Also, this is a bit long, so you may want to get comfy...
Michael Brown is a culture warrior who regularly employs all the tried and true anti-gay lies and deceptions as a means to achieving their theocratic end. (A rundown of his history can be found here.)
IS THERE A “CIVIL RIGHT” TO GAY “MARRIAGE”?
Michael L. Brown, Ph.D.,
Director,Coalition of Conscience,
November 15, 2008
But there are a couple of differences between him and his anti-gay counter parts. 1) He engages.
I found this out when I responded to a post on Dr. Warren Throckmorton’s blog. I made a sarcastic quip and he immediately jumped in to defend himself, and continued to do so throughout the 450 post thread.
In that thread it was suggested that one of the reasons he engages is to hone his anti-gay debate skills for use in the public sphere. No doubt to increase his demonization-of-gays-skills whilst minimizing any appearance of hatred.
Which brings me to my second observation that separates him from the anti-gay pack, one of his techniques.
From his article above:
As gay protests to the passage of Proposition 8 take place in cities across the nation today, it is important that we know the facts. How do we respond truthfully to the statements that are being made?It is a modification of the “Have you stopped beating your wife” type of question, designed to ensure that any answer will be self incriminating, whilst leaving clean the hands of the questioner.
“I have the right to marry the one I love!”
If that is the case, then shouldn’t Patrick and Susan S. be allowed to marry in Germany? He was adopted as a child and didn’t know he had a sister until she was 16 and he was 23. He has served a prison sentence because of his love for his sister. They have had four children together and do not want to be separated. Why should the government intervene? Patrick says, “We are like normal lovers. We want to have a family.” Susan states, “I just want to live with my family, and be left alone by the authorities and by the courts.” Their attorney argues that the law against a brother and sister marrying “is out of date and it breaches the couple’s civil rights.” Does this sound familiar? If gays should have the “civil right” to marry the ones they love, why not a blood brother and sister, separated as children and reunited later in life?
He used it many times during the Throcmorton/450 thread and I responded to them all, debunking their illogic, without realizing that it was just an exercise on his part.
His favorite response to the plea for the right to marry was: “But what do you say to the ephebophile who wants to marry the love of his life?”
Wikipedia describes ephebophila as “the sexual preference for adolescents around 15-19 years of age.”
In this way he is able to equate consensual adult gay relationships with statutory rape, while avoiding the need to establish any credible connection between the two.
The question itself is rhetorical but is couched in sincerity, so as to get the questionee to awkwardly scramble for a viable response. All of which is just icing on cake as the damage has already been done, the connection has been made. In essence, the question IS the answer.
The ephebophila quirk is simply to avoid any accusation of equating homosexuality with pedophilia, so as to feign an air of "fairness."
The real point of this “gotcha” questioning technique, however, is to implant in the minds of the public that our love is not only worthy of condemnation, but more importantly, that it is worthy of condemnation without consideration.
Which is where the third party appeal to the "authority" of the Bible comes in.
The anti-gay industry-heads like to say that God designed "marriage" to be between one man and one woman. What they really mean is that God designed for love to be between one male and one female.
Marriage is a social construct, love is an element. By framing the construct AS the element, they are able to avoid having to explain why our love does not deserve the same protection as theirs.
Simply speaking, they believe our love is fake, and that we’re just too stupid to realize it. So to deny something fake, is to deny nothing at all. We're just too stupid to see their superior wisdom.
In the same way that they believe an eternal soul is created upon physical conception, they also believe that one’s spiritual/psychological gender is the result of one’s physical gender.
As Wikipedia notes:
Cisgender (IPA: /ˈsɪsdʒɛndə˞/) is an adjective used in the context of gender issues and counselling to refer to a type of gender identity formed by a match between an individual's biological (genotypical) sex and the behavior or role considered appropriate for one's phenotypical sex. In some organizations, cisgender has come to mean, "A gender identity formed by a match between your biological sex and your subconscious sex." Though they may not use the term, they express the meaning that anything that deviates from the heterosexual-cisgender model is thought to be confusion. A fair enough assumption for the cisgendered-heterosexual to make, until 'the' homosexual or transgender person explains the absence of their confusion. After that, it is indeed bigotry.
Cisgender exists in contrast to transgender on the gender spectrum. cisgender means normal, where transgender means subconcious is opposite gender to physical gender.
What I see as the primary impetus fueling the anti-gay/dominionist movement (and they are related) is a maladaptive sense of hypermasculinity.
Hypermasculinity is a psychological term for the exaggeration of male stereotypical behavior, such as an emphasis on strength, aggression, body hair, odor and virility. This term can be pejorative and it is important not to place a moral interpretation on whether it is desirable, only by whether it is adaptive or maladaptive. It is important to note that this phenomena can result from personal, societal,and cultural influences. Although the behavior can stem from practice and belief systems, marginalized communities of men may also display attributes of hypermasculinity to rebuff stereotyped or generalized behavior. It is also possible for oppressed groups challenged by socially constructed views of their communities to assimilate hypermasculine images and attitudes. This is especially true when part of the oppressive conditions include societal attitudes, laws, and practices that prohibit or change the tradition and norms of the marginalized group. Hypermasculintys' opposite behaviour is termed hypomasculinity. Hypermasculine can also refer to a style of erotic art in which male character's muscles and penis/testicles are portrayed as being unrealistically huge and prominent.The Barbers, Browns and LaBarberas exhibit this trait in spades, and appear as little more than modern day cavemen ‘marking’ their social territory. Similar to the raging hormonal bonding of teenage boys, they gather around together to splash in pools of their own testosterone. Like a new drug, they're intoxicated with the potential for this new found power.
These adults, however, -- the anti-gay industry leaders -- don't seem to have grown out of it. It's as though their testicular quest for the "kingdom of male" is the result of an arrested development. They seem to literally "get off" on the notion of demonizing gay men.
You lesbians are of course perfectly safe, you're hot!
A veritable public anti-gay circle jerk between the three of them can be found here. (More relevant commentary on the Michael Brown portion of it here.)
Normally my use of sexual inuendo and analogy is gratuitous, but in this case I find it wholly apt. The pleasure with which these men take in spreading hatred for gay men is palpable to the point of coming across as orgasmic.
If humans are the reflection of God in matter, as per the Bible, then men are the reflection of God in humans. And since the writers of the Bible were men, it makes sense that God was determined by them to also be a man (with a penis, no doubt), and that the superior status of men on Earth was determined to be “God ordained.”
The difference between then and now is that we’re no longer in a fight for survival, and as such, a hypermasculinized society is no longer necessary.
And so they are right, it’s not about hate. It’s about the love of their own ‘God ordained’ place in the hierarchy of man, which includes the “love” of hating anything or anyone who threatens that. Gay men are the quintessential example of a man turned inside out. Granting equal rights to us, not only takes away their feeling of specialness in the world, but mocks it in the process.
And the threat is real. No more feelings of specialness means no more feelings of pride for the sake of itself - the human path of least resistance.
And gay rights groups are anti-God, when you define your ego as God, and your masculinity as God’s gift to the world.
There is one important understanding which I seemed to have extracted from the hypermasculinity theory (which itself had to be extracted, because you can never get a straight answer out of these people), and that is that the attempt to define the objectivity of same-sex attraction OR same-sex sex as a moral issue, is not arbitrary but has a basis.
Noticeably void of the charge of immorality is any explanation as to how or why something objective can be something moral. When confronted on this fact, they usually just ignore the question or return to the “because the Bible says so” mantra. Often they compare homosexuality to a “sin” that harms one’s self or others, and then condemn them both the same.
Rick Scarborough made an uncharacteristic leap awhile back, saying “Now, if a man will commit the act of sodomy, you can pretty well decide he will do about anything, include lying.”
100% baseless, but to hell with the truth when the desire is to see and characterize gays (especially gay men) as evil.
Paul did the same thing in Romans 1:26-32:
26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.First of all, this is the ONLY Biblical passage that deals with homosexuality, as it cites both men and women as examples. The rest are sketchy at best as depictions of even male homosexuality, as any Biblical scholar worth their salt will tell you.
28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
Secondly, as far as all those descriptors of bad behavior, that’s pretty much an accurate view of human history - nothing special or homosexual about it.
Third, he does the same thing that the anti-gay bigots of today do by mentioning same-sex attraction and then, without basis, equates it with truly immoral behavior.
It would appear that Paul was an anti-gay bigot and wanted to see and depict gay people as evil, and/or, like many anti-gay bigots of today, he made the erroneous assumption that permissive societies lead to homosexuality, as opposed to the actuality that permissive societies just expose and allow for the open expression of the homosexuality that was already present.
He could have picked ANY product of an open and permissive society to make the same case, but what example does he choose to pick? The gays.
The so called “Christians” of today make that same mistake, but in addition, look to Paul’s erroneous observation as confirmation of their own (erroneous observation).
They look at the supposedly most open and permissive society on Earth, America, see “rampant” homosexuality, and conclude that all of the worlds ills are because God is angry with allowing we gays out of our proverbial closets (oh, and abortion too, because God needs we humans to create souls). All the while maintaining a “my shit don’t stink” attitude while starting illegal wars for oil, cutting programs for the poor, worshipping the accumulation of wealth, etc., etc., etc.
They EXEMPLIFY virtually every one of those descriptors of immoral behavior in Romans 1:28-32, then, instead of taking responsibility for the consequences of their destructive actions, blame it on the gays. But I digress…
Now, in Romans 1:26-27, Paul describes homosexuality as having “exchanged natural relations,” and having “abandoned natural relations.”
Actually, the only thing wrong with that is the “exchanged” and “abandoned” part, as it implies choice.
The not “natural” part is acceptable, in that homosexuality is not "natural" to anyone who is heterosexual, which we’re assuming Paul was (and there’s even some debate on that, but you'll have to Google that on your own).
So, getting to my point about how homosexuality, in and of itself, can be seen as a moral issue - which requires and understanding of evil.
Evil is not the opposite of love, nor is it the absence of love, it is the love of the absence of love.
So if heterosexual attraction is the attraction to love, then homosexual attraction is the attraction to the absence of love, and therefore the attraction to evil.
Or, homosexual sexual attraction is the attraction to repulsion itself.
This is how I see that they see it. If we’re too stupid to recognize the difference between repulsion and attraction, then surely we are too stupid to recognize the difference between love and the absence of it. Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to equate same-sex attraction with any other definitively harmful sin on the roster.
They’ve even found a way to maintain this position should it ever be proven that we are born gay, by explaining that any gay gene (a “sin-gene” if you will) that were to be found would simply be the result of mankind’s fall from grace.
That one in particular is a take on the Romans 1 condemnation of homosexuality. The thinking being that mankind’s fall from grace could possibly be expressing itself through our genetic code as homosexual “tendencies.”
Bottom line is that they have no qualms about denying us the expression of our love (even in private if they had their way), because they see our love as literally the definition of evil. In their eyes, our love is not real, so to deny us of it, is to not deny us of anything but our own delusion…If only we could see that they really have our best interests at heart…
Mel White, founder of Soulforce, used to ghostwrite for Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, among others, and he has said that they (et al) are sincere in their beliefs. A claim I have had trouble believing due to the evidence of their organized campaign of lies and deception. And anyone who’s dealt with these people, both leaders and followers, understands that they’re not too bright in the logic and reason department. That said, it might make sense that they would see “the ends justifies the means” as a legitimate strategy.
We “unrepentant” gays are the expression of Satan (evil) in human form, as opposed to straights who are the reflection of God (love). Thus it’s acceptable to scapegoat us for everything under the sun in order to raise money, in order to implement their dominionist designs, in order to save humanity from itself.
The justification being that you can’t sin against sin, any lives that are ruined in the process are just collateral damage.
Time is running out, so better that a few people unnecessarily spend an eternity in hell due to intentional dishonesty (Paul Cameron studies, the Dutch Study, the Gay Report, et al), rather than the masses who would if we evil gays ever achieve equality.
In short, I think that if there is any sincerity within the anti-gay industry’s leaders, they see the fight against gay equality as a fight against Satan/evil itself. Which is why they can’t be publicly honest about their beliefs, positions and strategy, because they’d be seen as the hypocritical lying nut-cases that they truly are.
And to be clear, I don’t think they’ve even put this much thought into it, certainly the followers haven’t, but they continue to collectively plod along. And that’s why they’ll fail -- because they despise the truth, inside and out -- but not before doing everything they can to bring this world to its knees, in a submissive bow to their supremacist identity.
All in the name of "God's" will.
(Photo of Matt Barber and Peter LaBarbera courtesy BoxTurtleBulletin.com)