Lucky Louie and Dour Don: Crazed Christianists on parade
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Online Journal Contributing Writer

May 9, 2008, 00:16

The �thinking� of Louis P. Sheldon, founder and chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, was once again vomited forth in a late April 2008 TVC diatribe titled Earth Day: The Rantings Of Chicken Little Marxists.

The Earth Day speakers will do what they have done every year since 1970 when the first Earth Day was held: They will trash America as the fountain of all pollution; call for more government regulation of businesses; and continue fighting against energy independence for our nation. Ironically, on the first Earth Day, radical environmentalists were ranting about the alleged coming dangers of �global cooling.� Today, they�re ranting about global warming. So, which is it? As we will see, the jury is still out on how to interpret complex and incomplete scientific data on global climate changes. [italics added]

If discredited �Lucky Louie� and the rest of the gnomes at TVC would read something other than their own preposterous propaganda they might realize that . . .

A. America is not the fountain of �all pollution,� but it is -- undeniably -- one of the major contributors. The U.S. is the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. Some other facts:

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin account for 20% of the carbon pollution in the United States with only 5% of the world�s total pollution. The Midwest alone is responsible for more global warming pollution than most countries across the globe except for China, India, Russia and Japan. [Global Warming Soolutions]

Compared with the rest of the world, American auto emissions are disproportionately high. With only 5 percent of the world�s population and 30 percent of the world�s automobiles, the United States contributes 48 percent of the world�s automotive C02 emissions. [Time to Cut Pollution From America's Autos]

But then again, science means nothing to Lucky Louie, who thinks exorcisms are a way to �cure� homosexuals: �Lou Sheldon suggested exorcism is necessary to �release� a person from homosexual lifestyle.� No doubt he also believes epilepsy is caused by demonic possession.

B. �Government regulation of businesses.� Few are in favor of enabling already incompetent �government� gaining more power. But in the case of pollution and global warming, only government can impose regulations on big business whose sole purpose is profits, regardless of the costs to consumers and the planet.

There�s also an ironic twist to Sheldon�s statement. He and the TVC love when governments pass laws denying the civil right to the civil institution called �marriage� to some Americans: the same Americans Sheldon is obsessed with demeaning in every possible way. Two people getting married affects far fewer than big oil gouging all American consumers.

C. �Fighting against energy independence for our nation.� What Sheldon and his ultra-conservative brethren mean is more oil drilling in this country. They lobby hard for opening wildlife preserves and wilderness areas to the very same oil companies that are already raping the planet and the consumer. What Earth Day advocates is clean, renewable energy independence, something Sheldon thinks is subversive and �Marxian,� an economic/political theory that analyzed the means of production and who�s controlling them and whose profiting from them even though they themselves produce nothing.

Q. What does Sheldon and the TVC produce?

A. Vile, hate-mongering rhetoric.

Q. How do they support themselves?

A. By leeching off others and bilking the sheeple: �click here to donate.�

Perhaps Lucky Louie should get a real job. He also might want to try helping people instead of hurting them. That�s not likely though. Following the 9/11 attacks, Sheldon argued against giving aid to the surviving members of gay and lesbian partnerships, many of whom had children. He�s also repeatedly suggested putting men, women and children with HIV -- and gays, of course -- in concentration camps.

D. Global warming, global cooling. Two sides of the same coin. If Sheldon had done some research, he would have known that. But then again, he and the TVC are notorious for ignoring or twisting facts to suit their agenda.

That the polar ice caps are melting is not in question. The evidence is incontrovertible. Over an extended period of time all that fresh water dumping into the north Atlantic could have an effect on the North Atlantic current that transfers heat from equatorial regions and keeps the northern hemisphere from experiencing extreme cooling. Beyond that possibility, it�s common sense that all the additional water would raise ocean levels, thereby threatening coastal cities and populations globally.

E. �The jury is still out.� No it�s not. The evidence is clear for anyone with common sense -- something Sheldon and the TVC lack -- that the enormous amounts of greenhouse gasses humans are pumping into the atmosphere every day must have an effect. The overwhelming majority of scientific minds on planet earth agree.

Moreover, the perverted, anti-science Bush administration -- which Sheldon wholeheartedly supports and defends -- is notorious for twisting science to suit its and big businesses� agenda. The alarm was raised several years ago in an editorial that appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer and several other major newspapers:

The Bush administration has repeatedly twisted the science on lead paint, clean air, sex education, endangered species, worker safety -- you name it -- in service of its political agenda. Many of the nation's most prominent scientists have had enough.

More than 60 scientists --
including Nobel laureates, winners of the National Medal of Science, heads of leading universities and biomedical research institutes, and former presidential science advisers -- called on Congress last week to investigate this disturbing pattern of censorship and suppression.

 �When scientific knowledge has been found to be in conflict with its political goals, the administration has often manipulated the process through which science enters into its decisions,� the scientists said in a statement issued Wednesday.

They�re alarmed by mounting evidence that the Bush White House has, in different incidents, stacked advisory committees with unqualified appointees, disbanded panels that provided unwanted advice, and refused to seek advice. The administration has edited reports, deleted reports, ignored reports, and hidden them on shelves. . . .

Documentation of the Bush administration�s use and misuse of science can be found at or in a new report �Scientific Integrity in Policymaking� from the Union of Concerned Scientists at

Then as now, Sheldon and the TVC turn a blind eye to reality in order to propagate their self-serving agenda . . . and line their coffers.

Self-serving agendas meant to line coffers. That�s also the modus operandi and goal of Sheldon�s buddy, Don Wildmon and his American Family Association. Both men and their organizations use fallacious stereotypes, gross exaggerations and outright lies to scare the sheeple into sending them money for their malicious campaigns against some Americans. Visit their websites. You�ll quickly see that anti-gay rhetoric is their stock and trade. The vast majority of their �articles� are aimed at demeaning gay and lesbian Americans. AFA�s video They�re Coming to Your Town is a prime example.

It�s purpose is clear: profit from scaring the sheeple into believing that hordes of homosexuals are descending on them to rape their children and turn all men into flaming queens and all women into butch dykes. The 28-minute DVD sells for a �suggested donation� of $14.95, plus S&H, of course.

And then there�s Wildmon�s buddy Peter LaBarbera and his organization, Americans for Truth. LaBarbera and his organization have as their sole purpose to fight against equality for gay and lesbian Americans and their families, demean them in any way possible along the way and, of course, line their coffers in doing so. LaBarbera and AFT continued to promote AFA�s �It�s Not Gay� DVD even after it had been exposed as a fraud, as Wayne Besen noted:

The anti-gay groups, the American Family Association and Americans for Truth should be immediately shut down for committing wanton and craven acts of fraud. They are unabashed con artists duping their own members by selling a product both groups have admitted was misleading.

The merchandise in question is the AFA�s anti-gay video �It�s Not Gay,� which is described on the box as �former homosexuals tell a story few have heard.� Unfortunately, the story most Americans have not heard is that Michael Johnston, the supposedly ex-gay star of the video, is a fake that witnesses claim participated in unethical and possibly illegal sexual behavior. . . .

So much for AFT�s notion of �truth.�

And who exactly are these so-called �Christian� and �pro-family� money-grubbing gurus and their organization fighting?

Hunter College released the results of a groundbreaking poll Wednesday [April 30, 2008] that found only 2.9% of Americans older than 18 identify as LGB [lesbian, gay, bisexual] . . .

All that time, all that energy, and all that money used to demean and denigrate less than 3 percent of the population. There hasn�t been a clearer case of self-righteous, religion-based bigotry since �good Christians� were exterminating �sub-human� Native Americans and using the Bible to justify slavery and, later, segregation.

True to those traditions, the AFA chairman recently got his knickers in a twist yet again about the fact that gay people exist and, like everyone else, fall in love. In one of his patented hysterical Action Alerts, Wildmon attacked Proctor and Gamble for sponsoring a daytime soap that recently featured two men expressing love for each other, something dour Don called �repulsive!� The exclamation point is his.

In his Action Alert Wildmon claimed �the P&G effort will desensitize viewers to the homosexual lifestyle and help make the unhealthy and immoral lifestyle more acceptable to society, especially to children and youth.�

�Unhealthy and immoral�? What�s unhealthy and immoral is Wildmon�s pathological campaigns against gay Americans. But Wildmon and the AFA are all about encouraging bigotry and hate . . . by whatever means necessary. That�s abundantly clear in his use of �children and youth�: a standard scare tactic -- and one of Lucky Louie Sheldon�s favorites -- that gay men and women are trying �to recruit� children. (For a more complete expose, see �America�s New McCarthyism: Homosexual Stereotypes, Myths, and the Politics of Fear,� Popular Culture Review, 16:2, August 2005, 83-115.)

The nonsensical nature of Wildmon�s allegation is underscored by the fact that �As the World Turns� is a daytime soap opera. Daytime, when all good little boys and girls are in school. Funny that prudish Wildmon has nothing to say about the kissing, bedroom and other sex scenes that figure so prominently in daytime soaps, isn�t it? But the AFA boycott king is single-minded in his efforts to demean gay Americans and hurt any company that believes in equality for all, as Jack Neff noted in his recent Ad Age Mobile article:

the AFA . . . ended a boycott of P&G in 2005 after declaring victory of sorts. At that point, the AFA said P&G appeared to have pulled its ads from shows such as �Will & Grace� and �Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.� P&G said nothing to dispute that notion then, but a later analysis by Advertising Age found P&G actually had increased spending on the shows targeted by the AFA during and after the boycott.

�P&G is a company that values diversity,� the P&G spokeswoman said. �We strive to be a responsible advertiser, sponsoring programming that enable us to connect with a diverse consumer base. . . . The story of Luke and Noah on �As the World Turns� is intended to be an authentic reflection of what�s happening in society today. . . . We recognize that there are times when the subject matter of content P&G sponsors will not be acceptable to all people as we strive to reach a very diverse group of consumers.� [italics added]

What�s happening in American society today is that bigots like Sheldon, Wildmon and LaBarbera are losing. Equality, civility and reality are winning:

Conservative Christianity wanes in a shift to center: Signs can be seen in society and the election

By Adam Hamilton
Apr. 28, 2008

The reasons for this decline were many, including missteps in the mainline church�s approach. But it also reflected a time of social upheaval that left many in society yearning for a clear, black-and-white faith -- in other words, conservative Christianity.

Now the growth of these conservative churches is likely to stall, then decline, unless they recognize the changes happening in society, which will leave them increasingly disconnected from emerging generations. . . .

I sense it in the passion of a young pastor who leads a relatively new nondenominational church. He recently led his congregation to carry signs in a crowded shopping area in Kansas City announcing that �God loves gay people.� And, on this issue, I hear it when speaking with my teenage daughter�s friends who attend more conservative churches, yet who reject their parents� views on homosexuality. . . .

I hear it in the willingness of an increasing number of traditionally conservative churches to embrace women in leadership positions in the church, including female pastors.

Apparently Wildmon�s first Action Alert was a bust, so on May 2 he and AFA sent another:

P&G has added homosexual lovers to its soap opera �As the World Turns.� It has also added scenes of homosexuals with open mouth kissing. The motive behind P&G�s push is to desensitize viewers, especially younger viewers, to the homosexual lifestyle. The ultimate goal of homosexual activists is homosexual marriage. [italics added]

�Open mouth kissing.� How dreadful! An expression of passion and love is against dour Don�s credo. So, apparently, is any sense of reality and honesty. His claiming to know �the motive� for P&G�s inclusion of a gay couple is nothing less than preposterous arrogance from someone who profits greatly from demeaning and hurting people:

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 $80,000.

Gay people exist. They fall in love. They kiss. They form families and raise children. Being able to legally marry would indeed help those families. But Wildmon doesn�t give a damn about those American families. His and the AFA�s focus is only on those (dysfunctional) families who share their jaundiced view of reality and who �click here to donate.�

But the best was yet to come. On May 6, 2008 Wildmon and the AFA sent out another Action Alert:

Procter & Gamble heard from the g-ys, then changed its rules
Company changed procedure after allowing g-ys time to call

Following its support for the h-mos-xual agenda, Procter & Gamble established a toll-free number for people to register their opinions for or against P&G�s promotion of the g-y agenda, including open mouth kissing between g-ys. It gave a toll-free number which was heavily promoted on g-y Web sites for a week to give those favoring the promotion of h-mos-xuality an opportunity to call. Monday, after AFA had put out the word that P&G wanted to hear from AFA supporters, P&G abruptly ended it.

Would anyone like to guess why the �o,� �e� and �a� are missing from �homosexual� and �gay�? Has Wildmon sunk to a new, even more childish low? Or perhaps he now sees correct spelling as �unChristian.� Or perhaps he has seen the light and decided to worship homosexuals and gays and, therefore, has -- in reverence -- deleted key letters as so some when spelling �G-d.�

As of May 6, the toll-free P&G number was no longer active, but that didn�t stop dour Don: �We urge you to spend a few cents to register your complaint with P&G. Here is P&G�s corporate number to call: 513-983-1100. (Please get others to call P&G at this number!)�

Lou Sheldon and Don Wildmon are the past: a past well forgotten. To be sure, they will exert some influence for now, but that will wane as has their �click here to make a donation� fundraising. They cling to a dark past in which hate and discrimination wrapped in perverted religion prevailed. But that shroud is being shredded.

Study: Young Gays Expect Future Long-term Commitments
April 24, 2008

A new study shows that many lesbian and gay youths, much like their heterosexual peers, expect to have long-term committed relationships and raise families in the future, according to an April 23 press release from Rockway Institute.

And well they should. They�re pro-family, as the Hunter College poll noted: �younger gays (aged 18 to 25) . . . placed access to marriage and adoption rights as their highest priorities . . . younger LGBs value �the freedom to live their lives� in similar fashion to heterosexual Americans.�

And that�s what scares the crap out of Sheldon, Wildmon, LaBarbera, and the rest of the Christianist Taliban�s sanctimonious leaders who claim they and they alone know how everyone should be and everyone should live. They and their theofascist dictates and ideology are losing, as Adam Hamilton noted in his analysis.

Sheldon, Wildmon, LaBarbera, and the rest of �the boys� and their twisted ideology are anachronisms. Their time has passed:

'An Evangelical Manifesto' criticizes politics of faith

(AP) -- Conservative Christian leaders who believe the word �evangelical� has lost its religious meaning plan to release a starkly self-critical document saying the movement has become too political and has diminished the Gospel through its approach to the culture wars.

The statement, called �An Evangelical Manifesto,� condemns Christians on the right and left for using faith to express political views without regard to the truth of the Bible, according to a draft of the document obtained Friday [May 2] by The Associated Press.

�That way faith loses its independence, Christians become �useful idiots� for one political party or another, and the Christian faith becomes an ideology,� according to the draft. [italics added]

Useful -- and profitable -- idiots is indeed how Sheldon, Wildmon and LaBarbera seem to view and use those who are still gullible enough to believe their vile, hate-filled propaganda. Real Christians and all people of true faith are increasingly disgusted with such fanaticism and are moving on.

Not surprisingly, AFA�s �news� service One News Now ran two articles about the Evangelical Manifesto. Both were critical and defensive, also not surprising since Sheldon, Wildmon, LaBarbera -- as well as James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Tony Perkins of Family Research Counsel and, of course, �God�s� right-hand profiteer Pat Robertson -- are exactly the type of single-minded (abortion and gay marriage), politically oriented �evangelicals� the manifesto targeted.

The final version of the Evangelical Manifesto: A Declaration of Evangelical Identity and Public Commitment was released on May 7, 2007, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. As expected, it called on evangelicals to expand their concern �beyond single-issue politics, such as abortion and marriage.� The position was endorsed by a broad array of liberal and conservative religious leaders including social justice activist Jim Wallis and Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals, Kay Arthur of Precept Ministries, Ergun Caner of Liberty University, author Max Lucado, and Moody Church pastor Erwin Lutzer.

Larry Ross, public relations officer at Christianity Toady and one of the drafters of the Manifesto, had some interesting things to say after noting that the term �evangelical� is more often than not used politically, culturally, and socially, and has even become a marketing demographic:

When you have evangelical leaders who make predictions in the name of God [eg. Pat Robertson and John Hagee], which by biblical standards are openly false prophecy, something is badly wrong. When scholars and writers can look at the evangelical political movement and describe them as theocrats -- or worse, as fascists -- something is badly wrong.

�Wrong� is an understatement. �Rotted� would be more to the point. And the term would be �theofascists,� an appropriate label applied to the Christianists who have not endorsed the manifesto: James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Gary Bauer of American Values, and Tony Perkins of Family Research Council.

So here�s to a bright, theofascist-free future in which all people are equal citizens and can live freely in society, make their own personal decisions and be who they are, and when the concerns and efforts of the pious are more appropriately directed. Who knows: there may even come a time when people can celebrate Earth Day without someone like Lucky Louie Sheldon lambasting them. And perhaps dour Don Wildmon and the gnomes at AFA will actually learn to spell �homosexual� and �gay.�

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