Harvard ‘ACT UP’ show gets rise from right-wingers

Tea Baggers Meet the Tea-Baggers Dept.
By GREG COOK  |  November 2, 2009

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Taking a detour from directly bashing President Obama, right-wingers are now hot and bothered by a Harvard art exhibit. And they have an Obama administration foil toward whom they can channel their bile.

“This exhibit is a window into what the homosexual movement thinks of you, your children, religion, and America,” claims Brian Camenker’s MassResistance of Waltham. “It involves sexual perversion, child pornography, and anti-Catholic bigotry. And it’s what your ‘safe schools’ czar Kevin Jennings supports.”

The exhibit in question: “ACT UP New York: Activism, Art, and the AIDS Crisis, 1987–1993,” a historical survey at Harvard’s Carpenter Center of posters, stickers, and other graphics pushing for better AIDS treatment and advocating for gay rights. The Obama link: Jennings, assistant deputy secretary in the US Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, who made a gift to support the show — and whom conservative crackpots aim to hound out of the job because he’s a gay activist.

The Catholic League calls the group ACT UP a “homosexual urban terrorist group” and the exhibit a “sick display. . . . Harvard, of course, would never feature a display of Klan paraphernalia and say it was being done for the purpose of ‘dialogue.’ ” Says WorldNetDaily: “Obama’s safe-schools boss sponsors radical porn.” Gateway Pundit: “Figures. Pornographic Anti-Christian Harvard Art Show Funded by Obama’s Safe Schools Czar.” Fox News: “Safe Schools Czar Linked to Anti-Christian Porn Exhibit?”

Surprise, surprise, these bigots’ claims are bogus. The show is filled with angry, graphic examples of gay protest art (a vagina and a few penises make appearances), but doesn’t MassResistance really mean that anything homosexual is “sexual perversion”? Claims of child porn are lies and slander. The best “evidence” MassResistance can muster is one picture-less poster bearing the sentence “she had the girl bent over a table, knickers down.”

And the show’s criticisms of the Catholic Church are warranted — then and now. A 1989 poster in the exhibit by Richard Deagle and Victor Mendolia takes on the Catholic Church’s stand against AIDS education, condom distribution, and abortion. It reads KNOW YOUR SCUMBAGS next to images of then–New York Catholic Archbishop John O’Connor and a condom. Below the condom it reads, THIS ONE PREVENTS AIDS.

Pope Benedict XVI disagrees. “You can’t resolve [AIDS] with the distribution of condoms,” he told reporters during a trip to Africa in March. “On the contrary, it increases the problem.” Spreading that kind of ignorance gets people killed.

  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Barack Obama, U.S. Government, Pope Benedict XVI,  More more >
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