Stealth fundamentalism in the schools
Fundamentalist Christians are a deceptive lot. They know that their agenda turns off most rational people. So they try to hide their agenda or cloak it under other names. So creationism gets christened as “intelligent design” and is presented as some version of pseudo-science.
Right-wing Christians will pretend they are classical liberals or libertarians. They aren’t. But no matter. It’s a lie meant to make it easier for them to market their rubbish.
Now they are trying to force their religious views on gay people into state schools. These are religious views just as much as “intelligent design” is a religious view. They force the fact to fit their theology.
One group run by an “ex-gay” is Inqueery. It’s main page says it is “addressing LGBT Issues on High School & College Campuses.” It doesn’t say they are religious motivated group that attempts to pray people into heterosexuality. The fact is that the “ex-gay” movement is a fraud. It started as a fraud and it still is one. And the goal of this group is to force government schools to use tax payer funds to promote the ex-gay agenda.
Behind the Religious Right agenda there is always a call to use the force of the state. And this group is no different. On their web site they offer: “Sample legislation... that would require equal time to be given to the subject of homosexuality in school assemblies and counselling programs on a school by school basis. We encourage all our supporters to pass this legislation in their schools.”
Of course the founder of the group is available to speak to high schools and tell them how they can become ex-gay.
Founder Chad Thompson leads an ‘ex-gay” ministry but like most these mixed up people won’t actually say that his sexual attractions are heterosexual. They always talk about a “process” and “becoming”. In the early years the ex-gay frauds did claim change and regularly were embarrassed by them. It turns out that some of the best known “cures” were still having gay sex with the very men they were sent to counsel into finding Jesus. Other “ministries” just disappeared as the head ex-gay suddenly vanishes --- often with some cute young thing in tow.
Chad claims that homosexuals are “unconsciously trying to recover their father’s love in the arms of another man.” Very Freudian, very discredited. Charles Socarides claimed the same thing and then it turned out his son was gay. Ooops.
Chad uses all the “process” talk and the “becoming” rhetoric. It’s hard to tell if he is gay however. He makes it clear that he never really wanted sex with men he just wanted a man to love him. He said he would fantasize about men but “I didn’t fantasize about sex.” Hard to tell. On the other hand he doesn’t say he’s attracted to women either. He just says that he “began to see myself differently.”
Chad counsels Christians to be deceptive. He knows that if the real agenda is portrayed that it will be rebuffed. So he warns: “Do not approach school officials about the ‘evils of the gay agenda’ or recite from religious texts such as the Bible. Instead emphasize the need for diversity and respect for all perspectives, including ex-gays.”
Thompson practices the deception he preaches. His site leaves out the God-talk. The goal is to get their hands on the young first and then push the religion pill down their throat. So I didn’t see any mention on the site of Thompson’s own book Loving Homosexuals As Jesus Would. Nor was their any message about him being involved in seminars at a “WestGate Church” which promises people they take the Bible seriously and believe it to be “God’s perfect Word for us today.” It’s left out because he’s trying to hide it.
The website for the group that speaks to schools leaves off all the Jesus crap. But Thompson's other website is covered is with it. There you see that he speaks mainly to fundamentalist churches. There he talks openly about his "ministry" and his real agenda. Apparently he doesn't see this approach dishonest.
He urges the born-again parents to get legislation passed “which requires if the subject of homosexuality is ever addressed in your school, both sides of the debate will be given equal time.” In other words the doctrines of the Religious Right should be presented. This is precisely the same tactic they are using to smuggle creationism into the schools.
Of course there are not “two sides”. There are a dozen sides. And religion does not belong in state schools. Chad wants to go in and speak to young students and tell them they can change. Change? They haven’t even reached a mental stage where they can clearly know their sexuality. And he’s already wanting to change them. But what about the ex-ex-gay side? Is there the gay side? The ex-gay side? And the ex-ex-gay side?
There are lots of ex-ex-gays. Those are people who made all the bullshit claims that Chad makes and who were lying and got caught or finally admitted they were lying. Ex-gay ministries have very short life spans.
Chad’s approach is part of the new Right-wing tactics of hiding their real agenda from the public. But of course it’s an old tactic as well. I remember Richard Angwin, a fundamentalist Baptist preacher, giving a seminar where he warned his followers that they must not tell their “whole” agenda. He said it would hurt if people found out that they wanted to ban dancing and close down “Hollywood movies”.
Christian Reconstructionist Gary North said that the turmoil of modern life is good for theocrats because, “we need the noise of contemporary events to hide us from humanist enemies who, if they fully understood the long-term threat to their civilisation that our ideas pose, would be wise to take steps to crush us."
North has told fellow fundamentalists to “use the doctrine of religious liberty... until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God."
This differs little from Chad Thompson’s ploy of using “equal time”. Be it “equal time” or “religious liberty” the goal is simple. They plan to use such tactics until they control the schools and when they do there will be religious liberty and no equal time. And if you want proof notice how Chad Thompson and his conservative followers only want equal time in state schools for their religious message. They never once demand equal time inside Christian schools for the “other side”. These schools routinely preach creationism and “ex-gay” theology. And they don’t even pretend to offer equal time to anyone who disagrees with them.
Now I think it is there right to do what they want with their own schools. But this does how that their real agenda is very different from the fake issues they raise to gain access to school children so they can push their religious dogmas.