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You Know, Deviants–Like Rapists, Murderers… Gays…

Franciscan University
Says homosexuality
Is much like rape and robbery—
That is, they say it’s wrong.
It’s different from the norm, you see;
Disordered, yes, intrinsically
(Though clinical psychology
Now sings a different song)

In Social Work, class three-fourteen
What “deviance” is meant to mean,
(So says the statement from the dean)
Is “different from the norm”.
Franciscan’s academic scene
Is filtered through a Catholic screen—
What makes it through is squeaky clean,
Selected to conform

And those who live a different way—
The thief, or rapist; whore, or gay
The people who’ve been led astray
In this course, they’re addressed.
And those who cluck with loud dismay
Whose first response is just to pray
Whose numbers shrink each passing day
Will they be on the test?

Via NPR, the story of The Franciscan University, where one course–Social Work 314 (scroll down this link for the class) is generating some buzz. Not good buzz.

DEVIANT BEHAVIOR focuses on the sociological theories of deviant behavior such as strain theory, differential association theory, labeling theory, and phenomenological theory. The behaviors that are primarily examined are murder, rape, robbery, prostitution, homosexuality, mental illness, and drug use. The course focuses on structural conditions in society that potentially play a role in influencing deviant behavior.

According to NPR, the Franciscan U. gay and lesbian alumni group quite understandably wants the course description changed.

One could easily find other groups that fit the description of “deviant behavior” (the university statement defines it simply as “different from the norm”). One such group would be… Oh, I dunno… Franciscans. One of Cuttleson’s recent classes focused on religious groups (cults and other small, “deviant” groups), so I know the textbooks are out there. I frankly think that, academically, it makes more sense to expand the number of examples of “deviant behavior” rather than to limit them, given the historical uses and misuses of the term. We (I define “we” broadly, to include groups I don’t particularly identify with) have marginalized people, criminalized, institutionalized, discriminated against in so very many ways. For The Franciscan University to include their own deviant (by the sociological definition) behavior in the class, perhaps they could learn a bit about why other groups might not appreciate the label they currently share with such a select group.

Comments

  1. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Ha!
    Rodney, you are SO right.
    There should be a bumper sticker saying that!

  2. says

    You’d think that these kinds of things would cease to amaze me, and yet every time I am still surprised. As Rodney Nelson so eloquently put it in comment #1, being gay is certainly not any more different from the norm than being celibate is. Of course they aren’t simply trying to say that homosexuality is different. By lumping it in with murder and rape they are deliberately suggesting that homosexuality is as evil and hurtful killing or raping someone. Moreover, to label mental illness as “deviant behavior” is also incredibly wrong. Mental illnesses are just that: illnesses. They are no more deviant behaviors than diabetes or asthma are.
    The Franciscans, and the Catholic church as a whole, should be ashamed of themselves. I can’t believe I used to be associated with those people.

  3. Verity Manumit says

    Homosex is not deviant, but I have to conclude that the general lack of integrity and honesty found in gay men is.

  4. Cuttlefish says

    Hmm… that has certainly not been my experience. Have you a source to back up your claim, or might it just be that this group of people has found good reason not to trust you?

  5. bassmanpete says

    Verity, having played in rock ‘n’ roll bands since the early ’60s and played in places where all sorts of “deviants” congregate, I would say that the integrity and honesty of gay men (and women) is no different from that of the general population.

  6. Verity Manumit says

    Cuttlefish: Hmm… that has certainly not been my experience. Have you a source to back up your claim, or might it just be that this group of people has found good reason not to trust you?

    This has nothing to do with me.

  7. Verity Manumit says

    bassmanpete: Verity, having played in rock ‘n’ roll bands since the early ’60s and played in places where all sorts of “deviants” congregate, I would say that the integrity and honesty of gay men (and women) is no different from that of the general population.

    Not trying to attack you personally, but…lol…you must not have been paying attention all these years.

  8. sthek says

    Verity, I bet that MOST of the people you know are “lacking in integrity and honesty”, whatever that means in your world. We tend to attract certain types of people into our lives, regardless of sexual orientation.

  9. Compuholic says

    And our question is: “How do you know”

    It seems to be a simple and straightforward question to answer (at least if you really know)

  10. jenny6833a says

    Cuddlefish says, “One could easily find other groups that fit the description of “deviant behavior” (the university statement defines it simply as “different from the norm”).

    Yeah, they missed atheists, agnostics, nudists, and other high-IQ people.

  11. Cuttlefish says

    This has nothing to do with me.

    A nice start would be another sentence following this, supplying the evidence for your claim.

    I can imagine, for instance, looking at the notion of hiding one’s sexuality in order to keep a job or a military commission, or simply in order to stay safe in a community that is hostile to gays. To conclude that this represents a “lack of integrity and honesty” would be highly debatable, but at least it would anchor your comment in the real world.

    As is, what is asserted without evidence may be dismissed just as easily.

  12. says

    For example
    On Alfred ‘Maud’ Tennyson’s Going from Waterloo Station to Farnham Road whilst suffering from hay fever:

    On either side the railway lie
    Long fields of Peckham and of Rye.
    That send the mold to meet the eye
    And thro’ the dust the nose runs by,
    Many times to sneeze a lot.
    And up and down the people go,
    Blowing where the lilies blow
    In a hanky held below
    Snuffling ‘Thad’s Shalott!’

  13. ambassadorfromverdammt says

    Depending on the criteria you look at, everybody is deviant in some respect(s).

    If they want to place some other minority in the same category as murderers, I might suggest Catholic priests.

  14. dean says

    Woops – tried to comment without logging in.

    I heard this on NPR as well, and found one other interesting item: at the end of the story two graduates of the school were mentioned: when they contacted the school with their concerns, and asked for the course description to be changed, they apparently received an email from the school’s lawyer telling them to stop using the name of the school in their communications and business.

  15. Verity Manumit says

    Cuttlefish: A nice start would be another sentence following this, supplying the evidence for your claim.

    Alas! How to distill over 20 years of personal, direct experience with faggotry into a few paragraphs? I fear it cannot be done.

    I can imagine, for instance, looking at the notion of hiding one’s sexuality in order to keep a job or a military commission, or simply in order to stay safe in a community that is hostile to gays. To conclude that this represents a “lack of integrity and honesty” would be highly debatable, but at least it would anchor your comment in the real world.

    Not even where I was going with that. Being forced into keeping one’s orientation a secret is not always a personal choice, and one that no one should have to make. Sadly, they do. Nothing wrong be liking “teh cock.”

    As is, what is asserted without evidence may be dismissed just as easily.

    Oh, you schleptical thinkers! Always wanting evidence. This isn’t a court of law. I don’t need to provide you “evidence” for my hatred, and I can’t. Not in a way that translates into online text. It just doesn’t work that way. Suffice it to say that gay men are, generally speaking, anti-intellectual, emotionally effete, bereft of self-insight, and incapable of keep their word. Certainly you’ve heard that a “man is as good as his word,” and the average faggot is no man at all. I hate the whole lot of them.

  16. The Lorax says

    Verity, we ask for evidence for you claims because we are skeptical thinkers. The two go hand-in-hand. No, this isn’t a court of law, but if someone makes a statement of fact and refuses to back it up with evidence, well, that’s just not groovy. A lot of people do things like that and a lot of people who don’t know better believe them; a lot of these people get bilked out of wads of hard-earned cash, and sometimes worse. So skeptics ask for evidence because, if they didn’t, no one ever would, and anyone could make any claim and no one would know if they’re correct or not. That’s a dangerous world to live in.

    Your anecdotes are not evidence I’m afraid. Perhaps it has been your experience, but that’s where it ends. It’s your experience. Clearly, it has not been ours. I for one can say that it has not been mine. The only homosexuals I’ve ever known have been very friendly; in fact a homosexual friend of mine keeps begging me to go visit him for pizza and video games. All he demands in return are my mom’s home-made cookies. He’s a really fun guy.

    If you want to have your opinion based upon your experience, that’s fine. It’s unfortunate that you’ve had the experience you’ve had, but such is life. We’re just here to tell you that you can’t make statements of fact with only your experience to back them up. Facts are universal; like gravity. Opinions are individual perceptions of the world.

  17. says

    Verity Manumit: “I don’t need to provide you “evidence” for my hatred, and I can’t.”

    That is the least surprising sentence I’ve read all day. In the end bigots must necessarily fall back on some variation of this theme, for if evidence mattered to them they would no longer be bigots. How convenient for you, Verity Manumit. You don’t have to prove your assertions, and since evidence does not enter into the equation you never have to admit that you are wrong.
    Unfortunately for you, you chose to post your bigoted nonsense on a skeptical blog. Skepticism is built on seeking evidence and constantly reevaluating claims based on that evidence. Your dismissal of this basic premise shows that you are either entirely ignorant of how skepticism works or are simply a troll. If the former, I wonder why you are even reading this blog; if the latter, why you can’t do something more useful with your life. In either case, I find it incredibly ironic that someone who accuses others of being dishonest and anti-intellectual is so scornful of evidence and fact-checking. But then I guess logical consistency has never been the strong-point of bigots either.

    As Cuttlefish has so rightly noted, it isn’t them, it’s you.

  18. Verity Manumit says

    Cuttlefish: I’m beginning to suspect my first thought might well have been correct.

    No it isn’t. Every time I say something that is unpopular that others disagree with, the first conclusion they jump to is that there must be something wrong me with for holding that opinion: You’re just confused. You had a bad childhood. You must be fucked in the head.

    It astounds me that so many people must resort to that tactic in order to dismiss valid criticisms.

    If I wanted to talk about myself I’d do so. Saying that gay men are nothing but a big disappointment because they’re wishy-washy, namby-pamby, selfish little clods of self-centered drama is only about them and nothing more.

  19. Verity Manumit says

    The Lorax: Verity, we ask for evidence for you claims because we are skeptical thinkers. The two go hand-in-hand. No, this isn’t a court of law, but if someone makes a statement of fact and refuses to back it up with evidence, well, that’s just not groovy. A lot of people do things like that and a lot of people who don’t know better believe them; a lot of these people get bilked out of wads of hard-earned cash, and sometimes worse. So skeptics ask for evidence because, if they didn’t, no one ever would, and anyone could make any claim and no one would know if they’re correct or not. That’s a dangerous world to live in.

    But personal experience is not something I can present to you on a plattter for your examination. And my disdain for gay men has nothing to do with running cons and scams.

    Your anecdotes are not evidence I’m afraid. Perhaps it has been your experience, but that’s where it ends. It’s your experience. Clearly, it has not been ours. I for one can say that it has not been mine. The only homosexuals I’ve ever known have been very friendly; in fact a homosexual friend of mine keeps begging me to go visit him for pizza and video games. All he demands in return are my mom’s home-made cookies. He’s a really fun guy.

    Incorrect. Experience is evidence. And I never said faggots can’t be funny or friendly. I just said they’re useless, anti-intellectual, and duplicitous–which they are.

    Facts are universal; like gravity. Opinions are individual perceptions of the world.

    No fact is Universal, for all time and all circumstances. Nothing is that “solid,” so to speak. My perceptions of the world are based on experience and observation, and those two things have taught me–and were it not so–that gay men are disgusting, two-faced, arrogant, snotty little pantywaists. And I stick by that statement. You may not like it, but you can’t change my mind.

  20. Verity Manumit says

    blogofmyself: In the end bigots must necessarily fall back on some variation of this theme, for if evidence mattered to them they would no longer be bigots.

    Lol, I am not a bigot. I am gay. There’s nothing wrong with being gay. Bigotry is hating people for imagined perceptions, like when a white person imagines himself superior to black people for some erroneous reason. Personal experience is not the same thing as imagined perception.

    You don’t have to prove your assertions, and since evidence does not enter into the equation you never have to admit that you are wrong.

    Once again, I cannot transfer well over 20 years of personal experience into bite-sized bits of evidence for you to peruse and accept or reject as “valid” evidence. Just look at what your asking. Even if I presented a bulleted list, that would not constitute evidence for the personal behavior of gay men, or evidence for why I hate them so much. How in the world can anyone suggest that that kind of “evience” is required.

    Skepticism is built on seeking evidence and constantly reevaluating claims based on that evidence. Your dismissal of this basic premise shows that you are either entirely ignorant of how skepticism works or are simply a troll.

    Ha, I’m sure it would give you great comfort to think that I was not a skeptical thinker, but you are gravely mistaken. I reject more than I accept in life. Most everything is bunk, including much of the touchy-feely pc crap that circulates in arenas such as this one.

    I’m sick and fucking tired of LGBT people being “off limits” to criticism. You can’t say ANYTHING about gay people, even with the intention of improving bad behaviors or beliefs, without someone lambasting you for being prejudiced or a troll.

    I find it incredibly ironic that someone who accuses others of being dishonest and anti-intellectual is so scornful of evidence and fact-checking.

    Again, how would you suggest I fact check my personal experiences? You seem to disagree with my conclusions, so could you please do a fact check and provide me evidence as to why my conclusions are incorrect? Should be easy enough to do. I’m all ears. Go ahead. I’m waiting.

    Please, please, please do a fact check on your conclusions and experiences, because I need that kind of evidence before I can take you seriously.

    You people amaze me. Whenever someone comes along who doesn’t just nod yes and agree with you, then they must be cognitively biased, bigoted, or a troll. Simply amazing. Predictable as clockwork.

  21. The Lorax says

    I’m not asking for you to present your personal experience on a platter. If anything, I’m pointing out that, even if you did, it would not count as evidence. And the reference to cons and scams is to point out the usefulness of skeptical thinking; indeed, why we asked you for evidence in the first place.

    I’m sorry, but I am not incorrect; personal experience and anecdotes are NOT evidence. Evidence is data, fact, repeatable and testable. Your claims are not. In fact, if we were to accept your anecdotes as evidence, then we must also accept all anecdotes as evidence, and we all have personal experience which contradicts yours, ergo we can make statements opposing yours with the same rationality. And you would be incapable of arguing them, since we are simply doing what you are doing. This is why anecdotes are NOT evidence. This is why I am correct in that regard.

    Facts are universal; this is why they are facts. Facts, like laws, are and always must be. You might be confused with “theory,” which is fluid based upon the evidence it is built upon, but “fact” is different. Mass bends spacetime creating the distortion we interpret as gravity. This is a fact.

    Lastly, I am not trying to change your mind regarding your experience; I am merely pointing out that your statements must either carry the caveat that they are your own experience and therefore your own opinion and nothing more, or that you are incorrect if you claim they are statements of fact with no evidence (again, not anecdotes) to back them up.

  22. says

    Verity Manumit it’s difficult for me to reconcile your experience and the opinion derived therefrom with mine, which have lead to the opposite conclusion. I’ve always found gay men to be intelligent, sensitive, courageous, kind and empathetic, far more so than most “manly men”.
    It seems to me that you couldn’t hold the opinions you hold without having been hurt or rejected by a gay lover at some point. I’m sorry this happened to you. But you can’t hold it against the whole group. Not fair.

  23. Verity Manumit says

    @ The Lorax:

    Yes, I understand what facts are and that gravity is a fact. But I am not talking about measurable, tangible facts in that sense.

    I am talking about generalized behaviors and inadequacies.

    I did not point out specific individuals. I did not say John Q. Bugger at 69 Cocksucker Street is a two-faced cunting whore who can’t keep his word. For that I would have to have evidence about his personal behavior.

    What I said is that faggots, generally speaking, are a disappointment. Whether I deal with them online, in person, at work, wherever, my conclusion is always the same. They are emotionally effete, vapid, shallow, incapable of authenticity, and anti-intellectual. They are frightened by honest, genuine, human interaction. The only thing that interests them is cock. Cock is great and all, but there is more to life than cock. Try to convince a faggot of that!

    I base that conclusion on a lifetime of interactions with gay men. Do you think I’m happy to come to that conclusion? That this pronouncement fills me with joy or vindictive satisfaction? If so, then you’re wrong.

    But this is my experience and this is the only conclusion I am left with. In that sense, this is evidence. Experience is evidence, whether you want to admit it or not.

  24. Verity Manumit says

    Darwin Harmless: I’ve always found gay men to be intelligent, sensitive, courageous, kind and empathetic, far more so than most “manly men”.

    Well, I’d love to meet them one day. I just might die of shock!

    It seems to me that you couldn’t hold the opinions you hold without having been hurt or rejected by a gay lover at some point. I’m sorry this happened to you.

    Once again, the argument is I must be “damaged” or “hurt” in some way in order to hold the opinions I do. And once again I say that this is not about me or any events in my personal life, such as being jilted by a “gay lover.” Not so. Not even close. Sorry, I know it’s a comforting thought for all of you to assume that I must just be an injured soul, but that’s not the case. Disappointed, yes. Injured, no.

    But you can’t hold it against the whole group. Not fair.

    I can and I do, until I experience otherwise.

  25. The Lorax says

    *sigh* Evidence is not evidence, whether you want to admit it or not. Furthermore, there is only one kind of ‘fact’, the kind that is tangible and universal; that is what a fact is. A fact can be nothing else. You should read the definition of ‘evidence’ and ‘fact’ to understand where we’re coming from; what I think of as a ‘fact’ and what you think of as a ‘fact’ must be the same thing, otherwise what we’re thinking of are not facts at all.

    It does not make me happy that you have had bad experiences, rather the reverse.

    However, since you’ve conceded that you are not using facts, that you admit you are generalizing, that is all I was trying to convey, and so I shall sadly take my leave from this debate.

    Again, I’m sorry that you’ve had bad experiences. On a personal note, I’d ask that you do not let your bad experiences taint your future experiences.. however, that’s up to you.

  26. Verity Manumit says

    All of you seem to be hell-bent on convincing me that I’m wrong. I’m not. But I’m open-minded. When and if faggots start to prove me wrong, then I’ll adjust my POV. Until then, my opinions of the lot of them remain the same.

  27. Verity Manumit says

    @ The Lorax; I don’t need and didn’t ask for your pity. Save it. I find it insulting, to be honest.

  28. Cuttlefish says

    Verity, you misunderstand me. I do not claim that you are damaged or hurt; I claim that you are a jerk. No doubt it is due to your own personal experience, but that does not mean “damage”. There are an awful lot of jerks out there, and they are not limited to one sexual orientation or another.

    Attribution theory teaches us to look for common factors. The other commenters here cannot agree with your claim that gays are “a disappointment”, as we have seen too many counter-examples. You, however, seem to have only seen “a general lack of integrity and honesty”. Ok, I’ll take you at your word, and look for the common factor in those interactions. That common factor is you.

    I know plenty of people who think the whole world is populated by losers. Their own experience teaches them this. A good many of these people experience ill will wherever they go… because they are carriers.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/cuttlefish/2009/06/17/everyone-hates-everyone-and-everyone-hates-you/

  29. Verity Manumit says

    Cuttlefish: I claim that you are a jerk…and look for the common factor in those interactions. That common factor is you.

    And once again, you’d be wrong. I am actually an extremely nice and giving person. A former boss once told me that I was the only person who’d ever sent a thank you card for receiving an xmas bonus during the 25 years he’s been in business.

    In group situations I am always courteous and inclusive to everyone, regardless of the income level, physical appearance, level of social grace, etc. In fact, I am the type of person who looks for the person who is being left out in the group and try and work to get them involved or included.

    In my meet-up groups I am the person who reaches out to new members and welcomes them and encourages them to join us regularly, although that’s not my job or role to play.

    My work reviews often include comments about how nice, accommodating, and easy to get along with I am.

    I have been an outspoken critic of institutionalized and social discrimination, especially against LGBT people and kids in particular.

    When I read in the paper that someone had purposefully burned a mildy retarded boy in another town, I looked up his address and sent him a nice letter and gift card as a means of support and apology.

    When another teen got beat up after school because he was gay I sent a letter of support to him, and a letter of concern to his Principal and the School Board on his behalf.

    In fact, I have volunteered for TONS of things in my community over the years. And you know one thing that was noticeably absent from these events? Gay men, that’s what. You know why? Because they were all at the bars drinking and whoring.

    Sure, faggots will sometimes show up at rallies in defense of their rights, and they’ll definitely turn out for the Gay Prance Parades (because that always appeals to their inner attention whore), but any real commitment to the cause of equality or to anything outside of their narrow focus is sadly missing. Sure, there are a few exceptional gay men out there, but not enough to adjust the scale.

    I could go on and on. My point is that you are coming to that conclusion because it is one that gives you the most comfort. You can’t accept that what I’m saying has any validity, so you find a reason to discredit me by saying I’m a jerk. Again, it’s always the same. We don’t like his opinion, so we’ll just find away to discredit him for being irrational, biased, or just plain mean.

  30. Verity Manumit says

    @ richardelguru:

    Nothing I’ve said has been the slightest bit trollish. You should get a job with the Ministry of Truth.

  31. Cuttlefish says

    That’s one hell of an unlucky streak you’ve go going there, V.; too bad you couldn’t have met my neighbors (on both sides–a gay man and a lesbian couple), my brother’s best friend, my grad-school buddy’s brother and his husband, or a dozen or so of my students (I’ll readily admit, you very likely know more gays, as I am only going to know if they trust me enough to come out). The first several on that list would each easily out-do you on community service, but (with the possible exception of my lesbian neighbors) you wouldn’t have known they were helping while gay.

    You unlucky streak does beggar the imagination; I come to the conclusion I do because your claim is extraordinarily improbable. Perhaps you are not a jerk. Perhaps you just have lousy gaydar, and have missed out on all the good guys, confirming your beliefs along the way. All I know is, you have made a blanket statement that my own (and other commenters’) experience disconfirms. And you are sticking to it despite our disconfirmation–in other words, you discredit our testimony in the same manner you complain about our dismissing yours.

    This is not a matter of being unable to accept the validity of your claim, it is a recognition of the vacancy of that claim, when several simpler explanations exist.

  32. Joan says

    “So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts.”— James Madison, Federalist No. 10.

    Above quote is copped from comments by Blake Stacey on your excellent “Everyone Hates Everyone” poem, Cuttle. Sadly, there always seems to be an ‘us’ and a ‘them’. Even among the ‘us’s we will differentiate and pick away and find fault until there are schisms and new bunches of people sadly more like “us” are formed. New people ‘worthy’ to be with ‘us’. Note the recent sad comments on the hairstyle of young gymnast Gabby made by fellow African Americans who should have been cheering her on.

    This fellow, ironically calling himself ‘Verity’, however, is spouting such unsubstantiated generalized vitriol based on his supposed experiences, that he is unwilling to stipulate, that it’s astounding to see him in this forum. It’s like he inadvertently wandered out of the KKK parade and found himself with the Skeptics marchers. There is not one horrible thing that he has said about all of those he “hates” (as a group) that we would not have found used throughout history to justify crusades, pogroms, the holocaust, slave lynching, Somalia, etc. etc. And they never seem to get it. They are anger personified, looking for the nearest target. You could list homosexuals down through the ages that have contributed to the betterment of mankind and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference. Their minds are made up. Don’t confuse them with facts.

  33. Verity Manumit says

    Joan: This fellow, ironically calling himself ‘Verity’, however, is spouting such unsubstantiated generalized vitriol based on his supposed experiences, that he is unwilling to stipulate…

    My vitriol is not unsubstantiated. I have plenty of direct experience in the matter. I am entitled to my hatred. I can cling to it if I wish. I can also part with it if I wish. I chose the former, because I have had plenty of experiences with gay men to know that my feelings are valid and justified.

    It’s like he inadvertently wandered out of the KKK parade and found himself with the Skeptics marchers. There is not one horrible thing that he has said about all of those he “hates” (as a group) that we would not have found used throughout history to justify crusades, pogroms, the holocaust, slave lynching, Somalia, etc. etc.

    You forgot Hitler-loving rape apologist.

    You’re hilarious! Hating a group of people is not even close to the same thing as calling for their mass execution. Again, resort to hyperbole to discredit someone’s opinion. Old as las year’s news.

    You could list homosexuals down through the ages that have contributed to the betterment of mankind and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.

    I’ve never denied that. Alan Turing, Michelangelo, Truman Capote, the list goes on. But I’m not talking about specific individuals, which I have already stated several times. I’m talking about faggots in general.

  34. Verity Manumit says

    Cuttlefish: That’s one hell of an unlucky streak you’ve go going there, V.; too bad you couldn’t have met my neighbors (on both sides–a gay man and a lesbian couple), my brother’s best friend, my grad-school buddy’s brother and his husband, or a dozen or so of my students (I’ll readily admit, you very likely know more gays, as I am only going to know if they trust me enough to come out). The first several on that list would each easily out-do you on community service, but (with the possible exception of my lesbian neighbors) you wouldn’t have known they were helping while gay.

    Does this mean you’re admitting that your personal experiences have biased your opinions, and this is why you are reluctant to see any truth in my claims? Perhaps it’s just your own selfish desire to defend the people you know.

    You unlucky streak does beggar the imagination; I come to the conclusion I do because your claim is extraordinarily improbable.

    There is absolutely nothing improbable or dishonest about what I said. It was all the bare-bones truth. All of it.

    All I know is, you have made a blanket statement that my own (and other commenters’) experience disconfirms. And you are sticking to it despite our disconfirmation–in other words, you discredit our testimony in the same manner you complain about our dismissing yours.

    Then it appears we are at loggerheads, because I will not change or apologize for my opinions. I did not come to this conclusion lightly, without experience, or without much consideration. I came to it based on hard lessons of disappointment and dismay with gay men and gay culture in general. I don’t trust gay men because I’ve learned that gay men can’t keep their word. I don’t like gay men because I fail to find anything in them that is likable. I don’t admire gay men because I don’t find their behavior admirable.

    This will have to be my last comment on this topic, as this is taking up way too much of my time. I’ve responded perhaps a dozen times already. I have nothing else to say, and I won’t apologize for my conclusions. If gay men want that opinion to change, they’ll have to prove to me that I’m wrong.

    I’m not holding my breath.

  35. Cuttlefish says

    Oh, the paradox! We are being asked to believe a self-described gay man who tells us that gay men have a general lack of integrity and honesty? If we believe you, you are your own counter-example; if we disbelieve you, you are our white crow.

    In other, more pressing (to me) news, my visual migraine is growing. Rt. hemisphere so far (I am reading in left visual field), and pain is beginning.

    So I can type for now, but if I disappear, it’s cos my head exploded.

  36. Cuttlefish says

    Verity, you are the one who made a blanket claim. No one here claimed that it is impossible for gay men to lie or be jerks or whatever. I can easily allow for your experience, improbable as it is, to either be true, or to be your honest but flawed perception.

    You , on the other hand, have made a blanket statement. A single counter-example disproves a blanket statement, but you have not even allowed that–implicitly calling us all liars. It is not a great leap to consider you a bigot.

  37. says

    Here we have someone who has arrived in a *skeptic blog* purposely spouting claims which are 1) unsupported, 2) hateful, and 3) extraordinary. Then this someone refuses to alter any of this, merely mocking the locals in this SKEPTIC BLOG for objecting to claims of this nature. They have shown no actual indication of debating in good faith, and instead a good deal of trying to push hot buttons.

    Based on this, I have but one suggestion: Ban the troll.

    — Abbey

  38. says

    Cuttlefish nailed it in comment #46. While your experiences may mean that some gay men are just like you say they are, our counterexamples prove that not all gay men are, which is what you are claiming. Your blanket statement is disproved by the existence of counterexamples. Skeptical people, when faced with experiences or evidence that suggest a certain viewpoint, do experiments and gather more data to either falsify or corroborate their original views. You seem to have missed that step. If you were actually interested in the truth, rather than in confirming your own biases, you would take our examples as proof that your blanket statement is false. If you’ve decided that personal examples are suddenly insufficient as proof, then logically your examples must also be insufficient, and your argument is again flawed.

    Even if the experiences you describe are real, they are not universal truths. It is only when you assert that your own experiences apply to everyone that we have a disagreement.

  39. Joan says

    Good one, Cuttle. Unless the Atheists Plus have coalesced. I’ve not so far seen the squabbling skeptics/Athetists form a cohesive group, which is a point in our favor.

  40. says

    Cuttle, you presumably wouldn’t allow a hater to come here and slander a group with words like “kike” or “nigger”. We’ve tolerated Verity with polite rebuttals, but he now seems to feel safe using “faggot” as a pejorative for gay people. He’s revealed himself to be what he is, a flaming bigot, and I would like to see him banned.

  41. says

    Also, just a guess, but is Verity and Tyrannical the same person? Tyrannical appeared on Pharyngula with the same style of condescending pseudo-intellectual bollocks about homosexuality over there. Although tried a different tack to ‘I know homosexuals are all horrible because I’ve met a few…’

  42. Verity Manumit says

    You people amaze me. Apparently all it takes to become the new arch-fiend around here is to say something unpopular. Don’t like what someone says? Ban him! Ban him! Ban him! That’ll teach him!

    Why don’t you form a lynch mob already? Maybe you can parade my head around the streets at the end of a stake, and then congratulate one another that the enemy of your cherished delusions has been vanquished at last.

    First and foremost, no one is completely objective, logical, or unbiased. No one. So claiming that I am any or all of these things is a weak argument since no one can completely be above them, no matter how much they may think they are.

    My conclusions about gay men have nothing to do with my own perceptions, and everything to do with their own behavior. Even if I were being unreasonable and cognitively biased, why is that reason to ban me? I mean, you people are so perfect and intelligent and reasonable that you can’t bear to be in the presence of your “intellectual inferiors”? Is that it?

    Narcissistic much?

    It’s funny, because when skeptics, atheists, or free-thinkers agree with what I have to say, then I’m being reasonable, unbiased, and objective. But when I say something they don’t like, then I’m biased, bigoted, and responsible for the holocaust.

    Well, guess what? I don’t care whether you think I’m a bigot or not. I don’t need your approval, and being called names does not get under my skin. But for the record, dictionary.com defines a bigot as “a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion,” and according to that definition, you guys fit that bill more than I do.

    All of you have been completely averse to accepting my world view, a view that I’ve come to embrace based on my own experiences and observations. I am entitled to hate anyone or any group I want to hate based on my own personal experiences with that group of people.

    At least my conclusions are based on experience (and yes, evidence). While all of you are jumping to conclusions about me and my character based on a handful of comments: I’m a jerk, a bigot, a racist (KKK parade), a troll, a liar (about being nice), another commenter (aka Tryannical, but I’m not). Well, where is your evidence for any of this? I’ll admit that I’m not the slightest bit concerned about being PC, but that does not make me a racist, a troll, or a bigot.

    All of you form these conclusions because it gives you comfort to believe that someone who says something so unpopular must therefore be a bad person. But that isn’t the case.

    You’ll also notice that I haven’t coerced anyone here into sharing my world view. I have not said that you have to feel the way that I do or else. I’ve simply stated, quite emphatically, that I despise gay culture and gay men for these specific reasons, and that I want nothing to do with them.

    I have not made a blanket statement. I have repeatedly said that I was generalizing and that there were exceptions (which all of you have conveniently chosen to ignore). I have also not called out any homo specifically by name, which would require corroborating evidence that that homo fit the description. One counter-example does not disprove a generalization. A blanket statement would be “every homo that has ever lived and will ever live, without exception, is this, that, or the other thing.” I have not used that kind of language.

    If life has taught me that—generally speaking— homos are undependable, untrustworthy, and shallow, then it is my prerogative to not depend on them, trust them, or expect them to be able to process anything more arduous than the lyrics to the latest Lady Gaga song.

  43. octopod says

    Ok, I’ve seen this before — haven’t you? Someone so embittered by their disappointing social circle that they hate everyone sharing some trait with those people? Or so weary and bitter about a string of bad relationships that they decide everyone of that gender and orientation is a no-account lying’ sleazeball? That’s all that’s going on here.

    Oh, and also Verity’s doing that irritating stylistic thing people with high opinions of their own comparative intelligence do in blog comments all the time. Not sure how to describe it, but it’s got something to do with paragraphs and paragraphs of perfectly well-formed but redundant verbiage. A good reminder to all of us, especially me.

  44. octopod says

    And Verity: We get it, you hate all gay people, possibly including yourself. You have possibly slightly more reason to do so than most who do, but that still isn’t much. And you rejectthe idea of hatefulness being a reason for banning. Abundantly clear. Sheesh.

  45. Verity Manumit says

    Otopod: Someone so embittered by their disappointing social circle that they hate everyone sharing some trait with those people? Or so weary and bitter about a string of bad relationships that they decide everyone of that gender and orientation is a no-account lying’ sleazeball? That’s all that’s going on here.

    You people talk like I’ve known a total of 12 people my entire life. Not so. You know, that’s the great thing about the digital age. You get to know people all over the world. Sadly it’s only to find out that people are the same everywhere.

    And disappointed? Me? You bet your sweet ass I’m disappointed! Disappointed again, and again, and again. How do you think I came to acquire such contempt?

    possibly including yourself.

    Nope, wrong again. See, it’s the same thing over and over: There must be something wrong with me for feeling this way. I must hate myself, that ought to explain it.

    You people are like a broken record. You just don’t get it do you? I can’t state it any clearer. Can none of you accept that a person can have nothing but contempt for other people and not be filled with self-hatred? Why is that so hard to wrap your mind around?

  46. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Cuttlefish and others,

    Just wanted to say thanks. Thanks for not once expressing shock, outrage, or any social disapproval at the horrendous statements, and at language like “faggots.” Thanks for not even thinking of it (apparently). It feels great.

  47. Joan says

    You know, the pitiful part of this situation is the way the actual subject of the post got hijacked by this sad individual. We have let what could have been a meaningful discussion of the cavalier manner in which the university piled murder, rape and much maligned homosexuality and mental illness into the category of ‘deviant’ behavior devolve into an always futile attempt to understand and reason with a hopeless bigot.

  48. Cuttlefish says

    Josh

    My sincere apologies; I had the feeling that this was someone looking for suicide by cop, and trolling for a reaction. The decision whether to feed trolls or not will always leave some offended, or even hurt, but whichever path is taken. I have not had to ban anyone before this, and was actually pretty happy that I got a “this will be my last post here” so soon–I was thinking that the lack of rising to the bait (to mix the trolling metaphor) had prompted him to try other spots, without the reward of a reaction.

    I would not have edited his posts; he paints a far worse picture of himself with his own words than any other commenters painted of him. This is not because I approve of his language, but rather because his language should hang on him like a bad smell. It was, as I say, a conscious choice on my part, but not one meant to do him any favors. And I do genuinely apologize to you for my choice. I regret it.

    Verity, you blew it. You are no longer welcome here. Had you stayed away when you said you were leaving, you might have lived to troll another thread. You will shortly be banned–if you comment before that, those comments will be deleted, so you might as well save yourself the trouble.

  49. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Thank you Cuttlefish. I should be clearer: What really disappointed me was that if this had been a racial tirade with racial epithets, it seems at least *someone* would have said, “Whoah, wtf?” Sorta feels disappointing that doesn’t happen with “faggotry” and stuff. I know how the feminists feel!

    So, I’m not complaining about your moderation—I would have let him hang himself too, I think. Just expressing disappointment in the “cultural” (lack of) response.

  50. says

    Josh

    What really disappointed me was that if this had been a racial tirade with racial epithets, it seems at least *someone* would have said, “Whoah, wtf?”

    I have to agree with this. Personally, I’d have banned him after his first comment, but he should have been banned no later than when he first broke out the slurs.

  51. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Verity:

    Homosex is not deviant, but I have to conclude that the general lack of integrity and honesty found in gay men is.

    There is no way I can interpret this as anything other hateful, homophobic bile.
    You have to conclude that?
    Based on what?
    What type of scientific studies have you done on the general male homosexual population of the entire planet that could bring you to such a conclusion?
    What type of studies have done on the corresponding male heterosexual population of the planet to reach such a conclusion?

    You are a disgusting, dishonest, POS.

    By the way, I’m gay, dirtbag.

  52. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Verity:

    Lol, I am not a bigot. I am gay. There’s nothing wrong with being gay. Bigotry is hating people for imagined perceptions, like when a white person imagines himself superior to black people for some erroneous reason. Personal experience is not the same thing as imagined perception.

    Who cares if you’re gay, you bigot?
    You just made a blanket assumption about gay people and asserted it as the truth without any justification for it. When asked to provide something to support your generalization, you refused to.
    If you’re straight, you’re utter scum.
    If you’re gay, you’re self hating scum.

  53. Peter B says

    Rodney Nelson’s words @1
    Tony, King of the Hellmouth’s idea @2

    The bumper sticker:

    Remaining Virgin Forever
    Is More Deviant
    Than Homosexuality

  54. Cuttlefish says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter–

    For better or worse, I have had a much slower banhammer trigger finger than most, including the majority of my colleagues here at FtB. This has been quite intentional, and it has been shaped over quite a long time on various internet entities (long preceding my blog here, or even my Cuttlefish blog that preceded this one), where I had the power to ban but used it exceedingly rarely. For what it is worth, the events of recent weeks and months (up to and including Josh’s and your comments here) have done the highly improbable, and I am revisiting my position and reasons. I had been quite satisfied with the results of my decisions… but have come to realize that my satisfaction is partially (or largely?) shaped by my position of privilege.

  55. says

    @Josh, Official SpokesGay Just for the record, I did call for a ban some comments back, as did Ms. Daisy Cutter (I think. I’m not going back to check). It’s not like nobody was reacting. Our bigot had one point to make – he hates gays. When asked to substantiate and provide reasons, he refused. And in typical bigot style he insists that he is not a bigot, that we are the ones who are intolerant because we can’t accept his world view. Well fuck that noise. The guys a bigot and a hater. If he had something to say beyond “I hate (fill in the group hated)” I’d be willing to listen. If that’s all he has to say, then he made his point and should STFU and GTFO. Thanks for banning him, Cuttlefish. It was time.

    Now, is there anything more we can say about the actual post, other than how appalling that a universisty in this day and age should lump gays and the mentally ill in with rapists? Where can I add my voice to a general objection to such injustice?

  56. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Cuttlefish: I need to be super, super clear about this. It’s important to me that you understand what I’m saying, and what I’m not saying.

    1. I’m not really questioning your banning practice (though yes, it’s a question I’d think about were I in your position). I might have made the same choice if a bigot showed up on my blog.

    2. I am lamenting the fact that it didn’t occur to anyone here to display social outrage proportionate to what Verity wrote. If that had happened, it would make the continued presence of Verity easier to swallow. But it didn’toccur to people, and that upsets me. It tells me that even among friends, the vicious deployment of “faggots,” and “faggotry,” and the vile stereotyping of gay people doesn’t rise to the level of awareness that comparable racism provokes.

    Yes, I know people pushed back. But no, they didn’t see it as as serious as a racial slur or they would have reacted similarly.

    Understand this: It’s not about banning policy. It’s about an (unintentional) apathy. Your (and by that I mean everyone here, not just Cuttlefish) outrage triggers are set too low. That sends a message that you don’t actually understand how awful anti-gay bigotry is.

    It’s not enough to think about when and where you should ban people. You have to think about why you don’t immediately react to that homophobic thuggery with more vigor.

    In fairness, I’m making a complaint about society and culture, and that’s not something anyone here is individually responsible for. I don’t think anyone here is an “enemy.” But I do think you need your consciousness raised, and I really hope you understand how crushing it feels to know that your own special kind of bigotry just doesn’t rate high enough to warrant more reaction.

    Not an accusation, a plea to do some thinking.

  57. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Darwin—You’re right. I slighted you by overlooking what you wrote. That’s absolutely the kind of reaction I’d hoped for. My apologies to you.

  58. octopod says

    Josh, your comment made me think really hard about what I’d react to with outrage, and I realized that I’ve gotten so blasé/weary/desensitized (any, or all, dunno) that I don’t think foul invective in blog comments toward any group would provoke a verbal expression of outrage from me, however much it makes me react with AUGH WTF here at my computer at home. Ugh, that’s sad, I’ve given up on outrage already. :-[

  59. says

    Josh, Official SpokesGay, no apology necessary, but thanks for the recognition. My outrage also tends to be rather muted, and I really get where Octopod is at. I feel it, but it’s so damn tiresome having to flame up all the time. So damn common these haters, and so draining. I’ve signed up for Atheism+ and maybe we can develop a community where the ban hammer slams down at the first nasty unjustifiable slur.
    In the meantime, don’t think for a minute that you are unsupported in this community. Cheers mate.

  60. Joan says

    Josh says: ” I am lamenting the fact that it didn’t occur to anyone here to display social outrage proportionate to what Verity wrote”

    Joan says: Uh..’scuse me Josh, but if you will read waaay back there in comment 41, in the last big paragraph I think I was pretty outraged. No commenter exactly seconded that emotion at that time except Verity himself, in order to make fun of my apparent over the top (to him) analogies. I would argue with him that hating a group does lead to mass extinctions. Then there are the little murders done day by day by exclusions, put downs, murdering the soul bit by bit. I’m sure he’s done his part.

    Sooo I’m just sayin’. We were all outraged, but some were under the always futile assumption that because this idiot was articulate he was worth reasoning with or arguing with one on one. That never works, as you can see from his replies. There are articulate bigots and there are knuckle draggers. A bigot’s a bigot..for all that.

  61. says

    Darwin Harmless: I regret to say that I didn’t speak up. I was just that shocked by the virulence of the language and the shameless admittance to his opinions, plus I wasn’t sure how to address someone who identifies as GLBT but is intensely self-loathing without tripping over my straight privilege.

  62. says

    Yeah its interesting on the response, I thought he was Tyrannical partly because a similar thing happened. Although he posted on Pharyngula so got called a nasty bigot pretty fast he did last a surprisingly long while. I could only think it was because interspersed with the bigotry were some pretty attackable arguments from both. I know I tend to attack the arguments first and ignore the phrasing – fine when it is just rudeness – obviously not when it is pure hateful bigotry. Will try harder…

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