Confessions of a white homo devil, part 2

A church sign, posted his sermon on youtube, repeated it in his podcast. Gee, I wonder how people heard about it?
A church sign, posted his sermon on youtube, repeated it in his podcast. Gee, I wonder how people heard about it?
I wrote earlier about the preacher who claimed that the reason there are more gay couples living openly in Harlem is because President Obama had unleashed “white homo demons” to steal black men away from good black women. His crazy church sign and the sermon that accompanied it went viral and was reported all over the place. And then, as the news-of-the-weird cycle does, everyone moved on. He now claims that the reason the story was only a brief blip was because Obama has ordered the media to ignore the pastor.

It would be easy to just dismiss this as more crazy talk, or a sad cry for attention, but I have to agree with radio host, Elon James White, that dismissing this delusional and divisive rhetoric as “crazy” makes us forget that it’s also dangerous

First, it is predicated on the misogynist notion that if a straight man strays, it is a woman’s fault. The worst form of this notion is all the usual blame-the-victim rape accusations, but when a married man is caught having sex with anyone other than their wife, it is always the wife who is blamed. Such as last year when Pat Robertson admonished a woman who had called into his show for spiritual advice about her cheating husband, that it was her job to make sure her husband’s needs and desires were being met at home. Or the various defenders of megachurch pastor Ted Haggard (who was outed as both a meth-snorting and male prostitute-hiring hypocrite) who suggested that maybe Mrs Haggard hadn’t kept her figure girlish enough after giving birth to five kids.

That last one ticks me off on too many levels to go into here, except that I will say that every picture I saw of her throughout the media circus of her husband’s scandal, she looked fit, trim, was always nicely (but not extravagantly) dressed. Frankly, I thought she was far too hot for him.

Second, it is also predicated on the myth that same sex attraction is not just a choice (which is a bad enough myth), but it’s a choice that you can be tricked into. It’s like they think that it’s so easy to change from straight to gay—just a little sweet talk, show you some nice clothes, buy you a nice dinner—and the next thing you know, you’re gay. That one always confused me, giving the extreme revulsion most conservative straight guys express for homosexuality. How could they possibly believe it could be something that you stumbled into without even noticing it?

That was before numerous studies showed a strong correlation between the men who express the most emphatic distaste for homosexuality, and involuntary arousal when shown pictures of nearly naked men. Then it became clear, for some guys, it feels that way, because it is taking every ounce of energy they have to pretend to be straight.

Which makes it all make sense. They cannot accept the same-sex attraction that they feel as just a natural part of who they are. To them, being gay seems to be a choice precisely because, in their life, faking it as straight is a choice they make emphatically every time. I do seriously mean every time. The studies I mentioned above? One of them put these randomly selected people into an active brain scan, and showed them random images. The brains of the guys who, during the pre-screening interviews, were the most emphatically anti-gay, show the following two patterns:

  • When he is shown image of scantily clad male:
    1. The part of the brain related to desire and arousal immediately lights up,
    2. Certain parts of the body start to react to the arousal signals,
    3. The parts of the brain associated with inhibitions and reacting to social cues light up,
    4. The part of the brain that first reacted to the stimulus shuts down,
    5. Areas of the brain associated with distaste and guilt light up,
    6. Certain parts of the body stop reacting to the arousal signals.
  • When he is shown image of a scantily clad woman:
    1. No immediate reaction from any part of the brain,
    2. The parts of the brain associated with inhibitions and reacting to social cues light up,
    3. The part of the brain related to arousal begins to light up,
    4. Activity in the part of the brain associated with reacting to social cues becomes more intense,
    5. Certain parts of the body start to react to the arousal signals.

As the study went on, and images continue to be shown randomly, the reaction to each gender is repeated, again and again. In other words, every single time such a closet case sees someone they think they are supposed to be attracted to, their brain goes through the exercise of forcing itself to pretend to be attracted to the person. And every time they see someone they believe they shouldn’t find attractive, their brain goes into a panic mode to shut down the attraction and substitute guilt and disgust.

And that happens in their head every time they see an attractive person! Can you image walking down a street with that mess being triggered in your head every few seconds?

I personally don’t have to imagine it, because during my teens that’s pretty much what was going on. Though to be honest, the whole fake arousal sequence for me was never very persistent or consistent. And sometimes when it happened I wasn’t even fooling myself very well.

Third, because of these beliefs that homosexuality is an evil or demonic force that has invaded someone, many churches literally perform gay exorcisms.

Think about that. You’re a teenager who has been raised in a conservative church but who can’t stop noticing how cute some members of your own gender are. You go to an authority figure (a parent, a sunday school teacher you trust, you minister) for help, and their solutions is to drag you in front of the entire congregation, make you confess this thing you’re afraid and ashamed of to all of them, then they all pray and lay hands on you and try to force this demon out of you.

And because it isn’t a demon at all, it doesn’t work. The feelings do not go away. Even the leaders of the various ex-gay groups have admitted (when cornered under oath in court), that at best, maybe one-tenth of one percent of the people who try any of the therapies or ministries meant to get rid of the gay feelings have any success at all. In other words, no matter what anyone believes about demons and so forth, 99.9% of the time, these efforts do not work.

It’s got to be humiliating and traumatic, right? But worse than that, no matter how deep in denial you are, there’s part of you that knows those desires just are another part of you. So most of your brain is frightened and ashamed because you keep letting the demons possess you again, right? And this other part of the brain knows that it isn’t a demon at all, it’s you who is feeling this way, and as long as you belief that feeling this way is a sin, well, if there isn’t a demon doing it, you must be something just as bad or worse than a demon yourself.

Talk about a self-esteem problem!

Folks who think like this preacher, and the folks who listen to people like this preacher, are doing this and other humiliating, traumatizing things to the gay kids growing up in their own families. In many cases, literally shaming these kids to death.

Fourth, this “crazy talk” doesn’t just hurt the kids of families that belong to these churches. This same crazy talk leads to the bullying that goes on in schools directed at kids who don’t conform. Kids who listen to this crazy talk feel it’s their duty to shame, humiliate, and traumatize other kids who they think “act like a fag.” And certain adults in the community join in. And they resist anti-bullying programs, claiming it’s their religious liberty at stake.

And again, many studies show that all this shaming and bullying contributes to at least a third of adolescent suicide. So, people who listen to this “crazy talk” are shaming their neighbor’s kids to death, too.

Even the kids who don’t become suicidal don’t escape unscathed. But at least some of them get cute stories about how they came out to their closest family members:

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