Dan Savage On Pat Robertson’s ‘Gays Are Made Gay By Being Abused’ Claim

June 10, 2009

Pat_RobertsonOur favorite out-of-touch televangelist Pat Robertson recently dove into what he knows best: biology, sexuality, evolution, psychology, child development, and genetics.

Pat said repeated that age-old myth that gays are just gays because they were abused by an authority figure and are  now all confused and lost.  (Hell, why did he just throw in the ‘…and they haven’t found the right girl’ argument, too?)

(The video of Pat’s comments are here.)

Dan Savage responds:

Boys are “made homosexual,” Robertson says, “because of a coach or a guidance counselor or some other male figure… abused them.”

As a thought experiment let’s concede the point: homosexuals are made, not born (with the exception of the few of us with “biological problems”). Who do you suppose is making homosexuals out of kids from fundamentalist Christian homes? Alen Keyes has a gay kid, Randal Terry has a gay kid, Dick Cheney has a gay kid, Phyllis Schafley has a gay kid. Seattle’s Capitol Hill is crawling with gay teenagers and young adults who grew up in—and escaped from—their fundamentalist Christian homes. The documentary For the Bible Tells Me So profiles numerous kids from fundamentalist Christian families who grew up to be gay.

Who’s raping all these Christian kids?

Not openly gay people. Fundamentalist Christian parents don’t allow their children hang out with openly gay men and women. Openly gay men do not get hired to work as a guidance counselors at fundamentalist Christian middle schools; out lesbians do not get hired to work as coaches at a fundamentalist Christian high schools; openly bi graduate students don’t get to serve as dorm captains at fundamentalist Christian colleges. So it isn’t out gay men and women—openly gay coaches and counselors and youth pastors—who are raping all these Christian kids and leaving them “confused” about their sexualities. Most fundamentalist Christian kids have never met an out gay or lesbian person. Which can only mean…

All these Christian kids are being raped by straight-identified, nominally-Christian coaches and counselors and youth pastors and dorm captains.

If you buy into Robertson’s theories on origins of homosexuality then you have to embrace a highly unflattering picture of Christian America. If Pat is right then all those fundamentalist Christian churches, schools, counseling programs, and summer camps—the whole parallel Christian universe—are teeming with sexual predators. That Christian day care center? An extremely dangerous environment for children. That Christian summer camp? The hunting grounds of countless child rapists. That youth group at the mega-church? Ditto. That football team at a Christian high school? No responsible parent would let her child try out for one.

Christian America: a bad place to raise your kids.

UPDATE: Some folks in comments have pointed out that Christian kids could wander off and be raped by, say, a gay secular humanist who runs the local Dairy Queen or comic book shop. But the examples cited by Robertson were of authority figures to whose control Christian parents might entrust their children, i.e. counselors, coaches, etc. Children being raised in the Parallel Christian Universe—home schoolers, mega-church parishioners, fundy college applicants—don’t have non-Christian authority figures. No pagan soccer coaches, no openly-gay school counselors. If these fundy Christian kids are “made homosexual” when they’re raped by authority figures, they’re being raped by Christians.

As always, well done, Dan, well done.


Followers Of Allah Exhume Corpse, Dump On Family’s Porch

May 5, 2009

senegalBut it’s okay because they’re religious!

From the BBC:

The body of a man believed to be homosexual has twice been dug up from a Muslim cemetery in Senegal.

The man, in his 30s, was first buried on Saturday before residents of the western town of Thies dug up his body and left it near his grave, police say.

His family then reburied him, but he was once more exhumed by people who did not want him buried there. His body was dumped outside the family house.

Fucking holier-than-thou animals.

Senegal is apparently attempting to become the  most homophobic place on Earth (watch out Iran/Jamaica/most of Africa!).

Via Slog.


Survey: Religiosity Correlates Directly With Support Of Torture

May 1, 2009

jesus_action-heroFile this under “There Is No Morality Without Religion.” From CNN:

The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new survey.

More than half of people who attend services at least once a week — 54 percent — said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is “often” or “sometimes” justified. Only 42 percent of people who “seldom or never” go to services agreed, according to the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.

Let’s get Biblical on them ter’rists!

It would be nice to see that unaffiliated number a little lower than 4 in 10, but I’ll still take it.


Dear Ted Haggard: I Understand

April 20, 2009

Playwright/novelist/screenwriter Paul Rudnick penned a piece for this week’s New Yorker and it’s totally hilarious. It’s essentially a letter to Mr. Haggard from fictional character Pastor Stan Belker, who has much in common with Mr. Haggard.

As a teen-ager, I found that I was attracted both to serving Our Lord and to Jimmy Wiggins, the assistant coach of my high-school soccer team. I was in torment, and I would pray for hours on end, asking God why He would command me to love Him so deeply and at the same time just go and create Jimmy’s snug little soccer shorts. I told my clergyman, Father Josiah, about my conflicting urges, and he tried to reconcile them by explaining that from certain angles Jesus looks just like Dennis Quaid. Still, I had agonizing doubts: was I just experiencing a completely normal phase of adolescent uncertainty, or were Jimmy Wiggins’s firm, high buttocks really a calling card from Satan?

(Oh sweet Jesus how familiar I am with that calling card!)

The letter recounts Stan’s life as it follows the expected trajectory: male lover in college, then wife and a male prostitute/drug dealer in adulthood, and finally a public downfall.

It kinda missed the whole Ted Haggard media explosion (all three (?) of them) but it’s good enough to be forgiven.

Highly recommended: Amen, Brother (New Yorker)


National Organization For Marriage: Gays Will Take Away Your Freedoms

April 8, 2009

This ad is being shown nationwide. Says one fear zombie: “My freedom will be taken away.”  …by gay marriageReally?

If anyone wonders why I’m an atheist – you know, after basic common sense –  or lack respect for most of organized religion and its followers, it’s people like this.

On the bright side, here is a sampling of some of the comments on YouTube:

Your bigotry is not finding root in the new generation. My generation knows that there is nothing to fear from two people who love each other.

Your populist support is waning, and your scare tactics are becoming more and more transparent. You’re not simply loosing this battle; you’ve already lost.

The idea that permitting a tiny number of people to marry one another is likely to be the tipping point that finally destroys the institution of marriage seems to grant enormous power and influence to gay couples.

I confess I find this improbable. And I find this ad repulsive.

You don’t have to choose between faith and your job when you’re a doctor. If your faith stands between you and doing what you were hired to do, maybe you shouldn’t have spent eight years getting your medical degree. If you’re a vegan who can’t set aside his values at work, don’t get a job at McD’s flipping burgers.

Seriously, what does the freedom to refuse medical care have to do with this issue in the first place?

Update: HRC responds:

Read the rest of this entry »


Can’t I Just Pay Someone To Say My Prayers For Me?!

March 24, 2009

information-age-prayer

Yes, you can!

Information Age Prayer is a subscription service utilizing a computer with text-to-speech capability to incant your prayers each day. It gives you the satisfaction of knowing that your prayers will always be said even if you wake up late, or forget.

We use state of the art text to speech synthesizers to voice each prayer at a volume and speed equivalent to typical person praying. Each prayer is voiced individually, with the name of the subscriber displayed on screen.

Get that? If  you’re too busy to actually be religious, you can pay to (allegedly) have some computer (probably located in the basement of a web-savvy 13-year-old atheist) say your prayer for you. Of course, you’ll never have any proof that your prayers are actually being said, but that’s besides the point.

To ensure that your omniscient God knows who paid to have that computer “say” a prayer, IAP displays the purchaser’s name on the screen while the prayer is said.

Conveniently, (it is the information age, after all), IAP will allow you to subscribe to certain prayers so they’ll always be said – they’ll even initiate automatic re-billing! They’re so nice!

Check out the website to get the full crazy, complete with requisite cloud imagery (that’s where God is!).


More Brilliance From Yahoo! Answers

March 13, 2009

how-should-my-story-go

Click pic to enlarge.