So yesterday I belted out a long winded post about how conservatives – particularly religious conservatives – will employ a wide and varied array of tactics in order to promote their agenda that includes, but is not limited to cherry picking, using obsolete data, misrepresentation, strawmen, and outright lying to your face. You have to wonder about the strength of someone’s argument when they are forced to resort to stuff like this … especially when they claim to have both the moral high ground and the bright red Bat-Phone direct to the Lord Almighty.

Segue to today’s piece, brought to my attention once again by ThinkProgress:

The Human Rights Campaign has published four of NOM’s [the National Organization for Marriage] confidential strategic memos from 2009, which explicitly confirm many of the insidious tactics LGBT bloggers have been documenting for years.

They then went to list the top ten items on which they need to focus in order “roll back” same sex marriage / civil unions in places like New York, New Jersey, Maine and New Hampshire.  They’re not really points of strategy as much as they are intellectually and morally bankrupt tactics in order to psychologically manipulate people into thinking they’re supporting something they’re not.  Here are some examples:

1 – “Drive a wedge between gays and blacks” by convincing them to fight over the language of “civil rights.”

I don’t really have much to say here because this says it all.  They’re taking two groups they dislike the most and pitting them against each other instead of actually making an effort to argue the merits of their position.

2 – Bait Latino voters to oppose marriage equality as “a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.”

So you want to convince a group of people you don’t care about in any other context to “symbolically” oppose same sex marriage … because there’s no other way you guys can justify it.  If the basis of your argument to the Latino community is, “That’ll learn ’em”, since it’s the only possible method you can think of to siphon votes away from the Democrats, you’re doing something fundamentally wrong.

3 – Interrupt the “attempt to equate…sexual orientation with race” so that marriage inequality is not perceived as discrimination.

Tough talk from a group of people who are protected by the law from discrimination based on a choice of belief in addition to their race, gender, etc.  Provide scientific evidence that your religion is a function of genetics or embryonic development and you might have a leg to stand on.

4 – Draw attention to the “bigotry and intolerance” displayed by equality advocates and “document the victims” through a rapid response media team.

If the past is any indicator of what constitutes “bigotry and intolerance”, it’s informing these self righteous blowhards that they don’t have a constitutionally protected right to discriminate against certain people just because the local god of some tribe from the Middle East supposedly said he found them icky about 3,200 years ago.

5 – Emphasize the importance of “religious liberties” to limit the impact of marriage equality’s legislative advancements.

Your religious liberty ends where another’s civil liberty begins.  Show me how your marriage is in any way affected by two homosexuals tying the knot – other than a dresser full of bunched-up panties and a self-inflicted case of the vapors – and then you might have a case.

I should cook up a religion that requires its members to smoke on a regular basis and convert as many people as possible by standing next to them and lighting up.  I wonder how much “liberty” I would be allowed?

Come to think of it, I’m not sure I want the answer to that.

6 – “Develop side issues to weaken pro-gay marriage political leaders” like pornography, “protection of children” and religious liberty at the federal level.

I’m glad you guys are so woefully ill-versed in logical fallacies that you’re stating outright that you’re just going to drown the dialog in red herrings this time.  Hasn’t history taught you by now that attacking something like pornography will only lead to people discovering one day that one (or many) of your own are just as guilty as the rest of the population?  Just let that one go; you’ll only embarrass yourselves.

I also have to laugh at the thought of the religious right “protecting our children”, since the only time they even give the outward appearance of caring about the children is when they are smaller than the head of a pin, consist of about 70-100 cells, and have yet to implant in the damned uterus.  Nine months later, you couldn’t pay these folks enough to look in that child’s direction, especially if their mother had the temerity to be single when she conceived.

7 – Expose Obama administration programs that “have the effect of sexualizing young children” or threatening “childhood innocence.”

Sexualizing young children?  How, by giving them some rudimentary sex education at a young age so they have the presence of mind to differentiate between a “good touch” and a “bad touch”?  Believe me, there are plenty of people out there who are more than eager to take a child’s innocence away, and there are ways to help prevent that from happening.

8 – “Find, train, and equip young leaders” to become a “next generation of elites” capable of opposing marriage equality.

The entire first year should be spent teaching debate tactics using videos from Way of the Master as study guides.  The second year is spent with one’s fingers in one’s ears shouting “LALALALALALA”.  The third should focus on the Gish Gallop, and how to apply it with such rapid-fire speed that anyone unfortunate enough to debate you on the topic is either so flabbergasted at your ignorance that they can’t respond or they spend so much time trying to refute your claims that they have no time to make their own argument.

It works all the time for creationists.  It doesn’t make them right, but it certainly makes them look good in the eyes of a public uneducated in the physical sciences.

9 – Foster closer relationships with Catholic bishops to “equip, energize, and moralize Catholic priests on the marriage issue.”

I think the Catholic Church first needs to re-establish its reputation after the sexual abuse cover-ups of the last 50 years or so before any kind of realistic “moralizing” can be done with credibility.  It’s also highly doubtful that the priests are the source of the problem here, as much as the congregation that’s leaving its spiritual leaders behind to enter the 21st century with the rest of modern society.

An ever increasing number of people find it difficult to take seriously a group of men who have never been married when they claim to speak of marriage, sex, and women’s issues with any amount of self-proclaimed authority.  But hey, if NOM thinks that this is the way to go, I won’t stop them.

10 – Focus on “the consequences of gay marriage for parental rights.”

I’m not even sure what this means, unless they plan on making it even more difficult for same-sex couples to adopt children because they’re seen by some religious groups as presenting a clear and present danger to the welfare of any child in their presence.  They might grow up gay!

Personally, I would worry far more about the welfare of an adopted child brought up in a fundamentalist Christian household.  If we are to take Pat Robertson, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry as a representative sample, they would end up uneducated, narrow minded, judgmental with such a pathological obsession with controlling other people’s sexual activities and considering it their religious “liberty” to do so.

This entry was posted in Freedom from Religion, Profiles in Fundamentalism, Religion and Public Life, Religion in the News, The Illogical School and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to OM NOM NOM

  1. fatherkane says:

    I love your examples of a ‘fundamentalist Christian household’. Actually kind of scary.

    • Oppression in that ind of household can lead to very a dangerous situation for children. It’s bad enough they can end up like the Phelps Daughters, spouting the same paranoid nonsense as their father and holding up signs celebrating the death of soldiers overseas, but they could also completely reject their parents’ beliefs and get into drugs, petty crime, and other things just as a way to “break free”. I’ve seen both happen growing up.

  2. Adam Benton says:

    “3 – Interrupt the “attempt to equate…sexual orientation with race” so that marriage inequality is not perceived as discrimination.”

    “It doesn’t matter if we discriminate as long as nobody thinks we are”

    • If we re-frame it, we can ignore it!

      I remember one prominent republican who tried to get some traction by presenting the argument that ownership of regular appliances like a microwave, TV, refrigerator, etc., means that you are not really “poor”. (Even if there’s nothing in the fridge and no power to run the microwave.)

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