Snub Gays, Buy Microsoft?

Ken Hutcherson is urging his anti-homosexual followers to buy up stock to theoretically gain some control and reverse the company's support for gay-rights measures in the state.

With Rabbi Daniel Lapin as one of his trusted advisers--Lapin's the man who helped Lobbygate figure and convicted felon Jack Abramoff in his rise to infamy--Antioch Bible Church minister Ken Hutcherson last week officially launched his latest gay-bashing campaign, stumbling as he left the gate. The Business Wire refused to issue Hutcherson's press release, which urges his fellow anti-homosexual followers to buy up Microsoft stock to theoretically gain some control of the Gates empire and reverse its support for gay-rights measures in the state. It's a Hutcherson fantasy, of course—a fund-raising effort disguised as a moral crusade. He effectively concedes it's a pipe dream, but if his flock follows his lead—buying three shares of stock and giving one of them to his Eastside church—Hutcherson can use the money to finance other tax-free religious ventures. But the worldwide clients of the Business Wire, a leading press-release firm, won't be hearing about it through the Wire's network. The church's new financial Web site, AGN (Antioch Global Network) Financial, is up and running, the church said in a message to its Prayer Warriors, adding, "There was a glitch, however, with the Press Release. The Business Wire refused to release it, stating that they had the right to do so, based on the content....Please continue to pray for the news to get out!" A spokesperson for the Wire was unsure why the release was rejected. But it might have had something to do with the headline Hutcherson put on it: "Microsoft told by AGN to put shareholders first and stop financing ungodly ventures 2-billion Christians find offensive." Hutcherson—who wants, he says, "to be to Christianity what Gretzky was to hockey, what Beckham is to soccer, what Jordan was to basketball, what Martin Luther King was to African-American rights, what the Pope was to Poland"—believes in the bully pulpit, telling Microsoft officials, "I could be your worst nightmare because I am a black man with a righteous cause, with a host of powerful white people behind me." One of them, Lapin, a sometimes-radio-talk-show host who helped (unknowingly, he says) Abramoff launder Lobbygate funds, wouldn't necessarily seem the type to aid in a fund-raiser. Federal tax forms show that Lapin's Mercer Island charity, Toward Tradition, had negative balances in recent years, even while Lapin was raising his annual salary to $160,000. In 2006, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, after looking into the laundering of $50,000 by Abramoff's corporation through Lapin's charity, concluded that Toward Tradition and four other Abramoff-linked groups "appear to have perpetrated a fraud on other taxpayers." That seems more than a little ironic in light of Hutcherson's comments in his press release: "Corporate America has stepped in to fund organizations and individuals seeking to redefine morality, family values and the definition of marriage. It's time this stops."

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