Dr. Michael Brown has a radio show called “In the Line of Fire.” On June 12th, 2009, the first hour (40 min.) of that program was entitled “Building a Bridge of dialog with the Homosexual Community.” (Transcript is here.)
This was mostly in response to Wayne Besen’s speech at Grand Valley University, and the panel discussion on the harm caused by the “ex-gay” industry—which was in response to the (then) forthcoming Love Won Out conference.
Wayne clarifies in a post called “‘Love Won Out’, What’s the Point?“:
Wayne Besen: I’m on my way to Grand Rapids, Michigan to give a presentation at Grand Valley State University on the harm caused by the “ex-gay” industry. My speech, followed by a panel discussion, is in response to Focus on the Family’s traveling road show, Love Won Out, which will be in town on Saturday. Having countered several of these conferences, I must confess, I still don’t understand what point they are trying to make…
Dr. Brown seemed to take the exclusion personally, and complained vociferously about his *unfair* treatment by those who claim to be “tolerant” and “inclusive,” and points out on quite a number of occasions that the university received more than “TEN THOUSAND” emails in support of his being included on the panel. No mention of the fact that Focus on the Family — The sponsor of the Love Won Out conference that he was speaking at — put out the call to have said emails sent to the university in a CitizenLink Action Alert.
(For the sake of reference, Dr Brown takes quite a fancy to the challenge of defending himself against what he considers to be unfair characterizations of him or his positions, as evidenced here at Ex-Gay Watch, 1, and 2, and also on Dr. Warren Throckmorton’s blog, 3.)
In this radio program, he vacillates between claiming persecution by the LGBT community, and pursuing the notion of dialogue with the LGBT community.
In the attempt to demonstrate the fundamentally corrupt nature of the event, he quotes from Besen’s book, Anything But Straight:
[5:08-5:50] Michael Brown: here’s one from Wayne in his book “Anything But Straight,” “Reparative therapists” — so these are people who help—psychologists, psychiatrists, or ministries who help people dealing with unwanted same-sex attractions. [Which now includes Dr. Brown]
“Reparative therapists are detestable, money hungry con-artists who lure and bamboozle susceptible people with misleading promises and false hope. One reason these quacks practice this chicanery is to cash in on this lucrative industry, but one cannot dismiss raw hatred as the primary motive that drives these charlatans to extreme lengths to denigrate lesbians and gay men.”
Delightful. That was the kind of inflammatory rhetoric that was put forward by Wayne last night.
That’s from page 158. The quote is accurate, the only thing missing is the beginning phrase — “In this author’s view…” — fair enough. However…
[8:43-8:57] You know, in point of fact, the presentation tonight was as misleading as the presentation that some conservative Christians say that make you think that every homosexual man is a predator for your children, and have at least a thousand sexual partners.
He says that like he thinks it’s a bad thing. One look at the resources section of his website, Coalition of Conscience, reveals that he’s more than enthusiastic about maligning “all” gays and lesbians.
DIVERSITY OR PERVERSITY?
by Dr. Michael L. Brown
In any debate over “gay rights,” the word “diversity” is sure to occur, and over the last decade, the word has been used brilliantly by gay activists and educators. After all, who would oppose diversity?…
…To ask a pointed question, On what basis should pedophilia and bestiality not be included under the rubric of “diversity”? And if the public perversity often paraded at gay pride events is protected under the heading of diversity, why shouldn’t pedophilia – especially, “consensual” sex between a minor and his “lover” – be protected under that same heading? And why not even bestiality? On what concrete, moral basis?
Perhaps the greatest shock in the recent developments in the Netherlands is that a poll published in Holland on May 30th indicated that 67 percent of the population said that promoting pedophilia should be illegal. Only 67 percent! Perhaps, over time, the NVD will actually succeed in promoting its agenda. Perhaps this too is a logical development in the concept of “diversity.” To ask once more: Why not?
Such is Dr. Brown’s idea of dialogue, framing questions in the form of “Have you stopped beating your wife?”
At least two logical fallacies at play here:
Slippery slope argument
This argument states that should one event occur, so will other harmful events. There is no proof made that the harmful events are caused by the first event.
Shifting the burden of proof
The burden of proof is always on the person asserting something. Shifting the burden of proof, a special case of Argumentum ad Ignorantiam, is the fallacy of putting the burden of proof on the person who denies or questions the assertion. The source of the fallacy is the assumption that something is true unless proven otherwise.
He repeatedly mocks and laughs about the supposed irony of being excluded from what was sponsored by the Inclusion and Equity Department.
[6:56-7:02] …this is not about balance and fairness, this is about presenting one side only, in that university setting.
Oh the humanity.
These two are my favorite:
[19:57-20:05] I actually thanked the people with a smile sarcastically for the time. I’m going to, of course–my demeanor is always going to be civil and Christ-like. [32:01-32:12] So, when people talk about being inclusive, I say, Oh yes, we are totally inclusive, we practice transformational inclusion. We include all people to change them and transform them.
And here’s the real meaning of homophobia:
[24:31-49] saying that we oppose same-sex adoption, that we oppose same-sex marriage, that we oppose same-sex practice, etc., is one thing. Saying that we’re afraid to sit down with a homosexual because we might get AIDS, that would be homophobic.
Disgust from afar—not homophobic. Disgust up close—homophobic. Got it.
And apparently, homosexual activists are to be condemned more so than “the vast majority of homosexual men and women.”
[28:58-29:07] They know that we’re against their activism [which he contends is “the principle threat to religious freedom in America today”], we’re against their lifestyle, I remind you of course, the great majority of homosexual men and women are not activists…
According to my msword thesaurus, an advocate of activists, is an activist. What percentage of those people do you suppose are in support of thier own legal equity?
I’ve personally refuted his arguments before, and he’s had them sliced, diced and pureed here at XGW (also linked to above). So he clearly knows his arguments are bogus–probably always did, yet continues to use them; incest, pedophilia, bestiality, even plants.
And now for an intimate little vignette as told by Michael Brown…
[29:38-30:14] I’ll tell you what a woman said to me last night, came up next to me — we’ll go to the phones in a moment — she came up next to me, stood next to me towards the end of the event, and just stood there, with this strange smile. And I said, do you want to talk? I whispered to her, she goes, “No, I feel like you’re threatening my child.” I said oh, we actually get to help a lot of people. She said, “Well I think you’re responsible for a few suicides tonight, you’ll have to take that up with your maker.” Then she walked away from me.
And that’s what we’re dealing with, spiritual blindness. Yes, prayer has to break down those barriers, yes, but is there something else we can do?
You know what a person of integrity would have said to that woman instead of exploiting her on their radio show?:
Why do you feel that way? What can I do to rectify the situation? I’m sorry you feel that way, what can I do differently so as to avoid this misunderstanding in the future?
Instead of attending to her need, Brown defends himself without so much as a hint of curiosity as to WHY she felt that way. Then has the temerity to ask if there’s something else that can be done.
What amazes me about anti-gay “Christians” like Mr. Brown, who so openly and unabashedly demand tolerance for their intolerance, is that they are essentially demanding it from a “secular”, “humanistic” and “worldly” world.
And given the anti-gay industry’s abysmal track record of living up to even their own ideals, they, and their non-thinking flocks, are in no position to demand that others live up to them, let alone we ‘worst’ sinners in the world.
Further, the acknowledgment that “We’re all sinners,” is also a canard. The full statement is that “We’re all sinners, but some of us are more repentant than others.” They imply equality in order to hide supremacy.
Which brings me to another point. Dr. Brown, like many anti-gay activists, speaks of our “lifestyle,” our “practice,” our “behavior,” as being the sin in question. What is rarely, if ever mentioned, is the sin of approving sin.
Alan Chambers had it right (conceptually) when he said, from the book God’s Grace and the Homosexual Next Door:
This is why I believe that it is so important to clarify that just living a celibate gay life is just as sinful as living a sexually promiscuous one. The sin is in identifying with anything that is contrary to Christ, which homosexuality clearly is. (218) [bold mine]
According to Chambers, and from what I have gathered, the real “sin,” is in not recognizing homosexuality as sinful. One would think that this point would be implicitly understood and shared by the anti-gay ‘soul-savers’ among us.
Proverbs 23:7: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he
A person of faith wouldn’t tell someone with murderous tendencies that “Hey, your blood-lust fantasies and desire to kill is perfectly acceptable to God, as long as you don’t act on it while you’re alive.” (As though there’s a special place in heaven for repressed sadists.)
Same-gender attraction is not a moral matter. Making it an issue, is.
I’ll end with this, as it goes to the heart of my post.
[20:06-18] Michael Brown: My question though for you friends is a constructive important one. Are you willing to sit down with a transgender person—a man who dresses as a woman—and really understand what makes them tick?
A person who dresses like the opposite gender is a transvestite. A transgendered person is someone who’s gender identity conflicts with their physical gender. A very simple Google search would tell you as much. Dr. Brown has had almost two years, at least, to learn the difference.
The persecution complex rigmarole is nothing new at this point, as most anti-gays misinterpret—with the help of the anti-gay industry—their disgust for homosexual sex, as a disgust of “sin,” thereby sanctifying their hatred. Anything challenging that is seen as religious persecution. So be it.
Brown’s feigned interest in “building bridges” seems like it was designed to inspire condescension-conversations that are meant to elicit an angry response. That way they can see our supposedly explosive nature in person—confirming just how undeserved of legal protections we all are, and further fueling the victim/moral superiority meme.
This brand of hatred has wheels.
BTW, Patrick Fitzgerald = Emproph
*Edit: changed 2008 to 2009