(Author's Note: When passion is involved, it can take a long time to write about something, especially something newsworthy. That's the frustration a journalist/reporter/blogger can face: immediacy can fall to the wayside. The Christian Right's obsessions with sex and homosexuality seemed to peak last week, with the National Organization for Marriage leading the way for bigotry with its "wedge memo." Then came the psychotic exchanges of Pastor DL Foster in response to a posting of his biblical call for the death of homosexuals ("The Wages Of Sin Is Death") and NOM's new strategy for marketing its boycott of Starbucks to homophobic (but caffeinated) countries.
IS IT THE EDDIE LONG SYNDROME?
In the we-always-knew-it department:
"Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves...In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward."
Homophobia Self-Phobia? is
the title of the article in Science
Daily that features the
series of studies conducted by researchers at University of Rochester, the
University of Essex, England, and the University of California in Santa
Barbara. This is not a piece of twisted research ala Family Research Council,
but a legitimate study conducted at more than several universities by respected
And it tells us what we suspected: The Loud Ones Are Hiding Something
While the studies themselves do not indicate any psychotic behaviors or tendencies, we can see in some of our most outspokenly anti-gay pastors and social conservatives disturbing signs of repression: false accusations, twisted "research" and outlandish statements indicate people who may feel the need to punish everyone else for the feelings they themselves have. They act on their own self-loathing, lashing out at everyone as a threatening figure, a horrifying mirror.
PHARISEES AT A STONING?
When we take a hard look at the last decade's list of actively homophobic Christian Right leaders, politicians and pundits, there are names that stand out because of their vehement diatribes and mishandling of the truth:
DL Foster. T.D. Jakes. Bradlee Dean. Scott Lively. Lou Engle. Pat Robertson. Eddie Long. Fred Phelps. Martin Ssempe. Harry Jackson. Ken Hutcherson. Steven Anderson. Bryan Fischer. Tony Perkins. Patrick Wooden. Linda Harvey. Joseph Nicolosi. Paul Cameron. Maggie Ghallagher. Peter LaBarbera. Mat Staver.*
Of course, the rhetoric of the diatribes ranges from the self-righteous (Tony Perkins) to the senile (Pat Robertson), then on to the stupid (Patrick Wooden, hear below) and the psychotic (DL Foster). It also never lets up: countless articles, broadcasts, posts, media appearances and op-eds have bombarded (especially right-wing) Americans with attacks and counterattacks aimed at making gays look politically powerful, depraved, selfish, abnormal, disease-ridden and intent on the "homosexual agenda" (whatever that is).
The conservative journalist Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth wrote: "Anyone who has researched the subject of homosexuality knows that many of the most staunch advocates of homosexuality are those who hold a decidedly secular outlook." The Barna Group found that atheists and agnostics in the United States are more likely to approve of bisexuality/homosexuality.
Among all the liberal belief systems, the homosexual ideology is the most self-centered or selfish.
Probably the most psychotic pronouncements have come from "ex-homosexual" DL ("Down Low") Foster:
- Painted Truth Wins Out Wayne Besen as a N*zi and posited that militant gays might "exterminate" ex-gays. At that point (in 2007), Exodus International formally cut off ties with Foster.
- He proposed that Dan Savage should be arrested for starting the It Gets Better anti-teen suicide movement and said " No parent in their right mind should allow their child to associate themselves with such a demonic undertaking. The end does not justify the means."
- Formed a website - Gay Christian Movement Watch - which vilifies even the possibility that gays could be Christian:
Religious homosexuals have destroyed the biblical integrity of every major denomination that have accomodated them....homosexual activists in the church are much more aggressive in their lust for control, power and dominance that they will simply overpower the other side whose main desire seems to be summed up with "cant we all just get along?"
Then there was his reaction to Joe Jervis' (Joe.My.God) posting of his (Foster's) gay-flagged advertisement for a retreat stating "The Wages of Sin Is Death":
The Effect Of The Study
Put out as a foil against
their rhetoric, however, the study might curtail the ramblings of people like
Tony Perkins and Joesph Nicolosi who need to address the media in reasonable
tones, thereby guarding their own personas.
Pt. II: THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT'S
NEW STRATEGY: PRAY AWAY THE SPITZER
Spitzer was growing tired and asked how many more questions I had. Nothing, I responded, unless you have something to add. He did. Would I print a retraction of his 2001 study, "so I don't have to worry about it anymore"? - My So-called Ex-Gay Life by Gabriel Arana
Prominent psychology researcher Robert Spitzer has been both a hero and a demon to homosexuals: he was instrumental in having the American Psychiatric Association declare that homosexuality was no longer considered a mental illness and in 2001 declared that "some" homosexuals benefited from ex-gay therapy. Now retired, at age 80, Spitzer is still sticking to his first tenet, while recanting his second.
Certain people are going to explode. See the list above.
Good question. Family Research Council has had a habit of twisting research findings to the point of complete disavowal of the authors. Some have even threatened lawsuits against the FRC for complete misrepresentation. And after the research is dutifully erased from its website, it crops up later. The FRC, it seems, is not about to let a juicy bit of twisted research go.