Monday, January 18, 2010

Charge It to Pat Robertson

     It costs the club about $1 to pick up each 800 call, so pass on the word to call in.  A million calls costs them a million dollars, and that is a million dollars less that they have to spend on spreading the gospel according to hatred and bigotry.

     I just called and expressed my disgust.  The saccharine voice on the phone tried to paint Mr. Robertson as the victim of a media slur-campaign, which is laughable, as Roberson has been slurring others for years, scapegoating those different from himself as the cause of the ills in the world.  Remember, it was we gays, feminists, pagans, etc. who support the separation of church and state that, according to Robertson and Falwell, caused 9/11.  Who knew we had so much power?

     One of the most scarring events that I experienced in my teens was seeing Pat Robertson on television "exorcising" the "gay demons" from a teenage boy, who had been sexually abused by an adult male.  Having myself been a victim of sexual abuse by a trusted adult male, I was horrified.  The result was a deepening of my two-fold shame: the shame I had for being gay, which I'd known since my earliest sexual attractions around age five, and the shame I had for having been sexually abused.  The archaic and hateful comments of Mr. Robertson were nearly as damaging to me as the original abuse and contributed to my psychological disassociation adding another lock to my closet.

     One would think that after over a century of scientific and psychological advances in being able to better understand the natural diversity of the human condition, that views like Robertson's would be viewed as the antiquated, bigoted, ignorant, hate speech that they are.  But that is not the case. 

     Robertson's gay-infection theory is what has been used to get same sex couples stripped of their marriage rights in various states and is what the proponents of Proposition 8 are arguing in federal court as I write this post.  These ignorant and blatantly anti-scientific minds claim the generations-old myth that homosexuals are out to "recruit" children, whom they will sexually abuse and "convert" to homosexuality.  

     Here is testimony from Perry vs. Schwarzenegger from William Tam, one of the original proponents and leaders that put Prop 8 on the 2008 ballot.  

     Prop 8 Trail Tracker reports:
     The court also viewed video footage from the deposition of William Tam. Tam is one of the five Official Proponents of Prop. 8, and as such was personally responsible for putting it on the ballot and for intervening in this case to take over the defense of the initiative.
     The video footage of his deposition included statements from Tam such as this one, from a pro-Prop. 8 email he wrote: “They lose no time in pushing the gay agenda — after legalizing same-sex marriage, they want to legalize prostitution. What will be next? On their agenda list is: legalize having sex with children.”

     The American Foundation for Equal Rights reports:
     Video of Tam’s deposition, which was taken on Dec. 1, 2009, was shown in court today [1/13/10].
     Question: “And it is your understanding that part of the gay agenda is legalizing underage sex?”
     Answer: “Right.” (Page 43 of deposition)
     It is people like Tam and Robertson do immeasurable damage upon children, not  homosexuals.  Religious people need to realize that when they support a campaign, such as Prop 8, that they are enabling the hateful bigotry that is in large part responsible for the pain and anguish of homosexual children and adults. 

     Thankfully, I eventually started talking about the abuse that I'd endured and the dark fear that I was somehow "infected" with homosexuality.  I even had one counselor, who came highly recommended by a closeted and sexually abusive priest still in good standing in the Catholic church, who echoed Robertson's ignorance.  Thankfully, I was smart enough after six months of his outdated rhetoric to leave his "care" and seek a new counselor.

     I will never forget the day, two years later, when I finally admitted to a different counselor, who was one of the  healthier priests I've ever known, that I was afraid I was destined to abuse children because of having been sexually abused myself.  When the words finally came out of my mouth, my body began to shake violently.  I sobbed uncontrollably, frightened that he would affirm my darkest fear.  But, he was on the side of scientific evidence, not the homophobic ignorance of bigots like Robertson, and he gently counseled me out of my PTSD and into the truth that I was a healthy, well-adjusted, and fine gay man, laying to rest the homophobic "demons" that Pat Robertson had long ago implanted in my fearful, bleeding, and abused childhood psyche.