OneNewsNow reports that Peter LaBarbera, the bigot in charge of “Americans for Lies About Homosexuality” is claiming that a “gay activist” boycott of the Salvation Army is the first step on the road to criminalization of Christianity. Of course, as OneNewsNow puts it, it’s “groups supporting special rights for homosexuals” that are “urging people to boycott the campaign because the Salvation Army supposedly has a history of ‘discriminating’ against them.”And they call LaBarbera’s hate group “Americans for Truth About Homosexuality.”
According to LaBarbera, the protestors are confused about the Salvation Army, while not bothering to mention that it is an evangelical Christian organization.
“The homosexual activists are saying that The Salvation Army is anti-gay. It’s sort of strange — it’s not like The Salvation Army gives an orientation test every time it wants to help the poor; The Salvation Army just helps the poor. So I think people should go on supporting The Salvation Army. They should disregard the homosexual lobby and just give in the spirit of Christmas.”
The Salvation Army denies that it discriminates, and though it says it looks down upon same-sex relationships as something the Bible forbids, says it does not ask the needy anything about their sexual orientation before helping them. It is odd though that of all the prohibitions in Leviticus the only one the Salvation Army seems to care about is that against gays. Apparently the Salvation Army thinks eating shellfish is just fine and dandy, whatever God says. Just don’t touch another man’s penis while you wolf that forbidden food down.
Whatever the truth of all that might be, the “spirit of Christmas” LaBarbera embraces is apparently a hateful, intolerant one wishing to deprive a segment of the population of their constitutionally guaranteed rights on account of the hatred of religious zealots like himself. OneNewsNow says that “Pro-‘gay’ activists have a history of taking on The Salvation Army because of its biblical view on homosexual conduct” as though there is something surprising about this. Whatever its actual practices, if the Salvation embraced biblical slavery of blacks, wouldn’t black folks have a right to take on the Salvation Army? Wouldn’t you expect them to?
Of course, it’s not pro-‘gay’ activists but pro equal rights activists who are up in arms, and LaBarbera and his bigoted cohorts are confused about biblical morality as they say pro-gay activists are about the Salvation Army. Which brings him to the point of hysteria:
“The homosexual lobby is at war with religion, and they’re also at war with people’s right to express their religious viewpoint that homosexual behavior is sinful,” LaBarbera notes. “And they’re fighting for the right to basically criminalize the practice of Christianity as it applies to homosexuality.”
You almost get the impression than LaBarbera worries that if the Christian restraints come off he will leap, naked and slathered in oil, into the arms of another man. Then we get to the truly laughable stage (if we were not there already). Says OneNewsNow:
However, he laments that the homosexual lobby “is becoming more and more open about its contempt for people’s right to live out their belief that homosexuality is wrong.”
Nothing wrong with contempt for people’s rights to live out their belief that homosexuality is not wrong, however. That’s the warped fundamentalist view of First Amendment rights: they got ‘em, we don’t. LaBarbera’s entire rant depends upon Christian heterosexuals having rights nobody else does.
Fortunately, there are voices of sanity out there as well. We are reminded by the Better World Campaign that “Saturday, December 10, 2011 marks the 63rd anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948.” LaBarbera should remember this as well, as he is sorely in need of a reminder that human rights means human rights, not simply heterosexual Christian rights.
One antidote to LaBarbera’s bigotry is Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, who spoke December 6 day before the United Nations assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, where she spoke in support of LGBT rights.
Watch the video from HumanRights.gov :
“The third, and perhaps most challenging, issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens. This is not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation. Some people still defend those practices as part of a cultural tradition. But violence toward women isn’t cultural; it’s criminal. Likewise with slavery, what was once justified as sanctioned by God is now properly reviled as an unconscionable violation of human rights.”
“The fourth issue is what history teaches us about how we make progress towards rights for all.”
“Reaching understanding of these issues takes more than speech. It does take a conversation. In fact, it takes a constellation of conversations in places big and small. And it takes a willingness to see stark differences in belief as a reason to begin the conversation, not to avoid it.”
(Full transcript of Clinton address here)
America has two courses of action open to us: we can embrace equal rights for all or we can wage war on the constructed Other, cloaking our war in false righteousness and the pretense that equal rights is special rights. It is clear on which side the Constitution lay. LaBarbera has put himself outside the Constitution and far from opposing special rights for gays and lesbians, demands special rights for heterosexual Christians. Americans will decide in 2012 if they prefer the rhetoric of hate or the language of equality, between slavery and freedom. It is to be hoped more people listen to Hilary Clinton than to Peter LaBarbera who condemns himself by his own lies as a follower of the Christian Satan.