The right-leaning Advocate has another weird column up bashing Muslims for attempting to build a community center because that's, like, the number one LGBT issue right now. This one's from Jamie Kirchick, and I'm not going to get into much of the substance because it's already been hashed and rehashed a thousand times and the entire point is to just distract people.
It's especially funny that The Advocate would print a column from Kirchick about the Park51 center considering not too long ago he was in that same journal arguing "Well, duh. The purpose of the 'gay civil rights movement' is to lobby for gay civil rights." Really? It seems like he left out "fight Islamofascist jihadism." But that's the way it is with homocons: when someone says America's poor health care system is an issue that disproportionately affects LGBT people, it's "Focus on gay issues, please"; when someone says "Muslims, aaahhhh!" it's "I'll see your aaahhhh and raise you a shreeeeeeeek!"
Anyway, he raises a question that's a favorite among gay conservatives, especially European gay conservatives: "Why isn't Islam being held to the same standard [as Christianity]?" He asks why gay Americans get mad when Christians are homophobic, but not so much when Muslims do. Allow me to respond briefly.
But first, Kirchick isn't an idiot. He's probably a fairly smart guy, who writes for several large publications. And every time I read what he has to say, I have to assure myself that he's not stone-cold stupid, that he is in fact able to insert food into the correct hole, but that he just plays the part for the stupidification of others.
Here's the big reason American gays are more likely to discuss Christian homophobia: according to American Religious Identification Survey in 2008, 76% of Americans are some sort of Christian, while 0.6% are Muslim. Those numbers have a profound effect on American culture: gays are more likely to leave a homophobic church than a homophobic mosque, Christians give tons more money to anti-gay ballot initiatives than Muslims do, "family values" politicians pander to Christians and not Muslims, etc.
Yes, we gays are able to notice the subtle difference in power between American Christians and American Muslims. We're observant that way. So when Kirchick calls gays hypocrites because we criticize Gingrich and not... well, that's the problem right there. He says it's "selective outrage" for us to criticize Gingrich whenever something homophobic comes out of his mouth, but is there a famous, powerful, and Muslim former speaker of the House who's still getting lots of TV time who's spouting homophobic nonsense? For it to be "selective outrage," wouldn't there have to be a selection process of some sort?
Gays do tend to be concerned with Islamophobia, but I'll explain this to Kirchick and gay conservatives so that there's less confusion: it's not because gays want everyone to convert to Islam. It's because gays generally know the value of living in a society that values difference and protects the basic freedoms of even unpopular minorities.
More gays than straights would fall in the "Get out of established religion completely" category, but that's not Kirchick's argument. His argument is that we should choose the correct established religion, the one of his tribe, the one that he thinks we should see as our team. And when our team's religion hates us, we're supposed to take one for the team and suck it up - if we criticize our religion, then the other tribe's religion will invade us and oppress us even more. Right?
Except, no, that's not how the world works. What will reduce homophobia in the US isn't giving Christians more power to do what they want because they're supposedly the less homophobic religion of the two, but reducing the power of religion over the government and the American people. And I keep telling myself that Kirchick can't possibly be saying that we should just trust our lives to Christian leaders, that when he argues that he knows he's wrong and he's being intentionally deceptive.
And the proof is in the column itself, which spends a third of its words decrying how people think that Greg Gutfield isn't going to actually build and operate a "Muslim gay bar" (whatever that is) next to the Park51 center, without ever stopping to mention that a pampered cable star isn't going to give up that career to start a time-consuming business based on one of the most likely-to-fail premises ever.
Instead, the goal is to take our attention away from Republicans who are directly, currently oppressing gays in the US and make us focus on... well, he doesn't even provide an example.
All I can say is that I'll blog equally about Muslim and Christian homophobes when there's an equal amount of Muslim and Christian homophobia in the US.