Wayne Besen has an interesting column on the subject of hate speech. He compares the desires of social conservatives to shut out speech about GLBT people and the harsh rhetoric leveled at liberals on cable and talk radio as a way of tracking the power of media messages. Can social conservatives have it both ways? In other words, how can they say discussion about GLBT issues in the media "promotes" homosexuality (which means the media have power) while simultaneously denying that their own hateful rhetoric influences tragedies like the one at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church?
What I find hypocritical is that the Religious Right will take any image it deems gay and claim it “promotes homosexuality.” This even extends to fictional characters such as Tinky Winky and Sponge Bob Square Pants. Yet, these same oversensitive preachers refuse to acknowledge that their mean-spirited sermons might lead to violence.