ANYTHING But Straight
|by Wayne Besen
|The Soul Market
General Motors announced 25,000 layoffs, and a Washington Post-ABC News poll revealed that 58 percent of Americans disapprove of President George W. Bush's handling of the economy. Fortunately, I'm impervious to such bad economic news. Even if we return to the dark days of the Great Depression, I'm comforted knowing that a high paying job is always just a phone call away.
"Operator, collect call to Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs."
(Ring, Ring) "James Dobson, speaking."
"It's ME! Wayne Besen."
"Sir, please, don't hang up. I understand that you are still upset about the time I photographed your star ex-gay guzzling cocktails and hitting on men in a gay saloon.
"But, James, times have changed. Are you sitting down? Good! I am calling to tell you that I have renounced my homosexuality and become an ex-gay! I know it's hard to believe, but one night in a hotel I started reading the Bible. An hour later, I went down to the hotel's cocktail lounge to get a stiff one. And to my surprise, that is exactly what happened, but not as I had planned. I couldn't believe it, I suddenly found myself ogling breasts. ME and BREASTS! Halleluiah, it's a miracle.
"Wow, James, FAB-u-lous! Uh, I mean, intriguing. Of course, I'll sign on the dotted line. I thought you'd never ask. See you at work on Monday and we'll fight the gay, I mean, homosexual agenda. God Bless you."
While the stock market may be down, the soul market is bullish. Morally compromised minorities can now guarantee success and reap a stream of profit by agreeing to sell their people down the river. Sure, it is a deal with the devil, but no one ever said a partnership with Lucifer isn't lucrative.
If you haven't noticed, the far right now uses so-called ex-gays like Stephen Bennett to counter the gay community. Clarence Thomas and Alan Keyes clones are trotted out to oppose African American interests. Homemakers who never seem to be home and appear to make a lot of money, such as Beverly LaHaye, are the chief spokespeople for rolling back women's rights. And one cannot attend a right wing Christian event these days, without tripping over a rabbi willing to bless these overtly sectarian gatherings as Judeo-Christian.
For example, Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently breached the separation of church and state by signing an anti-gay bill and an anti-choice bill at Calvary Christian Academy. To make the unconstitutional event appear kosher, Fort Worth Rabbi David Stone, who leads a Jews For Jesus cult, gave the closing benediction.
Unfortunately, this dangerous dance with the right is already having consequences. The Air Force Academy, for example, has become an out-of-control hotbed of Anti-Semitism and proselytizing. Jewish cadets have been called "filthy Jew" and a chaplain who complained about the Biblical abuse was unceremoniously demoted and shipped off to Japan.
Superintendent of the Air Force Academy, Lt. Gen. John Rosa Jr., acknowledged the problem in a meeting with the Anti-Defamation League.
"I have issues in my staff, and I have issues in my facultyand that's my whole organization," Rosa said, according to The New York Times. "If everything goes well, it's probably going to take six years to fix it."
Let me get this straight. In 1967, Israel defeated the entire Arab world in six days. In less than six months, the United States crushed and occupied Iraq, driving Saddam Hussein into a rat hole. It took the allies roughly six years to win World War II. Yet, it is going to take six years to root out anti-Semitism at the Academy?
The truth is, we can solve this un-American scandal in six hours, if our leaders had the will to do so. Everyone involved in such unbecoming conduct should be demoted and shipped to a new base, preferably near the Bering Straight. The Air Force Academy should also be moved away from Colorado Springs, where the intolerant and pseudo-religious ideas circulated by Focus on the Family are clearly disintegrating military morale.
The nightmare that is taking place at the Air Force Academy is a cautionary tale. Minorities who think that bashing gays and playing footsy with theocrats will endear or protect them from what is increasingly looking like a fascist movement are kidding themselves.
"Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost," Rev. D. James Kennedy said, according to Rolling Stone magazine. "As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise Godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavorsin short, over every aspect and institution of human society."
Not much Judeo in that Christian proclamation. If you can look past the Right's colorful and diverse panoply of spokespeople, it is clear they are a monochromatic movement that deplores the very pluralism they disingenuously claim to support.
Wayne Besen is an author, activist, columnist, and public speaker. He may be reached at WBesen@aol.com.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 15, No. 7 June 17, 2005