The New 'Friendlier Face' of Conservatism Is an Old-School Homophobe
Continued from previous page
"Homosexuality = alcoholism." "Let's assume, as I believe most people do, that homosexuality is not a choice,” Dreher wrote. “Given that premise, is it an immutable, morally neutral condition (like race)? Or is it an immutable, morally deficient condition (like alcoholism) that can be accomodated [sic] to some degree by law and custom, but which has no civil rights claims?” He continued: “The view of gay rights activists and their supporters is the first option; the view of traditional religious believers” -- among whom Mr. Dreher counts himself -- “is the second.”
“Purpose-driven hissy fit.” When it was announced that Rick Warren, a noted opponent of gays and gay rights, would speak at Barack Obama’s first presidential inauguration, activists recoiled. “The narcissism of some gays really knows no bounds,” responded Dreher, who accused activists of living in a “spiteful little bubble.”
“Repulsive.” In July 2006, after George Michael was accused of engaging in anonymous public sex, Dreher used the incident to tar gays at large. “[W]hat are the rest of us supposed to think,” he asked, “about gay male culture, and the degree to which it self-defines according to behavior that most people rightly find repulsive?” It should go without saying Dreher produced no evidence that gays “self-define” according to enthusiasm for sex in public places any more, or less, than straights.
“Moral order.” Commenting on a story about the near-slaughter of a Texas family, Dreher said what was really shocking was the presence of bisexuals in the small town: “From my point of view, both [murder and bisexuality] are violations of the moral order."
”Hetero activities.” In 2007, an Australian hotel catering to gays won the right to exclude straights and women. Dreher, riffing on the story, wondered why it wasn’t okay for gays to be similarly shut out. When a reader complained, he replied that “there's an offensive inconsistency of gays demanding full access to hetero activities/places (to the point of filing a lawsuit), while also demanding the right to exclude heteros from gay activities/places[.]” Edroso saw the absurdity in Dreher’s argument, noting, “Similarly, it's offensively inconsistent for women to demand full access to male preserves -- such as barrooms, political clubs, and many other organizations were, once upon a time -- while also demanding the right to all-chick domains such as Curves Fitness Centers, ladies' rooms, etc, from which hiding places they no doubt plot man-bashing jihad!”
“Gay McCarthyism.” In 2000, Dr. Laura Schlessinger sought to parlay her success in radio into a syndicated talk show and was met with opposition from the gay community, offended by her description of homosexuality as “a biological error that inhibits you from relating normally to the opposite sex" and "deviant behavior, a dysfunctional behavior." The resulting were denounced by Dreher as “ gay McCarthyism” (a particularly odious label because Joseph McCarthy went after homosexuals), “the death of free speech” and “un-American.”
To be sure, relative to the late Jerry Falwell or Jesse Helms or the still-breathing Tony Perkins, Rod Dreher’s distaste for gays is subtle. You will not catch him publically tossing around faggot or queer. But the intolerance is very real, and the purpose seems to be always to undercut homosexuals. There isn’t another way to interpret Dreher’s belief that gays are less than “fully human,” that being gay means “the death of the soul,” that homosexuality is synonymous with alcoholism, and that bisexuality is a “violation of the moral order.” Just keep that in mind over the coming months as Dreher continues his media blitz. He is not a nice guy.