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NOM Needs A Bigger Mike

Jim Burroway

April 6th, 2012

The National Organization for Marriage is upset over the New York Times editorial calling NOM out for its race-baiting tactics. Those tactics were revealed in a document dump resulting from  a court case in Maine in which NOM has been fighting to circumvent that state’s financial disclosure law. The Times labeled NOM’s tactics as a “poisonous political approach.” NOM’s Brian Brown responded with this fundraising plea to supporters:

I promise you this: Marriage is the cause that unites people of all faiths, races and political backgrounds. And nothing The New York Times or anyone else can say will stop us from coming together to defend marriage against these strategically timed attacks designed to distract us from the critical work we need to be doing this year.

One has to wonder at the level of self-delusion it must take to put out this kind of statement with a straight face. NOM’s own strategy documents talked about dividing gays from African-Americans, gays from Latinos, and even Latinos from other Americans as long as it means they’re anti-gay (NOM is actually plotting against Latino’s assimilation!). NOM;s strategy even calls for dividing children from their own gay parents. And NOM talks of uniting people? This is an organization which is, by its own admission, hell-bent on wedging and dividing everyone nine ways to Sunday.

Now Brian Brown followed that with this letter to the editor of the Washington Times, complaining that their critic’s “end game” is “(s)ilencing the voices of millions of Americans.” But wait. All we did was put the things they whisper to each other in front of a megaphone. It’s their own words that blew up in their faces. Silence them? Puhleeze! That’s the last thing we want to do.

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PJB863
April 6th, 2012 | LINK

These claims of attempts to silence anti-gay activists are ludicrous and disingenuous at best. Of late, mostly because of the GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project, and publicizing of these documents by the State of Maine, these activists have been exposed as hateful people and lost their credibility.

There is a vast difference between silencing someone and pointing out that they’ve made a belligerent ass of themselves.

andrew
April 6th, 2012 | LINK

More needs to be done to confront bs’ers directly. When the intolerant claim that intolerance of intolerance is “hating”, when they adopt the language of the victim, they need to be called out as silly and as liars. Frankly, we see this happening across the spectrum — the fringey right has adopted this stance on a number of issues… from energy policy to global warming health care to contraception to gay issues, there’s a bizarre drive to claim victimhood and try to work from fake information (creating their own “facts” from sheer nothingness), rather than engage on the issues.

I’m happy to engage anyone, right or left on actual issues. But don’t lie to get there. Don’t make things up. And don’t show up to a knife fight with a spoon (do your homework, come prepared, and don’t make me do it for you).

The BEST tool for this is going to be HUMOR. Anything else fits into their language of victimhood. Angry rebuttal structurally suggests that there are “two sides”, and even though not every opinion has merit, the great American impulse for fairness (and a desire not to watch while someone falls completely on their face) is unfortunately preyed upon to lend unearned legitimacy to folks who are showing up with made-up “facts” and an agenda about how to foist those upon the audience. Humor is the best way to show up the bs for what it is in context. People feel sorry for someone who gets roughed up in a fight – even if they started it, and even if they’re in the wrong. They don’t feel bad for someone who gets made fun of for being a jackass.

Richard Rush
April 6th, 2012 | LINK

One has to wonder at the level of self-delusion it must take to put out this kind of statement with a straight face.

I no longer wonder. If, for example, someone indicates that it is logical and reasonable to literally believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins, then I know that there is no limit to that person’s capacity for self-delusion.

That’s why, when these people are accused of lying, I’m often not so sure. In their minds, things can become true simply because they desperately want or need them to be true. They may pray about it, and the little voice (in their heads) say, “yes, yes, it really is true,” and voila, it is true!

PJB863
April 6th, 2012 | LINK

Humor is indeed a good weapon Andrew, however, at some time, you have to show some cojones, and call them out for what they are actually doing/saying. These guys are not decent people at all. They are liars, slanderers, and think nothing of who they place in danger with their evil rhetoric.

They’ll claim they’re only “telling the truth,” or “quoting God’s word,” and “see nothing hateful about this, but they deliberately lie.

Harry Truman said it best: “I don’t give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s Hell.”

Timothy Kincaid
April 6th, 2012 | LINK

Richard,

Do we really need to go there? Because you have chosen different beliefs does not make the beliefs you reject illogical or unreasonable. It just makes them beliefs that you don’t share.

(Just like your choices don’t make you “defiant” or “immoral” or “hateful towards God” or any of the other tools used to demean you and make you less human.)

Let me present what may be – at least to me – a logical and reasonable understanding of Jesus dying for the sins of the world. It may not be one you’ve heard in (or out of) church, and I’m not looking for a rebuttal, but I think you may find that it at least has some logical basis and flow.

Prior to Christ, the dominant theologies had some strong element of reward and punishment for human behavior. And much effort was given to figuring out just what to do (how to wash, what to wear, what words to use, what pleasures to give up). Everything required sacrifice – losing something so the gods would send the rain and the cattle would not get diseased.

Jesus’ culture had The Law. It laid out what was “sin” and the appropriate punishment. It had rules for what to do if an ox fell in a ditch on certain days of the week. It was very comprehensive.

But Jesus saw that the structure failed. It rewarded those who stayed in the box, had all the advantages, and were pillars of society. But if you were poor or socially unconnected or a sexual outsider, The Law was a burden, not a solution.

He pushed for a different way: rather than enforce a set of rigid rules, apply a principle: treat people the way you want to be treated. He didn’t come up with it, but he did adopt it as his central thesis.

But it was (and still is) tough for people to get past the “Law of Sin and Death” (ie law of crime and punishment) paradigm. They are BAD and SOMEONE has got to pay. They shouldn’t just get off scot free. They shouldn’t get away with it!! We demand a sacrifice.

Jesus recognized that when you focus on others “getting away with it” you burden yourself. Your life stops being about what you do and become about what they guy there did. Bitterness, anger, hostility all result. He needed a way to break the Rules and Sacrifice paradigm.

So in Christian theology, someone does pay. They don’t get off scot free. They don’t get away with it. Someone pays. Christian teaching is that the someone who pays is Jesus. (“You insist that he sinned and God demands that he kill a goat. He can’t afford a goat. He doesn’t the money to buy your specially blessed doves to sacrifice. Here’s a solution, you want something killed? Kill me.”)

Of course we can’t know from history how much of that was pre thought out, but in the context of a global culture that demanded sacrifice to appease the deities, it makes sense.

(Sadly much of Christendom believes that Jesus died for their sins so they are eternally blameless, but you, no yours aren’t paid for. (You didn’t “repent”, you see, you didn’t say the magic words). Because unless you join their club and sing their songs then you “hate God” and they can drag out the rule book for you. Interestingly, the only times that Jesus ever played by their ‘rules and punishment’ game, it was the church folk whom he depicted as being eternally punished. That must have infuriated them… it still does.)

Neil
April 6th, 2012 | LINK

To sum up Brian’s statement: disagreement with the official public pronouncements of NOM (even when informed by NOM’s own documented words) is an attempt to silence millions of Americans.

He sounds like a dictator in the making. He already has the initials BB.

VHA
April 7th, 2012 | LINK

Contrary to Brown’s claim in his letter to the editor, more than a single line attracted media attention, of course. I imagine Brown hopes readers of his letter are “non-cognitive.”

And the single line to which Brown I think alludes — about driving a wedge between blacks and gays — was utterly horrendous. Brown or Maggie Gallagher has yet to really own that statement, and admit that it is atrocious. “Inapt,” Brown’s term, doesn’t cut it. A non-weaselly, due response has not yet come forth from Brown or Gallagher.

Also, Brown’s comments about “silencing” are disingenuous. Losing the battle on the SSM issue does not equate to “being silenced.” Brown, Maggie Gallagher, and others are quite vocal and have full freedom of speech. They do, however, lack the right to stop people from disagreeing, which is very unfortunate for them.

I don’t perceive Brown or Gallagher as particularly persuasive, and in fact I think the more they and their statements are covered in the media, the better it is for our cause. Bring it on. And bring on things like inarticulate non-cognitive babble from Carrie Prejean and creepy non-cognitive screeching from Ruben Diaz. These are gifts to our side.

I honestly can’t think of a truly persuasive spokesperson out there for the cause of opposing SSM. Has, say, Jennifer Roback Morse really changed anyone’s opinion? David Blankenhorn maybe once held promise for NOM, but he didn’t work out too well.

While we have Laura Bush, Dick Cheney, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, David Cameron, Julian Bond, Jay Leno, Al Sharpton, Sam Waterston, Al Gore, Olsen and Boies, and hundreds, if not thousands, of other famous people, in entertainment, sports, government (e.g., the head of HUD, dozens of Mayors, many Congresspersons, several governors), and law making coherent, reasoned statements in support of marriage equality. We also have Zach Wahls. And millions of young people in general who grew up with a lot less homophobia than did previous generations (while the cohort most opposed to SSM is passing away).

C’mon NOM, turn this thing around!! Legal (and permanently so) gay marriage in all 50 states is not an inevitability! NOM is not going the way of Anita Bryant!! Just get Brian, Maggie, Jennifer, Carrie, and Ruben to speak out more! Also, bring out Peter LaBarbera while you’re at it!

FergieSLC
April 7th, 2012 | LINK

Has anyone released who the actual authors of the NOM memos actually were? Was it their staff? Was it their Board of Directors? Who?

I want to know how much the LDS Board Members (Matthew Holland, Orson Scott Card, etc.) knew about this repulsive strategy, and why they didn’t disengage from NOM as soon as they found out what they were instigating. Or did they have the LDS Church’s blessing?

cowboy
April 7th, 2012 | LINK

Hey FergieSLC,

You probably saw the BYU IGB youtube video(s). Quite a difference from the Earnie Wilkinson era!

Maybe we will see the Hollands, Oaks and others wish they had been a little more strident with their anti-homos-at-BYU rhetoric.

We will have to see what repercussions will come of those involved with the video(s). I mean, if someone can have their diploma withdrawn because he took pictures of shirtless men and published them as a calendar, you know there will be something meted out. Probably, at minimum, stricter scrutiny of their personal lives.

benji
April 7th, 2012 | LINK

Lies roll-off of Brian Brown’s tongue so readily and often that he doesn’t even notice when his lies are contradicted by well-known facts. Here, for example, his claim that these “attacks” are “strategically timed” is contradicted by the known facts about when the embarrassing documents were unsealed by the court.

Another transparent lie, Brian! You are losing more credibility with every posting. Keep up the good work!

Abel
April 8th, 2012 | LINK

Brian and Maggie and the rest are IN IT FOR THE MONEY. Don’t ever forget that. Gay bashing has been very lucrative for them. They’re just a alightly more civilized version of Eugene Del Gaudio, but doing the same thing – raising money to fight the “evil gays.” None of these people have any convictions that aren’t for sale.

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