According to People for the American Way, the rightwing "Take Back America" conference got very interesting during a workshop on the supposed gay agenda.
The workshop was led by Brian Camenker, head of the anti-gay hate group Mass Resistance and the Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber (seen here on the right):
About 100 activists at the How to Take Back America conference attended the workshop on “How to Counter the Homosexual Extremist Movement.” Workshop speakers Matt Barber and Brian Camenker urged people to be loud rabble-rousers when opposing the teaching of tolerance or sex ed in public schools. They said not to worry about being nice or polite or liked, but to push God’s anti-gay agenda forcefully. “Christ wasn’t about being nice,” said Barber. Camenker bragged about having once sent two congregations to scream outside a targeted legislator’s home.
. . . There was some small disagreement about how much people should rely on religious arguments in the public sphere, with Matt Barber urging people to focus on the “ick” factor around gay sex and on claims that homosexuality is a health threat, which he called the movment’s “Achilles heel.”
Brian Camenker is a nut, plain and simple. The very fact that he was actually asked to lead this workshop displays desperation on the part of the religious right and an admittance that they are losing this so-called culture war against us.
Now Barber's talk about of the "ick factor of homosexuality being the 'Achilles heel' of the movement" deserves a little more scrutiny.
His statement reminds me of a story about an ancient Grecian king who was told by a prophet that if he invaded a neighboring country, he would destroy a great empire. He proceeded to invade the neighboring country and was defeated so badly that he did in fact destroy a great empire; his own.
In that same vein, Barber is right about the "claim that homosexuality being a health threat being the movement's 'Achilles heel.'"
But he is wrong about the which movement it could hurt.
For one, trying to reduce every argument regarding lgbt equality (i.e. marriage equality, gay adoption, gays in the military, etc.) to talks of gay sex is ridiculous. It may be successful at the begining but if you continue to do it, people will stop paying attention to what you are saying and will spend more time playing armchair psychologist on why you seem to be obsessed with gay sex.
If Barber doubts this, he only has to look to a friend of his, Peter LaBarbera. There is a reason why he is called Porno Petey.
Secondly, being relatively new on the religious right scene, Barber is probably unaware of the history of the religious right relying on the "ick factor" of gay sex.
In the past, organizations like the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, etc. relied on it a lot.
But they slowly and slyly moved away from it because they received most of their data about how supposedly gays have sex from the discredited Paul Cameron.
They were fully aware of the fact that Cameron's data was highly fallacious, but they used his work because not too many other people were aware of his lies. As folks, gays in general, became more savvy of Cameron, these group discovered that an overtly continued reliance on Cameron's work would reveal just how dishonest they are.
Or if you to make it more general, these religious right groups are like a drug dealer who converted his monies into a legitimate business.
What Barber is suggesting is they return to the scene of their crime. He is suggesting that old bones be dug up, bones which it would be in the religious right's self interests to stay buried.
Personally I'm all for it. I've got a graveyard of information just ready for a time like this.
For a full report on the Take Back America Conference, including the Congressmen and public figures who try to legitimize this nonsense of a conference, go here.