I was looking for quotes from one of my favorite books ('Till We Have Faces,' by CS Lewis) when I stumbled across a very well-written blog by a woman who was saying - in clearly-written sentences and properly-spelled words - that homosexuality was definitely a learned behavior. That it is wrong, and that 'diversity' is simply another word for being forced to accept homosexuals. That she was going to call 'all of them' nothing other than 'homosexuals' because all the 'letters they add to whatever they want to call themselves' does nothing more than 'normalize' behavior. And she capped it all off with: 'I don't hate homosexuals.'
"Till We Have Faces" is a book about someone who mistakes her own jealousy and dedication to 'being right' for love. Orual wreaks utter havoc on her sister Psyche's life simply because Psyche has an experience of love that Orual does not have, and does not understand. As we read the book we see the choices Orual makes, things she does and says - she is sure - for Psyche's best interest. It is a rich, rewarding, difficult book. Difficult because I have seen a lot of myself in Orual. Our own absolute surety about what others must do and how they must live leads inexorably to pain, alienation, confusion and often destruction. How the woman who wrote this blog could write so glowingly about this book, and then write such hateful trash about 'homosexuals' boggles my mind.
It's one thing to read a screed from a frothing lunatic, or to see a video clip from a screaming preacher. It's quite another to read a calm, collected viewpoint that takes this stance, and seems to be taking plenty of prisoners along. There were several hundreds of comments on this woman's blog, most of them also clearly-written, most of them calm and cool and full of their own assurance that homosexuality was wrong, a learned behavior, and was creating an evil, dangerous world. One person commented that they just wrote a book about how diet and stress causes homosexuality. These things were said as if they were the most rational things in the world. And everyone in this fact-free bubble were nodding their cyber heads in agreement: homosexuality is wrong, it is a learned behavior, it is something that can be changed and healed.
It never ceases to amaze me how some people feel so entitled to hold forth on subjects they know absolutely nothing about. This woman didn't feel entitled so much as duty-bound. She needed to share this 'truth' with the world so people would not be so afraid to 'speak the truth,' that homosexuality is wrong, and can and should be cured. Diversity is also wrong, and no one should be forced to even hear an opinion that differs from that.
Fuck you, lady. You do not know my life. You do not know my husband. You do not know my friends, my family, my family of choice. You do not know the struggles I went through to get to the point where I am today.
But mostly, you do not know the terrible pain this kind of polemic wreaks. You can sit in your heterosexual tower and throw lightning bolts of made-up 'truth' because they will never hit you. You will never be instructed to hate yourself for being who you are. You will never be faced with a God who apparently loves everyone but hates you specifically for something over which you had no choice. You are creating drone strikes: pushing buttons in the privacy of your home, never having to see the destruction your words rain down. If you don't hate gay people, then why are you saying such hateful things about them?
Take the plank out of your own eye before you start seeing specks in others'. Try being like Jesus - actual, warm-blooded, compassionate, rebel-hearted Jesus, who spoke against the religious authorities and the status quo with his every other breath. Try being like him, and leave behind the gun-toting, queer-hating, white bread Jesus that the Religious Right has fashioned out of fear, hatred and spite.
If one does not have compassion, one cannot claim to have love. Love without compassion is something else entirely. As Psyche said to her jealous older sister Orual in 'Till We Have Faces,' "I'm not sure I prefer your version of love to hate."