Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Muslims and homosexuals - working together to destroy America?

This is a story that nicely exemplifies how religion can be a force for tolerance or for ignorance.

If you are a right-wing American of the particularly small-minded variety, there are two things that you see as an almighty threat to your country: Muslims and gays. Now at last, some genius has concocted a conspiracy theory in which the two bogeymen come together so neatly. (Add in some illegal Mexican immigrants and some Kenyan socialists and it would be beyond perfect!)

Bradlee Dean: Keith Ellison is advancing Sharia law through ‘homosexual agenda’

Bradlee Dean of the religious ministry You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International believes Rep. Keith Ellison’s support for LGBT rights is part of his strategy to bring Sharia law to the United States. On his radio show Saturday, Dean said that members of the LGBT community are fools for supporting Ellison and that the Minnesota Democrat is “adamant about overthrowing the United States Constitution.”

Sharia law is the sacred law of Islam and derives its condemnation of homosexuality from the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, as do fellow Abrahamic traditions Christianity and Judaism. As with Christian and Jewish approaches to LGBT issues, Muslim interpretations of Sharia laws on homosexuality vary widely, ranging from full support to prescribing a death sentence for it.
“I said time and time again that there is a correlation between the Muslims and the homosexual agenda, and we have a couple of fools in the state of Minnesota that are putting a rope around their neck and they just don’t realize it,” said Dean [audio below]. “Here, let me give it to you this way: Keith Ellison is a Muslim.”
Dean said that Ellison’s support for protections for LGBT people from hate crimes and for same-sex marriage is part of an attempt to overthrow the U.S. Constitution and implement Sharia law.
“Why is he so adamant about overthrowing the Constitution as it is right now? Because if you pay attention to the plow he’s planting the seed,” Dean said. “He’s trying to come through with Sharee [sic] law.”
Raising his voice, he urged his listeners, “Does somebody want to talk to the homosexual community in the state of Minnesota and tell them what he is doing? Go online, folks! You love the homosexuals so much then why don’t you tell them who they’ve appointed as their chairperson? He’s a Muslim!”
He continued, “Hello? Why is he after it? Because he wants to bring in Sharee [sic] law through the homosexual agenda!”
“They are using the homosexuals as a political battering ram to bring forth what? Sharee [sic] law.”
LGBT leaders in the United States are “ignorant,” Dean said, for allowing Ellison to serve as co-chair of the House LGBT Caucus.
“What is Keith up to? I think we have to ask the question, Keith,” said Dean. “I’m just asking the gay communities what’s up with Keith Ellison because they are so foolish, blind and stupid not to figure out that their vice chair is a Muslim. This is no hidden secret, folks. This is in America. Who is this guy working for?”
“Why is this guy advocating the overthrow of the United States Constitution in the state of Minnesota?”
Dean then played an audio clip of an unidentified Muslim who said that Sharia law calls for the execution of homosexuals.
“I would say to the homosexuals: You better keep your eyes peeled. You are playing the fools. I knew there was a correlation. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. And the homosexuals are using the Muslims to do it, and the Muslims are using the homosexuals to do it. The homosexuals are playing the fool to the Muslims.”
He continued, “That’s how foolish these homosexuals are in Minnesota. God is not mocked. You can’t spit against heaven and not expect to fall upon your own back. And that’s exactly what’s happening to those that want to play the devil’s advocate.”
To Ellison, Dean said, “Keith you can call me any time. Let’s see how much of an American you really are.” He added the Ellison’s office has not returned his calls. Ellison’s office has not yet responded to the Minnesota Independent’s query about whether Dean has called or to offer comment on Dean’s statements.
Can you follow Dean's logic? If you can, you are either very smart or very stupid.

Actually, it makes perfect sense if you see the world through the lens of the small-minded Christian conservative right-wing American. This is what you have to believe:

  • All Muslims have an agenda to bring about Sharia law in the US.
  • All gays have an agenda to undermine the family and the American Way.
  • Every Muslim believes exactly the same things as every other Muslim.
  • Thus, it is not possible for a Muslim like Keith Ellison to have a view on sexuality that differs from orthodox Muslim doctrine.
  • Since Ellison does profess a broad-minded attitude towards sexuality, it cannot possibly genuine; it must be part of a hidden agenda.
  • If gay Minnesotans believe Ellison is genuine, they are ignorant. Dean is the only one who is smart enough to see the masterplan at work here.
  • All Muslims are sneaky and cunning about their agenda.
  • Thus, even though all Muslims hate gays, they would have no problem using them as pawns in their agenda to Islamicize the US.

See? Totally sensible.

Let's hear more about Ellison, who apppears to display the kind of magnanimity and compassion which is so anathema to Dean and his ilk that he believes it cannot possibly be real. Religious faith and homosexuality do not always coexist comfortably, but Ellison's position seems to be a pretty sensible one for a religious person to take.

Ellison has been forthright about his beliefs about Islam and homosexuality, and he has repeatedly said that Islam has taught him the importance of civil rights and social justice.
Earlier this year, Ellison addressed the Unitarian Universalist National Convention in a speech that covered themes of faith, love and abundance. “There’s enough for the straight and the gay,” he said. “There’s enough for the people who were born in America and the new immigrants. There’s enough for the blacks, there’s enough for the whites, there’s enough for the Latinos, there’s enough for the Asians, there’s enough for the Muslims, the Christians, the Jews, the Buddhists, the Hindus! There’s enough, everybody!”
And in an interview with the Muslim Peace Fellowship he stated unequivocally that he opposes violence and discrimination against LGBT people.
“I’m not asking people to embrace homosexuality,” he said. “I’m saying it’s wrong and immoral to kill them, beat them or exclude them from working. You don’t have to like them. Leave ‘em alone. Let them live their lives and let God decide if He will judge them, as He will judge us all. That’s all I’m saying.”
Meanwhile, back to our friend Bradlee Dean:
The Minnesota Independent emailed You Can Run But You Cannot Hide for clarification on Dean’s statements about Ellison and whether the group believed Ellison would try to implement Sharia law that would call for the execution of homosexuals.
“Due to the fact that the Muslims are the ones who would enforce Sharia Law and execute homosexuals, and being that Keith Ellison is a Muslim, you should be asking him that question,” a spokesperson replied. “That is our point.”
“I think the problem here is that Bradlee is trying to warn you of your sin before God for your good, and time and time again, you treat Bradlee like he is your enemy for doing so,” the email continued. “He has stuck his neck out for you many times. Bradlee’s heart is out of a sincere and real love to turn all men from sin to God.”
“You should be writing an article about what the Muslims are saying, since they are the ones who want to execute homosexuals. We are here merely to look out for you in that sense. Why do you turn on those who warn you?”
But Dean seemed to applaud Muslims that call for such executions. On his May 15 radio show, Dean said:
“Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America. This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination.”
Dean and his ministry have close ties to the Republican Party and GOP elected officials and candidates including gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Secretary of State and current state Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, and state Rep. Dan Severson. Rep. Michele Bachmann has fundraised for the group extensively in recent years as well.

So while I doubt most conservative Americans would want a bar of Dean's whacky conspiracy theory is, the last paragraph shows just how mainstream and close to power Dean's sort of worldview is.

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