You know this is going to get the extreme Right worked up.
While IFI treats being transgender as a mental disorder (routinely putting the word in quotation marks) and supports gay conversion torture, what provoked these legislators was IFI’s recent statements comparing abortion to the Holocaust.
There are a number of articles on their website referring to the “gruesome holocaust of the unborn,” and how the procedure is “a holocaust no less real, no less evil than that perpetrated by the Nazi regime,” and how progressive lawmakers (a.k.a. “baby killers in silk suits“) want “this abortion holocaust to continue.”
There’s obviously no comparison between a genocide that took millions of lives of children and adults, and a medical procedure that does neither. More to the point, by comparing abortion to the Holocaust, the Christian group is downplaying the unique terror of the actual Holocaust.
The resolution notes the rise in anti-Semitism and says:
… Illinois Family Action distributed multiple anti-Semitic, homophobic, threatening, and hateful posts on their official social media page, callously belittling the most appalling tragedies of the Holocaust and recklessly comparing those who disagree with their extreme agenda to Nazis…
… A group truly driven by faith would realize the pain their rhetoric causes for members of the Jewish community, for whom the horrors of Nazi Germany are all too real…
… we, along with the Jewish Caucus and allied legislators, condemn the extreme rhetoric of Illinois Family Action, call for a formal investigation into the group’s hate speech and threats, and ask that the Secretary of State’s office suspend the lobbying credentials of any individual working on behalf of Illinois Family Action or its parent organization, the Illinois Family Institute, until an investigation is complete…
… we stand in solidarity against hateful, racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic rhetoric of all kinds and call for decent, respectful debate, especially when we disagree…
The resolution will likely pass in the Democratically controlled legislature, and IFI is already treating the resolution condemning hate as hate itself. (It’s typical for them. They think “tolerance” always has to include being accepting of their intolerance.)
IFI says suspending their lobbying privileges would violate their First Amendment rights, condemns the Southern Poverty Law Center (which has more than its share of problems but isn’t wrong to note that some groups really do have hateful extremist ideologies), and then doubles down on the Holocaust analogy (because they can quote one Jew who agrees with them).
Apparently, our anti-constitutionalists in Springfield have forgotten the First Amendment’s protection of speech, assembly, and the right to petition our government for redress of grievances, which is “the right to make a complaint to, or seek the assistance of, one’s government without fear of punishment or reprisals,” — you know, like hateful resolutions.
The resolution is a crock of unsubstantiated ad hominem attacks glued together with more unsubstantiated ad hominem attacks, innuendo, irrelevant red herrings, non sequiturs, and a risible reference to the ethically impoverished Southern Poverty Law Center — an actual hate group.
The central issue is not whether the Nazi Holocaust is an apt analogue for America’s feticidal holocaust. The central issue is whether humans in the womb are persons with intrinsic and infinite worth. If they are, the analogy does not belittle the extermination of Jews by Nazis. If humans in the womb are persons with intrinsic and infinite worth, calling their extermination “health care” — as the resolution’s sponsors do — is an appalling horror.
Since logic and evidence still matter to some Illinoisans — resolution-signatories excepted —let’s don our rhetorical hazmat suits and waders and trudge through the murky, fallacy-infested resolution.
Their argument is that they’re not belittling the Holocaust at all. Yet saying that a medical procedure is just as bad (if not worse, by sheer numbers) as the systematic murder of Jewish people by the Nazis shows how little they understand the nature of the concern. Those are not both examples of “incomprehensible horror” in the same way.
IFI also says the resolution’s statement about them being “homophobic” is unfair because they hold the same position as the Catholic Church and other religious groups. That’s a lie. While the Catholic Church is no friend to the LGBTQ community (calling homosexual acts “intrinsically disordered”), they don’t have an official position on transgender people and their opposition is based on an interpretation of the Bible rather than lies about who they think LGBTQ people really are. IFI, on the other hand, goes beyond that and suggests trans people are just fooling themselves at best and, at worst, will present a danger to your family when you’re in public spaces together. IFI thinks there’s a gay agenda that wants to indoctrinate children. It’s not just a matter of principle. IFI treats LGBTQ people as a threat to society — to the point where even learning about the contributions of gay and lesbian people throughout our history is seen as some liberal conspiracy. And good luck finding an article about homosexuality on IFI’s website that doesn’t include a mention of bestiality or pedophilia. (Because, to those Christians, those things all go together.)
All that said, I’m not sure what good the resolution will do.
I don’t know what the purpose of a “formal investigation” would be. (What’s there to investigate? The group’s beliefs are right out in the open, published on their website.)
I don’t know why these legislators think security is affected by IFA’s presence in the Capitol. (Even if they didn’t show up, plenty of other groups would’ve participated in a recent anti-abortion protest.)
I don’t know what this accomplishes other than giving right-wing Christians a new narrative to feed their persecution complex.
(Image via Shutterstock)