Star Parker and the Fascist Ignorati of the Religious Right
I had the unfortunate experience of opening up my local newspaper this morning and reading an editorial by Star Parker about ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007. The legislation seeks to make discrimination against homosexuals and bisexuals illegal. The legislation has stalled because another legislator wants to add transsexuals and transgenders into the mix.
To summarize Parker's position succinctly, it's this: homosexuality is a choice and there should be no laws protecting people for their bad choices.
Parker defends this position in two ways that would be highly comical if they weren't so completely asinine. First, Parker has located a former gay person who's no longer gay because he's been healed through the power of prayer. Obviously, because this formerly gay person is no longer gay, that means that all gay people can be healed of their gayness through the power of Jesus Christ.
This is a common tack of the fascist religious right these days and it's being bought hook, line, and sinker by every undereducated moron whose ignorance has become a defense of their hypocrisy. Basically, here's how their logic works: if 100 people say the sun sets in the West, but we can find 1 person who says it sets in the east then we can say that the sun sets in the east. It's worked well with the theory of evolution. Despite evolutionary theory being built on sound scientific principles, whenever the fascist religious right finds one monkey missing a thumb they start jumping up and down like kids in a candy store claiming they've found the exception that proves the theory false. All it proves is that they don't understand how science works.
Despite overwhelming evidence suggesting homosexuality is most often not a choice, the fascist religious right is desperately trying to push the notion that homosexuality is a choice, not a God-given trait, because if it were a God-given trait - something that's impossible to get rid of either through prayer or any other method - then it would mean that God not only loves and accepts gay people, but that he created them on purpose.
The second defense Parker uses is the all-encompassing Bible defense. The argument is this: "if we accept that we are slaves to our sexual impulses, then the 'thou shalt not' prohibitions of the Bible become meaningless. If we are told to avoid behavior that is impossible to avoid, the Bible becomes a work of fiction" In other words, as I read that last statement, believers of the Bible cannot be asked not to criticize gays because homosexuality is a sin that MUST be criticized. In other words, according to Parker, if we succumb to the myth of equal rights for homosexuals, then the homosexuals win. The gay agenda takes over and Christian values are destroyed.
The dangerous idiocy of this article is truly Herculean. Parker demonstrates the exact problem with the fascist religious right: they don't know the difference between fact and fiction. For Parker, fact is apparently defined as "any idea I believe in really strongly" and fiction is "anything I don't believe in". I've got news for Parker: The Bible is fiction. Yes, parables contain truth, but that doesn't mean Pinocchio is fact.
People who buy that whole "Bible as literal fact" thing should open it up sometime and give it an actual read. As an African-American, Parker might find this passage in Leviticus particularly arresting: "As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are round about you." As a woman, she might want to check out Exodus, which justifies female sexual slavery in this passage: "When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she does not please her master, who has designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed." (Apologies to Sam Harris who uses these same quotes in "Letters to a Christian Nation.") Ironic that Parker uses the Bible to justify discrimination against homosexuals when that very book justifies slavery. Since it's in the Bible, it must be a fact that slavery is right and non-slavery is wrong, no?
Professional right-wing ignorati like Parker are dancing around the fact that what they're advocating for here is quite simple: discrimination against homosexuals. They're not just saying that we need to be wary of the gay agenda. They're actually suggesting that homosexuals SHOULD be discriminated against because they're sinners and because the Bible tells us that we have a moral obligation to do so. The Bible demands it. Homosexuality is a sin. In Parker's worldview, that's a FACT. Let's hope she keeps up with the bills by slinging this right-wing garbage, because if times are tight and she gets forced into a godly career of sex slavery, she'll have only the Bible to blame. After all, it's all justified in the good book, so slavery and sex slavery are okay. It's a FACT.