Anti-gay/women legislation isn't what we need.
For what seems like forever, the gaggle of conservative lawmakers have been trying their hardest to accomplish two things. One, to make sure the LGBT community gets as little protection from bigotry as possible. Two, to make sure they are doing everything in their power to keep the LGBT community from gaining any ground in the arena of civil rights. This is nothing new for these people. They did the exact same thing back in the early part of the 20th century with women, and not too much after that, to the black community. The targets change, but the motivation remains the same. Every time this happens, the justification comes from the same source. The Holy Bible.
Now, please let me be clear about this. I am not stating that most believers interpret the Bible this way. Most do not. A vast majority of believers really couldn’t care less about the LGBT community. They are not interested in the personal lives of gay people. They don’t care if their doctor, broker, schoolteachers, police officers, firefighters, grocery store clerks, etc., are gay. They are not under the impression that there is some mythical ‘gay agenda’ that is somehow going to turn straight people in homosexuals. They just don’t care. They are preoccupied with living life, paying bills, raising kids, etc. To most of them, homosexuality isn’t even on their radar.
But the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and since the 1970s a group of rabidly conservative biblical literalists decided that they were not only going to take over the Republican party, but were bent on enacting laws that fit their unusually literal interpretation of the bible. This group of individuals included some names you still here today. Paul Weyrich, Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye, Pat Robertson, etc.
Starting in 1973 with a man named Paul Weyrich organized a group called the Heritage Foundation, which he called the “New Right.” In 1973 he also founded the American Legislative Exchange Council, which had the dubious purpose of coordinating the work of “New Right” state legislators. ALEC served to give businesses help in writing bills for consideration by state assemblies, and they did so by the thousands.
This was the birth of conservatism, but it was 1979 before we first heard the term “Moral Majority,” which was coined by Weyrich. One of the two most influential members of the Moral Majority were Tim LaHaye (author of the “Left Behind” book series) and Jerry Falwell, who eventually became their leader. Things didn’t start to see real momentum until 1980, when speaking in Dallas, Weyrich catapulted the movement by stating, “We are talking about Christianizing America. We are talking about simply spreading the gospel in a political context.”
From that point on, thousands of fundamentalist preachers were attending training seminars designed to integrate them into politics. Powerful lobbies were being formed in addition to the Moral Majority, such as the American Coalition for Traditional Values and the Council for National Policy. Tim and Beverly LaHaye founded “Concerned Women of America.” The CWA is very powerful to this day and active in the fight against women’s reproductive rights. Others who were involved include James Dobson (Focus on the Family) and eventually Pat Robertson.
Robertson ran for President in 1988, and although he lost, he beat George Bush Sr. in the Iowa Republican caucus. Suffice to say, members of these fundamentalist groups worked precinct by precinct to take over party leadership until they controlled the entire state party system.
But how did he succeed? Robertson was so successful because he had a simple plan, and it was outlined in a memo that was distributed to the Iowa Republican County Caucuses that was titled, “How to Participate in a Political Party.”
- It gave the following instructions:
- Rule the world for God
- Give the impression that you are there to work for the party, not push an ideology
- Hide your strength
- Don’t Flaunt your Christianity
They used underhanded tactics, such as to tie up meetings for hours on end so that people would get tired and just leave. Once alone, they appointed themselves leaders and proceeded to make important decisions. They repeated this process until they controlled the entire state. Their goal was to see as much of the Republican Party controlled by fundamentalists as possible.
Pat Robertson then formed the Christian Coalition, which had over 100,00 churches as members and was headed up by Ralph Reed, Robertson’s main minion, and a political genius. They distributed Christian propaganda at astonishing rates, including voter guides that reached saturation with over 40 million distributed copies. Not to mention telemarketing campaigns. The stage was set, and when the World Trade Center got bombed in 1993, it was the perfect catalyst that the religious right needed.
George the Elder made it apparent to the nation that that the relative silence of the fundamentalists through the sixties and early seventies did not mean they had given up. The fundamentalists were quietly strategizing how they were going to rule the world, or at least the United States. Their plan started with getting a fundamentalist in the White House, and George Bush was more than willing to take the job.
The last thirty years of United States history has seen a steady increase in grass-roots fundamental activism, and one of their primary targets has been women and the LGBT community.
These people seek to control the rest of the country by virtue of a Dominion Theocracy. A decidedly un-American ideology. As much as it would be easy to blame this on religion, the fact is that it is incidental. They are control freaks. They want to bend everyone to their will, just like the dictators in those Middle Eastern countries do by proposing stiff legal and criminal penalties for homosexuality, repealing marriage equality laws, repealing the laws that effect the LGBT serving in the military, repealing laws and passing draconian new laws that effect a women’s reproductive health, and having control over their bodies. They have done this before and lost twice. Now, because so many people still stigmatize the homosexual community, and because so much misinformation has been distributed about abortion, it’s a safe bet that their plans will come to fruition.
I won’t comment further about the sheer whopping percentage of these individuals who were caught in compromising situations with homosexual lovers, prostitutes, or escorts. It’s extremely disproportionate when compare to the regular set of people who use that site.
Needless to say, because there is so much effort and resources placed on trying to pass anti-gay and anti-women legislation, and to turn the United States into a fundamental, splinter group theocracy, the real issues that need to be addressed are being summarily ignored. Jobs, infrastructure, emergency services, environmental problems, etc.
These are the areas that our politicians need to be focusing their efforts on. Not trying to outlaw gay sex or women’s rights. It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, Buddhist, Liberal, Moderate, Conservative, Republican, Democrat, Independent, or whatever. This should frighten you, or at least concern you. Even if you are a Conservative Christian Republican, history has shown that any given brand of religion will eventually fall out of favor with the ruling elite, and the results are never pretty.
We should all be celebrating our diversity. We should be proud that our Nation is a nation of different cultures, nationalities, ethicities, races, creeds, and sexual diversity. It is our greatest strength, but a small group of people are bent on weakening us and our infrastructure and economy because they are either bigoted against gays, or are closet homosexuals themselves.
A simple test to understand the importance of this would be to replace the words ‘women’ and ‘homosexuals’ with ‘blacks.’ If it offends you, then you are ready to take the next step and support the LGBT community and women’s rights in general. If it doesn’t offend you, I have to wonder why you are even reading this.
Outgoing President Obama and his administration had made great strides in the areas of LGBT protections and Women’s issues. However, it is apparent with Trump in office, and with the cabinet he has chosen, there will be a concerted effort underway to undo all the progress we’ve made in nearly a decade. This effects all of use, so speak up…
Be heard, be heard loud, be heard often.