My newly-blogging friend David Morrison, a former gay activist, has said that whatever might be said about homosexuality, he knows that gay activists are made, not born (I can't find it on his site, so I may be recounting personal conversation).
How Christians act matters, and if Fred Phelps represents counterproductive homophobia (yes, there is in fact such a thing) at the level of being a virtual parody, other Christians do not. Another Courage friend, Ron Belgau, wrote here:
Under ordinary circumstances, I feel almost no identification with gay culture. But let me spend 15 minutes listening to various conservative voices speak their bit about the “gay agenda,” and I start thinking all sorts of defensive thoughts about “my people.” (Incidentally–and perhaps somewhat ironically–ex-gays and reparative therapists doing their “gay identity is evil” schtick have this effect on me in spades. Joseph Nicolosi does a better job of making me feel identified with the gay community than anybody associated with HRC, NGLTF, or any other gay pride group could possibly do.)I've been spending my whole life deliberately not-identifying with homosexuality or gay activists, and for some of the reasons Ron cites at his initial note (it's an autobiographical matter for all, clearly, from the discussion there at DM's and with Eve). But similarly, I must acknowledge that some situations identify me with them and not my fellow Christians, shameful as that is to say.
Last week, I came across a Catholic blog where the author ridiculed the Rainbow Sashers by posting a picture of a fat guy in a fairy costume where the leotard barely started to cover his butt. I issued a mild protest, realizing I was a stranger at this site. A couple of days later, the author wrote:
To the Evil Fairies out there, know this... I don't care how long you people perpetrate The Big Lie. THIS CAVEMAN will always fight against the soft-headed notion that some guy sloshing his penis around in another man's feces filled colon is "normal."And then in the same combox, when I noted that the case being cited actually pitted two of the left's favorite victim groups against each other ("let's you and him fight"), an Orthodox admirer responded:
feminazis vs. faggots. BWA HA HA HA!!!!Tone is a very difficult thing to convey; different people have different blogging styles, blog premises and personal "voices"; there's the strangers-vs.-friends distinction; I detest linguistic protests from people with no sense of (toilet) humor; and I realize that there is a big element of exaggeration in the Cavemen's personae, which is largely comic, and is part of the fun (this, for example, is brilliant as is this).
But with all that, the words "faggot" and "fairy," the description of anal sex, the picture -- they produce an involuntary reflex in me, which I might as well call "feeling gay" (undoubtedly not le mot juste, but it isn't coming to me). Ron calls them "defensive thoughts about 'my people'." David and Ron had a kerfuffle with New Oxford Review a couple of years ago, where David made the point about how important it is for Christians to act toward homosexual persons:
When I self identified as a gay activist, if the only Christians with whom I had come into contact had been those who took the advice of the New Oxford Review as to how to treat me, I would still likely self identify as a gay activist today and remain dead in my sin.and
I used to believe that Christians would treat me…well, much as the New Oxford Review appears to believe they should have.God knows I understand how satisfying name-calling can be, particularly vis those whom one already has "written off." But whenever I see Christians say the kinds of things about homosexual persons that the Cavemen do, my gut clenches. And I realize if that's MY reaction ... how much more difficult does that make saving the souls of those not already in the Barque.
I had a little box of prejudices in which I put “Christians.” Christians, I believed, hated and feared me. Christians would not want to have anything to do with me. Christians believed I could not be trusted with their children.
Essentially, I believed Christians were far more interested creating an icon of homosexuality at which they could throw insults or darts, than they would be in me as a human person ...