Several religious right groups have been on a tear lately about the following:
A Fort Campbell lieutenant colonel’s email to subordinates regarding extremism and hate groups “inconsistent with Army Values” has raised the ire of evangelical Christians both locally and nationwide.
The message, which appears to have been generated by a single individual and not part of an Army-approved training program or command-generated memorandum, lists several state and national organizations with extensive support among the Christian conservative right – including the American Family Association and Family Research Council – as domestic hate groups. The email that set off the controversy last week was actually sent by Lt. Col. Jack L. Rich to officer and non-commissioned officer subordinates on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012.
Now when the Family Research Council, the American Family Association (two groups mentioned in the email), and their allies (which includes Fox News “cultural reporter” Todd Starnes) complain about this letter – which they had been doing ad naseum, they claimed that the Rich was attacking “Christian” groups or ministries. Starnes even blames Obama and says he is “religiously cleansing” the military.
I have a feeling that we will be seeing and hearing more about this letter, so let’s examine the crux of what it says. It talks about various hate groups, but I am willing to bet that the part which really gets FRC, AFA, and Starnes upset is as follows:
The religious right in America has employed a variety of strategies in its efforts to beat back the increasingly confident gay rights movement. One of those has been defamation. Many of its leaders have engaged in the crudest type of name-calling, describing LGBT people as “perverts” with “filthy habits” who seek to snatch the children of straight parents and “convert” them to gay sex. They have disseminated disparaging “facts” about gays that are simply untrue assertions that are remarkably reminiscent of the way white intellectuals and scientists once wrote about the “bestial” black man and his supposedly threatening sexuality.
I can understand why the Family Research Council and the American Family Association are upset. [cont’d.]
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