Bryan Fischer quotes MLK to justify anti-gay bigotry


Just keep it up, you sanctimonious religious ponces. Keep piling on homosexuals, gender-queers, and everyone who isn’t exactly like you. That’ll prove your religion is the religion of peace and understanding and enlightenment.

This time, Bryan Fischer of the AFA misapplies Martin Luther King Jr.’s quotes to justify bigotry against gays. How, you might ask? Apparently, by saying that being judgmental of them is appropriate, because you’re judging them for the “content of their character”.

The problem with this is, first you have to say that being gay is somehow an immoral character choice, and not a happenstance of genetics like, say, skin color. And you should probably try to prove that homosexuality is immoral without using your holy book — if you can — while mentioning MLK, considering how many passages from the very same books used to condemn homosexuality are also used to condone slavery of certain classes of people. You’re not going to twist your way out of this while still using your holy book, but I’d probably enjoy seeing you try.

Just another self-righteous asshole with an inability to empathize with people who are not exactly like themselves. Only this one has a radio show and a following.

Comments

  1. cswella says

    The content of this guy’s character is that he’s a bigoted asshole. I know it’s true because MLK had a quote that I vaguely reinterpreted to fit my agenda.

  2. Chiroptera says

    Hey, he makes a good point! When I throw Fischer out of my establishment, I’m not discriminating against his religion — I’m judging him on the basis of his hateful, bigoted character!

  3. Enkidum says

    Argh – this post provides another example of the false dichotomy in which homosexuality is presented as either “a character choice” or “a happenstance of genetics like, say, skin color”. It’s neither. No aspect of human behaviour as complex as sexual orientation is going to be directly gene-controlled, and I wish people would stop pretending it is. But the alternative is not “I choose this”.

    There are certainly well-documented genetic influences on sexual orientation. But there’s going to be a whole lot of other non-genetic factors involved as well.

    Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine – it’s become some sort of default position among people on the left to say that being gay is purely genetic (Dan Savage being one of the worst offenders here), when it’s obviously not.

    That being said, obviously, fuck Bryan Fischer right up his homophobic ass.

  4. says

    Yeah. Sorry. The way I look at it is more nuanced than how I put it in this post, but not too much. It’s like, genetics gives you a range of possible orientation positions on the Kinsey scale, and where you fit on them is probably determined by experience. It’s when people like Fischer bully gays into pretending to be somewhere outside your comfort range that it becomes an issue.

  5. Enkidum says

    Fair enough. I don’t know the literature well enough to be completely confident, but I think I’d place more weight on environmental factors than you (and by extension, a lot of other people who I align myself with politically). Either way, though, that doesn’t mean that it’s something you can “choose” or change at the drop of a hat. After all, my inability to speak Mandarin is purely environmentally determined, but no matter how hard I work at it or will myself to speak it, I’m never going to be a native speaker. And as I said, it’s clear now that sexuality has a pretty substantial genetic component to it.

    But again, the important thing is that Fischer’s a douchenozzle.

  6. Robert B. says

    Note: reading what I wrote below, it’s kind of a rant. I’d like to say right out front that I’m not angry at anyone here, that I just apparently have some emotional steam I need to blow off, and that I quite agree that the important thing is the douchenozzlehood of Brian Fischer. With all that said…

    If you want to get into pet peeves, Enkidum, about how people talk about sexuality, here’s mine:

    Who the fuck cares what causes it? I hate the whole debate. What am I supposed to be hearing, here – is it only okay for me to be gay because I don’t have a choice? Is parsing the exact biological mechanism of my orientation supposed to be helpful to my ethical decisions in some way? If my orientation was actually caused by a magical Kinsey Dial on my bedpost that I turn to “5” every night as I go to sleep, would that make anything I do more or less harmful or helpful to any human being on the planet?

    I don’t think anyone here thinks so. I think everyone in this comment thread would agree that it is my right and my honor to choose any sort of sexual and romantic behavior with enthusiastically consenting adults that I see fit.

    So I don’t see why the causes of homosexuality matter so much to everyone. And I don’t know why everyone concedes the important half of the battle to fight about trivialities. If Brian Fischer calls homosexuality an “immoral choice,” don’t say “Oh, but Mr. Fischer, it’s actually not a choice!” Say “Immoral by whose standards? A bunch of superstitious stone-age nomads whose oral tradition eventually got mistranscribed into a popular book? Love is love, asshole.”

  7. Enkidum says

    Robert:

    I agree 100% that the whole attempt to say “being gay is ok/not ok because it is/isn’t a choice” is completely stupid. What other people do with their genitals is their own damn business, and the idea that because something is genetic it’s good is just silly. Down’s Syndrome is genetic. So is growing arms. What does this have to do with morality?

    In terms of why I’m interested in the causes of sexuality, there are two main reasons. One, I’m in cognitive psychology, and my work is increasingly connected to development – not of sexuality, but of similarly complex phenomena. So I care about it from a scientific, professional standpoint. To the extent that we want a scientific understanding of what we are as a species, understanding the causes of sexuality is going to be hugely important.

    Two, I care about politics, and I care about telling the truth, and frankly the hard genetic line that someone like Dan Savage takes about sexuality is almost certainly false. I think our political rhetoric should contain as few outright falsehoods as possible, so whenever someone talks about being gay as a straightforward genetic attribute my teeth grate – just a reflex. And like you, I think it’s a waste of political energy. The correct way to deal with Fischer isn’t to say “God made me this way”, it’s to say “fuck off, douchenozzle!”.

  8. Robert B. says

    Now, see, if you have an actual professional interest, that’s another thing. I totally get why you’re into it. (I will reveal my opinion on the proper interpretation of quantum mechanics with the slightest provocation, and sometimes without it.) Of course a brain nerd would care, and of course the question is relevant to cognitive science. And it’s hard to argue with “I think the stuff we say should contain as few falsehoods as possible.”

    But why does the question keep coming up in these political and moral discussions? That’s what drives me crazy. It’s such a capitulation. It’s like people – defenders of GLBT rights, even – are trying to evade the question of right and wrong by saying there’s no choice. Even when that’s not the intention, that’s the implication. And if that is the intention, it’s cowardly. If they don’t think they can make a good ethical case, then what are they even doing here?

  9. Aliasalpha says

    @Enkidum

    Down’s Syndrome is genetic. So is growing arms. What does this have to do with morality?

    Rubbish, arms are a deviant lifestyle choice! You know who else had arms? HITLER!

  10. Shtem Shell says

    Homosexuality IS a choice, to people like Bryan Fischer, Marcus Bachman, Senator Larry Craig, Pastor Ted Haggard, the list goes on. They CHOOSE to suppress it, until it squeezes its way into a bathroom stall and they let it all out. Tough to live a life in denial – I feel sorry for them.

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