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NOM Election Report Card: Anti-gay investment continues to deliver hate with mixed results

NOM Exposed NOM Tour Tracker-Iowa Right-wing

Today, the Human Rights Campaign and the Courage Campaign released a report card on the political activities of the so-called, anti-gay National Organization for Marriage (NOM) that shows a mixed outcome this election cycle despite pouring an estimated $5 million into federal and state campaigns in the 2009-2010 election cycles. NOM endorsed at least 29 candidates in the midterm election and as of today, it had lost 19 of those races.

2010 GENERAL:
» 10 “wins” for NOM
» 19 “losses” for NOM
» 1 to close to call
» 1 unclear winner

“NOM has emerged in the last two election cycles as the leading fringe, anti-gay political force in the country,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “It’s clear they will stop at nothing, including repeatedly ignoring state campaign finance laws to elect anti-gay candidates and punish elected pro-equality officials. And nothing illustrates NOM’s cynicism more than the defeat of three Supreme Court justices in Iowa who were part of a unanimous decision that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. An independent judiciary is now threatened and no organization is more responsible for that than NOM.”

“The rejection of most of NOM’s candidates shows the growing support for LGBT equality across the political spectrum, and just how out of touch NOM’s extremism is with the bread and butter concerns of everyday Americans,” said Courage Campaign Founder and Chairman Rick Jacobs. “Considering the national political environment, NOM’s support was undeniably toxic for many candidates, and NOM’s focus on intimidating judges, attacking families and flouting tax and election laws tells us why.”

The National Organization for Marriage spent at least $2.7 million pushing their nationwide anti-gay agenda during the 2010 election cycle. The outcome? It became clear that jobs and the economy, not marriage, topped voters’ concerns. In fact, LGBT issues had no or minimal influence on how or why people voted.

Read NOM Exposed’s analysis of NOM’s 2010 activities.

Although voters were resoundingly focused on the economy this midterm election – and ranked social issues, to include same-sex marriage dead last– the so-called National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a Washington D.C.-based anti-gay, fringe organization, put an estimated $5 million into the 2009-10 election cycle to influence the outcome in dozens of federal and state races, according to campaign finance filings, NOM and press reports.

The Report Card

While NOM made significant investments this cycle, its electoral win/loss record is decidedly mixed. In fact, NOM lost more races than it won. NOM endorsed at least 29 candidates. As of Wednesday afternoon, NOM had lost 19 of these races, won eight, and the remaining two (the Minnesota governor’s race and a New Hampshire statehouse candidate) were undecided. With the exception of a judicial election they hijacked in Iowa, NOM lost its most expensive and high-profile gambits in California and New Hampshire and all of its races in Maine and the District of Columbia. And it fought campaign finance laws all along the way.

NOM lost signature battles for governor in New Hampshire and Rhode Island, lost both the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races in California, and its star candidate there, Andy Pugno, vying for State Assembly, lost. On the other side of the ledger, NOM was successful in ousting three Iowa Supreme Court justices by spending more than $600,000 and hijacking a retention election that generally attracts little notice or money.

As of October, an unofficial estimate of spending for the midterm election is $2.7 million. For the 2009-10 election cycle, NOM spent more than $5 million. (Again, an unofficial estimate pending state-by-state filing deadlines.)

  • In California, NOM joined with the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles and together spent $1 million on a statewide bus tour supporting U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina. Incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer was a special target for NOM (at least $220,000 in advertising) because she is one of the few senators still serving who voted against DOMA (the so-called Defense of Marriage Act) in 1996.
  • In New Hampshire, NOM claims it spent $1million on television ads targeting the re-election of Gov. John Lynch, who signed the equal marriage bill into law.
  • In Minnesota, NOM bought $200,000 worth of TV ads in the governor’s race, targeting DFL candidate Mark Dayton, and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner, for supporting marriage equality. (That race is still undecided.)
  • In Iowa, NOM spent approximately $600,000 in the state’s generally sleepy judicial retention election because the three state Supreme Court justices were involved in the unanimous decision holding that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

What the Elections Say About NOM

  • By targeting federal and state races, NOM established itself as the leading anti-gay political force in the country. NOM started three years ago with a budget of $500,000. The group’s budget has swelled to at least $10 million, according to NOM’s president.
  • NOM’s president Brian Brown moved to increase the group’s political exposure and activity by announcing the establishment of ActRight.com, which “offers conservatives a central hub for online activism that will hopefully grow in strength to counter” progressive online fundraising.
  • NOM’s engagement in Iowa had little to do with Iowa. It had everything to do with instilling fear in judges across the country. As its president, Brian Brown, said last month:

“Many people…are looking at the Iowa judicial retention election [and] actually saying this is the most important election because it will send a clear signal to the Supreme Court and other judges that they don’t have the right to make up the law out of thin air. If the people of Iowa…remove these judges, there will be reverberations throughout the country all the way to the United States Supreme Court.”

  • In addition, NOM inserted itself in legislative or district races in New Hampshire, New York, the District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Maine, California, and Minnesota. In most of these states/jurisdictions, same-sex marriage is either legal or under consideration. NOM is looking to either contain further advances in places like New York, Rhode Island, Maine and Minnesota, or to defeat pro-equality legislators, elected officials or council members in New Hampshire and the District of Columbia.

In its local election effort, NOM was unsuccessful in defeating a single council member in the District of Columbia. In California, State Assembly candidate Andy Pugno, the architect of Prop 8 and its chief lawyer lost. In that race alone, NOM spent $112,000. In Maine, where NOM was the largest single contributor to Question 1, which reversed the marriage equality law in 2009, NOM lost every single legislative race.

Donor Disclosure

Similar to other secretive political organizations this cycle, including American Crossroads GPS, NOM has kept donors to its campaign efforts under wraps and challenged campaign finance laws to maintain donor anonymity.

  • NOM filed lawsuits in Rhode Island and New York arguing it should be able to run ads on behalf of Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate John Robitaille and New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, respectively, without abiding by state laws governing campaign finance disclosure. NOM was unsuccessful in both lawsuits.
  • Last year, NOM received a warning from Iowa’s ethics agency. Engaged in a special election there, NOM promised supporters they could contribute anonymously—without disclosure. The problem is that this promise violated state election law.
  • NOM remains under investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission for refusing to disclose the donors to its $1.9-million campaign which overturned Maine’s marriage equality law in 2009.
  • In California, NOM contributed more than $1.8 million to the Prop. 8 campaign. The group sued the state in federal court to avoid disclosing its donors. California law requires campaign committees to report information for any contributors of $100 or more, which is then made publicly available.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE NOM EXPOSED ELECTION SCORECARD FOR EACH OF THE FOLLOWING STATES (scroll down to the bottom):

California
DC
Hawaii
Iowa
Maine
Minnesota
New Hampshire
New York
Rhode Island

56 Comments

  • 1. Ann S.  |  November 5, 2010 at 9:04 am

    §

  • 2. StraightForEquality  |  November 5, 2010 at 9:04 am

    §§

  • 3. Ann S.  |  November 5, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I did check the box. I did, I did, I did.

    Didn't I?

  • 4. Richard A. Walter (s  |  November 5, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Somebody needs to look at the North Carolina elections also. Remember, Raleigh was one of the stops on the Summer of Hate Tour NOM did. I know, because my husband and I were there. Hi, Louis!

  • 5. Alan E.  |  November 5, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Work is almost done. Just checking the box before I read.

  • 6. truthspew  |  November 5, 2010 at 9:08 am

    NOM considers 10 wins and 19 losses a good record? Um, they lost 2/3's of the time. Someone there ought to fire their person who runs the stats because they're obviously incompetent.

  • 7. Richard A. Walter (s  |  November 5, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Click box, then submit!

  • 8. Ronnie  |  November 5, 2010 at 9:12 am

    rofl….<3…Ronnie

  • 9. Mouse  |  November 5, 2010 at 9:12 am

    10 vs 19 is better results than their tour turnouts.

  • 10. Kathleen  |  November 5, 2010 at 9:24 am

    ☮+♡

  • 11. nightshayde  |  November 5, 2010 at 9:38 am

    We already knew they don't know how to count (from their consistent over-estimates of tour "attendance").

  • 12. JonT  |  November 5, 2010 at 9:47 am

  • 13. Rhie  |  November 5, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I know I am!

  • 14. Richard A. Walter (s  |  November 5, 2010 at 10:05 am

    So I am not the only one who is having trouble with subscriptions today?

  • 15. Ann S.  |  November 5, 2010 at 10:16 am

    They seem to take a loo-o-o-o-ong time to show up in my inbox. So long I wonder if I checked the box and go back to post (and check the box) again.

  • 16. Felyx  |  November 5, 2010 at 10:43 am

    If there is a movement to do something about the judges I would love it if P8TT would post it. I would join in an outcry against misuse of voting powers.

  • 17. Chuck S  |  November 5, 2010 at 10:44 am

    “The rejection of most of NOM’s candidates shows the growing support for LGBT equality across the political spectrum, and just how out of touch NOM’s extremism is with the bread and butter concerns of everyday Americans,” said Courage Campaign Founder and Chairman Rick Jacobs.

    Not sure I believe this…I think it's because they supported candidates that probably wouldn't have won anyway because they were such freaks. I'm not convicned its because of growing support for LGBT equality. Seems like 'spin' to me.

  • 18. Sagesse  |  November 5, 2010 at 10:59 am

    They just ignore the losses as though they never happened. Then they focus on the most vulnerable states, load up the Brinks truck, and start all over again with the robocalls and the ad spending. Fight or overturn marriage equality one state at a time. Continue to fight campaign finance laws.

  • 19. Bennett  |  November 5, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I donated to Barbara Boxer, Jerry Jones, Mark Dayton, and Bill White. So the numbers for me are 3 out of 4. Read'em and weep NOMskulls. And with my hundred dollars or so spread amoung all of these, I think I got a little more bang for my buck!

    With the exception of Iowa, I think NOMs money was largely wasted unless you consider the boost the size of Brian Brown's head a good result.

    Please Brian, it's the economy stupid.

  • 20. Sagesse  |  November 5, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I wonder what it will take for the public to realize what NOM did with the Iowa retention campaign. This wasn't a marriage amendment targeting a, to them, anonymous group of stereotypical people. They set out to destroy three individuals, who were ethical and did not defend themselves, and they succeeded. They didn't touch the other four judges, and they didn't overturn the law. They used three individuals with lives and families to send a message.

    Where is the outrage?

  • 21. Straight Ally #3008  |  November 5, 2010 at 11:30 am

    But NOM's victories are almost all down-ballot. One state senator each in CA, MN, RI, and two in NY, and one rep each in MN and RI. Their biggest win was Kelly Ayotte (Sen-NH). Of course, that is how the Religious Right works – strike locally, at town councils and school boards, so I'm not surprised.

    And then the shameful Iowa judicial retention votes – I really hope Gov. Culver appoints three replacements just as strongly committed to civil rights, and just as brave and their predecessors, so that NOM's victory will be muted.

  • 22. TPAKyle  |  November 5, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I feel a small amount of pity for Brian Brown as he marches forward with his deceitful campaign advocating the denial of rights and dignity of families and fellow citizens. You see, it's likely to result in the destruction of his own family. As subsequent generations recognize sexual orientation equality for all the way ours views gender and racial equality, his children and grandchildren will be forced to live with the shameful legacy of his life's work.

    I sincerely doubt that the example he is setting for his children will be one that is celebrated in future decades. The respect that comes with being the family patriarch will be non-existent. Invitations to family events will be forced, with the promise of a decline a hopeful measure to avoid having to relive the shame of Brian Brown's deplorable assault on humanity. The family closeness of Thanksgiving and the joy of Christmas will be out of reach as a result of his egomaniacal behavior today.

    Welcome to your future, pariah Brian Brown.

  • 23. nightshayde  |  November 5, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I don't think many people outside GLBT-themed websites have any idea as to what happened.

    I also don't think many people realize that there was an actual court case with witnesses and evidence and all that fun stuff. I'm pretty sure far too many people think the "activist judges" just decided they wanted gay marriage to happen and snapped their fingers to make it so.

    I know people think that about the Prop 8 trial. They think a gay judge just decided to void Prop 8. They have NO idea that there was a trial in which people were supposed to present actual verifiable evidence. People who think "because my preacher says…" or "because the Bible says…" is "evidence" can't understand how anyone could rule against them.

  • 24. Straight Ally #3008  |  November 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    But children can break the cycle – look at Frank Schaeffer.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbgVV2ql5MM

  • 25. Rhie  |  November 5, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Could Gov Culver re-appoint those judges? That would send the biggest message.

  • 26. Rhie  |  November 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Have you read his book, Crazy for God? It's really interesting. It's also very sympathetic. It draws the line between crazy people believing crazy things and good people getting caught up in the momentum. I got it from my library, but would definitely recommend buying it.

  • 27. Kathleen  |  November 5, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Brilliant! He truly understands the fundamentalists.

  • 28. Kathleen  |  November 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I don't know if there's any law against it, but I think it would be a bad move. I'd like to see him appoint qualified jurists who understand equal protection as replacements and then have Obama appoint these judges to the federal bench – where they won't be subject to a popular vote. THAT would show NOM how futile their messing with the judiciary is.

  • 29. Kate  |  November 5, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Kathleen, are there any signs that could happen? That would be so hot!!!!

  • 30. Kathleen  |  November 5, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    No. Just in my fantasies. But it would be so awesome, wouldn't it?

  • 31. Bob  |  November 5, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    get his message, stop feeding the Nombies, forget them, just move on past them…….we're giving them too much power.

  • 32. Ronnie  |  November 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Video for Day 4 of the Civil rights Fast has been released…Alan Bounville is a brave soul..Our government needs to see that this is not a game…We, the LGBT community our Heterosexual allies…people of all genders, faiths, races, & ages are not playing a game…this is our lives….we are not dolls for the religious reich & government to play with…This is not Candy Land…this is not Guess Who…this is not even LIFE…this is our lives…our flesh & blood lives…shame on NOM & shame on the government…if they want to play games then they can go to Chuck E Cheese's and play whack a mole…..<3…Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FohHgCRyjo&fe

  • 33. Kathleen  |  November 5, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Bob, are you on facebook? Would love to know how to reach you by email. …. but absolutely no pressure if you'd prefer not.

  • 34. Bob  |  November 5, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I hear you Alan, I am hungry, for civil rights, feed me.

  • 35. grod  |  November 5, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Straight Ally #3008
    Was NOM's shabby bus tour a diversionary tactic to lull 'those in favour of retention’ into believing that Iowans would not turf out Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit?
    If Strainght Allies knew before hand that Mississippi-based American Family Association and its Iowa arm – Iowans for Freedom were spenting $200,000; Washington-based NOM was spending $600,000; Washington-based Family Research Council ACTION was spenting $18,000; Washington-based Campaign for Working Families was spenting $100,000 and Iowa-based Family Policy Centre was spenting $10,000; in total $925,000+ against what Associated Press estimated (a week before the election) to be $227,000 for retention, might you not conclude that this is a very 'strategic fight' for the LGBT community as well. Indeed if their side says that “the(ir) campaign believes… that the whole anti-gay marriage community in the country is watching what happens in Iowa” what was our side saying that let me to believe ‘God’s in his heaven, and all’s right in the[judges] world’?

    In hindsight, if the Court is the avenue of last recourse for the LGBT community, might you not have thought that it and its allies, like yourself, shoud have better mobilized to ensure a YES vote was secured. Indeed if the Courts are gays best hope for achieving equality, could we not have been just as committed to the outcome as our opposition?

    The fact that Courage’s tracking their bus tour did not accurately reflect the sentiment on the ground, should disturb them and its supporters. NOM kept us busy. Or in my unfamiliarity with politics, did the obvious just go over my head. Perhaps Courage and us trackers were too focused on Prop 8 and DADT, and quite rightly, it was a busy time. But this defeat has too many echoes of the ‘unexpected loss’ on Question # 1 in Maine. Polls always underestimate our opposition. Have us trackers once again been out maneuvered by this site’s foil – Brian Brown?

  • 36. TomTallis  |  November 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    They left out Star Parker, who, I believe NOM had endorsed (I don't think they spent any money on her), who lost her bid for the House seat in the 37th District to Laura Richardson, 25% to 70% (figures rounded).

  • 37. RebeccaRGB  |  November 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Crap!

    Kamala D. Harris (Dem) — 3,485,926 — 45.7%
    Steve Cooley (Rep) — 3,502,021 — 46.0%

    Nooo!!! Flip back! Flip back!

  • 38. Kathleen  |  November 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    There are still upwards of 2 million uncounted ballots. Unfortunately, a lot of them are from counties that favor Cooley. It's going to be a nail-biter.

  • 39. Rhie  |  November 5, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    WE aren't giving them power. The millions in this country who think that Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, et al have a point are.

    Ignore them and they will go away never worked for school yard bullies. It doesn't work with national ones. Make them ridiculous, point out inconsistencies, give them wedgies…whatever it takes to destroy the power of fear. Logic won't do it. Neither will pretending they don't have power.

  • 40. Phil L  |  November 5, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Didn't LA county "favor" Cooley as well, but voted heavily against him?

    I'm not saying that such a thing will surely happen here, but I'm really hoping that it does.

  • 41. Bob Barnes  |  November 5, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    A few of NOM's picks were no brainers, such as Kelly Ayotte in NH, even I knew she would win.

    But if you assign values to the winners and losers as in who would be most effective for change (change in either direction), NOM comes out as an even bigger loser. CA NOM loses alone is way beyond the 2/3s loss. The three judges booted in Iowa does not change anything but "perception." And we have yet to see what that will do, I'm optimistic that it won't.

  • 42. Ronnie  |  November 6, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Well here is another one….& since we know NOM gets a lot of its backing from the Mormon church…we can deduce that his blood is not only ton he Mormon churches hands, his fathers hands, but on the hands of Maggie "Shoe Flinger" Gallagher, Brainless Brian Brown Suit, & ALL of NOM's sheeple as well……
    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2010/11/colt-david-han
    Colt David Hansen: Clash with Mormon faith leads to another LGBT suicide in Utah

    The obituary (there is a link to it at the end of the article) his family posted for him is nice it if were true…but since it's all a f@#king lie…I am disgusted by that Church…his family should be ashamed of themselves…..& using his death to raise money for the church?….that no doubt will probably go right into NOM's pockets…..SHAME…..

    X& ….Ronnie

  • 43. Ronnie  |  November 6, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Jujubee, 3rd place contestant of Ru Paul's Drag Race season 2, has a message for Clint McCance…….

    "Hi I'm Jujubee. This Message os for Clint McCance. What you said was wrong, despicable, distasteful, disgusting. I hated it, but I don't hate you. I think you need love. I think you need to love yourself. Ru Paul taught be if you can't love yourself how the hell ya gonna love somebody else. I see that you don't. I pray for you and I hope your views do change. Accept it. This is life. We all need to live together. We all bleed the same. God bless."

    <3…Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeUxqUaAxio&fe

  • 44. Ronnie  |  November 6, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Jujubee also says "It Gets Better"……<3…Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms2VQLfYoK0&fe

  • 45. Kathleen  |  November 6, 2010 at 2:09 am

    By favoring Cooley, I mean counties that are trending heavily toward Cooley in the actual voting so far.

    You can see how each county's votes are breaking down here: http://vote.sos.ca.gov/maps/attorney-general/

    There's a link to the Unprocessed Ballots Report on this page which shows each county's estimate of the votes it still has to report. http://vote.sos.ca.gov/vote-by-mail/

    I really am afraid the trend isn't in Harris's favor, but I remain hopeful all the same.

  • 46. Ronnie  |  November 6, 2010 at 3:10 am

    http://instinctmagazine.com/cover-story/cover-guy

    Paul Katami & Jeff Zarrillo are the cover guys for the November issue of Instinct magazine. You can't read the full piece on the website so make sure to pick up a copy…..<3…Ronnie

  • 47. Mark M  |  November 6, 2010 at 7:30 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/beargardener/4851216

  • 48. Mark M  |  November 6, 2010 at 7:43 am

  • 49. Bob  |  November 6, 2010 at 9:56 am

    the guy who wrote Crazy for God, was interviewed it's on another thread from the other day, he makes the case very strongly for not playing into this religious right stuff, they are crazy, he says we need to be aware of that, but rather than fight them, just carry on our fight, beyond them to the courts, the senate etc.

    It is about knowing the difference between fringe radicals like NOM, and affirming religions, the religious divide is about the extremists belief in inerrancy of scripture, that's radical,

    I think the point is to not argue with Nom, but rather keep on our battle for rights through other channels.

    NOM does not have to change their perspective in order for us to obtain our rights, we will walk over NOM to get there,

    I like the goal of the guy who is doing the fast, to amend the civil rights act of 1964 to include sexual orientation, that is an all encompasing end goal.

    I prefer strategies for grassroots organizing, with the middle ground channeling our energy their rather than giving NOM any more air time.

    The left wing news channels are doing a good job of exposing the lies of the religious right,

  • 50. Bob  |  November 6, 2010 at 10:03 am

    RIP Colt, that's got to be my or anybodys worst nightmare, having your family take over your funeral rights, Note to self, make a will, with funeral directions.

    Wouldn't it be nice to hold a vigil outside the church so everyone could see rainbow flags when they leave, silent respectful presence to honor his spirit!!!!

  • 51. Record number of LGBT can&hellip  |  November 6, 2010 at 10:47 am

    […] Eden reported yesterday, despite spending over $5 million on right wing, anti-gay candidates, the so-called “National Organization For Marriage” had little success at the ballot […]

  • 52. Rhie  |  November 6, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    I disagree. I think we DO have to fight them because they do have power. Everything from grassroots groups to national groups to websites like this to personal conversations are necessary, I think.

    I also don't think Crazy for God was making any kind of point or recommending anything of the kind you are describing. He was just simply telling his story.

  • 53. Bob  |  November 7, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Rhie, I'm definetly going to read his book, but please re-watch the video above, at about 3:30 into the video, Rachel asks how do you work to get people off these beleifs, and he says, you don't work to change them, you move beyond them. I'm understanding that to mean, we should stop trying to communicate with NOM and catch them in lies, we've already done that thanks to Arisha, engaging them will not change anything, If they have another bus tour I'd be all fro stopping them whtever way we could, road block etc., communication is futile.

    Communication with middle Americans, about Nom could be helpfull, efforts there to engage and educate, and proceed with our movement to the courts and congress, Mobilze those folks that are not fundamentalists.

  • 54. Rhie  |  November 7, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Oh I've seen him every time he's on Rachel. I disagree with your assessment.

    What he is saying – and what he says in his book – is that you can't hit their arguments head on. They aren't going to listen to "No you're wrong about that." You have to engage on an emotional level, really listen, and try to talk WITH them. That's true most of the time with people.

    With fundies, it becomes a weird game of Taboo. Hit certain buttons, certain words (like pro-choice) and they will respond with the pre-programmed response. So, you have to work around that.

    That's a very different thing than telling the IRS NOM is breaking the law. It's very different than protests, exposing lies, talking about them here. Those groups have power. We just saw that on Tuesday.

    Anyone who thinks that ignoring them will make them go away just simply isn't paying attention. The reason the Religious Right is in power is BECAUSE people have ignored them and minimized their impact. Oh, that's just one preacher. Oh, that's just one organization. Oh…there are hundreds of them and are swaying public policy. CRAP.

    Individuals are one thing. Powerful groups are entirely another.

  • 55. Bob  |  November 7, 2010 at 8:16 am

    thanks Rhie, I think I'm getting it, and I agree, I wasn't suggesting any way ignoring them, definetly agree with exposing them, reporting them to IRS protesting and all that,

    Even if you get a fundie one on one it's like talking to a crazy person, who is not in touch with reality, so do you think we should continue that appoach like with Brian Brown, trying to talk to him.

    As a group they are indeed formidable fows, how do we tackle that, in terms of the money and power they wield?

    I agree, that somehow Americans where lulled into a false sense of complacency, thinking christians were good people therefore no need to worry about them, they were seen as good for America, and as rainbow people we may be the first minority to wake up to the distruction they have already caused with their addiction to money and power.

    This is the reality that we are exposing, because we are the ones experiencing the oppresion first hand. The challenge then is how do we form coalitions with others who are asleep to the threat against democracy, How do we engage othes to battle this powerful force .

  • 56. Rhie  |  November 7, 2010 at 9:06 am

    I think I am getting what you mean too. It seems we are generally on the same page.

    I can see why you would say that talking to a fundie is like talking to a person who is mentally unstable. Some might be, I am sure. I think though, the average churchgoer of a fundie church just is recycling things they were told without much thought. At least, that has been my experience. Most people don't think unless they are compelled to do so. Churches are also starting to push a derisiveness toward education, logical thinking, science etc. That doesn't help.

    I think the reason they sound crazy is because of the programming I mentioned above. And programming is not too strong a word. Let's see, how do I explain this…

    Ok, take LGBT rights and an average person who goes to a fundie church. Average person is told that gay people are bad. That the Bible says so. They are also told gay people and their supporters are going to use certain words, arguments, etc that SEEM logical but really aren't. The teacher will set up straw man arguments that are kinda sorta close to the real arguments used and teach their followers how to foil them.

    For example:
    Real argument: The case can be made that Paul wasn't talking about stable, loving homosexual relationships. For one thing, the word homosexual and the connotations of that didn't exist at the time.

    Straw man sort of argument: The LGBT agenda is to tear down the Bible. They will try to tell you that Paul wasn't talking about gay people today. That is of course false since Paul obviously was. It says so right in the Bible. This is just part of the homosexual agenda to get rid of religion.

    Conversation that follows:

    You (or other smart supporter): Actually the word homosexual doesn't necessarily mean what we think of today as a homosexual relationship.

    Fundie: OMG YOU HATE CHRISTIANS AND ARE TRYING TO DESTROY MY FAITH!!!

    You: Wait? What? No…see, I am merely pointing out…

    Fundie! YES YOU ARE! HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA! *clutches pearls*

    So, you, a person who is trying to talk to the fundie will hear reactions that make absolutely no sense to you. Of course it's crazy. But it does make sense to them. The trick is to not use an argument or phrase that they already have a "response" for. If you want to e-mail me, i can give you a list of the arguments I know that I was taught. I grew up in this and am willing to be a translator :)

    Wow that got long. Sorry.

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