Sunday, March 3, 2013

Coming Out of the Closet

Many of Michael L. Brown's posts/articles are noteworthy.  Not only does he have some in-depth perspective of the Middle East (history, language, politics, etc.) and on Judaism and the history of the Jewish people, but he has an in-depth perspective on the history of gay rights and public policy with regard to homosexuality in America (much of which has gone into his book Something Queer Happened to America).  

His post on putting social conservatives "in the closet" is especially noteworthy.  Given that he seems to regularly make the "most hated" list for many gay activist sites, it is especially interesting that he makes this point (emphasis mine)
In the midst of our very spirited debate (the three of us are from New Jersey or New York), I repeatedly told listeners they needed to read the book Mitchell edited, Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America. In keeping with the sub-title, I reiterated that it was important that those of us who opposed gay activism understood the personal dimensions involved. In fact, I started the show by asking Mitchell to tell his own story, wanting others to know the pain he suffered growing up with same-sex attractions.
I also made clear that rampant, no-fault divorce among heterosexuals (including all too many Christians) had done more to destroy marriage than all gay activists combined.
I am tempted by the cynicism of thinking that no matter how compassionately one approaches the subject, social conservatives will only be demonized by activists for "homosexual equality,"  since for them, by definition there can be nothing compassionate about what they see as oppression.  Some mixed hope aroused by Shane Windemeyer's "coming out" (an interesting choice of words) as a friend of Chik-fil-A COO Dan Cathy.  There may be hope for a meaningful (non-recriminating) dialogue yet, but I am also dismayed by Chik-fil-A's distancing themselves from conversion therapy.  Progressives support people who want to change their gender (as though their dysmorphia was more real than their bodies) but not people who want to (and have succeeded in cases) of changing their orientation, reacting as if it were a sort of psychological mutilation. (Curiouser and curiouser.)  It makes me uncertain about whether integrity can be maintained.

However, I am dismayed about those who profess faith in a gospel of compassion and mercy who let their natural political frustration at having lost power over the acculturation of their children dictate the tone of their speech.  In spite of the cultural resistance to same-sex marriage and to homosexuality transcending religion and politics in both time and space, gays interpret the real hostility they meet as being somehow religiously motivated.  Christians (and hopefully Muslims) do their religion no credit by giving their political opponents ammunition in this way.  Even when I've heard embarrassing remarks, I've never had the impression that there was some kind of underlying tendency toward anti-gay violence--rather a sense of helplessness and defeat (a notion that would make many an activist cheer haughtily).

I read something not that long ago about an employee that kept getting comments from his supervisor about her recent marriage to a woman, and didn't like his lack of response on it so she tried to get some point-blank response from him about his feelings on same-sex marriage, and so he admitted that he didn't believe same-sex was a good thing.  She smiled and said, "I'm reporting you to HR, buddy."  So much for don't-ask-don't-tell.  And exactly who gets associated with McCarthyist paranoia?

For now, you can have conservative beliefs or traditional moral beliefs in the privacy of your home.  How long before subjecting one's children to one's "hate speech" beliefs becomes classified as child abuse?  At this rate, not long.
"elderly woman in Palm Springs was besieged by an angry mob protesting Prop 8"

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