No one seems to want to touch the daunting task of defending Scott Lively** with a ten foot pole, but Don Feder thinks The New York Times should really stop being so mean to his buddy Don Schmierer. In this piece, he quotes Larry Jacobs of the World Congress of Families regarding Schmierer’s excursion to Uganda:
Don Schmierer and two other evangelicals from the United States spoke in Uganda last March. In the course of their remarks, they discussed the ability of individuals to mend broken family relationships, change destructive behaviors, and to leave the homosexual lifestyle. Claiming their pro-family advocacy provoked anger, which led to the introduction of the Ugandan legislation,The Times charged, “You can’t preach hate and not accept responsibility for the way that hate is manifested.”
Jacobs responded: “Don Schmierer is a gentle counselor and an inspired teacher with more than four decades of experience in helping people overcome addictions, rebuild their lives, repair their relationships and restore their families. Don provides wise counsel and advice for parents, with special insights on the relationships of fathers and their sons. Because he believes in a Biblical worldview and thinks homosexuality is not genetic, The Times insists that he’s responsible for the Ugandan legislation, (a proposed law categorically denounced by every pro-family leader I’m aware of and Don himself).”
“Anyone that spends time listening to Schmierer or reading his materials, can easily see that his entire ministry is built on loving and helping homosexuals (and heterosexuals), not hating them. As Don says himself, some of the nicest people he’s met around the world have been homosexuals. After each of Don’s presentations, many homosexuals offer their thanks for his wise counsel and testimonies on how his guidance helped them.”
In other words, “LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE! SHE’S BEEN THROUGH SO MUCH!“
First of all, it’s not Schmierer’s beliefs about gay people that we’re concerned with. Being an American means that you are free to be as ignorant as you please. We’re concerned with his actions. Secondly, Don Schmierer’s entire life’s mission is directly in contrast to “loving and helping homosexuals.” Ex-gay leaders love homosexuals like pedophiles love The Jonas Brothers. Thirdly, did Schmierer, as quoted by Jacobs, really use the “some of the nicest people I’ve met have been homosexuals” construction? I know that old white people can be really dumb about these sorts of things, but that statement is, in and of itself, bigoted. Growing up in the South, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard an older white person say “I’m not racist, some of my best friends are black!”, as if it’s some sort of accomplishment. Schmierer’s quote is the same construction, just updated for the purposes of discriminating against gay people. He might as well have said, “We don’t think he deserves any rights, but we love our interior designer, and he’s a homosexual!” Finally, who are we supposed to think the “many homosexuals” are who savor Schmierer’s loving guidance? Because I know “many homosexuals,” and I don’t know one who would bear the indignity of listening to such drivel for any purposes besides mocking or monitoring the opposition.
Feder also quotes Jacobs saying this:
“The Times ugly attack on Schmierer is typical of the growing movement to intimidate and ultimately silence any who dissent from the gay agenda, including the activists working to preserve marriage. Instead of discussing the nature and consequences of homosexuality, The New York Times says the debate is closed, and any who object, hate homosexuals and want to harm them.”
Well, the debate really is closed, at least in well-informed nations.*** When you have a struggle between opposing worldviews where exactly one side can defend its claims without resorting to age-old bigotry, discrimination, dogma and appeals to faulty translations of unprovable religious claims, you end up where we are now. We still have to keep plugging away to correct their lies about the “nature and consequences” of homosexuality for as long as their ideas still hold sway over portions of the population, but we know, by looking at the data, that their discriminatory propaganda reaches fewer and fewer people in the West every year. Welcome to 2010. Put more bluntly: We’re very sorry your ideas are laughable to rational people and, quite frankly, suck, but that’s really not our problem, and it’s not The New York Times’ problem.
Don Schmierer is a sentient being, as far as we know, and he made a conscious choice to visit Uganda with the likes of Scott Lively. To quote a famous guy, he’s reaping what he’s sown.
*Looka me, Jeremy, I made a pun before you did.
**How would you go about defending a man who handed a gun to genocidal maniacs anyway? I wouldn’t know where to start.
*** This, of course, is why Christian Conservatives are opening so many franchise operations in the Third World. They know, on some level, that their fight is lost among the educated. They have nothing to offer thinking people. So they scamper away to impoverished nations and fill their heads with their propagandistic lies in a desperate attempt to get there before modernity does. It’s cynical, it’s manipulative, and it’s immoral, because they prey on people who actually do need their help, but instead they offer brainwashing and the distracting opiate of false hope. Meanwhile, poverty continues, disease continues, hunger continues, AIDS gets worse (often because of the policies promoted by the Christian Conservatives). It’s really beyond me how these people are able to claim moral authority over anything anymore.