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10/22/2007

Higgins' version of truth: Stranger than fiction

by Jeremy Hooper

9Ee462E89Da0C80F4A5F3110.LIn response to J.K. Rowling's revelation that she intended for her Dumbledore character to be gay, Peter LaBarbera has turned his Americans For Truth site over to our favorite gay-unfriendly teacher, Laurie Higgins. And in an opinion piece on the subject, Higgins says the following:

In case you haven’t heard, J.K. Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter series, just announced before a large audience of fans at Carnegie Hall that one of the most beloved characters in the book, Dumbledore, is homosexual. Now some perhaps many of the children who love this character will feel ambivalent about regarding homosexuality as deeply sinful. Young children, adolescents, and even many adults fall victim to the specious syllogistic reasoning that goes something like 1. Kindness is good, 2. Homosexuals are kind, 3. Therefore, homosexuality is good. It is clearly a faulty syllogism, and yet it’s wildly successful.

The “gay” manifesto After the Ball written in 1989 describes a number of strategies to be used to transform cultural views of homosexuality, one of which is “conversion” (how very darkly ironic). The authors Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen write that “In Conversion, we mimic the natural process of stereotype learning, with the following effect: we take the bigot’s good feelings about all-right guys, and attach them to the label ‘gay,’ either weakening or, eventually, replacing his bad feelings toward
the label and the prior stereotype.” Whether Rowling is aware of this process or not, she is employing it.

Uhm, okay. Let's stop right here. For Ms. Higgins has already delved into a bizzaro world of her own imagination, in which people like J.K. inject gay life into the consciousness not because of their own artistic choices or desires to convey a certain story, but rather because of some sort of "agenda." Higgins states that Rowling is employing this process whether she is aware of it or not. But on what grounds to she have to make this statement about the author?! Oh, that's right -- on no rational basis whatsoever!

We have seen social conservatives cite "After The Ball" literally hundreds of times, acting as if it is a book that we gays and their allies are handed on the day that they decide to support equality. They make it sound as if every single sympathetic gay character the comes to light was borne from the pages of this 1989 tome, not from the creators' own experience with gay people. Ms. Higgins is making it sounds as if a gay character can only be kind, compassionate, and lovely if the writer has a goal to corrupt children. This is likely because in the story directed by her socially conservative team, gays are only cast villains or sufferers of a cruel fate.

She goes on to say:

This is one of the most significant problems with repeated exposure to positive portrayals of homosexuals in films, television show, plays, novels, textbooks, and speakers. Unsophisticated thinkers come to believe that somehow good behaviors or traits are inherently exculpatory in regard to others. But we should no more say that the sin of homosexuality is effaced by a homosexual’s compassion, generosity, or good humor than we would say that a polygamist’s sin is effaced my his compassion, generosity, or good humor.

The movement is afoot to include positive portrayals of homosexuals and the transgendered in all textbooks from kindergarten on up. I have no objections to textbooks including the important invention or discovery of a homosexual or transgender person so long as their homosexuality or transgenderism is not mentioned. To mention it suggests that somehow their deviant sexual impulses are connected or relevant to their discovery, invention, or contribution to learning. And supporters of subversive sexuality know this. They know that associating the deviant sexual orientation or identity with something positive will irrationally transform society’s perception of the deviant sexuality. Concerned citizens must strenuously oppose the identification of the sexual orientation or sexual identity of figures discussed in textbooks.

And again, this is a false setup. She makes it sound as if Rowling and other authors are trying to say that a character's sexuality automatically makes them perfect specimens of humanity whose action are deeds are above reproach. We're not exactly sure what sort of gay characters Ms. Higgins has been consuming, but in our entertainment pantheon, nothing could be further from the truth. We have seen LGBT people of all stripes appear in the various forms of media, because there are LGBT people of all stripes that appear in life! But these characters tend to have real problems, real issues, and multi-faceted lives of which their orientations (just like their straight counterparts) is merely one facet. By making her revelation about Dumbledore, Ms. Rowling is only providing the reader with an extra layer that was always present in her mind. There is absolutely no reason to assume that she's asking readers to support or even condone his fictional gayness. She, as thee character's guiding voice, is just telling it like it truly is!

It probably does seem to someone who holds a gay-unfriendly world view that LGBT people are portrayed more humanistically in this modern age. That's because for decades, they were portrayed as offensive caricatures, broad stereotypes, and victims of a cruel fate. If the latter is the message that you want to send to the children of the world, then you probably do regret the positive turn that society has taken towards more well-rounded portrayals. TOUGH SH*T! We regret the fact that the bias that has been fostered by folks like Ms. Higgins and Mr. Labarbera has led to a disgusting lack of respect for our lives and loves!

Higgins goes on to make one final claim:

Another problematic way by which cultural values are being transformed is through the exposure to the stories of suffering shared by homosexuals and those who experience the psychological disorder of transgenderism. It is not uncommon in public high schools for LGBT (lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) students to share their stories of suffering with their peers. The result is that children, teens, and even adults who, of course, do not want to increase the suffering of others, retreat from making moral judgments. In so doing, they fail to make the critical distinction between suffering that results from harassment or abuse, and discomfort that results from an encounter with reasonable judgments about morality.

Parents and concerned taxpayers must be aware of and oppose these kinds of manipulative stratagems.

And this is perhaps the most ridiculous of all of her claims, as it deals with real-life portrayals. Does Ms. Higgins want LGBT students to lie and say that they are treated respectfully so as to not garner sympathy from their heterosexual peers? Does she want those same straight kids to further mock and scoff at the gay kid who has just poured his or her heart out? Who knows? But what we do know is that one's moral outlooks should absolutely be culled from real-life experiences and dealings with fellow humans. And if heterosexual students are left questioning whether or not it is morally right of them to tease, bully, or harass their gay peers, then perhaps they should listen to their consciences rather than the learned biases that have been passed on to them by a previous generation!

The "manipulative stratagem" at play is the one employed by our opposition, who are desperately trying to stem the tide of gay acceptance. Homosexuality comes naturally. Accepting homosexuality comes naturally. And as has always been the case with our fight, people like Laurie Higgins are making preposterous assertions in order to muddy the waters of that simple truth. For shame, Ms. Higgins.

Q & A: Harry Potter Author J.K. Rowling’s ‘Gay’ Dumbledore Announcement Manipulates Children [AFT]

**UPDATE, 10/23: Rowling to world: Get the f*** over it! [G-A-Y]

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Your thoughts

I've gone 'round with her before and I think she's slipping a bit. She worked in the part about homosexual sin, morality and polygamy, but she never got around to her other favorite: bestiality.

Maybe she was just in a hurry.

Posted by: dr haber | Oct 22, 2007 5:13:54 PM

What part of the word "fiction" does she not understand? Oh, I forgot, making up "truth" is not an act of fiction writing.

Posted by: Bob Miller | Oct 22, 2007 6:13:56 PM

"Unsophisticated thinkers come to believe that somehow good behaviors or traits are inherently exculpatory in regard to others. But we should no more say that the sin of homosexuality is effaced by a homosexual’s compassion, generosity, or good humor than we would say that a polygamist’s sin is effaced my his compassion, generosity, or good humor."

(sarcastically) I see - "Unsophisticated thinkers" might think that if a person is gay, compassionate, generous and good humored, that they are, in fact, a good person. They might forget the simple fact that gays are bad, because they're gay and start judging those individuals by their words and actions instead. That would certainly be dangerous!

Posted by: | Oct 22, 2007 8:16:21 PM

Frankly I don't see why anyone is surprised at a gay character at Hogwarts. No one but a gay man can pull off wearing a cloak in the middle of the day!

Posted by: Jamie | Oct 23, 2007 11:57:23 AM

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