It's been quite a while since I have dedicated a posting to a hate group. I remember early on doing a piece on the god-awful Phelps family of Topeka and their phony-baloney "church," and I have made references to the Ku Klux Klan on numerous occasions. The Phelps' are anti-gay, and the Klan is anti-almost everything, but both of these groups have one thing in common - their rigid belief in good, old-fashioned, fundamentalist Christianity. The Bible is a wonderful book, and someplace between it's covers is something to support almost any bigotry or hatred - even if it is just a snippet that may be denied fifteen other places in the same magical manuscript.
The confluence of teabaggers and Christian crazies that is now fighting for control of the Republican Party in the hopes of parlaying that into control of the Free World has brought about a dramatic resurgence in hate groups - almost like some sort of perverted national revival. One of those that has been in the news lately is a small group out of Iowa hiding behind the respectable-sounding name of The Family Leader.
The Family Leader seems to be concerned with three burning issues: traditional marriage (code for being staunchly homophobic),the lack of traditional family values in black households (code for being racist), and pornography. They recently concocted a pledge for Republican presidential candidates to sign as their commitment to the group's much beloved "traditional" (old, straight, and white) values. Michele Bachmann left her competitors in the dust as she rushed to sign her name to the screed, and Little Ricky Santorum was not far behind. Both wanted Iowans to know that when it came to intolerance, they were the absolute purist in the race.
The pledge had the title, "The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family." Unfortunately for Bachmann, she was in such a hurry to get her name on the hateful document that she apparently neglected to read it. The version that Bachmann signed had this little nugget of erroneous history embedded in its preamble:
"Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President."They just had to get in that little dig at Obama! Surley to Jeezus the economic policies of Reagan and two Bushes had nothing to do with the current plight of minority families - that trickle-down stuff that got stuck in a clog somewhere up close to the toilet!
And no, slave children were not more likely to remain in a two-parent home - they were more likely to be sold!
The statement was so egregious and such a bald-faced racist lie, that the group decided to pull it out of the pledge - but that was after Michele, the lawyer, had already signed it. Santorum, always a sticky mess, rattled off some inane remarks about being happy to sign the pledge, but agreed with the group's decision to remove the racist remark.
Kudos to the Republican presidential hopefuls who declined to sign this piece of polarizing nonsense: Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Gary Johnson. Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, was especially eloquent in his rejection of the homophobic and racist pledge. He said, "It's not American to give rights to certain groups of people and not others...and it's not American to discriminate against others for the way they were born."
Amen, Brother Johnson, amen. You sound like you have an understanding of what Christianity was meant to be. I would go to your church any day - proudly!