Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tony Perkins Defends Bullying

The epidemic of suicide of LGBT youth has been in the press of late. And, true to form, Right Wing Culture Warrior Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, is directly in place to promulgate lies (thanks to an op/ed in the Washington Post).

The Washington Post says that Perkins' column is necessary balance to the on-line chat they hosted with gay activist Dan Savage. Of course, that's like saying an article about geology needs to be balanced by a rebuttal from the Flat Earth Society. Do they balance civil rights stories with polemics from white supremicists?

Perkins rant looks terribly scholarly, with links to actual research, but as usual he picks and chooses and mis-represents that which he is quoting. He says,:
Some homosexuals may recognize intuitively that their same-sex attractions are abnormal--yet they have been told by the homosexual movement, and their allies in the media and the educational establishment, that they are "born gay" and can never change. This--and not society's disapproval--may create a sense of despair that can lead to suicide....The most important thing that Christians can offer to homosexuals is hope--hope that their sins, just like the sins of anyone else, can be forgiven and their lives transformed by the power of Jesus Christ.
As Dan Savage says,
The religious right points to the suicide rate among gay teenagers—which the religious right works so hard to drive up (see above)—as evidence that the gay lifestyle is destructive. It's like intentionally running someone down with your car and then claiming that it isn't safe to walk the streets.
But one of the most moving take-downs is in a rebuttal piece by Sirdeaner Walker whose son Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover killed himself because of anti-gay bullying.
Mr. Perkins' tactic, and that of others like him, is to use faith and religion to divide us. They seek to thwart efforts to deal with a problem at the heart of this current crisis--anti-gay bullying and harassment....

And we need to be clear on one thing - addressing anti-gay bullying is not a controversial issue. If you move through the smoke screen organizations like Family Research Council try to create, you realize addressing anti-gay bullying is simply the right thing to do if we care about all of our young people.

Check out the Post site for more outraged rebuttals of Tony Perkins, like this one and this one.

1 comment:

snafubar said...

It's rather perverse (asexual definition) that Perkins entire point is based on "normal" and "abnormal" - which specifically is only a statistical qualifier. Statistically, more people are heterosexual, therefore other states of sexuality are "abnormal".

If mankind were to apply this kind of rationale to religion, Christianity would be "abnormal", since only about 1 in 5 of the world's population is Christian; if Perkins really wants to see himself cut down to size, paring his own specific denomination of "Christian" (as opposeded to "Catholic" or Lutheran or Methodist) he isolates himself further

People like Perkins have twisted the meanings of democracy and freedom both to be interpreted as "freedom for those who are normal, and we who consider ourselves normal shall determine who qualifies". He should be careful indeed that others with superior numbers don't start to judge him by the same standards.

Taken aside from the ludicrous assertion that being gay is a choice and therefore anyone who suffers consequences can "choose" to be something that doesn't inspire other people to taunt him, he might also hope that others don't start to use this logic against him either, as one's religion is most certainly a "choice".

Given that civil rights protection and defense was offered to religions long before it was even considered for one's race or sexuality because so many felt that it was appropriate to taunt, bully or even abuse someone because of their religion - how bizarre has it become that a person who's own civil rights are protected by law has the hubris to declare that others shall not be protected for reasons only his religion can justify.

if there ever could be a "G"od, surely he's shaking in head in disgust over the hypocrisy.