Jeff Postelwait is the author of a light-hearted op-ed titled If gay were straight, could you change yourself?, posted April 8 at the Daily O’Collegian.
In his opinion piece, Postelwait challenged some antigay activists’ assumption that it is only gays who should “change,” and that only heterosexual affections are legitimate.
Speaking for Exodus, exgay advocate and former FRC operative Yvette Cantu Schneider protests Postelwait’s message, but somehow never addresses Postelwait’s key points.
Schneider says she is “disheartened” by the message — not because Postelwait’s arguments are objectionable, but perhaps because she cannot find much to disagree with, and must therefore misrepresent Postelwait’s message in order to disagree with it.
Schneider says (with slightly broken grammar):
The misguided notion that homosexuality exists therefore it is morally good…
But that is not what Postelwait said. He said that people assume that heterosexual orientation is natural and therefore morally good.
… and his naive belief that the gay lifestyle is just like heterosexuality but with a partner of the same sex.
That is not a “belief”; it is a acknowledgement by Postelwait that his own romantic life (not a “lifestyle”) and the relationships of other gay couples do, in fact, mirror those of his heterosexual peers — for better or worse.
Homosexuality is not morally right simply because someone does not know how he became gay or because embracing his homosexual identity was a difficult or painful process.
This is a repetition of Schneider’s earlier strawman argument. She seems to derive her assumption not from Postelwait, nor from the beliefs of other real gay people, but rather from a belief among FRC ideologues, past and present, who insinuate that all gay people — perhaps all non-religious-rights — think in the same morally stupid manner.
Schneider continues to thrash about for an argument to use against Postelwait:
Neither is homosexuality a benign lifestyle that is healthy and good just because someone happens to have strong physical or emotional attractions to the same-sex.
But Postelwait never said homosexuality is, by default, a benign lifestyle.
Schneider resorts to that strawman argument because conservative political correctness prevents her from confronting the truth of Postelwait’s actual theme: that heterosexuality per se is no more or less natural or good than homosexuality.
What makes a particular heterosexual or homosexual “lifestyle” moral is what one does with one’s attraction.
The scope of heterosexuality stretches from celibate opposite-gender attraction to extramarital sex, sadomasochism and, when sex is combined with violence, rape. None of which qualify as “lifestyles” any more than their homosexual counterparts do.
Schneider seems afraid of the ramifications of this fact: as with the full scope of homosexuality, her own chosen “identity” — heterosexuality — is more often sinful and dysfunctional than not.
Instead of addressing this difficult topic, Schneider disregards Postelwait’s thoughts about people’s natural personalities, and their overly hasty assumptions about others. Instead she continues to share her own, overly hasty assumptions about Postelwait — and, out of the blue, her prejudices about scientists.
Mr. Postelwait thinks that Christians who take a principled stance against homosexual behavior have tried to prove that no one is born gay.
Postelwait never said that.
In reality, gay activist scientists have spent top dollar, often taxpayer money, laboring for decades to prove a biological origin for homosexuality.
In this statement, Schneider smears objective research into the biological and environmental origins of sexual orientation. She assumes that no gay scientist can be trusted to perform valid research. And she hinges her rant against scientific research on the work of just one of many scientists, many of whom are credible in their fields and who in recent years have found compelling evidence cases that biology does play a role — acknowledged, to a limited degree, even by pro-exgay pundits such as Warren Throckmorton — in the development of sexual attraction.
Without any documentation, Schneider assumes she knows the motivations of researchers such as the controversial Dean Hamer:
He is motivated, in part, by the bizarre belief that if a sexual behavior has an inborn component the public will conclude that it is morally right.
In making such an unfounded assumption about the motives of someone she does not know, Schneider sloppily insults the intelligence, the integrity and the moral rectitude of her perceived opponent. Her style of debate is intellectually insincere and below-the-belt.
It is not easy to overcome homosexuality. But it is entirely possible.
Schneider avoids telling readers exactly what she means by “overcome homosexuality,” and leaves her audience with a misleading half-truth: Anyone can stop calling themselves “gay,” but even Exodus’ Alan Chambers admits, under direct questioning, that only a small percentage of individuals, at most, are able to change their attractions from predominance in one orientation to predominance in the other — and even fewer individuals seem to change permanently.
I was a member of GLAAD.
This may help explain her attachment to stereotypes and political correctness. GLAAD, FRC and Exodus resort to stereotypes against their foes; all three organizations demand ideological correctness from the media and Hollywood.
But as far as I am aware, only FRC and Exodus distort statistics about other people to make themselves look less morally decrepit by comparison. For example, Schneider invents unflattering statistics to suggest that homosexuality makes gay and lesbian people violent:
In fact, the incidence of domestic violence among lesbians is between 30-50%, and among gay men it is nearly double what it is in the heterosexual population.
Not quite true: the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs estimates that the incidence is between 20 percent and 35 percent among gay and lesbian people, depending on how domestic violence is defined. Among same-sex-attracted men in particular:
The most recent significant study, released in 2002, indicated that gay and bisexual men experience abuse in intimate partner relationships at a rate of 2 in 5, one comparable to that of DV experienced by heterosexual women.
Schneider is correct in that, among lesbians in particular, a variety of studies using small samples do find an incidence approaching 50 percent.
Not every gay man will have over one hundred sex partners and die young, neither will every lesbian be involved in domestic violence, or abuse drugs or alcohol as many do. In the same vain (sic), not every immoral heterosexual will contract an STD or divorce their spouse, though odds are they will. But there are definite consequences for violating God’s moral law both in this life and in the one hereafter. To those who love God and obey His laws, He promises a life of internal peace (John 14:27). To those who turn from God and His laws, “there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14).
Still an FRC operative at heart, never gets around to answering Postelwait’s titular question. Instead, Schneider seems to be suggesting that AIDS and other STDs are God’s punishment for immorality. She seems to be playing God by passing eternal judgment against fellow sinners. And she seems to quoting out-of-context Bible passages to justify her efforts to deny peace — and liberty — to same-sex-attracted individuals who reject her ideology.