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Stamping out intolerance

I was watching this documentary last night.  It was looking at the absurd premise that homosexuality is some kind of fault which can be cured.  This was one of those times when you find almost everything on screen ludicrous.  Several of our American cousins, finding a conflict between their religious beliefs and their sexual preferences had taken it upon themselves to seek a ‘cure’ Others seemed to be sent along for a ‘cure’ by parents.

It seems to me that if a book written in the Bronze Age declares your voluntary, non-violent, private relationship with another person to be sinful, it’s time to throw away the book.  As to the parents, if young master SAoT grows up to be an axe-murderer or socialist, I’m not going to terminate any relationship with him, let alone if he happens to be gay.

Then we had the ‘cure’ itself.  Amazingly, hanging about in the woods for a couple of days with a large group of men (with a fairly obvious ‘Brokeback mountain’ vibe going on, it looked to me anyway) was the cure.  You see it turns out that gay men just lack a close relationship with their father (sic) and that’s what ‘turns’ them gay.  I was never that close to the old man when I was growing up, indeed many of my peers would agree that 1970’s dad’s were somewhat distant figures.  But the moment I saw Kim Wilde singing ‘kids in America’ the issue was forever settled.  Indeed, long before that.

So the man seeking the ‘cure’ would say they were a bit upset with dad, and then cry a bit.  Dad would say how sorry he was, cry a bit, confirm that he did in fact love his son, (just so long as he didn’t do rude stuff with other men), they would all hug each other, cry some more and hey presto ~ you’re cured.

I wondered if this was some kind of April-fool type show, but no.  That was the premise.  Then the founder of these courses repeats the same mantra about being gay and lacking closeness with dad (or lesbians, with mum).  Also, because science had not apparently identified a gay gene, well he just had to be right.  If that were true, you would imagine boys brought up by single mothers would be overwhelmingly gay, easy to check I would have thought, but the program makers (who presumably could no longer keep a straight face) didn’t bother.

Finally, the loon who thought this up wanted to bring it to England.  ‘Good luck’ I thought and they tried to advertise their services on London transport.  Mayor Johnson didn’t like this and he doesn’t like intolerance, so, well you can probably guess.  Entirely lacking in self-awareness, in an effort to stamp out intolerance, he banned the adverts.  Yep, ban stuff to promote tolerance.  Entirely the wrong response.

Saddest of all was the young gay bloke of 17. He really wanted to please his dad and Jesus and tried so hard to say “I’m not gay”  He had a girlfriend who really liked him (I was guessing because he wasn’t pressuring her into sex as most teen boys probably do).  And the choice he now seems to face is to live a lie or lose his family.  There is a third choice which many gay teens seem to take, suicide.  Utterly awful stuff.

19 Comments

  1. NickM says:

    Good post.

    I think the fundamental point is how does one defines stuff. How do you define the raging beast of sexuality? If you asked me 20-odd years ago (when I was a virgin) I would have claimed attraction to tall, willowy, pre-Raph goddesses with flowing dark locks. Basically I was looking for my Arwen. Elven Princesses are thin on the ground in Gateshead. Fat Slags mind…

    In the end I married a petite curvy blonde. And am v. happy. Because whilst there was the “Elven Princess” there was always Kylie too.

    Love is truly weird. Perhaps I got my Arwen in a way because if you open that round green door and go down the path who knows where it leads?

  2. John Galt says:

    For myself, having batted for both teams, but now firmly batting for Team Pink, I find myself literally torn in two by this specific issue.

    On the one hand I am opposed to legal discrimination on the basis of who we choose as sexual partners, provided that such matters are consensual and appropriate. For this reason I find the caterwauling of offence by the LGBT Mafia over such matters as the rights of LGBT individuals to closet, or roam the darker reaches of Hampstead Heath looking for sexual excitement to be over-egging the pudding.

    The fundamental battles for LGBT-rights have all been won, so the more strident members of are community are taking the fight to places where the arguments are shades-of-grey rather than black-and-white.

    Do I see the need for a ‘service’ offering to use psycho-babble bullshit to change your sexual preference? No, not really, but does such a service have a right to exist? Absolutely.

    Why so?

    Because we are not at the stage of universal tolerance, despite the legal strictures of our political masters and LGBT outreach workers.

    For some, caught infligrante delicto with a gay lover, attendance on such a course may be a mechanism by which they can “recant” their homosexuality and return to a family life that they are not prepared to give up (the sincerity of such actions being a personal matter).

    For others it may be a way of deferring such issues as coming out until we are ready to deal with them ourselves, for example after the death of a beloved but intolerant parent.
    In short, there are many reasons for these services to exist, even if they are little short of quackery.

    What I don’t want, is for these services to be forced underground because of LGBT militants or the perceived tolerance of the political establishment. Since when is someone tolerant by banning or seeking to silence different opinions?

    By keeping these services open and in the public eye, their excesses can be controlled and their successes measured. I’d rather not revert back to the 1950′s where Electro Shock Therapy and LSD were considered acceptable treatments against the so called perversions of homosexuality.

    I’ll just exercise my right not to use or to be forced to use these services.

    If the LGBT Mafia don’t like it, well they can just suck my cock then, can’t they?

  3. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    I find myself literally torn in two by this specific issue.

    To quote Princess Bride>/em>: ‘I do not think it means what you think it means.’

  4. Philip Scott Thomas says:
  5. John Galt says:

    To quote Princess Bride: ‘I do not think it means what you think it means.’

    Very well Mr. Smarty-pants, I find myself figuratively torn in two by this specific issue.

    Happy now Philip ducky?

  6. Mr Ed says:

    A heterosexual person who disapproves of homosexuals might perhaps consider that the benefit of others (of that person’s sex) being homosexual is a reduced competetition for mates, so it’s a ‘win/win’.

    That the other sex being homosexual might reduce the scope for mates is just tough, its self-ownership.

    But for those who seek to use the State to aggress against others, Kolyma is too good for them.

  7. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    LOL, yes, John.

    That is so much better (remembering, of course, that we both bat for the same team).

  8. John Galt says:

    @Philip Scott Thomas:

    Back to the subject in hand, as a member of Team Pink where DO you stand on this issue? Because for myself, I often feel as a lone voice in the wilderness.

    Kind of like a waxed John the Baptist, if you know what I mean…

  9. johnpd says:

    The militant homo-fascist, & the militant eco-fascist are now two of the most intolerant lobbies on our planet.
    They both stem from UN Agenda 21.
    I refer you to James Delingpole’s ‘Radio Free Delingpole’ chat with Elizabeth Nickson author of ‘Eco-Fascists’, where they touch on UN Agenda 21. It’s also accessible via his Telegraph blog.
    Also check out Archbishop Cranmer’s excellent blog:
    Fri 19 Oct 2012 …homophobic.. &
    Thurs 11 Oct 2012…Attorney General.
    We live in interesting times.
    :)
    JD.

  10. NickM says:

    johnpd,
    Whatever! But eco-fascist are way different from the homo-fascists I’ve like never met. The two causes are totally different. The diff between pursuing the right to do X if you want to and forceing everyone to do Y whether they want to or not is profound.

    JG, PST. I have no idea where you lads are heading here. All I hope is that isn’t a Brazillianly waxed John the Baptist.

  11. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    John –

    Sorry to take so long to respond, but your question deserved more, erm, sober thought (and I mean that both figuratively and literally) than I was capable of last evening. My apologies as well for the length of this, but it’s the only way I can explain my position. You might want to go pour yourself a drink and get comfortable first. :-)

    As I’ve mentioned here before, my academic background is in philosophy and theology. The way we were taught to do theology is more common on the Continent than in Britain; in fact, it is almost unknown here, especially in the C of E; they don’t really do theology at all, it seems. Systematic Theology, as the discipline is called, works its topics out as a series of logical propositions, each one building on the conclusions that come before it. The result is, one hopes, a system that hangs together in a logically coherent way.

    When I was converted to libertarianism a few years back I tackled the subject the same way. That is, I tried to work out my political beliefs as a series of logical propositions. It’s still a work in progress, of course. These things always are. But the first premiss, the one from which all the rest of the stuff about my liberties and my rights is derived, is my fundamental nature as a human being. From what I gather, that makes me a deontological libertarian, in the same vein as the American Founding Fathers and “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” line of argument. For whatever it’s worth, I get the impression that this makes me something of an oddball among libertarians in Britain, most of whom seem to be consequentialists (BTW, if Hume had been a deontological libertarian he wouldn’t have made such a howler as to say that you can’t derive a “should” from an “is”).

    It’s important to underline the idea that my liberties are the product specifically of my nature as a human being. First, it means that everyone else has the same liberties as I do to the same degree as I do, since they all share the same human nature to the same degree as I do. And I mean everyone, including lefties, fundamentalists and Jimmy Savile (OK, not Jimmy Savile, but only because he’s dead, so he is by definition no longer a human being; if he were still alive, however, he would be included). That’s the foundation for my opposition to slavery, capital punishment and abortion, but that’s a discussion for another time.

    Second, it means my liberties are not inherent in my nature as a gay man. There are no gay rights, any more than there are women’s rights, minority rights, and so on. There are only human rights. That’s why I side with that Christian couple who wanted to ban a gay couple from their bed and breakfast. Their rights as human beings to associate with, and offer their services to, whoever they wish trumps the gay couple’s (non-existant) rights as gay men. That’s also why I’m in favour of civil partnerships/gay marriages/whatever. Since gays and straights share the same human nature the benefits offered by the State – the legal entitlements and so on – should be available to both.

    Third, both the theological discipline I was taught and my libertarianism share the same fundamental question: what does it mean to be a human being? Both assert that all people share the same nature, but both also acknowledge that that does not mean all people are the same. The human nature we all share rarely fails to find new and amusing ways to assert itself, including sexual tastes, proclivities and mores. Will some of those attending the counselling sessions in the woods that SAoT referred to be “cured” of their homosexuality? I don’t know; perhaps they will. Perhaps not. Either way, it’s their business, not mine.

    I don’t get too upset by that sort of thing, or even by the Westboro Baptist Church sort of people. I understand where they’re coming from. I disagree with them, but I understand. Like they say, there’s nowt so queer.

  12. John Galt says:

    Salud!

    A strong philosophical justification, with which I find myself in agreement. Certainly I do believe that as a human being (even as a non-US Citizen) that I have certain inalienable rights and that those rights are indeed self-evident, specifically the aspect of freedom from persecution.

    On the matter of our Christian hoteliers, I acknowledge they are free to do business with anyone they choose and refuse to do business with anyone they choose. If they end up looking like bigots, that is their affair, not mine. In my turn, I make the free market choice not to give my business to bigots. Seems fair enough.

    The only corporate entity that I am forced to contract with is the state itself, I’ve resolved that by leaving the UK and moving from country-to-country until no state can make claim to me and I can be vague about my own claims (having citizenship in a state I’ve never visited).

    The life of a sovereign individual is one of bliss…

  13. John Galt says:

    @NickM:

    JG, PST. I have no idea where you lads are heading here. All I hope is that isn’t a Brazillianly waxed John the Baptist.

    A predilection of most (but not all) members of Team Pink unfortunately. However, those like myself who are fallen into drunken and ruinous decline don’t worry about such things anymore. Besides it being initially painful and a few days later desperately itchy…

  14. Julie near Chicago says:

    P.S.T.,

    Bravo! Positively brilliant summary of the posish. Concise, coherent, beautifully put.

    [Pretty much the same rational starting point and subsequent chain of argument as Miss Rand's, I think. Also it sounds very Scholastic to me--as one who can at least **spell** "Aquinas" (further deponent sayeth not, if you take my meaning)...speaking of training in the logic of Christian theology.]

    (It’s nice to know we have another renegade on-board vis-á-vis abortion.)

  15. Roue le Jour says:

    Homosexuality cannot be “cured” (for some reason Magneto comes to mind here) and any attempting to “cure” a young person, especially at his parents behest, will get every single person associated with the enterprise banged up for child sexual abuse or as an accessory to same and placed on the sex offenders register. Forever. Have a nice day.

    Yeah, and well said, PST.

  16. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    Julie –

    Yes, Rand is definitely an influence. I don’t buy her whole philosophy but a lot of it is spot on.

    Cool that you spotted the Aquinas link. He’s been a big influence, too, along with the Neo-Thomist, Mortimer J. Adler.

  17. NickM says:

    JG,
    Aren’t there still bears in the gay woods? I’ve seen them in gay bars quite recently but no longer living in Manchester that was a few short years back. Some of them if you shaved ‘em you could stuff a mattress!

    The first girl I ever really fancied didn’t shave her armpits and I thought this terribly sex (still do) because it was a “fuck you!” to the tyranny of normality of the teenage girl as a group. You want someone who enforces sameness forget your ayatollahs or people’s commissars, bring me a fourteen year-old girl. That’s me on the Jimmy Savile Memorial Register for life. Any deviation from the group norm was, “Unclean, unclean!” Maybe it is different now but then I grew-up with Brosettes. Dear Gods they made the Waffen SS look kinda “come as you are”. Shame we never got it on. A sassy girl. Unlike the “Mass Hass!!!” Brosettes who would throw pyjama parties and put the World to rights over cheesecake. This being along the lines of “Isn’t Scott being so immature because he won’t commit and I want a relationship!” They’d only snogged once and any suggestion of even “tops and fingers” would have had her thrown from the inner circle of the Bros Goddesses. Of course if you were deemed “frigid” ditto. The complexity of the etiquette would baffle an Edwardian duchess.

    Christ, we we were all like fourteen! A later girlfriend of mine at a PJ party in Atlanta at around the same age was subjected by the alpha female (with the rest of them playing along because they – I guess because they wanted self-validation too and bullies know how to control the mob) to a “breast contest” Suffice to say the alpha female was an early developer and my future girlfriend was kinda on the slow-side. She was forced to take off her bra by mob pressure and after being deemed the smallest-breasted of the group had her bra put in the freezer so it shrank “and fitted better”. That is exquisite cruelty. I wonder now how that related to her becoming anorexic. She became obsessed with her hip/bust ratio. I saw the after-echoes of this.

    Is it any wonder then that I fancied the girl who didn’t shave her armpits and didn’t care. She was my biology lab partner. We were a good team. That was fun and we sparked off each other which is why our very good biology teacher put us together. She was bright, funny and had male friends. She didn’t believe history would see Bros eclipsing the Beatles. She did know how to set a humane rodent trap on a field trip and the Kreb’s TCA cycle worked and how not to give a damn. She just didn’t fancy me. Some you win, some you lose.

  18. Julie near Chicago says:

    John Galt,

    Do you retain citizenship anywhere? (Just out of curiosity.)

  19. John Galt says:

    @NickM:

    Can’t comment on Gay Bears in them thar woods, was very different in my day. More the mustachioed lumberjack thing. Must admit the thought of humping something with a back like a chimpanzee doesn’t do it for me.

    @Julie near Chicago:

    Yes, but as you are probably aware only the United States and Eritrea places obligations on their citizens when they are non-resident. Since leaving the UK in 2009, I have only one residence, in Penang, Malaysia for which I have a multi-year residency permit under their Malaysia My Second Home programme.

    I am a dual citizen and passport holder of both Ireland and the Isle of Man (technically a British Islands passport). As I live in the far east and work mainly in mainland Europe and Singapore, I have no direct interactions with the Irish Government other than picking up a passport from one of their embassies once every ten years or so.

    For my Manx passport, I have to go directly to Government House in Douglas, Isle of Man, but again not due to go there until 2020.

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