Monday, April 23, 2012

Pat Boone Is An Unlikely Lugar Supporter

Entertainer Pat Boone seems to be the unlikeliest of persons from the entertainment industry to be coming to Indiana to help Sen. Richard Lugar in his hotly-contested primary race with Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who has the backing of many conservatives within the Republican Party and among Tea Party activists. Boone is scheduled to appear at a fundraising luncheon for Lugar this Saturday in Monticello, an event that is co-hosted by White Co. Prosecutor Bob Guy and former Monticello Mayor Jason Thompson. “We’re delighted, but not surprised that Pat Boone is encouraging fellow conservatives to support Dick Lugar – a champion of fiscal sanity in Washington, D.C.,” Thompson said in a press release issued by the Lugar campaign on Boone's scheduled appearance.

Boone, a singer, actor and motivational speaker with strong conservative leanings, has created quite a fire storm at a small college in Michigan where he is scheduled next month to deliver a commencement address and receive an honorary degree. Faculty and students at Adrian College have been circulating petitions protesting Boone's selection because of Boone’s “inflammatory kinds of rhetoric.” They are particularly upset because of Boone's views on homosexuality and the fact that he has openly questioned Barack Obama's natural born citizenship status. WND reports on the controversy:
Janet Salzwedel, an officer with the faculty association, told the newspaper professors were upset with what she called Boone’s “inflammatory kinds of rhetoric.”

The Blade also cited objections over Boone’s willingness to question Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president and the legitimacy of the document the White House presented as Obama’s purported, long-form birth certificate.
“He is free to speak at other places,” Salzwedel said, “but this is about the students and their day, and [Boone] is not what Adrian College represents.”

According to the Blade, it’s Boone’s commentaries in WND that have “riled some people on the United Methodist Church-affiliated college campus.”
A Facebook page set up to “keep Pat Boone off of Adrian College’s campus” contends that Boone spends his time as a “political pundit, promoting his views of racism, sexism, homophobia and religious intolerance” and then links to a press release put out by the Human Rights Campaign, a leading homosexual activism group.

The Facebook page, under the name of Adrian College junior Chelsea Blankinship, cites a 2008 Boone column in WND that she says “stepped outside the bounds of decency and morality” for “comparing LGBT activism with the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.”

Boone’s column specifically states that homosexual activists haven’t grown as violent as jihadi terrorists, but does point to “the anger, the vehemence, the total disregard for law and order … the hate seething in the words, faces and actions” of some of California’s Proposition 8 protesters, who took to the streets demanding the state’s voter-approved ballot initiative preserving marriage between one man and one woman be struck down.

“Hate is hate, no matter where it erupts,” Boone writes in the column’s pivotal paragraph. “And hate, unbridled, will eventually and inevitably boil into violence. How crazily ironic that the homosexual activists and sympathizers cry for ‘tolerance’ and ‘equal rights’ and understanding – while they spew vitriol and threats and hate at those who disagree with them on moral and societal grounds.”

Blankinship contends of Boone, “When someone makes their living declaring hate and intolerance, [he] has no place on a college campus that was founded as a campus that accepts diversity.”
College President Jeffrey Docking told the Blade that Boone was selected from a list of speakers forwarded by a committee, which included faculty, and that Boone has no intention of politicizing his commencement address.

But Docking also insists that colleges should not be in the business of screening out politically incorrect viewpoints.

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