Tony Perkins

Here is my final letter to Tony Perkins:

Tony Perkins,

One of the commandments tells us that we should not bear false witness. So stop lying to people and say you hate gay people. You make use of rationalist discourse in order to solidify your moral opinions and codify those morals as science. The irony is that you assimilate by adopting rationalistic discourses, even though you fundamentally misappropriate those discourses for your own political agenda.

Perhaps psychologically this points to a part of persons such as yourself who deep down know that if science proves the naturalness of homosexual desire, and indeed it already has, then you have to resign to the fact that you really do hate homosexuals. Moreover, you have to be compelled to believe in the pseudo-scientific empirical data that points to homosexuals as immoral because deep down, I think you know that if empirical data disproves your moral framework, then even you recognize that it is inappropriate to preach against the ‘gay life-style.”

This is why I respect both the Catholic Church and Fred Phelps to some extent. While the Catholic Church has adopted a greater amount of slanderous rhetoric about homosexuality, I do not take this rhetoric too seriously. This is rhetoric that argues that homosexuality is a threat to civilization, or creation, etc. The reason why I think this rhetoric is no threat whatsoever is because it has no basis in empirical evidence, nor do I ever think it will. Its rhetoric is limited almost exclusively on how humans are supposed to procreate. That is the Catholic Church relies almost entirely on a Thomistic reading of Natural Law. The issue with Natural Law is that it relies heavily on Aristotelian though, which most of us reject in terms of Aristotle’s understanding of nature. If men and women are supposed to procreate, why then is there empirical data that show homosexual desires in other animal species? But at least the Pope limits his discourse to the nature of procreation. Humans are supposed to procreate. Procreation is a part of the natural order. Homosexuals threaten that natural order. To be sure, this natural order is a lie but at least it does not lie about homosexuals being child molesters, or that homosexuality causes mental illness.

I respect Fred Phelps because he simply rejects science altogether and focuses on the Bible as God’s revelation. Moreover, Phelps is honest about hating homosexuals. If it is against God’s law, it should be violently rejected. I may not agree with Phelps but his honest earns my respect because he has no illusions about the consequences of his rhetoric. However, I really do not think that you and Fred Phelps are in reality too different from one another.

You want to rely on science to tell homosexuals that our lifestyle is dangerous and that these statements are really just out for our best interest. The problem is that calling homosexuals perverts and child molesters, that our sexual desires cause mentally illness, or even saying that we’re relate to Nazism does not help us: it simply reinforces hatred of Queer persons. None of these things is scientifically or historically accurate. What you do is rely on pseudo-scientific organizations such as the American College of Pediatricians. Yes, organizations such as the American Association of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association are politically motivated. However, everyone is politically motivated because every act is political. We need to stop enforcing this dichotomy that what is ‘transcendent’ is somehow opposed to what is ‘political’ because even the truths that we hold to be transcendent have political implications.

It also shocks me that anyone would claim this when the very organization that you cite consistently for your own data, American College of Pediatrics, left the American Association of Pediatrics precisely because they disagreed with its study in 2002 that children raised by homosexual parents are just as emotionally stable as children raised by heterosexual parents. We could step back and argue that the AAP’s decision was based on political motivation. However, this is merely a projection. It covers up how the ACP’s split from the AAP too is motivated by politics, in fact, blatantly so. In order to be a member of ACP one must hold the core belief that homosexuality is immoral. This sounds like a conservative bias to me, not merely a group attempting to represent the facts. What this organization advocates is that there are some scientific facts that are not falsifiable or that ones own moral convictions trump. What then of those of us who would argue that homosexuality is, at worst morally neutral and at best morally good? Do these ethical pronouncements then get called ‘political?’ This dichotomous rhetoric is, in the long run, self-defeating because if my rhetoric is politically motivated, then all rhetoric is political motivated. Your morals are just as politically motivated as mine are motivated. We can bring God into the mix as well but the problem is that there are many Queer persons who see their experience as being a blessing from God, and our heterosexual allies do not see obedience to God as incompatible with the conviction that homosexuality is morally good. Belief in a transcendent creator do not necessarily validate our political motivations. Back to the ACP. What of the ACP cherry picking statements from scientists such as Francis Collins, Daniel Remafedi, and Warren Throckmorton? That their use of the empirical observations of these scientists not only misrepresents their views but distorts those views for the ACP’s own political agenda, is simply bad science.

In other words, what I gather from all of this is that pseudo-science is used to prove ones own moral framework. The issue with such a justification is that you’re willing to use bad science to make your point. I honestly do not believe that you have the best interest of homosexuals in mind because what it sounds like is that you have never had an actual dialogue with an openly gay person nor do I think you actually want to because to do so would be to recognize that we are human beings. It would be to recognize that we are not child molesters, that our identity is not some iteration of mental illness, or that we are not in fact related to nazis at all. This has me and others convinced that you want to use science to not seem like a bigot. However, this is precisely what you come off as.

Homosexuals do deal with mental illness and psychological disorders but the root of many of these disorders is the homophobia that both our society and the Church tells us, daily. Children commit suicide not because homosexuality is the cause but rather the homophobia in religious organizations is the cause of such suicides. Moreover, you’re simply a bigot because you do not want us to speak for ourselves. Rather, you would rather have it that the Religious Right speak for us. The consequence of such an attitude is dehumanization because it is trying to tell us that we are not rational enough to distinguish between what is moral and immoral. Tony, we know the difference between right and wrong and we know that our homosexual lifestyle is morally good.

So please stop telling the media that you don’t hate gay people because all of your actions and attitudes say otherwise.

Peace and Blessings,

Chance McMahon



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