Through a clever use of junk science, misrepresented scientific work, outright lies, or demeaning images, (religious right groups) work to stand as a roadblock to any advancement of gay equality by stigmatizing the gay community and falsely labeling homosexuality as a threat to societal order and wellness. And what’s worse, they use the religious belief which designates homosexuality to be a sin as a free license to sugarcoat their tactics as mere “expressions of their personal religious beliefs” and label every question regarding these tactics as an “attack on their religious liberty” or an attempt to “silence” them.
What these groups do is nothing new and it’s certainly nothing Christian or moral about it. When any group spreads propaganda, it’s always “in defense” of something and it usually scapegoats a group undeserving of such hostilities. Whether it be the defense of “Southern culture,” the “German homeland,” or “Judeo-Christian values,” it all adds up to the same thing – isolating an innocent group as the essence of evil and claiming that if only said group were put in its place, the world would be a better place.
– How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America
In January of last year, with the help of some very dear friends, I wrote and published an online booklet, How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America. Through How They See Us, I hoped to bring more awareness to the tactics and methodology used by anti-gay and religious right groups when they attempt to deny lgbts full equality under the law.
Though pretty much ignored by a majority of mainstream lgbt organizations and media, How They See Us became an underground favorite. Because of the help of many dedicated supporters and blogs, the booklet is now less than 44,000 hits away from one million reads and has been downloaded over 700 times.
However, as successful How They See Us is, there is still a problem communicating how religious right groups deceive via anti-gay propaganda. Recently, the watchdog site, Equality Matters focused on the unfortunate fact that Time magazine published a fluff article about these groups:
In a May 30 story titled “Watchmen on the Wall: Pastors Prepare to Take Back America,” Time correspondent Elizabeth Dias offered a profile of FRC’s annual “Watchmen on the Wall” conference. The article offered a one-sided depiction of FRC’s efforts “advocate for… Biblical values,” framing the group’s struggle as an effort to fight back against a culture in which “religion is losing its public influence”
And there lies the problem. During this argument about lgbt equality, people like Tony Perkins and Brian Brown and their organizations (the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage) are consistently framed as standard bearers defending faith and values. But rarely do we hear from the mainstream media, such as Time magazine, what these entities do to defend these values they claim to hold.
We know that Perkins and the Family Research Council think that homosexuality is a sin. Perkins likes to cite the Christian faith to make this judgment. But let’s also hear about the fact that FRC continues to push the false relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia even after they are contradicted by professionals who have repeatedly said – and proven – that such a connection does not exist. Or how about FRC’s constant distortion of legitimate scientific work and use of junk science and anecdotes conjuring up false images of jailed Christians in order to paint an inaccurate view of the lgbt community.
And the same thing goes with almost every individual or group claiming to be speaking against the lgbt community in the name of faith or “religious freedom” because these groups follow the same methodology and tactics. The media is so busy anointing these entities as defenders of Christian values that they ignore the fact that the tactics these groups undertake always contradict the values they claim to be defending. It’s a glaring hypocrisy which has been ignored too often.
The media ignores how these groups appeal to fear with their bizarre claims such as gays recruiting children, seeking to jail pastors and having a huge amount of sex all at the same time, or how they claim that gays are conspiring to take over America without naming any of the alleged parties involved. Most of all, the media ignores the constant drumbeat of Ph.D. and Ph.D., researcher after researcher, or analyst after analyst who constantly complain how these so-called Christian groups will deliberately distort or cherry-pick their work to demonize the lgbt community as a whole.
The last time I checked, the tactics of lying and bearing false witness against one’s neighbor (even if said neighbor is an lgbt) are not hallmarks of Christian values. The great issue being ignored in this so-called cultural war is not the faith of those groups and their spokespeople who believe that homosexuality is a sin, but the lies they tell and the alarming tactics they use in order to create law based upon this belief.
And unfortunately, liars will continue to push their trade as long as they can get away with it. And this includes those who lie in God’s name.
Image: Screenshot — How They See Us
Guest Author Alvin McEwen is 43-year-old African-American gay man who resides in Columbia, SC. McEwen’s blog, Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters, and writings have been mentioned by Americablog.com, Goodasyou.org, People for the American Way, PageOneQ.com, MSNBC, The Washington Post, Media Matters for America, Crooksandliars.com, Thinkprogress.org, Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish, Newsweek, and Foxnews.com. In addition, he is also a past contributor to Pam’s House Blend,and a present contributor to Justice For All, Daily Kos, the Huffington Post, LGBTQ Nation, and Alternet.org. He is the 2007 recipient of the Harriet Daniels Hancock Volunteer of the Year Award and the 2010 recipient of the Order of the Pink Palmetto from the SC Pride Movement as well as the 2009 recipient of the Audre Lorde/James Baldwin Civil Rights Activist Award from SC Black Pride. In addition, he is a two-time nominee of the Ed Madden Media Advocacy Award from SC Pride. Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters was nominated for a 2014 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Blog.
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