Thursday, July 16, 2020

Peter Sprigg and Tony Perkins Have Their Problems

Thursday, a new polemic reminds me that Peter Sprigg and Tony Perkins are employed by Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ hate group. Sprigg is at least partially responsible for the fact that FRC is deemed a hate group (not that Tony Perkins needs much help in the bigotry department).

The pair have many problems. Among those are incuriosity, lack of critical thinking and intellectual deficits. They are also frequently dishonest. Lying for Jesus seems to be acceptable in their strange orbit.

Often when they are not being factually dishonest, the FRC folks are intellectually dishonest.

Peter Sprigg has decided that his voice of outrage, along with Tony Perkins'*, is required over Netflix's Babysitters' Club. I wrote about this contrived controversy on Tuesday. The popular kids program briefly included a trans girl (played by a trans girl) in an episode.

We all get it. The religious right has a scriptural objection to the existence of transgender people. Therefore, it becomes necessary to pretend that transgender people — children and adults — are just confused. They either need to be unconfused (somehow) or disciplined to accept their natal sex.

First, Perkins relies on an anecdote by Elisha Krauss who posted her diatribe to The Federalist. Krauss — whose mediocre intellect would not ignite a two-watt bulb — claims not to have a religious problem. That is in spite of the fact that she was raised in Oklahoma where she was homeschooled. Sure.

Sprigg and Perkins really “shine” with their own narrative:
Now, in episode four, the show has taken another disturbing turn -- introducing a nine-year-old boy as a girl named Bailey. "Those are my old clothes," the boy tells Mary Anne in one scene. Confused, Mary Anne seeks out her friend Dawn, who tried to explain …
What, precisely is it that these people find so “disturbing?” Transgender children do exist. Trans kids receive intensive counseling. Trans kids are trans because gender-affirming care is, according to medical science, the best treatment option for pediatric gender dysphoria.

So what is Peter Sprigg's and Tony Perkins' problem? What is it that Elisha Krauss finds so upsetting?

The pretext for their bigotry always has something to do with “innocent, impressionable children.” What is the peril? Will knowing that transgender kids exist make gender dysphoria somehow contagious? When the kids have a classmate who transitions, they get it. You know: “Boy body — girl brain.” Oh, okay.

Their bigotry might develop with time if they are unlucky enough to have parents like Mr. Sprigg, Mr. Perkins or Ms. Krauss. Children are, as the religious set constantly reminds us, innocent. Hate is unnatural. Hate is a learned behavior.

Perkins continues in greater detail:
Like PBS's "Arthur" and Netflix's other outrageous show loosely based on "Anne of Green Gables," producers seem dead set on turning wholesome, family-friendly stories into a weapon of indoctrination. And they're doing it, FRC's Peter Sprigg points out, under the guise of children's programming. Where Anne is concerned, we're talking about a show set in 1908. "So again, a beloved franchise is now being distorted and perverted to promote a radical 21st Century LGBT agenda."
So the existence of an LGBTQ character makes a show no longer “wholesome.” The existence of an LGBTQ character is not “family-friendly.” How does that work when about 40% of all families include an LGBTQ member?

Apparently, influencing children to be kind is some sort of weaponized indoctrination. The inclusion of an LGBTQ character is “perverted.” And they complain that Family Research Council is deemed a hate group. And, yes, Mr. Sprigg and Mr. Perkins, LGBTQ people existed in 1908!

Transgender people have been part of recorded history forever. They exist in ancient Hindu and Egyptian texts. In 1872, Sheridan Le Fanu incorporated a lesbian into his novella, Carmilla. In 1870, American poet and author, Bayard Taylor, introduced readers to a gay couple in Joseph and His Friend: A Story of Pennsylvania.

In 1902, Nobel Laureate Colette authored Claudine at School. Claudine is bisexual. Shall I mention Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray? LGBTQ people are not some new-fangled invention.
The only thing constituting a “radical agenda” is literalist biblical bullshit to promote hate, intolerance and bigotry.
The very essence of hate is expressed in statements which assert that LGBTQ people pose a danger to children as in:
So what can parents do? … [moms] heard the title "The Babysitters Club" and assumed it was a completely innocent show. "I would automatically think this was suitable viewing for my kid. Is it strictly a matter of reviewing everything? Watching side by side?" Absolutely, Peter said. "There are resources to help. Organizations like the Parents Television Council and MovieGuide that draw attention to the content of this type of programming."
It has become hackneyed. The supposed danger to children is presented as a danger to their innocence. What would any of these fools do if they have an LGBTQ child? Attempt to find answers in ancient scripture? FRC's treatise has no legitimate purpose.

 ———
* The piece in question is credited to Tony Perkins but most of the content seems to have emanated from Peter Sprigg via FRC's radio program, Washington Update/Washington Watch.

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