Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Michael Brown should follow his own advice

Dr. Michael Brown
Image via YouTube
Michael Brown has yet another anti-LGBT screed. This jeremiad is titled: The Self-Destruction of LGBT Activism. According to Brown:
Sometimes, in a debate or a court of law, the best way to let your opponent lose is simply to let him (or her) continue to speak. Soon enough, they sink their own ship. It's the same with LGBT activism. The more "victories" it gains, the more it exposes (and destroys) itself.
The way in which we allow others to speak is to shut the hell up. Michael Brown is both a flamethrower and a consistent source of fuel for those of us who follow the religious right. Brown is utterly obsessed with LGBT people. Often that is a measure of someone's insecurities.
World Domination!
Tolerance is not the goal. Diversity is not the desired result.

Instead, dominance is the goal and exclusivity the desired result.
Perhaps Brown is accidentally referring to his dominatrix. Whip in hand she says in a sultry voice: “You've been a bad boy Mikey.” Usually religious fundamentalists claim that we are determined to obtain their approval (we could not care less) so dominance is a new twist as is “exclusivity.”

My temporary confusion is made worse by Brown's claiming that goal and desired result are separate things when, in fact, they are synonymous. Dominance I understand. Exclusivity I do not. In any event it is all irrelevant. We seek nothing more — or less — than equal protection under the law. That includes having The Civil Rights Act of 1964 amended to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Meanwhile, we think that existing nondiscrimination laws should be obeyed as they are written without giving special rights (which are not provided for in those laws) to conservative Christians who feel that they have a religious duty to discriminate. The right they really seek is to express their disapproval by withholding service which is pretty stupid.

We also think that where transgender people pee should not require summoning the U.N. Security Council. We get it. They do not approve. Their approval is neither sought nor required. In the overall scheme of things their approval is irrelevant. At least it should be. But Brown prattles on:
Several weeks ago, after an 11-year-old drag queen danced before the admiring patrons in a gay bar, I asked, "Where is the LGBT outrage? Where is the indignation? Where is the outcry?"

To this day, there has been none (at least, not on any wide scale).
He is referring to Desmond is Amazing. Desmond is a terrific kid who is very smart. Moreover, he has caring parents who are required to be at every event. Whose judgment prevails? Brown's or Desmond's parents? What Brown is implying is that Desmond's performance in a gay bar is inappropriate because gay men will be sexually attracted to Desmond.

I wonder where that presumption of lust comes from. If Desmond was admired, as Brown says, it was because of his talent. It takes skill, polish and practice for a male to impersonate a female. If Michael Brown sees something sexual about that then that is on him. It is Brown's projection that causes him to think that outrage and indignation are required which would mean that we are ashamed of Desmond. Shame is currency among conservative Christians.

Where is the outcry from Brown every time violence is done to an LGBT person simply for being gay or trans? Where is the outcry from Brown when LGBT people are discriminated against in the workplace even with stellar job performance? I must have missed that polemic. I must have also missed the essay about the wrongs of bullying. All I read from his ilk is “bullying is wrong but
Oh, but do continue:
We've seen the same thing when parents protest against drag queens reading to toddlers in public libraries. There's something wrong with the parents, we are told. And here comes the ACLU to the drag queens' rescue.

In the words of ACLU of Louisiana Staff Attorney Bruce Hamilton (I'm not making this up), "These extremists are attempting to usurp the public library for their intolerant agenda."
Christians are livid because they confuse drag queens with transgender people. Protest is carrying signs, writing articles and so on. In Louisiana, what they did was to sue the library so that the library felt it was necessary not to host the event. Two very crazy people made the event unavailable to parents who wanted their children to participate. Who were these two people to make decisions for other adults?

As long as Brown brings it up, let's consider these two wonderful Christians. Neither is from Louisiana. One is from Tennessee and the other West Virginia. The guy from Tennessee was Chris Sevier, a lawyer who has been disbarred due to mental incapacity which includes arrests for stalking. The other is Rich Penkoski who has a website he calls a church and who claims to represent an organization called Warriors for Christ. Neither the virtual church nor WfC have bothered to procure business licenses and neither are tax-exempt entities.

I have received reliable information that Penkoski will tell anyone who asks that donations to his “church” are tax deductible which, by the way, is a federal offense. Brown supports the activities of people like Sevier and Penkoski or he was too busy denigrating LGBT people to be bothered to get all of the facts.

Moreover, Bruce Hamilton at the ACLU was absolutely correct. All Brown had to do was to read the complaint filed in federal court. I have a copy if he needs one. The intent of what he called protesters was unambiguous. These are bigots that Brown now directly supports.
A 10-year-old drag queen (just typing this is sickening) was photographed with a naked, adult drag queen for a magazine spread. (The man had just won a Ru Paul drag queen contest.)

Yet even here, there is not a widespread outcry in the LGBT community. Even here—in something utterly deplorable that should be punished by law, be it heterosexual or homosexual in nature—there is no widespread condemnation.
All this judgment over what other people do and the decisions that parents make. The photo, by the way, does not display the adult's genitals and was not included in the spread. There is nothing dirty about naked people. Nor is anything sexual going on. It is up to the kid's parents to decide what is, or is not, appropriate. From Brown's reaction you would think that the photo exposed kiddie porn. The child was fully clothed. It is not up to us. Neither Brown nor the LGBT community have standing to weigh in. Nor do I for that matter.
As long as we are spreading bullshit …
Just last week, Denver, Colorado became the latest city (or state) to declare war on minors struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions.

It doesn't matter if they suffered sexual abuse, leading to mixed feelings and confusion about their sexuality.

It doesn't matter if they do not want to be homosexual.

It doesn't matter if their parents support them. If their church supports them. All meaningless!
The only reason that children “struggle” with their sexual orientation is bigoted, ignorant parents who disapprove of and shame them. It is an established scientific fact that sexual orientation is immutable. It is also a scientific fact that sexual abuse does not cause people to become gay. That is conservative Christian mythology. People who claim to have prayed away the gay always assert that they were sexually abused. They do so because someone (other than the deity) must be at fault.

Gay conversion is based on pseudoscience. There is no alchemy that can turn gay people straight. I haven't the desire to go into my usual tirade about children subjected to conversion therapy. Suffice it to say that they are not going to change and they are only going to feel worse about themselves. Conversion therapy teaches children to hate themselves. So, yeah, with ample scientific evidence of the potential for harm and the fact that it can do no good, I would like to see a universal ban on child conversion therapy. It is child abuse.

Michael Brown does not like the medical science. At least he claims to be just that ignorant. His interest seems to be limited to shaming people. The LGBT community, the ACLU and now the city of Denver. As I said, shame is currency for Brown and his ilk.
What about a 10-year-old girl who believes she's a boy trapped in a girl's body? If she wants to get help from a professional counselor and learn to be at home in her own skin, this too is illegal.
How about a 10-year-old girl with gender dysphoria (“trapped in the wrong body” is not used by any medical professional). She deserves competent psychiatric care and professional counseling which her parents can obtain.

When peer-reviewed research exists and when it is published to a respected academic journal and when it provides evidence that gender dysphoria can be cured through talk therapy, Michael Brown has a point. Until then it is just Christian nonsense designed to “prove” that the deity is not responsible. At the same time it provides a pretext for discrimination.

Meanwhile the positions of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics are that the appropriate counseling is diagnosis and that there is no intervention which can cure gender dysphoria. Subjecting children to counseling that cannot work is harmful.
They adore victimhood:
And what happens if you dare raise your voice in protest? What happens if you're the pastor of a "Bible" church and you have the temerity to state what we have always believed, namely, that God made us male and female and that homosexual practice is still a sin?

You might just find your church sign vandalized (if you posted your message there). And you might just find yourself fired from your job.
Finally something that I can express disapproval of. While I do not presume to speak for the LGBT community, vandalizing that sign is wrong. Period. I am not qualified to comment on a pastor losing his job due to homophobia. I can, however, state to a reasonable certainty that is it very rare.
… LGBT activism will inevitably destroy itself because it runs contrary to God's design and plan.

By resisting it, we do what is right—for our nation, for our families and for the coming generations. And we can resist the agenda while treating our LGBT loved ones, neighbors, friends and co-workers with grace and kindness.
Who the hell is Brown to determine “God's design?” There are many theologians who disagree. Nature is pretty complicated. Gender and sexual orientation are continua with infinite points and intersections. If one is a believer and also subscribes to evidence-based science, then they are intellectually obligated to disagree with Brown.

Kindness? Bigotry does not project kindness. Claiming to be kind does not make one kind.

Michael Brown is doing no one any real good. Proclaiming that bigotry is good for the country — somehow patriotic — is preposterous. As a nation we gain strength from diversity. Brown's claim is to disregard the many contributions that LGBT people have made to this country since it was first founded. The arrogance is nothing short of breathtaking!

As a community we are in no danger of self-destructing. We are, and will continue to be, a certain percentage of the population and that will never change. For as long as hyper-religious people attempt to diminish our standing in society, we are going to fight like hell. We are not going to shut up either. Those days are over. We will no longer be shamed into silence.

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