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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

You Know This Is Wrong

  Peter LaBarbera is the founder of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, a group dedicated to removing the rights of gays in North America. The single-minded group is so obsessed with curing homosexuality and denying gays the right to marry and raise families to the point that many have called Mr. LaBarbera's sexuality into question.  I have covered LaBarbera's paranoia about TSA searches, among other things, and today his name comes up again. 

  In a recent interview with former Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, we are given a glimpse into the mind of the homophobe: 
LaBarbera: Chaps, you alluded to a story about an exorcism with a woman trapped in lesbianism. Tell us about that.
Klingenschmitt: Yes, well as a Navy Chaplain one of my first counseling assignments walked into my office and sat down with me was a young woman who had been raped. And it was tragic, I mean she was the victim of abuse and was going through a trial process where she was the witness against another sailor, they were both sailors, who was on her ship. But she said privately to me, "Chaplain, it was not consensual sex because I don't even like men, I'm a lesbian. So what should I do?"
And I wept with her and I cried with her and I asked her about her background; turns out she had been abused as a child by some men in her family and I said "let me ask you a question: all these men who abused you, where they full of the Devil or where they full of Jesus Christ?"
And she had to answer "well, of course they're full of the devil." I said that is proof right there, perhaps, that Jesus Christ himself can be the first man that you trust and I suggested we have a wedding ceremony and she got married to Jesus Christ as the first man she could ever trust.
She gave her life to Jesus. She welcomed the Holy Spirit. And I looked into her eyes as she began to weep and I said "you foul spirit of lesbianism, this woman has renounced you, come out of her in Jesus' name" and she began to wrestle with that and suddenly her eyes began to bug out and then she began to weep, and weep, and weep as the Holy Spirit forgave her sins.
She was baptized the next day and then she became one of the best evangelists in our church, started carrying around her Bible telling all of her friends about Jesus and she started dating boys. 

  What is noted here is the fact that neither man seems terribly concerned with the fact that the sailor has been raped by a coworker; in fact this detail is secondary to the chaplain's so-called victory over the homosexual orientation of the young woman. Fundamentalists like Mr. LaBarbera truly believe that if a rape victim's trauma causes them to be terrified enough to go into the closet, rape isn't such a bad thing at all. There is no talk about penalty for the offender because the ends justify the means. 
  So-called corrective rape is a crime, and a common one at that. I too was a victim of such an attack. The men boasted about how they had "fixed the dyke" and the shame was upon me instead of the violent perpetrators. I was also taken to an ex-Gay church meeting. In discussions with the other women it became very apparent that they discussed their "new" orientation a little too much, that they tried too hard. There was absolutely nothing authentic about their behaviours and I suspect this is true of most in the ex-gay movement. 
  Americans For Truth, Exodus, and all of the others do not care about the individual; they care about the Gay. For fundamentalists, it is a culture war, and in war the enemy is intentionally dehumanized. Peter LaBarbera and those like him do not see a human being, but an orientation , a moral disease akin to alcoholism. And people everyday focus far too much on sexual orientation. While I agree that it many be somewhat novel to have gay friends, the continuous attention given to one attribute is tiresome at best and dehumanizing at worst. 
  It is my hope that in the spiritual assessments of chaplains, those that believe exorcism cures anything will no longer be permitted to serve in the armed forces of any nation.

Here is more from the chaplain, who now claims that it is homophobes who are discriminated against.

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