Sunday reading: Epiphenom on the link between religion and homophobia

8 03 2009

What’s the connection between religion and homophobia?

You don’t need me to tell you that religious people are more likely to be homophobic. But what you might not have thought too hard about is why that should be. Is it that religion makes people homophobic, or is it simply that religion attracts people who are conservative and/or authoritarian – people who also tend to be homophobic? Then again, ‘religion’ is a pretty broad church. Is all religion linked to homophobia, or is it just specific types?

And what about racism? Are religious people more likely to be rascist? And if not, why not? This is an important question because religion acts to strengthen group cohesion, and it also comes with a lot of moral rules. Either of these could explain the link to homophobia. But most religions tend to be at least overtly anti-racist. So if religious people are more racist, this is probably because the ‘group cohesion’ effect overrides the ‘moral censure’ effect.

Sometimes it seems like you wait years for big studies to come along tackling these issues, and then two come along at once! Putting both of them together starts to put some really interesting meat on the bones of this very fundamental question (with the caveat that, like most research in religion, these studies were done in the USA/Canada)

More here.





Unintentional irony of the week

22 12 2008

From USA TODAY:

“I just hate being pigeonholed as a hate monger or bigot,” says Robert Hoehn, who contributed $25,000 to the campaign for Prop 8, which amended California’s Constitution to exclude same-sex marriage.





Christian love strikes again in California

21 12 2008

Is there any appellation more Orwellian—nay, oxymoronic—than “loving Christian?” A coalition of loving Christians, clearly of the view that Proposition 8 did not constitute a decisive enough victory over a despised outgroup, now wants the marriages that were performed during the California marriage statute’s brief dalliance with (the manifestly unChristian virtues of) humanity and acceptance to be annulled:

Referendum proponents known as the “Protect Marriage” coalition on Friday took their campaign one step further, petitioning the Supreme Court to annul the gay marriages officiated so far in California.

“Proposition 8’s brevity is matched by its clarity,” the group said in its legal brief. “There are no conditional clauses, exceptions, exemptions, or exclusions: ‘Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.'”

Show me the individual who describes himself as a “loving Christian,” and who in the same breath advocates such naked mean-spiritedness as evinced by the self-styled marriage defenders in California, and I’ll show you a liar, a fraud, a phony, a bullshit-artist, a spinmeister, a prevaricator, a con-artist, a deluder, a dissimulator, a false witness. He is “loving” in the same regard as a “loving father” who lovingly beats his kids, or a “loving husband” who lovingly beats his wife.





Memo to my GLBTI readers from a loving Christian . . .

30 11 2008

Many of you, Bill Muehlenberg would have us believe, enjoy having sex with animals:

The Gay Report, a book much praised in gay communities, contains testimonials without adverse comment of homosexual encounters with Labrador retrievers, cows and horses. The 1992 report mentioned above found that 15 per cent of male homosexuals and 19 per cent of male bisexuals had sex with animals, compared with 3 percent of male heterosexuals.

Actually, the report was published in 1981, based on a self-administered 16-page survey with a one-percent response rate. The report receives a thorough debunking at Box Turtle Bulletin.

(HT: commenter Rod)





Just in time for Christmas

18 11 2008

(HT: commenter jpf at Dispatches From The Culture Wars)

Who needs Amazon when the American Family Association has plenty of treats on offer to fill the Christmas stocking?

They’re Coming To Your Town

Residents of the small Arkansas town of Eureka Springs noticed the homosexual community was growing. But they felt no threat. They went about their business as usual. Then, one day, they woke up to discover that their beloved Eureka Springs, a community which was known far and wide as a center for Christian entertainment–had changed. The City Council had been taken over by a small group of homosexual activists.The Eureka Springs they knew is gone. It is now a national hub for homosexuals. Eureka Springs is becoming the San Francisco of Arkansas.

. . . . Read the rest of this entry »





Homophobia: a truly interfaith phenomenon

4 08 2008

A homophobic yogic cult, claiming to be able to “cure” homosexuality through chanting, has infiltrated the Gold Coast City Council, according to Religion News Blog. Through its front organisation the Australian School of Meditation and Yoga, the Science of Identity movement is running yoga and meditation courses in collaboration with the Gold Coast council (as part of the latter’s “Active and Healthy” program). The leader, one Chris Butler a.k.a. Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa Jagad Guru, claims to be a “living yoga master” as well as (according to a critical site) “teacher of the entire world, a direct link to God and the only true follower of Jesus Christ.” Ex-members have some interesting stories to tell: Read the rest of this entry »





Sydney WYD: Mutaween for Jesus

4 07 2008

What the NSW Government is doing to liberal democracy in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Mutaween is a generic term for religious police in Islamic countries. They’re the guys (and of course they tend to be guys) who go around arresting, beating, flogging and even killing ordinary citizens who flout religious laws. In countries like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, women tend to find themselves the victims of the sadistic dogma-enforcers (see this Amnesty report from 2000), who on one occasion prevented schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building “because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress.” (15 of the schoolgirls subsequently died, having been beaten back into the blaze by the police.) We in the modern, enlightened West like to pride ourselves on our difference from sickeningly backward societies like the theocracies of the Islamic world. We value religious freedom, and are not so cognitively immature that we require the repressive apparatus of the state to artificially prop up religious faith and deliver us from reality. Certainly nothing could be more alien to the liberal democratic values we cherish than the idea of religious police, right?

Wrong. As you are doubtless already aware, the NSW Government has deemed it necessary to outsource the Sydney constabulary (as well as emergency services) as rent-a-cops for the Spanish Inquisition, and they have already proceeded to heavy potential critics: Read the rest of this entry »





Things they’d have difficulty believing in Salt Lake City XIX

22 06 2008

The week in fundie . . .

  1. Religion as child abuse: members of a religious cult known as the Grail Movement kept a seven-year-old boy “chained in a closet as relatives hacked off pieces of his flesh to eat.” The Grail Movement makes the Manson family sound like the Hanson family: in 2000, its spiritual leader Jiří Adam “had his followers sign all their property over to him and forced the women into hard labor on at least two of his properties.” Detectives compared the victims to Auschwitz inmates. (Via Pharyngula)
  2. Anti-gay activist and quack Paul Cameron is in Russia to support the local authorities’ crackdown on gay rights marches, and welcomes the embrace of his ideas by the sociology department at Moscow State University, a school which has

    distributed a brochure to all students that approvingly quotes the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’ blames Freemasons and Zionists for the world wars, and claims that they control U.S. and British policy and the global financial system.

    (Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion)

  3. The Bilerico Project reports on a gay rights supporter who collapsed at a demonstration outside San Francisco’s City Hall–to the cheers of a group of loving Christian anti-gay protestors, one of whom was chanting “Satan Got You!” and “What is the Devil whispering in your ear?” (Via Dispatches From the Culture Wars) Read the rest of this entry »




International Day Against Homophobia

17 05 2008

  1. The loving Christian news website OneNewsNow claims, on the authority of Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, that the Nazis were ruled by a clique of “masculine homosexuals,” ergo gay = Nazi, Nazi = gay, gay gay Nazi, Nazi Nazi gay, gay gay paedophile Nazi, Nazi Nazi paedophile paedophile gay gay.
  2. In California, loving Christian conservative groups the National Organization for Marriage and the Alliance Defense Fund are gearing up to fight the state Supreme Court’s recent ruling legalising same-sex marriage. (AP)
  3. In Moldova, a gay pride parade was thwarted by an alliance of (and I’m sorry to harp on this) loving Christians and neo-fascists, who surrounded and stormed a bus of Pride marchers and shouted “Beat them to death!” and “Don’t let them escape!” while the police stood by and did fuck-all about it. The marchers were trapped inside the bus for hours. (Pink News, Tiraspol Times)
  4. A Canadian study suggests that gay men in Vancouver are “twice as likely as straight men to be victims of violent crime.” (AOL News)
  5. John Heard, self-styled spokesperson for the nation’s gay and lesbian community, asserts that gays want to be discriminated against in marriage law. (Melbourne Herald Sun.) Via An Onymous Lefty
  6. Meanwhile, Jim Wallace of the Australian (loving) Christian Lobby is celebrating the ACT Government’s decision, in the face of Rudd Government bullying, to water down its civil partnerships legislation. (ABC News Online)

By the bye, homosexuality remains a crime throughout the Islamic world, and is punishable by death in Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. It also incurs the death penalty in Bangladesh.

How homophobic are you?





This cloud may have a silver lining (updated twice)

29 04 2008

This is far from being an ideal outcome, but at least it’s a start:

The Federal Government says it will begin introducing legislation next month to remove same-sex discrimination from 100 Commonwealth laws.

The Government says the amendments to end discrimination against same-sex couples will make practical differences, but will not sanction changes to marriage laws.

The move will cover areas like superannuation, tax, health, employment entitlements and aged care.

But Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland says it will not extend to marriage.

“The government believes that marriage is between a man and a woman so it won’t amend the marriage act,” he said.

The government’s position is manifestly unjust, and simply nonsensical in the absence of some appeal to religious dogma (which, this being a secular liberal democracy with a secular liberal democratic constitution, it has no business appealing to). Its moves to end discrimination in other areas of Federal law only serves to highlight how unjust and nonsensical its policy of maintaining discrimination against same-sex couples in marriage laws really is.

Which means, I think, that the days of such discrimination are numbered. Read the rest of this entry »








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