Tintin at Sadly, No! already destroyed this piece by Trevor Thomas in the American “Thinker,” but I want a whack at it too, because I’m bored with chicken. So let’s see what sort of wingnut this way comes:
There was a significant statement made in the media recently that was probably missed by most, due to the evil events in Aurora, Colorado. Well, that, along with the fact that it was on MSNBC.
Har har, “joke” that only means something within Trevor’s echo chamber.
Recently liberal mouthpiece Frank Rich was on the Rachael [sic] Maddow show, and the subject was Mitt Romney and his tax returns. First, a video of Mitt’s wife Ann Romney on ABC news was shown. Mrs. Romney was defending her husband and his tax returns, noting that he is a very generous man and that, among other things, as a couple they donate 10% of their income to their church every year.
Rich then pointed out that “[t]he Mormon Church was one of the single biggest bankrollers of some of the most homophobic stuff that went on in Proposition 8 [the California ballot measure that defined marriage as a union of one man and one woman] in California.” In his best conspiratorial tone, Rich next asked, “So did any of that [Romney] money go there?”
Good point, Frank Rich, and also a good question.
In other words, Romney and his church are homophobes because they supported traditional (biblical) marriage (along with a solid majority of Californians, along with a significant majority of Americans in 31 other states that have placed traditional marriage on a ballot).
Well, the church definitely is led by homophobes. They don’t support “biblical” marriage, though, at least not anymore. The Mormon church was the last hold-out to support “biblical” marriage, which included one man and lotsa wives. But Trevor’s problem is the word “homophobe,” because he, um, well, doesn’t understand the word. Wingnuts play this game all the time. Watch:
I submit to you that there is no dumber word in the English language than “homophobe” (and its derivatives).
Uh huh. He’s going to spend the next few paragraphs complaining about why.
The word was coined by psychologist and gay activist George Weinberg in his 1972 book Society and the Healthy Homosexual. The book was published one year prior to when the American Psychiatric Association, with a vote of 5,834 to 3,810, removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. The word became an important tool for homosexual activists and their allies. Weinberg gave them a “medical” phobia with which to attack their opponents.
Weinberg defined the word as “the dread of being in close quarters with homosexuals,” adding that “[i]t was a fear of homosexuals which seemed to be associated with a fear of contagion, a fear of reducing the things one fought for-home and family. It was a religious fear and it had led to great brutality as fear always does.”
Merriam-Webster defines it as “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.” One problem I have with the word is that it makes no sense etymologically. “Homo,” from the Greek, means “the same,” and “phobia,” from the Greek, means “fear.” So literally, homophobia means fear of the same.
Wingnut apparently does not understand that the meanings of words often evolve away from their most directly translatable meaning. This puts the word “homophobia” in a category with thousands of other words, most of which I presume Trevor Thomas doesn’t have much of a problem with, as they don’t have the particular characteristic of hurting Trevor’s fee fees.
However, my greatest complaint with the term does not stem from its etymological shortcomings.
Yeah, we sort of knew you were just trying to pad your piece to make yourself look smarter.
The English language, like most languages, is in constant flux and is full of silly words. The biggest problem with homophobia and its variations is that they have become “snarl” words — words that, when used, are intended to induce a negative response. Such words commonly appeal to people’s emotions rather than their reasoning.
Oh, so his complaint is that there is no English word describing homophobia as a GOOD thing. That, dear, is determined by the culture, not by the dictionary.
That was exactly Frank Rich’s intention — to paint an extremely negative picture of the Mormon Church and of Romney, to a very friendly audience, arousing their emotions against Romney and all those who see homosexuality differently from how he sees it. In fact, nearly every time that I have heard “homophobe” uttered, or seen it written, it has been as a snarl word.
Trevor is free to come up with a more flowery word for “homophobe” and see if it catches on. May I submit “numbnuts” for consideration?
Other words, such as “racist,” “sexist,” and so on, can be used in a similar manner.
It’s just awful that there are also no nice words for racists and sexists.
Yet most all of us have seen or heard, whether firsthand or not, real racism and sexism in practice. On the other hand, almost exclusively those labeled as “homophobe” have a biblical conviction against homosexual behavior, and nothing more.
The idea that most anti-gay people simply have a “biblical conviction” is absolute BS. That “biblical conviction” tends to be a euphemism for flat-out discrimination and bias, just as those who supported slavery and segregation were also hiding their bigotry behind a “biblical conviction.” Those “biblical convictions” are just damn handy, if nothing else.
They have no “irrational fear” of homosexuals, or a “dread of being in close quarters” with them.
But they exhibit discriminatory behavior against gay people, therefore it fits, under the definition cited by, um, Trevor Thomas, in his own article. That said, many if not most anti-gay humans DO exhibit the signs of irrational fear of LGBT people. They might try to stand strong in opposition to “protect tradishnul valyews,” but the reality of the matter is that acceptance of LGBT people threatens their entire flimsy worldview. They see the patriarchal structure crumbling around them, and they see that the pedestal they used to hold, where most viewed them as moral and right, is falling down with them standing on it. So yes, fear is involved here. The word “homophobe” holds up really well under analysis.
A friend, language expert, and fellow Christian, Dr. Danny Evans, notes that the common use of homophobe is a “completely erroneous use of the word. Most of us know that a phobia is a fear of certain things or situations. It’s interesting that those who oppose homosexuality are categorized as ‘homophobic,’ especially since fear has nothing to do with the opposition to homosexuality. From a Christian viewpoint, homosexuality is not feared, but rather opposed based on the biblical explanation of it. We love people, no matter what their sexual preferences may be. It is the sin we despise.”
Oh, thanks, Danny. You love us, though you hate who we are. You see, Danny and Trevor only make sense if you understand that wingnuts, like petulant children, refuse to accept the reality of sexual orientation, even though every grown-up expert on the subject considers sexual orientation an immutable trait, just like blue eyes or left-handedness. So, despite the fact that they are in intense denial about what sexual orientation is and is not, we shall not pander to such childish denial by pretending that “love the sinner, hate the sin” means jacksh*t.
As I have already noted (here and last week), every state in the U.S. that has put same-sex marriage before its electorate has seen it soundly rejected (an average of 67% to 33%).
Yes, and that talking point is about to go away, and you won’t have it anymore. Though civil rights should not ever be put to a vote, we did have to wait to reach a certain tipping point with support for marriage equality, and gay rights in general, in order to start winning such ballot measures. We’re solidly over 50% in support for marriage equality in this country, and thus, the days of being able to say “everybody votes against it!” are quickly drawing to a close.
Three more U.S. states have referenda on the ballot this November: Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington. No doubt that, in each of these states, homosexuals and their supporters have been, and will continue, screaming “homophobia!” in an attempt to demonize their opponents.
Well, if the shoe fits…
As Jonah Goldberg editorialized in December of 2008
That sound was the last shred of Trevor Thomas’s credibility floating away on the breeze. “According to the Doughy Pantload who only has a job because of who his mother is…”
“[i]t’s often lost on gay-rights groups that they and their allies are the aggressors in the culture war. Indeed, they admit to being the ‘forces of change’ and the ‘agents of progress.’ They proudly want to rewrite tradition and overturn laws. But whenever they’re challenged democratically and peaceably, they instantly complain of being victims of entrenched bigots, even as they adopt the very tactics they abhor.”
No, Pantload, and no, Trevor. We are fighting for rights we have been long denied. You people are trying to preserve a special status in society, which you did not earn and do not deserve. Your moral structure is not better than ours. In many ways, it’s far worse. However, we’re not trying to take anything away from you. You ARE trying to take things away from us.
Unquestionably, one of the things homosexuals “abhor” is the name calling. If they want to make their case intelligently and peacefully, it is time for the word “homophobia” to become “anachronistic.” (Look it up.)
I suppose he’s encouraging his own wingnut readers to look up the word “anachronistic,” as I highly doubt that’s a hard word for the average liberal news reader. I mean, one look at the comments sections of liberal and conservative blogs, and it’s fairly easy to tell who missed the line where God was handing out IQ’s.
That said, the word “homophobia” isn’t going anywhere, but it does look like the people who practice homophobia are fading away, as homophobia is well on its way to being about as socially acceptable as blatant racism. Many of them are simply changing their homophobic behavior, because as we all know, LGBT people and our supporters love homophobes. We simply hate their behavior.