Skip to comments.The LGBT Center and the 'religious right'
Posted on 04/07/2006 8:39:58 AM PDT by Unam Sanctam
Last Tuesday, the LGBT Center sponsored a panel discussion, "The Religious Right's Obsession with Gay Sex." We supposed that the pejorative title was meant to draw attention but hoped that the presentations would at least begin with a fair exposition of the views of religious conservatives on homosexual conduct and identity. We expected the sort of free and evenhanded intellectual exchange befitting an event sponsored by an official University administrative office intended for the whole University community. We were spectacularly disappointed.
Our criticisms have nothing to do with the panel's topic. It is an important one and that's precisely why the one-sided selection of panelists, their parody of the "Religious Right" and the missed opportunity for a serious discussion were particularly disheartening.
The panel included:
Depictions of a Focus on the Family conference on homosexuality, concluding with a rapid litany of the "Religious Right's" supposed motives: "It's about misogyny ... fear of sexuality ... Christian nationalism ... "
Stories of "therapy for same-sex attractions": One panelist shared his own story and recounted a story of a woman taking her five-year-old son to therapy for liking the color red. Another story included a man dragging his son to counseling in handcuffs apparently meant to imply that anyone questioning the origins or permanence of same-sex attractions is fanatical or violent.
Assertions that pesky Christian marital "restrictions" like monogamy and permanence merely derive from a "theology" of fixation on human sperm, devoid of any focus on relationships (and supposedly championed by Pope John Paul II). When asked during Q&A how this simplistic characterization squared with the pope's richly relational view of marital sex as a self-gift so emulative of God's inner life as to be a form of worship, the panelist fired back: "Well, he still had all those restrictions!" In other words, "restrictions" couldn't possibly be intended to protect and serve real flesh-and-blood relationships.
The last speaker came closest to the tone and content befitting a university panel. Warning against viewing social conservatives as "bizarre" or "subhuman," he revealed that he even "has meals with people on the far right." But without live conservatives there to engage in debate, he instead highlighted the need for the LGBT community to foster intellectual honesty, transparency and courage.
If only our LGBT Center had heeded his advice.
The issues raised by the panel demand serious attention, not mischaracterizations, slander or propaganda. For a fair discussion on the "Religious Right's" views on gay sex no need for the sensationalist "obsession" in the title why didn't the LGBT Center invite scholars and civic leaders who hold those views? Wouldn't the whole Princeton community LGBT members included have been better served by learning the actual opinions of religious conservatives from articulate, educated, respected representatives, presented along with the LGBT community's critique and response?
LGBT members rightly protest when critics offer caricatures of their motives and arguments. But the intellectual virtue of reciprocity indispensable to a university requires that they, in turn, fairly and accurately represent their critics' views. Fairness demands that actual critics be invited to speak in their own voice. There are plenty of people qualified to do so. We suggest that the LBGT Center invite Fr. Paul Scalia, the chaplain of the COURAGE ministry to Christians who experience same-sex attractions and Christopher West, a scholar of the late pope's "Theology of the Body," which panelists found so gloomily restrictive, as future lecturers.
But Tuesday's panel was no isolated event. Anyone familiar with the Center's calendar of events would notice the pattern. Should the LGBT Center have partisan political, moral now even theological positions and agendas? Its mission statement reads: "The LGBT Center is by, for and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, intersex, questioning and ally members of the Princeton University community." Later, however, the LGBT Center claims to serve "through educational ... programming ... the entire campus community." One would hope that the LGBT Center could be "by, for and about" the whole University including those who do not share their ideology but still seek to learn about LGBT issues.
The mission also includes "advocating for the needs and concerns of LGBT students." We hope that this includes students with same-sex attractions who, having evaluated the actual arguments on the competing sides, commit themselves to lives of chastity and desire support in living up to their commitment. Will the LGBT Center support them? Tuesday's panelists belittled these LGBT students and their views.
The LGBT Center should be nonpartisan in its scope and service. We respectfully ask that the ideological bias manifested by last week's panel be addressed and request that the LGBT Center serve the whole University community by facilitating genuine understanding of the various views on LGBT issues. Sponsoring events that fairly and respectfully represent conservative moral views, both religious and secular, would be a good way to start.
Sherif Girgis '08 is a sophomore from Dover, Del. He can be reached at email@example.com. Ryan Anderson '04 is the Ministry Coordinator of the Aquinas Institute, Princeton University's Roman Catholic chaplaincy. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These people are disgusting. What a waste of time.
What about the gays' obsession with conservatives?
I thought this thread was about a restaurant selling ice cream to Christians.
I need to learn current abbreviations, since I had no clue that LGBT is.
What about the gays' obsession with ramming their agenda down conservatives' throats?
"The love that dare not speak its name is now the love that won't STFU."
Here is the Victory Fund financial cofounded by David Mixner.
Page 25 specifically says The Gay & Lesbian Fund provides financial support to openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender candidates and officials.
What, or perhaps we should ask who, drives these people on their obsessive hatred of Christians and Christian values?
I guess that could be seen as a rhetorical question.
This was very a thoughtful opinion piece.
I've had people tell me what traditional Christians believe. Oddly, are they shocked to notice that I am one, that I study my religion seriously, and that I am not afraid to correct their myth-making.
It's almost as though they believe that all traditional Christians live in 4 or 5 counties in Georgia and require a visa to enter any cities with a population over 10,000.
It would do academia some good to get out more.
There is a lot of obsessin' goin' on out there about Christians and whether or not queers and their supporters can intimidate and outlaw all those incorrect folks.
No one would give a hoot about gay sex if they did not lie and try to promote it as healthy and bother other people's kids with it. Adult sex is best kept private but if it is not, that is aggression and there will be conflict. That is why taboos against public sex evolved in civilized society - to minimize aggression and conflict. Gays are aggressive and want conflict. They are just suprised they got it.
"When a person has known the truth and discarded it , they are often angry because they are not strong enough to do what they know to be right,
and don't want any reminders. You and I are sometimes that reminder. Thus we are resented by them."
The "Religious Right" are not the ones trying to define new classes and invent new rights based on who one chooses to take to bed. It is the homosexual activists such as those in the GLBT that continue to make this an issue.
Then you have the attacks on the Boy Scouts and on Christians in business who are forced to offer benefits, services and things that violate their own conscience. And then you have the effort to redefine marriage and society, even the Bible and theology.
Also, there is the issue of the logic leap that homosexual sex is some kind of normal. It clearly is not. Some people do not so easily succumb to the social pressure to deny what they see and know to be true and replace it with an absurdity based on emotion and depravity.
footnote: It USED to be GLBT but there were talkshows which were using the name "GiLBerT" as a code to ridicule the homoadvocates and homo-recruiters in the schools.
So for purposes of propaganda they switched the G and L.
I used to think GLBT meant "great lettuce, bacon and tomato", as in sandwich.
The left is not interested in intellectual debate - the strategy is to either outlaw the opposition, or not invite them.
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