The truly offensive �S words�: Scarborough, Sheldon, Staver, and Scalia
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Journal Contributing Writer
Apr 6, 2006, 21:32
Family Association has been raising its
HQ (Hate Quotient) among the radical Christian Right. As Media Matters for
America reported, the
�American Family Association opened its airwaves to advocate for executing
gays, adulterers, abortion doctors.� Those �Christian� suggestions came from
the president of American
Vision, Gary DeMar, whose organization recently hosted �The War on Christians and the Values Voters
in 2006� conference.
Wildmon and the AFA are known for their �Christian values� boycotts. Currently they�re boycotting Ford Motor
Company for its egregious sins of supporting civil equality, fairness in
the workplace, and advertising in gay-related publications. Wildmon and AFA are
that Wal-Mart sells the Brokeback
But most recently, Wildmon got his knickers in a twist about
�the �s� word.� He filed a complaint with the FCC and initiated a petition
campaign against Fox Network. Why? In his own words
from March 27, 2006:
Fox allows �s� word. Take a stand for our
Tired of all
the profanity on TV? Want to do something about it? Here is your opportunity. File a complaint with the FCC against Fox
Network for using the �s� word.
This past Sunday afternoon, Fox network
broadcast the NASCAR �Food City 500� race. During the course of the race,
driver Martin Truex, Jr. crashed his car after being bumped by another driver.
aired a conversation between Truex and his crew chief, Kevin Manion. During the
course of the conversation, Manion told his driver, �We missed the set-up
today. It (the car) was a piece of s**t. [sic]
Fox had been
warned about allowing the �s� word on the air. The network could have used a
delay and bleeped the profanity. But they chose not to. The network chose to
air the segment live. Millions of viewers, including children, were offended by
the crude profanity.
forward this to your family and friends. Together, we can make a difference!
Here is your opportunity to make the networks
more sensitive to your concern. The FCC is willing to fine the stations, but
viewers must complain! Please file a complaint with the FCC against Fox
stations for broadcasting indecent language.
to File Your Formal Complaint to the FCC Now!
If you think
our efforts are worthy, would you please support us with a small gift?
Thank you for caring enough to get involved.
E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman, American Family Association
Here�s the audio
containing the �s word� from the live
broadcast which also includes Fox announcer Mike Joy�s immediate on-air apology: �We apologize for the language on the
part of Martin Truex�s crew chief, but the frustration is evident this late in
the race when things happen.�
As WorldNetDaily reported,
Wildmon is not the only one using contrived moral outrage to advance his own
self-serving political agenda:
president of the Family Policy
Network, has filed an official complaint with the Federal Communications
Commission [sic], saying NASCAR has a
problem with foul language.
that every now and then, a participant in a nationally televised race will
violate the FCC�s clear rules against uttering vulgar terms on daytime
television and �let one slip� on the air,� he said. �On one hand, leaders of
the sport want families to think they�re against it. On the other hand, they
don�t seem to want it to stop. . . . At some point, you have to wonder if
NASCAR is really serious about establishing a
family-friendly environment for their radio and television audiences.�
NASCAR events frequently include nasty, sometimes fatal
crashes. Could that really be �a family-friendly environment for [Christian] . .
. television audiences,� given that Wildmon, Glover, and their organizations
are constantly yammering about �violence�
in the media?
As for the �s word,� can Wildmon and Glover get any more
prudish? Are their next campaigns to boycott, ban or edit all literary works in
which the �s word� appears, beginning with Chaucer�s Canterbury Tales? In �The General Prologue,� the narrator describes
the �poor Parson,� a truly good and holy man not afraid to do honest, hard
work. Unlike more
than a few of the leaders
of today�s Christian
Right, the Parson gave �This noble ensample [example], to his sheep he yaf
[gave], That first he wroghte [did what was right], and afterward he taught.�
The Parson was often covered with �shiten� while he worked the fields with his
One has to wonder if Wildmon and Glover ever worked as humbly as the good Parson or �wroghte, and afterward
. . . taught.� But more to the point, one has to wonder if the �s word� ever exited their lips in a moment of
anger or utter frustration.
When their beloved �values
voter� president referred to the U.S. Constitution as �just a goddamned piece of paper,�
neither Wildmon nor Glover, nor any
of the holier-than-thou leaders of the Christian Right had anything to say about George W. Bush�s blasphemous,
commandment-breaking profanity: �Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy
God in vain.�
Shouldn�t these protectors of public decency have launched a
campaign again Vice President Dick Cheney when, in a fit of rage and in public, he told Vermont Sen.
Patrick J. Leahy to go �fuck
yourself.� That event and comment were far
reported in the media than the �s word� used by Martin Truex�s crew chief.
But selective, specialized, politically motivated agendas are the hallmark of
the Christian Right.
Rick Scarborough, founder and former
president of Vision
America, was a convener at the organization�s recent �The War on Christians and the Values Voters in 2006� two-day
conference. Although neither Wildmon nor Glover were among the usual
list of victimizers playing
victim -- Sam
Cornyn, Phyllis Schlafly, Gary Bauer, Alan Keyes -- Wildmon did manage
to echo the conference�s theme in one of his latest articles.
list of speakers at the conference was impressively oppressive, as People for
the American Way noted so thoroughly in their article on the
event and its speakers.
And what would a
�Christian� conference on their corrupt, theocratic �vision� for America be
without the arrested,
to be former Representative Tom DeLay:
those who would say Tom DeLay lost his job as House majority leader because he
was indicted by a Texas grand jury on charges of money laundering and
conspiracy, or because of his extensive ties to lawbreaking lobbyist Jack
Abramoff. But they would be wrong.
fact, the Texas Republican fell from power because he is a Christian.
least, is the view of Rick Scarborough,
convener of a conference this week called �The War on Christians.�
believe the most damaging thing that Tom DeLay has done in his life is take his
faith seriously into public office, which made him a target for all those who
despise the cause of Christ,� Scarborough said, introducing DeLay yesterday.
When DeLay finished, the host reminded the politician: �God always does his
best work right after a crucifixion.� . . .
gave his view on the War on Christians. �Sides are being chosen, and the future
of man hangs in the balance!� he warned. �The enemies of virtue may be on the
march, but they have not won, and if we put our trust in Christ, they never
will. . . . It is for us then to do as our heroes have always done and put our
faith in the perfect redeeming love of Jesus Christ.� [link added]
If DeLay�s statement
doesn�t sound like another man�s
declaration of his �Christianity,� I don�t know what does.
As the same
Washington Post article noted,
�DeLay basked in the rapturous ovation� following his self-serving proclamation
of faith and redemption. One of Mr. DeLay�s former aides did not, however, bask
in �redemption.� He
pleaded guilty �to charges
that he accepted thousands of dollars in illegal gifts, including money
funneled through a consulting firm he set up with his wife and travel by
private jet to California, in return for influencing legislation on behalf of
the lobbyist Jack Abramoff.�
A �Christian� leader
linked to Abramoff and one of America�s most infamous homophobes and
hypocrites was also a speaker at The War on Christians and the Values Voters
conference. GoodAsYou.org reported
on some of the comments made by the Traditional Values Coalition�s
founder and chairman, Rev. Louis
P. Sheldon, in various venues and at the conference:
to the American Psychiatric Association�s endorsement of same-sex marriage:
our mental health? Do the majority of Americans who think homosexuality is
abnormal have to bow to the wishes of a small fraction of the population who
engage in sodomy? Must the institution of marriage be redefined to cater to the
sexual desires of these troubled individuals? I think not.�
What about �troubled individuals� like
Sheldon who preach
one thing and do
another and who have dedicated
their lives to damning, demeaning, degrading and hurting gay and lesbian
Americans -- and
their families -- in any way possible? What about those Bible-thumping
�Christians� who argued that Blacks (another �small fraction of the
population�) were �abnormal� and inferior? Those �troubled individuals� fought
as hard against equal civil rights for African-Americans and interracial
marriage as Sheldon now fights against equal civil rights for gay and lesbian
Americans and same-sex marriage. That doesn�t seem like a coincidence, does it?
A bigot is a bigot. And as Kevin Naff, managing editor of The Washington
Blade, so aptly put it, �Bigots
say the darndest things.�
of the situation between gay and anti-gay activists:
can be won, but only if we work together to push back the darkness of
ignorance, apathy and compromise.�
that�s one of the defining attributes of a bigot. No �compromise�: another
defining attribute of a bigot. Rev. Sheldon is on record many times and in many
venues arguing for the ignorance of no compromise.
In that arrogant, dogmatic rejection of cooperation and compromise Sheldon has a compatriot: the chief counsel of Don Wildmon�s American Family
Association�s Center for Law and Policy, Steve Crampton.
As Agape Press reported on
March 28, 2006,
attorney is denouncing a new agreement reached between a homosexual advocacy
group and the Christian Educators Association on how to deal with the issue of
sexual orientation in public schools.
Educators Association International (CEAI) and the pro-homosexual Gay, Lesbian,
and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) have collaborated on a document called
�Public Schools and Sexual Orientation: A First Amendment Framework for Finding
Common Ground.� The document urges school officials to �take seriously
complaints of name calling, harassment, and discrimination,� and to avoid discriminating against
student clubs because of their political or religious message . . .
Crampton, chief counsel with the American Family Association Center for Law
& Policy (AFA Law Center), finds the collaboration between the Christian
group and the homosexual advocacy group disturbing. He says while he supports
civil debate on issues relating to homosexuality, he has serious concerns about
Christian educators coming to the table with a group like GLSEN. [link added]
CEAI�s and GLSEN�s collaboration meant to disseminate knowledge that could be
used to combat ignorance
against children in public schools.
Mr. Crampton also opposed the cooperation the CEAI-GLSEN document represented.
How�s that for close-mindedness: another defining attribute of �bigot.� As the Agape Press story noted,
Crampton and �the AFA Center for
Law & Policy [have] been battling GLSEN's agenda for years, an agenda that
promotes what Crampton describes as �a sinful and destructive lifestyle that
threatens the very existence of our society.��
notorious for making outlandish statements, such as the one he made following
the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling that �equal� means �equal� in
relation to all civil institutions,
including marriage: �Unless the people of the State of Massachusetts
rise up with one voice in opposition to this lawless and socially destructive
behavior, it will destroy society as we know it.�
More recently, when the University of Florida began offering
health care coverage to same-sex domestic partners -- all 25 couples who
initially signed up -- he had this
nonsensical response: �Steve
Crampton, chief counsel with the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy, says, in this
case, homosexuality appears to be the preferred lifestyle of the State of
Florida . . ."
Sheldon on gay
� . . . once
you enter into the culture, into the music, into the gay bars, into the gay
literature, into the gay theater, and all of that kind of -- and gay travel --
once you immerse yourself into that, you have really put yourself into a groove
that only a sort of an exorcism can
release you from.� [italics added]
Now there�s some
true �ignorance�: a call for exorcisms. But Lou�s litany of ignorance and hate
knows no bounds.
From Sheldon on �homosexual
should understand that their attitudes about homosexuality have been
deliberately and deceitfully changed by a masterful propaganda/marketing
campaign that rivals that of Adolph Hitler. In fact, many of the strategies
used by homosexuals to bring about cultural change in America are taken from
Hitler�s writings and propaganda welfare manuals.�
Since Rev. Sheldon
likes to use the Hitler analogy, let�s pursue it. Sheldon (like Crampton)
believes homosexuals are the bane of civilization and will destroy society.
Hitler thought the same about homosexuals and Jews, and he acted on those
beliefs in much the same way Sheldon suggested homosexuals and HIV+ people --
that include millions
of children -- should be dealt with. He urged they be rounded up and put
of refuge� (aka �concentration camps�).
that he and his vision for the new German state were �persecuted� and
endangered by Jews and homosexuals. How appropriate the most absurd assertion
at The War on Christians and the
Values Voters conference came
from Fuehrer Sheldon when he claimed that the radical Christian Right -- that plays victim while victimizing everyone who
disagrees with it -- has �fared poorly�
because "Christians are nice guys, and nice guys finish last.� That �nice
guys� assertion is right up there with �Arbeit
According to the Cybercast
News Service report,
another speaker at The War on Christians and the Values Voters conference was
the president and general counsel of Florida-based Liberty Counsel, Mathew D. Staver,
who also seems to believe that his �work� will free Christians from
�persecution.� For an overview of Staver�s �work,� see �Professorial
�termites� and the ongoing prosecution of diversity, equality, and civility.�
Wildmon, Glover, Scarborough, DeLay, Sheldon, Staver and the
rest of the hypocritical, sanctimonious crusaders of the Christian Right and
their brethren who claim to know
what �God� wants and what�s properly �Christian� might want to read the new
book by Northwestern University history professor Garry Wills, What Jesus Meant. Dr. Wills is a
well-respected scholar and prolific writer about contemporary �religion.�
Christianity has been twisted and
warped to such an extent that not even Jesus would recognize it now. This is
Wills� thesis in his stimulating, fresh look into the life and message of Jesus
of Nazareth. . . . People of all political persuasions have used Jesus� words
to rationalize a domesticated, flaccid Christianity that upholds the status
quo, or, worse yet, supports discrimination toward those who are on the
margins. This attitude, according to Wills, completely misses the truth that
Jesus �walks through social barriers and taboos as if they were cobwebs.� . . .
But if reading a scholarly expos� of how they and the other
zealots of the Christian Right -- and Catholic church --
have twisted Jesus� message for their own political purposes
is too much for Wildmon, Glover, Scarborough, DeLay, Sheldon, Staver, and the
Vatican, they could just have a look at the United Church of Christ�s �inclusion� ads and
listen to what�s being said. They could learn a lot from them as well. But
they probably won�t read, watch, hear or learn.
After all, they have their own theo-fascist, hate-based, ongoing jihad to
carry out. And in that cause, they have an ally on the Supreme Court.
�Scalia: Gays Have No
Scalia rarely speaks to the media and
seldom allows the press into speeches he gives but a recording of a March 8
address at the University of Freiberg in Switzerland was obtained by CNN.
In one portion of the speech to law
students at the university Scalia brings up the issue of homosexuality.
�Question comes up:
is there a constitutional right to homosexual conduct? Not a hard question for
me. It�s absolutely clear that nobody ever thought when the Bill of Rights was
adopted that it gave a right to homosexual conduct. Homosexual conduct was
criminal for 200 years in every state. Easy question.�
Scalia�s framing of �the question� was not only bogus, but designed
to allow him to express, once again, his
obstinate anti-gay stance and the fact that he obdurately refuses to even
consider equal civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans. Appropriate
follow-ups to his concocted question would properly have included: �From your
textual, literalist, originalist perspective, is there a �constitutional right
to� hetero-sexual conduct, Mr.
Scalia?� and �From your textual, literalist, originalist perspective, is there
any mention at all of sexual conduct
in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights?�
The fact that �homosexual conduct
was criminal for 200 years in every state� is not quite accurate. Sodomy was
usually the criminalized activity. Slavery was legal for nearly 100 years, and
segregation was legal in many states for almost 200 years. Only thirty-nine
years ago interracial marriage was illegal in most states. Scalia�s judicial
originalism,� would deny many
Americans the civil rights they�ve gained since the Constitution was written
and ratified more than 200 years ago.
Associate Justice Scalia has also
been in the news lately for what a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial
called �shooting off his mouth again.�
And let�s not forget Scalia�s non-verbal statements, such as the
one some considered obscene: an ethnic version of the �s word.� The
reports of Scalia�s �obscene�
gesture were widespread
in the media.
But just as the radical Christian Right (and their political puppets) use gays and
lesbians as scapegoats for their own vile bigotry and hate, Scalia found �someone�
Supreme Court Justice
Antonin Scalia, in a scathing letter
to the editor of the Boston Herald, accused the newspaper�s staff of
watching �too many episodes of �The Sopranos�� for interpreting a hand gesture
he made at a cathedral as obscene.
The Boston Herald
reported Monday [March 27, 2006] the justice made �an obscene gesture, flicking
his hand under his chin� in response to a question about whether lawyers might
question his impartiality in matters of church and state. [link added]
More than a few are taking note of
Scalia�s prejudicial and unprofessional statements and antics, as noted in an
April 2, 2006 New York Times editorial:
[J]ustices do have a
duty to avoid off-the-bench behavior hurtful to the court�s reputation and
mission, which Justice Antonin Scalia, sad to say, keeps ignoring.
In January, Justice
Scalia skipped the swearing-in of Chief Justice John Roberts for a trip
sponsored by the Federalist
Society to a luxury resort in Colorado. In February, he suggested that
those who adhere to a vision of an evolving Constitution, rather than his
originalist philosophy of judging, are �idiots.�
This past week found the conservative justice insisting that a hand gesture he
used while answering a question about church-state jurisprudence was not
And speaking on March
8 at a university in Switzerland, he dismissed as �crazy� the notion that
military detainees are entitled to a �full jury trial,� and the idea that the
Geneva Conventions apply to those held at Guant�namo Bay, Cuba. In the process,
Justice Scalia seemed to prejudge key issues in a momentous case involving the
rights of Gitmo detainees. [links addd]
Seems Scalia has prejudged more
than just equal rights for gay Americans. If he were truly professional, Scalia
would recuse himself from any case
involving civil rights or obscenity that came before the Supreme Court.
and Glover�s contrived �s word� indignation, Scarborough�s political motivation and agenda, Sheldon�s depraved tirades and suggestions, Staver�s statements and �work,� and Justice Scalia�s prejudicial pronouncements and other declarations are the
real �S words� Americans should be
alarmed about . . . if they truly
care about civility and equality, honesty and truth, and real decency, that is.
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