Friday, May 28, 2010

DADT May Be Repealed, But NOT Violent Homophobia: The Gay Blood Libel Of Fischer, Lively, et al Has Just Begun!

The Christian Right Has Ratcheted Up The Hate 
- Big Time!

The House voted to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell on the day the 1000th US soldier was killed in Afghanistan, making the day bittersweet, in a sense, for the military: if ithe impending repeal had been sooner (or if it had not been enacted at all), would the addition of over 14,000 highly skilled servicemen have prevented that death?

According to some people, there will been MORE deaths caused by openly gay soldiers. The reasoning may be considered bizarre, but it clings to elements of the Christian Right like hate clings to violence.

There is no doubt that the months-long progress of the repeal has brought out the worst in people: situations like the pending legislation in Uganda demonstrated what the CR is capable of fomenting, and just days ago the Gay Blood Libel* was utilized to crush the repeal.
Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual soldiers basically had no limits.
- Bryan Fischer, American Family Association


I am not a true gay rights activist, I ashamed to say. Today's LGBT community has enough problems without including my insubstantial my rants as part of its cause. I wish to God I were one. I just can't work hard enough: in perspective I haven't accomplished nearly as much as so many who work night and day to help us gain respect, acceptance and security.

So this article is not coming from an activist, but from a person who is just adding his voice to the chorus.
When I first heard the term "gay agenda" I was dumbfounded. Even after years of being out, I had never heard the term before. I fancied myself as a well-read, urbane gay man, so I wondered how I had missed that one. Once, in about 1978, I saw a documentary titled "Gay Power, Gay Politics." Some today would have given it the term "mockumentary," but believe me, the producers thought too much of themselves for anything to be tongue-in-cheek. The title said one thing, but the content was just a make-shift polemic on men cruising in public areas. How they ever arrived at the title is anybody's guess. It also hinted at a "gay agenda," so I suppose the term may have stemmed from this specious piece. And because there were people who wanted to believe that gays were mindlessly promiscuous men with evil intentions, the "gay agenda" took hold and slowly, stealthfully, grew.

Thirty-two years of demonstrating our proverbial worth should have eaten away at that nonsense, but the "Gay Blood Libel" thrived, albeit in the most insanely homophobic pockets of America's Christendom. Why it thrived is rather obvious: there are people who need to hate ... anyone. People like Fred Phelps bask in infamy because their obsession gives them a kind of celebrity status. The means of its growth is a bit more complex: twisted reasoning backed up by specious "research" and half-truths marketed to create sensational reactions.
Perhaps the most outstanding attempt at the Gay Blood Libel is The Pink Swastika, by Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams (Veritas Aeterna Press, 2002, $39.95, paperback, 1st edition 1995). This book sets off alarms (unintended) even before perusing it:

1. It's self-published. There are some really wonderful self-published books in the mainstream book market, but there are also some truly dreadful books self-published simply because no reputable publisher would publish them.

2. The list price of $24.95 for a paperback book is outrageous. Only the most biased readers would pay it to add to their "collection."

3. Pink Swastika is virtually out of print: major retailers like Barnes & Noble can only obtain used copies at prices much higher than the "listed" price (as high as $39.95 - for "collectors"). Perhaps Lively utilizes a print-on-demand process, but that means he hasn't the funds to do a decent print run.

4. The endorsements include people like R.J. Rushdoony, the founder of Reconstructionism and the Council of National Policy:
The Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy at Cornell University considers the Council for National Policy a leading force in the Dominionist movement. TheocracyWatch, a CRESP project, describes it as "an umbrella organization of right-wing leaders who gather regularly to plot strategy, share ideas and fund causes and candidates to advance the theocratic agenda." ·
5. The reviews of the book are so polarized that the category of "people who bought this book also bought" features titles such as The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals, by Richard Plant and Marx and Satan, by Richard Wormbrand.

From one review:
This book presents an excellent overview of the degenerate sexual practices that were at the heart of the NAZI ideology and the lives of its highest ranking members. Lively makes a fascinating tie that binds the origins of modern German militarism (from Fred.t Great to Hitler) to the murderous and pederastic society of ancient Sparta.


"...we were scrupulous in our documentation of homosexuals as the true inventors of Nazism and the guiding force behind many Nazi atrocities."

- Forward, The Pink Swastika, 4th Edition
The Pink Swastika has been in the news recently, because author Scott Lively,* now head of Abiding Truth Minitries has found venues to promote its ideals: Uganda and DADT. Lively was one of the instigators of the "Kill the gays" bill in Uganda during his speeches and presentations in Kampala last year. He is, of course, backpedaling about his influence since the bill gained international notoriety, and has promoted the bill only "in parts."

Another of Lively's organizations, Watchmen on the Wall, based in Riga, Latvia, caused concern for the LGBT community of Sacramento, California when it was determined that one gay man's death was due to the assault of some "Watchmen." The group continues to appear at gay events and celebrations with a menaciing presence.

The ever-imaginative Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association has also taken up the Gay Blood Libel standard:
Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews. Gays in the military is an experiment that has been tried and found disastrously and tragically wanting. Maybe it's time for Congress to learn a lesson from history.

Of course, it's possible that both Scott Lively and Bryan Fischer were inspired by His Holiness, Pat Robertson:
Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals--the two things seem to go together.-- The 700 Club, 1/21/93
In the last several weeks, the venom of the (Christian) Right seems to have reached a new level beyond mere moral-mindedness. Maybe Andrew Sullivan was right when he wrote that the imminant repeal of DADT has made them desperate. Witness the latest:

 - The FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL "report" on homosexuals in the military says that "gay rape" will increase if DADT is repealed. Unfortunately, if you look at their "findings," they'd have a hard time proving it.

 - A punk rock ministry backed by Rep. MICHELE BACHMANN says that executing gays is MORAL. And its pastor, Bradlee Dean tells people that “On average, they [gays] molest 117 people before they’re found out." The group is called YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CANNOT HIDE. It has boasted about its presence at Republican events.

 - And according to the group, America’s Survival the repeal of DADT will endanger our troops with more disease-tainted gay blood.

 - Immediately after the news of DADT's probable repeal came out, the American Family Association's ONE NEWS NOW intentionally edited the AP script to include it's idea that

Congress has given in to pressure from gay activists and the White House ...

 - The Family Research Council has declared its solidarity with WATCHMEN ON THE WALL. It will join 400 pastors to ostensibly "pray" and meet with Congressmen and Senators about continuing DADT.

Keith Olberman talked to Dan Savage regarding these new developments in the anti-gay movement (see below). Typically, Olberman takes the stand that these are "idiots." They are, of course, but discounting them could be deadly: it's evident that taking lives is not beyond them.

* The Blood Libel was a slander against Jews in Europe that lasted several hundred years: Jews killed Christian children to drink their blood during evil and sacrilegious rituals.

**Irony: Lively holds a Certificate in Human Rights from the International Institute of Human Rights. The tenets of the Institute are based on The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, according to Lively, do not apply to homosexuals because they are not human.