Thursday, October 16, 2008

Of late I think of Deerfield

During the battle over marriage equality in California, the religious right have been making noise about a recent incident involving school children attending the same-sex wedding of one of their teachers.

They inferred that the children were forced to go and their "innocence" is being corrupted by having been made to view such a thing. They also claim that this incident will be a common occurrence if Proposition 8 (anti-gay marriage amendment) is not passed.

But like always when they create a moral panic, the religious right intentionally left out an important detail to the story.

The children had permission slips from their parents to attend.

This point was brought up in the San Francisco Chronicle article speaking of the event and also highlighted by my good friend Jeremy from

So of course that would make the entire argument of "children being indoctrinated" null and void, right? After all, the parents not only knew of the wedding but allowed them to attend.

But why let the truth get in the way of a good talking point.

The situation reminds me of the Deerfield High School/Angels in America controversy that took place earlier this year.

The religious right, especially our friend Peter LaBarbera, accused Deerfield High School in Illinois of forcing children to read Angels in America, the Pulitzer Prize winning play that spotlights the early years of the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Peter even ran snippets from the play that highlighted not necessarily clean language in an attempt to stoke the emotions of his readers.

Of course Peter and the rest of the moral crusaders conveniently omitted that:

A. No one was forced to read the book. It was an elective

B. It was only offered in a Senior Honors English class, and

C. Parents had to give permission for their children to read Angels in America.

Needless to say when I sent an email to Peter and company highlighting this last point, I was all but ignored.

So it's not about families is it? Nor is about protecting children.

It's all about entitlement and control.

The case about the recent wedding and the Deerfield situation says less about the lgbt community and the American culture than it does about the supposed defenders of morality and truth like Peter, Concerned Women for America, and the rest of the religious right.

They like to talk about "parental rights" and "embracing the family" only when it suits their purposes but there is nothing there but lip service.

They don't care about any family that doesn't look like their own (and that includes ethnicity) or adheres to their Ozzie and Harriet nonsense.

Behind the fascades of truth and morality are petty people with petty plans to try and force American society to conform to their caste system of life and families simply because someone has told them that their religion entitles them to dictate policy on these matters..

They think they own the patent on the words "family," "truth", and "morality."

Not true.

They don't own the patent on any of those words. But if I could, I would gladly give them the patent on the word "bullshit."

After all, they are certainly full of it.