Satendar Singh died on July 5, 2007 as a result of a severe brain injury he received after a vicious assault four days earlier. The individuals who perpetrated the attack hurled racially, ethnic and sexually charged slurs at Singh and his friends. Two men were later arrested. One, Alex Shevchenko, is currently on trial in Sacramento, California.
Many, including the Oread Daily, have warned of the activities and teachings of the Christian group "Watchmen on the Walls" who have helped to create an atmosphere which leads to exactly the crime for which Shevchenko is on trial. Writes the group "Campaign for America's Future":
"...the Watchmen on the Walls themselves are associated with a wide range of violent gay-bashing embodied by street thuggery and hate crimes, which reminds a lot of people of the Brownshirts who paved the way for Nazi rule in Germany, as well as Italy's Blackshirted squadristi. Even more disturbingly, they -- and conferences like the one in Lynnwood -- represent a coalescence of American fundamentalist Christians and international street thugs motivated by a theocratic thirst for power."
These Watchmen believe that Christian society is besieged by the “homosexual movement,” by those who follow “the father of lies” who hold closely guarded secrets that they keep from the rest of the world, and whose actions have the moral equivalence of throwing innocent children into the furnaces of Nazi Germany. At least that's the message that came out of a recent meeting of the group in Riga, Latvia, home of Alexey Ledyaev’s New Generation church. Ledyaev is one of the Watchmen’s founders, along with holocaust revisionist Scott Lively and Seattle-area pastor Kenneth Hutcherson.
Jim Burroway wrote on the web site Box Turtle Bulletin, "...Pastor Alexey Ledyaev opened the conference on Wednesday evening, November 14, with a strident sermon on the weapons of spiritual warfare. While he described these “weapons” as spiritual in nature, the war metaphors were pushed to their most militant limits as he whipped the crowd into a frenzy." The good Pastor told the gathered Watchmen:
"Liberalism is penetrating into our brain, but we must return to the fundamental things and name things as they are. If God names it evil, then we must name it evil. When you tell the truth, strength comes to you."
…We’re in the war and we’re in it because of trophies — human souls."
Today our home is being ravaged before our eyes. Our weapons are being taken away. We were strong when we had those weapons."
They are trying to wash our brains and explain that Bible is obsolete, that the form of the traditional family is obsolete. Today homosexualists boldly enter the schools with the bold slogan “Your kids are our kids. We will re-educate them.” Sexually immature kids are being seduced and taught about traditional and non-traditional sex. They are forced to cross-dress in order to feel which orientation is inside them. They are being told that if you are born as a boy, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will become a man. If you were born as a girl, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will become a woman. It’s all happening now."
The devil is ravaging our home and I want to ask our Church: where are we? We are told to surrender our weapons and be silent - but we are refusing to take this dictation down. Because we have another commander-in-chief and he tells us to act!"
The "Watchmen" ironically describe themselves on their website as an "International Christian Movement for Human Rights". That's a good one.
We always hear that "good" Muslims need to take on "bad" Muslims, I think its time to add that "good" Christians need to take on "bad" Christians.
And these "Watchmen" are some damn bad Christians.
For an earlier OD article on the "Watchmen" go to http://oreaddaily.blogspot.com/search?q=%22DANGEROUS+ANTI-GAY+HATE+GROUP+GATHERING+IN+WASHINGTON+STATE%22 .
The following article was taken from the Christian Science Monitor.
Christian extremism raises alarm
A trial resumes today for a Slavic man charged with killing a gay man in Sacramento, Calif.
By Ben Arnoldy Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
A hate-crime trial reconvenes Friday in a case that's dividing Sacramento and drawing attention from organizations that monitor extremists.
Alex Shevchenko has been arraigned for a hate crime tied to the assault and eventual death of Satender Singh in July. According to prosecutors, Mr. Shevchenko and Andrey Vusik taunted Mr. Singh in a park because they thought he was gay. Mr. Vusik eventually threw a punch that toppled Singh, dashing his head, they charge.
Gay leaders in Sacramento say the incident followed several years of escalating tensions with some Slavic immigrants.
"The gut feeling of the [gay] community is that preaching among the local Russian evangelical community is breeding hate and that something would happen. And Satender was the something that happened," says Ed Bennett, a gay Democratic activist.
While Slavic leaders say their community is being unfairly scapegoated for legitimate political protests and deeply held religious beliefs, some monitors warn that an emerging group called the Watchmen on the Walls may be fomenting a dangerous atmosphere within the ranks of Slavic immigrants here.
"This group has engaged in extremely vicious antigay propaganda, and oftentimes it is that kind of propaganda that is taken by hate criminals as permission to go ahead and attack," says Mark Potok, editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Intelligence Report," which tracks hate crimes nationwide.
The international Watchman on the Walls emerged within the past couple of years, forged by two longtime antigay activists – Scott Lively and Kenneth Hutcherson of the US – and two newer Slavic leaders, one in Sacramento and one in the Baltic nation of Latvia.
Mr. Lively has a following among some Slavic protesters here with his controversial book, "The Pink Swastika," which argues that homosexuals played a formative role in Nazism.
The Watchmen is a Christian movement that doesn't teach hate or seek out violent followers, says Mr. Hutcherson, who is a pastor in Washington State. "God's word does not allow us to hate. It tells us to stand up for righteousness and call a sin a sin," he says. He rejects, however, the idea of loving the sinner while hating the sin. "The Bible says when a sinner will not separate himself from a sin then he is condemned with it. The one thing I'm trying to do is get heterosexuals out of the closet. We are the majority," he says.
Videos of Watchmen conferences abroad suggest some leaders are less modulated, and their audience less against violence. One video shows Lively giving a version of Singh's killing different from reported facts, including the notion that Singh was undressing in front of children. The audience cheered twice as Lively recounted the punch and the death of Singh – a reaction Lively rebuked, saying: "We don't want homosexuals to be killed. We want them to be saved."
"What sets them apart is the rhetoric that they use," says Jim Burroway, editor of the Box Turtle Bulletin, which monitors gay hate groups. "They use the imagery of war, of us being in a war against them, of militancy. They really do speak the rhetoric of theocracy," he says.
Monitors like Mr. Burroway and Mr. Potok claim no direct connection between the Watchmen and Singh's death.
"As things stand right now, we certainly aren't contending that the Watchmen on the Walls are behind the killing," says Potok. But talk can have consequences, he adds, and Watchmen views are spread in Sacramento by two founders: Alexey Ledyaev, a pastor from Latvia, and Vlad Kusakin, host of a Russian-language radio show.
Confrontations between the gay and Slavic communities have erupted only within the past few years. Some menacing protesters now wear Watchmen T-shirts, says Nate Feldman, a gay activist who's gathering film footage of the protesters. Mr. Feldman says that during the 2006 pride parade in Sacramento he was spat on and shoved by a group of antigay demonstrators.
Other gays and lesbians tell of protests held outside private homes or protesters recognizing them and rattling off their names and addresses. This holiday season, protesters sang Christmas carols outside major retailers while displaying and handing out antigay messages.
Slavic leaders estimate that their Sacramento community numbers around 100,000. They are mainly ethnic Ukranians, Moldovans, and Russians – many of whom gained entrance to the US as Christian asylum seekers after the Soviet Union collapsed. The Russians tend to be Baptist, the Ukranians, Pentecostal.
Many grew up persecuted in the Soviet Union, watching as school officials slighted their children's progress. Some now feel that US educators look down on their Christian children, say Slavic leaders.
Several Slavic leaders including Roman Romaso, executive director of the Slavic Assistance Center, say the street protesters are a small minority.
"As much as I know Watchmen on the Walls I don't agree with them because they call out people in the street and some are not acting adequately," says Mr. Romaso. "My understanding of how to fight is to work with the legislature and build coalitions."
One gay Russian-speaker – who requests anonymity for personal safety – expresses dismay that the death of Singh hasn't galvanized more moderate Slavic voices. The "mythologizing" of gays as the enemy continues in the local Russian-language media, he says.
"It's all about gays and their agenda. Gays are some evil group that is so organized. I didn't know that I belonged to this very powerful group of people," he says. He acknowledges that having Russian-speakers come out of the closet would help change views. "But who is going to do that? I would expose myself to so much hate from people who don't know me."