Understanding the “Gay Agenda”: Part 1 – In the Beginning

By design, Ryan White was made the face of AIDS in the 1980s.

By design, Ryan White was made the face of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s.

The following is part 1 of a multi-part series covering some of the history and tactics of the “gay rights” movement.

By the fall of 1987, AIDS was devastating the homosexual community throughout America. The well-documented promiscuity among homosexuals was a breeding ground for what became known as the “gay disease.” Homosexual males at the time comprised more than 95 percent of known cases of AIDS. Deaths of both out and closeted celebrities of HIV-related symptoms were trending in the news. Cover stories about how “Patient Zero,” the infamous and highly promiscuous male flight attendant Gaëtan Dugas, accused of spreading HIV unconscionably, seemed to be the only news at the time. Predictions of a pandemic were voiced through the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

The truth turned about to be somewhat different. Yes, Africa has been slammed by HIV (not surprising, even within a traditional heterosexual African culture, where anal sex is viewed as a legitimate form of birth control). But America was saved, relatively speaking, from the predicted pandemic. Why? Because HIV always has been primarily a “gay disease” – and there just aren’t that many practicing homosexuals in America (a statement, by the way, known as “The Big Lie” among many homosexual advocates). Yes, needle-using drug addicts have added to those numbers, as have cases of contaminated blood among hemophiliacs. But, by and large, HIV-related illnesses occurred most frequently among homosexuals.

So it was curious in October 1987 that sponsors of the first federal funding bill in the U.S. House of Representatives related to AIDS was titled “The Ryan White Act,” named after a hemophiliac boy who contracted the virus from contaminated blood. Ryan White became the poster child for AIDS in 1987 – not promiscuous homosexual Gaëtan Dugas, but an innocent little boy born with hemophilia. That story played better in Peoria. Read more

Reality check on ‘most trusted person’

601px-Handshake_(Workshop_Cologne_'06)The following post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations.

Who is the most trusted person in your life? And why is that person your most trusted person? What triggers these questions is a recent Reader’s Digest poll surveying subscribers about their most trusted American. Those subscribers told Reader’s Digest that their most trusted American is actor Tom Hanks. In fact, the top four most trusted Americans are actors: Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep.

There’s a lot we could talk about here, but let’s just focus on a couple of things.

First, it’s not surprising that subscribers to Reader’s Digest would choose Hollywood actors, especially these four actors. America lives a Hollywood culture. Entertainment is America’s No. 1 pastime. We watch way too much television. We get way too many cultural cues from gossip magazines about celebrities. And, for the most part, average Americans really do believe that Hollywood actors are more intelligent and more informed than them.

Only people my age and older would remember a time when Jack Klugman, a popular television star who once played a medical examiner named “Quincy,” was actually asked by a congressional committee in the early 1980s to testify on an orphan drug bill. By the way, that bill was being blocked by Utah’s own Orrin Hatch who eventually was swayed by the actor to vote for the bill. Klugman’s experience also was no doubt responsible for the popular expression, today spun by the Holiday Inn chain, “I’m not a real doctor, I just play one on TV.” Read more

My letter to the Boy Scouts of America

The following post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations.

The Boy Scouts of America is scheduled to vote later this month on its proposed nondiscrimination policy on sexual orientation for its youth. I was asked by a BSA official to provide some thoughts on the subject in a letter and here are some of those thoughts. I wrote,

603px-Boy_Scouts_of_America_Silver_Dollar_Centennial_Commemorative_Coin_obverseSutherland Institute is sure of a few facts and consequences, if the policy is approved.

First, BSA is not being challenged legally on this issue. … In other words, this debate, as much as it has been unnecessarily contentious, is a self-inflicted wound for BSA.

Second, the proposed policy is a solution looking for a problem. The fact is that no one knows how many youth not in Scouting, but who would like to be, self-identify with a homosexual orientation. What everyone does know is that that number is unremarkably few….

Third, homosexuality, whether imagined or enacted, is incompatible with Scouting. … For a Scouter to think homosexual thoughts or to act on those attractions is not being one’s better self.

And, fourth, there is the issue of psychological and emotional abuse of a child. For BSA to passively accept the idea that a 10-year old has some irreversible homosexual “orientation” that seals his sexual fate for the rest of his life is psychological and emotional abuse of a child…. Read more

Exceptional Utah

DSC01343The following post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations:

As I mentioned last week, this week Sutherland Institute will release two new publications: a booklet titled The Sutherland Idea: The Cause of Freedom and a book titled Exceptional Utah: Leading America in Faith, Family and Freedom. Last week I spoke briefly about the booklet. This week I’d like to share a few thoughts from our new book, Exceptional Utah.

It is commonplace to ridicule Utah and its Mormon population. But Utah is exceptional in several ways precisely because of the Mormons. I am a Mormon convert. I am neither a native Utahn nor a natural Mormon, so if anyone has room to judge them, I do. While I did graduate from Brigham Young University a million years ago, my wife and I were a little bit hesitant to return to Utah to assume the helm at Sutherland 12 years ago. Frankly, I am too much of an idealist about a predominantly Latter-day Saint community – I expect way too much from us and that expectation constantly leaves me open for disappointment.

But Utah is exceptional in several important ways – in ways that matter for the future health and prosperity of this state. In Sutherland’s new book, Exceptional Utah: Leading America in Faith, Family and Freedom, we explain just how great Utah really is. Read more

The lonely, dull life of the caricaturist

Photo: Hannibal Poenaru

Have you met the caricaturist? You’ve probably met more than a few, and you might have even, like me, played the part at some point. He’s the one who views most everything around him, including himself, as a caricature. The caricaturist comes from every political stripe, every age, every profession, greatly exaggerating good and bad attributes (as he sees them) for his own purposes.

The caricaturist almost exclusively shares one part of herself with the world: dogmatic, boorish, rude. Why is that? Surely there is more to her character than nastiness? Why doesn’t she share it?

The answer might be because caricature is how she reacts to the world, so that is all she is capable of sharing. “If I think XYZ person, place, or thing is bad, then I will make sure to be the opposite of XYZ,” soon becoming a shallow, grotesque caricature. Read more

The Sundance tempest

Last week my Sutherland colleague Derek Monson wrote about the Sundance Film Festival. To highlight the unbelievable truth that a whole bunch of your tax dollars go to a film festival in Park City, Derek mentioned a few of the questionably themed films promoted there – and, for that simple narrative, my good colleague has been lambasted by The Salt Lake Tribune (not just once, but three times).

Furthermore, and rather oddly, a state senator from St. George used his Facebook page to ridicule our blog post, absolutely lie about some alleged personal conversation with me and compared Sutherland Institute to a twisted pack of religious bigots who demonstrate about homosexual rights at military funerals – but not once did this state senator from St. George explain why he supports tax dollars to a film festival.

So let me back up and retell this story. The widely popular Sundance Film Festival is held in Park City every winter. It attracts thousands of visitors to the state and quite a few famous Hollywood types. Over the last four years the state of Utah, using your tax dollars, has given this film festival over a million dollars. Read more

Our best gun control

In 2008, the United States Supreme Court ruled that “the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense” as it struck down a gun ban in the District of Columbia – the first time the court established a federal right to keep and bear arms on the basis of self-defense and outside of a military context.

Immediately following that 2008 decision, two cities in Illinois – Chicago and one of its suburbs, Oak Park – passed local ordinances banning handgun possession. The legal concept was that the court’s decision only applied at the federal level and the Second Amendment didn’t apply to the states. In other words, the 14th Amendment, routinely used by liberal advocacy groups under the guise of “incorporation” to force states to embrace progressivism, all of a sudden did not apply to the states as it pertains to gun control.

While the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the local gun-ban ordinances, the Supreme Court reversed that decision, in effect, saying the Second Amendment (through incorporation of the 14th Amendment) applies to the states and prohibits state or local ordinances that ban handguns for the purpose of self-defense.

Interestingly, the court stated in its decision that one of its primary tasks was to “decide whether that right is fundamental to the Nation’s scheme of ordered liberty.” That’s an important term to remember: ordered liberty. Read more

Weary of political lies

Like many of you I’m tired of this political season. Mentally tired of all of the lies – yes, lies. I don’t know if it’s possible for a presidential candidate to run for office without lying. Sometimes the lies are purposeful, like Obama on Benghazi, and sometimes they’re simply part of survival, like all of the flip-flopping by Romney.

Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, “To tell the truth, rightly understood, is not just to state the true facts, but to convey a true impression.” I like that standard of honesty, but it’s a standard not met by many candidates. Campaign ads exist to paint mental pictures for voters about opponents. When Congressman Jim Matheson ran ads saying that Mia Love unjustifiably raised taxes as mayor of Saratoga Springs, he portrayed Love as a big spender. In reality, Mayor Love and the city council were tasked with raising taxes for a rapidly growing community – someone had to do it sooner or later. That didn’t make Love a big spender; it made her a leader.

In Salt Lake County, departing Mayor Peter Corroon just proposed raising property taxes 17.5 percent. Read more

New York Times editor admits to liberal bias at paper

In a somewhat stunning vindication of long-standing suspicions of a liberal bias in traditional news media, the public editor at The New York Times recently wrote a column openly stating that “the paper’s many departments … share a kind of political and cultural progressivism.” The editor further stated that “this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.”

Further, while disagreeing with her colleague’s assessment of the Times, the newspaper’s executive editor admitted that “in covering some social and cultural issues, the Times sometimes reflects its urban and cosmopolitan base.” In other words, yes, The New York Times does have a liberal bias on some social and cultural issues, but this is because its customer base tends to be liberal.

Now I have to say that there is nothing wrong with having a preconceived political philosophy or worldview, or in catering to your customers’ political views … it is a free market, after all. Read more

Helen Gurley Brown and the American family

Helen Gurley Brown’s death last week was followed by a number of laudatory stories about her trail-blazing career at Cosmopolitan magazine.

Undoubtedly she was successful, measured by influence and money. But I find it hard to lionize her career or her effect on American culture. She was well-known for turning Cosmo into a source of explicit “man-pleasing” sex tips, and for the quote: “Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go everywhere.” A terribly clever saying, yes, but “going everywhere” isn’t a roadmap to a happy, fulfilling life.

Reading fashion magazines that emphasize appearance, sexuality and thinness – filled with Photoshopped images – is not healthy for girls or for women, and Cosmo is one of the worst offenders.

The perpetration of this distorted outlook is insanity. It is not just anti-family, but also profoundly anti-feminist – despite articles on a range of subjects, such magazines’ main focus is on women as objects to be looked at, valuable mainly for their (super sexy!) appearance, no matter their other abilities or roles in life. As The New York Times wrote, “The look of women’s magazines today — a sea of voluptuous models and titillating cover lines — is due in no small part to her influence.”

Brown, the author of Sex and the Single Girl, was an icon of “women’s sexual liberation,” aka the sexual revolution, which research has shown was not exactly healthy for the American family. Although she was happily married to David Brown for decades, she suggested that women above a certain age – when the pickings were slim – have sex with their friends’ husbands. Really? Now there’s a friend you could do without. (She also said, “You can’t be sexual at 60 if you’re fat,” so apparently only thin women could prey on their friends’ husbands.)

Brown was a strong woman who had a wildly successful career in a field dominated by men. Her influence in publishing and in encouraging women to broaden their career choices undoubtedly went deeper than Cosmo‘s lurid covers. It’s a pity that her real legacy is the intensified objectification of women and girls (or, as Forbes puts it, “do-me feminism“).