The truly offensive �S words�: Scarborough, Sheldon, Staver, and Scalia
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Apr 6, 2006, 21:32

Don Wildmon�s American 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 also irate that Wal-Mart sells the Brokeback Mountain DVD.

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 children!

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.

Fox network 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.

Also, please forward this to your family and friends. Together, we can make a difference!

Take Action

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.

Click Here to File Your Formal Complaint to the FCC Now!

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Donald 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:

Joe Glover, 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.

�It seems 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.� [italics added]

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 parishioners.

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 more widely 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 Brownback, John Cornyn, Phyllis Schlafly, Gary Bauer, Alan Keyes -- Wildmon did manage to echo the conference�s theme in one of his latest articles.

Nevertheless, the 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, indicted, discredited, and soon to be former Representative Tom DeLay:

There are 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.

In fact, the Texas Republican fell from power because he is a Christian.

That, at least, is the view of Rick Scarborough, convener of a conference this week called �The War on Christians.�

�I 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.� . . .

[DeLay] 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 guiltyto 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 definitively 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. 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:

From TVC�s website:

Sheldon responding to the American Psychiatric Association�s endorsement of same-sex marriage:

�What about 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.�

Sheldon�s assessment of the situation between gay and anti-gay activists:

�The battle can be won, but only if we work together to push back the darkness of ignorance, apathy and compromise.�

�Ignorance�: 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,

A Christian 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.

The Christian 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 . . .

Steve 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]

Crampton opposed CEAI�s and GLSEN�s collaboration meant to disseminate knowledge that could be used to combat ignorance and violence 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.��

Crampton is 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 culture:

� . . . 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 agenda�:

�Americans 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 into �cities of refuge� (aka �concentration camps�).

Hitler claimed 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 Macht Frei.�

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.�

From Publishers Weekly:

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 Constitutional Rights�:

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 ideology, �textual 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� to blame:

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 vulgar.

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.

Wildmon�s 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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