Skip to comments.Playing the Hate Card [TEC]
Posted on 01/08/2007 5:06:53 PM PST by sionnsar
"In the United States, the departing parishes lead the way in throwing up barriers of hatred and homophobism." (The Rev. Lauren Stanley, McClatchy-Tribune News Service)
Once again the follies of the Episcopal Church help illuminate the landscape of the present Culture Wars, both in the Church and beyond.
In the above quote from a recent op-ed piece we have a classic illustration of how hatred is understood in current parlance. Hatred is defined as disagreeing with the progressive agenda of modern secular culture, to which the Episcopal Church has anointed herself both priest and prophet.
We've heard the rant ad nauseum: If you disagree with the gay agenda of the Episcopal Church, or if you happen to observe that the gay lifestyle is inconsistent with Holy Scripture (not to mention lethal), this only proves that you hate homosexuals and want to "throw up barriers" against them wherever possible. If the new preachers make any passing reference to the Church's witness in history or to her distinctive theology, it's only to boast sardonically that Christians have led the world in throwing up barriers of hatred with their crusades, slave trade, and the relentless war against women and gays -- JUST LIKE TODAY'S CONSERVATIVES.
But of course that was then, and this is now.
In today's Episcopal Church so-called progressives are under no pressure to present theological arguments based upon recognized principles in order to prove their points. The reason is simple: they aren't arguing. After all, the present conflict in the Church is not about truth or any attempt at uncovering it to advance the common good. It's about destroying an enemy and grabbing power. Hence it is not determined by the tools of argument and persuasion. In the present example it is determined by intimidation: playing the hate card.
The hate card is a generic form of the more familiar race card. It demonstrates the same fundamental psychology: a member of a certified minority is able to intimidate members of the majority simply by raising the specter of a former history of oppression.
Ironically, playing the card is proof that the oppression is just that -- history. If the free world were ruled by hardnosed jackbooted fascists, as the Church's prophets claim it is, these same whiny prophets would be the first ones squashed as the iron heel came down. Or more likely, they would never open their mouths to begin with. The fact is, whining is part and parcel of the counter-culture establishment, and this latest gaggle of Episcopal malcontents are just clamoring to play their cards.
Power shifted a long time ago. Since the present landscape remains undefined, the previous structure can be summoned by default, even if it only exists now as a stereotype. The stereotype is fixed, whereas the present is a blur of movement. As during an earthquake, everyone tries to orient himself by remembering how things were before the ground started to shake. Everyone knows nothing will be the same once it settles. Still, no other picture comes to mind but the one that was there a moment ago.
The homophobic stereotype is that of straight white males beating up homosexuals as an eruption of volcanic visceral hatred. Whether or not straight white males presently experience such emotions, let alone act on them, is not relevant. The violence associated with such actions is charged against any one associated with the stereotype, whether justly or unjustly.
This stereotype is linked with another from the same general period before the ground started to move, though what else they have in common is not altogether clear -- the text of Holy Scripture was presumed to be trustworthy and true. Now it's taken as a simple equation: whoever reads the Bible literally also churns with hatred towards homosexuals and seeks out opportunities to destroy them.
But why do people put up with such bogus accusations if they believe they're unwarranted and unjust? And more to the present point: how is it that people are actually intimidated?
The old majority are intimidated because they are now effectively the minority. Even though still a numerical majority they have surrendered power -- first psychologically, then politically. This is why the hate card works, and why the psychologically disenfranchised majority is powerless against it.
The minorities of the past - or their self-appointed handlers - now exult in the victory of "peace and justice", but it is the justice of barracudas near an open wound. Abstract notions of righteousness and justice have nothing to do with the present reality. There's blood in the water. That's the reality.
Which brings us to the in-between-times character of the present dynamic: recognized minorities cling jealously to their oppressed status even though now they're the ones holding all the cards. The old oppression is what converts the new cards into political capital, but they can only be played as long as the old world, and the old game, appear to be intact.
The Episcopal Church has become a house of cards that needs to force people to stay at the table. That's why the new majority needs the traditionalist minority around. Even more than their property, the new power needs the old Straw Man. Their identity has no meaning apart from a history of oppression. The history must continue, even if only symbolically, and so the conservative faction is invited to stay as "oppressor emeritus". Hence there's a note of sincerity in the laughable claim of preferring heresy to schism.
The fact that Episcopal conservatives are no longer intimidated explains why the argument has shifted to the courts. Rather than limp along with two religions, conservatives are appealing to a third party to acknowledge the elephant in the room. Call it the property settlement prior to the final divorce.
The way to trump the hate card is to call its bluff. This takes a thick skin and a little backbone. The fact that Episcopalians are starting to do it is a sign of health.
---The Rev. Canon Gary L'Hommedieu is Canon for Pastoral Care at the Cathedral Church of Saint Luke, Orlando, Florida. He is a regular VOL columnist.
It is not a "disgust of" or a "distaste for."
They're hiding behind a misuse of words.
Let me put it this way: I'm a student at a prominent public university that has a significant liberal (they call themselves "progressives" now) population. Last election, I had several friends and colleagues who said that they were appalled at me and ashamed that I dared to publicly support the Virginia Marriage Amendment. Of course, they pulled out the standard issue cards, and one guy even tried to hit on me in a homosexual way. (Not a smart move on his part.) In the end, I asked one friend: do I hate homosexuals? Do I want to kill them, maim them, or deport them? She was completely silent at this, and we had a civil argument afterwards during which we agreed to disagree.
To the Christophobes who have taken over TEC: get over it. You can't force us to join in your apostasy. Just because your part of the Body of Christ is now rotting (as the maggots of sin feast on you) doesn't mean you have to take us with you.
The whole WORD "homophobia" is a fake word, which doesn't even make etymological sense, even if people were afraid of homosexuals. It's just another way to try to make normal people sound mentally ill....by the morally ill.
That's what I was trying to say...but you said it better.
It is not a "disgust of" or a "distaste for."
Much less is a phobia a sorrowfully reached conclusion that we simply can no longer convince ourselves that this behavior is approved by God.
But TEC started giving control of the language to the radicals 30 years ago. She did not see the esential connection between reason and revelation, and so she lost both.
The "word" "homophobia" makes even LESS etymological sense than you say. If taken to its root, it would mean "fear of the same" which is nonsense! Or perhaps it would mean "fear of homos". I don't think that "gays" want to go back to being called "homos", do you? But who knows? Some of them now call themselves "queers".
Excellent article, spot on. The progressives will fight to keep those they despise in the fold.
Not to be picky, but I think it at least goes back to the start of the trial liturgies, which would push it back a decade further.
Granted. I was thinking of what I heard in conventions, but you're right.
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