The Silence of the Hypocrickets
Only a month ago, numerous leaders of the Christian right signed a letter to George W. Bush that made their stance on the sexual targeting of minors irrevocably clear. This is only part of what they said.
Dear Mr. President:
The signatories included James C. Dobson, Ph.D, of Focus on the Family; Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council; Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman, American Family Association; Jan LaRue, Chief Counsel for Concerned Women for America; and Rod Parsley, Founder & President of Center for Moral Clarity.
So great is Tony Perkins' zeal to sniff out the predatory sexual abuse of minors in all its forms that, in his headlong rush to judgment, he has even been known to confuse statutory rapists with physicians specializing in OB/GYN care. But Perkins waited for several days to formulate the FRC Statement on Mark Foley.
"We are all shocked by this spectacle of aberrant sexual behavior, but we shouldn't be. This is the end result of a society that rejects sexual restraints in the name of diversity. When a 16-year-old boy is not safe from sexual solicitation from an elected representative of the people, we should question the moral direction of our nation. If our children aren't safe in the halls of Congress, where are they safe? Maybe it's time to question: when is tolerance just an excuse for permissiveness?
It's hard to be certain, but it sounds as though Tony Perkins actually said that it's all the fault of the "homosexual agenda." It's enough to make one wonder what Perkins could have found to say if the pages had been 16 year-old girls ... well, besides urging them to "choose life."
During his appearance on Monday night's Situation Room on CNN, Perkins said little to disabuse anyone of that notion. He began by acknowledging the importance of "any mother or father thinking about their 15, 16-year-old daughter or son that goes to Congress to get an experience of a lifetime. People will look for this opportunity as a chance of a lifetime to work in the halls of government, the most powerful country in the world and the thing that they have to be concerned about most is being sexually harassed or potentially molested by a congressman. It's outrageous. It shouldn't happen."
But that perfunctory lip service to common decency merely served as his segue into an encore of the same old song.
Well, I would like to know what was exactly said to the speaker and why he did or did not do something. Was it out of fear of pushing something too far, overreacting and that because of the orientation of Congressman Foley, they would be seen as being gay bashing? You know was that a part of the decision not to act?
Not to worry, Tony; you will. Because no one is turning loose of this one anytime soon.
Only three months ago, Focus on the Family urged its fan base to help eliminate the threat of online predators.
The Deleting Online Predators Act got its first hearing today before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It would also require the Federal Communications Commission to establish an advisory board to review and report commercial social networking sites like MySpace.com and chat rooms that have been shown to allow sexual predators easy access to personal information of, and contact with, children.
And what thunderous condemnation does Dr. Dobson have for years of online sexual predation by the Republican Chairman of the Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children?
Even though internet safety for children and adolescents is a major issue for FOF, don't even bother looking, since of course there's nothing there. And why not? Because, as Dobson told the crowd at a recent get-out-the-vote rally for Sen. Rick Santorum, "Whether or not the Republicans deserve the power they were given, the alternatives are downright frightening."
And that staunch defender of American Values, Gary Bauer, doesn't seem to be watching the news these days, either. Maybe he's just too worn out to pick up his TV remote control, after all the strenuous cheerleading for the GOP he did in Washington, DC, last week.
The latest Updates page at Rod Parsley's Center for Moral Clarity makes an adamant statement about the church's imperative role in politics.
Stay out of politics. That was the demand Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an advocacy group, issued to evangelical pastors last week.
But since days have passed without a single word from Rod Parsley and CMC about a powerful GOP congressman's pursuit of adolescent pages, it appears that Rod Parsley has enough clarity of mind to know when it's in the interest of his church's politics to keep quiet.
And while the Christian Coalition is currently promoting an Agape Press story bemoaning the uninvolvement of most churches in politics, Don Wildmon's American Family Association is headlining major news stories trumpeting the trespasses of Madonna versus the Biblical purity of Veggie Tales.
Beverly LaHaye's Concerned Women for America considers the sexual abuse of minors to be an important issue, whether perpetrated by the very real predators lurking in cyberspace . . .
Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States, today called on "all responsible Americans and corporate citizens--down to every last parent, teacher, and minister--to educate themselves about the problem" of "child exploitation and pornography and see how they can help out."
. . . or by the imaginary variety in the "abortion lobby" who are conjured in CWA's ever-fertile imagination as potential purchasers of over-the-counter Plan B.
Sexually abused minors need adults to detect and rescue them from their abusers. Doctors would have an opportunity to ask questions if a girl seeks - or someone sends her for - Plan B. If the drug can be obtained easily, it removes what may be the best chance of freeing her and catching her abuser.
But oddly enough, not this time. No, according to CWA, la affaire Foley isn't about a middle-aged, politically powerful sexual predator targeting teenagers under the benign eye of the GOP party leadership at all. What it's really about is -- you guessed it -- the lurking and persistent evil of the "homosexual agenda."
Over the weekend, news broke about Rep. Mark Foley's (R -Florida) predatory email exchanges with teenage Congressional pages. It took a full news cycle for mainstream news organizations to specify that those pages were teenage boys. While many are in shock, Peter LaBarbera, President of Americans for Truth, says that Congressman Foley's sexual orientation was no secret in Washington, D.C. LaBarbera uncovered this news for CWA in 2003.
So CWA seems to have figured all along that something like this was bound to happen someday, but since none of the boys involved could have tried to obtain Plan B or (God forbid) an abortion, there's simply no need to comment any further. And that's all they have to say about that.
As Max Blumenthal reported in The Nation and here at Talk to Action, the Christian right leaders who attended last week's Values Voters Summit believe that a victory in their all-important "culture war" depends upon a Republican victory in November.
Without any immediately scheduled congressional debates on social issue legislation to energize its base, the Christian right has adopted President Bush's messianic "struggle for civilization" as a central feature of its culture war rhetoric going into the midterm elections. Perkins framed the issue by linking liberal evildoers with Islamic extremists, warning that "we are facing threats from within and from without." Bauer described how the passengers of Flight 93 heroically ran toward the cockpit on 9/11, reminding the audience, "All you have to do is run to the voting booth."
So Shhh! . . . you'll have to be very, very still, but you can hear it: the silence of the hypocrickets.
The Silence of the Hypocrickets | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)
The Silence of the Hypocrickets | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)