Over the last few weeks, Glenn Beck has been confusing just about everybody by loudly and repeatedly denouncing the rise of anti-gay bigotry in Russia and declaring that anti-gay bigots have no right to call themselves fans of his. It has been confusing because, at the same time, Beck regularly pals around with anti-gay bigots and brings them on his show, all while proclaiming that he doesn't even know anybody who is anti-gay.
We are not the only one's confused by Beck's stance, as Bryan Fischer called out Beck yesterday on his radio program, wondering if Beck "has gone over to the dark side on ... sodomy-based marriage." After reading through Beck's statement that anyone who "hates a gay person because they're gay, you have no place calling yourself a fan of mine," Fischer trotted out the standard Religious Right defense that anti-gay bigotry is not based in hatred but rather in love, insisting that he loves gays but hates homosexuality and is simply trying to prevent them from living miserable, disease-filled, drug-addicted, guilt-ridden lives:
Fischer concluded by asking Beck if this means that he is not allowed to be a fan of his ... and that is a question we'd love to know the answer to as well.
Keep in mind that Fischer's "love" for gays involves calling for homosexuality to be criminalized and for gays to be banned from serving in public office, or as judges, or even as teachers. On top of that, Fischer has loudly praised Vladimir Putin as a "lion of Christianity" for his anti-gay crackdown and declared that the laws that Beck has been denouncing are exactly the sort of "public policy that we've been advocating" to enact in America.
And Fischer is not alone in praising the Russian law, as just yesterday Matt Barber and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel said that "we need to see" laws just like it passed "right here in the United States."
What does this have to do with Beck? Well, both Fischer's American Family Association and Liberty Counsel were sponsors of last year's Values Voter summit, at which Beck spoke. On top of that, the Family Research Council, which is the primary VVS sponsor, employs a man who openly calls for homosexuality to be criminalized and for gays to be exported out of the country.
For weeks now, Beck has taken a very public stand against the anti-gay bigotry in Russia while seeming utterly oblivious to the fact that a lot of the people he associates with happen believe the very same things.
So just what is Beck's standard for unacceptable "anti-gay" bigotry? Does supporting Russia's crackdown qualify? How about calling for the criminalization of homosexuality? The banning of gays from serving in public office?
In March, Beck is scheduled to speak at a United In Purpose voter mobilization summit, at which Vision America's Rick Scarborough is also scheduled to speak. Scarborough, like so many others, has also defended the Russian law that Beck has denounced, as well as called for a class-action lawsuit to be filed against homosexuality and declared that AIDS is God's judgment for people who engage in immoral behavior while insisting that gays always be referred to as "sodomites."
How much longer can Beck continue to denounce Russia's anti-gay bigotry while remaining totally silent about the fact that a significant number of the Religious Right leaders with whom he regularly associates not only support Russia's law but want to see similar laws enacted in America?
If Beck is really serious about his pledge to stand with groups like GLAAD against anti-gay bigotry, he has an opportunity to start demonstrating it by denouncing the likes of Scarborough and all of the other Religious Right leaders who openly applaud the very things that Beck claims to be taking a stand against.