Bil Browning

Indiana Family Institute = Westboro Baptist Lite

Filed By Bil Browning | October 09, 2009 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Media

Here's our "From the George Bush version of reality" moment for today, folks. Over on the Indiana Family Institute's blog Public Policy Director Ryan McCann links to the podcast from my recent appearance on Abdul Hakim Shabazz's morning radio show. The segment focused on Westboro Baptist Church's recent appearance in Indy and the news story that three Hoosier counties were top in the nation for amount of divorced people. IFI's president, Curt Smith, was the other guest. Ryan writes:

In my humble opinion this wasn't much of a debate...Curt dominated.

I find it so annoying when liberals don't answer questions and instead give rambling responses that touch on every other subject but what the discussion was supposed to be about.

I'll let you guys decide who "dominated." All I'm going to say is this - I didn't have to spend most of my time defending Bilerico. No one thinks that Bilerico and a nationally recognized hate group have a lot of similarities. No one quotes my writing on Bilerico back to me to conclusively prove that what I'm spouting on air is pure bullshit backpedaling.

Indiana Family Institute had to issue a press release explaining to the media that while they don't like gays and lesbians either, and they don't like the play the Laramie Project too, and they also don't think that Matthew Shepard's murder was a hate crime, and they also think that gays and lesbians should become straight and find Jesus... Well, other than that they're not the same at all!

Copy of the press release after the jump. Clickety to embiggen.


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Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | October 9, 2009 12:04 PM

I thought you prevailed in the "debate", Bil; but then I've been accused of bias on the IFI's site before.

And right on concerning their misleading press release. Here's what I had to say on the IE Blog:

"I suppose the conventional wisdom would be to cheer and wildly applaud the Indiana Family Institute for its press release last week, with headline: INDIANA FAMILY INSTITUTE DENOUNCES WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH’S MESSAGE: ‘'GOD HATES FAGS’'.

"But as the Fifth Dimension song (One Less Bell to Answer) goes, “I should be happy, but all I do is cry.”

"Indeed it’s a crying shame that after such a great beginning title, IFI’s one-page uttering manages to devote only four sentences, for a total of just over 100 of its nearly 500 words, which include a 100 word footnote denying any anti-gay motive for Matthew Shephard's brutal death, to the infamous band from Topeka Kansas. The balance of the release essentially equates the rantings of WBC pastor Fred Phelps with whatIFI terms the desire for “political gain” of those working to protect GLBT citizens from bigoted attacks.

"Why this obsession with total denial on the part of IFI and its colleagues Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and the Alliance Defense Fund? It’s one thing for lawyers to disagree about whether a particular case involves a particular motive beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s quite another to systematically pooh-pooh the significant amount of evidence that even in the 21st Century many LGBT folks live in fear of violence or at least harassment because of who they are and who they love. In Matt Shephard's case, the evidence is compelling that he paid the ultimate price.

"IFI’s admonition to both the nutty Westboro Baptist Church crowd as well as what Curt Smith pejoratively terms, in usual IFI fashion, “self-identified gay activist groups promoting propaganda” is to work to strengthen marriage (of only the opposite variety, of course) to eradicate the scourge of substance abuse. Apparently letting Adam and Steve or Ellen and Eve tie the knot legally will invariably produce the next generation of junkies.

"If you deny that something exists, you don’t have to seriously try and address it or how to deal with it effectively, as in a serious discourse concerning hate crimes legislation. Come on, IFI, let’s leave the Big Denial stuff to Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his goofy rants about the Holocaust. And let's leave The Rightous Right's "family sized" sized version on the wrong side of history where it belongs.

"So thanks (I guess) IFI, for the nice-sounding banner headline, but not the rest of the press release. Not to worry, though: I’ll still alert you if I spot any “GOD HATES THE INDIANA FAMILY INSTITUTE” signs on my next trip to Topeka. Love the denier, hate the denial, I always say."

Wasn't denying the connection between Matthew Shepard's murder and homophobia WBC's big things for a few years? Didn't they want to put up a monument to him burning in hell?

Just sayin', if it walks like a ducks, and talks like a duck....