two interlocking, rudimentary needs: concocting an anti-intellectual mythic ideology
and identifying a group of people who, based on that ideology, can be blamed
for all society�s ills. The Nazis used Aryan myth and bogus science to support
their claim that Jews -- as well as homosexuals and gypsies -- were the �sub-humans�
responsible for all of Germany�s problems. The �master race� must ostracize,
marginalize and eventually eliminate them if society was to return to righteous
ways. There can be no discussion, no compromise. The paladins of the movement
are divinely inspired in this holy war. Their judgments and edicts cannot be
questioned. The leaders of America�s Christo-fascism use the same playbook the
Exhibit B: Don Wildmon and the
American Family Association
and his American Family Association are notorious for launching boycotts
against any company that treats its gay and lesbian employees equally or that
advertises in gay-related publications. They�ve gone after Kraft Foods, the
Ford Motor Company and Disney.
they�re sponsoring a boycott against McDonald�s because, according to AFA�s
propaganda organ, OneNewsNow, the corporation �donated $20,000 to the
National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, in exchange for membership and a
seat on the group�s board of directors.�
Real-world, legitimate business practices upset Mr. Wildmon, primarily
because he does not live in the real world. Wildmon, like Dobson and the other
leaders of American religious fascism, live in a make-believe world of black
and white, where everything -- including all the dilemmas, inconsistencies,
contradictions and paradoxes that define human existence -- will be resolved by
�God�s� miraculous intervention and by following the edicts of the movement�s
leaders. As Chris Hedges noted, Christo-fascists, �like all fascist movements .
. . believe in magic along with leadership adoration and a strident call for
moral and physical supremacy of a master race, in this case American
That �master race� and their �magic� are the essence of Wildmon�s latest
crusade . . . against PBS:
In light of PBS�s decision
to air �The Bible�s Buried Secrets,� I ask that you [Congress] vote to stop
funding PBS with tax dollars. . . .
The Public Broadcasting
System (PBS), probably the most liberal network in America, will present a program
this fall that says the Old Testament is a bunch of made-up stories that never
happened. �The Bible�s Buried Secrets� says the Bible is not true. It is scheduled to air on November 18. . . .
Among highlights of �The Bible�s Buried Secrets�:
� The Old Testament was
written in the sixth century b.c.
and hundreds of authors contributed.
� Abraham, Sarah and their offspring didn�t exist.
� There is no archaeological evidence of the Exodus.
� Monotheism was a process that took hundreds of years.
� The Israelites were actually Canaanites.
� The Israelites believed that God had a wife.
After consulting a
biblical scholar, a professor of religion, an archeologist, and an
anthropologist, the verdict was unanimous. The first four talking points are
true. Some believe the Israelites were more likely related to the Aryans from
central Asia, and as for God�s wife, Raphael Patai�s The Hebrew Goddess �presents an in-depth
evaluation of the important but oft ignored role played by the feminine in
Hebrew myth and religion, following the story of the Hebrew goddess from
antiquity through its manifestations in Kabbalah and in the developing myth of
what were previously �sacred texts� but then deemed contrary to the goals of
the socio-political document called �the Bible� -- and therefore excluded from
it -- Lilith was the first woman �God� created. She was made from the same soil
as Adam, which made her his equal. That didn�t fit with the cult of masculinity
and the need to have women subservient to men, so Lilith was replaced by Eve,
who was made after Adam and from his rib thereby making her subservient.
Given Wildmon�s antirational, anti-intellectual, anti-fact mindset, it�s
not surprising that his followers regard discussions as unacceptable.
OneNewsNow runs daily polls. A recent one made the point. The question posed
was �Do you agree with Pastor Rick Warren that the biblical gospel is not
Christians and non-Christians team up to promote the �common good�?� [link
After 7,147 votes, the results were:
Yes, I agree with Rick Warren - 26.46%
No, I disagree with Rick Warren - 61.51%
Unsure - 12.03%
So much for the �common good.� Christo-fascists leaders and their
followers are concerned only with
their own �good� and an agenda that excludes everyone but them. That was clear
in a follow-up OneNewsNow article:
Is Rick Warren ignoring sin in search for �peace�?
Christian broadcaster and author Tom McMahon says
evangelical pastor Rick Warren�s belief that the church must take the lead in
solving the world�s problems of poverty, disease, and war cannot be reconciled
with the scriptures.
Pastor Warren will be hosting an interfaith meeting next month with 30
Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders �to discuss cooperation for the common
good of all Americans.� Warren�s P.E.A.c.e.
plan mobilizes churches to address global problems. But McMahon, president of
The Berean Call ministry, says the popular Christian author is introducing
evangelical Christianity to the social gospel that he learned from his mentor,
social scientist Peter
�As a Christian, as a biblical Christian, I have real concerns about this
because I don�t find this in the scriptures,� McMahon explains. �You see, it�s
true the world has all kinds of problems, but he�s working on the symptoms and
avoiding the root cause, which is the sin nature of humanity. So how can you
work with all kinds of people [who are] called �people of faith,� but it�s not
biblical faith?� [link added]
Using McMahon�s �logic,� if it�s not in the Bible, it�s not appropriate
for �biblical Christians.� One has to wonder if McMahon lives in a clay-brick
hut without central heating, indoor plumbing or air conditioning, dresses in
homemade sackcloth and rides a camel to work. One also has to wonder what Bible
he�s reading because Jesus spoke often about helping the poor and afflicted,
and there was that �turn the other cheek� antiwar directive.
�The sin nature of humanity.� Christo-fascists do so love the notion of
sin. It�s their primary weapon for keeping the flock in line and moving in the
direction they dictate, especially since they are the ones who decide what�s a
sin and what isn�t. In discussing the late Dr. D. James Kennedy�s Evangelism
Explosion workshops -- one of which he participated in -- Chris Hedges reported
the tactics taught. The rhetoric bears a striking resemblance to McMahon�s as
well it should. He and Kennedy are cut from the same soiled cloth:
The evangelists [in training] are told to disabuse
converts of the notion that sin is limited to robbery, murder, adultery or
other specific acts. We are informed that sin �is anything that doesn�t please
God or is a transgression of His law.� Sin, the convert is to be told, is �the
fatal malignancy which infects the soul of the entire human race.� . . . The
emphasis, once the conversion is made, is on acts, acts that please or
displease God. The believer can delineate these acts only with the aid of
Apparently Mr. McMahon believes feeding the hungry, tending to the
afflicted and ending the slaughter called �war� would not be pleasing to �God.�
But then again, he share the same Christo-fascist dogma as Kennedy did when he
proclaimed, �Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever
the cost . . . As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion
and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our
literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news
media, our scientific endeavors -- in short, over every aspect and institution
of human society.�
McMahon questioned, �So how can you work with all kinds of people [who
are] called �people of faith,� but it�s not biblical faith?� What does
�biblical faith� mean in that sentence? Rev. Warren�s conference will bring together
Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders: �people of faith� one and all. How is
Judaism not a �biblical faith�? Wasn�t Jesus a Jew, and doesn�t Islam recognize
the patriarchs of the Old Testament as well as Jesus? No doubt from Mr.
McMahon�s perspective the Christians involved in the conference are just not
�Christian enough,� meaning they don�t have the same theo-fascist agenda as
Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council.
Dobson and Wildmon are good, but when it comes to scaring
the sheeple in order to raise money and to using religion as a
weapon against gay and lesbian Americans and their families few can match Tony
Perkins and the Family Research Council.
Traditional marriage is in
grave peril across the nation due to outrageous decisions by activist judges
and radical legislators in Massachusetts, California, Vermont, Connecticut, New
Jersey, New Hampshire and Oregon. . . .
we don�t act now, counterfeit marriage will spread across America. Marriage
amendments will be nullified. Pastors and churches will be silenced from
speaking publicly against homosexuality. Your children will learn in school
that homosexual behavior is normal and healthy.
We have no time to lose! . . .
So FRC asks everyone
who cares about marriage to give a generous contribution . . .
�Traditional marriage is in grave peril.� Really? How? Heterosexual
couples continue to marry at the same rate they did before Massachusetts, California, Vermont,
Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Oregon took a stand for civil
equality. This nonsensical rant that somehow �traditional marriage� will cease
to exist if gay and lesbians Americans are allowed to marry is a standard
Christo-fascist scare tactic, often coupled with some biblical doom and gloom
such as Dobson�s claiming the world will end. But there is nothing that can substantiate the preposterous claim, as Rob Hotakainen�s August 9 McClatchy-Tribune
article -- and the firsthand personal and
legal testimonials in it -- attested:
five years after the state�s Supreme Court ruled that a ban on same-sex
marriage was unconstitutional, the battle that brought international attention
and apocalyptic fears to Massachusetts is all but dead. Since the first
marriages on May 17, 2004, more than 11,000 couples have tied the knot. They�re
busy mowing lawns and hauling kids to soccer practice, and the sky has not
fallen. . . .
Polls have shown consistent public support for gay couples [in Massachusetts].
And with overwhelming support for gay marriage in the state legislature -- the
last effort to put it on the ballot failed 151-45 -- the opposition has mostly
packed its bags and gone home.
�The biggest surprise about the whole thing is that there really has been no
surprise,� Republican state Rep. Paul Loscocco said. �It�s been fairly much a
nonevent.� . . .
As Californians prepare to vote, Loscocco is advising them to keep their minds
open. He certainly did. When the Massachusetts court made its decision in
November 2003, Loscocco railed against it as an act of judicial tyranny. Now he
calls gay marriage an opportunity �for people to come out of the shadows,� a
bold experiment that�s consistent with America�s great laboratory of ideas.
But the ranting nonsense persists. On July 29, 2008 Wildmon�s OneNewsNow
ran an article titled �Return to Christ, save the country.� It
featured comments by Tony Perkins about marriage in California:
Literally before us, we�re
seeing God�s institution of marriage
being redefined -- 5,000 years of human
history disregarded. I think that the church needs to be awakened, and that
begins with each of us as believers. And as we work alongside of pastors and
churches, our hope is that, as a church, that we will repent, that we will take our rightful role in society
. . . [italics added]
�God�s institution of marriage . . . 5,000 years of human history.� The
oldest written records are about 5,000 years old. They were composed by the Sumerians who had four main gods -- the God
of Water, Enki; the God of Earth, Ki; the God of Air, Enlil; and the God of
Heaven, An -- and a host of lesser Gods. These gods created the rules that
governed Sumerian society. Wonder which one Mr. Perkins meant in relation to
the early part of those �5,000 years of human history.�
Monotheism didn�t just pop into existence. It
took centuries to evolve. The texts in what
we now call �The Bible� were written by many different authors from all walks
of life -- shepherds, farmers, tent-makers, physicians, fishermen, priests,
philosophers and kings -- over a period of some 1,500 years, from around 1450 b.c. to about 100 a.d. Some �sacred texts� were canonized.
Other were discarded for reasons that we may never know, but it is clear some
were rejected because they did not fit the social and political needs of the
evolving male-dominated monotheistic religions.
Mr. Perkins seems unaware of the fact that the civil institution called �marriage� flourished long before the Genesis myth was written or the Bible compiled and
canonized. And even if Mr. Perkins was referring to �biblical marriage,� he�s
still not being truthful. In biblical times a �traditional
marriage� was arranged, and often involved more than one wife and several concubines. David�s eight wives, except for Mikal, are listed in 1
Chronicles 3:1-5, and his 10 concubines are referred to in 2 Samuel 15:16.
As for the Family Research Council�s anti-gay rhetoric and supporting
�research,� it�s not surprising that FRC -- as well as Dobson�s Focus on the
Family, Don Wildmon�s American Family Association and Louis P. Sheldon�s
Traditional Values Coalition -- have been
known to cite the discredited �psychologist� Paul Cameron:
the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference, Cameron announced to the
attendees, �Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the
options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.� According to an
interview with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Cameron was recommending
the extermination option as early as 1983.
� Mark E. Pietrzyk, News-Telegraph, March 10, 1995
recent anti-gay publication, �The
Slippery Slope of Same-Sex �Marriage,�
was awarded The Cameronesque Award for
perverting and misrepresenting legitimate research and using that concoction to
try to hurt gay and lesbian Americans and their families even more. Is that
what �Christians� do? Is that what a �pro-family� organization does . . . hurt
families? It is, however, exactly what Christo-fascists do.
Louis P. Sheldon and the Traditional Values Coalition.
Sheldon and his organization were significant players, but that ended when �Lucky Louie� was busted. Now the TVC is pretty much just
Sheldon and his daughter, Andrea Lafferty, TVC�s executive director who thinks
life-long ultra-bigot Jesse Helms was a �Hero of Conservative Movement.�
Sheldon�s rabid homophobia was vomited forth shortly after the terrorist
attacks of September 11, 2001 when he argued against
giving aid to the surviving members of gay and lesbian partnerships, many of
whom had children. He�s repeatedly suggested putting men, women and children
with HIV -- and gays, of course -- in concentration camps. He also believes exorcisms are an appropriate �cure� from homosexuality.
would give such a lunatic credence defies common sense and rationality. But
religious fascism is alluring to those who chose to switch off their minds. And
that�s the appeal of Dobson, Wildmon, Perkins, and the rest of the
self-appointed spokesmen for �God.� No need to think, just listen and obey.
Life will be much simpler then. And once you�re convinced by those spokesmen
for �God� that you�re among the holy, hatred of and violence against the unholy
will be completely justifiable ad majorem
Exhibit E: Peter LaBarbera and Americans for
Truth About Homosexuality
organization exists solely to demean
and denigrate, inspire fear and loathing of gay and lesbian Americans. Even a
cursory visit to the AFTAH website makes that crystal clear. LaBarbera and the
AFTAH are proactive advocates of bigotry and discrimination.
followers -- like those of Dobson, Wildmon, Perkins, and Sheldon -- are already
predisposed to prejudice. The Christo-fascist rhetoric they�re fed only
reinforces those prejudices and, for some, may provide the incentive and
justification for violence:
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs said
Tuesday [August 5, 2008] that the number of violent crimes against LGBT people
is up significantly in 2008. . . .
Since the February murder of 15 year-old Lawrence King
and the brutal beating of Duanna Johnson, there have been at least 13 brutal
and violent LGBT hate crimes throughout the country. The organization added
that the reported crimes only may be a small number of the total, since many
LGBT people are reluctant to go to police, and many of the attacks that are
reported are not listed by authorities as hate crimes.
The NCAVP said that the growing hate crimes may
indicate a frightening trend of increases in both the number and severity of
Dobson, Wildmon, Perkins, Sheldon, and LaBarbera all claim they are not
advocating hatred of or violence against gay people, but it�s impossible to
believe they don�t understand -- fully understand -- that their rhetoric and
actions do just that, especially when they cite people like Paul Cameron and
have never had one word of criticism
for Iran or African �Christian� nations that execute or openly call for the
extermination of gay people. Such silence speaks volumes.
be continued . . .