Sen. Hatch: "Gays and lesbians don't pay tithing, their religion is politics"
by: Autumn Sandeen
Fri Jun 04, 2010
This rhetoric is highly insulting and offensive to lesbian and gay people, particularly to devout followers of a wide range of faith traditions. Media have a responsibility to show the gap between Hatch's false anti-gay rhetoric and the actual lives of lesbian and gay people of faith.
~Jarrett Barrios, President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), in GLAAD Urges Media to Scrutinize Offensive Comments by Senator Orrin Hatch
Mixing a little religion with his conservative politics at a Dixie State University (St. George, Utah) town hall meeting, Sen. Hatch had nice things about tea partiers, and some less than nice things to say about gays and lesbians.
[Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)] said he sympathized with the Tea Party members, but said the emotion to "Throw the bums out" could backfire because experience does matter in Washington, D.C.
"Tea Party members I know by and large are good, honest, descent [sic] people, but out of anger should not disrupt the few GOP [candidates] who can win," he said.
He said the Republicans need to organize and pull together just as unions, environmentalists, personal injury lawyers and gay rights activists do for Democrat candidates.
"Gays and lesbians don't pay tithing, their religion is politics," said Hatch.
So if ya' ain't got's teh Jeebus, and you don't tithe to a church, then apparently you don't deserve equality under the law. And, that's not even taking into the faith of many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people -- many of whom are paying tithes to the churches they attend.
Well, here's a bit of interesting polling from the University of Washington on the "good, honest, descent" Tea Party members, courtesy of the Huffington Post:
According to the survey, 74% of Tea Party supporters say they agree with the following statement: "While equal opportunity for blacks and minorities to succeed is important, it's not really the government's job to guarantee it."
Fifty-two percent of respondents also said that "compared to the size of their group, lesbians and gays have too much political power."
The latest data on the Tea Party reveals that the anger coming from the movement isn't unilaterally directed at government spending -- one of the group's core issues.
According to University of Washington professor Matt Barreto, who directed the poll, the Tea Party's frustration with Washington "is going hand in hand with a frustration and opposition to racial and ethnic minorities and gays and lesbians."
The poll also indicates that only 18% of Tea Party supporters believe in marriage equality for lesbians and gays.
The Seattle Times quoted Matt Barreto -- another University Of Washington political science professor -- in the article New poll looks at tea party views toward minorities:
Barreto, citing a recent New York Times poll that found most tea party supporters approved of government spending for Social Security and Medicare, and research by fellow UW professor Christopher Parker, concludes "The tea party movement is not just about small government or frustration. It's (also) about a very specific frustration with government resources being used on minorities and gays and lesbians and people who are more diverse."
Apparently, Sen. Hatch -- with his statement regarding tithing, politics, and LGBT people -- has stepped into gross stereotyping of LGBT people. And with that statement, he appears to me to be pandering to those on the religious right. To me, the implication of his statement is at a minimum tacitly endorsing discrimination towards LGBT people -- because of a perceived lack of faith by LGBT people; because all LGBT people don't tithe to organized Mormon/Christian Churches.
One can only imagine what Sen. Hatch might say behind closed doors about Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans -- and especially Muslims -- who also don't tithe to Mormon/Christian Churches.
And, what does Sen. Hatch think about the 74% of "good, honest, descent [sic]" Tea Party supporters who believe that the government shouldn't have a role in limiting discrimination against ethnic minorities? Again, one can only imagine what Sen. Hatch might be saying about this behind closed doors.
Sen. Hatch's embracing of the Tea Party, as well as his embracing of the stereotype that all LGBT people are godless, tells us not only a lot about Orrin Hatch the Senator, but also it tells us a lot about Orrin Hatch the human being. And, it's not nice.
Not trying to steal your thunder, petalsinthewind; these two articles just really struck me.