Who’s Bigoted Now? Still Tony Perkins.

Safe from gay adoption

If you wear rose-colored glasses, everything you look at seems rosy. If you are filled with hate, you see hate in everything you look at. Which of these scenarios describes Tony Perkins of the Fundie Research Council?

Full of hate

Hmm. Well he’s not wearing glasses.

One of his recent emails is titled “Who’s ‘Bigoted’ Now?”:

The homosexuals’ vicious reaction to the passing of Proposition 8 shows the movement’s sheer hypocrisy. The disgruntled Left calls supporters of traditional marriage “bigots.” But those who understand the meaning of “bigotry” and “civil rights” — African Americans — overwhelmingly supported the marriage amendments in California and Florida.

This is one of the biggest disappointments of this last election. I would think that a group that has been discriminated against for centuries would recognize discrimination when they saw it. I would also think that having had that experience would sensitize them to the unacceptability of discrimination in all its forms.

In response, white homosexual demonstrators have showered African Americans with racist epithets, revealing what one liberal blogger calls “the not-so-latent racism in our movement.”

Tony commits two errors in this sentence. His lesser offense is in not telling us who this alleged liberal blogger is. Tony calls Barack Obama, a moderate Democrat, a “radical”. I can hardly depend on Tony’s characterization of that blog. That makes the entire quote worthless, because we can’t know if its writer is qualified to detect the size and intensity of racism within the liberal population.

Tony’s greater offense is that he’s painting an entire group of people — liberals — with the claim that there is a large streak of racism within them. The racist incidents that occurred in the aftermath of Prop. 8 were few, compared with how many people voted against the discriminatory initiative. Just as Fred Phelps is not a fair representative of fundamentalism, a smattering of racist epithets is not a true representation of people who believe in equal rights.

Another liberal affirmed that marriage supporters…

No, the unnamed liberal that Tony quotes would not have called bigots like Tony “marriage supporters”. The true marriage supporters are the people who were opposed to Prop. 8, because it arbitrarily took away the right to marry from a group of people.

Returning to that paragraph:

Another liberal affirmed that marriage supporters [sic] “had a far more aggressive and systematic outreach to African American religious leaders and voters,” and FRC is proud to have played in a major role in that outreach through the voter registration and education efforts of our Church Ministries division.

Tony admits his guilt. But he is correct. Opponents of Prop. 8 made a number of mistakes, and insufficient outreach to minority communities seems to be one of them.

But It’s Really About Christian Persecution!

Now Tony cleverly brings his rant around to what is really bothering him:

Homosexual activists are also revealing their anti-religious bigotry, particularly in their attacks on Mormons, which have included calls to “tax the Mormon church”…

For somebody who is as much of a bigot as Tony Perkins, you’d think he’d be an expert on the subject. Apparently not. All of the anti-Mormon rhetoric of the last couple of weeks is due to the actions of the Mormon church. The complaints aren’t that they’re Mormon! It’s all about their behavior. It’s not bigotry when you express displeasure over somebody’s actions. The calls to “tax the Mormon church” are because it has proven itself to be a political body, and therefore not deserving of tax exemption.

…validating alarms FRC has raised about threats to religious liberty.

All this validates is Tony’s homophobia. If Tony were concerned about religious liberty, then he wouldn’t have supported a law that deprives churches of their right to marry same-sex couples. Although a minority, there are many churches that do approve of and conduct gay marriage ceremonies. This validates alarms that I have raised that the only religious freedom fundies care about is their own.

Those for same-sex “marriage” claim it is about same-sex couples having the same benefits as married couples.

“No”, Tony, “it’s” about “your” right “to” use “scare” quotes “anywhere” you “feel” like “it”.

I have said for years that it is not about the benefits.

That’s because Tony is afraid to hear about the benefits of homosexuality. He might find them appealing. Perhaps he’d like to look at a brochure:

Who leaked the recruitment brochure?

Tony’s rant continues:

That was borne out in an FRC analysis showing that only 28% of same-sex couples in Connecticut have sought civil unions and the related benefits in the three years they have been offered…

I’m just guessing, but maybe that’s because a civil union isn’t the same thing as marriage. Or maybe there are other factors at play, such as fear of recording their relationship in public records in a conservative state like Connecticut, so fundies like Tony can target them. And how does Tony know how many gay couples there are in Connecticut? For all we know, Tony inflates the number to make it look like the percentage seeking benefits is lower. There’s really no way of knowing what is going on here, because any “analysis” that FRC does is hardly going to be a paragon of sociological research.

…and less than 20% of the same-sex couples in California have “married” in the months since California’s Supreme Court allowed them to.

Actually 20% is a large number, considering that it has only been six months. It takes time to plan a wedding.

These battles are not about “rights” or “benefits,”…

They’re about scare quotes!

…but about the forced affirmation of homosexuality itself…

If by “affirmation”, he means the acceptance by society that that’s just how some people are, and you can’t wish something away just because it makes you uncomfortable, then yes. It is about forced affirmation.

…and the eventual silencing of all who disapprove.

We’re not taking away Tony’s right to disapprove. There are still a few people out there who think emancipation was a bad idea, and they have every right to think that. They even have the right to speak it. Nobody is trying to silence anyone. What we are trying to do is remove the power of people like Tony to use the government to enforce their outdated beliefs upon society. One day, hopefully soon, people like Tony Perkins will be rare reminders of the hateful bigotries of our past.

18 Responses to “Who’s Bigoted Now? Still Tony Perkins.”

  1. Kevin Says:

    wow. well put.

    let’s hope these “vicious” nonviolent protests can get the message through to these bigots.

  2. Andrew Says:

    revealing what one liberal blogger calls “the not-so-latent racism in our movement.”

    His lesser offense is in not telling us who this alleged liberal blogger is.

    The phrase seems familiar. I have a feeling it’s Pam of “Pam’s House Blend” and “Pandagon”, but it could be one of the “Alas, A Blog” writers.

  3. arkonbey Says:

    Man, I was wondering what the Agenda’s literature looked like! My uncle-in-law and his partner have yet to give us any brochures and the lesbian couple that came over for our horror movie fest at hallow’een neglected to bring any at all.

    On a serious note. My wife and I have yet to see any signs of the disintegration of our marriage or my mom-in-law’s marriage due to hanging out with, talking with, and (gasp) hugging and shaking hands with monogamous, devoted homosexual couples.

    I also take issue with the assertion that it’s not bigotry if blacks are doing it. Huh? How does that make sense? If a Jew hates, say, Mexicans or a Mexican hates, say blacks it’s not bigotry?

    If it’s possible, anti-homosexual bigotry is sillier than racial bigotry. Are there anti-guys-who-like-redheads movements or anti-women-who-like-guys-shaped-like-John-Goodman movements?

    Dang. This has me so mad, I’m babbling.

  4. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I would think that a group that has been discriminated against for centuries would recognize discrimination when they saw it.

    That’s become a popular conservative meme. But how true is it? Did African Americans really vote much higher for prop 8 than against it? Well, when you break it down by race, perhaps it may seem that way. But, when you analyze the numbers a different way you find that there is another, possibly better, classification system to determine which groups favored or opposed prop 8: age. Older Californians were for prop 8, younger against 8. But, so what? You can’t blame groups of people like that when the reason they voted the way they did was the massive misinformation campaign by the fundies specifically targeting their fears. Remember that the polls were strongly against prop 8 until the “evil gheys are gonna get ya” ads started airing.

    The fundies are the problem.

    The fundies are trying to stir up a liberal bee’s nest. They are trying to get us to turn on each other. To that I say: screw you, Tony Perkins. We won’t fall for it.

    And how does Tony know how many gay couples there are in Connecticut?

    For that matter, what percentage of straight couples end up marrying? It may seem higher intuitively, but is it actually?

  5. Ron Britton Says:

    ParrotLover:

    The LA Daily News article I linked to says the black vote was 70% in favor. Some of that came from politicking in black churches.

    “Religion trumps politics,” said pollster Mark DiCamillo of the Field Research Corp.

    Seven out of 10 African- American voters and more than half of Latinos backed Proposition 8

    Yes, they voted that way as a result of fundie lies and scare tactics, but they still made the decision themselves on how to vote. They are responsible for their own decisions, even if based on false information.

  6. Lindsay Says:

    PL77, not too long ago it was announced that there are now a higher percentage of single adults in the us than adults in a marriage.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/15/us/15census.html

    I think you are right that intuitively it seems higher, but I think the numbers show that this trend has been declining for decades. The rates of partners co-habitating has been steadily rising.

    To be honest, if my husband was a US citizen I would have rather lived together for a while first and got married when we were in our 30′s. But due to our situation if we wanted to be together we had to get married.

  7. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Ron – I see the numbers, but I just feel it’s putting the blame on the wrong bloc of voters. Older Calfornians, as a bloc, must outnumber African Americans, no?

    Either way, I still thinking blaming the voter is a bad idea on so many levels. We need to reach out to them. There was a time they thought prop 8 was bad (based on polling data), so I would think they could be swayed back by putting their fears to rest without blaming them for “voting wrong.”

    It’s the same way that Obama reached out to W voters through an information campaign instead of telling them they are dumb for voting for him twice.

  8. Sarah Says:

    You know what? I AM a bigot: I think Mormonism is the stupidest crock of shit I’ve ever heard of (okay, except for Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of $cientology) and saying only retards would buy it is an insult to the fine retards of the world.

    You know what the difference between me and the LDS church is? I would never use my scorn as a springboard to take away the rights of Mormons, then hide behind lame excuses like “protecting children” or “traditional Christianity”.

  9. JLK Says:

    I am a complete ass for saying this, but I’m gonna do it anyway.

    I can’t wait for these conservative, religious, fuckwit, asshole old folks to die off so we can get back to human rights as a priority.

    I’m counting on the baby boomers to remember their youths and their voracious appetite for freedom and “free love” and help us young’uns enact legislation to protect those values.

  10. Fundi-lusional Says:

    JLK: That’s all well and good, except for one thing: it is not the “old” folks who are fundies. Fundie/evangelical religious groups are, unfortunately the only religions in the U.S. that are growing, amongst all groups. Catholicism, old-school protestantism, and other old-school religions are dying. What you have is lame-ass Rick Warren and Rod Parsley mega-churches on the grown in suburban areas. I am hoping that what happens is that we all just become more secular, and that the need for religion in people’s lives becomes lessened when the world becomes a better place (Which I hope it does!). The enemy of fundies is secularization of institutions, and socialization.

  11. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Well, I think the nation is becoming more secular. The growth in the fundies is not, I believe (but could wrong), indicative of a decline in secularism. What is happening is that moderate churches just don’t “do it” for the religious folk anymore. The nation may, indeed, be becoming very polarized on the subject. The good news is that fundies don’t outnumber seculars…yet. Note that my use of the term “seculars” is meant to include not just non-believers, but also those who profess faith, but believe in a secular government.

    Make no mistake, we have to work hard and wage an information campaign to fight the indoctrination. But, I think this nation will eventually become more sane. It’s happened throughout history. We start with bigotry, but then the next generation decides it’s no big deal and we need to fix it. Then there’s some backlash (religious or otherwise). Then the bigoted assholes die off and we mature a bit as a nation.

  12. The Improp Says:

    First off – great site. Thanks to JLK for letting me know about it.

    I have to agree with Sarah, that I am also bigoted when it comes to religions that are “socially acceptable” but are cultish in their ways. Mormonism, Scientology, JW, and then radicals like FLDS and the Westboro Baptist Church. Obviously there are others, but I figured I’d just start with that.

    I think this country is at a crossroads, and is too scared to choose a path. We respect the freedom of religion, but we also need to re-establish the separation of church and state. It seems that this has become a blurred line. We need to achieve a true separation of church and state, as far as funding (looking in your direction, faith-based initiatives). We’re never going to get fundie pastors to stop preaching the word of the Republican Party on Sundays but we owe it to ourselves to work to stop the government from preaching the word of God with taxpayer money.

  13. Brian Says:

    PL,

    I think I agree with you about Prop 8 and the minority vote. Nate Silver, who runs fivethirtyeight.com and has been the most accurate of the pollsters, recently said this:

    But the notion that Prop 8 passed because of the Obama turnout surge is silly. Exit polls suggest that first-time voters — the vast majority of whom were driven to turn out by Obama (he won 83 percent [!] of their votes) — voted against Prop 8 by a 62–38 margin. More experienced voters voted for the measure 56–44, however, providing for its passage.

    Now, it’s true that if new voters had voted against Prop 8 at the same rates that they voted for Obama, the measure probably would have failed. But that does not mean that the new voters were harmful on balance — they were helpful on balance. If California’s electorate had been the same as it was in 2004, Prop 8 would have passed by a wider margin.

    All of which leads me to the (tentative) conclusion that age really was the big line in the sand as far as passage of this abomination was concerned. I don’t discount the pervasiveness of fear and ignorance in any community, no matter what their history might be, especially when the fears are being propagated by the biggest scam artists in human history – churches. But it really does seem as if, a generation from now, this matter will be resolved once and for all.

    I would also like to echo Sarah’s sentiment. To hell with fundies. If one can truly be intolerant of intolerance, then I’ve managed to square that circle. I have always subscribed to the axiom that says your freedom to swing your fist ends at my nose. Well, fundies, you can believe any crazy-ass shit you and your fellow rubes like, and its no big deal to me. But you can’t be satisfied with that, can you? Fucksticks like Tony Perkins will not rest until they’ve succeeded in propping themselves up in convenient positions of power and influence by whipping up phantom fears and ignorant bigotries so easily riled in the minds of the credulous sheep who listen to them. They know nothing of love or compassion, for all of their pious, hypocritical blathering about morality and values. They are most assuredly not doing unto others as they would have others do unto themselves. Whenever it comes to religious idiots railing about the moral failings of others, I have always found the “he who smelt it dealt it” principle to be richly applicable as the inevitable hypocritical revelation about a preacher caught tea-bagging a male prostitute comes to light.

    One can only hope that as older members of our population die off, their ignorance dies with them, and when we are the grumpy curmudgeons uncomfortable with something outside our life experience, we have the courage to accept it with open minds and open hearts.

  14. ericsan Says:

    Cheer up and check this out:
    http://coloradoindependent.com/15287/after-pumping-money-into-prop-8-focus-on-the-family-announcing-layoffs

    Also, you may have heard about boycotts. Since the list of pro- and against-prop 8 contributors are public, many businesses have been exposed as bigots and are being boycotted, and some people have lost their jobs (the artistic director of the California Music Theatre in Sacramento was forced to resign after it was revealed he donated $1,000 to the yes on 8 campaign, even though “he loves his lesbian sister,” and a traditional gay restaurant and hangout in West Hollywood, El Coyote, is being boycotted and picketed after it was found out that its co-owner and manager had donated $100 to yes on 8 )

    Well, the mormons and the religious right are mighty pissed and they’re being quite vocal about it. Apparently, they don’t think it’s fair that people who believe in fairness should be able to choose not to patronize these businesses, and “the gays” are the ones being intolerant and bigoted.

    Of course, they must be expecting that we forgot all about how THEY have been threatening boycotts of businesses that contributed to no on 8, just as they’ve been for years launching mostly unsuccessful boycotts of large companies (Disney, Ford…) whenever they would inaugurate some outlandish gay-agenda policy such as domestic partnership, a blatant attack on the very fabric of society.

  15. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Irony is always lost on fundies. Complaining about how boycotting yes-on-8 donors is bigoted just amuses me to no end.

    As for Focus doing layoffs. Maybe this is an approach we haven’t thought of? Run them out of business!

    Brian – I was addicted to fivethirtyeight during the run up to the election. I want to take that man to Vegas with me…

  16. Fundi-lusional Says:

    No, I don’t think that the rise in fundamentalism is decreasing secularism, but, it is that type of religion that breeds problems. If people change from rather benign religious leanings to the fundie variety, it adds strength to their cause, unfortunately. But, I still think in the long run that it will die out. The enemy of fundamentalism is peace, justice, and equality. And financial stability, of course. I think we will become more like Europe in the long run–more secular, more socialized institutions, and greater equality.

  17. Chuck Says:

    Sadly, the growth trends in Fundie numbers indicate that some day people like us will be reminders of the anti-bigotry of the American past. Despite the fact that atheists and fundies are the fastest-growing groups in America, it is statistically demonstrable that fundies are WAY more committed to hatred than we are to tolerance. Just look at Prop 8 results.

  18. Modusoperandi Says:

    Chuck “…it is statistically demonstrable that fundies are WAY more committed to hatred than we are to tolerance.”

    Yes, but that Jesus fellow is apparently coming back real soon to rapture the True Christians™ away. So, there’s that to look forward to.