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Moore’s Defenders Should Think Twice

Here's a pretty old legacy post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 22 years ago, in 2002, on the World Wide Web.

Everyone’s favorite local Right-wing crank, Malcolm Cutchins, published a column in February 2002 supporting Roy Moore’s outrageous, homophobic concurring opinion in Ex parte H.H., even though Cutchins said he had never taken the time to actually read the opinion. The problem, Cutchins informed us, was the homosexual bloc, which he went on to compare to East German Communists and the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center. I wrote a letter in response quoting Moore’s opinion verbatim, and asking if Malcolm Cutchins still stood by Chief Justice Moore. I have yet to receive an answer.

Editors, Opelika-Auburn News:

Since Malcolm Cutchins’ most recent column compared the homosexual bloc to Communists, Nazis, and modern-day terrorists, I have little doubt that Cutchins would have approved of Roy Moore’s words, had he read the decision. Moore wrote:

Homosexual behavior is a ground for divorce, an act of sexual misconduct punishable as a crime in Alabama, a crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one’s ability to describe it.

And also:

The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle.

Take a moment and read back over that. The Chief Justice of our state’s Supreme Court argued that the state is fully within its prerogatives to imprison and execute gay people in order to protect children from their evil influences.

Those of us who are not so enthusiastic about concentration camps and a Final Solution to the homosexual question, have understandably been upset by Moore’s statement.

Many of the homophobes trying to recruit children into their lifestyle have used overt threats such as Moore’s, and violence, as in the murder of Billy Jack Gaither, to terrorize gay youth and force any evidence of gay life back into the closet. They even want homophobia brought into schools, threatening any teacher who doesn’t tell kids that anti-gay bigotry is the only valid lifestyle.

Now that he has read Moore’s bloody-minded words, will Malcolm Cutchins be any different? Or will he continue to stand with the homophobic bloc, threatening and demonizing peaceful people asking for nothing more than a life of their own, free of fear and violence?

Charles W. Johnson

7 replies to Moore’s Defenders Should Think Twice Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. Malcolm Cutchins

    Johnson’s comments about my column are extremely distorted. I wrote about WALLS that different people build. I made no mention of Nazis at all. That was completely his construct. Different groups do build walls that prevent their understanding by others. He just built the wall higher. When one distorts so severely what one writes, why should an answer to a demand be answered at all? That just provides a forum for more distortion.

· March 2003 ·

  1. Charles W. Johnson

    Malcolm Cutchins has spent a great deal more time than it is worth complaining about my letter. He has not only done so here, but he also did so in the Opelika-Auburn News about a month after the letter was originally published. Here is the text of a column that I wrote in response to his complaint. Of particular note are the paragraphs that I have highlighted with square brackets ([[[ ]]]).


    Malcolm Cutchins has my sympathy: 600 words are hardly ever enough room for everything you have to say. His most recent column complained that critics including myself had used ‘personal attacks’ rather than addressing points he raised. But 600 words was so short that (ironically) he only had space for personal gossip about us, and couldn’t fit in a substantial response to our points.

    [[[ In February, Malcolm used the Berlin Wall to discuss those who use real or metaphorical ‘walls’ in “preventing the truth and the real sources of help from being presented.” He mentioned three ‘wall-builders:’ Soviet Communists and their Berlin Wall, the Iran-Iraq-North Korea ‘Axis’ and their ‘wall of evil,’ and the so-called ‘homosexual bloc,’ which Cutchins claims “is attempting to move their wall-of-ideas into our schools and force acceptance of their chosen lifestyle.” ]]]

    [[[ I thought Cutchins also tacitly compared the ‘homosexual bloc’ to Nazis, because he took pains to explain that ‘bloc’ is a synonym for ‘axis,’ and the ‘Rome-Berlin Axis’ of Nazism and Italian Fascism was the basis for Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’ catchphrase. If my interpretation was unfair, I apologize. In that case, Cutchins used the concept of ‘walls,’ not to equate peaceful people hoping to live free of terror and violence to Nazis, but rather only to terrorists and Soviet dictators. ]]]

    Besides hermeneutical quibbles, Cutchins’ column lists details about me personally, some of them inaccurate. I was never “co-chair of a Lesbian/Gay conference.” Cutchins probably meant my work with Southern Girls Convention 2001, which brought over 500 pro-woman activists together in Auburn for a historic meeting on issues affecting women of all sexualities, including domestic violence, internet literacy, and healing after sexual assault. Critics focused on a select few workshops to play on anti-lesbian bigotry. Nevertheless, we proudly defended including lesbians and LGBT issues in SGC. Southern women are of all different sexualities; participants were lesbian, heterosexual, bisexual, asexual. Anti-lesbian bigotry was addressed because we work for the rights of all Southern women, not just those that fit Right-wing notions of women’s sexuality.

    Malcolm also complains that my letter ‘vented anger’ rather than addressing what he said. The entire reason Cutchins discussed ‘walls’ was to condemn the ‘wall-building’ reaction to Justice Moore’s ravings against LGBT parents, even though he said he had not actually read the decision. So my letter helpfully quoted verbatim from Moore’s decision:

    “Homosexual behavior is … a crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one’s ability to describe it.”

    And also:

    “The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle.”

    I asked whether Cutchins, after reading Moore?s words, still supported him, and months passed with no answer. Now, he blasts my ‘attempting to dictate what he reads,’ and promptly changes topic to one 1987 editorial by one gay man (Michael Swift), describing itself as satire, “a tragic, cruel fantasy … on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor.” Swift never mentions anything remotely related to Moore’s decision, but Cutchins says that Swift’s satirical words make Moore?s serious statements ‘appear tame in comparison.’

    Very well, but nobody asked about Michael Swift. The question was whether Cutchins supports Moore’s position that the State is within its prerogatives to imprison and slaughter people for being gay. Perhaps future columns will allow him space for an answer, rather than personal gossip and strange digressions.

    Charles W. Johnson is an Auburn native and studies Philosophy and Computer Science at Auburn University. He can be contacted by e-mail at cwj2@eskimo.com

· April 2003 ·

  1. Keith Rice

    I at random picked someone from Answers in Genesis’s lists of creation scientists (must have PhD) and Malcom Cutchins, aerospace engineer, happened to be the one. I type in his name in Google and this page is returned at the head of the list. Glad to see that Dr. Cutchin is actively involved promoting morality as a ‘right wing crank!’

  2. Charles W. Johnson

    Keith Rice says that he is “Glad to see Dr. Cutchin [sic] is actively involved promoting morality as a ‘right wing crank!'” But here is how the correspondance has gone so far:

    1. Dr. Cutchins wrote a column defending Roy Moore against ‘wall-building’ critics from the LGBT community, even though he had not read the decision by Moore which was being criticized.

    2. I took the opportunity to point out a couple of passages from the decision by Moore which was being criticized, in which Chief Justice Moore apparently endorses using imprisonment and even execution against LGB people for nothing at all other than the gender of their consensual sexual partners.

    3. I then asked Dr. Cutchins whether or not he agreed with the statements Moore had made.

    4. Cutchins declined to say whether he agrees with these statements or not, and made allegations against my honesty.

    5. I followed up with clarifications of specific points that Cutchins had taken issue with.

    6. Keith Rice praised Dr. Cutchins for his ‘promoting morality.’

    If there is anywhere that Cutchins has promoted morality in this correspondance, I fail to see it. Was it where he defended Roy Moore without actually having read the decision that was being criticised? Was it where he declined to say whether or not he agreed with the passages from Moore’s decision that have been quoted? The fact is that so far, Dr. Cutchins hasn’t said much at all on this issue.

    Perhaps Keith Rice thinks that Dr. Cutchins agrees with Chief Justice Moore on this issue, and wishes to praise that. If so, Mr. Rice’s position is curious, since Dr. Cutchins has never affirmed or denied that he agrees with the passages quoted from Chief Justice Moore’s decision. Furthermore, it’s hard to see how it could possibly count as ‘promoting morality’ to endorse the mass imprisonment and State-sanctioned slaughter of innocent people who have done nothing but consensually engage in a sexuality that you disapprove of. Maybe Mr. Rice thinks that such outrageous crimes against humanity are moral, but he can hardly expect the rest of us to agree with him.

    Or perhaps I am simply confused by Mr. Rice’s post. It’s unclear exactly what he wants to endorse, and what he wants to condemn, except that apparently he likes Malcolm Cutchins’ positions–and, perhaps, also Chief Justice Moore’s–and he doesn’t like mine. Fine, but one usually expects a response on correspondance about a specific issue to actually have something to do with that issue. I wonder what Mr. Rice thinks of the comments made by Chief Justice Moore?

    Perhaps Keith Rice will take the time to enlighten us as to just what he meant by his comment. If so, perhaps discussion could move forward in a more productive manner.

  3. Dr. Malcolm Cutchins

    As usual, Mr. Johnson, answers his critics with far more words than the critic. In this case, less than 3 lines (by Rice) are answered with more than 20 (by Johnson). CWJ cannot understand that he might just possibly be wrong. He is most certainly wrong in his claim that I “compared the homosexual bloc to Communists, Nazis, and modern-day terrorists.” I did not! For example, Nazis were NEVER even mentioned in the column about walls he so strongly reacted to. That is why I have made “allegations against his honesty.” He is also not correct when he notes above that he “asked” me the things he claims. Instead, he DEMANDED that I respond to his questions. When one misconstrues what one writes (about wall-building in this case) as badly as he has, he loses the right (if there is such a thing) to demand! I’ve written Op/Eds for over ten years, and receive compliments on my columns everywhere I go (doctors, lawyers, politicians, husbands, moms, professors, etc.), but no one has distorted things like this young student (and 1 Philosophy professor.) He seems to have a vendetta to impugn my name. One other minor point, “correspondance” is misspelled above, repeatedly. I’m not perfect. I am praying that Mr. Johnson will realize that neither is he, but “The cousel of the Lord standeth forever.” Psa. 33:11.

  4. Dr. Malcolm Cutchins

    In the last sentence above, the word should be counsel.

  5. Charles W. Johnson

    Dr. Cutchins has repeatedly written me, through e-mail and on the web, demanding that I change or remove the content in this letter from my website. I have repeatedly made it clear to him that I do not remove or change the material of letters to the editor that I have sent off, because that would be dishonest. Instead, I provide an open forum, directly on my web page, for people to respond and discuss. Since then I have done nothing but maintain my web page as I normally do. I have several times invited Dr. Cutchins specifically to provide comments in response to the letter directly on the page he is concerned with, and attempted to provide a response to the content of his comments. Dr. Cutchins, for some reason of which I am unsure, has repeatedly objected to any response in which the author puts careful time and effort into providing a detailed response. Therefore, let me be brief.

    1. I am puzzled by Dr. Cutchins’ repeated personal attacks against my honesty. He has pointed out, once again, that I mistook the implications of his language in his original column. But I have several times said that I acknowledge that was a mistake; I have made clear here and elsewhere how the mistake was made; and I concede this point entirely. Cutchins did not compare homosexuals to the Nazis. Let’s move on. I leave it to the reader to judge whether or not it matters that he only compared homosexuals (who have done nothing at all to violate anyone’s rights), not to National Socialists, but rather to murderous terrorists and the Communist tyrants of the Soviet bloc.

    2. My words are available on the website. I leave it to the reader whether my questions concerning Chief Justice Moore’s position constitute a “question” or a “demand.”

    3. Again, I wonder whether or not Dr. Cutchins will actually say whether or not he agrees with Chief Justice Moore’s position. That was, after all, the point of the letter in the first place, which Dr. Cutchins has studiously avoided throughout in favor of personal attacks against me.

    4. Cutchins accuses me of having a ‘vendetta’ against him, and of making active efforts to impugn his name. Let’s not get too hung up on ourselves and our reputations; rather, let’s stick to the discussion at hand: that is, whether or not Cutchins supports Moore’s statements. His strange fixation on a single word in my entire letter, in spite of my repeated concessions and apologies, and to the complete exclusion of the point being made is, I should say, rather puzzling. Perhaps Scripture is in order. “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory; but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him … Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:18,24)

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