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

Monday, May 7, 2018

The week in Steve McConkey: "What if they find out I'm an idiot?" edition

First, please see this page, linked from Steve's 4 WINDS homepage and fated February 27, 2018. There, at least for now, you'll find the following snippet:

Now have a look at this page, also linked from Steve's main 4 WINDS page and dated March 19, 2018. It contains this:

Now then:

Imagine an unemployed person staggering around town for years on end, droning on about the evils of gay people, making racist remarks, and lying about his accomplishments and his influence on the world. He's married to someone who might have been conceived in a Mike Judge screenplay: a fake-news conduit who has dabbled in substitute teaching. This guy is more of a joke than a threat to reality-based society, as probably 95 percent of the people passing by he envisions a potential allies think he's some combination of a cartoon character and a mental-health outpatient, while others either ignore him or laugh at him by turns. Someone, however, eventually starts making videos of the buffoon's public tirades and uploads them to a blog, with ample commentary about the guy's obvious issues and shortcomings. The fellow becomes furious, because now, he says, people are going to get the wrong idea about him. After all, he's not that kind of bigoted, stupid, and craven hypocrite; he's a righteous one.

This is Steve McConkey in a nutshell. He wants to spread his bullshit as far, as wide and as deep as he can, but somehow expects -- even demands -- that people who disagree with the bullshit to avoid maligning it.

Last week, Steve expended a fair amount of energy writing a series of posts in which he assured his perpetually aghast and uncomprehending Facebook followers that he had made his last-ever post about the rascal known as "the Colorado Stalker," whom he also labeled also "a homosexual defender." These posts -- which I have saved but am not bothering with as I'm on the road at the  moment -- was preceded by the following exchange, in which one of Steve's followers suggested that he back off the weirdness.

Soon afterward, Steve bemoaned the supposed decline in American morality, less than two hours after proposing that being added to a hate group is a moral virtue.

This sums up Steve McConkey's modus operandi: He's claimed repeatedly to have called both the FBI and the Boulder Police to report my criticizing him on the Internet, yet at the same time he takes perverse pleasure at being on one prominent site's list of loons and relishes the possibility added to another's official list of haters.

Why the double standard? He likes it when outlets such as Right Wing Watch deride him in passing because he can use this as a selling point to whatever rubes send him money -- Look, the leftists are scared, my mission is a success! -- but he crumples at the idea of anyone who explores his horseshit at the level of details. In other words, he doesn't mind "Look at this anti-gay extremist Christian" one bit, because he is an anti-gay extremist and proudly so. But he absolutely does not want anyone saying "Look at this lying, ignorant quasi-Christian loon's pattern of Internet behavior" because at some level Steve is ashamed of himself.

Steve, as you might have already noticed, is also not very bright. He calls me a fool, but then goes on to describe how much it bothers him that my blog posts appear in Google searches for his (not exactly common) name. Believe me, I already know this. Most of what is written about Steve on the Internet is decidedly uncomplimentary. But because I am not writing anything that is not true, merely posting Steve's own words and expressing my own opinions about him, there isn't a thing he can do about it other than hope I get bored with him and move along. He can no more take issue with any of my rants than I can become irate at him calling me a "failed" writer or a "failed" coach (and I laugh at these things because the least he could do is come up with his own insults instead of pimping Donald Trump's). And I have been tempted to do just that, move along, because I  often believe that I am not only wasting my time but berating someone who may qualify as a special-needs adult.

But here is one good reason among many to continue. When I was at the start of the Broad Street Run yesterday in Philadelphia, some sad sack was standing near the starting line with a large sign that read JESUS OR HELLFIRE bellowing through a bullhorn at thousands of gathered runners about the evils of homosexuality, masturbation, and even yoga pants. The hospital behind him sent a large security guard outside to keep anyone from pummeling him, as may well have happened before long when  people expressly invite punishment. As it was, the few people who could be bothered to look his way only laughed at him. Steve himself may not grasp this, but even the overwhelming majority of self-described Christians disagree with shitbirds like him and this fellow in Philly when it comes to the gay-bashing and general baiting and noise-making.

Whether this clown was serious is immaterial. Whether he was sane is immaterial. The point is that as long as the U.S. is home to people like this, pretending to be representing some nonexistent evil deity in their throaty quests to punish people who merely want to be left alone and be treated fairly in their lives, I will probably continue to engage them.

Anyway, to return to the subject of Steve's lifetime mileage. You may have noticed right away that Steve is implicitly claiming to have run 5,800 miles in just over a year's time, roughly 110 miles a week, in his early sixties, with physical problems including a bad back. Now, it would be easy to assume Steve made at least one typo here, but given that he's rounding his lifetime total to the nearest 100 miles, he's cutting things quite close. More damning than this, though, is that he recently edited the section in which he says he has run three lifetime marathons, because he was upset that I made fun of a claim that was there initially:

Did Steve run 5,800 miles in just over a year starting at age 61 or so? Assuredly not. Did he intentionally lie about this? Probably, but maybe not. The point is that anyone -- atheist, Christian or something else -- should know that Steve McConkey is utterly untrustworthy. And despite his yen for deleting things he's posted online, he's too damn addled to stop leaving Mount Rushmore-sized Internet clues about his deviations from fact.


  1. When people knowingly lie or purposely mislead others for selfish reasons, it doesn't feel right to sit back and say nothing. Though I was raised by an atheist, I was taught to tell the truth. I'm always surprised when those who claim they are devout Christians stoop to the incredibly low levels that Steve does and then try to justify their bad behavior by mentioning a few Bible verses out of context while discounting the many that suggest doing the opposite. None of my friends who are faithful Christians act this way. I wouldn't be friends with them if they did. Fortunately, they seem to respect Romans 14:-4 (and many other) over, well, whatever verses suggest that people treat others who aren't exactly like them with scorn and contempt. But Steve doesn't believe God can handle things by himself, so he likes to insert himself into positions of what look like authority, even if he falls short, very short.

    "As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand." Right? or toss that out because someone disagreed with you?

    But you don't need Bible quotes to act like a decent human being.

    It would be pointless for me to demonstrate the many ways in which Steve is a hypocrite when you're doing a fine job of addressing all the lies he spews, a never-ending task. It's clear that Steve is incapable of taking any responsibility for his own actions. He cast the first stone, and now he's upset that someone is calling him out on all his truth stretching and bending. Long before you posted anything on your blog, Steve was the one who posted an image of you on his Facebook wall and invited people to mock and criticize you as if God would approve of refusing to turn the other cheek, not putting away the sword, or not keeping aloof from strife. No, Steve loves to get right down in the dirt and forget anything related to the Bible if his feathers are ruffled even slightly.

    Someone is disagreeing with me online after I mocked him and invited my "friends" to do the same?!?!! CALL THE FBI!! As if the FBI would drop what they're doing to look into opinions on the internet that are clearly non-threatening in any way whatsoever. In fact, one Steve's continual obsession with with you could be seen as harassment and the fact that he keeps trying to discredit your credibility as a writer could be seen as defamation at minimum.

    Steve even lies about little things like running into two "Chinese people" who randomly blurted out, so he claims, that they were communist atheists despite the incredibly high chances of them being anything but. It would be far more likely that these two people would be Buddhists, Taoists, Muslim, Christians, or some other religion common in China. Even if they were atheists, it's unlikely anyone would share that to a stranger who approaches them out of the blue. Obviously, what he said is a stretch at best and an outright fabrication at worst, yet people seem to believe him because he claims to be a Christian. Either that or his followers are too embarrassed for him to say anything directly. He also claims that China, not the COC or anyone in the CAA, all of China is mad at him for working on getting gays and transgender athletes banned from competition, something he's oddly proud of...but I digress.

    Well, who's stalking whom in this strange little scenario?

    1. All good points. I'm using a somewhat different starting point from you, though. A long time ago, in addition to dismissing the god Christians worship as manifestly non-existent, I dismissed the notion that Steve and other homophobic Trump supporters are at all Christian. Any appeals Steve makes to Jesus are complete horseshit, all scripture he quotes is cherry-picked in the extreme, and if he really believed in the deity he thinks sends people to hell for sins, he'd be petrified, because he knows he'd be at the front of the line to be dipped headfirst into the hottest part of the furnace.

      He has also made a serious, and somewhat humorous, miscalculation with his sad screed about me on 4 Winds. In addition to making errors of fact -- some of them trivial (it's not hard to figure out where I went to high school), others simply stupid (would the police ignore his fervent chatter about a guy with five active warrants?) and others opening him up to potential claims of legal action -- Steve had made it plain that his post was nothing more than an attempt at blackmail. He's saying that he intends to publish more details about my legal history, hire a lawyer, or both if I keep up my tirades against him. He clearly doesn't realize that even if he'd had any sort of case against me before (he doesn't; as you know, I haven't made a single untrue assertion about him), he has blown it completely out of the water by openly declaring that he means to make use of whatever information he finds solely out of spite -- because he feels chastened at my critiques. He is a coward and thin-skinned in the extreme.

      Steve should take a careful look at what happened the last time an unstable person with a grudge tried going the "Look, he's a criminal" route with me.

    2. Steve, in addition to being a hypersensitive lout, is also angry that I have ruined his scheme of systematically deleting his content from Facebook and 4 Winds after it's been live for a week or two. I haven't even posted 15 percent of the screen shots I have testifying to his lying, bigotry, racism, and other solecisms, and his suborning of that stuff from his throaty idiot followers. (I think it's cute he thinks that he because he technically has 5,000 followers on each of three different Facebook pages, this adds up to 15,000 distinct people. It's also hilarious that he thinks people in the main agree with him.)

      I heard from a minister friend today who remarked, "People like this concern me because they claim the knowledge of God’s opinions in their views, which sometimes results in their doing really dangerous things," meaning that she thinks that I'm the one who should be worried. This person -- and quite a few others -- are deeply upset that people like Steve McConkey are pretending to speak for all Christians, but at the same time they see a certain futility at starting an internecine war, especially with mentally unstable people. (Steve claiming that never having been to a psychologist establishes his sanity is like someone claiming to be sober because no one has breathalyzed him.) That's where I come in; I simply don't care. Assholes like Steve McConkey are the apotheosis everything that's wrong with the intersection of American religion, education, and politics, and possibly the mental health system. Steve is a sad old ranting fuckup who can't eliminate The Gay, so he's reduced to trying to silence his critics.

      I will shut up about Steve when I get bored with him, not owing to his threats. I quit drinking in 2016 and I'm not thrilled with all of the stupid shit I did out there, but it's hardly a secret among my friends and acquaintances, including those for whom I work. The most likely outcome for Steve at this point is crossing a line that opens him up to a whole panoply of issues that could crater what little there is of his livelihood and result in the loss of his ministry's tax-exempt status (I've talked to that CU lawyer type I mentioned, admittedly an ally but someone who is entirely objective).

    3. (Last one -- Blogger imposes a 4,096-character limit on comments, surely for the best.)

      Steve is a bitter old man who never did an honest day's work even when he had three kids to support. The reason he and his fellow swamp-creatures on Facebook continually call for prayers despite the laughable lack of efficacy of that shit is because they have nothing else to call on. Such jibber-jabber is an ecclesiastical hail Mary pass, meant to do nothing besides spit in the face of a world shifting away from malignant anti-gay yahoos who dress up their prejudices in biblical nonsense.

      This is a separate topic entirely, but the fact that they focus on homosexuality instead of a zillion other biblical no-nos is telling. Here's what one of his FB friends, an idiot like the rest but at least civil, wrote to me:
      "I can understand your antipathy toward Steve, but he is only following his convictions. That is what we Christians do, to the best of our ability. These days it is not popular to stand against homosexuality and all, but stand we will. We can do no other."

      This is obvious nonsense. There is plenty of "other" these Christians *could* do; the Bible speaks to countless moral problems far more pressing than same-sex relations. Adultery is perhaps the most obvious of these; gay sex between consensual adults hurts no one, while adultery entails measurable harm done to and by multiple people. But these Christian zealots are unconcerned with all of them for simple reason that it's harder to demonize behavior that you openly engage in. Some outwardly homophobic Christians are gay themselves, but they can hide this one more effectively than they can other things that are supposedly sinful, but more to the point, it's much easier to claim a moral high ground when you're not naturally inclined toward the supposedly immoral behavior in the first place. With their maniacal focus on the gay community, Evangelicals are like restaurateurs who say those who wish to dine in their establishment must adhere to a strict dress code, but in reality only turn away people in purple T-shirts.

      Bottom line: Steve has spent decades lashing out at people who have no quarrel with him, have done nothing wrong, and don't even know he exists. It's time he learned that he doesn't get to spread hatred and idiocy untrammeled.

    4. Well said. He's a fraud, and I'm sure some of his followers know this. It's about time someone called him out on it publicly, though. Actually, people have confronted him before, but Steve deletes nearly every comment on Facebook that's not agreeing 100 percent with whatever he's saying and blocks anyone who says anything even remotely contrary to what he does, even those who are nice about it. Yes, the more he stalks you, posts lies about you, attempts to damage your reputation as a writer, and attacks your character, the more he sets himself up for potential legal action. If only he could stick to the truth, but sometimes anger and jealously or whatever other emotion is behind attacks like Steve's blinds people, and all they see is revenge.

    5. Here's the executive summary I'd offer about Steve McConkey if given only one paragraph:

      The guy wrote "McConkey contacted the FBI after Beck commented at different times that it would be better when Christians die off." So in one fell swoop, visitors to his site learn that 1) he called the Federal Bureau of Investigation because someone pointed out that pain-in-the ass people like him are not immortal; 2) he is willing to admit this publicly; and 3) he describes this in the third person.

      This does not describe the behavior of someone who is "all there."