After yesterday's vote to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the Senate, some of America's most conservative voters were in a predictable melt down.
Over at Free Republic, a conservative website popular with Tea Party activists, the mood was souring and the mask was slipping:
"The issue of homosexuals in the military is part of the Marxist plan to destroy our society and our free nation. It will destroy our military, our defenses, our national security and eventually cost us our freedom!"
Meet your new homosexual overlords, I guess. I wonder what the mandatory reeducation camps will look like? I bet they'll be designed by Marc Jacobs and be really fabulous.
We can laugh - and we really should laugh - but the thing is, these people are serious. They really do fear that granting gay people equal rights (or any rights at all) will mean a reduction of their own.
Fear is at the root of their concerns. Fear for the nation, for the cultural fabric and fear for the future.
The Free Republic site, a ground zero of the right's culture war, is so fixated on the central planks of its fight that it helpfully lists them by name: Pro-Life, Supreme Court, Global Warming, Obama, Aliens (Illegal Ones), and the Homosexual Agenda.
But the mood was so dark yesterday that posters were simply calling it the Faggot Agenda, without censure. And in the discussion threads the gloves were off:
"Absolutely NO room for Fag’s in foxholes! One of them might be allowed to give perverted blood in an emergency or worse."
Some had social concerns about how their obvious distaste for the repeal would play out at family gatherings this Christmas. Others were fairly salivating at the prospect:
"I have to spend the holidays with the in laws, one is a flaming militant gay. I won’t be holding any punches this year. The good news is I doubt they will be inviting me back…"
No kidding. Depressingly, quite a few envisaged committing acts of violence against gay troops:
"Having spent my life in the commercial construction business I have never seen or had to build anything that a queer designer came up with that wasn’t pure crap and ugly!!! I’ll kick the shit out of them before I give them the time of day!"
"It is truly a revolting experience when a homo-sexual makes overtures towards me. If murder was legal, there would be a few more dead homosexuals."
Some were enthusiastically envisaging US troops killing gay soldiers:
"Did you hear?! That new gay guy must have fallen overboard 'cause he didn't show up for morning muster! Bless his little queer heart, he dropped a grenade in his own foxhole and couldn't get out fast enough. Queerest thing I've ever seen! He fell like a rock when his chute didn't open. Fags should really consider what they're getting themselves into if this BS passes. They haven't got a clue."
The level of over the top rhetoric was only matched by the sinister threats to gay troops:
"This is the darkest day in our history. This is truly a disaster. My heart goes out to the service men who will defend themselves from gang rape and go to prison for doing so. Fragging will be known as “fagging” . These sick perverts should be in jail not in the barracks. I am so sad for America. It will not be pretty."
Gang rape? Really? That's what going to happen now that DADT will be repealed?
Conservatives can claim they oppose the repeal for logistical reasons, for moral reasons, for religious reasons or political ones. But when the change they fear actually arrived yesterday it became quite clear that the source of their objections was contempt, not convictions.
I should probably note at this point that it seemed as many women as men were voicing their objections:
"I currently belong to an athletic club, and have had issues with dykes in there in the locker room: brushing against me for no damn good reason because there’s more than enough room to pass, checking me out in very obvious ways, one pretending to be texting but I THINK was taking my pic (fully clothed thank God) by the way she was holding her phone etc. I hesitated in sharing the above because it is quite personal but for some reason decided it should be shared. Now I’m picturing this kind of stuff being foisted on our military members against their will and I want to vomit like there’s no tomorrow."
You go right ahead, love. Get it all out, eh?
Another wrote: "I’m so tired of listening to apologists for these deviant people. I realize many people love their deviant family members but wrong IS wrong regardless."
Many people do love their deviant family members. Especially at this time of the year, when family gatherings bring us all together. But not the conservatives at Free Republic.
"Everything seems flat now," wrote one. "I am not interested Christmas, sports or anything."
Now might be the time to remind all these hyperventilating Chicken Little's that the sky is not falling, America's not collapsing and that Armageddon isn’t happening just yet.
How do I know this? Because gays have been serving in the US military for years, for centuries in fact. The only difference now is they don’t have to hide the fact they’re gay.
Hating them wasn't a good enough reason to deny them their rights. So welcome to their brave new world. You have nothing to fear from it. Really.