Marring me without a why: ‘Protect marriage’ talking points target people. Period.

There are many places where the conservative Christian arguments against civil marriage equality fall short. Here’s one, courtesy of a Rhode Island Catholic editorial:

Screen Shot 2011-01-24 At 3.02.46 PmThe redefinition of marriage does not merely allow different understandings of matrimony, but forces everyone else to accept this dramatically altered conception of marriage and family in schools, law and in our public language. This recently occurred when the federal government reissued passport applications for children, removing the words “Father” and “Mother” and replacing them with “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.”

A time to protect and preserve marriage [RI Catholic]

To see where this falls short, one need not even support marriage equality. For a second, forget all of the merits of marital fairness and recognizing all families equally. Pretend you are a social conservative who wants to stop gay marriage. Pretend you feel a religious commitment to stopping “different understandings of matrimony.” Pretend you wrote the above editorial.

You there? Okay, good. But even in that role play, your argument will still fall short. Because the passport application change didn’t happen because we have legalized same-sex marriage in all fifty states and on a federal level. We obviously don’t. We only have legal marriage in a handful of locales (either performed at home or via out-of-state recognition) and we have no matrimonial equality on the federal platform. So the vast majority of Americans who benefit from this passport change aren’t going to benefit because they are legally married/have legally married parents. No, no — they will benefit because they have an American family structure that is something other than a limited, heteronormative construction! For this particular conversation, marriage is completely ancillary. Yet for the Rhode Island Catholic‘s editorial team, it’s a key “protect marriage” bullet point.

We see this same sort of thing in marriage campaigns. Professional fear-mongers love to cite examples of “child indoctrination,” but often from places and times where marriage equality did not exist. Even so, you’ll still hear them claim that simple non-discrimination or anti-bullying measures (for just two examples) are direct products of wither realized or proposed marriage equality. BUT NO! No, no, no, no, no! Just like with the current passport change, the vast majority of our federal, state, and local LGBT protections/benefits/ordinances/proclamations have happened in a marriage-equality-less world. The benefits and protections and progress come, first and foremost, because of people. Human beings. Citizens and taxpayers. Not any one political movement.

It’s all just another reason why, if you pull the thread in the way we “culture war” watchers do, you simply cannot disconnect the anti-LGBT political fight from the human beings that are targeted within. You dig one hole, you find a group trying to “change” gay folk. You dig in another place, you find someone accusing gays of being “enemies of the body.” You dig somewhere else, you see how the distaste for gay family recognition runs well beyond marriage licensing and right onto passport applications as well.

You dig most anywhere, you find many a personal dig.




Good As You

—  admin

Deranged: American Family Radio’s Bryan Fischer: ‘No More Mosques, Period.’

My earlier post on ABC’s experiment about discrimination against Muslims went live a bit ago, but then I found this horrific video from last night’s AC360 (Dr. Sanjay Gupta hosting), with homobigot and Islamophobe Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio Talk Network (one of the arms of Don and Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association), who really pares it down to the basics — “No More Mosques, Period.” You have to see it to believe it. Remember, this is the same man endlessly spouts homophobic crap. But he’s versatile — there’s always someone else on the list for these people to persecute.

We’re joined now via Skype by Bryan Fischer; he’s the host of Focal Point on the American Family Radio Talk Network. . We should point out that he’s also issues director for the American Family Association. While he says his views are his own, not the association’s, the American Family Radio Network is, in fact, listed as a division of the AFA, just to get that all clear. Thanks for joining us, Mr. Fischer.

BRYAN FISCHER, HOST, “FOCAL POINT” AMERICAN FAMILY RADIO TALK NETWORK: You’re welcome, Dr. Gupta, good to be with you.

GUPTA: Thank you. I want to be clear on your viewpoint here because you’ve made quite a bit of waves lately. You don’t want any mosques built in the United States, is that correct? You want a moratorium?

FISCHER: I think the reality Dr. Gupta is, that when we look at Islam, we’re looking at a totalitarian ideology that is anti-Christian, anti-Semitic. The values that are at the core of Islam are contrary to every single solitary western and American value. I think communities ought to have the liberty to reject building permits.

Each one of these mosques is either a potential or actual recruitment center for Jihadism or training center for Jihadism.



GUPTA: You said quite a bit there already. Let me just start with one thing, freedom of religion. You’ve been asked this question before; it’s one of this country’s founding principles.

The First Amendment says, Congress shall make no law respecting (ph) an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

How can you say that that potentially applies to all religions except Islam?

FISCHER: Well, the reality, Dr. Gupta, is that no one could claim First Amendment religious protections if their ideology and their activities are subversive.

All you’ve got do is ask the Christian militia, the Hutaree how much First Amendment protections they had when they set out to attack federal officers. They have Bible verses plastered all over their Web site. Everything they did, they did in the name of Jesus Christ. They are right now pondering the limits of the First Amendment from the inside of a jail cell, which is where they should be.

The deranged Fischer  continues below the fold.
I don’t know how Gupta held it together.
GUPTA: You know, you have said — now, again, you’ve said some this before. Your evidence for saying that every mosque potentially here is dedicated to the overthrowing of the American government is a manifest, I believe, issued in 1991 by a group called the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, you quote some frightening passages from there about destroying Western civilization from within.

But, Bryan, you realize this group doesn’t speak for all Muslims; it doesn’t speak for all Muslims around the world. It doesn’t speak for all Muslims in the United States. It’s a radical political group, very controversial.

And while its history does involve some violence, they’re — they’re controversial even among Muslims. So, how can you — how can you use that one particular organization and say that they’re speaking for 1.2 billion people?

FISCHER: Well, Dr. Gupta, it’s nice of you to try to marginalize the Muslim Brotherhood, but their tentacles include the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Student Association, the Council for American-Islamic Relations — CAIR, and also the Muslim Association.

So, you’re looking at four — five, really, if you include the Brotherhood — five of the most prominent and most visible Muslim organizations in North America. They are far from a fringe group; they represent the essence and the core of Islam. And it’s very clear that the goal of Islam in North America is the extermination of Western civilization. No community should have to put up with that.



GUPTA: I don’t think a lot of people agree with you, Bryan, on this. I just have to say that. And I’m a layperson when it comes to this, but let me ask you what you think of this particular comment back in 2001.

“Islam is peace.” Now, that wasn’t said by any liberal or Democrat. It was said by President George W. Bush, a man who talked at length about his deep Christian faith. What about that from President Bush?

FISCHER: Well, President Bush was well-meaning, but wrong.

Islam is not a religion of peace. It is a religion of war. It is a religion of violence. Christianity, on the other hand, is a religion of peace. It was founded by the Prince of Peace. That’s the major contrast between the two religions.

Islam, in reality, is a political ideology. It’s a totalitarian political ideology. And you simply cannot hide a totalitarian political agenda behind the First Amendment.

Imagine if Timothy McVeigh was a Christian. Now, he wasn’t. He was an atheist. But imagine he was a part of a violent Christian sect, and he wanted to build a 13-story center, cultural center, for his Christian sect overlooking the grounds of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.

GUPTA: All right.

FISCHER: I don’t think anybody in America would put up with that, and they would be right not to.

GUPTA: I hear you. I think that’s an unfair comparison, with all due respect.

Quickly, Mr. Fischer, a lot of Muslim-Americans watching tonight, some of them very upset by some of the comments you have made in the past, what do you say to them now?

FISCHER: Well, I say I love Muslims. I am pro-Muslim. I am anti-Islam.



I would say to a Muslim, look, your ideology is destructive. It’s deceptive. It’s dark. I invite you to come into the light of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. That’s where hope and light, forgiveness and a promise for the future can truly be found.



GUPTA: Well, I — it’s been an interesting interview — you love Muslims; you hate Islam.

Bryan Fischer, we will — we will keep — we will keep tabs on you and see how things are going. Thanks so much for joining us.

FISCHER: Thank you, Dr. Gupta.


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—  John Wright