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Intolerance: Social conservatives doth protest too much

by Jeremy Hooper

You know that bit of wisdom that says if you tell a lie long enough it will eventually start to sound like truth? Yea, well, that old nugget is essentially the lighthouse that guides the organized opponents of homosexuality through the choppy waters of this so-called "culture war." Their modus operandi is to take particular messages (e.g. "We're not anti-gay, we're pro-family"; "We're protecting marriage, not discriminating against anyone"; "We're just trying to protect religious freedom"; "Gay people have a militant agenda") and stick to them like green on grass, knowing full well that over time, their memes will be embraced by those people who are already looking for ways to justify their biases.

One of our opposition's most commonly rehashed fallacies is the idea that by refusing to accept the intolerance of their movement, gay activists are the truly "intolerant" ones. If you immerse yourself in their far-right world for just a few days, you will absolutely come across a press release, commentary, video, or smoke signal in which some self-appointed member of the "morality squad" uses the "I know you are but what am I" line of logic to try and reframe the debate so that the "close-minded" label is placed on the gays who they spend their lives denouncing.

Picture 20-26Latest case in point? Conservative stalwart Judge Roy Moore, who has penned a new piece for WorldNetDaily that reads pretty much like a "pro-family" form letter into which he merely inserted a few new scenarios in order to differentiate his work from the gagillion that came before it. Here's a sample:

The intolerance of the homosexual agenda

In the past, homosexuals have always called for "tolerance" and "privacy," but today they flaunt their perversion in public parades, "gay" television shows and Hollywood movies. Demanding laws for same-sex "marriages" and "hate crimes" legislation, they would require Christians and everyone else to recognize and never question their immoral lifestyle.

Now homosexual advocates are moving to mandate their agenda of calling evil good by court orders and government regulation. Two recent examples bear witness.

Last month in Scottsboro, Ala., two lesbian teenagers decided they wanted to attend the high school junior-senior prom as a couple. When the superintendent, Dr. Judith Berry, informed the students that they could not attend the prom together, the students' parents hired a lawyer to intervene. Jackson County Circuit Court Judge John Graham issued a last-minute order prohibiting the Board from barring the girls from the prom. One girl, a 17-year-old senior, wore a dress while the other, a 16-year-old junior, dressed in a tuxedo.

Their attorney, Parker Edmiston, casually dismissed any concerns that school officials or parents had about the lesbian couple attending the prom by saying, "This is just a dance. Adults need not get involved." Of course, the problem here is that adults – the attorney and judge – did get involved.

Attorney Edmiston not only exhibited hypocrisy but also helped set a precedent for mandating acceptance of homosexuality in the public school system. Pushing aside the right of elected school officials to regulate school functions, the court summarily disregarded the rights of parents and other students who depend on school officials to maintain moral standards. Intent on normalizing deviant behavior, the courts have once again imposed an immoral standard upon an unwilling community.


We'll spare you the rest. After the above example, Moore goes on to talk about a situation in New Mexico in which a photographer was fined for refusing to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony, a situation that was found to be in violation of local non-discrimination laws. Then Moore wraps up by saying the following:

Where law is warped to require a distorted view of liberty, licentiousness becomes court-ordered, as it did at Scottsboro High School. Judges, legislators and civil officers who believe that they must be "fair" to immoral conduct do not understand that without moral boundaries in the law, there is no true liberty, as Elane Photography will tell you. Whether in Alabama or New Mexico, the radical homosexual agenda must not be allowed to put the force of law behind its oppressive intolerance of Christianity and the moral law.

Okay, so what we have here is a man who refers to gay lives as "perverted," "licentious," "immoral," "evil," and "deviant." And yet he has the gall to imply that the "intolerant" one are those who are saying in response to his vitriolic condemnations: "Uhm, actually sir, we are just simple parts off the spectrum of normalcy who would like to be respected as such!" Even if he has strong legal concerns with the legal merits of the particular cases he cites, doesn't he see how his staunch demonization of the gay community has somewhat negated his right to throw "intolerant" stones?! It's like the schoolyard bully mercilessly taunting the smaller kid, but then running to tattle to the teacher when his wiser, more reasoned mark barbs him with a clever quip!

Look, there's no question WHY the far-right so desperately wants to make us look "intolerant." They need us to be the aggressors in the battle for gay rights so that they can keep their "we're the good team!" fairy tale chugging along. Only problem for them? They've overplayed their hand. Back in the days when their messages were more limited to private meetings, internal newsletters, and insular meetings of like-minded 'mo foes, they were able to pass off their fallacies in a more unchecked fashion. But in this day of all-access and the heightened accountability that comes with web-based archiving, those of us who monitor their movement are connecting the dots for anyone who takes the opportunity to learn more.

We are not only pulling back the mask and revealing the fallacy of their political campaigns, but also pulling back the curtain on their movement as a whole and forcing them to answer the question: "If you all have 'truth' on your side, why do all your messages sound like they come from one shared brain whose vocabulary is limited to certain key code words and whose mindsets are rooted in demonization?" For if you are TRULY operating from a place of honesty, you don't need to be so limited. If you are speaking from your heart rather than an agreed-upon agenda, your thoughts will be unique and your words will ring with honesty. When you are genuine, you don't have to testify to your authenticity. And when you are truly tolerant, you have no need to make protestations about the state of your permissive, understanding mind.

The intolerance of the homosexual agenda [WND]

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Your thoughts

Ah yes. I call it the "great trinity of perfunctory points of the far-right press release" when writing about gays: (1) accuse us of being the intolerant ones, (2) say something about the "homosexual agenda" at least five times, and (3) make sure to throw in something about Kirk and Madsen and "After the Ball".

So predictable and growing less effective by the day

Posted by: Jon | Apr 16, 2008 9:57:51 AM


He and his peeps must be getting desperate to actually use a polysyllabic word.

The judge is, at the very least, mentally unstable. At least he was finally removed from the bench.

Posted by: dave b | Apr 16, 2008 11:32:27 AM

You can't reason with stupid. I was raised a republican by a gay man. I don't hold any of those views however but I do still consider myself more left that right, though I'm not sure why, maybe habit? The problem with the right is they got into bed with the moral majority and Christian fanatics. Sadly, these groups are very good at rallying the troops so to speak. And they have money, and of course god on their side. They wouldn't be rallying if they didn't feel threatened. It's going to get better.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 16, 2008 2:13:07 PM

I meant to say more right than left. sorry for the confusion I have a hard time typing when I get irritated with people like Mr. Moore for being a word I can't use here.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 16, 2008 2:29:38 PM

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