Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Clergy Behind Bars! Oh My! Do Tell! Pass The Milk And Cookies!

The Place for Hate Speech?

Tony Perkins is hysterical and panicking: he thinks that same-sex marriage and legislation on hate-crimes will take away his freedom of religion.

Perkins' latest shriek:

I want you to hear something a California pastor said to me recently:
"If we lose, we go to jail."
It's just that simple, says Pastor Jim Garlow-if marriage loses in California, religious liberties everywhere will be next.
The stakes are enormous. We face a national menace to religious liberty!


I can think of some pastors who would look great behind bars. Some are frauds called televangelists. Some are outright Christofascists. And some are just plain crazy/homicidal. Three of today's Presidential-Vice Presidential candidates have crazy pastors (McCain has two and Palin has one-and-a-half - her Assemblies of God pastor and the guest preacher -Thomas Muthee - who cast out spells, hunted witches, and laid hands on Palin who - poof! - became a governor!). So what's keeping Joe Biden?

Now Tony Perkins himself has finally gone completely insane! In his latest effort at "Fear-mongering For Freedom" (FFF), he goes on to cite various instances where discrimination against gays has been questioned or banned. He equates discrimination with religious freedom. Gays are labeled a "national menace."

While the Constitution of the United States guarantees Freedom of Religion, it does not exactly guarantee Freedom FROM Religion. I wish it would. Perkins loves that aspect of the Constitution. With it, he can send out millions of fundraising emails and mailers with inflammatory rhetoric like the above. Perkins' arguments foster fear in "Christian" communities. He wants people to be so afraid of gay rights that they will donate to Family Research Council and ban same-sex marriage in California.

Perkins is too hysterical to realize the consequences of his rhetoric other than receiving money: it's not only the rhetoric of hate speech, but the rhetoric of gay bashing. Words like "national menace" only infuse people (especially teenagers) with empowerment to harm other people physically. Perkins knows it and doesn't care. He's panhandling from CINOs (Christians In Name Only) and using fear to ask for "donations." His Family Research Council has put forth faulty "research" against gays, the ACLU, feminists and Planned Parenthood. He bases his research on the "gay lifestyle" on people like Paul Cameron (whose "Love Won Out" programs are the talk of all ten "ex-gays" in the country).

And beware: if California's Proposition 8 is defeated, Tony Perkins will be leading a large group of cornered animals. Fear will overcome any semblance of rationality.

And some clergy will charge people to "kill a queer for Christ." Of course, they'll do it in an oh-so-Christian way: insisting that gays must "pray away the gay" while hoping that the ones who aren't successful will just go away, or better yet...kill themselves.


Just a thought.

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