As soon as Donnie Daviesâ€™ music video â€œGod Hates Fagsâ€ appeared then disappeared from MySpace, YouTube and Google, only to reappear on Pastor Donnieâ€™s web site Love Godâ€™s Way â€“ which claims to be â€œa Faith based Ministry with the goal of spreading Godâ€™s Love through teaching and healingâ€ â€“ the blogosphere was buzzing. Was Donnie Davies for real? Did he mean what he sang in â€œGod Hates Fagsâ€? Opinions varied.
Wayne Besen, author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth and founder of Truth Wins Out, believed Donnie Davies and â€œGod Hates Fagsâ€ were nothing more than a joke: â€œIs this man sinister or a satirist? It is hard to tell, but if I had to place a bet, Iâ€™d say this was a parody of the ex-gay myth.â€
Dan Savage, well-known columnist and editor of Seattleâ€™s The Strange newspaper, theorized Davies was serious about his message that â€œGod Hates Fagsâ€ and was using humor to get that message across: â€œItâ€™s a hoax but Davies â€“ or the man playing him â€“ means every last word â€¦ his message is this: Laugh your asses off, sinners, but the bible says a man should not lay with a man â€¦ Donnie Davis is engaged in a deadly serious effort â€“ a seriously successful effort â€“ to spread the fundy message about homosexuality (itâ€™s a choice, god hates it) through the intentional use of humor.â€
â€œGod hates.â€ That oxymoronic expression and its equally oxy-moronic best known user are well known. In his January 31, 2007 â€œupdateâ€ to Love Godâ€™s Way, Donnie acknowledged that:
Thanks so much for the support, everybody. I tell you what, mysterious electronic attacks, phone calls from untracable [sic] numbers that claim to be the U.S. Postal Service offering to deliver lost packages and an enormous amount of hate mail is enough to make any Minister shrink from Godâ€™s mission. But I tell you friends, we cant [sic] let ourselves be intimidated by the influence of a few well placed psychopaths. Liberty is the foundation of this Nation Under God and the people have the right to chose their own messages and have the right to read them as well.
Some people might think this is some kind of organized conspiracy against the message of the Westboro Baptist Church. I didnâ€™t realize when I wrote my song that it might compete with their message. I mean, I was utterly clueless to that. Now that the DJs keep asking me about it I had to think about it and I think people in America have a right to chose their own message.sic] not the same thing as censorship. No one has a right to utterly control what you see, what you hear and what you think. Thats [sic] fundamentally anti-American and you should fight it with a resolve that strikes to the very core of your being even if it risks everything you have, otherwise America risks losing everything it is and should be. [link added]
Aside from being grammatically challenged â€“ and a poor speller â€“ Donnieâ€™s hokey, down-home, Iâ€™m-an-idiot prose simultaneously suggest what Besen and Savage concluded. Either Donnie is mocking people like Fred Phelps, the leader of the Westboro Baptist cult, or Donnie is a bigot expressing his belief that â€œgod hates fags.â€ Or heâ€™s both and, as Savage suggested, succeeding in promoting a message of hate â€“ and himself â€“ while using humor to showcase religion-based bigotry.
A cursory visit to the Love Godâ€™s Way ministry web site provides a seemingly clear sign that it, at least, is a fraud. Thereâ€™s no â€œDonateâ€ button. Whenâ€™s the last time you heard of an anti-gay ministry that wasnâ€™t constantly clamoring for donations to fight those marauding hordes of wild-eyed homosexuals hell-bent on destroying civilization?
Aside from pleading for donation to fight the â€œhomosexual agenda,â€ those â€œgodlyâ€ anti-gay web sites support brainwashing and various form of repression collective known as â€œex-gay therapies,â€ all of which have been decried as ineffective, unethical, and harmful by every professional medical, psychiatric, and psychological association in America. Among the â€œtreatmentsâ€ some ex-gay therapies embrace are exorcisms and making male clients drink large quantities of GatorAide which, they believe, will make them more masculine.
Self-proclaimed â€œex-gayâ€ Donnie and Love Godâ€™s Way have their own version of such therapies called â€œC.H.O.P.Sâ€ which stands for â€œCHANGING HOMOSEXUALS into ORDINARY PEOPLEâ€:
I have been called a â€œFaggotâ€. You are not alone and guess what, God Loves You even if he hates your Homosexuality. You just canâ€™t stay that way. Let me help you love yourself. Follow me and together weâ€™ll C.H.O.P.S away the Gay.
Aside from the fact that itâ€™s impossible to get the â€œSâ€ in the acronym â€œC.H.O.P.Sâ€ from â€œChanging Homosexuals into Ordinary Peopleâ€ and the curious missing period after the â€œS,â€ Donnieâ€™s invitation to â€œfollow meâ€ and his proclamation that â€œtogether weâ€™ll C.H.O.P.S away the Gayâ€ seem to parody one of the anti-gay and ex-gay movementsâ€™ favorite â€œscientists,â€ discredited psychologist Paul Cameron who would, if he had his way, chop the life out of gay people:
At the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference, Cameron announced to the attendees, â€œUnless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.â€ According to an interview with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Cameron was recommending the extermination option as early as 1983.
â€“ Mark E. Pietrzyk, News-Telegraph, March 10, 1995.
The C.H.O.P.S video is a laughable caricaturing of sanctimonious preachers who claim to be representing â€œGodâ€™s loveâ€ while propagating hate and promoting themselves as victims. Donnie â€“ in his typical bucolic bumpkin prose â€“ claimed to be a victim in the January 30, 2007 update to his â€œministryâ€™sâ€ website:
Your poor old Pastor Donnie was just awakened from the first real sleep he has had in days by his computer guys telling him that someone in San Diego on a DSL connection and another person in San Francisco on a cable connection had been trying to destroy our rolodex of people that sign up for the Evening Service newsletter. Last time we checked this was still America and its [sic] not illegal for a Pastor to conduct his Ministry. â€¦ Why donâ€™t you guys turn in and let poor ol' Donnie sleep?
That January 30, 2007 update also included this: â€œWe would be even more disappointed to squander the funds of the Ministry on having our lawyers contact your ISP, identify your IP address and time of attack and bring charges against you in a court of law.â€
With no solicitation for donations, where would Donnie and his â€œministryâ€ get the money to have â€œour lawyers contact your ISP, identify your IP address and time of attack and bring charges against you in a court of lawâ€? Is Donnie blowing smoke into mirrors? Or is the Donnie Davies persona just doing some more shrewd marketing? Perhaps heâ€™s doing both, simultaneously.
Love Godâ€™s Wayâ€™s also features a list of music that â€œis Gay or propogating [sic] a Gay message.â€ And who are among these homo-promoting artists? Ravi Shankar, Cole Porter, The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Metallica, The Rolling Stones, Kansas, Eminmen, Nirvana, Lou Reed, Red Hot Chili Peppers and, of course, Ted Nugent and Frank Sinatra.
But Donnie also offered a list of Safe Music: â€œThe Right Brothers (Loves Ann Coulter!), Dresden Dolls, UnderOath, Cyndi Lauper, Falling Up, Flyleaf, THE TURNING, Disciple, P.O.D., Evanescence, By The Tree, Scott Reed, Michael W. Smith, Jars of Clay, DC Talk, Danielson.â€
â€œGirls Just Wanna Have Fun,â€ gay-rights activist Cyndi Lauper? Either Donnie is living under a rock, or these lists are grand parodies of similar lists concocted by various groups in the radical Christian Right.
On January 27, 2007, the mystery of Dannie Davies, Love Godâ€™s Way, and â€œGod Hates Fagsâ€ seemed to be solved:
Thanks to the sleuthing of Dallas JMG reader Bob Stoller, â€œPastor Donnie Daviesâ€ has been exposed as Dallas-area actor Joey Oglesby (First name corrected from post headline). Here he is. Joey Oglesby recently appeared in a production of Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical. Joey Oglesby is a former member of the Chicken & Pickle Guys sketch comedy duo.
Finally. Our long national nightmare is over. I tip my hat to Joey Oglesby and his crew for a fun diversion. â€¦
But there was more from the JMG web site:
UPDATE: Iâ€™ve exchanged a few emails with Oglesby and he is swearing that he is not Donnie Davies. Iâ€™ve asked him for a statement to publish here.
As of this writing, no statement from Joey Oglesby has appeared on the JMG web site, but he has adamantly declared he is not Donnie Davies. The technology Donnie uses may also have exposed him, as one JMG commenter noted, â€œIt is him â€“ look at the chicken-pox scar on the bridge of his nose. Matches Donnie Davies perfectly.â€
Another JMG update is also telling:
UPDATE II: I donâ€™t know why I didnâ€™t think of this earlier, but somebody has reserved the domain ChopsTheMovie.com. What say you, oh sleuths of teh intarwebs?
Whether a hoax and satire by a self-promoter, or a serious message from a pathetic excuse for a human being, a lot of attention has been given Donnie Davies and his video prompting the â€œministerâ€ to proclaim â€œThe people have spoken! The Evening Service and Love Gods [sic] Way Ministries are among the most popular sites on the Internet!â€
In the final analysis, â€œDonnieâ€ should be thanked. Heâ€™s helped bring attention to the absurdity and intrinsic, malignant evil of those who pervert religion to propagate hate and promote themselves. We can only hope that James Dobson, Don Wildmon, Lou Sheldon, and the rest of the sanctimonious anti-gay leaders of the Christian Right see themselves exposed and caricatured in Donnie and â€œGod Hates Fags.â€