(The 2009 Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters Misinformers of the Year awards are coming later today - provided I can shake this ugly seasonal thing I've got.)
Yesterday, the New York Times came out with a sensational article about the Ugandan anti-gay bill. It was short, precise and linked Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundidge, and Don Schmierer to the bill, making sure to note that their "teachings" that homosexuality can be cured has been discredited in this country and also noting how the bill came to pass because of a conference the three took part in earlier last year in Uganda.
And in the article, they come across exactly as they are -anti-gay charlatans who are now cowardly backtracking after the world sees what they have done.
For three days, according to participants and audio recordings, thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans, who were presented as experts on homosexuality. The visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”
Now the three Americans are finding themselves on the defensive, saying they had no intention of helping stoke the kind of anger that could lead to what came next: a bill to impose a death sentence for homosexual behavior.
One month after the conference, a previously unknown Ugandan politician, who boasts of having evangelical friends in the American government, introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, which threatens to hang homosexuals, and, as a result, has put Uganda on a collision course with Western nations.
Personally I don't buy their huge mea culpa. When you demonize lgbts as predators, just what do you think would happen? Was there some belief that folks would welcome lgbts with open arms after being told that they want to rape children (and bear in mind, I said "rape," which is bad enough. The fact that Lively and company actually took the time to spin exact details on how gays supposedly rape children - via sodomy - is even worse.)
I especially don't buy Lively's mea culpa. He has specifically made a name for himself by stigmatizing lgbts via either blaming us for the Nazi regime, falsely claiming that we will use hate crimes legislation to have Christians arrested for speaking out against homosexuality, or referring to junk science to make us seem like unhealthy people.
And this touring of foreign countries to push his anti-gay lies is nothing new to him. In 2007, he toured Russia, spouting the same nonsense he used in Uganda:
"Homosexuals have formed real political power today. They submit young people to their ideas, work in high schools and Mass Media very actively. You will hardly notice how those who speak against it begin to be pursued. It has already happened in my country, and I do not want it to happen in Russia . . . The youth must know about "the blue threat" as much as possible. Many countries of the former Soviet Union, which had been the outposts of family values recently, have submitted to the pressure of homosexuals."
Later that year, he wrote a letter to Russia, advising the country to make homosexuality illegal:
. . . criminalize the public advocacy of homosexuality. My philosophy is to leave homosexuals alone if they keep their lifestyle private, and not to force them into therapy if they don't want it. However, homosexuality is destructive to individuals and to society and it should never publicly promoted. The easiest way to discourage gay pride parades and other homosexual advocacy is to make such activity illegal in the interest of public health and morality.
Lively is no different than Senator Joseph McCarthy who exploited fears of the Cold War and communism for his own selfish purposes and ruined countless careers and lives via his "red baiting."
Lively is practicing, for lack of a more appropriate term, "pink-baiting" and I wonder just how many other countries he has gone to spouting his mess.
It's relatively easy to do. Just pad up the prospective country as a bastion of morality, throw out some allusions about the gay menace, sprinkle a little lie here and there of gays "recruiting" children (or raping children, whichever would scare people more) and what you have is a moral panic that only serves to enhance the reputation of the person spewing the lies.
The scariest thing is that while, in spite his claim in November about the new hate crimes legislation, Lively is relatively safe to spout his nonsense, those who have to deal with the repercussions of his lies aren't so lucky.