There are a lot of things about the right-wing universe that don’t make a lot of sense to me. The fanatical obsession with the unborn paired with the callous disregard of poor children and their families, for example. The insistence that the Bible is literal and must be adhered to, and yet the careful cherry-picking of what passages they actually want to follow. And, of course, there’s the condemnation of gays and lesbians.
But the strangest thing, and one that seems to be a relatively recent phenomenon, is the right wing’s infatuation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Keep in mind that if Mitt Romney were president (shudder), the right wing would revile Putin, and rightly so. Putin is not a man who worships their Christian God. Nor does he give a shit about democracy.
But Barack Obama is our president, and that makes conservatives in America go fucking insane. Insane enough to compare our democratically elected leader to the ham-fisted tyrant in charge of Russia, whether the people there like it or not, and declare Putin the winner.
If you ask Rudolph Giuliani, it’s because Putin doesn’t think before he acts and can force people to do whatever he wants. If you ask Sarah Palin (R-Moron), Putin wins because Obama wears “mom jeans” and Putin “wrestles bears.” And if you ask Franklin Graham, son of the famous evangelist Billy Graham, it’s because Putin is much better on the gay stuff.
In the March 2014 issue of Decision magazine, the official magazine of the Graham family fan club, Franklin himself penned an article titled, “Does Russia’s Putin have it Right?” To which any thinking person would reply, “Fuck, no.” Graham, on the other hand, replies, “Heavens, yes.”
A big focus of his essay is — surprise! — the gays and how Obama just loves them and how gross that is.
“Our president and his attorney general have turned their backs on God and His standards, and many in the Congress are following the administration’s lead,” Franklin writes. “This is shameful.”
Putin, on the other hand … “In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues,” Graham fawns. “Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.”
That’s right. Big, strong, shirtless Putin is protecting kids from the evil gays. Swoon. Somebody get Graham’s fainting chair. In Graham’s eyes, Putin might not be perfect, but he sure is close. “Isn’t it sad, though, that America’s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue — protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda — Russia’s standard is higher than our own?” Graham laments. Yes, actually, it is sad. But not for the reason Graham thinks. It’s sad that a leader who oppresses his own people and has cracked down on a powerless minority under the guise of “protecting” children is being praised in our own country simply because those people have completely distorted views of President Obama and of LGBT people. Obama isn’t coming after your guns and your Bibles. And LGBT people aren’t coming after your kids. There is nothing moral about what is happening in Russia to LGBT people, and to say otherwise is to completely ignore reality, not to mention the teachings of Jesus.
“Today [in America], we’ve abdicated our moral leadership,” Graham writes. And sadly he isn’t talking about himself or the hate his church preaches for LGBT people or Muslims or women who use birth control. He thinks he’s got that part right. It’s America that has it all wrong for not hating enough.
D’Anne Witkowski has been gay for pay since 2003. She’s a freelance writer and poet (believe it!). When she’s not taking on the creeps of the world, she reviews rock ’n’ roll shows in Detroit with her twin sister.