Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Interesting Dover Tidbit

The ACLU just held their annual conference and one of the discussion panels dealt largely with the Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District case. That panel included many of the plaintiffs in the case and some interesting stories were told about what went on in the community during the case (you can view or listen to podcasts of the panel here). Ronald Bailey attended the conference and writes about this panel:

One of the ACLU’s clients, Bryan Rehm, teaches Bible school, was elected to the school board. Rehm told the audience of several ugly moments during the campaign. For example, one voter told him that if the pro-intelligent design school board lost, “the fags are going to come out of the bushes.”

I think this points out that there is a great deal of crossover between these two issues that I write about so often. No, not every ID advocate is also an anti-gay bigot, but there certainly is a great deal of overlap there. While there is no necessary relationship between the two positions, they do tend to appeal to the same audience of protestant fundamentalists and evangelicals. But the battle against both goes hand in hand for me.

Comments

  1. #1 JohnJB
    October 20, 2006

    No, not every ID advocate is also an anti-gay bigot, but there certainly is a great deal of overlap there.

    Both bibical creationism and fag-hating go hand in hand since they appeal to authoritarian types and their followers – The Bible Said So on the one hand, and TBSS and fear of the Other on the other hand.

    But the battle against both goes hand in hand for me

    And thank you for that.

  2. #2 K
    October 20, 2006

    Great catch, Ed. Of course, even the ID leaders hide their good old fashioned creationist tactics in plain view–even if they try for a more respectable public face. It’s still the same “Darwinism/evolution/secularism leads to the decline of moral values.” And, of course, values to some ID supporters = anti-gay.

  3. #3 Djinna
    October 20, 2006

    Reminds me of all the interviews-with-locals I saw and read when Kansas was holding their “hearings” in their most recent attempt to get this crap into their schools. A good many of them, their main reason for supporting ID was they thought that (somehow) it would make it easier to end abortion. The rest seemed to think that it was valid to teach ID because they had a “right” not to be subjected to facts with which they disagree. And which group likes to accuse the other of going overboard with multicultrualism in an attempt not to offend anyone?

    But, don’t get me started on Kansas…. The last time we had a family reunion, I noticed a sign at the edge of town celebrating the fact that a Nobel laureate in Physics (Kilby) had been born there – I commented to my siblings that Kansas was doing its darndedest to make sure that it never had to erect any more of those signs.

  4. #4 wesuilmo
    October 20, 2006

    I see we have family is the same town. My sister-in-law firmly believes in all the ID nonsense. It’s one of the reasons we don’t go to Kansas much any more.

  5. #5 David Heddle
    October 20, 2006

    JohnJB,

    Both bibical creationism and fag-hating go hand in hand since they appeal to authoritarian types and their followers – The Bible Said So on the one hand, and TBSS and fear of the Other on the other hand.

    That’s an unsubstantiated, idiotic statement. Every church (all conservative Protestant) I have ever belonged to was dominated by YECs, and never, in any of my interactions with a member of any of these churches, have I witnessed and episode of “fag-hating.” Not once. (Unless of course you equate teaching that homosexual activity with “fag-hating.”) Your simple-minded all-too-easy stereotype is just that-simple minded. Churches aren’t filled with bumpkins with three rows of buck teeth plotting violence against fags and evil-lutionists. You have demonstrated that you are nothing more than a garden-variety low-brow bigot.

  6. #6 David Heddle
    October 20, 2006

    I guess I’d add that I think this thread is gratuitous. Is it really significant that “one [!] voter told him that if the pro-intelligent design school board lost, ‘the fags are going to come out of the bushes.’” Exactly how does that point out a “great deal” of crossover between these two issues?

  7. #7 Ed Brayton
    October 20, 2006

    David-

    That one voter is simply the jumping off point for my statement, not the sum total of the evidence for it. You could look, for example, at the fact that so many creationist groups make a huge deal out of claiming that evolution leads to homosexuality and other immoral things. This is a very common argument heard among creationists.

    Let me say that I agree with you that merely believing that homosexuality is sinful does not make on an anti-gay bigot. My stepmother, a born again Christian, spent many years caring for my uncle while he was dying of AIDS. Yes, she believes homosexuality is a sin, and I’m quite sure that she opposes gay marriage as well and most other gay rights policies (we’ve never spoken about it), but that would not make her treat someone gay any differently than she treats anyone else. And so while I disagree with her, I cannot call her a bigot.

    So no, being theologically conservative does not necessarily make one a bigot. However, I don’t think any reasonable person could doubt that where we do find anti-gay bigotry, it is generally associated with conservative theological views. So yes, while there are many people in the pews who believe homosexuality is a sin and nothing more, there are also plenty of people who think gays are evil, demon-possessed, child molesters, out to destroy their marriages, and other ridiculous things that are certainly signs of such bigotry. If you really don’t think there’s significant cross over between those two groups and those two issues, you really haven’t been paying attention.

  8. #8 DuWayne
    October 20, 2006

    David Heddle said –
    Exactly how does that point out a “great deal” of crossover between these two issues?

    It is an example of such crossover. To catch more of it all you need to do is listen to Perkins, Dobson, Robertson, or even Kennedy. All of them take extreme points of view on both issues and influence a lot of people.

  9. #9 JohnJB
    October 20, 2006

    David Heddle,

    Ouch.

    I think the case was well made in Ed’s and DuWayne’s comments that these issues cross over.

    I was just casting about for a (probably simplistic) idea of why fundamentalism and gay-bashing go so neatly together. So perhaps there’s a greater authoritarian mind-set operating here.

    It isn’t just fundamental biblicalism, after all, I’ve never been beaten up for eating shellfish, only for being a sodomite.

  10. #10 Skemono
    October 20, 2006

    I’m quite sure that she opposes gay marriage as well and most other gay rights policies (we’ve never spoken about it), but that would not make her treat someone gay any differently than she treats anyone else.

    Not to try and bash your stepmother, but I find these two clauses… conflicting. She treats them the same but (you predict) would not allow them equal rights?

  11. #11 KeithB
    October 20, 2006

    Skemono:
    This is classic “Hate the Sin, but Love the Sinner.” And I do not mean it in a bad way.

  12. #12 Sastra
    October 20, 2006

    Problem is, there are shades of bigotry. Many gentle, kind folk who treated all people with respect, regardless of their color, were strongly in favor of segregating the schools, and even in favor of slavery itself, back when. Like most things, the label “bigot” is not all or nothing.

  13. #13 Ed Brayton
    October 20, 2006

    Skemono-

    I admit this is a bit subjective, but I think there’s a distinction to be made between those who are against such policies out of a simple-minded fear of change and those who are motivated out of genuine animus toward gays. In the case of my stepmother, she’s just not much given to thinking about such issues, so what she’s being told by her religious leaders is what she pretty much will accept. But she genuinely does not have any animus toward gays at all. She spent several years very deeply involved in a project that helped AIDS patients and in taking care of my uncle. She was there with my father and I when he died, holding his hand. To her, that was just the Christian thing to do and she could not conceive of doing otherwise. There are those who let their anti-gay feelings override their Christian teaching to love one another; she’s not one of them. And I respect her for that.

  14. #14 Steve_C
    October 20, 2006

    “the fags are going to come out of the bushes.”

    Isn’t that the last place they would hide?