We must speak out, and stop hate crimes where they start, not when they happen, prevention is everything...
How do we do this?
I am happy to tell you all that I have applied to be a trainer of non-violence for the Institute for the Study and Practice of Non-Violence. I cannot afford the $245 training fee so I appled for the scholarship. Please pray for me that I get it. I so want to be a traininer of non-violence so I can teach what I know about this to others.
02-02-2006, 09:59 PM
Good luck Joe! You are in my prayers & you will be great as a non-violence trainer.
02-02-2006, 10:09 PM
The group in RI that I belong to is bent set on putting out a press release about this shooting, since it happen so close to home. I myself do not think this is a good idea. I feel it is opportunistic and wrong to use this event like that. I asked myself what good can come from us doing a press release on this. I asked myself who benefits, and I feels the answer to that it us. FOr that I reason I feel it is wrong to do so. This is the email I sent to the group. Please tell me if I am wrong or not. I am torn with this.. I feel the group will feel like am don't support them, but I really have a problem with this. Whta do you think of my email?
Sorry to be the opposition on this but please consider what I am saying.
To act on this, or put out a press release does nothing to further our
mission. The only affect it would have would be to get our name and mission
out there to the public. While I am all in favor of this, I am not in favor
of using the tragedy of others to further our mission. It is morally wrong
to do that. I feel we can still further our mission without being
opportunistic and do what every other group does. There is nothing that
can come from us doing a public statement, except something for us. I have
no interest in that, in fact I feel it is unjust to do so.
We have the truth and love on our side. We have a mission based on truth
and love. As Gandhi would say our mission is based on being the change we
seek, but nothing good can come of us using this media event, and tragedy of
others to further our mission, and that is all a statement from us would be
at this point.
I am sorry to say that I cannot support us making a statement at this time.
It is self-serving and not beneficial to anyone involved, except us. If we
wish to make an offering of free counseling, or help to those
involved...great, I support that, but I do not under any circumstances
support a press release. It is too much of an opportunistic thing for me.
It goes against what I consider the principals of non-violence, and I cannot
do that with a good heart. I hope you will take the time to sleep on this,
and reconsider this impulsive decision.
02-02-2006, 11:50 PM
WHAT is this group you belong to? You have many activities, it seems, so what is this one?
And what was the purpose and content of the intended press release?
before we can speak to whether we agree, or how we like your rebuttal, we need to know what you are opposing. I for one have no idea.
02-03-2006, 06:44 AM
I belong to a group called coices against hate. We came together to boycott a club that was hosting Buju Banton and Beenie Man Concerts. Since then we decided to become advocates against hate crimes. Our mission is listed here
02-03-2006, 08:03 AM
I was just reading over the postings from the course of the day and night yesterday. I just have to say how grateful I am to get to know so many other persons who have some of the same beliefs as myself. Zerbie, thanks for your words of encouragement, and it really does help me to face the fear and feel stronger than ever. It is so hard sometimes to let go and let God, but that is all that gets me through sometimes. I also believe fully in the capacity for good in humans, even when something as awful as this happens, or Matthew Shepard, or Shep's recollection of the incident he witnessed/was part of. I wish I had lived close enough to go to the vigil last night. I, as a trainer and full believer in the need to educate people, work hard every day to change minds and change hearts for a peaceful, openly loving good.
I do believe, Joe, that you are right to not want to take part in something that takes advantage of a bad situation, and that right now is the time for comfort and thoughts for those that were wounded, witnessed this incident, and for the perpetrators even. I admire you for standing by those beliefs and having them be heard. Not every situation creates an opportunity for us to say what we have to offer. Sometimes, when it comes to information, timing is everything. Otherwise, no one pays attention.
I sometimes think that our society's attitude is that those that are traumatized should just "get over it" and stop dwelling on it. I have worked with a lot of children and adolescents in foster care, whose whole lives have been one long trauma. I know that it takes a while to heal, and that the process belongs to the person, not others who may try to control it in some way.
Again, I am so grateful to have this resource and to know how many of you are out there- it gives me great hope for the future.....
Have a peaceful, prayerful day all- sending hugs and prayers and love-:love: :love: :pray: :pray: :love: :pray: :love: :pray:
02-06-2006, 01:03 PM
Thanks for posting the website for Voices Against Hate, Joe. I'm coming at the situation completely from the outside, of course, so my opinion doesn't have to count for anything... but I don't think I would be able to belong to a group called "Voices Against Hate" and NOT speak out against this *specific* incident, in a timely and public manner. Granted, it would be better to offer a positive event or something to go along with such a statement, but that would take alot of time to organize and publicize. I truly believe in the importance of not remaining silent, even when it seems like silence would be more modest or less self-serving. Put another way, is there anyone in your RI area that IS speaking out against this specific incident? If not, who will? And how would they do so without a press-release?
I don't want to belittle your concerns about self-service and taking advantage of a tragedy. In this instance, I think it's an unavoidable consequence of putting out such a release - you can't make a statement and remain respectfully in the background at the same time. And I am not a fan of press-releases in general, if only becuase I don't think they actually DO much. BUT, the one thing they DO do, which is to get a statement out there in some form to SOME media, they do very well. Considering that your voice may be the only non-governmental, grassroots voice out there speaking about it... I think it would be immoral not to make a statement!
02-06-2006, 01:21 PM
and you are right my friend. Voices Against Hate will be making a statement. We put it together this weekend, and I am just waiting for someone to send me the copy that corrects all my spelling mistakes. It has contibutions from the whole group and I believe it says what is needed to be said without crossing the lines that were my concerns.
I will post a copy of the press release here when I have copy.
02-06-2006, 01:25 PM
Great!!! I'm really glad for you that you were able to come together and get everyone's concerns answered... Lord knows that in these little communities we create it can be so hard to do that! and yet it's so important, because these communities are all we have, and each person in them is essential! i look forward to reading it!
02-06-2006, 02:45 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2006
VOICES AGAINST HATE RELEASES STATEMENT ON NEW BEDFORD ATTACK
Voices Against Hate joins the larger community in deploring the recent, unprovoked gun and machete attacks on three men in New Bedford. Our hearts are with the victims and their families in the wake of such a violent tragedy. We also acknowledge that, as an alleged hate crime, this attack reverberates with every Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender individual and the parents, families and friends who love them. News accounts of the assault consistently report that police believe this to be a crime borne out of hatred for gays. While we are grateful that this level of violence is not common in our area, we must be careful not to see this as an isolated incident of anti-LGBT violence. Hate crimes are a regular occurrence in RI and MA, as in other areas of the country.
Between 2000 and 2004, the RI State Police collected reports of 78 anti-LGBT hate crimes in RI. These statistics become even more meaningful when one considers that many, if not most, incidents of anti-LGBT hate violence are either not reported to the police or fail to be labeled as such. Boston’s Fenway Community Health Center Violence Recovery Program documented 105 incidents of anti-LGBT hate violence in Massachusetts for 2004 alone. The same year nationally, there were 2131 victims of anti-LGBT hate violence documented by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. Twenty of those victims were murdered. In a report released by the Southern Poverty Law Center in December of 2005, it is estimated that GLBT persons are victimized at 6 times the overall rate. Some estimates also conclude that the numbers may be as much as 15 times higher than are reported to the FBI. These statistics emphasize the need for a Federal Hate Crime Law that protects GLBT population. Thus, while it might be tempting to see the New Bedford incident as an isolated one, the statistics prevent us from doing so.
Denying full equality and civil rights to GLBT people, or any group, fosters intolerance, even as gains are being made. Whenever there is progress there is a backlash. With the runaway success of the love story “Brokeback Mountain,” we must be mindful that anti-LGBT violence is not limited to 1960s Montana or even 1990s Wyoming where Matthew Shephard was murdered; hate based violence is a problem now in our own community. Whenever elements of our society are allowed to dehumanize others, we contribute to the culture of violence against all of us—when we fail to unite against all bigotry, we brew a climate in which the disturbed among us nurture their hate and become emboldened to act as judge, jury, and executioner for their own prejudices. Maybe next time, it isn’t gay men who are targets, but Jewish women or Muslims or Italian/Catholics. Maybe next time, the victim is someone you know and love. We need to address the lack of services now. We need to insist upon full education and training of our police forces and direct services for victims of hate crimes here in RI like those provided by our neighboring state.
02-07-2006, 08:34 AM
Joe: It seems that the group was able to bring together support for the victims, the severity of the problem, and what needs to happen to keep it from happening again. Good job!!:love: :pray:
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