Homo / Religion
Pat Robertson's Insulting Theory On The Origins of Homosexuality
by Dan Savage
on Tue, Jun 9, 2009 at 2:28 PM
It's not an insult to gays and lesbians. It's an insult to Christians.
This video clip is making the rounds of the gay blogs: Pat Robertson is "not at all persuaded" that there's a biological basis for homosexuality. Shocker. Robertson concedes that there may be a few gay men out there who were born that way—"biological problems"—but Robertson "advises" the mother of a gay son that her son identifies as gay because he was raped by an authority figure:
Boys are "made homosexual," Robertson says, "because of a coach or a guidance counselor or some other male figure... abused them."
As a thought experiment let's concede the point: homosexuals are made, not born (with the exception of the few of us with "biological problems"). Who do you suppose is making homosexuals out of kids from fundamentalist Christian homes? Alen Keyes has a gay kid, Randal Terry has a gay kid, Dick Cheney has a gay kid, Phyllis Schafley has a gay kid. Seattle's Capitol Hill is crawling with gay teenagers and young adults who grew up in—and escaped from—their fundamentalist Christian homes. The documentary For the Bible Tells Me So profiles numerous kids from fundamentalist Christian families who grew up to be gay.
Who's raping all these Christian kids?
Not openly gay people. Fundamentalist Christian parents don't allow their children hang out with openly gay men and women. Openly gay men do not get hired to work as a guidance counselors at fundamentalist Christian middle schools; out lesbians do not get hired to work as coaches at a fundamentalist Christian high schools; openly bi graduate students don't get to serve as dorm captains at fundamentalist Christian colleges. So it isn't out gay men and women—openly gay coaches and counselors and youth pastors—who are raping all these Christian kids and leaving them "confused" about their sexualities. Most fundamentalist Christian kids have never met an out gay or lesbian person. Which can only mean...
All these Christian kids are being raped by straight-identified, nominally-Christian coaches and counselors and youth pastors and dorm captains.
If you buy into Robertson's theories on origins of homosexuality then you have to embrace a highly unflattering picture of Christian America. If Pat is right then all those fundamentalist Christian churches, schools, counseling programs, and summer camps—the whole parallel Christian universe—are teeming with sexual predators. That Christian day care center? An extremely dangerous environment for children. That Christian summer camp? The hunting grounds of countless child rapists. That youth group at the mega-church? Ditto. That football team at a Christian high school? No responsible parent would let her child try out for one.
Christian America: a bad place to raise your kids.
UPDATE: Some folks in comments have pointed out that Christian kids could wander off and be raped by, say, a gay secular humanist who runs the local Dairy Queen or comic book shop. But the examples cited by Robertson were of authority figures to whose control Christian parents might entrust their children, i.e. counselors, coaches, etc. Children being raised in the Parallel Christian Universe—home schoolers, mega-church parishioners, fundy college applicants—don't have non-Christian authority figures. No pagan soccer coaches, no openly-gay school counselors. If these fundy Christian kids are "made homosexual" when they're raped by authority figures, they're being raped by Christians.