No Figs for Isaac or Wayne

And no awards for the Bilerico Project, whatever that is, for its post about the Newton Daily News:

The editor of a small-town newspaper in Iowa has been fired for a post he made on his personal blog slamming what he calls “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” for “trying to reword the Bible to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.'”

Bob Eschliman, the now-former editor of the Newton Daily News, was referring to the Queen James Bible, an LGBT-friendly reinterpretation of the King James Bible that points out that the word “homosexual” didn’t appear in the Bible until 1946. “Queen James” is a reference to the historical King James’s many male lovers.

He ranted further:

[Jesus] said there would be deceivers. He said those deceivers would cause Christians who remain true to His teachings to become reviled. He said false prophets would follow to deceive even more, and that lawlessness will abound.

If you ask me, it sounds like the Gaystapo is well on its way. We must fight back against the enemy.

No, I don’t have any issue with that portion of the post – or this one:

I have no doubt that as soon as the Bryan Fischers, Tony Perkinses, and Rush Limbaughs of the national anti-LGBT right get ahold of this story, they’ll turn Bob Eschliman into their next cause célèbre a la Brendan Eich — their newest “religious liberty” martyr — despite the fact that both cases had nothing to do with essential liberties like speech and religion and everything to do with private companies making private business decisions about who they wanted to represent them.

I wonder, though: will Andrew Sullivan, Jim Burroway, John Corvino, and all the other LGBTs and allies who defended Brendan Eich and his “right” to espouse homophobia without consequence rush to the barricades for Bob Eschliman as well? Should Eschliman’s bigoted views, like Eich’s, be something we just have to “tolerate?”

So what’s my problem with it?

The absolute lack of any contextualization.

No, not contextualization in some effort to rehabilitate Eschliman (which looks scarily like Eichmann, but I digress) but, rather, contextualization as to how anti-(LGB)T the Newton Daily News once was not.

37 years ago Newton was the site of the trial of Richard Moore.

He was charged with killing his wife, Terri WIlliams Moore, somewhere between Walcott, Iowa and the Lynnville exit from I-80 in Jasper County.

That was where the body was dumped, providing court venue for the trial in the county seat of Newton.

It was one of the first times, if not the first, that someone was convicted of first degree murder for killing a trans woman.

And the sensationalistic title of that true-crime-rag article is only half-representative of the trial.

The big issue in Newton in 1976-77 was the fact that Richard killed Terri on their honeymoon, not that she happened to have once had an M on her driver’s license.

As I noted at ENDABlog Classic back in 2011:

[T]he most that Inside Detective did to de-woman-ize her was fail to show her alive, average and normal.  Yes, it included remarks from some law enforcement officials about the size of her feet and, in sanitized terms, her apparently still needing a bit of electrolysis.

Remember, though, these people being quoted were not big-city cops dealing with the victim of an urban anti-trans hate crime – and that victim was not someone who they knew up front was transsexual and who they were de-sexing for media enjoyment and with GLAAD’s de facto approval.  They came upon Terri’s body in the middle of nowhere, initially knowing nothing about her and, upon ascertaining that she was a new bride (by virtue of the marriage license being near the body), even were wondering whether or not they might find her husband’s body somewhere nearby.

The cop chatter?

The very few total mentions in the press of Terri’s being transsexual?

(from the Feb. 14, 1977 issue of the Newton Daily News)

(from the Feb. 17, 1977 issue of the Newton Daily News)

All mechanical; all medical; all legitimate aspects of a murder investigation – and, none of it sensationalized[.]

I leave it to the reader to guess how Bob Eschliman would have edited those two items.

Progress that isn’t progress needs to be noted.

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