Friday, 18 April 2014

Irrational Bigotry 101

Fundamentalist quasi-Christian Mike Vinson continues to out himself a prime example of an irrational right-wing bigot, via the teaching of his IWWB website.

On the most recent teaching series, the aptly titled "You Shall Not Follow a Multitude To Do Evil," Vinson rails against not only his pet-hate of birthdays and other celebratory acts, but also homosexuality, video-games and a woman's right to dress. 

The recent anti-gay rhetoric of Vinson has been covered before on this blog, and I've also given plenty of air-time to Vinson's plagiarised anti-birthday doctrines that he has lifted wholesale and verbatim from his former spiritual estate, the World Wide Church of God, where at one point, he served in the mail-room of the Pasadena campus. 

None-the-less, reading the latest diatribe from Vinson that is aimed specifically at indoctrinating young children into the IWWB faith, makes me cringe! 

Even though Vinson admits openly that he is engaged in a marriage relationship with a dead Jewish man, and encourages his disciples to take part in a "date-night" with Jesus, he somehow has the ability to partition this doctrine off from his apparent new hate of all things gay.

Firstly, here are some of the statements Vinson has made regarding homosexuals:
A brother just this past week told me his grandson had brought home a paper from his school which his grandson was expected to sign, proclaiming a day of silence for the homosexual life style. His teenage grandson was expected to sign the paper and make it known to the school officials that he was on board with school officials, and [that] he accepts their values as his values
It doesn’t seem possible that this is taking place in this country, but that is the trial the Lord has given us (Eph 1:11), and that is what our children are facing. Are you going to teach your children that they ought to conform to society, or will you teach your children that following Christ will cause them to be hated of all men? Will you relinquish your child’s values to the state? If you are willing to do that, then you have forfeited your position of  headship in your home to the principle of your school in direct contradiction to the commandments of God...
Vinson uses his alarmist rhetoric here to scare his readership into thinking there is some kind of "pro-gay" agenda taking place within the schools, and that to take part in this campaign must therefore mean that the participants are on the verge of swinging into a full-fledged homosexual lifestyle themselves. 

As is the case with father Mike, his over-the-top statements are both unfounded and full of religious confirmation-bias. More to the point, he is deliberately mis-leading his readership.

I took the time to look up this "day of silence" for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual + Transgender) community. 

Firstly, I found nothing whatsoever that would indicate that to take part means that you must accept the values of the homosexual community as a personal life-style choice or that taking part, is somehow an acknowledgement of your own rampant, but repressed or latent homosexual desires. Rather, it is a campaign against the bullying of LGBT people within the school community. 

Here is the statement regarding the day of silence from the campaign organiser's website:
The Day of Silence is a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT.
What exactly is it that Vinson has an issue with here? Shouldn't he be the one promoting love, and acceptance of others, as his (supposed) "lord and saviour" Jesus Christ did? There was nothing in the statement above that says, or implies, that taking part means you endorse the LGBT as a lifestyle choice for yourself. On the contrary, it is only the the issue of bullying is addressed. 

And as for bullying, would a Christian ever bully someone? No! Never. 

That would be, well… un-Christian wouldn't it and when has a Christian ever behaved in such an un-Christian manner? Sadly, Christians are often the worst bigots and the biggest bullies on this particular topic. A young person struggling with their sexuality should be made to feel like whatever choice they make, they will be accepted and loved, not ridiculed and scorned.

Vinson obviously took the word of his doting acolyte as "gospel truth" and then, read his own imagined bigotry into the narrative, and then after-the-fact, he's presented this as a war on the Christian lifestyle. But in doing so, he is twisting the facts, and lying to his audience. Nothing new there, I suppose. 

You'll also note that Vinson rarely, if ever, provides his audience with outside sources regarding these matters. For instance, where is the link to the LGBT campaign as I demonstrated above? How hard would it have been to copy + paste a link in there so his readership could fact-check him? It's just not there, because to do so would instantly incriminate Vinson as an admitted story-teller. 

Before we continue, here is a picture obtained from FaceBook that shows Mike and some of his doting acolytes enjoying themselves at a bible-conference.

Avoiding the appearance of evil? Note Mike's arms, and the placement thereof.
Hmm. Carrying on.

Vinson makes another profoundly bigoted statement on the same study, where he says the following:
Do not think that  “traditions of men” are the end. Neither think that homosexual rights is the end. I have seen the declaration of the European Union that they intend to teach children the benefits of same sex unions and of masturbation
Again, I decide to look up the "declaration of the EU" as it pertains to homosexuality, and masturbation. Firstly, there was a statement from the EU website, regarding the violence against homosexuals in Uganda. Here it is:
The European Union condemns the adoption of the Anti-Homosexuality Act by Uganda on 24 February. The EU fully shares the concerns expressed by the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu.
The EU is firmly committed to the promotion of human rights worldwide and denounces any discriminatory legislation. The EU will review how best to achieve this in Uganda in this changed context. 
The Anti-Homosexuality Act contradicts the international commitments of the Ugandan government to respect and protect the fundamental human rights of all its citizens. The EU calls upon Uganda to ensure equality before the law and non-discrimination in line with its obligations under international human rights law, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights.
The EU urges the state of Uganda to protect every individual against discrimination or violence and to repeal the Anti-Homosexuality Law.
Again, I am unsure what the issue is here? Is Vinson FOR violence against homosexuals? I have to honestly wonder.

Secondly, there is the following statement on the issue of LGBT rights within the EU from Wikipedia:
The proposed declaration includes a condemnation of violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization, and prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity that undermine personal integrity and dignity. It also includes condemnation of killings and executions, torture, arbitrary arrest, and deprivation of economic, social, and cultural rights on those grounds. 
Once more, I am left puzzled as to what Vinson has taken issue with. Is Vinson's homophobia evidence of his own latent homosexual desires? Possibly. 

Lastly, I found this PDF document, a motion for a European parliament resolution on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Feel free to read the document yourself but essentially, it, like the former links, proscribes policies on gender and sexual equality and acceptance.

For instance, the age group of 12-15 years are to be given information on the following:
Give information about pregnancy (also in same-sex relationships) and infertility 
Give information about gender identity and sexual orientation, including coming-out/homosexuality 
Give information about pleasure, masturbation, orgasm 
Enable teenagers to obtain and use condoms and contraceptives effectively 
Give information about sexual rights as defined by the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the World Association for Sexual Health
Yet again, when I read this, I fail to see where the red-flags are. This looks like the basic sex-education 101 that I was taught in high-school. Does Vinson see an issue here? Would he prefer that he and the IWWB jesters be the leading authority on all matters sexual? It would appear so.

There's also this statement, included towards the end:
Help teenagers to develop a change from possible negative feelings, disgust and hatred towards homosexuality to acceptance and celebration of sexual differences
Again, not a celebration of the lifestyle for your own gratification, but of the "differences" themselves. Appreciating that everyone is different is not the same as advocating an adoption of the homosexual lifestyle. Vinson fails - AGAIN!

There is information there on masturbation, in that it is proposed that children be taught that their sexual organs are pleasurable and enjoyable, not "dirty." 
Early childhood masturbation is something that takes place anyway, and this dossier simply appears to be touching on acknowledging this, and teaching positive acceptance of one's physiology. 

It wouldn't be a long shot to assume that Mike's stance on masturbation would be a resounding "don't do it." Such vain and dilapidated values are exactly what has fuelled sexual ignorance and frustration for many. You simply cannot hope to express to another person what turns you on, if you don't even know the answer to that question yourself.

Given the rhetoric from Vinson, one can only surmise that he would encourage his disciples to go into a marriage as frustrated and ignorant sexual know-nothings who wouldn't know an ass-hole from an elbow. SMH.  

Lastly, on the topic of homosexuality, Vinson grasps foolishly at the notion that homo-sex was behind the fall of great empires! 
If you thought homosexuality would never be approved of by governments, you and I were both wrong. The adversary is not interested in just ‘tolerating’ all this perversion. The adversary will insist that we ‘celebrate’ these godless actions which historically have preceded the downfall of all great nations.
How has Vinson come to this conclusion? Not through research, and historical fact, that's for sure. If Vinson really thinks that 2 men going at it somehow has the power to upset an empires economy, military prowess and overall foreign policy, then he is a truly unstable character. 

This argument is one used by right-wing loons when they attempt to shoehorn their own beliefs into a political or social debate. They universally cite the Roman empire as some kind of proof-text. A cursory glance at the research on this topic cites nothing about homosexuality whatsoever, but instead, has this to say:
Many theories of causality have been explored and most concern the disintegration of political, economic, military, and other social institutions, in tandem with barbarian invasions and usurpers from within the empire...
I have no idea what research Vinson is reading when he references homosexuality as "the downfall of all great nations" but I doubt it's peer reviewed, and I doubt there is anything approaching scholarship that is remotely connected with, or to it. 

Interestingly, many put the rise of Christianity as the beginning of the end of the Roman empire. 18th century historian Edward Gibbon is noted for his hypothesis
Gibbon had assigned a major portion of the responsibility for the decay to the influence of Christianity, and is often, though perhaps unjustly, seen as the founding father of the school of monocausal explanation.
If you are interested in researching this topic, you'd be best served by checking out Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. Spoiler alert: homosexuality doesn't get a single mention. 

Vinson also rails and rants against women wearing modern fashion styles, somehow equating their dress-sense, with the prospect of them turning out to be prostitutes:
Young girls and our sisters in Christ who are expected, when the fashion dictates, to show cleavage and midriff and to dress as a harlot. If we place no boundaries on our daughters when it comes to following dress fashions, and we let them follow a multitude to do evil and dress like a harlot, then we need not be surprised if they become harlots.
When I left the Mike Vinson preservation society (IWWB) I actually asked Mike if his next step was to instruct the men on the growing of beards, and whether he would like the women to wear full-length skirts, covering their ankles. I never received a reply to that question, and many others. But my point is that it's not so much what Vinson says, but the manner in which he says it; his overstatements that attempt to tie some fashion based choices into a desire to become a harlot defy logic. 

The entire basis of Vinson's latest teaching is one of fortress mentality. He cannot abide the world changing from his cherished white-picket 1950's values, and so, armed with his own imagined version of Christianity, he must rail against society and the change around him.

Rather than accept those who have been outcast, Vinson takes up arms against those who are different and who have chosen not to hide their own sexual reality from the outside world. Instead of a message of love and forgiveness, like all religious zealots Vinson demands conformity to his "truth" before he can accept you. 

Just as you are? God no. Just as Vinson and his personal Jesus want you to be. 

No comments:

Post a Comment