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11/08/2007

Matt sings the classics

by Jeremy Hooper

Mattenda-1As expected, our ol' pal Matt Barber has seized the opportunity to lash out against the House for yesterday passing ENDA (The Employment Non-Discrimination Act). And in doing so, Matthew has recycled all of the classic anti-ENDA lines that we've come to know and loathe over the past many months that he's been employed by the Concerned Women For America. Yes, we get such hits as "Liberals are usurping their authority":

"By passing this Orwellian piece of legislation, the Democrat-controlled House has displayed exceptional arrogance. Congress apparently believes it has carte blanche authority to nullify any constitutional provision which it finds bothersome. In this case, they've drawn a black line through the free exercise clause of the First Amendment."

And then there's that insipid ballad, "Even Though There's a Religious Exemption, We Still Feel That Our Religious Freedoms Should Trump Every Other Freedom":

"For any religious exemption to pass constitutional muster," ... "it would have to apply to the individual business owner. The First Amendment guarantees the free exercise of religion. This applies to all individual citizens, not just to a church, religious organization or corporation. ENDA would unconstitutionally force business owners to abandon their faith at the workplace door and adopt a view of sexual morality which runs directly counter to central tenets of every major world religion and thousands of years of history."

Not to mention that popular "pro-family ditty, "The Founding Fathers are Long-Dead, So Let's Pretend to Know How They (Who Were Largely Escaping Religious Persecution Themselves) Would've Felt About Our Modern-Day Attempts to Foist Faith Beliefs into Public Life -- Oh, And Let's Also Throw In A Baseless Claim That Sexuality is 'Changeable' For Good Measure":

"Our founding fathers happened to believe that the free exercise of religion was pretty important. In fact, they founded a nation on that very principle and included religious protections in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. What Congress has done with ENDA turns our Founders' vision on its head. It's hard to imagine the Framers agreeing that newfangled 'gay rights,' based on changeable sexual behaviors, should trump the First Amendment."

And rounding out the collection of discrimination-backing ditties, we get the high energy dancing (around the truth) number, "Despite The Fact That This Hasn't Happened In Any Of The States Where Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Laws Are On The Books, We Are Going To Act As If Gays Would Use These Federal Protections To File Frivolous Lawsuits":

"This bill represents the goose that laid the golden egg for homosexual activist attorneys and, if signed into law, will open the floodgates for lawsuits against employers who wish to live out their faith"

Yes, you get all these for one extremely low-down, dirty, cheap price. And if you act now, Matt will throw in the free tell-all book:

Mattbook2

It's a steal (of gay's well-being), really!

First Amendment Trampled with ENDA Passage [CWA Release Christian Newswire]

space gay-comment gay-G-A-Y-post gay-email gay-writer-jeremy-hooper


Your thoughts

Barber is an asshat of the highest degree.

I'd like to dispel a few of his arguments against ENDA if I may.

The founding fathers knew that mixing religion and government (Secular society) was a very bad thing. Most of them were humanists anyhow, not Christians. Therefore the clause that states we shall respect no establishment of religion nor prevent the practice of religion.

Inscribe on the capstones of the Rhode Island State House is this:
"To hold forth a lively experiment that a most flourishing civil state may stand and best be maintained with full liberty in religious concernments."

The worries me since Barber seems to get his objection from statements like that. But we've already seen the damage of allowing religion in the workplace, such as pharmacists who won't fill prescriptions, cabbies who won't accept a fare, etc.

The thing is Williams was an advocate of complete separation of Church and State.

It galls me when I testify at the Marriage Equality hearings and the priests get up and pull their statements directly from their own ass.

Posted by: Tony P | Nov 8, 2007 12:17:27 PM

Jeremy,

You are very gracious to the other side of this debate, in that, while pointing out the obvious falacies of their arguments and diatribes, you come from a place that assumes that at least the are acting out of a sincerity in an attempt to honor their belief system. I think you give them way too much credit.

In many cases, it's just a marketing/fund-raising ploy. In order to raise the amounts of cash that these right-wing religious nuts think they need to "run their ministries" (read, ride the cash cow), it helps to have a perceived enemy that they can rally their troops around.

I was a part of the "No on 9" campaign in Oregon when a right-ring group calling themselves "Oregon Citizen's Alliance" was trying to pass their "Proposition 9" which basically declared GLB folk second-class citizens. The measure was defeated. When they saw that putting such discrimination into law would not wash with the people of the state of Oregon, they very synically shifted their focus. All of a sudden, the group that founded itself on keeping the Gay folk in their place shifted all their focus to Abortion rights.

I haven't lived in Oregon for some years now, so they may have resurfaced now that gay-bashing has come back into fashion, but back then they dumped their main focus because, and I admit I'm making a lot of assumptions here, but it certainly appeared this way, because they could make more money going after Abortion rights than they could for their already defeated anti-gay rights stance.

I think the many sex scandals involving the right-wing leaders (with special emphasis on Rev. Ted Haggard) bears this out. They really don't believe the tripe they serve up to their flocks of sheep. It's just a good way to make money.

Just my 2 cents.

Love your website. Keep it up.

very best,
Morry

Posted by: Morry Campbell | Nov 8, 2007 1:38:17 PM

Morry: While I agree that profit motivation is a large factor in the organized movement's actions and rhetorics and may be the WHOLE motivation for some, I think it's unfair to assume that none of them are sincere. Take Matt Barber for instance -- he came into prominence when he was a civilian working for AllState who decided to post a column decrying homosexuality. At that time he wasn't shilling for CWA, only himself. And there are others with whom I have shared many private conversations, and I genuinely do believe that they really do hold on to the beliefs that they convey.

But at the end of the day, it really doesn't affect the way I handle anything. Whether they are sincere or glorified PR spinmeisters, challenging the message is what I care about. I have little to no desire to gun for any of these characters on a personal level. And I also have no desire to prove that if they can scream loudly, I can scream even louder. I work from a hippy dippy hopeful place that would like to see hearts and minds changed and rifts healed, not one in which I wish to see human beings harmed (physically, emotionally, or mentally) because they have embrace ignorance. Sometimes anti-gay attitudes are so forced into people by their parents and surroundings (see the Phelps children) that they are simply victims of circumstance. I want to help them find a way out.

Will I change the minds of the vast majority of these folks? Nope. But it's an optimistic place from which I can work everyday and not have my own mental well-being destroyed.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Nov 8, 2007 1:49:00 PM

I think what Matt frequently forgets, is that religion is the only true changeable behavior.
So if I am a small business owner who has hired based on ability and later adopt a fundamental christian religion, I should be free to fire my gay employees now that my religion dictates that I should be intolerant of the non-work related behaviors of my employees? Matt seems to believe that this is fair, however, being he also seems to beelive that being fired for loving a person of the same gender, which has no actual effect on job performance, is perfectly just?
Arrgh!

Posted by: Todd | Nov 8, 2007 3:33:13 PM

His rendition of Olivia Newton-John's "Xanadu" is Horrendious.

Posted by: Franc | Nov 9, 2007 12:00:36 AM

First published use of the word "homosexual" in the western press
The Washington Post
Friday, June 14, 1907

BERLIN SCANDAL INQUIRY

Editor Who Accused Prince Zu Eulenburg.
Will Be Placed on Stand.

Special Cable to The Washington, Post.

Berlin, -June 18.-—In, consequence of
the charge of, gross immorality made
against himself by Prince Philip Zu
Eulenburg, the tribunal at Chariottsbuerg,
a suburb of Berlin, has been directed
by the court at Prenzlaa, where
the charge is lodged, to have Maximilian
Harden testify In the case under
oath. Herr Harden is the owner of
the Zufcunft, in which insinuations
about Prince Zu Burenburs and his
camarilla were recently published. His
testimony will be taken in the course
of next few days. Frau von Elbe,
the divorced wife Of Cuno von Moltke,
is said- to have given Herr Harden the
information on which he based his insinuation.

Prince Zu Eulenburg was an Intimate
friend of the Kaiser, and he wielded
great influence with his majesty. It is
generally believed- that he and his
friends were responsible for the retirement
of Chancellor von Caprlvt Some
time ago the Zukunft published a grave
story of debauchery practiced by somo
of the highest men fn the empire, who,
according to the paper, formed what
was known as fiutenburg's round table
Included in the number was Count
Cuno von Moltke, who, as a result of
the revelations, was dismissed from his
post as governor of Berlin He challenged
Herr Harden to fight a duel, but
the latter refused to meet him. Prince
Eulenburg, in order to force a hearing
of the matter has apparently made a charge
against himself, and will thus compel Herr
Harden to testify as to his knowledge of
the crimes charged which one paper has
spoken of as [homosexual].

http://www.SwineFluFaceMasks.com

Posted by: john bernanke | May 17, 2009 6:14:30 AM

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