Spot the Homophobes
Brett Baier and Gary Sinise were scheduled to deliver talks at a conference of Legatus. This is an association of Roman Catholic businessmen. Upon the provocation of “Good as You,” a blog run by a catty gossip-hound and character assassin named Jeremy Hooper, Baier and Sinise withdrew from the conference. In a letter sent by Legatus to its 5,000 members, the following explanation was given:
I write to inform you that Gary Sinise and Bret Baier, our two headline speakers for the 2015 Summit, have cancelled their appearances. In concert with their respective advisors, both of their decisions were in reaction to the speaker presence of Paul Darrow, a gentleman who speaks about Same-Sex-Attraction and how the Catholic Church is addressing the needs of such individuals in a sensitive, compassionate manner through an organization called Courage.
LifeSiteNews explained the connection between this bizarre decision and Hooper’s blog:
FOX News Channel's chief political anchor, Bret Baier, has shown himself to have a thinner skin than might be guessed from his on-air persona. Baier has caved in to pressure from the homosexual activist group ‘Good as You’ to back out of a speaking engagement at a mainstream Catholic conference. Also backing out for the same reason was Hollywood actor Gary Sinise of Forrest Gump and CSI: NY fame […] In their material accusing Legatus of being an “anti-gay Catholic org,” Good as You highlighted a number of Legatus’ pro-life and pro-family activities and statements, such as its promotion of Pope Benedict’s “non-negotiable” issues at the ballot box, one of which is same-sex “marriage.” They also quoted a piece from Legatus magazine by Dr. John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, where he discussed the possibility of overcoming same-sex attraction through therapy.
The official statements put out by Brett Baier and Gary Sinise were pathetic. Baier said:
“Bret Baier has withdrawn his participation as a speaker at the upcoming Legatus Summit due to the controversy surrounding some editorial stances in the organization’s magazine,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement to TVNewser. “Bret accepted the invitation to speak about his book, his faith, and his son’s congenital heart disease. He was unaware of these articles or the controversy surrounding them.”
“When I accepted the invitation to speak at the Legatus conference about Veterans issues and share my story, I was unaware of the controversy surrounding some of the participants, and their views on personal matters,” he wrote. “I don’t want my mission – which is designed to be unifying – to be disrupted by these, or any controversies, and therefore have decided to withdraw.”
Despite all the drama-queenery, their pretext for pulling out of the event is laughable. Neither of them was expected to speak about homosexuality or endorse a view on the “born gay” controversy. Legatus does many things other than argue with the gay lobby. The crux of the faux outrage rested on one other speaker, who is same-sex-attracted but Catholic and chooses not to have gay sex. Honestly, who cares?
Does everyone who is same-sex-attracted have to engage in gay sex and announce as much at any gathering where one such person might be present? It seems pretty obvious that men who have sex with men are targeting a man who is attracted to men because the latter doesn’t do what the former tells him to do. Who appointed Jeremy Hooper the Grand Master of Gay? What about staying out of gay people’s bedrooms, including people who choose not to have gay sex in their bedrooms?
This is classic internalized homophobia and gay-on-gay mobbing; these two straight patsies have merely been weaponized for an ugly civil war within the queer community.
Baier and Sinise could not have chosen a worse week to behave like utter wimps. The internet is awash in “je suis Charlie” memes. Millions of people just marched in Paris to declare support for free speech. An epic attempt by GLAAD to block a show about gay men married to women failed. Targeted by GLAAD’s smear brigade, TLC stood strong and said that they would not cancel My Husband’s Not Gay, about Mormon men who are attracted to males but stay in marriages to females. While everyone in the world is shouting from the rooftops that we have to stop letting censors and politically correct meanies push as around, Baier and Sinise pull up stakes and run for the hills…because of Jeremy Hooper, a little nobody with a really lame blog.
I have a tiny fraction of Baier’s and Sinise’s money, institutional support, and platform, yet I’ve never caved on any of Jeremy Hooper’s attacks against me on Good as You, which have been far more vicious than what Baier and Sinise faced. I’m the guy who barely got my grenadier badge in the Army, not exactly a model of heroism – and yet I have the minimum gumption to know that Hooper can’t do anything to you if you just stand your ground. Being attacked on Good as You is like having a five-year-old throw a paper airplane at you from across a busy street.
Baier’s case is sad enough; he is an anchor on a news network watched by millions of conservative Christians. Still he folds under a tiny bit of pressure. The best I can surmise from Baier’s case is that he probably is homophobic in the literal sense: irrationally afraid of gay people and unable to view the threat they pose realistically. If you are a clueless straight person who thinks men who have sex with men are ruthless and vindictive, you might see a post on a two-bit homosexual blog and say, “Oh, my God! The gays are coming! I might die! My stylist might quit!” There’s no other plausible explanation. If you are sober and unruffled by homosexuality, you’d have the common sense to see that Jeremy Hooper is viewed by much of the gay community as shrill and annoying, to the extent that gay people even know who he is and care.
Gary Sinise’s case is actually much more appalling. Here is an actor who has made a name for himself as one of the lone conservative voices in Hollywood, someone who “supports the troops” with a foundation devoted to celebrating them (yet named the Gary Sinise Foundation, in case your opportunism alarm is ringing). When I was in the Army Reserves in Southern California, Sinise’s name was always thrown out there as a gem in the liberal world of show business. Sinise’s website prods the visitor to remember the “defenders” and celebrate their courage.
It is unbecoming for someone who has built a pro-military reputation to act so gutless. How can he run around celebrating the sacrifices of men who have to face down the Taliban and then shrink in fear from Jeremy Hooper’s gay blog? I would call it “pathetic,” but it speaks to something so ugly in our culture that a far more damning word would be more appropriate. People who serve in the armed forces risk their lives so that we can live in a democracy and defend our faith, our beliefs, and our thoughts without being shut down by a putsch, whether it’s Al Sharpton’s minions or internet rainbow shirts engaging in whisper campaigns.
Sinise says he wants to talk about “veterans’ issues.” Free speech and courage in the face of censorship are a veterans’ issue. Respecting the choices of Catholics who do not want to have gay sex is an issue of freedom of conscience. That’s a veterans’ issue as well. Sinise says he wants to unify people, but he does not seem to understand what veterans fought for or what unity really means. To unify does not mean that you side with the nastiest people in a debate and publicly snub the unpopular kids to cover your own butt. Regardless, warriors do not lay down their lives for a “unity” that would amount to surrendering to petty tyrants and silencing oneself for the sake of expediency.
Jennifer Roback Morse advises readers of National Catholic Register to make some noise about this:
So, if you were harmed by divorce and you felt that you were socially invisible, please go over to Gary Sinise’s Facebook page and tell him what you think.
If you have health problems from contraception that no one wants to hear about, you too, are a threat to the Sexual revolution. Send Brett Baier an email and tell him what you think.
Not every public figure who pins an American flag to his jacket and talks about wounded warriors is a necessary ally. Follow your gut. There are other people to rally around, other news shows to watch, other veterans’ charities to support.
Robert Oscar Lopez edits English Manif.