Wednesday, July 23, 2014

#1128: Alan Sears

Alan E. Sears used to be the Staff Executive Director of the Meese Commission (and federal prosecutor in Meese’s Justice Department during the reign of Reagan), whose role was to investigate pornography in the United States in the 1980s. Currently Sears is the president, CEO, and general counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund and a columnist at Townhall. His parting of ways with the Meese Commission is itself quite legendary: In 1986 Sears he sent a letter from the Commission over his own signature to thousands of retailers warning them, in an attempt to intimidate them into not selling Playboy and Penthouse, that they might be publically identified as pornography dealers, with the result that more than 17,000 retailers stopped carrying the magazines. The Meese Commission was promptly sued, of course, Sears’s actions found to be quite astoundingly inappropriate, and the Commission forced to retract the letter. Sears, who apparently has some trouble distinguishing his official duties from his personal agenda, quit the Department of Justice in disgust (no, not over his own actions – he’s not that kind of guy).

The Alliance Defense Fund (apparently now the Alliance Defending Freedom, though everything else remains the same, of course) is a wealthy rightwing legal group committed to fighting the War on Christmas, defending Christians’ (though only Christians) perceived rights to violate the Establishment Clause (and, of course, defending the poor, persecuted Christians who are criticized for doing so), combatting pornography (Patrick Trueman misunderstands issues here), gays, sex education, the Internet, and what they take to be leftist judicial activism (any legal decision they don’t like – a typical rant by Matt Bowman is discussed here), and fighting for their own, Orwellian interpretation of the separation of church and state – they’re a sort of twisted, wingnut parody of the ACLU, in other words. They are also funding “education” projects.

Sears also writes for the WND, for instance about gay marriage. You can discerns his ability to maintain a grasp on reality in this attempt to argue against gay marriage by analogy. (Hint: the analogy is poor. Indeed, the analogy is poor enough that it would have qualified Sears for an entry in our Enclyclopedia if he’d done nothing else.) But Sears has also written The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today. Why is it a threat? “Because no compromise is possible with the agenda, and those who advocate the agenda want to not only stop all disagreement – they want to punish anyone who does. It’s a form of totalitarianism.” Projection much? Also “Garden of Eden [shows that marriage] predates any human instititution.” Seriously. And this madman (still unsure? Check out this) once had an important government position. As CEO of the ADF Sears has also called for a “National Day to Pray for Marriage”, even releasing their own Prayer Guide to help ensure that the prayers are as efficacious as possible.

Diagnosis: Zealous and cognitively deficient bigot. A common condition, of course, but Sears does wield quite a bit more influence than most. Dangerous.

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