Monday, June 18, 2012

Attempts To Shut Up Mass Resistance

I find the tone of Mass Resistance's stuff about homosexuality a bit strident for my tastes, but there is apparently a pretty major effort to intimidate them into silence--and apparently because they have published a letter by a gay youth leader that reveals some disturbing aspects of one of the gay student organizations.  What is interesting is that this letter was published some years ago by one of the Maine newspapers, and even the dispassionate and even-handed news account is pretty astonishing:
ROCKLAND -- On Tuesday, January 16th, Michael Heath, the director of the Christian Civic League received an interesting letter. The author, Adam E. Flanders, of Belfast, Maine, is a former leader of "Out As I Want To Be" (OUT), a gay youth organization, until recently headquartered at 501 Main Street in Rockland, Maine.
In his letter to Heath, Flanders alleges many instances of inappropriateness and several specific crimes having been committed by members of the organization, chief among them being sexual activity between adult advisors and youth members of the organization, and between youth members and other adults in the community.
The organization was a rebirth of "Outright," a non-profit organization, based in Rockland, Maine, for support, affirmation, and advocacy of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. With the closure of the Coast AIDS Network, the organization lost its primary source of funds, and regrouped as "Out As I Want To Be," which consisted of several youth members and a few adult advisors.
Another part of the article reports:

The organization's former president would tell "affectionate stories" from Greek literature, about young boys having sexual relations with men, and would put a positive spin on the subject of pedophilia. According to Flanders, this form of sexual abuse became a common part of OUT, its advisors and youth members, "almost like a mutual joke shared by everyone but making many if not most of the youth very uncomfortable and distressed."
Of course, anyone who would suggest a connection between pedophilia and homosexuality must be a homophobe, right?  Perhaps Flanders was making the whole thing up, and couldn't think of any better way to advance gay rights than to accuse an organization like this of attempting to normalize pedophilia and encouraging adults to pursue minors for sex.  But which do you think is more likely?  This is an organization run by adults primarily tied into questions of sexuality among minors.  What would you expect?  If a bunch of heterosexual adults formed an organization for the purpose of making minors feel more comfortable about expressing their heterosexuality, would anyone be surprised by a similar set of events?

3 comments:

Josh said...

My Boy Scout Troop managed to avoid devolving into an ephebophilic abuse circle, even when the topic fell to the Family Life merit badge. Same for the high school physical education classroom sessions on the topic of reproduction, despite the mixed-gender environment. Now, the BSA troop leader was a creepy old lady, but more in the sense of having that fixed smile people in their forties tend to develop when surrounding by teenagers with knives and matches than in the more modern abusive sense. I'm not ensouled enough to be religious myself, but from the telling, at least a sizable portion if not majority of Catholics and Protestants have gotten through the Old Testament's covenant about the grace of God creating new souls through the union of two beings without being assaulted, too.

That's not to say individual homosexuals, Boy Scout Troop leaders, teachers, or priests are always pure as the fresh-fallen snow; there are rather significant numbers of each and every group that have been demonstrated to be vile abusers in a court of law. The problem is that the individual is not the attribute: you're drawing large-ranging assessments from fairly small sample sizes. Pointing to a terrible and screwed up culture at a single group shows that this single group really needs to be finding its time in a court of law. Drawing connections that point to even one percent of the population is going to need stronger statistical support than present here to be very trustworthy, and that's very important when you're drawing connections to pedophilia. Religious folk and the BSA might not call it a phobia if you took one building and drew a connection to child abuse, but that's more reflecting decent understanding of Latin roots than not being offended or not thinking the accuser let underlying biases drive their actions.

I'm more disturbed by the response. MassResistance isn't my idea of a particularly good site for information, but it's disappointing that the hosting company caved in without a particularly good reason.

((And the promoting of teenage sexual conduct is unfortunate, if not unexpected.))

Clayton said...

I'm old enough to remember when North American Man-Boy Love Association marched in the San Francisco, Boston, and New York City gay pride parades--and if you asked any questions about this, the reaction of the gay community included a lot of: "What's wrong with that?" responses.

This is not a problem of just one isolated group. And as it turned out, the recent conviction in Philly suggests that the problem of pedophile priests wasn't particularly isolated as well. It might be that the Church hierarchy failed to understand the nature of pedophilia, but much of what I have read suggests a lot of closeted pedophiles up the hierarchy.

Josh said...

I'm old enough to remember the Philadelphia Pride Parade forbidding the bisexual float from joining, and studied enough to remember when conservatism on sexual mores meant the more moderate GLBT movements were accommodating by refusing to let female members wear pants.

When you connect homosexuality to pedophilia, you're not just criticizing a couple of overt and serious screwed up individuals and groups from 1975 were aggravatingly willing to tolerate. You're also joining that set with the set of people born in the 1980s, who'd not recognize Harry Hays if he ran over them, who have for their entire lifespan seen vastly more anti-gay pamphleteers at Pride parades than NAMBLA walkers, and only a couple anti-gay pamphleteers.

((When it's something that's present in the NEA, BSA, Catholic Church, several Protestant groups, the Jehova's Witnesses, football teams, and a half-dozen other pretty serious organizations, I think it's time to start looking at a larger cultural level. McArdle has a good couple posts on it after the Penn State thing -- unfortunately, it looks increasingly like not even something likely as 'simple' as terrifying number of closeted pedophiles.))