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Commentary Last Updated: Jan 4th, 2007 - 01:08:31

�A lesson in bias,� indeed
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Sep 18, 2006, 02:23

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On September 13, Joseph Farah launched a vicious attack against me on his WorldNetDaily website. My �Reply to Joseph Farah� appeared here, in Online Journal, on September 14. The exact same �reply� was sent to Mr. Farah at WorldNetDaily.

Supposedly he was responding to an article I�d written for Online Journal, but the substantive arguments presented in that article had nothing to do with Farah�s poison-pen character assassination, as he has subsequently acknowledged: �it had never occurred to me that I should concern myself with the substance of an argument being made by a nutcase . . . Seesholtz�s argument is and was, for me, sort of beside the point.�

Mr. Farah launched a second WND attack on September 16. It was titled �A lesson in bias� and included my response to his first tirade, or so I though. But when I clicked on the link to what was billed as my response, what I found was a highly edited, sanitized version. Once again, Farah had twisted the facts to suit his own purposes.

Several pertinent statements were missing from the WND-posted version. Also missing were the examples of violent, vulgar hate mail I received from WND readers following Mr. Farah�s September 13 attack, as well as documentation of his history of squelching debate and vicious character assassinations of those with whom he disagreed or who had dared to exercise their right to Freedom of Speech.

As a digressive ruse, in his September 16 attack, Farah invoked the fear-mongering, bogus claim that gay and lesbian Americans �recruit children,� thus once again exposing his bigotry and willingness to engage in vile propaganda in order to advance his pro-discrimination cause: �Since homosexuals don�t reproduce naturally, they need to recruit � not to be their children, mind you, but to be their prey. That�s why they care so much about what happens in schools � where they obviously have few of their own children.�

For the record, many gay and lesbian Americans are parents and are rearing hundreds of thousands � if not millions � of children nationwide. That fact was documented in Massachusetts on May 17, 2003, the first day gay and lesbian Americans were allowed to legally marry: 40 percent of the female couples who applied for marriage licenses that day had children in their households.

Many gay and lesbian American have children, biologically or through adoption, and the vast majority of them send their children to public schools where they are often the objects of anti-gay ridicule and bullying, which are precisely the problems SB 1437 sought to address in a positive, educational way. That�s the reason the LGBT community supported SB 1437 and similar equality, �safe school� legislation in other states. Shouldn�t all American citizens be treated equally and with respect? Shouldn�t all American children feel safe in school? Apparently Mr. Farah does not believe so. Sadly, he has plenty of company.

�Americans for Truth.� Sounds like a noble organization, doesn�t it? Nothing could be further from the truth. AFT exists solely to thwart any and all efforts to recognize the civil, legal, social, or economic equality of gay and lesbian Americans, their children, and their families.

According to AFT�s founder and president Peter LaBarbera, AFT is dedicated to �educating citizens on the threat that the powerful and well-funded �GLBT� (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) movement poses to children, marriage and freedom.� Mr. LaBarbera further states that AFT�s �goal is to become a leading resource for Americans seeking to confront the homosexual agenda,� in the name of God, of course: �We will operate in a spirit of love and truth commanded by God.� How does one try to hurt people, their children and their families �in a spirit of love and truth�?

The �homosexual agenda� Mr. LaBarbera so fears was plainly stated by Rep. Barney Frank at the 2004 Democratic National Convention:

Specifically, we want all people in the United States to enjoy the same legal rights as everyone else, unless they have forfeited them by violating the rights of others. We believe this should include some things that are, apparently, very controversial.

They include the right to serve, fight, and even die on behalf of our country in the military; the right to earn a living by working hard and being judged wholly on the quality of our work; the right for teenagers to attend high school without being shoved, punched, or otherwise attacked; and, yes, the right to express not only love for another person but a willingness to be legally as well as morally responsible for his or her well-being.

Does anyone really believe Divinity would have a problem with such an �agenda�?

Surprisingly, Farah did make one valid point in his September 16 diatribe, albeit wrapped in yet another personal and broad-brush insult: �the notion that there can be such a thing as �bias free curriculum.� The very idea is preposterous, and even someone as steeped in the moral confusion of academia as Seesholtz should understand that.�

I do understand that, theoretically, experientially and pedagogically, and am pleased to say my �bias� is toward equality, liberty, justice, and fair treatment for all Americans, as well as the equality, the fair treatment and the safety of all students in America�s public schools and institutions of higher education.

�Schwarzenegger made the right call when he terminated the bill with extreme prejudice�: Mr. Farah�s bias is clearly toward discrimination, disenfranchisement, and legitimating the demeaning of gay and lesbian Americans, their children, and LGBT students in America�s public schools. He is also obviously biased against those who work to prevent American from becoming an ultra-conservative theocratic-state. The latter is his political right; the former propagates the evils of bigotry that enlightened nations, rational cultures, and civil societies work to eliminate.

One particular WND reader who responded to Farah�s call-to-hate sent me e-mails that went well beyond intolerance and vulgarity. Their author gave me permission, indeed, he explicitly asked that I use his full name and even post his e-mail address: �Feel free to post my name and email address. I would be honored . . ." I�ll comply with his former request, but not his latter. Here�s an excerpt from this �Christian�s� last missive:

I hate leftists, but particularly homosexual leftists, with nothing less than a deep and abiding hatred.

You are a dispicable [sic] human being who finds it perfectly acceptable to discriminate against christians [sic], but God forbid I should object to having Hot-Cock Queerdom shoved down my kids� throats in a K-12 publik skool [sic], now by mandate in California and soon to be everywhere else. [italics added]

Clearly, James M. Baker has a problem with grammar, spelling, civility, the essence of Christianity, and the American principle of equality for all citizens. Despite his ranting about my article, Mr. Baker also seems unaware that Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed SB 1437. But his sadistic, unbridled hate for gay and lesbian American citizens and his support of discrimination against them and their children serve to illustrate exactly what Farah and his WND �pro-family� cadre encourage.

I�m fully aware that James M. Baker is not typical of all Christians, but he does bluntly express what the leaders of the radical Christian Right shroud beneath their �pro-family� mantra. Despite that self-proclaimed label, such groups simply don�t give a damn about gay and lesbian Americans, their children or their families. They have equal disdain for GLBT students whose safety in America�s public schools is put in jeopardy everyday. Those are the �lessons in bias� they wish to teach. Sadly, Mr. Farah�s WND helps them do just that.

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