Thursday, August 7, 2014

#1137: Lou Sheldon

Being chairman of something called the Traditional Values Coalition is asking for an entry in any respectable encyclopedia of loons. And as chairman for this organization Louis P. Sheldon speaks and writes, as expected, primarily about social issues such as abortion, religious liberty, and public acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, and does so with precisely the level of acumen, insight and humanity you would expect. The Traditional Values Coalition, which claims to be the largest non-denominational grassroots church lobby in America, is listed as a hate group by the SPLC, and Sheldon was an associate of Jack Abramoff, but he nevertheless manages to sustain an impressive media presence (despite creeping out even Tucker Carlson: “You want to know what the single biggest problem facing inner-city black neighborhoods is?” asked Sheldon: “Homosexuality,” he answered).

Insofar as Sheldon’s arguments and stances are so typical we won’t be bothered to cover them in too much detail, but for a representative sample you may for instance look at his attempt to argue that Glee is working to “desensitize Americans to the genuine risks of the homosexual agenda” (in an article called “The Plan for a Gay (Domi) Nation”) – indeed, America is in danger because gay people on television are portrayed as too nice; “Rome fell because of its immorality,” says Sheldon (completely untrue, of course), and likewise “moral anarchy will pull down any kind of a republican government, and that’s where we're headed if we don't turn things around.”

And predictably: The fact that he is sometimes rightfully criticized for his views is taken as proof not only that he is being persecuted, but that Christians are being persecuted in the US (gays, of course, cannot be Christians, according to Sheldon). A similar, illustrative example of his way of thinking is his organization’s (and other “pro-Family” organizations’, though only Sheldon himself showed up) efforts to overturn the Fair Education Act in California and his call to “take back our courts from the anti-God left” after the courts found that the Constitution doesn’t support making Sheldon’s hate-based opinions into law. There’s a good resource on Sheldon’s anti-gay views here.

Sheldon is also a hardcore creationist. In the 90s, for instance, he was heavily involved in campaigning for ruining public education in California, complaining about an “overemphasis on the study of evolution in the school curriculum, underplaying the role of religion in the formation of the U.S.,” paying “insufficient attention to the value of sexual abstinence” and “the glorification of gay lifestyles” in California schools. At least according to himself, his group was successful in persuading the state board to dilute references to evolution in state textbooks. “The important thing in our view is that the Earth was not created by evolution but by God,” said Sheldon. Apparently the existing evidence for evolution is persecution of Sheldon and those who agree with him.

He is apparently also a beneficiary of the philanthropic efforts of Howard Ahmanson, but James Hartline, interestingly, does not seem to be a fan. Sheldon also claims to have known that Ted Haggard was gay before the familiar scandal, but decided to cover it up because maintaining political momentum was more important than truth (yes, he actually said that, but will probably never realize that he did). And, not the least, he is the father of Andrea Lafferty.

Diagnosis: Sheldon is still one of the big religiously motivated haters and anti-civilization activists in the US. Batshit insane, and extremely dangerous.

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