Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The H Hall of Shame: A Tally of Political Hypocrisy

"Save Marriage!" they cry. And, "What about the children!" they echo. "Gayness is an abomination!" they shout. Who are the "they" I am referring to, you may be wondering? Shining beacons of morality, so-called "marriage defenders," and "upstanding Christians," perhaps?

Nope. Hypocrites. Those who preach one thing and do the opposite.

It reminds me of an email I received a couple of months ago after a debate with one particular devoutly Christian anti-gay blogger. She said something along the lines of "I'm sorry you happened to have a 'discussion' with [anti-gay blogger]. I used to date him and he's the most hypocritical ass I've ever met in my life." Sure, it could have been some hooligan playing a joke. But the woman did use a real email account with a real name attached to it, which counts for something in the largely anonymous internet world.

Yet it brought to the forefront of my mind something I often wonder about: How many prominent (or at least vocal) anti-gay bloggers and advocates are living hypocritical lives. How many of them have or are currently cheating on their spouses while admonishing others for breaking their marital vows? How many of them are having non-procreative sex whole simultaneously advising others to only have sex for procreation? How many of them are declaring homosexuality immoral while secretly having gay sex on the side? How many of them want to 'save the children' but who have turned their back on their gay children?

See, I don't expect humans to be perfect. But many conservatives do. They expect moral perfection in others (well, what they see as moral perfection anyway) while living less-than-perfect lives themselves.

A few days ago, however, when I read of the latest scandal, I became fed up. That's when I decided to make a list. It's called The H Hall of Shame. H is for Hypocrite. Not very creative, I know, but accurate, nonetheless.

People are eligible for The H List when they publicly degrade a particular action while privately engaging in it. Politicians and other public figures who are otherwise exposed as hypocrites are eligible.

Here's the start of The H List:

1. Senator David Vitter (R).

Back in July, I wrote about Vitter. (Well, actually it was an open letter to Vitter from which I never heard back. I even mailed it to him.) Anyway, Senator Vitter is a married (with 4 kids) Republican whose name allegedly turned up in phone records of a DC "escort service."

Why he's a hypocrite:

He publicly declared that "marriage is the most important institution in human history" and on this basis backed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

Because, you know, gay people apparently threaten marriage more than adulterers do.

He makes The H List because he publicly speaks of marriage as a Very Important Institution (in fact, THE most important one) but his private actions show that his own marriage is not so important to him.

2. Senator Larry Craig (R)

In August 2007, Senator Craig was arrested for allegedly attempting to engage in "lewd" conduct in a men's bathroom with an undercover officer.

What makes Craig a hypocrite? A couple of things.

First, his public criticism of President Clinton's sex scandal and his (somewhat odd yet titillating!) characterization of Clinton:

"In 1999, Craig became sharply critical of U.S. President Bill Clinton for the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Speaking on NBC's Meet The Press, Craig told Tim Russert: "The American people already know that Bill Clinton is a bad boy - a naughty boy. I’m going to speak out for the citizens of my state, who in the majority think that Bill Clinton is probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy.”"

Bill, you naughty boy, you! Meow.

But in addition, this man who allegedly attempted to cheat on his wife was in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban others from marriage. That he may be gay is beside the point. One can be gay and be against same-sex marriage and not be a hypocrite. What makes one a hypocrite is publicly heralding marriage as a sacred institution, denying others the right to marry, yet showing no respect for marriage in one's own personal life.

3. Reverend Ted Haggard

"Pastor Ted" is a former evangelical leader and preacher whose little scandal disgraced him and cost him his job. He's also, allegedly, "ex-gay."

Why is Ted a hypocrite?

Let me count thy ways:

For one, he has condemned "homosexual activities" by saying this:

"We don't have to debate about what we should think about homosexual activity. It's written in the Bible."

Do I need to state the evangelical interpretation of what's supposedly "written in the Bible" about homosexuality?

His hypocrisy came into play when this married father o' five who opposes same-sex marriage was accused of some "homosexual activity" of his own. With a male prostitute nonetheless.

Defend Marriage! (Restrictions apply. For instance, when that marriage is your own, in which case you should disregard your own preachings and do whatever you feel like).

He's also a hypocrite because, like a true club kid, he allegedly "bought drugs"- crystal meth to be specific- which definitely makes the Baby Jesus cry. But supposedly he didn't use it.

So that's all settled.

4. State Rep. Richard Curtis (R)

This man's hypocrisy is, perhaps, not as well known as the others I have mentioned. But it's still pretty interesting. And by interesting I mean infuriating and idiotic.

This snippet from The Seattle Times says it best:

"Apparently the news about Larry Craig didn't make it to La Center. That's where Republican Rep. Richard Curtis lives. There's really no other way to figure out why Curtis thought he could call the cops, tell them every little detail of his sexual encounter with a man he picked up at an "erotic boutique," and expect the matter would be kept quiet."

Allegedly, the married Rep. Curtis had night of sex with someone other than his wife in a hotel room. The person that this Representative who opposes same-sex marriage and gay rights allegedly had sex with was another man.

Which makes him a hypocrite.

And, like the rest of the fellas caught having sex with other men, he's also supposedly "not gay."

Mmnnnkay, girls, whatever you say.

5. State Rep. Bob Allen (R)

As states:

"State Rep. Bob Allen (R), with one of the state's worst records on LGBT rights votes, resigned from the legislature late Friday, hours after he was sentenced for offering an undercover male police officer cash for sex."

You know, these stories of married anti-gay Republicans getting busted for extra-marital and gay sex is just getting to be sort of old hat.


Lemme guess, he too is "not gay"?

Yep. As he states, when he was at the gay cruising spot public park:

"'I certainly wasn't there to have sex with anybody and certainly wasn't there to exchange money for it,' Allen told officers.

Of the arresting officer Allen said in the tape, 'This was a pretty stocky black guy, and there was nothing but other black guys around in the park.'"

I know. Black people, are like, totally scary and who wouldn't pretend to want a blow job to avoid being attacked? I mean, it's completely understandable that Allen even went so far as to warn the man he "pretended" to attempt to engage in sex with that "undercover cops" were in the area.

I'm sensing a pattern. Condemn gay people, have gay sex, get busted, declare your heterosexuality, beg forgiveness. Rinse and repeat.

Yet, there's an interesting twist to Allen's case. Get this, he sponsored a (failed) bill that would have tightened a prohibition on public sex! Sooo, he's against public sex unless it's him having public sex. Well, good thing his bill failed at least.

Well, that's the list so far. I'm sure it won't be too long before it's time to make additions.

These people are invidious because they have reached many people through their preachings and teachings. They have demanded what they deem as moral perfection in others while hiding their own imperfections. And worse, they reach hundreds of thousands (millions?) of sheeple who believe in and try to live up to this so-called perfect moral code- who, in turn, judge and condemn other people.

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