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NOM Bears False Witness

Rob Tisinai

September 28th, 2012

Just a quick one today. NOM reports that:

In Minnesota, the people’s continued success in fighting for marriage is provoking some among the opposition to vandalize churches. Yes, sad—but true, as the media reports: “Police are searching for the person responsible for vandalizing multiple churches in Buffalo, Minn., over the weekend.”

That link leads to a story about a man who vandalized churches and left messages depicting Jesus as gay. But NOM fails, of course, to tell its followers this statement from Chief of Police Mitchell Weinzetl:

“The suspect explained that he was motivated to commit these acts due to his anger with God over personal issues; there was no mention of, nor any indication of, political motivations to the suspect’s actions,” Weinzetl said Wednesday night. [NOM posted its message Friday afternoon.]

And also this:

Weinzetl declined to give specific examples of what the messages contained, other than to characterize them as “inflammatory” and add that “the word gay is mentioned, and there are other terms mentioned that would be derogatory to people of a homosexual nature. … And it probably doesn’t take a genius to figure out what those words may be.”

So a man who hates God attacked a bunch of churches for opposing gay marriage, even though he hates gays? How is NOM going to reconcile that contradiction to its readers?

Wait, I covered that above: NOM simply won’t tell them.

You might wonder why I keep debunking these. NOM lies so much, can’t we just take that for granted? No. Because every time NOM does this — every time it falsely claims religious persecution — they’re demonstrating their paucity of genuine evidence. Every time they do this, they prove that they are wrong.

And finally there’s this: the email version of their message contains two DONATE NOW buttons. At some point, perhaps, we can hold them accountable for repeatedly defrauding their donors.



September 28th, 2012 | LINK

They’re ignoring the parts they don’t like because it fits in their conservative worldview and the worldview of the people they’re trying to bilk. To Conservatives the media is full of liberals and is in cahoots with liberal organizations to make sure that liberal causes are only portrayed positively. That’s why NOM’s Blog’s opening paragraph is:

The press report buries the fact that the message posted at these churches involved homosexuality and four out of the five churches publicly support the Marriage Protection Amendment:

They’ve so convinced themselves that the media is against them that any evidence which contradicts what they want to see in an incident MUST be due to the media purposefully misleading the American Public in support of a liberal cause.

Blinded by their own prejudices, yes, but I wouldn’t say they’re purposefully being deceitful.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care for the direction the media is going in our country, but I don’t see the conspiracy theory that conservatives do nor do I see NOM purposefully misleading it’s donors. Playing to their prejudices, perhaps, but when the prejudices at the organization parallel the prejudices of the donors, is communicating within that prejudiced worldview really what’s unethical in this situation?

Michael C
September 28th, 2012 | LINK

Hi Blake, NOM is not some dude blogging from his mom’s basement. They are a well funded and expertly crafted machine. They knew full well that this particular incident was NOT an act of religious “persecution” but chose to run the article anyway.

Why would they do this?

Does the term “fanning the flames” ring any bells? What the court released internal NOM documents have shown us is that NOM is extremely calculating. They know exactly how to excite their base while skirting responsibility for being intentionally deceptive.

September 28th, 2012 | LINK

Here’s an idea: a website with a list of all the falsehoods and half-truths made by NOM and their various talking headsmover the years, along with evidence of why they’ve been dishonest. The lies could be searchable by things like date, method (speech, publication, fundraising email, etc.) and type of lie.

Regular writers on reputable blogs (BTB, Towleroad, PHB, Bilerico, JMG, etc.) could be given the ability to create entries whenever they write about yet another example of NOM’s deceitfulness, linking through to their blog(s) for a more thorough dissection of the statement.

I just checked and appears to be available.

September 28th, 2012 | LINK

Hey Michael,
They may be large but I doubt they have a diversity of worldviews.

Also well run and well funded organizations make mistakes all the time. Have you been watching the Romney Campaign or the NFL lately?

This is how I imagine it happening:

First outrage that churches have been vandalized.
Then outrage that they perceive the media to be burying the connection to teh gehys.
Then their Conservative Worldview makes them assume that the burying is proof of a liberal conspiracy to make “gays look good” because that’s what they perceive to be a goal of the media.

If everyone who vets the post has the same worldview then, well, why are they going to object to the post?

An organization full of folks who are predisposed to seeing gays being hateful might make such a mistake. As would an organization full of people who all think the media purposefully misleads them. The organization in question is full of both.

I remain unconvinced that they were willfully lying. And I think we should all try to place ourselves in their mindset before we try to analyze their actions. A little bit of doubt as to their motivations is at least due to them in this instance. They are not evil incarnate. They are just humans.

Michael C
September 28th, 2012 | LINK

I agree, Blake, that they are as legitimately fallible as any of us. The problem with them is that they don’t care whether they are telling the truth or not. They keenly understand the impact of inciting fear and anger. I follow the NOMBlog and noticed long ago that they don’t actually write most of their articles. They predominately cite portions of existing articles. They have become experts of avoiding culpability.

I recognize that your comments are based on giving the NOM staff the benefit of the doubt, but I think you may be insulting their intelligence.

Lindoro Almaviva
September 28th, 2012 | LINK

I have been saying thgis for a while, we need to put NOM’s actions and words against SPCL’s published criteria for naming hate groups. I keep saying it, they are within an inch of meeting most of the criteria and it needs to be put into a nice looking spreadsheet.

Michael C
September 28th, 2012 | LINK

Blake, I hope your perspective of NOM is more accurate than mine. Re-reading my comments, I am struck by how jaded I come across.

When NOM either posts the actual details of the story or allows the correction to be made in the comment section, you and all BTB readers will get my full apology.

September 28th, 2012 | LINK

Wellspoken Michael; I have a feeling we may be waiting for that apology for a long time.

Rob Tisinai
September 28th, 2012 | LINK

It’s true that people can offer factual misstatement without lying. I accepted that possibility in something I posted about NOM just yesterday.

But when NOM displays a pattern of posting false statements that go uncorrected, or are even repeated, after they’ve been pointed out, NOM loses the benefit of the doubt.

Timothy Kincaid
September 28th, 2012 | LINK

Oddly enough, NOM somehow read the stories without catching the headlines

“Man charged with damaging Buffalo churches, leaving anti-gay messages”

It sounds to me like this was some nutjob who was inspired by the “Innocence of Muslims” video (which portrayed Mohammad as, among other things, homosexual) and thought he’d do the same thing with Jesus. It seems that he wasn’t defending gay marriage, he was calling Jesus the worst slur he could thing of. But whatever his motivations, he wasn’t part of NOM’s “opposition”.

Fortunately more Minnesota voters read the Star Tribune and watch CBS news than scan the NOMblog.

Timothy Kincaid
September 28th, 2012 | LINK

Michael C,

I’ll keep my page set to Hell. If it should ever report a snowstorm, I know that your apology will be soon forthcoming.

September 28th, 2012 | LINK

One need only listen to the radio spots that NOM is broadcasting in Minnesota to know that they willfully distort facts. They reference the Regenerus study as an idictment on same-sex headed households when it didn’t even examine same-sex households.

September 28th, 2012 | LINK

NOM has a long history of telling falsehoods and having them pointed out to them. They coutinue to do it, so I think that it’s completely accurate and absolutely necessary to point out their lies as such.

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