View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Sunday, March 28, 2004

Idiots of the Right 

Frequently, on Sunday mornings, I walk the dog down to the local Petsmart to get his nails clipped and, during this season, to get him combed out. Part of our walk back is on Alemeda Ave., along the section known as Religion Row. It features a large gold-domed Greek Orthodox Church, across the street from the JCC and the Allied Jewish Federation building, right next to the very inmposing Augustana Lutheran Church. Everyone seems to get along, although once in a while things have gotten a little testy between Federation and the Greeks during Hannukah, and I still think it was poor timing for the J to put out a sign saying "Pilates is Here" during the recent film controversy. Certainly Luther himself left something to be desired on the Jewish Question, but those in his namesake denomination have been good neighbors. But on the whole, Only in America, as they say.

So this morning, both the dog and I were surprised to see a small, very small, demonstration outside the Church. What could the Lutherans have done? Turns out their pastor did something to tick off the regional anti-Gay Coalition, or whatever they're calling themselves. I suppose gay marriage was the excuse, but they were carrying signs saying things like "Thank God for September 11," and "God Hates America," and some rather graphic stick-figure images of gays doing what gays do. On the whole, a pretty horrible and revolting excuse for political "debate."

I have no idea what sparked this, or why the Lutherans rather than, say, the Episcopalians, were singled out. I know that the people were suitably humorless, returning neither my "good morning" nor the dog's entreaties to be petted. I just didn't want to be bothered, or look like I was confronting them, or anything. Thedog just didn't know any better. Sadly, he had pretty much finished relieving himself for the morning.

I do know that there's not a single member of the RMA who sympathizes with them. I do know that we're so far past the point where The Right needs to defend itself against accusations of association with people like this. I do know that there were about 20 people there, hardly a mass movement. And I do know that the policeman assigned to the group, sitting in his SUV, smiled and waved to me as I walked by, probably relieved to see a normal human being.

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