Salem Mayor: ‘Apparently, Glenn Beck Is Not Happy With Us’

After terminating a contract with a school due to their stance on the LGBT community, the city has been inundated with angry calls from around the country.

When Mayor Kim Driscoll ended a contract with Gordon College to manage a historic building in Salem because of the school’s violation of the city’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance, she started to get pummeled by national media personalities like Glenn Beck, which, in turn, led to more than 50 angry phone calls to her office from people out-of-state. And she expects even more.

But rather than merely fielding the inflammatory comments, which Driscoll described as “patently offensive views regarding [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transexual] individuals,” Salem’s mayor decided to flip the negativity on its head.

“We are keeping a tally of these telephone calls,” Driscoll said in a recent letter that she shared with constituents on both her Facebook page and Twitter account. “For each one we receive, I will be making a donation of $5 to nAGLY [the North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth].”

The “people’s pledge,” phones calls, and attacks from “right-leaning” blogs like Beck’s came after Gordon College’s president filed for an exemption from federal regulations that bar employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Driscoll said. The Christian school’s president was one of 14 religious leaders who signed and sent a letter to request the exemption to the White House, according to the Boston Globe.

The school’s stance on the LGBT community, which included policies for students to abide by that were anti-gay, violated a city ordinance. Because of that, she abruptly terminated the contract on July 9—the city already had plans to sever ties in August as part of a public art initiative—that put Gordon College in charge of managing the Old Town Hall facility, a historic site built in the 1800s.

“It saddens me to curb our contractual relationship in this manner, despite a long and positive relationship with Gordon College over the years,” Driscoll said when she announced she was ending the deal with the school. “However, not doing so would be a violation of our Non-Discrimination Ordinance and even more troubling, allow a contractual relationship between the city of Salem and an institution that enables, and now advocates for discrimination against the LGBT community. As Mayor, I most certainly cannot let that stand.”

When posting her follow-up letter prompted by the angry phone calls, Driscoll encouraged others to make similar donations matching her contributions as the city continues to keep track of the vitriol from what she jokingly called “‘friends’ in Texas, Georgia, and similar locals looking to connect.”

Already, as of Thursday morning, Driscoll’s letter has been shared on Facebook more than 1,300 times.

You can read the mayor’s full letter below:

Salem Letter

ADVERTISMENT

  • savoy6

    I dunno, what do we call the behavior of the mayors office, religious intolerance? So religious beliefs can be dismissed and religious schools and institutions positions no longer matter?

    • Ioldanach Dyfrgi

      Defense of the separation of church and state. Equal tolerance of all without favoring the religious institution.
      Religious schools and institutions can hold their beliefs under their
      own roofs, but the government cannot contract with a religious group
      that is engaged in discrimination.

      • savoy6

        The separation of Church and state was to prevent the state from imposing a state religion and restricting others. It was not designed to squelch the right of a religious institution to adhere to it’s faith “or else.”

        • LitShips

          How precisely are their rights being squelched? The government isn’t coming in and saying “You can’t be Christian any more!” They’re saying, “So long as your policies fail to comport to law, you will no longer receive taxpayer dollars.”

          • swabbie

            The city ordinance is trumped by the Constitution. The city is in violation of the law, not the school. Of course it could be carried to the SCOTUS but I doubt the school really cares, more the shame :-(. If you doubt me than carefully consider the recent Courts decision concerning religious rights of a corporation. Could go either way. Better to simply say “we no longer require your services, thank you”. But it seems that every politician just HAS to make a “statement” for their legacy nowadays.

          • Dave Hugenot

            The city is not in violation of the Constitution. The city is not dictating policy to Gordon. The city is simply exercising its right not to subject itself to Gordon’s policy. What’s wrong with that?

          • savoy6

            Actually, what Mayor Driscoll is saying to a long time openly orthodox religious organization that holds it’s faith very seriously, is that “unless you change your belief system, you will no longer receive taxpayer dollars.”

          • Dave Hugenot

            The school had a contract with the city, right? Can we assume that the contract required some sort of human input in order to be fulfilled? If that is the case, the city has no choice but to end the contract because the school has a policy of not hiring LGBT people (humans necessary for the contract to be fulfilled) and the city has an ordinance against such discrimination. Nobody is saying Gordon can’t continue to exercise its policy, Salem is just saying, “Not with us.” If it’s Gordon’s right to have such a policy, isn’t it also the right of others to decide if they want to subject themselves to it?

      • TheTruthBurns

        “Defense of the separation of church and state.” it’s not in the Constitution ignoramus. You’re as bad as the Bible Thumpers. The government is in contract with schools(affirmative action), and institutions (Planned Parenthood) that discriminate everyday. Get rid of those contracts, and you’d have credibility bigot.

        • Dave Hugenot

          Can’t stand to keep a discussion civil, can you? If you could refrain from petty name calling and manage to control yourself like an adult, maybe you, too, would have credibility.

      • swabbie

        Nothing in the Constitution said that religious organizations could only hold their beliefs “under their own roof”. Requiring them to do so would violate their freedom of speech rights. Having a belief doesn’t necessarily involve discrimination against others, if it does so then of course that belief (based on religious text and ACTED on) should be restricted as it would then interfere with another’s freedoms/rights. For example: if you believe that a woman that is not veiled should be stoned (some Muslims) that religious belief should be restricted from be ACTED on due to it’s affecting another’s freedom. One can have that belief, BUT they can NOT act on it as it curtails another persons freedoms. At least in this country, …..so far.

    • Terry Call

      So we would assume you would support paying taxes for a separate public swimming pool for Muslim women?

      • savoy6

        No, but I would support a private tax exempt religious organization building their own.

        • LitShips

          Right, but should such an organization receive government funding for that project?

          • swabbie

            Not savoy but….. I don’t think the govt should fund it. Unless of course they did so for ALL religious schools. All or none, no preference. That’s local, state, and Federal.

          • Dave Hugenot

            Right. The short answer to savoy’s question is, no.

          • savoy6

            Well technically they already receive funding with their tax exempt status. If you are talking about direct government funding, that’s a different story. Is the money to fund the pool directly or to fund the organizations general efforts to feed the poor and needy? …a pool just happens to be “needed” by them.

            The government funds lots of organizations, like Planned Parenthood, for example, in order to help them provide health services to the poor and needy.. does the government directly fund abortion on demand or as a birth control option? I don’t know.

    • http://bit.ly/glUAR7 Calladus

      I know, it really SUCKS that my religious freedoms to condemn other people are being oppressed!

      • savoy6

        I guess if a government doesn’t want to pay you for a service based on your religious beliefs that’s fine. Of course, if whatever the government felt was the just and right position of the day.. changed. To, for example; if you supported the right to bear arms.. and the current political winds encouraged the government to ‘no longer require your services’ until you renounced that position.. Despite a Constitutional guarantee and a Supreme court ruling.

        That’s kind of like extortion, isn’t it?

        By the way, Gordon College doesn’t “condemn” anyone.. but they are indeed an orthodox Christian college that openly espouses their views on sexuality and marriage, here is a quote from 2007, prior to a visit from SoulForce an advocacy group for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community :

        “…we intend to receive them as guests to our campus and listen with compassion. We will also ensure that they hear the theological basis of our Christian beliefs that marriage is defined as the union between one man and one woman and that sexual activity is limited to the context of the marriage relationship. Gordon has not abandoned and will not veer from this biblical perspective.

        As a Christian college we are a redemptive community that endeavors to be a channel of God’s grace–grace that deals with sin and grace that we all need. It is in this light that the College will offer our visitors a welcome that is gracious while affirming the historic, orthodox Christian position regarding homosexual behavior and the appropriate biblical instruction of responding with love for them.

        Gordon will also treat the Soulforce visit as an pportunity to help students increase their understanding of scriptural teachings on homosexual behavior and learn how to thoughtfully represent their views to others. This visit will be incorporated into the Center for Christian
        Studies symposium…”

        That doesn’t exactly sound like hate or condemnation. Why anyone in the LGBT community would want to work there I don’t know.. except to be provocative maybe.

        • Rich Kingdon

          “As a Christian college we are a redemptive community that endeavors to be a channel of God’s grace–grace that deals with sin and grace that we all need. ”

          You are a PRIVATE CLUB, and not above the law. You have no right whatsoever to violate the law of the land. You did, and you got punished. Sucks to be you.

        • Rich Kingdon

          And by the way, your institution doesn’t pay taxes, does it? And STILL you want to violate the law? Hey, if you want a say in what the law is, PAY YOUR FAIR MOTHERF’ING SHARE.

        • Dave Hugenot

          It isn’t Gordon’s beliefs that the mayor reacted against, it is their discriminatory policies that violate the town’s ordinance. If they had the belief that homosexuality is sinful, but did not have a policy of discriminating against LGBT individuals they’d still have the contract.

      • swabbie

        I didn’t notice any condemnation in the article. Where might you be getting this info? If you have a source for this “condemnation” please share :-). If it’s coming out of your own bias that’s another issue, maybe you should take it up with a good counselor?

        As for the school’s stance it is completely within their purview as a religious institution. All part of that “clunky, outdated, antique” document called the Constitution :-). What little I did see of the school’s position seemed to be to respond with Christian “love” to the visit to their school. No condemnation, no hate, maybe even a little understanding, hmmmm?

    • amac1850

      You’re correct. The mayor’s office is pointing out the religious intolerance…what would Jesus do? I know, probably hate on those who a different from us. Let’s maybe just stick to Jesus and the bankers…

      • savoy6

        If you read a couple of posts down, I made reference to a 2007 statement they made… You’ll see the schools actual position on things. You might not like it but it is consistent.

    • PeterMoss

      Since there’s never been any evidence that the supernatural realm bronze age men imagined to explain their science-free world, yes, religious beliefs can and are dismissed by enlightened modern people. Lots of them too. We no longer stone people, condone slavery, sacrifice our children, practice polygamy (except for some LDS cults like the FLDS) etc.

      • tonybigs

        Enlightened people do not dismiss. There are many who do dismiss — perhaps you are one of them.

        • PeterMoss

          You’re dismissed Tony, for not thinking for yourself.

          • tonybigs

            So you discovered by yourself the “Bronze Age”? And we “no longer stone people, condone slavery, sacrifice our children, practice polygamy”?. What you so easily dismiss is still practiced by the delusional, self-enlightened — they just call it by other, more clever, names.

          • Dave Hugenot

            What more clever names do the “delusional, self-enlightened” call stoning, slavery, child sacrifice and polygamy by?

          • tonybigs

            How about all of them:
            “stoning”: internet attacks, dog-piling, Facebook, Disqus, accusation of being a hater or bigot
            “slavery”: pornography, vice, medical marijuana…
            “child sacrifice”: abortion, women’s health, right-to-choose…
            “polygamy”: hookup-culture, baby-daddy, free spirit, Marriage Equality

            Stoning: by the hundreds of millions
            Slavery: by the billions
            Child Sacrifice: 40+ million in the USA alone since 1974.
            Polygamy: by the billions and some are now even testing the waters of “creative relationships”.

            And some people want more and they will all call it a “right” or “freedom”.

      • savoy6

        I’m not sure of your point. Glen Becks opinion on anything is irrelevant..

        However, Gordon College is a historically orthodox Christian college. They do not advocate; stoning people, condone slavery, sacrificing children or practice polygamy. That is simply hyperbole.

        • PeterMoss

          But their Bible does.

          • tonybigs

            Does it? Apparently you think so.

      • Marianne Kwiatkowski-Yee

        As a card-carrying, active member of the LDS church, I would have to honestly say that this whole comment is irrelevant. The complaints are not against the church (who tries, despite the efforts of some members, to support their LGBT youth), they are against Glenn Beck and others like him who vociferously attack minority groups in the name of Christianity. For your reference: http://mormonsandgays.org/

    • boB

      How is it that not tolerating bigotry has become intolerant? Is bigotry protected speech now?

      There is NO “right to discriminate,” religious liberty does not include the liberty to exclude others. Religious liberty means you are fre to practice your religion in any way you want — it does NOT mean you get to push your rules, rites, or biases onto the rest of us. Every person, even LGBT individuals, are entitled to this freedom.

      • tonybigs

        The word “Tolerate” is bandied about and used incorrectly so often that the word has morphed into something else.

        The word “tolerate” comes from the Latin “toleratus” which means “to endure”. Unless we desire to be a nation of murderers, we must endure (tolerate) the actions of people we do not agree with — even with people that we believe are doing wrong.

        “Tolerate” is not the same as “permit”. People can tolerate without giving permission. I suspect those who espouse NO “right to exclude”, do desire the “right to choose”.

        In the case of “exclusionary” religions — it is usually the person’s desire to exclude themselves from the religion through thought and action that is in direct opposition to the religion. Most people at one time or other do act in opposition to their religion (if only privately), but with time and wisdom they try to reduce those occurrences.

        • janipurr

          Are you now comparing LGBT persons to murderers? You truly are an intolerant bigot.

          I’m sorry that other people explaining tolerance and morality to you has not made any sense to you, but your right to discriminate does not equal my right to not tolerate your discrimination.

          • tonybigs

            The last sentence in your reply is a perfect depiction of intolerance and exclusion — you have no place for others who think and act differently from your perception. You claim that some right of another is less equal than yours — the very path to intolerance.

            In my paragraph that used the word “murderers” no person or group was singled out other than the nation whose laws apply to the article . The tolerant tolerate intolerance because they recognize mercy, justice and that people can make mistakes. The intolerant shout, gloat and name call. The intolerant desire revenge and look for safety in numbers . The intolerant attack the intelligence of others.

            Again, to tolerate is to endure the apparent ignorance, mistakes and wrongs of others. Tolerate does NOT mean: permit or agree or allow.

          • janipurr

            You can try and gaslight other people here all you want, but my calling you out for your bigoted and intolerant views does not make me intolerant myself. Appropriating the language of the oppressed does not make you oppressed. You are still a bigot, and as a white male Christian in America, you still enjoy an enhanced level of privilege that you are desperately trying to deny anyone even the slightest bit different than yourself. Change is hard, but you are on the wrong end of history.

            Seriously–you sound exactly like my abusive and mentally ill mother. Get yourself some counseling and help, you will be much happier that way.

          • tonybigs

            Gaslight. Interesting movie. MGM tried to have all the prints of an earlier British version destroyed. Thankfully, the British version survived. Many think that the British version is better.

            Perhaps by repeating that I am bigot over and over you can convince me (perhaps others) that I truly am. By throwing out the words “God” and “while male Christian” you reveal you own sexual prejudices and tendencies to label people. Read my posts on this topic. I have not mentioned God, nor have I indicated any Christian or religious affiliation. I have not questioned the sexuality of others, nor have I questioned gender-orientation. I have not used any of those arguments to support one side or the other. I haven’t even indicated that either party in the matter is “right” or “wrong”. Your assumptions and arguments are based wholly upon your prejudices.

            The oft-used phrase “wrong side of history” is actually another tactic used to divide, separate and isolate. What is the “wrong side of history” and what does it entail? Arrest? Prison? Executions? Mercy? A paragraph or chapter in a history book?

            I am sorry for your mother, I hope you and she find peace and kindness despite her condition.

          • janipurr

            I hate to tell you this, but I don’t have to convince anyone else that you are a bigot. They already know. You—you are either a deliberate troll, or hopeless, so I really don’t care that much. As for the rest, you know exactly what I am talking about, stop pretending to be ignorant in addition to bigoted.

    • Rich Kingdon

      Your religious rights end where my religious rights begin. You have absolutely NO right to break the law based on your religion.

      Here’s how this works: you made a CHOICE to join a PRIVATE CLUB. That private club, while open to the public, can make and enforce rules only for ITS OWN MEMBERS.

      I choose not to join your private club. I don’t want any part of it. Therefore, your club’s rules DO NOT APPLY TO ME, no matter how much you want them to. Period. End of story.

      It matters not what your club does, or is about. I AM NOT A PART OF IT, AND IT DOES NOT HAVE CONTROL OVER ME.

      Therefore, if your PRIVATE CLUB breaks the law of the land, it gets punished. Again, period. End of story.

    • VeggieTart

      I’m getting sick and damn tired of religious organizations screaming persecution or intolerance when they are told they can’t use their religious beliefs as an excuse to violate the law. The right loves to point out that actions have consequences and to take responsibility for your actions. Well, if you choose to use your religious beliefs to discriminate, there will be consequences. If you discriminate against people for race, gender, sexual orientation, you will be denied some things. Suck it up.

      • tonybigs

        Who anything about intolerance? This is about an “exclusionary behavioral policy” (the Mayor’s words) that violates a recently adopted city ordinance. Perhaps you lock your doors during the day or night, might want to check with the city about that behavior.

        Also, don’t forget to add “religious affiliation” to the list of discriminations, you know, the “no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

  • TheTruthBurns

    @ Steve Annea. What’s worse, writing a crappy article, or nobody knowing you exist? Fall in line clown, you’re good at it.

    • Steve Annear

      Dad, I told you to stop commenting on my stories. : /

    • swabbie

      Actually I didn’t see anything the the reporter wrote that seemed to be either biased or unbalanced, refreshing given what seems to pass as news now a days. He reported the facts, did NOT inject his own viewpoint, or even add a snide remark or two.

      You might have an issue with the Mayor’s position and I thought her description of the school as “discriminating” was unfair, but address that to the Mayor, not a reporting writing a story :-).

      Your verbal attack was uncalled for and really doesn’t serve a useful purpose. An opinion stated thoughtfully is usually far more effective than the blathering shouted “talking points” of the puppets getting their strings pulled by their masters, be they liberal OR conservative.

    • PeterMoss

      Not as good as self-professed rodeo clown Glenn Beck is.

  • jamescrackscorn

    I would record said calls, and then aggregate them and release them to the public for hearing the hate….

  • mathan1234

    If Glenn Beck isn’t happy with you, it means you are doing something right.

    • PeterMoss

      Glenn Beck thinks we’re living in the Biblical End Times, and that he gets special messages from the Divine.

    • Chris Borzillo

      So by now you’ve likely heard that the Mayor is a liar and that Beck did not utter a SINGLE SYLLABLE about this story right? She decided to put a total FABRICATION out there and the typical nitwits in the media swallowed it hook, line and sinker without even the most basic attempt at confirmation.

  • Stannous Flouride

    I donated one day’s pay. I wish I could afford more.

  • joanmcn@aol.com

    When can we send these liberals somewhere else????

    • scott

      I don’t know, but when they leave I hope all of you conservatives go with them.

  • tonybigs

    The city has recently adopted a policy which excludes Gordon College’s long standing policy of being a religious institution with moral standards — standards that some now feel are “mean” and “hateful”. Perhaps the city will start to adopt policies that will make everyone, every business and every institution a “violator” of something.

    • PeterMoss

      It’s immoral to judge others for the way they were born Tonybigot.

      • tonybigs

        There are many ways to be born. Hopefully, people don’t become or embrace most of those ways. Some do, however. No one can judge a soul but one can and must judge actions.

        • Dave Hugenot

          You’re right, and I judge Mayor Driscoll’s actions to be of the highest caliber.

          • tonybigs

            And that’s how it should be instead of personal attacks.

        • PeterMoss

          You think that the beliefs you were indoctrinated in, which were based on bronze on bronze age ignorance, supersede the current enlightened understanding, which is based on reason and science. You’re wrong TonyB.

          • tonybigs

            How easily you dismiss the “bronze age ignorance” and its people. Without them you would still be in the Stone Age.

    • trolleyfan

      If your “moral standards” are mean and hateful, they’re mean and hateful…no matter how much you go “God diddit…”

      • tonybigs

        That’s a big “If” and that’s the crux of the matter –perhaps the government will get around to deciding that in some way you are “mean” and “hateful”.

    • Dave Hugenot

      Mayor Driscoll isn’t prohibiting Gordon College from maintaining it’s traditional bigoted standards. (I’m assuming that Gordon still has the same policies it had before the cancellation of the contract with Salem.) She’s just saying that, while Gordon has its standards, the town of Salem has its own. Both are free to adhere to their own beliefs. No problem.

      • tonybigs

        The point being that the city adopted a policy which is also exclusionary. Have a look at yourself. Will the city get around to excluding you?

        • Dave Hugenot

          Help me out. Is it your contention that the city (or any entity) cannot have any policy that excludes anybody? Are there no boundaries? If the city had a policy that said it would not hire convicted pedophiles as staff in its schools, even if that pedophile had “paid his debt to society”, would you argue that the policy was invalid because it is exclusionary?

          • tonybigs

            Ok, I’ll help.

            Using the word pedophile in this discussion would be inflammatory and distracting so how about something else: Global Warming.

            What if a company, person or institution does not recognize global warming, publicly, and the city adopts a policy of using “Green” businesses and subsequently terminates or declines contracts. Even if the “violating” company, person or institution otherwise provides a valuable, demonstrably clean service to the community?

            The problem with drawing lines: someone will be compelled to cross them and eventually someone (or group) will demand that they be allowed to cross, legally, that crossing is a “basic human right”. Freedom to cross. Back to the “P”-word. You proposed a line. People are now crossing that line in, apparently, increasing numbers. Are they getting organized? What next?

            Some people who have lived long enough are appalled at what today’s people are saying and doing — they remember a different (though still imperfect) time. Supporters of Moral Relativism would say people have always been bad and evil and that their parents were “rebellious” too. That would be mostly true, but to the breadth and depth of the bad and evil, not so much. The Relativists don’t notice the downward spiral. Some may eventually notice but by then they would be “haters” and “bigots”.

  • PeterMoss

    Is that the same Glenn Beck who’s being sued for defamation for his false accusations against an innocent college student who was injured in the Boston Marathon attack? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8-cduo2Wgk

  • PeterMoss

    Glenn Beck might be angry with Massachusetts in general, since his career as a political pundit crashed and burned after his false allegations against an innocent college student after the Boston Marathon bombing resulted in a defamation lawsuit. http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2014/03/31/glen-beck-sued-boston-marathon-attack/

  • Marian Figley

    While Mayor Driscoll may be getting negative comments from other people, I want her to know that there’s at LEAST one person in GA who supports her 100%. More power to you! <3 <3

  • VeggieTart

    Way to go, Mayor! You did the right thing. Lost in the whole kerfuffle is that the contract was being ended anyway; the city just ended it a few weeks early.

    Since the facts won’t stop them, I hope knowing that their calls will result in money to the organization does.

    • tonybigs

      So you hope the money stops flowing? Others, apparently, agree. Way to go?

      • VeggieTart

        I don’t.. But I’m sure the hateful people don’t want money flowing to them.

        • tonybigs

          But for the money to flow the haters have to keep hating. So you do not want the money to stop flowing?

  • tonybigs

    No you didn’t. So I won’t click.

  • http://facebook.com/davidbrehan David Brehan

    Glenn Beck is discussing this on his show right now and all of it is untrue regarding him. He hadn’t heard anything about this issue and did not tell his listeners to call the mayor. Sad that the media is so corrupt as to print complete lies about people.

    • tonybigs

      Isn’t that the Modus Operandi? Spread a rumor or lie so fast and so often that people believe it to be true. When confronted with the truth, someone “misspoke” and the statement will be “walked back”.

      At least the Mayor included Glenn Beck rather than excluding him. Or, should the Mayor have been more discriminating?

  • http://zachhalverson.com Zach Halverson
    • tonybigs

      But have the click counts risen?

  • tonybigs

    Well don’t believe it. Thelma is lying to you.

  • tonybigs

    I hope “Aunty” checked local animal ordinances before acquiring that Jaguar.