Thursday, April 16, 2009

Maggie Gallagher and the Incredible Power of the Gay, Again

We've seen professional "marriage defender" Maggie Gallagher opine upon the Incredible Power of the Gay here, when she blamed the rise in illegitimate child-births on the mere advocacy for same-sex marriage.

In one of her more recent articles, she "explains" Rick Warren's recent distancing of himself from the anti-gay movement. For some background, Warren went on Larry King Live and claimed that he was not, and never had been, an anti-gay activist and that he never publicly supported Proposition 8 (despite accounts of him supporting Proposition 8). Maggie Gallagher recently continued her Gays Are Incredibly Powerful meme by suggesting that Rick Warren, one of the most well-known and influential beacons of contemporary Christian thought, was really just kowtowing to The Powerful Gays when he made his issue reversal:

"Many religious people and groups will bow to, if not exactly endorse, the power of gay activists. Witness Rev. Rick Warren, who on Larry King Live this week came very close to recanting his opposition to Prop 8. What he did is what many good people will do in the face of the massive campaign of intimidation and harassment designed to silence Christians and others of goodwill who support marriage: He dodged. Rick said, more or less: I am not now and never have been an anti-gay-marriage 'activist.'

Let me be clear: I have enormous respect for Rick Warren. What has happened to Rick, who did nothing more than speak from his pulpit to the members of his own church on Prop 8, is what lies in store for many good men and women. The deal they will be offered by the government and the culture dominated by same-sex marriage is: Mute your views on marriage so you may continue your other good works. Many good and brave people, to preserve their ability to save lives in Africa or protect the poor in this country, will take that deal.

I’m not here to criticize him or them, merely to point out the underlying power of the movement than can get a Baptist minister to recant about marriage on national television."

You see, because of the powerful, intimidating, and harassing gays, when Warren says that he has not ever been an anti-gay marriage activist, what he really means is that the gays have scared him from admitting that he's an anti-gay marriage activist. Now, maybe Maggie really is imbued with the power to hear coded dog whistle messaging in Warren's Larry King talk, but I think it's important to note the flip-side of her argument. She's accusing one of the most popular American Christian leaders of being publicly disingenuous. That's quite an insult to the profit-driven purpose-driven pastor, is it not? I mean, if Maggie's claims were true, how much of a leader would "America's Pastor" really be if he were scared to say what he really feels about gay issues? Little people speak truth to power all the time, but for special lucky reasons, when it comes to The All-Mighty Gays, Rick Warren cannot? What is a "Christian Nation" to make of a Christian leader who is insincere in his statements?

You know, this whole Gays Are Incredibly Powerful meme always strikes me as ironic and untrue. The movement that has, and has always had, real power is the anti-gay movement. It is people like Maggie Gallagher and her various organizations that oppose marriage equality. As Jeremy Hooper at Good As You writes:

"The reality, however, is that our movement pales in comparison to the anti-gay forces in most every area. They are bigger, more connected, more well-financed (Focus on the Family alone has more means than all of our groups combined), have a much easier ability to rally through their churches, and have always held public opinion regarding marriage on their side. So it's illogical to assume that our gains are due to our ability to outpace their considerable front. In truth, we have made all of our GAINS despite their muscle."

Presenting gays as an elitist, powerful minority group is important to people like Maggie Gallagher because most Americans don't want to think that the people they are hurting, via supporting anti-gay laws, are normal people like themselves just trying to make it in the world. This time, though, did Maggie go too far in critiquing a beloved pastor? Is she on the verge of alienating her natural allies? For, by presenting LGBT people as an elite powerful minority, Maggie Gallagher does more than insult us. She insults Rick Warren and all of those who believe in him by accusing him of succumbing to powerful immoral heathens.

Maggie ends her article by suggesting that Some Day the Gays Might Have the Power to Keep Christians From Being Christians (whatever that means, oogedy boogedy!). Yet, I think that in her zeal to to keep the gays from getting married at all costs, she only makes herself more irrelevant with every passing day. The mainstream, her former "marriage defense" allies, and even those who strongly value marriage and fathers know that, as Glenn Sacks has said, "however one feels about gay marriage, it has nothing to do with the decline of the American family."

Yes Maggie, time certainly will tell. And I'll be willing to bet that many people, perhaps even yourself one day, will look back and be ashamed of their anti-gay activism (or whatever you choose to call it).

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