Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

So, some of you may be wondering what has happened to the Fannie's Room "Entertaining Marriage Defense Blog" series. After giving it some thought, and after experiences with the first such anti-gay blog, I have decided that it is a project that I am at least going to put on hold.

The reasons are several.

1. I do not believe that blogs promoting intolerance deserve my free publicity.

2. I am confident that I sent a lot of traffic to that-one-blog-that-shall-remain-nameless. (And, I have to take at least some responsibility for them recruiting a new especially creepy anti-gay blogger who joined their group blog after my article. For that, I am sorry.)

3. They keep coming back, I think more to promote their own blog, to fight with me, and to disagree with every blog I write than for any other reason. During the course of some weeks I, and my allies, have been called "perverse," "absurd," "self-centered," "selfish," "vile," "discriminatory," "intolerant" (more on that one later), "shrill," "delusional," "depraved," and "dyke." All these words coming from anti-gay bloggers who purport to use reasoned arguments against gay rights but whose tone often reflects anything but reason. All words coming from anti-gay bloggers whose blog claims that ad hominems are not tolerated but some of whose words are nothing but ad homs.

Thanks, but no thanks.

4. But, more importantly, I think it will be more valuable to showcase allied blogs. Fannie's Room does not have thousands of readers like some blogs do. But I would rather direct traffic to blogs that are more useful, positive, and valuable to you than some of the hateful, illogical, un-Christian, negative, and/or bigoted blogs that are out there.

5. If you all really do want to read anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-woman, and/or racist, blogs I will suggest some search terms for you to google:

"homosexual agenda"
"homosexuality is wrong"
"feminist agenda"
"marriage defense"
"family values"
"men's rights"
"reverse discrimination"

6. The First blog to grace the Allied Blog category is:

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

This blogs exists because, as the blogger (Alvin) writes:

For two years, I have studied "so-called" pro family "research" regarding the gay community and have found a disturbing pattern of deception. In 2007, my book, Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters will be published, detailing all of my findings. The purpose of this blog is to give updates of my work and to show some of my findings.

After reading many of the articles on Holy Bullies, much of the blogger's observations rang true for me- particularly the disturbing pattern of deception among anti-gay activists.

I am grateful that this blogger/author is pointing out and documenting these deceptive practices. I have noticed these deceptions. And I'm sure that many of you will recognize them as well.

Here are some of my favorite deceptions (I don't mean "favorite" in a good way. Also, Holy Bullies does not link to individual articles, so I cannot link directly to them I will provide dates/year if you want to find the articles on the blog):

A. Anti-gay advocates scare people of faith by claiming that gay men have shortened life spans, implicitly or explicitly saying the shortened life span is due to their icky, unhealthy, and immoral sexual behavior that they view as being centered around anal sex.

Noticeably absent from these claims are discussions of lesbian sexual behaviors, health risks of heterosexual anal sex, and the fact that men in general are more likely to transmit STDs to their partners than are women. This means if two men are engaging in sexual activities, then yes, they are more at risk of STDs than if they were having sex with a woman. But also, female sex partners of men are also more at risk for contracting STDs from their male partners than their male partners are from them.

But worse than these omissions, as Alvin's September 6, 2006 article states, anti-gay advocates either rely on faulty research to support their claims or they mis-use and mis-quote scientific studies that supposedly support their claims. Read his blog for more details.

And, may I remind everyone that it's unsafe sex that results in STDs/HIV, not gay sex.

There is a difference.

B. Anti-gay advocates dehumanize and villianize gay people.

"In essence, the anti-gay industry seeks to strip gays and lesbians of their humanity in the eyes of the public. To them, it is not enough to declare that homosexuality is against God’s will. These groups manufacture illusions of cabals and invisible enemies; nameless and faceless gay legions out to “destroy” American values and morals.

To further this incorrect notion, members of the anti-gay industry often use sound bites that are repeated until they become part of the verbal lexicon. They skillfully employ phrases that covertly push the idea that gays are outside of the mainstream." [from September 9, 2006 post]

Sound familiar my fellow "SSM"ers and "homosexualists"?

C. Ex-gay groups claim that they only want to introduce change to those who have a problem with their homosexuality, but their true goal is to roll back and eliminate protections for LGBT persons.

Ex-gays are a crucial part of the "homosexuality is not a fixed trait and therefore homosexuals do not deserve protections" movement. To spell it out, that some people are supposedly "ex-gay" supposedly proves that people choose to be gay.

Personally, I find the nature v. nruture debate to be an irrelevant, oversimplified, and distracting false dichotomy. I think sexual identity is more of a spectrum, more fluid, than many of those who debate this issue acknowledge. And just because some people claim that they were once gay but no longer are, says nothing about whether I- or many others- can somehow change our sexual identities.

D. Anti-Discrimination laws are an infringement on religious freedom.

The gist of this gem is that anti-gay advocates are scaring Christians into being anti-gay by saying that if anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws are passed then Christians will be arrested for speaking out against gay people.

Hate crimes laws punish behavior- not speech or thought- as I previously wrote. The claim that hate crimes laws will repress religious speech is a scare tactic used by the religious right. It is also a way to turn the tables and make Christians, instead of gay people, out to be the true victims of intolerance and hate.

And like I have said before, unless you belong to the Church of Kick Some Faggoty Ass, you and your religious freedom have nothing to worry about.

But this burning question remains:

When will we start being able to put anti-gay activists, specifically some bloggers, under citizen's arrest??

I very much look forward to that day!

In sum, the "gay laws infringe on religious freedom" argument is akin to the "gay people are intolerant for not tolerating intolerance of gay people" argument. See, some anti-gay advocates forget, or perhaps don't realize, that gay rights advocates' criticisms of anti-gay advocates is a reaction to intolerance of gay people. The gay rights movement did not just spring forth from a vaccum. It didn't begin as a result of equality, justice, and tolerance for gay people. No. It is a response to widespread intolerance, bigotry, and stigmatization of gay people. Anti-gay advocates, including some Christians, are advocating for an unequal society. And, they want to perpetuate privileges, rights, and benefits that belong to only some citizens. Our intolerance of such thinking, unlike their intolerance, is therefore just and warranted.

In other words, they started it. And we are going to finish it.

Check out Holy Bullies to see Alvin point out some more deceptions and dishonest tactics.

Perhaps my only addition to the blogger's ideas is that religious folks aren't the only ones who make distortions and lie about gay people. While it seems as though most people base their intolerance of gays on their religious beliefs, some base their intolerance on their beliefs that gay sex is icky, that gay and lesbian relationships/families are threatening to other families, that gay people can change, and/or other non-religious arguments.

Alvin says:

"What I am saying through my book and my blog is that distortions and lies in the name of God are still distortions and lies. And anyone who knowingly uses them and can still refer to themselves as a person of faith needs to examine themselves."

I would expand this to say: distortions and lies in the name of "saving the family," "saving the children," or other secular non-arguments are still distortions and lies. And those who knowingly use them and can still refer to themselves as only sharing concern for society need to examine themselves.

No comments: