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3:51 am EDT        39°F (4°C) in South Rockwood, MI

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In my last update, I promised a major exposé about so-called “fundamentalist ‘Christianity’,” and I’ve returned here with the goods. So-called “Christians” who make it their life’s work to hate God’s dearly beloved gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) children, often complain of poverty and troll for donations by invoking the boogeyman of a supposed “well-funded ‘homosexual agenda’.” However, as this exposé of one such prominent figure will prove, it is actually the “Christians” who are flush with cash, and they would really rather you didn’t know where that money went. So without further ado, let’s delve into the truth.

Loyal readers of this site will no doubt recall the name of Peter LaBarbera, the head of what amounts to his own cult of personality called Americans for “Truth”; I have mentioned him here on numerous occasions before. In fact, I thoroughly destroyed one of his favorite Satan-inspired talking points — a notion that GLBT folk somehow “hate God” — in this space last May. Well, he’s back at it again, having repeated the same charge without any corroboration on his blog last Tuesday. (Remember, then as now, I refuse to link to the figments of his imagination.) Since LaBarbera sees no problem with continuing to violate God’s Eighth Commandment by lying about gay folk, it’s time to tell the truth about him.

As Jesus told us in Matthew 19:24, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Apparently, Peter LaBarbera didn’t have that in mind when he chose to move his family to the wealthiest city of over 90,000 people in America and buy a $340,000 home in the fall of 2003. He made a down payment of $68,000, the money apparently coming from the sale of the LaBarberas’ previous home in Woodbridge, VA, and mortgaged the other $272,000 through Professional Mortgage Partners, Inc. of nearby Downers Grove, IL. That mortgage, and a home equity line of credit (HELOC) taken out January 23, 2004 in the amount of $32,000, would be combined and refinanced as a 30-year, $300,000 mortgage in March 2005. Not even nine months later, on December 6, 2005, LaBarbera and his wife Cristina took out yet another HELOC, this time for $50,000, from JPMorgan Chase Bank.

That’s $350,000 worth of debt, for those doing the math along with me. I’m not as familiar with HELOC terms as mortgage terms, so I’ll stick to evaluating the LaBarberas’ $300,000 mortgage. Let’s give Peter and Cristina LaBarbera the benefit of the doubt and assume they had, at worst, average credit when they took that mortgage; in 2005 with average credit, this would probably mean they got an interest rate of around 5¼% or thereabouts. A simple mathematical formula, available on any finance web site, yields a monthly payment of $1,656.61 for that set of terms ($300K financed, 30 years, 5¼% interest). Different interest rates would change the payment slightly; for example, at 6%, the payment would be around $1,800 per month.

But wait, that’s not all. Most mortgages that I’m familiar with require the homeowner to pay one-twelfth of the annual property tax bill each month, with those funds held in escrow by the mortgage company until the property taxes actually come due. DuPage County records show that the LaBarberas paid $6,629.58 in property taxes for the year 2006, or if split into 12 equal monthly payments, $552.47 per month. Whether Professional Mortgage Partners requires LaBarbera’s property taxes to be held in escrow or not, the money is finding its way from LaBarbera to DuPage County one way or the other, so it can be figured as a monthly housing cost.

Adding just these two things together — and remember, I’m not even getting into the cost of servicing that $50,000 HELOC — Peter and Cristina LaBarbera are paying $2,209.08 per month for their four-bedroom, 2½-bath, 2182-square-foot (202.7 m²) home and 12,320-square-foot (0.28 acres, 1,145 m²) lot. (They do have five children, so having four bedrooms isn’t entirely unreasonable; but I might suggest the use of this wonderful little invention called the condom in the future, as every additional child is a further drain on the finances.) If the HELOC terms are anything like the mortgage terms, it costs close to another $300 per month to service that debt, so when push comes to shove, the LaBarberas are probably out $2,500 per month for housing.

Let’s again give the benefit of the doubt and assume reasonable borrowing practices on the LaBarberas’ part, including observance of the so-called 28% rule. The 28% rule suggests that one’s housing costs should not exceed 28% of one’s net income. If this is the case, Peter LaBarbera’s net income is nearly $9,000 per month, or $108,000 per year. This is truly amazing, especially when he freely admits that slandering and smearing gays on a web site is his full-time job! (Look in the second paragraph after the list of gay advocacy organizations.)

(Just to give a little perspective, that figure represents double my gross income, and probably 275% of my net income. His Fraudulency King Chimpy the 43rd, Der Führer of the 43rd Reich, steals damn near a third of what I make to carry on his illegal occupation of Iraq’s oil wells. Since LaBarbera’s outfit Americans for “Truth” is registered as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, he keeps every penny of that estimated $108,000 per annum and therefore doesn’t contribute a dime to support our troops. Those with real jobs have to gross in the vicinity of $160,000 in order to net $108,000; we’re talking doctor and lawyer salary territory here.)

Peter LaBarbera and the majority of other so-called “fundamentalist ‘Christian’” anti-gay types out there frequently insist that they don’t make nearly as much as employees of gay organizations, but LaBarbera’s public records prove that this is a lie — in fact, it shows that un-Christian, anti-gay hatred is really quite a lucrative business! Like Jim Bakker before him, LaBarbera is clearly using the “donations” for which he practically begs on his blog in order to carry on a lavish lifestyle for his family. My grandparents, who had a similar family situation with seven children, found ways to scrimp and save through three decades’ worth of child-rearing, and never lived pretentiously, often eschewing some modern conveniences — so if they could do it, so can the LaBarberas.

The fact that the LaBarberas chose Naperville, already mentioned as America’s wealthiest city, as their home is no accident — it shows that they put mammon before God. Since Jesus said in Matthew 6:24 that only one of those can be served, it becomes clear that Peter LaBarbera is not serving God. (We already knew that, of course, but now we have yet more proof.) But in any event, you can’t tell me the LaBarberas couldn’t have found a four-bedroom home for much less than $340,000 elsewhere in DuPage County, or in Chicago, or ferchrissakes even here in metro Detroit — they can be found here for not much over $200,000!

You also can’t tell me that Peter and Cristina LaBarbera couldn’t have stopped having children long before they got to five. Yes, children are wonderful, I understand, but from a purely financial standpoint, as I said, each additional one is another hit in the checkbook. I don’t know the half of how my grandparents pulled it off with seven kids, and I probably never will know. My parents undoubtedly gave my sister and me far more advantages in life, and spared themselves a ton of potential money headaches, by limiting themselves to two kids.

Ordinarily, most people would agree that buying a house beyond one’s means and/or having more children than one can really afford financially are just dumb decisions. Begging other people to help you out of the mess you created is childish (in that it shows an unwillingness to buck up and take responsibility) and slothful, on top of dumb. Slandering and defaming gay people on a web site in order to “earn” those “donations” from others — that is utterly beyond reprehensible. In fact, it not only borders on evil, it is evil.

Next time Peter LaBarbera goes trolling for “donations” on his blog, true Christians everywhere should tell him to ditch the house in Naperville and lose the luxurious lifestyle. He wouldn’t need a penny of other people’s money if he would only go out and get a real job. Then again, that political science degree he earned from the University of Michigan (excuse me while I go puke in response to that son of Satan’s pollution of my alumni pool) is pretty much worthless in the real world, as poli sci degrees tend to be, and besides, it’s just easier and more lucrative to sit at a computer and cyber-gay-bash all day. Beats working a real job and living a more middle-class lifestyle in Mundelein or Tinley Park, doesn’t it?

(Aside: Ann Coulter also graduated from U-M in the 1980s. What the fuck was in the water in Ann Arbor back then?)

I should give a bit more explanation as to how I found out all of this information. LaBarbera’s home address (which I am not divulging, for reasons I will discuss shortly) was discovered in a database of 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, and subsequently posted to a blog I frequent, about a year ago. I took note of it at that point in time, and starting last week, searched for it on public record sites. Most everything I found was publicly accessible on the web sites of the various local governments, including Naperville Township, the City of Naperville, and the DuPage County Recorder’s office. I have downloaded .PDF copies of the original mortgage documents that are on file in DuPage County’s offices in Wheaton, and can produce them with LaBarbera’s address redacted by me if anyone asks.

My purpose in doing this is not to bring upon, nor cause to be brought upon Peter LaBarbera or his family or property, any physical harm or threat thereof. That would be violating what I believe is a logical extension of God’s Sixth Commandment, “thou shalt not kill.” The aforementioned blog on which LaBarbera’s address appeared last year saw at least one death threat aimed at him in the comments, and I’m just not even going to go there. Instead, it is Peter LaBarbera’s reputation, and hopefully his cash flow and ultimately the continued existence of the gay-bashing blog that the said cash flow permits, that I am intent on damaging here. That is why I am not sharing his address with my readers — Peter LaBarbera deserves to have some assurance of protection against physical assault, even if he thinks that we GLBT folk aren’t worthy of the hate-crimes protections that would give us similar levels of assurance.

(It has also occurred to me that withholding his address here at this time can serve as a little bit of a hedge against LaBarbera or other so-called “fundamentalist ‘Christians’” finding and posting my personal (i.e., non-public) information. I’m sure I have a few public records relating to my 2004 bankruptcy proceeding and a few traffic and parking citations, but the vast majority of that is already somewhere in the history of this section of my site, and wouldn’t exactly be “news” if reported by someone else. However, if LaBarbera or any other “Christian” individual or group pulls a Michelle Malkin on me — with the final discretion as to what constitutes private personal information belonging to me alone — I would then have no reservations whatsoever about sharing LaBarbera’s address with the world. Consider yourselves warned.)

Peter LaBarbera may claim to be for “truth,” as the disingenuous name of his web site would suggest. However, in doing this research, I have come to find out that there is a lot of truth that he would really rather you didn’t know. For ages, I’ve been making this clear as it relates to LaBarbera’s slanders and mischaracterizations of God’s dearly beloved GLBT children — the truth is that the vast majority of us are normal, moral, healthy, upstanding citizens, but if you listened to LaBarbera, you would think we were all diseased sexbots out to recruit “Christian” children or something. Now, by using information that anybody can access, I’ve shown the truth about Peter LaBarbera himself.

Count me as an American for truth — the real truth, not the lies of Peter LaBarbera and so-called “fundamentalist ‘Christians’.”