April 4th, 2012
At this point they came in sight of thirty forty windmills that there are on plain, and as soon as Don Quixote saw them he said to his squire, “Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could have shaped our desires ourselves, for look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or more monstrous giants present themselves, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our fortunes; for this is righteous warfare, and it is God’s good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth.”
“What giants?” said Sancho Panza.
“Those thou seest there,” answered his master, “with the long arms, and some have them nearly two leagues long.”
“Look, your worship,” said Sancho; “what we see there are not giants but windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the sails that turned by the wind make the millstone go.”
“It is easy to see,” replied Don Quixote, “that thou art not used to this business of adventures; those are giants; and if thou art afraid, away with thee out of this and betake thyself to prayer while I engage them in fierce and unequal combat.”
The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, Miguel de Cervantes, 1605
Quixote’s impetus was the revival of a better age, a desire to resurrect chivalry and bring about decency and goodness. It was this aspiration that addled his thinking and blinded him, leaving him a fool that left chaos and harm in his wake.
But reclaiming the time past is a motivation that pales to that of fearing the time to come.
Fear is a awesome thing. It can impel feats of heroism to crush a threat or leave one frozen and whimpering. But it’s greatest power is in its ability to project itself atop reality and actualize what is at heart only a threatening possibility. If unchecked, a fear of rejection can block out any voices of acceptance, amidst the fear of failure even the greatest of accomplishments can’t be appreciated due to imperfections real or imagined.
Add hatred to the mix and you have a monstrous self-perpetuating recipe for delusion: inventing and actualizing all that you dread as the intentions and achievements of those whom you see as your enemy.
And SPLC Hate Group Mission America’s president, Linda Harvey, illustrates this beautifully in her latest article, 10 reasons to walk out on ‘Day of Silence’. There is little question that hatred is an emotion that drives Harvey and feeds her emotions. But it also provides an easy target for her fear.
Linda worries about a world in which what she holds dear is no longer valued or respected. She fears that her children, or theirs, may no longer find the structure of family (as Linda knows it), community, church, and society to be worth working for and that civilization will dissolve into chaos and cruelty. And Linda is downright scared about what it means that her deity who is all powerful and about whom she is absolutely certain suddenly seems either incapable or unwilling to unleash his power and illustrate that Linda is right, leaving her to make claims on his behalf without knowing whether he will back them up for her.
And so, needing some source for all this catastrophe, Linda turns to hate which provide The Homosexual Agenda. And in Linda’s fevered quaking brain, The Homosexuals Agenda is defined to be whatever she fears. Any relationship to reality is inconsequential and any who suggest that she may be seeing windmills instead of giants are clearly ignorant about what homosexuals are really like, or afraid to go up against their powerful lobby.
We can learn a lot about what Linda fears from what she attributes to our community. For example, Linda fears that her views may not hold up well if they are inspected for kindness and consideration. She knows that the founder of her faith demands that she love her neighbor and she is terrified at taking an honest assessment of her character and lashes out against anything that might encourage her to do so.
7. There are legitimate lessons students should learn about prejudice and bias. But Day of Silence promoters deceptively link moral objections about homosexuality to racial discrimination or anti-Semitism in an attempt to legitimize the pro-homosexual agenda and portray homosexuals as perennial victims, while disguising the harmfulness and risk.
She is frightened that society has not only rejected her values as damaging – not just about homosexuality, but on a wide range of issues – but now is starting to question the motives and intent of those who espouse them. If the community sees her as lacking credibility or authority, then her ability to pass her values on to the next generation is much more difficult.
4. The Day of Silence encourages students to nurture prejudiced, hostile and bigoted attitudes against Christians and others with traditional moral beliefs, and to spread inaccurate and harmful information.
And she is scared that this diminishing respect will reach the place where she – and those who share her views – are seen not only as lacking authority but as an immoral and detrimental influence to perhaps be tolerated but to be watched and warned about. She fears that her views may put her in the same camp as neo-nazis, the Phelps Family, and the KKK.
And if this happens, she will have no ability to preach and evangelize her faith. If her faith is seen as a force for evil, then all of the work for the past 2,000 years has been undone.
10. The DOS message inhibits Christians from witnessing to their peers caught up in homosexuality or gender confusion. There is salvation through Jesus Christ and the hope of leaving this sin behind. Calling homosexuality a sin on the Day of Silence would be considered “hateful,” when it is actually God-honoring and respectful to the hearer.
I pity Linda. Her fears are going to come to pass. No, society will not crumble, values and morality will not be toss in the trash heap, and Christianity will not come to an end (though it’s going to go through a painful reevaluation). But the actual things she lists above are going to happen and Linda is going to be very very unhappy.
Before the end of her life, those who bitterly rail against The Homosexual Agenda are going to be mocked and reviled and preached against in pulpits across the nation by many of the same people who listen to her today and fear what she fears. Society will call her “bigot”, people will use her as an example for their children of what not to be, and her treasured Christianity – even many of those who are very conservative – will eventually find anti-gay animus untenable and abandon it, and Linda.
But she does provide a service – because by knowing what Linda fears, we can approach those who share her worry with words of comfort and assurance. We can let them know that we will not silence them, that we value family and don’t want to destroy it, that we don’t wish to silence or punish those whose theology does not support us, that we are good citizens, and that as they get to know us they’ll see that we are not a threat.
And many – those who are not motivated by hate – will happily find assurance and comfort. And though some may never fully include us, they will find peaceful coexistence to be painless.
It may be annoying to repeat for the umteen millionth time that we support free speech or that we aren’t trying to make any churches conduct any sacraments that they don’t want to do. Say it anyway. Because fear can block our voices and amplify hers and it will take patience to break through.
And it may be tempting to write those who fear off as “hateful bigots” and not make the effort. Make it anyway. Allaying fears is the decent thing to do – even to those who are lashing out in confusion and hurting us in the process.
Yes a few really are, like Linda, motivated by hatred and a heart filled with darkness, and incapable of listening. But most just need to hear the truth long enough until they are ready to accept it. Remember, in the 80’s Jerry Falwell was the nation’s foremost opponent of gay rights. But enough debates with enough people finally caused Jerry to rethink some positions and before he died he had reached the point where he accepted and supported pro-gay non-discrimination policies for work and housing.
Maybe… just maybe even Linda can be reached. No. That’s not likely. As her world crumbles and her image lies in disrepute, I predict she’ll take the Anita Bryant route and devolve into a pool of bitterness.
But we’ll share the truth with her anyway. It’s the right thing to do.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.