New Radio Spot Claims Jim Martin Supports Gay Marriage

The Family Research Council, a "pro-family" organization founded in 1983 by Tony Perkins, is out with a new ad alleging that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Martin has made "protecting abortion rights one of his top legislative priorities" and "supports gay marriage."

"FRC Jim Martin Radio Ad"

However, during a June Democratic U.S. Senate Primary debate sponsored by local Fox affiliate WAGA-TV, Jim Martin said he did not support same-sex marriages [Source:  Georgia Politics Unfiltered, "Democrats Debate: Jim Martin Opposes Gay Marriage", June 29, 2008].

The 30-second radio spot was paid for by the Family Research Council Action Political Action Committee who recently endorsed Martin's Republican opponent, Saxby Chambliss.

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Whose Values?

The "Values Voters Summit" kicked off last week in Washington.  But whose values were they talking about?  Bashing gay people?  Denying the basic humanity of immigrants.  In what twisted world are those values to be proud of?

For too long, the Right wing has peddled us-versus-them values, pitting all of us against each other to distract us from the real problems.  The problem in our society, we're told, is the gay folks or the Muslims or the immigrants.  The solution is to wall ourselves up, launch endless wars, abolish Affirmative Action.  

This story, of course, is meant to distract us from the real problems in our society:  that we're bleeding good jobs on all sides of our borders because multinational corporations just want to pay the lowest wages to seek the biggest profits; that few American families can afford the skyrocketing costs of health care and college tuition; that we're spending more on the military and prisons than public education and social services...  The list goes on.   How can the Family Research Council think it's talking about values when these issues are not front-and-center in the discussion?

Maybe it's time we start talking about real American values, where we take care of each other and respect each other and recognize that we're all in it together.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, "We are caught in an inescapable web of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.  That is the way the world is made." He didn't exclude immigrants or gay people or people of color from that web.  Nor did the Jesus.  "Have we not all one father, has not one God created us?" The passage doesn't read, "We all have one creator and are equal except for this list which I shall now read..." The Right wing has force-fed us the idea that we must compete with each other, that your rights infringe on my rights, that justice is a zero-sum game.  

But the Right is wrong.  The story of America is, and has always been, that we're all in it together.  Native communities spoke of the interconnected web of community long before Martin Luther King.  The pioneers built their communities not through go-it-alone individualism but communal wagon trains and cooperation.  Most everything that anyone has ever achieve in our country has been with the help of others, from the family and community that support us to the government which educates us, paves our roads, provides our drinking water.  American values are based on mutual need and mutual respect.  These are the values we should be talking about --- and making the candidates listen!

On December 1st in Des Moines, Iowa, several local community organizations are hosting the Heartland Presidential Forum --- where presidential candidates presidential candidates will face real people with real problems, who care about community values and want to know if the candidates share their beliefs. Members of community organizations from across the United States will ask the candidates about community values and their vision for health care, immigration, worker justice and more as they hold the candidates accountable to what we the people really value.  It's just one example of how, this election, we're all in together.  

Maybe the Republicans struggle to find a frontrunner is emblematic of the fact that their politics of division and isolation are no longer working.  The country has wised up.  We know that the economy is crumbling, jobs are evaporating, we have more enemies abroad then friends, and racial discrimination is continuing to rear its ugly head in Jena and beyond.  At the moment where our ship is sinking, we realize that we're all in this boat together.   The politics of isolation and exclusionary values will only sink us further.  But if we work together --- and value our connectedness and shared fate --- we can turn this ship around!

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C-SPAN Doing The Work of the Lord. Arghhh!

C-SPAN is entertaining us today with a live broadcast of the Family Research Leadership Council convention under the guise of "Campaign 2008", so, of course, I started watching it, being concerned with the next election.

What I saw, of course, had little to do with the campaign, and a great deal to do with giving a television-wide forum to people slinging invective against "secular progressives"... or, to put it bluntly, people like me.

I heard that "secular progressives" are often academics who are corrupting our universities. Gee... my wife and I teach in the Maryland Community College System and we like to hang out at programs at Shepherd University and other schools. I guess that makes us a part of those corrupt academics.

I heard that "secular progressives" are people who support the ACLU, Women's Rights and similar philosophical value structures. Gee... that's me all right.

I heard that "secular progressives" are promoters of sodomy. Gee... now it is starting to get a little weird.

I heard that "secular progressives" are bent on destroying the family and creating a social pathology of entitlements like Social Security  and Medicare. And that we are spreading a myth about "women's biological clock" which is keeping us from God's biblical calling for women to have children ASAP. Gee... now I'm confused.

And finally I heard that "secular progressives" were Democrats. Well, I am. I have a voter registration card that says so.

I guess I can't be too down on CSPAN for promoting this crap. It would sure be nice if there were a Secular Progressive convention somewhere that they could cover in the name of "Campaign 2008."

Under the LobsterScope

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Tony Perkins uses picture of pig in e-mail about gays

Just got my latest e-mail from Mr. Tony Perkins over at the Family Research Council, and the headline of the e-mail is "Homosexual Agenda or Bust!", and the picture included with the e-mail is as follows:

Tony's usually one of the more ugly homophobes of the GOP, but this seems a little over the top, even for him.

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Each of These Is Not Like the Others

Today's prize for general ignorance goes to



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