One of them was the "preacher" Pat Robertson, who, judging from his comments over the years, appears a beacon of sane humanitarian compassion.
On January 13 of this year, on his television show "The 700 Club," Robertson thoughtfully characterized the Haiti earthquake as God's payback for the country having made "a pact with the devil" by booting out the French so very many years ago. He said the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were God's way of expressing dismay at America's moral decay, proof of which existed in the presence of, among other things, feminists, gays and lesbians, and the ACLU.
Hurricane Katrina? That, Robertson said, was God showing anger at anti-abortion laws. (Hello?) And, in a 1992 Iowa fundraising letter, Robertson intelligently wrote: "The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians," all of which sounds, upon close examination, just dandy.
(There is a link, below, to a page full of kooky Robertson quotes.)
Anyway, back in the day, the fringe religionists cleverly - and, of course, wrongly - linked homosexuality with bestiality, child-molestation, incest, and other enchantments of the irrevocably damaged. They also released videos asserting that gay sex involved, among other sensual delights, "feces play."
Indeed, over time it began to appear that the fringe religionists - and their cohorts in lawmaking-ville - had a peculiar fascination with all things anal, which makes sense: isn't it the co-mingling of fear and fetishism that makes sex hot?
Now, just when one sighs about the good old days being so crazy and funny and, alas, long gone, comes New Hampshire State Rep. Nancy Elliott (left) to stoke the fires of butt-sex-related terror. (Huffington Post story and YouTube clip links are below.) Discussing HB 1590, a bill to repeal same-sex marriage laws, at a recent legislative executive session, Elliott had this to say about the ways in which gay sex is "not normal":
"We're talking about taking the penis of one man and putting it in the rectum of another man and wriggling it around in excrement. And you know, I have to think, I'm not sure, would I allow that to be done to me? All of us gathered here - would you let that happen to you? Is that normal?"
She went on: "They are now teaching it in the public school. They are showing our fifth graders how they can actually perform this kind of sex.... They are saying this is something that you, a fifth grader, may want to try."
You know, I have to think, I'm not sure, but is Ms. Elliott, well, gum-gnashing, toenail-pulling, face-clawing, batshit crazy? Yeah: like a fox. It's best to take the helicopter view of this blather: not to assess whether it makes sense (wriggling it around in excrement?), but to understand why it's propagated.
That much is simple. Conservative lawmakers such as Ms. Elliott - who, incidentally, in their oddball convictions remain well outside of what are now mainstream American same-sex-marriage attitudes - use graphic images of gay sex to play on some voters' squeamishness not only with gay sex, but with sex itself. (One wonders what Ms. Elliott has to say about heterosexual couples who enjoy, er, wriggling the man's penis around in the woman's excrement-lined, uh, anal...pipe? Tube? Duct?)
These lawmakers and religionists do so because they cannot muster a decent argument against why two people of the same gender should be joined in holy matrimony, excrement-based-penis-wriggling-oriented or not.
In the end it is best, I think, simply to enjoy the Ms. Elliotts of the world, as they are a dying breed. Not only are they doing us the favor of hilariously echoing bigots who, in most cases, are long-gone, but they are also returning us, for a brief and shining moment, to a time of asymmetrical haircuts, parachute pants, John Hughes movies and Cure singles.
The Eighties are back!
(And less bigoted than ever.)
The Huffingpost story is here
The YouTube video clip is here
A fun link to Pat Robertson Krazy Kwotes is here