Archive for the ‘Republican Party’ Category

Hadley Freeman asks in the Guardian:

, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

Which of the following homophobic actions and statements do you find more despicable and more deserving of the most severe punishment possible: an 18-year-old in his first term at university spying with a webcam on his gay roommate and sending out tweets such as: “I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”

Or: a 53-year-old man on a high-profile political stage saying that gay marriage will cause America to “fail”; that homosexuals do not perform activities “that are healthy for society” and therefore do not deserve certain “rights” such as raising children; that gay “sexual activity” is not “equal” to heterosexual “activity”that repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is “playing social experimentation with our military … And that’s tragic”that gay marriage is analogous to polygamy and, most infamously, bestiality.

Both of these examples are utterly horrible and it is a decidedly depressing state of affairs that they happened at all. So to compare them is not to say that one is, relatively speaking, forgivable. Yet when one results in a now 20-year-old man facing up to 10 years’ imprisonment and possible deportation, and the other leads to this particular politician doing unexpectedly well in the Republican presidential primaries, one does have to question, shall we say, the consistency of national attitude, and what, really, is condemned and condoned.

Under any reasonable standard, the man is inciting homophobic hatred. Whilst it’s true, as she says, that he can’t be tied to any individual act of bullying or violence (at least right now), she’s right again to say that the tone he’s setting is abhorrent. A candidate for the US presidency is indulging in unashamed outright bigotry in order to fuel up the people he believes are his base – how is this not causing as massive social outcry as Dharun Ravi’s behaviour which led to Tyler Clementi’s suicide? I grant that these are nominally two different situations – one is a question of privacy, the other of the First Amendment, but it’s a complete mystery why Santorum’s inflammatory rhetoric isn’t continuously pummelled by the same sections of the media and civil society who are being so vocal about Ravi’s actions.

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Colby Hess nails it in one:

The ongoing circus act that is the Republican primaries are an excellent case study in personification, for the ringmaster of the moment is the very embodiment of all that atheists despise about religion. Rick Santorum is so ignorant, so bigoted and hypocritical, so authoritarian, theocratic, shortsighted, and so out of touch with facts and with reality in general, that if he did not happen to exist already, it would almost be necessary to invent him in order to serve as the poster child for everything that’s wrong with religion – especially when it gets mixed up with politics.

Rick Santorum hates nearly every societal advance that has been achieved since the Dark Ages – in short, everything that we refer to as “progress.” He hates the growing secularization of society and the implementing of laws based on things like equality, fairness, justice, and reason instead of blind deference to imaginary authority. He hates the empowerment of women and their having control over their own bodies instead of being merely meek and obedient baby-making machines. He even hates the Earth itself, which he looks at as some kind of vassal state to be plundered at will.

It’s such an awesome article I can’t recommend it highly enough. Santorum legitimises religious fundamentalism, with all of the abuses inherent in that, and must be decisively confronted. Having clearly watched history, he picks the usual religious/nationalist talking points which engage those most affected by economic crashes, and in galvanising huge swathes of the south, is proving how little people change. Fortunately however in running on a blatantly bigoted platform, he is also proving the fundamental dangers inherent in religion through example. Day by day, ever more atheists…

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