Bilerico Report

‘Family values’ leaders are projecting their own fears and desires

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Bil Browning

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Thomas Jefferson wrote these stirring words in the Declaration of Independence, but Jefferson and many of the very men who signed onto the final draft somehow rationalized or denied to themselves the unfathomable contradiction that they enslaved, owned, raised, and sold human beings.

Like many of these “founders,” during the history of the world, a great number of our leaders betrayed their words through their actions.

In the not-too-distant past alone, so-called “family values” politicians and religious leaders who vocally and rigorously championed conservative social issues, such as opposition to sex outside marriage, women’s reproductive freedoms, and LGBT equality, were found literally with their pants down publicly exposing their engorged … hypocrisy.

For example, Minister Jim Bakker, Praise the Lord (PTL) founder and creator of the Christian fundamentalist theme park, Heritage USA, paid hush money to a female church secretary to cover up their sexual affair. Prosecutors later convicted Bakker of embezzling $158 million from his parishioners. 

And who will forget the tearful confession televised over the airwaves of televangelist Jimmy Swaggart when reports surfaced of him paying a number of women for sex. By the way, Swaggart fiercely condemned Bakker a few years earlier for engaging in sexual affairs outside of marriage.

U.S. Senator, Republican Larry Craig of Idaho, a legislator with a very long anti-LGBT voting record in both the House and Senate, pleaded guilty to a charge in 2007 of lewd conduct after an undercover police officer arrested him for soliciting sex in a Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport men’s restroom. During his career, the far-Right American Family Association and Family Research Council heaped praise onto Craig for his consistent conservative voting record.

An interesting note is that a co-founder of the Family Research Council, George Rekers, was exposed by the media when he returned home from Europe with a young male escort whom he found on the website Rentboy.com. The young man claimed that Rekers paid him to perform nude body rubs on a daily basis. Rekers is a retired professor from the University of South Carolina and a Baptist minister.

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