Monday, November 02, 2015

Ben Carson: The Face of aHomophobia

Among the Republican Party base - especially the older elements - it is an unwritten rule that one must oppose same sex marriage and all too often gay rights in general.  These same folks, of course, take great offense at being labeled the bigots they are in fact.  More often than not, they cloak their bigotry in "deeply held religious belief" which in my book equates to being too ignorant and/or too fearful to admit that for their own screwed up psychological reasons, they cannot let go of the fantasy world brainwashing they endured as children.  Symptomatic of this phenomenon is GOP 2016 presidential candidate Ben Carson who played the victim card made the false assertion during last weeks GOP circus debate that opposing same sex marriage doesn't make one a homophobe.  A column in Huffington Post takes Carson to task and bursts his bullshit argument.  Here are column excerpts:

Ben Carson spoke for all those who are swept up by irrational fear and now see themselves as the victims of supposed "enemies" who won't allow those fears to bolster discrimination against people when he said: 
[The gay community] shouldn't automatically assume that because you believe that marriage is between one man and one woman that you are a homophobe. And this is one of the myths that the left perpetrates on our society, and this is how they frighten people and get people to shut up. . . . .

[W]hile there had been a debate in this country about marriage equality for, oh, 25 years or so, it is now the law of the land, after a Supreme Court ruling that decided the freedom to marry exists in the Constitution for every gay and lesbian American. And gay and lesbian people are -- and, for years, have been -- getting married by the thousands all across the country. None of the dire predictions of the anti-gay religious zealots -- of the destruction of society or the downfall of marriage as an institution -- have transpired.

So, if you're opposed to something that is now a right of every American and has been proven in court -- in the federal trial over California's Proposition 8 -- to harm no one, including children, then you do have an irrational fear of homosexuality. And certainly if you're a medical doctor yourself and you're opposed to something that the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association deem normal, natural and healthy and not harmful at all to anyone, then you have an irrational fear of homosexuality. And that is the essence of homophobia - a fear of homosexuality.

Just imagine if, after the Supreme Court ruled in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia, which ended state bans on interracial marriage, that a presidential frontrunner said, "It doesn't make me a racist if I don't support mixed marriages." Imagine if that candidate said such a thing right now. Would we not call that person a racist? 

So, Ben Carson, you are not only a homophobe; you're a bigot, having spewed anti-gay remarks again and again, bizarrely claiming prison turns people gay and standing firm on reckless, hateful comments in which you said homosexuality leads to bestiality and pedophilia.

The fact that you couch the fears in religious beliefs -- or even that those beliefs may have nurtured or even created those fears -- doesn't change anything. Your religion cannot be used to excuse fears that embolden you to discriminate.

The problem is yours, not ours, Dr. Carson. Phobias, you certainly should know as a neurosurgeon, require hard work and psychiatric or psychological counseling to overcome. So, I'd say, "doctor, heal thyself," but, actually, you need to get yourself some help.
Throughout history religion has been used to justify all kinds of horrors.  It is far past time in America that all deference to religious belief cease.  Folks can worship as they wish, but once the step into the public square, the rest of us have no obligation to respect their beliefs - or them.  I'd go a step further and argue that blacks who are homophobes have no basis to complain about racial discrimination.  Bigotry is bigotry and if one is going to say that one form of bigotry is acceptable, then they have no grounds to complain when another form of bigotry is aimed at them.

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