LaBarbera Award: Laurie Higgins

Jim Burroway

August 25th, 2009

The Nazis, of course, were notorious for having murdered an estimated six million Jews, along with another six million undesirable Poles, Ukrainians, Russians, Hungarians — and let’s not forget homosexuals — for good measure. We all know that; that’s why you can say “Nazi” or “Hitler” without having to describe the abject evil they represent. And Laurie Higgins, of the Illinois Family Institute, thinks that Hitler’s atrocities are on par with homosexuality.

In an article she penned last July, Higgins says the “church should fight homosexuality like it did Nazism,” a confusing title given that she goes on to lament the church’s failure to fight Nazism as a parallel to today’s affirming churches:

What is alarming about the account of the German Evangelical Church’s reprehensible failure is its similarity to the ongoing disheartening story of the contemporary American church’s failure to respond appropriately to the spread of radical, heretical, destructive views of homosexuality. Don’t we today see church leaders self-censoring out of fear of losing their positions or their church members? Don’t we see churches criticizing those who boldly confront the efforts of homosexual activists to propagandize children and undermine the church’s teaching on homosexuality? Aren’t the calls of the capitulating German Christians for “a more reasonable tone” and a commitment to “honor different views” exactly like the calls of today’s church to be tolerant and honor “diversity”? Don’t pastors justify their silence by claiming they fear losing their tax-exempt status (i.e. government assistance)? Don’t they rationalize inaction by claiming that speaking out will prevent them from saving souls?

…I’ve asked this question before and I will ask it again: How depraved does the behavior have to be and how young the victims before the church, starting with those who have freely chosen to assume the mantle of pastor or priest, will both feel and express outrage at the indecent, cruel, and evil practice of using public money to affirm body and soul-destroying ideas to children?

Higgins asks, “where is the outrage?” Well I have some outrage for her. Virtually every question she asks is a strawman. First, is it even possible for Higgins to portray LGBT people less humanely than this? Nowhere is there even a hint that gay people are people, let alone fellow citizens, neighbors, parents, children, families, co-workers, care-givers, soup kitchen volunteers, or anything else remotely human. Instead, she equates her fellow citizens with the vile racism behind slavery and the horrific anti-Semitism of the Holocaust. Is that not, too, an outrage?

And further, how can she overlook massive numbers of evangelical, Catholic and Mormon churches which have actively fought to demonize LGBT people at every turn, including blaming gays for all sorts of natural disasters, economic crises and other evils in the world. They’ve accused LGBT people of conspiring to molest your children, abolish Christianity, and generally destroy civilization. They’ve collectively spent millions — probably even billions when it is all counted — to permanently render LGBT people as second-class citizens. I’m not one to draw parallels, but since she brought it up, I can’t help but notice that second-class citizenry was a tactic employed by the Nazis against a reviled minority back then.

Some Christians who think that being gay is a sin will say, in moments of pious reflection, that homosexuality is no worse a sin than any of the other sins and, heck, we’re all sinners. But Higgins is not that kind of Christian. She thinks being gay is a much worse kind of sin, a special Hitler-and-Nazi-Germany kind of sin. Higgins needs to bone up on her history and closely observe the consequences of labeling a hated minority with that kind of evil. And accept responsibility for her part in it.

Jarred

August 25th, 2009

Ms. Higgins seems to think that my proclivity to find emotional, romantic and sexual intimacy with another man is somehow comparable to the Nazi’s campaign to oppress and destroy and entire group of people due to their culture. I simply cannot fathom the tormented logic that would bring someone to that conclusion.

Regan DuCasse

August 25th, 2009

Ms. Higgins and I exchanged some lively emails. I think I told her that I was a member and volunteer of the Simon Weisenthal Center/Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
It’s a Holocaust archive, but most of all it’s an educational center dedicated to teaching about and lessening hate and bigotry in the world.
It’s an institution that I’m proud to know and serve and I encourage EVERYONE I know to go there, and be amazed.

Laurie Higgins however, resists. I found her through Good As You blog and Jeremy Hooper’s analysis of this same analogy of hers is extremely smart and would make Simon Weisenthal proud.

A less kinder term I would use for her is a rabid bigot, who deserves to be committed to community service at the Museum, which is usually where hatemongers, bias vandals and those who have committed bias crimes are made to go.

Not only does she demean the very nature and remarkable way that the Nazis were so efficient in their mission, she’s showing the very symptoms of why and how the most genteel German, Pole or Russian turned on their Jewish, gypsy, physically handicapped and trade union neighbors.

She’d deny it, but yes…she’d join the lynch party between Georgia and Berlin. She already has.
In fact, I called the ADL and the Museum about her, and frankly, although the ADL has addressed what she does and says, the Museum has more powerful ways of dealing with her.

I will double dog DARE her to show up at the Museum and let me and the other fine docents give her a tour.
I dare her to show up at a PFLAG, or COLAGE meeting.

She’s a lot of talk. Very, very COWARDLY talk.

Ben in Oakland

August 25th, 2009

“Don’t we today see church leaders self-censoring out of fear of losing their positions or their church members?”

Translation: we’re losing ground, even in the churches. Churchgoers are more and more not buying it– some more than others.

“Don’t we see churches criticizing those who boldly confront the efforts of homosexual activists to propagandize children and undermine the church’s teaching on homosexuality?”

Translation: Even churches are willing to stand up and be counted. Our days spewing our bile are numbered. P.S. don’t for get about THE CHILDREN (TM).

“…I’ve asked this question before and I will ask it again: How depraved does the behavior have to be and how young the victims before the church, starting with those who have freely chosen to assume the mantle of pastor or priest, will both feel and express outrage at the indecent, cruel, and evil practice of using public money to affirm body and soul-destroying ideas to children?”

Point: This is a sly dig at the Catholic Church, and a question she should be asking them.

Timothy Kincaid

August 25th, 2009

Darn those Lutherans!!

Bruce Garrett

August 25th, 2009

Did the irony of her question leap out at anyone here like it did me when I read it? Read it again and imagine that the person asking it is referring, not to homosexuality, but to the kind of vitriolic homophobia she’s campaigning for. How depraved does the behavior have to be? How young the victims? When, finally, comes outrage from the pulpit at all the indecent, cruel, and evil practices, the body and soul-destroying ideas taught to children? Gay children. When?

Well…if she has her way, never, of course.

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