Mercilessly mocking people who protest against human rights becomes pretty easy when they are talking about boycotting cookies. Yes, I said they are boycotting cookies.
While this is all really silly it does represent a bigger problem that most seem to be ignoring: the power of the media to make a non-issue an issue. Mainly the media are just playing a numbers game when they appeal to the sensitivity of the religious right. They have been doing this for decades because they represent such a large, vocal cohort. This vocalization in turn causes strong reactions from opponents to the religious right and a field day for news programs and talk shows. Stirring up the hornet’s nest of the religious makes for dramatic programming and higher ratings. This works for radio, newspaper and internet websites too.
Politicians, of course, ride the media storm waves all the way to election wins. Once the media has managed to get religious fundamentalists all worked up over something they eagerly vote for the person that they think supports how they feel and they vote in very large numbers. It’s a win-win for both media and politicians, neither of which have a reputation for sincerity.
To most of us the sleazy appeal to emotion at the cost of human rights is transparent and we would gladly laugh and ignore it but we can’t. We can’t because the media is bringing in ratings and politicians are bringing in votes at the expense of basic human rights. So we are forced to fight.
It is especially sad when one considers a few other things like:
- In the United States in 2007, approximately 10,400 children under age 15 were diagnosed with cancer and about 1,545 children will die from the disease (National Cancer Institute)
- The number of Americans living below the official poverty line, 46.2 million people (NY Times) About 15 million of those are children (NCCP)
- Church officials rape children and their parent organization help them get away with it. (Example) (Example).
- One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime. (Domestic Violence Resource Center)
- Big industry continues to get away with destroying our environment. A recent study shows that the world’s biggest companies would wipe out more than one-third of their profits if they were held financially accountable for their responsibility to the environment (source)
Now let’s take a look at some other facts rather quickly:
- Focus on the Family an anti human rights group (officially a hate group as of 2007) had a budget of over 137 million in just 2004 (source). This could pay for the care of approximately 1300-1400 children with leukemia each year (source).
- Anti Gay Presidential hopeful Rick Perry spent over 17 million on his campaign (source). At least one million went to running hate filled ads like this now popular hate filled advertisement. (which thankfully turned out to be a political disaster for him)
- Thousands of people attend anti gay marriage rallies.(Example)
All this time, energy and money against two people trying to get married. When one considers things like childhood disease, poverty, child rape and coverup, spousal abuse, drugs, and the crimes of bid industry we have to ask ourselves: What is wrong with a movement that considers two complete strangers getting married a bigger problem than children in agony? Indoctrination by the media and people in authority is a weak excuse for what is not only hate and discrimination but a shockingly poor sense of priorities.