On the first night of the Values Voter Summit, America's ultraconservative zealots hurled their usual vile rhetoric while Republican candidates seeking endorsement gleefully shared the stage with extremists who could teach Iran a thing or two about theocracy. Although many in the mainstream media have latched onto an unsurprising remark by Baptist leader Robert Jeffress (the dominionist preacher referred to Mormonism as a cult), there was an avalanche of malice directed toward equality supporters and pro-choice advocates, as well as flurries of paranoia, self-victimization, and doomsday prophesy. During the fundamentalist hootenanny a unifying theme emerged. Gays and lesbians were labeled as "uncivilized" and then accused of "destroying civilization."
Mark Potok of SPLC writes on HuffPo: The summit is hosted by the Family Research Council (FRC) and co-hosted by the American Family Association (AFA) -- both groups that regularly spew vicious lies about the LGBT community. They both say for example, that gay men molest children at far higher rates than their heterosexual counterparts -- a claim that has been debunked by virtually all the recognized scientific authorities in the field, including the American Psychological Association. The FRC has said that gay activists "work to normalize sex with boys," seek to "abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the 'prophets' of a new sexual order," and support anti-bullying programs in order to promote homosexuality. The AFA has declared that "homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler... the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews," suggested that gay sex be punished like heroin use, and said that the "homosexual agenda" endangers "every fundamental right" in the Constitution, including religious freedom. (GOP politicians, with few exceptions, have become so morally bankrupt that they feel they must kowtow to homobigots.) Both groups have enthusiastically promoted "reparative therapy," the widely discredited idea that gay men and lesbians can be "cured" of their sexual orientation... The damage these groups do with their anti-LGBT hate speech is incalculable. While the FRC and the AFA would certainly deny it, it seems obvious that their regular demonizing of members of the LGBT community as child molesters and the like creates an atmosphere where violence is all but inevitable. That violence is dramatic. A study by the Southern Poverty Law Center found, based on an analysis of 14 years of FBI hate crime data, that LGBT people were by far the American minority most victimized by such crimes. They were more than twice as likely to be attacked in a violent hate crime as Jews or black people and more than four times as likely as Muslims. And that doesn't include the anti-gay bullying that has resulted in so many teen suicides.
These toxic Bible thumpers make up the base of the Republican Party. They're the people who will shape policy for all Americans if Obama is defeated in 2012. They are committed to criminalizing intimacy between consenting adults of the same gender, outlawing abortions even in the case of rape and incest, overturning hate crimes legislation and all domestic partner benefits, preventing gays and lesbians from serving in the military, teaching pseudo-science in public schools. Do you really think they care about creating jobs? "Base" is the perfect word to describe them.
(Pictured: AFA's Bryan Fischer, Governor Rick Perry, Iowa Rep. Steve King, GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney)