I try to maintain a measure of balance in the links featured in the What You Need To Know. As a rule there should be a cross-section of issues and demographics represented each day it runs, and achieving that cross-section isn't always easy.
I've mentioned before that on any given day, marriage stories tend to dominate the news cycle, but there's actually another LGBT-related theme that could take over this segment if I'm not careful: right-wing religious extremist douchebaggery aimed at the queer/LGBT community.
Of course, there are already a number of exceptional blogs and organizations that track these sorts of stories, including the fabulous blogs Good As You, and Box Turtle Bulletin, as well as Right Wing Watch and several others.
It's a good thing they do, because I sure don't have the stomach for it.
I'm not generally a hateful person, which is why I resent these (often hypocritical) extremists so deeply. They inspire me to truly hate them, and I don't like feeling that way. I know I should rise above it, turn the other cheek if you will, but for some reason I just can't seem to detach the way I need to in order to achieve that. Not only do they cause so much harm to people in the communities I consider myself a part of, particularly among young people, but they also have a damaging collateral effect on how many of us perceive them and their co-religionists.
When I as a queer, non-Christian, hear outspoken Christian leaders (even fringe ones) use the biblical practice of stoning "homosexuals" as an argument against equality during an address to a state legislature, or declare that hatred of people who disagree with the teachings of their faith is a virtue, it shapes my perception of all people who identify as the same faith.
Unconsciously, I find myself feeling both automatic dislike, and less safe in my interactions with them, even before I know their person views or those of their subset of Christianity on LGBT people or people of other faiths.
Which is why I'm glad that there are folks who do have the stomach for carefully monitoring and reporting on the words and actions of these bigot-activists. Because I worry that doing so on a daily basis would change me in negative ways.
And yes, I know that there are good people of Christian faith in the world, but I wonder why I rarely hear their voices united in protest to this sort of rhetoric. After all, everywhere on Earth where bad things have ended up happening to minority populations, there were good people who stayed silent.
With that, here's what you need to know today (starting with religious hypocrisy schadenfreude):