The Narcissism of Today’s Homophobia

[Reposted from Facebook a couple evenings ago]

The Narcissism of Today’s Homophobia

Insightful deconstruction of the motives behind homophobes like Bizzle (who put out an anti-gay version of Macklemore’s “Same Love”, the controversial Best Song nominee that was performed at the Grammys as a dozen or so couples, including some same-sex couples, were married on-stage).

Bizzle’s rap contains all the usual anti-gay bugaboos: gays are uncontrollably lusty; they’re like pedophiles; they violate God’s rules and summon his wrath; they trounce my religious freedom to persecute them; and now they’re becoming violent—oh, but by the way, while I hate their sin, I love them and just pray they’ll become straight like me. Indeed, what’s most marked about today’s homophobia is what a clear expression of narcissism it is, along with how unrigorous its rationalizations are. Homophobic people seem unable to see past themselves, to transcend their most rudimentary emotions and arrive at a place that’s often reachable only if we apply a modicum of reason—often spurred by empathy—to challenge old mental habits.

Instead, homophobes assume that the only natural way of being, for everyone, is straight like them….

The essayist goes on with examples from Peggy Noonan and the Duck Dynasty guy (and he could well have added moralistic dimwit Kirk Cameron, given his reaction to the Grammys).

… The reduction of gay identity to sexual desire, and the refusal or inability to think rigorously about the basis of right and wrong beyond a provincial attachment to religious dogma, have blinded many to the use of simple reason. … And as I’ve argued before, for too many, homosexuality remains the one thing Americans consistently claim is immoral without ever giving a reason why.

My take on this: conservatives, who seem to be overwhelmingly Christian, can’t get their minds around the fact that there are people in the world who are different from themselves. Recognition of this fact, in the popular media, throws them into a tizzy. It conflicts with their assumed privilege that their worldview is the only one that should be acknowledged. And to show these ‘other’ people might actually be *happy* makes them outraged. How can they be happy? Don’t they realize they are *sinners*!?

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