The Religious Right is losing the fight over cultural issues in America because it is impossible to stand on a platform whose flimsy foundation is based on the four pillars of bigotry, discrimination, homophobia and lies.
Take the hysteria over the past week in Albany, N.Y., as the New York Senate tries to take up a bill that would legalize marriage equality in the Empire State.
Numerous polls taken this year show that New Yorkers favor same-sex marriage by about 60%.
Yet a poll released Tuesday by QEV Analytics reports that 57% of New Yorkers oppose same-sex marriage. The news was trumpeted by the Religious Right and known hate groups such as the American Family Association, Concerned Woman for America, Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).
At first glance, the latest poll seems to show an astonishing change of opinion by New Yorkers just as the Senate prepares to vote on marriage equality.
But scratch the surface and you find that the poll was commissioned by NOM. Duh! And QEV Analytics is hardly an independent public opinion polling company; many of its polls were conducted on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church to get results that back up the Church’s point of view on social issues. Can you say, propaganda?
Furthermore, the poll talks about “302 randomly selected voters,” yet almost 70% of those polled were 50 or older, the very age group most likely to be against marriage equality. Even that calls into question the poll’s impartiality and fairness.
The Religious Right, emboldened by success spreading their message of hate via their missionaries in Africa, have now brought those tactics back to the United States. In Albany, the Religious Right has spread more lies about the impact of marriage equality. To listen to them, the sky will fall, the rivers will run with blood of Christians who believe in one-man, one-woman marriages, and civilization will cease to exist.
NOM trotted out one-time Super Bowl hero David Tyree, the former New York Giants wide receiver, who warned that same-sex marriage would lead to “anarchy” and that same-sex couples cannot raise children as well as opposite-sex couples. Never mind that many current studies have disproved that sorry old myth.
Of course Tyree is such a great role model. He battled crack and alcohol addiction from an early age and was arrested for drug possession in 2004, according to Wikipedia. And he fathered two children out of wedlock before he found Jesus and married his girlfriend Leilah; they now have produced two more children.
The fact that Tyree, who lives in New Jersey, is meddling in a crucial New York issue also doesn’t go unnoticed.
But Tyree is typical of the problems of the Religious Right. They bring out spokespersons who are hardly godly or without sin.
Look at Ralph Reed, the longtime spokesman for Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, who was forced out amid scandal. Reed later began lobbying for Jack Abramoff, and became embroiled in an Indian gambling scandal that involved a number of Religious Right groups. Still, Reed wouldn’t crawl under a rock and stay there. Today, Reed heads the Faith and Freedom Coalition, which is monitored by Right Wing Watch as a hate group. Yet, Republicans still give this discredited man the time of day.
Or check out Maggie Gallagher, head of NOM, who hates gays and advocates for heterosexual marriage and who brings her Roman Catholic Church beliefs to her bully pulpit. You don’t have to search deep to find out that she has never been married and was an unwed mother many years ago. The perfect spokeswoman for heterosexual marriage, eh?
Not only that, but the Religious Right continues to tout faulty science to bolster their case for preventing equality. Discredited studies are routinely cited in public hearings and posted on websites, pure propaganda posing as truth. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, recently criticized the Family Research Council (FRC) for reposting discredited “science” that demonizes LGBT people. And the FRC is not alone; the Internet is full of baloney science and fictitious “information” that bolsters their hatred in an attempt to justify their discrimination and bias.
Fortunately, the Internet is a two-way street. For every false prophet representing the Religious Right comes an advocate for equal rights or an ally to disprove such hogwash.
Losing the culture war results in desperate measures, and the Religious Right are proving that true.