Who needs facts when you are a conservative blogger this year?

Can the conservative and religious right in America please stop picking on gay people? I realize that my question is obviously asked in futility, but as a straight man, I just cannot believe the lengths conservatives will go to vilify a constituency of people who have never done anything to them whatsoever. It seems that, in the end, what it really boils down to is just pure hatred, plain and simple, and for no good reason.

I realize that conservative website WorldNetDaily isn’t exactly a bastion of liberal thought, but a recent article by commentator Scott Lively really shows us where the religious right’s mindset lies. In his Oct. 14 article entitled “The Kool-Aid Has Always Been ‘Gay,” Lively offers his patented anti-gay rhetoric in a bitingly sarcastic piece where he condemns October for being Gay Pride Month, as well as the late politician Harvey Milk and others.

In an effort to “serve the cause of academic integrity by filling in a few of the historical facts that have been left out (no doubt inadvertently) by homosexual teachers and school officials,” Lively waxes rather un-eloquently on Milk, who he claims “was more interested in the contents of [cult leader Jim Jones’] gym shorts”, than anything else of consequence. Is this seriously what passes for a “hard-hitting” opinion piece in the conservative blogosphere these days?

In the article, Lively writes about Milk’s acquaintanceship with Jones, and uses it as a rallying cry for his fellow anti-gay lemmings to look upon the month of October with disdain and hatred. Jones’ followers committed a mass suicide by drinking a beverage called “Flavor Aid,” which was laced with cyanide, and because Jones himself was known to have homosexual proclivities, according to Lively, it must logically follow that all gays are not only cultists but are also morally reprehensible people who do the devil’s bidding.

Lively’s article is riddled with fallacies. He misquotes the number of people who committed suicide under Jones’ direction in Jonestown, Guyana. His basis for writing the opinion piece is to shame the memory of Milk and somehow liken him to the oft-quoted phrase “drink the Kool-Aid”, when it wasn’t even Kool-Aid that the cultists drank. In the end, it is just another example in a long line of attacks by the religious right on a portion of the population that they just love to demonize and pigeonhole.

This preoccupation by conservatives on the personal relationships of individuals is really starting to reach troubling proportions. Why is sexual preference a matter of political importance at all? Furthermore, why do conservatives like Lively view gays as such a threat? Had Lively done any research before writing his column, he would have learned that Jones’ Peoples Temple carried a lot of influence in San Francisco at the time, and Milk was trying to get elected to the state assembly, so he wanted to get the word out to as many people as possible to vote for him. These, of course, are just petty details which shouldn’t be trifled with, at least not when the sole purpose of your article is to attack someone for simply being gay.

That’s exactly what the problem is with conservatives these days. When it comes to attacking someone’s character over being gay and crapping on their legacy, facts don’t matter and neither does common sense. All that matters is how two unrelated threads can be linked in such a way as to convince more naïve and ignorant people of the “sin of homosexuality.” Interesting how Lively’s article is so against “drinking the Kool-Aid” when that is exactly what he’s feeding to his own idiotic ilk.

Gerry Wachovsky is a graduate student and columnist for the Daily 49er.

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