It was unusually satisfying to watch beauty contestant turned Bible-thumper Carrie Prejean crash and burn. In the bat of an eyelash, she went from Christian role model to wannabe underwear model after racy pictures of her surfaced. "They were quite inappropriate and certainly not photos befitting a beauty queen," Alicia Jacobs, a Miss USA judge, told NBC's Today Show.
The verb "strip" is the one most associated with Prejean's name these days. She stripped her clothes, may be stripped of her Miss California crown and was certainly stripped of her moral authority as a spokesperson for marriage. In her brief stint as America's scold, she forgot to memorize one Bible passage: "Judge not lest thou be judged."
What's amazing is that the circus-like antics of Prejean are the rule, not the exception for today's anti-gay activists. There has clearly been a brain drain among our opponents -- with the conservative intelligentsia largely running from GLBT issues. Filling the vacuum, are the vacuous -- with little to offer, other than comedic relief.
For example, Joe the Plumber plunged into culture wars with his usual thoughtful advice: "I personally still think it's wrong...you know, God is pretty explicit in what we're supposed to do--what man and woman are for...I've had some friends that are actually homosexual. And, I mean, they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldn't have them anywhere near my children."
Joe the Plumber looked like Einstein compared to Maine Rep. Bernard Ayotte (R). During a state House debate on marriage equality (passed 89-58), Ayotte said that he couldn't support the legislation because it would provide legal protections to people whom he said suffered from hormonal imbalances.
"By all indications, homosexuality in human beings seems to be generated by imbalances in the human body," Ayotte said. "As legislators, it is important that we do not base our statutes on genetic aberrations."
Even by the low standards set by anti-gay activists, this level of ignorance was shocking, yet indicative of how far the quality of our opponents has fallen.
Joining the chorus of anti-gay clowns was former Washington, DC mayor Marion Barry, best remembered for smoking crack and allowing the city's rats to grow as large as cats. A longtime gay rights supporter, he was the lone city councilman to vote against a bill, passed 12-1, to recognize same-sex marriages performed outside the District.
"All hell is going to break lose," Barry predicted. "We may have a civil war. The black community is just adamant against this." Columnist Leonard Pitts summarized Barry's political cowardice when he said the former mayor "punked out."
Sharing the anti-gay spotlight was caustic talk show host Michael Savage and the Kansas preacher noted for picketing military funerals with "God Hates Fags" signs, Fred Phelps and his wife, Shirley. They were banned from visiting England and publicly scorned for their bigoted views. While I do not agree with their banishment (neither do civil liberties groups), it does force social conservatives into the PR nightmare of having to turn Savage and Phelps into "creep celebres."
Even the "mainstream" anti-gay activists seem to have come unhinged. In stating his opposition to federal hate crime legislation, James Dobson appeared in a video where he falsely claimed that the inclusion of "sexual orientation" opened the door to, "bisexuality, exhibitionism, fetishism, incest, necrophilia, pedophilia, prostitution, sexual masochism, voyeurism, bestiality." Dobson added for effect, "I have to ask, 'have we all gone completely mad?'"
Oddly enough, Dobson lives in Colorado, one of twelve states that have a hate crime law offering protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There are also 31 states that offer such protection based solely on sexual orientation. In these 43 states, can Dobson point to a problem with hate crime laws being applied to necrophilia or bestiality? If not, his bizarre and paranoid ranting says more about his overactive imagination, than it does about the reality of such laws.
Of course, for the sake of sheer amusement, we can't leave out the absurdity of Bristol Palin hawking abstinence. With baby in-tow and embittered ex-boyfriend on tail, she is the poster girl for the social conservative mantra: "do as I say, not as I do."
Let me reiterate, so you can fully appreciate and savor the situation. The new faces of social conservatism are: Carrie Prejean, Joe the Plumber, Marion Barry, Bernard Ayotte, Michael Savage, Fred Phelps and Bristol Palin. With such luminaries, it should be no surprise that the GLBT community has had a string of incredible victories. Somewhere in the process of passing the torch to the next generation, anti-gay activists have stumbled and are in danger of burning down the homophobic house.
Add lying to Carrie Prejean's list of hypocricies. Besides telling the pagent people that no such photos existed, when the first one appeared, she swore up and down that it was the only one, until the other ones started coming out. It would have been cool to see a bucket of pig's blood dumped on *Carrie*, while dressed in all her pagent finery and 'dirty pillows'. Maybe we shouldnt be so hard on her, she may have had a mother who had a boyfriend who 'had the smell of roadhouse whiskey on his breath'...and she liked it...she liked it.
posted by gary, at
5/11/2009 7:37 PM
I think England was correct when it banned Savage and Phelps. Imagine a foreign equivalent of the two espousing anti-semitism, racism, denying the holocaust or threatening the life of any American, or worse yet, the life of the President. Do any of us really believe they should be allowed into the country based on their right to "free" speech inciting others to hate with the potential to commit a violent act? I don't.
Regarding Dobson's fear mongering. Ask any of them to produce the evidence. As far as I know, it is illegal to conduct a an incestuous, polygamous or bestial marriage in Holland, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Canada, South Africa and four, possibly six states in the U.S.
However, incestuous marriage is allowed in New York apparently, if you are a republican. Rudy Giuliani married his first cousin and later divorced her while philandering with several others and then had two more marriages. Nnote how silent his party was on that one and the silence from the Vatican was even more deafening. So much for the sanctity of straight marriage.
posted by Robert, NYC., at
5/12/2009 8:33 AM
Democracy requires minority rights equally as it does majority rule. In today's democracy, the minority's rights must be protected no matter how singular or alienated that minority is from the majority society; otherwise, the majority's rights lose their meaning. In the United States, basic individual liberties are protected through the Bill of Rights, which were drafted by James Madison and adopted in the form of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. These enumerate the rights that may not be violated by the government, safeguarding—in theory, at least—the rights of any minority against majority tyranny. Today, these rights are considered the essential element of any liberal democracy. Propositions, initiatives or any other form of referenda on civil rights should never be allowed in any state. If the minority's rights are to receive equal guarantee and protection under the constitution, then Proposition 8 was illegal and must be overturned.
posted by Robert, NYC., at
5/12/2009 8:44 AM
Let's not forget about all the hypocrisy that goes on in our camp. We ain't perfect. Miss California messed up. But so do we. And by the way, Mr. Fred Phelps is the biggest religious fraud going. I got in a confrontation with him in 1993 in Wichita over his God Hates Fags banners. Made the 10:00 news and had my 15 seconds of "fame"
posted by Jay Jay, at
5/12/2009 9:21 AM
Ah yes, Bristol Palin as the presumptive mother of two, televised mother of one, all made up and holding Tripp, a disturbingly inert infant.
For anyone interested in the ongoing saga of Sarah Palin's alleged "pregnancy" with Trig, I recommend www.palindeception.com/blog, where a team of citizen-journalists has spent months investigating whether SP actually gave birth last year. As the Magic 8-Ball would say, "Signs point to no."
posted by MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, at
5/12/2009 12:29 PM
Democrat Senator Ruben Diaz' anti-gay-marriage rally to take place this Sunday at 1:00 outside of NYS Governor Paterson's Manhattan offices at 633 Third Avenue.
posted by Joey7777, at
5/12/2009 6:17 PM
It is interesting to me that people like Carrie Prejean take a stand on principle only for it to later be revealed they’ve behaved in a way that undermines their position. And then the media usually reveals seedy revelations. It is kind of fun to watch those that take what they consider to be a morally superior position “fall from grace”. But does hypocrisy necessarily invalidate someones’ position? As you may know a verbal attack on a person, not an attack on their position, is referred to as an Ad hominem (latin for “At the man”) attack.
It is fairly easy to attack your opponent for their hypocritical behavior in light of a position they’ve defended. I have done it. Wayne has done. You have done it. However, the problem with any sort of ad hominen attack is that, effective as it may be at humiliating an opponent, it never really addresses the validity of an issue. But it’s a common theme today. It is easier to discredit a person than their argument.
The next time we hear someone criticised for a position they take, stop to see if the attack is at their position or at the them.
posted by Jeff Winter, at
5/17/2009 6:20 PM