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Religion Last Updated: Jan 13th, 2010 - 00:39:02

Words, money and anti-gay theopolitics
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jan 13, 2010, 00:20

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It never ceases to amaze me how the sanctimonious leaders of the Christian Right twist language -- one might say �lie� -- in order to advance their agendas and raise funds to finance their �Christian� organizations� goal of keeping gay and lesbian Americans and their families social and legal outcasts.

Assuming the leaders of the Christian Right actually read the Bible, they should know that Jesus never said a word about homosexuality, but he did speak quite frequently about accepting and loving everyone, especially those the Pharisee deemed outcasts.

And surely they�re aware of Jesus� words as recorded in Mark 10:25 (�It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God�), and in Matthew 19:24 (�Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God�), and again in Luke 18:25 (�Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God�). Yet most, if not all, of the leaders of the Christian Right are very well off financially, and some -- such as mega-church leader Joel Osteen -- even preach that God wants everyone to be financially wealthy . . . and that �Gays Aren�t �God�s Best.�� Apparently this very rich mega-church pastor (who has no theological training at all) believes God goofs and has continued to goof throughout human history since gays have existed in every culture throughout the millennia.

In his 2007 book, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, Harvard Divinity School graduate and Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges called the Christian Right�s tactic of perverting language �logocide�:

The old definitions of words are replaced by new ones. . . . Words such as �truth,� �wisdom,� �death,� �liberty,� �life,� and �love� no longer mean what they mean in the secular world. �Life� and �death� mean life in Christ or death to Christ, and are used to signal belief or unbelief in the risen lord. �Wisdom� has little to do with human wisdom but refers to the level of commitment and obedience to the system of belief. �Liberty� is not about freedom, but the �liberty� found when one accepts Jesus Christ and is liberated from the world to obey Him.

On January 8, I read a �Focal Point� article by Bryan Fischer that appeared in the �Rightly Concerned� section of Don and Tim Wildmon�s notoriously anti-gay American Family Association website. Mr. Fischer�s opening sentence gave new meaning to logocide: �Great news on the pro-family front today as the New Jersey Senate hosed same-sex marriage 20-14.� How in God�s name is it �great news� or �pro-family� that gay and lesbian families and their children were denied social and legal recognition? And then there�s his rather odd use of the word �hosed,� a slang euphemism for �fucked.�

Mr. Fischer then went on to say, �It has been my conviction from the beginning that the homosexual agenda is not about rights, as homosexuals claim, but about recognition. It�s about forcing society to grant its sanction, its approval, its endorsement for their sexually aberrant behavior.�

Let�s start with �the homosexual agenda.� Rep. Barney Frank succinctly stated the so-called �homosexual agenda� on July 29, 2004 at the Democratic National Convention:

On behalf of the Stonewall Democratic Federation, the national organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Democrats, I want to apologize to some people whose peace of mind we seem to be disturbing.

I want to apologize to the various self-proclaimed divine messengers who appear deeply troubled by a dark plot they label the �gay agenda.�

Troubled as I am by the prospect of these pious men denied a good night�s sleep by their need to be eternally vigilant against us, I have decided to break the silence, decode the cryptogram, unravel the mystery and tip our hand.

We have an agenda, and we hope to achieve it through the Democratic Party.

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.

We also believe that we-and all Americans-should enjoy full access to health care; that strong environmental protection is fully compatible with economic prosperity. We know that the free market is the best way to generate our national wealth; and that we need cooperation between the private and public sectors to be sure that we as a society and as individuals get the maximum benefit from the wealth by the quality of all our lives.

We are also convinced that America must not only remain the strongest nation in the world, but that our strength is magnified, not diminished, when we work with other nations and institutions for common goals. . . .

That �agenda� can be summarized in two words: �civil equality.� But civil equality is anathema to those who pathologically need someone, some group to deride, despise, and keep second-class citizens. And, of course, the self-righteous campaigns to do so are wonderful for fundraising.

Mr. Fischer then used the standard mantra, �gay activists are left with their sadly successful strategy of counting on activist judges to impose their values on the people and their representatives.� Logocide reigns supreme. �Activist judges� refers to any judge who upholds the American principle of civil equality for every citizen. �Successful strategy�? Perhaps that�s because when the civil marriage issue has been brought before state Supreme Courts they have ruled overwhelmingly in favor of civil equality, not religion-based bigotry.

Mr. Fischer�s phrase �endorsement for their sexually aberrant behavior� is also logocidal. How many heterosexual married couples engage in fellatio, cunnilingus, anal intercourse, or other such intimate behaviors? Would Mr. Fischer call these couples �sexually aberrant� as well? And if so, why isn�t he campaigning against these �deviant� couples?

Logocide and hypocrisy go hand-in-hand. Consider the case of Ted Haggard, former head of the National Association of Evangelicals, who paid a male prostitute for sex while preaching -- Bible in hand -- against the �sin� of homosexuality. Or how about this defender of the �sanctity of traditional marriage�:

Anti Gay New York Senator Gets Probation For Beating Up His Domestic Partner
12/6/09 by Paula Brooks

New York State Senator
Hiram Monserrate, one of the Democrats who helped �defend traditional marriage� in the New York Senate last week by voting against a bill that would have made same-sex marriage legal in the Empire State, was sentenced to 250 hours of community service, 52 weeks of domestic abuse counseling and three years of probation, on an assault conviction stemming from a December 2008 incident where he �accidentally� slashed his girlfriends face while beating the crap out of her after he dragged her through the lobby of his Queens apartment building.

Prosecutors had said that Monserrate, an ex-Marine, lashed out at his domestic partner, Karla Giraldo, with a glass in a fit of rage after he found another man�s business card in her purse. The glass broke against her face, cutting her near her left eye down to her skull and leaving a lasting scar.

Monserrate had been originally charged with two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of assault after cutting Giraldo�s face during a bitter argument in his apartment on Dec. 19, 2008. . . .

A security video showed Monserrate dragging Ms. Giraldo through the lobby of his apartment building and statements that doctors at Long Island Jewish Medical Center made said Ms. Giraldo pretty much had the holy shit beat out of her. . . .

In almost a decade of researching the Christian Right�s campaign against gay and lesbian Americans and their families, one thing has become abundantly clear: they just can�t get beyond the s-e-x, which seems to say much about their �mental state.� Such voyeuristic pathology is then used as a strategy to get others to focus only on sex and refuse to see the love these couples share. The goal: to dehumanize gay and lesbian Americans, their love, and their families. Clearly, the leaders of the so-called �Christian Right� and their political sycophants have been using gay and lesbian Americans� quest for equal civil rights and social recognition as a means to dehumanize same-sex couples and their families, to incite hatred and fear, and to polarize the voting public.

But these statistics from May 17, 2004, the first day marriage licenses were available to same-sex couples in Massachusetts, speak to the reality of loving, committed same-sex couples and their desire to marry:

  • 50 percent 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 percent of those female couples had children in their households; 28 percent of the male couples did.

Yes, gays and lesbians are asking society to recognize their real-world relationships. There is no good reason why they shouldn�t. There is nothing about the relationships of straight couples that makes them more worthy of the legal and social recognition �marriage� affords. But Mr. Fischer pontificates that�s �a word we must never give them.� Apparently Mr. Fischer is unaware that �marriage� is a state-sanctioned civil institution. Marriage licenses are granted by the state, not the church. Divorce decrees are granted by the state, not the church.

Let�s be honest. Rallying the sheeple to donate to �the cause� that wealthy �religious leaders� say is �God�s will� has been a windfall for theoplitical groups in the United States. Of course, civil equality will eventually win the day. How sad so much money is being wasted fighting the inevitable. And how sad so-called �religious leaders� are profiting from it.

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