The Language Of Haters: NOM's Viral Memo Exposes Reprehensible Tactics And Comtempt
By Rev. Dan Vojir
After failing at calling for an international boycott of Starbucks, the National Organization of Marriage - NOM - has hit a serious snag in its anti-gay marriage campaign: a memo of its rather unethical strategies has been discovered. Is it the end of NOM?
This is NOT as bad as it gets.
But it's close.
"Gay marriage is the tip of the spear, the weapon that will be and is being used to marginalize and repress Christianity and the Church."
Just days after announcing an effort to spearhead a global boycott of Starbucks due to its stance on marriage equality, the National Organization for Marriage has been hit with a controversy of its own making: internal "strategy" memos that clearly outline its hatred for gays and its intent to "drive a wedge between gays and blacks--two key Democratic constituencies." It also proposed to " interrupt this process of assimilation [in the Hispanic community] by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity" and targeted President Obama to be painted as a "radical" opposing traditional values.
It also boasted about the support of Rick Santorum:
"Senator Rick Santorum has recently agreed to use his voice in a nationwide automated call effort to solicit activists and donations."
"The current state of despair over the future of marriage is manufactured, a weapon in our opponents' hand"
With militaristic rhetoric of warfare ("behind enemy lines) and "weapons" the abysmal memo lays out plans for the years to come with headings like "Not A Civil Right" Project and The Catholic Clergy Project. It also lauded its efforts in states such as Maine and California, especially its involvement in Prop 8. The memo was ostensibly intended for staff and major donors only.
The MAIN Strategies
NOM has always contended that its primary goal is the "protection" of marriage. But "protection" does not insinuate force. "Defense" does not insinuate attack, or even divide and conquer:
"The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks--two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots""
"but we will be helped by an emerging new set of black leaders who are upset their voices and values have been ignored by the culturally liberal white elites.
The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be even more so in the future because of demographic growth. Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? We can interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity.
The use of two minorities in opposing another minority. Cool.
The MAINE Downfall
For a period spanning almost three years, the Maine Ethics Commission (along with its Attorney General's office) had been battling NOM concerning its disclosure of finances and donors. Ironically, the fatal memo points out how NOM valiantly tried to suppress such disclosure. In the end, NOM battled disclosure - through three civil courts - and lost. The Supreme Court recently refused to hear its appeal. The memo is a result of that decision in its disclosures. What NOM considered a victory in Maine, ultimately wound up biting it in the posterior.
Has NOM ever been truly powerful? The money it has discharged certainly denotes some moneyed interests. Its involvement in Prop 8 and various anti- marriage equality measures was a fact, but underneath all the bluster, there were failed campaigns and empty venues. It's own tangled web of "institutes" and think tanks compounds the perception that NOM is indeed built on sand: its own "Ruth Institute" has apparently only one primary member, a certain Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse who speaks at college campuses concerning traditional marriage. Prof. Morse is a former teacher of economics. Who the "Ruth" of Ruth Institute is is anybody's guess. Prof. Morse is also affiliated with the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, a supposed think tank promoting the marriage of economics and religion. Both the Ruth and Acton Institutes share a common goal: dragging the concept of marriage back to the good 'ole 14th century.*
Well, They've Got Kirk Cameron and Anita Bryant ...
Here's the bottom line: Hollywood with its cultural biases is far bigger than we could hope to be. We recognize this. But we also recognize the opportunity -- the disproportionate potential impact of proactively seeking to gather and connect a community of artist, athletes, writers, beauty queens and other glamorous noncognitive elites across national boundaries
Going after the "Hollywood elite" has been a tradition of Christian Right activists ever since movies came into existence as a cultural religion. NOM's failure in getting any real celebrities and cultural icons to back them up have always made them defensive and feeling weak.
After the divulged strategies of NOM, whither will it fly? Who will support it? Who will denounce it? More importantly: who will remain silent on the issue altogether? Will today's posts and tweets will be a dizzying array of post-mortems? Or will they be a chorus of "they never represented us!" Whatever the shouting match, it will be an entertaining end to a house of hate built on sand.
NOTE: View NOM's 2009 video below and compare it with the disclosed strategies of the memo. The contempt for gays came through even then.
*One of the Ruth Institute's basic tenets: Lifelong spousal cooperation as a solution to women's aspirations for career and family. Apparently "spousal cooperation" is a metaphor for indentured servitude.
Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books " Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most interesting people of our time: Steve Allen, William F. Buckley, Alan Ginsburg, Armisted Maupin, Anne Rice, Grace Slick, Bishop John Shelby Spong, Patricia Nell Warren, and Betty White.
He is also an ordained minister in the ULC and has studied extensively on the subject of the Bible and homosexuality. Additional articles can be read on his blog, The Devil and Dan Vojir.
Future goals and activities: a new ministry focusing on reaching personal spiritual levels without the outside influence of proselytism or evangelism called The Church of the Inner Preacher. This ministry will be included in a new website The Devil and Dan Vojir.
Vojir's main goal: to root out hypocrisy in religion and politics. "If only one person is saved from being killed or bashed by inane bigotry, then I'll have accomplished what I was put on earth to do: To Live and Help Live."