Nazis and Homophobes -- Part Two
Last month when I wrote about my experience with "ex-gay" ministries, I mentioned how dedication to the fundamentalist religion was like the Nazis' dedication to their ideology. I felt that I should elaborate on the issue of comparing fundamentalism to Nazis because the similarities are striking. The reason that I feel that it is appropriate to elaborate on this issue is because of a recent experience in my life.
My school's spring break was in the second week of March to coincide with Virginia colleges' spring breaks. My family and I drove the four hours to spend time in Washington, D.C. We visited the Natural History Museum, the National Air and Space Museum, the Freer Gallery of Art and other Smithsonian institutions. We walked on the mall (usually where the AIDS quilt is and I imagined it there). I've never actually seen the AIDS quilt, but I want to badly. But none of these visits could compare to my visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It was so compelling that we spent two days in the place. I loved it. It was comprehensive and very informative.
My favorite part of the museum was the first part, which discussed Hitler's rise to power. The Nazi's propaganda reminded me of that of the religious right's. There are several propaganda techniques that are characteristic of scapegoating.
1.) Blame problems of society on the group. According to Hitler, the Jews caused the economic problems in Germany. Gays are in a list of scapegoats of the religious right. We are alongside liberals and feminists as scapegoats. The decline of morality in society is said to be partially due to gay people undermining the traditional family. Some fundamentalists even claim the cause of the fall of the Roman Empire was due to homosexuality! Though this is historically ludicrous, nothing is too fantastic for the ignorant.
2.) Create conspiracy theories. The Nazis said that Jews exploited trusting German people because of their wealth and intelligence. The same is said about gays today. They say we manipulate facts because of our wealthy and influential lobbyist groups, just as the Nazis said Jews manipulate Germans because of their wealth and influence. The American Family Association even said that the American Psychiatric Institute's change from believing that homosexuality was a sickness was not their observation of gay psychological cases, but due to the pressure of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force! People really don't change.
3.) Go after the kids! It's no secret that humans are attached to their children and when someone goes after a parent's child, the parent may be willing to kill. It is this fact of humanity that the Nazis did an excellent job of playing on. They claimed that Jews kidnapped German children and used their blood for their sacrifices. This was ridiculous because the Jews didn't even DO sacrifices after AD 70, but it served it's purpose to create fear and mistrust of Jews. Lo and behold, today, the religious right uses the same "child-predator" tactics! According to the religious right, gays "recruit" children, molest them and cause them to be gay. Because support groups and information about homosexuality is provided by gay organizations, that's recruiting children. I was shocked to read Oasis' account of the belligerence outside a gay prom in 1996, and the insistence that because a gay prom was provided that children were being recruited. Of course, their proselytizing, youth rallies and brainwashing of children since birth isn't recruitment -- it's "witnessing" and "evangelizing."
4.) Have boycotts to protect yourself from the scapegoat's "conspiracy". Hitler issued a boycott of all Jewish business. These businesses supported the "Jewish agenda" to take over the world with their economic and intellectual influence. Nazi agents stood outside Jewish stores with signs telling Germans to defend themselves and boycott Jewish stores. It sounds awfully familiar to the advertisements I hear on Christian radio telling Christians to defend family values by boycotting certain companies that "support the homosexual agenda." Does this bring to mind any certain large Christian denominations that are boycotting certain "gay-friendly" companies?
There are other similarities, such as the use of propaganda radio. Dr. James Dobson (who reminds me of Dr. Josef Goebbles, Hitler's propaganda minister), Randall Terry, Jay Seculo, Beverly LaHaye and a host of others are all part of the Christian right's vast ministry of propaganda. Their magazines and literature that print lies about gays should be compared to Der Strumer, the Nazi propaganda magazine about Jews.
My friend told me a funny story about his younger sister. We were discussing religion, and my Catholic friend said that his six year old younger sister saw someone on TV and she suddenly said "He's Jewish!" My friend was confused because the person she was looking at obviously was not Jewish and he asked her what she meant. She responded, "You know 'Jewish'...doesn't like girls." His younger sister had confused Judaism with homosexuality! She thought being a Jew was like being gay. I laughed and wrote this off as a child's confusion, but I began thinking about it and this six year old may have a point! In a way (this analogy is going to be a stretch), being gay is like being a Jew. You're a scapegoat, you are part of a vast conspiracy to control minds and take advantage of people, you are thought to hunt for children to exploit and we are subject to bigotry and hatred because of it. As a matter of fact, I think American scapegoats have just been replaced. Instead of Blacks, Catholics and Jews being the American scapegoats, it's liberals, feminists and gays.
I don't care that some organizations say they don't "hate" gays or support violence against them, they just condemn homosexual activity -- the old "love the sin, hate the sinner" crap. The fact of the matter is that when you set up a group of people (gays) for scapegoating, YOU ARE BREEDING VIOLENCE. They may not pull the trigger, but they certainly help set up the target. You know, the Ku Klux Klan says they don't "hate" minorities either. They just believe the races should be separated because minorities degrade whites. But, last time I checked, the KKK is still considered a hate group. I certainly consider them one! So, they don't "hate" minorities per se (according to them), but they are considered a hate group anyway. Well, well, well. Maybe we should do the same for these anti-gay Christian groups who say they don't "hate" gays, they just hate their behavior.