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01/24/2011

'To the right of Jerry Falwell'

by Jeremy Hooper

Conservative Christian personality Warren Throckmorton makes an interesting observation about current religious right figures like the increasingly omnipresent Bryan Fischer. Warren aptly notes that on issues like housing discrimination, the current crop is actually moving to the right of even the uber-conservative place from whence the late Jerry Falwell once pundited.

Full piece at link:

Bryan Fischer to the right of Jerry Falwell on GLBT housing [Warren Throckmorton]

There are (at least) two ways of looking at this notion of a far-farther-farthest right. The most obvious: To see it as scary that there could even be a position more hostile to LGBT rights than the one on which Falwell built his name. In these "It Gets Better" times, it's a tad frightening to envision how much worse it might get on the ground once the LGBT adversaries realize their cause has all but slipped away.

Or on the flip: One can see the move to vault figures like Fischer to places of prominence as being a delicious exercise in political unsavviness, and therefore deliciously beneficial to the equality fight. More and more Americans support basic gay rights with every passing day (and 18th birthday). The Reagan era rise of the right is ancient history for the "Glee" generation. So when this set hears about this old school crew of conservatives not only ramping up, but actually going even more retro than before? That very well could be a good thing for those who believe in shining light on the professional anti-LGBT crowd's true breadth of feelings -- feelings that typically go way beyond the very careful "protect marriage" code-wording that's been de rigueur for the past decade or so.

As for this writer? I go with a mix of the two views. From the first category: I think the rise in incendiary rhetoric definitely tells us how much more we need to protect one another. People don't like to lose, and the opposition is inevitably gonna lose this fight. So as they suffer defeat in their cherished "culture war" battles, we on the pro-equality side need to concern ourselves with what the next steps might look like.

But at the same time: Something like stopping gays from securing simple shelter without discrimination? That's just not gonna fly in this day and age. Nor will any of Mr. Fischer's other thrown flames:

"homosexuals in the military gave us...six million dead Jews"

"homosexuals should be disqualified from public office"

Called on Christian conservatives to breed gays and progressives out of existence,

Called gay sex a "form of domestic terrorism"

Said only gays were savage enough for Hitler

Compared gays to heroin abusers

Directly compared laws against gay soldiers to those that apply to bank robbers

Invoked a Biblical story about stabbing "sexually immoral" people with spears, saying we need this kind of action in modern day

Spoke out against gays serving as public school teachers

Questioned why Medals of Honor are given to people who save lives (rather than take lives)

Said that open service will "assign the United States to the scrap heap of history"

Blamed gay activists for dead gay kids, saying that: "If we want to see fewer students commit suicide, we want fewer homosexual students."

So I say let Bryan Fischer talk his post-Falwellian. Let him talk, just as long as the rest of us are talking like grownups about how we can move forward with beauty, strength, and peace.

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