Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Cultures clash, but gingerly
Gay protesters of the Family Impact Summit at Bell Shoals are greeted by praying churchgoers.
By S.I. ROSENBAUM, Times Staff Writer
Published September 21, 2007
BRANDON - Outside Bell Shoals Baptist Church, protesters held signs reading "GOD LOVES ME AS I AM" and "QUEERLY DIVINE AND DOING FINE."
Harold Brockus, a pastor from Pinellas Park, addressed church members who had gathered Thursday afternoon to watch and pray for the protesters.
"Please," he said, "Please, give up your war against gays."
Bell Shoals was about to kick off its first-ever Family Impact Summit. The event, which runs today and Saturday, will feature some of the Christian Right's biggest names and offer workshops on "The Homosexual Agenda" and "Homosexuality and Youth."
Protesters called it a "hate summit." Preaching against homosexuality encourages bigotry, they said.
"Mindless hatred comes from a basis of fear," said speaker Barbara Leavitt of Naples. "People want to change gays from who they are to someone they can understand, who they won't fear. That is not right."
Over on the church steps, Kim Jackson sat with her eyes closed, praying.
"I want them to know we don't hate them," she said.
Like the dozen of other church members present, she said she believes gays are in danger of damnation.
"If my child were playing in the street," she said, "I would still have to rescue that child, even though he's having the time of his life."
Michael Freincle, a 20-year-old gay activist from Brandon, said he saw things differently.
"They have blinders on," he said of the church members. "They can only see God in front of them, not the dead people on either side."
As the demonstration wrapped up, Bell Shoals Pastor Forrest Pollock asked Nadine Smith, director of Equality Florida, if he could use the protesters' microphone to respond to them.
"I'll give you access to this microphone if you give me access to the one inside [the church]," she said. The crowd of about 75 cheered.
"Right now?" Pollock said. "Okay!"
When Smith did a double take, he added, "There's no one in there right now."
Smith decided to close the protest with a song: This Little Light of Mine. The protesters joined hands and sang. Many of the church members sang along with them.
The protest done, Smith let Pollock take the microphone.
"I want you all to know we welcome you," he said, as the protesters started to drift away. "Judge not lest ye be judged."