People

October 19, 2004

In the face of public backlash throughout North America, Louis-iana-based televangelist Jimmy Swaggart said he regrets telling his congregation at a televised worship service that if a gay man ever looks at him romantically, “I’m going to kill him and tell God he died.” In an interview September 21, Swaggart said, “It was a tongue-in-cheek statement best left unsaid. I won’t make it anymore.” A Toronto television station’s broadcast of the service produced a complaint before the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, a private, self-regulating industry group that enforces broadcast standards. Swaggart said he was talking too loosely about killing, using it casually as a figure of speech. “I’ve said it about other people, including other preachers,” he added. Gay advocacy groups say such language encourages violence against gay men and lesbians.

Conservative publisher Deal Hudson has announced that he will resign from his top post at Crisis magazine, a decision the Catholic leader made a month after stepping down as an adviser to President Bush’s reelection campaign. Hudson announced September 21 that he told the magazine’s board he will step down as of January 1, then direct a new Morley Institute that will work to continue financial support for the publication. Previously, he resigned as a Bush campaign adviser when a decade-old sexual misconduct charge against him resurfaced. Hudson, who said the decision was “my call,” added that the controversy had caused “great pain” to his family members. “The plain fact is, I’m tired of being a lightning rod.”

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