A fool hath said in his heart, 'God is not;' They have done corruptly, They have done abominable actions, There is not a doer of good. - Psalm 14:1

18 June 2009

The Cost of Hate

Not really some deep meaning here. I could wax poetic about the hidden costs of hatred and how people damage the very fabric of a democracy by spreading ignorance-fueled, odious diatribes against our fellow citizens.

I could, but I don't need to. Hate is apparently not cheap on a monetary level either.

A Roman Catholic adoption agency which lost a battle to defend its pro-marriage ethos from new ‘equality’ regulations says it has been left with “a big dent” in its reserves.

The Leeds-based charity, Catholic Care, was recently told it must consider gay couples as potential adopters under the Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs), despite its belief that children need a mother and a father.

Chief Executive Mark Wiggin said the charity had needed two barristers and five solicitors to help wade through the detail of the case.

Things became even more complicated when the Equality and Human Rights Commission was allowed to intervene against the group.

The case was one of the first to be heard by the new Charity Tribunal appeal system, which promised to make the process quicker and cheaper for groups to challenge decisions made by the Charity Commission.

But Mr Wiggin said: “The costs are prohibitive for most people; it has made a big dent in our reserves.”

Poor bastards. According to this source, Catholic Care spent £150,000 on this little project, or almost $250,000 American (per today's conversion rate).

In a similar effort, Arkansas added Act One to their state constitution in 2008, a measure which not only stops gay couples from adopting children, but actually prohibits any unmarried couple from doing the same. Support costs? Around $50,000 from one end (addition to ballot) to the other (passage). In retrospect this sounds like a fairly low amount of money for such a sweeping law, but this is Arkansas we're talking about.

Over here we have Proposition 8 proponents who raised $28.2 million nation-wide. (Sadly the opposition raised even more and still lost.) In 2006 Colorado voters passed a ban on gay marriage, along with rejecting a separate proposal to offer "spousal benefits for same-sex couples," which only cost supporting organizations $1.2 million, give or take. Once again pro-gay groups outspent the support campaign by millions and somehow managed to lose anyway, which makes a person wonder if the disparity here is one of public opinion or organizational leadership.

And finally this profile shows another $13 million spent on 2004 marriage amendment contests across the country.

Now I could detail the number of meals these dozens of millions of dollars could buy for the homeless; or maybe project the number of lives which could be saved through public health campaigns in places like South Africa. I could, but I won't waste my time. The truth is we all know the alternatives. Instead of putting a "big dent" in Catholic Care's budget, they could have used money to encourage adoption and put a "big dent" in the troubled lives of local foster children.

Unfortunately I don't see that kind of about-face happening, especially not here in the States. Groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council - both as ironically anti-family as a group can get - are simply wastes of money and space. What they do is nothing short of buying the ballot and there is very little in this process which doesn't violate restrictions on direct political support in spirit, if not the letter, of the law. (And isn't the spirit what these people supposedly worry about most?)

As far as I'm concerned these groups can inject as much money into the political process as they can raise, but a secondary cost for doing so should be removal of their tax exempt status. If they want to fund campaigns of bigotry every election season, I see no reason why part of the money raised shouldn't also go for worthwhile projects. At least then something good could come out of the process.

Good Old-Fashioned Bible Burning

I'm admittedly a bit late to this bandwagon, so it's highly likely just about anyone visiting this blog would have already heard of the "Christian Civil Liberties Union" and their attempt to confiscate a book from a Wisconsin public library for the purposes of burning it.

Yes it sounds like satire. No it isn't satire.

A group calling itself the Christian Civil Liberties Union filed a claim with the city of Milwaukee seeking the right to burn a public library’s copy of a young-adult book with gay content, according to the American Library Association.

The CCLU presented trustees of the West Bend Community Memorial Library with the complaint on June 2, asking for the right to burn or otherwise destroy in public a copy of Baby Be-Bop. The group also demanded $120,000 in damages for being exposed to the book on display, and requested the resignation of West Bend mayor Kristine Deiss for allowing the title to be viewed by the public.

Let's be honest here: how boring would the world be without groups like CCLU? What would people like me have to do in our spare time? The truth is we secretly appreciate such lunatics, even while publicly ranting against them.

So in honor of the CCLU, I think it only fair the West Bend Community Memorial Library also provide a copy of the Bible for fiery consumption. Unfortunately burning the Bible is much like burning an American flag - many consider it a proper method of disposal (in the case of flags, U.S. code actually mandates incineration). This being the case I would suggest the only way to make sure of maximum offense would be a mass Bible burning. The best part is it wouldn't cost anything for the books, although a permit for public burning might be fairly expensive if not impossible to acquire considering the intent.

Then again, something similar to this Harry Potter burning (without the church or raised arms anyway) may not be the better public relations image.

A larger benefit would be media attention. Burning a homosexual-themed book only seems to rate around the edges of mainstream news, especially with the mess in Iran to keep media outlets busy. What if you douse a colossal pile of Bibles in accelerant and start roasting marshmallows over the flames of Heaven?

Sure it's dramatic, but I guarantee a media event. Depending on what's going on in the world, you may get national coverage. Depending on who takes notice, you may have a week or more of said coverage. The absolute best part would be hate mail. I'm sure some LGBT group somewhere is sending the CCLU fundazealots nastygrams, but they wouldn't hold a candle to the hypothetical mountain of you're-going-to-Hell-like-tomorrow messages from loving followers of Christ all over the U.S. At the same time I'm sure supportive packages of fresh Bibles would also arrive.

I should probably stop this post now... it's beginning to sound fun enough to actually organize something and I don't know if my Karma is high enough.

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