A Colorado preacher, known for his controversial opinions, ramped up his anti-gay rhetoric this past week, predicting that same-sex marriage will lead to homeschooled children being sent to live with pedophiles, and implying that members of the gay community will "burn Christians at the stake."
During a Jan. 28 segment of his radio program, "Generations With Vision," Kevin Swanson tackled the issue of Colorado's same-sex civil unions bill. The conservative Swanson, who is -- perhaps unsurprisingly -- against same-sex unions, made a number of unconventional claims while he was on the topic.
Swanson said he believes America will be a very, very different place in fewer than 10 years. He then outlined a bizarre scenario, in which home-schooled children would be "swooped away" by social services and given to homosexual homes, where he said children might be abused.
What’s happening is they want homosexuals to be able to be involved in adoption and foster care as much anybody else. So picture a nice little home-school family, just trying to do the right thing. An anonymous tip comes in, social services swoops in, they grab the kids in the year 2022, and the kids get remanded into a home with homosexuals, and these particular homosexuals happen to be tied into NAMBLA and other things.
(NAMBLA is a reference to the North American Man/Boy Love Association, a "tiny fringe group that looms large in the nightmares of the anti-gay movement," according to Right Wing Watch.)
As evidence, Swanson trotted out the so-called Regnerus study from 2012, which claimed that children raised by same-sex parents were at a disadvantage. That study drew strong criticism and was labeled inaccurate by many social scientists, according to LifeScience.
Swanson went on to reference some murky historical "facts" about the history of gay marriage in Ancient Rome:
I’m not sure the world has ever gone to homosexual marriage. I think Nero tried it, it was very, very odd, very weird, very, very decadent for the Roman Empire. It’s about the worst the Roman Empire ever, ever got, under Nero...
Today, it might be a little different because you have a lot of quote-unquote apostate Christian churches that have adopted homosexuality and they will do their best to burn Christians at the stake or do what Nero did... because that’s sort of the history of homosexuals.
Swanson is echoing extremist rhetoric used before by conservative groups, including the anti-gay Catholic World Report, which wrote the following in May:
Gay marriage was, along with homosexuality, something the first Christians faced as part of the pagan moral darkness of their time.
What Christians are fighting against today, then, is not yet another sexual innovation peculiar to our “enlightened age,” but the return to pre-Christian, pagan sexual morality.
Meanwhile, Kevin Swanson has made Right Wing Watch headlines two more times since his inflammatory "burning at the stake" comments: for claiming that women on birth control have wombs "embedded with dead babies", and for saying that allowing gay Boy Scout troop leaders is like allowing convicted child molesters and serial killers to teach in preschools.
In July, Swanson criticized the Jim Henson Company for "taking the sodomy route," after the company decided not to work with Chick-fil-A over the fast food chain's anti-gay stance.