The event's Facebook page states that the Values Voter Summit is held "in the cause of family, family, and freedom." I'm not so sure that's a typo, as the VVS is hosted by the Family Research Council, the conservative Christian hate group that spends the majority of its resources advocating against LGBT rights, women's heath, sex education, embryonic stem-cell research, gambling, and pornography. All of these things, according to the Family Research Council, are a threat to family.
Or at least the FRC's definition of family, which, according to their views, must include one heterosexual man and one heterosexual woman who are married to each other, and whose values must be aligned with the Judeo-Christian worldview.
What kind of values are these folks peddling?
Based on the statements attributed to the event's sponsors and speakers, these values are: homophobia, xenophobia, dishonesty, ignorance, denialism, Christofascism, paranoia, hysteria, oppression, discrimination, bullying, misogyny, exceptionalism, and bigotry.
Let's take a look at some of the event's speakers, and some examples of their values:
- Called the It Gets Better Project 'immoral' and 'disgusting.'
- Said gay teens are suicidal because they know they are 'abnormal.'
- Said gay activists are intolerant, hateful, vile, spiteful, and pawns of the Devil.
- Says homosexuality “is essentially man shaking his fist in the face of God”
- Paid $82,500 to use the mailing list of former Klan chieftain David Duke.
Representative Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.)
- Claimed that “the Obama Health and Human Services Department is planning to compile a federal health record on all U.S. citizens by 2014, and will include information on each individual’s Body Mass Index in the files.”
- Previously worked as spokesperson for militant anti-choice and anti-gay organization Operation Rescue,
Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.)
|Rep Vicky Hartzler|
- Was dubbed the most anti-gay candidate in America by Mother Jones.
- Supported legislation which “would have allowed for prosecutors to charge women who obtained late-term abortions with murder.”
- Compared marriage equality to pedophilia, incest, and allowing three year old children drive cars.
- Said gays “shouldn’t feel bad” that she passed a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, because gays were already banned from marrying by statute.
Genevieve Wood, Vice President, Leadership for America Operations, The Heritage Foundation
- Said "Young people who are sexually confused need the facts about homosexuality. They need to know that research shows they aren't `born gay,' that there is hope for a way out of the lifestyle, and that continuing in homosexuality presents serious health risks."
- Urged public school teachers to serve as “domestic missionaries” and promote Christianity in class under the guise of instruction.
- Believes in an inmate's right to religious freedom, as long as that religion isn't something other than Christianity.
- Said that "the American Left hates Christendom. They hate Western civilization.”
Senator Rick Santorum, Republican Presidential Candidate
- Stated it is our obligation to make civil laws "comport with God's laws."
- Equated homosexuality to incest, polygamy, and man-on-dog sex.
Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas), Republican Presidential Candidate
- Compared gays to alcoholics.
- Called the BP oil spill an "act of God" that could not be prevented.
- Asked, “Would you rather live in a state like this, or in a state where a man can marry a man?”
|Rep. Steve King|
- Said if gays don't want to be discriminated against, they should just stay in the closet.
- Sued his home state for offering voting materials in languages other than English.
- Equated gays raising children to having them "raised in warehouses."
Governor Bob McDonnell (R-Va.)
- Rolled back non-discrimination protections for gay state workers.
Herman Cain, Republican Presidential Candidate
- Said he would not appoint a Muslim in his administration.
- Said Muslims "have an objective to convert all infidels or kill them.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Republican Presidential Candidate
- Compared Muslims to Nazis.
- Asked, “What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?”
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R-Va.)
- Wants to see homosexuality outlawed.
Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Republican Presidential Candidate
- Said of Melissa Etheridge's cancer: "This may be an opportunity for her now to be open to some spiritual things, now that she is suffering with that physical disease. She is a lesbian.”
- Said that we live in a time when "a judge will say to little children that you can't say the pledge of allegiance, but you must learn that homosexuality is normal and you should try it."
- Said American Muslims have no First Amendment rights, should be banned from the U.S. military, and has called for a ban on the building of new mosques in the U.S.
- Stated that African American welfare recipients "rut like rabbits."
- Wrote that “gay sex is a form of domestic terrorism” and thinks gays and lesbians should be “disqualified from public office.
- Stated that the anti-Muslim manifesto of the right-wing Christian terrorist who killed dozens in Norway was “accurate.”
- Stated that Islam was "as racist as the KKK."
- Has made so many incendiary remarks, it's ridiculous.
Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President, FRC Action
- Accused Obama of “bullying” students by supporting efforts to combat anti-gay bullying, and claims that these efforts are forcing anti-gay students “in the closet.”
Derek McCoy, President, Maryland Family Alliance
- Declared solidarity with those who want to see homosexuality outlawed.
- Stated, “The One who designed marriage knew what He was doing. And we will never sit back passively and permit our own government to teach our own children a lie. Same-sex unions are not marriage. Same-sex marriage is not a civil right, it is a civil wrong.”
David Tyree, Former Wide Receiver, New York Giants
- Said that the Marriage Equality Act would "be the beginning of our country sliding toward...anarchy," and would trade his famous catch and the team's Super Bowl title to keep marriage between a man and a woman.
- Stated that President Obama, progressives, and Islamic terrorists all have the same agenda: to destroy America and its Judeo-Christian values.
- Believed that "anybody who had AIDS ought to die with it. That was God's punishment for them."
- Equated torture with a frat party.
Glenn Beck, Founder, Glenn Beck TV (yes that's how he's being billed.)
- On morbidly obese people: "Let them die."
- On Obama: A "racist" who has "exposed himself as a guy" with "a deep-seated hatred for white people."
|Bishop Harry Jackson|
Bishop Harry Jackson, Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church
- Claims Martin Luther King, Jr. would oppose marriage equality.
- Says marriage equality is "a Satanic plot to destroy our seed"
Jason Mattera, Editor, Human Events
- Accused President Obama of using cocaine and called him "scrawny street agitator" and "jack-ass."
Lila Rose, President, Live Action
- Suggested that women should be forced to have their abortions carried out in the public square.
Dr. Kenyn Cureton, Vice President for Church Ministries, Family Research Council
|Brent Bozell III|
- Believes that those who do not support FRC's agenda are pawns of Satan.
L. Brent Bozell III, President, Media Research Center
- Believes 'Glee' and 'Degrassi High' are turning young children into gay "propaganda targets."
Mark Levin, Host, "The Mark Levin Show"
- Calls the National Organization of Women 'The National Organization of Ugly Women.'
- Told a female caller that her husband would be better off putting a gun to his head and pulling the trigger than staying married to her.
Phyllis Schlafly, Founder, Eagle Forum
- Says married women can't be raped by their husbands.
- Believes "the feminist movement is the most dangerous, destructive force in our society today."
- Blamed the Virginia Tech massacre on the university's English department.
The event is heavily represented by the following organizations (those with asterisks are event sponsors):
The American Family Association*:
- Designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Claims "[p]rominent homosexual leaders and publications have voiced support for pedophilia, incest, sadomasochism, and even bestiality."
- Sent out mailers which read: "For the sake of our children and society, we must OPPOSE the spread of homosexual activity! Just as we must oppose murder, stealing, and adultery!" and "Since homosexuals cannot reproduce, the only way for them to 'breed' is to RECRUIT! And who are their targets for recruitment? Children!"
|2 hate groups are sponsors|
- Designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Claimed that children in gay households are at greater risk of sexual involvement with a parent.
- When American Airlines introduced domestic partner benefits, the AFA asked, "What are you going to develop next? A pedophilia market?"
- Stated that "the research is overwhelming that homosexuality poses a [molestation] danger to children."
- Claimed that “homosexuals are overrepresented in child sex offenses” and that “homosexuals are attracted in inordinate numbers to boys.”
- Claimed that “one of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order."
National Organization for Marriage
- Founding president Maggie Gallagher wrote: “In a simple biological framework abstracted from all religion and morality, homosexuality is like infertility. It is a sexual disability preventing certain individuals from participating in the normal reproductive patterns of the human species.”
- Gallagher believes polygamy is better than same-sex marriage.
- Has deep ties to the Mormon Church, the Catholic Church hierarchy, and right-wing evangelical pastors.
- Have engaged in a "radical, nationwide plan to flout long-established campaign finance disclosure laws. This is nothing short of a strategic, coordinated plan to hide their political activities from voters and state offices charged with monitoring campaign spending. This effort has prompted several state investigations and resounding legal defeats for NOM."
- Are occasionally hilarious.
- Argued that hate crime laws are “actually ‘thought crimes’ laws that violate the right to freedom and of conscience.”
- Argued that it should be considered “criminally reckless for educators to teach children that homosexual conduct is a normal, safe and perfectly acceptable alternative.”
With values like these...
Good luck, Values Voters Summit. Your particular brand of 'values' is on the decline, and, in a few generations, will likely be extinct. Support for same-sex marriage has risen over the past two decades, soaring from 11 percent approval in 1988 to nearly 50 percent by 2010.
The number of young people who claim 'no religion' has increased drastically. Nearly a third of young people today say they have no religion. Any idea why that is? Well, it's complex, but according to David Campbell (professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, and author of 'American Grace: How Religion Divides Us And Unites Us'), "We have good reason to believe that the growth of the nones...is a direct reaction to the intermingling of religion and politics in the United States."
So, at the end of the day, what we have with the Values Voters Summit, is a group of dinosaurs lamenting the fact that society is moving away from the very values which are causing people to move away.
The message I have for you, Values Voters, is evolve or become extinct. Personally, I prefer to stick with my own values, and pass them along to my children. Those values are knowledge, reason, justice, compassion, and human fulfillment. These are values which, unlike yours, never dictate that I inflict harm upon, or restrict the rights of, other human beings. These values will allow us to evolve. And they will evolve with us.