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02/12/2008

Hey opposition: Own your work!

by Jeremy Hooper

Want a simple example of everything that is wrong with the "pro-family" movement? Well look at this brief quote from the Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg, wherein he and the Christianity Today writer associated with the piece are discussing the issue of churches welcoming transgender congregants:

..Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council predicts the transgender faction won't gain ground quickly. "There will be resistance on the part of the public, because many find it shocking and disturbing," Sprigg says. He believes even the most tolerant evangelical congregations may find it difficult to welcome biological males wearing female clothing.

So what we have here is a man and a press outlet who both stand in professional opposition to gay rights leading the witnesses into the outcome they both want. Mr. Sprigg is removing himself from the situation so as to make it sound as if the public innately finds transgender individuals "shocking and disturbing," when the actuality of the situation is that folks on his side of the issue are working day and night to keep it that way. He's not framing it in the truthful terms, which is that he HOPES the public will continue to view not only the T's but also the LGB's negatively. Instead he and Christianity Today are making it sound as if they are mere laymen who are sitting around waiting for the Chips (who used to be Lisas) to fall where they may.

So why do we say this sort of thing exemplifies the "pro-family" movement's problems? Well, because it's an undercurrent of their every socio-political campaign. They want to wash their hands clean of any bias of situations like this, so that they can convince folks that they're the moral ones in these "culture wars." In order to do this, they pass the buck on everything. They say the public is at odds with marriage equality, without addressing that their discrimination propagation is what keeps inequality alive. They position non-discrimination laws as a threat to Christianity, without looking inward at the sort of anti-gay attitudes that they're trying to protect. And on the transgender issue, the jump at every opportunity to stir up fear of the "men in dresses" instead of asking themselves why they feel so threatened. They would never consider listening to actual transgender people and considering that their true-life experiences may hold some credence. No, no -- their mind is made up, and they will work tirelessly to keep others closed off as well (while ignoring their catalytic existence).

If we were talking about how gay bias will be viewed in the future, we would unapologetically project onto the matter our idea that anti-gay attitudes will someday be seen as cruel. However, we would 100% own that this is our hope, the goal towards which we strive every day. There would be no buck-passing pussyfooting. There would be no pretense about the path being out of our hands. We are PROUD of our fight for exactly what it is. The question: Why does the "pro-family" movement insist on burying theirs under layer after layer of bullshit?

Walking a Fine Line [Christianity Today]

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