Thursday, July 09, 2015

What "Gaystapo"?

I never know exactly what awaits me every morning when I take a stroll through the latest articles and blogs on the type of extremist Christianity that fills Quiverfull. Today I was greeted with the bizarre thoughts of one Mark Judge at Real Clear Religion. Mark has one of the stranger reactions to the recent Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. He decided it means that the gay community has started to purposely inflict emotional abuse on Christians at large.
Say what? Emotional abuse, that thing that goes hand in hand with the spiritual abuse many of us here at No Longer Quivering suffered at the hands of those same 'Good Christians'(tm)? If they were actually getting abused instead of merely imagining they are being abused it would seem to me to merely be karmic realignment. Clearly Mark Judge doesn't have a very good understanding of what constitutes emotional abuse.
Let us take a look at Judge's claims:
Critics and victims of the rage-filled gay rights tsunami are comparing the new reality to living under a totalitarian regime, with the unforgiving "gaystapo" as the new SS. The analogy is not totally off -- Ernst Rohm, one of the first Nazis, was a homosexual, and the early movement was littered with homosexuals.
Judge immediately goes for the easiest cheap fear-factor that is so overused online that it has it's own rule: Godwin's Law. When you lack facts, logic and a legitimate way to demonize your opposition it is all to easy to pull out the most feared boogie-man: the Nazis. This pretty much invalidates much of his argument.
Christian America is being emotionally abused by the gay rights movement.
Sadly, not once in this long article does Mr. Judge manage to cite any examples of gay emotional abuse of Christians. Unless you count that whole Christian bakers sued because they will not bake gay wedding cakes. Yes, he does cite that, but how does being scorned by the general public for exhibiting homophobia translate into all LBQT folks commit emotional abuse of Christians?
Emotional abuse is a sinister human reality, arguably more iniquitous in its slow-drip subtlety than outright physical abuse or political aggression. In emotional abuse a partner (and some think it happens more to men than women) is lured in by love and affection, only to have their spouse or significant other exert more and more psychological and spiritual control, then curdling into abuse. The abuser might start as a loving person with a slight edge of sarcasm, but over time they methodically pick apart the self-esteem of their partner. The occasional cutting quip becomes a steady stream of put-downs. Nothing the abused person can do is enough.
Eventually there is an atmosphere of chaos and unpredictability. Victims often have emotional breakdowns.
The emphasis in the above bit is mine. Now not only do we have homophobia, Godwinning, martyrbating, we also have a big dash of anti-feminist / men's rights nonsense about more women inflicting emotional abuse on men than men doing it to women. Emotional abuse is so much more than his description of a partner picking the other one apart with put-downs and cutting remarks. Sometimes it's so subtle and pervasive that the abused thinks there is something wrong with them, not the abuser. Sometimes it is passive-aggressive, lurking just below the surface where the abused cannot quite figure out why something feels 'wrong.'
Judge goes on to quote a list of ten signs of emotional abuse from a recent book: Say Goodbye to Crazy: How to Get Rid of His Crazy Ex and Restore Sanity to Your Life by Dr. Tara J. Palmatier and Paul Elam From the look of the book on Amazon it seems like a guide to gaslighting your husband's ex wife out of your lives. Not very supportive of women and right up the alley of any MRA supporter with a pile of ex wives he's driven crazy by emotionally abusing them. Of course, I could be wrong as I've not read this book.
• Bullying
• Unreasonable expectations
• Verbal attacks
• Gas-lighting (lying and then claiming the abused is crazy)
• Unpredictable responses
• Constant chaos
• Emotional blackmail
• Rejection
• Withholding affection
• Isolating
Yep, those are all signs of emotional abuse, I just cannot see how many, if any, of these apply to the situation of marriage equality, Christianity or society in general. Most of these are things all of here have seen or experienced first hand in toxic churches or at the  hands of those in our former faith communities that said that they loved us as a brother or sister.
The result? Palmatier: "You're constantly on edge, walking on eggshells, and waiting for the other shoe to drop. This is a trauma response. You're being traumatized by her behavior. Because you can't predict her responses, you become hyper vigilant to any change in her mood or potential outburst, which leaves you in a perpetual state of anxiety and possibly fear."
To analogize the hegemonic sweep of the new homosexual oligarchy to what sounds like a New Age psychological term can seem odd, an outlier to the larger struggle for political power that is actually going on. Yet emotional abuse is the driving force of many tyrannies, including historic monsters like Hitler and Stalin. Hitler was abused by his father; that, combined with a traumatizing war experience in World War I and the resentment of being a failed artist, turned him into a monster. Driving Hitler's armies and master plan was a pathetically childish psyche.
It's normal if you've been legitimately emotionally abused to have a trauma response. It's not emotionally healthy or normal to feel that way because you cannot control a people group such as the gay community. If Mark Judge and other Christians are experiencing such emotional abuse feelings because of the ruling of the Supreme Court I suggest that they consult their own local mental health community for therapy to recover from these unhealthy feelings of trauma.
Again with the Nazis! Arm chair head shrinking of Hitler! No comparison with the situation at hand and not evidence of the author being abused.
The emotional abuse of America by the left has been going on for decades. No matter what amends are made for slavery, misogyny or misgivings about homosexuality, it's never enough. In the beginning, advocates for gay marriage assured us that they loved America. The country wasn't perfect, but mostly what gay activists wanted was the ability to express love without violent reprisal. They didn't want to control the rest of us, or dictate terms or tell us what to believe. No one would lose their job or business because of gay marriage. And America, like a decent man committed to his wife, didn't like it when gays were bullied. Warily, traditional America decided to enter into a relationship to explore options for more freedom for everyone.
For a few years things went well. Gay people got to live more openly. There were more homosexual characters on television and in politics. States were debating gay marriage.
But then something changed. Liberals didn't just accept civil unions, they demanded gay marriage -- or else.
That's not emotional abuse either. It's called societal acceptance, or progress, or equality for everyone. Why is it so threatening for the original author?
Anyone who didn't only accept gay marriage but celebrate it was isolated as a hateful bigot. Bullying and gas-lighting of resisters became common. Gay marriage advocates ignored or denied that they had ever argued that no one would lose their job if gay marriage was passed. A Christian baker who didn't want to make a cake for a gay wedding was ridiculed, isolated, and lost his business. Like an abuser who refuses to ever acknowledge wrong doing, preferring to turn the tables on the abused, gay marriage advocates now refuse to answer the most simple questions. To ask "What is marriage?" is to be emotionally blackmailed (shame!), isolated (go back to the 1950s!) and bullied (damn right, you'll lose your business).
Where are these people running around all celebrating marriage equality, I mean really, more than just the first few days. I think whatever resistance those who do not agree with the ruling are getting has to do more with open homophobia and hate they're flinging at the gay community. When people push back against those who are abusing them, and make no mistake - making homophobic statements is more emotional abusive than those resisting them.
The sad part is that emotional abuse usually continues until there is divorce or the perpetrator gets help. The only other way to escape emotional abuse is to adapt a spiritual perspective that allows one to, as philosopher Roger Scruton put it, "step outside of the circle of retribution." Scruton was referring specifically to Christianity, which preaches love for one's enemies. This is how blacks in America, surely one of the most emotionally and physically abused people in human history, were able to transform America's political and social systems with minimal violence. Without Christianity, the civil rights movement would have resulted in a lot more bloodshed -- and the fighting may still be going on today.
And look how well that's worked out for our African-American citizens in the wake of all those police shootings in their communities, the burning of black churches throughout the South without a word in the press and the tragic shooting at Charleston, South Carolina's historic Emanuel AMC church? The struggle for equality, respect and a place at the table still continues, sadly enough, for blacks in America. Look at all hate thrown from the pulpit towards our nation's first African American president and tell me that Christians are positively impacting this issue. You cannot.
Lacking Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Christian influence, the gay marriage aggressors have nothing to restrain them. They also reject the Natural Law preached by King, who quoted Thomas Aquinas in his Letter From a Birmingham Jail. Fueled by resentment and childish rage, untethered from -- indeed contemptuous of -- human reason that observes male and female bodies are different, the "gaystapo" won't be satisfied until the last homophobe in America is brought up on charges.
And as classic emotional abusers, whose very nature is to demand more and more supplication, even that won't be enough.
The only 'childish rage' being shown untethered from human reason being show in the wake of marriage equality is coming from the Evangelical Christian community. Tantrum-throwing, floor stomping and shouting 'It's not fair' all because the government has decided to grant the same rights to everyone. That last line 'And as classic emotional abusers, whose very nature is to demand more and more supplication, even that won't be enough.' it's clear it applies more to the church, the fundamentalist evangelical Christian church, not all Christians and certainly not to a minority group wanting the same basic human rights as everyone else.
Mark Judge, you are not fooling anyone.

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