About a year ago, I began to commit social suicide. It was a slow process, beginning as I spoke my mind to friends about the new convictions I was forming. If I ever was A-list, pretty soon I wasn’t anymore. I never had a t-shirt of Mao or Che, but if I did, I’d burn it in defiant protest. I love America, and I have come to realize that my only hope for freedom or equality – the things my friends say they all want – is to join together with those who want to protect Her, no matter how uncool and B-list they might be.
The former First Lady stood up for the rights of gays, and wouldn’t back down to anybody. This no-longer-A-list gay, demoted because my beliefs had become uncool, appreciated that. People have been telling me for years what I can and cannot believe, where I belong and what I am, or am not, permitted to say because my sexual orientation is – supposedly – the sole determinant of my identity. But my identity, first and foremost is that I’m a Christian and an American.
I still believe in America, and because of this the Tea Party fascinates me. Sarah Palin, their standard-bearer, shoots moose, speaks her mind and damns the consequences. Hundreds of thousands gather in Washington, inspire goodwill throughout the country and pick up their own trash. This is America in action – a new revolution. These people want not just an empty promise of “hope and change,” but hope and change for real.
Besieged by Leftists who hope to shut it down, at least one faction in the Arizona Tea Party has seemed determined to shoot itself in the foot. In the turbulent time leading up to the Left’s current battle against it – intensified, now, in the wake of the Tucson shootings – some in the Arizona Tea Party ranks actually gave ammunition to the enemy. Its enemies are really out to get it now, with a vigor never seen before. It draws fresh strength from crisis, determined never to let a good one go to waste.
Writes Max Blumenthal in the UK Guardian, with what seems unbridled glee, “When President Obama took office, Arizona’s anti-immigrant right fused with extreme elements of the religious right under the Tea Party Banner. In August 2009, a young man called Chris Broughton openly carried an AR-15 assault rifle and a handgun to an Obama rally in Phoenix. The night before, Broughton had attended a sermon called ‘Why I hate Barack Obama’ given by the Rev Steven Anderson, a local Tea Party activist. Anderson declared that that night he was going to ‘pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell.’”
Old news, better forgotten? Not to those who hate the Tea Party and are determined to destroy it. Blumenthal wrote that article this past week. The very day of the Tucson tragedy, Ole Olson wrote in News Junkie Post “Pastor Steven Anderson (also of Arizona) virtually issued a fatwa on Obama…” and concluded his article – with hope and relish – “This is the American Taliban in action.”
Rev Anderson, whose Faithful Word Church is in Tempe, Arizona, was given a forum to speak before the local Tea Party. In a recent sermon, he said “The same God who instituted the death penalty for murders is the same God who instituted the death penalty for rapists and for homosexuals, sodomites and queers!” Of course groups like Right Wing Watch are having great fun making much of this. “The church leader,” reports their website, “with a Bible in his hand during the interview, said he preaches his hate for homosexuals and wishes death upon them.”
Now, the Tea Party movement claims that it is not anti-gay – that it does not, in fact, tolerate hatred against any American. Supposedly Rev Anderson was invited to speak before them on the issue of border security (he claimed to have been roughed-up by Border Patrol guards) and not on homosexuality or any other matter. It wishes to steer clear of divisive social issues and concentrate on taming our runaway big government. But given the clash raging daily at the border, and all the people affected by that, was there no one else they might have given a microphone?