Monday, February 09, 2009

Time for AFA to pull out the 'persecuted Christians' card

Pam's House Blend alerted me to this mess:

This is all the American Family Association has left, folks, but it's slickly produced bile. When homo-hating, illegal pistol-packing state legislator Sally Kern cited the book After the Ball as the proof of the Homosexual Agenda last week at a fundnut fest in OKC, it should have been no surprise that the AFA has been propagandizing this nonsense with its web site and hour-long video, Silencing

The premise is that Christians are under assault by homosexualists, enabled by state and local governments and schools, to force them to accept LGBTs as -- gasp -- human beings deserving of civil rights! They are careful to mention "former homosexuals" and those struggling with "unwanted same-sex attraction" in order to soothe and absolve the target audience of "Christians" that their motivations are rooted in compassion, not bigotry.

You can watch the video on Pams House Blend. It made me positively ill.

It's a bunch of one-sided anecdotal nonsense with the same claptrap i.e. yet more isolated incidents anecdotes taken out of context, and out-and-out lies which push the same message - homosexuals are nasty oversexed radicals who want to force their beliefs on everyone and silence Christians.

For the record, Matt Barber is in it, so is Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle. But the person who really caught me by surprise was phony expert John R. Diggs.

I've talked about him several times on this blog. He wrote The Health Risks of Gay Sex, a piece of anti-gay propaganda so worthless that no one but members of the religious right cites it. Tomorrow morning, I will repost the errors I found in Digg's piece .

This constant complaint about being persecuted will only backfire on the AFA. You saw it last week when it and other religious right groups tried to claim that a simple wording of something in President Obama's stimulus package would lead to the persecution of Christians. Despite their planning and despite enlisting the help of Sen. Jim DeMint to push the lie, they were shot down in Congressional debates.

How long will it be before the AFA's (and religious right's for that matter) consistent lie about being persecuted evoke images not of Roman arenas and lions but cynical politicians. Or wild haired men on street corners with huge display cards.

Soon, I hope.

And by the way, if you want a real view of persecution, check out this via One News Now:

TN: Adoption by married couples best for children

Shades of Arkansas no doubt. But the state Congressman pushing for this travesty may have put his foot in his mouth with his explanation of the proposed law:

"We were having a lot of [unmarried] individuals apply to adopt children from state custody....And while single people can make very good parents, what we were finding is that some of those individuals were in same-sex relationships," he points out. "And we just thought it was not advantageous to have children who are the responsibility of the state being placed in such homes."

So the law is about denying lgbts the right to adopt children and not just keeping unmarried couples from adoption.

Of course the law will probably have no incentives for married couples to adopt children, therefore the Congressman's premise is faulty.

But neither lies nor faulty premises have ever stopped the religious right. After all, what's truth when you are trying to remake America in "God's" image?
What if you held a protest and no one gave a damn?

With Peter LaBarbera, the laughs keep coming.

As I understand it, he continued his protest against Winter Wickedness with a small number of protestors this weekend.

If you blink, you will miss it because no one covered it - that is except for a newspaper in Columbus who had a very interesting point of view of the entire thing:

Our neighborhood in old Worthington is a close-knit, tolerant and faithful community. So it was shocking this morning on the drive home from grade-school wrestling practice, to see a small group of protesters lined up outside of the Holiday Inn on Wilson Bridge Road waving “God Hates Fags” signs.

Try explaining to your first grader “what’s a 'fag'?” then explaining that, number one: we don't say 'fag' and God is love, and number two: if God has a problem with somebody, he’s got the resources to work it out on his own—you don’t have to worry about judging anyone, son.

And all this before my third cup of coffee. Yeah, it would piss you off, too.

So I returned to the protesters, notebook in hand, to find out why these three had such a giant bug up their collective ass. After introducing myself, I asked what they were protesting and why they were doing so from Holiday Inn’s side lawn.

“Is it a homo paper?” asked a scruffy 50+ man who spoke broken English with an Appalachain twang. In one hand he waved a large sign with the anagram “Gross Anus Yearning Sodomists” (whatever in the world that means) and in the other, he had two naked Ken dolls taped together in the position commonly referred to as “doggy style”.

All I can say is Lawd Hammercy!!
I’m not down with the maps

I’m going to come out and say it - this recent idea regarding the use of maps to show who donated to anti-gay marriage amendments is a BAD idea for us to pursue.

I didn’t feel comfortable when it began in California and I don’t like that it's being used in regards to the Florida vote.

Proposition 8 was a travesty. What happened in Florida was a travesty. Any time lgbts are denied fairness through lies, fear tactics, and propaganda is a travesty.

But some of us, in our anger, will not grasp the fact that we are teetering over a precipice. While I may not agree with where individual people donate their money, it just doesn’t sit right with me to call them out in the manner that these maps do.

While we may not intend it to be such, the map effort could border on intimidation. It could also end up biting the lgbt community in the ass.

What if we won a vote against a referendum and religious right organizations use the map idea against us? We would have no grounds to complain because we started this notion of tracking donations via zip codes. The opposition would be simply following our lead.

And in a practical sense, this method of tracking individuals donors is counterproductive i.e. yet another way for the right to control the argument.

Never mind the lies that were told to pass Proposition 8, never mind the families who are being told that they are inferior, and never mind the possible future problems for lgbt couples because the talk shows (such as those of O’Reilly and Hannity) will be spotlighting religious right spokespersons and the “All-American families” as they spin stories of intimidation by the “radical homosexual lobby” via these maps.

All of our arguments about the unfairness of anti-gay marriage initiatives will mean nothing in the wake of that onslaught.

We fall in this trap so many times:

Religious right organizations organize their followers and push for a law or referendum

The lgbt community, unorganized and unprepared, lose the vote.

We get angry and some of us act irrationally. We may say stupid things and some of us may lash out in inappropriate manners (i.e. sending allegedly threatening messages via blogs or seemingly accosting people who voted for the law/referendum).

The religious right (having monitored the blogs and our reactions to the vote) uses our anger against us in talking points, press releases, and on talk shows.

Subsequently, we end up on the defensive.

I’m tired of feeling like a dog chasing his own tail so I want to present a few notions.

Maybe it’s time we did some soul searching. Lgbts should have our full rights, undiluted by someone else’s religious beliefs or stereotypes. But are our actions (like this map thing) the product of our own laziness - like that of a high school student who suddenly remembers the exam he is supposed to take an hour before classes start?

Are we trying to gain something by quick cramming rather than steady and meticulous action? Why do we sit on our asses or play Dynasty games with our circle of friends until things are done to us and then act precipitously with the incorrect belief that our anger alone will get us what we need?

A protest here. A march there and presto. We have our rights.

It simply doesn’t work like that.

And why are we so quick to write off religious right organizations and their supporters as “homophobic simpletons?” Some of those “homophobic simpletons” control the media (i.e. Mike Huckabee) and are elected officials (i.e. Sally Kern). Like it or not, they have power.

And specifically, they organize, study, and plan. Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to point out their ignorance but rather study their dedication to their cause. Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to copy that dedication.

Sometimes I hesitate to ask these questions because a few of my lgbt brothers and sisters get so caught up in their “anger” that they lash out and attack their own.

But that’s okay. You don’t agree with what I’m saying? That’s fine. Tell me so. But remember that while we may disagree we should not be disagreeable.

Get angry by all means but realize that anger is only a first step to getting things done. Transitory visibility is fleeting and acts of temporary empowerment are just that - temporary. But it can also have negative long term consequences.