A Gay Pride Month Feature
Lord, deliver me! There has been another "Million F*g March" in Topeka, Kansas! This second farce, like the first, purported to target that town’s most notorious citizen, the Rev. Fred Phelps. Unlike the first, it didn’t take place at the Phelps family compound. Instead, it was mounted in a park where the crazed clergyman often brandishes his infamous “God Hates F*gs” protest signs.
Chris Love, founder of the millionf*gmarch.com website, crowed to the local media about how he and his “f*gs” had struck another blow against Bible bigot terrorism. Meanwhile, Fred Phelps and his family of extremists were hundreds of miles away in Rhode Island, indulging in one of their favorite pastimes: Picketing the funeral of an American soldier! Learning about the park demonstration later that day, Phelps' daughter Shirley heaped much ridicule on it. “They need to come back when they have a million f*gs,” she sneered.
Touché! Mr. Love has yet to find anything close to a million people dumb enough to attend his marches. Last summer, 500 or so showed up. This time, only about 150 did. I suppose the diminishing numbers are something to be thankful for, but one procession of self-proclaimed perverts was already too many! How many times does he plan to recycle this sick joke?
Chris Love, Fred Phelps and Shirley Phelps-Roper deserve each other! All three are distinctly lacking in class, all three love to stage tacky publicity stunts, and all three embarrass the groups they're supposed to represent. In my opinion, Chris Love may be the worst of the three! Twisted as they are, the Phelps family members actually do believe in what they're doing. I think Love's motives are cynical and opportunistic! Dude just wants his fifteen minutes of fame (over and over again, it seems).
If he really had courage and integrity, he wouldn't be wasting resources on a senile hatemonger and his demagogue daughter, fringe elements who long ago lost credibility with the public. Instead, he'd be taking on the ones who still have power to hurt us: The big boys of the Dominionist movement! He'd be marching on Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. He'd be marching on Rick Warren's Saddleback Church. He'd be picketing the Vatican! He'd be targeting any number of popular televangelists, but he wouldn't be compromising the dignity of his marchers with a sexual slur! I think Chris Love is a glory-seeker, an ignorance enabler, and a coward. Oh, but he isn’t the only one . . . not by a long shot!
Most of us are cowards. We're so chicken-hearted, in fact, we just might be the New White Meat! What makes us so afraid? Not f*g-bashers in a dark alley. Not police harassment when we go to a bar. Not the possibility of contracting HIV. Gay Americans are terrified of the religious Right Wing!
How do I know this? I know it by the way we fail to overload email boxes when anti-Gay preachers vilify us in the media. I know it by the way we tend to melt like the rain-drenched cake from "MacArthur Park" when we debate Bible bigots. I know it by the way thousands of anti-Gay churches go picket-less every Sunday morning. I know it by the way millions of us flock like zombies to these same churches and willingly suffer psychological torture! LGBT folk have a fear of Fundamentalist religion that makes every other human phobia pale in comparison!
I was overjoyed when, in the aftermath of California's Proposition 8 decision, outraged Gay people and their allies descended in protest on Mormon temples. It was a glorious outpouring of righteous anger, but predictably, it didn't last. The Mormons began squealing about "religious persecution", and all too soon, the protesters backed off. I daresay there may still be a few of us picketing Latter Day Saints property, but a few of us just ain't gonna cut it!
We should be demonstrating in substantial numbers, outside as many Mormon churches as possible! We should be bearing down on them until they say "mercy"! But this isn't just about Mormons. The Catholics, the Baptists, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Jehovah's Witnesses, the COGICs, et al . . . all of them deserve besieging every weekend! Muslim and Orthodox Jewish congregations need to feel some heat, too!
Recent revelations about Prop 8 funding prove once again that Fundamentalist churches are the source of slanderous perceptions about LGBT folk. Make no mistake about it! They are the source of claims that Gay couples defile marriage. They are the source of lies about Gay adults corrupting children. They are the source of rumors that we "recruit" others into a depraved "lifestyle"!
It's Fundie preachers who liken us to murderers, rapists, thieves, prostitutes and hard drug abusers. Their mendacious doctrine is the core reason why Gay kids are bullied, Gay Boy Scouts are banned, and Gay soldiers are forced to hide their sexual orientation; why LGBT topics can't be discussed in most schools; why Gay adoption and foster-parenting is controversial; why community leaders, athletes and celebrities who are Gay cower in the closet; why Lesbian couples aren't depicted in TV commercials; why movie projects with LGBT characters and non-comedic subject matter lack for funding in Hollywood! It's why efforts to repeal DOMA and pass ENDA repeatedly stall in Congress. Worst of all, it's why hate crimes happen to us. We're being maimed and killed as a result of this demonization!
Our worst troubles can be traced back to some church pulpit or other. These so-called houses of God are anything but! Once upon a time, Babylon was a wicked city. Now, it's a wicked church, filled with twice as much evil than that fabled city ever contained!
There are hundreds of local LGBT organizations all over the United States. Their leaders know as well as you and I do how devastating Fundamentalist church oppression is. You'd expect them to devote much time and energy to protest actions that target anti-Gay clergy. The vast majority do not. Why don't they?
What's the point in calling your group a Stonewall Democratic Club if your activities don't resemble the Stonewall rebellion at all? What good does it do to make outraged public statements about Peter LaBarbera or Tony Perkins or Fred Phelps when you ignore radical Bible bigots in your own town? How can you justify putting so many resources into Pride celebrations when demonizing doctrine gets taught within a few blocks of your Gay Community Center? Or maybe even right next door? What are we so friggin' proud of? The way we let the religious Right shove a boot in our asses year after year?
"March Down Babylon" continues with Part Two.