Monday, March 19, 2007

The Monday Read: Climbing to power on the backs of gays & lesbians

By Diane Silver

Today's must read: For the Christian Right, Gay-Hating is Just the Start.

War correspondent Chris Hedges' essay on the religious right's use of anti-gay fervor to climb to power is an eye opener. His theory on the motivation behind the anger is interesting. Also pay close attention to what he says about the Nazi's use of a "values" agenda and gay hating to come to power in Germany before World War II.

I could quote the whole essay, but here's something that caught my eye.
The cut-and-dry absolute truth, the division of the world into us and them, allows followers to surrender their consciences and moral responsibility to male demagogues. It also makes them very dangerous.
The only thing I wonder about is the lengthy material from the Rev. Mel White, the founder of Soulforce. I admire White and all he has done.

However, here Hedges' quotes White as saying that lesbians and gays are getting discouraged and giving up on the fight for fairness under the law. He may be right about what's happening in other parts of the country, but I don't see that occurring in Kansas. Oh, folks get tired and some back off for a while, but I see a movement that is more energized than I've seen in more than 20 years.

Believe it or not, the spark for that was the right's 2005 success in slamming a same-sex marriage ban through the Legislature and past voters in a breathless six-week campaign. It seems odd to say that a loss would energize us, but it did and for one simple reason: We weren't going after marriage in Kansas, and they attacked us anyway. Thus, we learned the hard way what we should have known before: Our silence won't protect us.

Hedges is the former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times and the author of "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America" and "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning."
Photo: Chris Hedges from

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