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Tilting at homosexual agendas

Timothy Kincaid

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.

Comments

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Gene in L.A.
April 4th, 2012 | LINK

My comment applies equally to this article and this website. You folks really, really need a proofreader who knows something about grammar and spelling.

Donny D.
April 5th, 2012 | LINK

I see comments like Gene’s pop up continually here on BTB but not as often on any other blog, though other blogs have as many proofreading problems as BTB if not more.

I think it’s a testament to the quality of the writing here that readers think that the quality of proofreading should match it. On many other blogs, readers let all kinds of screwups happen without comment.

jutta
April 5th, 2012 | LINK

@Gene in L.A.: Just do it! I’m sure Timothy and Jim and the other authors will appreciate your help.

Lucrece
April 5th, 2012 | LINK

Oooooooh, grammar problems! How terrifying!

Get the fuck over it. The point being made was clear. If you let some convention-muddling get in the way of understanding this post, it’s your loss.

Lord_Byron
April 5th, 2012 | LINK

I think one Linda’s worst comment is this one

“GLSEN teaches students that homosexuals and gender-confused people are “silenced” and under persecution by those who object to this behavior, and that traditional moral concerns cause bullying. No hard, objective data exist to support this contention, and the event itself causes hostility, confusion and division.”

I am guess she is truly that blind to the world.

Snowman
April 5th, 2012 | LINK

If you don’t want to be seen as a bad influence or immoral…then don’t go around lying about people. If you don’t want to be seen as detrimental to society then don’t be that.

I get tired of people using Christianity (or other religions) to justify doing all sorts of bad things to people…and then having the nerve to get annoyed when people start seeing religion as part of the problem.

I get even more tired of religious people who refuse to examine their own behavior and take responsibility for their actions.

Yet when the rest of us collectively tell the religious nuts to sit down and shut up, somehow it will be our fault and not theirs, and a lot of them will not even think about their bad behavior that led to that happening.

They make a mockery of the very religion they claim to belong to, and wipe their butts with the pages of the Bible in the process.

TampaZeke
April 5th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, you knocked this one out of the park. In my opinion, it’s one of the best pieces you’ve written in a long time.

It’s a shame that some people can’t see the message because they’re too obsessed with the unimportant details of a couple of misspellings and grammatical errors.

For the record, Box Turtle Bulletin has never claimed to be the New York Times or Washington Post. It’s a BLOG, written by a few very dedicated, hard working contributors who have FULL TIME JOBS on the side. I may have the occasional falling out with Timothy over opinion and temperament but I’ve NEVER questioned his commitment to the community or his quality of work.

If I’ve never said it before, THANK YOU Timothy and Jim and the other contributors to BTB for one of the most amazing blogs on the web! Keep up the great work!

Blake
April 5th, 2012 | LINK

@Gene: Welcome to the internet. Grammar & spllng r arbtrry nywy. It shouldn’t be surprising that with the democratization of content comes sloppy grammar. But hold on to the past all you want… (the irony strikes me now) keep tilting at that windmill!

I apologize for being rude but Grammar Nazis really cook my grits when they post to the comments sections rather than sending an e-mail to the editor.

Back on point:
I wonder if LH has pity on us? Regardless, you didn’t address what is really at the heart of the disagreement about what is appropriate regarding discussions of sexuality in front of the “fragile fragile” children. It all hinges on their understanding of sex & thence sexuality. A different anti-gay put it more succinctly:

…treat homosexuality [not] as a sexual orientation but instead as a “temptation”
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/ex-gay-homosexuality-demoted-pluto

Linda Harvey sees us as weak little human beings who can’t resist our temptations. So to her every bit of gay advocacy is encouraging others to give in to their temptations. From LH’s perspective if society “encourages” homosexuals to not resist their temptations than society cannot tell anyone (murderer, alcoholic, drug addict, larcenist, grammar Nazi) to resist their temptations & chaos will reign because Christian Morality = not giving in to temptation & Secular Morality (from Linda’s Perspective) = Giving into all temptation! This is why she sees any sort of gay advocacy as an attack on her whole moral structure.

Of course she’s a fool, but Fear keeps her from seeing her own illogic. And her illogical & misguided conclusion is shared by a great many the anti-gays & their disciples. We have to address this fear as well. It does no good to convince someone that you’re a decent person & concerned with their first amendment rights if they still think your very existence encourages societal breakdown.

Finally, Hate. I don’t think it is wise to think of Hate as something aside from fear. As you put it above: Hate + Fear = Linda Harveyesq attitudes. But I think that arithmetic is too simplistic. In my opinion hate arises from fear. You can’t have one without the other. & I’m starting to doubt the premise that one can be motivated by hate. I think the fear is the real motivator & Hate is just the outward expression of that fear. So.. to continue the analogy: Hate = Fear + outward expressions. Then as people react to the outward expressions in a hostile manner more fear is created & hence the cycle: Fear breeding Hate breeding Contempt breeding Fear breeding more Hate breeding more Contempt ad infinitum.

Timothy Kincaid
April 5th, 2012 | LINK

Thanks guys for your support.

As for grammar, I’m always happy to have errors pointed out so I can correct them; poor grammar can distract from the message. But my eyes can miss an error I wrote, so its best to be specific. Thanks.

Priya Lynn
April 5th, 2012 | LINK

Although I wasn’t looking for them I didn’t see any grammar or spelling errors.

Regan DuCasse
April 5th, 2012 | LINK

I’ve had personal contact either through emails or phone calls or exchanges on the radio with folks like Harvey. And it’s almost like shooting fish in a barrel. What they think or believe is predictable, but it’s their CERTAINTY and not wanting to venture the possibility of learning anything different that’s a trip.

Not necessarily stupid, but emotionally stupid in that way that panic can make a person. I’m sure some of you have experienced that look that happens when someone doesn’t know how to answer or have a spontaneous thought to contribute. Or even a different perspective in the slightest. There’s an addictive quality to what they want to believe and in which way to believe it. And without that belief coming in a certain kind of formula, they are afraid of losing control, or function among those who aren’t like minded. There are people who choose a religious path, find their own levels in Buddhism or B’hai which emphasize methods of meditation. That is, as a means of getting whatever chaos in their souls and lives under PERSONAL control.

And then there are those, who use their religious belief as a means of controlling OTHER people who don’t or can’t feel or think the way they do.

The way an addict wants to share and engage other people in their addiction.
The fact remains that it’s still a choice, it’s not an enforced part of one’s life, and being in denial of the DESTRUCTIVE and CRUEL aspects and what it does to those others, is exactly what addicts do as well. Addiction to power is nothing new. Neither is scapegoating and targeting the easiest and most vulnerable for abuse.

I can’t pity people like LH because they aren’t helpless or hapless, nor are THEY at risk. They KNOW that in some quarters they DO have a lot of support and EXPECT it and feel entitled to it.
It’s when they are refused or challenged in anyway, they claim the whole world will fall apart.
Addicts are never comfortable with people that have their shit together, and can resist that addiction. Addicts don’t like not being able to affect you, and will spite you because of it.

I’ve seen what Tim has seen as well and haven’t had a chance to voice what my own observations have been about Harvey in particular.
She’s sicker than a rabid dog, for sure.

Snowman
April 5th, 2012 | LINK

@ Regan: Addiction is exactly how I would describe it, at least based on my own experiences with my mentally ill religious nut ex-wife…addiction to control, to the ecstatic state that her religion (Pentecostalism) claimed was the “Holy Spirit” and of course to power…and to “God providing” i.e. she’d scam people for money as I found out later. She had an almost spectacularly destructive desire to spread this. My family is not very religious anymore except for my grandma who recoiled in horror at my ex’s idea of religion. Of course, I wasn’t that kind of Christian either, I got sick of the crazy and we split up…but let me tell ya…I’d bet money she’s still praying that I’ll come back. She don’t work, or do any of the other things I was taught to expect out of life…last I knew she was on disability and so wrapped up in “Church” it wasn’t funny.

I dated a (Turkish, international student) Muslim girl for a few years while she was over here and I was finishing up my degree and you’d think I was the antichrist because of it to hear my ex speak at the time.

If I had a dollar for every false prophecy I heard from her I’d be rich.

“God” told her she basically owned my ass, I swear.

Addiction, entitlement, fear, manipulation, that’s how it works. You summed it up perfectly.

Snowman
April 5th, 2012 | LINK

You also summed it up in that my ex isn’t stupid…she has an associates degree and went to college off and on.

I wouldn’t call people like that stupid, more like irrational, maybe even A-rational if that’s a word. They’ve been taught to act on feelings, and logic and rationality and thinking often don’t even enter into it.

I can’t imagine going through life acting mostly based on my feelings and impulses, let alone thinking that this is God talking to me or something outside of myself.

Gods, it’s no wonder my ex was crazy.

William
April 5th, 2012 | LINK

Blake, I agree with you that Linda Harvey’s hatred is caused by fear. What exactly is it that she fears? I would suggest that what she fears is that the present generation of school children may grow up WITHOUT holding the same contemptible attitude to gays as she holds. She finds the prospect simply unbearable to contemplate. She realizes, however, that it would be politically inexpedient for her actually to say this. Indeed, she is probably ashamed to admit it even to herself. So she tries to rationalize her opposition to the Day of Silence by claiming that it is an attempt to “promote” homosexuality. One way of convincing yourself of a rationalization which you know in your heart to be phony, and of repressing any misgivings which you feel about it, is to convince others of it. After all, if you can con other people into accepting it, it must be valid, mustn’t it? That, I believe, is what Ms Harvey is striving desperately to do.

Blake
April 5th, 2012 | LINK

William to understand Harvey you have to step outside of yourself. While what you said makes sense from our perspective I don’t think that is what drives Linda. & I’m positive she’s not as self-aware as you think.

Our very existence as proud unrepentant sinners is offensive to her.

She doesn’t believe in gay people (remember its not an orientation but a temptation) so the fact that people who commit sins together have pride in themselves is shocking and terrifying to her.

She doesn’t really attempt to understand why gay people are acting like they are & instead just assumes they must be opposed to everything which “holy righteous people” stand for & which she refers to as Jedeo-Christian Morality. Voila! Hate.

Then she tries to apply what she thinks our morality is to other moral questions. Voila! more fear. I imagine it to go something like this:

If these unrepentant sinners are proud they must have an “anything goes” morality. If “anything goes” society collapses. We must oppose their legitimization because we cannot grant their morality legitimacy.

Notice how she never talks about rights but instead legitimacy?

Notice how her focus is always on a clash of morals?

Notice how the rabid anti-gays make strange leaps in logic to bestiality? (“well if anything goes…”)

Notice how she talks about the “agenda”?

Notice how to her what distinguishes a good act from an evil act is the righteousness of the act?
Hence she can encourage a child to tell another child that they’re evil & don’t deserve equal rights.

Some have compared her rantings to one addicted to power. A more apt comparison is to a conspiracy theorist.

She doesn’t fear that children won’t grow up hating homosexuals because in her worldview there are no homosexuals. She fears that our mortality as she misunderstands it will replace judeo-christian morality because in her worldview we’re in a zero sum game and only one moral code can win.

Donny D.
April 7th, 2012 | LINK

Linda Harvey looks like she’s flailing here. I mean, how do you stop people from not talking? She’s left with railing against the supposed evils of the Day of Silence and can only come up with the counter-productive and self-destructive solution of cutting school that day.

I think the problem for people like Linda Harvey is that they can’t admit the truth, that they WANT the bullying to continue, because they believe that anything that dissuades people from being homosexual or transgender is a good thing. When gay or transgender students harm or kill themselves as a result, people like Linda Harvey can always justify it to themselves by saying that we (LGBT people) are such screwed up freaks anyway, that of course we’d “act out” in that way. They subscribe to George Lakoff’s Strict Parent model of childrearing, and believe the adversity of bullying makes children stronger and doesn’t really hurt them.

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