Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Queer Villains

My previous post on Mary Cheney generated a comment from Antonio that got me thinking a bit more. “For one thing,” Antonio wrote, “let's not pretend gays are some highly-evolved group of progressive thinkers ready to roll America into a new realm of enlightenment. At the end of the day, we're subject to the same flaws and shortcomings that all people are.” Therefore, he argued, kicking Mary Cheney out of the queer group would be ridiculous. Of course, I only joke about kicking out folk like Cheney – Mostly. No, of course I am only kidding – for the most part. Seriously, no, I am joking – except when I am deadly serious about it.

Antonio’s statement, though, does raise the issue of whether queers, as a group, are actively engaged or invested in progressive politics anymore. It also poses the question of what we do with queer folk who seem, well, kinda villainous?

Indeed, many of the nominations for Queer of the Year have been ultra-conservative people like Ted Haggard, Mary Cheney, and Mark Foley. These, after all, are the queer people who received the most media attention (much to their chagrin) this past year. For the time being, we can sidestep those who are not out, like Foley or Haggard, as a different type of political issue for queers. Instead, let’s start with figures who, though out, adopt conservative agendas which sacrifice their queer brothers and sisters.

The media has a tendency when dealing with people like Mary Cheney or Andrew Sullivan to treat queer conservatism as something new. Anybody who has spent anytime with large numbers of queer people know that queer conservatism is both widespread and old (much to my chagrin).

Consider that white gay men live most of their childhood with the presumption that they are not lacking access to justice. Given the increasing level of segregation in the United States, they probably have had little serious contact with racial minorities. They look around their schools, see one or two African Americans or Mexican Americans sitting in the class, and think that all discrimination must be over.

One of the most rude awakenings about coming out of the closet for many white men, therefore, is the shock of realization that the United States is still a terribly unfair place. By simply acknowledging their queer desires, they forfeited a great deal of the social privilege that informed their lives. For most, this becomes a transformative moment both personally and politically. Though they probably didn’t even notice their privilege beforehand, its sudden elimination gives new insight into the need to fight the status quo in the U.S.

Others, though, take a darker path. They try to maintain the same social inequalities that had once rewarded them. Rather than seeing shared oppressions and opportunities across class, race, gender, and sexuality, they look to maintain their own shaky authority and petty self-interest by oppressing others.

Out conservatives like Cheney or Sullivan then turn around and claim that they are the real victims. No, they see no problem supporting a sexist, racist, and homophobic government. They do, though, think that a queer lefty crew is on the move to crush their individuality and silence them. They whine that they just aren’t understood or accepted in the queer community. They talk, talk, talk about the ways that their viewpoints are ignored.

In so doing, they give the mainstream media a means by which to dismiss the concerns of queer activists. “Look,” they say, “Not every single gay person wants sexual freedom. This one over here doesn’t think that she is oppressed at all. Some of them are even Catholic! Therefore, those other people demanding rights must just be crazy.” Queer conservatives become dependable spokespersons for maintaining the gender and sexual status quo. They garner disproportionate amounts of media time in relation to their actual numbers in the queer community.

Conservatives also manipulate those of us who want to be reasonable and inclusive within the queer community. Constantly claiming that they are not allowed to speak their mind gets many of us to bend over backwards to accept them or give them a platform. We do this even when faced with considerable evidence of their hypocrisy, dishonesty, or simple lack of smarts.

In reality, no lefty queer conspiracy keeps Cheney or others from living the type of life that they want. Their politics and devotion to conservatism, however, keeps many other queer folk from being able to live the type of lives that they would like to live (or even lives equivalent to Cheney’s).

Our reality, right now, is that the nation has no interest nor inclination to guarantee the social and political growth of queers. We can’t, therefore, just shrug it off when other queers actively contribute to our subjugation.



Every marginalized group has faced this type of internal dissension as they fought (and continue to fight) for full civic and social equality. Go ask bell hooks. She would feel what I am putting down.

We can respect queer conservatives’ right to express themselves (I, after all, worship at the altar of free speech) without allowing them to be the face of queers in the mainstream media. Queer conservatives’ dominance in this past year’s media coverage gave us only two options. With people like Mark Foley or Ted Haggard, we ended up being presented as lying, predatory, and dependent on chemical substances. Or, with people like Mary Cheney, we saw somebody who didn’t appear particularly persecuted. Though Mary Cheney was literally surrounded by Christian fanatics, she lived in her insulated bubble of wealth and privileged. Mary could afford to get pregnant, buy homes, and travel the country free of harassment. Indeed, little Mary claimed that it was really other big, bad queers who made her life hard.

Responding to queer conservatism requires a reinvestment in a queer rights agenda. Movements for social justice, however, do not emerge as well-organized, coherent entities. We can’t just phone each other up and make a schedule of events. There will never be a queer central authority who can divvy up the necessary tasks that will transform society.

Instead, creating and sustaining a renewed queer “movement” means that we, as individuals, will need to grapple with making our struggles and demands known in our daily lives. We will all be out writing, reading, and thinking about the type of nation that we want. To attain it, we have to be vocal, visible, and political with our family, friends, and coworkers. Moreover, we have to be willing to refute the conservatives in our queer midst who only harm our larger goals.

24 comments:

Earl Cootie said...

I've never understood how queers could be politically conservative. But then I've never understood how anyone, regardless of orientation, can be politically conservative. And doesn't that bring us right back to Antonio's point? We'd like to believe that we (whichever we we are) are better than that, but there are always some who are willing to further the cause of regressivism. It's unfathomable. Do they hope to get a bone someday? Do they not think that a spot on the Truck hasn't been reserved for them?

seekeronos said...

I dunno about all this hype (and I am speaking in general, this is not necessarily related to GP's last post) concerning Mary Cheney.

The terrycloth surrogate mother, which GP jokingly referred to as possibly having more compassion as a mother kinda made me cringe a bit.

I realize that GP, you are offering that in your gravitas-based sense of humour that we all enjoy in various dosages... but realistically:

Ok, so she is an "out" lesbian, and will be a mother shortly. I am hard pressed to believe that she will not love that child as much as her (presumably straight) sister loves her child(ren).

She also tacitly (or openly) supports a number of people and institutions that many LGBTs find oppressive. As for Papa Bear Cheney, as her dad, it is not unreasonable for her to maintain some kind of "filial loyalty" to him. The big $100K check did make things look "villianous".

While I for one had long thought that outing one's self was to be immediately followed by becoming a card-carrying member of the most liberal wing of the Democrat party, along with the ACLU... those of us who remained in the closet were more likely to keep silent since offering a conservative opinion would generally lead to the sword pointing back in our own direction.

Mary, who has been out for some time, has held some socially and other generally conservative views. I'd bet that there are a good number of conservative LGBTs - but who are marginalized somewhat by the preponderance of a number of especially vocal LGBTs who (claim to) speak for all LGBTs closeted or otherwise.

In fact, such "gaycons" (gay conservatives) are typically fiscally and foreign-policy conservative, but are somewhat more socially liberal than their straight counterparts.

I am not sure how this should play out to be honest. I can understand the furor that the (liberal) LGBTs have over her to a degree, and she is in a most interesting and conflict-ridden position.

If I were in her shoes, I'd have probably kept quiet and not said much one way or the other.

Unfortunately for her, the lack of any convergence on social policies and family matters between the liberal mainstream of the LGBTs and the relative minority of gaycons (as well as the majority of straight Americans) is probably several generations off.

That is, if the liberals will be content to continue "moulding" the minds of the next generation through thier otherwise little-contested control of the educational apparatus in this country, instead of forcing judicial review and forced legislation of socially liberal hot-button issues over the generally conservative consensus of most Americans.

Barring any change in the control of educational institutions by the left, I'd say by the time Baby Cheney is grown up, he will be able marry the man or woman or two or three folks in a group marriage if he so desires.

But then again, the glorious multi-ethnic/multi-cultural dream of MLK which liberals extolled has hardly been realized in full, has it? I am not so sure that we can say that it has, especially when folks like "Kramer" still think that a lack of a witty retort to a heckler is license to resort to racial slurs... or, conversely, when members of some races abandon any sense of self-improvement and self-esteem, and perpetuate an almost ideological guilt-debt that society owes them a living along with the keys to the kingdom because their ancestors were harshly oppressed.

And if it MLK's dream has not come to pass where all American minds, red, white, yellow, brown and black have concord with each other with no prejudice, then the longer-range "official" LGBT agenda of marital and family equity are truly a long way off.

In fact, such an idea may harbour a false promise, as not many people outside of LGBTs see LGBTs as a separate race or ethnicity, and therefore deserving of special "civil" rights; the chaining of LGBT rights to the boat of MLK and Shirley Chisholm and César Chávez may not be viewed in the same light by the average American who fails to see any validity for LGBTs as a "race" or an ethnicity in the vein of the "gay-American".

Adam said...

"Conservatives also manipulate those of us who want to be reasonable and inclusive within the queer community. Constantly claiming that they are not allowed to speak their mind gets many of us to bend over backwards to accept them or give them a platform. We do this even when faced with considerable evidence of their hypocrisy, dishonesty, or simple lack of smarts."

So fucking true. Being progressive does not mean allowing bigots, both gay and straight, to have their viewpoint expressed. In being inclusive we cannot ignore the amoral and/or unethical repuation someone might have just in the spirit of fairness. I'm all about inclusion of varying viewpoints but I have my limits.

brian said...

What a thought provoking post,GayProf.
Every community has its Quisling.
More than ethics or altruism, capitalism seems to breed a sort of me/mine now attitude.
As often a religion appears to take center stage in conservative circles, the real focus is on creating heaven on earth NOW for me and mine.
Since resourses are finite that means accumulating as much as one can and protecting it.
Fiscal conservatives want domestic protection for their assets and foreign policy hawks want global protections.
There is only ONE race, the human race. There are however,humans of many colors. Cannot a human of any color breed with another of any color?
Your point about people of privilige having little contact with others of different colors is evident in some of the comments.
Just as most whites realize there are English,Irish,French,Italian,Russian,Jewish,Catholic and Protestant whites, making them less monolithic as a group.Blacks are equally as varied, but no one cared to note their countries of origin or religions.
All latinos are NOT Mexican either.
The underclass regardless of color view themselves as victims and seek to gain/maintain by gaming the system.There would be no need for a social safety net if REAL inequalities did not exist.
For me the question boils down to this, are we working toward a more just and caring future or will I get stockpile for me/mine now and hope it lasts far into the future for us?

wayout said...

Mary Cheney is a sellout, pledging allegiance to her evil father’s ill-gotten fortune, just a few weak heartbeats away from buttering her clamshells into the stratosphere.

I’m all for the big umbrella, but some people deserve to be left out in the rain.

dykewife said...

i'd have to say that regardless of one's sexual orientation, very few whites (or euro-north americans) realize that they do carry white privilege like an airy piece of clothing all the time. they (including me) get preferential treatment in restaurants, retail stores, service stations, from everyone in those fields, not to mention police and the judicial and political systems.

they have a tendency to not want to look at it. they pay lip service to addressing it, but if they really did something about the rampant bigotry in their world then they'd have to release their privilege. even letting go of an iota is a very threatening thing to do.

for the life of me i don't know why people would support any political party that is hell bent (so to speak) on denying their rights, or in some cases, their very lives. but that's not a place i can go.

seekeronos said...

adam wrote: "Being progressive does not mean allowing bigots, both gay and straight, to have their viewpoint expressed."

Wow. I never thought I'd hear a liberal say something so... illiberal. :P

The funny thing is, there are plenty of conservatives who would love nothing more than to silence certain "un-American" attitudes.

I guess it all depends upon which side of the equation one falls on.

Roger Owen Green said...

Old-line black conservatives used to irritate me, because they "made it" (but beware DWB or some other sin) - the term "sell-out" comes to mind.
New-line black conservatives tend to irritate me because their "values" of "Christianity" often are hostile to gays, oppressive to women, and forgetful of the struggles of their parents.

Atari_Age said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Atari_Age said...

Actually, I always viewed being progressive as, in fact, allowing bigots to have their views expressed - and also to have them roundly denounced and ridiculed.

GP, correct me if I'm wrong, but I read one of your points to be that the arch-conservative gay viewpoint has been given such dominance in the public perception, relative to the actual number of gay people with those views.

This is the same as major media being so scared by the "liberal media" hype from conservative circles that they have essentially banned all but far-Right viewpoints.

The ultra-Right side of the gay community claims, with some validity, that their views were not in the public discourse, say, in the 80's and 90's. First, now, they can no longer claim that is true, so they have to drop that argument. Second, they are almost the only voice now.

That smacks of giving special privilege and prominence to a group that may well have been overlooked or mistreated previously... which is supposed to be anathema to any mildly conservative mindset.

The problem is, if views from anywhere else on the social political spectrum are voiced - even a little - we will immediately hear how all conservative voices are being squelched by the "supposedly liberal gays" - and then it will start all over again.

Some people seem to fear debate and work to stack the deck so only their viewpoint is heard (see the Conservative Block in the media). If liberals were doing the same tricks so prominently, I would hate it just as much. But at this stage of the game, it is almost all the far-Right that is playing like this.

For the gay community, whatever that is at the moment, the only option I see right now is to assure that all honest voices are heard - maybe even have face-to-face debates. And there must be care to not allow the group that screams the loudest to drown out all other voices. That also means helping this discussion permeate the public perception.

Funny, though, how in these recent years, that sounds so idealistic and naive.

Anonymous said...

Let me state this as clearly and unambiguously as I possibly can: Mary Cheney is a bad person. It's not just that she has a "diferent opinion" that we should all respect. Deep down, in her soul, she is putrid and dark and bottomlessly evil. She is the spawn of Dick, and her child will inherit the mantle of darkness. I don't think she should have a child, but I can't force her to have an abortion though I wish I could. God help this child.

Whit

Anonymous said...

Everyone should check out seekeronos charming site. A steaming pile of racist twaddle.

Hitler's SA were heavily of the fairy persuasion--but of the butchiest variety I am sure. Indeed, the gays can be right-wingers and Nazis, but how is that a good thing? I don't have to call those SA Nazis my brothers just because they also happen to have been fags as well.

The political spectrum is broad, but it gets nuttier on the opposing ends--so that in fact the ends join up together in a circuit of idiocy and incoherence as they bleed together into indistinguishable howling.

Whit

seekeronos said...

Anonymous wrote:
"Everyone should check out seekeronos charming site. A steaming pile of racist twaddle."


Oh, this should be fun. :rolls eyes:

Whit - (assuming you are the anonymous poster above) ... perhaps you did not read my site in its context, if you are referring particularly to my post on illegal immigration.

Yes, the group that produced the video which I linked to has some dodgy associations, but one should not be unwilling to strain out the few valid ideas apart from some of the more contentious, or even reprehensible dogmas that some folks swear by.

I disavow racialist nationalism in any form, be it MEChA, or the Black Panthers or the over-abundant number of "white nationalist" groups.

What I am finding worthy of pursuit is American nationalism, or simply, "Americanism"...

and to the degree that it preserves those good traditional American values while seeking to inhibit the growth of bad ideas and creeds which undermine the nation.

I wish to see a day where we can be proud to call ourselves Americans without reproach either from foreign nations or within our borders, perhaps a return to the spirit of American patriotism embodied by the generation that fought WW2.

As for Mary, I'd say leave her and her baby be. She will have to live with her conscience for what she does, and that kid will certainly not have an easy time of it, beyond his being relatively well off and well-connected.

As for wishing to forcibly euthanize or perhaps a better word: murder her child... that easily puts you on a par with those SA blokes that you just decried.

Since we've gone and violated Godwin's Law now with by invoking the Nazis - I'd honestly wonder if your thinking might not be too far off from those who advocated the purity of the Master Race, and sought to extinguish everything that was not of your kind?

Indeed, because this woman holds a different view of things than you, her children deserve to be murdered?

Is this not also a form of racism - or at least a certain dreadful form of classism that denies life to those unfortunate enough to be different?

Pot, Kettle. Kettle, Pot.

Anonymous said...

Okay. I give in. The baby should not be aborted just because it will suffer a lifetime of degradations and horror with MC as a mother--I suppose the luxury and money will make up for a lot of it. But that is as far as I will go.

Do you even know any actual Muslim people? I stand by my opinion that your site is a pile of wank.

Whit

seekeronos said...

Whit - it is probably quite obvious that we stand on distant ends of a particular ideological spectrum from each other.

I can only hope that you might be convinced to understand my sense of antipathy toward a certain "system of values" called Islam, which seeks the eradication of what I believe, and the destruction of people who do not believe as they do.

If you cannot or will not... then all I can say is "go in peace".

But bear with me a while longer:

I actually know plenty of Muslims.

And as people (without taking into account their ideology - I refuse to class Islam as a valid religion anymore... not that any religion of man is really of any use...) - Muslims are just as capable of the same good and evil as any of us.

The disturbing thing about their faith is the stunning lack of willingness for the "moderate" Muslims to repudiate the Wahabists and Salafists (among many other radical Islamist sects) who have sworn themselves to conduct an unrestricted total jihad (of terror) against all that is not submitted to Allah.

Why do they not stand against their own who preach such terrible things against non-believers?

And the lot of those under the thumb of Islamic tyranny? They suffer the worst. Take a few minutes to actually watch some of those videos I posted... who would make something like that up?

What kind of insanity causes people to desire to cut themselves and their children with razors to mark their holy days? They throw their apostates and members of opposing (Islamic) sects from the rooftops of buildings! Is theocratic rule of law under a merciless god something that we should value?

No doubt, Whit... you could answer back and say that Christianity or Judaism is guilty of a number of crimes against its own members, and has attempted to force theocracy upon government - but never on the scale and with the unparalleled barbarity of the Taliban or Wahabbis, or regimes that aspire to the most radical interpretations of the Quran and the Hadiths.

Christianity and Judaism also refer to a time and the manner of God's judgment upon humanity, but *never* did Jesus give His followers the right to execute folks for not believing on Him, much less *command* them to do so.

With an aggressive agenda to spread Islam violently to the four corners of the world, threatening death to those who oppose its prophet, while crying "victim" against the slightest perceived injustice (such as the recent row with the six flying imams)... a faith that would compel parents to lead their children to strap bomb belts to themselves and blow themselves up in malls or other public places is hardly a religion any more than it is an enemy ideology that challenges everything we have come to cherish in America, and in the Western Civilization as well.

In a recent and well publicised "protest" by a large throng of Muslims in London (these lot were actually among the more peaceful groups protesting the Danish cartoons).. the signage they carried about read like this:

"Butcher those who mock Islam"
"Behead those who insult a prophet" (meaning Mohammed)
"Freedom, go to hell"
"Slay those who insult Islam"
"Europe, you will pay... your 9/11 is on its way"
"Europe is the cancer, Islam is the cure"
"Sharia (Islamic theocratic law) is the only option for the UK"

And the leader of this protest, one Anjem Choudary, was recorded as saying "...whoever insults the message of the Prophet is going to be subject to capital punishment"

Absolute madness.

We are much more comfortable with deceiving ourselves that we can appease the sword of Islamism, and that these folks are really not butchering each other (and certainly non-Muslims).

Oh, it's just that Religion of Peace, just like those propagandists over at CAIR insist.

Forestall it, we might... but Islamism will keep pressing whatever advantage it finds.

We are not willing to admit it, but Islam has been, and is, at war with Western Civilization - which broadly includes us... and this goes back way further than 9-11 or some misunderstandings over the partitioning of the Middle East by colonial European powers following WW1, much less Mr. Bush's ill-timed and poorly executed foray into Iraq.

Today's dimension of the jihad just happens to have upped the ante by several orders of magnitude, and barring a critical failure in any of the nuke development programs in some Islamist controlled countries, we may very well be facing extremely dangerous times.

Look at it this way: The LGBTs can thrive in this country, perhaps more so than most other places in the world.

I doubt that the most fundamental of Christians would not consider it a godly thing to commit genocide against fellow citizens for being LGBT, save for the likes of radicals like F. Phelps... but he is no Christian in my opinion. We should, and many Christians do, repudiate folks like him as being heretics at best, and criminal sociopaths at worst.

If we fail to protect our freedoms and assert our rights as Americans... if we give place and appease, and appease some more... if we allow ourselves to be trained to simply rollover to keep the Islamists from getting "angry"...

We shall expose our necks and bellies to the merciless sword of the Jihadists, and then not only I, but you too, will be given a place on "the Truck".

GayProf said...

Earl: Some of these folk would be willing to drive that truck.

Adam: It's my feeling that the right already has multiple platforms to voice their ideas. Yet, they rarely give space to the left.

Brian: I have never understood why people resist taxes to pay for education and health care for their fellow humans. Yet, there is little question about how much is spent on military or propping up failing corporations.

WayOut: One of the things that is currently bothering me about Mary Cheney is that, once again, people only the left are left defending her against people like Dobson. Yet, she stays quiet.

DykeWife: I often think that people support the Republican party because they simply hate other people more than they care about people like themselves.

ROG: Yes, I am worried that Republicans are currently targeting Latinos and (to a lesser extent) African Americans based on "social conservatism." They hope that these two groups won't notice that they are getting screwed as long as they are distracted by fear of homos or feminists.

Atari: I am not about silencing people. Nor do I think all queer folk should think exactly like me (although, they probably would be happier). At the same time, there is a difference between saying that somebody has the right to express themselves and spending time and energy providing them a platform.

Moreover, if we spend all of our time internally debating, we will never move towards progressive ideals. At some point, we have to say that most conservatives are simply not providing any effective strategies for securing our rights. Until they can articulate something useful that will benefit the greatest number of people, I think we need to keep moving and not get bogged down by them.

Whit: Probably demanding that Mary Cheney abort her baby is a bit extreme, even for me. I try not to wish harm on anybody because I think it is bad karma. I prefer to say that I wish she had exercised her choice and never gotten pregnant at all.

Given how little effort she has already put forward to defend her baby or family, however, why should we think that she will be a good mother?

Seeker: Your fist comment, though I disagreed, seemed reasonable and open to discussion. The later comments, though, drifted to vague stereotypes or blanket statements. These rarely make convincing arguments and usually alienate your audience. Creating hostility will not win debates.

It's often been my experience that the anti-immigrant hysteria is driven by fear. There is some type of unspoke belief that immigration will lead to an apocalyptic end to the nation. Yet, no evidence exists that this would be the case.

Islamic beliefs shares its origins with Christianity and Judaism. Since its creation, Christianity sure seems to be at the root of unspeakable violence: Crusades, inquisitions, Puritanism, purges of Puritanism, and, of course, the German Holocaust against Jews didn't just come out of nowhere (nor did their persecution of GLBT folk). Any smugness about Chrisitan superiority is probably misplaced. It's historical origins can be traced to centuries of Christians antisemitism.

I would also point out (again) that many areas of the nation, like New Mexico, Hawai'i, Puerto Rico, and other areas have always had a non-white majority. Nothing dreadful happened to the United States.

The idea of a singular and nameable "American culture" is a fictive creation. Let go of the fear.

seekeronos said...

I'd have to disagree with the idea that Christianity itself is the root of violence.

Many of the things you mentioned - Inquisitions and Crusades - were sponsored by the Holy See of Rome, which by Jesus' standards could hardly be called an exemplar of the faith He imparted to His disciples.

Those two events were actually more tied into political developments in Europe (Inquisition being largely internal, and having its genesis within the framework of rooting out "heretics" within the preisthood and later extending to nobility, and finally to the public at large.

The (Catholic) Church at that time sought to gain and keep political power through controlling the noble and royal houses as much as they could, and the Inquisition was quite frighteningly effective at that.

As for Bible-believing Christians who sought to obey the authority of the Word of God over the traditions and dictates of human pontiffs (many of whom, like the Borgias, could hardly be called holy men at all) also suffered hideously under the Inquisition. Check out Foxe's Book of Martyrs for some eye-opening accounts of what took place in England during one of those Inquisitions (mostly during the reign of Mary Queen of Scots).

You mentioned the Puritans as well. They had some interesting doctrinal issues that probably contributed to their outlook. I'd say that they were far less brutal in their persecution of non-Puritans... and from what I have read, they bordered on a form of Pharisaism, the sort of thing Jesus took issue with during His ministry.

As for the Holocaust... sure you do not mean to tell me that you believe that was caused by Christianity...?

Hitler may have invoked "Providence" in some of his wrtings and speeches, but that man was more given to the artificing of some long dead pagan religion - and along with the NSDAP, he sought to merge that on top of Christian constructs.

Although few Germans could be considered to be very firm in their faith (contributing factors may have been the wrecked economy of the Weimar Republic, and the sense of betrayal/national grief at the loss and severe reparations exacted upon the nation after WW1)... quite a number opposed Hitler. Deitrich Bonhoeffer was one such Christian minister who refused to take the oath of allegiance to the NSDAP or Hitler which was required of German clergy (the Katolische Kirche and the Evangelische Kirche were and still are the two state-supported churches in Germany, and as such, the Nazis were able to leverage the clergy's licensure against them).

Bonhoeffer was later hung for resisting the Nazis, along with several other ministers, priests and seminarians... for opposing the Endlösung (Final Solution) of the Jews, and even becoming involved in the assassination plot.

Of course, there was a certain cultural prejudice against Jews that had long been a part of Europe's history, and the Nazis preyed upon that to get power and later keep it. But that cultural prejudice was not there because of Jesus' teachings (if anything, Jesus tells us that Christians are grafted into Israel, sharing in His plan of salvation originally intended only for the Jews).

On your last point, you've mentioned three regions that have a Hispanic majority (and presumably, white minority)...

Puerto Rico: is a commonwealth, and enjoys certain qualities that are unique to that status. It is of course, primarily Spanish speaking, and retains its culture without friction because Puerto Ricans are the undisputed majority inhabitants. Further, there is no agenda to say, occupy Cuba or South Carolina to rebuild some mythic homeland whose existence is shrouded in prehistory - they are in their homeland.

Hawai'i: Again, while there are actually some minor frictions between the multiple ethnic groups - Japanese and Chinese, native Hawai'ians and the minority of non-Asian/Pacific Islanders. The economy is very well built up, and there is no widely supported movement to secede from the Union or restore the Kingdom. Plus, the USN and USAF presence there for the past 50-60 years or more helps to tamp things down (even if there is no explicit threat of them doing anything - it is more mental security).

New Mexico: I've been thinking about this one... abd I really have no answer beyond the strategic military assets we have there, and the minority poulation of whites, most of whom seem to be of retirement age.

Perhaps I have panicked a bit and overstated the case for an immigration crisis vis-a-vis the Aztlan extremists.

In all likelihood, there will not be any massive civil unrest in my lifetime over that area, but the fact that it is rapidly being taken over by non-assimilating populations of foreigners is cause for concern.

When they seek rights as American citizens - the right to vote, the right to partake of all of the privileges of being American, but refuse to embrace and adapt to American culture, and choose to learn our language (English) and not grouse about borders set by treaties older than any of us by a century or so... that does not make for good citizenship, nor does it inspire that healthy attitude that would welcome them as friends and neighbors - members of the community - instead of mere competition for jobs, housing, and resources.

Pride of roots is not a bad thing, but holding that above being a member of your (presumably) adopted new homeland is another.

Hence my position on Americanism - if the Germans and Irish and Swedes and Poles and Italians and Czechs that came here (along with so many others) and had refused to speak English, and remained forever in their ethnic enclaves, we would be a horribly fractured nation (if one at all) today.

As for fear, fear can be a healthy thing - and I do fear for my country being changed into something that I radically different from that which I grew up in. A collective re-focus on what America was and could be most therapeudic for us and our nation.

Lyle said...

I remember reading a few explanations into the philosophy behind Log Cabin Republicanism (ones that go a little further "Well, they believe in small government, so...")) it's usually a long rationalization to put LGBT inequality on a different plane from what affects women or racial minorities.

Sigh.

As for the defenders of Mary Cheney, I agree that Cheney's silence speaks volumes about her, but I think it's a useful target because a lot of people (from what I've seen anyway) seem to see her as pretty mild mannered and are appalled to hear a private decision of hers being criticized with such venom. It's one of those "use their own words against them" kind of moment. She's helping at the moment, but not through any of her own qualities.

Atari_Age said...

Wow, did this thread go off on a tangent or what? =)

To be clear, GP, My initial statement in my comment wasn't addressing you directly (when I realize all eyes should always be on you), it was trying to merge with some of the other prior comments.

The bulk of my comment, on the other hand, is pretty much in agreement with what you wrote here in the comment section. I especially agree that, while I don't like the idea of severe active exclusion of voices (what I meant by "drown out all other voices"), I also don't like the idea of going out of our way to let those same voices be heard at the expense of our own.

So, I'm thinking we agree, basically.

I'm not touching any of this other stuff, since it wasn't the subject of your post.

GayProf said...

Consider reading Doris Bergen's The Twisted Cross: The German Christian Movement in the Third Reich. Bergen's credentials as a professional historian are unimpeachable and she conducted actual historical research (rather than merely repeating things that people imagine to be true about Germany at mid-century).

Whatever the case, I agree with Atari that this comment string has gone way off topic. Let's all take some time to back up and breathe quietly.

Anonymous said...

Well, then...

As a newcomer to this post (thanks to Adam for directing me here) I just want to say that I found it powerful. I also thought your last paragraph expressed the gist of the whole post.

As for all the off-topic comments, the generous thing to say is that debate is a healthy component of democracy. I think I'll just stop with being generous: The point/counterpoint thing has been exhausted, I think.

Now, how many people will commit to doing something akin to GP's last paragraph?

Anonymous said...

What an interesting post--as a tangent, it clarifies (for me) a major difference between Canadian and American conservatives. Up here, we actually have a creature called a "fiscal conservative" or "liberal conservative" that was genuinely, sincerely unconcerned with anything but limiting government spending, on the naive assumption that pure capitalism could make everyone happy. While obviously *wrong*, this group could therefore include the full spectrum of ethnicities, sexualities, genders, etc etc.

But you can't be a gay *social* conservative (or a feminist one, or an ethnic or religious minority one) unless your head is so far up your behind that you can't hear the air-raid siren of cognitive dissonance.

I take it you all only have social conservatives in the US?

Kalvin said...

It's strange that I feel your original post has been misinterpreted in so many ways. In the joys of making silly comments and ad hominem attacks, I have difficulty dealing with any of seekeronos's comments seriously as he considers himself a "converted" (assumedly to heterosexual) gay man married to as he states "a japanese." Perhaps I am being unfair, but it's as if he is validating all the points made directly within the article. I agree with Adam, and I don't think that he in any way intended to say that they shouldn't be allowed to speak, but that we certainly don't need to create a platform for them ourselves. I have to agree that nearly all public visibility of LGBT's in the past year has been of these neo-con types. I find particular irony in seekeronos in that it shows to what extent some conservatives go to maintain their "privilege"--conversion of underlying identity. If only this could be so easily accomplished (meant both seriously and joking) by the poor, people of color, women and other disenfranchised groups. But alas, they have no such "luxury".

seekeronos said...

Kicking and screaming, this thread lives on, and I find myself drawn to add once more to it. :)

Kalvin: I think you take issue with my statements because I come from a point of view quite opposite from yours. In fact. I may very well be a bit of an anomaly to your world view.

Yes, I am a forgiven gay man (bisexual, if we must nitpick, as I slept with men and women before my conversion).

And a few years ago, I married a Japanese woman (since you took exception to my peculiar grammatical construct of referring to her as "a Japanese" - which is her nationality at present). But I could see how that might be strained and reached at (with the deft skill of a logical contortionist, I might add) to detect or impart some sort of cultural or racial meaning.

For some reason, if I had married a German (without specifying that she was a woman), methinks you would not have taken issue with it, as it provides no basis for any implication some sort of hidden racism. But lest I make room for more rabbit trails, I'll get to my point:

Why is it impossible for you (and many others as well) that believe that humans are capable of changing their behaviour?

To wit, I still struggle with my same-sex desires, but shall I be enslaved by them?

Not if I have power (through Christ) to overcome it, and then avoid placing myself in situations where I could get into trouble. "Abstain from the appearance of evil".

And by God's grace I shall - which for me means avoiding certain web sites, not going off on my own to the West Village or Chelsea in NYC, or other things that could spell trouble for me.

The whole argument of "was I born like this" or "did I choose to be gay" is irrelevant. One could argue either side of it to they were blue in the face, and it would not change God's view of it as something that He does not desire His followers to engage in. I am talking basic principles of sexual morality as revealed by God - one man, one woman, one family.... not putting anyone to death per the old bit in Leviticus that seems to get way too much air time (that restriction, along with the anti-shellfish law and other purity laws were specifically geared toward the children of Israel).

Simply put, I believed in what God said when He redeemed me from every lawless deed I committed - that I (the old, serial-sex partnering, club-hopping, gay me) is dead, and my new life is "hid with (meaning submitted to) Christ in God".

The "old me" is passing away, and is being renewed in Christ. Don't get me wrong - am still an imperfect man, and until I die, will still be affected by this carcass of sinful flesh I currently call home; yet God is true to His promise to me. My desires to do the things I used to do wane and decline with each passing year, as I grow in Christ.

This is done without any medical or bizarre, self-destructive "reparative therapy" - but rather through the conviction by through the Word of God through His Holy Spirit.

Does that make me "privileged" or a member of this super-WASPy class of oppressors (to borrow a particular favorite old horse of the radical left)...?

The only privilege I have is redemption from sin and separation from my God, and eternal judgment in hell as the penalty of my sin.

Certainly I am not perfect, but God gives grace.

As for the other bits - issues of race, gender and wealth... I am a middle class male of largely northern European extraction, if you really care. It hardly guarantees my admission to the halls of power.

Do economic/gender/racial/other tribal distinctions exist? Yes, they do... and it is unfortunate.

Some of these are affected by changed behaviours (like a gay man who no longer practices gay sex, or straight people who delve into other sexual practices); others are changeable through physical alteration (gender reassignment, whitening or darkening of skin and hair treatments) and still others are accomplished through industry and wise handling of money (those poor who become wealthy, or those wealthy scions who squander their inheritance).

But in the family of God, these distinctions are erased when we are all but one thing before God:

Sinners. Saved by Grace, if we so choose to accept it.