Trololololol

Hey! Want to piss off some homophobic fundie bigots? Of course you do!

So recently, a dearly beloved snack food came out in support of marriage equality. And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth among people whose lives are filled with anger and fear, that they would never again be able to enjoy their favorite cookie. Truly, my heart bled. Did yours? I bet it did, you softie, you.

And now, a group of folks called Minnesota for Marriage, which is a curious thing for a group trying to prevent certain people from being allowed to marry to call themselves, are declaring war (which, I guess, is what you do when you’re all about love) against General Mills. Because General Mills supports love and equality and marriage for everyone, you see, and that is an evil Satanic homodevil thing to do. And MFM’s Andy Parrish, who wants all his loyal prayer warriors to know he can be reached at [email protected], will have none of it.

Well, my my. For sure, General Mills definitely needs someone at their backs. So why not? After all, who doesn’t enjoy Count Chocula? (Okay, don’t answer that. But, good grief, Trix! Whose childhood wasn’t positively influenced by the Trix rabbit!)

So here are some fun ideas. You can send old Andy a note letting him know that you appreciate the information that General Mills have come out against the kind of bigotry by which Andy has chosen to define his life, and that you will certainly support their products in any way you can. Better yet, if you’re a gay couple, what fun could be had by sending Andy a photo of yourselves, posing with your favorite General Mills cereal. One of you could be feeding the other a spoonful of Cheerios in a sultry way. Or if you really wanted to make Andy’s head asplode, one of you could be licking flakes of Total off the other’s body with the note “You bet I’m getting 100%!”

Trolling. It is such an art!

Looking forward to seeing what shenanigans ensue.


Quick addendum: General Mills is not the company that makes Oreos. That’s Kraft. Thing is, they’re both proudly pro-equality, the bigots hate them both now, so we should give them our love.


Addendum the Second: According to PZ, this post appears on Minnesota for Marriage’s FB page.

Nothing about blended fabrics, though.

And they’re trying to disown it by saying it was put there by a hacker. (Here’s the proof that that’s a lie and desperate spin, and that they support the scriptural sentiment.) But they wouldn’t take it down until “Facebook’s forensics team” identified the hacker. (eyeroll) So it stayed up until the afternoon of Wednesday, June 27, getting all kinds of high-fives from MfM’s fellow fundie bigots.

But here’s the thing. You don’t get to do this. You don’t get to trumpet your bigotry with a fanfare of Biblical justifications, and then repudiate one of the principal passages from the very holy scriptures upon which that bigotry is founded, because you’re uncomfortably aware that by modern, secular, humanistic moral boundaries, its incitement to murder goes a little too far. If this book is the divinely inspired word of your creator, from whom you believe your “morality” comes, what basis you do have to pick and choose what “morals” he gets to teach you?

If God is your “absolute moral authority,” and he says do this, you can’t say “Yes God, you’re my moral authority, except when you tell me to kill someone.” Because aren’t you then placing your “relative” moral values over those of the “absolute” lawgiver?

Think for yourself. Make your choice. Millennia-old religious edicts or modern enlightened thought? In or out?

I can haz cognitive dissonance?

Good old religion.

It’s what allows people to abuse a child by teaching him to do this…

And then turn right around in the face of public outrage and make this statement on their webpage.

Yeah, but...the song...

If the spectacle of adults cheering homophobic hate they trained a child to sing doesn’t quite reconcile with their claims they don’t hate anybody, welcome to the bizarro world of Christianity. You know, as vile as this is, it’s also kind of awesome. Really. My hope is that by more and more incidents like this coming to public attention, Christianity will become further and further marginalized as this appalling, fringe community no decent, moral, emotionally mature and well-adjusted adult would be seen dead being a part of. The Millennial generation are already leaving the faith in droves, much to the chagrin of the fundie old guard, and it must be said that Christianity’s constant message of hate, ignorance, fear and bigotry has been a major factor in turning people off.

I would love for nothing more than to see this toddler, years from now as an adult, reformed in Nathan Phelps or Marjoe Gortner style, speaking before atheist and secular organizations about the evils of the faith. And the crazy thing is, it could just happen!

Open thread on episode #712

I’m not Hitchens, and so I’m often not as articulate when I speak as when I write. But here, after some thought, is what I find annoying about Charlie the Atheist Homophobe’s arguments.

His obsession with words and their proper definitions would be a lot more persuasive if he weren’t being so self-serving and hypocritical about how he argues his position. When he called Tracie and me two weeks ago, the burden of his argument was that the word homophobia has a colloquial meaning that has changed and evolved from its dictionary definition, so as to incorporate such things as “disgust” rather than strictly “irrational fear” (the meaning of “phobia” in a nutshell). Charlie was supportive of this evolution of homophobia’s meaning, of course.

But he is not similarly supportive of a change and evolution of the definition of marriage. While homophobia gets to expand its meaning to include a variety of emotional states, marriage does not get to expand its meaning to include a variety of relationship commitments, including same-sex couples (even though the almighty dictionary says it can). And Charlie’s whole justification for opposing any expansion of marriage‘s definition is an appeal to tradition and consensus, the very things he thinks should be ignored in the case of homophobia.

It’s a pure double standard, of the sort that people who are smart enough to know better often hold, so as to convince themselves that an intellectually and morally offensive point of view is in fact intellectually and morally justified. But as Russell said, if the guy isn’t actually out to impinge on anyone’s rights, then his word games are just so much noise.

I personally still don’t get why people so desperately latch onto these kinds of justifications. I’d find it ridiculously presumptuous of me to instruct a couple of strangers, who happened to be consenting adults, on what term they were allowed to apply to their personal relationship commitment, because “traditional” terms made me uncomfortable. If gay people want to be married and call it “marriage,” how does that harm me? How does it negatively impact my life in any degree whatsoever? What’s it got to do with me anyway? Nothing, that’s what.

And yet Charlie is so desperate to justify his folly that he’ll call my position irrational. Whatever. Seems to me the dude’s on no more sensible, let alone honest, ground than Tony Perkins.

Notes on episode 710

Yes, we know the video link isn’t working. We’re working on it. Specifically, Don says we’re shifting to a new server. So I’ll add an addendum to this post when there’s a workable video to view.

A couple of notes on some things that a few viewers have emailed us about, regarding how a couple of the calls went.

Mark “from Stone Church”: Some folks have admonished us for being a bit curt and dismissive of Mark this time, considering how he seems to have made such progress in shifting from mindless follower to free thinker. Yes, about that. While I’m not as inclined to think there are as many Poes calling us as a lot of our viewers like to think, there is something about Mark that sets my skeptical Spidey-sense a-tingling with every call we get. I’m not the first person to make this observation. That his IP address originates from Canada has raised some eyebrows as to whether he really attends Austin Stone Church at all (though that’s not proof of anything, as a person could use any ISP they chose, I suppose). But there was just something about Sunday’s call that made a little blinking red light labeled Bogus! go off in my head, though I really could not put my finger on any one definite thing. Is he someone who’s been jerking our chain all this time? I cannot point to any smoking-gun evidence. Call it a hunch, which I know is about as unscientific as it gets.

There are little things — notice how Mark always claims to be present in a room full of people when he calls (“I’m with my congregation…” “I’ve got all my friends watching…”), yet you never hear any background chatter? You’d think a room full of Christians calling an atheist show would be full of “Hey, ask them this!” and “Let me, let me!” And then there’s the abrupt shift from “You’re going to hell!” to “Let’s get together on this investigation that shows every time you question religion it’s proven false!” Most of us who came from a religious background will tell you, you don’t go from a devout believer to hardline, investigation-minded skeptic in the span of a couple of weeks. Deconversion happens all the time, but it’s a long and gradual process and it often takes years to shake off the more insidious and psychologically oppressive aspects of religious indoctrination, such as the fear of even the remotest, 1% possibility that disbelief will lead to eternity in hell. (Pascal’s Wager is intellectually risible, but to a non-critical mind, it’s an emotional sledgehammer.)

But the strange thing is, if Mark is a Poe, he hasn’t been asking us anything overtly obnoxious or trollish. (His hellfire admonitions in his “believer” phase were standard Christian stuff.) So while I’m not sure I believe he is who or what he says he is, he hasn’t given us much reason to be rude or contemptuous of him, and that wasn’t the intent on Sunday. But by the time his call was over we were 25 minutes into a one-hour show and it was time to move on.

Charlie the “atheist homophobe”: Unfortunately, we had to move on to this assclown.

Again, some folks have opined that Tracie and I handled this one all wrong, and in fact I’d agree. What I should have done — with 20/20 hindsight — was point out that as an African-American, Charlie ought to know a thing or two about how hurtful and damaging ignorance, hate and bigotry are, and that for him to hold such views was simply disgraceful. Click, you’re done.

What I do not think we had any obligation to do was grant Charlie his point that the term homophobia ought to refer to “disgust” towards gays rather than hate and fear. First off, even if this were true, what difference would it make? Sure, homophobia can (and does) include “disgust,” but it’s the most asinine hair-splitting to try to claim that this emotion is somehow independent or entirely unrelated to fear or hate, when in fact “disgust” in this case is simply an emotional by-product of said fear and hate.

And even if it weren’t a by-product of those things, what exactly was Charlie thinking? That our attitude towards homophobia might change — that we’d revise our opinion that it’s sheer contemptible idiocy — if hate and fear were removed from the definition? And try as we might, we simply couldn’t stop Charlie from spinning in circles on the definition and pin him down on one salient question: if he thinks the definition of homophobia is an inaccurate description of his attitude, then why add to the confusion by using the term to classify himself?

Homophobia’s definition, I agree, is more complex than the strict dictionary definition (“irrational fear and antipathy towards homosexuals”) may reveal. Regular commenter GeorgeFromNY pointed out on Facebook last night that the term has its origins in clinical psych, and originally referred to men whose aversion to the gay was so intense as to be pathological. Furthermore, it’s often noted that what these homophobes fear is not gay men per se, but the possibility that they themselves might respond positively to a potential gay sexual advance, due to some latent unexplored homoerotic attraction they haven’t (and cannot) come to terms with. In short, it was projection gone wild. Now, I’ll admit that many homophobes may in fact not be closet cases, though the sheer number of anti-gay conservative politicians and clergymen who have eventually been caught in flagrante delicto with their young swains does tend to lend some legitimacy to the stereotype.

But really, I think what Charlie was trying to do was perform a semantic Mexican Hat Dance around the real matter at hand, which is, if you call us up and the first words out of your mouth are “I’m a homophobe,” we are not going to respect you. It’s no different than calling up and saying “I’m a misogynist!” or “I’m a racist!” It all translates to “I’m a bigoted douche!” And whether your bigotry is based on fear or disgust, it’s all the same in the end, and equally beneath contempt. Trying to play some game with definitions in order to defend something indefensible is about as absurd as it gets.

“Oh, I see, you don’t fear gays, you’re simply disgusted by them. Well, that’s okay then.” Really, Charlie? Really?

So yeah, we handled Charlie poorly and could have shut him down sooner. But you learn a little something with every episode you do, and we always appreciate the feedback, pro and con, from viewers, because it helps us think about how to do better every time.

We get the most amazing e-mails…

The following is an anonymous e-mail (wall of text, really) we just received. It was addressed to Jeff, so I won’t waste time responding (hurray)…but this is one tiny segment of what we deal with. It may be a Poe, but the author certainly seems to have all the answers. Enjoy:

Hello, Jeff Dee. I would like to ask you a few questions about your video that was done 6 years ago about same-sex marriage. The first thing you said is that it is not bad for the kids. This is wrong. Every child deserves a mother and a father. The only time a child might not have either a father or mother might be because the parent leaves them (which is wrong) or one or both parents die (which is a tragedy). Gay couples go into a relationship knowing they cannot produce offspring so they should not have the right to adopt kids. Just like an old couple that might be 70 years old should not be allowed to adopt because they are near the end of their lives. And Matt said that nothing bad has happened since gay marriage has been allowed but what if 50% of the population was gay. Don’t you think
there would be something wrong in that situation? Matt also said that Rosie O’Donnel is single and she adopted a child. That is wrong as well. Just because she was able to do it does not mean it was right. And then you said that gays not being able to have kids isn’t a good reason why they shouldn’t get married because there are infertile couples that get married. Well, how would a couple know that they are infertile until they actually get married and try to have kids? Gays automatically know that it is impossible for them to have kids. They know it. Infertile couples do not. Then you said that because animals are gay, that makes homosexuality natural. Well, dogs also sniff each others butts. When some animals are born, the mother will
eat the placenta off her newborn. Does that make it natural for human beings to do that as well? You can’t compare animals and humans. What is natural for an animal may not be natural for a human. As well, animals can’t think. They don’t have the thinking power that humans do. They don’t know that homosexuality is wrong and they don’t need to care about that. When an animal dies, it dies. It doesn’t go anywhere. They rely on instinct. They don’t have rules like humans do. When animals kill other animals, does that make it okay for humans to kill humans? But then why did you say that because animals commit homosexual acts that it is okay for humans to do so as well? And then you used that left-handedness argument which was so pointless. God never said it’s a sin to write with your left hand. No one gets hurt from someone writing with their left hand. And then you said the word “bigots” but that would mean you’re a bigot too since you are intolerant of my religion. Bigot does not just apply to people who are against homosexuality. And just because someone isn’t in favour of homosexuality, it does not make that person a bigot. And the reason AIDS affects gay people is because they can only do anal. In the Bible, anal and oral sex is a sin. That is why even straight people are not allowed to practice that type of sex or else it is a sin. God is smarter than you think. And then you brought up the “small people” argument but that’s a physical trait. Even if they can change it, they shouldn’t because that is how they should be born into this world. Homosexuality is a choice. You can choose on your own if you want to be with the same or opposite sex. But that child in the uterus cannot choose if he/she is born small or regular. And then you said how just because a dictionary defines marriage as man and woman that it can change to say man and man or woman and woman. Well, Christians don’t follow the dictionary. We follow the Bible, and in the Bible it is defined as man and woman. So your dictionary argument was bad. And your legal/law argument as well. Just because the law says something is right that does not make it right. Laws and dictionary definitions change all the time but the Bible stays true, unless God changes it. And then Matt made that horrible argument how if a gay couple secretly gets married that live next door that it wouldn’t affect you because you don’t know about that. So something is okay as long as you don’t know about it? Well, what if the next door neighbour was a father and son and they both went off to get married secretly? So do you think incest is okay? Because who are they hurting this “father and son”. From Matt’s standpoint, if he wants to be consistent, then he can’t say that it is wrong for a father and son to go off and get married secretly. Also, what if the next door neighbour has sex with his dog yet no one knows about it? Does that make it right for that person to have sex with his dog? So do you think it’s okay for your next door neighbour to have sex with a dog since that doesn’t affect you, especially if you don’t know about it? And then you said just because the Bible says that homosexuality is wrong, that doesn’t make it true. Well the Bible says incest is wrong. So you, as an Atheist, can have no right in saying that incest is wrong. Because if society said incest is okay, would you then be in favour of incest? And you brought up the “trade deal” argument. Doesn’t that happen in society today where the man pays for the wedding, the ring, etc? It was just a different way of paying back then because there was no money. They had animals so they had to use that. And then lastly, you said there are no secular reasons why gay marriage should be against the law. But if you think about it, what is gonna stop incest from becoming allowed in law? What about pedophilia? Don’t you think society is getting out of hand? Sure, the gay couple next door may not affect my straight marriage directly, but it does affect it indirectly because it ruins society. Soon it could be allowed that you can have sex with animals. Is it okay to get married to an animal just because it is legal? Nah.

Why Anti-Gay Catholic Doctrine Is Good

It just gets sadder and sadder.

I received a response from the Catholic who spawned the last item I posted. Since she wasn’t interested in visiting the blog to see what people thought, I went ahead and issued a full response. Below is her initial note back to me today, along with my reply below that:

Her note from today:

Hey, thanks for the response. I knew when I first wrote you that we would most likely not be coming to an agreement or anything close to it, and I hope you realize that was not my point. I understand how this can look like bigotry because I used to be an atheist and felt the same way you do. I just want to share with you a short explanation of my perspective and only ask that you try to imagine my point of view (as hard as it may be) for the time being. I’ve been studying Theology now for a while and it only finally came to me when I saw the whole picture. First, I would ask you to accept the claim that those who truly, that being the key word, try to live out there faith, sincerely and genuinely, really believe what their religion teaches. Whether it is out of ignorance, or a great deal of investigating and researching to see if there is truth behind it is irrelevant. The sincere and genuine person truly believes in the good and beauty of God and their faith and that is why they desire and choose to participate in it. There are of course exceptions to this and people who are not in religion for the right reasons, and although this does not contribute to my point, I want to acknowledge it. So, if we can say that a person genuinely believes the Church’s doctrine, and is sincere in their belief in it, we can say that their belief in a certain teaching is sincere as well. When they agree with a teaching on, lets say, loving your neighbor as yourself, it is because they genuinely believe with all their being that loving your neighbor as yourself is the right thing to do. Now shift the gears to a not so fuzzy sounding topic such as homosexuality. Regardless of what your opinions are, when someone holds a belief that to you might seem like it is out of hate or discrimination, (I know right now you are thinking BECAUSE IT IS HATE AND DISCRIMINATION, and I would ask you to bear with me), if they are, as I keep reiterating, sincere in their desire to want what is good, true, and beautiful then their support of this teaching is also out of sincerity. The sincerity in the belief that they feel it is false form of compassion (keep in mind this is the believers perspective) to find fulfillment outside of the will of God. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that the motive here is not hate, but one of love from their point of view as a result of their sincere beliefs. It contains no benefit for the individual, but is solely because of love for the other simply because of the fact that they are a human being with dignity. Whether the person agrees or not, in the believer’s opinion, the truth remains whether it is accepted or not. For example, if a girl with a eating disorder sees nothing wrong with her problem, the response of concern from her friends and family will remain even against her will, because they believe what they feel to be an objective truth and it is a result of their love for her. Even if they are seen as ignorant or stupid for their beliefs, it does not change the fact that they are wholehearted. Now of course this analogy falls short and in no way am I comparing homosexuality to an eating disorder, but you get my point. I only wish to express this to you because, and I wont go into it, this is a very personal and important topic to me and I value all people so greatly it breaks my heart to see all this confusion going on in so many people’s lives right now. I respect our difference in beliefs and would only ask that you understand mine to be one of sincerity and love if you refrain from judging the heart and dig a little deeper.

Thanks for reading.
Peace my friend.

My reply:

Thanks for writing back:

>I understand how this can look like bigotry

You fail to understand, however, that it is bigotry. That’s where the breakdown is happening. Calling something wrong that isn’t wrong for no good reason is pure prejudice in action.

>I used to be an atheist and felt the same way you do

Atheism has nothing to do with homophobia or lack of it. Some atheists are homophobic, some theists aren’t. You, unfortunately, have aligned yourself with theists who are. And you are causing needless harm to good people by doing so.

>Regardless of what your opinions are, when someone holds a belief that to you might seem like it is out of hate or discrimination, (I know right now you are thinking BECAUSE IT IS HATE AND DISCRIMINATION, and I would ask you to bear with me), if they are, as I keep reiterating, sincere in their desire to want what is good, true, and beautiful then their support of this teaching is also out of sincerity.

You seem to have a mistaken impression that it’s your attitude, and not your ideology or actions, I have a problem with? It’s the results you reap I oppose. Homophobic bigotry is harmful and wrong, whether it comes from horribly misguided ‘concern’ or open hatred. I hope that helps you better understand my position. Doing harm, but meaning well, is still harm. And I will continue to try to stop it and speak out against it.

>Therefore, it is reasonable to say that the motive here is not hate

Fine. Your motive is not hate. But your actions are still misguided, harmful to others, and based on prejudice, lies and fallacies.

>Now of course this analogy falls short and in no way am I comparing homosexuality to an eating disorder, but you get my point.

Yes, I agree. Gay is demonstrably not a disorder. And it’s not wrong, harmful or a problem. It’s also not your business or anything you need to be ‘concerned’ about. But you seem to think it’s loving to say it’s a ‘sin’ for fallacious and false reasons. I understand you think it’s sin. I think that’s ill, and I oppose it just as I would oppose bigotry from the KKK or any other brand of unwarranted prejudice from any group or authority.

Please understand that if All-Mighty God himself came to me and told me to call homosexuality a ‘sin,’ I would not agree to it. No authority can simply label benign action as wrong and make it so without justification. It would be immoral for anyone, and that would include a god, to require such a thing as ‘bigotry’ from his/her followers. And I am really not sure you understand that.

I’m sure KKK members are very sincere. I’m sure they think their views are positive and helpful and would be good for society overall to adopt. But they’re clearly wrong, just as you are. And they’re harmful, just as you are. And I will oppose that sort of immorality from the KKK or the Catholic church.

>it breaks my heart to see all this confusion

I assure you we’re not “confused” at AE TV. In fact, the more you try to explain, the deeper you dig yourself in. You’re only demonstrating that a well meaning person can be taught to do evil in the name of religion. And the fact you’re blind to what you’re doing only makes it all the more tragic. You seem to think I think you think you’re motive is hate. What I’m really saying is that I don’t care what your motive is. Your view, and your promotion of that view, is flatly harmful and wrong. You’re causing harm to people who aren’t causing harm to you. I don’t particularly care why you do it. It’s wrong to do it
, because you’re hurting people for no good reason. You are on the side of evil when it comes to this issue.

I encourage you, again, to visit the blog.

-th

Bigots Don’t Get to Claim the Moral High Ground

Uganda plans to introduce the death penalty for gays, but the government there says it’s more likely that the bill will only pass with life imprisonment:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8693560.stm

I’m not sure why, but in the last week, I’ve been presented with several issues that all involve gay hate and persecution in the Christian community. I’ve wanted to post about it, but wasn’t sure how to put it into a concise and linear statement. So, I’ve given up trying; and instead I am including below some abbreviated recent thoughts I’ve sent privately to a few correspondents:

Correspondence 1:
…I’m getting near to a boiling point with the whole anti-gay thing and religion. It may be difficult to believe, but I actually am more angry at the religious persecution of gays than of women. With women, the idea is a submissive existence, where women are acceptable—but only if they know their place. But gays have no “place” in Abrahamic religion, generally. Even some of the most educated Christians I know seem to have difficulty admitting there’s nothing wrong with it. The stupidity they spout, such as “Well, that’s up to god, I don’t judge.” As though they think there is some sort of dilemma. Judge what?!

I met a gay guy this week who was raised by fundamentalist parents. They believe in faith healing, and all manner of garbage. They taught him that gays were vile, evil, crimes against nature, abominations to god, the whole nine yards. He said he didn’t really think about it until he hit 13-14 and began to have sexual thoughts about the other boys in his school. Then he started worrying and wondering why god made him with these feelings, but was going to send him to hell. He told me he would engage in regular teen-boy activities in his room, and then feel so bad about it he’d go and shower and scrub himself until he bled. Finally, around 17, he took a bunch of pills. He said the attempt was half-hearted. And I’m happy for that—because today he’s a talented musician with a lot to offer. About his parents, he said he knows they only did what they were taught, and they didn’t know any better. He loves them and says they took care of him and tried to keep him from harm. But I can’t help thinking of all the trouble they caused, and how easy it would have been to keep him from that harm, if only they’d just asked: “Why are we saying this is so bad?”

His father told him eventually that he’d always known/suspected his son was gay. He explained he couldn’t understand how a loving parent could suspect their child is gay, and still proceed to tell them all the horrible hateful things his parents told him about homosexuality.

I have brown eyes. Most people on the planet have brown eyes. That doesn’t mean people without brown eyes are unnatural. And it’s certainly no license to persecute or hate them. “Uncommon” should never be equated with “evil.” “Evil” needs far more justification than that.

I have trouble grasping how people who exhibit hatred and bigotry and persecution—even violence in some cases—against gays can be considered to be on the “right” side of anything, while a gay man who forgives all the pain that has been inflicted on him, and just wants to live and be happy and not hurt anyone, is the vile abomination?

I seem to be getting a lot of prods on this issue recently. And until social equality is reached in this arena, I suppose everyone on the side of reason should be weighing in on this. ACA always supports the Gay Pride Festival locally. And I think this is an issue that is ripe for constant hammering. Hateful bigots who comfort themselves that they’re on the side of right really need to be told as loudly and often as possible they’re on the side of pure, unadulterated evil.

I just need to find the right words. But maybe those are the right words? Maybe that’s all that needs to be said?

Thanks for your letter. Sorry that gay people everywhere have been somehow singled out to put up with the worst of this bullshit, honestly.

Correspondence 2:
Maltreatment of women gets a lot of media attention. And well it should. But to me, the crimes against the gay community are so much worse—not by magnitude of numbers, but by sheer irrationality and vilification. Even the most misogynistic religions will allow a place, however disdainful, to women. But with gays—I mean, I can’t imagine being stoned to death because of how I was born. I loathe to see a woman persecuted for refusing to wear a veil. But I know that horrible as it is, she can hide behind that veil and live in hopes the oppression will end. With “gay”—there is no “king’s X”—no compromise you can strike. What you are is wrong.

To try and make it more clear, I host a party every year in November at a local Lake lodge. I invite friends, and we hang out for a weekend. One year, a gay friend told me that the location I use is notorious in the gay community for a gay hate murder that happened there years ago.

Here’s the point that bothers me: There are men who will rape and murder women. But I am aware society condemns those men as monsters and criminals. We haven’t quite reached that level of understanding with “gay.” Today, if someone kills a “fag,” I’m disturbed to know there are still a number of people in our culture who think the “queer” got what was coming to him. Literally, he shouldn’t have been gay.

And there is no rational basis for this hatred and vilification. These are good people who happen to be a minority percentage who are attracted to same sex mates for whatever reason. They’re not hurting anyone. They’re not converting anyone. They just want to do what any of us do, and be open about who they are and live their lives. And for that, they are vilified and persecuted.

I recall when I was in church, “gay” didn’t even require an explanation for why it was a sin. It just was. “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” right? Phenotypic attributes occur in populations on a bell curve—nearly across the board. You have the most dominant traits, and then you have less dominant extremes on either end, and a lot of diversity in between. I have gay friends who say they could have sex with opposite sex partners if push came to shove (some have even been married before), and others who say it wouldn’t be possible for them. I have straight friends who can’t fathom gay behavior, and others who say it’s six of one, half dozen of the other. In anthropology, you study different cultures around the globe, and by no means is homosexuality vilified in all areas like it is in our culture. And historically, it’s the same. Depending on where/when you happened to be born—you may be accepted, considered to be special to the gods, or executed.

There used to be a commercial where they sold contacts to change your eye color. In every commercial they shot, the woman they were selling to had brown eyes. Well, blue and green eyes are beautiful, I agree. But the fact is, if you want to sell contacts to color eyes, your target market is brown because brown eyes are the dominant trait in humans: Africa, Asia, South America, India, Aboriginal Australians, Native Americans, the Mid East—you get the idea. What if it was determined that since most people have brown eyes, eyes that aren’t brown are a crime against nature? Unnatural and therefore a sin? Punishable by death, imprisonment, or being persecuted and vilified by your society? Can you imagine the label such an initiative would get in today’s society? Not one person would think you were sane to suggest such a thing. And yet that’s exactly what we do to gays. And nearly all
the haters think you’re crazy to question “why?” To them, that question, by itself, is evidence of your own moral depravity. It’s “obvious” what’s wrong with these people—in the fundamentalist mind. They’re not the standard, so they’re wicked. But loads of people have attributes that are nonstandard, and we don’t think it’s fine to kill them. And the false facts cooked up to vilify it are just aggravating. I recall some years ago showing someone once that AIDS was most prominent in heterosexual, not homosexual populations. They refused to believe it until the statistics were staring them in their face. It’s frustrating to know good people who are subjected to this sort of prejudicial treatment, and then recognize a lot of people in our culture don’t understand what the motivation could possibly be to make it otherwise.

A Final Note
Just to add that the reason in the Christian Bible for condemning homosexuality is that it places a male in the position of a female. In other words, it’s a misogynistic argument that it’s wrong for a man to be used as a lowly woman. It’s a disgrace to male superiority, and any man who humiliates himself (puts himself on the level of a rank female) needs to die.

In Leviticus 18:22, the Bible says, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” It’s right between rules against burning children as human sacrifices and having sex with animals. That’s where you rank if you’re gay, according to the Christian god (to whom these statements are attributed in verses 1 and 2 of the same chapter).

Later in Leviticus 20, which also starts out attributing it’s content directly to god, in verse 13 it says, “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

I can hear it already, though: “That’s the Old Testament.”

Yes, it is. It’s the Old Testament, the first part of your Christian Bible, and it says your Christian god instructed this harmful idiocy. You either believe these statements are correct and that god, in fact, did instruct His adherents to do these things—in which case you agree these statements, and any compliant actions resulting (such as murdering gay men) were actually justified by your Christian god (and therefore acceptable to you—if you are an adherent of this same god); or you think your Bible is incorrect when it comes to what it says god tells people to do, in which case, how is the book even helpful, as it’s admittedly untrustworthy?

If you believe your Bible is correct, and you agree with this content and worship this personality you think ordered the murder of these people as moral “law,” for the crime of not inheriting the most common phenotypic attributes of their overall populations, then as I said earlier, you are on the side of “pure, unadulterated evil.” You and your god are no more “moral” than another historic figure who also once decided that people with the “wrong” phenotypes should be removed from the human population.

George Rekers is a bigger whore than his own rentboy

Whenever one of these secretly-gay fundamentalist homophobes manages unintentionally to out himself with the usual Keystone Kops subtlety, one thing can be counted on always to happen. Folks like us will be passing around yummy slices of schadenfreude pie, and at some point during the party, amidst all the gloating and off-color jokes about a man’s “luggage,” someone will sincerely wonder why the secretly-gayest of all Christians are the most virulently, vocally homophobic.

There’s a complex psychological answer to this, of course, having much to do with the cognitive trauma endured by a lifetime of Christian indoctrination that is often and repeatedly at odds with reality, and the way such indoctrination is designed expressly to tear down the believer’s self-esteem so as to rebuild it with Christianity at the center of it. But in some cases, there’s also a painfully simple answer as well. Take old George Rekers. In a very meaningful way, what prompted his homophobic crusade was the crassest of all human motives. It paid big bucks. Your big bucks, if you happen to be a Floridian.

Turns out that Rekers banked a handsome $120,000 of taxpayers’ money when the state of Florida paid for his services as an “expert witness” against a gay man trying to adopt a child. Money, as the writer of the linked article points out bitterly, which could have gone to some needy school district or something. And he’s done it before, once in Arkansas where his input was dismissed as “worthless” by a judge. But Rekers still got to keep his fee. That kind of money will certainly pay for a lot of high-end designer-label cock luggage.

Rekers has made his living as a homophobe-for-hire, spewing worthless, unscientific opinions in courtrooms with the goal of destroying peoples’ dreams of a family of their own. And he did it for money. All the while living the life he condemned, smugly convincing himself, I have no doubt, that by punishing others for his own “sins” he was balancing the moral books. Congrats, George, you just leveled up your “Scum” attributes as high as they can go. At least your hunky “Lucien” never pretended to be something he was not!