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Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for April, 2014

AFA is “being trampled” in Mississippi

Timothy Kincaid

April 28th, 2014

The American Family Association is no longer able to live out the dictates of their Christian faith and conscience. They are being persecuted terribly and it’s ever so sad.

You see, some people in the state are selling goods and services to gay people. Knowingly. And not even giving them a dirty look.

Oh the misery.

It all started when the state legislature passed a bill (much like the Arizona bill that was vetoed) which says that “Government should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification”. And while those words are probably not something I’d disagree with, the unspoken intention of the bill was to block any local ordinances that prohibit discrimination against gay people.

And as there are no such provisions anywhere is Mississippi, it was just the Mississippi Legislature reconfirming to the world that it’s comprised of a bunch of back-woods, redneck, gay-hating yahoos.

Well, this seemed a bit mean to some businesses, so they decided to come up with a way of telling gay customers that they were welcome in their stores. A couple of gay business owners and a “straight, white, Southern, Christian conservative male” Republican up the street designed a sticker that a shopkeeper could put in their window.

Which is all sorts of bullying and silencing of the rights of those who don’t want gay people to be able to buy goods and services. Or something. (AFA’s OneNewsNow)

Buddy Smith, executive vice president of Tupelo-based American Family Association, offers his take on the sticker campaign.

“It’s not really a buying campaign, but it’s a bully campaign,” he says, “and it’s being carried out by radical homosexual activists who intend to trample the freedom of Christians to live according to the dictates of scripture.

“They don’t want to hear that homosexuality is sinful behavior – and they wish to silence Christians and the church who dare to believe this truth.”

And what is one to do about those who break the Scriptural dictates prohibiting selling stuff to gay people?

Smith offers a word of caution for those who do business with facilities posting the decal supporting homosexual activism. “If you do that, you are agreeing with these businesses that Christians no longer have the freedom to live out the dictates of their Christian faith and conscience,” he tells OneNewsNow.

Kidding aside, this is hysterical in pretty much every meaning of the word. Please please, AFA, keep saying stuff like this.

Bryan Fischer Celebrates

Jim Burroway

December 20th, 2013

 

GOP Slams Brakes On Rebranding Effort

Jim Burroway

April 11th, 2013

The Republican National Committee is meeting in Los Angeles over the next three days beginning today, and one of the first items on the agenda for consideration is a resolution that states:

WHEREAS, the institution of marriage is the solid foundation upon which our society is built and in which children thrive; it is based in the conjugal relationship that only a man and a woman can form; and

WHEREAS, support for marriage has been repeatedly affirmed nationally in the 2012 Republican National Platform, through the enactment of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, signed into law by President Bill Clinton), and passed by the voters of 41 States including California via Proposition 8; and

WHEREAS, no Act of human government can change the reality that marriage is a natural and most desirable union; especially when procreation is a goal; and

WHEREAS, the future of our country is children; it has been proven repeatedly that the most secure and nurturing environment in which to raise healthy well adjusted children is in a home where both mother and father are bound together in a loving marriage; and

WHEREAS, economically, marriage is America’s greatest weapon against child poverty no matter what ethnic background individuals are; and, based on the facts of stunning recent articles, marriage is the best way for society to get out of poverty and raise emotionally healthy children; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of laws adopted  to protect marriage from the unfounded accusation that support for marriage is based only on irrational prejudice against homosexuals; therefore be it

RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee affirms its support for marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and as the optimum environment in which to raise healthy children for the future of American; and be it further

RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee implores the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the sanctity of marriage in its rulings on California’s Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The GOP platform last summer was probably the most anti-gay platform in the party’s history. After Barack Obama won re-election in a campaign which included support for marriage equality, there were some suggestions that the Republican Party should soften its anti-gay positions. But after RNC Chairman Reince Priebus issued the official “autopsy” of the 2012 presidential elections which called on the party to become more “inclusive and welcoming,” a coalition of social conservatives responded with a letter to GOP leadership warning that “an abandonment of its principles will necessarily result in the abandonment of our constituents to their support.” The letter writers also protest that their anti-gay stance does not mean the party can’t can’t attract gay voters:

Many homosexuals are active in the GOP because they agree with Republicans on economic issues. The fact that the Party is strongly committed to traditional marriage has not prevented their involvement through GOProud or Log Cabin Republicans. We deeply resent the insinuation that we have treated homosexuals unkindly personally.

And we would like to point out that in the four blue states where voters narrowly voted for same sex marriage in 2012, Mitt Romney, who refused to discuss the issue, lost by an average of five points more than the state initiatives to preserve marriage.

Republicans would do well to persuade young voters why marriage between a man and a woman is so important rather than abandon thousands of years of wisdom to please them.

…Real and respectful communication is needed with our organizations. Alleged gaffes by candidates in 2012 on social issues could have been avoided if Party leadership had consulted us, the experts on how to articulate those positions.

Those so-called “experts” who signed the letter were:

  • Gary Bauer, President, American Values
  • Paul Caprio, Director, Family-Pac Federal
  • Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List
  • Dr. James Dobson, President and Founder, Family Talk Action
  • Andrea Lafferty, President, Traditional Values Coalition
  • Tom Minnery, Executive Director, CitizenLink
  • William J. Murray, Chairman, Religious Freedom Coalition
  • Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
  • Sandy Rios, VP of Government Affairs, Family-Pac Federal
  • Austin Ruse, President, Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute
  • Phyllis Schlafly, President, Eagle Forum
  • Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, Founder, Traditional Values Coalition
  • Tim Wildmon, President, American Family Association

According to Politico, the anti-gay resolution is expected to pass overwhelmingly tomorrow when it goes before the full committee, although it’s not clear whether the resolution’s final form will be the same as the version that has circulated today.

Pat Robertson is a heretic, a blasphemer, perhaps the Anti-Christ

Timothy Kincaid

December 10th, 2012

From James Gurney’s charming children’s book Dinotopia, which has nothing to do with Pat Robertson or young earth creationists.

From our dear dear friends at the American Family Association:

On a broadcast of The 700 Club late last month, Pat Robertson disputed the belief that the earth is about 6,000 years old, suggesting billions instead.

“I know people will probably try to lynch me when I say this,” he stated, “but Bishop Ussher — God bless him — wasn’t inspired by the Lord when he said it all took 6,000 years. It just didn’t …. There was a time that [dinosaurs] were on the earth and it was before the time of the Bible. So don’t try to cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years. That’s not the Bible.”

Well! I declare!

Can’t he read the simple English in which the Bible was written? It’s right there in black and white, to be taken literally and exactly!

My oh my!

But not to worry:

Moreover, the AIG researcher notes that Robertson’s claim that dinosaurs existed before biblical times is illogical, because there is no pre-biblical time; the Bible starts with the creation of the world.

Nuff said.

Because EVERYTHING is ALWAYS all about TEH GHEYYYYYYY!!!!

Timothy Kincaid

October 3rd, 2012

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a program called Mix It Up At Lunch Day. The premise is simple:

In our surveys, students have identified the cafeteria as the place where divisions are most clearly drawn. So on one day – October 30 this school year – we ask students to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch. It’s a simple act with profound implications. Studies have shown that interactions across group lines can help reduce prejudice. When students interact with those who are different from them, biases and misperceptions can fall away.

They have a whole website of strategy, planning, tips, advice, and encouragement for the change that can come when – for just one day – kids sit with and talk to someone who is “not like them”. It seems mostly driven to erase racial or ethnic presumptions, but also seems to be attempting to be cross-clique as well.

But, to the homosexually-obsessed, this is about Teh Ghey!!! Because, you know, the Southern Poverty Law Center, in addition to the other thousand hate-groups they track, also list 26 anti-gay hate groups.

Here’s how the American Family Association described the event on Monday:

On, Tuesday, October 30, over two thousand schools across the nation will be observing “Mix It Up” (MIT) day. MIT is a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools. A strong focus is directed specifically to elementary and junior high grades.

MIT is a project of the fanatical pro-homosexual group, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). This is the same organization that launched hateful and malicious rhetoric toward the Family Research Council just prior to the August shooting of a security guard by a SPLC sympathizer.

AFA is joining other family-oriented groups in urging parents to keep their children at home that day if their local school is sponsoring the “Mix It Up” project.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is using this project to bully-push its gay agenda, and at the same time, intimidate and silence students who have a Biblical view of homosexuality.

Today, they toss the last shred of honesty out the window with their description of SPLC:

The homosexual activist group, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), has been called to task by public school administrators across the nation for falsely listing schools as participants in “Mix It Up” day without authorization or permission.

“Mix It Up” day is an entry-level “diversity” program designed specifically by SPCL to establish the acceptance of homosexuality into public schools, including elementary and junior high schools.

Many school administrators were offended to learn that their school was listed as a “participating” school on the SPLC website and ordered it removed immediately. In some cases, students or teachers independently signed the school up without approval, leaving principals and superintendents unprepared for phone calls from concerned parents.

Does Mix It Up Day seek to establish the acceptance of homosexuality? No. Not that this would be a bad goal, but it appears no where on the event’s website. Not even close.

In fact, the only tangential reference to anything remotely gay that I could find is:

During the past decade we have learned that schools experience deeper impacts from Mix It Up when they plan at least two follow-up activities during the year to sustain the message.

Two other national campaigns are natural allies for this work and can help with timing the follow-up activities: No Name-Calling Week for elementary grades and Day of Silence for middle and high schools.

Also, consider a Day of Service where you carry out a community project (cleaning up a park, helping a local nonprofit, etc.). Working together for a greater good, while crossing those social boundaries, is another way to diminish prejudice and reduce biases. (It’s also another chance for positive media coverage involving young people!)

Or, you can simply Mix It Up at Lunch again, on other days through the year. (Some schools now Mix It Up at Lunch on a monthly or even weekly basis!)

That’s it. A reference to Day of Silence as one of several possible follow up ideas.

As the SPLC noted:

Describing Mix this way is an out-and-out lie. As educators know, Mix It Up is a simple effort to get students to break through social boundaries and make new friends. Each school sets its own agenda, makes its own plans and chooses its own theme. Last year, over 3,000 schools participated in the program without incident. (You can check out some of the great Mix success stories here.)

None of that seems to matter to the AFA, a group that specializes in demonizing the LGBT community and stirring up hate. Incredibly, the AFA has linked homosexuality to the Holocaust, saying, “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.” It has also made racist claims such as welfare causes black people to “rut like rabbits.”

But when all you can think about, when what you obsess about, when your whole world is focused on homosexuality, everything is always all about teh ghey!!!! (And besides, there’s no money to be made on people getting along)

AFA lauds vandalism

Timothy Kincaid

August 24th, 2012

The American Family Association is boycotting Home Depot because that company supports its gay employees and their community. Of course no one is actually paying any attention to the boycott, but the AFA always claims success.

Such as here:

AFA was recently contacted by a Home Depot employee who says the boycott of Home Depot is being effective. “We have customers who come into our store and confront our store managers over the HD’s support of Gay pride. The AFA is having an effect on HD.”

She also shared that many employees disagree with the company’s pro-gay-marriage stand. In June, a “Gay Pride Month” poster (photo right) was put up in her breakroom. “HD is as committed as ever to the changing of laws in favor of same sex marriage.They had absolutely no empathy for those employees who voiced offense with the display. This was mandated by corporate directive. Therefore the display was torn down at least 2 times.”

Sure, cuz vandalism is a good ol’ American family value.

Which “Good People” Did the Boy Scout’s Double Super-Secret Panel Talk To?

Jim Burroway

July 18th, 2012

Well, for one, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, an SPLC-certified hate group. Jeremy Hooper has this clip of Fischer bragging about getting a call from “Boy Scouts headquarters”:

So many of you called that I got a call from the Boy Scout Headquarters. “Call off the dogs! We’re not going to do it! We’re not going to change our standards. And now we find out today that what we were told… You know that the head of the boy scouts called me, and called me after the program from Boy Scout headquarters and… it’s a testament to your listening audience how many of them have called in, we’re not doing a poll and we’re not thinking about changing the policy. And today we get official confirmation, unanimously, this panel decides that the Boy Scouts are going to maintain their ban. We are fighting a winnable war.

NOM’s breakfast dump heaps up

Timothy Kincaid

July 17th, 2012

It’s been a week since I brought you the exciting news of how the National Organization for Marriage’s big Dump General Mills project just keeps going on and on. And in that time the number of those dedicated souls who vow that they will “look for substitutes” has grown by a colossal 18%, all the way to 23,054.

Much of the growth can be attributed to support by the American Family Association, whose followers number at least ten thousand. And one thing you can say about the AFA supporters, when it comes to the cause of protecting the family from the militant homosexual lobby, they are committed. Or, at least, if they are not yet committed, they certainly should be.

NOM’s General Mills protest is now a giant “dump”

Timothy Kincaid

July 10th, 2012

OneNewsNow, the American Family Association’s project to bring us the news that the mainstream press ignores (including all sorts or facts, numbers, studies, reports, quotes, and all sorts of information that you can’t find anywhere else) has finally taken notice of the National Organization for Marriage’s boycott of General Mills. And today they are sharing with America’s families that “General Mills earns spot on boycott list”.

And as a result, the listing of those who pledge to “look for substitutes” to General Mills brands has soared to new heights. Currently at 19,555 signatories on the DumpGeneralMills.com page – a full 398 more than it was on the 5th – it seems almost certain that this dump will pass 20,000 and become truly a giant dump, and as I’m sure we all know, it’s hard to ignore a giant dump.

Sin, sin, everywhere. What’s a Mom to do?

Timothy Kincaid

June 5th, 2012

For years folks like the American Family Association would get their undies in a bunch if some business would dare be somewhat civil to some gay person somewhere. And then they would protest and send postcards and threaten boycott and raise a stink. And then if the business backed down, they would declare victory and gloat. Even if the business ignored them and happened to be a smidgen less supportive in the next year, they would declare victory and gloat.

And in response, gay groups and gay people would inquire, “why do you hate us now?” And on it would go.

But it seems like Corporate America has come up with a solution, a strategy to break the chain of angry protest. Now when the American Family Association or some other nutcase whines, the CEO grabs a rainbow flag and the whole company dances a conga line singing, “We love the gays!”

Or something like that.

Take JCPenney. Anti-gays had a valid point that JCPenney kinda falls more into heterosexual middle-America red-state shopping than it really does for the gay folk. But they overplayed their cards.

When the American Family Association’s project, One Million Moms (which number far closer to ‘One’ than they do to ‘Million’), decided that America’s Big Ol’ Lesbian Sweetheart, Ellen Degeneres, was not wholesome enough for JCPenney, they insisted JCP fire her because she was “an open homosexual”. Forced to pick between the 2-3 million shoppers who tune in to Ellen every day or the half-dozen or so angry harpies who would actually boycott the store, execs yelled, “Dammit, Betty, get in here with my rainbow tutu and feather boa! It’s time for a Pride Parade around the office.”

Click to enlarge

Well, whether my imagined parade happened or not, JCP decided that they didn’t much want to hear from the Moms – so they blocked email coming from the American Family Association. And when Mothers’ Day came around, JCPenney decided it was time for not only lesbians, but lesbians who are moms (not a million, just two) to be featured. Just in case the OMMs missed the snub.

But the Moms evidently aren’t that bright. They just ratcheted up their noise-making. So finally Penney’s said, “Fine. Find us some gay men. Who are a family. With kids. And get a photographer – it’s almost Fathers’ Day. If they don’t get the point this time then they’re dumber than Rick Santorum!”

Click to enlarge

“But, but, but…” sputtered the Moms in response. “They’re promoting sin!” And then the nation, all 360 million (other than the Moms) collectively rolled their eyes and turned back to the booze commercial with the young ladies in bikinis.

And, of course, JCP isn’t alone. Macy’s is pissing off the Moms and has been doing so for a while. The Moms would picket but they’ve never been to a Macy’s and besides it sounds Jewish (and all them Jews are librullls anyway).

But on some level I can pity the Moms. Now it feels like Corporate America is just piling on. Like some bully that wakes up in an alternate universe and finds that the band geeks and math club now run the social scene, they must be hurt and confused. Especially after this ad.

Clicl to enlarge

One Hundred Percent. Sigh, it’s a sad sad day for the Moms.

GOP Pollster: Time To Evolve

Jim Burroway

May 12th, 2012

Jan van Lohuizen is a Republican pollster who worked on President George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign. He is also the GOP’s Daniel reading the writing on the wall when he sent memo out yesterday to Republican operatives with an overview of poll numbers on marriage equality and suggestions on how the GOP should address same-sex marriage if it wants to stay relevant. You can read the entire memo here.

Van Lohuizan notes that through 2009, the uptick in support for same-sex marriage was at a rate of about 1% per year. Beginning in 2010, there was a noticeable elbow in the curve, with support for marriage equality increasing by approximately 5% per year on average. And while that support is greater among Democrats and Independents than Republicans, support is growing in GOP ranks as well, with a majority of registered Republicans supporting a growing list of protections for gays and lesbians.

Van Lohuizan has a come up with a list of talking points which he thinks that Republican candidates ought to adopt if they want to stay relevant, beginning with:

“People who believe in equality under the law as a fundamental principle, as I do, will agree that this principle extends to gay and lesbian couples; gay and lesbian couples should not face discrimination and their relationship should be protected under the law. People who disagree on the fundamental nature of marriage can agree, at the same time, that gays and lesbians should receive essential rights and protections such as hospital visitation, adoption rights, and health and death benefits.”

This is somewhat similar to Gov. Mitt Romney’s talking points following President Barack Obama’s announcement that he supports full marriage equality. The main difference is that Romney reiterates his opposition both to marriage equality and to civil unions which would approximate marriage equality. Van Loguizan’s suggested talking points addresses neither. But he does explain to the GOP under the guise of another talking point why the party is going to have to change it’s approach to gay people sooner rather than later:

“As more people have become aware of friends and family members who are gay, attitudes have begun to shift at an accelerated pace. This is not about a generational shift in attitudes, this is about people changing their thinking as they recognize their friends and family members who are gay or lesbian.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Rick Santorum has some very different advice for Romney. Santorum told an Arknsas television station that Romney needed to “tep up and take advantage of a president who is very much out of touch with the values of America.”:

“Hopefully Governor Romney will continue to stand tall for his position on this issue and understand how detrimental it would be for society for it to have this changed,” Santorum also told the Arkansas station.

“Governor Romney has to talk about his values,” he added. “That’s the most important thing.”

AFA’s Bryan Fischer expands on that advice here.

Did Grenell Jump or Was He Pushed?

This post has been updated with more information from the New York Times and Talking Points Memo

Jim Burroway

May 3rd, 2012

Or did he just simply let go?

On April 19 when Gov. Mitt Romney named Richard Grenell, a longtime GOP communications strategist as his national security and foreign policy spokesman, conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan hailed the announcement as “a real outreach to gay Republicans” while Karen Ocamb said is marks “the day Romney pivots to appeal to mainstream voters for the general election.”

But if that was a pivot, it ended Tuesday when Grenell resigned from the campaign. His very brief announcement hinted at why he left such a high-profile post in a national presidential campaign: “My ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign.”

What “hyper-partisan” discussions was he referring to? At first, some speculated that it may have been related to the initial criticisms from pundits and bloggers over provocative Twitter posts that he made about Rachel Maddow’s appearance, Newt Gingrich’s wife Calista’s appearance, Hillary Clinton’s appearance, Michele Obama’s accent, and other snarky tweets. But it quickly seemed unlikely that those criticisms led to Grenell’s sudden departure. Most of them came from left-of-center and beyond, which Republicans tend to wear as a badge of honor (as many Democrats do with criticism from the right). And besides, by April 22 when Grenell deleted some 800 tweets and took his personal web site offline, those criticisms were already loosing traction. The world quickly moved on to the next outrage.

Well, most of the world anyway. One key component of the restive GOP base didn’t. SPLC-certified hate-artist Bryan Fischer of American Family Association called Grenell’s appointment “a deliberate poke in the eye” to Christian conservatives, and mounted a campaign for Grenell’s removal with a six-point list of demands for Gov. Romney. Family “Research” Council warned that Grenell’s support for same-sex marriage would have him lobbying “for foreign policy more in line with the current administration than the last Republican one.” National Review’s Matthew Franck wrote that Grenell supported marriage equality “with a kind of unhinged devotion that suggests a man with questionable judgment.” He even suggested that Grenell’s gayness would cause him to turn traitor to the Republican cause and switch teams if Obama were to come out for same-sex marriage.

Those criticisms apparently spooked and paralyzed the Romney campaign. Andrew Sullivan did some “actual reporting from yours truly” and got to the bottom of Grenell’s resignation:

It seems clear from sources close to Grenell and reporters on the foreign policy beat that his turning point came last week. He’d been part of organizing a conference call to respond to Vice President Biden’s foreign policy speech, now known best for the “big stick” remark. So some reporters were puzzled as to why Grenell, a week into his job as Romney’s national security spokesman, was not introduced by name as part of the Romney team at the beginning of the call, and his voice completely absent from the conversation. Some even called and questioned him afterwards as to why he was absent. He wasn’t absent. He was simply muzzled. For a job where you are supposed to maintain good relations with reporters, being silenced on a key conference call on your area of expertise is pretty damaging. Especially when you helped set it up.

Sources close to Grenell say that he was specifically told by those high up in the Romney campaign to stay silent on the call, even while he was on it. And this was not the only time he had been instructed to shut up. Their response to the far right fooferaw was simply to go silent, to keep Grenell off-stage and mute, and to wait till the storm passed. But the storm was not likely to pass if no one in the Romney camp was prepared to back Grenell up. Hence his dilemma. The obvious solution was simply to get Grenell out there doling out the neocon red meat — which would have immediately changed the subject and helped dispel base skepticism. Instead the terrified Romneyites shut him up without any actual plan for when he might subsequently be able to do his job. To my mind, it’s a mark of his integrity that he decided to quit rather than be put in this absurd situation. And it’s a mark of Romney’s fundamental weakness within his own party that he could not back his spokesman against the Bryan Fischers and Matthew Francks.

This confirms what the Washington Post learned shortly after Grenell’s resignation, when Jennifer Rubin wrote: “The ongoing pressure from social conservatives over his appointment and the reluctance of the Romney campaign to send Grenell out as a spokesman while controversy swirled left Grenell essentially with no job.” She later reported that many members of the campaign privately reached out to Grenell over the weekend to try to persuade him from resigning, but they were unsuccessful. She then reiterated the root of the problem: “Despite the controversy in new media and in conservative circles, there was no public statement of support for Grenell by the campaign and no supportive social conservatives were enlisted to calm the waters.”

[Update: The New York Times this morning has more. During that foreign policy conference call:

It turned out he was at home in Los Angeles, listening in, but stone silent and seething. A few minutes earlier, a senior Romney aide had delivered an unexpected directive, according to several people involved in the call.

“Ric,” said Alex Wong, a policy aide, “the campaign has requested that you not speak on this call.” Mr. Wong added, “It’s best to lay low for now.”

For Mr. Grenell, the message was clear: he had become radioactive.

After interviewing more than a dozen aids and advisers, The Times describes the episode as "halting attempts by the campaign to manage its relationship with the most conservative quarter of the Republican Party."

"It’s not that the campaign cared whether Ric Grenell was gay,” one Republican adviser said. “They believed this was a nonissue. But they didn’t want to confront the religious right.”]

This leaves many wondering if there is any room for gay Republicans in visible positions. GOPRoud’s Jimmy LaSilva said, “This was an opportunity to send an important message that Mitt Romney wants everybody to get behind him and to support his campaign. They let that opportunity pass.” [Update: Go Proud's Christopher Barron added, "It doesn’t bode well for the Romney campaign going forward if they couldn’t stand up to the most outrageous attacks about him being gay.” Fred Karger, who ran against Romney as an openly gay candidate told TPM,

"It’s going to be difficult for Romney to take other steps like this. And that’s what’s really frightening to me. It’s just too tough to stand up to these groups because they have a lot of money and power. You’ve got to be able to do that, that’s leadership.”]

Sullivan was more direct:

So if all gay Republicans who support marriage equality are banned even from speaking on other topics entirely (like Iran or Afghanistan, where Grenell is a fire-breather), who’s left? The answer, I’m afraid, is no one. Grenell was prepared to stay silent on gay issues entirely and do his job. But that wasn’t enough. Romney’s anti-gay agenda is therefore deeper and more extreme than Bush’s.

Meanwhile, AFA’s Bryan Fischer is declaring Grenell’s resignation a huge win. With continued silence from the Romney camp, this leaves likes of Fischer to operate as the de-facto gatekeepers of acceptable members of the Romney campaign — and perhaps even of a Romney administration.

Bad Christian B*tches? OneMillionMoms vs. GCB

Jason Cianciotto

March 16th, 2012

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of all contributors to Box Turtle Bulletin.

Update: OnMillionMoms has posted a new alert claiming that “most of last week’s sponsors…did not sponsor this week’s episode.” While the reasoning behind any change in advertising is unclear, GCB’s ratings did drop from 7 million to 6.33 million viewers and to a share of 5 in the 18-49 demographic. By comparison, the highest rated show last Sunday evening was “Once Upon a Time,” which attracted 8.6 million viewers and an 8 share of the coveted 18-49 demographic. Given the content of “Once Upon A Time,” which includes witchcraft, murder and adultery, I’m surprised OMM hasn’t targeted it as well. However, since the show does not poke fun at the hypocrisy of the religious right, maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised…

One million moms are on the march again. Well, not literally.

The conservative group OneMillionMoms (OMM) has abandoned its unsuccessful attempt to oust Ellen Degeneres as the spokesperson for JC Penny, targeting the advertisers for ABC’s new hit show, “GCB.”

According to the group, “OMM is disgusted with the new program…which is blasphemy at its worst! It is based on the book “Good Christian B*tches”…[and]…blasphemes God…”

Blasphemy is the act of speaking sacrilegiously. If the definition fit, OMM would have good reason to target GCB. Freedom of religion is a human right that should be protected from defamation, whether Christian- or any other faith-bashing.

However, the devil is in the details for the fundamentalists at OMM, who are missing a critical difference: GCB does not mock Christians. It mocks those who blaspheme Christianity, abusing it as a justification for hypocrisy.

This may be hitting too close to home for OMM, a subgroup of the American Family Association (AFA), an organization on the “frontlines [sic] of America’s culture wars.”

Labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the “sins” perpetrated by AFA’s spokespeople include calling Islam “the spirit of Satan,” claiming that “homosexuality gave us Adolf Hitler,” and stating in a recent Twitter post that efforts to mandate insurance coverage for contraception are “totalitarianism on hormones.”

Like the wealthy characters in GCB, the AFA ignores the commandment to “love thy neighbor” in exchange for a religion that not only justifies defamation, but also is very profitable. AFA reported over $19 million in revenue in 2010.

ABC is clearly luring its “Desperate Housewives” audience with a neighborhood populated by wealthier, Texas socialites. These ‘Christians’ are still angry about how they were treated in high school by Amanda, the protagonist, who returns home to live with her mother after her Ponzi-scheming, adulterous husband dies.

This “come to Jesus” experience converts Amanda to a life that honors real moral values like supporting her children through hard,  honest work—even if it’s in a Hooters-like restaurant called “Boobylicious.”

Despite Amanda’s genuine efforts to make amends, her neighbors respond with anything but forgiveness. Altered by plastic surgery and dressed in the finest stereotype of gold-plated, gun-wielding, Texas couture, these characters use Bible verses like bullets to rhetorically inflict vengeful wounds that, while not mortal, are always aimed at the heart.

The Lord saith “vengeance is mine,” but these Texans have selectively forgotten that verse, which is precisely the point.

Trading gun for Bible verse slinging, the ladies attempt to “out-Christian” each other, leading to outrageous displays of hypocrisy. For example, After Amanda revealed during ‘prayer’ before the congregation that Boobylicious is actually owned by Carlene, GCB’s villainess, Carlene is too bedridden with embarrassment to attend church the following Sunday.

Holding his Bible, her husband offers spiritual support. “There is nothing in this book that says you can’t own a boobie bar.”  Paraphrasing Proverbs 31, he continues, “You are a virtuous woman, priceless beyond rubies.”

After a friend offers to sing this week’s choir solo in her place, Carlene is far more motivated to go to church, jumping out of bed and yelling for her maid, “Carmelita get in here! The show must go on! Where are my rubies?”

While OMM is blind to its hypocrisy, the abuse of religion that occurs at the intersection of faith, money, and politics is obvious to many Americans and to GCB’s heroine. “God, she’s such a Pharisee,” laments Amanda, comparing Carlene to the legalistic religious leaders chastised by Jesus.

“Well, someone’s been reading her new testament,” replies her mother.

“No, I just googled ‘hypocrisy,’” quips Amanda.

As the series progresses, I think Amanda will continue to struggle with what it means to be a real Christian, while Carlene demeans salvation into an excuse for behavior that is anything but loving.

In the mean time, OMM continues to target the show’s advertisers. In a recent update, the group claimed “victory,” including a purported direct quote from Kraft foods. “Philadelphia [cream cheese] has decided to pull its advertising from GCB … We have received complaints from consumers and their opinions about our advertising are important to us.”

However, Kraft’s response to a GCB supporter was entirely different. “The brand has decided to redirect advertising to other programs with an established audience…. [T]his decision was not linked in any way to the content of this particular show.”

So much for the commandment to not bear false witness.

GCB puts religious hypocrisy on display before over 7 million viewers, according to the show’s latest ratings. Perhaps that’s the real reason OneMillionMoms is so upset. GCB lifts the proverbial choir robe worn by these modern-day Pharisees, and what’s underneath ain’t pretty.

Archie Gay Comic Sells Out

Jim Burroway

March 2nd, 2012

So much for the American Family Association’s futile boycott by its couple hundred moms. Issue number 16 of the comic book Life With Archie featuring a same-sex wedding on its cover has completely sold out, according to a blog post on archiecomics.com:

“Kevin will always be a major part of Riverdale, and we’re overjoyed, honored and humbled by the response to this issue,” said Jon Goldwater, Co-CEO of Archie Comics. “Our fans have come out full force to support Kevin. He is, without a doubt, the most important new character in Archie history. He’s here to stay.”

One wonders how much the AFA’s boycott actually helped the comic book’s sales.

Ellen takes on AFA’s ‘One Million’ Moms

Timothy Kincaid

February 8th, 2012

This is how you do it:

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