Posts Tagged homophobia

Why the Right was against repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell”

Because that’s how they handle the issue of sexuality themselves.  Keep it in the closet. (The other closet, not that ‘prayer closet’ – which doesn’t get used much by today’s crop of budding theocrats.)

It’s ironic. Although conservative evangelicals (who are now the power base of the Republican party) claim to be the champions of morality, they have such a hard time living up to their own standards.  Sure, liberals have their share of fallen angels, but rarely does the left claim to be the standard bearer of morality. Yet it is common for the most strident of the ‘moral majority’ to find themselves in the public spotlight with their pants down,  sometimes quite literally.

Why do so many conservative, evangelical, Republicans expose themselves doing precisely the opposite of what they say others should be doing? Henry Hyde, Helen Chenowith, Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, Bob Allen, David Vitters, Glenn Murphy Jr. – the list goes on. How many of these scandals have resulted in the outing of aggressive homophobes?  After years of rumors that he might be gay,  it looks as if  Lindsey Grahamw will soon find himself in the same predicament. What ‘s the deal?

A 1996  psychology experiment conducted at the University of Georgia found strong evidence that (at least among males) “homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.” If this is true, and since most politically conservative evangelicals are  vigorously opposed to the ‘gay agenda’,  then it makes sense that a significant portion of these people might very well be closet homosexuals.  Of course, this is just speculation, yet it does hold up fairly well under the historical evidence.  But why would people who are confused (or in denial) about their sexuality gravitate towards the evangelical right-wing of the Republican party?

Is it because, having been forgiven for all their sins, both past and future, these closet homosexuals no longer feel the need to confront and conquer their inner “demons”?  That Jesus has already taken care of that for them? Yet eventually many of them will find out that their religion is not sufficient to facilitate lasting personal change (if this type of change is possible or even desirable).

A huge part of Christianity is the idea that we are all broken people who can be healed through the redemptive power of God, as revealed to us by Jesus. But that does not mean that we are somehow magically, perfectly, made ‘whole’ (i.e conforming to someone else’s orthodox world view) – that we are completely changed by God’s grace or the Holy Spirit or the love of Christ.  It doesn’t mean that we can let our guard down and expect prayer alone to obliterate years of habitual behavior.  Or obviate our personal natures.  Nor, apparently, will the threat of punishment, divine or otherwise, accomplish this.

I think a better guess might be found in the attraction they may have to the hard-line theology of neo-evangelism.  It’s as if,  though perhaps in denial, they suspect that they are ‘bad’ boys in the eyes of God and feel a need to be part of an ideology that embraces the clear-cut rules of stern father figures, from Yahweh to James Dobson.

‘We’ve decided the Bible is the word of God. We don’t have to have a General Assembly about what we believe. It’s written in the Bible. Alright, so we don’t have to debate what we think about homosexual activity. It’s written in the Bible.” -Ted Haggard

‘Some strong-willed children absolutely demand to be spanked, and their wishes should be granted. . . Two or three stinging strokes on the legs or buttocks with a switch are usually sufficient to emphasize the point, ‘You must obey me.’ ” – James Dobson

“Part of my life is so repugnant and dark, I’ve been warring against it all my life…the dirt I thought was gone would resurface … the darkness increased and dominated” -Ted Haggard

Christian fundamentalist parents, James Dobson included,  should know by now that children cannot be spanked into submission, not unless the goal is to create sadly warped versions of themselves.   Who has ever really benefited from this? What type of person is attracted to an intolerant,  domineering and violent task master? For many of these people violence comes to be associated with love.

“In Revelation, Jesus is a prize-fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is the guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up” – Mark Driscoll

The threat of punishment, even the ultimate punishment of Hell,  apparently cannot compel people to change their natures beyond a superficial level.  It can, however, compel them to mimic the doctrinaire natures of their overlords, even to the point of absurd and shameful  hypocrisy.  Or develop an appetite for hate filled language, perhaps even violence.  History has provided us with an undeniable pattern.

“People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela


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The Tea Party’s dysfunctional family tree

Now, before anybody comes back trying to link Obama to Karl Marx or George H.W. Bush to the Bildeburgers, all these connections are documented and spoken of quite openly by the people in question. Just Google them and you will see.

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It’s OK, Steve. He Didn’t Make Little Green Apples, Either.

Hi. My name’s Steve. And I’m a little bit angry, frustrated and, well… hurt, actually.

You see, I do my best to stay out of other people’s way. I mind my own business, I go to work 5 days a week, pay my bills, vote in every election. Heck, I even go to church most Sundays.

And that’s just it. I don’t know how many times people have singled me out as being different from everyone else, not just in church, but in the whole friggin’ world. In fact, they seem to think that I must be the spawn of Satan or something.

Heck, I don’t even know Satan. I’m not sure that I really know God, but I’m tryin’. It’s just that, if what everyone is saying is true, then I guess God wouldn’t want to have much to do with me. Seeing as how he never made me.

Funny thing is, I don’t know who this Eve chick is. Or those two Adam dudes, either. I’m curious, though, if either Adam is wondering the same thing I am; “OK, then who the hell did make me?”

At least Eve can rest easy.

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The Danger of Attracting the Wrong Kinds of People

I once belonged to a small church and (possessing no musical talent whatsoever) took on a supporting role in our music ministry. Part of this ministry involved the promotion of a concert series using a very nice outdoor amphitheater that some of the members had built.

For the first season we booked some local Christian artists – musicians, poets, dramatists – and we bought advertising on the local Christian radio station as well as in some other outlets. The presentations were first rate but unfortunately the series was a flop. Though the congregation had spent a few thousand dollars the church leadership still believed that it was worth the effort and another season was approved.

This time we brought in some bigger artists and even booked Derek Webb, of Caedmon’s Call. He was excellent and also turned out to be a heck of nice guy. We promoted heavily, but apparently not heavily enough because few turned out for any of the shows, including Webb’s. Those who kept returning were mostly loyal church members along with some folks from the surrounding Christian community.

But this was supposed to be an outreach ministry; did it make sense to spend so much time and money on an effort that was only attracting other Christians? So, for the third season we suggested something a little bit different.

Why not bring in some local secular artists? They were likely to draw a larger audience and during the breaks our church’s praise band (very good and led by an accomplished professional) could spread the Word through song, to a group that otherwise might not hear it. It seemed like a no brainer.

Some of our leaders, though, felt that there was no place for secular music on church property, that all our songs should be geared towards worship and praise. We needed to be examples for the community at large and that meant putting aside the secular things of this world. We responded that ‘preaching to the choir’ would do little to bring ‘sinners’ into the church and finally got the go ahead.

Although more successful than the prior two seasons, we never got the results we were hoping for. The crowds were still small and we spent a boatload of money. But, as some said, if even one person was turned on to Jesus then it was well worth every dime spent. But… perhaps there were better places to be putting our dimes.

I distinctly remember one moment during a concert put on by a local R&B singer. I stood on top of the hillside that formed our natural amphitheater and taking in her performance. She was very good. At that moment one of the church leaders, a young guy who was opposed to the idea of secular music, came up beside me. He pointed down to where a couple of women were sitting on a blanket. They had their arms wrapped around each other and they were singing and swaying to the music. It was good to see folks having a good time as guests of our church.

But…rumor had it that this singer enjoyed a strong lesbian following from the local coffee houses where she often played. My feelings about this were…yeah, so what? Even though there was no way of knowing if these two gals were gay or just sisters of another sort, I knew what was coming next;

“See” he said sadly, shaking his head. “What did I tell you? Look at the kind of people this music attracts.”

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