Culture War Ridiculousness

March 25, 2006

Remember American Gladiators, where joes and janes would slam each other with giant Q-tips?

Behold the modern equivalent in the culture war, sans prizes:

More than 25,000 evangelical Christian youth landed Friday in San Francisco for a two-day rally at AT&T Park against “the virtue terrorism” of popular culture, and they were greeted by an official city condemnation and a clutch of protesters who said their event amounted to a “fascist mega-pep rally.”

I don’t know who is more pitiful: the imported youth pastors and evangelical teens who believe they could even make the slightest dent in the city’s culture, or the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who felt the need to publicly denounce this gaggle of religious teens.

They even passed a resolution, condemning the rally for trying to “negatively influence the politics of America’s most tolerant and progressive city.” That whole “free speech” thing can be a bitch when you’re forced to accomodate people who don’t agree with your politics, you know? If you’re going to allow naked men to flog each other’s asses at the Folsom Street Fair, surely you can allow some teenagers to wave bibles and bliss out with their upturned palms to some lousy Christian rock.

A counter-protester held a sign proclaiming, “I moved here to get away from people like you.” The city is chock-a-block with people who moved for that same reason. A few thousand fundy teens rallying in the ballpark will do nothing to change the flavor and ethics of the place. If anything, a few might escape and wander the city, getting an eyeful, succumbing to the spectacle, vitality, and diversity. Kids are terribly curious.

Kids also want to belong, and many want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. This religious hoe-down meets those needs. Show them the ugly face of intolerance, and it only reinforces their youth pastors’ stereotype of “secular humanists” or “deviants” or whomever it is they’re trying to destroy or save. Some day, these teens’ curiosity and desire to belong might take them somewhere else…like San Francisco!

(Organizer Ron Luce), a Bush appointee to a federal anti-drug-abuse commission, wants teens to find Bible-based solutions for the spread of sexually transmitted disease, teen pregnancy, drug abuse and suicide.

Good luck with that, buddy.