Saturday, March 25, 2006

Bigot Roundup of the Week

I know it's a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, but -- shock! -- I have found a bigoted Muslim cleric. Last year, Grand Ayatollah (is that kind of like "Grand Imperial Wizard" of the KKK?) Ali al-Sistani, religious leader of the Shiites in Iraq, issued a fatwa condemning gay Iraqis to death. Apparently, death squads have become quite efficient at killing gay men almost as soon as they discover them. According to Doug Ireland, when desperate gays seek protection from Americans within Baghdad's "Green Zone" they "are met with indifference and derision." Compare that with the reaction to the death threat against a christian convert in Afghanistan.

Although it is still illegal to kill gays and lesbians in America, Exodus International tries to do the next best thing -- convert them into straight people. Out in California, Justin Watt posted a parody of an Exodus billboard on his blog. They can dish it out (even if they can't dish) but they can't take it: Exodus sent a cease-and-desist letter, threatening legal action if Watt did not remove the parody. Fortunately, the ACLU is defending Watt's First Amendment rights.

And last, yet never least among the bigots, is Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family. This time, the good doctor was outraged by the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Declaration of Tolerance." Particularly galling for Dobson was the fact that a video -- starring Barney and SpongeBob Squarepants -- was shown to elementary school children to teach them tolerance before the likes of Dobson can poison their souls.

You gotta hand it to him; nothing slips past Dobson's anti-gay radar:
"While the video is harmless on its own, I believe the agenda behind it is sinister. Childhood symbols are apparently being hijacked to promote an agenda that involves teaching homosexual propaganda to children."
Sinister agenda indeed. Parts of this Declaration read as though written by Satan himself: "I pledge to have respect for people whose abilities, beliefs, culture, race, sexual identity or other characteristics are different from my own." I can see why Dobson would feel threatened by that sort of attitude.

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