It wasn’t but a couple of days ago that we had a conversation about The Fear and the emails that are used to spread it, and I figured with that out of the way we had dealt with the topic, and that we’d move on to new things.
Well, we would be moving on, Gentle Reader, if it wasn’t for the fact that an email came in today that was so ugly, so disturbing, and so indicative of what we are about to see as the battle over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) begins to heat up (ENDA being possibly the next “big contentious thing” that this Administration hopes to accomplish), that I had to interrupt my story schedule to bring it to your attention.
For those not yet aware, let’s do a bit of background: there have been a series of civil rights laws passed over the years, providing protections related to the right to vote, providing for equality in housing and employment based on race, or religion, or ethnicity, or gender, and providing protections for the disabled.
What is missing is a law protecting those who are gay or those who might view gender in a way that’s different than what the most fundamentalist church in town views as “normal” from discrimination in housing and employment; the idea is that ENDA (officially known as H.R. 3017, Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009) is intended to fill that gap.
The House Education and Labor Committee has held hearings on the bill, but that’s as far as it's gone so far. Now that the pressure is easing to get health care reform through Congress, there are people who would like to advance ENDA from a bill to a law...and I’m one of ‘em.
So, naturally, when an email came into my inbox asking “Do You Support The Homosexual Agenda?” I thought to myself: “why, yes, I do”, and opened the darn thing. As it turns out, the sender, “Public Advocate of the United States” (which, I assume, is not to be confused with “The Advocate”), is not a supporter of Teh Gay Agenda...but that’s not really a surprise, is it?
In fact, the group is against...well, pretty much everything, including:
“...The National Endowment of the Arts and the federal funding and endorsement of pornography and obscenity as legitimate forms of art;
The mainstream media's promotion and glorification of drug abuse, teenage sex, gangs, atheism, homosexuality and other immoral behavior and beliefs;
The passage of hate crimes and thought control legislation that creates inequality in our state and federal legal systems...”
All of which they present with no apparent sense of the contradictions inherent in their own positions...which is also not really a surprise. Anyway, according to the email...
“The Radical Homosexuals claim you and other pro-family Americans actually now support same-sex marriage, special job preferences for homosexuals and promotion of the homosexual lifestyle in schools...”
First off (and I had to do some research to confirm this), The Radical Homosexuals are not a band, which is too bad, because that would be one sweet name to put on a marquee.
Secondly, Angry Conservative Fundraising Guy, the country is split, almost 60/40, in favor of civil unions, this according to Pew...and when it comes to actual marriage, Pew counts it at 53% against, 39% for...which means The Radical Homosexuals are more correct in their assertions than Angry Conservative Fundraising Guy might like.
But let’s move on:
“...You see, the Radical Homosexuals are storming through Washington demanding passage of their agenda.
And with the passage of Thought Control last year, they say NOW is the time to push their perverse "life-style" on every man, women and child in America.
And they insist YOU actually support them. The Homosexual Lobby played a major role in electing Obama and the majorities he enjoys in both houses of Congress.
I can only begin to imagine all the damage the Radical Homosexuals will do with their allies controlling the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House.
As the President of Public Advocate of the U.S., I've devoted twenty-seven years to battling the radical homosexuals in Washington.
Backed by Hollywood celebrities, the media and millions of your tax dollars, the Radical Homosexuals have many Congressmen quivering with fear -- and they have a Radical Homosexual-friendly majority in control of Congress...”
(A quick word regarding emphasis: although portions of the message were emphasized, for technical reasons that emphasis was removed here. Honestly, it only makes the author look even stranger.)
A Quivering Majority of the Members of Congress?
And that’s only what he can begin to imagine:
“...Frankly if you really do support the radical Homosexual Agenda -- or if you just no longer care enough to stand up for the family -- insiders in Congress say the entire Homosexual Agenda could pass in a matter of months.
*** Special job rights for homosexuals and lesbians.
Businesses may have to adopt hiring quotas to protect themselves from lawsuits. Every homosexual fired or not hired becomes a potential federal civil rights lawsuit.
Radical homosexuals will terrorize day care centers, hospitals, churches and private schools. Traditional moral values will be shattered by federal law.
*** Same-sex marriages and adoptions.
Wedding-gown clad men smooching before some left-wing clergy or state official is just the beginning.
You'll see men hand-in-hand skipping down to adoption centers to "pick out" a little boy for themselves.
*** Homosexual advocacy in schools.
Your children or grandchildren will be taught homosexuality is moral, natural and good. High school children will learn perverted sex acts as part of "safe sex" education.
With condoms already handed out in many schools, Radical Homosexuals will have little trouble adopting today's "if it feels good do it" sex-ed curriculum to their agenda.
And to add insult to injury, lobbyists for the Homosexual Agenda are paid off with your tax dollars! That's right, radical homosexual groups like the Gay-Lesbian Task Force and ACT-UP receive millions from the government.
Hundreds of millions of dollars flow from taxpayers to homosexual activists through funding for homosexual "art," so-called AIDS-awareness programs, and research grants...”
OK...so...at this point I need you to sit back down and take a deep breath, because it’s about to get a whole lot weirder.
I do not want you drinking anything while you read this next passage.
I don’t want you eating, either.
There are a few of you who may...oh, how should I put this...it’s possible that you may have some doubts about your own mental health.
To paraphrase comedian Lewis Black: if you go to an International House of Pancakes and you have “body issues”, you will inevitably feel better about yourself after the visit; this because there is always someone there who is at least 400 pounds heavier than you will ever weigh, ever, in your entire life.
The next portion of this email represents the International House of Mental Health, and there’s someone there 400 times crazier than you...and it’s this guy:
“...One stormy night I drove to a mailshop hidden deep in a nearly deserted stand of warehouses. I'd heard something was up and wanted to see for myself.
As I rounded the final turn my eyes nearly popped. Tractor-trailers pulled up to loading docks, cars and vans everywhere and long-haired, earring-pierced men scurrying around running forklifts, inserters and huge printing presses.
Trembling with worry I went inside.
It was worse than I ever imagined. Row after row of boxes bulging with pro-homosexual petitions lined the walls, stacked to the ceiling.
My mind reeled as I realized hundreds, maybe thousands, more boxes were already loaded on the tractor-trailers. And still more petitions were flying off the press.
Suddenly a dark-haired man screeched, "Delgaudio what are you doing here?" Dozens of men began moving toward me. I'd been recognized.
As I retreated to my car, the man chortled, "This time Delgaudio we can't lose."
Driving away, my eyes filled with tears as I realized he might be right. This time the Radical Homosexuals could win.
You see, even though homosexuals are just 1% of the population, if every one sent a petition to Congress it would generate a tidal wave of two or three million petitions or more.
Hundreds of thousands of pro-homosexual petitions will soon flood Congress , and my friends in Congress tell me there's virtually nothing on Capitol Hill from the tens of millions of Americans like you who oppose the radical Homosexual Agenda and the Gay Bill of Special Rights.
I made up my mind that night to write to you and as many other patriotic Americans as possible. To stop the Radical Homosexuals and protect traditional marriage there must be an immediate outpouring from folks like you....”
I need to interrupt for a quick second to ask a question: is it just me, or is the only difference between that story and a bad gay porn film that there’s nobody knocking at the door saying: “here’s the pizza...and here’s the pepperoni”?
“...Homosexual activists mock me in the halls of Congress. They say it's too late because Americans like you don't care enough to help, especially with the Democrats in control of Congress and the White House...”
Hey, Angry Conservative Fundraising Guy: just because someone mocks you in the hall, it doesn’t mean they’re some kind of homosexual activist. They could be mental health activists, for example, or activists promoting better education...and, of course, it’s always possible they’re from the Netherlands.
Now not all the news here is bad:
“...If you won't help, I'm afraid there is little more I can do.
But the fact is, even if every person responds it won't be enough to counter all the radical homosexuals are doing.
And not everyone will respond. Some are cowed by how pro-family Americans are portrayed on TV. Others will count on someone else to fight the fight and carry the load. I don't believe you are like that...”
Just a real quick little bit of advice for the author of this piece, if I may be so bold.
Context matters, as those who used the word “Teabag” just a bit too freely discovered last spring, much to our delight, and when you’re busy stirring up The Fear Of The Radical Homosexual, I would be careful how I throw around terms like “carry the load”.
Next time, Angry Conservative Fundraising Guy, consider hiring a panel of 13-year-old boys who like Beavis and Butthead DVDs for a focus group before you hit the “Send” button and this sort of thing might not happen again.
The rest of this is a great big fundraiser which includes a series of links to what the sender calls a “Morality Survey”, but what I call either a push-poll or a handy one-page checklist of the arguments you can expect to hear over the next few months.
Now I think we’ve all seen enough of this for today, but here’s what I want you to take away from our conversation:
ENDA will be used as a tool to continue spreading hate in the run-up to this year’s elections...and really, really, really creepy people will be trying to scare you using really, really, really turgid (and I do mean turgid) prose.
The imaging will be ugly, with the fears of pedophilia and crossdressing and things being rammed down throats likely to all play starring roles in the Conserva-theater that’s soon to come.
I also expect to see more “outings”, á la Karl Rove’s usual practice—even against other Republicans, which has already apparently happened in this cycle, in the Illinois Senate Republican primary.
“...Stop imagining, unravel the truth and ask: “just who is it happening to?”
Everything that the passenger do, the driver experience, too
So if humanity is one then we all get burned when it’s hell that we’re traveling through...”
--From the song “The Travelers”, by Brother Ali.
There is no reason for us to blow this one.
The Conservative craziness that’s coming may become so extreme that even the Republicans no longer want any part of these people, but I wouldn’t count on it.
What I would count on is that this is the kind of fight we want to be having—as long as we’re out there having it. Talk to your friends, talk to those people in line at the espresso stand, and (here’s one for the Captain in all of us), maybe even talk to the attractive individual working out next to you at the gym.
Make them understand what this election is really going to be about, how desperate the other side is, and why we can’t afford to let them win.
The Radical HomoFearoPhobians are already hard at work, so get out there and do the same.
Unless, of course, you’d prefer another summer of really, really, awful Teabagging.