Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Paladino’s Blood Libel on Gays

Andrew Sullivan has a perfect response to Carl Paladino’s anti-gay ravings:

Paladino speaks of “perverts who target our children and seek to destroy their lives.” This is the gay equivalent of the medieval (and Islamist) blood-libel against Jews. To conflate gay people with child-abusers is an archaic and disgusting calumny, to portray us as a “threat to children” is as dark and as vile a smear as you will find. Many of us are children, in the first place, and although there are some gay abusers, as well as straight abusers, the overwhelming majority of gays and straights love our children and nieces and nephews, would never dream of harming any child in any way, and many gay people indeed have taught and guided and reared children over the centuries, and to levels of excellence bar none. I don’t doubt that a gay teacher taught Paladino once; the odds are high. And when I think of the lives of great service so many gay people live in the worlds of education, mentorship and parenting, his demonization sickens me even more.

He continues:

Lastly, he makes a case for marriage and family. Great. But in doing so he simply assumes that gay people are not part of people’s families, and he ignores the fact that many have already married across this country and the world, and brought up children, and done so magnificently. He places one segment of society outside respectability, and outside the family, implying that it is a choice, and the “gay agenda” is to corrupt children to make that choice…

And then, finally, the assertion that none of this means he is anti-gay or holds any animus toward gay people – just that all of us are a threat to children, that we are “brainwashing” kids into thinking gayness is ok, and that the notion that we may be “proud” of our lives sticks literally in his throat. This, mind you, in New York, the bluest of blue states. And of course, to an audience of religious fundamentalists.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what the GOP has become. In 1978, Ronald Reagan took a stand in defense of openly gay school-teachers. Today, DeMint and Paladino want to cleanse us from schools because we allegedly threaten to brainwash or rape children. How much clearer can the degeneracy be than that?

Such demagoguery nearly always works when dealing with religious fundamentalists. That is precisely the problem.