Posts Tagged ‘lgbt’

Fundamentalists from religions that place an emphasis on the correct interpretation of a revelation in the form of a holy text tend to claim not only that their interpretation is the only correct one – but that their interpretation is the correct one because it’s literal, doesn’t involve any metaphorical readings and sophistry(1).

Very often those claims of literalism are taken at face value in the discourse about religion, usually not by scholars, by but activists, journalists and atheist bloggers.

This uncritical reception of facts provided by parties who are by no means objective, neutral participants in the discourse about religion – namely, the fundamentalists themselves – constitutes a deeply flawed approach to understanding the phenomenon of fundamentalism, and to fighting it.

1) Fudamentalists are selecting the parts of their holy texts they want to interpret “literally”; those parts usually support their anti-modern, absolutist, Manicheist, xenophobic stance. Have you ever heard of a Christian fundamentalist sect that chose to interpret Matthew 22, 37 literally?:

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

There is no such fundamentalist sect. Quite the opposite, the fundamentalist sects will engage in all sorts of spurious sophistry to metaphorically explain this bit of the Bible away so that it doesn’t seem to be in contradiction with their plans of eliminating sexual minorities and subjugating women.

2) Fudamentalists’ literal interpretations are completely decontextualised and in fact false

Let’s consider the common stance of various fundamentalist Christian sects on homosexuality, namely that it is a sin, and that the Bible explicitly states that it is so. However, the Bible cannot possibly explicitly state anything at all about homosexuality, because it has no word for homosexuality in any of its many books. Even if there are some words that might or might not refer to homosexuality in the New Testament, there are describing a completely different phenomenon than the one we understand as “homosexuality” today. What the Bible says about homosexuality is:

(Leviticus 18:22) “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

What it means in more modern terms is more or less this:

Two men having an anal intercourse is a bad thing, because if a man is penetrated by a penis that makes him a woman. A man becoming a woman, who is less of a human than a man, is a bad thing and a violation of a natural order. The natural order of things was established by God – therefore, anal intercourse between two men is an act of disobedience against God, and a sin.

Because women are unimportant, women having sex with each other are never mentioned. This isn’t because when the Bible says “man” it means “human”. Any such claims are ridiculous: in antiquity “man” meant “a non-foreigner who is male and who is not a slave”.

As in the example I provided, the process of constructing a typical “literal” fundamentalist interpretation looks more or less like that:

A. Picking the parts of modern ideology fundamentalists disagree with and want to fight against; this will be the things that they consider to be the biggest threat to the traditional, idealised way of life.

B. Re-defining them in modern terms and decontextualisation: they’re taking a stance against modernity not by ignoring or rejecting it but by actively opposing it; this paradoxically makes it necessary that modern terminology and vocabulary be included, at least as a point of reference.

C. Making a list of the things selected in B; this will be the list of fundamentals, the things that are especially important and interpreted “literally”, according to the members of the fundamentalist religion. As mentioned above, parts of the holy text that could be considered a threat to the literal interpretation of the fundamentals will be interpreted metaphorically, often with the help of seemingly sophisticated theology, which however will in the end be only the tool in the hands of a above-all anti-modern movement.

It’s extremely irritating to see atheist activists and sceptics being deceived by the claims fundamentalists make about their interpretations being literal. It’s quite certain that many of them sincerely believe that this is the case, this however, is not a sufficient reason to take them at face value; in fact, any sort of self-report, or claim about ideology someone is invested in should undergo a thorough scrutiny.

ETA: fixed typos ^^;;;;;;;;;;;

(1) Obviously, I will be only writing about the fundamentalisms that have holy text that are considered to be the word of the relevant god, and important because of it. However, it should be clear that not for all fundamentalisms, just for religions, the existence of such a holy text is necessary: a good example would be the Buddhist fundamentalism in Sri Lanka, or various Hindu fundamentalisms (this of course doesn’t mean they’re not using any texts at all, only that those texts are not considered to be the word of god(s) and consequently their interpretation and analysis is not accorded such a great importance as in the case of, for instance, Christianity or Islam).

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I can’t make up my mind what’s actually a bigger news, in a way. Anyway:

1. Apparently, a bunch of Teabagger trolls on Digg has been suppressing non-teabagger (as in, not extremely right wing, not denying artificial climate change, not denying evolution, not denying that assorted social problems are problems, not denying that the social justice discourse is important, etc, etc) news and articles for years.

This is completely batshit insane, if only for the reason that there are actually people perfectly willing to waste sizeable chunks of their (free?) time on creating multiple accounts, circumventing bans, and so on, only so that they can collectively remove articles that say Obama is not a Kenyan Muslim terrorist or something.

And a good waste of life to you too, sir(1)!

2. Prop 8 is temporarily overturned, and everybody is quite rightly in a jubilant and festive mood, but! Not all! I know, I know, the Maddow video is awesome and stuff, but let’s focus on something not a lot of people is focusing about because of their jubilant and festive mood, namely, right-wing gnashing of teeth, bawwing and wailing(2).

Maggie Gallagher!

Judge Walker has added insult to injury by suggesting that support for marriage is somehow irrational bigotry, akin to racial animus. The majority of Americans are not bigots or haters for supporting the commonsense view that marriage is the union of husband and wife, because children need moms and dads.

(…)

Parents will find that, almost Soviet-style, their own children will be re-educated using their own tax dollars to disrespect their parents’ views and values.

Cry me a river of crystalline tears, with your sapphire orbs! (I’ll even donate some money for the Soviet style re-education camps, if a donation drive is ever undertaken by the fellow Marxists hurr durr derp)
Worldnut Daily!

He seeks to deconstruct (and then reconstruct) the definition of traditional marriage by describing its constituent elements and showing how those elements can be applied equally to heterosexual marriage and same-sex marriage, thus concluding there is no difference between the concepts. It’s as if he compared my DNA with any of yours and concluded that because 99.9 percent of human DNA is the same in everyone, you and I are the same person.

Guys, the Fans of proof by analogy(3) group on Facebook has a new member (guys, we need an international version now, too) hurr hurr derp derp derrrrrrp.
Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling yesterday, in which he trampled on the will of seven million Californians, is a monstrous, egregious, reprehensible expression of judicial activism and tyranny.
TYRANNY! TYRANNY! It’s when someone doesn’t allow the state you live in to support your  treatment of human beings as if they were subhuman. Clearly.
Although almost no other organizations other than the American Family Association are making an issue of this, Judge Walker should have recused himself from this case since he is a practicing homosexual. This created a clear conflict of interest, and he had no business issuing a ruling on a matter on which he had such a huge personal and private interest.
I’m sorry, I had to guffaw here.

He is Exhibit A as to why homosexuals should be disqualified from public office. Character is an important qualification for public service, and what an individual does in his private sexual life is a critical component of character.

Catholics: first, they come for the gays. Next, the Protestants(4).

I would watch out for the Catholics if I were a Protestant.

Coffee time now.

(1) I haven’t been using Digg, so, I’m not actually invested or anything. I’d love to hear about that from someone who did. Did the users notice suspicious patterns in the articles being buried? I mean, someone obviously did, duh, or there wouldn’t have been an investigation and stuff, but how common was this noticing? Did people think that the burying patterns actually reflect people’s opinions accurately, and lost faith in humanity in general, and joined VHEMT? I wanna know.

(2) Oh, the sweet taste of suffering and misery! *Sendai-in-her-festive-and-jubilant-mood*

(3) Where by analogy obviously a false one is meant.

(4) Yeah, I know that the term “Protestant” is polemical and therefore problematic. I couldn’t think of another word for “mostly all Christians who are not Catholic”, though.

Europride 2010

Posted: July 17, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

This is a sad emo post, internets, because, being as I am swamped with work, and also, in the wrong country, additionally,  momentarily unable to just  go away for a couple of days, I had to miss the Europride in Warsaw today.

*sadface*

The neo-Nazi anti-LGBTTQAA demonstration was of course organised. But. For all the protestations against the “abnormal deviants”, and so on… Well, it seems pretty obvious to me who’s normal and who’s not here. Look for yourself:

The deviants from Europride:

The normal guys:

The deviants from Europride:

The normal guys:

Seriously.

If normalcy means “a lot of creepy fundie white neo-Nazi guys with military and flag fetish, running around without T-shirts and making angry faces, never smiling (smiling is for pansies), and spewing bigoted shit”, then I don’t want to have anything to do with “normalcy”.

(Photos ganked from Gazeta.pl)

This is all Dan‘s fault. He sicced me on the crazy fundie guy who made the video linked in this post (the entire blog, by the way, is totally awesome, RSS +1). Before I proceed to the funny business of making the frothing-at-the-mouth batshit insane bigot look even moar ridiculous, I’ll have to take the unfunny business out of the way first.

The crazy person in the video, as well as some comments in the post linked above mention a surprisingly wide-spread right wing screed about the Evil Homosexual King Mwanga.

The Wiki tells us that:

Mwanga saw the greatest threat to his rule coming from the Christian missionaries who had gradually penetrated Buganda. His father had played-off the three religions; Catholics, Protestants and Muslims against each other and thus balanced the influence of the colonial powers that were backing each group. Mwanga II took a much more aggressive approach, expelling missionaries and insisting that Christian converts abandon their faith or face death.

On October 29, 1885, he had the incoming archbishop James Hannington murdered on the eastern border of his kingdom. Then between 1885 and 1887, over forty-five of the king’s pages were put to death on the orders of Mwanga. The crime was failure to renounce their newly-found Christian beliefs.

What right wingers and Catholics (this is because some of the Christians – specifically, Catholics –  worship the pages killed by Mwanga who were canonized in 1964) like to argue is that the persecution of Christians during Mwanga’s reign was caused by his being unhappy with his newly-converted male pages refusing to have gay sex with him.

It is rather difficult to tell who came up first with the idea, because, typically, crazy right-wing people hardly ever think it necessary to make footnotes. Like here:

Mwanga’s homosexuality is an issue we tip-toed about for fear of offending the Buganda monarchy which abhors homosexuality. But all historical accounts of the martyrs agree that Mwanga was a deviant homosexual who used his demigod status to appease his voracious appetite for sodomy by engaging in these unmentionable acts with his pages at court. (source)

Or here:

For Mwanga, the ultimate humiliation was the insolence he received from the pages when they ( the least subservient of servants) resisted his homosexual advances. (source)

And here:

However, attempts to rebuff them and their young charges were led by the pagan King Mwanga, who hated Christianity with a passion. For Christianity opposed homosexuality as amoral disorder and the catechized young men at the court began to understand that the king did not own their bodies, and could not force them to act in a way that was against their conscience and their new-found Catholic faith. Mwanga was having difficulty forcing himself on the boys and young men of his royal court, because they avoided him and his unnatural desires.  (source)

The last article is especially  dishonest, because while depicting the killed Christians as “boys and young men” and emphasising their young age (“all under the age of 25”) it conveniently fails to mention that in 1887 Mwanga himself was 17 years old. This is clearly because portraying a supposedly gay person as a rapist and murderer is not enough. He has to be a paedophile, too.

Anyway:

1. Let me preface this with a warning: history of Africa is not my area of expertise. But: I have access to JSTOR.

2. Killing of Christian missionaries/Christian is something that didn’t happen only in Buganda. The reason is that as soon as soon-to-be-colonised country’s ruling class realises that the missionaries are often followed by European colonialists with their armies, their diseases, and exploitation of local people, they usually decide to get rid of the missionaries before anybody follows them.  This, for instance, what happened to the  26 Martyrs of Japan.

3. The missionary colonialist narrative was subjective and written from an outsider, imperialist perspective. It should not be considered a source of “objective” historical data, which can be directly,  without proper interpretation re-written into history books. This is what it looks like (warning for mindfuckery):

This king, son of Mutesa, whom Speke and Stanley made famous in their books, was a youth of vicious propensities who had been alarmed by the influence which missionaries were acquiring over his subjects. At the ill-fated moment when he was planning the massacre of all missionaries, he heard of the approach of Bishop Hannington, and by his command the Bishop w-as killed on the eastern frontier of Uganda.
(Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, Vol. 41, No. 1 (1909), p. 58, from the review of Bishop Hannington and the Story of the Uganda Mission by W. Grington Berry))

Also:

The missionaries were confident of success, and the day when Mutesa should for ever throw off the pagan yoke and embrace the new faith was awaited with sanguine eagerness. To have converted the king would have carried with it the immediate establishment of Christianity in Uganda; the old heathen customs would have been broken down, and the entire country would have been revolutionized.

And:

For a while Uganda wavered between the Cross and the Crescent; the arguments of the advocates of each faith seemed almost equal, thotlgh Mackay found it easy when confronted with his adversaries to defeat them on all points. He was a man of many parts, and his early training as an engineer soon brought him immense poplllarity as a ” handy man “; his workshop was beset by the natives at all times, and their faith in the white man’s knowledge knew no bounds. Islam was defeated, and, for a second time, the missionaries imagined that the evangelization of the country was on the eve of becoming an accomplished fact; but a second time they were doomed to disappointment. This was in December I879, when a wave of paganism passed over the land, obliterating, for the time, all traces of the good work done by the missionaries. “It is heartrending,” wrote Mackay, in one of his letters home, ” to think of this result of more than two and a half years’ teaching of Christianity at this Court.”

(Journal of the Royal African Society, Vol. 2, No. 7 (Apr., 1903), pp. 276-291,” Christianity in Uganda” by A. F. Mockler-Ferryman)

3. While allusions to Mwanga’s immoral behaviour abound in the Christian and colonialist literature, the first person, as far as I can tell, to make a direct link between Mwanga’s supposed gayness and his persecution of Christians was J. A. Rowe in “The Purge of Christians at Mwanga’s Court: A Reassessment of This Episode in Buganda History” published in 1964 in the Journal of African History.

Unfortunetaly, I was unable to find out more about Rowe. The “reassessment” in the title refers to his (her?) proposal that the persecution be linked to Mwanga’s “addiction to sodomy” (this is an actual quote). His (her?) argument is more or less the following:

– because not all Christians were killed during the anti-Christian persecution this must mean that Mwanga was not in fact trying to kill all Christians (I’m not presenting this argument as circular to make fun of it. It actually *is* circular)

– because Mwanga’s father and predecessor, Mutesa, killed many more Muslims when he was persecuting them during his reign, and Mwanga was much younger and a weaker politician, he didn’t want to persecute all Christians, but only those who didn’t want to have sex with him

– because some Christians who were supposed to be killed weren’t killed because of their personal merits , or because they were too valuable (like, a skilled blacksmith), or because they had powerful friends and protectors, or simply because they were too far away, Mwanga didn’t want to kill all Christians, but only those who didn’t want to have to sex with him

-because some Christians managed to escape his wrath, Mwanga was only targeting those who refused to have sex with him

– the Katikkiro during the time the Christians were persecuted was opposing Christianity, and had a great influence over Mwanga, which would not be sufficient to turn Mwanga against Christians, because what counted was that he only wanted to kill the ones that didn’t want to have sex with him

– in 1885, when Mwanga had bishop Hannington killed, he found out that the Christians among his personal pages were spying on him and secretly informing the missionaries about his plans and state secrets. The distrust this act of disloyalty would have caused him to feel is insufficient as a motivation for persecuting Christians, because he only wanted to kill those Christians who refused to have sex with him

– Mwanga’s personal pages were an easy target, because they were close to him and couldn’t just leave or escape. However, the fact that they were an easy target is again not a sufficient explanation for his desire to kill them

– and I’m not even going to comment on stuff like this: “Compared with the youthful Mutesa, Mwanga was less decisive, less bold, less cruel.” Is this supposed to be scholarship or a cheap, pop-psychology-filled historical novel?

-also, is this a joke?

“‘Fickle, sensual, nervous and unstable” are words which have customarily been used to describe Mwanga, who is also invariably compared unfavourably with his father Mutesa.”

is closely followed by:

“Mutesa, at the same age as Mwanga and faced with similar problems of stabilizing himself on the throne at the expense of over-powerful chiefs, entered on a series of purges and wholesale executions which earned him the praise-name Mukabya, ‘the bringer of tears’.32 When faced with a religious threat from the Muslim converts in his later years, Mutesa launched a persecution that leaves Mwanga’s 1886 outburst a pale reflexion. It was estimated that as many as seventy chiefs and pages were burned at Namugongo, while up to a thousand persons were slain throughout the country.33 This may be an overestimate, but there is no doubt that Mutesa’s persecution of the Muslims was far more severe than Mwanga’s action against the Christians, which Faupel estimates cost the lives of perhaps a hundred, including non-Christians, throughout the country.”

So, when you kill Muslims, you’re a “youthful”, energetic politician. When you kill Christians, you’re  “addicted to sodomy”.

I think this is the first time I’ve seen so many non sequiturs and circular arguments in one paper. It’s a fairly straightforward case of shoddy scholarship, to me. Also, it’s quite clear from Rowe’s wording that he’s siding with missionaries, and believes the martyrs to be heroes.

If the sequence of events looked indeed as recounted by Rowe, I’d say that the pages were targeted because of their previous betrayal, and because they presented an easy target. Christian, and not only Christian  missionaries brought foreign armies after them, and were often treated with distrust. Frankly, I’d consider it more surprising if no one had been killed at all.

In short: it’s safe to say that Ugandan Martyrs were not killed for refusing to have gay sex with Mwanga.

Also, the cherry on top: Mwanga had 16 wives and 11 children.

***

This whole argument is, however, completely irrelevant. I only wrote about it, because it annoys me when people spread lies, and when they rely on a disgusting colonial narratives to make prompt moral judgments about people whose perspective is completely missing from the discourse.

The thing is, even if Mwanga could be considered a homosexual rapist, so what? Why should be one evil person representative of the entire group? Last time I checked, Genghis Khan, Savonarola, Napoleon, Stalin and Hitler were all heterosexual, and yet, nobody is trying to ban heterosexuality on the grounds that it causes men to become involved in genocide.

By which I mean to say, some people need to shut up.

ETA: editing typos as they are spotted ^^J Also, interesting post I just found that is relevant to my interests.

NSFW (profanity)

Finally, a message I can approve of, with a shiny cute adorable video:

11. It’s a sin and/or it’s immoral.

a) Why?

a) 1. If 10 then proceed to 1o a)

a) 2. If something else proceed being as verbally abusive as you like.

The aim of this trolling strategy is to have the bigot waste as much of their time/resources as possible for trying to explain to you why gayness is wrong/immoral. Remember, they could be doing something productive!

 

12. Sexuality is about inserting a peg (man) into a hole (woman). The gays just don’t get that.

a) Is it really (insert as many as graphic examples as possible)?

b) Gay men and women can also insert things into things (insert as many as graphic examples as possible).

c) Link to Savage Love.

Bonus: if eye-to-eye: you can cackle ominously.

The goal is to make them feel as uncomfortable as possible. First, the will get used to what you’re saying sooner or later. Also, it’s fun to watch them splutter.

 

13. Being gay is a lifestyle.

a) Why?

Bonus a): The Bible says nothing about homosexuality being a lifestyle.

Extra score: The Bible has no word for “lifestyle”. Jesus said nothing about any sort of “lifestyle”.

b) So what?

c) Being a fuckwit is a lifestyle, too, and I don’t see you discriminating against fuckwits(1).

d) Define “lifestyle”.

 

14. Gays need to get right with God.

a) Why?

b) Which one?

c) We will. Later. When we’re not busy having gay sex with each other.

d) Define “getting right”.

e) How do you get right with something that doesn’t exist at all?

f) What if they don’t want to?

 

15. Gays are sexual predators who want our children.

a) Christians are sexual predators who want the children.

b) For centuries, Catholic priests have been busy wanting our children. Fortunately for the children, we now have Priest-Off.

c) Also, this is so obviously a lie I feel a much more efficient allocation of my time would consist of using it to  listen to Albanian techno instead of debunking this little pathetic piece of homophobic propaganda.

d) Children are delicious. Esp. with wasabi.

 

(10 moar left!)

(But you can troll now!)

 

(1) I couldn’t possibly tell why.

 

 

There’s no low that’s too low for me to stoop to, darlings. I’m childish, petty, not v nice, and basically absolutely all right with that. Especially when I’m convinced I’m right.

And I usually am.

1. This is just not natural.

Gay penguinsMoar gay penguins. Apparently, penguins are really gay. Gay-marriedly gay.

 

A very gay penguin with his gay family, gaily posing for a gay picture of him and his gay family, The photographs might have been gay, too. The camera sure was a lesbian. I have gaydar. I can tell.

In fact, so many animals are pushing the gay agenda that Wikipedia had to make an entire list of them. And the Bonobos, who are so human-like, heh heh heh, are evil filthy lesbians.

 

This fascinating article from the SEED magazine provides us with many valuable trolling opportunities:

Male big horn sheep live in what are often called “homosexual societies.” They bond through genital licking and anal intercourse, which often ends in ejaculation. If a male sheep chooses to not have gay sex, it becomes a social outcast. Ironically, scientists call such straight-laced males “effeminate.”

Giraffes have all-male orgies. So do bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, gray whales, and West Indian manatees. Japanese macaques, on the other hand, are ardent lesbians; the females enthusiastically mount each other. Bonobos, one of our closest primate relatives, are similar, except that their lesbian sexual encounters occur every two hours. Male bonobos engage in “penis fencing,” which leads, surprisingly enough, to ejaculation. They also give each other genital massages.

As this list of activities suggests, having homosexual sex is the biological equivalent of apple pie: Everybody likes it. At last count, over 450 different vertebrate species could be beheaded in Saudi Arabia.

Do I hear the bigots hetero-panicking yet? Mmmm(1).

Also, a list of gay animals with their gay photos.

2. There’s no gay gene.

There’s no stupid gene, either. And yet!

3. Gays are desperate, hopeless, sad, lonely, miserable people.

Possible replies:

a) And you’re so not helping.

b) Ask about how many gay friends the bigot has, and consequently, how they can tell.

c) Tell them to fuck themselves with a coat hanger.

d) Shove the statistics (with explanation) down the bigot’s bigoted throat.

d”) Mention suicidal children.

d””) Say it’s all the bigot’s fault. Make it personal. They will start feeling uncomfortable sooner or later. Stoop as low as possible. Actually, there’s no stooping too low when you’re talking to a person who believes you’re not really human at all, anyway.

4. Oh, and they’re really slutty too.

And yet they would never want to have sex with the bigot.

Bonus: point out that it’s a but bizarre how they keep bringing up the gay sex all the time. Ask them about repression. Mention internalised homophobia. Point out that homophobic males are sort of totally turned on by gay porn.

5. I LOVE gay people, but I just don’t like what they do.

This one’s fairly straightforward. Proceed from a) to b).

a) Take them at face value first. Ask them what is it that they dislike. Do they have issues with your crocheting? Or is it your choice of books? They will become exasperated, and also

b) This way you proved that you’re human. They might suffer from cognitive dissonance now. Hopefully. Proceed to point out nobody is forcing them to have gay sex, and it’s none of their business what other people do. They might have trouble dehumanising you again, because in a) you showed that your resemblance to a real person is uncanny, and you do not look much like the evil child-rapist and fire-breathing demon they pictured you to be.

6. Anal sex causes AIDS/STDs/cancer.

This why fundie kids like it so much, right?

Bonus: all sex causes all sorts of trouble if it’s not safe sex.

7. Gays can change, therefore they should.

Black people can change skin colour — I mean, look at Michael Jackson – therefore, they should.

(Shamelessly stolen from eliwurman)

8. Gay parenting harms children.

a) Ask the bigot whether the parenting of their parents was gay, because it sure harmed them.

b) Get personal. Tell them the bigot’s parenting, as a result of which more hateful homophobic might be brought up, is much moar harmful anything a pair of clueless gays could ever accomplish. They had it coming.

9. The gays already have equal rights, they want special rights!

a) Point out that the right to marry, adopt children, and not have bigoted fuckwits disrupting your life at every opportunity is not in fact a privilege.

b) Or just inform them that while eating Xian children is in fact a bit further down the gay agenda than such basics as gay marriage, you will of course do everything in your power to get your hands on the government-subsidised foetus sushi(2) that you’re clearly entitled to.

10. The bible is crystal-clear on the subject of homosexuality.

Yes. Yes it is.

(The anti-gay arguments used in this post come from the anti-gay bingo card)

(Still 15 to go)

(But you can start trolling now)

 

(1) Roughgarden’s theory sounds pretty interesting. Will have to pick up the book when I’m less busy.

(2) With salmon and wasabi.