Looks like it's time for us to step up and help the Boy Scouts, since the usual right-wing donors will likely not continue to support them in the fashion they have in the past.
The Boy Scouts decided to come into the 21st century and stop banning gay kids from being scouts. It's about time. What I find most interesting is that when it came to the disturbing history of abuse of those scouts by scout leaders, no one on the right made so much as a peep. Instead, they continued to support the organization with the same fervor they had in the past.
Bryan Fischer, that self-hating head of the American Family Haters Association, blew a gasket over their decision. He was absolutely certain they'd keep hating and hating hard, just like he does. Now he's in mourning, rebranding them as the Boy Sodomizers of America:
Admitting that he was shocked by the vote since he was positive that it was going to be retained, Fischer declared that the BSA should change its name to the "Boy Sodomizers of America." Fischer eventually read a passage from the Book of Luke in which Jesus says it is better to have a stone tied around ones neck and be tossed into the sea than to lead a child to sin as a warning to BSA leaders that they will face the judgment of God for endorsing this change in policy.
I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this from the hate gang. Prepare to defend the Boy Scouts so they don't feel pressure to rescind their newly progressive decision.
Yes, they've settled on a theme for why they lost so magnificently last week. Mitt Romney led it off with his declaration to donors and his campaign team that Obama only won because he gave 'big gifts' to minorities and students.
Mitt Romney told his top donors Wednesday that his loss to President Obama was a disappointing result that neither he or his top aides had expected, but said he believed his team ran a “superb” campaign with “no drama,” and attributed his rival’s victory to “the gifts” the administration had given to blacks, Hispanics and young voters during Obama’s first term.
Obama, Romney argued, had been “very generous” to blacks, Hispanics and young voters. He cited as motivating factors to young voters the administration’s plan for partial forgiveness of college loan interest and the extension of health coverage for students on their parents’ insurance plans well into their 20s. Free contraception coverage under Obama’s healthcare plan, he added, gave an extra incentive to college-aged women to back the president. [...]
“The President’s campaign,” he said, “focused on giving targeted groups a big gift—so he made a big effort on small things. Those small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars.”
Well, then. I suppose Republicans aren't particularly interested in ever being in the White House or the majority again, because if they continue to cement their reputation of the party that serves rich old white men at everyone else's expense I see no pathway to power, do you?
Bryan Fischer, American Family Association wingnut, went on the air yesterday to declare that President Obama got a large portion of the Latino vote because socialism is baked into their genetic code. Or something. Via Right Wing Watch, this lunacy:
In one fantastically wingnutty segment, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer managed to compare Todd Akin to Jesus Christ -- as well as a victim of rape.
FISCHER: Denis Prager wants him out, Charles Krauthammer wants him out, Hugh Hewitt wants him out, Ann Coulter wants him out, The National Review editorial board wants him out, The Wall Street Journal editorial board wants him out, The Tea Party Express wants him out. Virtually nobody other than the Family Research Council and yours truly even Rush, apparently now is out saying he ought to step aside.
So everybody is gang tackling, uh, Todd Akin. Now you talk about a um, forceable, uh, situation, you talk about somebody being a victim of kind of forceable assault, that would be Todd Akin.
As always, the real victims of bigotry and discrimination in this country are white Christian conservatives.
I knew it was only a matter of time before some good fear-mongering evangelicals would connect the imaginary dots between a massacre at a Batman movie and people's stubborn refusal to accept the world as these religious "leaders" would have us see it:
On the conservative Christian radio show AFA Today, evangelical spokesperson Jerry Newcombe blamed the tragedy of the Aurora shooting on the nation’s loss of fear of God and hell. Discussing the victims, Newcombe argued that the non-Christians were going to Hell:
If a Christian dies early, if a Christian dies young, it seems tragic, but really it is not tragic because they are going to a wonderful place.. on the other hand, if a person doesn’t know Jesus Christ.. if they knowingly rejected Jesus Christ, then, basically, they are going to a terrible place.
Newcombe is a spokesperson for Truth in Action Ministries, which has two nationally syndicated television programs and a combined audience of over half a million on television, radio, and the Internet. In a column in One News Now, Newcombe wrote that the shooting was evidence that “we’re reaping what we’ve been sowing as a society,” explaining, “Lawsuit after lawsuit, often by misguided ‘civil libertarians,’ have chased away any fear of God in the land.”
On the same radio segment, Fred Jackson, the host and director of the American Family Association, similarly blamed Hollywood, liberal media and churches for contributing to mass shootings:
I have to think that all of this, whether it’s the Hollywood movies, whether it’s what we see on the internets, whether it’s liberal bias in the media, whether it’s our politicians changing public policy, I think all of those somehow have fit together—and I have to say also churches who are leaving the authority of Scripture and losing their fear of God—all of those things have seem to have come together to give us these kinds of incidents.
Jackson’s American Family Association is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center - and I have to say, he sounds pretty hateful to me.
Of course, he's not alone. A number of other right-wing Christians have made pronouncements along similar lines, most notably Flip Benham of Operation Save America, who has declared that the shooter is "an Occupy Wall Street guy" and "the spawn of the ideology of the Democratic Party."
Much of Sean Hannity's Friday show was devoted to complaining that the left-wing is loaded with haters who do things right-wingers would never, ever do, like organize boycotts to do harm to those who say right-wing things. He was, of course, continuing the ongoing smear campaign against Media Matters, who must just be driving them all crazy over at Fox News now that there's a book out exposing their strategies.
But really, Sean Hannity should try the Google before he lays down challenges like this one. While I'm unimpressed with "Democratic strategist" Julie Roginsky's response, it's his challenge I really want to look at more carefully. After asking why it is the left "always goes after conservatives" without going after their own, Roginsky tosses off a rather careless response, saying, "that's the left. The right does the same thing."
And that begins the Sean Hannity pissing contest challenge.
HANNITY: Have they [Newsbusters] ever gone after people and started boycott campaigns?
ROGINSKY: I have no idea what Newsbusters does --
HANNITY: But Media Matters has, haven't they?
Some back and forth about first amendment rights, etc, and then the Hannity Challenge:
HANNITY: But here's the difference. I don't know any conservative, and you can't name one, that's hiring private investigators, that's organizing with the White House and collaborating with them, and attempting to get advertisers to pull out of shows in an attempt to silence voices. Can you name a conservative equivalent?
ROGINSKY: I don't follow conservative media, so I don't, but I can say this --
HANNITY: I can tell you, I can't name one, and I know conservative media.
Let's leave aside Hannity's lies about collaboration with the White House, which is just nonsense. He cannot seem to name one conservative organization that organizes boycotts? Really?
Let me take that challenge, because Sean Hannity doesn't seem to know conservative media or conservative infrastructure as well as he thinks he does.
The culture wars are ramping up hard as Republicans begin to realize the only hope they have of uniting for November is to stoke the hate fires and invite everyone to gather round. This week's target is the JC Penney Company, for daring to hire Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesman. This has Don Wildmon's American Family Association in an uproar.
One Million Moms is asking people to call JC Penney to complain.
With this campaign, One Million Moms, which claims to be "the most powerful tool you have to stand against the immorality, violence, vulgarity and profanity the entertainment media is throwing at your children," is going after one of the country's most well-liked television hosts.
The moms want JC Penney "to replace Ellen DeGeneres as their new spokesperson immediately and remain neutral in the culture war."
Fat chance, says the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination.
"A vast majority of Americans today support Ellen as well as their LGBT friends and family members,” Herndon Graddick, a GLAAD spokesman said in a written statement. “Selecting an out performer who has inspired and entertained millions, is not only a smart business practice, but a reflection of how LGBT Americans today are an integral and valued part of the fabric of our culture.”
DeGeneres' daytime talk show has more viewers than the American Family Association has moms. Between Jan. 16 and Jan. 22, "Ellen" averaged 3.38 million viewers. That's 2.38 million more people than the AFA has moms.
Wildmon, who stepped down from his daily duties with the AFA due to health reasons last year, has endorsed Newt Gingrich. And the war rages on.
We have spent over $16 trillion fighting the war on poverty, and it’s time to run up the white flag of surrender. Poverty has won. We now have more people on food stamps - think children here - than at any time in our history. The war on poverty has been a total, dismal failure and it’s time to recognize that. You get more of whatever you subsidize. You subsidize poverty, which we have done since 1965, and you just get more of it.
Welfare has destroyed the African-American family by telling young black women that husbands and fathers are unnecessary and obsolete. Welfare has subsidized illegitimacy by offering financial rewards to women who have more children out of wedlock. We have incentivized fornication rather than marriage, and it’s no wonder we are now awash in the disastrous social consequences of people who rut like rabbits.
And children are the ones who get chewed up. Welfare, as Walter Williams has pointed out, has done what slavery, racism and Jim Crow laws could not do: destroy the black family. The Christ-centered statesman puts himself in the place of a fatherless black child, sees the catastrophic damage that the meltdown of the family has caused, and pursues policies to wean people off marriage- and child-destroying welfare, and pursues policies that incentivize marriage, incentivize self-reliance rather than abject dependence, and incentivize the reconstruction of the American family.
Got that? All those black folks are ruttin' like rabbits because we've let them have welfare instead of their previous condition, which involved starvation in poverty. Most likely Fischer prefers the previous option -- it builds character, as Glenn Beck would say.
This is stuff straight out of the David Duke handbook. Indeed, it isn't hard to envision Fischer intoning this into a mike through a Klan Grand Dragon mask.
The AFA was obviously embarrassed by this outburst of naked racist hatemongering and changed the text of the post so that the last sentence now reads:
We have incentivized fornication rather than marriage, and it’s no wonder we are now awash in the disastrous social consequences of those who engage in random and reckless promiscuity, whether they are Caucasian, Hispanic, or African-American.
But that didn't matter -- because then Fischer published a new post not only defending his original post, but actually stating it all over again, including the "rutting like rabbits" bit:
This was in response to my statement that our welfare policies - in which we subsidize and reward sex outside of marriage - is incentivizing people of all ethnic groups to “rut like rabbits.” This is a simple and unmistakable fact. You get more of whatever you subsidize, and we are clearly getting more sex outside of marriage and more children born out of wedlock than ever before. (I have since made changes in my original column to clarify any confusion and misinterpretation of my comments.)
I was commenting on the effect of our misguided welfare policies across the board, and was not singling out the African-American community in particular, although the consequences of our disastrous welfare policies are felt most acutely there. I was speaking generally to the fact that fallen human nature is going to gravitate to whatever behavior government rewards, even if the behavior itself is self-destructive.
Because we are subsidizing fornication and illegitimacy - every illegitimate baby means more taxpayer money for the mother - we now have 40% of all babies being born out of wedlock overall. In the Hispanic community, the number is over 50% and in the African-American community, the number is now catastrophically over 70%.
“Gen X” was popularized as an advertising term. Marketers used the label to describe the young people of the late ‘80s. The focus was on how to sell goods to the MTV generation.
Advertisements at that time, just as one example, started to feature unmarried couples to appeal to this group of consumers. This was a first and in the early ‘90s it was pushing the envelope. It apparently resonated. The advertisers gauged correctly: They successfully sold their products to Americans with the now documented lowest marriage rate in history.
The argument could be made (mainly by those who want to take us back to a mythical innocent time of the supposedly recent past) that it’s advertisers who’ve corrupted our culture and changed what’s socially acceptable through their manipulations. Or, if you have sold your proverbial soul to the gods of unfettered commerce – like the rightwing self-described Culture Warriors, or the (formerly) Moral (former) Majority – advertisements are the market speaking for the greater culture at large. And the greater culture, funny enough, largely disagrees with the rightwing.
Here’s how it works: Advertisers put out an image or an idea – the greater public concurs by buying those products. Successful ads equal agreed upon ideas. Marketing is, after all, the definitive pandering.
And here is what the culture is saying through advertisements: We like racial diversity. Why can I say that? Because commercials not only have racially diverse groups of friends and co-workers – they now regularly feature bi-racial couples in ads. In a Budweiser Super Bowl spot this year, there were black men flirting with white women sans scandal. If those spots are moving widgets it means consumers agree with the message. It’s a type of voting. Even if some viewers don’t notice or don’t have a visceral reaction one way or another – it’s an indicator of a new cultural norm.
Also Americans are okay with homosexuals. The American Family Association, an association for only pre-approved families, threatened JC Penney with a boycott after they hired Ellen Degeneres as a spokesperson. Now, Degeneres, besides being a comedic genius, is also a successful talk show host and a popular pitchperson for brands like Covergirl and American Express. The market has spoken time after time, and Ellen is adored and sought after. She also happens to be a lesbian, which has made her the target of the AFA whose influence is clearly eroding.
What else does the market proclaim? Well, Americans widely approve of birth control. And yes, even legal abortion. In the dust-up last week between Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood the market picked the winner. It was Planned Parenthood. The nonprofit health care provider saw a spike in private contributions after Komen announced they would no longer give Planned Parenthood a grant to screen for breast cancer. And Komen’s brand has been forever tarnished by putting politics before their cure-finding goal. It’s already resulted in one resignation of the Vice President of Public Policy, Karen Handel.
You can think of the market as a leading indicator of our social mores and the Republican primary as a lagging one.
Romney had to downplay his Mormonism in '08, so the recent criticism that the LDS church is a non-Christian cult, from people like Texas Mega-preacher/Rick Perry supporter Robert Jeffress, is not surprising.
You remember Bryan Fischer from the American Family Association? They helped put together Rick Perry's day of willful ignorance fasting and prayer. Anyway, this guy's under the impression that the First Amendment doesn't apply to Mormons.
This guy has a pretty shaky grasp on constitutional law, and reality in general. And while this is just identity politics at its most base, it demonstrates how very peculiar we are regarding what kinds of crazy we're OK with.
It's perfectly acceptable to believe that the crucified, human son of an ill-conceived deity resurrects after a three-day dirt-nap, physically flies up to heaven, and Voltrons up with his dad and some ghosty fella to make a Holy Trinitron. But if you believe that the same human son takes a little North American detour after magically coming back to life, and hangs out with some Jewish native Americans, before heading to dad's gated community in the clouds...that strains credulity.
Mormons don't even go in for the Voltron thing, which puts them on more plausible theological ground, in my opinion. But I don't want to get into a crazy-off here, which is to what all theology invariably amounts.
Instead of Mormon Jesus, ponder another quintessentially American hero of myth: Arthur Herbert “Fonzie” Fonzarelli. “There was a certain mysticism to his control over women and Arnold's jukebox,” says pop culture wonk/shiftless lay-a-bout Ken Huss. “The town believed in the Fonz. Their belief fueled his legend, and gave him confidence.”
Everyone was fine with the retro Italian/Jewish/baptized greaser possessing the supernatural ability to manipulate technology. But the guy jumps over one little shark on water skis, and that's just ridiculous; I'm never watching this crap again.
Jumping the shark is meant to be the moment a storyline really slips. The writers are out of ideas. They grasp at desperate dramatic straws, stunts, and last-ditch nonsense. Nonsense. To keep the plot rolling and the studio dough rolling in. As the skis part with the sea, the phrase conjures a break with believability.
That happened to me with Battlestar Galactica when Starbuck just...came back to life?! No. That's lazy, implausible writing. That's not good enough, Mister Man! You're just gonna have to write it again! That's when BSG jumped the proverbial ancient killing machine, for me. Suspension of disbelief: shattered. Because people don't just come back to life.
And once your suspension of disbelief is gone, the whole series pales in the glaring light of reflection. All of the other nonsense I was willing to – or able to overlook: the 12 colonies business, the cylons, the search for the mystical planet Kobol...it all seemed so silly. And you're telling me Saul Tigh's a cylon now? No way! Sorry, but this isn't entirely a geeky digression.