Monday, August 12, 2013

More on National Catholic Reporter's Responsibility to Monitor Discourse Justifying Violence Against Gay Citizens of Russia

As a footnote to my ongoing analysis of commentary by a person with the username Purgatrix Ineptiae, who persists in posting comments designed to elicit prejudice against and violence towards those who are gay at the National Catholic Reporter site:

In the NCR thread to which I've drawn repeated attention, where Purgatrix states that Russia, Nigeria, and Uganda have enacted or are considering draconian legislation to protect children from gay men, another poster, 2patricius2, challenges Purgatrix's claim by stating, 

These laws are not for the purpose of protecting underaged youths from exploitation by adults. They are for the purpose of discouraging and punishing LGBT people. Before you rush to defend and excuse such laws, think a bit. Otherwise you risk siding with those who discount and demean the humanity of LGBT people around the world.

To which Purgatrix responds, essentially, Meh. 

2patricius2 then refuses to let Purgatrix off the hook, because she has completely blown off his statements about the real intent of the Russian law (statements that implicitly challenge the lie at the heart of Purgatrix's defense of it), and replies

The lies that those who would dehumanize us tell, are being seen for what they are. And it is lies that are being spread in Russia, and lies that are being spread in Uganda and in other parts of the world, often by religious leaders and politicians who have a need to have someone to marginalize and attack. 

The law in Russia is actually quite moderate. There is a fine of less than $200 (depending on currency fluctuations) for discussing homosexuality with a minor. This includes propositioning a minor, showing a minor homosexual pornography, telling a minor homosexual acts are OK. 
I do not think this is a bad law. Just leave kids alone. There is no good reason to be messing with a kid. Ever. Any kid. Even in the USA, people get very annoyed if you pester their kids. Kids don't have good judgement and they are vulnerable to exploitation. 
Homosexual acts between consenting adults are legal in Russia.

But as the BBC report on the situation in Russia to which I linked earlier today reports, international gay rights watchdogs like Ilga-Europe have been closely monitoring the situation in Russia, and,

In its latest assessment of 49 European states, Ilga rated Russia as the hardest for gay people to live in. Its report - compiled even before the propaganda law was passed - looked at everything from hate crime to family recognition.

Addressing 2patricius2, Colkoch replies to Purgatrix's statements that things are hunky-dory for gay folks in Russia, and the new law is only about protecting children from exploitation by gays (in the absence of any evidence that such exploitation is occurring!), 

2pat2, Purg knows exactly what's going on in Russia. She left out the 'gay' descriptor in order to get past NCR censors.

Colkoch and 2patricius2 are absolutely right, of course. Purgatrix knows full well what's happening in Russia right now and why those laws were enacted. She and others clearly want what's happening to gay people in Russia--the wave of violence targeting them--to take place, and this is what they're defending as they pretend to be concerned about Russian children. The façade of concern about Russian children who are ostensibly under attack by rich gay men in the West is just that: it's a façade--aka a lie--to justify precisely the kind of violent repression now underway against gay folks in Russia.

In an article running right now at Religion Dispatches, Candace Chellew-Hodge powerfully deconstructs the same insincere argument ("I'm thinking of the poor children, for God's sake!") on the part of yet another right-wing American religionist who is praising the anti-gay laws in Russia because, she wants to maintain, they're all about defending Russian young people from sexual violation by gays. This is a piece by Sylvia Thompson at Renew America.

Chellew-Hodge responds to Thompson's argument, which invents threats to Russian young people that are not happening by gay folks, as follows:

She [i.e., Thompson] continues with a mind-numbing screed about how this law is "protecting children (minors) from the indoctrination of adults who would use them for their own ends," and completely ignores the growing and incomprehensible violence against Russian children who happen to be LGBT. (So much for "protecting" those children.) 
Since the "sensible" law was enacted, the senseless violence against LGBT people has increased

Chellew-Hodge concludes,

It's easy to disregard the extreme rhetoric from the religious right when they are taking aim at LGBT people in some foreign land, but make no mistake, this is the real agenda of the religious right, and they'd love to import it back home. What they want is not "compassion" or even "tolerance" for LGBT people. They want a government that will give it carte blanche to abuse, torture and even kill LGBT people. In short, they want a government, much like the one in Germany in the 1930s (as actor Stephen Fry so eloquently elucidates), that will give them the right to finally solve "the homosexual problem." For the children, of course.

These are observations that might have been written to apply directly to Purgatrix Ineptiae and her ongoing attacks on (and lies about) her fellow human beings who happen to be gay men in threads at the National Catholic Reporter. It's not at all to the credit of this flagship liberal U.S. Catholic publication that it continues to permit its site to be used by people claiming the warrant of Catholic faith to spread toxic untruths about gay and lesbian human beings, when the clear and real purpose of these toxic lies is to elicit prejudice against a targeted minority that leads to outright violence in many places in the world. 

For my preceding commentary about this issue and the blogger calling herself Purgatrix Ineptiae at NCR, please see the following preceding postings:

"The Real Danger to Russian Youth: Government-Condoned Gay Bashers"

P.S. It's not easy to follow any threads that may be responding to the statements by Purgatrix Ineptiae that initiated my discussion in the preceding postings. When I click on her initiating remark, I do not discover the thread I've isolated above, in which 2patricius2 and Colkoch reply to her. I have found those remarks only by accident as I click on her Disqus posting trail and see her responding to 2patricius2, and then find Colkoch also responding to 2patricius2. There may be other comments in this thread that I'm not discovering because I don't know the names of all of those replying to Purgatrix Ineptiae, and clicking on a link leading to her initial comment shows only that comment alone, with no responses at all.

The graphic: a photo of young Russians beaten by anti-gay thugs at a gay pride demonstration in Russia on 29 June 2013, in an unidentified Russian city. The photo is from the Flickr stream of Valya Egorshin, and is available to be shared online via a Creative Commons license.

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