Michael Hamar

The Christianist Propaganda Blue Print

Filed By Michael Hamar | February 20, 2009 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Media

Having followed the tactics and propaganda methods of a number "family values" Christian organizations for nearly ten (10) years, one thing has always struck me. Namely, that their tactics and their propaganda campaigns against gays draw heavily on the Nazi propaganda machine Hitler used against the Jews and to claw his way to power. priests-salute.jpg

They clearly believe - like Hitler - that if you tell a lie often enough, people will ultimately begin to think the lie is true. Similarly, they use the pseudo-science put out by NARTH and individuals like Paul Cameron to support the "choice myth" as I call it and to make all kinds of claims depicting gays as diseased vermin and threats "to the family."

Sadly, the MSM generally fails to challenge their claims and merely provides a platform where the lies can be repeated yet again. Likewise, news anchors never look beyond the lofty titles that these organizations give to their talking head representatives, most of whom have no credentials at all other than whacked out religious beliefs and degrees from obscure bible colleges. A new exhibit at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda, focusing on the Nazi propaganda machine once again helps make it clear where our enemies have drawn their inspiration for their attacks against LGBT citizens.

LGBT rights organizations must do a far better job of exposing this type of propaganda and countering it. Here are some highlights on the exhibit from the Washington Post:

"State of Deception," . . . covers much of the same ground as the museum's permanent collection, while more explicitly emphasizing the degree to which propaganda was the very fiber of the whole Nazi project. It's also a subject of ongoing debate in our own political culture, where politicians routinely resort to the same techniques -- simplification, vilification, message branding -- that the Nazis relied on seven decades ago.

In her preface to the exhibition catalogue, museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield is particularly concerned about how new media might revive ideas and tactics that should have been thoroughly discredited in the rubble of conquered Germany. "The haters and propagandists have new tools in this age of the Internet, and at the same time consumers of information seem less equipped to handle the massive amount of unmediated information confronting them daily," she writes.

Nazis used sophisticated niche messaging, especially during their rise to power in the early 1930s, tailoring ideology to different interest groups. . . . And they understood the many facets of propaganda, from its positive powers -- to instill a sense of unity and purpose in a beleaguered population -- to its slow, corrosive power to foster indifference and, finally, hatred.

The exhibition includes toy soldiers in brown shirts and Nazi armbands; games such as "Jews Out!," played on a board ringed with an old, medieval city wall, and "Radio Sende Spiel," which encouraged players to avoid enemy or foreign radio stations; and children's books such as "The Poisonous Mushroom," which showed a Jewish caricature rendered as blue-headed toadstool.

It covers the pseudo-science of race as it was taught in public schools and the recasting of German history as a series of grand accomplishments and horrific betrayals (by Jews, capitalists, communists and outsiders of all stripes). It demonstrates how hatred was deployed like a fusillade to soften the populace before the country goose-stepped over yet another line of civilized behavior. . . . raises the question of whether we can draw lines between hate speech and incitement before people start dying.

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Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | February 22, 2009 3:18 PM

Thanks for this great post Michael. I will check out the exhibit.