I recently got this letter from TV/radio personality Jack E. Jett:
I had an interview scheduled with the new President of The Eagle Forum, Colleen Holmes, this weekend. When she sent me a last minute bail out letter, she accidentally included her plan for a PR campaign against the GLBTQ community.
Notice the terms, “tar baby,” “constituted battery,” and “Will & Grace effect.” And suggesting the use of “horror stories” to keep gays out of the military, and more planned-out anti-gay propaganda.
Well, I read it, folks, and somehow I am horrified, but not all that shocked. Full text after the jump:
Hello, I am so sorry, I just found out I’m going to have to participate in a meeting that continues after our conference ends on Sunday. That will preclude me from doing the interview. I apologize for telling you this now. (I hate to risk pulling a McCain! And I hope it doesn’t create problems for you.) I just found out, myself, and am bummed. I was looking forward to talking with you. Any chance we could reschedule?
I was giving more thought to why people are hesitant to get involved in this issue, which led to trying to brainstorm ways to counter the “Will and Grace” effect. The other side has so effectively used rhetoric and emotionality to manipulate and flat-out bully many Americans away from taking any position indicating that homosexuality is wrong. It’s not surprising that politicians, media members and even military leaders are shying away from the topic, because Hollywood and other media outlets react so virulently at even the slightest hint of negativity toward homosexuality. There are so many examples. One that you’ll probably remember that really illustrated the hysteria to me happened when American Idol runner up Clay Aiken was co-hosting the morning talk show “Regis and Kelly.” While exchanging banter with host Kelly Ripa, Clay (then-rumored, now confirmed to be homosexual) put his hand over her mouth to stop her from talking because he disagreed with something she was saying. Legally, his actions constituted battery, in addition to
being a terrible violation of etiquette and civil conduct among adults. Ripa, understandably upset, moved his hand away and said something like, “That’s a no-no, I don’t know where that hand has been.” Ripa insisted that she was merely concerned about germs as a working mother with three young children. Rosie O’Donnell and other gay media advocates blasted Ripa – the actual wronged party in the situation – insisting that the comment was a homophobic slur. The issue has become such a tar baby, people don’t want to go anywhere near it, because the “homophobe” moniker is so dreaded and so liberally applied. It’s also very distracting, because the homosexual advocates are so strident and relentless in their attacks. Thus, people fear saying anything that might risk their ire, for fear that such attacks will detract from other issues or work the figure might want to focus on or accomplish.
One thing I thought that might be somewhat helpful in your efforts to recruit members of the military for your cause is to do what Pete or Peter, the gentleman seated to your left against the wall during the meeting indicated – use “horror stories” to illustrate that allowing homosexuals in the military is not simply a matter of respecting one person’s personal choice, but they actually threaten our national security and in some cases individual soldiers’ personal safety. I know the horror stories are very difficult to find as you explained. It sounded like you did have some that illustrate the very serious issues.
I saw this use of “horror stories” executed very well earlier this summer when I attended the Family Research Council’s Panel Discussion on Same Sex “Marriage.” (Which can be found online at: http://www.frc.org/panel/california-same-sex-marriage-the-impact-on-religious-liberty)
Admittedly, that was a very friendly forum. In fact, it was about 6-1, with only Chai Feldblum defending the same sex marriage. Even though she was in the minority, she was treated very respectfully (I’m so sorry members of the U.S. Congress did not feel it was necessary to afford you the same respect.). There were many constitutional law and policy experts, but the most compelling arguments were the “horror stories” in
which children were being intimidated on playgrounds for being “homophobes” (synonymous with Christians) and one parent was actually arrested for peacefully dissenting against his child’s being forced to participate in a pro-homosexual “educational” presentation.
One presenter discussed some of these examples. Chai Feldblum scoffed at them and said essentially, “the other side will tell you the sky is falling. . . ,” but indicated those were extreme examples and there was no danger of those scenarios actually happening. Feldblum was followed by Ben Bull of the Alliance Defense Fund who had cases in hand to say that not only is the sky falling, he was holding pieces of it. This was so effective in not only illustrating the dangers same sex marriage presented, but it enabled the listener to overcome the intimidation and fear of being labeled a homophobe by having tangible examples to further legitimize their position.
I know all this is easier said than done, but these are just some ideas about the PR battle that it seems needs to be waged first against any hesitation military leaders who support the current law might have to taking a stand for it.
Again, just some ruminations for now, but I would love to continue the discussion and to see if there is any way we can help. Again, I appreciate what you’re doing so much and know that this is a very intense battle not just politically and interpersonally, but I really believe it is a spiritual battle.
Looking forward to talking to you more soon.