Religious Wrong’s Influence

An interesting commentary at AlterNet made me realize how destructive the influence of the Religious Right really is (hereafter I call them the Wrong – they might be on the right-side of the political spectrum but they are dead wrong in their positions). The topics where their influence plays a role are ever expanding in my awareness. Here are some of them:

  • Evolution: This is the most obvious one. Their attempts to derail science and teaching nonsense range from creationism, via creation “science,” to intelligent design.
  • Global climate change: Here they try to cast doubt on the fact that we humans are influencing the weather patterns for the worse and are the major culprits behind climate change.
  • Marriage: Not only are they opposing gay marriage but by imposing their standards of the heterosexual marriage as the only healthy family, they are attacking family diversity.
  • Child rearing: Through ignoring research, they were able to perpetuate the myth that marriage is necessary for healthy child development.

The last point is especially disturbing to me. I am currently reading Nancy Polikoff‘s brilliant Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage. The parts that I have read so far are an interesting walk through the history of the LGBT rights movement and how it used to fight for the rights of all families, a fight that was started within the feminist movement through the marriage critique. Yet, somehow the attack by the Wrong on non-traditional families (where a traditional family is the good old separate spheres marriage with kids, father works outside the home, mother works inside the home), led to a push by LGBT activists for the right to marry. No longer did they combine forces with others to fight for the recognition and protection of all families and all relationships (and all people, really). They wanted a piece of the marriage pie even if that pie excluded people who did not want to marry, like marriage-boycotters or singles by choice. I am saddened to notice this conservative influence on a movement that used to be vibrantly challenging the status quo. Now, they seem to just want to be part of that status quo.

Most LGBT activists no longer question whether marriage is a desirable form of relationship that needs to be attained above all other forms (I am generalizing here, fortunately, because there are still voices within the LGBT movement who are questioning the sanctity of marriage, Nancy Polikoff and Michael LaSala are two examples). As a single by choice, I feel left out in the cold. But what is worse, the Wrong was obviously able to infiltrate their agenda into a progressive movement. Which brings me back to the AlterNet commentary:

Pardon the ugly analogy, but this steadfast assault has all the makings of an inexpugnable infection…one that requires timely treatment lest it render the unsuspecting host into a state of perpetual decline. As such, one can never assume that a period of remission will be sustained. Like it or not, these inviolable interlopers are constantly searching for a vulnerability that can be exploited.

We haven’t even noticed how much that infection has spread…

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Religious Wrong’s Influence — 2 Comments

  1. This reminded me that just because someone is LGBT, they are not automatically progressive. Part of the push for marriage stems from the desire to just fit in, to be normal. I suppose there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s still rather disappointing, though, since a bigger umbrella could get more accomplished. It’s also a tricky issue: On the one hand, I’d like to see that everybody who wants to get married, can do so. On the other, focusing all the energies on same-sex marriage leaves everybody who can’t or doesn’t want to marry out in the rain (yes, even after same-sex marriage is legalized, there will be people in committed relationships you can’t marry: siblings, for example).

  2. Its a shame that some of the LGBT have caved into pressure. It seems pretty much like that with left in general. What I think is hurting the left is that there are so many splinter groups and not many people under one umbrella. And the big groups that exists compromise on many of their ideas to appeal to the opinions of the day.

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