Monday, April 28, 2014

Don't let the religious right whitewash their history of anti-gay oppression

The anti-gay group Concerned Women for America is furious at the National Women's History Museum Project. According to Right Wing Watch, the group is especially angry that there is no mention of religious right activists, particularly its founder, Beverly LaHaye.

On that score, I say that Concerned Women for America has a point. LaHaye should be mentioned. But not in the way the organization thinks she should. No doubt, CWA would like LaHaye to be mentioned as a champion of so-called "traditional values" and the family.

However, I have a much better item which perfectly captures LaHaye's contribution to American society:


Readers of this blog should be familiar with the above booklet.

It's the 1980s comic book by Dick Hafer which sought to tell the so-called truth about homosexuality. Of course in Hafer's eyes, the "truth" about lgbts amounted to a bunch of hateful images and lies about our lives and supposed sex habits:

And the readers of this blog know that I used Hafer's book to make the point about how anti-gay propaganda doesn't change over the years via my booklet, How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America. However, you are probably asking yourself what does it have to do with Beverly LaHaye and the Concerned Women for America. The answer's simple. When this awful comic book was published, LaHaye was one of the folks who endorsed it:

Her endorsement is the second one and reads as follows:

 America needs to wake up to the facts regarding the Homosexual movement. Dick Hafer exposes the depravity of their lives in his book, Deathstyle. This is a book which needs to be read by all of those concerned about our society and our nation. 

In other words, LaHaye has no business being remembered as a great woman who made a positive difference in the world. She should be remembered as a homophobic demagogue whose prejudice made life more difficult for lgbts. If this woman has any recording in history, that is how she should be remembers.

And this goes for not just her but other folks in her position such as Tony Perkins, Brian Brown, Gary Bauer, the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, and others who hide their homophobia under the visage of Christianity.

One of the biggest problem of the lgbt community is that we forget. We flip out over things but then consign them to the dust bins of our memories, never to bring them up again. Not reminding someone of past negative behaviors is a good individual quality to have, but in the case of political fights, that sort of pettiness is necessary.

Our opponents like to pretend that we are the aggressors and they are the victims being persecuted.That lie continues to serve them as long they aren't reminded that they began this so-called culture war with their anecdotal horror stories, junk science, and cherry-picked studies about the so-called dangers of homosexuality, i.e. tales about child recruitment, shorten lifespans, false diseases such as "gay bowel syndrome" and the all-around dehumanization of our lives.

As along as they can keep this stuff hidden, they can portray themselves as innocent people of faith being attacked by pushy gays or, like Concerned Women for America are attempting with Beverly LaHaye, people unfairly treated by those who record public history.

Therefore it's up to us - not the news media nor anyone else - to throw their past actions in their face every chance we get.

That's every. chance. we. get.


Erica Cook said...

If you ever get an itch to do another project like this can I suggest the villainization of alternative religions.

BlackTsunami said...

It's definitely something I will think about, Erica ;p