The same old Religious Right, with a few new tricks: Part 2
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Mar 5, 2009, 00:15
They�re still at it.
Same old tired arguments, same old blatant prejudice. Two events in
mid-February exemplified the Religious Right�s continuing attempts to wrong gay
Americans in any way possible, but all they�re really doing is flapping their
Chicken Little wings and exposing their unbridled bigotry.
Don Wildmon and his grotesquely misnamed �American
Family Association� are notorious for their homo-hunting and boycotting of any
company that treats its gay employees as equals or that advertises in a
gay-related publication. Disney, Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble, Ford Motor Company, Hallmark,
and McDonald�s have all been targets of Wildmon-led boycotts. AFA�s latest targets are PepsiCo and Campbell Soup. The latter drew the wrath of Wildmon because
. . .
In the December,
2008 and January, 2009 issues, Campbell Soup Company bought two, two-page
advertisements in the latest issues of the nation�s largest homosexual
magazine, �The Advocate.� The ads promote their Swanson line of broth.
In one of the December ads, the Campbell Soup Company highlighted the lives of
two lesbians with their son. The others feature New York City chefs. See the ads here.
Campbell Soup Company has openly begun helping homosexual activists push
their agenda. Not only did the ads cost Campbell�s a chunk of money, but they
also sent a message that homosexual parents constitute a family and are worthy
of support. . . .
from the fact that target-marketing is a common practice, what kind of �man,�
what kind of �Christian� would deny that legally
married parents and their child do not constitute a family? If ever
there was an example of raw hatred and seething bigotry hiding behind religion,
it�s Don Wildmon and his American �Family� Association.
Always on the lookout for new ways to demean and hurt
gays and their families, Wildmon�s AFA put together a
60-minute paid-programming �infomercial,� Speechless:
Silencing the Christians. The television stations they targeted
were in states beginning to become more conscious of gay Americans� civil
equality. �Civil equality� for gays is anathema to Wildmon and the AFA.
were able to get WSPA in Greenville, South
Carolina, to air the �infomercial,� but the station manager subsequently aired
an apology for doing so. WSXY in Columbus, Ohio, refused to air it. But the
station that really got Wildmon�s knickers in a twist was WOOD-TV in Grand
Religious right lashes out with virulently anti-gay infomercial
by Kilian Melloy
A bold forward attack against GLBT Americans has been
launched by an anti-gay group that claims in a video that equality for gays and
lesbians harms families and curtails religious freedom.
The video, called �Speechless: Silencing the Christians� is poised to air on a
Grand Rapids, Michigan TV station as a paid program.
�infomercial� was scheduled to air just before President Obama�s televised
address. But after shifting the time and day it was to air -- and after
receiving more than a few complaints about their decision to air it -- WOOD
decided to pull the plug:
Michigan TV Station Ditches Plans to Air Antigay �Infomercial�
February 12, 2009
A Michigan television station has rescinded its offer
to air an hour-long antigay �infomercial� produced by the American Family
Association this weekend on the heels of a campaign by the Human Rights Campaign to have the
program yanked from airwaves. . . .
�Make no mistake . . . this is the opening salvo in a campaign designed to
denigrate LGBT Americans and deny us our basic rights,� HRC president Joe
Solmonese said in a statement. �Just as our community is at a point where
measures protecting millions of Americans heads to Congress and a willing president,
the AFA unleashes 60 minutes of lies and distortions to scare voters. The AFA
and its allies have never been �speechless� when it comes to promoting their
own agenda, and that�s driving a wedge in the very places where LGBT Americans
work, live, and even pray.� . . .
. . . WOOD TV released a statement on
its website that the station no longer planned to air the program.
�We made a gesture of the 2-3 p.m.
Saturday time period,� WOOD TV general manager Diane Kniowski said in a
statement. �It�s been 24 hours and we had no response. Our station is being
bombarded with calls and messages, and we find ourselves in the middle of
someone else�s fight. Ours was a fair offer and we are removing ourselves from
this another example of �silencing the Christians,� as Wildmon and the AFA are
Or was WOOD-TV�s decision a civically responsible one? If any group produced an
�infomercial� that used religion to justify civil discrimination and the
marginalizing of a certain group of American citizens, would any responsible
television station agree to air it?
Kilian Melloy�s article �Religious right lashes out with virulently
anti-gay infomercial� noted something else about the AFA �infomercial�:
production starts as a look at how a group of Christian demonstrators were
arrested for, as they tell it, trying to �share the Gospel,� but almost
immediately focuses on gay and lesbian Americans� struggle for equality under
the law. . . .
arrested �group of Christian demonstrators� were 11 members of
Repent America, a radical Philadelphia-based �Christian� group founded and led
by Michael Marcavage, who was the subject of a 2005 article in Philadelphia�s City Paper, �Jesus Geek Superstar.�
the AFA �infomercial� conveniently neglects to mention is that the
�Philadelphia Eleven,� as they came to be called, were freed by the courts the
Religious Right usually rail against: �activist judges,� �black-robbed
tyrants.� The event was hailed on the Full
Quiver Mission website. .
in case you�re not familiar with the Full Quiver movement, their
biblically-ordained �mission� is to
have as many children as possible, home-school them in the �Christian� way so
that in a generation or two they can sway elections, take over the country and
make it �Jesusland.�
for the other revealing event, this February 12, 2009 report summarizes:
Utah gov. faces
wrath after supporting civil unions
(Salt Lake City, Utah) Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) is facing a backlash from
fellow Republicans, the powerful Mormon Church and from evangelical Christians
following this week�s statement that he would support civil unions for same-sex
couples. . . .
Huntsman did not show up at his office in the Capitol on Wednesday. He canceled
a scheduled news conference and moved several meetings to the Governor�s
Mansion prompting several news organizations to speculate there had been
threats against the governor, something his office denied.
Inside the legislature, Sen. Chris Buttars (R) -- a longtime foe of gay rights
-- circulated a statement claiming civil unions in Utah �would threaten marriage and religious freedom.� . . .
Wednesday night gays and their allies staged a candlelight vigil outside the
Governor�s Mansion to show their support for the governor and to urge passage
of LGBT rights bills before the legislature.
In addition to saying Tuesday he supports civil unions, Huntsman also said he
is in favor of most of a group of LGBT bills called the Common Ground
This year LGBT rights groups unveiled a group of bills called the Common Ground
Initiative that includes legislation to begin process of repealing the section
of the amendment banning civil unions. Other bills include adding gays in job and housing protections, a domestic partner registry
and partner health care rights. . . . [italics added]
the Mormons do seem to have a problem with �truth� and �honesty�:
Direct Evidence Mormon Church Violated Tax
Friday, January 30, 2009
On November 3, 2008, ProtectMarriage.com received a
contribution of $30,354.85 from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints. You read that right. The Mormon Church donated more than $30 thousand
dollars to eradicate the right of same-sex couples to marry. This is clear
evidence, with a paper trail showing the Church and their personal financial
See the filing here.
A day later this item appeared:
More �Revelations� For the Mormon Church Tax
Mormon church officials, facing an ongoing
investigation by the state Fair Political Practices Commission, Friday reported
nearly $190,000 in previously unlisted assistance to the successful campaign
for Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.
The report, filed with the secretary of state�s office, listed a variety of
California travel expenses for high-ranking members of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints and included $20,575 for use of facilities and equipment
at the church�s Salt Lake City headquarters and a $96,849 charge for
�compensated staff time� for church employees who worked on matters pertaining
to Prop. 8.
The Mormon church had been under investigation by the Fair Political Practices
Commission for failure to report its contributions as required by law. The
investigation was prompted by a complaint filed by Fred Karger, of Californians
Then came a �confession�:
admits it spent 100 times more for Prop 8 than reported
(San Francisco, California) Six weeks into an investigation by California�s
Fair Political Practices Commission, the Church of Latter-Day Saints has
admitted that it spent nearly $188,000 more on the campaign to approve
Proposition 8 that it had initially stated. . . .
In early February 2009, things got even worse for the
Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints:
Prominent Mormons Reimbursed for Prop 8
February 3, 2009
In what is now being called Mormon Gate by
Californians Against Hate, the LDS church finds itself embroiled in a new
scandal every day over their social, and financial involvement in banning
same-sex marriage in California.
All this may be the tip of the iceberg as new reports indicate the following
people, and probably more to follow were allegedly reimbursed by the church.
(Gary Lawrence, Mormon pollster and Meridian contributor): $528,877.35
Eagle Foundation (a
Mormon PAC set up by Bart Marcois and David Parker): $135,912.76
(former Salt Lake City Police Commissioner, Meridian contributor, and now a GOP
operative and sometime Cali property developer): $50,236.42
(Protectmarriage.com communications director): $41,844.00
The full list of
those who contributed to the Yes on 8 campaign can be viewed here courtesy of California�s public records law. . . .
The statement by Utah senator Chris Buttars -- quoted
in the �Utah gov. faces wrath after supporting civil unions� article -- that civil unions �would threaten marriage and religious
freedom� well represents the Mormon Church�s unfamiliarity with �truth� and
�honesty,� and epitomizes the Religious Right�s continuing campaign of lies and
There is no rational, cogent argument supporting the
contention that civil unions would in any
way �threaten marriage.� Heterosexual couples can already opt for a civil
marriage ceremony rather than a �church wedding,� and if Sen. Buttars means the
view of marriage,� then perhaps he should re-read Lisa Miller�s December 15,
2008 Newsweek cover story:
try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define
marriage as the Bible does. Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who
slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile?
Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and
their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and
Israel -- all these fathers and heroes were polygamists. The New Testament
model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an
indifference to earthly attachments -- especially family. The apostle Paul
(also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to
contain their animal lust. �It is better to marry than to burn with passion,�
says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured
institution ever uttered. Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple --
who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and
newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love -- turn to the Bible
as a how-to script?
Of course not, yet the religious opponents of gay marriage would have it be so.
. . .
claim by Mr. Buttars that civil unions would threaten �religious
freedom� is one of the standard scare tactics used by the Religious Right. It�s
as bogus as their other arguments. Churches have the right -- and should have
the right -- to refuse to marry any couple that �violates� their dogmatic
beliefs. The Mormons should understand that better than any group. If a
heterosexual couple wanted to be married by the Mormon Church, the Church could
refused based on dogmatic principles. That�s their right. The state could not
force the church to marry the couple.
What Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman supports is civil unions. They pose no threat to
Mr. Buttars elaborates on his bigotry and fanaticism
in a forthcoming documentary, 8: The
Mormon Proposition, by Reed Cowan:
Senator Buttars compares some gays to
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4
News) - Utah state Senator Chris Buttars is now comparing some in the gay
community to radical Muslims.
Buttars makes this strong comment in an upcoming documentary about Prop 8.
And they come just a year after remarks by Buttars greatly offended many
African-Americans. . . .
In it, Buttars not only makes the comparison to radical Muslims, but also
suggests that gays could pose the greatest threat to America. . . .
. . . in the audio clips which ABC 4
received permission to broadcast from Reed Cowan Productions, Buttars makes
several equally strong comments.
Sen. Chris Buttars: �Homosexuality will always be a sexual perversion. And you
say that around here now and everybody goes nuts. But I don�t care.�
Just one year ago, Buttars found himself in hot water locally and nationally
for this comment on the senate floor.
�This baby is black . . . this is a dark, ugly thing.�
And even though Buttars says in the documentary interview, . . .�the ACLU -
bless their black hearts . . . ,� it�s his other comments which may get the
Like this one which the documentary maker confirms is about gays.
�They�re mean. They want to talk about being nice. They�re the meanest buggers
I have ever seen.�
And just seconds later, Buttars draws a comparison between some gays and
�It�s just like the Muslims. Muslims are good people and their religion is
anti-war. But it�s been taken over by the radical side.�
Buttars also claims he�s �killed� every gay rights bill in the legislature for
the last 8 years.
He also talks about gay marriage being the beginning of the end.
Buttars: �What is the morals of a gay person? You can�t answer that because
And finally, this is how senator Buttars refers to the �radical gay movement.�
�They�re probably the greatest threat to America going down I know of. . . .
Two Utahns who �think� like Mr. Buttars took matters
into their own hands, as Rebecca Walsh reported in her column in The Salt
and Jonas Filho are patriotic American immigrants. They love the place -- all
its rights and freedoms. Stuff like free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom
of the press.
So when they were thinking of creating a nonprofit organization dedicated to
denying gay Americans civil rights, they named it America Forever. Of course.
The incorporation papers for the foundation have since lapsed. But that didn�t
stop the Rodrigues family from placing a full-page ad in both of Salt Lake
City�s daily newspapers Sunday -- price tag: about $15,000 -- filled with the
sophomoric, pseudo-legal reasoning of two people who get up in the morning to
Under the headline �Stand up and stop the homosexual movement,� and squeezed
around a picture of a Utah gay couple kissing -- one white, one black, for
added shock value -- America Forever raises conspiracy theory to a new level. �Shame
on Governor Huntsman for joining, and adding to this public shame by endorsing
the common ground initiative� and �Shame on Utah Gays for using the LDS Church.�
It goes downhill from there -- equating gays with a woman who shows up at work
dressed like a hooker, promoting so-called �anti-species behavior� and
misquoting a gay satire, the �Homosexual Declaration of War,� based loosely on
Jonathan Swift�s �Modest Proposal.� . . .
. . . A week ago, Rodrigues told lesbian
lawmaker Christine Johnson, a Salt Lake City Democrat, that her vagina is
More ads from Rodrigues and Filho can only drive public opinion to the center.
�It took me a while to realize I should be grateful for Chris Buttars,� says
Johnson. �He�s giving me allies. This group is the same.�
can view the Rodrigues/Filho ad here.
It�s also quite telling to visit America Forever�s website. This is how the opening salvo read on February 17, 2009 (yes, I have a
screen shot to verify):
Do Not Be
Fooled By Equality Utah and The Common Ground Initiative
They are using intimadation [sic] to
gain ground and are lying to the public, ALL THEY WANT IS MARRIAGE RIGHTS to
valdite [sic] their relationship of
the same-sex!!! THEY ALREADY HAVE THE RIGHT to Marry, a gay man can marry a gay
woman! If they want Marriage Rights then get married, but we cannot afford the
same rights of Marriage to other relationships for it will devaluate Marriage
and change society�s perception of what Marriage is!!!
Below is en excerpt from their Declaration of War, and what is the Homosexual�s
Movement Ulitmate [sic] Goal, see how
close they are to acheiving [sic] it
. . .
Perhaps the Rodrigues family should have spent
that $15,000 on some writing and spelling lessons instead of the ad.
The movement of
history is clear: same-sex marriages will eventually, inevitably, become legal
everywhere. Future generations will look back at this time and wonder what all
the fuss was about . . . and wonder why religious institutions and their
pocketed politicians spent so much time and so much money trying to hurt a
small group of people instead of helping the millions who truly need help.
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