Friday, February 26, 2016

Homosexuality is a "temptation"

Landon Schott
According to Landon Schott: “I agree that you can't choose the temptations that come to you, but you can choose how to respond to those temptations.” I suspect that Mr. Schott has been tempted. Schott is an energetic young Christianist trying to turn the inevitable secular tide. Schott claims to have a BA from Trinity Theological Seminary which is an unaccredited diploma mill. In a few years he will be “Dr. Schott.” Schott claims to have some association with REACH Church in Austin, TX. A site search yields no result.

Mr. Schott is also trying to sell a book titled “Gay Awareness” (with a foreword by none other than colossal crackpot Michael Brown). To promote the pseudo-intellectual tome he is writing polemics for outlets like Charisma. The one in question is titled The Gay Rights Movement's Extremely Offensive Comparison. Schott, who claims to have some African-American friends, is offended by the comparison of “slavery to the mistreatment of the homosexual community.” Whereupon he proceeds to offend gays and lesbians.

Schott does not provide examples of comparisons that offend him. That is because no one is comparing the LGBT experience to the African-American experience. Two prominent heterosexual Black men demonstrate the comparisons that are actually made: Cory Booker has said that anti-gay intolerance is “almost identical to stories my grandparents told me about growing up Black.” According to Rep. John Lewis (the last surviving member of The Big Six):
I fought too hard and too long against discrimination based on race and color not to stand up and speak up against discrimination against our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. I see the right to marriage as a civil rights issue.
Discrimination is discrimination. Prejudice is prejudice. Those comparisons are perfectly valid and do not, in any way, suggest an historical comparison.  As a gay Jew I find comparisons of homophobia to anti-Semitism compelling (as do the overwhelming majority of Jews). Indeed, historically, racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia have often flowed from the same source. Don Wildmon, founder of the anti-gay hate group American Family Association (out of that very welcoming Tupelo, Mississippi) once said that Jews are too tolerant of homosexuals. Chew on that bit of anti-Semitic homophobia for awhile.

Mike Huckabee makes the same idiotic argument. He, too, has books to sell and speaking fees to garner. According to Huckabee:
What an insult to African-Americans who were hosed in the street, who were beaten, who were truly discriminated against with separate restrooms, separate drinking fountains, separate entrances.
Apparently neither Sen. Booker nor Rep. Lewis are insulted. They realize that discrimination is the true evil and that prejudice is borne of – and promoted through – ignorance. The subject of prejudice brings me back to Mr. Schott. Here is the earlier quote in context:
The homosexual community and those affirming of same-sex attractions (SSA) have chosen the comparison for two reasons. First, they would like to believe that being gay, like being African-American, is completely out of their control. For the sake of argument, I agree that you can't choose the temptations that come to you, but you can choose how to respond to those temptations. Being African-American isn't a temptation, it's an ethnicity.
So Mr. Schott expects us all to be eunuchs? Schott is intentionally confusing sexual temptation with romantic attraction. Mr. Schott's confusion is likely the product of two dynamics:
  1. Understanding that sexual orientation is a continuum with heterosexuality and homosexuality at the extreme ends, most straight men (including heterosexual fundamentalist Christians) have gay fantasies from time to time. Schott resists the temptation to engage in steamy gay sex. Thus we all should — and;
  2. Schott has a desperate need to conform medical and social science to ancient texts. In spite of a mountain of peer reviewed scientific research concluding that sexual orientation is as immutable and natural as eye color, Schott persists.
Oh, and third: Schott has a book to sell. Eventually this will all stop just as geocentrism is no longer fervently defended by religious conservatives. We are the only society in the developed world that still debates Evolution. The world has moved on to accept the science and, eventually, we will as well. One of our political parties panders to religious conservatives. That, too, will eventually come to a grinding halt as we continue to become a more secular society or at least one that does not politicize religion.

Sexual orientation should not be a matter of debate. The science is settled and marriage is a settled legal issue. Public policy is catching up to the science in spite of the ferocious resistance of those Calvinists and their GOP enablers. Schott may be among the last men standing but it is increasingly uncomfortable, in polite society, to degrade one's fellow LGBT citizens. And citizens they are. They work and pay taxes just like everyone else.

Perhaps we need to read, embrace and understand different ancient texts. Seneca wrote that virtue is based upon knowledge.

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