Me on Monday - "Fat chance, Tony."
What bothers me about the debate on whether or not the Family Research Council is a hate group (in the wake of Wednesday's shooting at FRC's headquarters) is what I see as an effort to bend over backwards in order to minimize the power of words fueled to exploit fear and rage.
I think some folks are too spooked to call out FRC's past homophobic language for fear that they may be accused to giving a green light to the type of violence which occurred on Wednesday.
Nonsense. Simply calling out homophobic language is in no way giving a license to violence
But there is a problem with ignoring just how such language has contributed to the aura of hate and violence.
With that in mind, while I abhor what happened Wednesday, I have no plans on slacking up on continuing to call out FRC for their anti-gay lies and homophobia.
In 2010 FRC launched a Start Debating, Stop Hating campaign designed to make it seem that SPLC is unfairly targeting the organization and other religious right groups for their stances against gay marriage.
On its webpage, FRC has a statement announcing the campaign. The organization is also inviting folks to sign its petition.
FRC's statement was nice but I felt that it needed work, therefore I made a few minor additions that I think puts proper perspective not only on FRC but the other organizations which were either named as hate groups or profiled.
Parts of FRC's statement are in bold and my "tweaking" is below each statement:
The surest sign one is losing a debate is to resort to character assassination.
" . . . hatred for men, which is very typical of a lesbian experience" - Kristi Hamrick, October 16, 1996, Family Research Council web site.The group, which was once known for combating racial bigotry, is now attacking several groups that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman. How does the SPLC attack? By labeling its opponents “hate groups.” No discussion. No consideration of the issues. No engagement. No debate.
"Homosexuals say they don't want the children, but boy they put a lot of energy into going after them." - Robert Knight of the Family Research Council writing in a Focus on the Family newsletter, quoted by People for the American Way, "Hostile Climate," 1997, p.15
"The homosexual rights movement has tried to distance itself from pedophilia, but only for public relations purposes." - "Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex With Boys," FRC publication, July 1999
"Militant homosexuality is fundamentally opposed to religion, family, and anything that presupposes a natural moral order, a transcendent God, or something else higher than ourselves. The activist homosexual agenda and worldview are fundamentally incompatible with Christianity or any form of true religion, because homosexuality is ultimately narcissism" - THE ASSAULT ON CHRISTIANS BY THE MILITANT HOMOSEXUAL MOVEMENT, Steven A. Schwalm, Family Research Council.
"In fact, most mothers are more concerned with protecting their children from homosexual activists, who insist on their supposed 'right' to propagandize young schoolchildren." - Americans for Truth About Homosexuality press release, July 12, 1998
"Judge Walker has already decided this issue for himself, and has no business putting himself in a place where his own personal value judgments could be substituted for the express will of the people of California. He is Exhibit A as to why homosexuals should be disqualified from public office. Character is an important qualification for public service, and what an individual does in his private sexual life is a critical component of character. A man who ignores time-honored standards of sexual behavior simply cannot be trusted with the power of public office." - American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, August, 2010
This is intolerance pure and simple. Elements of the radical Left are trying to shut down informed discussion of policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the courts.
Christian homophobes have misused my writings on the biology of homosexuality, particularly "Gay Genes, Revisited," published in Scientific American in November 1995. -John Horgan, a science journalist and Director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, August 2010
" . . .our research is being used by select groups in US and Finland to suggest that gay and bisexual men live an unhealthy lifestyle that is destructive to themselves and to others. These homophobic groups appear more interested in restricting the human rights of gay and bisexuals rather than promoting their health and well being. " - Robert S Hogg, Steffanie A Strathdee, Kevin JP Craib, Michael V O'shaughnessy, Julio Montaner, and Martin T Schechter, International Journal of Epidemiology, December 2001
Our debates can and must remain civil - but they must never be suppressed through personal assaults that aim only to malign an opponents character.
"How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn. […] American government cannot fight against marriage and hope to endure. If the Constitution is defined in such a way as to destroy the privileged position of marriage, it is that insane Constitution, not marriage, that will die." - National Organization for Marriage board member Orson Scott Card, April 2009
"You've got these Mujaheddin on the battlefield setting out these syringes with the HIV virus in it as a way to carry out terrorism.This is exactly what happens when two males have sex with one another. If one of them is HIV Positive, then it's just like injecting his partner with a needle with HIV. That's domestic terrorism. I don't know what else you'd call it." - American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, September, 2010
We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with
Family Research Council - “(Gays) are luring kids into a homosexual behavior. There is a strong undercurrent of pedophilia in the homosexual subculture.” - Robert Knight, Family Research Council, Rolling Stone, March 18, 1999
American Family Association - "Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers, they were his enforcers, they were his thugs. And Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual solders basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after."- American Family Association's Bryan Fisher, May 2010
Concerned Women of America - "Do you believe school children as young as 13 should be exposed to explicit, detailed discussions and instructions on homosexual practices (including sodomy) as are being conducted by homosexual teachers and activists right now?" - March 2009
National Organization for Marriage - For a time, NOM’s name was used by a bus driver named Louis Marinelli, who drove a van for NOM’s “Summer for Marriage Tour” this year. Marinelli called himself a “NOM strategist” and sent out electronic messages under the NOM logo that repeated falsehoods about homosexuals being pedophiles and gay men having extremely short lifespans. In homemade videos posted on his own YouTube page, he said same-sex marriage would lead to “prostitution, pedophilia and polygamy.” But this July, NOM said it was not associated with Marinelli. - Southern Poverty Law Center, Intelligence Report, Winter 2010.
Liberty Counsel - “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’" - Liberty Counsel member Matt Barber describing gay relationships.
and other pro-family organizations
These groups include:
Traditional Values Coalition - "Reverend Louis Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition has come out in favor of quarantining AIDS patients in what he calls 'cities of refuge.' " - Mark E. Pietrzyk, News-Telegraph, March 10, 1995
Family Research Institute - “Untrammeled homosexuality can take over and destroy a social system. If you isolate sexuality as something solely for one’s own personal amusement, and all you want is the most satisfying orgasm you can get- and that is what homosexuality seems to be-then homosexuality seems too powerful to resist. The evidence is that men do a better job on men and women on women, if all you are looking for is orgasm.” - Family Research Institute head Paul Cameron, Rolling Stone, March 18, 1999
Addendum about Paul Cameron:
"Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism" - American Sociological Association, 1985
"The Canadian Psychological Association takes the position that Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism." - The Canadian Psychological Association, 1996
Faithful Baptist Church - "I do hate homosexuals and if hating homosexuals makes our church a hate group then that's what we are." - Steven Anderson, pastor at Faithful Baptist Church, December 2010.
Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment - " . . .while having separate barracks for homosexuals and heterosexuals would help solve the problem of homosexuals ogling or sexually harassing heterosexuals, it would probably exacerbate the problem of homosexuals ogling or sexually harassing each other since they are sexually attracted to each other and they would be confined in close quarters. Oddly enough, in order to ameliorate that problem it would make some sense to mix male homosexuals with lesbians in the same barracks because they do not sexually attract each other. This mixing would reduce the amount of sexual desire or tension in homosexual barracks. " - statement on the group's web page
that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family. We support the vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans.
Perhaps instead Stop Hating, Start Debating, FRC should name its campaign We can't stop trying because we are afraid to admit that we have been lying.
(The statements from FRC and other religious right groups have been taken from various web pages, including my blog and I stand by each statement.)