Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Christian Post Relays Hate

Brandon Showalter
Brandon M. Showalter
via Twitter
Brandon Showalter at Christian Post is on a roll lately. Tuesday's spew is titled: Petition launched against PBS 'Prideland' series celebrating polyamory, demisexuality, queerness. Translation: American Family Association, an anti-LGBTQ hate group, doesn't like a series on PBS.

The PBS press release on Prideland provides an episode summary.

A group of religious Yahoos are not going to suppress PBS content that has already been paid for and promoted. AFA wants some attention and Christian Post is happy to oblige.

Showalter promotes some of the rhetoric responsible for AFA's designation as a hate group:
"Sadly, PBS is proudly promoting a lifestyle that is unhealthy to both the individual who participates in the unnatural sexual behavior and to society as a whole," the American Family Association says in its petition.
Neither sexual orientation nor gender identity create a “lifestyle.” Being an LGBTQ person is not unhealthy (prejudice is unhealthy). The existence of LGBTQ people is not unhealthy to society as a whole. Saying otherwise is rank bigotry.

Furthermore the “promotion” of certain sexualities is impossible because sexuality is not subject to the influence of others. PBS Frontline recently gave me an understanding of gun violence. They certainly were not promoting gun violence.

PBS aims to provide truthful information about sexual minorities that AFA does not want people to have; perhaps because viewers might then be capable of some critical thinking.

Particularly irksome to the fundamentalist set is this (as described by Mr Showalter):
The second episode in the video series is called "An Openly Gay Pastor's Journey to Acceptance in the Bible Belt" where Burnside speaks with an openly gay minister at a small church in Jackson, Mississippi. Rob Lowry was reportedly offered the job but only accepted the position on condition that he be able to lead the congregation as openly homosexual.
AFA's petition urges PBS, which is taxpayer-funded, to cancel its involvement in the series. The organization argues that the network's decision to push this content is an "unjust attack" on the Christian faith and mocks God's design for human sexuality.
Truthfulness about LGBTQ people is not an attack on Christians. In fact, as I read the summary, things are improving in the Bible Belt for sexual minorities — giving credit where credit is due.

Then there is the idea that AFA (and presumably Showalter have some special insight into “God's design for human sexuality.” Most Christians and Christian clergy disagree with them as do most Jewish clergy.
"In 2020, PBS received over $65 million in taxpayer funding. This means you and I are directly paying for PBS to insult our faith and scoff at our God," the petition, which has over 52,000 signatures as of Tuesday, notes.
Yeah, well that works out to about $1.25 per American taxpayer per year. How much did hate group leader Tim Wildmon contribute to Prideland? Three cents? How about all of the people who want a better understanding of the plight of LGBTQ people in the Bible Belt?

If Mr. Wildmon or Mr. Showalter do not like this program, no one is forcing them to watch it. Perhaps Wildmon is afraid of anything that might improve tolerance of people he disapproves of. Perhaps he feels marginalized. If so, he did it to himself.

Prideland begins on May 26. I might not know of its existence were it not for American Family Association.

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