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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Anatomy of Hate Speech: Randall Harp Edition

by @ 11:47 am. Filed under hate speech, Joe's Rants

I wasn’t going to address this article written by the husband of anti-gay Christian writer, Stacy Harp. I think it mostly contains the same ole same old claims that have been refuted a dozen times over. He starts off with the explanation of the Sally Kern issue and tries his best to spin the logic. I don’t think he managed to make his case but that is because his case can’t be made. Sally Kern advocates violence whether intended or not and no matter how you spin it.

The major premise that Mr. Harp is trying to make is that the Gay Agenda is somehow separate from gays and lesbians as a class of people. Randall claims that the gay agenda isn’t the people as a class, but the strategy they are using to gain acceptance of their lives. He uses the gun lobby as an example. I call this idea short sighted and blind.

Randall writes:

In reality, “the homosexual agenda” does not mean gays and lesbians everywhere anymore than “the gun lobby” is synonymous with everyone who owns a firearm. In my estimation, the warning was not about a class of people, but a specific strategy being employed at several levels.

The gun lobby is searching for rights for something outside themselves. GLBT folks are seeking rights for their lives. The gun lobby wants laws to affect an object, whereas GLBT seek laws that affect human beings. The differences between them are so different that to compare them is to compare apples to the people who eat them. The gay agenda is about people not things. If Mr. Harp cannot see this huge difference, I am afraid of him and anyone else who cannot see the difference.

Randall continues with the privacy argument which again is short sighted and minimizing of the real issues at hand. Randall writes:

Now, I tend to lean a bit libertarian when it comes to personal endeavors. What someone does in the privacy in their bedroom is their own deal. If you want to do something with a consenting adult, a magazine, or a picnic table, I’d rather not know about it. That’s your business. If it was a matter of giving people their privacy, I’d be down with that – but there are radical activists pushing an agenda – not just about personal preferences – but a social revolution that entails silencing any opposition.

I always feel irritated when I read the whole “what you do in your bedroom thing” because it minimizes the whole scope of this dialogue down to a sex act. If Randall really thinks GLBT relationships boil down to what happens in the bedroom, I would fear his ability to empathize and understand other’s lives must be seriously impaired. This entire debate is about what happens outside of the bedroom. It is about what happens in the emergency room when our families are sick, what happens when we write up the car insurance policy or in whose name we can put the house. If this entire argument could be minimized to what happen in bed it would have ended many years ago. I would ask Randall, does your marriage simplify down to sex?

Randall then moves on with the whole “indoctrination” thing. He expresses his disapproval that we advocate teaching children from a young age that homosexuality is normal. He calls this teaching indoctrination because that is the current word of the party. Randall is towing the party line. I can’t really argue anything here, other than Randall and I disagree. I believe that we need to start teaching children from a young age that homosexuality is normal. Randall believes this is indoctrination. Our beliefs differ, so be it.

After this, Randall moves on to the scare tactics and fear factors. He brings up the homosexual agenda and lewd pride parades. I find this tactic, not just from Randall, but all anti-gay writers to be intellectually dishonest. Randall writes:

The “homosexual agenda” is about more than school curricula. It’s about lewd displays in “pride parades”, and placing activists at every level of government to ensure that gender is transitory and self-determined, and that one’s sexual preference is not simply tolerated (in the true sense of the word), but mainstream and celebrated in every place of society. Unfortunately, the only way to accomplish this “utopia” – where “breeders” (heterosexuals) are minimized – is to silence, marginalize, or prosecute anyone who does not embrace the same vision. Certainly, the promoters of this agenda are going to deny that such an agenda exists. A used car salesman is not going to tell you about the techniques he is using to sell you a car, nor many a politician tell you what they are hoping to gain by certain concessions.

Randall is careful to include scary stuff about pride parades and lewd behavior. I roll my eyes each time I hear these arguments because the same things could be said of heterosexuals but rarely are. The lewd behaviors of a small minority of gays are no more a part of the “gay agenda” then the small minority of people who strip at Mardi Gras or get filmed in a Girls Gone Wild video from Spring Break are a part of heterosexuals. I find it dishonest that Randall brings this murky stuff because the only intent of mentioning it is to invoke fear and disgust of GLBT folks. Sadly, such things are good at invoking both and the result is always dehumanizing.

He goes on with the “breeders” comment, and the silencing arguments all of which fail miserably under closer scrutiny, but are good at invoking fear and defensive attitudes. He also makes the claim that people say there is no gay agenda. I would agree with that. There is no gay agenda, there are several agendas and the end result of all of them is fair treatment of human beings with same sex attractions.

Randall then trends some dangerous ground comparing the “gay agenda” to carbon monoxide, known as the silent killer. He thinks this is okay, but it is not. He tries desperately to justify his own comments by saying he “knows gay people”, well I am sure many a KKK member knew blacks and Jews, that didn’t make anything, okay. The whole “its okay if I bash this group of people cause I know a few” is bogus.

Randall also claims that he does think people should define themselves by their sexual “preference” and I don’t know anyone who does. I have yet to meet anyone in my life gay or straight who has made a choice to be gay or straight. People have a “preference” for a flavor of ice cream, not their sexual orientation. The fact Randall even uses the word “preference” causes doubt in my mind about his claim of understanding this issue.

Lastly, the comment that made me sit down and write this is this:

“I do not advocate violence, but careful attention and diligence to preserve a world in which those who are willing to get along, can get along. Be watchful.”

Randall, the words “I do not advocate violence” should never, ever be followed by the word “but” or it says you do advocate violence. There is no “but” when it comes to this one. Either you do or you don’t. To say there is a “but” is to say there are times when violence is called for and I disagree with you. Violence should never be an answer, period.

When you create a call to action that some group is indoctrinating children, engaging in lewd behavior and taking over the government and media, you are creating a fear that people should defend themselves against said group.

You cannot run around the village screaming the gays are after the children, the gays are taking over; the gays are going to silence us, we must stop this before like a silent killer, they get us, etc…And then act surprised when someone acts violently towards us. I am not sure how you don’t see this, but I guess somehow you don’t.

I would ask you to start rethinking your strategy before you ask us to rethink ours.

One Response to “Anatomy of Hate Speech: Randall Harp Edition”

  1. lightofdawn Says:

    I happened to read that post as well, and like you, it was a lot of the same stuff. Until I read the “but” comment, that is scary stuff.

    When some adds a ‘but’ to a sentence that means that they leave room for the earlier comment to have exceptions, it in essence, nixing what was earlier said. Sad stuff.


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