Former 2:24 marathoner, now in my late 40s and hoping to maximally flatten the curve of my slide into senescence and mediocrity • Magazine writer, book editor and author, and commentator on the sport of distance running since 1999 • Adviser and confidant of other perambulators • Paradoxical hater of exercise fanatics • Chihuahua whisperer Sentence-fragment impresario

Friday, March 16, 2018

Living on handouts to combat gay athletes is tough work, but someone's gotta do it

[Ed.  note: this post is being updated regularly to reflect new discoveries revealing just how messed up Steve McConkey is.]

I admit that I questioned whether this exposition belongs on a running blog, or anywhere. It will, after all, do no more than briefly focus attention on a person with dubious aims and substandard cognitive abilities for the benefit of a handful snickering people, and will likely result in zero net effects on the human circus as a whole. But since that sums up virtually everything I post, including things I write about myself, why quit now?

The other night, one of my many provocateur-friends called attention to a public Facebook post on the page of one Steve McConkey, who has vague connections to the track world (and whose name I immediately read as "McMonkey" thanks to this glorious parable about racism and hucksterism, a true gem in the invaluable Dr. Seuss canon).

By the time I saw this, it had elicited a predictable groundswell of full-throated dunce-yawps couched as pitying sentiments for Hawking, whom the ersatz-faithful were positively certain was now being tormented for all eternity in Hell by their boundlessly compassionate ecclesiastical fetish-figure. This kind of Hawking-bashing fun sprung up all over the Web; I'm betting that at the news of Hawking's overdue demise, a few old-coot fundies somewhere in the Incest Belt experienced the faint stirrings of an erection for the first time since Sarah Palin was on a national ticket.

Hawking, of course, contributed an incredible amount of understanding to the world, not only in a difficult field (cosmological physics) but in the setting of 55 years of increasing physical pain and debility as a result of ALS, with which Hawking was diagnosed at age 21. He was a marvel in more ways than two: Not only did he more or less write the book on black holes, and not only did he outlive his doctors' predictions by decades, but he had a great sense of humor. But because he was an atheist -- one who, as far as I know, never had an unkind word to say about Christians or anyone else -- this mob of troglodytes were electronically tripping over themselves to join the wank-fest and ejaculate biblical spooge all over the comments.

For whatever reason, this annoyed me more than the cheap bleatings of the primitive-minded faithful normally do. I understand that most Christians don't think like this, and that within the subset that does, a lot of people are in the throes of a clinical mental illness. And I know that Hell is not a real place, but rather a construct borne of a primal desire for deep revenge on one's conquerors or betters. But I grow weary of the "Well, the poor soul should have listened to the Lord when he had the chance!" tripe. (I think some of them believe it's normal to hear voices.)

Anyway, I had my say there, and may have unspooled a few f-bombs in the process. But that was nothing compared to the melee that ensued when I discovered this thread.

My contributions are no longer there, so you'll have to go to this rough copy of the page I saved shortly before Steve blocked me, which I was counting on happening and practically praying for myself. I won't revisit the whole argument here, but Mr. McConkey, in addition to being wrong about the 1962 SCOTUS decision and refusing to admit it, also drummed up a bunch of fake pro-Christian quotes from the Founders, claimed that U.S. Congress had ordered the distribution of Bibles in schools before there even was a U.S. Congress, and in general went through the same hackneyed litany he and his ilk invariably do in such settings. But when he realized that he couldn't score any rhetorical points, he told me repeatedly that I must be gay, and that my books must not be selling well, and so on. When I tired of being unable to exit this bog of lunatic theology on my own, I ramped up the insults hoping he'd pull the trigger, but it wasn't until one of Steve's brethren suggested I be blocked that he did so.

Naturally, being a wounded and rather craven sort, he immediately posted this, believing that I would be unable to respond. (3/19/18 note: He appears to have deleted the post yesterday or this morning, but you can still read it, along with most of the comments it wound up drawing, here.)

Some of the best replies:

Steve McConkey: "I wanted to use him as an example. Most Christians do not know what is out there. That being said, it was like a broken record. Non-stop."

Right, no Evangelical Christians are aware that people criticize the things they say, which meshes perfectly with their constant complaints of being persecuted all over America. And on the matter of nonstop broken records, Steve McConkey has literally made it his top life priority to combat equitable treatment of gay people -- he even says so himself.

Dean Barker: "The other thing they do Is trick you into dismissing the Bible as an authority. They’ll say it’s circular logic. Meanwhile there are not any sources they are prohibited from using."

Another good point -- using Bible passages to support the veracity of Bible passages is not circular logic at all, and don't let some heterosexual faggot who poses with statues in the mountains tell you otherwise. And it's totally unfair to refer to extra-biblical sources of evidence, like historical and scientific facts, to refute circular arguments.

Joetta Novax Lewis: "it is always sad to see someone so rebellious. When I read his comments, I thought he is either under the complete influence of the evil one or the Holy Spirit is chasing him and he is floundering and rebelling."

False dichotomy alert! The whole reason I am floundering and rebelling as I race pell-mell from the Holy Spirit, setting a series of unofficial masters running records in my self-propelled joyride to Hell, is because I am under complete influence of the evil one.

And my favorite so far, from one Cherrill Gay Clifford:"I cannot pray 'for' him. I pray against people like him including the jerk who posted a foul response to my original post here. I blocked him too. God does not require of us that we allow evil to take up our time & energy."

Damn, doesn't this lady (who claims to have a journalism degree, probably from 1915 or so, and has a fake news story posted on her wall as I type this) realize that if she counterprays, it'll dilute everyone else's pro-Kevin prayer effort? The least she could do if she doesn't want to get me right with God is simply abstain.

This stuff is so crazy standing on its own that I almost feel bad for even invading their cocoon of ecclesiastical madness. But then I recall the other crap these Haldol-deficient goons have spewed about Hawking, and I don't feel sorry for them at all.

So I think I may have a rejoinder or two. Here's where it gets really bad.

Steve McConkey has more than a passing interest in other people's sexual preferences. In fact, he has literally made attempting to keep gay athletes out of the Olympics and other sports, and basically conduct a one-person crusade to eradicate homosexuality from the world altogether, his full-time job. As of this unflattering profile in a local news outlet four years ago, Steve evidently lived on handouts and his wife's earnings as a substitute teacher so he could pursue his "Christian" obsession without the annoyance of gainful employment getting in the way.
McConkey and his wife, Liz, a substitute teacher, founded 4 Winds in 1988 to strengthen the faith of athletes who identify as Christian and to spread the faith to others. The nonprofit organization operates out of the couple’s Madison apartment on a 'shoestring budget' funded by private donations, said McConkey, the sole employee.
After a local Unitarian rebuffed rebuffed Steve and his quest in an e-mail to the reporter, expressing annoyance that a fire-breathing idiot like Steve was even given a platform, the reporter did a follow-up column. Steve had this to say about the resistance to his views and behavior:
“I really don’t feel like a minority in this situation. At the same time, it really doesn’t matter to me if I am. When I face the Lord, he’s not going to ask me which opinion polls I read. 
"What people have to realize with my testimony is that I was on the very bottom due to drugs and alcohol. I was living a very immoral life. I’m a fallen person. I don’t hate (homosexuals), because I understand the human condition.”
It's funny that he says he doesn't care about opinion polls, because in a related "article" for Christian Newswire two days later -- one of countless pieces in which he quotes himself and only himself -- he
notes that he "speaks for most evangelicals as 78% oppose homosexuality."

All he's doing here is stating the obvious: Most people, including a lot of Christians, understand that Evangelicals are whackjobs, of no service to a progressive society or to Christianity itself.

That is all from four years ago, after the 2014 Games in Sochi, and he's still at it, including the entertaining quoting of himself.
In 2003, McConkey started fighting the International Olympic Committee for allowing transgenders in the Olympics. He was the only one who stood against this publicly. 
From there, the transgender movement spread to state high schools, the NCAA, NFL, NBA, MLB, and the military. Steve has fought this LGBT agenda every step of the way.
So, he's gone after the IOC because it allows gays and transgender people into the Games and gone after Nike for supposedly having ties to Planned Parenthood as well as pro-SSM efforts in Oregon. There's no quest more assured of absolute failure than one nutbag with a laptop in Wisconsin trying to take down probably the two most all-around powerful sports organizations on the planet. I'm certain Steve has that wired into his martyr complex.

Steve McConkey claims that he has been a part of unsuccessful efforts to ban gays from the Olympics, the U.S. Military, various professional sports, and society in general. Emphasis on "unsuccessful" mine, because bragging about fighting 15 straight years' worth of losing battles (and likely far more; this guy is in his sixties and "found Jesus" in 1976) is a poor way to sell your activism skills, and labeling this garbage "standing up for Christian athletes" makes it very easy for people who might otherwise remain disinterested to dismiss all of Christianity as a giant cesspool of backward and blinkered yokels.

Finally, has anyone ever sat down with one of these idiots in person and tried to patiently explain that not discriminating against gay people is not the same thing as "promoting homosexuality"? If so, what happens? Does smoke start coming out of their ears? It's not a difficult distinction to make. I don't think anyone should be discriminated against on the basis of being Yankees fans, but that doesn't mean I'm going to start urging people to start cloaking themselves in Derek Jeter jerseys.

Steve McConkey, in summary, ekes out a living by extracting cash from people who may or may not realize they are funding a one-person hate group, and gets to dodge paying taxes on his "business" because going after queers is just God's work. To steal from Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, I almost wish that I really were gay, so that I could enjoy a genuine rage-rush instead of just getting snarky.

And, I was gonna leave this unsaid, but...wasn't there a writer or something who said that when people argued too vehemently about something, it might be instructive to look carefully at their motives?

I think that's more than sufficient to establish what a wreck of a person Steve is, but I'll leave you with some dessert in the form of other recent samplings from his Facebook timeline:

Addendum: Google the term "Steve McConkey" gay (exactly that, quotes around his name and nowhere else) and behold the shit-river of insanity that graces your screen. Steve, who can barely string simple words into a coherent sentence, claims he's done genetic research establishing that homosexuality is not a heritable trait. He also wrote something two months ago that was so over the top that even he recognized how bad it was and removed it, but the Wayback Machine preserved it.

The most apt extended tagline for this guy I can think of: "62-year-old career homophobe who somehow earned a masters degree 37 years ago but has chosen to survive through online panhandling to support his obsession." Just like every parent wants her child to turn out.

UPDATE 1: Steve is expressing consternation that gay people are upset with a guy who has spent decades doing little besides trying to prevent gay people from enjoying the same rights that he, a lazy, stupid man who has never held a job despite claiming to have earned a master's degree in 1981, enjoys. He really thinks he's a civil and swell guy.

If I didn't know how clueless Evangelicals tend to be about practically everything, I would be surprised that so many of Steve's acolytes are willing to comment on his public posts in the way that they do. Steve will never be applying for a job himself, so he's in the clear in that limited respect, but the rest of those yutzes might want to bear in mind that an employer or potential employer can read those public posts using any Facebook account. The only mitigating factor is that most of the members of that mob are unemployable anyway, not counting gigs like wiping the spunk off the backs of the seats at porn theaters between shows.

It won't be long before Steve is no longer making public posts of this nature anyway. He may not know this, but I do.

UPDATE 2: Steve has expressed real or feigned paranoia that this post, in particular the last line in the above paragraph, represents an actual threat to his safety.

Normal people understand exactly what I mean by it; hapless drones like Steve are incapable of such dialectic feats.

I knew something like this would happen. Steve McCoskey is a half-crazy, half-mean dimwit with a comparatively large social-media following of outright lunatics. (I'm not kidding. Look at some of the accounts of his commenters.) In such scenarios, the followers invariably rush to assure the dimwit in  charge that anything he says is valid. It's very much a Trump-dimwit America set-up, scaled down by about six orders of magnitude. Steve, hunkered down in Wisconsin with his life being sustained by handouts from the masses and probably his adult children, realizes that he is powerless to do anything to affect the world in the ways he wants to. He can't actually wipe gay people off the planet. So he seeks, and receives, online validation instead.

I like to think that if my best friends in the world consisted of a small Internet army of plainly disturbed people, I would change something about my approach to life. But that, of course, would only be possible with a modicum of insight.

It is absolutely surreal to see a bunch of unhinged, desperately ignorant people referring to me as the crazy one in Steve's post. Not merely because they themselves are delusional, but because they don't even know what or whom they are all screaming about, because Steve lacks the integrity to link to this post so that his readers can see exactly what he's labeling a threat (not that this would make any difference).

Steve is a liar, but more than that, he is propelled in life by fear -- of his inner desires, of what people observe about him, about his own past deeds. To expect him to act with any degree if rectitude would be delusional in its own right.


  1. The most Christian thing one can do is to post pictures of people who disagree with you on your Facebook page and then invite your friends to join with you in mocking them and calling them names. It really brings a person closer to the LORD, you know. It also helps if you practice a TON of self-righteousness and show how proud you are to be a good Christian. God loves that. Above all, demand that others stop praying for anyone who pisses you off. We can't have God's superpowers going to anyone other than those who know they are better than everyone else. Amen.

    Oh, and someone might want to tell Mr. McConkey that reading something posted on the internet doesn't mean you actually studied a certain profession. With all the cross-cultural evidence supporting a link between genetics (and, of course, epigenetics) and being gay, it's absurd that anyone who truly studied genetics would deny the correlation. Sad.

    1. Steve McConkey and an actual monkey stand about the same chance of drawing meaningful conclusions from medical literature, and that's in the absence of any bias, in which of course Steve is awash.

      He can post all of the pictures of me he wants. What he won't do is post or, apparently, even allow any links to this blog, because he's afraid of what his "friends" will see about him here. Just like Kim used to do.

      I've met quite a few "recovering" alcoholics like Steve who would actually be less of a burden to society if they returned to being drunk or high all the time. He's gone from using chemicals to suppress what I figure are troubling thoughts about his sexuality to railing about gay people instead. No one does that for forty straight years solely because they believe it's "biblical."

      Steve is an idiot, but in the end he'll just die in some degree of infirmity and discomfort and that'll be all he ever knows, just like Stephen Hawking and just like the rest of us. And his entire adult life will have been a sad waste of time and other people's resources.

  2. Well Beck he got you good! It is funny the trick he did though to a certain degree I guess. Clever. He knows who you are #1. All runners know the Beck for certain. On his Facebook page he questions his followers if he should indeed call the FBI on you. Well, an old runner knows an old runner. He knows you Beck. By doing this action he gains sympathy from his followers. His followers who don't understand "the competitive force" that exists naturally in runners will feel a sense of sorrow or have genuine fear and may donate more money to his ministry. In a sense it is downright thievery. Not cool! Unless at the same time as we know Steve is a runner at heart and a rival brings a certain "running goofiness" that only runners can truly understand so we will give Steve a lil break as we can only hope the competitive part of old school running enticed his nature. I Don not believe you are at all a threat to Mr. McConkey. It was very sad when a follower mentioned to him that he should be armed. Steve needs to correct this and tell that man the truth.

    1. What he doesn't understand, in addition to the limitless array of things I could list, is that 1) the FBI doesn't care about social-media squabbles, and 2) he is obviously playing the victim here.

      He made a post on his Facebook page with a photo of me he apparently finds demeaning (I think it's sexy, but either way, since I supplied it myself it doesn't matter) and including the observation that he thinks I'm a failed writer as well as an all-around dirtbag. I really don't care what a brain-dead shithead like him thinks, but when you take a step back and look at the fact that he posted that stuff and is now calling my post -- nothing more than a longer, better-written, and evidence-based version of his own -- a threat of some kind, it's pretty funny. It embodies the Christian persecution mindset to a tee. He loves to dish it out, but he absolutely cannot take it.

      Also, look at some of the accounts of the people cheering him on, whose roars of "CALL THE COPS!" are eerily reminiscent of the "LOCK HER UP!" chants from the same general bunch of assballs regarding Hillary Clinton. They are not the kinds of people you would trust with a gun, a knife, or, most urgently, a set of reproductive organs.

      Steve is a first-degree coward. I'll keep augmenting this post with new material in the days, weeks and maybe even months to come, and eventually it'll be a one-stop shop for Googlers to discover what a worthless shit-sack he is.

  3. Beck you need to understand that this man is not perfect himself. So if you go at him you must do it in a very fair and civil way. You are a runner. When you cross party lines into other avenues of life you have to act completely professional to get anywhere for your voice to be truly heard. You making fun of his name will not help another words. It will make things heated and confusing. His focus in life seems to be on gays and transgenders in sporting events here in and around the world. He writes about it like it is a full time job when he could be spending his time and energy on more fruitful adventures. How would you like to be old one day and look up at the clouds and say I spent a majority of my life trying to "separate" people? So you must understand the pressure Steve is under being the only person to fight what he believes is a battle worth fighting for. Obviously he is suffering himself making mean and silly remarks. I think it would be best for you to let go. Steve seems like a nice man and he does really have good values but for some reason he is fixated on gays and transgenders really bad. Everyone in the world is not perfect and this doesn't mean he should be disrespected at all. He faces both hate and support. He needs peace. I believe in the U.S. if we work hard enough and continue to let transgender athletes participate in the sports they love we can and will find a way to make competition fair. There are growing pains of course but as long as we focus our attention on health and love we will have no regrets. Our core value must be that sports should be about having fun.

    1. I would never call anyone who spends decades going after gay and trans people a "nice guy" whatever his rationale. I know a lot of lifelong conservative Christians who believe that homosexuality is a sin because a tiny part the Bible hints at this, but these people at least feel conflicted about being asked to condemn something like 5% to 10% of the population simply because they love someone of the same sex. Steve is absolutely rabid about it.

      But I think you more or less nailed it here, albeit somewhat accidentally:

      "How would you like to be old one day and look up at the clouds and say I spent a majority of my life trying to 'separate' people? So you must understand the pressure Steve is under being the only person to fight what he believes is a battle worth fighting for."

      My sense -- and it is course no more than that -- is that Steve is roughly as heterosexual as Ted Haggard. When he was a teenager in the 1970s, it was not at all okay for kids to "come out." He missed that scene by a good 20 or more years. And he I would speculate that his alcohol and drug problems were largely rooted in this inner turmoil.

      Now he's seeing people not only be able to come out, but often even be praised for it. (Even Caitlin Jenner, who is a complete shithead, has been called "courageous" for what she did. Fuck Caitlin Jenner and her whole attention-whore family.) I'm not saying gay people's lives are a bed of roses; people like Steve himself and a country full of religious rednecks see to this. But I'm sure it burns his ass that he will never have that opportunity. He has three adult kids and a wife and at age 62 has been officially railing against gays for like 36 years now. He's not planning a coming-out party anytime soon.

      Now, I could be wrong about this, but in all my years of watching Bible-thumpers do there thing, not one of them has ever put the level of energy Steve has into battling "The Gay" simply because they were Christian. There has *always* been more to the story than that.

    2. He's not a nice at at all, and neither are many of the people who commented on his Facebook post that invited name calling and unkind comments. People like Steve and his friends think that they can say awful things and follow it with, "I'll pray for you," or, in one case, "I refuse to pray for you and suggest others do the same," (or something along those lines) and that an afterthought such as this somehow excuses their bad behavior. Instead of a civil dialog, Mr. McConkey lashes out and then blocks people, and then he turns around and talks shit about the people he banned, even taking aim at one person's credibility in his profession, possibly attempting to infringe on his future business. And yet all of them expect those pearly gates to open up and invite them in because they picked a few random bible quotes to cite while ignoring ones that point to their hypocrisy. It's really ugly behavior.

    3. If Steve's friend list represents a cross-section of the typical village in Heaven, you can be sure they don't have schools (secondary or post-secondary), libraries, science museums, or health clinics offering anything close to the best practices. Nothing but NASCAR tracks, monster-truck pulls, Trump rallies, Golden Corral and Cracker Barrel restaurants, Klan meetings, and gun shows. That *is* Hell by any sane standard.

      I would love to ask any one of those assholes why, if prayer is effective, they don't just pray for all of the shit they hate to go away. There is simply no answer to that question that supports the notion of an all-powerful god. Every time they blame Satan for something, they're just admitting Satan has God bent over a pool table and is mercilessly pounding him in the ass with a giant barbed phallus, while God Himself prays for it to end so he can go back to complaining about abortion, queers, and HPV vaccines. Well, maybe not all of that, but admitting that Satan is certainly more powerful than "all-powerful" God.

      And I'm not exactly worried about Steve organizing a campaign for fundies to boycott my books. That would be like me calling on my male friends to boycott tampons.

    4. God's too busy determining which football team will win to get involved with much else.

    5. That joke is apt and has been around for a long time. But if conceiving of a God that cares more about football scores than starving people and child rapists is bad, appealing to a deity that wants to eradicate gay people, and champions the power of lies and idiocy, is degrees worse.

  4. Oh God things are getting ugly! Trump plans to use the death penalty for drug dealers! Old school running times are here again. I guess I will start saving a lil energy at workouts and even at races in case they get real ancient and start letting loose those big meow meow's with the thick tails that aren't for filled with a can of fancy feast.