Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Fresh Air

I heard a hilarious exchange on Fresh Air a few minuters ago. Terry Gross was interviewing Richard Viguerie, the pioneer of conservative direct mail and one of the big names in the Moral Majority. Anyway, he was talking about "the homosexuals" and how they are mean-spirited. I am going to paraphrase; I'll replace it with the transcript when it's up. I transcribed it myself.

VIGUERIE: Americans are enormously tolerant, and the homosexual agenda -- everything that I read in the liberal press acknowledges that the homosexuals have made enormous progress that nobody could have predicted just years ago much less decades ago how much progress they have made. But what has happened recently is that homosexuals, the activists, have really gotten much of America's attention. That -- they have an agenda and they're coming forward to promote that agenda, and it's an anti-religious agenda, and in many ways they're mean-spirited. They're -- they have some really . . . just tough, agressive tactics. They try to demonize people who disagree with them and say they're homophobic, bigoted. They're -- many people feel that the homosexuals are not being honest, that their agenda is not whatever it is that they're talking about today because every time that they've had a victory they have now gone on to push the envelope even more, and many of us feel that their goal is not to marry. They don't really want that. Very few homosexuals really want to marry. What they really want is the destruction of marriage, some of us feel, and they'd really -- they feel that there is a moral equivalency between homosexuals and heterosexuals, and we reject that.

GROSS: So let me see if I understand correctly. What you're saying is that Americans who oppose homosexual rights are very tolerant people; it's the homosexuals who are intolerant, mean-spirited, and want to destroy marriage as --

V: Well, Terry, I think you said "homosexual rights." I don't know if you think they have a right to marriage. I disagree that they have a right to marriage. We -- Americans are enormously tolerant, we just don't feel that the homosexuals should be out there trying to re-order society. We have lived a certain way for thousands of years and we don't feel that we're bigoted and mean-spirited because we want to continue practicing our religion, our faith. They're saying if we believe the Bible, if we believe what our religious leaders have taught us for thousands of years, that we're bigoted and prejudiced and must be taken out of the political process and must not have a role in politics. Well, we just reject that mean-spirited approach.

G: So, again, you're saying it is the homosexuals who are mean-spirited and the people who oppose homosexuals having certain jobs, or marrying, or having civil unions -- they're tolerant, it's the homosexuals that are mean-spirited?

V: Well, there has been a great deal of mean-spirited homosexual activity in the recent years. They go into our churches, desecrate -- I'm a Catholic, and they desecrate the holy eucharist, and disrupt our services --

G: I'm sorry, how do they desecrate the holy eucharist?

V: They go into St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, and take communion and throw it on the floor and stomp on it --

G: I'm sorry -- I'm not familiar with -- that that was part of the homsexual movement.

V: Well, it's part of the -- homosexual activist leaders act up and others have desecrated the holy eucharist --

G: You were talking about maybe one political protest that happened, but it makes it --

V: Well, I'd say --

G: -- sound as if all gays go into churches and desecrate communion.

V: No, all gays don't go in and -- but there is leadership, too many times, a mean-spirited approach.
I couldn't decide if I wanted to laugh or cry.

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