Thursday, February 12, 2009

HRC vs AFA

Thanks to my friend Tanya for this picture of me in my Renaissance duds!

As I was saying elsewhere (tribe) about the latest dust up between the American Family Association and Human Rights Council...

The story header:
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today issued a national action alert against the American Family Association's (AFA) one-hour television special called "Speechless: Silencing Christians," which is promoted to "reveal the truth about the radical homosexual agenda and its impact on the family, the nation and religious freedom." Within an hour of that action alert announcement, the Grand Rapids, MI station which had planned to air the deceptive programming rescinded that offer. (story continues)

Here is what I have to say on the subject.
Yes, HRC is nominally doing what AFA "says" they are by attempting to (and in this case succeeding) prevent the AFA from presenting their message.

But "freedom of speech" (First Amendment speech) doesn't mean that other groups cannot protest to anyone that they choose to about your speech - or your proposed speech. It means the government - though force of law - shall not abridge your right to say what you like, no matter how much it offends. That isn't what is happening here at all. The law has not entered into it, nor is it remotely likely that it will.

The AFA wants people to believe that equality in marriage and family law for LGBT persons = state sanctioned destruction of religious freedom. Their arguments are many and fallacious. Religious freedom (the Constitutional kind) means the government - through force of law - shall not impose a religion on the citizenry, nor shall it punish or reward a citizen on the basis of their religious beliefs or lack thereof.

HRC's mission is to remove or change laws that punish citizens unfairly for their refusal to accept religiously based beliefs, for that is now clearly the basis of the discriminatory laws. This fact is made plain by the groups that choose to oppose the HRC and their espoused reasoning for the opposition.

Let me be clear. HRC are the good guys. What the AFA wants is to mold American law to enforce Christian values onto everyone whether or not they are Christian. This means keeping existing discriminatory laws, legislating around court decisions that eliminate discrimination (Prop 8). They try to dress this up as "protecting our culture". Here are some of their lies and the truth they don't want you to know. (From HRC.org)

1. Lie: If hate crimes laws are passed, pastors will be prosecuted for preaching what the Bible says about homosexuality.

Truth: Pastors will not be held liable for hate crimes based on preaching anti-gay sermons. The First Amendment protects a preacher from being charged as an accessory to a hate crime simply because of their speech. The Matthew Shepard Act only punishes violent crimes, not a person's speech, beliefs or thoughts. In fact, the legislation contains language specifically protecting free speech.

2. Lie: Legislation that will provide employment protection based on sexual orientation or gender identity will force churches to hire homosexuals.

Truth: The federal legislation contains language exempting the vast majority of religious corporations, associations and educational institutions, and permits all religious organizations to condition employment on compliance with its significant tenets, including ones barring LGBT employees.

3. Lie: Homosexual acts have a key role to play in the spread of all STDs and HIV/AIDS.

Truth: HIV and STDs don't distinguish by gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other characteristic. Statements such as those made by the AFA in this video hamper efforts to prevent the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases by spreading ignorance and misinformation.

4. Lie: Allowing the government to redefine marriage hurts children because studies show children need a mother and father to do well in life.

Truth: All scientifically reputable studies on the subject of same-sex parenting show that the sexual orientation of a child's parent does not affect a child. Furthermore, all leading children's welfare and rights organizations conclude that there is no measurable difference between children raised by loving lesbian and gay families and those raised by different-sex couples.

So, AFA - DIAF. PS. You have the ugliest website I have ever seen.

2 comments:

grace said...

Willful ignorance is despicable and dangerous.

Jeffrey J. Hoover said...

Equality. Do it.

Thank you for your well stated post.