In response to a recent Nabisco TV ad depicting a gay family in positive fashion, a prominent pastor responded to the ad message of equality by making a statement drawing parallels between homosexuality and cannibalism. The television ad in question was run on network television beginning in late March. The TV spot begins with a young father bottle feeding a baby and then depicts another man leaning down to kiss the baby on the head. The audio portion of the ad says that “no matter how things change, what makes us wholesome never will.”
The groups lining up against the ad state that Nabisco is promoting a homosexual agenda. In essence, the ad shows a family with what appear to be homosexual parents doing normal, everyday activities and being the equivalent of families with heterosexual parental figures. Perhaps the most unusual aspect of the ad is that a large consumer company is taking a stand in favor of gay families at a time in which homosexual family formation remains a hot button social and political issue. Most large companies tend to stay away from controversial subjects.
Colorado Pastor Kevin Swanson, the host of a radio show, voiced his displeasure with Nabisco and its television ad. Swanson said on the air this week that Nabisco could run an ad featuring bestiality soon. To continue in the same vein, he said that “homosexuals love their friends and cannibals love their victims, they taste good.” He noted that a significant portion of the population will not support the gay friendly ad nor the lifestyle it appears to support.
Swanson is not the first prominent pastor to link homosexuality with flesh eaters. Linda Harvey, the leader of Mission America who also hosts a radio show, likewise mentioned cannibalism in a conversation with Kevin Godfrey, a gay conversion therapist. Harvey said that gays attempt to become like same-sex persons they admire. Harvey noted the admiration or envy is so strong that it is “almost like a cannibalism kind of feeling.”
While neither pastor directly equates homosexuality with cannibalism, the parallels they draw bring an abhorrent type of behavior into the conversation regarding homosexual marriages. Discrediting those who share differing beliefs is a common debate tactic. In this instance, the pastors demonize homosexuality by discussing gay relationships with a reference to flesh eaters. They can assert that their on air conversations did not equate gays with cannibals; nevertheless, the pastors did deliver the message that homosexual relationships share background similarities with those engaging in cannibalism.
Oftentimes, making a provocative statement in opposition to another’s actions becomes the story. Hilary Clinton recently made statements drawing parallels between Vladimir Putin’s actions in the Ukraine with those of Adolph Hitler prior to World War Two. The Russian claim to Ukraine lands is derived from long time ethnic based sovereignty rights, which Hitler also asserted in his initial land grabs. Some nugget of truth may exist, but drawing the parallel between the German evil mastermind and the modern-day leader begins to draw attention away from Putin’s actions. Playing the “Hitler card” can undermine the message. Similarly, the pastors in question could have emphasized their understanding of scripture as a foundation for their opposition to gay families. Instead, they went over the top with a conversation mentioning gays in the same breath as flesh eaters.
Many families of faith will no doubt oppose Nabisco’s actions. Many social issues draw sharp opinions from those on either side. In this instance, the prominent pastors may have drawn more support for gay families by making statements potentially equating homosexuality with cannibalism.
By: William Costolo