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21

Mar

2007

The New Eugenics: Theofascism in America
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 17:14
by Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.

On March 2, 2007, Rev. R. Albert Mohler, the ninth president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, published an article titled “Is Your Baby Gay? What If You Could Know? What If You Could Do Something About It?”

Mohler implicitly acknowledged that sexual orientation has a genetic component and/or is hormonally determined prior to birth, but he looks forward to the day when medical science can change that:

If a biological basis is found, and if a prenatal test is then developed, and if a successful treatment to reverse the sexual orientation to heterosexual is ever developed, we would support its use as we should unapologetically support the use of any appropriate means to avoid sexual temptation and the inevitable effects of sin…

In Mohler’s twisted thinking homosexuality is God’s punishment – selectively applied – for “original sin.” Now, he wants to use the sciences of genetic engineering and hormone therapy to repent for the “sin” of Adam and Eve.

Myth and science are not good bedfellows: if God created only Adam and Eve then, using Mohler’s literal reading of Genesis, brothers and sisters must have procreated with each other. Not a good idea, genetically speaking. Meanwhile, science has dismissed – absolutely – the possibility that the same two people could possibly have provided the genetic diversity necessary to account for Earth’s human population.

Moreover, biblical literalists have repeatedly argued against any pre-natal meddling with a fetus, claiming that whatever the fetus was, was its God-given birthright. Funny how that thinking changes so radically when it comes to gay people. Mohler’s “genetic cleansing” proposal is nothing less than a twenty-first century theofascist program of eugenics, which isn’t restricted to eliminating gays and lesbians.


Mohler wants “the church” to compel marriage even when it’s against an individual’s wishes and to enforce procreation even when it’s against a couple’s wishes: “The church should insist that the biblical formula is: Adulthood means marriage, and marriage means children. … Scripture does not give [heterosexual] couples the option of choosing childlessness.”

Rev. Mohler expanded on his views in an article about “Married Couples Who Won’t Have Children”:

Modern Americans are determined not only to liberate sex from marriage, and not only to separate sex from the realities of male and female, but to liberate sex from procreation.

This rebellion against parenthood is nothing less than an absolute revolt against God’s design. The Scripture points to barrenness as a great curse and children as a divine gift. …

“Make love, not babies” expresses a worldview the Scripture rejects. Marriage, sex, and children are part of one package. To deny any part of this wholeness is to reject God’s intention in creation — and his mandate revealed in the Bible. You can’t make love (though you can have sex) if you refuse to make babies.

Step 1. Eradicate homosexuals in utero.

Step 2. Compel “good Christians” to produce as many soldiers for Christ – and the theofascist State – as possible.

Chris Hedges, author of American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, probed the pathology of theofascism in “For the Christian Right, Gay-Hating Is Just the Start”:

These attacks [against gays] mask a sinister agenda that has nothing to do with sexuality. It has to do with power. The radical Christian right – the most dangerous mass movement in American history – has built a binary worldview of command and submission wherein male leaders, who cannot be questioned and claim to speak for God, are in control and all others must follow. Any lifestyle outside the traditional model of male and female is a threat to this hierarchical male power structure. … The lifestyle of gays and lesbians is intolerable to the Christian right because its existence is a threat to the movement’s chain of command, one they insist was ordained by God.

This hypermasculinity, which crushes the independence and self-expression of women, is a way for men in the movement to compensate for the curtailing of their own independence, their blind obedience to church authorities and the calls for sexual restraint. The images of Jesus often show him with thick muscles, clutching a sword. Christian men are portrayed as powerful warriors. …

The unspoken truth is that Christian men are required to have a personal, loving relationship with a male deity and surrender their will to a male-dominated authoritarian church. The submission to church authority is a potent form of emasculation. It entails a surrendering of conscience and personal control and deadens emotions and feelings. Glorified acts of force and violence against outsiders, against nonbelievers, compensate for this unquestioning submission.

Among those stirring the submissive flock is Ed Vitagliano, the American Family Association “researcher” who initiated the holy inquisition against that insidious purveyor of homosexuality, SpongeBob SquarePants. He continues to vomit selected biblical passages to further inflame the theofascist “mind” and incite the sheeple to “manly” action, ad majorem gloriam Dei:

Under such circumstances, great courage is required. This may very well be why the Book of Revelation – which, after all, pictures God’s people living in a hostile cultural environment – strongly emphasizes overcoming (2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7); and why, in Revelation 21:8, cowardice is considered to be as wicked as sorcery, idolatry and murder – and, in fact, is put at the top of the list.

Hitler used the Bible to rally his version of “God’s people.” As Mr. Hedges noted, “The Nazis also used ‘values’ to launch state repression of opponents. Hitler, days after he took power in 1933, imposed a ban on all homosexual organizations. … The stripping of these Germans’ civil rights was largely cheered by the public and the German churches.”

Rev. Mel White, founder of Soulforce, applied this familiar fascist pattern to the agenda and goals of America’s Christian Right:

What frightens me most are gay people who don’t understand what’s happening and who are unwilling to take a stand. … Once they [the Christian Right] take away our rights they’re going to start wanting to register us … Quarantine comes next, along with taking away our children, the children we’ve adopted. They will take away the partnership rights the corporations put in place, because they can put pressure on the corporations. My bleakest description is that we’ll not only be driven back into our closets, but we’ll have to leave the country. Right now, we have to leave the state of Virginia, because of the law that says we can’t have any agreements, or any contracts, or any powers of attorney that represent marriage. So every gay person who has a business here lives in fear.

The campaign is already well under way. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition has long been lobbying to deny the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans. Chairman Sheldon has also suggested putting gays and those afflicted with HIV/AIDS in concentration camps he euphemistically called “cities of refuge.” On March 19, 2007 James Dobson’s CitizenLink newsletter issues a “call to action.” The goal: rally the flock to defeat a New Mexico bill that “would grant homosexual couples the same rights, protections and benefits as spouses. These include child support, divorce proceedings, property and insurance rights” [italics added]. Focus on the Family regularly campaigns against the children of certain families.

All the organizations of the Christian Right crusade against gays and lesbians being allowed to adopt and/or serve as foster parents. Don Wildmon of the American Family Association is notorious for launching boycotts against any company that treats its gay and lesbian employees equally or gives them partnership benefits. And as Rev. White noted, Virginia – the home of Thomas Jefferson – has already negated gays’ and lesbians’ rights to convey their estates as they wish. Ironically, it was Jefferson who wrote “History…furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government.”

To be sure, there are sane voices in the religious community, such as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu, who recently compared the current campaigns against gays to what black people suffered under South Africa’s apartheid: “To penalize someone because of their sexual orientation is like what used to happen to us; to be penalized for something which we could do nothing [about] – our ethnicity, our race … I would find it quite unacceptable to condemn, persecute a minority that has already been persecuted.”

Nevertheless, America’s theofascists are intent on condemning and persecuting a minority for simply being. Perhaps it’s the only way these impotent bullies can feel “manly.”
 
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a guest said:

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Canaires in the Coal Mine...
I think we've all learned enough (or should have) from fascist regimes to know to watch how certain minorities, especially homosexuals (or "homosexualists," to use Vidal's more accurate terminology) are treated. Immigrants, too. In the US, Jews, like myself, are not so far up the line in canary terms, but I didn't lose chunks of my family in WWII to shrink like a coward when ANY group -- Muslim, gays, what-have-you -- are threatened. Aside from the innate immorality of such bashing in a supposedly (yes, I know) free country, anyone with two working neurons and an ounce of courage -- or just enlightened self-interest -- should realize that after the canaries come the rest.
 
March 22, 2007
Votes: +0

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