by Sean Kosofsky
The American Family Association has officially gone from a crazy, right-wing lunatic fringe organization to an outright fascist hate group. There is no way that they can ever return from the brink of hysteria.
The scary part is how many people actually still listen to them. If you haven’t heard their latest few rants, allow me to explain.
The AFA showed their true colors a few weeks ago by opposing the reintroduction of federal hate crime legislation,
claiming it is “anti-Christian.” If prosecuting people who burn, beat and kill gays is anti-Christian, what is the AFA saying Christianity is all about? It doesn’t take a genius to decipher that this panic-driven campaign is as ridiculous as their manufactured “War on Christmas.”
Former AFA staff attorney Joe Murray has come out as a supporter of gay rights and lambasted the AFA for all sorts
of hypocritical, fascist positions. He blasts the AFA for running to the aid of General Peter Pace, who had a less than Christian response to gays in the military. Murray argued, convincingly, that compassionate Christians would never cheer on discrimination but that the AFA has made an industry out of fear of gays and lesbians.
The AFA frothed at the mouth when they heard media reports that the anti-gay murder of Andrew Anthos, a
gay elderly man in Detroit, may have not been a homicide at all. Anyone close to the case – including the family, the staff of Triangle Foundation and others who are skeptical of the coroner’s report – still believe the death to be a murder, but the AFA, acting from “Christian goodness,” attacked Andrew himself as “crazy” and the family and Triangle as “liars.” Instead of contacting family, Triangle, or anyone directly involved in the case, the AFA smelled blood and pounced on the political opportunity of laughing in the face of victims of hate violence. There is no evidence contradicting the victim’s own testimony that he was attacked, but that doesn’t matter to the AFA. What Christians would behave this way?
The AFA got really desperate when anti-bullying legislation in Michigan started working its way through the state
legislature. Why would a “Christian” group want to stop legislation that would make schools safer for all children? What could they possibly have against a bill that might reduce punching, kicking, shoving, and verbal and emotional harassment? They didn’t even try to hide it. The AFA said that as long as the legislation protected gay, lesbian and transgender kids from violence, they would oppose it. There is no other way to interpret their actions other than as supporting violence toward GLBT people.
The most recent assault on the decency of our democracy was the AFA’s protest against the Day of Silence. The Day
of Silence is the largest annual GLBT action of any kind in America. Students from all over the United States stay quiet for a day in school and hand out cards explaining their silence as a way to bring awareness to the fact that GLBT people are silenced in our schools and culture every day. So what does the AFA do? The same thing any good parent would do when they heard that the queer kids at school were going to be quiet; they urged parents to keep their children home from school. The irony is sickening. No offense to Mississippi, but why am I not surprised that these ignorant AFA Neanderthals would have no problem keeping their kids home from school? It will probably be the day they teach them “intelligent design” and burn books about tolerance. They probably forgot that reading list includes the Bible, but oh well.
The list goes on and on. The AFA in Michigan is one sex-obsessed, paranoid white Republican dad who sits in his basement Googling “Gay + Michigan” every day and waiting for the results like a porn hungry teenager waiting for clips of a Paris Hilton video to download. But the AFA taps into fear so well we can expect their formula to continue to work for some. In the meantime maybe we need a registry for bigots. Protecting children from neighborhood hate mongers could only be a few clicks away.