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the wicked, chastised

By Diogenes (articles ) | Feb 09, 2007

"The software mogul Tim Gill has a mission: Stop the Rick Santorums of tomorrow before they get started. How a network of gay political donors is stealthily fighting sexual discrimination and reshaping American politics." That's the slughead to an article in the latest Atlantic that sympathetically, even gloatingly, details a new development in gay political combat: countering grassroots opposition by tactical herbicide. Author Joshua Green explained to Iowan Danny Carroll, a pro-family state rep defeated last November, that yes, they really were out to get him:

A suggestion that he'd been targeted by a nationwide network of wealthy gay activists was met with polite midwestern skepticism. But Carroll was sufficiently intrigued to propose that we each log on to the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board's Web site and examine his opponent's disclosure report together, over the telephone.

Scrolling through the thirty-two-page roster of campaign contributors revealed plenty of $25 and $50 donations from nearby towns like Oskaloosa and New Sharon. But a $1,000 donation from California stood out on page 2, and, several pages later, so did another $1,000 from New York City. "I'll be darned," said Carroll. "That doesn't make any sense." As we kept scrolling, Carroll began reading aloud with mounting disbelief as the evidence passed before his eyes. "Denver … Dallas … Los Angeles … Malibu … there's New York again … San Francisco! I can't -- I just cannot believe this," he said, finally. "Who is this guy again?"

"This guy" is a Denver multi-millionaire named Tim Gill, who, as Green says, is an adept at organizing fellow activists who are "eager to influence politics but barred from the traditional channels of participation by recent campaign-finance laws designed to limit large gifts to candidates and political parties." The key is to kneecap up-and-coming candidates who may prove intractable:

Together, Gill and Trimpa decided to eschew national races in favor of state and local ones, which could be influenced in large batches and for much less money. Most antigay measures, they discovered, originate in state legislatures. Operating at that level gave them a chance to "punish the wicked," as Gill puts it -- to snuff out rising politicians who were building their careers on antigay policies, before they could achieve national influence.

In terms of shifting cultural permissions, note that gays are now allowed to get away with using the phrase "punish the wicked" of their adversaries, with the understanding that well-conducted persons will smile at the hyperbole. If you think of the probable reaction had roles been reversed (and, say, Carroll used the expression of Gill), you'll realize the permission is not symmetrical. Nor is the funding base.

Even as he has shied from the spotlight, Gill has become one of the most generous and widest-reaching political benefactors in the country, and emblematic of a new breed of business-minded donor that is rapidly changing American politics. ... Gill's principal interest is gay equality. His foundations have given about $115 million to charities. His serious involvement in politics is a more recent development, though geared toward the same goal. In 2000, he gave $300,000 in political donations, which grew to $800,000 in 2002, $5 million in 2004, and a staggering $15 million last year, almost all of it to state and local campaigns.

Gill's use of his wealth is emblematic of a more general built-in advantage that gays have in leveraging their political clout: beyond a modest threshold, all their income is disposable income, and that means they can pay -- early and often -- to punish "the wicked." Midge Decter pointed this out in her classic Commentary essay, "The Boys on the Beach":

The money, however limited, that the homosexual had in his pocket was, all of it, for him to spend on himself. No households of wives and children requiring security; no entailments of school bills, doctor and dentist bills; no lifetime of acquiring the goods needed for family welfare and the goods desired for family entertainment, with a margin left over for that greatest of all heterosexual entailments, the Future: no such households burdened the overwhelmingly vast majority of homosexuals.

"In the long run we'll all be dead," spake the economist John Maynard Keynes. And if, like Keynes, one is an atheist homosexual with no grandchildren to be concerned about, even the short run is co-terminous with one's yearnings and hatreds. If money can buy only so much pleasure for oneself, the surplus can be used to purchase grief for someone else. And isn't that what diversity is all about?

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  • Posted by: - Feb. 14, 2007 3:49 PM ET USA

    JW: I can see your point, but I still think you're wrong. It makes more sense to straighten things out within our own walls and establish what's acceptable, before we start recruiting more "souls to save". And as I said before, I'm a little suspicious of an idea that mentions any potential windfalls from who we let through the doors.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 14, 2007 2:12 PM ET USA

    Hannah, I think we're having a fundamental misunderstanding. When I talk about people coming into the Church, it should be understood that I mean with a genuine conversion and acceptance of Christian theological and moral principles. That's the purpose of evangelization. Sometimes we also need to evangelize those already baptized and inside the Church. In either case, we should help people to a deeper Christian faith. Hating them or refusing to interact with them prevents that.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 14, 2007 12:27 PM ET USA

    Jw: Sorry, I think encouraging them to enter the "domain" without first establishing that homosexuality is fundamentally wrong in all aspects, including socially, is a lot like letting abortion-lovin' politicians have communion--too much wriggle room. I suspect the only reason they're tolerated is for their ability to lend political power.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 14, 2007 9:20 AM ET USA

    Hannah, I don't give a darn about their money, just their souls. Homosexuals certainly can be evangelized. I've seen it happen. Perhaps the only apostolate really working in this area is Courage. http://www.couragerc.net. You seem to completely exclude the possibility that God's grace can work in the lives of any with same-sex attractions. This is patently false.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 13, 2007 5:52 PM ET USA

    I don't believe that people who think homosexuality, a condition once termed a psychological disorder, and now thought of as an alternative lifestyle, can be evangelized. Look at it from their perspective-- what right do you have to impose your beliefs on them--what they're doing is "socially acceptable" afterall. If you're truly interested in saving them, I believe the first step in changing their behavior would be a scientific one. Are you sure it's not the money you're interested in?

  • Posted by: - Feb. 12, 2007 3:15 PM ET USA

    The Gay agenda can not survive on its own. Without heteosexual support they will make no progress. The best thing about them is that generally they are not reproducing themselves.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 11, 2007 11:58 PM ET USA

    So, hanah, we're not to evangelize those who have same-sex attractions? That's certainly an innovative reading of the Gospel. I thought our job was to "Go out to all the world and make disciples of all nations." Sounds like that includes those with SSA. Uncle Di, thanks for the heads-up. As one who doesn't include The Atlantic in my regular reading diet, I missed this VIP. I hope it will get the attention of those who need to know about it. The question is, how do we go about countering it?

  • Posted by: - Feb. 11, 2007 2:14 PM ET USA

    Hannah, of course homosexual attractions are disordered, as are homosexual acts which are gravely sinful. That is why we need to evangelize those who experience homosexual attractions. We need to help them fall in love with the Lord and carry what is surely a heavy cross in union with His Cross, living chaste and prayerful lives. I'm not sure I understand your concern with this idea. We should desire and work for the salvation of all, even the homosexuals!

  • Posted by: - Feb. 10, 2007 10:02 PM ET USA

    "All the more reason to reach out to and evangelize people who experience same-sex attractions. If they could be brought into the fold, their disposable income could be of great benefit to the Church. Not to mention helping them to improve their relationships with God and chances of salvation." Wrong, wrong and wrong. First what needs to be re-established is that homosexuality is a disorder. We have too many "gays" corrupting the Church now. How much money they have is of no consequence.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 09, 2007 3:01 PM ET USA

    What I want to know is, where are the upscale, devout Catholic men and women with fire in their bellies and a little imagination who will do something equally audacious for Christ and His Church? "The children of darkness are more prudent after their own kind than the children of the light." Are the gays, and the pro-aborts better evangelists and strategists than we are? Evidently.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 09, 2007 12:58 PM ET USA

    All the more reason to reach out to and evangelize people who experience same-sex attractions. If they could be brought into the fold, their disposable income could be of great benefit to the Church. Not to mention helping them to improve their relationships with God and chances of salvation.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 09, 2007 12:21 PM ET USA

    Depressing as the article in 'Atlantic' was, it finished on a very uplifting note: despite his best efforts, and money the folk in 27 out of 28 states voted to limit marriage to being between a man and a woman. Thinking about the whole tenor of the article it struck me that we have, once more, a classic example of the narcissism of the homosexuals. In truth all his money and efforts have probably achieved nothing. Alas, Gill is so in love with himself that he cannot see this. LOL

  • Posted by: - Feb. 09, 2007 12:12 PM ET USA

    Soon we will be reminded: "Remember Man that your are dust and to dust your shall return." or for those in more 'modern' parishes: "Turn away from sin. Return to the Gospel." Ash Wednesday needs to be nationally televised, just in case some of these people are channel surfing and happen upon the distribution of ashes. ... OK, I am sleeping in this morning and lost in dreamland.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 09, 2007 7:52 AM ET USA

    What sad Pyrrhic victories to in order to sustain a moral and social disorder--all for the sake of the doomed but all-consuming--Me.

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