Sure, they're completely out of touch not just with Americans in general or conservatives in general, but also Evangelicals. That doesn't stop Religious Right groups from holding some sway in these parts through well-funded lobbying and absolute control of a segment of the population.
But I'm thinking specifically about how some call them "hate groups". Sure, groups like Fred Phelps's Westboro Baptist Church is easy to call a hate group, as are the Watchmen on the Walls. The rest of the Religious Right will bemoan the lack of civil discourse for being labeled a "hate group" even when they have the same beliefs but choose more media-friendly tactics (funny how their rules of civil discourse, if followed completely, would involve us just shutting up completely).
With this in mind, something on the Indiana Family Institute's website caught my eye:
If homosexuality is a genetic compulsion that individuals cannot resist, then how can we ask anyone with this "gene" to engage in any other behavior?
The problem with this thinking is that it reduces humanity to the level of animals. It's the gay equivelant of a husband saying to his wife, "Babe, I slept with my secretary because she's a good-looking woman. As a man, I just couldn't resist the urge. Get over it." As a husband, I understand that I'll sometimes find women other than my wife attractive. But this attraction, ingrained deep into me at creation, does not justify any adulterous behavior. Why? Because as a thinking human being, I'm more responsible for my behavior choices than the animals with nothing but instinct to rely upon.
The post goes on to point out that Focus on the Family's position on homosexuality has changed to incorporate the idea that sexual orientation is unchangeable, but gay people should put their happiness on hold to live the lives Dr. Dobson approves. Of course they've had to change their position; telling people that if they just pray hard enough that they'll turn straight would make showing that they have no idea what they're talking about too easy.
But this position, while at least physically possible, is a pretty darned sad way to look at the world. Homosexuality a "genetic compulsion"? I guess that's only possible if sexuality itself can be a "genetic compulsion". And what is sexuality if not the physical desire and means of experiencing love?
The idea that love - deep love of one's long-term partner, young, intoxicating love, making love, love of male or female bodies, love of humanity, love of oneself, all that love - can be described as a "genetic compulsion" to be overcome, a behavior to avoid no matter how much one's psyche, body, soul, mind, whatever tells them they need it, something only an unreasonable animal would indulge in, would depress me if I bought into it. (This might be why gays and lesbians who try participate in ex-gay programs have higher than average suicide rates.)
So when Kurt Kuidhardt of the IFI says:
Despite our urges and imperfections, we can choose to make right decisions. As humans, we are accountable for our choices, despite emotional and/or physical compulsions that may lead us down wrong paths.
I would just hope that he's not trying to avoid the "emotional and/or physical compulsions" that lead him to love. For his sake.
But whether he accepts or denies his capacity to love (I'm guessing it's only the queers who have to live without love in his world), it doesn't change the fact that his organization is built around a war against love. And there's only one thing that can be in war with love, and it's hate.
That's why we call them what they are. If a group of people organize around the idea that they have to stop love, they're a hate group. There really aren't two ways about it.