leaders of America�s Christianist Right have been whirling and twirling lately.
First, the California Supreme Court ruled that banning same-sex marriage was
discriminatory and, therefore, unconstitutional. Then the Court ruled
unanimously that medical doctors could not use
personal religious beliefs as ground for not treating gay and lesbian patients.
decisions, to be sure. But what really irked the increasingly bizarre leaders
of the Christianist Right were some new Hallmark greeting cards. The cards can
be seen here.
Come rain and
floods to drown out Obama, pray Christians
August 13, 2008
A Christian fundamentalist group is praying for a deluge to drown out Barack
Obama at the Democratic National Convention in two weeks� time.
[James Dobson�s] Focus on the Family is asking for �abundant, torrential�
downpours to flood Denver and silence Senator Obama when he accept[ed] the
Democratic Party�s presidential nomination on August 28.
�Would it be wrong to ask people to pray for rain of Biblical proportins,� asks
an umbrella wielding Stuart Shepard in a video put out by the ultra conservative
didn�t take long for Don Wildmon at the American Family Association to issue
one of his hysterical Action
pushes same-sex marriage
Ask them to stop promoting a
lifestyle that is not only unhealthy, but is also illegal in 48 states.
Hallmark Greeting Cards has announced it will begin
selling same-sex wedding cards, even though same-sex marriage is legal in only
two states. The purpose, they say, is to satisfy consumer demand. It appears
that their purpose is also to push same-sex marriage. . . .
We�ve all given or received Hallmark Cards -- remember their slogan -- �when
you care enough to send the very best.� But promoting same-sex marriage for
profit is not the very best for families or our nation. Hallmark is a private
company obviously driven by greed. Let them know you do not appreciate Hallmark
promoting a lifestyle which is illegal in 48 states. American Greeting Cards,
Hallmark�s competitor, does not offer same-sex marriage cards.
Send an e-mail to Hallmark. Ask them to stop promoting a lifestyle that is not
only unhealthy, but is also illegal in 48 states.
and the AFA are notorious for twisting and perverting facts in their Action
Alerts, but this one begins and ends with blatant lies.
1: �Hallmark pushes same-sex
marriage.� Is Hallmark �pushing� birthdays with their birthday cards? Are they
�pushing� anniversaries with their anniversary cards? Wildmon and the AFA see any recognition of the fact that gay and
lesbian Americans exist, love and have the same needs and desires as everyone
else as �pushing� the homosexual agenda. Dour Don and his organization give new meaning to �paranoid
Lie 2: �Hallmark [is] promoting a lifestyle which is illegal in 48 states.�
Hallmark is not �promoting� homosexuality any more than it�s promoting death
with their sympathy cards or Christianity with their religious cards.
Wildmon�s intentional misrepresentation and twisting
of facts is obvious in his implying that the homosexuality �lifestyle . . . is
illegal in 48 states.� Dour Don�s use of �lifestyle� is chicanery at its worst.
Christianists often use the term in an attempt to try to claim that
homosexuality is purely a �lifestyle� choice. Apparently Wildmon is as ignorant
of the facts about homosexuality as he is
about its legality.
Neither homosexuality or the �homosexual lifestyle�
are illegal in any state. The married �lifestyle� may be legal for gay and
lesbian Americans in only two states, but quite a few other states recognize
same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships (for which the Hallmark cards
would be equally appropriate). They are not �illegal lifestyles� in those
states. And the �living-together lifestyle� is not illegal in any state. The
Hallmark cards would also be appropriate for those partners living together who
wanted to express their affection.
Wildmon asserted that Hallmark is a �company
obviously driven by greed.� Poor Don, his rabid homophobia keeps exposing his
ignorance in so many other areas. �Greed� is the fundamental principle
underwriting capitalism: find new markets and exploit them for profit. In this
case, there already is an existing market:
Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimates that more than 85,000 same-sex
couples in the United States have entered into a legal relationship since 1997,
when Hawaii started offering some legal benefits to same-sex partners.
It estimates nearly 120,000 more couples will marry in California during the
next three years -- and that means millions of potential dollars for all sorts
of wedding-industry businesses.
If he objects to a capitalistic company doing what, by definition, capitalistic companies
do, perhaps Wildmon is a closet communist. In any case, he is intimately
acquainted with greed. From Bill Berkowitz�s article �Still
Cranky After All These Years�:
According to AFA�s 2005 IRS 990 (its tax return),
founder Donald E. Wildmon received about $110,000 with benefits, plus over
$30,000 in expense account and other allowances -- including a housing
allowance of over $31,000. AFA president Tim Wildmon got about $100,000, and
the organization�s secretary, Forrest Daniels, received slightly more than
gives �scholarships� to any full time employee at �any accredited college or
university,� which added up to about $54,000 in scholarships. As the blog Kevin�s
Space pointed out on March
30, �the kids of these people get their university education paid for, with funds that are donated, supposed to
fight for the family. But it is clear the people who benefit are the
Wildmon family.� [italics added]
can only assume the Wildmons� salaries and perks have increased substantially
since 2005 . . . thanks to all those �donations� AFA is always soliciting.
Wildmon in preposterous
about Hallmark, gay Americans and their families was Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America: �Hallmark is
jeopardizing its brand as a family-friendly company. . . . Customers used to be
able to trust Hallmark to produce quality products that were safe for all ages.
. . . Now parents will need to steer their kids from Hallmark�s section of the
greeting card aisle and away from its previously heart-warming movies for fear
that they too will push homosexual messages.�
Wright is as irrational and hysterically homophobic as Wildmon, and obviously
does not consider some parents who love their children and those children who
love their parents �families.� How truly bigoted. How truly perverted. How
claims �parents� -- those good Christianist parents who ignore
Romans 15:7, �Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to
the glory of God� -- will �need to steer their kids from Hallmark�s section of
the greeting card aisle.�
Of the cards Hallmark is offering only one bears an
image -- two cartoonish tuxedos (with no text) -- that might be �offensive� to
those Christianist parents who intend to teach their kids bigotry. The other
cards have images of hearts, overlapping hearts or intertwined flowers and
messages such as �Two hearts. One promise.� and �Partners in life and love.�
Even if some little kiddies did open the card (and
were old enough to read), �the language inside the cards is neutral, with no mention of wedding or
marriage.� Ms. Wright�s hysterical exaggerations and blatant
fear-mongering are as obvious as Wildmon�s.
More hysterical statements loaded with blatant bigotry
-- and the desire to propagate it -- came from Janice Crouse, Director and
Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America�s �research� unit, the Beverly
LaHaye Institute (named for the wife of Left Behind guru and
founder of the Council for National Policy, Tim
By latching onto the latest fad generated by the
homosexual special interest groups, Hallmark is negating its image as a wholesome company that promotes American values
and pro-family principles in its products. . . . American businesses have a
corporate responsibility to the public that buys their products. . . . Instead
of bolstering campaigns by special interest groups like the homosexual
activists, corporations like Hallmark should be protecting American culture from those forces that would destroy the
family and create a public environment that is detrimental to general
well-being, especially children�s well-being. [italics added]
A fad is something trivial and short-lived, like hoola hoops and mood rings. Is
Ms. Crouse saying that love is a fad? Is Ms. Crouse saying that commitment is a
fad? Is Ms. Crouse saying that marriage is a fad? Is Ms. Crouse saying that
civil equality is a fad? Or is Ms. Crouse just being ridiculous? Everyone with
any intelligence understands that, although it may take years or decades,
marriage equality is inevitable. Civil equality always wins out over bigotry
�A wholesome company that promotes American values and pro-family
principles.� Civil equality is a
wholesome American value, and marriage is
a wholesome �pro-family� principle. Ms. Crouse is using the standard twisted
logic and language all Christianist organizations use. They claim the gay and
lesbian Americans fighting for the right to have their families recognized are
somehow �anti-family.� Wildmon�s organization claims it is
�America�s Largest Pro-Family Action Site,� yet they do everything they can to
hurt the families of gay and lesbian Americans.
Many committed same-sex couples have children. That
was clear from the statistics on the first day all citizens had equal access to
the civil institution called �marriage� in Massachusetts:
� 50% of
the same-sex couples who applied for marriage licenses had been together for at
least a decade
� The most
predominant age group was 40 to 49 years-old; the median age was 43
� 40% of
those female couples said they had children in their households.
More and more same-sex couples are adopting, something
else the American Family Association and Concerned Women for America oppose.
They�d rather see children remain parentless.
�Protecting American culture from those forces that would destroy the
family and create a public environment that is detrimental to general
well-being, especially children�s well-being.� This statement is more than
preposterous. It�s downright evil in the same way Nazi propaganda was.
has 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, homosexuals and gypsies were the �sub-humans�
responsible for all of Germany�s problems. The �master race� must, therefore,
ostracize, marginalize and eventually eliminate them if society was to return
to righteous ways.
At the 1985 Conservative Political Action
Conference, [Paul] 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
Wildmon�s American Family Association, James Dobson�s
Focus on the Family, Louis P. Sheldon�s Traditional Values Coalition, and Tony
Perkins� Family Research Council have all
been known to cite the �research� of discredited
Ms. Crouse is attempting to do is use gay Americans and their families the same
way Hitler used Jews and their families. Such �thinking� and its poisonous
propaganda have historically been the root of evil. They still are.
�protect the children� ruse is ubiquitous in the rhetoric of Christianist
fascists. The August 8, 2008 Los Angeles
Times editorial exposed the deception in relation to
supporters are using it:
It�s the same
sentence as in 2000: �Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or
recognized in California.� Yet the issue that will be put before voters Nov. 4
is radically different. This time, the wording would be used to rescind an
existing constitutional right to marry. We fervently hope that voters, whatever
their personal or religious convictions, will shudder at such a step and vote
no on Proposition 8. . . .
What voters must consider
about Proposition 8 is that, unlike Proposition 22, this is no longer about
refining existing California law. In the wake of the [state supreme] court�s
ruling, the only way to deny marriage to gay and lesbian couples is by revising
constitutional rights themselves. Proposition 8 seeks to embed wording in the
Constitution that would eliminate the fundamental right to same-sex marriage. .
Supporters of Proposition 8 insist that the measure is in no way intended to
diminish the rights of gays and lesbians, but instead means to encourage ideal
households for the raising of children and to put a stop to activist judges.
Besides, they say, domestic partnerships provide all the same rights as
In a meeting with The Times� editorial board, supporters argued at length that
children are best off when raised by their own biological, married mothers and
fathers. Even if that were true -- and there is much room for dispute -- this
measure in no way moves society closer to such a traditional picture. Gay and
lesbian couples already are raising their own children and will continue to do
so, as will single parents and adoptive and blended families. Using the
supporters� own reasoning, it would be better for same-sex parents to marry. .
the very act of denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marry -- traditionally
the highest legal and societal recognition of a loving commitment -- by
definition relegates them and their relationships to second-class status,
separate and not all that equal.
To be sure, the court overturned Proposition 22, a vote of the people. That is the court�s
duty when a law is unconstitutional, even if it is exceedingly popular. Civil
rights are commonly hard-won, and not the result of widespread consensus.
Whites in the South vehemently rejected the 1954 Supreme Court decision to desegregate
schools. For that matter, Californians have accused the state Supreme Court of
obstructing the people�s will on marriage before -- in 1948, when it struck
down a ban on interracial marriages.
Fundamental rights are exactly that. They should neither wait for popular
acceptance, nor be revoked because it is lacking. [link added]
equality of all citizens is what fascists have always feared. Christianist
fascists are no different. They just hide behind perverted religious dogma. The
Nazis focused on Jews, gypsies and homosexuals. Given today�s political
realities, America�s Christianist fascists focus their malevolence solely on
gay and lesbian Americans and their families.
are no cogent, rational or legitimate reasons for denying gay and lesbian
Americans the civil right to the civil institution called �marriage.�
institution of marriage will not be threatened, quite the contrary. It will be
made stronger by welcoming a new group that firmly believes in it.
institution called �the family� will not be threatened, quite the contrary. It
will be made stronger by recognizing more families who share the same hopes,
dreams and goals and work together with other families toward their realizing
their common hopes, dreams and goals.
American values will not be threatened, quite the contrary. They will be made
stronger by the reaffirmation that all citizens have equal civil rights.
used �Christianity� to justify his sinister agenda. America�s
Christianist fascists are following in his footsteps, or rather goose-steps.
When will we learn?