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07/22/2014

NOM, Manhattan Declaration turn Unitarian's anti-slavery, anti-war into pro-discrimination anthem

by Jeremy Hooper

James Russell Lowell's poem "The Present Crisis" was written against the Mexican War. Lowell's belief was that the war mounting at the time of his writing was designed to expand the reach of slavery, and he spoke out against what he saw as evil.

We should also note that Lowell was a minster with the Unitarian church—a church that is now well known for its welcoming stance toward LGBT people.

But of course when you put this peaceful man and his anti-slavery words into the hands of the National Organization For Marriage and its allies at the equally anti-gay Manhattan Declaration, this pro-freedom, pro-pacifist, anti-war anthem all of a sudden becomes a rally cry for discrimination. I'll let you guess who they cast as "the evil side":

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 At 1.25.58 Pm
[NOM]

In the anti-gay movement's defense, most of the anti-freedom and pro-discrimination poems of the past were really bad. Plus Massachusetts has had marriage equality for a really long time, so they can't rely on "There once was a man from Nantucket..." as setup for an easy poem more befitting their cause. Roses are red and violets are blue, what's an exceedingly anti-gay organization to do? Hickory dickory dock, where are the words that might help them turn back the clock?

"Why we'll just co-opt this pro-freedom poem," they say. "No one will notice or care that our cause is really anathema to the one to which the text was meant to apply!"

Sorry, but I notice and I care. Get your own anti-gay, wrong-side-of-history poems, kids. Stop posthumously besmirching other writers' good intentions!

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