There are two threads that run through our Anointed authorities. The first is an appealing “Christianizing” of the ideas. David Barton “Christianizes” American history; Ken Ham “Christianizes” the science of our origins; James Dobson “Christianizes” social science, including the definition of the family. The “Christianizing” of these ideas, by default, undermines the credibility of secular ideas that might challenge the positions promoted by the Anointed leaders. The second thread is old-fashioned American anti-intellectual populism. Barton, Ham, Dobson, and other Anointed leaders tend to make no effort to engage the fields they claim to represent. Barton never subjects his claims about American history to peer review in a journal. Ken Ham and James Dobson do no scientific research. In the secular world ideas get vetted in the academy through peer review in technical journals; then they appear in serious but more popular outlets; and then finally they might get discussed on the radio. The ideas of the Anointed cut out all these middlemen and appear immediately on the radio or television.



COMMENTARY: Truth Wins Out activist John Becker took a hidden camera with him to five therapy sessions at a Christian counseling center run by Marcus Bachmann.
By John Becker, op-ed contributor

The organization I work for, Truth Wins Out (TWO), fights anti-LGBT religious extremism and the “ex-gay” myth. We’d been receiving questions about the Bachmann clinic and reparative therapy for months, and they only grew more intense after the June 13 GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire. Like everyone else, we were aware of the rumors and that no one had yet been able to independently verify them. TWO Executive Director Wayne Besen decided that we were going to obtain that verification: I was to go undercover to Bachmann & Associates in Lake Elmo, MN posing as someone seeking counseling for homosexuality, schedule as many appointments as I could, and document what went on during my appointments with hidden cameras.

When I called Bachmann & Associates to schedule my initial appointment, I told the receptionist who answered the phone that I was struggling with homosexuality. She referred me to Timothy Wiertzema, a counselor at the clinic, and scheduled me for a June 23 appointment.

I decided that the wisest course of action was to make my story fit as closely as possible to my own experience. Of course I’d have to embellish a bit and make a few things up, but it stood to reason that the closer the story I told was to the truth, the easier it would be for me to keep track of what I had said. After all, I was once a deeply-closeted teenage Catholic boy awakening to my own sexual orientation, terrified of what it might mean, too ashamed to tell anyone, and desperate to change it by any means necessary; although those memories are now far behind me, it was surprisingly easy to bring them back and put myself in a similar mental and emotional place. Still, I’d never done anything like this before. As the date of my departure grew nearer, my excitement and nervousness mounted. Could I pull it off? Would the cameras be well-hidden enough? Would they figure out what I was up to? What would we find? I packed my bags, made my social network profiles unsearchable, bid adieu to Michael, my husband of more than five years, and boarded a flight to Minneapolis to find out.

This story is incredible.

The Bachmann’s are people lost in the morally abhorrent proscriptions of their theology.  They should not receive tax payer money for their witch-doctoring.  Make a stink about this.

Michele Bachmann is a very scary individual

She and her husband own a Christian counseling center (that receives state funds by the way) that attempts to “cure” homosexuals.  Regarding homosexuals, her husband said:

Barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined, and just because someone feels this or thinks this, doesn’t mean that we’re supposed to go down that road.

By all accounts, Bachmann shares the views of her husband.  In 2004 she said:

This is not funny. It’s a very sad life. It’s part of Satan, I think, to say that this is gay.

This is not a person with a reasonable worldview.  This is a person whose moral system is based on the most barbarically literal interpretation of Bronze-Age mythology.  She should not be allowed to have a say on what laws are passed in the most powerful country in the world.  That she is being seriously considered as a presidential candidate is…dismaying and evidence of how vacuous our political process has become.

Source and source.



Teaching gay marriage in schools?

Won’t somebody think of the children?

Video transcript:

Nowadays, whenever a state is about to vote on gay marriage, anti-gay political groups will always use one very special tactic: They tell people that if gay marriage is legal, then their children will be taught about gay marriage in school. They do this because it works for them. It’s a homophobic dog whistle that plays on the fear of children coming into contact with anything gay. It relies on the perception of gay people as a threat to children, and encourages the idea that kids will be “recruited” into being gay. When they talk about “teaching gay marriage in schools”, what they want you to hear is “teaching your kids how to be homosexuals”.

These smears and misconceptions have been floating around for decades. There’s hardly anything new about this, aside from the use of coded language now that it’s no longer feasible to say outright that gay people are going to molest your children. But what’s really disconcerting here is the response to these scare tactics by marriage equality groups. Every time it’s claimed that gay marriage will be taught in schools, they either let this pass unaddressed, or they fervently insist that this would never happen. But why is this something that should be refuted? If anti-marriage groups make a certain claim, are we obligated to contradict it, simply because they said it? In the rush to discredit these allegations, it seems like they’ve forgotten to question what’s so bad about this. Why shouldn’t it be taught in schools?

Let’s take a look at what’s at stake here. First, what does it mean to “teach” gay marriage? Well, what is there to teach about it? It’s not a complicated thing. If two people love each other and have a committed relationship, they can get married, just like straight people. Whatever a school might be teaching about marriage already - and there’s not very much to teach - this isn’t really anything new.

Of course, according to anti-marriage groups, this is practically the end of the world. They’ll offer up plenty of examples of the terrible things that can happen when gay marriage is legal. For instance, teachers might read their class a tasteful and age-appropriate book about a prince marrying another prince, much like all those other books where princes marry princesses. Or a class of first-graders might be invited to their teacher’s wedding - hardly a rare occurrence, but somehow completely awful because their teacher is gay. Students might learn that there are all kinds of different families, including families with gay parents, which apparently isn’t something they should even know about. Or they might be taught that bullying people for their race, gender, disabilities, or sexual orientation is unacceptable - and telling them not to harass people for being gay is obviously just beyond the pale.

Have you noticed what all this outrage has in common? It’s based on the assumption that there’s something substantially different about gay relationships, something threatening and inappropriate for children. Heterosexuality is always given a free pass, but the mere existence of gay people is seen as something that children either cannot comprehend, or are mentally unprepared for. It signifies that we’re not the same, and it blatantly suggests that we’re somehow dangerous.

It’s easy to understand the tactical reasons why marriage equality groups would deny that this will be taught in schools. They want to assure people that this is just about equal rights, and it has nothing to do with their children. But when they repeatedly claim that students won’t be learning about this, it raises an obvious question: If our marriages are nothing to be afraid of, then why do children have to be protected from them? If we just want to be recognized as equal, then why is this something to treat differently? Why do classrooms have to be purged of any mention of gay people, while straight people are accepted and celebrated without question? Why should we buy into the premise that this is something to be kept out of schools? Do we agree that children shouldn’t be at gay weddings, or that they shouldn’t learn that gay people can get married, or even know that gay people exist? Of course not. So why are we legitimizing the argument that this is something to fear?

Banning gay marriage wouldn’t stop schools from teaching about it anyway. They can do that whether it’s legally recognized or not, and they should. Gay people still exist, no matter what the law says about their relationships. Some of these students will grow up to be gay. Some of them have gay parents and gay relatives. And all of them will eventually know someone who’s gay. Pretending that everyone is straight is not education. It’s ignorance. This is the last thing we should be agreeing to. If we’re looking for affirmation of our equality, then it’s time to stop acting like we’re something less than equal. Gay marriage does belong in schools, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

I was really dismayed when this tactic worked in California.  ”Teachers will have to teach children about gay marriage in schools.”  Set aside how vacuous and inaccurate that sentence is for a moment and ask “So what?”  What will children learn?  That gay people exist and some of them want to get married?  Travesty of travesties.  Are there really that many parents that are afraid of having a gay child?  If I ever have a child who happens to be gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender or has some more complicated gender identity and sexual preference…well, I don’t think I would do anything significantly different than if I were to have a heterosexual child.  People are just people.

Gay rights activists in Minneapolis, MN showered potential presidential candidate Newt Gingrich with glitter at a book signing yesterday, telling him to “stop the hate.” Gingrich was due to give a speech at the anti-gay socially conservative Minnesota Family Council later that evening.

ThinkProgress (via corruptpolitics)

Nicely done.  I hope they didn’t get in too much trouble for their efforts.