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A cavalcade of wingnuts descends on DC

[UPDATE: I added more below, linking to People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch, its coverage of the Values Voter Summit.]

A Who’s Who of AmTalibannery is gathered for the Family Research Council’s “Washington Briefing” (Thurs-Sun) at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in DC. If only the earth would open up and swallow this crew:

Tony Perkins, Don Wildmon, Gary Bauer, Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA), Dr. James Dobson, Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, Maggie Gallagher, Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR), Bishop Wellington Boone, enator George Allen, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Brent Bozell, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Bill Bennett, Sen. Rick Santorum, Paul Weyrich, Rev. Herb Lusk, Dr. Richard Land, Tony Perkins, Katherine Harris, Tony Snow.

Take a look at a couple of the breakout sessions:
* Impacting the Culture through the Church
(featuring black homobigots Herb Lusk, of Greater Exodus Baptist Church and Rev. Dwight McKissic of Cornerstone Baptist Church)

* In Defense of Mixing Church and State from Acts 16 (Rick Scarborough, President, Vision America)

Today a featured session was “The Preservation of Traditional Marriage,” a panel with homo-obsessed Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, Professor and columnist on the Bush payroll Maggie Gallagher. Some of Marilyn’s bloviating (a transcript of her diatribe landed in my inbox — thanks Andy). A snippet of the insanity:

As we face the issues that we are facing today I don’t think there’s anything more important out there than the marriage issue. And I’ve been a pro life activist most of my adult life. I care very deeply about the sanctity of life. But this issue that’s in front of us today is critically important. I am amazed when I hear Robby George speak and Maggie and I hang on every word they say. And I believe that thing that Robbie said recently when he was talking to members of Congress about how if we have gay marriage our religious liberties are gone.

I’m sure that Colorado voters don’t think marriage is their obsession, and that’s why Marilyn’s looking in the rear view mirror as Dem challenger Angie Paccione is bearing down, about to run her over in the race. You can almost feel the flop sweat in this closing bleating.

Where’s our side, what are they doing? I believe that when you’re in a cultural war like this, you have to respond with equal and hopefully greater force if you want to win this battle. But this battle is the most import issue that we face today. What an honor it has been to serve in the United States Congress and carry the marriage amendment.

Last time we were 54 votes short in this legislative session, that’s 9 votes more than we had last year but there’s much work to be done. I hope that you will realize how high the stakes are. The future is grim unless we do what we need to do to win this battle.


UPDATE: I think the larger issue here, given the carousing of 2008 possible presidential contenders and elected political officials happy to do face time at this event (George Allen, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, etc.) is AGAIN, does the Democratic Party know or care that these folks are going to drag out the gay boogeyman. Face it, the Republicans don’t have anything to run on, so when the going gets tough, they whip on the homos.

The spineless, strategic silence of the Democratic party on this issue is about to occur again, and any Democrat running in Red States who may be an ally to the LGBT community is getting the strong message that they will not be backed up by national party voices when it comes to reframing the issue to combat the right wing.

These bible-beating, privacy-invading, hateful people know they can go back to this poisonous well time and again without worry. The Democrats run for cover. Look at the brazen public statements at this “Values Voter Summit”:

While some speakers, such as Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. George Allen (R-Virginia), asserted that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is a “foundational value” upon which America is built, and others proclaimed the unfitness of gays to be parents (Jennifer Giroux of Citizens for Community Values: “The ultimate child abuse is placing a child in a gay home”), many speakers pushed the notion of a “homosexual agenda” to the limit. Dobson asserted that the goal of advocates of same-sex marriage is to simply “bring down marriage.” (Family Research Council President Tony Perkins claimed that the divorce of the Goodridges, named in the Massachusetts case that established marriage equality in the state, proves that point. “That tells you the commitment to the institution of marriage,” he said.) Princeton Professor Robert George, architect of the “Princeton Principles” against gay marriage, warned that the “forces arrayed against the conjugal conception of marriage are very powerful … And they will strike hard.”

…And, beginning with Romney, speakers warned that equality for gays will lead to “repression” of Christians. “The homosexual agenda and [freedom of] religion are on a collision course,” said Alan Sears of the Alliance Defense Fund, as Perkins added that “They know they must silence the church.”

Gee, that isn’t subtle, is it? Will there be any press release from the Dems attacking the bigotry being tossed about with abandon at the Omni Shoreham Hotel this weekend?

How about our black homobigot brethren? These folks can always find a sizeable number of grandstanding black pastors to tap dance for the fundies, giving them the show of diversity — and unity in bigotry — that they want to portray to the public.

Bishop Wellington Boone, a frequent speaker at Promise Keepers events, reveled in what he thought would be shocking the polite crowd with his unapologetic attacks on gays and anyone who supports them. He touted a flyer he’d written called “The Rape of the Civil Rights Movement,” which he said explained how “sodomites” were hijacking the civil rights to “promote perversion.”

After recounting the history of violence and oppression against African Americans, from deaths on the middle passage through slavery and Jim Crow, he hollered, “You tell me a gay has a right to get in on some of that? Get out of here!”

Boone recalled that as a young person, he and his friends used the words “faggot” and “sissy” to refer to people who didn’t stand on principle. “God has not called us to be sissies!” Boone seemed disappointed that his gay-bashing hasn’t gotten more notice. “I want the gays mad at me. I am not on enough of their hit lists.”

Boone also seemed to long for an unapologetically Christian nation, when anyone he derides as “unbiblical” wouldn’t be serving in office.

If anyone can find an official Dem response to the above gay-bashing, pass it along so I can post it. Don’t hold your breath, btw — they would have to articulate where the party stands on these issues.


Speaking of black homophobia, a new book is coming out that addresses the topic, Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians and Gays in Black Churches, by Rev. Horace L. Griffin, who teaches pastoral theology and directs field education at The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in NYC. From the release:

Griffin, who is black and gay, grew up in a Missionary Baptist church. Based on his life and church experience, he has witnessed how “black church leaders and congregants have been resistant and even closed in treating gay and heterosexual congregants equally or, in many cases, of simply offering compassion to gay people.”

…Comparing the plight of black gays and lesbians to “a game of Russian roulette,” where the children of the church are no longer welcomed by the church, black lesbian and gay Christians find themselves in “no-win situations,” he says. The end result robs them of “their soul, if not their integrity, family and lives.”

…”Black church leaders use the bible to oppress gays and lesbians in a similar fashion to the approach once used by white church leaders to oppress blacks during slavery and segregation.” [How soon we forget.]

The black church’s “sexual secrets,” says Griffin, have led to tragic outcomes, including a quiet complicity with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. “Even after two decades of AIDS research … African American ministers, for the most part, display almost no change in their attitudes that AIDS is God’s retribution on the ‘sinful,‘” he writes.

…Griffin says the black church often “rewards” its gay and lesbian ministers and members for staying in the closet. “Everyone within black churches realizes that there is reward and acceptance for those presenting themselves as heterosexual, while (out) gays and lesbians encounter ridicule and condemnation,” Griffin writes. “Even in churches where it is ‘known’ that the pastor is gay, black church Christians are content to remain in the church if the pastor is willing to present himself as heterosexual with a wife and children.”

I definitely want to read this one.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding