You would think that religious right leaders would be happy to see a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan flying a flag. But when the flag is of the rainbow variety, it’s time for the full freakout that includes suggesting that it will lead to deaths of American soldiers (presumably none of whom are gay).
It all began with an image posted on the Facebook wall for Wipeout Homophobia by Nicole Jodice on March 24.
“hubbie in afghanistan raising a gay pride flag = )” she wrote.
It’s an amazing photo: Demonstrating just how fast the military’s institutional homophobia is falling.
That would have been the end of it, but of course nothing that smacks of tolerance can escape the detection of the religious right. In this case, Tony Perkins, head of the designated hate group Family Research Council, sympathized with fundamentalist Muslims who might be driven to murder our soldiers because they’re homophobes, too.
“Where is the concern now for angering Afghan Muslims, who vehemently oppose homosexuality?” Perkins lamented. “The issue is as much an issue of military security as it is of religious morality. After February’s accident with the Korans, American lives were lost. What price will we pay because some want to use the military to show their gay pride?”
We’re touched that Perkins should suddenly be so concerned about the accidental burning of Korans by American soldiers, an incident that he said just three weeks ago “doesn’t hold a torch to what’s happening to faith in America.” And unless we’re mistaken–and we’re not–this is the same Tony Perkins who called Islam “evil” and said that “the Islamists and the homosexuals work out of the same playbook” (presumably the Tehran edition of Vogue).
Apparently, a rainbow flag is such a provocation that it excuses attacks on our troops. Or it could be a sign of the strength of our diversity and tolerance, principles we’re supposed to treasure. We’ll leave it up to you to decide.