As Jeremy points out, this is at best, pathetic, and at worst, an illustration of just how much contempt people like Tony Perkins have for their own followers. Basically here is what had happened was: yesterday, Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi added a non-controversial amendment to a defense authorization bill which clarified that military chaplains are free to refuse to marry same-sex couples. Though gay rights advocates have never fought to force any clergy to perform weddings they don’t want to, for whatever reason, the following video features Roger Wicker speaking to hate group leaders Tim Wildmon [AFA] and Tony Perkins [FRC], declaring this very non-controversial amendment a “victory.”
I am aware that the Religious Right is winning basically nothing when it comes to gay rights these days — and thank heavens for that — but that they are declaring this a victory is hilarious. Jeremy also points out that there was basically no opposition to this, because it’s already Pentagon policy, and no one cares.
Think about it: why on God’s green earth would any gay couple want to go to Reverend Bubba the Bigot to perform their ceremony?! Weddings are happy occasions, people. No need to have a gross old homophobe on the guest list, much less at the pulpit.
Here’s the video:
When I said above that people like Tony Perkins and Tim Wildmon have absolute contempt for their own followers, those are my words, not Jeremy’s. But let me expand on that a bit. The Religious Right [and indeed, the Republican Party] would not have the donors and followers they have if they weren’t exceptionally crafty when it comes to lying to and scaring the shit out of their sheep. There is no liberal or gay-friendly parallel to this. On this side of the fence, journalists, bloggers and non-profit organizations are well aware that our average readers/listeners/supporters are pretty smart people, and moreover people who are willing and able to research issues for themselves. Therefore, aside from the fact that we have absolutely no reason to mislead people, we wouldn’t make it very far with the people who support us if we played cute with the facts like the Religious Right does.
Sadly, and I know this is a broad over-generalization, but Tony Perkins knows it too, the Religious Right is simply not that kind of crowd. So beholden to fear and authority are they that the “daddy figures” they choose to trust are viewed as impenetrable and beyond reproach, even when the words coming out of their leaders’ mouths defy all logic, reason and civics knowledge. Tim Wildmon, being sort of a fringe, regional figure, might be so dumb/uninformed that he believes what he’s saying, but Tony Perkins is inside the Beltway. He knows full well when he’s lying to his people in order to keep their fear-based ca$h a-rollin’ into the FRC’s coffers. Aside from the fact that the man leads a well-known and detested hate group, it’s grotesque to realize that a large part of his influence comes from the fact that he lies to his own people.
That’s how you end up with a situation where these men are able to go on to AFA radio and boldly claim “victory” on an issue that literally, nobody cares about. If their followers acted like liberals and decided to check for themselves whether or not gay couples wanted to force awful wingnuts to perform gay marriage ceremonies, they’d discover that Tony and Tim and Roger are lying to them. But they won’t, and those men know it, so the lies will continue.