Pick Wayne's Brain

April 5, 2015

Conservatives Think About Gay Sex A Lot

Pat Robertson is a frightened man. That’s not any new insight, we’ve all known that for years. But with the outcry over Indiana’s RFRA law (which was neither the first, nor was it identical to the early versions), and their subsequent “acquiescence” to those protests, Old Man Pat has come to believe his worst nightmares are coming true: Gay people will be accepted into Society as equals. And when that happens, somehow they’ll take over the world.

“They’re going to force you into their mold, they’re going to make you conform to political correctness, they’re going to make you do what the Left thinks is right, they’re going to make you acknowledge homosexual marriage, they’re going to make you embrace lifestyles that you think are anti-biblical despite your religious belief.”

There’s a lot wrong with those few sentences, including both projection and cognitive dissonance. Whether or not they realize it, Conservative Christians want everybody to be compelled by law to follow their religious beliefs. When you talk about making our laws conform to the Bible, you are imposing your religion on everyone else. If you can’t understand that, then perhaps you should sit back and let the rest of us talk. It is a fact. It is what they want. As for “political correctness,” I ignore that term. It was created by a right wing misanthrope named David Horowitz, and it only makes sense within the framework of an extremely conservative mind. Essentially, it’s a complaint conservatives have when they get called out for saying the kind of hateful, ignorant, bigoted things they’re known for saying. As for making people do things that anybody says is right, that’s what laws are for. Our entire system of laws is based on somebody’s (often a lot of somebodies) idea of what the right way to behave in our society is. So, yes, we on the Left think there’s a certain way you should behave toward your fellow citizens. If people on the right have a problem with it, it’s because they want the legal right to mistreat, abuse, demean, or otherwise put down people different from themselves. Are we going to make you acknowledge homosexual marriage? Only in the sense that we want you to see it as “marriage,” and not anything different than what you’re used to. If you define a marriage by the style of sex you have, then your definition of marriage is the problem. As for the last part, “they’re going to make you embrace lifestyles that you think are anti-biblical despite your religious belief,” exactly what does that mean? Homosexuality is not a “lifestyle choice,” no matter how much the frightened straight people claim it is. And nobody is asking anybody to “embrace” homosexuality, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. As for it being “anti-Biblical,” that’s just too fucking bad. Lots of things are “anti-Biblical.” Lots of those same things are perfectly fine according to other people’s religious beliefs. Why should things that are “anti-Biblical” be singled out for being banned by law? Why should some particular interpretation of “The Bible” become the basis for the way the rest of us live? Why does it matter so much what kind of sex people have? As long as it’s consenting adults participating (of any gender and number), why should it be any of our business? If you want to claim people should live by the Bible, then prove it. Pick up a stone and start stoning all those people who work on the Sabbath. Stone the farmer who plants two different crops in his field. Stone that woman wearing a dress made from two different cloths. They’re just as deserving as the two men who love each other and want to live as a loving married couple just like anybody else. (I almost never hear anti-marriage equality people complain about lesbians getting married, except for Ellen, it’s always the guys getting married that bothers them. “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” You never hear, “It’s Adam and Eve, not Alice and Eve.” I tell you, they think about gay male sex a lot more than they want to admit.

And Old Man Pat Robertson is definitely one of them. After going on that rant he came back the next day to continue thinking out loud.

“It doesn’t matter what custom you’ve got, it doesn’t matter what holy thing that you worship and adore, the gays are going to get it,” Robertson said. “They’re going to make you conform to them. You are going to say you like anal sex, you like oral sex, you like bestiality, you like anything you can think of, whatever it is. And sooner or later you are going to have to conform your religious beliefs to the group of some aberrant thing. It won’t stop at homosexuality.”

One more time, Conservatives. Bestiality has nothing whatsoever to do with homosexuality. And homosexuals aren’t the only ones engaging in anal sex or oral sex. Many, many straight couples enjoy them, too, and nobody says we should deny service to straight married couples who engage in, what are legally called, acts of sodomy. And “liking” homosexuality does not equate to liking “anything you can think of.” That is just ignorant bigotry talking there, and why anybody would value the opinion of a man who believes such things is beyond me. Old Man Pat began this rant talking about the owners of Memories Pizza in Indiana, saying they should have kept their mouths shut. But if they did, there wouldn’t have been $842,387 raised on their behalf. The pizza owners claim their viewpoints (which they did not have to give) were misrepresented in the media. They claim they would be happy to serve gay people, but they just wouldn’t cater to a gay wedding. I hate to admit I agree with Pat, so I’ll just say that coincidentally enough, Pat agrees with me on this. This was an issue that would rarely, if ever, come up, because hardly anybody serves pizza at a wedding. But here’s the thing – by specifically saying they wouldn’t serve their pizzas to a couple holding a gay wedding, without specifying any other Biblical violations for whom they would deny service, they are admitting that the Bible has nothing to do with their viewpoint. The fact that they would be willing to serve gay people, just not their weddings, shows they are not adhering to Biblical principles. If the Bible is the reason they would deny wedding services to gay people, then they should be denying all services to gay people. After all, I’m sure they don’t question every woman who comes in to see if she is on her period. So the Bible can’t be the reason for their policy. But the Indiana law, as originally passed, would have given them the right to deny service to anybody they chose by citing their religious beliefs. It doesn’t have to actually be their religious beliefs, they just have to say it is. THAT’S what’s wrong with religious freedom laws like that – you are allowed to openly lie in court and claim something completely false led you to do what you did (or not do what you didn’t do.)

But Old Man Pat is not the only one confused about gay people. Mike Huckabee apparently has gay people confused with atheists. After insisting in an interview with Tony Perkins that the whole discussion about how far people can go to oppress the rights of gay people is a “manufactured crisis” (Huckabee insists the “war on woman” is a manufactured crisis, and that there is no war on women. Of course, what we call a “war on women” is just, to the Conservatives, Christians exercising their freedoms), Mikey went into full Conservative Defensive Projection mode. “The left has gotten very good on creating a crisis, something to divide the country, something to create this sense in which ‘we’ve got to go after these conservatives because they are trying to trample over our rights.'” Really, Mike? Can you say, “Benghazi”? He then went on to make the remarkable comparison:

“It is a classic example of — really a page out of ‘1984,’ when what things mean are the opposite of what they really are. And that’s what I’m seeing here is that in the name of tolerance, there’s intolerance. In the name of diversity, there’s uniformity. In the name of acceptance, there’s true discrimination.”

Let me stop you right there, Mikey. Never mind the fact that “1984” was about a lot more than just words meaning the opposite of what they really mean, about this whole “tolerance” thing. Conservative Christians simply do not understand the concept of tolerance. They seem to think that tolerant people are supposed to tolerate intolerant behavior, such as that exhibited by people who say the kinds of anti-LGBT things Conservative Christians are always being quoted saying. And we aren’t asking for uniformity in the name of diversity. Where the hell did you get that stupid idea? Frank Luntz? And, again, how is not accepting your discriminating behavior an example of discrimination on our part? You are the ones twisting words around, and projecting your own feelings onto us. Perky suggested that gay people who are denied service by one business should just go find another? But what if there are no others because your state law says places open to the public do not have to accommodate the public? He asks Mikey, “Where will it stop?”

“It won’t stop until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel, and I’m talking now about the unabridged, unapologetic Gospel that is really God’s truth.”

What Mikey ignores is that there is quite a lot of disagreement over what constitutes the “unabridged, unapologetic Gospel that is really God’s truth.” Does it happen, in his mind, to coincide with the version of Christianity that he thinks is “correct”? I would argue that precisely because there are so many different flavors of Christianity that there is, in fact no such thing as an “unabridged, unapologetic Gospel that is really God’s truth.” As for where it stops? It stops, Perky, when guys like you stop using your Bible to insist that the rest of the country behave according to your religion’s rules. Your religion is just as false as all the other versions of your religion, and just as wrong as all the other deity-based, Creationist religions. Your belief system makes zero sense to a mind capable of critical thought. To insist that it’s correct if you have “faith” is the same as saying, “It makes sense if you don’t try to make sense out of it.” If that’s what your belief system comes down to, then it cannot and should not be the basis of anybody’s laws. And it cannot and should not be accepted as a valid argument against any law. Later, Mikey insisted that “unlike the gay community, conservative Christians would never boycott a business like Walmart.” Not only did Perky immediately say he was boycotting Walmart over their objections to Arkansas’ RFRA, but Mikey forgot about the conservative boycotts encouraged by Townhall.com a couple of years ago. Out of five companies being suggested for boycotts, only one was for anything to do with LGBT rights. The other reasons were unions, MoveOn.org, Alec Baldwin, and Obamacare. And I’ll say this again and for the record: Yes, I am an atheist, but I am not totally unfamiliar with the teachings of the Biblical character known as Jesus. And I do not believe that those teachings could at all be characterized as “Conservative.” Caring for the health and well being of strangers is antithetical to the philosophy of Conservatism, but central to the teachings of Jesus. So the term “Conservative Christian” must be an oxymoron. It is impossible to follow the teachings of Jesus and still be Conservative. And if you’re following the philosophy of Conservatism, then you cannot be following the teachings of Jesus. The two are incompatible. Besides, I’m pretty sure Jesus had nothing to say about whether or not gay people should be ostracized from society. I do remember hearing that, like many of us Atheists, Jesus encouraged you to treat other people the way you yourself would want to be treated.

Perky also had words with Louisiana Governor Piyush “Bobby” Jindal (or “Jinny” as he likes to be called, or as I like to call him, I forget which one, but Jinny it is), who repeated the lie that Indiana’s RFRA law was no different than the federal version. Jinny then went on to twist reality and claim that Democrats (by which he means “Liberals”, because he wants to deflect attention away from the Conservative philosophies) “no longer support religious freedom protections because they may be used to benefit Christians.” That is completely false about both Democrats and Liberals (they are not as nearly synonymous as “Republicans” and “Conservatives” – the GOP purged itself of all Liberals on the national level several years ago.) It is completely untrue that Liberals do not want you to practice your religion, we just don’t want you to practice it on us.

“Now that evangelical Christians are the ones that are being discriminated against, the left does not want to accommodate them in the same way. What’s really underneath all of this is the left preaches tolerance and diversity and openness, and that’s true, unless you disagree with them. They don’t want to discriminate anybody unless you happen to be a conservative, or in this case, an evangelical Christian, and that’s the hypocrisy in this.”

Once again we have an intolerant Conservative Christian who does not understand the meaning of the word “Tolerance.” He believes that if you claim to be “tolerant,” then you ought to tolerate intolerant behavior on the part of others. Taken to its extreme, it’s like saying, “I’m a live and let live kind of guy, even if you’re a serial killer who picks his victims and cities at random.” No, there’s a limit. There is a line up to which we’ll let you walk, but we will not let you cross it with impunity. And Jinny, if you’re violating anti-discrimination laws, it’s because you’re the one doing the discriminating, not the people who are punishing you for your discrimination. Even liberal judges will say someone’s gone too far and throw him in jail for a long time. It doesn’t mean the judge lacks compassion, it just means she isn’t going to let bullies push her around and let them have their way. And we are not going to let bullies like you tell us we can’t stop you from being the intolerant dickheads you insist it’s your right to be. And if you’re going to claim you have such a right, don’t say it has a goddamn thing to do with your religious beliefs, because your religious beliefs, however much they support what you’re doing, are not the reason you’re discriminating. Because you are not applying those same religious beliefs to the way you treat other people who, according to your religious beliefs, should be treated the exact same way as the people you’re discriminating against. If your religious beliefs are not applied to your customers equally, then your religious beliefs are not the basis for your treatment of your customers. You’re applying some other rationale. And it appears that you, too, Jinny, have been giving a lot of thought to gay people, and the sex they have.

But when it comes to allegedly straight men thinking about gay male sex non-stop, it’s hard to imagine anyone can beat Peter LaBarbera, head of the Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, which they like to shorten misleadingly to Americans For Truth. (I wouldn’t shorten it. The first thing I thought when I saw “Americans For Truth” was, “About what? UFOs?”, and I immediately dismissed it. Better to stick to the long version. It will waste even less of our time.) This guy thinks about gay sex so much, he even put links to twelve different pro-LGBT websites on his own About page! He didn’t just name the groups opposed to him, he gave you links to their websites. Why would anyone do that? Could it be that Petey wants his followers to harass those groups? That’s a little trick I learned from Old Man Pat. Just throw out some outrageous, inflammatory claim, but do it in the form of a question so you can’t be accused of saying the guy wants to do that. I honestly don’t know why he did it. Could it be possible that he’s secretly gay?

LaBarbera and Americans For Truth are often accused by homosexual militants of being “obsessed” about homosexuality (and LaBarbera has been falsely accused of being a repressed homosexual more times than he can remember), but he points to the many LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) organizations that are well-financed and focused like a laser beam on normalizing homosexuality in the culture. (emphasis theirs)

Now THAT, is what Ben Bradlee would call a “non-denial denial.” He doesn’t deny being “obsessed” about homosexuality, he just makes it known that he’s been accused of it many times. As for the word “falsely,” it doesn’t prove it’s a denial. First of all, it’s in denial to something other than the obsession with homosexuality. Second of all, if he’s an active homosexual, then he’s not “a repressed homosexual”, is he? So he can truthfully claim he’s been falsely accused of being “a repressed homosexual”, without revealing the truth. That’s the beauty of the non-denial denial. It forces people to rely on other information to support their beliefs. Such as all the hints he drops.

“Jim, I think we would both agree that in some aspects America has surpassed Sodom in the evil that it allows,” he said. “We can’t all talk about it on this show, but I mean I’ve been to events that are incredibly perverse in their public events in San Francisco. And the things that homosexuals do in private, the orgies, etc., I think are every bit as evil as what we’d done in Sodom. We don’t know exactly what we’d done but we have an idea from the word of God.”

“So we’ve reached that level and we’re wondering what punishment does God have for us since we’re allowing the promotion of this in our nation,” he warned

Really, Petey? And what perverse events were you attending in San Francisco? And why do you think God is going to punish the United States (a country not mentioned in the Bible), when God’s even more favoritist country, Israel, allows same sex couples to have many of the same rights opposite sex couples have? (Israel does not recognize same sex marriage, but they don’t recognize marriage as a civil institution, only as a religious one. At present, there are no religious groups – who control marriage – that allow same sex marriage. But that applies to marriages performed in Israel.) And there are other countries that allow same sex marriage (or civil unions, which for purposes of religion-based, anti-LGBT arguments, are the same thing) and have since 2001. Canada’s been allowing it for almost ten years now. Have any of these anti-marriage equality people said God is going to punish Canada, too? I haven’t heard it, but I admit I don’t listen to a lot of right wing hate media. I have a functioning brain.

There are many other examples of Conservatives who have extensive viewpoints on the effect homosexuality has on this country. [You can find more examples at Right Wing Watch, a project of People For the American Way.] And no matter how much they deny it, they spend an awful lot of time thinking about it. Then they try to think of ways to justify their views, and they claim they can find them in the Bible. Then they pass laws claiming you can discriminate if it’s because of your religious beliefs. Except the reason for their discrimination is clearly not the Bible, because that same source tells them they should be discriminating (or worse) against a whole list of other people, too, and they don’t do that. Just the gay ones. I know a lot of you may not be sports fans, but I’m sure you know enough about NFL Football to know that there is a penalty called Unsportsmanlike Conduct (UC) and it can carry a penalty of up to fifteen yards. But there isn’t just one thing a player can do that can draw a flag for UC, there’s several things. Now if a referee starting throwing flags for just one action on the list, but lets all the other ones go, he’d be hard pressed to claim the rules were the only reason he was throwing those UC flags, since he wasn’t following the rules entirely. It’s like it’s less of an NFL rule and more of a House Rule for that one week. It’s not going to fly, and religious arguments for discrimination shouldn’t work that way, either. Either your religious beliefs guide all of your actions or they guide none of them. Because if you let yourself ignore some parts of your religious beliefs, they no longer become your religious beliefs and just become your beliefs, unattached to any religion. And they shouldn’t enjoy the protection of a religious freedom law.

Conservative Christians claiming their religious views are being discriminated against are lying. It’s not their religious views being made illegal, it’s their conservative ones. And in the end, this will just be one more in the long (and ever growing) list of conservative losses in the battle for social justice and equality. Which I think, if I were a religious person, would be just as God intended.

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