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Audio: Breadth of gay rights, breathlessly bashed

by Jeremy Hooper

Grown adults who spend their workdays using their personal faith views to work up histrionics around what should be and could be the benign acceptance of all human beings:

**SOURCE: Issues Update Broadcast (Part 2 of 2) [Focus On The Family]

Our "favorite" part? Around the 6:16 mark, when Candi Cushman claims that Kevin Jennings "attacked" Young Life and a Texas law in a 2007 Huff Po column. It's of course one of the most widely used anti-gay tactics to claim that any and every bit of push back from our side against their discrimination constitutes an "attack." But it's one that almost never has even a modicum of basis in reality. And it's an unfair strategy that we're really getting sick of hearing from the crowd who's every engagement in this area is a hostile act!.

Here, check out some of what Kevin really said in HuffPo:

But I guess voluntary participation wasn't good enough for these folks, as they want everyone to have to believe the way they do. This should come as no surprise to anyone. Fundamentalist Christians have never been shy about their desire to recruit children. In fact, they spent nearly $200 million in 2006 ($199,891,024, to be exact) to fund just one group designed to do so, "Young Life," an organization whose vision is that "every adolescent will have the opportunity to meet Jesus Christ and follow Him." Young Life operates in 3,921 schools and has 3,171 staff (almost exactly 1,000% more than my organization, GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network). The 358 Young Life school chapters in Texas must be thrilled: they now have an open mic at every school event to where they can help their misguided nonbelieving captive classmates to "meet Jesus Christ and follow Him."

And the Young Life crowd isn't above a little "baiting and switching" to suck young people in. My niece participated in Young Life activities at her high school in Ohio -- for a while. At first she was told she could just take part in the activities: but as time went on she was increasingly "witnessed" to about Jesus and pressured to leave the Catholic Church and become a fundamentalist. She eventually quit because it was apparent to her that it wasn't about the camping trips and "fellowship" -- it was about getting her to leave her Church and go to theirs.

The irony is that fundamentalists have often opposed efforts to reduce the billing and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students by saying this is just an effort to "recruit" people. Aside from being total nonsense, this claim -- when viewed in light of the new Texas law -- shows that these folks are total hypocrites. Fundamentalists are the ones who are all about recruitment. And the new law represents a "coming out of the closet" about that, I suppose.

Read more: Recruit, Recruit, Recruit! [HuffPo]

He tells a personal story. He conveys facts about this particular organization, and how it might run contrary to the views of those who value true religious freedom. And he rightfully points out the hypocrisy of these religious righters who constantly carp about gays who "recruit," when their organizations spend considerable time and money drawing young people into one certain, concrete 200910161105set of beliefs. So in short: He assesses the lay of the land, raising valid concerns about what this sort of thing means for church-state separation, in light of a law that had recently passed in Texas. But since FOF and company have put their side above any and all reproach, Kevin's simple scrutiny is automatically painted as an "attack." Because making gays seem "militant" has been their strategy for over three decades, and they have gotten a crapload of mileage out of this discourse-weakening strategy.

Looking past this one snippet: The subtext of FOF's entire 30 minutes of chatter is that nothing that comes out of the mouths of LGBT people or their allies could ever possibly be righteous, decent, truthful, or beneficial. We of course get why that is, since we understand that (a) they have to flip the script in order to hide the bias that fuels their every endeavor; (b) they know they can't beat us on a constitutional level, so they must resort to rhetorical fear-mongering; and (c) they know that if they continue to cultivate dehumanizing views about LGBT people, they'll convince large swaths of their followers to vote against any and everything having to do with LGBT people, not on the basis of merit, but rather on the basis of ingrained, sweeping homo-hostility. We get it. We just hope that the American public is becoming as clued-in as we think they are.

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Your thoughts

I noticed at 10:55 in the clip (yes, I listened to it at least that long!) that Dobson refers to his new book with a chapter subtitled "the origins of lesbianism". Like it's an organized evil socialist group! What a 'tard he is! This coming from the same man that twists respected research to fit his disturbed ideology. I want this idiot off the airwaves!

Thank you, Jeremy, for posting this!

Posted by: John | Oct 16, 2009 12:02:57 PM

You are a braver man than I, John.

And Kevin Jennings makes a terrific point about Young Life (and by extension, other organizations.) Even mentions that his niece was already Christian. No wonder the FOTF staff hates him so much!

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Oct 17, 2009 1:09:24 PM

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