The Reign of Gay and the RFRA: Round-up and Reflections | Carl E. Olson | CWR blog
A dizzying but rewarding "Carl's Cuts" tour through the madness of the past couple of weeks
• A year ago today, I posted what was probably my most controversial editorial: "Welcome to the Reign of 'Gay'". With that in mind, it seems fitting that my first "Carl's Cuts" in several months takes a look at recent controversies over the spreading Reign.
• I first read about Indiana's Senate Bill 101—aka, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)—via a sports news feed on my iPhone. The headline referenced "Indiana's anti-gay law", but the article did not explain what the law actually stated. Instead, it had quotes from sports commentators gravely uttering banalities and clichés—something, admittedly, they do constantly in their daily work—that also shed no light on the RFRA. Charles Barkley, the Round Mound of Unprofound, stated: "America's always had a racial problem. Now we have a homophobic problem. Any form of discrimination, you have to check it." Any, Chuck? Even discrimination against child molesters, KKK members, and looters? Barkley's logic here is about as sound as the defense he used to never play while starring in the NBA.
• The first dozen news articles I looked at online also managed to say little or absolutely nothing about the contents of the RFRA, and so I finally looked up the actual law and read it. At that point, having seen the approach taken by various "news outlets", I knew the usual Reign of Gay tactics were already in place:
1). Emote: The use of passion, anger, and outrage is a tried-and-true way of obscuring details and pushing people to make a knee-jerk judgment based on sentiment, not sober, sane thought.
2). Demonize: Insist the law in question is "anti-gay" and then hammer home the point that those who wrote it and voted for it are haters, pure and simple.
3). Harangue and Insult: Don't argue the actual points in question, but immediate threaten to boycott. Call people names, preferably "bigots" and "homophobes". (One Reuters blogger, to his credit, wrote, "On the LGBT side, it’s time to stop calling religious people bigots and homophobes." Good luck with that.) Talk endlessly—often in 140 grammar-challenged characters or less—about people "loving each other", an example of such being Hillary Clinton's March 26th tweet: "Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today. We shouldn't discriminate against ppl bc of who they love." (Personally, I find it a bit comical to be lectured on the nature of love by either Bill or Hillary Clinton.)
• President Obama, in his speech at Easter Prayer Breakfast yesterday at the White House, went off script for a moment and said:
On Easter, I do reflect on the fact that as a Christian, I am supposed to love. And I have to say that sometimes when I listen to less than loving expressions by Christians, I get concerned. But that's a topic for another day.
Goodness, whatever or whoever could he be talking about? Tis a mystery. But keep in mind that even before he famously "evolved" on the matter of "gay marriage," Obama had made it clear that any sort of opposition to the Reign of Gay would not, in the long run, be tolerated. In a 2009 address at a "LGBT Pride Month Reception" at the White House, he said:
Now this struggle, I don't need to tell you, is incredibly difficult, although I think it's important to consider the extraordinary progress that we have made. There are unjust laws to overturn and unfair practices to stop. And though we've made progress, there are still fellow citizens, perhaps neighbors or even family members and loved ones, who still hold fast to worn arguments and old attitudes; who fail to see your families like their families; and who would deny you the rights that most Americans take for granted. And I know this is painful and I know it can be heartbreaking. ...
So this story, this struggle, continues today -- for even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot -- and will not -- put aside issues of basic equality. (Applause.) We seek an America in which no one feels the pain of discrimination based on who you are or who you love. ...
Now, even as we take these steps, we must recognize that real progress depends not only on the laws we change but, as I said before, on the hearts we open. For if we're honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge that there are good and decent people in this country who don't yet fully embrace their gay brothers and sisters -- not yet.
Not yet. Ah, the inevitability of being on the right side of history and all that clichéd nonsense. Which is not to deny, of course, that many Americans really, really like clichéd nonsense—super sized and with extra whip cream, please!
• As many conservative (that is, not mainstream) news outlets explained, in varying detail, the RFRA was very similar to the 1993 law passed by Hillary's soulmate, former President Bill Clinton.