It is common for the religious right to complain that the left demonizes their “legitimately” held religious views on homosexuality. And I grant, that there is some efficacy to their argument. After all, one can be supportive of gay rights from an economic sense, and from a personal sense, and still believe that they must adhere to a biblical understanding that they are convinced (however much I might disagree) prohibits such unions, involving marriage or otherwise.
And, no doubt there are plenty, maybe even many such conservative Christians out that that react in this manner. But I have to say, some things give me pause–causing me to think that in reality religious objectives are a convenient excuse that supports an already personally held belief that the GLTB community is an “abomination.”
A couple of things have happened recently that suggest that my concerns have some “legs.” One is the recent Daily Kos poll of self-identifying Republicans.
An outrageous 73% of all Rethugs answering, claimed that gays should not be allowed to teach school. This in a nutshell, belies the argument that one’s opposition is strictly biblically based and that one has no personal fear or animosity of the gay community per se.
Such a response suggests that the holder of such an opinion is mired in the usual anti-gay pseudo science that suggests that somehow gays are predatory and take every opportunity to “recruit” new members into their club, especially children. This horrifically wrong and well documented fallacy points rather to a personal homophobic fear that is illogical and not at all based in real world facts.
It falls directly into that very old and very warn out cliche, that gays “choose” this lifestyle. It denies any genetic component, except insofar as one might have “a predisposition” much as a person has a predisposition to be alcoholic or a drug abuser. Along with the predisposition, they would argue, comes all the tools (God given of course) to withstand the “urges” and to live aright.
I truly understand their reasoning, because they in the end, must admit that they believe that there would be no gay community, if God did not desire it. God creates directly, from their prospective, thus God created the gay world. For reasons that are inexplicable, gays are placed in a trap not of their making, and with no way out. They cannot “choose” to be celibate, they must be, to remain in good stead with God. Or so the theory goes. They are no different than singles or priests who are also called to celibacy. However, of course, singles and priests can choose to marry or leave the priesthood to get out from under their celibate hardship.
What they finally must admit to is that God created gays and then leaves them with a life long prohibition to have families and intimate love like the rest of humanity. This is a permanent condition, end of story. That in a nutshell is why most religious right anti-gay adherents, will never agree that gayness is a matter of genetics with some environmental aspects. They do not agree that people are “born that way” except insofar as God by his mysterious ways, so designs them.
My second concern is with the uptick in the discussion on “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Here again, we see the fallacies run amok. We are told by Senators that openly gay men and women will destroy morale and unity within the armed services, and this dangerous change will harm our fighting objectives in Afghanistan and Iraq. Plenty of time down the road, when we are at peace (whatever century that might happen) to carefully work through these issues.
However, I have as yet to see ONE single piece of research analysis that says that being truthful about ones sexuality has anything to do with morale or unity. Are not most of us sophisticated enough these days to identify the sexual preference of others after a short time? In fact, one of those who is most vocal, a young West Pointer, drummed out for coming forth with his orientation, says that the Honor Code he learned at West Point was the REASON he cannot maintain the lie. It is abhorrent to him as a graduate of the institution.
Worse yet is the flagrant and ugly turn about of John S. McCain on this issue. Faced with a crazy extreme right attack against his Senate seat at home, Johnny has thrown all sense of right and decency out the window in now making it clear he will try to block any legislation that would overturn the policy. His swaggery mewling makes one shrink in revulsion.
Only a few short years ago, McCain claimed that he would be guided by the military brass on this issue. Only they, he argued were in a position to actually judge whether a change in policy would harm the morale and unity of our military forces. Their expertise on this issue should be controlling.
That opinion has been given.
But McCain, apparently like many Rethugs, is unable to comprehend that we actually keep video footage and written records of what people say. He ignores his previous stance, and is “disappointed” in the military for their position.
How can we forgive this unmitigated assault on decency and morality all in the name of one’s personal political ambitions? We simply cannot, and one John S. McCain needs to be openly vilified in the strongest terms possible. We understand that he puts John first. He did that when he was willing to put forth a complete moronic idiot as a Vice Presidential candidate, hoping that it would shore up his failing candidacy. So we are not surprised.
So excuse me if I’m just a tad skeptical of those that protest that their opposition to gay rights/marriage/military service is honestly the result of a deep adherence to religious principles. That works, until you open your mouth–then we see your true colors. Shame on you all.