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Don Wildmon, stand-up comedian


I think the American Family Association’s Don Wildmon should do a night gig in stand up comedy when he’s not on the day job as a culture warrior. He recently shot off some real knee-slappers on his American Family Radio’s AFA Report, which you can hear over at Media Matters.

First, he weighs in on the Soulforce Equality Ride, the 51-day bus tour to conservative Christian campuses to open up a dialogue between students and riders on LGBT rights. Don has some nifty ideas about starting up his own tour.

WILDMON: What does — what does [Equality Ride co-director] Jacob Reitan say? He’s one of the spokesmen. “We must cut off the suffering at its source. The source is religion-based opposition — the religion-based oppression — and it’s taken place for centuries.” In other words, we must get rid of the Christian faith. Let’s go to these Christian schools. What if we had organized a tour and said, “We’re going to the bathhouses in — in 24 cities — the homosexual bathhouses — and we’re going to confront these people, you know, for what they’re doing,” etc. — etc. — how would the media play that?

JACKSON: And demand that these bathhouses give us a forum to have our say.

I have some advice for Don — when the AFA makes its way up to Chicago, ring up Peter LaBarbera — he’ll show you the ins and outs about bathhouses

The next bit of fun is the oh-so-funny anti-Semitism that the AFA is well-known for. Wildmon doesn’t miss a beat.

BENSON: Yeah, I mean, this is — this is what you call — what? — chutzpah. This is — this is —

WILDMON: That’s a Jewish word, right? Be careful.

Whoa. He’s a real card, huh? This is the same man whose American Family Association Journal linked Judaism to criminality, hostility toward Christianity and said “Jews favor homosexual rights more than other Americans” — and have control over popular culture through Hollywood.

And the last bit of entertainment, all in the same radio show, is his assertion that average gay incomes are so high that we’re rolling in more dough than he is — four times as much, he moans.

WILDMON: The spokesman [Equality Ride spokesman] says, the source for our — “We must cut off the suffering.” That is, the homosexual suffering. You know, I saw yesterday how much — how much money the homosexual community has. I mean, good gracious, the average homosexual makes four times more than I do, Ed. Goodness gracious!

VITAGLIANO: Right.

WILDMON: I mean, we could take a professional homosexual salary all four of us —

VITAGLIANO: We could live pretty well on it.

WILDMON: — and split it up four ways and all of us would get pretty good raises. I mean, they’re not — these people are not in poverty or hurting or denied or anything else.

This is completely bogus, as the Media Matters article points out. A 1998 NGLTF study showed that gay men earn as much as 25 percent less than their straight counterparts, and gay and lesbian households earn only 4 percent more than heterosexual households.

According to the AFA’s 2004 990 filing — the Internal Revenue Service’s return for organizations exempt from income tax — Wildmon paid himself $58,010 plus $13,787 in benefits and a housing allowance of $39,200. He paid his son, Tim, who is president of AFA, $79,000.

Not to mention that AFA is based in Tupelo, MS, where the dollar goes a long way compared to most US metro areas, so Don’s doing a whole lot better than most gay folks I know. Where’s my housing allowance?

Hat tip, AmericaBlog.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding