Let’s start out our week with something light and fun, i.e. checking in with Peter LaBarbera’s last few posts to see who/what has him all mad ‘n’ sad.
1. Personal attack on Jeremy Hooper: Peter is really, really excited that there are still a couple newspapers left that defend bigotry and hatred, so when he heard that the Manchester Union-Leader in New Hampshire was sticking to discrimination by refusing to print same-sex marriage announcements, he got a tingle in his no-nos and wrote a piece about it! Of course, to illustrate that piece, he used Jeremy Hooper’s wedding photo and slapped the word “perversion” on it.
Peter (presumably) has his own conscience and shame system to answer to. Nothing I could say here would exacerbate the questions that surely (or at least should) weigh on his and his loved ones’ minds.
2. Personal attack on and straight-up lies about Autumn Sandeen: Pete really, really doesn’t like Autumn. He dislikes her so much that he willfully and repeatedly twists the facts of her story to serve his agenda, claiming that Autumn “left [her] wife and children,” despite the fact that Autumn has repeatedly corrected the story. This is the set-up for a piece where Pete uses juvenile slurs against transgender people and sticks his fingers in his ears, referring to a genuine, widely recognized medical condition and its treatment as “sickening.”
Autumn responds thoroughly here, and ends like this:
I hope no one ever manages to shut LaBarbera up. He has the right to free speech, for sure, and he should be free to exercise it. Beyond that though, I find his over-the-top style of writing quite entertaining. And, he makes a good case, by the negative example of his bigotry of trans people, as well as lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, of the real world need for LGBT people to be treated with dignity and respect by both government and corporate America.
3. Evan Hurst and Joe Jervis are sooooooo mean. In case you missed it, Joe Jervis pointed out that Peter is on the same side as the Ku Klux Klan on a very specific issue: that of Jennifer Keeton of Augusta State University, who, like a child, wants the counseling department at the school to adjust their degree requirements for her “special needs,” i.e., her religion-based bigotry against gay people. The school told her, “No, dear,” so now, of course, she’s a Religious Right cause celebre. Peter turned Joe’s post into something it really wasn’t, as all Joe did was point out the similar goals of the two entities on the issue. I agreed with Joe.
Here comes the fun part: Peter is trying to “get back at us” by saying that Joe and I are on the same side as NAMBLA when it comes to openly gay scoutmasters. Of course, this is not true, as Joe explained on our Truth Wins Out Facebook page, and which I will explain now: Though it is distasteful and wrong that the Boy Scouts don’t allow kids’ fathers who happen to be gay to be scoutmasters, thus depriving those dads and their kids of the same opportunities that kids with straight dads have, they are a private organization and are thus completely within their rights to discriminate. The Country Club near my house is a nice little Slice of the Confederacy, as the only faces of color you’ll see on that golf course belong to employees in white suits, or possibly the Mayor on a special occasion, and they’re not too keen on Jewish members either. Is it gross? Yes. Is it a stain on our otherwise lovely neighborhood, its only benefits being its scenic nature and what its proximity does to the property values in our historic district? Yes. Are they within their rights as an exclusive private organization? Surely.
And that, children, is what you call a “nuanced position.” Wingnuts do not have nuanced positions. Everything them to them is childlike: good vs. evil, black vs. white, made-up words like “Judeo-Christian” vs. Big Mean Outside World, etc.
The rest of Peter’s piece involves taking an interesting piece written by Johann Hari, about gays in fascist movements [interesting because there have never been any heterosexuals involved in fascist movements -- it's a purely gay thing, y'all], spices it up with a little revisionist [completely made up] history from notorious bigot Scott Lively, who has his paws on more hate groups [the real, certified kind, not the "Peter things these people are mean" kind] than you’d expect imaginable from one human, and who basically handed Ugandan homophobes the rhetorical gun they needed in their campaign against gays in that country, and then he attempts to sum it up:
Homosexual radicals’ deranged attempts to link pro-family conservatives to racist fringe groups are part of their larger goal of demonizing and marginalizing “homophobic” Christians and social conservatives.
Uh, it’s really not a big leap: ”Pro-family conservatives” tend to be more defined by who/what they hate than what they actually support, and it tends to come in the form of condemnation of large groups of people. Irrational fear and hatred of other races is very, very similar to irrational fear and hatred of sexual minorities. It’s no coincidence that social conservatives cynically exploit race in their fights against reproductive health, while simultaneously believing/being worried that every Muslim is a possible terrorist, while simultaneously imagining that gay people they’ve never met having equal rights will affect their lives in any way. The only thing our equality will ever change is white fundamentalists’ self esteem, because their self-created pedestal over society, which they have enjoyed for decades, is being eroded by the advancement of minorities. The only thing that is happening is that slowly but surely, their unearned status is being brought down to size with the rest of us. And I’m sure that messes with ‘em somethin’ fierce, as we Southerners say. But their status was never merit-based in any way! There is nothing special or worthy about Fundamentalists that suggests they should have the keys to society. Indeed, when one looks at the statistics, one finds that on most “moral questions,” fundamentalists do no better than anyone else, and often do much, much worse.
Anyway, he rambles for approximately 1400 paragraphs, and even figures out a way to talk about fisting, which is like, his favorite subject besides that photographer in New Mexico who [tragedy!] had to abide by the same laws as everyone else as a business owner, who he also mentions. Oh, and he takes some time to cry and lie some more about Catholic Charities being “forced” out of business in Massachusetts. Of course, they freely chose to close up shop, unwilling as they were to follow the same laws as everyone else. [Sensing a pattern here? It's sort of like dealing with preschoolers who don't like to share, and moreover, have not had good naps that day.] It’s kind of a Wingnut Fever Dream Greatest Hits.
Finally, he asks, “Could the American state become a national, homo-fascist agent?”
Uh, I don’t know Peter. Could unicorns come to life and force us all to eat sparkly cupcakes? Could pie be any more delicious? Could puppy fur BE any softer? These are all questions, to be sure. I don’t know what kind of questions they are, but they’re certainly questions.
Read his entire million word piece if you have nothing better to do with your life.