The Bigots’ Last Hurrah

  • metta

    Posts: 39133

    Apr 19, 2009 9:10 PM GMT

    I LOVE this article...a MUST read...

    [quote]



    The Bigots’ Last Hurrah

    WHAT would happen if you crossed that creepy 1960s horror classic “The Village of the Damned” with the Broadway staple “A Chorus Line”? You don’t need to use your imagination. It’s there waiting for you on YouTube under the title “Gathering Storm”: a 60-second ad presenting homosexuality as a national threat second only to terrorism.

    The actors are supposedly Not Gay. They stand in choral formation before a backdrop of menacing clouds and cheesy lightning effects. “The winds are strong,” says a white man to the accompaniment of ominous music. “And I am afraid,” a young black woman chimes in. “Those advocates want to change the way I live,” says a white woman. But just when all seems lost, the sun breaks through and a smiling black man announces that “a rainbow coalition” is “coming together in love” to save America from the apocalypse of same-sex marriage. It’s the swiftest rescue of Western civilization since the heyday of the ambiguously gay duo Batman and Robin.

    Far from terrifying anyone, “Gathering Storm” has become, unsurprisingly, an Internet camp classic. On YouTube the original video must compete with countless homemade parodies it has inspired since first turning up some 10 days ago. None may top Stephen Colbert’s on Thursday night, in which lightning from “the homo storm” strikes an Arkansas teacher, turning him gay. A “New Jersey pastor” whose church has been “turned into an Abercrombie & Fitch” declares that he likes gay people, “but only as hilarious best friends in TV and movies.”

    Yet easy to mock as “Gathering Storm” may be, it nonetheless bookmarks a historic turning point in the demise of America’s anti-gay movement.

    What gives the ad its symbolic significance is not just that it’s idiotic but that its release was the only loud protest anywhere in America to the news that same-sex marriage had been legalized in Iowa and Vermont. If it advances any message, it’s mainly that homophobic activism is ever more depopulated and isolated as well as brain-dead.

    “Gathering Storm” was produced and broadcast — for a claimed $1.5 million — by an outfit called the National Organization for Marriage. This “national organization,” formed in 2007, is a fund-raising and propaganda-spewing Web site fronted by the right-wing Princeton University professor Robert George and the columnist Maggie Gallagher, who was famously caught receiving taxpayers’ money to promote Bush administration “marriage initiatives.” Until last month, half of the six board members (including George) had some past or present affiliation with Princeton’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. (One of them, the son of one of the 12 apostles in the Mormon church hierarchy, recently stepped down.)

    Even the anti-Obama “tea parties” flogged by Fox News last week had wider genuine grass-roots support than this so-called national organization. Beyond Princeton, most straight citizens merely shrugged as gay families celebrated in Iowa and Vermont. There was no mass backlash. At ABC and CBS, the Vermont headlines didn’t even make the evening news.

    On the right, the restrained response was striking. Fox barely mentioned the subject; its rising-star demagogue, Glenn Beck, while still dismissing same-sex marriage, went so far as to “celebrate what happened in Vermont” because “instead of the courts making a decision, the people did.” Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the self-help media star once notorious for portraying homosexuality as “a biological error” and a gateway to pedophilia, told CNN’s Larry King that she now views committed gay relationships as “a beautiful thing and a healthy thing.” In The New York Post, the invariably witty and invariably conservative writer Kyle Smith demolished a Maggie Gallagher screed published in National Review and wondered whether her errant arguments against gay equality were “something else in disguise.”

    More startling still was the abrupt about-face of the Rev. Rick Warren, the hugely popular megachurch leader whose endorsement last year of Proposition 8, California’s same-sex marriage ban, had roiled his appearance at the Obama inaugural. Warren also dropped in on Larry King to declare that he had “never” been and “never will be” an “anti-gay-marriage activist.” This was an unmistakable slap at the National Organization for Marriage, which lavished far more money on Proposition 8 than even James Dobson’s Focus on the Family.



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    The story continues here:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/19/opinion/19Rich.html?_r=2
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 19, 2009 9:37 PM GMT
    It's true that once a serious thing becomes mockable then it loses influence & credibility. But in this case that may only apply to this one particular media vehicle for anti-gay propaganda.

    I wouldn't be so sure the anti-gay forces will just pack up and go home because this effort wasn't very well received in some quarters. They are well funded & fanatical, and can apply principles of modern market research to correct their error, and fine tune their next efforts. And while they may not have gained many new converts outside their core homophobic supporters, "Gathering Storm" may have at least kept their base energized.

    I would love to dismiss them, and take this episode as indicative of their irreversible decline. But I think it's too early to count them out just yet.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 20, 2009 1:52 AM GMT
    This is a great article. i was reading over the weekend that McCains daughter spoke with the log cabiners, saying that it was time for the GOP to just accept gays, and gay marriage and dissavow the religious right because they were ruining the GOP, Schmidt, McCains previous advisor was quoted saying something similar. I'm not holding my breath that the GOP as a whole is waking up, but many clearer thinking GOP'rs are saying that they've got to separate from the evangelicals to get up to the 'times' or they'll die as the party of the religious dialogues.