Let’s start with a two-fer for my resumption of blogging. Remember when last week, the Pope said, “Who am I to judge?” when talking about whether someone is gay or not? That set off a firestorm amongst conservative circles. And for those who couldn’t tell, World Net Daily is a tad conservative.

We have a pair of articles for this post. One is by WND founder, Joseph Farah, who pens, “Press Celebrates ‘Gay’ Priests.” We also have Scott Lively’s piece, “Where the Pope Gave Ground on ‘Gays.’” I feel it necessary to again point out that WND refuses to simply write the word “gay” without quotes, they must put it in single quotations because it denigrates us even further, simply by grammatical choice.

A bit about the two authors, first. Well, saying that Joseph Farah is the founder of WND from about 20 years ago is enough about him, though Right Wing Watch currently has over 150 articles about him. Meanwhile, Scott Lively is another li’l bigot from “Defend the Family International.” As with most of these, Right Wing Watch is chock full of articles about the guy, but perhaps Lively is most infamous for praising (and pushing for) Uganda’s “kill the gays” (or “kill the ‘gays'”) bill that criminalizes homosexuality to the point that it’s a capital punishment (they kill ’em).

The jist of Farah’s piece is summarized by his second sentence/paragraph: “Wasn’t one of the biggest scandals in the recent history of the Catholic Church the cover-up of an epidemic of molestation of young boys by priests?” And of course that there was no mention of this in the discussion of the Pope’s recent comments. That’s all Farah’s “Commentary” is about, and then you can sign up to get his daily commentaries in your e-mail.

Farah’s pieces generally don’t elicit the number of comments that other authors do. Five days later (again, I’m a bit behind), there are only 53 comments. There’s really not that much unexpected or even interesting or particularly über-bigoted in the comments that’s worth pointing out. It’s bible verses and lamenting the state of the Holy Mother Church today and how it’s not the nice, conservative church of the Spanish Inquisition (ah! the good old days…).

Lively’s piece is more detailed than a simple “gays = pedophiles” commentary. As in, I couldn’t skim it as little as I wanted. It starts out by saying that there’s no such thing as a “Gay Christian:”

The concept of “Gay Christians” originates in sexual-orientation theory, an ideological invention of the homosexual movement designed to advance the idea that homosexuality is “immutable,” meaning unchangeable. It was adopted as a legal and political strategy of the American homosexual movement in the 1980s to try to make homosexuality appear to meet the requirements of civil rights case law. U.S. Supreme Court rulings in that era required members of a group to have “immutable traits” to qualify for minority status under civil rights laws.

Lively’s more “nuanced” approach is based on that point for the rest of his article: That “gay” people in reality don’t exist, but the Pope seems to be recognizing that they do:

Clearly, Pope Francis is NOT endorsing homosexual conduct as so many in the liberal media have dishonestly claimed. He affirms the Catholic Catechism, which is explicit on that point.

My concern is about his use of the phrases “a gay person” and “the fact of that person being gay.” Saying “a gay person,” instead of “a person who struggles with homosexual temptation,” or “a person who defines himself as homosexual” is on its face a major concession to sexual-orientation theory when used by a church leader about Christians.

And his wrap-up paragraph: “I hope I am wrong. I’ll be the first to applaud if Pope Francis clearly shows he does not recognize “gayness” as a legitimate basis for self-identification. At this point, however, the evidence points the other way.”

So Lively’s entire argument – and one that I’ve seen amongst others who are ultra-religious – is that being gay is like a woman choosing to be a blonde for the week. That homosexuality isn’t a thing that’s static, but that it’s a choice. Therefore, if it’s a choice, they can change and be persecuted for that choice, just as we persecute someone who chooses to rob a bank. Same thing in Lively’s mind.

Hey, Scott, when did you “choose” to be straight?

I remember coming out to a high school friend after my first year of college. One question (paraphrased) that he asked me was, “Why would you want to be different?” I responded that it wasn’t a choice, it was who I was. If I wanted to choose to be different from 90-95% of society, then there were much easier ways to do it, like walking on my hands everywhere, or singing everything rather than talking. and I asked him the “when did you choose to be straight?” question. I think that’s the one that gets most thinking people. I may have just committed the informal “No True Scotsman” fallacy there, but yes, I did just imply that Scott Lively is not a thinking person (or at least someone who’s honest and doesn’t have blinders on).

Four days out, Scott has 208 comments. Amazingly, the top comment right now (16 up, 1 down) is by “theoreosview” who calls out Scott on his “Kill the Gays” Uganda support, ending with, “I wonder if there’s a certain bias or even hatred involved here? If so, hatred is a sin.” Yay!

The top-rated reply (8 up, 0 down) is by “Jordan” who says: “Thank you. Whats up with WND these days? Yesterday I read that xenophobic diatribe by Erik Rush in which he names Indian and African cultures as inferior and says the U.S. ought to stop celebrating “inferior cultures.” I thought this site advocates Christian principles…” Numerous highly down-voted replies say things to the effect of, “Kill the messenger?” and “How in the world did you get ‘hatred’ from anything he said? The man is a Christian …”

Even further down, we have “ErikDC” with 7 up and 1 down vote who writes, “I think Scott Lively is a sociopath. He revels in his cruelty towards others, is highly intelligent, seeks to dominate, and never expresses empathy. He fits the definition perfectly.”

A lot of other commenters agree with this, though there are responses to those that don’t. Skimming through, there are a few top-level comments (as in not replies to comments) that do agree with Scott, but I’m actually happy to see that there are people on here who think that the likes of Scott Lively have gone too far. A positive note on which to end my first post on Monday?

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