In the span of less than a week, we have witnessed a meltdown of religious right talking heads against the gay community.
First there was the Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg who said on Hardball earlier this week that he supports "criminalizing homosexual behavior."
Around the same time came the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer who published an ugly screed saying that homosexuality should be against the law. He compounded this nastiness when he tried to backtrack explaining that he "merely" said that "homosexual behavior" should be treated the same as intravenous drug abuse.
After People for the American Way destroyed his argument, he seemed to say "to hell with pretending to clarify" when he voiced the following opinion:
Think for a moment of the current social controversies that could potentially be avoided if homosexual conduct was still against the law.
Gays in the military: problem solved. We shouldn't make a place for habitual felons in the armed forces. End of discussion, end of controversy. If someone objects, ask them which other felonies the military ought to overlook in screening recruits.
Gay marriage: problem solved. We should never legalize unions between any two people when the union is forged specifically to engage in felony behavior. Would we sanction, for instance, the formation of a corporation whose stated purpose was to import illegal drugs?
Gay indoctrination in the schools: problem solved. We don't want to raise a generation of schoolchildren to believe that felony behavior is perfectly appropriate. That's why we spend so much money warning students about the danger of drugs.
Hate crimes laws: problem solved. We wouldn't throw a pastor in jail for saying that illegal behavior is not only illegal but also immoral. For instance, he's free to say that murder is not only contrary to man's law but also to God's law. End of the threat to freedom of religion and speech.
Special rights for homosexuals in the workplace: problem solved. No employer should be forced to hire admitted felons to work for him. End of the threat to freedom of religion and freedom of association in the marketplace.
And now we have Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid (AIM is the organization which was forced to retract a story accusing Obama appointee Kevin Jennings of being a pedophile) actually defending Uganda's anti-gay bill in response to the criticism it received from President Obama during Thurday's National Prayer Breakfast:
"The purpose is completely at variance with what the U.S. media have reported," he said. "It is not a 'Kill the Gays' bill. Rather, it is designed to kill the disease that some homosexuals spread through their reckless and irresponsible conduct and lifestyle."
Kincaid said that the much-publicized death penalty provision in the bill is for deliberately spreading AIDS and engaging in homosexual behavior that threatens children and society.
"Uganda's people and government deserve support, not criticism, from the United States," said Kincaid. "They are up against the international homosexual lobby, the money of George Soros, and the Obama Administration. They are trying to create a Christian culture that is protective of families and children."
It was not the first time Kincaid defended the Ugandan anti-gay bill. Earlier, he claimed that attention on the bill was a plot to divert attention from the non-controversy over Obama appointee Kevin Jennings.
But his recent comments and those of Fischer's and Sprigg's are alarming. And then there is the following upcoming conference at Liberty University:
Liberty University School of Law will host a one-day conference followed by a one-day symposium addressing homosexuality and its consequences. The Friday, February 12, conference is entitled "Understanding Same-sex Attractions and Their Consequences." On Saturday, February 13, the Liberty University Law Review will host a legal symposium entitled "Homosexual Rights and First Amendment Freedoms: Can They Truly Coexist?"
The first day of the conference will focus on the issues underlying same-sex attractions with personal and ministry insights shared by Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International. Conference leaders will then discuss the American Psychological Association Task Force Report on counseling people with same-sex attractions. Current research and therapies will be discussed by experts from the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and the American Association of Christian Counselors. The first day is designed for lay people, counselors, pastors, educators, attorneys, and those interested in learning more about the subject. The second day will focus on the legal implications arising from the clash between the quest for homosexual rights and freedom of speech, religion and association.
Maybe religious right groups realize that they are slowly but surely losing ground in the "culture war" and have decided to go for broke. Maybe all of these incidents is a huge maneuver to induce members of the gay community into hysterical actions which will be written about on right-wing webpages and recorded for posterity and opinionated on by networks such as Fox.
Whatever the case may be, these recent incidents of open hostility against the gay community seem to signal that the vicious and verbal head-severing attacks used to undermine President Obama have made their way over to the war against gay equality.
How long will it be before we start hearing more phony horror stories of gay men seducing children or be subjected to junk science dissertations about "the dangers of sodomy" but on an accelerated level? Never mind about claims to love gays and lesbians, will opposition to gay equality return to the classic lie of "homosexuality needs to be illegal because it's a health hazard?"
Somewhere in the United States, discredited researcher Paul Cameron (the man responsible for a vast amount of junk science against the gay community) is rubbing his hands in glee, eager for a return to notoriety.