|God Hates Fags: Genesis 19:1-25|
It’s Day One of the Easter break, but I have had so little work since Christmas that the break feels unearned and I’m already going a bit stir-crazy. There are twenty-one days still to come and I’d like to be planning trips away here and there, but finances do not permit it. As usual, there are rumours of courses that might start, or then again, might not. I could be called upon some time soon to teach English grammar to native speaker undergraduates who are training to become speech therapists. Just in case, there’s a tome on syntax and morphology sitting on the floor next to me like some heavy, stale loaf. Given the time on my hands I can offer no plausible excuse for not reading it, but since I took it from the university library five days ago, I haven’t managed to finish the first chapter before I'm almost weeping with boredom. It’s all that stuff with tree-diagrams that make it look like a maths text-book, and nothing turns me off more than a maths text book. As soon as I close the book, what I’ve read is instantly wiped from memory. It’s my usual problem: I’m a very poor abstract thinker and impatient with theory. Until I meet my speech therapists and understand what precisely they need to know and how they will use it, this stuff will remain indigestible as cardboard. Once I see what they need, it’ll all fall into place. The first sessions will be me teaching by the seat of my pants again. Sigh.
So, to put off the moment when I pick up the syntax and morphology book, I got into another argument with some religious bone-heads on You Tube. Creationist cretin Kirk Cameron was on the telly a week or two back, giving Piers Morgan of CNN his deep thoughts on the peccatum Sodomiticum:
‘I think that it’s ah…it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s unnatural, it’s, it’s, it’s detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of our civilisation.’
Now, Cameron’s a silly cunt, partly because he does stuff like this * with such earnest conviction and partly because he doesn’t seem to know that same-sex desire was of more than fleeting interest to such Threats to our Civilization as Aristophanes, Marlowe, possibly Shakespeare, Tchaikovsky, Wilde, Britten, Tippett, Llorca, Cavafy, Gide and Copland, to name only the first random selection of illustrious old poufs to come to mind. Of course, Cameron has his supporters, because God hates homos and Kirk was fuck'n brave to stand up for his beliefs, cuz hell, ever-body know dat homosexuality is filth, man. I asked one of his partisans to say what he meant by ‘filth’.
‘I meant filth to mean sexual acts between humans that are contrary to a sound sexual norm, such as Male and Female relationships’, he replied, going round in circles. He needs my syntax and morphology book, obviously, as his choice of 'such as' makes it sound as if he’s saying the opposite of what he means, but this was You Tube, remember; you keep your expectations of anti-gay God-bothering loudmouths low. Then he added helpfully: ‘'Filth' is used as a social term to promote the badness of something’.
Denouncers of 'filth' are legion on the threads relating to Cameron’s appearance on CNN, and they may well ultimately derive their views from the publications of another Cameron, the rather nastier Paul, founder and head of the Family Research Institute. Paul is nastier because he lacks the goofy, affable sincerity of the rather simpler-minded Kirk. He writes:
The typical sexual practices of homosexuals are a medical horror story – imagine exchanging saliva, feces, semen and / or blood with dozens of different men each year. Imagine drinking urine, ingesting feces and experiencing rectal trauma on a regular basis. Often these encounters occur while the participants are drunk, high, and / or in an orgy setting. Further, many of them occur in extremely unsanitary places (bathrooms, dirty peep shows), or, because homosexuals travel so frequently, in other parts of the world.
What a sheltered life I’ve lead.
No respected scientific journal will touch Paul Cameron’s work, but he is very influential among anti-gay groups: the fervent loonies of the Westboro Baptist Church with their ‘Fags Eat Poop’ signs come to mind, but it’s not only the patently deranged whom he influences. Many Christians claim they oppose gay marriage out of love for their fellow man, hoping to rescue us from this ‘lifestyle’ of getting hammered and wallowing in shit, piss and spunk, and its attendant reduction in life expectancy - Cameron tells them that gay men live an average of 45 years. He taps into what Martha Nussbaum (2010, p.7) describes as ‘…the discomfort people feel about their smelly, decaying, and all-too-mortal bodies [which] has ubiquitously and monotonously been projected outwards on groups who can serve as, so to speak, the surrogate dirt of a community, enabling the dominant group to feel clean and heavenly.’
Imagine trying to communicate that idea to your average You Tube queer-bashing loudmouth. Well, actually, I did have some success with one of them who had objections to anal sex, even though he had no desire for it and therefore it did not impinge on his life in any material way. Incidentally, I have no desire for it either, but don't see why others should abstain on my account. That this is a simple matter of à chacun son goût is something many straight blokes, from boors to bishops, will not concede.
Now call me stupid, but i think most men wouldn't ram their pecker in a custom fitted garbage can full of toxic waste, but there are alot of libs, so who knows.
OK, you're stupid. Anal sex was the only fail-safe method of contraception up to 1960, so a lot of straight ass-fucking has gone on for the last 200,000 years. Maybe female assholes are cleaner than yours. Anyway, lots of men rammed their cocks up women's butts in order to avoid the only thing sex was ordained by God for. Shocking, isn't it? You can clean rectums, you know, with enemas. You wouldn't kiss somebody who'd just vomited, would you?
After a little more Evangelising on my part, he said:
I may disagree with certain aspects of morality some choose, but at the end of the day, I understand that EVERY human being deserves to live his/her life as they see fit. The true haters are blind.
I like to think I brought about a slight change of heart. I have what to a bigot must be a very irritating six year-old’s habit of just asking ‘why?’ Why do you say this? Why do you believe this? More likely he just wanted to get rid of me.
Here is a warning from another You Tube Jesus-Botherer on the perils attendant upon sex:
A major misconception is why homosexuality is bad. It is natural, but not right. The reason sex before marriage is banned is because after a person's first contact, they will seek out sex. From there, their drive will continue to advance. This eventually leads to them forgetting sexual boundaries. Some stay straight but become womanizers or "sluts." Others lose all barriers and seek only sexual pleasure, this leads to pedophilia, homosexuality, or beastophilia. These are detrimental to everyone.All in all, then, you’re better off not starting. He doesn't explain how marriage acts as a barrier to the snowballing effect of lust, but you don’t expect these people to make much sense. You just shake your head in wonder, knowing they’re allowed to vote and reproduce.
Cameron, P., 'Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do' Pamphlet issued by FRI. May be read online here, if your blood pressure will stand it.
Nussbaum, M.C., 2010. From Disgust to Humanity. New York:OUP.
* Fuller version of that debate here.