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Saturday, August 29, 2009



The Friendly Face Of Hate

Hey, meet Brian Brown, the executive director of the anti-gay hate group the National Organization for Marriage. He is not like those other anti-gay activists, though, who are making up crazy things. No, he makes up sane-sounding things!

That is the point of this Washington Post profile of Brown. He's not Jerry Falwell or James Dobson. He is the sane, rational voice of the anti-gay marriage movement. He makes arguments grounded in reason! He hates it when people with his sane, rational beliefs are called bigots!

The major progressive mission of the last couple hundred years has been the attempt to use reasoned moral arguments to convince people to overcome their irrational, instinctual biases. It is a grueling, slow, frustrating battle, to take a nation where only land-owning white men received the rights of citizenship and make it more democratic by appealing to the better nature of those very men who had the most to "lose" with acknowledgment of the humanity of slaves, women, gay people, and immigrants.

But this guy, this Oxford-educated jackass, do you know what his job is? He knows what his job is. He spells it out explicitly. His job is to come up with rational-sounding logical-sounding arguments designed only to reinforce irrational prejudices while making sure those who hold those prejudices don't have to feel bad about being prejudiced.

Brown is confident that if people hear his message, they will believe it. "People already believe it," he says, "but the issue is so deep-seated that they've never had to create an argument for it. Now we have to give people the language to do that." Create talking points. Help them see.

People don't support gay marriage because they think gay sex seems gross and wrong. Our job is to try to come up with nice-sounding justifications for enshrining that gut feeling that gayness is gross in law.

All of Brown's Debating Club arguments are built on simple, elementary fallacies, but that doesn't actually matter, because he is simply coming up with justifications for bigotry.

Brown is a thousand times worse and more repellent than a shrieking Pat Robertson. This is exactly what that cretin William Buckley was up to when he made his "rational, logical," arguments against not hosing down Black civil rights activists with fire hoses.

It's bigotry dolled up to sound respectable, and Brian Brown is the absolute worst sort of respectable person this country cooks up and lets loose.

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