The bigoted presidential campaign
Funny that Fred Karger, gay rights advocate, founded the group Californians Against Hate, since his most recent campaign seems to be about spreading bigotry. For those who haven't heard of Karger -- and that's a lot of people -- he's a Republican candidate for president, listed on the ballot of the New Hampshire primary, who took on a more active political identity after California voters passed Proposition 8 in 2008. Karger is an openly gay candidate who was angered and dismayed by the role that the Mormon Church and its followers took in getting the ban on same-sex marriage passed.
Negative campaigns and ugly smears might be the stuff of politics these days, but within this category, Karger gets a special space all his own after launching an attack website against Mormonism that purportedly reveals the 10 "craziest beliefs" of Mormons, lest voters consider voting for Mormon candidate Mitt Romney. The site doesn't actually have such a list; it's more a place where anyone can anonymously post any sort of canard about Mormonism. Perhaps rational people could also try inserting some truths, if those are actually allowed.
On the site, Karger writes:
We simply want to help understand Mormons and their beliefs, and have created this web site and blog to help enlighten you and us on the Mormon faith and it many ceremonies and rituals.
This web site is by no means meant to harm anyone or any faith.
Sure it isn't. That's why its title is so balanced.
Karger has his reasons for being at odds with Mormons and their religion; he also has reasons to seek out publicity at any cost, even the cost of religious bigotry.
But during the Proposition 8 campaign, he saw and heard plenty of hateful and false garbage spewed by some of the ban's supporters about and against gays and lesbians, their relationships and their children. Obviously, the lesson he drew from that wasn't what people thought when he founded Californians Against Hate, a phrase that apparently means something different to Karger than to most of the rest of us.
Photo: Fred Karger, photographed in 2006. Credit: Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times