Monday, September 15, 2014

Dee Snider & the Religious Right

I lived in the Deep South, America's Bible Belt, most of my life (at least 45 years).  I was there, raising a young daughter, during the "culture wars" of the 1990's.  I remember how those "hot button" social issues dominated the politics of the day, and were used to divide Americans.  At the time, I took no strong position on any one of these issues; and that includes attempts to censor the entertainment media; I took that as very normal; and didn't feel that it concerned me directly.  No one was attempting to restrict my right of free speech – of course, I wasn't using that right anyway, so it shouldn't matter if they did.

If I had paused to think about it, I would've realized that bigotry and sanctimony were at the root of those attempts, but that's the point; I didn't think about it,  I took it as normal.  And a few years later, I was being attacked by the same kind of sanctimonious cowards.  But, since I couldn't care about others who were being attacked by the Religious Right; maybe it was justice that brought those attacks on me.

Oh, they couldn't care about my right of free speech; not if it conflicted with their lynch mob mentality.  They failed, huge, to live according to their stated principles.  They failed.

In 1985, a Senate hearing was instigated by the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), who wanted to introduce a parental warning system that would label all albums containing offensive material. The system was to include letters identifying the type of objectionable content to be found in each album (e.g. O for occult themes, S for sex, D for drugs, V for violence, etc.).

Dee Snider (of the band Twisted Sister), John Denver, and Frank Zappa all testified against censorship and the proposed warning system. The proposed system was never implemented, but the result of the hearing brought about what you've seen on CDs, the generic "Parental Advisory: Explicit Content" label.

The PMRC was initially formed by the wives of Senator Al Gore (D-TN), and Secretary of State James Baker. Tipper Gore in particular became the face of the PMRC and a public foil for Snider in the hearings.

But those Senate hearings were never focused on protecting children from obscene material ... that was just cover for an attack on what those sanctimonious hypocrites hated, and feared, because it was different.  And, ye
h, why not question Dee Snider's patriotism while you're at it, and find out how he feels about the Holy Trinity, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?

The irony of those Senate hearings is that the American government exists to protect Dee Snider's right to free speech; not to advance someone else's social agenda.  What about you?  Do you think the government exists only to further your agenda?  Or does it exist to protect those who disagree with you?

In his opening remarks at the PMRC hearings, Dee Snider stated: "I was born and raised a Christian and I still adhere to those principles."

Yeh, and as Mister Snider pointed out to the Senate committee the only pornographic content was in Tipper Gore's twisted mind.

Dee Snider's 1985 PMRC Senate Hearing Speech: Part 1  Part 2 Part 3  (Senator Al Gore's questions to Dee Snider)


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