AMERICA’S NEW SCAPEGOATS By Michael L. Brown, Ph.D., Director, Coalition of Conscience
In 1989, two Harvard-trained, gay authors, Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, published their watershed book After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the ’90s. Their goal was the “conversion of the average American’s emotions, mind, and will, through a planned psychological attack, in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media.”
One of their strategies was to “jam” people’s emotions by associating “homo-hatred” with Nazi horror, bringing to mind images such as “Klansmen demanding that gays be slaughtered,” “hysterical backwoods preachers,” “menacing punks,” and “a tour of Nazi concentration camps where homosexuals were tortured and gassed.”
Their strategy worked like a charm, as Jeff Jacoby, a conservative columnist with the Boston Globe, commented, “Dare to suggest that homosexuality may not be something to celebrate and you instantly are a Nazi. . . . Offer to share your teachings of Christianity or Judaism with students ‘struggling with homosexuality’ and you become as vile as a Ku Kluxer . . .”
I can now confirm this firsthand.
All last week (February 19-23), we held a series of lectures on “Homosexuality, the Church, and Society,” at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center [in Charlotte, North Carolina], and every night, we reserved at least 45 minutes for questions and objections. Our ad in the Charlotte Observer actually encouraged dissenting viewpoints and stated explicitly that the lectures would not be a forum for hate speech. And every night, we went out of our way to speak to the gay and lesbian community with respect and dignity, despite our clear differences with many of their goals and despite my conviction as a biblical scholar that the Scriptures forbid homosexual practice, just as they forbid all sexual unions outside of male-female marriage.
But Kirk and Madsen were absolutely right. Public perceptions can be manipulated to the point that the moment someone airs any differences with the homosexual community, they are labeled Nazis and Klansmen.
In the last few days, emails and blogs have referred to us as hell-bound Neo-nazis, mindless bigots, ignorant morons, lunatics, and frothing nutbars, accusing us of openly touting the Nazi agenda, being part of the KKK in Charlotte, and espousing the American version of Nazism – and all this without attending a single lecture. Yet it is I and other conservative Christians who are the hate-filled bigots! How ironic, and yet how utterly predictable.
A UNCC professor chimed in as well, writing a Letter to the Editor in which he asked, “Can we soon expect Klan Kapers and Holocaust-deniers Hoedowns” at the Booth Playhouse?
Isn’t this over the top? And is there no tolerance of opposing viewpoints anymore? As a Jewish follower of Jesus born of Jewish parents who descended from eastern Europe, the constant comparison to “Nazis” and now “Holocaust deniers” is especially inappropriate, but apparently bigotry goes only one way these days.
Interestingly, these lectures were timed to coincide with the annual Carolinas Dinner of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the world’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender advocacy organization, boasting a $30 million budget and holding to some views that hardly represent mainstream America. Yet the HRC dinner here in Charlotte will be sponsored by Bank of America, Wachovia, Duke Energy, Food Lion, Sir Speedy Press, Audi, IBM, and Blue Cross Blue Shield, among others. As for those who beg to differ with some of their radical views, we are labeled Nazis, Klansmen, and Holocaust deniers.
It appears, then, that America not only conquered much of its fear and hatred of gays in the 1990’s, but it found a new scapegoat: anyone who questions the validity of homosexual unions and homosexual practice. I wonder what’s coming next?