Forgive us for not buying Liberty University law dean Matt Barber’s attempt to lecture everyone about the Civil Rights Movement in an attempt to smear gay rights advocates. Barber, who is also the Director of Cultural Affairs for Liberty Counsel, on The Janet Mefferd Show yesterday said it is “so offensive to me” and his many African American friends that “sexual anarchists” have “cynically co-opted and hijacked the language of the very, very noble civil rights movement and applied it to their disordered lifestyle.”
“The civil rights era, the true civil rights fight is pretty much over,” Barber later agued, rather astoundingly.
“So people want to be part of something bigger than themselves, they want to feel like they’re doing something important, so they cynically manipulate people and use the language of civil rights in order to dupe well-meaning young people into a cause that is contrary to freedom and facilities a lifestyle that is emotionally, spiritually destructive and doesn’t do society any good either.”
Maybe it’s just me, but does anyone else find it problematic that a person whose idol is Jerry Falwell, the founder of Liberty University, is now using the civil rights movement in a harangue against gay rights? Falwell was a fierce opponent of the Civil Rights Movement and a proponent of segregation.
He preached against Brown v. Board of Education, which banned racial segregation in public schools, telling his church, “When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line. The true Negro does not want integration.”
Falwell kept his private Christian school segregated to help families avoid integration in public schools and opposed the Carter administration’s attempt to challenge the tax status of segregated schools. He also subscribed to the belief that black people were under “Noah’s curse on Ham” and argued that school “facilities should be separate.”
“If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made,” he said, warning that integration and interracial marriage will “destroy our race.”
He condemned the 1964 Civil Rights Act as a “civil wrong” and attacked movement leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr., as “Communists” who sought to “bring about violence and bloodshed.” The televangelist even opposed sanctions against South Africa’s apartheid government and said that anti-Apartheid protests were “instigated primarily by Communist-sponsored people.”
Falwell’s rhetoric against the Civil Rights Movement are actually remarkably similar to Matt Barber’s own anti-gay diatribes, as Barber seemed to have taken a page from Falwell in warning that gay rights advocates are inspired by Karl Marx and that radicals “trying to impose a globalist, Communist structure” are the real culprits behind the gay rights movement. He claimed that “homosexual activism, undermining the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic and doing away with it, that is the ice breaker that breaks the ice so that the bigger Communist ships and the redistributionist ships.”
While surely Barber would distance himself from Falwell’s harsh condemnation of the Civil Rights Movement, he is not afraid to use the same harsh and demagogic rhetoric of the late televangelist in order to attack supporters of gay equality.