"The study concluded that the statements 'were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.'"
[For the full article, see here.]
As I remember, when the U.S. invaded Iraq, 70% of the American people were in favor of that invasion, presumably because they blindly believed what they were told by President Bush and those in his administration. Now, of course, given the tremendous costs in lives, destroyed hopes, and money associated with that war, most Americans seem to be against that war that we initiated.
One day we will see how people have been similarly manipulated by the exclusionary rhetoric of assorted clergy, politicians, and media personalities regarding LGBT people!
There's money, fame, and votes to be gotten by such exclusionary rhetoric, because it appeals to the basic, dark parts of the human heart. That rhetoric emanates from the evil in one's heart, and it is directed to the evil in other people's hearts so that it resonates with both that evil and with the need of others to construct an "enemy" whom they can blame for all sorts of disasters that occur in their lives and in the world.
Therefore, Gay people can be blamed for everything from "the destruction of the family" to Hurricane Katrina! And that evil nonsense works!
The fact that exclusionary nonsense that comes from evil can pay off for all sorts of people, from clergy, politicians, and radio and TV "personalities," not only doesn't speak well for the character of many of the American people (and those in other countries who are similarly infected with the appeal to evil), but must be seen as the major vehicle that provides the needed scapegoat for those who need someone or something to blame for their misfortune, or for their unhappiness in life.
As the economy continues to sink, when the Dollar increasingly loses its value, when unemployment and underemployment continue to rise, people are going to want someone to blame and, unfortunately, rather than put the blame where it truly belongs, they search out targets that they view as safe to blame for their lot in life, and then they persecute them.
And mendacious clergy, politicians, and media personalities know full well the dynamics of scapegoating. They realize how their scapegoating materially pays off for them.
And it materially pays off for them because their scapegoating is very much welcomed by those who feel the need for someone or some group or some country to blame for (and/or because of) their profound unhappiness in life and who are, therefore, foolish and manipulable enough to believe the lies of those who scapegoat others and encourage them to do the same.
Just as people have been lied to regarding the war in Iraq, they have been lied to regarding LGBT people!
And they've been lied to for the very same reasons they've been lied to about the war. And that is because scapegoating pays off, and those who scapegoat know that fact, and they count on the ignorant, the unfulfilled, the unhappy, and the hateful among us to more than willingly subscribe to their agenda.
It must be recognized that it's those who preach the false gospel of exclusion; it's those who smear and stereotype Gay people who have the "agenda!"
That "agenda" can be the desire to acquire wealth or votes; the need for fiery sermons to fill the collection plates or to acquire fame in the media; the need to divert people's attention from crucial domestic problems; the need to fulfill an unresolved Oedipus Complex; the desire to "Christianize" (under the name "democratize") the Middle East; the externalization of mean-spiritedness or downright evil!
Regardless of what form the "agenda" takes, it comes from evil and it appeals to evil, and is diametrically opposed to anything that has to do with God!