Our agenda you say… oh really?

james-dobson-familyimages

The term “homosexual agenda,” is a trope commonly used by social conservatives, particularly those from religious constituencies in referring to efforts by gay people who want tolerance, if not acceptance for who they are, their relationships and families. The term was invented by the Family Research Council in 1992, an Evangelical Protestant group and lobbying organization established in the United States in 1981 by James Dobson. Interestingly, Dobson is a licensed psychologist in the state of California. He has academic credentials, a doctorate in child development from the University of Southern California and held the position of Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine 14 years. In addition, he served for 17 years on the staff of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics. Dobson is intelligent, but remains a minor figure in academic circles. He is better known for his business acumen and influence as a conservative lobbyist.

Prior to the Family Research Council he founded Focus on the Family in 1977, also an Evangelical Protestant group and lobbying organization. Dobson is a controversial figure, to say the least, a moral entrepreneur in the truest sense of the term. The term moral entrepreneur was coined by a sociologist, Howard S. Becker in 1963 in his book Outsiders: studies in the sociology of deviance. The moral entrepreneur, Becker argued,

generally express the conviction that some kind of threatening social evil exists that must be combated. They can be seen as moral crusaders, who are concerned chiefly with the successful persuasion of others, but are not concerned with the means by which this persuasion is achieved.

The first time I heard the term “homosexual agenda” used was many years ago by an announcer on a religious talk radio show at a friend’s family home. His parents are Pentecostals. It was one of those moments in my life whereupon hearing something so bizarre it left me scratching my head and asking “what is he talking about?” It also left me feeling very uncomfortable as, judging by the tone the announcer was using, it did not sound very positive. For Dobson, the homosexual agenda is ‘a threatening social evil that must be combated.’ Dobson defines it as follows:

universal acceptance of the gay lifestyle, discrediting of scriptures that condemn homosexuality, muzzling of the clergy and Christian media, granting of special privileges and rights in the law, overturning laws prohibiting pedophilia, indoctrinating children and future generations through public education, and securing all the legal benefits of marriage for any two or more people who claim to have homosexual tendencies.

As a moral entrepreneur, Dobson was very successful in promoting and selling this crusade to a religious constituency more than happy to buy into it. His sales pitch is blunt. He asserts that “homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed” and it is “by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects.” This supports the position of Evangelical Protestant Churches such as the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States with 16 million members. The Southern Baptist Convention condemns homosexuality as sinful and insists it is not a “valid alternative lifestyle.” Similarly, the Assemblies of God, the second largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States with more than 3 million members holds “that homosexual behavior, along with illicit heterosexual behavior, is immoral and comes under the judgment of God.” Dobson, posing with his academic credentials and experience, lends credence to what Southern Baptists, Pentecostals and like minded religious believers believe and allows them added comfort in harbouring their prejudice against gay people.

That there is a sizable segment of the population in the United States that believes in this nefarious conspiracy theory called the “homosexual agenda” is unfortunate. In reality, the only item on the agenda for most gay people is to be treated like any other citizen in having the right to earn a living, find happiness and security in marriage and family life and to get on with living their lives in peace.

Posted by Geoffrey

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9 thoughts on “Our agenda you say… oh really?

  1. Chris

    I honestly do not understand where in the WORLD these people get the part about pedophilia and the like. Of all the stupidity that comes from anti-gay groups, that one definitely takes the cake. I can’t wait to see the day when the LGBT community has all the same rights as everybody else and those that disagree have nothing to do but stew in their anger.

    Reply
    1. geoffreyandmika Post author

      Thank-you for the comment, yes it is strange that some people equate being gay with pedophilia. I think it has something to do with the belief that as gay people cannot reproduce, so they turn to recruiting children and convince them they are gay. Whatever is behind this hateful thought, you are correct, we are reaching a point where the haters will be left to stew in their own anger.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Well, yes, we do want most of those things that the person said are on the gay agenda, but not pedophilia or “special rights”… unless you count the ones heterosexuals already have! And most of us don’t want the clergy to be “muzzled” or have its freedom of speech taken away. I guess acceptance and marriage rights pretty much sums it up.
    Anyway, nice post.

    Reply
  3. Sew What

    Attempting to force others to tolerate or accept a certain lifestyle is bullying-more so when those that disagree are fined or jailed. Lunacy. One of the first lessons and finest lessons a parent is to teach a child is that not everyone will like you, agree with you, or accept you-some will not tolerate you-this is life, this is reality. To expect as much is childish entitlement. Live your life as your conscience dictates, but don’t expect to be liked, tolerated or accepted by everyone-you’ll be disappointed. Given what you’ve written, it’s not difficult to ascertain that you don’t agree, tolerate or accept certain groups yourself.

    Reply
    1. geoffreyandmika Post author

      The post is about James Dobson, a conservative lobbyist, who invented the term “homosexual agenda” to sell his disapproval of homosexuality to the public and raise support for efforts to deny gay people civil rights. He found a more than willing audience among social conservatives and some religious folk. I am speaking for myself in saying I do not like what Dobson is doing and saying, but defend his right to do so. For that matter, I defend the right of everyone to speak their mind. Trying to shut people up, because they voice opinions that some people find offensive is plain wrong. People are free to believe what they want, pray at your churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, etc., just be good enough to keep it out of the public realm. By that I mean, keep it separate from the state.

      I don’t expect everyone to understand or approve of who I am and how I live my life. Funny thing is I get more venom spat at me for being a gun owner and hunter than being gay. Among my hunting buddies are Christians and Muslims who could not care less I am gay. They know me to be of good character and think highly of my hunting skills. Tolerance means putting up with something. If it bothers you that I am gay, fine, that is your problem. Just be assured I intend you no ill will even if you insist on calling me a pervert and heretic, if not worse. Thank-you for your comments.

      Reply
  4. john s

    Ok, no offense met but looking at the described ‘agenda’ it seems to pretty much sum up the goals (most of which have been achieved) of gay rights activists. So there was no plan there, these things are just unfolding according to God’s plan or what?

    Reply
  5. Vance Austin Neely

    Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
    Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the log in your own eye?

    Many Christians do not follow this simple statement the Christian Holy Bible clearly states.

    Reply
    1. geoffreyandmika Post author

      What is even funnier is the Southern Baptists and Pentecostals use the King James Version of the Bible. I wonder if they know King James I of England and James VI of Scotland (1566-1625) preferred the company of young male courtiers to his Queen.

      Reply

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