‘The Polite Right’s Bryan Fischer Problem’
The title for this column is borrowed, lock, stock and two smoking barrels, from an article that ran over the weekend in The Daily Beast, the former Newsweek.
The writer, Ana Marie Cox, draws a distinction between two groups in the pro-family movement: there is the “Polite Right” and then there is “Bryan Fischer.”
The “Polite Right” uses finesse, nuance and delicate language to argue in defense of natural marriage. Bryan Fischer, on the other hand, uses a sledgehammer.
Writes Ms. Cox about yours truly,
His Twitter feed is full of references to ‘the Church of the Rainbow Jihad,’ ‘same-sex cakes,’ the ‘Gay Gestapo,’ and several warnings that ‘Big Gay is not about ‘marriage equality’ but ‘homosexual supremacy.’
Now I borrowed the term “Rainbow Jihad” from nationally syndicated columnist and talk-show host Steve Deace. And while I have been using the term “Gay Gestapo” for years, it has recently been popularized by lesbian writer Tammy Bruce, who recognizes that compelling someone to perform labor (say, baking a cake) against both his will and conscience is nothing more than slavery and tyranny.
Ms. Bruce is appalled at the way in which agitators in “the gay totalitarianism movement” have become “a malevolent mob, wandering the countryside looking for Christians who might have survived the cultural putsch,” with this simple message for Christians: “Abandon your faith, or else.”
I will happily claim authorship of the term “Big Gay,” intended deliberately to evoke thoughts of Big Business, Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Halliburton, all behemoths despised by enlightened liberals for viciously squashing little tiny people. Little people, that is, like families and grandmothers who own bakeries, floral shops and pizzerias.
Now back to Ms. Cox. She argues that while the “Polite Right” may use softer, kinder, nicer-than-Jesus lingo, they are every bit as much the homophobic bigots that I am.
In fact, she claims to have “pulled back the curtain” on the polite folk on our side. Although they are “cautious spokesman for civility,” what they espouse is nothing more than a “soft-spoken and socially acceptable kind of prejudice.”
They want “the privilege of condoning bigotry without actually being associated with it.”
The Polite Right wants nothing to do with Fischer. When I drew attention to his Twitter timeline, the proudly reasonable conservatives that populate the Acela Corridor were offended. They demanded that I acknowledge that Fischer is not representative of all conservatives, or even all defenders of the law—and that’s true, in the sense that Polite Right would never sully themselves with such obvious homophobia.
But Ms. Cox is not going to let them get away with it. Since they have the same goals that I do – protecting religious liberty and preserving natural marriage – they are every bit as intolerant and bigoted as I am.
I’m proud to live in a society where being accused of bigotry is itself offensive. I like it that decent people don’t want to be associated with obvious homophobes. But the polite solution to an association with an obvious homophobe isn’t to simply deny the relationship—it’s to ask yourself what you have in common.
The problem is that Bryan Fischer and the Polite Right want the same thing, for the same reasons, even if they use very different language to make their case. They’re activist allies, joined at the hip whether they like it or not. You might even say they’re married.
After reading Ms. Cox’s piece, I tweeted this out:
Daily Beast: no matter how polite you are, if you oppose homosexuality you’re a homophobic bigot. http://thebea.st/1CGO3Ck
To which Ms. Cox replied,
So the truth of the matter is that Ms. Cox has “pulled the curtain back” on the intolerance and Christophobia of the secular left. It makes no difference to them how soft and winsome and genteel our language is.
The sooner everybody in the pro-family movement gets this, the better. The left will dump all of us into the same political boxcar marked “homophobic bigots” and send us into cultural exile. Or worse.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)
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