Sunday, September 25, 2011

Claiming and being are different

This should be one of the most self-evident things I’ve written on this blog, but claiming to be a victim doesn’t make it true. Lately we’ve seen the radical right religious organisations that make up the anti-gay industry step-up their claim of victimhood. They’re all lying.

This is not a new tactic, of course, and I wrote about it way back in January 2010. The central lie in their propaganda has been that they, radical right counterfeit Christians, are being victimised by gay people (aided, of course, by their evil liberal allies).

The problem for the hatemongers is that their cultural war against gay people is nearly lost, as seen by the clear majorities backing the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and even full marriage equality. Their propaganda no longer works as people move forward into the future rather than wallowing in the past.

So, the bigots decided that in the face of the turning tide in public opinion, their only hope was to turn everything upside down and reframe the entire debate as one in which people who support equality are the radicals and bigots, and the real bigots are the victims. But claiming that doesn’t make it believable, let alone true.

This is why the anti-gay industry went into over-drive claiming “Christians” will be victimised by the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, as seen in the examples I posted yesterday. They present what they believe a reasonable person might “buy”, namely, that “Christians” will be “forced” to remain silent (notice the unspoken assumption that all Christians are anti-gay like them). They also claim that heterosexual soldiers will be victims of sexual harassment and assault and will be receiving HIV-tainted blood.

Normal people know that the claims of the radical right are defamatory nonsense, but what about people who have slight prejudice against gay people, or especially those who just don’t know the truth? Those are the people that the bigots are trying to win over, and they’re the reason they’re portraying themselves as victims.

In the battle for marriage equality, they have long claimed that they’re “victims” of “violent homofascists”, as they call us. Without a shred of credible evidence, they claim to have been “attacked” because of their “Christian” beliefs. They’re talking about minor things like defaced or stolen yard signs and other occasional bits of minor property damage, but they’ve always played that up those minor incidents to imply that someone has been beaten or killed because of their “Christian” anti-gay beliefs. In fact, as we see regularly, such beliefs are actually often the cause a gay person being beaten or killed.

To help promote the myth of violence against the anti-gay industry, the Mormon/Catholic hate group, National Organization for Man/Lady Only Marriage has set up a new hate group designed to “help” people who claim to have been “threatened, harassed, or made to feel afraid” because they “believe in the great, foundational truth of Genesis – we are born male and female and called to come together in love to give children mothers and fathers.”

The goal of the hate group is “to create a supportive community for those who have been threatened for standing for marriage, to nip the climate of fear being created in the bud, to expose for fair-minded Americans on both sides of the debate the threats being made, to conduct high-quality qualitative and quantitative research documenting the extent of the harm, to develop legislative and community proposal to protect Americans right to engage in the core civil rights: to organize, to vote, to speak, to donate, and to write for marriage.”

In plain English, the hate group plans to try and put a veneer of respectability and believability on their lie of victimhood. They’re doing this because if they can successfully convince “fair-minded Americans” that their propaganda myth of victimhood is real, it could stem the tide of defeats. But, as is always the case with the anti-gay industry, money is also a strong motivator.

The parent organisation for this new group has steadfastly defied court orders to comply with campaign disclosure laws to reveal the sources of their political donations. They’re fighting it so that we don’t know the true sources of their money, and the centre of their fight is the claim that complying with disclosure laws will lead to “violent attacks” on donors. So, they have a strong financial incentive to portray themselves as “victims” of “violent” gay people in order to keep their donors secret.

The myths, lies and defamation promoted by the anti-gay industry’s propaganda are many. But possibly the most absurd of all is their claim that they’re the “victims” in their anti-gay culture war. Claiming and being are different. In the case of the anti-gay industry, it’s just another way for them to lie. Will they get away with it?

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