Thursday, April 12, 2012

Catholic Blog Sites and Homophobic Screeds: Made in Hell

What do you think might be going on when Catholics feel free--no, some Catholics apparently feel obliged--to post statements at Catholic blog sites characterizing entire segments of the human population as unfit to parent because "they" are given to "illegal drug use, sexual promiscuity, suicidal ideations, domestic violence," and are "'prone to spontaneous combustion' temper issues"?

What's going on when these statements consigning an entire group of human beings--solely because of who they happen to be by divine creation--to pseudo-scientific therapeutic categories are presented as statements of concern?!  Of concern for children?  And for the poor souls who just can't help themselves because, well, we know "they" all crave drugs, sleep around, beat each other up in fits of rage, and then consider killing themselves because they're just so miserable?

Catholicism meets pseudo-science meets pseudo-love meets pseudo-concern.  Wrapped in scorn, prejudice, ignorance, and hate.

Imagine taking Mr. Lyons's false pseudo-scientific analysis about gay folks and applying it to other targeted minority groups, as a rationale for not permitting members of that minority group to raise children..  Substitute, say, "African American" or "native American" or "poor" or "white Southerner without a high school degree"--you fill in the blank--for "gays" in his screed, and people would be outraged at the attempt to target a segment of the human population, attribute to it unfounded characteristics of physical, mental, and moral illness, and then argue that "these people" aren't fit to have children because of who they are.  People would be rightly outraged at the very assumption that we ought to single out a targeted minority group and put it under a pseudo-scientific microscope to see if it exhibited signs of mental instability or stress-related illnesses due to social oppression.

Notice what doesn't receive any notice at all in Mr. Lyons's "scientific" analysis of the defects of gays.  What doesn't get noticed at all is that illegal drug use is casually accepted (and casually practiced) today among a broad (and growing) swathe of younger Americans, most of whom are heterosexual and intend to raise children.  But Mr. Lyons is surely not proposing that because a large percentage of younger Americans (and their parents) have used, will use, continue to use drugs like marijuana, they are morally defective and shouldn't be permitted to parent.

Nor does he recognize that a large percentage of younger heterosexual Americans have sex outside of marriage and live together prior to marriage--and that this is a growing trend in American society, and one not likely to abate.  We're not told that this trend disqualifies heterosexual Americans from parenting children.  Or that it says something about who "they" are--the heterosexuals--in general.

Just today, as I logged onto various news sites, I happened to see an article noting that almost half of all children in the U.S. are now born out of wedlock.  Presumably those children are born to heterosexual parents.  Not a word of this analysis in Mr. Lyons's oh-so-caring and scientifically grounded analysis.  Not a word about, well, you know how those poor heterosexuals happen to be: put them around a few ounces of marijuana, and they just can't help themselves.  Next thing you know, they've hopped into bed together and nine months later, there's a baby.

They ought not to be allowed to have children.

Though we Catholics do love and pity them.  If they'd only repent of their dirty and sinful ways . . . .

What's going on here is lying.  It's lying about fellow human beings.  And it's lying to oneself and fellow Catholics.

When we select a group of human beings and target them, bombard them with one "scientific" study after another designed to see whether "they" are prone to physical, mental, and moral defects simply because of who they are, we're not acting out of love and care.

We're trying to stick onto an entire segment of the human population the labels SICK and DIRTY.  We're trying to make those labels stick because we've already decided that this is who and what "they" are.

And the labels justify our excluding, demeaning, talking about, and lying about those fellow human beings.  While pretending that we're excluding, demeaning, talking and lying about "them" because we're overflowing with pity for "them."  Since they're just such a mess, the poor things, and can't help being a mess.

That's just how "they" are, don't you know: "'prone to spontaneous combustion' temper issues."

Unlike us.  Who are sweet-natured, meek, mild, not given in the least to rancor about anyone in the world!

You know what else Mr. Lyons fails to mention in his statements about "them"?  He completely ignores the well-conducted scientific studies which show that children raised in same-sex households actually fare a bit better than those raised in households headed by opposite-sex parents.

And he surely doesn't mention that Robert Spitzer, who has been cited and re-cited as a scientific expert validating the claims of reparative therapy for gay folks, has just repudiated his works that are persistently cited by ex-gay therapists as a basis for their claim to cure gays.  Nor does Mr. Lyons mention that the junk science on which his analysis of the gays rests relies on hate-filled disinformation circulated by discredited researchers including Paul Cameron.  

Nor does he mention that, while it's perhaps true that gay and lesbian folks may be more prone to depression and substance abuse than the population at large, bona fide science recognizes that all targeted minority groups share that propensity to depression and to self-medication--and bona fide science adamantly rejects the analysis that this propensity to be depressed or to self-medicate depression with alcohol or drugs stems from the very nature of the minority group.  When it's abundantly clear that these are stress-related traits that have everything to do with coping with effects of social oppression.

Curiously enough, Mr. Lyons also doesn't mention that as a prelude to their extermination of the Jewish people, the Nazis circulated junk-science pamphlets characterizing all Jews as dirty, prone to illness, carriers of disease, unfit to be among the population at large.

In the final analysis, after having read and thought about Mr. Lyons's remarks, I get the distinct picture that they aren't about concern in the least--not about concern for children, not about concern for gay and lesbian folks.  I get the picture, instead, that they're all about stigmatizing a group of human beings, and fostering prejudice and discrimination against them solely because of who they are.

And how anyone imagines those goals can be squared with what it means to be Catholic is mystifying to me in the extreme.

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