Friday, July 14, 2006

Ann Coulter is a traitor to America: Gays and child-molesters, gays ARE child-molesters

Let's talk about Godless. I haven't read it. Not because I'm necessarily opposed to reading it. I'd read it. It might be an interesting read. But I'm not gonna spend money on it. I'm not going to subsidize Ann Coulter. But hey, if her publisher wants to send me a free copy, I'll flip through it. Crown, are you reading this?

But I have read the free excerpt from the first chapter on, and assuming that at least some of the statements therein are not vastly expanded upon in later sections of the book so as to render a current discussion ill-informed, let's talk about one quotation:

"As a matter of faith, liberals believe: Darwinism is a fact, people are born gay, child-molesters can be rehabilitated, recycling is a virtue, and chastity is not. If people are born gay, why hasn’t Darwinism weeded out people who don’t reproduce? (For that, we need a theory of survival of the most fabulous.) And if gays can’t change, why do liberals think child-molesters can? Pedophilia is a sexual preference.* If they’re born that way, instead of rehabilitation, how about keeping them locked up?"

First, I gotta say, given the history of homophobia in this country, I think it's sort of in bad taste to equate homosexuality with child-molestation. Of course, if her media-frenzied quote concerning the 9-11 widows/Jersey Girls is any indication, bad taste may actually be an incentive for Ann Coutler TO do something, not a reason not to.

I suppose I should also pay lip service here to the many scientific studies that have documented how homosexuality is actually prevalent in nature, which would suggest that homosexuality is determined by birth. Of course, given Ann's seeming derision for science generally ("liberals masquerade as rationalists, adopting a sneering tone of scientific sophistication, which is a little like being condescended to by a tarot card reader") as well as the fact that she spends half of Godless in a passionate attempt to debunk evolution (Ann Coulter of course being eminently qualified to publish a book on the subject, having had extensive training and experience in the life sciences field), I don't imagine she puts much stock in these studies, anyway.

She certianly has a point about Darwinism weeding out the whole homosexuality thing. It's a point I've made before, and one I find difficult to explain: seems this is the exact kind of thing natural selection would take care of, if the whole system is based on reproduction. I guess my own hypothesis would be that, while I'm no more qualified to speak on the life sciences than Ann Coulter is, I do recall there being these things called dominant and recessive genes, so maybe the nature of evolution involves a little more than out with the bad, in with the good.

Of course, if it seems preposterous that people are born gay, it seems even more preposterous that they would choose to become so. Especially for all these gay people who emerge in conservative households where they're taught that homosexuality is an abomination, who would choose to practice a way of life that would get them ostracized by their family, friends, and church, deny them access to marriage rights, and get them beaten to death if they have the initials M.S. and are ever in the Laramie region? Is it all just an aggravated form of teenage rebellion?

The real issue isn't that people who are born a certain way can't be rehabilitated. Alcoholism, for example, is genetic, yet alcoholics are rehabilitated all the time. So I don't think the issue is that gays CAN'T be rehabilitated. They probably can be. I was talking with one person who said that the "people are born gay" argument is silly because gays still CHOOSE to act on their sexual urges, rather than trying to control them. I think that argument has some merit insofar as that child-molesters also CHOOSE to act on their sexual urges, when society expects and demands them not to. Of course, that whole argument suggests that heterosexuality is also a choice that can be "rehabilitated," that heteros can be taught to savor the joys of homo-luv. I suppose that's what prison is, if the popular preception is any guide: a place where inmates abandon their hetero predispositions and succumb to the glorious passions of male sodomy.

But the issue isn't that gays can't be rehabilitated and child-molesters can be. It's that gays SHOULDN'T be rehabilitated. There's nothing wrong with it. There's no harmful social result. It's a decision between two consenting adults. But when wicked Uncle Ernie fiddles about with his 10-year-old niece, there's a social harm done. That's why child-molestation is illegal and homosexuality is not (although if the conservatives had there way...). Homosexuality isn't a crime, child-molestation is; and rather than locking the latter up for the rest of his life in an already overcrowded penal system, the liberal ambition is to teach him to control his urges.

A more persuasive argument might have been recindivism rates for child-molesters. But that would involve statistics, and perhaps statistics are too closely related with science to be tasteful.

* Ann Coulter says, "Pedophilia: it's a child, not a choice. "


Anonymous Vincent Hames-Frazier said...

Perhaps I can lend a scientific hand to this Darwinism and homosexuality discussion. First off, I enjoy Coulter's use of the word "Darwinism" instead of the proper term employed by the scientific community, natural selection. Natural selection refers to the way the environment interacts with a species' population dynamic, potentially modifying its gene pool and thereby leading to the species' evolution. The word Darwinism however, hardly used in any scientific circle in our modern age, brings to mind archaic phrases of "survival of the fittest" or "Nature, red in tooth and claw", but perhaps more importantly for Coulter's purposes, relevates accepted scientific theory to quasi-religious dogma, simply by adding the suffix -ism. Darwin is not the scientific man's Jesus.

There is another reason that Darwinism isn't the proper term; in short, it was debunked as a legitimate theory because it was too simplistic. That is why Coulter and the author of this blog run into the obvious conundrum of homosexuality as a viable species survival strategy; if Darwinism hails the survival of the fittest, and the fittest are those who survive to reproduce and increase their minority share in their species' gene pool, then homosexuality has no strategic value and would be weeded out.

But as the author indicates, homosexuality occurs not only amongst Homo sapiens, but is prevalent among other members of the animal kingdom as well. Somehow, we must logically assume there is some value to the occasional gay monkey (or we could more easily assume that God loves homosexuals and wanted to see fabulousness in all of His creations).

In my personally favorite study on homosexuality, scientists found that the incidence of homosexuality increased dramatically among male mice as population density also increased, but resource availability remained constant. What this study seems to indicate is that homosexuality serves as a form of downregulation for overstressed populations. They also noticed an increase in violence, stillbirths, and a decrease in litter size. Do resist the urge to immediately apply these findings to mankind's exponential growth over the last 2000 years.

Yes, evolution is a bit more than "out with the bad, in with the good," and the author is correct to point towards dominant and recessive genes as a possible explanation for the prevalance of seemingly destructive behavioral strategies. Yet sometimes we must remember that we are all creatures of habit and reward. Male homosexuality is common among the Great Apes, especially those that live in communal groups like the gorillas or chimpanzees. These opportunistically homosexual apes, however, are hardly what modern man would consider gay. Their form more resembles the sexuality of our ancient Greeks, where younger males bone-up (if you'll excuse me) to the more alpha males in a bid for a bond of friendship and the protection of the group leader. Nothing illustrates to the great alpha silverback that his fellow gorilla shows no threat to his harem and children than the rewarding circle-jerk. Here, homosexuality is born not out of a simple genetic predisposition, but from the lack of opportunity to procreate without provoking the hostility of those bigger than thou art. Usually these seemingly placid gay apes are busy raping the women when the alpha male isn't looking anyway, so perhaps whatever genes assist in creating such homosexual tendencies live on after all.

Once again, Coulter colors her world in black and white, and it is apparent she remains mired in the world of "Nature vs. Nurture" when it comes to all things remotely touching on biological. In our modern society, there remain too many unnamed variables that determine the way we lean; left or right, gay or straight, smart or stupid; variables of genetic, environmental, and societal magnitude. In my personal opinion, Ann Coulter could use a bit of rehabilitation to the reality of society alongside the child molesters she condemns.

2:26 PM  

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