Tag Archives: Eric Miller

My Very Own, Home-Hatched Conspiracy Theory

Maybe I’ve been drinking too much of the seasonal eggnog.

Yesterday, I began to hear reports that Brian Bosma and David Long had decided to reject Common Core. Now, in the real world, that makes no sense–Indiana is well along the trajectory of implementing Common Core, some 75% of teachers endorse it, and most of the opposition comes from folks who automatically resist anything promoted by the federal government (because, you know, it’s being promoted by the federal government), and others who don’t know the difference between standards and curriculum.

Changing back to state-specific standards now will be very costly. So why would a couple of fiscal watchdogs who supported Common Core when Tony Bennett was in office take this sudden U-Turn?

Here’s where my eggnog addled conspiracy theory kicks in: Bosma and Long really, really want to extricate themselves from the no-win mess they’ve gotten themselves into over HJR6. They want to change that second sentence and kick that can down the road. But there’s Eric Miller, with his mega-church primary voters, and he needs to be appeased by winning something. There must be some bone to throw him. The media has turned up the heat on the negligent and/or abusive “Church ministries” daycare operations he’s intent upon protecting. So–let’s let him “win” the battle against those awful feds and their Common Core!

LIke I say, maybe it’s the eggnog.

Maybe it isn’t.

 

Micah Clark’s Not So Good Very Bad Day

It’s all over but the shouting. The steady movement toward equality really is inexorable.

Earlier today, my husband and I rode our bikes to the Pride Parade. This was the 10th year for the Indy parade, and we were at the very first one–when, as my husband recalled, marchers outnumbered spectators even though only four or five groups marched. The parade has grown steadily–I stopped counting after fifty and it went on for a long time after that–and the crowd of spectators was massive.

The parade began at 10 and lasted until around 11:30, by which time the Pride Festival had begun. Even though the organizers had expanded the venue this year, going from the World War Memorial all the way up the Plaza to the library, it was so crowded I had trouble walking at some points. Parade and festival participants ranged from political candidates and officeholders, to banks, CPA firms and law offices, to local universities, to companies like Lilly, Cummins and Dow Agro. Local GLBT organizations were well represented, and so were area churches. (Out of 250 booths, I counted nine churches–and not just the “usual subjects.” The list included North United Methodist Church, Church of the Savior, Northview Church of the Brethern, All Saints Episcopal and Castleview Baptist, among others.)

So let me share some random observations:

  • The crowds weren’t just huge, they were significantly more diverse than they used to be. There were large numbers of African-Americans and Latinos this year, for example. In the past, the more conservative nature of their cultures has meant fewer black and Latino attendees. From the looks of this year’s crowd, those barriers have weakened. (Surprisingly, I even saw two Muslim women wearing headscarves.)
  • Organizers accommodated the greater number of children in attendance by erecting a Fun Zone with a couple of large blow-up “bouncy houses.” From the looks of it, the kids were bouncing themselves silly and having a great time.
  • There must be a lot of dog lovers in the gay community; I saw spay-neuter organizations, dog grooming salons, something called “Puppy Playground” and something else called the “Bark Tutor School for Dogs.” It wasn’t just dogs–a representative of PETA thrust a pamphlet into my hands with an adorable, fuzzy chick and the caption “If you knew me you wouldn’t eat me.”
  • A very persuasive young salesman nearly sold me a Chevy Volt. Chevrolet had several cars on display, but the Volt was clearly the star of their show.
  • The wonderful thing about capitalism is that it trumps bigotry every time. Literally hundreds of merchants were hawking their wares on the mall–from the jewelry and tee shirt vendors who reliably show up at every festival to realtors, printers, day spas, pizza joints and children’s camps. It was a great opportunity for marketing, and they were taking full advantage of it.
  • Also taking the opportunity for outreach were lots of government agencies, social services organizations, and a variety of non-profits hoping to attract new members.

Bottom line? Over the past decade, as old bigotries have steadily retreated, the annual Pride festival has come to look more and more like every other American celebration, with gays and straights, children and adults, vendors and politicians all mingling on the mall. That normalcy is what will finally defeat the remaining homophobic fringe characters who can look at lots of nice, normal people enjoying themselves on a sunny Saturday and see a group of fellow humans who somehow don’t deserve equal civil rights.

Fortunately, fewer and fewer people see what Eric Miller and Micah Clark see. That ship has sailed. Too bad they weren’t on it.

Lock Up Your 12-Year-Olds!

Sometimes, I’m so distracted by how batshit crazy the right-wingers have become that I forget how utterly despicable they can be.

To appropriate an old Henny Youngman joke (google him), “Take Eric Miller. Please. Take him.”

Miller–who makes a comfortable living pretending that bigotry is religion–has a new “Urgent Legislative Alert” that will be distributed Sunday to the network of far-right churches that support his salary (thinly disguised as membership dues to his organization, Advance America).

The “Urgent Alert” has a banner headline: “BMV Approves Pro-Homosexual License Plate!” In only slightly smaller font is “Help Protect Children-Revoke License Plate Now!” This is followed by the usual sanctimony, text piously bemoaning the harm to children that will be caused if the Indiana Youth Group receives the “seal of approval” that issuance of a license plate would imply.  What is truly disgusting is the assertion, which is repeated three times in the text of the flyer, that IYG “targets” children as young as twelve.

Well, yes indeed it does. It has to, thanks to people like Eric Miller.

IYG is an organization that only exists because people like Miller cause so much pain to so many young people who don’t have the wherewithal to fight back, or even understand what the fight is really about. It is an organization that opens its arms to young, vulnerable, hurting kids –too many of whom have been thrown out of their homes by parents who care less for their own flesh and blood than for the illusory security offered by a rigid, punitive, unChristian theology.

IYG “targets” these teenagers by providing them with acceptance, a healing  message and a safe place to figure things out. The message is simple: no matter what hateful people say,  you are a valuable human being who simply happens to love differently. Being different is neither right nor wrong–it’s just different. So don’t hurt yourself, don’t hate yourself, and please don’t kill yourself.

That’s the “pro-homosexual” message Eric Miller finds so offensive.

I could point out that what Miller wants the State to do is unconstitutional–he wants the State to deny IYG the equal protection of the laws–but I’m sure he knows that. He just doesn’t care–just as he doesn’t care if the children he is helping to hound and demean, the children he is targeting, end up physically or emotionally damaged or dead as a result of the attitudes he is promoting.

We certainly should lock up our twelve-year-olds–not to “protect” them from IYG, but to keep them away from heartless bigots like Eric Miller.