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Can anti-equality conservatives make a point without invoking Nazis, Marx, Communism?

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 At 12.37.58 Pm

I haven't mentioned Tony Perkins' so-called "State of the Family" event, which he delivered last night in D.C., because, quite frankly—it was a bit of a mess. It started with this majorly overplayed introduction that made Tony Perkins seem like a cross between the President of the United States and an American Gladiators competitor. But then it was followed by a sort of go-nowhere speech in front of a tiny crowd in a less-than-dazzling room. And of course rather than actually talk about strengthening family life in America, it was all about how some Americans, most notably gay couples who seek simple services from vendors who purport to offer those very services to all comers, are supposedly infringing on the restrictive rights of people who think like Tony. It was an extremely misnamed event. "State of My Ability to Discriminate" would've been better.

The only thing that really stood out was Tony's setup. To no one's surprised, Tony led off his claims of "religious intolerance" in 2015 America by drawing parallels with legitimate (and in some cases genocidal) persecutions of the past:

While history shows us many instances of religious conflict, recent history is even clearer on the catastrophic cost of established irreligion. A century and a half of mass murders have proceeded at the hands of ideologies that hated God and sought to destroy all trace of Him and those who love Him.

Nazi Germany sought to replace God with the false worship of Aryan supremacy. Hitler dreamed of the removal of the Bible from every pulpit in Germany and its replacement with his manifesto Mein Kampf. He leveled a campaign against the Church, as well as Jews, believing historical Christianity a “scourge” and urged his aides to see Germany “immunized from this disease.” He believed that Christianity made men soft, unfit in his regime of eugenic purification. He despised the Gospels’ great commandments of love and their basis in the transforming claim that all persons have equal value before their Creator.

Communism sought a similar immunization against Christianity based not on crude racism but brutal ideology. As Ronald Reagan stated in his address to the Conservative Political Action Conference in 1981, “The Communist vision is the Vision of Man without God. It is the vision of man’s displacing God as the creative intelligence of the universe.” In the pursuit of that vision, Soviet Communism carried out purges that resulted in the deaths of millions.

In the Far East, under Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), an estimated 60 million people were killed. The death toll from the march of communism in the last century exceeded 100 million people. And that does not count the horrific toll that still engulfs the PRC, where millions of girls are missing, millions of mothers maimed, because of its ruthless campaign of forced abortion and sterilization under the one-child policy. The vision of man without God spares neither the womb nor the cradle.

From the very beginning of our nation, America’s Founders raised a bulwark against such crimes. They set forth not only a vision of self-government but a conviction - a creed - that our freedoms are the unalienable gift of God. These freedoms can be assaulted or infringed, but they can never be erased because they are written, as Alexander Hamilton wrote, by the Hand of Divinity itself. We must never become indifferent to what has been won at such incredible cost. We stand here tonight to assert once more that we never will.

The threats America face are not potential - they are clear, present and dangerous. And ironically they come most sharply today not from the radical economic doctrines of Karl Marx, nor from the lights of what Winston Churchill called “perverted science,” but from the darkness of unrestricted sexual license—a new Cultural Revolution—gone mad.

State of the Family [FRC]

I know this kind of catnip works with at least a portion of FRC's base, but aren't even they getting bored of it by now? I mean, personally I can't fathom drawing such comparisons, and especially with such frequency, even if talking about a group like FRC, which very much is trying to undermine my human rights and dignity, so I think the whole conceit is in a chamber of irresponsible rhetoric that I, as commentator, try very much to avoid rather than visit. But even if you are less semantically sensitive, isn't the whole act getting pretty stale by now? Just for the sake of originality alone, wouldn't you think people like Tony would shake up the references a bit? There much be some other oppressive regimes and scary-sounding ideas that they could use to flavor their fervor.

Or, you know—they could just start talking like human beings rather than fear machines. Can you even imagine?

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