The folks who still call gays pedophiles want a return to “civil discourse”

Is there no greater victim than a Republican hater?

Not all Republicans.  Just the most hateful ones.  They seem to be the ones A) in charge, and B) who always claim to be the greatest victims.

To wit: After decades of branding gays falsely as pedophiles, and earned the official title of “hate group” for it, the religious right now demands that gays and our allies be more “civil” and stop calling them a hate group.

How about they stop acting like one first?

God Hates Fags home page

GodHatesF* home page of Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church.

What’s really going on is that the religious right continues to be stung from several of its lead groups being labeled officially-designated “hate groups” in the past few years. Like most Republican bullies, the religious right bristles when any of its victims fight back.  So the religious right has been on a tirade for months now, after a lone deranged guy with a gun shot a security guard at one of the group’s headquarters in the arm, that all of their lives are in massive danger because we’re mean to them.


If meanness per se led to violence we’d all be dead by now, after all the knowingly-false garbage the religious right has thrown at us for decades.

But what really takes the cake is the religious right’s ongoing “plea” of late that we return to “civil discourse.”  That’s a bit – no, that’s a lot – like a rapist demanding his victim to stop having sex with him.  Here are two religious right groups in the last day making the bizarre demand. A third did it a few months ago.

To continue the rape analogy, the religious right probably considers the pedophile lie “legitimate hate.”


From Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps klan (with permission)

Yeah, well, fortunately for us, the body politic has a way of shutting that down.  One of them is by labeling you an official hate group, and exposing your bigotry and intolerance to sunshine.

I’ve written a lot about the GOP “tell.”  It’s a poker term for an involuntary action that gives away your hand.  When dealing with Republicans, their whine is their tell. It’s usually a pretty good indicator of something they themselves are doing or have done.  In this case, the tell is the whine about a lack of civility.  I’ve worked in politics in Washington, DC for nearly 25 years now, and the “tell” that you’re dealing with an opponent who lacks civility is when he incessantly calls you a pedophile and knows it’s a lie.  It really doesn’t get more uncivil than that.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the organization the nut with the gun went to – and one of the officially-designated hate groups – pulled the pedophile-canard the other day on CNN.  Soledad O’Brien, to her credit, was having none of it.

Perkins and his minions have trotted out the pedophile-card before. Including four days ago again on CNN.  His organization has been making the groundless attack for decades. But now, suddenly, the religious right is for civility on the same day that Perkins renews the call that we’re pedophiles. Priceless.


From Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps klan (with permission)

To the religious right, defending yourself is uncivil.  I’ll bet a lot of white southerners felt that way too when African-Americans finally started fighting back en masse during the Civil Rights Movement.  It’s a bitch when your victim won’t just lay there.

I’ve already done a series of essays on why these groups are in fact hate groups, and hateful, and un-Christian, in addition to utterly dishonest liars. None of them have repented for their uncivil discourse, and they continue to spew it on the same day they call for our civil discourse.

I summed up the religious right’s conundrum they find themselves in, with respect to claiming that they’re a “target” because their victims, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, have finally stood up to them and called them out for their sins:

Isn’t it a bit like complaining, “Joe punched me because you told him I slept with his wife.”

But you did sleep with his wife.

And while that doesn’t mean Joe should resort to violence, ever, you did sleep with his wife. So let’s stop pretending that the sinner here is the guy who caught you.


From Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps klan (with permission)

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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22 Responses to “The folks who still call gays pedophiles want a return to “civil discourse””

  1. kurtsteinbach says:

    I know what you mean about violence. I followed the Mathew Shepard act with great care. I was in college when he was attacked and murdered. I read about it in the school paper. I was a bit surprised at all the responses it received in the college newspaper, the Helmsman because at the University of Memphis, student apathy is the norm, especially if it appears in the school paper. However, as a person who was bullied growing up, it struck a nerve. I supported and lobbied for the Act in Congress and am proud that my Congressman did too. Now I am a teacher, and I stop bullying whenever I see it.

  2. FunMe says:

    “and un-Christian”

    That’s for sure!

  3. Houndentenor says:

    They aren’t confused. What they know is that gay people aren’t all that scary but pedophiles are. Pat Robertson has been segueing from gays to pedophiles to begging for money (in that order) for decades. It must work since they all keep doing it. The people doing the equating know it’s a sham but it’s a lucrative sham.

  4. pappyvet says:

    I’m sure that the wingnuts feel that a lot of their “problems” started when we elected that “uppity” man in the White House.

    It’s all propaganda techniques taken from the coffee houses of Berlin. First they accuse the people they hate of every dreadful thing they can think of. Theft,rape,murder,plunder. They claimed the Jews murdered christian babies! Then every evil act of hatred becomes righteous self defense. Because THEY are the ones being attacked.
    The number of hate groups in our country has skyrocketed like a fever infecting those whose immune systems are weakened to these particular infections.

  5. Jim says:

    I agree with most of your post except for where you call the FRC and their ilk unchristian. Christians, from the beginning, have shown great intollerance, shown great cruelty and seem to revel in both.

  6. Don Chandler says:

    If you are right about him and his [cocks], then the last question posed by Soledad O’Brien should be, “if homosexuality is not immutable to you Mr Perkins, is not heterosexuality also not immutable to you?” I mean, really, most heterosexuals I know are insistent on the immutability of their sexuality. This question of immutability would be especially poignant in one that believes they can choose to be heterosexual even though they feel strong homosexual urges. I guess I’m saying why use kid gloves on Perkins when he wants to put a strait jacket on gay youth? Perkins is advocating a repressive approach which is not honest and not open and not sound and contradicts his his own arguments: because prohibiting gays from participating in the Boy Scouts doesn’t mean that gays are not in the Boy Scouts, it just means OPENLY gays are not participating in the Boy Scouts–need i mention the perversion files…. Not only is Perkins not Buddhist as he violates the Consequence Principle in Buddhism (“causes harm and regret”) he is also not advocating a morally straight approach to scouting by advocating a relationships thatare not open and honest. Of course, we all know he is very slippery.

  7. Dennis Velco says:

    Thanks for this article and your reporting. What you do is appreciated.

    I posted it to my LGBT Group on LinkedIn with over 17,500 global members to spur members to read your article and to make comment. I also scooped it at Scoop.It on my LGBT Times news mashup.

    Link to group >>

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  8. olandp says:

    In that video Perkins says that his next door neighbor is a pedophile who wants to have sex with hes daughters. One would think he could afford to live in a better neighborhood. But then he seems to think that all heterosexual men are attracted to little girls that aren’t their daughters, just like he thinks that gays are attracted to all little boys. He lives in a scary scary world with pedophiles around every corner, even next door. It is as if he lives in a Catholic Church.

  9. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    How can Tony Perkins speak with such authority that being gay is a choice? Probably because he wants guys (I cleaned that up) all the time, but he stops himself from acting on it. Thus, he believes he has made a choice to be straight, whereas all he has done is chosen to not act the way his true nature dictates.

  10. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    The right wing is not confused. The leaders are well aware that what you said is true. They must say those things to their followers, so the followers will keep sending them money. They depend on their followers ignorance. Many of the followers know little about the Bible except for what they are told. That’s another piece of great luck for the leaders. However, I do believe that pedophiles are neither homosexual or heterosexual. They can only play act at having a sexual relationship with an adult.

  11. One of the problems is that the rightwing confuses sexual preference with pedophile behavior. It is true that there is a high incidence of sexual abuse where men are sexually abusing boys. The problem with the rightwing is that they assume that if a man is having sex with a child of the same gender, that man must necessarily be gay. But the fact of the matter is that the overwhelming majority of men sexually abusing boys are heterosexual, not gay. They are pedophiles, not gays. The rightwing needs to understand that being a pedophile is a function of a serious psychological disorder, not a function of being gay. When the rightwing begins to acknowledge that the vast majority of sexual abusers are heterosexual, we might be able to make a lot more progress in preventing this heinous problem.

  12. BeccaM says:

    He means a gay person killing someone (or attempting to do so) out of anger from being oppressed. I almost mis-read it the first time myself, confusing the pronouns.

  13. Hue-Man says:

    Not to mention the everday homophobes who engage in gay-bashing for sport. I can’t think of a single example of the opposite – gays ganging up to physically attack straight men or women. (I’m not arguing against the existence of violent individuals within the gay community, particularly cases of domestic violence and even murder.) Headline from last month from Vancouver: “Bassi brothers acquitted of 2010 gaybashing”

  14. Don Chandler says:

    Boy Scout oath and an explanation of morally straight:

    . . . and morally straight.

    To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.

    About allowing gays in the Scouts….
    “Will this help accomplish their [BSA] goals?–perkins

    Perkins keeps talking about how there is no reason to include gays in the scouts but being an honest and open gay scout or gay leader would encourage people of stronger character as opposed to closeted members. It’s part of the boy scouts oath. And it’s a no-brainer.

    Being faithful to one’s religious beliefs does not exclude being gay as not everyones religion prohibits or proscribes homosexuality. I think Buddhism leaves it up to the individual [I like the following Buddhist statement]:

    Right and wrong behavior in Buddhism is generally determined by considerations such as the following:

    * Universalibility principle – “How would I like it if someone did this to me?”
    * Consequences – Does the act causes harm and regret (in oneself or others) or benefit and joy?
    * Utilitarian principle – Will the act help or harm the attainment of goals (ultimately spiritual liberation)?
    * Intention – Is the act motivated by love, generosity and understanding?

    “Sexual misconduct” has thus traditionally been interpreted to include actions like coercive sex, sexual harassment, child molestation and adultery. As Homosexuality is not explicitly mentioned in any of the Buddha’s sayings recorded in the Pali Canon (Tripitaka), most interpreters have taken this to mean that homosexuality should be evaluated in the same way as heterosexuality, in accordance with the above principles. [I like buddhism but I wouldn’t make a good monk.]

    Well, Tony Perkins doesn’t have to worry about being a Buddhist–nor a Buddhist monk i’m sure.

    Then Perkins started talking about the immutable and the not immutable…suggesting that being gay is a choice. What does he know about this? How can he speak with authority on what is not immutable?

    The guy is a troll.

  15. Drew2u says:

    Reported hate crimes, you mean?
    I thought I remember a vet’s story on a battleship where the suspected gay guy ended up mysteriously overboard.
    Plus how secretive the closet is, I can’t imagine the number of hate crimes and spouse abuse that goes unreported.

  16. That’s a good point about projection.

  17. What’s been remarkable, certainly among gays, is that we haven’t had anyone trying to kill anyone up until this recent incident and I don’t think any of us still know what the heck was going on there. But throughout AIDS and everything, never was there real violence. It’s quite surprising compared to America’s overall zeal for violence at times, and you look at the religious right and we have ample anti-gay nuts who have attacked gay people and killed them.

  18. kurtsteinbach says:

    I’m Jewish, and this kind of thing has been going on against us since 1945. The persecutors, the bullies, the haters, the hate groups, The Neo-Nazis, The Skin-Heads, WBC, The FRC, the AFA, the Europeans, The Roman Catholic Church, and all of the bullies, hate groups, and persecutors just cannot take it when their victims won’t just lie there and take it, when they actually fight back in any way. The Segregationists and the Dixiecrats went through it in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and 70s. Whenever society begins to take the persecuted seriously and finally comes around to see the Jews, the GLBTQ people, Blacks, Latino/as, Asians, Native Americans in North, Central, and South America, Aborigines, Hmong as real people with real lives and real feelings and see their persecutors as the evil bullies they have been and are, then the bullies cry foul because there victims aren’t victims anymore. They won’t lie down and take it. Watch out, because often the next step after victims stop lying down is killing those victims. When you have nothing left to lose….

  19. drdick52 says:

    You have to remember that in modern parlance, “civil discourse” means not telling the truth about conservatives or pointing out the consequences of their actions and positions.

  20. Gaylib says:

    These are the same people that balk at anti-bullying policies in schools because it infringes on their “right” to torment gay kids, many of whom go on to kill themselves, or ironically, develop severe mental illness like the FRC shooter. Perkins and Brown are drowning in the blood of gays and lesbians. Fuck them. And if some lunatic decides to blow them away? I sure won’t shed a tear.

  21. BeccaM says:

    Some random observations:

    – What you call a GOP ‘tell’, John, I refer to as projection. Rick Santorum isn’t making racist remarks when he referred to “Blah” people being lazy and dependent, we’re accused of being racist for pointing out the manifestly bigoted nature of his remarks. Anti-gay groups aren’t haters for calling LGBTs perverts, deviants, and pedophiles — we’re haters for not respecting their gay-hating beliefs. Hell, Jonah Goldberg’s book shrill wingnut-welfare screed “Liberal Fascism” is nothing but projection from cover to cover.

    – Isn’t this just like all bullies everywhere? Happy to dish out the abuse (both verbal and physical), but as soon as the victims fight back, they revert to the abject cowards they really are. They’re happy as clams as long as they’re on top and dominating, but as soon as they begin to lose, they’re the first to start playing the victim card. “C’mon! What’s wrong with wanting gay people to be stripped of their families and imprisoned. I need to teach my kids to hate gays and to beat up any other kid who looks gay. It’s just my freedom of religion! Why can’t you all respect that? Waaaaaaah!”

    – Yeah…civil discourse can’t begin with “LGBTs are moral deviants who are going to Hell forever if they don’t repent and stop being queer” sitting there like a giant steaming turd in the middle of the living room carpet. Nor can it begin with a demand that everyone — including non-believers — follow the dictates of a particular fundamentalist religion or collection of them. Civil discourse also doesn’t use phony assertions, such as the one you mention, John, that gays are all pedophiles and dangerous to children. Or that gay and lesbian marriages cause straights not to want to marry. Or that sexual orientation is entirely a choice and amenable to quack psychotherapy. In short, civil discourse requires truthfulness, respect for objective facts and science, and simple human decency.

    – AFA, FRC, and the other anti-gay hate groups have made it clear they not only object to the extension of civil rights protections to LGBTs, they want to re-criminalize homosexuality itself. This is also the opposite of ‘civil.’ “You want ‘special’ rights and that makes us sad. We want you all thrown into prison or involuntarily committed to mental hospitals. C’mon, that’s not hate!” (Except yes, it is.)

    They want a return to ‘civil discourse’? Seems to me you can only return to something you once had. The haters have never been civil towards LGBTs.

  22. davidinchelseama says:

    Perkins is one of the creepiest bastards I’ve ever seen. Good god, what a freak.

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