Another conversation took place over at Lothar's blog, at which point I lost my temper over John Shore screaming about how conservative evangelicals all want to beat gays to death with their bare hands and it's time to declare war on them. I'd summarize Shore's rant - just read the OP and check for the italicized portion - but it's pretty vile stuff. Little different from the sort of thing you'd expect to find on a poorly xeroxed handout from a neo-nazi, with a big accent on absolutely warped caricatures of their intended target.
Honest to God, I'm sick of this kind of thing and said as much. Shore's rant is hate speech - it is an explicit attempt to gin up people to regard a certain class of individuals as a kind of sub-human, dangerous, violent monster, using utter lies in order to achieve his goal. I've talked with evangelical conservatives. I've argued with them, I've agreed with them, I've interacted with them at length. The idea that their belief that unrepentant sin (not just 'homosexual behavior' but 'unrepentant sin') has someone risking damnation does not drive them to furiously hate homosexuals, much less beat them to death with their bare hands. More often, they argue against LGBT activists, and pray for them. The claim that we must collectively 'declare war' on them and wipe them off the face of the earth is not just disturbing and vicious - it is the pathetic, monstrous rambling of a man who is about as 'Christian' as Richard Dawkins is.
More depressing - and I suppose, telling - was the fact that none of the "progressive" regulars on the site were able to condemn Shore's rants for what they really were. Instead there was a mix of complete silence, and some faint attempts at trying to salvage Shore's vendetta as somehow justified. So, let me make a few things clear.
When a person says that conservative evangelicals are motivated by a violent hatred of unrepentant homosexuals, such that they despise them and want to beat them to death with their bare hands, arguing that some evangelicals are jerks is not sufficient to salvage the point.
When the Uganda law comes up and it's suggested that conservative evangelicals don't oppose the law because they secretly support such laws, you should probably check to see whether this is actually the case.
Of course, for some people, none of this matters. What matters is doing precisely what Shore did: presenting people who disagree with him not merely as dissenting, not merely as wrong, but collectively and irrevocably motivated by irrational hate and fury. Pretty much par for the course when it comes to representations of conservatives generally, but especially 'conservative' Christians.
The worst part is, it's become clear to me that when you don't have "progressives' gleefully cheering on those kinds of representations, or letting them pass in silence... conservative Christians have been conditioned to largely endure them with little complaint, or try to calmly and rationally dispute the data while granting that everyone involved in the speech is obviously well-motivated by merely may have a 'misunderstanding' of the matter at hand. It's pathetic.