Sunday Atheism Blogging
May I use the opportunity of Holy Power Daddy to introduce the concept of "The Queer Strategy?" It's like the "Southern Strategy" but for progressives.
Never mind the pit of despair, delusion, hypocrisy, and shock the African American believing community finds itself in this morning. I have little pity for people who find out that an obvious con artist and liar to whom they've uncritically and enthusiastically given money is... a con artist and liar. Oh, and Rev. Wright, Rev. Jackson? You better come correct this morning, or all your "moral" authority is forever lost.
However, the pic at the link should give you pause. Bishop Chickenhawk is part of a cadre of Uncle Toms in the minority community who were specifically empowered with "faith based" money and media opportunity for a political purpose. The African American (and Latin, for that matter) religious community is inherently conservative. Smarter Republican strategists for a long time now have sought ways to turn those groups against their traditional Democratic political leadership.
Bishop Spandex was one of their brightest stars in the matter, and proof of how well that works is found in a breakdown of votes on refs like Prop 8.
But using Teh Gaii for political gain is a sword that cuts on both sides, and progressives should understand that one of the reasons the right clings so desperately to Gay Hating is because they know the minute they lose it, the whole landscape changes.
This is why outing is such an important project. Everyone in the queer community has long known the maxim "the loudest homophobes are the biggest queers," but progressive strategists have been far too polite in admitting that. Progressives are told to instead focus on legislative progress like the repeal of DADT or DOMA. And look where that's gotten us.
But if instead those progressives committed to gay rights focused on outing and shaming folk like Long, they would be taking away a powerful tool of the right and literally turn it against them, to great effect. Yes, I understand that many "Christians" will be all about forgiveness (and forgetting) this morning. But those aren't the people I'm trying to reach. Young people, UU type Christians, and politically apathetic but naturally agnostic folks who like all Americans love sex scandals: they are.
Coultergeist herself recently gave it away:
Coulter’s presence at the event was controversial, as other gay activists pointed out that she’d made a series of anti-gay remarks — she called former presidential candidate John Edwards a "faggot" — which she explained away at the top of her speech as humor. “The people who get gay jokes are gays,” she said, adding that when she talks to Christian audience, “Out of sweetness they don’t laugh at the gay jokes.” Coulter’s jokes Tuesday riffed on the theme that GOProud doesn’t make same-sex marriage central to its appeal; it considers, Barron says, national security and the economy more important. Marriage “is not a civil right – you’re not black,” Coulter said to nervous laughter. She went on to note that gays are among the wealthiest demographic groups in the country. “Blacks must be looking at the gays saying, ‘Why can’t we be oppressed like that?’”
Because everything that comes out of mAnn's mouth is a lie, the truth is pretty revealing. It's not "sweetness" that prevents right wing Christians from laughing at her gay slurs, it's fear. Homophobia is the lynchpin by which they maintain power. At the same time, they are well aware that their own leadership and rank and file are infested with closet cases. Outing their queer leaders strikes a fatal blow to not only the project of legislatively enshrined homophobia, but so much more. For without legions of unthinking religious voters motivated by hatred of queers, many of those close races in which a winger is elected by a thin margin would go the other way. Abortion is of course the other lynchpin in Republican GOTV strategy, but unlike abortion, gay isn't something that can be stopped or changed. Once their closeted leadership is exposed, a lot of electoral enthusiasm for the right on the part of "low information" and occasional religious voters dissipates insert tasteless joke about flaccid things here.
The Republicans became dominant in the South by playing on racism. Progressives can gain power in the entire country, by playing on both the moral and intellectual weakness of homophobia, but also through exploiting the distaste for homophobia that is a growing consciousness among the young, moderate and agnostic populations. Better still, the distaste for closeted hypocrites. Mark Foley is a used furniture salesman right now. I relish a similar future for a man who weekly captured the attention of 25,000 people in Atlanta and beyond, and consider it an even bigger victory.