Whatever your opinions on the Wikileaks release of thousands of documents, Rich Swier’s (Editor of Red County) accusation that homosexuality is somehow linked to the release is absurd. Here’s the specific text:
Once PVT Manning embraced the gay lifestyle he became deeply disturbed. His acceptance of the gay lifestyle and the friends he made both in and outside the military led him to what he is today – a traitor to his country.
In the comments section, Swier furthers:
Your comment is spot on. This young man should have had an FBI background check before he was given what appears to be a Top Secret clearance. His background and political activities should have been discovered.
What political activities is Swier talking about? The New York Times article he cites mentions no dangerous or traitorous political activities. Here is the relevant text from Ginger Thompson’s NYT article:
At school, Bradley Manning was clearly different from most of his peers. He preferred hacking computer games rather than playing them, former neighbors said. And they said he seemed opinionated beyond his years about politics, religion, and even about keeping religion out of politics.
In his Bible Belt hometown that he once mockingly wrote in an e-mail had â€œmore pews than people,â€ Private Manning refused to recite the parts of the Pledge of Allegiance that referred to God or do homework assignments that involved the Scriptures. And if a teacher challenged his views, former classmates said, he was quick to push back.
Presumably, the ‘political activities’ Manning is engaging in, according to Swier, would be voicing his opinion on the separation of church and state. If it was up to Swier, the U.S. military would be the Army of God ready to denounce all who dare support such a separation (despite the intentions of our founding fathers).
All of this is a moot point, though, Swier is attempting to find a legitimate reason to block the repeal of DADT. In reality, there is no such reason other than his homophobia. If the most responsive military in the world, the Israeli Defense Forces, is able to successfully integrate gays, then why can’t America?
There is little doubt that Swier and many other conservatives against DADT are simply against gays. For example, here is another post of his on the ‘Progressive Gay Agenda’Â (Wingnuts love the word ‘agenda’):
Social matters belong in the hands of the people, not activist judges. [emphasis his, not mine]
The issue of special rights for gay and lesbian behaviors are a matter of broad social judgement, not imposition by judicial fiat. So who are those behind the gay agenda? Progressive Democrats and Republicans who have came to believe that being gay is not a choice, even though the science says otherwise. It is pushed by a vocal few in both parties who wrongly believe this behavior deserves some special recognition equal to that of blacks who have suffered past discrimination.
Needless to say, Swier provides no evidence for his assertion, simply declaring “science says otherwise,” as if science was some god decreeing a judgment. The reality is that there is no consensusÂ on the cause of sexual orientation. Even if it was a choice, what role does the government have in administering the rules of the bedroom? What divine privileges have those like Swier been given that he can define what is ‘normal’ and what is ‘deviant.’ Using such language toÂ characterize homosexuals is abhorrent; Nazis described homosexuals in a very similar way as the Religious Right does.
He also cites the Florida’s Man Up Report on HIV/AIDS to show that male gay sex is a significant cause. Admittedly, this is true, but how would banning gay marriage or keeping DADT stop the spread? Unless he literally wants government agents in the bedroom, Swier can’t stop it. In fact, the best way to minimize the spread is to teach safe-sex in the classrooms. Awareness will be key to stopping the spread not blaming it on one group as the study Swier cited points out:
Blaming individuals or groups, particularly men who have sex with men (MSM) and men who have sex with both women and men, has never been a successful way of encouraging greater involvement in HIV prevention and care.Â Instead, eï¬€orts should be made to encourage positive behaviors and responses.Â We should aim to build upon successful work and include as many men as possible in the global struggle against HIV/AIDS.
Swier ends his post in the most hilariously hypocritical way possible:
When the state becomes a vehicle for the imposition of morality we will have tyranny.
As the Republican Party and the Religious Right continue to cling together, I am reminded of Barry Goldwater’s words:
“When you say “radical right” today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.”