February 16th, 2013
I’m still working on the follow-up post on bigotry that I promised the other day as part of my response to Vogt. In the meantime, I figured I’d share something I wrote a few years ago before joining Box Turtle Bulletin. I came across this list of twenty questions on a conservative web site under the title, “Are You a Pro-Gay Bigot?” The questions reveal quite a lot about about the author’s mentality. Here are the questions, with my own answers to each.
1. Do you believe in free speech about homosexuality for everyone except conservatives or Christians?
No, I believe in free speech for everyone.
2. Do you participate in name-calling of those who object to homosexuality — names like bigot, hate-monger, etc.?
No. It takes more than an objection to homosexuality. Here are the people I call bigots:
3. Do you believe ‘gays’ have been deprived of the right to marry? Doesn’t pretty much everyone have the right to marry now — to a person of the opposite sex?
a. Yes I do.
b. No they don’t. Here are three responses:
4. Do you believe those who object to homosexuality are motivated by fear or ignorance? Do you believe they could never be motivated by compassion for the people involved, and if they say so, they must be lying?
a. For the most part, yes. I was raised to be afraid of gays and was kept ignorant of the facts by my parents (who were trying to “protect” me and had themselves been taught untruths), by my church, by my public school teachers, and by the media. I think this is true of most people, not just me.
b. I do believe some anti-gays are motivated by compassion — a compassion based on ignorance and fear. They’re trying to “rescue” me from something they fear, they know nothing of, and they’ve been lied to about by people they trust.
5. Do you believe some people will just inevitably be homosexual, and that there’s a set percentage of the population that will always be ‘gay’, and that this won’t increase, even if a culture embraces ‘gay’ sex? Do you think homosexual experimentation could never become ‘chic’ and popular? Is there no risk for the people involved or our culture if this happens?
a. Of course. There’s me, so that’s at least one. And while it’s possible that more people will engage in gay sex if the culture embraces it, we won’t see an increase the number of people who are actually gay.
b. Anything could become “chic and popular.” Especially if it has the lure of the “forbidden” around it.
c. All sex carries a measure of emotional and physical risk. That’s why we need realistic and genuinely useful sex education, not “abstinence” programs that lead kids into risky behavior (like unprotected anal sex) because that way they can still think of themselves as virgins.
6. Do you automatically dismiss any conservative comments about homosexuality without listening? Do you believe you are well-informed, while refusing to learn about what homosexuals actually do and the risks involved?
a. No. I dismiss lots of conservative comments because I do listen. And then I write a blog post detailing the factual and logical errors.
b. I do believe I am well-informed, despite the best efforts of conservatives to deceive the public about what homosexuals actually do.
7. Do you believe that the tragedy of any suicide by someone involved in homosexuality is the fault of conservatives? Is the best solution to these tragedies to demand that everyone in America accept homosexuality?
a. No. People — straight and gay — commit suicide for many reasons. I do believe, however, that quite a few suicides (especially teen suicides) are the fault of those people — liberal or conservative — who perpetuate lies about homosexuality.
b. I believe many teens now dead would still be alive if their parents (and our culture) were more accepting of homosexuality, rather than telling kids that all gays are despicable, selfish people who prey on children and can never know love.
8. Do you automatically dismiss the idea that anyone could be a former homosexual, despite the hundreds of groups started by ex-‘gays’ and the thousands who live in America?
Please define “former homosexual.” Many ex-gay groups say they cannot take away your homosexual urges but can help you stop acting on them. That’s an odd definition of “former homosexual.” Sounds like a celibate gay to me, and yes, I do believe some gays are celibate.
9. Do you believe that homosexuals are born that way? Do you refuse to consider the evidence against this claim? Have you ever looked at the connection between child sexual abuse and later homosexual attraction?
a. I don’t know.
b. The “evidence against this claim” tends to be weak. People point to a lack of definitive evidence in favor of the claim, and erroneously call that evidence against it. They also say things like, “We’ve mapped the human genome without finding a gay gene, so it doesn’t exist,” which does nothing but illustrate their ignorance of what genome-mapping means. Or they assume “born that way” means “100% genetic” and ignore research on things like pre-natal hormones.
c. Have you ever looked at the connection between child sexual abuse and later heterosexual attraction?
10. Do you believe that only churches that accept homosexuality have interpreted the Bible in the ‘correct’ way? Do you feel it isn’t necessary to read the relevant Bible passages yourself, all of which are straightforward in condemning homosexual acts? Do you believe it’s impossible to be “kind” and oppose homosexuality?
a. I only have access to a translation of a copy of a copy of the Bible, so I can’t speak on the correct interpretation of the Bible.
b. Again, I can’t read ancient languages, and even if I could, no one has access to the original documents, so no one can really read the relevant passages themselves, much less claim they are “straightforward.”
c. No, I think it’s possible. There’s so much deception from the anti-gay leadership, it twists the kind impulses of some people into tragically ugly statements and actions
11. Are you quick to say “Judge not, lest you be judged” ( Matthew 7:1) and similar passages, without understanding the Christian theology behind it, and all the while being very judgmental yourself?
12. Do you sincerely believe Jesus would have accepted homosexual sex acts? Do you believe Jesus is cool with whatever anyone wants to do? Do you believe there’s such a thing as ‘sin’ and if so, how is it defined? Are you the one who defines sin for yourself? Do you have no need of a savior and if not, wasn’t Christ’s death and resurrection pretty pointless? Despite all these contradictory and self-constructed beliefs, do you consider yourself a “Christian”?
a. I don’t know and neither do you.
c. I think of sin as a religious concept that differs from religion to religion. I do believe in right and wrong, and I think “wrong” is defined by treating others as objects and things for your disposal rather than as human beings who deserve the same kindness, generosity, and respect you would want for yourself.
d. Life is hard and we all long for a savior sometimes. Christ’s death wasn’t pointless because it gave rise to a religion that has, in various times and various places, inspired humanity to greatness and led it to horrific acts of evil. I don’t have evidence that the resurrection happened.
e. I do not consider myself a Christian. But what contradictory beliefs are you talking about? You didn’t even know the answers to my questions when you wrote that. Is this a thought-provoking questionnaire or merely yet another listing of stereotype and prejudice?
13. Do you believe sweeping stereotypes, like that all ‘gay’ people are innocent victims or that all conservatives must be mean and stupid?
No. Do you believe the many negative sweeping stereotypes about gays?
14. Do you close your ears and figure it’s a conservative plot if you hear that at least 2/3 of all the HIV transmission in the United States still involves males having anal sex with each other?
No. But if conservatives believe this then I have to wonder why so many of them oppose realistic sex education.
15. Do you believe anyone who objects to homosexuality is automatically “hateful,” while you seethe with hate yourself?
No. And I’ve written at length to that effect.
16. Do you believe it’s okay for thirteen- year- olds to learn at school that they have the right to have homosexual sex with each other? Do you close your ears when concerned parents are outraged? Would you call such parents “ignorant” and accuse them of “censorship”?
a. I don’t know what you mean by “they have the right.” I do believe that thirteen year-olds should be taught the information they need to protect themselves from doing permanent harm to themselves, and I’m amazed anyone could advocate otherwise.
c. I would call the parents ignorant if they were ignorant, but not if they weren’t. I don’t throw around the term “censorship” lightly.
17. Do you believe that, after several thousand years where most cultures have prohibited homosexuality, only now the ‘real’ truth is emerging? Do you believe this is not an arrogant, narrow or immature position?
a. Have most cultures prohibited homosexuality? Certainly ancient Greece and Rome, from which our own culture derived, did not have blanket prohibitions on homosexuality. And what do you mean by “prohibit”?
b. No, for two reasons.
18. Do you believe that ‘gays’ are the target of widespread violence that goes unpunished in the United States? Do you understand that hate crimes stats don’t support this claim and that laws already exist to punish all crimes, no matter why they are committed? Would you be unconcerned about overall civil liberties if trumped -up charges of so-called “hate speech” were used to silence people?
b. No, I do not understand that hate crimes stats “don’t support” this claim. Yes, I do understand that laws already exist to punish all crimes — do you realize that this statement is an empty tautology?
c. I am in fact concerned about countries in Europe outlawing hate speech against gays, Christians, and so on, and I’ve written to that effect. Fortunately, in the US, there is no such thing as a legal charge of “hate speech,” and the First Amendment prevents such a thing from happening here. I wish conservatives understood that, too.
19. Do you believe that conservatives are making a big deal out of a behavior that has no harmful effects on individuals, families, communities, or societies? Do you scoff at any claims that serious public health issues are involved, like sexually transmitted diseases or risks to children?
a. I believe that many conservatives are making a dishonest deal out of something — not a behavior, but an intrinsic human trait — that can be a source of joy and of harm (just like heterosexuality).
b. I do not scoff at serious public health claims. I believe we need realistic sex education about sexually transmitted diseases and risks to children associated with sexuality in general (not just hetero or homo).
20. And–very big question: Is your need for other people’s approval greater than your appreciation of truth? Do you refuse to consider an unpopular viewpoint because it might make you appear unenlightened to some people? If your mind and heart changed about this issue, would you have the courage to be a rebel for a worthy cause, to speak up and inform family, friends–and fellow humans who are involved in homosexuality?
a. We all struggle with this issue throughout our lives. You can be sure an openly gay person has struggled successfully at least once, by coming out of the closet and living in truth rather than hiding for fear of losing the approval of the people around them.
c. Yes. And in fact I get enormous satisfaction from being a small rebel in a great and worthy cause — the crusade for truth, dignity, and equality. Wait — are you people claiming to see yourselves as rebels?
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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"
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