Monday, January 22, 2007

Fundies Just Don't Get It

When I sat down to write this post, I intended to focus on Matt Barber's attack of H.R. 254 which would provide stiffer penalties for those convicted of committing a hate crime. Barber whined and essentially suggested that this bill (which covers ALL hate crime...not just crimes against homosexuals) put the life of a homosexual over the life of a murdered child. The more I thought about all he had to say, the angrier I got.

Barber and other outspoken fundies are touting this bill as an attempt to create some version of thought police, making even anti-gay thought punishable. While this bill does nothing of the sort (and I wouldn't be supporting it if it did), it does raise an interesting question that every fundie should seriously consider. Even though it's a perceived threat rather than an actual one, I want to ask every single fundie how it feels to have their personal freedom threatened.

The rhetoric emanating from fundies contradicts several fundamentals of personal freedom, and those coming from the more anti-gay factions are seemingly more deliberate. Specifically, fundies tend to trample on anything that might benefit the GLBT community in the areas of free speech, and legal issues affecting family life.

For all of his ranting and raving, Barber cannot assert that H.R. 254 will in any way curtail the speech of any American. He and other fundies seem to be preoccupied with retaining the right to say whatever they wish about homosexuals that they cannot see the entire issue of free speech and censorship as a whole. For the record, censorship of any kind cannot be allowed in a free society, and will only result in incongruent application. I've always said that we can't simply censor speech or ideas we disagree with because, sooner or later, one of our own closely held beliefs may be targeted. Organizations such as Barber's want to claim moral superiority and legislate that morality by making it difficult for GLBT issues to be discussed in certain public arenas, yet wail and gnash their teeth the moment they perceive their own right to free speech infringed upon.

How does it feel, Matt?

In addition to the issue of free speech, fundies are intent on keeping the legal rights of GLBT individuals/couples at a criminally discriminatory level. Everything from the basic right to marry to inheritence laws are either nonexistent or inadequate, leaving homosexual Americans with very little legal recourse when it comes to this cornerstone of human life. Fundies justify this gap in the law by quoting the Bible or regurgitating some rewarmed talking point, but fail to acknowledge that their inaction and their resistence to action violates the simplest of human rights standards...the right to marry and raise a family, free of government influence or interference.

Ironically, Matt and his fundie buddies claim the aforementioned, cornerstone right any time a liberal politician or media figure suggests anything that is contrary to their set of beliefs. Their insistence on their portrait of the American family is promoted incessantly and is, apparently, under constant attack by the so called 'homosexual agenda.' This agenda, which is really nothing more than gross ignorance allowed to fester, supposedly attempts to subvert the rights of Americans by imposing the specific ideas of one sector upon the whole of society.

Stop and think about that for a second...Subverting the rights of some by imposing a set of ideas on the whole. If Matt were being honest, surely he would see that his fundie friends are the ones trying to impose their beliefs on the rest of the country.

When was the last time a GLBT group called for Christians to lose the right to marry because of their beliefs? When have GLBT groups called for supervision of children in Christian households or asked for adoption restrictions?

The hasn't happened, and this is where Matt and his friends completely miss the point. The only 'agenda' being pushed is theirs...that every family should look like and behave in the same manner as theirs.

We don't agree with each other on many issues, but we don't believe that our ideas MUST be the same as everyone else's. Part of what makes this country so much different and so much more ideologically advanced is that we can disagree and still manage to peacefully coexist. Unfortunately, until people like Mr. Barber have the chance to see life with the tables turned to discriminate and punish them, it's doubtful that anything will change.

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