Saturday, August 4, 2018

Brown takes credit for Sessions' religious liberty "task force"

Brian S. Brown
An email on Friday reminded me that Brian S. Brown of National Organization for Marriage is a continuing source of amusement. That is not to suggest that NOM is not dangerous and pernicious. It is both of those things. It has the potential to obtain the full support of the Vatican hierarchy and it has an agenda that is antithetical to the interests of LGBT people.

According to Brown:
President Donald Trump has once again stepped up to take action to protect the religious liberty of people of faith. This week Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the formation of a new task force on religious liberty to build on the president's earlier action to provide protections.
That part is true. Trump is about as Christian as I am but he knows how to pander to what remains of his diminishing base. Sessions is a true believer and religious liberty to him means the right of white conservative Christian men to discriminate against LGBT citizens. Christians make up about two-thirds of our citizenry. They are not in peril. Sessions' “task force” (which suggests a critical need) is unnecessary and possibly unconstitutional.

Now that Mr. Brown has cleared his throat, I'll quote the good parts:
Attorney General Sessions used some of the language of NOM's First Freedom Initiative, even referring to religious liberty as "our first freedom." NOM introduced the First Freedom Initiative late last year …
NOM's First Freedom Initiative was announced last December with a bloat of grandiloquence and a lofty agenda. It also has its own tacky Wordpress website. NOM concluded its announcement with the real objective:
Fortunately, we can take an important first step right now thanks to a $250,000 year-end matching campaign that will mean that every dollar we raise is doubled. Your gift of $10 will mean that we have $20 to advance the First Freedom Initiative. A donation of $25 results in us receiving $50. Will you step up at this critical time?
The current email has the same purpose:
Protecting the religious liberty rights of marriage supporters and people of faith is a top NOM objective, and we are so pleased at the progress we are making. Will you help us continue our work with a financial contribution of $15, $25, $50, $100 or even $250 or more?
I am certain that some people buy into this bullshit. There are those who believe that NOM's advocacy created Sessions' taskforce no matter how improbable.

The existence of things like QAnon, Pizzagate and Scientology are testament to the fact that some people will believe just about anything including the notion that Trump yielded to the wishes of NOM. Indeed, Donald Trump has told more than 4,000 lies since he took office. He lies to people directly at his rallies. Yet they cheer.

A number of progressive organizations send me email asking for money on a fairly regular basis. Some of it is even annoying. However, they are not making false claims and they are not taking credit for things that they had nothing to do with.

Some of that is because the progressive organizations that I support have a real agenda and actually work to accomplish that agenda. NOM, in contrast, only exists to ask for money to pay salaries to continue to exist to ask for money, to pay salaries and so on. It doesn't really do anything.

Brian S. Brown might be amusing but he is still a grifter. Moreover, he is an anti-LGBT bigot and his literalistic Catholic faith is no excuse. There is nothing amusing about Brown's efforts to impose his religious beliefs on everyone else by force of law. Despite all of his faux patriotism about the First Amendment, Brown fails to grasp the fact that the same amendment expresses the determination of our founders to have agnostic public policy.

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