Ruby Ridge

It’s for the Children

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So have you been following the Chris Buttars fiasco, darlings? I have, and let me tell you, it’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Every time you think Buttars is finally going to apologize and makes things right, he opens his mouth and makes things worse: dark ugly babies, lynch mobs and “those people.” Does he know or even care that February is Black History Month? Does he know that even President Bush has decried racist and divisive language? Muffins, I find it scary to think that even in my wildest, most politically incorrect rants that I (and President Dubya) can be more sensitive than an elected member of the Utah State Legislature. I’m surprised Buttars didn’t take KFC when he went to apologize at Calvary Baptist Church last Sunday!

The fascinating thing for me has been how the conservatives have come running to his defense in the blogs and counter-attacking like pit bulls. I pulled up the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune’s on-line editions just to see what their takes on the scandal were and the hundreds (and I do mean HUNDREDS!) of shrill readers’ comments were simply amazing. There was a lot of ranting and raving from all political sides that essentially used the “Buttars Baby” topic as a Rorschach test. If you were looking to be offended by Buttars, you were. Similarly, if you were looking to be offended by the NAACP, you were. But after all of the Sturm und Drang online, I doubt that anyone’s opinions on either side were changed.

Cherubs, it’s disheartening to see so much wasted energy when there are plenty of legitimate political concerns, issues and potentially bad laws being voted on right now (many sponsored by Sen. Buttars, no less). The online comments were just like Chris Buttars statements – divisive, rude, and oozing with mean-spirited posturing. I don’t know kittens, maybe it’s the nature of the beast, but the anonymity of the internet enables some folks to throw hit and run messages like fragment grenades with no accountability. It doesn’t add constructively to the political discourse and essentially polarizes positions. If you take some of the anonymous postings seriously, then NAACP Salt Lake City’s president Jeanetta Williams and the NAACP itself are personally responsible for horrors like Osama Bin Laden, Capri pants and the Irish Potato Famine. On the other hand, Chris Buttars is not only a sexist, racist, homophobic bigot, but apparently he clubs baby seals during family home evening while he sings “Come, Come, Ye Saints.” This is malicious and patently untrue, because I know for a fact that Chris only clubs puppies and he lip synchs! (PETA people, take a deep breath and a Xanax, I’m just joking. Don’t get your cruelty-free knickers in a twist).

Unfortunately, the pro-Buttars supporters (especially Gayle) fell back on the sleaziest and most reliable tactic for disgraced Republican politicians. When one of these family-values moralists screw up they invariably divert attention away from their misdeeds and fixate on their charity work with children. Remember Nancy Workman and her shrill, “I did it for the children waaahhhh?” As if suddenly that makes everything OK. Well it doesn’t, pumpkins. When someone like Chris Buttars denigrates and targets gays and lesbians and their families, then I don’t care how much time, money and effort he has put into the Utah Boys Ranch. Forget the fact that he is placing children at risk by opposing safe sex education, opposing stable family conditions and legal protections for our families, opposing anti-bullying legislation, and gutting gay and transgender-inclusive hate crimes laws (which disproportionately involve youth). In fact, given his tangible and irrational hatred towards our community, it makes me terrified to think of how unsafe a gay kid would be in the youth program he champions. But hey, in Chris’ mind, gay kids choose their sexual orientation, so they deserve to be punished and discriminated against. Being gay is a lifestyle choice, it’s not like they were born black.


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