Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Unintentional comedians

When the far-right anti-gay industry says or does something stupid (several times every day), it often makes us laugh. It’s usually their stupidity, but sometimes it’s at how utterly clueless they are. One of the radical right’s big leaders has demonstrated this ably.

Franklin Graham, son of the famous old time evangelist, is stridently anti-gay and has worked to make the ministry bearing his father’s name into a force for opposing the civil and human rights of LGBT people. This has made him in a joke on several occasions, but never more so than now.

After seeing an ad for Wells Fargo Bank that had the audacity to include LGBT people, Graham declared that he would, basically, “boycott everything gay”, as blogger Joe Jervis put it. That in itself was hilarious because Graham made his pronouncement on Facebook, one of the many large corporations that are strongly pro-LGBT, especially on marriage equality.

For that matter, Franklin also uses the very pro-LGBT Twitter, and has a channel on the strongly pro-LGBT YouTube, but Franklin has not yet closed his Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube accounts. Guess that for Franklin, when it comes to having to “stop doing business with those who promote sin and stand against Almighty God’s laws and His standards,” it’s do as he says, not as he does.

Funny as his hypocrisy is, he also did something really stupid.

He declared he was moving all the accounts of the ministry named for his father to another bank, BB&T, based in North Carolina. As Right Wing Watch put it:
"Graham may not have done much research, as BB&T has received an 80 percent score in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and this year is the sponsor of the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade, along with the chief sponsor of Miami Beach Gay Pride’s ‘Legacy Couples’ program, which celebrates same-sex couples in ‘committed relationships of 10 years or longer’.”

In a statement about the Legacy Couples project, BB&T said:
“We also support the individuals and organizations that broaden our perspectives and strengthen the diverse fabric of our communities. That’s why BB&T is proud to be a part of this day of pride and celebration of the 2015 Legacy Couples.”

All mocking aside, as I’ve said many times, I fully support the right of people or groups to boycott whoever they want for whatever reason they want—political, religious, cultural, aesthetic—their reason doesn’t matter, but their freedom to make that choice does. That doesn’t mean I won’t point out the hypocrisy or stupidity of the radical right launching yet another of its many thousands of boycotts against anything even remotely supportive of marriage equality or friendly to LGBT people, nor will it keep me from mocking the radical right when they screw it up hilariously.

In this case, Franklin hates LGBT people and our human rights so much that he wanted to boycott a company that supports us. Fine. That’s his choice and he’s free to make it. But I’m also free to mock him for choosing a LGBT-friendly company for his boycott stunt, and I’m also free to point out his hypocrisy in making this boycott declaration on pro-LGBT and pro-marriage equality Facebook.

Everyone has the freedom to believe and say what they want. They do NOT, however, have the right to be free from criticism and mockery. If they don’t want to be mocked, maybe they could just stop doing or saying such mockery-worthy things. But I don’t expect that to happen: Our friends on the radical right are way too often unintentional comedians.

 All of which is fine. I can always use a good laugh.

The graphic at the top of this post is from the Facebook Page of Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian™. I first used it in a post last year.

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