Tag Archives: Moral Majority

Gay History- June 19, 1983: Founder of the Moral Majority Jerry Falwell: “AIDS Is God’s Punishment For Homosexuals.”

June 19, 1983 – In Lynchburg, Virginia, hate-monger Jerry Falwell told his followers that “AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals, it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.”

Falwell founded Lynchburg Christian Academy (now Liberty Christian Academy) in 1967 and Liberty University in 1971 and co-founded the Moral Majority in 1979 which was the beginning of the LGBT hate groups of the day suck as the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and the American Family Association .

By 1975, the Internal Revenue Service moved to revoke the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University, which forbade interracial dating (blacks had been denied entry until 1971). The decisions infuriated Falwell. “In some states it’s easier to open a massage parlor than to open a Christian school”, Falwell complained.

On his evangelist program The Old-Time Gospel Hour in the mid 1960s, Falwell regularly featured segregationist politicians like Lester Maddox and George Wallace. About Martin Luther King he said: “I do question the sincerity and nonviolent intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mr. James Farmer, and others, who are known to have left wing associations.”

In speaking of the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, he said, in 1958:

“If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never had been made. The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.”

In 1977, Falwell supported Anita Bryant’s “Save Our Children” campaign, to overturn an ordinance in Dade County, Florida prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In urging the repeal of the ordinance, Falwell told one crowd, “Gay folks would just as soon kill you as look at you. Falwell also  supported the similar “Brigg’s Initiative” that Harvey Milk helped defeat in California.

The Moral Majority became one of the largest political lobby groups for evangelical Christians in the United States during the 1980s. The Moral Majority was promoted as being “pro-life”, “pro-traditional family”, “pro-moral” and “pro-American” and was credited with delivering two thirds of the white, evangelical Christian vote to Ronald Reagan during the 1980 presidential election. It is believed that Falwell’s close ties to Reagan also directly contributed to the Reagan administrations refusal to recognize AIDS.

Falwell also regularly linked the AIDS pandemic to gay issues.  Among his many remarks over the years he is probably most known for statements attributed to him about a Teletubby being a homosexual role model for homosexual recruitment and stating that LGBT organizations angered God, thereby in part causing God to let the September 11 attacks happen .

In early 2005, Falwell was hospitalized with a viral infection, discharged, and then hospitalized again on May 30, 2005, in respiratory arrest. President George W. Bush contacted Falwell to “wish him well”.

On May 15, 2007, Falwell was found without pulse and unconscious in his office at about 10:45 a.m., after he missed a morning appointment, and was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital. “I had breakfast with him, and he was fine at breakfast…He went to his office, I went to mine and they found him unresponsive” said Ron Godwin, the executive vice president of Falwell’s Liberty University. His condition was initially reported as “gravely serious”; CPR was administered unsuccessfully.

Christopher Hitchens  described Falwell as aa “faith-based fraud.” Hitchens took special umbrage with declaration that 9/11 represented God’s judgment on America’s sinful behavior; deeming it “extraordinary that not even such a scandalous career is enough to shake our dumb addiction to the ‘faith-based.'”  Appearing on CNN a day after Falwell’s death, Hitchens said:

The empty life of this ugly little charlatan proves only one thing: that you can get away with the most extraordinary offenses to morality and to truth in this country if you will just get yourself called ‘reverend’.”

On C-SPAN, Hitchens made the comment that “If Falwell had been given an enema before his death, he could have been buried in a matchbox.

It’s Ronald Reagan’s Birthday: The Hateful Legacy of Ronald Reagan Who Let Gay Men Die In The Name Of “God”

As Republicans and Tea Party members remember and celebrate the revisionist life history of Ronald Reagan on what would be his 107th birthday today.  Let us, the friends, the family, and the loved ones of the victims of Ronald Reagan’s bigotry and homophobia remember the REAL legacy of genocide, war mongering, and poverty that he left behind all in the name of “God”  and never let it be forgotten.

Ronald Reagan was and always should be remembered as the President who helped bring back poverty to the masses, the President who changed American foreign policy, by selling arms to Iran, and forwarding the profits to right-wing Central American dictators to help fund their death squads, and most of all as the President who is personally responsible for the deaths of thousands who died of AIDS and  literally wiped out almost an entire generation of gay men.

Ronald Reagan deliberately ignored one of the deadliest diseases in history of the world which is now affecting over 70 million people around the globe all  in the name of God, bigotry and homophobia.

In 1981 with the emergence of the AIDS epidemic also came the emergence of the Christian Right, who Reagan ushered into power and seized the moment that AIDS was a sign of God’s abhorrence for gay men. . Reagan, who saw the first signs of the AIDS epidemic in 1981, his first year in office, . said “maybe the Lord brought down the plague because illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments.”

Ronald Reagan may have done laudable things but he was also a monster and, in my estimation, responsible for more deaths than Adolf Hitler. He is one of the persons most responsible for allowing the plague of AIDS to grow from 41 cases in 1981 to over 70 million today. He refused to even say the word out loud for the first seven years of his presidency and when he did speak about it it was with disdain. He was, in the words of his domestic policy adviser, Gary Bauer, “irrevocably opposed to anything having to do with homosexuality” (personal communication from the White House office in April of 1983). The Tragedy of Today’s Gays (Penguin, 2005),

“I can locate no work of any urgency, or indeed, much work at all, on AIDS” during his entire presidency, thus allowing many millions of gay men all over the world to be exposed to the virus without so much as a warning from anyone in his government. Those of us on the front lines can attest to this stone wall that was unbreachable. – Larry Kramer.”

AIDS research was chronically under-funded in the beginning of the outbreak when money for research and treatment were the most needed.  When doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health asked for more funding for their work on AIDS, they were routinely denied.  Between June 1981 and May 1982 the CDC spent less than $1 million on AIDS and $9 million on Legionnaire’s Disease. At that point more than 1,000 of the 2,000 reported AIDS cases resulted in death; there were fewer than 50 deaths from Legionnaire’s Disease. This drastic lack of funding would continue through the Reagan years.

Newly unearthed audio of Ronald Reagan’s White House Press Secretary in daily meetings with the Press Corps from that period puts a face on the homophobic Reagan administration and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that because AIDS affected mostly gay men that the Regan administration could not be bothered and did could care less that American citizens dying because of their homophobic bigotry.

It would not be until  October 1987 when pushed that Reagan would publicly speak about the AIDS epidemic in a major policy address. By the end of that year, 59,572 AIDS cases had been reported and 27,909 of those women and men had died. He and his administration did almost nothing during the first seven years of the epidemic.

In 1986, Reagan ordered Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to prepare a major government report on AIDS. Critics attacked Reagan for ordering the report on the same day he submitted requests to reduce the AIDS budget, according to the Globe. Koop’s report called for mandatory sex education for children as early as elementary school, but Reagan’s education secretary, William Bennett, and his undersecretary of education, Gary Bauer, strenuously opposed those efforts, calling for abstinence-oriented education.

With AIDS research being underfunded community education and prevention programs were routinely denied federal funding and would have been even more so if Regan had had his way. Only when pushed did Reagan offer any assistance.

Finally in 1986 Reagan requested $85 million for AIDS research, but Congress horrified at the low number bumped that figure up to $244 million only to have Reagan then unsuccessfully try to rescind $50 million of that figure, according to the Boston Globe, but he ultimately agreed to Congress’ figure.  In 1987, Reagan proposed cutting the research budget for AIDS down to $214 million. Congress again responded dramatically against Reagen by raising it to about $400 million.

The Boston Globe reported that in 1986 – 1987 that AIDS patients were dying at a rate of about 80 per week.

As Barbra Streisand put it in an address to an AIDS Project Los Angeles fundraiser in 1992: “I will never forgive my fellow actor Ronald Reagan for his genocidal denial of the illness’ existence, for his refusal to even utter the word AIDS for seven years, and for blocking adequate funding for research and education which could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.”

By the end of 1989, 115,786 women and men had been diagnosed with AIDS in the United States—more then 70,000 of them had died.

This is Ronald Reagan’s TRUE legacy, and everyday may we never forget it and remember those who died because of it.

Happy Anniversary! – June 5, 2004: Ronald Reagan Died 13 Years Ago Today!

June 5, 2004 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan died from Alzheimer’s disease. Ironically, this was also the date in 1981 when the AIDS virus was first identified (although under another name: GRID – Gay Related Immune Deficiency). It was during Reagan’s term in office that the AIDS crisis started. Although AIDS was discovered in 1981, President Reagan did not mention the illness publicly until October 1987. By that time, there were nearly 60,000 cases of the disease with almost 28,000 deaths.

Ronald Reagan deliberately ignored one of the deadliest diseases in history of the world which is now affecting over 70 million people around the globe all  in the name of God, bigotry and homophobia.

From Back2Stonewall.com:

Ronald Reagan was and always should be remembered as the President who helped bring back poverty to the masses, the President who changed American foreign policy, by selling arms to Iran, and forwarding the profits to right-wing Central American dictators to help fund their death squads, and most of all as the President who is GUILTY of genocide and murder against the gay community and is personally responsible for the deaths of thousands who died of AIDS

It would not be until  1987 near the end of his second term in office when pushed that Reagan would publicly speak about the AIDS epidemic. By the end of that year, 59,572 AIDS cases had been reported and 27,909 gay men had died. He and his administration did almost nothing during the first seven years of the epidemic. AIDS research was chronically underfunded and community education and prevention programs were routinely denied federal funding. Only when pushed by massive protest and shamed by other countries did Reagan offer any assistance.

By that time AIDS patients were dying at a rate of about 80 per week

Newly unearthed audio of Ronald Reagan’s White House Press Secretary in daily meetings with the Press Corps from that period puts a face on the homophobic Reagan administration and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that because AIDS affected mostly gay men that the Reagan administration could not be bothered and did could care less that American citizens dying because of their homophobic bigotry.

Happy Anniversary Ronnie.  

On behalf of myself, my friends, and all the friends I lost.  I hope that HELL is hot enough for you.

Former “Moral Majority” Leader Bob Jones III of Bob Jones University Apologizes For Anti-Gay Comments Made 35 Years Ago

Bob

 

Former BJU president Bob Jones III and a leader of the Moral Majority issued a public apology Saturday for anti-gay comments he made in 1980 calling for homosexuals to be stoned.

“I take personal ownership for this inflammatory rhetoric,” Jones said in a statement. “This reckless statement was made in the heat of a political controversy 35 years ago.”

The long absent apology comes after BJUnity, a group which offers support for past and present lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender BJU students, mailed a 2000 sinature petition to Jones asking for his apology.

Jones was president of the university in March of 1980 when he and a group of fundamentalist ministers went to the White House with 70,000 signatures on a petition opposed to extending provisions of the Civil Rights Act to homosexuals.

“I’m sure this will be greatly misquoted,” Jones said. “But it would not be a bad idea to bring the swift justice today that was brought in Israel’s day against murder and rape and homosexuality. I guarantee it would solve the problem post-haste if homosexuals were stoned, if murderers were immediately killed as the Bible commands.”

Saturday, Jones called those comments “antithetical to my theology and my 50 years of preaching a redeeming Christ.”

“Upon now reading these long-forgotten words, they seem to me as words belonging to a total stranger — were my name not attached,” he said in a statement.

“I cannot erase them, but wish I could, because they do not represent the belief of my heart or the content of my preaching. Neither before, nor since, that event in 1980 have I ever advocated the stoning of sinners.”

According to an AP article , the 1980 petition urged then-President Jimmy Carter to oppose any presidential action that would legalize homosexuality within the federal government.

“We are here to tell the president that homosexuality must not become a protective way of life; an alternate life style,” Jones said in the AP story.

He added that Carter, “who claims to be a Bible-believing Christian,” is not fit to be president and that there is “no question that Ronald Reagan is the unanimous choice of Bible-believing people all over the country.”

Better late than never.  I suppose.

The Moral Majority Resurrected At The 165,273rd GOP Presidential Debate In New Hampshire

Last night at St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire the dwindling GOP Presidential nominee candidates met to have their 165,273rd GOP debate hosted by ABC. 

And what a  sniping lie ridden debacle it was with such vile statements hurled about LGBT equality and the refusal to separate church and state one would have thought it was 1980 and Jerry Fawell and the Moral Majority was in full swing once again.

At one point in the evening Diane Sawyer finally after all these debates read a question from a Virginia man about what sort of relationship recognition outside of marriage the candidates would support.

Romney, Perry and Santorum said they back a federal constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman. WMUR Political Director Josh McElveen pressed Santorum on the fact that the Federal Marriage Amendment would invalidate the marriages of 1,800 same-sex couples who have taken advantage of New Hampshire’s marriage equality law since it took effect in Jan. 2010. 
 
Santorum:
“If the constitution says marriage is between a man and a woman, marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said. “That’s what marriage is – and would be in this country. And those who are not men and women who are married -would not be married. That’s what the Constitution would say.”
But the most surreal moment of the night was when the question was passed to Newt Gingrich expressed his opposition to marriage equality and invoked “the sacrament of marriage.” and did so with a straight face as his third wife, Callista, sat in the audience and applauded and then went into a barage of accusations about the “the left media” and “anti-christian bigotry”
 
Gingrich:
We want to make it possible to have those things that are most intimately human between friends. It is a huge jump from being understanding and considerate and concerned, which we should be, to saying we therefore are going to institute the sacrament of marriage as though it has no basis. e sacrament of marriage was based on a man and a woman, has been for 3,000 years,”
Gingrich specifically knocked a question about whether the assembled  candidates would allow gay couples to adopt.
And there’s a lot more anti-Christian bigotry today than there is concerning  the other side. And none of it gets covered by the news media.  Should the Catholic Church be forced to close its adoption services in  Massachusetts because it won’t accept gay couples, which is exactly what the  state has done? Should the Catholic Church be driven out of providing charitable  services in the District of Columbia because it won’t give in to secular  bigotry? Should the Catholic Church find itself discriminated against by the  Obama administration on key delivery of services because of the bias and the  bigotry of the administration?”
Romney agreed with Gingrich also bringing up Catholic Charities in Massachusetts which closed its adotion services.  But what they didn’t say was that it was a result of the Catholic hierarchy in MA who wanted an exemption from civil rights laws. The board of Catholic Charities voted unanimously to continue performing adoptions and to comply with civil rights laws, but was overruled by the Catholic hierarchy and they forced them to close.
 
Not to be outdone  Rick Perry took the opportunity to reiterate his support for a Federal Marriage Amendment and his belief that the Obama administration is conducting a war against people of faith.  Among the policies changes to which Perry took exception was the Obama administration’s decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
 
“That is a war against religion, and it’s going to stop under a Perry administration,” the candidate said, receiving applause from the audience.
 
Jerry Fawell and Ronald Reagan are smiling in Hell.
 
You can watch the lowlights of last nights GOP debate by clicking here.