Saturday, April 29, 2006

More on Marketing the Evil Gay Agenda:

Just recently, a librarian at Ohio State University got in trouble for recommending rightwingnut David Kupelian's book for freshman reading. I'm skirting the whole freedom of speech issue. Clearly, the book is the ravings of a deluded crank. But cranks have First Amendment rights too.

Rather, I'm going to update a point I made earlier when I discussed Kupelian's book. The book relies heavily on Marshall Kirk's and Hunter Madsen's book, After the Ball -- a progay rights book, written by two marketers who suggested using classic marketing techniques to change people's minds in favor of gay rights -- as the prototype for The Marketing of Evil.

Kupelian, and many other like-minded folks before him, act as though After the Ball is a secret playbook driving "The Gay Agenda." Indeed, Kuznicki's recent post links to an article which notes:

The agenda of homosexual activists is basically to change America from what they perceive as looking down on homosexual behavior, to the affirmation of and societal acceptance of homosexual behavior.

It is an agenda that they basically set in the late 1980s, in a book called "After the Ball," where they laid out a six-point plan for how they could transform the beliefs of ordinary Americans with regard to homosexual behavior — in a decade-long time frame.

And Kupelian himself just wrote an article commenting on the Ohio State University controversy which again trots out Kirk and Madsen's book as the driving force behind "marketing" homosexuality.

To prepare you for what we'll encounter at OSU – and at most any other school today – let me introduce you to two experts on the selling of homosexuality to America; in fact, they wrote the book. Harvard-educated marketing professionals Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen authored the acknowledged PR bible of the gay-rights movement, "After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the '90s."

The problem with Kupelian's thesis is that its simply not true. Most gay people, and most proponents of gay rights have never read or even heard of the book. The book was, until recently (I do believe) out of print. A few months ago when I wrote my original post, when I googled for the book, no Amazon links even came up (at least, not on the first few pages). Presently, when you google for "After the Ball," Amazon does indeed come up as the first link. Why the change? Well, let's look and see who is buying After the Ball. Kupelian's book, alas, seems to be selling quite well. He seems to have revived interest in Kirk and Madsen's book.

As Amazon tells us, customers who bought After the Ball also bought:

The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today by Alan Sears

The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised As Freedom by David Kupelian

The Aclu Vs. America: Exposing the Agenda to Redefine Moral Values by Alan Sears

Outrage: How Gay Activists and Liberal Judges Are Trashing Democracy to Redefine Marriage by Peter Sprigg

Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth by Jeffrey Satinover

If you look at what comes up under google, two Amazon links are first, my old Positive Liberty post is the fourth link and every other link is a rightwing antigay conspiratorial type page. The critical discussion on the "gay rights" pages is absolutely mum.

So why is that? 1) Either gays and advocates for gay rights simply are, for the most part, unaware of the book or unconcerned with its contents, or 2) like the Masonic handshake, we've all conspired to keep our reliance on After the Ball a "secret." And now the secret is out.



Anonymous said...

Yes, it's true, there really is a "homosexual agenda." No, not the one(s) ascribed to gays and lesbians by those threatened by them. Rather, the homosexual agenda revolves around three concepts: (1) tolerance, (2) inclusion, and (3) equality. Nope, that's it! There is no "other" homosexual agenda. Just those three.

Now, mind you, tolerance, inclusion, and equality are "Enlightenment" concepts, concepts developed in the course of "human events" and history that argued such fundamental concepts are intrinsic to any pluralistic liberal democracy, like the one our Founders tried to create. Yes, the United States was founded on principles of the European Enlightenment by such disparate writers like Hobbes, Rousseau, Hume, Locke, Milton, and even Kant. It may seem strange in today's environment that the concepts of tolerance, inclusion, and equality have not always been the case. Why did it take 2,500 years of Western Civilization to alight onto to these ideas; weren't they "obvious" to everyone?

Well, no! Indeed, these concepts were truly radical in their time and place. Kings and autocratic rule were the norm, the Church-controlled State a necessary subsidiary, and something akin to Christianity had been their justification. Not that Jesus had anything to say about such things, but Christianity had pretty much determined that the divine right of kings to rule autocratically was from God himself, that subservience and obedience to a master was established in Christian Scripture, and that the jealous and wrathful Yahweh that was Jesus's Father had prescribed this order, and any deviation from it would cause Yahweh's condemnation, fires, earthquakes, and other destructions. Fearing anihilation, most people simply submitted. People like Joan of Arc, Copernicus, and Kepler, not to mention all of Europe's royalty, towed the party line.

But then a miracle occurred. It wasn't a "Christian" miracle in the biblical sense, it was a miracle in the humanistic sense. While people acknowledged their "debt" to Christianity's civilizing properties, they reached "beyond" revelation as provided in the Bible and came up with the idea of PLURALISM. Highly unironically, Christianity's own Protestant Reformation was the impetus. People were encouraged to "think" and "believe" for themselves, and now that Guttenburg had discovered moveable type, everyman could have access to God's revelation, and everyman could think and believe for himself. Several major thinkers and writers dared even to think "outside" the Bible and came up with ideas that seemed natural, intrinsic, rational, and divinely-instituted. Well that kind of thought changed the world forever.

These "enlightened" thinkers, of which our own Founders were inheritants, saw new possibilities given the new range of ideas that the "liberty of thought" permitted. And among those thoughts, "rights" came to become a feature. Initially understood, "rights" were fundamentally "negative" claims AGAINST the State, claims which the State could not exercise under any circumstance. The State certainly had a role to play in human affairs, but that role expanded "beyond" the Bible, but also had its limits; and even if those "rights" and "limits" contradicted the Bible, so these men were certain that the concepts of tolerance, inclusion, and equality had their own ring of truth to them, regardless of what the Bible said. This "enlightenment" occurred in spite of, despite, and in contradiction to Christian Scripture of strict obedience to one's superiors. Imagine that?

It took hundreds of years for these ideas to gestate throughout European and American societies, but once the genie was out, no one wanted, much less could, put the genie back into the bottle. The pluralistic concepts of tolerance, inclusion, and equality would take several hundred more years before becoming realized, and indeed, these ideas are still fought virulently by those who insist that the Bible, not intuition and reason, remained the standard. Slavery would not be abolished for nearly another century; women's suffrage would take another. But once the genie was out, there was no way to go "back."

And part-and-parcel of that evolutionary spirit of PLURALISM, now come gays and lesbians demanding tolerance, inclusion, and equality, just like the African-descendents had, and a century later women had. If just one is not included, tolerated, and equal, then no one is. Imagine such a revolutionary idea?

Sadly, except for Anglicanism, "pluralism" is a perjorative among Christians. According to Christians, Yahweh "revealed" the natural order of things according to his divine will. Women are to submit to their husbands, slaves are to obey their masters, and heaven forbids any woman speaking to other Christians as would a man. After all, all of it is in the Bible. Of course, there are a lot of things in the Bible that many choose to ignore, such as divorce, eating shellfish or pork, mixing two different fabrics, or men lying with men like men lie with women. All of this is forbidden in God's literal and inerrant Word, especially the part about men lying with other men. A whole verse in the entire Old Testament states so. Therefore, according to these fanatics, Yahweh will rain down fire, hail, and brimstone on all societies that permit such aberrant behavior. (What Yahweh will do about those "other" things no one cares to guess.)

So homosexuals, because Yahweh rejects them, are NOT allowed tolerance, inclusion, and equality. Of course, divorcees are "another" matter, and mixing cotton with polyester is yet another matter, not to mention the shellfish problem. Yahweh must be mighty mad about "those" things too, but it's the man lying with man that stirs Yahweh's indignation. Why? Because the Bible tells us so. So, now, that homosexuals are on the verge of being included in this experiment in the "Enlightenment," the biblical fundamentalists are on a true Crusade to thwart their every move. No equality. No tolerance. No inclusion. Indeed, contrary to all known evidence, we Christian fundamentalists have a particular mission towards these perverts: We'll make them "ex-gay" heterosexuals. If, and when, these homosexuals submit to Yahweh's Word, and become true heterosexuals as Yahweh intended, then all will be well with America, maybe even the world. Until the time when all homosexuals are "cured" of their sickness, not only are tolerance, inclusion, and equality prohibited to homosexuals, they should not even be allowed to work, live, cohabitate, or act uncriminally. We, Christian fundamentalists, acting as Yahweh's surrogates, have pronounced judgment; homosexuals are to be pilloried.

Returning to the real world, that isn't exactly how the Enlightenment saw it, and it sure isn't the way America's Founders saw it. In America, according to the Founders, everyone is "free" to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. And, because we all perceive this pursuit differently, the State is prohibited from establishing any "one" way as the only way. Some call it the State's "neutrality" toward individual ends, others call it "pluralism" toward different means. The promise of American liberty is that each individual is "free" to seek out his own ends and means, without the State dictating what those might be. That is the promise of a pluralistic liberal democracy: STATE NEUTRALITY. As long as no one harms another, each person is free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness as HE or SHE sees fit, not as the STATE sees fit. And because human nature is so highly varied, people will seek these means and ends in very different ways; this is what we mean by PLURALISM. The Catholic, Quaker, Lutheran, Jew, Muslim, and atheist get to decide these matters for themselves, not because the State approves or disapproves any of them, but because the individual alone gets to make these choices.

Excuse me? How is it that heterosexual marriages obtain over 1,100 special dispensations from the government by virtue of their heterosexual marriage, but everyone else, specifically homosexuals, are excluded? How is THAT neutral? How is THAT pluralistic? Did America's founding promise change? The obvious answer is, Yes. Not only with respect to homosexuals, but now even certain corporations get to feed off the public trough, while individuals can't. But only SOME corporations, others are excluded. Individuals are different from corporations, so the claimants insist, and thus deserve "special" treatment. And because heterosexuals are different from homosexuals, thus heterosexuals benefit from America's "neutrality," while homosexuals languish, waiting for the fulfilment of the promise about tolerance, inclusion, and equality.

This country, amazingly, got off on the right foot with good intentions (not dealing with slavery and women's suffrages are two enormous strikes against the Founders). And like slavery and women's suffrage that had to fight against the biblical yoke that has held each of them back, so now homosexuals are making the next fight in America's evolution to obtain America's promise. All that the "homosexual agenda" asks is that they receive equal treatment under the law. That the Enlightenment principle of tolerance for differences be restored. And, that equality is true of everyone, or it is true for no one. That seems to have been America's agenda at one time; it's now needed more than ever to restore American self-worth, dignity, and enterprise to ALL its citizens, not just those who claim Yahweh's special dispenstions.

Hunter Madsen said...

I came across your blog's comments on AFTER THE BALL -- a book that I co-authored with the late Marshall Kirk many years ago -- and had to smile; or perhaps it was a wince.

Idiots on the religious right have been treating us like the Elders of Zion ever since the book first came out, which is, as you say, preposterous. While the book was widely read (and, in most cases, excoriated) by gay activists when it was first published, in 1989, and while a great many of its techniques have obviously been employed by activists since then, I see no evidence that the book itself serves as any kind of reference for the movement today.

The book was prescient, perhaps, but to claim that its ideas pulled the movement down its current path is like pretending that the beams of a car's headlights "pull" the car along. We observed many notorious things in AFTER THE BALL, but our work seems to have had little actual influence. To keep insisting that it did is yet another sign, as if we needed any more, that agitators on the right, while professing their commitment to truth, lack fundamental intellectual integrity.
- Hunter Madsen

Jonathan said...


Many thanks for stopping by.

Jon Rowe