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TAG | homosexuality

Aug/13

3

Rolling out Satan

The Devil Twilight ZoneThere’s been a lot of discussion recently on the significance or otherwise of what the new pope has had to say about homosexuality.

But less about these comments from three years back (via Breitbart):

New Pope Francis I is an ardent opponent of same-sex marriage, in coincidence with traditional Catholic belief. In 2010, he wrote, “Let’s not be naïve, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

The “Father of Lies”!

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Aug/13

3

Mission to Moscow (Theocon Edition)

repin_processionThis is about a piece that comes from the Daily Beast, so a few caveats are in order, even if we ignore a headline (“Why American Social Conservatives Love Anti-Gay Putin”) that may not be the work of James Kirchick, the article’s author.

I doubt, for example, whether this “many” is accurate:

Many of those self-same religious conservatives who cheered wildly when Ronald Reagan denounced the “Evil Empire,” are citing Russia as the world’s foremost defender of traditional values.

“Many”? Really?

And this is ludicrous:

Russia today under the heel of President Vladimir Putin is arguably less free than it was in the late stages of the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev.

Uh, no.

The direction of change in the late-Gorbachev era (unless, say, you were a Lithuanian border guard), might have been more favorable than it is in Russia today, but, for all the reversion to authoritarianism seen in recent years, Russia is still infinitely more free than it was in 1989-91.

But…

On June 30, Putin signed into law a now infamous measure banning “non-traditional relationships propaganda,” a catch-all term which legal experts say prohibits everything from gay pride parades to gay couples holding hands in public.

The law had earlier passed in the Duma by a vote of 436-0.

Back to the Daily Beast:

“Russians do not want to follow America’s reckless and decadent promotion of gender confusion, sexual perversion, and anti-biblical ideologies to youth,” Peter LaBarbera, of the outfit Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, proclaimed on his website.

“You admire some of the things they’re doing in Russia against propaganda,” Austin Ruse, president of the U.S.-based Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, told the Associated Press last month, before lamenting, “on the other hand, you know it would be impossible to do that here.” Ruse recently traveled to Russia, and wrote a piece for the Daily Caller entitled, “Putin is not the gay bogeyman,” in which he defended the draconian legislation.

“Openly gay ambassadors are now placed in largely religious countries,” Ruse complained. “Gay celebrations are now held in U.S. embassies, even in countries like Pakistan where such parties are calculated to deeply offend legitimate religious sensibilities and beliefs.” Of course, Christians are also discriminated against in Pakistan. Presumably Ruse also opposes the U.S. Embassy’s Christmas Party, which is similarly “calculated to deeply offend legitimate religious sensibilities and beliefs”?

…Scott Lively, an American conservative activist largely credited for inspiring legislation in Uganda that would impose the death penalty on homosexuals, praised the Russian legislation on his website, writing, “I can’t point to any country of the world today that is a model for the rest of the world, except perhaps for Russia, which has just taken the very important and frankly necessary step of criminalizing homosexual propaganda to protect the society from being ‘homosexualzed [sic].’” In 2007, Lively traveled across Russia on a 50-city tour, during which he recommended the very measures included in the Russian bill. Lively is the author of a book entitled “The Pink Swastika,” which argues that German Nazism was a gay conspiracy.

So supportive of Russia are social conservatives that many of them plan to travel to Moscow next year for the 8th international conference of the World Congress of Families, which proclaims on its website that, “Ideologies of statism, individualism and sexual revolution, today challenge the family’s very legitimacy as an institution.” Russia, the organization proclaims, is known for “its historic commitment to deep spirituality and morality.”

Well yes and no at an individual and cultural level. But the use that the czarist state made of religion was not so much about “spirituality and morality” as it was about creating an ideology that both cemented an idea of Russianness across very disparate peoples, and provided a justification for absolutism, a notion that was reduced to the formula “authority, orthodoxy and nationality” under Nicholas I.

Kirchick, again:

Social conservative love for Vladimir Putin’s Russia should not come as much of a surprise. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia eventually reverted to an authoritarian system that more resembles the governance of the Tsarist period than a modern liberal democracy. Russia is now heavily influenced once again by the Orthodox Church, which has essentially become a state religion and has openly declared its support for Putin’s gangster regime. Writing in Newsweek last year, Peter Pomerantsev reported that the Church has “been critical in helping Putin recast the liberal opposition’s fight against state corruption and alleged electoral fraud into a script of ‘foreign devils’ versus ‘Holy Russia.’” Shorn of its communist atheism, Russia is now a reactionary’s paradise. Those who sensed authoritarian tendencies lurking within the American religious right have had their suspicions confirmed by such vocal support for the Russian dictator.

The idea of a monolithic “religious right” is absurd, but nevertheless…

This preference for the strong, righteous hand was visible in the saga of Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk rock collective whose show trial last year after a “blasphemous” performance in an Orthodox Church became an international cause célèbre. While everyone from Madonna to Amnesty International protested, the Russian Foreign Ministry boasted that the harsh sentencing of the group to two years in prison demonstrated that it was Moscow which today stands for “Christian values” forgotten in the “postmodern West,” a point echoed by American social conservatives. “In an ironic reversal in time, as America has declared war on the church and Christians, Russians have come back to the church,” the Reverend Austin Miles wrote on the website of the Christian Coalition. “While America has allowed itself to be kicked into the gutter, Russia, the former Communist Soviet Union, has picked up the baton, rapped some knuckles and proclaimed sternly: ‘Do not foul religion or the church.’” What he and other defenders of Putin forgot to mention, however, was that the Pussy Riot protest was specifically aimed at the Church’s open and unapologetic collaboration with an undemocratic and oppressive regime.

Indeed it was (something that, as I noted here, appeared to have been forgotten/ignored by at least two Republican congressmen, Reps Rohrabacher and King).

At this point it might be worth linking again to a post I put up here in January.

Here’s an extract:

Vladimir Putin’s attempt to blend social conservatism and Russian Orthodoxy into the mix that is (nominally: the reality is rather grubbier) the ideology of his regime continues. The Guardian has the details.

First, we have an unpleasant piece of anti-homosexual legislation (in wording, context and intent far broader—and far nastier than the “Section 28” that was, to say the least, one of the Thatcher era’s less glorious achievements):

“The law in effect makes it illegal to equate straight and gay relationships, as well as the distribution of material on gay rights. It introduces fines for individuals and media groups found guilty of breaking the law, as well as special fines for foreigners.”

And then we have this:

“Minutes after passing the anti-gay legislation, the Duma also approved a new law allowing jail sentences of up to three years for “offending religious feelings”, an initiative launched in the wake of the trial against the anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot.”

There ought, of course, to be no ‘right’ not to be offended. What’s particularly interesting about the latter law, however, is the way that it borrows from western neo-blasphemy legislation…

For a glance at where Putin’s efforts could lead, this post by Andrew Sullivan on an incident of bullying recently video-recorded in St. Petersburg is well worth reading. As he notes, it is “a scene reminiscent of fascist states in the early 1930s”, down, I might add, to the undertone that Sullivan also detects…

This is not something to be cheering on.

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Jan/12

10

Vatican Math

Via El Pais:

The Spanish Catholic Church is also concerned about homosexuality. During his Boxing Day sermon, the Bishop of Córdoba, Demetrio Fernández, said there was a conspiracy by the United Nations. “The Minister for Family of the Papal Government, Cardinal Antonelli, told me a few days ago in Zaragoza that UNESCO has a program for the next 20 years to make half the world population homosexual. To do this they have distinct programs, and will continue to implant the ideology that is already present in our schools.”

H/t:Andrew Sullivan

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May/10

22

Spreading The Word

Via the London Times, an instructive tale from Uganda:

When he arrived at Kampala’s Hotel Triangle for a three-day conference, the Rev Kapya Kaoma knew that he would not like what he heard.
The clue was in the event’s title — “Exposing the truth behind homosexuality and the homosexual agenda” — and in the line-up of guest speakers arranged by Stephen Langa, head of the Ugandan-based Family Life Network (FLN), and an outspoken advocate for the criminalisation of homosexuality in Uganda.
Given top billing at the event hosted by the FLN was Scott Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries, an American conservative Christian group from California, and a Holocaust revisionist whose controversial book The Pink Swastika names homosexuals as “the true inventors of Nazism and the guiding force behind many Nazi atrocities.”
Weeks after the Kampala conference in March last year — which followed a meeting between the speakers and members of the Ugandan Parliament — a clause appeared in the country’s draft Anti-Homosexuality Bill recommending life imprisonment for certain homosexual “crimes” or, for “serial offenders”, the death sentence.

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Mar/10

4

The different qualities of distaste

A comment below:

” I’m sure many people here have read opinion polls that show Atheists to be public enemy #1 ranking less favorably than Gays, Blacks, and Gay Blacks. Many still can’t understand that someone can believe in morality but not God.”

Just speaking as someone who is gay [lesbian] and was atheist/agnostic for most of my life, I always object when ppl make such statements. Sure, people say they don’t like atheists, but hatred against atheists manifests itself in completely different ways than hatred of other groups….

Over the past generation there has come to be in the United States a series of “oppression” bidding wars. Who has it worse, white women, or black men? Atheists or homosexuals? Muslims or Mormons? And so forth. A problem though with these comparisons is that they presume that dislike and persecution lay on a linear spectrum, rather than exploring a multidimensional space. The concreteness of this is manifest in comparing relations between the sexes and the races. The relationship between men and women, all things equal, is qualitatively different from the relationship between different races.
(more…)

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Feb/10

24

Gays & gun control

By now you’ve probably seen the Ryan Sorba video from CPAC:

Right now opposition to gay marriage is a winning issue for conservatives. But how much longer? I wonder if we’re going to see a shift where conservatives are going to have to put anti-gay sentiments aside because of changes in the wider societal Zeitgeist. Similar to the way that the Left seems to have soft-pedaled or deemphasized the gun control agenda over the past 10 years.

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The Audacious Epigone points out that though attitudes toward gay marriage shifted a great deal over the past few years for liberals and moderates, not so much for conservatives. This makes sense. I’ve looked at attitudes toward homosexuals where liberals, and to a lesser extent moderates, exhibit a great deal of age dependent difference. In contrast young conservatives tend to agree with older conservatives to a far greater extent. Younger conservatives who point out that opposition to gay marriage is less burning of an issue for more recent age cohorts on the Right are correct, but the difference is dwarfed by the radical changes you see in the Center and Left.

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It looks like both Maine & New Hampshire will be taking steps toward recognizing gay marriage. If that happens only Rhode Island in New England will not recognize gay marriage. It also looks like there will be movement in New York. Clearly there’s a regional bias here; but I thought it would be nice to quantify it. The GSS has the “MARHOMO” variable for 1988, 2004, 2006 and 2008. I limited it to 2006 and 2008 as attitudes didn’t differ between these years, and split it by the Census regions. Results below.

gssregion1

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I know there are plenty of polls in regards to gay marriage, but I don’t ever see them broken out by religious attitudes. So I looked at the GSS at the MARHOMO, “Homosexuals should have right to marry,” variable for 2008.  I then cross-referenced with the “GOD” variable, which asks people about their confidence in the existence of God. The trendlines are as you would expect, but there is more diversity of belief than I suspect many would have assumed. (more…)

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The Audacious Epigone has a post up where the title says it all, Extramarital sex wrong? Gays and supporters of same sex marriage less likely to think so. But I was curious how MARHOMO, attitudes toward gay marriage, stacked up against other independent variables in relation to XMARSEX, attitudes toward extramarital sex. Here is what XMARSEX is representing:

What is your opinion about a married person having sexual relations with someone other than the marriage partner?

1 – ALWAYS WRONG
2 – ALMOST ALWAYS WRONG
3 – SOMETIMES WRONG
4 – NOT WRONG AT ALL

Here’s the logit regression from the GSS:

(more…)

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