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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Anti-gay Industry, Part 4: It's Use of Fear to Create Enemies


In a casual Google search for "gay threat to America" (try it yourself), this is the first item on the list, found here: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705285940/Gays-greatest-threat-to-America-Buttars-says.html?pg=all
Sen. Chris Buttars believes gays and lesbians are "the greatest threat to America going down," comparing members of the LGBT community to radical Muslims.
"I believe they will destroy the foundation of the American society," the West Jordan Republican said in a recent interview with documentary filmmaker Reed Cowan. "In my mind, it's the beginning of the end. … Sodom and Gomorrah was localized. This is worldwide."
Buttars is a Utah state senator, and a Mormon, so it's not unusual that he would be anti-gay. What is unusual is his over-the-top rhetoric. "The greatest threat to America," and comparing LGBTs to radical Muslims would make Joseph McCarthy proud of such overreach. Combing through the article, I could not find anything to back up his comments except the notion that the destruction of the family will lead to the destruction of America. So far, there is no evidence that gay marriage will do anything of the kind, and in fact, seems only to be a strengthening force for marriage overall. 

Note, too, his use of Sodom and Gomorrah. Of all the Bible passages used to denounce gays, this is the most used and least applicable. Biblical scholars long ago removed any association with homosexuality from this story. Some of the most vigorous opponents of gays no longer consider Sodom and Gomorrah relevant. I attended a lecture by Joe Dallas, a leading proponent of Reparative Therapy (gays can change their sexual orientation). In going over the biblical passages that he said supported homosexualty as sinful, he didn't mention Sodom and Gomorrah at all. I check his handouts and not even there was any mention made. So I asked him, "Have you lost the battle on Sodom and Gomorrah?" To which he replied, "Yes." Nevertheless, some people will continue to abuse this scripture regardless of its inapplicability.

Then there's the "gay recruitment" scare tactic, designed to alarm parents and set them against their children's schools. Scott Lively's, "Seven Steps to Recruit-proof Your Child," purports to document the recruiting activities of gay activists, and it set off a spate of similar approaches to impede gay acceptance. Here's a typical version of how this works (from Wind Commentary http://www.wnd.com/1998/10/526/):
A training video called “It’s Elementary” teaches elementary school teachers how to get the “gay” message into primary grade classrooms. Books like “Daddy’s Roommate” and “Heather Has Two Mommies” are all too commonplace. The National Education Association, the nation’s largest teacher’s union, has openly adopted guidelines for promoting homosexuality in public education and many private schools already have yielded to the pressure to present homosexuality as a normal.
Imagine what goes through the minds of 12-year-old boys and girls when a gay activist tells them that 10 percent of the population is gay, and that 10 percent of their class has this “sexual orientation.” At this tender age, classrooms of teenagers and pre-teenagers, with their hormones raging, are being encouraged to follow their urges and experiment. If a child voices a question about the possibility of being gay to a teacher or other school officials, the parent most likely never will hear about it. These children often are referred to an outside “gay” counseling center run by active homosexuals.
This kind of scare works because it's built on the fallacy that gays can change their orientation. They can't, and neither can straights. Whenever someone suggests to me that sexual orientation is a choice (I can't believe we're still having these conversations...ugh!), I ask them how easy it would be for them to change. Another ugh! So if a 12 year-old is introduced to the gay orientation in a school class, there is nothing in that experience that can change his or her already set orientation. Here's a summary from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
The mechanisms for the development of a particular sexual orientation remain unclear, but the current literature and most scholars in the field state that one's sexual orientation is not a choice; that is, individuals do not choose to be homosexual or heterosexual. A variety of theories about the influences on sexual orientation have been proposed. Sexual orientation probably is not determined by any one factor but by a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences. In recent decades, biologically based theories have been favored by experts. Although there continues to be controversy and uncertainty as to the genesis of the variety of human sexual orientations, there is no scientific evidence that abnormal parenting, sexual abuse, or other adverse life events influence sexual orientation. Current knowledge suggests that sexual orientation is usually established during early childhood.

The one thing that all these hate and fear-mongers have in common is the lack of evidence to support their claims. Note the appeal in the Wind Commentary to "imagine what goes through the minds of 12-year-old boys and girls." Yes, imagine. Imagine, because that's all that's left to you after the experts have spoken. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sy rodgers, listen to his testimony.