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Wed

27

Oct

2010

More Anti-Gay Rhetoric, Misogyny, and Another Hysterical Attack on Halloween
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 08:15
by Mel Seesholtz Ph.D.

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has always been a mouthpiece for the radical Christian Right and their anti-gay, misogynist agenda, and he’s still at it:

DeMint: Gays Shouldn’t Teach

By Michelle Garcia

Addressing a group of conservative voters on Friday, Sen. Jim DeMint, reiterated his belief that openly gay people and unmarried straight women who sleep with a partner shouldn't teach children.… DeMint said he was cast as a pariah in Washington for once saying that openly gay teachers and women who have sex outside of marriage should not teach in a classroom. “[When I said those things,] no one came to my defense,” he said, according to the report. “But everyone would come to me and whisper that I shouldn't back down. They don't want government purging their rights and their freedom to religion.”

Typical of the Christian Right’s misogyny, Sen. DeMint didn’t seem to mention men “who have sex outside of marriage,” so I guess it’s okay for male teachers – and those who plan to become teachers – to have premarital sex. But, wait! In Sen. DeMint’s fantasy world “women who have sex outside of marriage should not teach in a classroom.” So having sex with them is out, as is having sex with any woman who might become a teacher. So better stick to women in professions such as medicine, the law, journalism. But, wait! Would the senator also feel those women were “tainted” and, therefore, like all other “unmarried straight women who sleep with a partner,” unqualified to be in those professions and incapable of carrying out their professional responsibilities?

So I guess those unmarried male teachers will just have to pleasure themselves. But, wait! Sen. DeMint would surely pervert some biblical passage – probably beginning with Genesis 38:9 – to condemn masturbation (although there is no direct prohibition against it in the Bible). Guess there’s just no sexual outlet for unmarried male teachers or unmarried men who plan to become teachers. Sorry guys…

As for gay men and women who are teachers or plan to become teachers, well, true to the Christian Right’s perverted agenda, you’re just plain screwed, metaphorically speaking of course. It seems Sen. DeMint would just like you to disappear so he and his fellow anti-gay misogynists can live more comfortably wrapped in their perverted biblical worldview that justifies hating and demeaning others: the very antithesis of the Christian message.

And then there are the other notorious anti-gays who also pervert Christianity for their own malicious agendas: Rev. Ken Hutcherston, Rev. David Barton, and a popular medium that gives them voice, Joseph Farah’s WorldNetDaily (aka “Wing Nut Daily”). From a report by People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch:

David Barton Call For Government Regulation of Gay Sex

Submitted by Kyle on October 5, 2010 - 12:21pm

Back in August, Ken Hutcherson wrote a column for WorldNetDaily in which he argued that the behavior of gays ought to be regulated by the government for health reasons:

“Legislators around the country are considering banning sugar and fatty foods in schools, removing salt and butter from restaurants and want to control what temperature you can have in your own homes, because they fear the potential of health problems. Perhaps they should consider banning the promotion of a lifestyle that the Centers For Disease Control has determined actually causes HIV/AIDS. On the Day of Silence, an entire school day is set aside to ensure every young, impressionable student is exposed to homosexuality. Does this really make sense ”

The column apparently impressed David Barton and Rick Green of Wallbuilders enough to make Hutcherson and his column the focus of their radio program today during which the two discussed the need to have the government to regulate homosexual conduct while warning that failure to do so would lead to the destruction of the United States within three generations: [audio of interview available]

Government regulation? And exactly how would that work? Bedroom police? Concentration camps? And then there’s Hutcherson’s ignorant, fear-mongering statement: “a lifestyle that the Centers For Disease Control has determined actually causes HIV/AIDS.” The only “cause” of AIDS is the HIV virus that globally afflicts more straight people than gays, even adjusting for relative percentages of populations. But then again, hate and fear are the primary weapons of the radical Christian Right.


 

During his tirade, apparently Barton read from an 1814 “legal study” that suggested gays could destroy America in as little as three generations. An 1814 “legal study”? Slavery was not only legal but the norm in many states in 1814. Women were not allowed to vote in any political election in 1814 and were squarely placed in a second-class position in patriarchal America. Minoritiesnot on the minds of the men who wrote that 1814 “legal study.”

The holier-than-thou James Dobson, former head of the anti-gay “Christian” organization Focus on the Family, used the same fallacious tactic as Barton in his 2004 book Marriage Under Fire in which Dr. Dobson offered eleven reasons gay men and women should not be treated as equal citizens with equal rights to the state-sanctioned civil institution called “marriage”:

11. The culture war will be over, and the world may soon become “as it was in the days of Noah”

This is the climactic moment in the battle to preserve the family, and future generations hang in the balance. This apocalyptic and pessimistic view of the institution of the family and its …(63)

It is alarmist. It is irrational. It is also consistent with the “thinking” of other perverted-faith-based political zealots out to further their own self-interests:

The battle over traditional marriage is, in fact, a battle to preserve our civilization from tumbling into the ash heap of history – as many civilizations have gone before.

Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, Traditional Values Coalition, October 2004

Patriarch of the radical Christian Right Dobson also used outdated “research” to support another of his claims. He asserted that “some studies say” that homosexuals “typically” have more than one thousand sex partners. The footnote attached to that assertion referenced “A.P. Bell and M.S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), 308-9; see also Bell, Weinberg & Hammersmith, Sexual Preference (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1981).”

The title of the first text immediately suggests the deception: “Homosexualities” and “Diversity.” Dobson made a blanket statement about all homosexuals in 2004 based on one table in a book more than thirty years old about “homosexualities” and the “diversity” of their behaviors. Data more than thirty years old must be put into proper historical and cultural contexts, especially when dealing with a subject that has seen profound changes in the intervening decades.

Bell and Weinberg gathered their data in the mid 1970s, during the height of the so-called “bathhouse culture” when, as Andrew Sullivan noted in Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality, the homosexual subculture “all but submerged itself in a sexualized frenzy.” The Bell and Weinberg data also clearly reflects an urban sampling. That’s an obvious, common sense observation made by a reviewer of a Popular Culture Review article responding to Dobson’s arguments (see “Out of Focus on the Family: A Response to Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage,” Popular Culture Review, 16:1 [February 2005], 45-75.):

300 to 1000 different partners is a lot of people! Especially when, demographically, gays only make up 2% of the population and not everyone lives in a very large city where this would be even remotely possible. Therefore, those who did have a very large number of partners were an even smaller minority of the minority.

That urban bathhouse “sexualized frenzy” ended rather abruptly when a mysterious retrovirus appeared and, in a matter of years, wiped out “a whole generation of homosexual men: hundreds of thousands of them,” while “Christian” activists such as Dobson and Jerry Falwell urged political leaders – Ronald Reagan – to do nothing about the epidemic. They claimed HIV/AIDS was God’s wrath on homosexuals and used the death of many to further their own agendas.

The pages in Bell’s and Weinberg’s book (pp. 308-9) cited by Dobson contain tables. The one he alleged was “typical” of all homosexuals today appears on page 308, in Appendix C:

Table 1 – Sexual Partnerships

Number of Homosexual Partners Ever

WHM
(N=574)

BHM
(N=111)

WHF
(N=227)

BHF
(N=64)

Pilot Study
(N=458)

0:

1

  0%

  0%

  3%

  5%

 

1:

2

  0

  0

  9

  5

 

2:

3-4

  1

  2

15

14

  1%

3:

5-9

  2

  4

31

30

  3

4:

10-14

  3

  5

16

  9

  4

5:

15-24

  3

  6

10

16

  5

6:

25-49

  8

  6

  8

11

  8

7:

50-99

  9

18

  5

  8

12

8:

100-249

15

15

  1

  2

20

9:

250-499

17

11

  1

  2

13

10:

500-999

15

14

  0

  0

14

11:

1000 or more

28

19

  0

  0

20

 

                             R²        b
Demographics    .09
BHM – WHM    .09      .11

 

                            R²         b
Demographics   .04
BHF – WHF      .05        .17

Aside from the fact that in order to be properly understood within the parameters of the study, this table needs to be cross-referenced with the other 119 charts, tables and graphs in the Appendix, Dr. Dobson seemed interested only in gay men. The “White Homosexual Female” and “Black Homosexual Female” results contradict his assertion and, according to more current statistics, two thirds of the same-sex couples who applied for marriage licenses in Massachusetts on May 17, 2004 – the first day gay and lesbian couples could legally be issued marriage licenses – were women. Other pertinent demographics from that day in Massachusetts:

  • 50% of the same-sex couples who applied for marriage licenses had been together for at least a decade
  • The most predominant age group was 40 to 49 years-old; the median age was 43
  • 40% of those female couples said they had children in their households.

The radical leaders of the Christian Right are fond of donning their halos and robes and pretending to be spokesmen for “God.”

Pat Robertson has made a fool of himself more often than one can count. This self-proclaimed intimate of “God,” with whom he claims to have a chat on a regular basis, once made this statement:

I think we ought to close Halloween down. Do you want your children to dress up as witches? The Druids used to dress up like this when they were doing human sacrifice... [Your children] are acting out Satanic rituals and participating in it, and don’t even realize it.

– Pat Robertson, The 700 Club, October 1982

Robertson’s ignorance is almost beyond belief. Before Christianity made women innately evil, “wise women” were revered in Northern European nature/human-centered cultures and societies, and the Druids never dressed up like the Christian version of “witches.” But then again, Robertson is a master of perverting (and concocting) history for his own nefarious purposes.

As the first holiday of the holiday season approaches, equally ill-informed spokespeople for the radical Christian Right are already starting their yammering at the American Family Association website:

1 Thess. 5:22, tells us to “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” So please wake up Christian Church, listen to God’s Word. This is a night of evil and those who love the Lord should have nothing to do with it. But the church and its members have embraced it as a fun time and do not see it for what it really is. …

Was Ms. Easterling simply reposting an article by Roy Wikoff? I was initially unable to find Mr. Wikoff’s original posting even at the JeremiahProject.com, an ultra-fundamentalist, biblical literalist website that touts “Bible Prophecy and the End Times” and is one of the two sources listed at the end of the AFA posting:

Sources:

  • Standard Reference Work; Collier’s; Illustrated Work Book; The Columbia Encyclopedia and World Book.
  • On-line references from Jeremiah project dot com: www.jeremiahproject.com 

Nevertheless, the writer is correct. Samhain was the Celtic festival that existed long before today’s “Christian” zealots dubbed it “a night of evil.” A seasonal festival celebrating the end of summer and the autumn harvest, Samhain honored the cycle of life-death-life that is the human condition and that is also celebrated in Christianity in the ritual of “eating the body and blood of Christ.” In such a moment – in both the Celtic and Christian traditions – the boundary between the spiritual, eternal realm and the material, mortal realm weakens or even disappears, and both are supposedly experienced in the partaking of the ritual, Celtic or Christian.

The writer asserts with absolute certainty that human sacrifices were always and everywhere a part of all Samhain celebrations. Too bad legitimate historians don’t agree, nor could they with such a sweeping generalization. What the writer fails to note, of course, is the blood-soaked history of Christianity and the tens if not hundreds of thousands of innocent people who were burned at the stake or dispatched by the sword ad majorem gloriam Dei. The Inquisition and the slaughter of peoples in the New World are testimonials to the “human sacrifices” conducted in the name of Christianity and its beliefs.

The radical Christian Right is losing its “appeal.” They’ve become caricatures of themselves. In the twenty-first century Halloween is a time for family and friends to gather and have some fun. Period. Those who would castigate such gatherings and turn them into something evil are simply reflecting themselves and their own

The radical Christian Right does not have a lock on spirituality or how it’s to be experienced. They do, however, have a lock on misogyny, anti-gay bigotry and hysterical rhetoric.

Have a Fun-Filled Happy Halloween, Everyone!

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