AWOL Conservatives Desert The Culture Wars

AWOL Conservatives Desert The Culture Wars

February 22, 2018


[Maybe we should now call it QPAC for the “Queerish Political Action Conference”! – AQ moderator Tom]

While fiscal conservatives are still reeling from the latest spending spree sanctioned by another congressional budget-be-damned continuing “irresolution,” social conservatives may be suffering a similar sense of betrayal over a recent decision to ban an exhibit by MassResistance at the Conservative Political Action Conference this week in the Washington, D.C., suburb of National Harbor, Md.

What should be troubling to those engaged on the conservative side of the culture wars is that MassResistance is being excluded not in spite of, but apparently because of, its active and resolute opposition to public acceptance and promotion of the “lifestyle” and activities of self-proclaimed lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBT).

CPAC is an annual event, running this year from February 21-24. It is founded and hosted by the American Conservative Union (ACU), which describes the conference as “the birthplace of modern conservatism.” It has consistently drawn an impressive array of conservative speakers, including presidents and vice presidents of the United States, presidential candidates and right-wing media celebrities.

It draws national coverage in both the conservative media and on public affairs TV channels like C-Span. Its declared goal is to “leverage the strength of thousands of grass-roots activists to break through the resistance of Washington’s most powerful elites.”

Protesting the decision in a statement issued last week, MassResistance said the organization had on January 29 received approval from CPAC officials for a table and display at the conference, following an “involved vetting process.” That approval was later rescinded, however, in an apparent effort to avoid offending the more liberal-minded activists gathering under the conservative big tent.

ACU Executive Director Dan Schneider notified the organization in a February 8 phone call that the group’s display is banned “because of our Biblical approach to fighting the ‘culture war’ (particularly the transgender agenda in the schools) as described in a 2015 speech by MassResistance president Brian Camenker,” according to the statement issued by the Waltham, Mass.-based group.

Camenker made his controversial remarks at the November 2015 conference on “The Truth about Adulterated Doctrine,” held in Salt Lake City, Utah. The MassResistance president took issue with those who said opposition to those promoting the “transgender agenda” in the public schools should be “respectful” and opponents should “speak the truth in love.”
As described in last week’s statement by MassResistance, a question from someone in the audience was about how opponents “should react to these school officials who are pushing this evil on innocent, vulnerable children,” to a “librarian who brings in a cross-dresser to confuse four-year-olds,” or to “doctors who enthusiastically help confused and deluded teenagers to change their sex.”

Stressing that the battle is a culture war and not a church service, Camenker replied that opponents should be willing, if necessary, to be “insulting and degrading” to those attempting to indoctrinate children into sexual deviance. Conference moderator Sandy Rios, former president of Concerned Women for America, agreed, saying: “I actually think you’re right, Brian. I think that evangelicals have gotten a little bit soft and not understood warfare.”

One could argue that in taking exception to Camenker’s advocacy of “insulting and degrading” rhetoric, CPAC is taking a stand on behalf of civility by excluding MassResistance. But what then shall we make of the inclusion of the homosexual advocacy group, Log Cabin Republicans, which will have a table and display at the conference?

In the summer of 2016, the Log Cabin group published an ad calling delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland “Losers” and “Morons” for adopting “the most anti-LGBT platform the Republican Party has ever had.”

Insulting? Degrading? Not, apparently, as CPAC officials see it, if they see it at all. Apparently CPAC and its ACU sponsors are politically correct enough to believe that an allegedly aggrieved minority deserves greater rhetorical license than those defending traditional morality and natural law.

If CPAC officials believe that Log Cabin Republicans belong in the “grass-roots” efforts to break through the resistance of Washington’s most powerful elites and MassResistance does not, perhaps the alleged conservatives of the American Conservative Union have been in and around Washington too long. They appear to need help in trimming and weeding the grass springing up within their “grass-roots” movement.

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