Hateful Harlem church could soon be a haven for gays

Hateful Harlem church could soon be a haven for gays

Deranged pastor James David Manning, above, notorious for claiming that Starbucks flavours lattes with the ‘semen of sodomites’, has been forced to put his debt-ridden, homophobic church up for auction … and a New York LGBT homeless charity – the Ali Forney Centre – is considering acquiring it.

Harlem’s infamous ATLAH World Missionary Church has attracted attention many times – primarily for signs advocating the death penalty for gay people. But, according to this report, a state judge has ordered that the church premises be put up for auction  after it racked up more than $1 million in debts.

Ahead of the auction, one potential bid from the Ali Forney Centre is attracting a lot of support. Stacy Parker Le Melle explained:

When the ATLAH story broke, immediately I heard from neighbours: wouldn’t it be amazing if an LGBT group could acquire the property? What if it were the Ali Forney Center? We all knew that this would be poetic justice.

We need to care for those kicked out of homes, often on religious-based grounds. We need to care for those most vulnerable to ATLAH’s hate speech.

She added:

I am ecstatic to imagine a future where our Harlem corner will be a home of compassion, not hatred. We have a homeless problem in New York City. The de Blasio administration is working hard to remedy this, but LGBT young people are especially vulnerable with the shelter system.

They need protection. The Ali Forney Center is a beacon, but they need more space for transitional housing and job training. I can’t imagine a better use for that property. Who needs more luxury condos? We need to care for the most vulnerable in our midst.

So far, a fundraising drive by the Ali Forney Center has raised $31,000 towards buying the church – with a target of $200,000.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

15 responses to “Hateful Harlem church could soon be a haven for gays”

  1. barriejohn says:

    There obviously IS a God!

  2. 1859 says:

    It would be even better if Mr. J. D. Manning could be persuaded to help run the new centre – if it opens, which I sincerely hope it does.

  3. L.Long says:

    Sorry Barrie but there is a rationality!!! It was a rational thing to do and hopefully the revenge of having the LGBT get it and then keep the outside board advertizing it.

  4. 1859 says:

    Apologies for being OT – but just wondering…we probably all know of examples of people who were religious and who became rational, freethinking atheists, but are there any examples of the reverse happening? People who grew up atheist and who became religious? I can’t think of a single example in my own experience…

    Agree with L.Long – they should keep the original hoarding to remind everyone of the bigotry that was, and still is, rife.

  5. Laura Roberts says:

    This would be poetic justice indeed. It’s one of those stories that seems too good to be true, but I sincerely hope it’s not. Hell, I’ll donate a few $$ to help make it happen.

    Donations page is here:

  6. Lucy1 says:

    @1859. Agreed. I have known where people with not much religion get something harder in old age, like anglican to catholic. But not from nothing to something. People brought up rationalist may not have the hard wiring to attach to religious belief. I hope.

  7. Broga says:

    @1859: I have known many people who became atheists as teenagers – including myself. None have returned to religion. My own children have never shown the slightest sign of becoming religious. They find the preaching at religious weddings and baptisms embarrassing. Some of their friends have gone to these religious events only to satisfy their parents.

  8. lucy1 says:

    I sent this link to my sister. Her comment was that if that man had been talking like that on the street, he would have been arrested (in this country at least) but because he is religious, he is on Fox News.
    That is the inbuilt bias towards religion that is so infuriating.

  9. sailor1031 says:

    @lucy1. It’s that first amendment free speech thingy that let’s him call for LGBTQ folks to be stoned and let’s us call him an outrageous disgusting bigot who should be thrown into prison – and nobody actually is punished. The deference towards religion is actually more marked in those countries that don’t have free speech – such as EU nations, Middle Eastern states ruled by fanatic robber chieftains, asian states ruled by military dictators and religious fanatics – to name a few.

  10. Trevor Blake says:

    Pastor Manning quotes the bible and his religion accurately. It is the accepting and tolerant Christian who distorts and lies about their faith. Which says something ugly about their faith, doesn’t it?

  11. Vanity Unfair says:

    Would it be too cruel to call it The James David Manning Centre?

    To 1859:
    The example that first springs to mind is Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990). Perhaps few people below pensionable age remember him but his was one of the very few openly atheist voices on the BBC in my youth. Then in the late 1960s he suddenly proclaimed himself a Christian and in 1982 specifically RC. He was one of the early publicists of Mother Theresa, admittedly before serious investigation. He also stuck up for Lenny Bruce.

    Sorry, The James David Manning Center: US spelling, of course.

  12. Kimiro DragonWolf says:

    I hope the LBGT community will be able to buy this church for use as an shelter.
    There could be 1 problem.
    If the “Christian” Community can raise enough money to buy this church, they could keep it a church.

  13. barriejohn says:

    Latest news from Planet Manning:

    … This ain’t no damn bathhouse. This ain’t no fag house. This is the Lord’s house!

    And before you can ever own this property, hook or crook… men who are fags with testicles will be carrying babies in their testicles and giving birth to them through their anus.

    That’s how impossible it is for you to get this house. When you start carrying a baby in your bags and birthing that baby through your ass, then you can own this house. But until I see you pull a baby out your ass, you ain’t going to pull this church out from underneath us. And boom shakalaka goes right there.

    And all you fags can go to hell!

    “Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled.” (Titus 2:2)

  14. Daz says:

    Vanity Unfair

    He was one of the early publicists of Mother Theresa, admittedly before serious investigation.

    Actually, it was Muggeridge’s “serious investigation” that started her rise to so-called sainthood. Here’s cameraman Ken Macmillan, as quoted in Christopher Hitchens’s Missionary Position:

    During Something Beautiful for God, there was an episode where we were taken to a building that Mother Teresa called the House of the Dying. Peter Chafer, the director, said, “Ah well, it’s very dark in here. Do you think we can get something?” And we had just taken delivery at the BBC of some new film made by Kodak, which we hadn’t had time to test before we left, so I said to Peter, “Well, we may as well have a go.” So we shot it. And when we got back several weeks later, a month or two later, we are sitting in the rushes theater at Ealing Studios and eventually up came the shots of the House of the Dying. And it was surprising. You could see every detail. And I said, “That’s amazing. That’s extraordinary.” And I was going to go on to say, you know, three cheers for Kodak. I didn’t get a chance to say that though, because Malcolm, sitting in the front row, spun round and said: “It’s divine light! It’s Mother Teresa. You’ll find that it’s divine light, old boy.” And three or four days later I found I was being phoned by journalists from London newspapers who were saying things like: “We hear you’ve just come back from India with Malcolm Muggeridge and you were the witness of a miracle.”