Yesterday, we noted that the Washington Post celebrated "National Coming Out Day" by posting an anti-gay screed written by notorious bigot Tony Perkins on its On Faith microsite. Today, we learned that the Post thought the publication of Perkins' bile was justified by the fact that it hosted a live Q&A chat with Dan Savage about his efforts to prevent suicide among gay youths. Because, as everyone knows, if you're going to feature an opponent of gay suicide, you need … um … balance. Savage was understandably displeased to see the Post use him as justification for publishing Perkins.
But it's important to understand that Tony Perkins' anti-gay rant was not an anomaly. On Faith has posted several anti-gay missives just this week.
Jordan Sekulow, described by the Post as a "human rights attorney," insists "the United States is a Christian nation" and quotes biblical references to homosexuality as an "abomination" and "unnatural" and "indecent" and "perversion." Again: The Washington Post describes Sekulow as a "human rights attorney." Though, to be fair, they didn't say he's an attorney working on behalf of human rights.
Frank Pavone, president of the National Pro-Life Religious Council and a Catholic priest, writes that his church teaches that sex can only be had "in a marriage between a man and a woman, and when open to life," adding that "Sex is an extremely powerful force, and never a neutral one. Either it serves life, or it serves death."
John Mark Reynolds, who previously* used the platform granted him by the Post to call advocates of gay rights "ideologues" and compare them to "racists," wrote a rambling post yesterday that refers to gay rights advocates as "the hateful" ("When the unchaste, the libertine, or the hateful demand we call their wrongs 'good,' this too is not new") and refers to support for gay rights as "prejudice." Oh, and he compares the oppression Christians face at the hands of these hateful, prejudiced gay rights advocates to the murder of Christians by pagan cultures:
Traditional religion, which does not measure the value of an argument by the date or by fashion, is not deterring progress. It is deterring decay.
Civilization partly consists of teaching men and women to say "no" to desires that are not productive or useful to their souls. What is productive? First, we would have to know the facts about the cosmos. Is there an afterlife? Is there a God? Does He have opinions on what we do?
There is, He exists, and He does. And if He has been clear on anything it is that human beings are good at kidding themselves into bad behavior when it comes to physical desires. Some pagan cultures believed all sex was bad and it became fashionable to castrate men in order to "restrain" desires. The Christian church had to stand against such behavior, which even infected its own ranks, and argue against the intellectual fashion of the day.
Our reward was to be murdered by the government on the pretext of condoning depravity!
In this age, Christian morality is once again unfashionable, but this time not for our tolerance of sex, but our intolerance of some forms of sex. If some ancient intellectuals saw sexual desire as an unspiritual horror, we now face a culture that in part believes it is a necessary part of life!
And Amarnath Amarasingam writes that "both sides" in the debates over gay rights are "predictably defensive and unbending":
[W]hy does religion play such a central role in debates about homosexuality? Because it is one of the main battlegrounds of the culture war, which James Davison Hunter calls a "struggle to define America." Recent statements by Carl Paladino and Jim DeMint, the homophobia and bullying experienced by young Americans like Tyler Clementi, as well as the heated rhetoric around 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' have reignited what is traditionally a flashpoint issue in the ongoing culture wars. Both sides have become predictably defensive and unbending.
The reader is left to wonder who on the gay-rights side is as "unbending" as the lunatics who show up at funerals with "God hates Fags" signs. Maybe there's a large movement to outlaw heterosexual marriage and kick straight folks out of the military, and I just missed it? Sadly, Amarasingam provides no examples. True, Amarasingam doesn't explicitly insult gays like his On Faith peers. But make no mistake: Equating gay rights advocates with anti-gay zealots is a slur against those who ask no more than that they be treated the way their fellow citizens are treated.
Even if you buy the ludicrous notion that Tony Perkins' attack on gays was necessary to balance out Dan Savage's efforts to reduce gay suicide, that doesn't explain the Post's decision to host several other gay-bashing tirades -- or to pass them off as the work of "distinguished" panelists as part of an "intelligent" and "respectful" conversation.
Just how many homophobes does the Washington Post think it needs to balance out Dan Savage?
* Reynolds' previous posts also include such gems as "Sarah Palin was right to worry about 'death panels.'"