Monthly Archives: April 2012

David Barton Says AIDS Is God’s Punishment For Being Gay. Julia Sugarbaker Disagrees

Last Friday, Glenn Beck’s favorite Pretend-Historian David Barton took to his WallBuilders radio show to declare that AIDS hasn’t been cured because God really wants to kill gays. Right Wing Watch has the audio clip. Here’s the quote.

There’s a passage that I love in Romans 1 – I don’t love what the topic is – but it talks about homosexuality and it says that they will receive in their bodies the penalties of their behavior. And the Bible again, it’s right every time, and studies keep proving that and that’s why AIDS has been something they haven’t discovered a cure for or a vaccine for, because it’s the fastest self-mutating virus known to mankind. Every time they just about get a vaccine discovered for it, it transmutes into something new and they have to start over again. And that goes to what God says, hey you’re going to bear in your body the consequences of this homosexual behavior.

I could spend a few hundred words ranting about how this jackass is an appalling embarrassment to the human species, but instead I’ll defer to Julia Sugarbaker. She knocked the David Bartons of the world on their collective keisters 25 years ago on an episode of Designing Women called Killing All The Right People.

Give him a wig and a pair of shoulder pads, and David Barton is Imogene.

Tell on, sister.
Tell on, sister.

Imogene, get serious! Who do you think you’re talking to?! I’ve known you for 27 years, and all I can say is, if God was giving out sexually transmitted diseases to people as a punishment for sinning, then you would be at the free clinic all the time!

And so would the rest of us!

[full episode here]

The “God’s punishment” garbage was popular among “Christian” Republicans in the 1980s. That David Barton still holds this narrow, hateful, mean-spirited, small view of both God and gays is sad and more-than-a-little infuriating.

One might even call it an abomination.

Focus On The Family’s Slightly More Polite Game Of ‘Smear The Queer’

The 16th annual Day of Silence is upon us. On April 20, 2012, students across the world will take a one-day vow of silence to remember LGBT kids who died by suicide this year and more broadly draw attention to the effects of homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism.

Day of Silence 2012

As you might guess, anti-gay groups are none too happy about people being reminded that their anti-gay rhetoric has a real human cost, and they’re sending in their kids to give the homos a smackdown.

Anti-gay group Alliance Defense Fund initiated Day of Truth back in 2005, built on the knowledge that the gay kids wouldn’t be able to respond verbally during the Day of Silence. It was horribly unpopular, and in 2009 ADF passed it to “ex-gay” group Exodus International. It became even less popular after the wave of LGBT suicides in late 2010, so EI passed it on to hate-group-affiliated Focus On The Family. Focus then rebranded the event as the Day of Dialogue.

Whatever they want to call their official anti-gay response, it’s remarkably similar to Smear The Queer. For those who missed that bit of playground violence in their youth, here’s a pretty good explanation from The Crow’s Eye.

The objet de jeu was simple, compared to baseball or lacrosse: do violence to the “Queer” with the ball. If you are wondering if the Queer was just an odd fellow, within game play, ponder no further. The Queer was certainly the Fag. And he had a handicap, which was the ball. The Queer had to have two hands on the ball, unless he was throwing it away. The point of the game, from the vantage point of the ball clasping Queer, was to get rid of the ball and become not-Queer. Because the only person who could be struck, tackled, knocked down or done violence to was the Queer with the ball.

In this slightly more polite version of the game, anti-gay groups arm the children of anti-gay churches to spread their anti-gay message to gay kids (and some straight allies). Then they present the anti-gay “Hey, we’re just having a conversation, man” model of sermonizing, full of coded words like “struggle” and “God’s best plan.” The goal is to get a gay kid alone and give him a good old-fashioned spiritual attack until he relents and goes back in the closet, or at least doubts himself enough to stop talking about it.

Last month, Friendly Atheist posted this spot-on response to the weird Day of Dialogue cards Focus are asking their kids to pass out to Day of Silence participants. Original is on top, response on bottom.

Click for Friendly Atheist's post
Click for Friendly Atheist's post

Last Saturday, Kenneth Weishuhn completed suicide after he came out a month ago and endured death threats by exactly the type of kids Focus On The Family has recruited to hand out these cards. He was 14. Austin Rodriguez attempted suicide in March at the age of 15, after coming out late last year. Thank God, Austin was not successful, and Asterisk exclusively reported earlier this week that he is slowly regaining his strength.

Jamey Rodemeyer. Rafael Morelos. Matthew Chance. Jacob Rogers. And the list goes on. Below is the map I’ve been keeping up of LGBT suicides in the United States.

(View LGBT Suicides in the United States in a larger map)

This year, we will remember that the anti-gay groups don’t want truth, and they don’t want dialogue. They want us to cease to be, to disappear. Above all else, they want to end us. The children and adults — their campaign’s damage lasts a lifetime — on this map are their success stories. (And yes, I’m saying what you think I’m saying. It’s long past time to stop sugar-coating it.)

This Day of Silence, we will remember.

How About Some Good News? Gay Attempted Suicide Victim Recovering In Ohio

Austin Rodriguez - image via WYTV
Austin Rodriguez - image via WYTV

On March 30, I told you about Austin Rodriguez, a gay teen in Wellsville, Ohio who had attempted suicide two weeks before. At the time, he was in a drug-induced coma and doctors were preparing to perform a tracheotomy to help get him off a ventilator. I’ll be honest, things didn’t look good for this splendid young man.

I’m happy to report today that Austin has made remarkable strides since then. He has been awake for a week now, and last Thursday spoke for the first time since the incident. He’s been moved from ICU to a private room on a “stepdown” floor, which is a very good sign.

Monday night, to the delight of family, friends, and supporters, Austin returned to Facebook with this post through his mother’s account.

Happy dances all around!
Happy dances all around!

hey everybody, this is austin 🙂 getting stronger every day, but i wont be home in awhile. Ik abt all the support & thank you all from the bottom of my heart ♥

I got in touch with Austin’s mother this morning, and she had this message for the community: “Austin had no idea so many people were pulling for him. I would like to personally thank everyone for their support.”

Austin has a lot of work and a long recovery ahead of him, but I look forward to the day when he can return to school. Keep it up, Austin! We’re so glad you’re here!

The Devotion Project: ‘There’s Nothing Like Getting News That Your Child Might Die’

The Devotion Project released its third short documentary today. This time out, the project features Laura Fitch and Jaime Jenett with their son Simon Lev Fitch-Jenett in Listen From The Heart. See it here in its entirety.

Don’t tell us our families are all that different. We know better, and now, so do you.

The Devotion Project is a series of short documentary portraits of LGBTQ couples and families, chronicling and celebrating their commitment and love, directed and produced by Anthony Osso.

Logo by Daniel Pando of Captured Energy (Click for more)