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How anti-gays view the world (it ain’t smart and it ain’t pretty)

Timothy Kincaid

June 1st, 2011

We generally ignore the rantings that the anti-gay activists write to each other to bolster their resolve to fight on in their lost cause. No one outside of their fellow-thinkers read them and the head-bobbing dolls will never see our challenges to their predetermined beliefs.

But today I think it’s worth exploring both how this crowd perceives the world and how very far from reality they really are. Our example is an article by Peter Heck in which he delivers his response to Don Lemon’s coming out.

Let me start by saying that it can be tempting to believe that folks like Heck are just making a buck off of the ignorance and malice of their audience. And while that might be some part of it, don’t doubt for a second that he really believes what he says. This is his crowd, his social circle, his political allies, this is where he lives his life.

Heck’s worldview is an uncomplicated one. Everyone is easily fitted within a compartment, and there are only two. There are good moral born-again Bible believers, and the evil vile rest of humanity. And everything fits nicely along with everyone. Good is good and done by good people, bad is bad and done by bad people, and there’s no need for any of that liberal, gray-area, situational ethics type of thinking.

Let’s begin.

CNN host Don Lemon recently became the latest in a string of high profile individuals to “come out of the closet” and inform everyone who would listen that he enjoys practicing homosexuality.

Doubtlessly, you too missed the interview in which Lemon talked about how he enjoys practicing homosexuality. Because, of course, it didn’t happen. Lemon didn’t talk about enjoying anything or practicing anything. He simply spoke about the reality that he is a person who is attracted to persons of the same sex and is neither ashamed of that nor seeking to change it. In a word, he’s gay.

But in the world of anti-gays, there is no such thing as a gay person; and in the world of extremist anti-gays, there is no such thing as a same-sex attractions. Anti-gays can only process homosexuality in terms of behavior so everything is presented as though that is what Lemon discussed.

First, why do the very people that constantly tell us that what a person does in their bedroom is no one else’s business, simultaneously find it necessary to inform everyone of what they do in their bedroom? If this is a private matter, Don, then let’s keep it private. Perhaps I’m the only one who feels this way, but frankly, I don’t care to know what kind of sex the evening news anchor is into.

It’s hard to find a response to this, it’s so wrong on so many levels. Unlike Heck, I didn’t hear Lemon’s announcement and suddenly know what kind of sex he is into. I don’t know what goes on in his bedroom, if anything.

But in Heck’s world, just as there are only two “kinds” of people, there are only two “kinds” of sex: that which meets the requirements of his sexual code, and that which does not. And any mention of one’s orientation is an announcement that you have abandoned sanctioned sex and are delighting in practicing debauchery.

But the real purpose of Heck’s rant – and what seems to be a growing trend in anti-gay rants – is to whine and moan about how mistreated are those who seek the legal and societal harm of gay people. Why if “a Bible-believing, born-again follower of Jesus Christ whose faith teaches him that homosexuality is morally improper” simply call a gay person an oddball decadent sexual anarchist, then they are labeled a “hater”!! How intolerant!!

And Heck sees plenty to blame. It’s the fault of gay “proponents of sexual anarchy”, the “uber-leftist Joy Behar” (a Christophobe), Charles Barkley (“whose most famous contribution to his profession was spitting on opposing fans in the crowd”), and “vile and perverted” Lady Gaga. They are the one’s who are calling him names.

And the funny thing is that Peter Heck really doesn’t think that he’s a “hater”.

Yes, everything he writes would give that impression. Words of contempt flow from his keyboard. He dismisses those with whom he disagrees in the meanest possible way. And yet he doesn’t see himself in terms of “hate”. Real love, you see, is that which reminds the sinner of his depravity and warns of eternal punishment. So really anything, anything whatsoever at all, is “loving” provided that it is done by those he considers good.

I believe that a good many people who oppose our equality can be reached, including many in Heck’s target demographic. Yes, they have preconceptions, but they are not completely closed off to facts. They have prejudices, but can over time be persuaded to rethink their views.

But people like Peter Heck are beyond our reach. Their “reality” is impervious to facts, to logic, to reason. They know what they know and nothing is going to dissuade them. Good people already agree with them and the views of those on the evil vile side of humanity are, by definition, wrong.

Comments

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Ben In Oakland
June 1st, 2011 | LINK

you can reach people, if they are not irretrievably poisoned by hate.

Thjat’s a might big if, pardner.

Doug
June 1st, 2011 | LINK

Heck is repeating the same slant they all do. They are only focused on sex. If we were to forever refer to them as Christiansexuals it would be the equivilent of what they do. Reduce their existence to a single facet of their lives. Actually doing it would probably sound silly and then be lost on the audience, but that’s what I liken their entire case to.

Ivan
June 1st, 2011 | LINK

If you click onto the Heck article link, you get a pop-up inviting you to get a free copy of his book.

I’m not suggesting anyone should take him up on his offer but just pointing out that it would cost him a fortune if everyone did…….

BlackDog
June 1st, 2011 | LINK

Oooh…I think everybody should order one…and then mail it back with a bill demanding payment for wasting their time.

Can’t imagine one would learn anything from reading it.

tim
June 1st, 2011 | LINK

In other words – they view the world in black and white. Not a surprise. Most people do. They can’t grasp a world they can’t understand or have an explanation for. And he is a public high school teacher to boot.

Whereas a lot of us find an unexplained world fascinating to explore and learn from.

Edwin
June 1st, 2011 | LINK

Heck and William Tapley ought to get together. They Both think alike. Tapley see Penises on everything he looks at.

Cooner
June 1st, 2011 | LINK

By their logic, merely introducing your wife to a business associate is necessarily flaunting all your bedroom coital activities and sexual proclivities in his face and for all the world to see.

Sure, it’s Biblically-sanctioned sex, but it’s still disgusting to bring such things up in polite company all the time!

Richard Rush
June 1st, 2011 | LINK

tim said, “Whereas a lot of us find an unexplained world fascinating to explore and learn from.”

I agree. It must be really boring to go through life believing all the answers you need are contained in one book that you keep clutching in your hand like a security blanket. Maybe that’s part of the reason they are compulsive busybodies – because their own lives are so boring, they can only find relief by meddling in everyone else’s.

Barry Simpson
June 1st, 2011 | LINK

OMG – Peter Heck has a national audience? Blame it on the internet I guess. Sorry to hear his writings spread beyond our community, Kokomo, Ind., where he has made anti-gay tirades, anti-anything progressive actually, for quite some time. He made a big deal out of his moral outrage when a local high school student tried to recognize the “day of silence” in his classroom a few years ago.

More recently he ranted about gay adoption in the Kokomo Tribune. Several of us wrote “rebuttal” letters which the paper published. His sanctimonious drivel is attributed to his Fundamentalist Christian beliefs

JCF
June 2nd, 2011 | LINK

Real love, you see, is that which reminds the sinner of his depravity and warns of eternal punishment. So really anything, anything whatsoever at all, is “loving” provided that it is done by those he considers good.

This.

So well put.

By unpacking this, I think we can BEGIN to break down the hate. Yes, even in a bigot like Heck. You have to begin by understanding where they come from (which is ultimately, of course, FEAR). Through an analysis like this, we can point out the absurdity, the tautology (“Bad People are Bad Because They’re BAD!”)

Thank you, Timothy.

ZRAinSWVA
June 2nd, 2011 | LINK

JFC, I have to agree with Timothy: he’s beyond our reach. I speak from experience, including the conversation I had last night with my dad where I said, “there’s no point in having this conversation, because even if I provide you incontrovertable proof, you either won’t read it or won’t believe it”.

“You’re right”, my father said.

How can you change his mind? You can’t. He has no desire to try to change his mind. He isn’t interested in hearing any contrary evidence. He won’t listen to reason, so don’t waste your time.

Ben In Oakland
June 2nd, 2011 | LINK

ZRA,

I had that conversation with my dad 30 odd years ago.

“It’s really clear to me that your beliefs about homosexuality, and what it means to be gay, are far more important to you than truth, justice, fairness, or compassion, and sadly, far more important to you than your relationship with your son.”

He relented a bit a few years later, but his basic positon never changed. eventually, I just gave up on him. byut then, i suspect it was because my father had just enough queer in him to essentially innoculate him from the contagion of examining his beliefs, becuase he then would have had to examine himself as well.

My brothers both had the same problem.

I suspect, more and more, than most of our deeply rooted opposition is based upon the fears of people who want desperately to be 100% heterosexual, but who are never going to be.

Priya Lynn
June 2nd, 2011 | LINK

I agree Ben.

Blake in ATL
June 2nd, 2011 | LINK

I disagree. Mr. Heck might not be the most open-minded person in the world, but he is certainly interested in money. If he wasn’t he’d be starting his own Westboro Baptist church instead of going through Talk Radio.

Also, it may be discouraging, they may not understand what you’re saying, they may not even want to listen, but if you stand before them and confront them you can gain a toehold. Sometimes. Who among us would’ve expected the driver of NOM’s tour to convert to our side of the debate? Or that state senator in Iowa? Who would’ve expected Haggard to come-out as openly bi-sexual and start a new church? It’s a little like being a missionary. Mormons spend the better part of two years spreading their message and convert on average 1 person to the Mormon faith. Not every foray is successful, most aren’t, but you can plant that seed of doubt or show them a new way of thinking.

We are so close to equality but the other-side is trying to change the game; has anyone seen what Ralph Reed has been saying lately? He’s tying the finical crisis to a “moral crisis”. This populist argument will gain traction: only roughly 20% of Americans think the country is on the right moral path according to Gallup. As my fellow Georgians know R.R. has boatloads of charisma. If we don’t try to counter these arguments with a well-defined patriotic secular morality then we’re going to see ourselves increasingly demonized as we get blamed for not only the dissolution of the black family in the south (already on us), the fault for rising HIV infections in the black community (already on us), but also as the underlying cause of the financial crisis. It’s difficult to look into the economics of why the crisis happened (especially if you’d rather “see no evil” in Republican policies), it’s much easier to listen to Ralph Reed tell you why it happened.

My personal paranoia regarding charismatic conservatives aside, even if we win the political debate a well organized stubborn opposition to gay marriage (even if it makes up less than 1/2 the population) will be at least as violent as the well-organized stubborn opposition to abortion is (and now they’ve swung the polls back to their side on abortion. This will be the template they will use). Remember E.R. Rudolph targeted abortion clinics & gay bars with his terrorist attacks. We have to address these people early, often, and loudly. We have to win this argument.

Also, in your characterization of people, Mr. Kincaid, you seem to be setting up two extremes of people “those who can be reached” and “those that cannot”. How is that different then “Good” vs. “Evil”? I disagree. You never can tell who’s open & who’s not. Even if you speak to a street preacher who is convinced he’s saving your very soul, you can still plant that seed in his mind that you might not be exactly what he thinks all gay people to be. But it only really works if you’re not the only one talking to the street preacher and it really only works if you defy their presupposed stereotypes. This is a part of being “openly gay”. Us in committed monogamous relationships have to confront people but we must do so calmly, based in reason, with a defined idea as to what our morality is, and when you start getting irrationally angry, walk away. But you have to come back and try again especially to those you have a personal relationship with. I apologize for the long post.

Richard Rush
June 2nd, 2011 | LINK

Ben said,

“I suspect, more and more, that most of our deeply rooted opposition is based upon the fears of people who want desperately to be 100% heterosexual, but who are never going to be.”

I suspect Ben is correct. How else can so many people still cling to the notion that “it’s a choice.” Obviously, if you’re 50% hetero and 50% homo, it’s going to look like a choice. But if you’re 90% hetero and 10% homo, it’s probably still going to look like a choice, to some degree. Vast numbers of people can’t understand why everyone isn’t just like them, especially on sexual matters. So, when those 90/10ers see others in same-sex relationships, they may believe a decision was made to go with their 10% side. Of course, the 90/10ers have been conditioned to conceal their 10% homo side (and thus fear it), but it’s easy to see how they may believe that social acceptance of homosexuality could open the flood gates.

Am I nuts?

Lee Jifu
June 2nd, 2011 | LINK

“What the HECK?” or as I would say- What the hell- his world is a hell….he lives it…..it is hateful to force that upon me and my love ones…..Heck- go to heck!!!!

Priya Lynn
June 2nd, 2011 | LINK

I think you nailed it, Richard.

Jarred
June 2nd, 2011 | LINK

What I always find interesting about articles like Heck’s is how they can go on about how Christians are the real ones being marginalized and how it’s because of their beliefs, while using denigrating descriptions like “sexual anarchists.” As I said in my own blog when reviewing Heck’s article, it’s as if they can’t even stop the nastiness even long enough to play the victim card.

Soren456
June 2nd, 2011 | LINK

“Have you ever actually talked to a vampire?”

“No Phil. And I don’t care to.”

Regan DuCasse
June 2nd, 2011 | LINK

“Opening the floodgates…”
An oft repeated thing as if it only portends something BAD has to happen. Opening something that lends itself to actually learning the truth about an otherwise closed off group, is the sign of courage and willingness to learn something one was otherwise ignorant of.

People like Heck, as pointed out, think they already know as much of or what they need to.
While those of us a great deal more informed are dismissed as somehow of lesser intelligence or under some kind of spell that makes us blind to ‘The Truth.’

Our friend Rob Tisinai had an article on his blog called “The Soft Bigotry of Telling Us Who We Are.”

I wouldn’t even call it soft. I have easily confronted people like Heck on taking on what they think is the glorification of themselves for being all knowing, all seeing, yet lacking the integrity to say how they have come to having more credentials than the person who has LIVED and experienced it more than they have.
Equivalent to a man, waxing expert on child birth, while denying a woman with children has anything to say about it.
Or virgins saying the same to people with sexual experience.

As I always say, you can consult a non Jewish anti Semite about Jews, or a Jewish person about being a Jew.

And who one chooses to get their information from, and how they use that information, especially if the purpose is discernible harm (from an anti Semite), or discernible good (based on the legacies of equal rights and protections.)
People like Heck don’t want to consider their limits, they are too arrogant and assume they are NOT REQUIRED to explain themselves.
But those unafraid of the truth, do not put up walls.
The truth has it’s own defense. And doesn’t need it from the likes of this guy.
THAT is the point.

Timothy Kincaid
June 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Blake,

If you think that Heck can be reached, please don’t let me discourage you. I don’t think so, but I will be delighted to be wrong.

The point of my commentary is really more about the way that Heck thinks, how everything filters through black-and-white self-confirmation. If you can plant a seed that grows into the vine that clogs the self-confirmation channel, I’ll happily help you water it.

F. Don Beck
June 5th, 2011 | LINK

Is Mr. Heck married? Does he have children? Is that not a communication of what he has done in his bedroom? Stating one is gay is no more of an indicator of what goes on in the bedroom than stating one has children. In the latter however, we are aware of sexual activity.

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