Porn Makes You Gay? Right Wing Activists Champion Homosexual Reeducation

22 Sep

Oh boy. I’ve been trying, ladies and gentlemen – I really have. I’ve been trying very hard not to get pissed off at people for their personal beliefs, because I’ve always been a huge proponent of the “live and let live” mentality. Surely, the things I believe aren’t going to be palatable to everyone; who am I to judge someone else? The oft-misquoted JC once said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, so realistically I’m the last guy who should be lobbing rocks. And so far I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping my pebbles to myself.

glass house

But sometimes, just sometimes, something comes across my desk here at the Compound that is absolutely beyond the pale. This morning, I got one such piece of news.

I think it’s safe to say at this point, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know my feelings on homosexuality – or more to the point, my lack of feeling on the matter. As far as I’m concerned, you’re wired to love whoever you’re wired to love. If that means a “straight” orientation, fine. If it means a same-sex drive, cool. If it means you can pick and choose – well aren’t you a lucky one. (I think it would be awesome to be bisexual; it statistically doubles your chances of going home with somebody at the end of the night! Sadly, I’m not set up that way. Sorry gents.)

I’ve never believed that homosexuality as an orientation does any damage to anybody; certainly not the sanctity of marriage or the integrity of the family unit or anything else. But this is where the “live and let live” mentality starts to get difficult to keep up. See, I figure you’re entitled to your opinion, even if I don’t agree with it. You want to believe aliens seeded the earth with life millions of years ago? Sure. You want to believe the Holocaust was a Zionist conspiracy? I might think you’re an idiot, but you can personally interpret history however you want (sorry, but freedom of opinion has to be across the board).

free speech protest sign

My point is, as long as your beliefs don’t translate into action that infringes on the rights of others, then you’re allowed to believe whatever the hell you want – even insofar as to believe that homosexuality is a sin or a deviance. I don’t like it; I don’t agree with it; I think it’s a terrible thing to teach a child – but I can’t tell you what to believe, or I’d be a hypocrite for getting mad if you try to do the same thing back to me.

However, when you’re a policy-maker whose decisions directly affect the lives of people around you, all of a sudden your opinions can start to infringe on the rights of others. I understand what I’m about to talk about deals with a predominantly American issue, but I think it’s a worthwhile issue to highlight because of the farther-reaching implications of what’s being said here.

Every year, the Republican right hosts an event called the Value Voter’s Summit, which features lectures from a laundry list of right-wing activists and politicians, sponsored by the Family Research Council – itself a self-proclaimed Christian organization interested in lobbying government on a ton of hot-button issues ranging from abortion to abstinence to the death penalty. For the most part, nobody should be surprised by the kind of issues raised – it’s all the same stuff we’ve been hearing for twenty or thirty years the media typifies as inherently right-wing and conservative.

right wing politics america

If I were to walk into such a conference, I’d expect to be mightily offended by just about everything I heard. I’m a pretty liberal guy, and as such I think condemning abortion as “murder” out of one side of your mouth, and venerating capital punishment as a worthwhile crime deterrent out of the other, is hypocritical on a monumental scale. But I’d be willing to let it slide, because realistically these people are preaching to the choir, right? Most folks who turn up for the Value Voter’s Conference probably have both feet firmly planted on the right-hand side of the fence already, so what’s the harm in them sharing their own ideas between one another?

The harm is when they cross the line from “sharing ideas in a community” to trying to implement those ideas on a vast scale. I don’t know about you, but when I hear this kind of rhetoric from a senator’s chief of staff, I start getting pretty fucking nervous:

Okay. Wow. I hate to beat a dead horse here, but I’ve brought a particularly big stick with me today and I don’t want it to go to waste.

Disclaimer: all my big talk about live and let live is about to go out the window, propelled by the jet fuel of rage and the blatant hypocrisy of my enemy. You were warned.

First off, this guy is a fucking idiot. There, I said it. I love how he couched his own ignorant commentary in the protective veil of “oh, my friend who used to be gay told me this, so that lends credence to the central idea”. That’s as bad as justifying making racist comments by way of saying a) you’re a minority yourself and are therefore “allowed” or b) you have friends who are of the background you’re castigating, and they all think your comments are funny, so it must be okay.

racist old man

Seriously Michael Schwartz. Your friend “used to be” gay, indoctrinated himself into a religious system of belief that presupposes homosexuality to be a deviance and a sin, essentially convinced himself he wasn’t gay, and now runs around convincing other gay people that God hates them? Real winner of a friend you’ve got there. If being gay is unnatural, how come it’s so hard for even your buddy to walk away from it? You said yourself that he can’t commit to marriage to a woman because he’s too “tempted by sin”. Could you imagine, for just a brief second of illumination in your otherwise-Neanderthalic worldview, that rather than being “tempted by sin” he’s actually genetically wired to be gay? That what he perceives to be the devil trying to coax him into evil, nasty, “homo stuff” is actually his brain and his body going, “no, you like dudes”?

devil

And your whole thing about pornography. Give me a goddamn break. First of all, don’t for one second try to tell me you’ve never visited an adults-only website or picked up a skin mag from your local 7-11. Just don’t. You’re a guy; I’m a guy – let’s not lie to each other here. You know what pornography is? It’s a masturbatory aid. That’s it. It’s probably not “art”, but it’s not necessarily “filth” either. It’s just archived images of people getting it on in myriad, sometimes creative ways. Yes, I’m talking about standard, run-of-the-mill porno like Playboy (your example) – if you want to get into snuff films or kiddie porn or bestiality; well, actually I wouldn’t really be surprised, because I’m willing to lay considerable money on the bet that all you repressed fundamentalists have some pretty kinky skeletons in your sizable closets, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

weird porn fetish

Pornography does not turn you into a homosexual. The only way I’d be willing to give that comment any kind of credence whatsoever would be to suggest a scenario in which a sexually-undecided boy checks out a wank rag and realizes he’s way more interested in the phallic end of the Beast With Two Backs; same thing for a confused girl who realizes she really likes tits. Even then, porno doesn’t “make” you gay; it might just make you realize what you already were to begin with.

The idea of pornography playing a role in your sexual orientation goes back to a fundamental misunderstanding about what being homosexual entails. I’ve said it before – there’s this overriding idea, particularly in the right wing, that homosexuality is all about sex (as in sexual activity), which is as ignorant as saying heterosexuality is all about sex. I couldn’t find any information about whether or not you’re married, Michael, but if you are, I’d wager your wife would be considerably upset with you if you went on record saying your entire relationship is based on your sex life. Wake up Michael: homosexuality is about love, just like heterosexuality. I don’t pretend to have anything but a dim view of “love”, but I see it all around me – couples facing adversity together, raising families, supporting one another through illness and financial troubles and every other challenge facing each of us every day. And guess what Michael? Gay couples do that too. It’s not “all” about sex. You just want to forefront that because the majority of your undereducated population thinks about gay sexual activity (and let’s be honest here, it’s predominantly male gay sexual activity that people have a problem with) and goes “eww, how gross”, and that gives you a leg up in your struggle to make second-class citizens out of gay folks. Or, as is the case in America, to keep them there.

god hates fags

Oh, but you didn’t stop with gay people, did you Michael? No, you had to cover your ass in case you might be wrong about the whole “Playboy made me gay” angle, so you qualified it. You said,

If it doesn’t turn you homosexual, it will at least render you less capable of loving your wife.”

WHAT?

I already wrote my article on addiction, so I won’t revisit it here, but suffice to say if you can’t get it on with your wife because you’d rather watch Jenna Jameson eat thirty-five cocks before breakfast, there’s either something wrong with you, something wrong with your wife, or definitely something wrong with your relationship. Tell you what Michael: go watch some porn. If it renders you incapable of loving your wife, send her my way. I seem to have no problem with both sides of that equation.

alex james lover

I’ll admit, it’s a brilliant little scheme you got going here. Gays offend you; pornography (ostensibly) offends you. By teaching young people that porn will make you gay, being gay will make you a sinner, and being a sinner will send you to eternal damnation, you’re effectively killing two birds with one stone, aren’t you? Ideally you’ll end up with a bunch of kids who are so afraid of moral retribution from some divine power in the sky (who, by the way, is supposed to be the personification of love, according to you people) they won’t look at porn, they won’t allow themselves to be gay if they are (and they’ll ruthlessly castigate anybody who is – anybody else remember Matthew Shepard?), and…then what? Well, you “solved” the gay issue, and the porn issue, but guess what? Young people are sexualized by everything in your culture, at an earlier and earlier age. If you succeed in making a whole culture full of straight youths who fear masturbation, what’s going to happen next? I’ll put this in plain terms so you’ll be sure to understand.

They’re going to start fucking one another.

kissingAll your “abstinence-only” education and your from-the-mount bullshit moral authority is going to be as much of a hindrance to a tidal wave of human hormones as a wet tissue would be to a Mac truck. Don’t distribute condoms, because birth control gives consent, and then what happens? Even you, Michael, for all your superstition, must realize storks don’t bring babies. Fucking does. So what happens when you have an entire nation of Bristol Palins on your hands, thanks to your inane teachings? Your book says God’s decree was to go forth and procreate – and that’s just what they’re going to do, especially when you keep railroading them into a tighter and tighter moral passageway. Young people naturally want to do what they’re not allowed to do: like being gay, it’s in their DNA. Go ahead and keep trying to instill the fear in them; find out what happens.

bristol palin

Talking points from this article, for the handful of right-wing readers who will doubtless have opinions and want to argue them, but are probably incapable of reading this whole post without taking a break to go blow up some abortion clinics in the name of “life”:

Point 1: Being gay isn’t a sin. It’s not an aberration. And it’s not about sex. It’s natural, it’s about love, and the American people have more important things to worry about than who is in love with whom.

Point 2: Pornography isn’t for everybody, but it’s certainly not a tool of the devil designed to turn you queer. It’s cheap entertainment, it’s a masturbatory aid, and if you tell me you’ve never looked at it, you’re probably lying (and if you actually haven’t looked, how do you know what the fuck you’re talking about?)

Point 3: Lording it over a bunch of kids and telling them to be ashamed of themselves, their bodies and their sexuality, while refusing them the education necessary to make their own choices (you know, that whole “fundamental of democracy” you’re constantly going on about protecting) is hypocritical, ignorant and potentially disastrous.

Point 4: Michael Schwartz is a backwards lunatic who has no business being in any level of government where his opinions can negatively affect the quality of life for American citizens – which is just what these opinions, if made into legislation, would do.

There it is; that’s my say. And for everybody about to grab me by the balls and rebuke me for being a hypocrite, I’d urge you to remember that individual citizens like me are entitled to our opinions, because frankly, as awesome a blog as State of Affairs is, nobody’s coming to me to draft out public policy. They are coming to Michael Schwartz, and as a man sworn to uphold the tenets of the Constitution, his opinions are directly contrary to the most important clause of that document:

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.”

Maybe Michael Schwartz should spend a little time ruminating on that timeless decree. Maybe then he’d start taking his job – being a voice for his people – a little more seriously, and stop alienating the people of his nation.

Hate mail is welcome.

7 Responses to “Porn Makes You Gay? Right Wing Activists Champion Homosexual Reeducation”

  1. Shayla September 22, 2009 at 3:36 PM #

    I was JUST surfing around the internet looking for inspiration for my next LAID post, and here I find this. Thanks for getting me thinking in the right direction.

    Yeah, honestly, I’ve really lost all tolerance for anti-gay people. Seriously, I’ve never seen gay people rally together to try to get the government to ban Christian people’s right to love each other, but I see the opposite thing happen all the time.

  2. Moot. September 22, 2009 at 3:42 PM #

    Moot Point 1:
    Porn is awesome. So are vaginas. That’s like someone telling me I’ll become a baseball fan from watching so much football. No, I’ll still like football. Baseball just aint my game.

    Moot Point 2:
    Michael Schwartz just took the story to Patch Adams and gave it a religious right-wing spin. That’s it. He ripped off the story of Patch Adams, made all the patients AIDS infested queer boys and made Patch Adams an ex-homo.

    His arguments are Moot.

  3. Bi-one September 23, 2009 at 10:48 AM #

    It will never cease to amaze me when someone gains “power” with the public, they immediately try to impose their own ideas/thoughts to everyone else. “If I am the representative chosen by the people, then they must agree to what I believe as well”, is absolutely BULL!

    Making the younger generation fear their sexuality and emotions is as bad as turning them brain dead. “You cannot love someone of your own gender because it is a sin!!”

    Temptations and sin…let’s be honest…who doesn’t get tempted and slip once in a while? Do you smoke or drink or maybe enjoy a little ‘recreational pharmaceutical’? Those are temptations in life, if we take part in these temptations, are we all going to be burning in hell as well?

    But who am I to say…I’m a porn watching bisexual who is “going to burn and suffer in hell for all eternity because of the temptations. sin and my inability to commit to a marriage.”

    To all the people who have ever been ‘tempted’ and have now become ‘addicted’ to anything in life… Here’s a drink for all of us, and I’ll see you all when “we burn in hell for our sins.”

  4. dalena johnson October 21, 2009 at 9:47 PM #

    keep up the good work i enjoyed reading your blog…

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