Liberty Sunday, the Conspiracy Theory, and the Echo Chamber
When I talked about tonight's anti-gay industry whinefest, Liberty Sunday, two posts ago, I made an error.
I said that Liberty Sunday was indicative of one anti-gay industry propaganda technique: dire consequences.
Actually, Liberty Sunday is a combination of the dire consequences technique and another technique which I outline in my upcoming book: the conspiracy theory.
From time to time, so-called "pro family" groups will claim that gays are undertaking a huge Machiavellian conspiracy to overturn American values or "force acceptance."
These groups hardly ever offer any proof of a conspiracy, but will take unrelated current events and string them together on the strings of paranoia.
The only reason why the conspiracy theory works so well for the anti-gay industry is because they have many people of faith bamboozled to believe every word that comes out of their mouths.
So-called “pro family” groups claim to speak for and to people of faith. Unfortunately many of these people of faith are not familiar with the gay community. Nor are they aware of the diverse segments that make up the gay community. In short, they view gays and lesbians as monolithic or all the same. Lastly, a great majority of them view homosexuality as a sin.
All the anti-gay industry has to do is pull up a “questionable” quote from at least one gay or lesbian leader to exploit this ignorance and they easily have these people of faith convinced that an “agenda” is afoot.
It amounts to ego stroking. The anti-gay industry are constantly complimenting people of faith in an offhand way. Statements like "our Christian values," "this country was found on Christian principles," or "we must take our country" back gives people of faith an impression that all of their opinions are righteous.
So what happens when an entity, like say the Supreme Court does not agree with this notion? Why the Supreme Court must be wrong because it disagrees with the opinion of "righteous people." Even more, the Supreme Court must be under the "thrall of activist judges."
When you have a group of people in your hip pocket, you can manipulate them in all sorts of ways, even creating an echo chamber.
Or check this out:
the Supreme Court rules for against a law they favor. Agape Press, owned by the American Family Association, prints an article biased, of course, against the ruling, and quoting so-called “pro family” leaders such as Gary Bauer who claim that the ruling is a travesty on the country. Other talking heads such as Robert Knight and Pete LaBarbera write columns falsely claiming that the Supreme Court ruled against them because of alleged biases of the justices. These columns are filtered to other right-wing publications and web pages.
James Dobson (Focus on the Family) criticizes the ruling on his radio program, as does Tony Perkins (Family Research Council). Other articles are written trying to prove how the ruling will hurt America. More articles are written digging up speeches that the judges made, hinting on flimsy correlations between their ruling and so-called personal biases. The think tanks emanating from these groups write books smearing the reputations of the judges. The phrase “activist judges” is used over and over again in columns, articles, and books.
The Traditional Values Coalition, the Family Research Council, and other so-called “pro family” groups solicit donations making the claim that either the ruling will doom Christians and will lead to homosexuality being taught “as normal” to children or it will lead to criticizing homosexuality as a hate crime. They get people of faith who are gullible enough to believe their lies to write letters in to Congress and their local newspapers (using a script of their talking points.) Andrea Lafferty (Traditional Values Coalition) and others lobby the Congressional halls citing data from the books and columns, even if the data may be distorted and misinterpreted (which it often is).
There are backdoor meetings with and threats from people such as Dobson and Lou Sheldon (Traditional Values Coalition) to President Bush and members of Congress. President Bush and members of Congress use the “activist judges” quote in speeches and on the floor of Congress. So-called news programs (Fox News) begin debating whether or not judges have a bias against people of faith.
Right-wing bloggers and columnists begin writing about “activist judges.” Meetings are coordinated across the nation complaining about “activist judges.” Bills are proposed to “limit judicial tyranny.” Events such as Justice Sunday or Liberty Sunday fill the airwaves, scaring people of faith about a supposed plot to take away their liberties and their ability to worship.
Through it all, no one has offered up any credible proof as to the suspected bias of the judges. The echo chamber that the anti-gay industry create replaces truth; utilizing the very same power they claim that the gay community have.
And the people who assist most the creation and progression of this echo chamber are naive people faith, totally convinced that the anti-gay industry is trying to protect their interests and their very lives.
Lying is so simple yet so complicated.