Tuesday, November 17, 2009

They came, they protested, they got ignored: Anti-hate crimes legislation rally a huge disaster

Gary Cass and his Christian Anti-Defamation Commission held their protest against lgbt inclusive hate crimes legislation yesterday and I think it's safe to say that despite the hype and the myriad other organizations and personalities involved, including Harry Jackson, Rick Scarborough, Janet Porter* (seen here above pushing her silly book), Matt Barber, etc., it stunk worse than a Southern kitchen after a pot of chitterlings cooking on the stove.

People for the American Way's Religious Right Watch said the following:

Sure, we heard many of the Religious Right’s standard lies about the hate crimes bill being an effort to silence Christians, and, of course, Janet Porter waving her book about “the criminalization of Christianity.” We heard the inflammatory and inaccurate characterization of the bill as the “Pedophile Protection Act.” We heard from a Philadelphia grandmother with Repent America who in the Right’s inaccurate retelling, was arrested only for sharing the gospel with attendees at a gay pride event. We heard essentially irrelevant examples of anti-gay preachers being suppressed in other countries which don’t have the First Amendment protections Americans enjoy. And we heard some preaching that God and the Bible say homosexuality is wrong. In other words, we heard standard and typically false Religious Right talking points about the hate crimes law, and a bit of standard anti-gay theology that is unquestionably protected by the First Amendment.

But there was nothing that anyone could remotely consider incitement to a hate crime, and nothing that even these speakers could say with a straight face had any chance of getting them arrested. Even Matt Barber, who typically does not shy away from disparaging comments about gay people and their supporters, gave a relatively dry recitation of the Liberty Counsel’s assertions that the law is unconstitutional.

So, what happened? Did these culture warriors essentially chicken out? Did they feel outnumbered? In spite of the event being billed as a “rally,” the number of speakers gathered behind the microphone seemed to outnumber the number of people attending in support of their message. The “love is legit” folks had the most visible presence. Maybe the organizers just figured out that a “we love the homosexuals” message would play better than “God wants them dead.

Damn, I'm disappointed. Not even Focus on the Family could make this rally seem better than it was. Although  Cass, tried to make a diamond out of the pile of manure he helped to create. Check out his sleight of hand statement:

Gary Cass, president and CEO of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, said pastors who preach from the Bible could be held accountable if someone hears their sermon and then commits a crime against a gay-identified individual.

"It puts the burden on the minister to have to read the minds of the people that are listening to him and be able to predict the future," he said. "It has a very chilling effect on the minister's speech, because the safest thing is to just say nothing."

Nice trick. Pathetic but nice. I was under the impression that the narrative was that pastors would be arrested for preaching that homosexuality is a sin, period.

I noticed that Peter LaBarbera wasn't invited. Maybe he should have been. You think he would have brought pictures from Folsom Street Fair?

Seriously, this is a huge victory for our side and we really didn't have to do anything but not get in the way when Cass and his cohorts shot themselves in the foot.

If only the entire fight for lgbt equality was as easy as this.

* Just wanted to add another point that I couldn't fit into this piece regarding Janet Porter. How ironic is it that she wrote a book talking about the "criminalization of Christianity," when in 1988 when she was Janet Folger, she supported sodomy laws, which in essence criminalized gays for private behavior. So among her other "qualities," (i.e. paranoia, eagerness to engage in hyperbole and distortion tactics), one can put hypocrisy on her scorecard.

Related posts:

Let the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission wallow in the filth of its own ignorance

Christian Anti-Defamation Commission defends exorcists and hate groups from the 'scary gays'

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Bill S said...

Janet also once warned us that the Hate Crime laws could lead to predatory, hairy cross-dressing men putting the moves on helpless straight men in sports bars. She claimed those straight men would be unable to fend off the unwanted advances for fear of being arrested themselves.
The woman's truly nuts. And stupider than a rock.

Murfyn said...

Criminalizing Christianity
Probably not going to happen any time soon; if it does happen, it will be as a result of criminalizing other-than-Christian beliefs first . . .