So whose hatred is more venomous — the “God Hates Fags” crowd from Fred Phelps’ extremist congregation or David Barton, the Texas-based religious-right propagandist who thinks God is punishing gay people with AIDS? Tough call.
Speaking recently at Charis Bible College in Colorado, Barton told his audience that there will never be a vaccine for AIDS pretty much because God doesn’t want one. Our friends at Right Wing Watch quote Barton as explaining that Romans 1 in the Bible says people who have sex with others of the same gender will suffer a “penalty they deserved”:
“Anything the Bible says is right. There is scientific basis for it now. The federal government, in the last several years, has spent tens of billions of dollars looking for a vaccine for AIDS, and I don’t think they will ever find a vaccine for HIV/AIDS. And I say that based on a particular Bible verse … Notice this, homosexuals receive in their bodies the penalty due them. The Bible says if you engage in homosexuality, your body will do things that will penalize you. So if you can have a vaccine for AIDS, then you’re keeping your body from penalizing you. I don’t think they’ll ever find a vaccine for AIDS.”
This isn’t the first time Barton has made the same vile argument. The Southern Poverty Law Center also documents Barton’s anti-gay screeds. In any case, each time he says something like that, we’re reminded of Pat Buchanan’s sneering attack on gay people as AIDS killed thousands in the 1980s:
”The poor homosexuals — they have declared war upon nature, and now nature is extracting an awful retribution.”
That was in 1983. Barton is still making essentially the same argument more than three decades later. And keep this in mind: Barton is influential with right-wing Republican lawmakers who vote on things like funding for AIDS research.