Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Family Research Council tries to cast Rick Santorum's idiocy as an attribute

This is one of those I just can't resist posts. The following came from a Family Research Council email:

 . . . the media seems intent on making Sen. Rick Santorum the punching bag for being the most outspoken about keeping the military focused on its mission to fight and win wars. But if Chris Wallace and others honestly think they can get the Senator to blink on his beliefs, then they don't know Rick Santorum. His position, which mirrors that of our military service chiefs, is that "The Army is not a sociological laboratory. Experimenting with Army policy, especially in a time of war, would pose a danger to efficiency, discipline, and morale, and would result in ultimate defeat." In a heated exchange with Wallace, who tried to catch Rick with some "gotcha" questioning, Santorum didn't back down. "...I know the whole gay community is trying to make this the new civil rights act. It's not... You are black by the color of your skin. You are not homosexual by... the color of your skin... It is behavioral." Wallace tried to turn the tables by suggesting that Sen. Santorum wa s questioning the homosexual soldiers' service. "They're all volunteers," Wallace said, "defending our... country." "That's exactly the point, Chris," Santorum fired back. "They are all volunteers, and they don't have to join in a place where they don't feel comfortable serving with people because of that issue." 

Now I've heard of attempting to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but what FRC attempts to do here is pitiful.  For the record, the organization is talking about the recent disastrous appearance Santorum made on Fox News Sunday where host Chris Wallace not only grilled him (yeah I can't believe journalistic integrity was in Wallace either), but actually demonstrated the ignorance that some folks have concerning gays serving openly in the military is comparable to the ignorance that some had concerning Truman's desegregation of the Armed Forces.

Conveniently, FRC talks about Santorum's answer to Wallace's grilling in order to make it seem that he was standing firm. However the entire exchange demonstrates that Wallace left Santorum with egg on his face:

Wallace then read a quote that seemingly was in line with everything Santorum had been arguing previously.
“The army is not a sociological laboratory. Experimenting with policy, especially in a time of war, would pose a danger to efficiency, discipline and morale and would result in ultimate defeat.”
Wallace attributed the quote to a World War II general arguing against racial integration of the military. Santorum suggested there is a big difference between race and sexuality, because one involves “activities” of a different nature as opposed to just being different. Wallace went down the line of Santorum’s talking points and said the general’s comments over a half-century ago were exactly in line with them. Santorum insisted on a clear distinction between the social climate then and now, and claimed that unlike race, sexuality is a choice.

And of course FRC omitted this interesting eyebrow-raising exchange from the interview:

"The problem is that sexual activity with people who you are in close quarters with who happen to be of the same sex is different than being open about your sexuality," Santorum said on "Fox News Sunday."
Fox host Chris Wallace pushed back, asking Santorum if he was suggesting gay soldiers would "go after" their colleagues.

"They're in close quarters, they live with people, they obviously shower with people," Santorum said, saying the presence of gay soldiers could have an adverse "effect on retention and recruitment."

All in all, the interview exposed Santorum to be a nut who justifies homophobia with nonsense and obviously worries about showering with gays too much. That comment he made about heterosexual soldiers not being comfortable around gay soldiers is inaccurate. According to Think Progress:

The extensive Pentagon study found that servicemembers don’t care about serving next to gay soldiers, so unit cohesion would not be impacted.

Santorum is hardly an upstanding hero for morality in my book. But of course I'm not wearing Family Research Council-colored glasses.

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Letting the religious right speak for itself does wonders for the gay community

It always amazes me how some members of the religious right will pretend to push nobility and rationality, but then will drop their masks when they think no one is looking.

From Think Progress:

Recently, two contributors to the Friendly Atheist blog attended a Marriage Symposium organized by the Illinois Family Institute (an American Family Association affiliate) and reported back what they heard. The panel included Austin Nimocks from the Alliance Defense Fund and Linda Jernigan, a self-identified ex-gay. Here are some insights into the thinking and strategies of those opposed to LGBT equality:
  • Anti-bullying programs are meant to silence anti-gay beliefs.
  • Do not use the term “sexual orientation” because it implies “biological determinism.”
  • Do not use the term “gay” because it normalizes and empowers people who are gay.
  • Same-sex couples are “sterile” by design and cannot provide for children what an opposite-sex couple can.
  • Marriage is a “pre-political” institution, and therefore not a civil right.
  • Anti-gay advocates should “reach out and resist,” framing resistance to equality efforts as compassion for those who are gay.
  • People in Sudan and Malaysia who have sex with farm animals demonstrate how marriage can deteriorate.
  • “The end goal of gay activism is an assault on gender” — in other words, at the heart of sexual orientation discrimination is gender discrimination and a desire to maintain gender norms.
  • Same-sex couples are “greedy” for trying to deprive a child of a mother or a father, and they will negatively impact how children are gendered.

Think Progress suggests that you check out the full report and I also suggest the same. There are two things worth knowing though.

Austin Nimocks was the person who helped anti-gay legislators in NC craft that awful amendment which the state will be voting on next year.

The Illinois Family Council was called out last year by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its homophobia:

Over the years, the group also has occasionally embraced the groundless propaganda of Paul Cameron (see Family Research Institute, above). Until 2009, it carried an article on Cameron — “New Study Shows that Homosexuals Live 20 Fewer Years” — preceded by a full-throated endorsement LaBarbera. “Paul Cameron’s work has been targeted for ridicule by homosexual activists, and he’s been demonized by the left,” LaBarbera wrote in his introduction, “but that should not discount his findings.” IFI also posted a video attacking school anti-bullying programs that claimed, based on Cameron, that gay men’s median age of death is 42. Both were removed in response to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s 2009 listing of IFI as a hate group, which was largely based on its use of Cameron.

 . . .In 2009, Higgins compared homosexuality to Nazism, likening the German Evangelical Church’s weak response to fascism to the “American church’s failure to respond appropriately to the spread of radical, heretical, destructive views of homosexuality.” Elsewhere, Higgins has pined for the days when gays were in the closet. “There was something profoundly good for society about the prior stigmatization of homosexual practice… . [W]hen homosexuals were ‘in the closet,’ (along with fornicators, polyamorists, cross-dressers, and ‘transexuals’), they weren’t acquiring and raising children.” She’s also said that McDonald’s, because it ran a gay-friendly TV ad, is “hell bent on using its resources to promote subversive moral, social, and political views about homosexuality to our children.”

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Former 'ex-gay' renounces lies and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Former Ex-Gay Head Now Says Change In Orientation Is Impossible And Change In Relationships Are Unnecessary - Well I could have him that.

Romney: ‘I’m Very Reluctant To Borrow Lots More Money’ To Fund Global AIDS Prevention Programs - Because apparently true leaders don't do what they can to stop a global epidemic. Don't worry. He will change his position in probably the next few days.

Liberty Counsel attorney calls gay adoption 'unconscionable'; Countless able scions 'un' his con - Matt Barber is picking on same-sex households again. 

NYC Drag Ball Project in Development at Showtime - I am DEFINITELY all for this. It's about time that this community get some spotlight rather than that A-List mess on LOGO.

Barton, Kern Stoke Fears That Gays And Lesbians Threaten Lives Of Critics - That's right. Sally Kern felt so threatened that she has trolled from religious right site to religious right site to whine about it and about her silly book.

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Eddie Long wants his money back

Forget The Young and the Restless because this Eddie Long scandal is becoming more twisted than any soap opera.

The latest news? Long wants to recoup the settlement money he gave three of the five men accusing him of sexual coercion. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Attorneys representing Eddie Long's church have informed three of the five young men who accused the pastor of sexual coercion that they intend to recover nearly $1 million from their financial settlement, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.

The letter, sent this week by the Atlanta law firm Drew Eckl & Farnham, alleges that Jamal Parris, Spencer LeGrande and Centino Kemp violated terms of a confidentiality agreement outlined in the settlement with Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. The firm is seeking at least $900,000 already paid the three accusers, according to people involved in the settlement but not authorized to speak publicly. That figure is a portion of the total settlement with the three men.

Financial terms of that settlement have not been disclosed but, based on the letter and the fact each of the young men were paid equitably, the total comes to at least $1.5 million.

The letter outlines the plaintiffs' "demand for arbitration" though no legal documents have yet been filed.

The letter could simply be a threat, said Atlanta litigator Hayden Pace.

"No one's going to turn over the money just simply because you've asked for it," Pace said. "You're going to have to earn it back by establishing your right to it in the courts."

Parris and LeGrande, who broke their silence in an interview with the AJC last month, said at the time they were aware of the risk.

“I’m going to tell the world – money does not buy happiness,” LeGrande said in August. “When you sleep at night, the problems are still there. The money stuff, who cares about the number.”

“I feel like burning [the money],” he said.
Oh brother. Something tells me that we have only just begun with this in spite of all that's happened over the past year.

Related posts: 

Eddie Long's accusers speak out even after settlement

Anti-gay pastor Eddie Long's fifth accuser in lawsuit

Eddie Long scandal underscores failure of the black church

Eddie Long scandal - Chronology of what has happened and where we are now  

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