Wednesday, December 11, 2019

According to Michael Brown Morality is Defined by Sexuality

Discrimination and prejudice are immoral. Being the object of discrimination and prejudice is not.
Pete and Chasten Buttigieg
Michael Brown uses Pete and Chasten Buttigieg as awful role models to savage LGBTQ people.
via Business Insider
Wednesday, according to Dr. Michael Brown: The Majority Does Not Determine Morality. Topping his post is a rainbow flag. I am certain that you all know where this is going.

Brown begins inoffensively enough:
It's always nice to be able to point to the polls when they support your position. But polling, when done accurately, does nothing more than tell you what other people think. And just because you have the majority on your side doesn't mean you are right. In fact, when it comes to morality, the majority is often at odds with the Bible, which sets the standard of morality for practicing Christians.
Brown is right on all counts. The problem is that Brown's views extend beyond religious beliefs. He seeks to have biblical standards imposed on public policy. Moreover, there are many different interpretations of scripture. Most practicing Christians and Jews believe that the Bible's prohibition of gay sex is based upon the times in which it was written.

Leviticus reached its present form during the Persian Period between 538-332 BCE. Gay sex was presumed to be between an adult aristocrat and a child he owned as a slave. Most practicing Christians and Jews disagree with Michael Brown and his opinions of biblical substance are no more weighty than those rabbis and ministers who do disagree with him.

Eventually Brown gets to his predetermined destination. It is predetermined because Michael Brown is obsessed with LGBTQ people:
… Are we right about our morals being wrong? If so, then why are so many of us immoral?

Gallup reported in May of this year that, "A majority of Americans (63%) continue to say same-sex marriage should be legal, on par with the 64% to 67% Gallup has recorded since 2017."

As recently as 1996, however, only 27% of Americans believed same-sex "marriage" should be legal.
If Gallup asked people whether or not same-sex marriage directly affected them adversely, the percentage of people saying “yes” would probably be less than 1%. More importantly, Brown is making the judgment that people in same-sex marriages are immoral. I haven't the patience to relitigate marriage equality but I would argue that people committing to a relationship via marriage is a good thing.
As for same-sex relationships in general (outside of marriage), Gallup reports that in 1987, 57% of Americans said that consenting, adult relationships between gays or lesbians should not be legal while only 32% said they should be legal. By 2019, those numbers had more than flipped, with only 26% saying those relationships should not be illegal and 73% saying they should.
Brown is making the same point that I would make. We just arrive at different conclusions. I would argue that the rights of LGBTQ persons should not be determined by popularity. They should be determined by what constitutes Equal Protection and Due Process. Those were the bases of a favorable decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. Brown is arguing that popularity doesn't mean that something is moral.

Eventually:
During the time period from 2003 to 2017, support for polygamy in America rose from 7% to 17%, an even more dramatic shift from a statistical point of view. And it's up to 18% in 2019.
Presumably Brown is asserting that polygamy is immoral in spite of the rampant polygamy present in the same scripture that he believes prohibits homosexuality. Personally, I do not know enough about plural marriage to have an opinion. Some say that it is beneficial for women and children. Others say it is detrimental. One thing that I am certain about is that polygamy has nothing to do with same-sex marriage. Perhaps Brown is conflating the two things.
…Ross Douthat notes in his New York Times blog, 'Polygamy is bobbing forward in social liberalism's wake ...' To Douthat and other social conservatives, warming attitudes toward polygamy is a logical consequence of changing social norms—that values underpinning social liberalism offer 'no compelling grounds for limiting the number of people who might wish to marry.'"
Brown does not provide a link but he is referring to Douthat's May, 2015 column which is pre-Obergefell. Douthat's point is that “On every issue save abortion, social liberalism is suddenly ascendant in America.”

Michael Brown's quotes of Douthat are correct but incomplete. According to Douthat:
At the same time, social change happens sociologically, not just logically, and as a social phenomenon polygamy is very different than same-sex marriage. It’s associated with patriarchy and sexual abuse, rather than liberation and equality.
Douthat seems to be saying that same-sex marriage is moral while polygamy is immoral. Therefore Mr. Douthat also disagrees with Michael Brown who indulged in some selective observation.

I am ignoring a number of Gallup-related paragraphs. Brown arrives at a predictable place:
And it is television (and movies and the print media and social media) that has helped change public opinion on same-sex relationships as well, along with other moral issues. (I have documented this for years now; for detailed information on TV and movies through 2011, see here.)
Brown is operating on the assumption that same-sex relationships are immoral. Public perceptions have changed and those changes are do in part to media. We are increasingly portrayed as normal people who are just like everyone else. We just happen to be attracted to the same sex which is a natural variant of human sexuality. Michael Brown would have us portrayed as deviants and perverts who pose a danger to children.

In point of fact, that is how we were portrayed throughout most of the 20th century. The homosexual agenda was originally defined as the determination of gay men to recruit children because we cannot reproduce.

Many conservative Christians, including Michael Brown, believe that to be an accurate portrayal of gay people regardless of how hyperbolic and absurd that representation is.

These days, the homosexual agenda has morphed into the LGBTQ agenda. It is equally pernicious because, among other things — including our ability to influence straight children to become gay — transgender women are a threat to cisgender women and children. The fact that none of that is remotely true does not dissuade Brown's ilk. In fact, Brown continues:
A recent article on the Oprah Magazine was titled, "Pete Buttigieg's Husband Chasten Has an Incredible Backstory." But the article's more important point was found in the subtitle: "With a win for Pete, Chasten would become First Gentleman of the United States."

Yes, let's normalize this concept too: The First [Gay] Gentleman! Let's get used to this new concept—an utterly wrong and immoral concept—using Pete and Chasten as our lovable role models. It's the new normal!
“Normalize.” “Role models.” It is code for a danger to impressionable, innocent children. I happen to think that Pete Buttigieg is a terrific role model. He graduated from Harvard and was a Rhodes Scholar, a Naval Intelligence officer and a selfless public servant. Why would we not want all of our kids to be “just like Pete?” Their sexual orientation is going to be whatever was formed by about two-years-of-age.

According to the Oprah article, Chasten has a bunch of straight brothers. When he came out at 18 he felt unwelcome in his home. Where did the influence come from to make his parents have those attitudes? We can't turn kids gay but the conservative Christians can sure create bigots.

Fast forward and his parents' attitudes gradually changed. They asked him to come home and they proudly supported his marriage to Pete. Chasten has a master's degree and was a junior high teacher until his husband ran for president. He is incredibly supportive of Pete. Chasten also provides a positive role model for children. He is well educated, had a meaningful job and respects his marriage. What's not to like?

Michael Brown answers that question:
Remember: We're not talking about a female president and her husband, who would become the "First Gentleman of the United States."

We're talking a male president with a male spouse who would be the "First Gentleman of the United States." That's quite a different story.
It's different. I'll give him that. Trump is distanced from Melania and his son Barron. Donald and Melania have separate bedrooms. I am sure that Melania knows that she is a trophy. Barron is fluent in Slovene, his mother's native tongue. Trump goes nuts when Barron and Melania have a conversation in Slovene.

From my perspective, Pete and Chasten are a hell of a lot more normal than the Trumps. The fact that they are gay is less relevant than the quality of their relationship.

Pete Buttigieg is probably not going to be the Democratic nominee but he might very well be on the ticket as VP. He is a hell of a lot smarter than Pence and he has a better grasp of important issues.

Brown concludes his tirade:
Morality must be determined on wholly other grounds and argued for holistically.

When the majority embraces morality, that bodes well for a nation. When it's the opposite, look out.

As Proverbs 14:34 states, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."
Pete Buttigieg happens to be an observant Christian; something that Brown failed to mention. Buttigieg's understanding of sin and morality is at odds with Brown's. Brown says “look out.” Look out for what? What is the danger and who poses it? Many people would agree that it is Dr. Michael Brown who is immoral.

Brown routinely displays his prejudice, his selective observation of scripture and his disdain for LGBTQ people based upon their immutable characteristics. Little wonder why Brown is a proponent of conversion therapy. Brown is determined to “prove” that sexual orientation and gender identity are not immutable in spite of a mountain of evidence that says otherwise.

Prejudice is immoral. Discrimination is immoral. Promoting prejudice and discrimination is highly immoral. Using a literalist interpretation of ancient chronicles to promote prejudice and discrimination is not only immoral but idiotic.

Being gay or transgender is not immoral. Nor are these choices. Parents need to know that in spite of blowhards like Michael Brown.

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