Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Religious right launches another silly attack on GLSEN

Matt Barber
What is it about GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) that drives the religious right crazy?

One would think that after witnessing how GLSEN publicly spanked the Family Research Council for spreading lies about it, religious right talking heads would steer clear of the group.

But they haven't. As a matter of fact, two of them - Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel and Linda Harvey of Mission America - are doubling down on the very same technique which got FRC in trouble, i.e. claiming that GLSEN is encouraging pedophilia:

According to People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch, Barber and Harvey spread the following nonsense last Saturday:

Barber: Now let me be very clear for those leftists and sexual anarchists who monitor your program, and you know they do, who are going to try to grossly misrepresent what we’re saying here.

Harvey: Of course they are.

Barber: Are we saying that all homosexuals are pedophiles, of course not.

Harvey: No.

Linda Harvey
Barber: Are we saying the GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network, is a pedophile, pro-pedophile movement? Well, yes and no. And here’s what I mean by that, look who the founder is, Kevin Jennings, look who his mentor was, Harry Hay, a pedophile activist. Now GLSEN, I have said the terminology that Harry Hay used was that parents and families and friends of gays should be running interference for pedophiles because the best thing for a kid, for young boys was to have sex with an adult man, this is according to Harry Hay.

Now GLSEN is in keeping with that mentality, they have tacitly as you know all too well Linda, they have tacitly advocated adult-child sex through their recommended reading list for kids in the past that portray in very favorable terms and in a favorable light the idea of boys having sex with men, as you mentioned as part of the empowerment and coming to terms with their in-born sexuality. So again, the left, guys you’re without excuse here if you misrepresent what we’re saying here, but GLSEN cannot get away from the fact that they have recommended reading that portrays in a positive light pedophilia.

For the record, those of us on the "left" don't misrepresent anything Barber says. We generally let him cut his own throat with his dumb comments. And he is in rare form here when he tries to connect Jennings  and GLSEN with pedophilia. The accusation about Jennings and Hay has been around for a while.  In 2009, it was the centerpiece of the religious right's unsuccessful campaign to get Jennings fired when he worked for the Obama Administration.

For the record, Harry Hay started the one of the first gay right groups in 1948. Many decades later while in his elderly years, however, Hay expressed support for NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association), a group that does advocate pedophilia.

Here is the thing which Barber omitted - Jennings expressed his admiration for Hay's earlier work - starting the first gay rights organization. Jennings has never expressed any admiration for Hay's support of NAMBLA.

It's a classic case of bearing false witness. Or if we wanted to follow Barber's point to its logical conclusion:

Christians during the Spanish Inquisition tortured and murdered over 2,000 innocent people, therefore Barber and Harvey - being Christians - supports torture and murder.

And then there is the lie regarding GLSEN's reading list, which was yet another attempt of the right to get Jennings fired.

This time, Barber not only omits a crucial fact about GLSEN's reading list, but he also tells a blatant lie.

First the omission - Barber neglects to mention that GLSEN recommends that adults peruse the books before allowing children to read them because some of the themes are highly mature.

Now the deception - when Barber claims that books portray pedophilia in a positive light, he is shamelessly lying. Some of these books are personal stories; they come from a place of sadness and rejection. They are the stories of how some of our lgbtq children went through a rocky process to a place of love and self-acceptance.

Are some of the books mature? Yes. But they aren't pornography anymore than a personal experience of rape should be considered as pornography.

Studies have shown that isolation and rejection push lgbt children into depressive and self-harming behaviors such as drug use and unsafe sex. And some of the stories in these books bear that out.

These books are not encouraging children to have sex with adults. Some of these books are cautionary guides in that they are letting us know what lgbtq children have to go through when they are isolated from society. They are telling us that we have to do more to keep our lgbtq children out of harm's way.

Not that this sort of thing matters to Barber or even Harvey.  After all, Harvey doesn't even think that gays exist. And Barber seems to be so obsessed with gay intercourse that he can't get through one conversation about the gay community without mentioning sex.

I have a hard time believing that these two liars are Christians. If so, God has an interesting sense of humor.

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Hate group urging ice cream boycott and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Schweddy Balls Make AFA Squirm - The irony is delicious. At the same time homophobic groups are whining that gays are complaining to Paypal about the anti-gay hate groups using its services, the American Family Association is urging a boycott of Ben&Jerry's ice cream simply because the name of a flavor - which will send sales through the roof.

Using board to build cross: Chino Valley official seeks 'Godly' teaching, shunning of 'certain lifestyles' - This would be funny if it weren't so mean-spirited. Apparently one of the things this man has a problem with is "children who make two Mother's Day or two Father's Day cards during the holidays." How dare a child talk about his or her same-sex family!

Obama Celebrates End Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Praises Gay Soldiers - It's a good day for us all!

Mainstream Christians Must Stand Up to the Religious Right - And I hope they do it soon.

Bad Medicine: Fox News Physicians Are A Prescription For Misinformation, Scientific And Otherwise - Apparently Keith Ablow's attack on Chaz Bono only scratches the surface when it comes to bad physicians on Fox.

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DADT repeal - celebrate now but remember the enemies at the gate

Elaine Donnelly needs to get another job.
Today's repeal of DADT is a day which many gays and lesbians have been fighting for and waiting to see for a long time.

And of course, there will be a lot of celebrations.

With that in mind, pardon me for being the "one who lapped up the water like a dog " (it's a Biblical reference from the book of Gideon) by checking out what folks on the other side of the DADT repeal feel about this historic day.

First up is Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness. Donnelly has fought tooth and nail over the years against not only the repeal but also against the concept of gays and lesbians serving in the military, period.

The irony being, of course, the simple fact that in spite of the official sounding name of her group and how she is looked at as an "expert" by some, Donnelly has absolutely no military experience.

Naturally, she isn't happy about losing her gig:

The CMR leader predicts litigators for homosexual activists and the homosexual movement are going to have a field day. "Without the law on the books, they will go into court and challenge anything that stands in the way of what they perceive as a civil rights issue," she warns.

Of course Donnelly's comments are nothing compared to the comments from the conservative wolf's glenn, Free Republic. Those folks abandoned rationality for venom a long time ago. However, the repeal of DADT seems to have especially brought out the hate. Don't read the following without a crucifix or holy water handy: