Pop quiz: Who is Art Pope?
Art Pope is one of the most influential political money men in North Carolina and a close national ally of the billionaire Koch brothers.Art Pope is a North Carolinian with lots of money. And, he uses that money to fund Republican anti-gay groups around the country, including the two groups who are doing the grunt work for the North Carolina swing of this tour. I do everything in my power to keep from getting political with this blog. However, sometimes it's impossible to avoid. First, let me say that I live with a Republican, devoutly Christian woman whom I've known since high school, and she is absolutely nothing like the mean-spirited, hate-filled, narrow-minded Republican "leaders" we have running for our country's top office today or their followers. So, this is certainly not a condemnation or attack on all Republicans and/or Christians. That said, this entire lot of "contenders" is a very dangerous group of people. And, anyone who disagrees need look no further than this video. I've said it here before that if any of these candidates were to happen into the White House, they would plunge our country back to the 1950s. This trailer will give you a better idea of what I'm talking about.
One candidate has boldly stated during his campaign that if he wins the presidency, he will make all existing same-sex marriages illegal. Maybe it's just me, but I think there are many, many more important things for a candidate to be obsessed with besides who loves whom. Imposing ones biased views on the nation is not part of the job description of President of the United States. I'll stop there. This topic gets me really heated!
There was a comment left on the facebook blog page today that, I thought, was quite telling:
...look at your country's history. "Enough of thinkin' everything that you've done is good", just saying (in Rufus Wainwright's words). Here in Germany a politician who makes homophobic remarks would have to step down the next day. We have a gay Foreign Minister and Berlin has a gay mayor. In the US homophobes can become governors and run for president.Wait. I thought we were supposed to be the "world leaders"!!! Enough said.
Back to Art Pope. Mr. Pope is funding what's called the "Values Bus Tour". It's an anti-gay marriage campaign, really an anti-gay campaign, that started in October and is slated to go nationwide. Ok, for those of you chomping at the bit to scream First Amendment right at me, save it. I'm well aware of that. I'm not going to suggest that he needs to be stopped. His views are dead-wrong; however, He's entitled, under our Constitution, to his views. And, whether I agree with them or not, he's also entitled, under our Constitution, to voice his opinion. I get that. However, under that same Constitution, I get to voice my opinion:
These are extremely dangerous people. In fact, they are extremists. To be sure, one of the Republican presidential candidates is PART of this "Values Bus Tour". AND, HE WANTS TO LEAD OUR COUNTRY!!! It is my opinion that it's totally okay to have your differences. However, for a person, or a group of people, to not only believe that their opinion is THE ONLY opinion that matters but try to shove THEIR opinions down a whole nation's throat is beyond reprehensible. To spew hatred in the name of God will get you a ticket to Hell much faster than my being gay will get me there. And, to that end, in accordance to the Bible that these maniacs love to wave in everyone's faces, only God can judge me. Therefore, if by chance you're right that I'll go to Hell for being gay (and, you're NOT!), it's NOT your place to condemn me there. That is between me and God. Worry about your own eternity. I'll stop there.One of their members had this to say about LGBT teen suicide:
...gay teens kill themselves because they know that they're "abnormal".Worse, he does "fundraising around the idea that gay kids are immoral and telling them otherwise is 'disgusting'." Oh, and did I mention that they take their message of hate to Christian high schools? What feeds the bullying that we're seeing in schools against LGBT, or even suspected LGBT teens? Hatred and intolerance. And, where are they learning that from? Keep in mind that one of the members of this group of extremists is running for the Presidency of the United States!
My whole issue, and I point I've raised before, is that we need to a.) keep increasing in numbers...and conviction; and, b.) speak up and be heard. Every single voice is important. If you look at the comments on the blog about the "Values Bus Tour", it becomes obvious that there really ARE people in this country who agree with this type of backwards, narrow-minded thinking. For the record, though, there were real people, back in the 60s, who vehemently opposed the Civil Rights movement, then, as well. However, the people who opposed the oppression continued, undaunted by the oppressors. It was a hard-fought battle. Lives were lost. But, in the end, it was worth it. Well, the struggle continues. The battle line is drawn. To win this fight, and I wholeheartedly believe we will, we need voices, voices, and more voices. We need people who are not afraid to stand up for what is right.
Lastly, if there's any question as to how all of this connects to LGBT teen suicides, I'll simply say two words: Anoka-Hennepin.