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American Family News Network’s Marcia Segelstein and the Gay Fear

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Marcia Segelstein (a columnist for OneNewsNow, a division of the American Family News Network) is the latest in a long line of scare-mongers determined to illustrate for one and all just how bad it could get if gays had their way. To hear her tell it, the government is waiting with bated breath to yank the carpet out from under us heterosexuals, paint it red, and roll it out for every homosexual out there.

There is no shortage of speculation, and a glaring lack of legal precedent and fact, as Ms. Segelstein paints an ever-grimmer picture of the heterosexual future: “But if and when same-sex ‘marriage’ becomes law, it becomes against the law not to follow it. And that could indeed result in the government not only dictating doctrine to churches, but to religious schools, and to individuals.”

Does the government dictate doctrine to churches, religious schools, and individuals with regard to straight-sex marriage? Doctrine, no; law, yes. No one is allowed to disregard the legality of a straight-sex marriage — and we the people have yet to protest this. Clearly it’s not the dictating so much as the dictating of something someone doesn’t like.

Where is this fear coming from that same-sex marriage would become the standard of human existence? There is no legal or historical precedent suggesting that same-sex marriage would enjoy more or greater regard by the government if it were to be made the legal equivalent of straight-sex marriage. If anything, that legal rights are enjoyed by straight-sex marriage is the very precedent most likely to be followed with regard to same-sex marriage.

Echoing the threat of government intrusion while lamenting the lack of it on her behalf, Ms Segelstein writes, “Right now, individuals and corporations may choose to treat same-sex unions the same way they treat traditional marriage, or not. What's at issue here is government-enforced recognition that same-sex ‘marriage’ is legally identical to traditional marriage, no matter the individuals' or institutions' religious beliefs. Government intrusion on religion is what's at stake.”

Right now, individuals and corporations may not choose to treat straight-sex marriage the same way they treat same-sex unions. Is this government intrusion? Yes, it is. It’s the government telling individuals and corporations that they will recognize and practice legal regard for straight-sex marriage no matter their individual or institutional beliefs. This naturally begs the question, “Who doesn’t believe in straight-sex marriage?”

For many a health and life insurance company it’s not an issue of belief; it’s an issue of money. Extending benefits to a spouse and/or children for no additional cost or less cost than the primary individual reduces the amount of revenue these companies would otherwise enjoy –- so many charge secondary beneficiaries the same as the primary even though they were sitting on record-breaking profits when providing discounted rates. The U.S. government’s position of wallflower on this issue has not gone unnoticed.

Ms. Segelstein is right to say government intrusion is at stake. Without it, we’re paying more than we’ve ever paid for basic living expenses. (Those who would suggest health insurance is not a basic living expense ought to try paying their electric bill when they can’t work because treatment of their illness is not covered by their insurance company, the premiums for which could just as easily have been used to pay said electric bill since paying it to the insurance company didn’t do any good.)

The language of love is further twisted up with the language of religion, specifically that there are those who are not being allowed to say what they think and believe – even though that isn’t true. Ms. Segelstein points out that Canadian and European pastors have been threatened with legal challenges because of their teaching of traditional Christian doctrine on marriage.

Let’s be clear: “threatened” with a legal challenge is not the same as being legally challenged and it sure as hell isn’t the same as being legally barred from — and until that is the case, this particular argument holds no water. Even if one were to be legally challenged about something, it does not mean the demise of that something. If that were so, there would be no McDonald’s, Victoria’s Secret or handicapped parking; women wouldn’t have the right to vote and slavery would still be legal.

“What about the parents?” Ms. Segelstein cries out. “What about their right to teach their morality to their children? Will they have a legal leg to stand on when public schools teach that gay marriage is okay?”

Meanwhile, parents of every sexual orientation have retained the right to teach their morality to their children no matter what the schools are teaching, just as parents of every race retained the right to teach their morality to their children even as black children were escorted into public schools, much to the chagrin of those individuals and local governments in opposition to it.

Ms. Segelstein missed the opportunity to help others understand what kindergarteners can reasonably be expected to understand by way of sounding like she is pro-harassment. In the end, I’m not sure what her point was.

“Already, thanks to GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), homosexuality is being introduced in schools at younger and younger ages. Just a few days ago, kindergarten students at a California school were given pledge cards produced by GLSEN and asked to sign them to support a ‘harassment-free school.’ Parents protested. But is there a day coming when such protests would bring charges of discrimination, punishable by law?”

While she risks being crowned “Drama Queen” in defense of the First Amendment, it sounds like the parents protested a “harassment-free school,” wanting their children accommodated if their children were to bully others because they or their parents are gay.

The five and six-year olds, however, must still be scratching their heads over those pledge cards. Seriously folks, who uses this kind of verbiage outside of the Supreme Court, much less on kindergarteners?

I pledge not to use “anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) language or slurs; intervene, when I feel I can, in situations where others are using anti-LGBT language or harassing other students and actively support safer schools efforts."

Alas, no good diatribe is wrapped up more nicely than with a bold-faced lie. Using both a Christian agency as well as quote marks around the word equality, Ms. Segelstein tells us about an adoption agency in Great Britain she says was forced out of business by law.

Laws do not force agencies out of business. Compliance with regulation and law is a choice. The agency in question, if it made the choice not to comply with the equality law, closed their own doors. The global atmosphere of bailouts and corporate welfare has wrongly given the public the impression that a company should be saved by the government even as that company no longer meets the criteria of the free market under the government in which it operates. The same thing happened to businesses that brazenly catered only to whites – and all the restaurants that had one too many dead rats rotting in their grease traps.

If you can’t dazzle them with one lie, baffle them with two. Ms. Segelstein asserts the Wales’ Roman Catholic adoption agency, St. David’s Children’s Society, can’t keep placing abandoned and abused children in homes because of their Christian beliefs. This is not true. It is true that St. David’s will cut ties with the bishops, becoming an independent charity in compliance with the Sexual Orientation Regulations –- and will continue to place abandoned and abused children in homes.

Wording is everything, yes? Before my foes say it isn’t so, it’s worth noting how much the phrase “same-sex marriage” means to everyone. In fact, the opposition’s cant is rife with words like “dictate, government-enforced, intrusion, wide-ranging implications, redefine, threat, morality, discrimination, punishment and force.”

Those opposed to gay rights use these words to express how they feel about what they fear might happen. The gay rights movement, however, uses these words to describe what is happening to them right now.

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About Diana Hartman

Diana is a USMC (ret.) spouse, mother of three and a Wichita, Kansas native. She is back in the United States after 10 years in Germany. She is a contributing author to Holiday Writes. She hates liver & motivational speakers. She loves science & naps.
  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    “Those opposed to gay rights use these words [fear, threat, punishment, force] to express how they feel about what they fear might happen. The gay rights movement, however, uses these words to describe what is happening to them right now.”

    VERY well said!

  • Doug Hunter

    Your article is entirely logical to anyone who already shares your values. Like most people delving in morality you show no ability to see and understand your opponents motives. You attack the reactions of gay marriage opponents, but that’s not the issue at all. If your values were being challenged in the same way you would likely respond in a similiar fashion.

    For an example I’ll go out on a limb and guess something you might find morally repulsive: pedophilia. Suppose now some psychological studies showed that having sex as a child had no damaging effects other than the stigma ‘old fashioned’ adults had against the practice and that doing it openly was supposedly entirely safe.

    If for some odd reason the pedophile movement became popular and began fighting for rights, making kindergartners sign pledges stating that sex between children and adults was ok, and governments began closing businesses that wouldn’t support child-adult sex you would fight against that every bit as hard as the anti-gay marriage folks fight their battles.

    The government could eliminate this bone of contention entirely by getting out of the business of marriage and discriminating in favor of those who choose to partake in it. Churches should get marriage back and any size group of same or different sexed individuals should be able to enter into any civil contract they see fit once they are of age. Insurance, et al, should charge based on individuals needs not artificial family groupings.

    Now, I personally don’t see that gay marriage really hurts anything, on that we’d agree. I just believe it’s prudent while patting oneself on the back for your enlightened stance to consider there are entire groups of millions or billions of people at there whose values are polar opposite of yours on many issues. Strangely, they’re also under the impression that they are the right. Although we know beyond a shadow of a doubt we’re have the one true moral compass maybe its in our best interest to not use tactics like kindrgarten pledge cards and shutting down businesses just in the off chance one day some of those unenlightened hordes don’t gain control and use tactics like that against us.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Doug, I am so sick to death of seeing the likes of you try to superglue the word “pedophile” and “homoSEXual”together.

    And typically right behind it is group marriage and marriage with animals.

    What terrifies the moralists is that 90 percent of gay people are impossible to pick out of a crowd of straights in terms of mannerisms or speech, so an artificial boogie man has to be invented to raise fear.

    Give it a rest, I beg you, before you do any more damage, or worse yet you find out a child or close relative is gay, and they either run away or commit suicide because they can’t face the prospect of telling you and suffering your judgment.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Anti discrimination laws are written to protect the rights of the minority against the majority; one only has to look at the fact that if it were put to a “proposition 8″ style vote, blacks would still not be allowed to marry whites.

  • zingzing

    yeah, doug… if you want to make this argument, please don’t do it with pedophiles.

    yes, that was a pun.

    you child.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    So Diana, what she’s saying is that it’s okay to teach kindergarteners not to call someone a “nigger” but it’s okay to let them call others “faggot” in the name of religious purity?

  • Doug Hunter

    “Give it a rest, I beg you, before you do any more damage, or worse yet you find out a child or close relative is gay, and they either run away or commit suicide because they can’t face the prospect of telling you and suffering your judgment.”

    I have nothing against homosexuality. What I do take issue with is people who KNOW that they have the one true moral compass, whether they be religious or secular views. As I pointed out above, there are millions or billions of other “logical” people on this planet that don’t agree with you, whatever the topic, and strangely they all think they’re right as well.

    Since there is no definitive way to determine rightness or wrongness of an action besides what the majority finds popular at the time, you need to watch your methods more than your beliefs. Handing pledge cards to kindergarteners and harassing businesses seems like a good idea when it’s an idea you believe in, but what happens if muslim immigration brings their ideas to the majority like is happening in areas of Europe and Africa? Would you look as favorably on it if businesses were being harassed and kindergarteners being given pledge cards based on principles of Sharia law?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Where’d you get that pledgecard bullshit story anyway-The 700 club news? No rational elementary school teacher would pass out such a thing even if they were real.

    It all comes back to your twisted and wrong perception that there are homosexuals in pink party dresses and makeup lurking around every corner in the dark and schoolyard just waiting to corrupt, rape and recruit every innocent child under the age of six that they can get their grubby immoral hands on.

    If you have no problems with homosexuals, why aren’t you calling them gays? It’s because HomoSEXual sounds so much scarier; like that’s the only thing on our minds 24/7.

    The disgusting thing is if you really knew a few gay people, you’d not be so scared. We actually keep our hands to ourselves and are basically decent people. (I know-your brother-in-law’s sister’s cousin knows one who lives down the block from her) … that doesn’t count.

    You fear what you don’t understand
    you kill what you fear

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I googled your idiotic “Homosexual Pledge Card” and guess what, they’re all Ultra-right wing websites, using the same graphic that looks like someone made it up on their computer.

    Find me that story on any credible news source like CNN, United Press International, any of the major networks or print outlets.

    I see nothing but Catholic blogs, and Social conservative websites hell bent on spreading the lie of these aleged pledge cards.

    You and your disinformation are not only disgusting but irresponsible.

    May God have mercy on you for further bearing of false witnessing.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/diana_hartman Diana Hartman

    Dear Jet,

    The pledge cards were handed out – and the news of it was also covered by the Bay Area News Group‘s article in The Daily Review.

    While this particular article says the cards were handed out “accidentally,” no one in their right mind could fathom how such an accident could occur – along with the kindergartners being asked to sign them. As I said in my article, the language of the card being written in legalese is not appropriate outside the court system, much less for schoolchildren.

    Doug Hunter’s precarious moral message — where the actions of two consenting adults is somehow on par with the behavior of an adult who sexually assaults children (who cannot consent) and the attempt to force religious doctrine on citizens of any country (who do not consent) — isn’t worth the keyboard used to type it out.

    Instead of fighting fire with fire, become a firefighter and break out the water hose (no pun intended). It’s nobler than being an arsonist.

    Sincerely, Diana

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/diana_hartman Diana Hartman

    Dear Doug,

    You said: Like most people delving in morality you show no ability to see and understand your opponents motives.

    What are my opponents’ motives?

    If your values were being challenged in the same way you would likely respond in a similiar fashion.

    My value (to get married and that marriage be recognized legally) was and has never been challenged. This same value in the gay community has been challenged.

    My value -– and my constitutional right — (to redress my grieveances) has never been challenged. This same value (and constitutional right) in the gay community has been challenged in that the result of the redressment was then summarily dismissed.

    Suppose now some psychological studies showed that having sex as a child had no damaging effects other than the stigma ‘old fashioned’ adults had against the practice and that doing it openly was supposedly entirely safe.

    The opposite of this supposition has been proven. Using this supposition to support your contention is tantamont to shooting oneself in the ass during a gun control protest.

    Additionally, psychological studies have proven that the homosexual him/herself is of no danger to anyone based solely on that person being homosexual.

    The government could eliminate this bone of contention entirely by getting out of the business of marriage and discriminating in favor of those who choose to partake in it.

    I agree. The government should get out of the business of marriage by removing the nose it currently has in the business of marriage: having outlawed marriage between any two consenting adults.

    Although we know beyond a shadow of a doubt we’re have the one true moral compass maybe its in our best interest to not use tactics like kindrgarten pledge cards and shutting down businesses just in the off chance one day some of those unenlightened hordes don’t gain control and use tactics like that against us.

    Read the article again:

    • I came out against the pledge cards.

    • No business has ever been shut down for not catering to homosexuals. Several businesses shut their own doors when they, of their own accord, refused to comply with government regulation that does not allow for discrimination against otherwise qualified customers/clients.

    • A wee bit of history may be helpful. Pro-life demonstrations and those who believe in the unconditional right to bear arms, to name just two, have used tactics as bad as and worse than those discussed here. And the world goes right on a-spinnin’.

    Sincerely, Diana

  • Doug Hunter

    “Doug Hunter’s precarious moral message”

    What moral message is that? You have no idea what I prefer and apparently have difficulty understanding what I write. That is understandable as communication is not my specialty.

    I espouse the idea of moral relativism. The point was not to compare the gay rights movement to NAMBLA or Islam (because I can already guess what your feelings are), it was to try and get you to put yourself in the position of someone who is opposed to a moral agenda. Apparently, you can’t get past your own sense of rightness so my point was lost.

    Congratulations on having the one true moral compass handed to you by God, Allah, or your own personal greatness. I’m sorry I wasn’t blessed with that, perhaps I need a pamphlet to set me straight.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/diana_hartman Diana Hartman

    Doug asked, What moral message is that?

    That I should put myself in the position of a pedophile or religious fanatic who is opposed to a moral agenda in order to understand where those opposed to gay marriage might be coming from.

    Wouldn’t it be more on task to answer the question: Where are they coming from?

    You have no idea what I prefer and apparently have difficulty understanding what I write. That is understandable as communication is not my specialty.

    Speculation on a point with declaration on the same saves everyone’s time.

    I espouse the idea of moral relativism.

    Whether used (although rarely admittedly) as a justification for being too afraid of committing to anything as a truth or used as a way to criticize someone’s perceived lack of moral fiber, every espouses the idea of moral relativism.

    Everyone breathes air, too – and takes oxygen in at different depths depending on the health of their lungs. This also means nothing with respect to whether or not gay marriage should or should not be legal.

    The point was not to compare the gay rights movement to NAMBLA or Islam

    Then why did you?

    (because I can already guess what your feelings are)

    Oh, yes. The guesses have been spot-on so far.

    it was to try and get you to put yourself in the position of someone who is opposed to a moral agenda. Apparently, you can’t get past your own sense of rightness so my point was lost.

    My own sense of rightness tells me pedophiles hurt children and religious fanatics can’t stand the idea that someone isn’t willing to subscribe to their belief system through thought, word and action.

    My own sense of rightness tells me no gay person has yet to ask for something I myself don’t already have, in this case the lawful right to marry another consenting adult.

    Show me the line I drew that you think I didn’t get past.

    Congratulations on having the one true moral compass handed to you by God, Allah, or your own personal greatness. I’m sorry I wasn’t blessed with that, perhaps I need a pamphlet to set me straight.

    Here you go.

  • Cindy D

    Doug,

    You are making a false comparison.

    You attack the reactions of gay marriage opponents, but that’s not the issue at all. If your values were being challenged in the same way you would likely respond in a similiar fashion.

    Gay marriage has nothing to do with challenging anyone’s values. If you don’t like it, don’t do it.

    What does this have to do with pedophilia? For example, children can’t make contracts, whether they are harmful or beneficial to them.

    Your hypothetical argument supposing pedophilia did no harm doesn’t hold water. Children don’t have the experience to make a decision about such a relationship. The adult is always coercive.

    How can you make an analogy between a gay marriage that does no harm and a coercive relationship (even if it hypothetically did no harm).

    It’s no wonder to me, hearing this, that some people oppose gay rights. This is really how you think?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Whenever someone who is powerless and needs to feel more important than they really are, suddenly the word “Moral” comes out, which they’ve deluded themselves into believing that the word gives them the right/no the duty to judge others.

    The “Moral Majority” was neither Moral nor the Majority… by any stretch of the imagination.

    Use of the word “Moral” or to pronounce something or someone “Immoral” gives the user a sense of false superiority, like if he called me immoral, I’d stupidly argue with him, instead of looking him in the eye and saying “Who the hell gave you the right to judge me-god?”

    He’s a fool, he knows he is, but he keeps pretending no one else notices.

  • Zedd

    I guess I’m missing the enjoyment of marriage thing. I get the civil union request but missing what added joy “marriage” brings, to the extent that laws have to be made to insure it.

    Please expound.