My “Adopt-a-Liberal” cards have arrived!
I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but I spent some of my hard-earned cash on a set of 51 trading cards of famous liberals produced by Liberty Counsel, a Religious Right legal outfit associated with the the late Jerry Falwell’s empire. (The Counsel wants us to pick one or more of the subjects of these cards and pray for their conversion to religious and political rectitude – as the Falwellian Big Brothers define it.)
I had a good reason for my purchase: Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn is featured on one of the cards, and I wanted to see what the group had to say about him.
Not surprisingly, Liberty Counsel made a few errors.
First of all, there is no “the” in Americans United’s name. Admittedly, that’s a small mistake, but it shows lack of attention to detail on Liberty Counsel’s part.
The next error is more serious: The card lists Barry as “the founder and Executive Director” of Americans United.
Barry is indeed our executive director, but he is not the founder of AU. Americans United was founded in 1947, and Barry was born in 1948. I doubled checked just to make sure he didn’t start AU in utero, and he assures me he didn’t. (AU’s actual founders were a collection of leaders from the religious, educational and public policy communities.)
The card asserts that Barry “harasses Christian groups and churches in an attempt to question their tax-exempt status.” Wrong! AU does ask the Internal Revenue Service to investigate when religious groups violate federal law by endorsing or opposing candidates. The last time I checked, expecting an institution to abide by the law was not harassment.
And, contrary to the Counsel’s claim, we don’t single out any one faith for attention. When a Buddhist temple in California raised funds for candidate Al Gore, we asked the IRS to intervene.
According to Liberty Counsel, Barry also believes that “religious organizations should not be able to screen workers who disagree with their religious viewpoints.” Wrong. When it comes to private funding, Barry and AU agree that churches have the right to hire and fire as they see fit. He argues that when these groups accept tax funding through “faith-based” initiatives, they must surrender this right and abide by civil rights law.
I skimmed the other cards and spotted an array of errors. A Bill Clinton card asserts that he is “the only President of the United States to have been impeached.” Was the entire staff of Liberty Counsel absent from school when Andrew Johnson was discussed?
Other errors: Mark Kirk is a member of House of Representatives from Illinois, not the Senate. President Barack Obama is not a socialist, nor does he favor one-world government.
Other choices are just kind of strange. Plenty of my progressive friends would say MSNBC host Chris Matthews is no liberal. Ditto for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
One LC card says actress Anne Hathaway “though not a homosexual herself, is a vocal proponent of the homosexual agenda.” Is that really enough to elevate her to the liberal pantheon?
Also, the proofreading could have been better. Oprah Winfrey’s card accuses her of favoring “the homesexual rights” agenda. (Look, if you can’t have sex at home, where are you supposed to have it?)
Finally, many of the pictures on the cards are not scary. Radio talk show host Alan Colmes looks downright pleasant on his. I have a hard time imagining even the most devoted Liberty Counsel follower being frightened by Alan’s smiling visage.
These things look like they were tossed together by a couple of interns over a long weekend. I wasted $20 that I could have spent on some used books, a CD or a pizza for my kids.
In fact, these cards remind of Liberty Counsel’s work – shoddy, prone to fantasy and shot full of errors.
Live and learn.