As you might imagine, the Palace gets a lot of email from friends, enemies, frenemies, and assorted conservatives of various stripes. Apparently we have landed ourselves on some really weird mailing lists, perhaps as a result of all those years dedicated to researching Conservative Personality Disorder. One time, a few years back when the Palace lab had not yet collected all the overwhelming evidence in support of the hypothesis that right wing conservatives are intractable narcissists, I emailed Phyllis Schlafly to see if by simply appealing to her outsized ego I could get a quick response. Phyllis Schlafly, for the blissfully uninformed and/or understandably disinterested, is a Sarah Palin prototype: an ultraconservative anti-feminist wingnut icon. Her biggest claim to fame was launching a conservative juggernaut to kill the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s (because OMFG co-ed bathrooms!—which, for what it’s worth, are pretty much the norm in NYC). Nowadays, the 87-years-young Mrs. Schlafly stays relevant by doing all sorts of other important things, like supporting Michele Bachmann for president. I wrote:
Dear Mrs. Schlafly:
Although I’m sure you hear this often – and from far more esteemed people than myself – I write to let you know what an inspiration you are to me. In my view, your most powerful legacy is the indisputable proof that one woman can indeed make a profound difference in our country. For this more than anything else, I thank you.
-Iris Vander Pluym
* * * * *
From: Phyllis Schlafly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Thank You
(Works every time, by the way.)
For whatever reason, this month we have been inundated with unusually strange missives. Here is one:
A North Carolina pastor has made national news with a sermon calling on parents to physically abuse gay children.
With only days remaining before a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment banning all legal recognition of same-sex unions, Pastor Sean Harris of Berean Baptist Church told his congregants: “Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch.”
Once the sermon came to public attention, Harris tried to retract some of his remarks. But for the families of LGBT youth who heard his tirade, the damage has already been done.
So we’re organizing a short statement assuring LGBT youth that faithful Christians are appalled by Pastor Harris’ tirade and that anti-gay violence is never justified by Christian teaching. Can you help us reach 10,000 names so we can release it to the media and show that Pastor Harris doesn’t speak for Christianity?
Add your name and help us disavow anti-gay violence and hate.
— Michael, Nick, and the whole Faithful America team
[Emphasis in original.]
Dear Michael, Nick, and the whole Faithful America team:
What is wrong with you? OF COURSE ANTI-GAY VIOLENCE IS JUSTIFIED BY CHRISTIAN TEACHING. See, e.g.:
Just because you, personally, may have the commendable moral sense to ignore some of the more vile commandments in your silly book does not mean that everyone else does. The fact is that Pastor Harris does indeed speak for Christianity. So unless and until you disavow Christianity, you should expect to be painted with the same brush as the violent bigots you rightfully condemn.
The Bible says what it says. Deal with it.
Have a nice day.