A Quick Laugh With Conservapedia

Pam pointed this out and it’s a hoot–look at the top searches on Conservapedia:conservapedia.jpg

Obsess much?

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105 thoughts on “A Quick Laugh With Conservapedia

  1. To be fair, this site is used mostly by Americans, who have a particular (shall we say ‘uniquely Biblical’) brand of conservatism. One would imagine that conservatives in the Netherlands, for instance, would have far less interest in homosexuality.

  2. I think we always need to emphasize than our crackpots are just a little more cracked than other peoples’ crackpots. Notwithstanding the good folks in the MIddle East, of course.

    Besides, such explicit acknowledgments downplay the common belief overseas that we accept Conservapedia (and its breathen in other mediums) as representative of our nation in general. Americans need to stop being so apathetic and call the crazies amoung us out. It’s not a first amendment issue. I’m not advocating silencing anyone.

    But there’s nothing wrong with judging certain fellow citizens as an embarassment to our “national dignity and pride” when they insist that the earth isn’t a sphere, or claim that Jesus is coming back on Tuesday. It ***is*** an embarassment. And believe me, it gives me no joy to say that we have cornered the market on nutjobs in the Western world. However, the first step to quitting is admitting there’s a problem.

  3. I think we always need to emphasize than our crackpots are just a little more cracked than other peoples’ crackpots.

    Perhaps it’s the Thanksgiving turkey that’s inspired me with a certain patriotic fervor or the fact that I’ve been swilling cough syrup the last week like its beaujolais nouveau, but when I first read this sentence, what immediately sprang to mind was, “Gosh, this ‘America #1’ meme has really gotten out of hand when we have to proclaim that we’re even number one in extreme viewpoints, that our ‘crazy’ is the best, most ‘crazy’ out there.”

    When I thought about it a little more, though, I changed my question from “Why” to “Why not?”

    Setting aside for a moment the fact that this much ballyhooed little goof on Conservapedia is most likely the result of an amusing Internet cracker and not an indictment of a right-wing fetish with the comings and goings of the asses of gay men, why is an extremity of view a bad thing, a thing that must be shamefully claimed and apologized for? Certainly, it can be taken to bad ends (for example, suicide bombings, funeral protesting, putting ads in personals columns looking for people who want to be cannibalized…and actually getting real responses, etc), but to be “embarrassed” by the view points of others in a country that bills itself as a bastion of freedom and liberty seems somehow akin to white middle-class guilt on a global scale barely masking a seething superiority complex.

    The argument as to how the rest of the world perceives us strikes me as sort of insulting, both towards Americans and towards the average world citizen. All the time, we’re told that, as Americans, we “don’t get the whole story” of other cultures from our news media. If the average world citizen truly believes that Conservapedia represents the whole of “American thought”, then it would seem that they’re also being just as deceived as we are. If, however, the “world media” is so vastly better at presenting unbiased, wholly-informative pictures of societies, then the argument seems to assume that the average world citizen is utterly incapable of evaluating the information presented to them by their media, weighing the importance of the story source (this is Conservapedia we’re talking about here, not GOP.com or something) and coming to any sort of reasonable, rational conclusion. We can only show our pretty face to the world, otherwise the world might get scared and throw stones? Exactly why is it that we’re the only country this seems to be expected of?

    Certainly it’s one’s right, some might even say duty, to present an alternative viewpoint if one holds such, but to be embarrassed by another’s view?

    In the end, Conservapedia does represent us, us “Americans”. As does MoveOn.org, Townhall.com, DailyKOS.com and…well, Libertarians are generally too busy being fiercely independent to actually put up websites encapsulating their positions, but should a group of them ever manage to come off their “man islands” long enough to build a central identity, then they would be representative of Americans as well. Our society is, by its very specific definition, a mosaic of people and ideas and all of those ideas represent “Us”. If they don’t represent “you” in particular, then “you” should feel free to advocate for their opposite, but when one starts to assign abstract concepts like “embarrassment” and “shame” to the ideas of others, then one is guilty of sacrificing freedom and liberty for some homogeneous mewling mockery of safety and intellectual aristocracy, which is the exact thing this country was created to stand against.

    If Tim Gunn’s new show has taught me one thing (it certainly hasn’t taught me how to dress better), then it’s that I can’t control perception, only presentation. So I would rather present to the world a society that owns its “crazy” and works to deal with it by presenting a plurality of views, but doesn’t try and pretend like it doesn’t exist or that it belongs to someone else. If we present that society to the world, then it becomes obvious that those out in the world who begin and end their assessment of the United States with Conservapedia have their own axes to grind and were never going to like and/or get us anyway. Besides, one man’s “crazy” is another man’s “visionary” and, sometimes, a nutjob is just what the situation calls for.

  4. {{ why is an extremity of view a bad thing, a thing that must be shamefully claimed and apologized for? }}

    I don’t know. It might have something to do with the fact that extremist Marxists and Fascists have collectively killed millions of people in the 20th century alone. Or that extremist Christianity and Islam has been response for the deaths of several more millions over the last 1,000 years. The problem with people who believe they have a monopoly on truth is that they’re willing to do anything to prove that they’re right. It is important to have convictions. However, those convictions need to be tempered by reflection and introspection. Show me a person who goes through life without any doubt at all, and I’ll show you a potential suicide bomber.

    {{ We can only show our pretty face to the world, otherwise the world might get scared and throw stones? Exactly why is it that we’re the only country this seems to be expected of? }}

    Because we said we’d be a different kind of empire. We told the world we’re an empire based on liberty and freedom rather than the sword. After the Cold War ended, we commited ourselves to a higher standard than our predecessors. Clinton and Bush both stated as much. Now, the rest of the world expects us to follow through on that commitment.

    {{ Certainly it’s one’s right, some might even say duty, to present an alternative viewpoint if one holds such, but to be embarrassed by another’s view? }}

    Embarassment is an emotion. To invoke it is to describe one’s feelings about the tone of the discourse. And given the fact that the “other viewpoint” is often directed at me personally (as in Fred Phelps’ “Faggots Should Burn in Hell” signs), I feel no need to apologize for feeling pity and shame for the opposition. As I stated above, that has nothing to do with respecting legal rights. One can be embarassed by a view without calling for its suppression through the use of force. I’ve always been clearly and consistantly against politically motivated imprisonment, as you well know. And if I were making an official statement as a federal judge, I’d have to bracket whatever gut wrenching thought that comes through my head about the folks at Conservapedia, George Bush, Pat Robertson, or anyone else for that matter. But I’m not conversing with you in any professional capacity.

    Bottom line: I fully recognize Phelps’ right to speak out… or even protest at military funerals. What you seem to be suggesting is that I MUST respect the substance of his viewpoint too. I don’t think that was ever a requirement of free speech doctrine.

  5. As for the “middle-class white guilt” and “seething superiority complex” comment, that almost sounds like you’re not respecting an alternative point of view.

    Pluralism for all, except middle-class whites who disagree with the status-quo. Uh huh.

  6. I can’t resist the “intellectual aristocracy” comment either.

    So, if you were Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee… you’d subpeona the guy camped outside the 42nd Street subway station with the “REPENT NOW, THE END IS NEAR” sign over Dr. Condoleezza Rice (Stanford)? Or Dr. Madeleine Albright (Columbia)?

    There’s a reason why Congress and state legislatures rely on experts for testimony and ideas. It might have something to do with the fact that after 10-15 years of specialization in a field, one tends to know a little more about the subject matter than others. Are these experts always right? Of course not, and they disagree with each other all the time. But the point is free speech does not mean equal speech. Those intellectuals have earned the right to speak in a forum that’s far more influential than the subway station. I would argue that it isn’t just some frivolous distinction either. It is based on rewarding pedagogical merit and achievement.

    This country has always privileged the intellectual aristocracy. Jefferson himself was an intellectual of great distinction (not to mention a very wealthy aristocrat). He was a contemporary of Hume, Gibbon, Kant, and many other key figures of the Enlightenment and Neo-Classical revival. And he was hardly alone. You could find more than a few wealthy, intellectual elitists of that order among the Founding Fathers.

  7. For many years, I could never understand the obsession the right wing nut cases had with homosexuals and gay sex. And I see nothing has changed.

  8. So what we apparently have are gays and gay supporters trying to prove other people are obsessed with them by using page counts — which they have apparently rigged multiple Google bombs, bots, and links to distort.

    Two thoughts:

    1) One would think that people whining about how untruthful someone else was wouldn’t resort to fibbing themselves to prove it

    2) Given the amount of time it took to make these things and the specificity of their target, who’s obsessed with whom?

  9. NDT, it wouldn’t surprise me if the stats are rigged, (although the link doesn’t prove so). I mean, it is the Internet. And of course the article is not surprised that homosexuality is one of the top subjects in Conservapedia. They say so on their own site. So I read their asinine entry on homosexuality. And in recent times, I hear the rhetoric of many right wing nuts, who seem concerned about other people’s sex lives more so than their own. Yeah, it’s clear who’s still obsessed with whom.

    Sure, anyone who takes the time to rig the stats has too much time on their hands. As stupid as that is, I think it’s worse when people go out of their way to take away rights of others. As far as I know, the stat riggers don’t want to take away marriage rights and others from the right wing. If they do, then I will classify those specific individuals as obsessed as the right wing nuts.

  10. Again, Pat, let me walk through the steps here.

    1. Gays are claiming that conservatives are obsessed by gays and therefore crazy by citing Conservapedia page counts.

    2. Gays admit that they rigged the page counts they are citing.

    3. Gays say that their rigging the page counts shouldn’t matter because they claim conservatives are evil.

    Somewhere lost in there is that the first statement being proven to be a result of rigging rather obliterates the credibility of the third statement — because the second demonstrated that gays will rig data against conservatives.

    Furthermore, since you’ve established that there’s nothing wrong rigging data to make people you don’t like look bad, your criticism of Conservapedia for allegedly doing the same is completely hypocritical.

    This is what happens when the morals of gay people are subsumed by their need for petty revenge.

  11. Couple of things, NDT:

    1. So all gays everywhere are complaining about conservatives? All gays have admitted to having a hand in botting Conservapedia? All gays are making special pleadings about their actions? Seriously, NDT, you need to stop implying that this problem is wider-spread than it actually is and start putting some qualifiers on your wild generalizations.

    2. The second point is unsupported by your article link. The AC who posted that he had a hand in this particular bot at no point mentioned his own sexuality, only that botting various CP topics was a common practice (much like botting wikis) and it was just homosexuality’s turn.

    3. It’s Conservapedia, an open-doored, web-based, informational forum with a strongly admitted bias primarily visited by two sorts of surfers: Those who believe it to be utterly true and those who are pointing and laughing at it. Again, a certain amount of perspective should be retained. It’s not like they cracked open the Pentagon’s computers and spilled U.S. defense secrets. They wrote a program that most likely looks for any “homosexuality” meta tag on the Conservapedia site and then just hits it over and over again. It’s not even a DOS attack, just a virtual inflation of site statistics which can be easily reset by, as the commenter pointed out, standard page maintenance. Should they have done it? No, but using it as some sort of metric to judge the moral fiber of every homosexual out there is just as ridiculous as thinking conservatives actually give that much time to reading about homosexuals.

  12. Should they have done it? No, but using it as some sort of metric to judge the moral fiber of every homosexual out there is just as ridiculous as thinking conservatives actually give that much time to reading about homosexuals.

    Not really.

    You see, the latter (“conservatives actually give that much time to reading about homosexuals”) as an assertion based on page views has been demonstrated to be false and a result of deliberate rigging.

    However, the fact that the counts were rigged, the rigged counts were cited by gay bloggers and websites as being proof, and the fact the counts were rigged is being rationalized as acceptable by gays because conservatives are mean is perfectly observable and provable just in this thread alone.

    Seriously, NDT, you need to stop implying that this problem is wider-spread than it actually is and start putting some qualifiers on your wild generalizations.

    If you’ll note my original posting, QJ, I did not use the word “all”, simply because my own protestation against it makes that false.

    But as even you will admit, I am the only person here stating that what was done was wrong, period, and not trying to justify it with “conservatives are evil” or “No, but”.

  13. Yes, really, NDT, because again you’re merrily ignoring the issue of perspective in order to damn “the gays”.

    If you’ll note my original posting, QJ, I did not use the word “all”, simply because my own protestation against it makes that false.

    Yet what you specifically said was that “gays” do this and “gays” do that. That usage, at the very least, implies that it is a characteristic of “the gays”. For someone who is so keen on binary interpretations of reality, one would think specific word choices were made intentionally.

    But as even you will admit, I am the only person here stating that what was done was wrong, period, and not trying to justify it with “conservatives are evil” or “No, but”.

    And? How does that make your interpretation any more likely to be the correct one, simply because it is in the minority? Just because you wander alone in the desert doesn’t make you a prophet. Sometimes it just makes you that kook who wanders alone in the desert.

  14. Incidentally, John, I’m specifically not responding to your response because, as I said, my initial comment was written while I was self-medicating for this damnable post-nasal drip that’s tearing the hell out of my throat. My points, whatever they may have been, weren’t quite as focused as I would have liked them to be or particularly coherent so I’m just backing off from the whole thing.

  15. And? How does that make your interpretation any more likely to be the correct one, simply because it is in the minority?

    It has nothing to do with the mere fact of being in the minority, QJ. That’s hardly unusual for me.

    It’s merely the fact that I am the only one stating that it is not right to do something wrong to a person and justify it because you don’t like them.

    Or, put differently, everyone else is arguing that it’s perfectly all right to do nasty things to Conservapedia because they don’t like them, while decrying how mean and awful and horrible it is for Conservapedia to allegedly say bad things about gays because the people at Conservapedia don’t like them.

  16. NDT, many times when I say an act was “stupid,” I usually mean it’s wrong as well. So if someone did rig the statistics of Conservapedia, it is wrong as well. I also pointed out that it is the Internet, so these things happen all the time. This is not a phenomena that is limited to (possibly) one or a few (possibly) gay people, as in the Conservapedia case.

    As for the three steps you cite, I don’t agree with them at all. I read the linked article, and I simply don’t come up with the same conclusions that you do. I can’t speak for other persons, but I do conclude that many religious right wing individuals are obsessed with gay sex. I did not conclude this simply and only based on the apparently rigged stats. It is because of previous and current actions of many on the religious right (see Dobson, La Barbera, and the groups they lead).

    The writer in the article claims (without proof) that the stats are rigged, but admits that homosexuality is one of the main topics. Conservapedia themselves says so. This buttresses my claim that many on the religious right (the ones that I specifically refer to as wingnuts) are obsessed with gay sex.

    Do some (or many) gays excuse deceitful actions to make religious right look bad? Sure

    Do some (or many) excuse the harmful and obsessive actions done by the religious right, because some rig stats? Yep, that’s unfortunately true too.

    I think both actions are wrong. But on a blog, I reserve the right to analyze both actions, and determine which actions are, in my view, more of a real problem and more harmful.

    I am not using it as a justification for rigging stats. But since it’s related to the topic at hand, I put these actions in perspective and related to the actual harmful intent of the wingnuts.

  17. Or, put differently, everyone else is arguing that it’s perfectly all right to do nasty things to Conservapedia because they don’t like them, while decrying how mean and awful and horrible it is for Conservapedia to allegedly say bad things about gays because the people at Conservapedia don’t like them.

    Again, NDT, that’s not true. I never argued that it was okay to prank CP because I don’t agree with them. I do think it’s important to retain a sense of perspective, though. You’re deliberately misinterpreting people’s stances in order to validate yourself as the last bastion of morality in the gay community. It’s not only insulting, it’s inaccurate.

  18. Unfortunately, Pat, that logic is undercut by the fact that one of the biggest advocates of this whole “smear people with Conservapedia page counts” fiasco was caught allowing death threats against those same people to be posted and remain for weeks.

    Who, then, are the “obsessive wingnuts” — those who read and contribute to an online wiki that you don’t like, or gays and their supporters who deliberately rig page counts to create false evidence against those people and make death threats against them as well?

    QJ:

    I never argued that it was okay to prank CP because I don’t agree with them.

    This is about more than “pranking Conservapedia”, QJ.

    Pranking Conservapedia was only the means; the purpose of doing this was to create false evidence to smear other people.

    The whole argument being made is that Conservapedia allegedly publishes false and defamatory evidence against gays, which is claimed to be “wrong”, “harmful”, and “unfair”, and shows that these people are unhealthily “obsessed”.

    So the response is to do the same thing, and justify it on the basis of conservatives being evil.

  19. This is about more than “pranking Conservapedia”, QJ.

    No, it’s not, no matter how much you would like it to be. That is the crux of your problem with perspective and why everyone gets so tired of you implying you’re the last moral homosexual on the planet.

    This is just about pranking CP. Making it about anything else requires a huge and unsupported logical leap and says far more about one’s own sense of persecution than the fall of generalized gay morality.

  20. Actually, you don’t need much of a leap at all, QJ; you merely need to read the post cited.

    A few of you have sent me links to the hilarious confirmation of 24/7 homofixation by the conservative fringe — the top 10 pages viewed on the “Conservapedia” (the winger “alternative to Wikipedia).

    Furthermore, what has been the response to the demonstration that it was a fake? Nothing but tepid equivocation about how, yeah, maybe it might have not been the best idea, but it was OK because conservatives are still evil and obsessed anyway, and oh, because you’re not minimizing it and equivocating for gays’ behavior, you have no “perspective” and have a persecution complex.

  21. Who, then, are the “obsessive wingnuts” — those who read and contribute to an online wiki that you don’t like, or gays and their supporters who deliberately rig page counts to create false evidence against those people and make death threats against them as well?

    I don’t get the connection here. Is there evidence that the riggers made death threats?

    As for who’s more obsessive, I’m still voting for the right wingnuts who want to continue push against equality and rig their own statistics re: exgay and the other trash that is written in the homosexualtiy entry. If the persons that did the rigging continue to do this, then they come close, but the wingnuts still come out on top. If they, in addtion, advocate (and continue to do so) to strip the rights of these individuals, then I’ll vote for a tie.

    As for the death threats against LaBarbera, they were reprehensible, no matter what opinion one has of LaBarbera.

  22. The connection, Pat, is that the people who are accusing people on Conservapedia of being “obsessed” and citing false statistics are a) themselves citing false statistics and b) justifying, allowing, and making death threats against other people.

    Somehow, I can’t put agitating for someone’s assassination on an equal footing with being opposed to gay marriage.

  23. Somehow, I can’t put agitating for someone’s assassination on an equal footing with being opposed to gay marriage.

    Neither can I. But that’s not the case here.

    What we have here is people citing false statistics (the Conservapedia stat riggers and the people who write the garbage in the Conservapedia homosexual entries).

    I don’t necessarily have a problem with people who oppose gay marriage. But someone like Peter La Barbera goes well beyond that and is, in my view, a dangerous and obsessive individual, who I believe, knowingly lies (or a certifiable imbecile) to promote his twisted agenda. It’s hard for me to say he’s any better than the persons who make death threats on the Internet. Note: If any of these persons are actually serious with these death threats, then that’s a different story. Regardless, I still find death threats reprehensible and it’s wrong use it to counter LaBarbera’s sickening acts. It seems that these sick threats don’t appear to be real, as far as I can tell. Unfortunately, LaBarbera’s threats are real and his actions are reprehensible, and have harmed many people.

  24. Nothing but tepid equivocation about how, yeah, maybe it might have not been the best idea, but it was OK because conservatives are still evil and obsessed anyway, and oh, because you’re not minimizing it and equivocating for gays’ behavior, you have no “perspective” and have a persecution complex.

    You know, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone in this thread call conservatives “evil” other than you. “Crackpots”, sure, “obsessive”, yes, but branding things as good and evil on the basis of this incident seems to be uniquely your own hang-up. This rush to throw around big words is exactly why you come off as having a persecution complex and no perspective on the actual importance of this incident.

  25. NDT, since you asked. LaBarbera is in a leadership position, and as such, I would fathom he has a lot of connections, and is in the know of what’s what with homosexuality, ex-gay movement, etc. He either must know that much of the garbage he spews are absolute lies or an absolute idiot. If it’s the former, he depends on a following to continue his lies, instead of being a leader and tell his flock that homosexuality is not the evil that people claim it to be. And that the ex-gay movement is harmful, in that it gives people false hope that they can “overcome” homosexuality. And when enough leaders like him continue to spew these lies, there will be a following that will believe him. That it’s okay to tell gay children that they are pieces of garbage if they don’t change, and convince enough people that ex-gay “therapy” works. I mean, they don’t know how many lives they helped destroy already? Or do they continue to lie about it?

    So assuming that LaBarbera is not an imbecile, I think his threats are real, his actions are reprehensible, and his actions have destroyed people’s lives.

    If you think that it’s acceptable for people like him who should know better to continue to knowlingly lie, we can agree to disagree. If you believe that LaBarbera really believes his bilge without being a complete idiot, we can agree to disagree. If you actually believe that there is value in ex-gay “therapy” and that it doesn’t ruin people’s lives, we can agree to disagree.

    NDT, I’d be interested in hearing what you’re opinion of LaBarbera is, and how you came to that determination.

  26. He either must know that much of the garbage he spews are absolute lies or an absolute idiot.

    Not really.

    After all, Pat, I can find you sources that show gay men taking children to sex fairs, gay men fostering children to molest them, gay men having public sex and leaving c*m all over restrooms, and statistics showing how much more likely gay men are to have HIV/AIDS and other STDs than the bulk of the population, and the health problems that go with that.

    Are those “lies”?

    And that the ex-gay movement is harmful, in that it gives people false hope that they can “overcome” homosexuality.

    Your results may vary.

    Personally, if people are that miserable being gay and they want to go the ex-gay route, more power to them. It seems cruel to take away that option if people want to use it.

    That it’s okay to tell gay children that they are pieces of garbage if they don’t change,

    This is where I start snickering.

    First, Peter LaBarbera’s rhetoric is downright mild compared the things those children will be called if they deviate one step from the Democrat Party, liberalism, or antireligious bigotry — and I speak from experience on this one. LaBarbera may be mean, but he’s not running around hoping all the babies of gay couples die of SIDS like gay liberals are doing for the children of gay conservatives.

    Second, since the gay community employs this sort of rhetoric itself against its own members who don’t comply, I fail to see what on earth gives any members of it the right to criticize Peter LaBarbera without being complete and utter hypocrites.

    In short, Pat, what does Peter LaBarbera do that Pam Spaulding and John Aravosis don’t?

  27. So, Democratic lawmakers in your state legalized gay adoption because they wanted “all the babies of gay conservative couples to die of SIDS?”

    Yes, I see it so clearly now. It must be some fiendish Democratic plot to ruin the lives of perspective gay conservative parents. There couldn’t possibly be any other explanation.

    But it’s probably for the best any way. Those gay parents will take the girls to sex fairs and molest the boys any way.

    P.S. No good deed goes unpunished (rolls eyes).

  28. After all, Pat, I can find you sources that show gay men taking children to sex fairs, gay men fostering children to molest them, gay men having public sex and leaving c*m all over restrooms, and statistics showing how much more likely gay men are to have HIV/AIDS and other STDs than the bulk of the population, and the health problems that go with that.

    I’m sure you could, and I’m sure LaBarbera could, especially since I’m leaning towards him not being a complete imbecile. He appears to be smart enough to come up with true stories to support his twisted agenda. And I understand he’s going to do his best to show the worst of the gay community while not showing the worst with straight people. That’s the way things work sometimes.

    I could go on and on and on about the horrible stories I hear about straight people and their kids that would make gay men taking kids to a sex fair seem like a walk in the park. All this within about 3 miles from where I live. No links for you, but just google DYFS if you’d like, and you’ll get the tip of the iceberg. Oh, and in case I really need to mention it. I do NOT approve kids going to sex fairs. Shame on ANYONE who takes their kids there and shame on authorities for letting that happen.

    Personally, if people are that miserable being gay and they want to go the ex-gay route, more power to them. It seems cruel to take away that option if people want to use it.

    I look at it this way. Suppose a person is miserable because he is short. Further, he is told he is evil because he is short, has family members that disown him for being short and must go to ex-short therapy, that includes stringing up his hands and feet and being pulled. And suppose there are a bunch of groups with outspoken clowns who say this is a good idea. Talk about cruel. That’s exactly how I feel about ex-gay therapy. If ex-gay therapy actually worked instead of deliberately attempted to destroy people’s lives, then we have a totally different story.

    First, Peter LaBarbera’s rhetoric is downright mild compared the things those children will be called if they deviate one step from the Democrat Party, liberalism, or antireligious bigotry — and I speak from experience on this one.

    When you were a child and a young adult, were you told by family and friends that you were a piece of garbage for having conservative views? Were you coerced to go to ex-conservative therapy? I’ll take you at your word that your experience of being a gay conservative has been bad and you’ve been harmed because of it. I’ll simply agree to disagree with you as to who is more harmful.

    As for John Aravosis and Pam Spaulding, I don’t see the same harmful rhetoric from them that I see from LaBarbera. I don’t see them trying to strip away the rights of conservative to have consenting sex, or to take children away from them. In fact, I don’t see them trying to take any rights from them.

    I’m with you about that there are people in the gay community that go after their own. It’s one of the criticisms I do have regarding the gay community, or against any group of people, for that matter. I just wonder if a subgroup of LaBarbera’s group all of a sudden, publicly said that they don’t believe ex-gay therapy works, expose that LaBarbera knows it, that he should let up on homosexuals, and stop being obsessive, and concentrate on their own families. Somehow I don’t get the feeling that they will be having a tea party afterwards.

  29. {{ Oh, and in case I really need to mention it. I do NOT approve kids going to sex fairs. Shame on ANYONE who takes their kids there and shame on authorities for letting that happen. }}

    It goes without saying that child molestation is reprehensible too, in case there was some doubt about that.

    However, when it comes to certain “racy” festivals (Carnivale, Mardi Gras, and so forth), I think the cops would argue that they’re not babysitters. And I sort of agree with that.

    It is the responsibility of parents to keep the kids away from the flashing boobs. The authorities are there to direct traffic, prevent violent flare-ups, and stop the intoxicated from hurting themselves or others. They’re busy.

    Besides, these are things that kids see in movie theatres across the nation everyday. Many parents take their young kids to see any number of ultra-violent and sex-infused R-rated flicks. Not to mention the proliferation of HBO and Showtime. Should we send the police to check every cable box and movie screen in the land?

  30. John, I don’t necessarily mean the police. If it’s a public venue that children will be present, then the public sex acts are illegal and perhaps there should be police action. If such debauchery is “allowed” then it seems that the facilitators should make sure that children are not admitted. And perhaps child protective services should investigate in some cases to.

    I get your point about violence and sex in movies. But, to me at least, there is a difference between seeing it live and in person, then on the tube or the silver screen.

  31. I could go on and on and on about the horrible stories I hear about straight people and their kids that would make gay men taking kids to a sex fair seem like a walk in the park.

    You could, but you’d have to acknowledge a couple of things:

    1) These people didn’t claim being “heterosexual” gave them the right to do what they did

    2) These people were condemned by their community, not supported

    3) Generally, these people don’t argue, “well, my kids were going to see it on HBO anyway,so it was OK”

    Pointing out “well, straight people do….” is not an argument. We’re not talking about what straight people do, we’re talking about what gay people do — and how they do it scot-free,without any consequences whatsoever, and certainly not condemnation or punishment by their own community. Straight people make mistakes like gay people do, but straight society has demonstrated control mechanisms for those who can’t control their sexual desires around children or who can’t seem to tell right from wrong when it comes to public and promiscuous sex.

    Gays, by and large, have not.

    If ex-gay therapy actually worked instead of deliberately attempted to destroy people’s lives, then we have a totally different story.

    And for some people it does.

    When you understand why I am not threatened in the least to say that, you’ll have a much better grasp on my perspective.

    When you were a child and a young adult, were you told by family and friends that you were a piece of garbage for having conservative views? Were you coerced to go to ex-conservative therapy?

    (shrug) That’s what fellow gays tell me on a regular basis. Is it wrong for them to do that?

  32. You could, but you’d have to acknowledge a couple of things:
    1) These people didn’t claim being “heterosexual” gave them the right to do what they did

    To me, it really doesn’t matter what reason people give. It’s just as valid as “the devil made me do it.”

    2) These people were condemned by their community, not supported

    A lot of good that’s doing.

    3) Generally, these people don’t argue, “well, my kids were going to see it on HBO anyway,so it was OK”

    Totally missed your point here.

    Pointing out “well, straight people do….” is not an argument.

    Now we’re getting somewhere. Pointing out the worst in the gay community, as if it’s worse than any other community, doesn’t excuse LaBarbera’s lies, twisted agenda, and reprehensible actions. What excuse does he use for his actions? What are conservatives doing to get rid of his poison?

    Straight people make mistakes like gay people do, but straight society has demonstrated control mechanisms for those who can’t control their sexual desires around children or who can’t seem to tell right from wrong when it comes to public and promiscuous sex.

    Like I said above, the “control” mechanisms aren’t doing that well a job.

    And for some people it does.

    When you understand why I am not threatened in the least to say that, you’ll have a much better grasp on my perspective.

    Even the kooks that run these programs haven’t provided one iota of real evidence that it works.

    I am not personally threatened by ex-gay programs either. I am more concerned for the young adults that get coerced into these programs.

    (shrug) That’s what fellow gays tell me on a regular basis. Is it wrong for them to do that?

    Sorry about that, but that’s not what I was asking. I have relatives, and perhaps friends from my childhood, that don’t like the gay thing, or can’t understand how people cannot be conservative. At 43, I can laugh those things off now. I’m not so sure when I was 15, 18, or 21. At that age, I was more afraid of being excoriated for being gay as opposed to my political views. Let me clarify what I was asking. Did you have family members or friends from your childhood or as a young adult excoriate you for being conservative when you were a teen or a young adult?

  33. Pat, I don’t disagree with your premise, but I think it’s really upto the parents to shield their children from the public sex and violence.

    As a pragmatic consideration, city governments will continue allow Folsom Street Fairs, Mardi Gras, Carnivales, and White Parties because it sells. These events bring in a great deal of money (taxes) and publicity. And I doubt anything short of a dramatic change in government will stop that flow of official support.

    But then again, the events don’t come out of nowhere either. Street closures are always announced several weeks in advance. Local media tends to warn residents of potential disruptions several days beforehand. So, why don’t these folks protect their own kids? Stay indoors on that particular day. Have a picnic in one of the parks. Bring the kids to their grandparents’ house. Leave them at a day camp outside of the neighborhood. This isn’t rocket science.

    And yeah, the gay parents who take their kids to these events are exercising poor judgment IMO. But so are the right-wing parents who gleefully and maliciously bring their kids to the sinful activity (often with video camera in hand, so that they can “document” the debauchery for the rest of the world). And if complaints arise in any of these cases, then CPS needs to take them seriously.

  34. John, I agree with most of your points. Parents who take their kids to their kids knowing that these activities occurring (or didn’t know, but failed to remove their children from this) are guilty of exercising poor judgment and then some. It seems that some mechanism should be in place for these events to either prevent or punish public sex acts, or to prevent children from coming to these events. It just doesn’t seem to me that it should be that difficult.

  35. Like I said above, the “control” mechanisms aren’t doing that well a job.

    I’d rather have something than nothing at all, which is what we see in the gay community.

    Even the kooks that run these programs haven’t provided one iota of real evidence that it works.

    That would be because there is no evidence that you would accept.

    All the time, whenever they bring people forward, all that gays like yourself do is scream “they’re faking it” and “they’re still gay inside, they still want gay sex”.

    The fear of ex-gays in the gay community comes from two things: one, it puts an end to the theory that being gay requires any sort of behavior beyond sexual attraction to someone of the same gender, and two, it forces people to stop hiding behind the “it’s biological, I can’t help myself” and admit that it is their choice and preference to act on any desire they have to have sex with people of the same gender.

    Those are both very powerful reasons that gays would be inclined to reject any such evidence.

    I am more concerned for the young adults that get coerced into these programs.

    What business is that of yours? You don’t want anyone poking into or making judgment on your own sexual choices; why are you so upset about theirs?

    Again, Pat, you are threatened; you’re merely masking that out of “concern”, just as LaBarbera masks the threat he feels behind “health concerns”.

    Sorry about that, but that’s not what I was asking.

    Well, it is, Pat. You’re upset about people calling others garbage; why is that age-dependent? Is it something that is more acceptable to do to adults?

  36. All the time, whenever they bring people forward, all that gays like yourself do is scream “they’re faking it” and “they’re still gay inside, they still want gay sex”.

    And that would have nothing to do with the fact that the majority of individuals who enter into “ex-gay reparative therapy” either eventually continue to lead openly homosexual lifestyles or, more dangerously, and basically by these groups’ own admission, seek homosexual encounters on the sly (with a corresponding increase in unsafe sexual activity) while attempting to maintain a “straight” life?

    People express their sexuality in many different ways for many different reasons. It is certainly possible someone might express homosexual behaviors not because they are, in fact, homosexual, but because of some sort of life event that influences their sexuality. This isn’t to say that homosexuality is always the result of psychological trauma, but that all normal, healthy forms of sexual expression can be subverted and improperly displayed.

    It is this key point that ex-gay reparative therapy groups fail to acknowledge, along with claiming a psychological verifiability and professionalism that simply does not exist, and that puts their claims in jeopardy. Again, it is possible that ex-gay reparative therapy might work for an individual who is expressing homosexual sexual behavior due to some sort of past psychological trauma. However, by far the majority of homosexuals are not acting on their innate desire due to trauma. Any good psychologist will tell you that it is a mistake to assume one single psychological methodology will work equally well to solve psychological issues in all cases, yet a majority of ex-gay reparative therapists make no such distinction.

    That is the fundamental problem with ex-gay therapy. Not a fear-based response, as you, NDT, and leaders of the ex-gay therapy movement would try and make believe. It’s the fact that ex-gay reparative therapy is shoddy psychology based on a faulty premise: That all homosexuality is based on psychological trauma and is, therefore, curable.

    Perhaps there is a level of threat, but the feeling of “threat” isn’t inherently bad. The threat, though, comes not from the notion that some traumatized individuals may find some sort of psychological peace through ex-gay reparative therapy, but that those organizations then incorrectly use those rare individuals as proof that all homosexuality is trauma based and anti-homosexual organizations such as LaBarbara’s then use this barely pseudo-science as proof for the condemnation of all homosexuality.

    It’s really the same notion as hate crime laws. The argument goes that hate crime laws are unnecessary because regular laws already exist that criminalize the behavior and the introduction of thought crime is not going to make anyone safer. Ex-gay reparative therapy groups are like hate-crime laws in that sense. Plenty of therapeutic modalities exist for individuals suffering from inappropriate sexual expression due to past trauma, everything from sexual addiction to inappropriate display of homosexuality/heterosexuality. Why then should we endorse the addition of another layer of questionable practice, with little to no psychological backing, that may actually do more harm than good?

  37. That would be because there is no evidence that you would accept.

    Worst. Example. Of. Deductive. Reasoning. Ever.

    “I’m not going to show you the HEAPS of evidence I have supporting my statement because you’re only going to pick it apart.”

    Wow, that’s the logical equivalent of a child’s temper tantrum and basically implies that you lack faith in the quality of your own evidence. If it was so devastatingly inarguable, then its presentation should be a fait accompli. Otherwise, if one truly believes in it, it should be presented and opened up to review and criticism.

    Seriously, this logical little Catch 22 belittles your entire argument, NDT.

  38. Worst. Example. Of. Deductive. Reasoning. Ever.

    Not really, because, as I pointed out immediately following that statement:

    All the time, whenever they bring people forward, all that gays like yourself do is scream “they’re faking it” and “they’re still gay inside, they still want gay sex”.

    Had I made it in a vacuum, you would be right. But what I pointed out is that, time and time again, when examples of ex-gays have been brought forward, the gay community has displayed its amazing skill in Legilimency to dismiss them.

    Since you’ve resorted to mythical powers already to refute their evidence, why waste the effort?

    Furthermore, given your tirade that ex-gay therapies are shoddy science because people relapse, you may be interested in this statement:

    Between 80% and 90% of people treated for alcoholism relapse, even after years of abstinence.

    Therefore, by that logic, cognitive and behavioral therapy for alcoholism is “shoddy science based on a faulty premise”, since the vast majority of people relapse. Furthermore, it would be “cruel” to make alcoholics go through such therapy since statistics show they’re almost guaranteed to fail, just as you claim it is for ex-gays.

    The problem again is, QJ, that if there is any choice whatsoever associated with homosexuality, the whole constitutional-rights argument collapses into a pile of cards. You can be allowed exceptions if you have no control over your behavior, but if you’re choosing to fool around with the same sex versus the opposite sex, society does not have to treat the former with the same attitude that they do the latter.

  39. NDT, your underlying logical analysis is what’s at fault, not how you choose to characterize the homosexual community’s examination of anecdotal evidence. Taking your ball and going home because someone is being mean to you is childish argumentation and makes one wonder how great your ball was in the first place.

    I would like to point out that I said ex-gay therapy was pseudo-science not because of relapses but because it is used as a false baseline. The incorrectly expansive modeling based on highly individual outcomes is the objection and the fact that the treatments, by their own admission, only have a 30% success rate and that “success” is actually a wide array of different outcomes, is simply proof that the model is being incorrectly constructed and applied. So the alcoholism argument you’re making misses the point utterly.

    Its an interesting comparison, though, and since you opened the door, and don’t deny for a second that is what you did, let’s examine it. Let me concentrate on one key point as to why ex-gay reparative therapy programs and alcoholism treatment programs are worlds of difference apart.

    When an alcoholic enters into an alcoholism treatment program, the first thing they are given to understand is that they are always going to be an alcoholic, that there is no such thing as a “cure” for alcoholism. Each and every day they will be faced with temptation and they will have to make decisions to create the sort of life they want

    Alcohol treatment programs make no promise of a “cure”, only of ways to help maintain one’s resolve. Ex-gay reparative therapy programs, however, clearly believe in, as the front page of Exodus International’s website says, “freedom from homosexuality”.

    That’s a very important difference and the reason there is no point of congruence between these two approaches.

    Lets assume, though, for a moment that point of congruence exists. Even granting your comparison, the best a homosexual can hope for is self-denial, a deep, deep suppression of their sexuality, that never fundamentally changes it, only covers it up. They’re still gay and they’re going to be gay for the rest of their lives, they just now have a group of people who serve as moral support for their repression.

    The tragedy is that, in contrast to alcohol, being gay isn’t inherently unhealthy. You might have had a better argument with race and crime statistics as that takes an inherently neutral condition and attempts to correlate it with personal behavior that may prove to be detrimental.

    I’ve certainly never said it wasn’t someone’s right to repress whatever they like about themselves. If the fact of being homosexual is so disturbing to someone that to live a life of constant vigilance and daily suppression of innate desire sounds like a better option than simply being gay, then good luck and God bless. Personally, I think it sounds like a lot of effort for no reason, effort that could be used elsewhere to address issues and problems that are less about personal vanity. I mean, if the worst thing that happens to you today is you have a desire to suck some cock, then compared to someone who can’t afford food, water, medical care or housing, then you’ve really had a pretty good day and it seems pretty vainglorious to spend time worrying about how God perceives your desire to smoke pole instead of helping His other children elevate their state of living. But whatever. Follow whatever you loosely define as bliss.

    Where I and many other homosexuals begin to object is when that personal choice is used as an absolute hallmark to imply that other choices are incorrect. And that’s where, once again, you make the exact same mistake as ex-gay therapy proponents.

    I have never shied away from choice in the homosexual equation. Of course there’s a choice. Even with your presented example, though, that choice occurs not in the quality of being homosexual, but in how one chooses to deal with that reality.

    While suppression of behavior is certainly a fair tactic in many cases, the prerequisite is that said behavior is somehow either harmful or deleterious to one’s life. Clearly alcoholism is. Homosexuality, however, is not and to present it as such and then claim “cure” is, indeed, possible is shoddy science based on a faulty premise.

  40. I’d rather have something than nothing at all, which is what we see in the gay community.

    I guess we disagree. When nothing works just as well, or even better than something, I prefer nothing, if given only those two choice (see Iraq, e.g.).

    That would be because there is no evidence that you would accept.

    All the time, whenever they bring people forward, all that gays like yourself do is scream “they’re faking it” and “they’re still gay inside, they still want gay sex”.

    Your statements would possibly be true if I felt threatened by gay people turning straight. And what QuakerJono said. I can’t add much else to it.

    The fear of ex-gays in the gay community comes from two things: one, it puts an end to the theory that being gay requires any sort of behavior beyond sexual attraction to someone of the same gender, and two, it forces people to stop hiding behind the “it’s biological, I can’t help myself” and admit that it is their choice and preference to act on any desire they have to have sex with people of the same gender.

    Those are both very powerful reasons that gays would be inclined to reject any such evidence.

    When there’s actual evidence of ex-gay therapy working, I’d be happy to examine your points. Except to say that I always felt it was a choice to act on one’s sexual orientation. If people want to be gay and repressed, I can’t stop them. But I do have an issue when they act being straight when they’re not, and then take someone else down with them by marrying someone of the opposite sex. It happens enough without ex-gay “therapy.”

    What business is that of yours? You don’t want anyone poking into or making judgment on your own sexual choices; why are you so upset about theirs?

    Actually, in some cases, I would. For example, child molestation is our business to make sure it doesn’t happen, and to punish people if it does. And yes, I also have a problem with teens and young adults being coerced into harmful ex-gay “therapy.”

    I have much less of a problem when someone without coercion seeks ex-gay therapy. I still have somewhat of a problem with it, because they are lied to that it works (unless you call simply suppressing (not changing) sexual orientation working).

    Again, Pat, you are threatened; you’re merely masking that out of “concern”, just as LaBarbera masks the threat he feels behind “health concerns”.

    NDT, we can certainly try mind-reading each other and speculate any motives behind what we say. All I can tell you that I am not personally threatened by kooks like LaBarbera. And I am concerned for those who are hurt by them. And I honestly don’t care whether LaBarbera is threatened by things he lies about or not.

    Well, it is, Pat. You’re upset about people calling others garbage; why is that age-dependent? Is it something that is more acceptable to do to adults?

    No. But I would feel less bothered if LaBarbera only preyed on people in their 40s and not younger folks (although it obviously wouldn’t make LaBarbera right). The age relevance has to do with the harm on people. My point with the question you chose not to answer is that hate against you could have been more harmful to you when you were younger.

  41. Wow. Get sick and miss the threading, and look what happens. NDT goes over the bend completely.

    I don’t have the energy or time to respond to all the items presented, but I MUST respond in one respect: NDT, you compared homosexuality to alcoholism. That is just plain retarded. Alcoholism is a disease. And if you think homosexuality is a disease–indeed, if you think “ex-gay therapy” EVER works–then physician, go heal thyself, because you’re starting to stink up the ward.

    And Bravo to QJ, Pat, and John for taking you to task.

  42. The reason I made the comparison, Jamie, was because QJ was saying that relapse meant that a treatment was unscientific and ineffective and should be avoided. As I pointed out, the relapse rate among those in cognitive and behavioral treatment for alcoholism runs between 80 and 90%, but I’ve never heard anyone argue that THOSE were unscientific and ineffective and should be avoided.

    And if you think homosexuality is a disease–indeed, if you think “ex-gay therapy” EVER works–then physician, go heal thyself, because you’re starting to stink up the ward.

    As we’ve seen on this thread, Jamie, even your supporters don’t completely agree with you on that one.

    Again, it is possible that ex-gay reparative therapy might work for an individual who is expressing homosexual sexual behavior due to some sort of past psychological trauma.

    Meanwhile, if I were concerned with homosexuality being a disease, I would “go heal thyself”. But I’m not. I have decided that it isn’t, that it makes sense for me, that I am fine with the consequences of that, and as such, I don’t particularly need “healing”.

    Your mileage may vary. And I personally don’t care if someone else chooses to think differently and decides to undergo such therapy in an effort to change their orientation and deal with their behaviors, and chooses to advertise the option to others as being available. I am comfortable enough and responsible enough to say that this is my choice, but it doesn’t have to be yours, and if you really want to do said therapy, go right ahead.

    Bluntly put, I think straight people have every right to question gays based on our sexual behavior, especially given our atrocious STD rate, the number of us who have died from self-inflicted actions like AIDS and drug abuse, and the public behaviors that have been carried out in the name of “pride”. And instead of giving honest answers that would reflect these being a matter of choices for which individuals could be held accountable, the gay community has screamed “biology, biology” instead, trying to blame it on immutable characteristics. Since ex-gay therapy demonstrates quite nicely that gay behavior is NOT immutable and thus that gays ARE responsible for their own choices, it is loathed and feared by most gays at a very visceral level.

    I don’t need to hide behind “biology” to justify my behavior. I am not ashamed of who I am or what my choices are. And as a result, I am not threatened in the least by what Peter LaBarbera or anyone else chooses to say, because anyone who looks at me is going to know it isn’t true.

    Obviously those of you who are obsessed with tearing him and other things around haven’t reached that level yet.

  43. Bluntly put, I think straight people have every right to question gays based on our sexual behavior, especially given our atrocious STD rate, the number of us who have died from self-inflicted actions like AIDS and drug abuse, and the public behaviors that have been carried out in the name of “pride”.

    I think everyone here knows that I don’t approve of a great deal of outlandish behavior demonstrated by parts of the gay community. But since you use the word “atrocious,” I find it atrocious that you would fail to point out the difference between behavior and orientation. And I certainly wouldn’t nonchalantly throw around the word “choice.” Exactly what “choice” did you make, NDT, that you’re referring to “not being ashamed of?”

    I can honestly answer the question myself. Would I “choose” to be me? Certainly–I love Norm, I love my life, I love my family and friends. I’m a very lucky man. But was homosexuality itself a choice? Hardly. The only choice involved there was in deciding to live honestly and not according to the scripted beliefs of those around me. I chose to never lie again. I chose to love whom I found worthy. I chose to not be ashamed of how God made me. I chose to not be promiscuous. I chose to not degrade myself by stooping to the myriad pitfalls awaiting the young gay man coming out of the closet, often laid by those already ensconced in “the scene.”

    But did I choose to be gay in the first place? Of course not. And that itself is the implication I see you making that I find completely abominable.

  44. But since you use the word “atrocious,” I find it atrocious that you would fail to point out the difference between behavior and orientation.

    Except that I did.

    And instead of giving honest answers that would reflect these being a matter of choices for which individuals could be held accountable, the gay community has screamed “biology, biology” instead, trying to blame it on immutable characteristics.

    But did I choose to be gay in the first place? Of course not.

    When I was studying in Germany, Jamie, one of my friend’s grandmothers told me one day that, had I been around in the days of the Nazis, because of my looks and heritage, I would have been put in the SS and given one order: here are the approved women, breed.

    I laughed and said, “That would have lasted ten minutes.”

    She said, “Then not only would you have been killed, but they would have killed all of your immediate relatives — to eliminate the defective genes, you know.”

    And then she looked at me: “Are you sure it would have only been ten minutes?”

    Hence my argument. I choose to be gay because it is convenient for me to do so. That’s where my sexual urges and interests lie, and that’s what I prefer. But if I had other reasons, I certainly could prioritize them ahead of it.

    The question then becomes whether it makes a difference or not in regards to other things. Does it change my ability to do my job? Not really, unless my job is breeding. But does it change the relationship structure I need, especially given that my odds of producing children are minimal? Yes, emphatically.

  45. Please explain how that paragraph, or the context it was originally contained in, demonstrates the difference between orientation and behavior. Because I truly fail to see it at all and your answer makes no sense to me.

    And this:
    Hence my argument. I choose to be gay because it is convenient for me to do so.

    One doesn’t choose to “be” gay. The choice is in admitting to it–to yourself first.

    Behavior, however, is an entirely different topic. One CAN choose to be a Nazi.

  46. When I was studying in Germany (snip anecdote meant to make us all feel bad)

    Oh, NDT, I’m so glad to hear that you’ve finally embraced relativistic morality and all it took was a theoretical lifeboat situation to do it. I would hasten to point out that you do not “choose to be gay”, as you said, but make a choice to suppress your gay desires, but I don’t want to say too much and ruin this moment when Mr. Black and White has finally admitted to seeing shades of gray when his own comfort is on the line.

  47. Oh, NDT, I’m so glad to hear that you’ve finally embraced relativistic morality and all it took was a theoretical lifeboat situation to do it.

    “Relativistic morality” comes when you shift moral priorities based on the situation, QJ, not when you make choices based on them.

    Jamie:

    Please explain how that paragraph, or the context it was originally contained in, demonstrates the difference between orientation and behavior.

    I made it clear that the honest answer was that these behaviors are the choices of individuals.

    What I also pointed out, though, is that the gay community has screamed “biology, biology” to blame these behaviors on what they claim are immutable characteristics, and that their orientation requires them to act this way.

  48. What I also pointed out, though, is that the gay community has screamed “biology, biology” to blame these behaviors on what they claim are immutable characteristics, and that their orientation requires them to act this way.

    You know, there is a biological basis for that argument, at least for a promiscuity argument. The argument goes as such. Assuming the biological imperative is to get one’s genes into the next generation, women tend to favor quality over quantity whereas men tend to reverse that.

    Women, assuming at least one perfectly viable egg is produced each reproductive cycle, have approximately five hundred chances over the course of their entire reproductive career, from onset of menses to menopause, to achieve the goals of the biological imperative. Therefore, the best tactic is for women to find the best source of viable sperm and only use that source for as many of those 500 shots as they can, figuring that while the number of offspring may be small, they will be exceptionally hardy. Hence the nesting instinct and a strong draw to monogamy.

    Men, however, produce relatively huge quantities of viable sperm throughout the entire course of their lives, from puberty until death, assuming no other factors inhibit this production. For men, then, the best biological tactic to accomplish the biological goal, is to use their sperm in as many situations as possible, figuring that overproduction of fetuses will give rise to at least one viable fetus reproducing in the next generation.

    That last bit, the idea that reproductive success of the parents can’t really be determined until the reproductive viability of the first filial generation is verified, is important as well. It’s not just that men and women have any old child, it’s that those children then reproduce, or are at least capable of reproduction, in the next generation that is used to judge reproductive success in both the male and female reproductive strategies.

    While this in no way, shape or form encompasses the whole of human sexual expression, it does serve to partially illuminate why men in general, and gay men in particular, tend towards promiscuity and possibly sheds some light on the seeming difficulty in long-term relationships between same-sex-attracted men and a rather higher than average amount of longterm relationships between same-sex-attracted women.

  49. I don’t need to hide behind “biology” to justify my behavior. I am not ashamed of who I am or what my choices are. And as a result, I am not threatened in the least by what Peter LaBarbera or anyone else chooses to say, because anyone who looks at me is going to know it isn’t true.

    Obviously those of you who are obsessed with tearing him and other things around haven’t reached that level yet.

    NDT, obviously you’re missing the point. It is possible to not personally be threatened by kooks like LaBarbera and be ashamed of who one is. I’m certainly not ashamed of who I am. But I am going to call out on dangerous individuals who are harming other people. You choose not to, believe that LaBarbera is not harmful, or somehow choose to believe that the ex-gay “therapy” he endorses actually works. How does that make you less ashamed than anyone else here?

    How on earth could you reach your “obvious” conclusion based on a difference of opinion. Again, we can mind read and faux psychoanalyze each other and I can claim that you are ashamed of yourself, obsessive, etc., because you do not denouce LaBarbera. Unfair? Right?

    If LaBarbera wasn’t a predator, and a liar, and if there was real evidence that ex-gay “therapy” works, I would agree with your points about LaBarbera. Since we clearly disagree about the above three points, I guess there is no where else to go in this argument at this point.

  50. But I am going to call out on dangerous individuals who are harming other people.

    Uh huh.

    If that were the case, Pat, you, Pam Spaulding, and the others would be having collective screaming fits over this information, or statistics like these that are a direct result of it.

    Two years ago, a CDC study of 1,700 gay men in five cities found that 25 percent overall were infected with HIV, compared with well under 1 percent in the general population. Almost half who tested positive were previously unaware of their infection.

    But who are you going after?

    Peter LaBarbera and Conservapedia.

    Meanwhile, what the CDC is demonstrating is that what is the most harmful thing in the gay community is gays CHOOSING to have unprotected and promiscuous sex.

    You choose not to, believe that LaBarbera is not harmful, or somehow choose to believe that the ex-gay “therapy” he endorses actually works. How does that make you less ashamed than anyone else here?

    Because, Pat, I am not threatened by either statement.

    Nor am I afraid of being hated by other gays for calling out the fact that gay behavior is what is causing the primary harm to the gay community.

  51. Unsafe sexual practices are no more “gay behaviors” than they are “straight behaviors.” The high prevalence of HIV in Africa, for instance, has nothing to do with whether Africans are engaging in “gay behaviors” or “straight behaviors.” It is because they’re having unprotected sex, using unclean needles, and so forth. Period.

    The problem with LaBarbera and NDT is that they both enjoy politicizing (injecting partisan and religious viewpoints into the debate for the purposes of electioneering) what is basically a public health issue.

  52. I repeat this statistic, John:

    Two years ago, a CDC study of 1,700 gay men in five cities found that 25 percent overall were infected with HIV, compared with well under 1 percent in the general population. Almost half who tested positive were previously unaware of their infection.

    If, as you claim, it is not a matter of “gay” versus “straight” behavior, then we would expect that straight and gay infection rates would be relatively similar.

    Why, then, is the rate of infection in the gay population TWENTY-FIVE TIMES that in the straight population?

  53. LOGICAL FALLACY ALERT!!!

    NDT, while I will NEVER endorse or excuse irresponsible sexual behavior, the “25% overall” is the current amount infected, including those who’ve survived many years–not the current “rate of infection.”

    A numerical rate of infection cannot be gleaned from the statistic you cited. Only the amount of infecTED. A “rate” implies a numerical or percentage recorded increase over a set timespan.

    However, I do agree that the newly released report reflects an increase in unsafe sexual practices among gay men. There is nothing to indicate, however, that these practices are not just as widely and irresponsibly performed by straight men, or women, for that matter.

    The question we should be looking at is not who does what more than whom, but rather WHY is this still needing discussion so many years after the initial onset of the disease?

    I submit that there are a number of factors. Immaturity, for one. Newly out gays unfamiliar with the initial HIV crisis think it’s not that big of a deal. There was another recent study that showed that a high percentage of Americans didn’t even know anything about AIDS–like 40 or 50 %. (I’ll look for the study–I remember it’s what got one Baptist lady to start advocating for research).

    Other factors would include idiocy like Andrew Sullivan’s posturing that barebacking is “no big deal.” There’s also the false belief that that current spate of drug treatments somehow equates to a cure. I could go on and on.

    Basically, we need to try new ways of educating younger people before it’s too late. And, as I’ve said before, scaring the shit out of them seemed to work pretty well the first time around, and safe-sex practices greatly increased within the gay community. But that’s not nearly enough.

    And you, NDT, screaming about how it’s “gay behavior” that’s to blame, at the very audience that’s out there reading this–the ones you should be hoping to save from HIV–well, you’re really, really not helping. It’s not “gay behavior.” It’s irresponsible behavior by gay men.

    And your endorsement of “ex-gay therapy” is just–insane.

  54. (sigh) Yes, you’ve always been very good at attempting to drown others in an avalanche of statistics. But you miss the point completely. Whether your statistics are correct or not has nothing to do with my opposition to your addiction to binaries.

    But if we want to talk about the demography issue itself, that’s fine with me. Contrary to popular belief, how a study is conducted does matter.

    Which cities are we talking about? Known high-risk hotspots like LA, SF, NYC, Miami, and Atlanta? How did the CDC find these gay men? Did they go to bars? Dance clubs? Hospitals? How do they account for the sizable rural and suburban population of gays? How is “sexuality” defined? Oral? Anal? Self-identified? And 25 times more by whose estimate? Did they test all the straights at the sampling sites while they were at it?

    Any or all of these variables can have a profound impact on the results. And you’re making (not just national, but global) inferences based on data of 1,700 participants from five cities. I think that’s a little presumptous.

  55. And what about the fallacy of including both males and females (straights) in one set of data, but only including males (gays) in the other?

    Aren’t lesbians just as “homosexual” as their male counterparts? Wouldn’t the inclusion of women bring that gap down considerably by default? How can you do comparative work when 1/4 of the logically salient information is missing?

  56. There is nothing to indicate, however, that these practices are not just as widely and irresponsibly performed by straight men, or women, for that matter.

    Again, Jamie, if these practices were as widely and irresponsibly performed by straight people, we would expect that the percentage of people infected in the straight versus the gay population would be similar.

    Why, then, is less than 1% of the straight population surveyed, versus 25% of the gay population, infected?

    Furthermore, if your assumption that ignorance about AIDS is a major cause of the problem, why, then, are gays apparently twenty-five times more ignorant than straight people?

    And you, NDT, screaming about how it’s “gay behavior” that’s to blame, at the very audience that’s out there reading this–the ones you should be hoping to save from HIV–well, you’re really, really not helping.

    Yes, because, as the statistics show, twenty-five years of rationalizing “straights do it too” against all evidence to the contrary and trying to argue that the CDC’s studies are flawed because they focused on cities with the highest percentage of gays and in spots where gays were most likely to congregate has been so f*cking effective in stopping AIDS, hasn’t it?

    And your endorsement of “ex-gay therapy” is just–insane.

    Acknowledging that it works for some people and that it should be kept as a viable option for those who want it is hardly endorsing it.

  57. So now John is arguing that the data is flawed because it doesn’t include lesbians.

    Fine; if lesbians were assumed to constitute half of the population of homosexual individuals and none of them had HIV, that would dilute the number by half; it would be 12.5% of homosexual people.

    So now the comparison is 12.5% to less than 1%.

    Of course, that does nothing to eliminate the fact that 25% of gay men are positive, with the rate of infection increasing — but you feel better about yourself because you were able to dilute a statistic.

  58. {{25% of gay men are positive}}

    (fake cough) Ahem!

    25% of gay men that they found and tested… in five U.S. cities (out of 19,000 plus).

  59. And if only a small percentage of lesbians are HIV positive, where do you get the gall to link HIV to “gay behaviors” or “homosexuality”?

    It’s absolutely irresponsible. Absolutely irresponsible.

  60. Well, to an extent, NDT has a kind of point in that, in terms transmission via sexual contact, unprotected anal sex is, by far, the most favored route. It doesn’t seem too great an assumption, if you’ll pardon the pun, to put gay men at the top of the list of participants in anal sex, with heterosexuals falling in the middle and lesbians at the low end. Therefore, it is technically truthful, although somewhat linguistically and logically misleading, to say that HIV is linked to gay behaviors, in that gay men do indeed have anal sex and, most likely, have more anal sex than straight men or women. It would be far more forthright, however, to say that HIV infection is linked to people who have anal sex and even more forthright to say it is linked to people who have unprotected anal sex.

    One can even subdivide this further and say the larger risk for two people engaging in unprotected anal sex lies with the receptive partner. The last numbers I saw on this estimated it at about a 1 to 10 risk of serioconversion for receptive partners exposed via unprotected anal sex to HIV whereas the risk for the penetrative partner is around 1 to 100 per exposure. Using this as a guideline, one could put together a continuum of linkage that would put 100% receptive gay men at the top, versatile gay men next, 100% penetrative gay men next, female heterosexuals next, male heterosexuals next and lesbians, once again, at the bottom.

    There are, of course, a ton of mitigating factors that would juggle those assumed rankings, but there does seem to be at least a superficial correspondence to the real world numbers.

    So NDT has a point, but he’s just phrasing it in a needlessly offensive, accusatory way to further his agenda.

  61. Easy.

    From the fact that, even WITH lesbians added, the percentage of those with HIV is staggeringly greater among homosexuals than among heterosexuals.

    Furthermore, if one leaves lesbians out of it and focuses exclusively on gays, that rate skyrockets even higher.

    Furthermore, even if one looks solely at the five cities (which, incidentally, were Baltimore, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and San Francisco, chosen because they also ranked among the highest in number of gays), what that means is that, in these cities, 25% of the gay population is positive — a rate far exceeding that of straight people. Indeed, in San Francisco alone, nine out of ten HIV infections are in gays.

    And the reason why is obvious; when confronted with the facts, gays spin and make excuses rather than acknowledge that gay behavior is clearly what is causing the problem. If straights were doing the same thing, their infection amounts would be similar and proportional. But they are radically different, which means that there is an enormous difference between the behaviors of straights versus those of gays in regard to HIV.

  62. Again, NDT, it’s not strictly correct to say “gay behavior” results in the problem. Unprotected anal sex is what causes the problem and as gay men tend to have more anal sex, both protected and unprotected, the opportunity is greater for transmission.

  63. I’d be very, very careful with that linkage (between anal sex and homosexuality), QJ. And I say that for two reasons:

    1- Even when applied only to male homosexuality in the West, there are clearly more at-risk regions than others. That is, large cities where there are more infected/carriers tend to have spikes. The problem with using the CDC to “scare young people straight” (no pun intended) is that it ignores the fact that they’re still a response-based agency. They talk about prevention, but in reality, they gravitate to where they know there’s a pre-existing problem with disease. And that means their statistics are often inflated into the realm of dubious believability.

    It’s scaling up very specific conditions in Chelsea or Castro, and saying, the rest of America is exactly like those places. Under any other circumstances, if I were to make such a statement in public, I’d be laughed off the stage. But as long as we’re acting under the auspices of protecting kids, it’s somehow acceptable to mislead them. I don’t dispute that we need to educate kids about HIV, but I have concerns about doing it with fear.

    2- The linakage certainly does not fit the situation in Southern Africa, where you have factors like more female carriers, HIV+ babies, and a prevalence of unprotected male-female sex.

    I know everyone in Europe and North America had a good laugh with Thabo Mbeki said “AIDS is primarily a heterosexual disease.” But from where he’s sitting, that’s at least as true as saying it’s caused by “gay behaviors” here. It’s an oversimplication though. And I wouldn’t put it in those terms myself.

    Of course Mbeki also said AIDS is caused by poverty, literally. This is definitely ridiculous. But had he said poverty creates factors that makes the epidemic much worse, he wouldn’t have been that far off IMO. While there’s more than ample proof that HIV is the cause of AIDS…the high incidence of rape/sex crimes in the townships, the lack of proper sex education, sparse medical supervision, access to contraception, unsanitary clinics and other poverty-related problems are certainly not helping.

  64. Fair enough points, John. Here are my responses.

    1. While I take your meaning that it’s easy to stand in the middle of the forest and assume the whole world is covered in trees, given the scrutiny HIV receives, I find it hard to believe that, given the fact that the majority of individuals, both past and present, who are afflicted with HIV or AIDS are or were homosexual, any statistical anomaly is really so great as to completely change the general outcome. Certainly, the numbers themselves may not be as quoted and the fact that one of the leading growth areas for new infections are black women suggests the days of those particular assumptions may very well be numbered, but at present it’s hard to ignore the correspondence. Even worse, it’s potentially dangerous to other subpopulations where the infection is beginning to gain ground.

    I think this might be what NDT’s trying to get at. Obviously, current methods of combating ignorance on HIV, both transmission and treatment, are not working as well as could be hoped as new infection rates have not dropped to zero. It does no one any good to ignore correlations and trends when developing new strategies to change attitudes and behaviors. Regardless of NDT’s actual intent, that’s what I’m getting at here. Twenty-five years on, now, and new infection rates are still rising, if not across the board, in certain populations. To address this, we need to not worry so much about offending culture, but rather trying to understand it and why risky behaviors are considered to be acceptable. We can’t do that if we can’t honestly look at and evaluate the data out of fear of offense or being labeled self- or sex-hating.

    2. South Africa doesn’t really impact the U.S. based assumption tree I was referring to. As you mentioned, one of the leading causes of transmission in South Africa is unprotected male-female sex, as well as a general societal attitude that discourages testing and encourages keeping a positive HIV status secret. While these are certainly concerns in the U.S., they are minimized in light of other factors.

    If I didn’t make it clear that my assumption tree works specifically only for the United States, I apologize and state that now, however, up to this point, the discussion centered around the U.S.

    3. Ultimately, I’m unsure how you explain the very real establishment by the HIV/AIDS community that, in terms of risk for sexual activities, receiving unprotected anal intercourse far and away leads the pack. Certainly, vaginal transmission does happen, but not in the same numbers as anal sex (although there is always a certain amount of fuzziness to these figures as its hard in many cases to identify the exact sexual act that resulted in transmission as sexual partners rarely confine themselves to a single sexual act) and while oral transmission is theoretically possible, the actual number of confirmed cases due to oral sex is vanishingly small and highly specific (the one medically confirmed case that I’m aware of was from back in the 80s and involved a man who had undergone major oral surgery and then, with open surgical wounds in his mouth, gone to a bathhouse…something I simply don’t understand because , Jesus, even if you didn’t have to worry about HIV, how sex addicted do you have to be to give multiple blowjobs when you’ve just had your wisdom teeth out?) . Given this risk structure, I’m uncertain where the problem is in acknowledging that, on the whole, gay men have more anal sex than heterosexuals and thus would be expected to have higher rates of HIV infection. To be accurate, this isn’t because of “gay behavior” as anal sex isn’t strictly a gay thing and not every gay man has anal sex.

  65. QJ, I certainly believe that laying out the risks – as you have here – would benefit gay male teens a great deal more than vague, moralistic condemnations. And when I said LaBarbera and NDT have a political agenda, I perhaps should’ve made it more clear that I support medically sound efforts to prevent the spread of HIV. I was referring to what I see as a very narrowly-constructed and fear driven project. Unfortunately, what often passes for a plan at school board meetings is the “lets scare them into 100% abstinence before heterosexual marriage” model, which has far more to do with a political agenda than health care.

    To me, it makes far more sense to point out that certain expressions of sexuality (anal sex) carries risks. It is also fine to place emphasis on the use condoms. Even the issue of multiple sexual partners can be addressed, if it is contextualized in a way that doesn’t insult and demean. I do think is it equally important to point out less risky expressions of sexuality. You’ve mentioned oral sex, and I think we can add a number of low-risk for HIV activities to the list (mutual masturbation, for one).

  66. The area where I disagree with you is offense. There is a time to offend, but it’s clearly not when you’re trying to get folks to cooperate with a project that involves changing the private sphere.

    If the populace doesn’t want to change what happens inside their bedrooms, we’re not going to change them through public policy. Unprotected sex among gay men is not a problem we can legislate our way out of. It didn’t work then (when it was malicious), and it certainly won’t work now (best intentions aside).

    And unlike what NDT asserts, scrutizing the data does not mean the problem doesn’t exist. It merely contextualizes and localizes the problem. If we were looking for only pine trees… we wouldn’t need to chop down the entire forest to get to the pines. You can identify and account for those other trees (oaks, cedar, etc.) in the ecosystem and remove them from consideration. It’s the same with HIV research. Certain places are hotspots for infection while others are not. Certain activities are more risky than others. Certain neighborhoods in those cities are more affected than others. Certain societal factors influence social attitudes towards sex. So, yeah, I stand by the idea that it’s problematic to take HIV research done in San Francisco… and use that information to tell Memphis or Boise how to run its HIV prevention programs. It’s not exactly the same situation.

  67. meAnd you, NDT, screaming about how it’s “gay behavior” that’s to blame, at the very audience that’s out there reading this–the ones you should be hoping to save from HIV–well, you’re really, really not helping.

    NDTYes, because, as the statistics show, twenty-five years of rationalizing “straights do it too” against all evidence to the contrary and trying to argue that the CDC’s studies are flawed because they focused on cities with the highest percentage of gays and in spots where gays were most likely to congregate has been so f*cking effective in stopping AIDS, hasn’t it?

    As usual, you completely miss the point. It’s behavior by certain gay people, not “gay behavior.” Try wrapping your brain around the difference. When you label it “gay behavior” you automatically turn off the hearing of those you’re trying to reach. That was my point. I’m not arguing with you that it’s irresponsible behavior that’s the problem. I’m not even arguing that it’s gay men performing this behavior that are responsible for (most of) their own cases of infection. It’s your presentation that sucks the bag.

    I also refuse to relent to your suppositions that:
    1) there is ANY evidence to the contrary that straights also practice overwhelming amounts of unprotected sex (indeed, the ever increasing rate of infection among straight men and women, especially black straight women, proves just the opposite) and

    2) somehow there have been 25 years of arguing that ridiculous assertion. If that were true then the infection rates among gay men would never have declined in the first place.

    Again, I don’t think blaming gays, and behaving like one can interchange “gay behavior” with “unprotected sex” like they’re synonyms is helpful at all.

    BTW, wasn’t the title of this thread “A Quick Laugh?”

    Geez Louise.

  68. how sex addicted do you have to be to give multiple blowjobs when you’ve just had your wisdom teeth out?) .

    QJ, do you even realize how funny that was?

  69. If that were the case, Pat, you, Pam Spaulding, and the others would be having collective screaming fits over this information, or statistics like these that are a direct result of it.

    Um, speaking for myself NDT, I condemn irresponsible sexual behavior. Whether it’s gay or straight. It’s all bad. And like I alluded to before, I live within three miles of straight (and some gay) people engaging in irresponsible sex all the time. Of course, the consequences are different. Unwanted, and in too many cases, abused or neglected children.

    As for the stats, there’s plenty of room for incorrect interpretation of statistics. If that’s not the understatement of the year, I don’t know what else is. So let’s say that irresponsible sex is responsible for 25 times as many gay men getting HIV as their straight counterparts. How is that supposed to prove that gay men are more irresponsible than straight persons (it may be true, but these statistics, even if accurate, do not prove it). Here’s another statistic for you. Infinitely many more straight sex encounters result in unwanted children than gay sex. Applying your logic, straight persons are the only ones engaged in irresponsible sex. See the problem here?

    But who are you going after?
    Peter LaBarbera and Conservapedia.

    And I still will, as long as they continue to lie and harm gay people. Originally, we were comparing the alleged Conservapedia stat riggers with the likes of Peter LaBarbera. I’ve stated that the stat riggers are wrong. But in comparison with persons like LaBarbera, they don’t even come close to the harm caused by LaBarbera and his and Conservapedia’s lies. I suppose one could argue that the stats harmed the religious right by making them look obsessive with regards to homosexuality. But as Conservapedia themselves admits themselves on THEIR OWN HOME PAGE is that homosexuality is near the top of the list of linked entries.

    Meanwhile, what the CDC is demonstrating is that what is the most harmful thing in the gay community is gays CHOOSING to have unprotected and promiscuous sex.

    Was it Mark Twain who said, “There are lies, there are damned lies, and then there are statistics.”?

    Pat: You choose not to, believe that LaBarbera is not harmful, or somehow choose to believe that the ex-gay “therapy” he endorses actually works. How does that make you less ashamed than anyone else here?

    NDT: Because, Pat, I am not threatened by either statement.

    If you had answered instead “because, Pat, the sky is blue,” it would have been just as convincing that you are less ashamed than the rest of us here.

    NDT, again, I state that I am not personally threatened by LaBarbera. I am not personally threatened if ex-gay “therapy” actually worked. I simply point out what I believe evidence clearly show is that his actions are harmful. So again, I ask, how does this make you less ashamed than me? Just as you did, I can make an unfair argument that you ARE ashamed. But it would be unfair. Like your argument that you are somehow less ashamed than the posters here that disagree with you.

    Nor am I afraid of being hated by other gays for calling out the fact that gay behavior is what is causing the primary harm to the gay community.

    But you are afraid to call out LaBarbera’s behavior, which is more harmful to the gay community than Conservapedia pranksters.

    We can certainly debate whether LaBarbera’s rhetoric is more harmful than gay people having irresponsible sex. Here’s the difference as I see it. In LaBarbera’s case, gay people are being coerced, and in some cases, going to ex-gay therapy against their will. Even the ones that are going on their own volition are being viciously lied to and actually believe that the “therapy” works. At least in the case of irresponsible gay sex, the participants are knowingly engaging in risky behavior. As far as I know, no leaders, health officials, etc., are lying to gay people and saying that having unprotected sex is not harmful and won’t cause HIV transmission. I would more strongly condemn cases where there is outright lying and/or coercion of gay people regarding irresponsible gay sex.

    So as bad as irresponsible gay sex is, any young gay person can make the choice to NOT engage in it. And those who don’t will not be harmed. The same cannot be said with regards of ex-gay “therapy.”

    Acknowledging that it works for some people and that it should be kept as a viable option for those who want it is hardly endorsing it.

    Once again, absolutely zero real evidence that it works. Yet using those statistics, you say that it should be kept as a “viable option.”

  70. Here’s another statistic for you. Infinitely many more straight sex encounters result in unwanted children than gay sex. Applying your logic, straight persons are the only ones engaged in irresponsible sex. See the problem here?

    No.

    It is a biological impossibility for gay sex to produce children.

    However, it is possible for both straight sex AND gay sex to transmit HIV. Furthermore, the same thing that produces “unwanted children” in straights — unprotected sex — also results in HIV transmission.

    Therefore, if your hypothesis were correct that straights were being as irresponsible as gays, we would see the same HIV-positive percentage in both, especially since one of the things that allows straights to avoid “unwanted children” — the Pill — does absolutely nothing to stop HIV transmission.

    Problem is, we don’t. In fact we see a remarkably-different effect, don’t we, with gays having a far HIGHER percentage?

    Next, to Jamie:

    As usual, you completely miss the point. It’s behavior by certain gay people, not “gay behavior.” Try wrapping your brain around the difference.

    The problem with that logic, Jamie, is that you are claiming that straight people indulge in as much unprotected HIV-transmissable sex as do gay people. However, amazingly enough, as we see, straight people have HIV percentages in the population that are a tiny, tiny fraction of those of gay people.

    Can you explain why, if straight people are having just as much unprotected sex as gay people, that they aren’t transmitting HIV nearly as much?

  71. Unfortunately, what often passes for a plan at school board meetings is the “lets scare them into 100% abstinence before heterosexual marriage” model, which has far more to do with a political agenda than health care.

    Or, more precisely, recognizing that teenagers have a very poor track record when it comes to making decisions that involve value judgments, emotional maturity, consideration of long-term consequences, assessing risk, and avoiding rationalizations.

    Case in point:

    As he began frequenting gay venues and indulging in promiscuous sex, Fitzgerald developed a crude HIV-detection system that he thought would keep him safe. His screening process led him to start a relationship and have unprotected sex with a boy he met at a birthday party in early June 2006.
    Fitzgerald had never seen the young man before, which he interpreted as a good sign.

    “I figured he was somewhat of a new person who hadn’t been around the block,” said Fitzgerald, who had a three-and-a-half week relationship with the young man. Three months later, on Sept. 17, 2006, Fitzgerald tested HIV-positive at age 17. “I never felt like I was Superman, I just felt like I could outsmart the system,” he said. “I always felt like it definitely could happen to me, but I thought I could figure out a certain method of how it was dispersed by people.

    Or:

    The numbers suggesting steady condom use among gay youth don’t harmonize with 23-year-old Kelvin Barlow’s experiences in Atlanta. “A lot of my partners are not thinking about condoms,” said Barlow, who was diagnosed with HIV at age 17. “I think I’m usually the first one to bring [condom use] up [in sexual situations]. Sometimes my partners know my status and sometimes they don’t — they just want to jump in the bed.”

    Barlow believes a combination of ignorance and emptiness led to his seroconversion. “At that time I was the dumbest thing walking — I thought I was invincible and could do whatever and not get ill,” said Barlow, who was 15 and dating a 35-year-old man. “I thought I was in this relationship with this man who loved me, why do we need to wear condoms?”

    What I always find vaguely ironic is that nobody talks about “safe drinking” or “safe smoking” or “safe underage driving” among teens; the reason always given is that, precisely because of the factors I previously mentioned, teens cannot exercise sufficient judgment or consistency in application to safely use any of these things. In addition, the argument is made that failure on their part, at least in the case of driving, can endanger the life of others; therefore, you don’t want to even give them the idea that it could be safe. A blanket prohibition is best.

    But when it comes to sex, no problem; teenagers are smart enough to safely and consistently do things that numerous adults have trouble doing and when it comes to an activity that has been known throughout history to inspire spectacularly bad judgment, and that can spread disease to numerous individuals.

  72. The problem with that logic, Jamie, is that you are claiming that straight people indulge in as much unprotected HIV-transmissable sex as do gay people.

    Nonsense. I am claiming nothing of the kind. There are a number of factors that have led to more gay people performing irresponsibly, but that has nothing to do with defining it as “gay behavior.” Who chooses a type of behavior has nothing to do with defining the behavior itself.

  73. The problem with that logic, Jamie, is that you are claiming that straight people indulge in as much unprotected HIV-transmissable sex as do gay people.

    The explosion of teen-pregnancies as well as one of the leading growth sectors of new HIV infections being heterosexual black women certainly argues that if they’re not having as much unprotected sex as gay men at the moment, they’re well on their way to closing the gap.

  74. Driving is a part of daily life in the 21st century. Sex has been a part of daily life for considerably longer than that.

    Drivers’ Ed classes do not say “you should never engage in driving activities” or practice “abstinence from driving because it’ll cause accidents.” Nor do they require students to pledge that they will only drive American cars because Japanese cars are more accident prone. Nor do they espouse the natural superiority of American cars above all others.

    No, they teach teens how to drive safely. Certainly, they explain and contextualizes the risks, as well as transmit knowledge about the consequences of unsafe driving. But yhey’re not there to provide propaganda for Ford Motors or scare students off from driving completely.

    Honestly, if you can’t see any difference what-so-ever between Drivers’ Ed and “No Sex Until Heterosexual Marriage” Sex Ed, I guess we’ll have to say that we’ve reached an impasse.

  75. Driver’s ed classes, John, are taught to those who are of legal age to drive.

    Furthermore, I noticed you ignored smoking and drinking, both of which are even better examples. Why don’t you teach teenagers how to smoke and drink “safely”, rather than putting in place a blanket ban until they’re of age?

    And furthermore, since it’s a “part of daily life”, why don’t you just let children drive and have sex? Go campaign to get Mike McHaney out of jail; after all, he was just wanting to give that thirteen-year-old he thought he was meeting some sex education. And go ahead and tell us all about the examples I showed in which your “teach kids about AIDS and condom use and they won’t have unsafe sex or do stupid things” theory were proven to be absolutely true.

    There are a number of factors that have led to more gay people performing irresponsibly,

    Oh really? Like what, pray tell?

  76. Education (knowledge) does not have to match the age restrictions precisely. The two are tangentially related, but ultimately separate. Most kids take their first drivers ed classes at 15, but they can’t even get a restricted license until they’re 16. It’s assumed they’ll use that year to study for the written exam and acquire a learners’ permit.

    The age of consent in 14-16 in most of the developed world, and 16-18 in the United States. Most kids don’t graduate High School until they’re well over 18. It’s not exactly out of the ballpark to discuss the issue with a Junior or Senior High School class (17-18). If they’re explicit discussions, students and parents should have the right to opt-out, and this is already standard practice in science classes that involve lectures on reproduction.

    But to always go back to the pedophilia angle is disingenuous, to say the least.

  77. Like what? Don’t pretend naivete, I know you far better than that. Promiscuity is obviously a historical problem with gays in the USA. Many of us are trying to change that. In more positive approaches than the one you’re taking in this thread.

    But that still doesn’t make it “gay behavior.”

    To go with your logic in the last comment I responded to, if all the gays threw rocks at buildings, then “throwing rocks” would be “gay behavior.” Just doesn’t hold up now, does it?

  78. And yeah, I’m totally ignoring your smoking and drinking examples because it’s already a part of the social studies cirriculum (usually at a very early age, perhaps even 6th or 7th grade). Non-issue.

  79. And yeah, I’m totally ignoring your smoking and drinking examples because it’s already a part of the social studies cirriculum (usually at a very early age, perhaps even 6th or 7th grade).

    And what do those books say, John? Do they say, “Don’t smoke or drink, but since we know you’re going to do it anyway, here’s how to do it responsibly and safely”?

    I think not.

    Don’t pretend naivete, I know you far better than that. Promiscuity is obviously a historical problem with gays in the USA.

    Can’t be so, Jamie.

    In regards to homosexuality and health, the homosexual population has a significanly (sic) higher incidences of a large number of diseases. One of the reasons for homosexual population having higher incidences of diseases is the significantly higher incidences of promiscuity in the homosexual population.

    Conservapedia, “Homosexuality and Health”

    And as we all know, Conservapedia is never right. In fact, everything therein is a filthy, filthy lie, and you should be ashamed of yourself for even insinuating something similar. Don’t you know that your attitude is hurting others and making those who like being promiscuous feel shame?

    Bad gay. BAD, BAD GAY.

    In more positive approaches than the one you’re taking in this thread.

    Jamie, you work with horses regularly. They are one of the best examples of using minimum force out there; they only do as much as they need to ensure their space in the pecking order. But if you put a young headstrong stallion who only has one thing on his mind in the pen with an old mare who doesn’t, you’re going to find out very quickly that she’s more than willing to give him a good hard POP to show him that no means NO.

    Similarly here. The time for nicey-nicey is past. I myself felt that way two years ago, but when the in-thing is apparently for poz thirty-five-year-olds to have unprotected sex with fifteen-year-olds, we’re well beyond laid-back ears and in the region of mule-kick to the chest.

  80. See, they would never say “Don’t Ever Drink and Smoke.” They have to thread carefully because those are legal activities (for adults). They have to tailor their message in terms of preventing drug and alcohol abuse. And they have to speak in the language of risk. There’s no denying that the overall tone is cautionary and negative, but it has to be expressed with a degree of tact. It also has to comply with relevant laws against discrimination.

    If a California school said don’t ever engage in “gay behaviors”, it would almost certainly bring the wrath of the Superintendent of Education. However, if the same school said “unprotected anal sex is the leading cause of HIV infection”, that’s fine.

    The process of developing curriculum is also mandated by the legislature. As we recently found out with the gay-specific education bill that the governor approved this year (after vetoing an identical measure last year…Arnie likes being unpredictable)…this state is very anal-retentive about those mandates. Here’s what they have to say about drugs and alcohol education:

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate?WAISdocID=99137310739+0+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve

  81. It is a biological impossibility for gay sex to produce children.

    Of course. It was also shown how your statistical inference is incorrect. For example, if a study was conducted on each nation which recorded average life expectancy and the number of televisions per capita, there would be a clear correlation. However, it would be wrong to conclude that the way to increase life expectancy is to simply ship a lot of TVs to that country.

    You’ve missed the point with your incorrect statistical inference, and you’ve made my point, in fact, in the next two paragraphs.

    However, it is possible for both straight sex AND gay sex to transmit HIV. Furthermore, the same thing that produces “unwanted children” in straights — unprotected sex — also results in HIV transmission.

    Therefore, if your hypothesis were correct that straights were being as irresponsible as gays, we would see the same HIV-positive percentage in both, especially since one of the things that allows straights to avoid “unwanted children” — the Pill — does absolutely nothing to stop HIV transmission.

    Absolutely incorrect!!! Like my TV example above, there appears to be other factors that determine HIV transmission. The fact that there are ways to prevent having unwanted children, there is still irresponsible sex between straight people. And what we see is that, in more cases, it results in unwanted babies than it does HIV. And further, despite the fact that the Pill prevents pregnancy, but not HIV transmission, it is still the case that more unwanted babies result than HIV transmission.

    So this COULD mean, for example, that there is simply more gay people right now with HIV than straight people, leading to a higher chance of transmission of HIV with gay people, even if gay people were LESS irresponsible than straight people. It COULD also mean that some sex acts (given other equal parameters) are much more likely to result in HIV transmission, just like it is certainly more likely that certain sex acts lead to unwanted babies. (Just because one situation is absolute and the other isn’t doesn’t mean your statistical inference is correct). And yes, it COULD mean that gay men are more irresponsible than straight persons regarding sex. It’s just that you’re inference is absolutely incorrect.

  82. And as we all know, Conservapedia is never right. In fact, everything therein is a filthy, filthy lie, and you should be ashamed of yourself for even insinuating something similar.

    Nah, I’m sure Conservapedia stumbles into the truth once in a while. 🙂 However, when it comes to homosexuality (and other issues such as evolution), I would certainly be skeptical of anything they write. Any I would DEFINITELY be skeptical of ANY statistical inference that they claim.

    Statistics is a great subject and tool for analyzing data. It’s just a damn shame that people abuse them out of ignorance and/or outright deception.

  83. NDT, I agree with you 100% that teens should not have sex. I believe that it’s a terrible idea for the reasons you state. I’m just not sure that I think the abstinence only is the route to go. (And surprise, either side of the debate is inferring statistics that “prove” their point.) Here’s why.

    And what do those books say, John? Do they say, “Don’t smoke or drink, but since we know you’re going to do it anyway, here’s how to do it responsibly and safely”?

    I think not.

    For smoking and tobacco, I agree with you. At least with smoking, in most cases it doesn’t lead to harmful situations (except for likely addiction into adulthood) like drinking and sex does.

    As for drinking, I do believe that teens should be told to abstain. But I think they also need to be told what to do when they goof up. They need to be taught if they make the poor judgment to drink, they also need to be taught to not also make the poor judgment to NOT drive as well. Does this encourage drinking by teens. Sure, it could. But the above could be done in such a way that punishment for drinking will still be stiff. But that we still don’t want teens to increase their risk of killing themselves and others by making a second mistake in judgment.

    The same case can be made for sex. Even without disease and pregnancy, there is still good reason for children to not have sex. But if they make a mistake in judgment and do engage in sex, should they also be punished by getting disease and/or getting pregnant? Or should they at least know that there are ways to prevent these things, which by the way, would be good to know when they do become adults.

    Yes, these things should be taught at home. But some parents are, in one way or another, incapable or incompetent to relay this information to their own children.

  84. Jamie, it’s close. I thought the Genarlow Wilson might have more comments. But it looks like I finally killed it with my three posts above.

  85. For example, if a study was conducted on each nation which recorded average life expectancy and the number of televisions per capita, there would be a clear correlation. However, it would be wrong to conclude that the way to increase life expectancy is to simply ship a lot of TVs to that country.

    Of course — because there is no demonstrated cause-and-effect link between having a TV and having a longer life.

    However, there IS an excellent cause-and-effect link between unprotected sex and HIV infection — which means that the most likely explanation, all other things being considered equal, is that gays are having far more unprotected sex than are straight people.

    Unless, of course, you want to admit that gay sex is more likely to transmit HIV than straight sex, both in terms of your partner likely being infected AND the sex act itself being more inherently suited to spread HIV.

    But if they make a mistake in judgment and do engage in sex, should they also be punished by getting disease and/or getting pregnant?

    Help me out here, Pat.

    These are people who lack the judgment capability to stop themselves from having sex in the first place, and you think they will wear condoms?

    Again, the examples I cited above:

    As he began frequenting gay venues and indulging in promiscuous sex, Fitzgerald developed a crude HIV-detection system that he thought would keep him safe. His screening process led him to start a relationship and have unprotected sex with a boy he met at a birthday party in early June 2006.
    Fitzgerald had never seen the young man before, which he interpreted as a good sign.

    “I figured he was somewhat of a new person who hadn’t been around the block,” said Fitzgerald, who had a three-and-a-half week relationship with the young man. Three months later, on Sept. 17, 2006, Fitzgerald tested HIV-positive at age 17. “I never felt like I was Superman, I just felt like I could outsmart the system,” he said. “I always felt like it definitely could happen to me, but I thought I could figure out a certain method of how it was dispersed by people.

    Or:

    The numbers suggesting steady condom use among gay youth don’t harmonize with 23-year-old Kelvin Barlow’s experiences in Atlanta. “A lot of my partners are not thinking about condoms,” said Barlow, who was diagnosed with HIV at age 17. “I think I’m usually the first one to bring [condom use] up [in sexual situations]. Sometimes my partners know my status and sometimes they don’t — they just want to jump in the bed.”

    Barlow believes a combination of ignorance and emptiness led to his seroconversion. “At that time I was the dumbest thing walking — I thought I was invincible and could do whatever and not get ill,” said Barlow, who was 15 and dating a 35-year-old man. “I thought I was in this relationship with this man who loved me, why do we need to wear condoms?”

    You see, teenagers are smarter than that; they know all about condoms, but they “know” they don’t need to use condoms or protect themselves because, well, they “know” what HIV looks like or they “know” this person loves them, etc.

    Sorry. Until they learn how to say no first and mean it, teenagers don’t need to be messing with anything else.

  86. gays are having far more unprotected sex than are straight people.

    Something seems off with this reasoning and I’m not completely sure what it is and probably shouldn’t be trying to figure it out while dealing with insomnia, but here goes.

    My concern lies not with the assumption that gay men are having more unprotected sex than straight people, because this may be in a way true, but that this has seemingly come to define gay sex and sexuality. The statement seems to be, “Gay men are having unprotected sex because they’re gay,” which is ridiculous.

    One might make a case for gay men having more sexual encounters per individual on average. This of course isn’t to say that all gay men are dirty sluts, but certainly the percentage of the population that is stuffing the turkey approaches it with a gusto that makes up for the rest of us (well, makes up for us now, anyway). So, per capita, gay men have more sex than straight men.

    Now this isn’t to say straight men don’t want to have more sex than they do, but they are dependent on straight women who, in theory, don’t want to have sex as much as two men. The base sex drive between gay and straight men is most likely the same, but the opportunity is greater in the gay community because there’s no vaginal bottleneck to deal with. Those who want it can get it with greater ease.

    An increase in sexual opportunity is certainly going to lead to an increase in unprotected sexual encounters and a corresponding across the board STD transmission rise. Again, though, it’s not because of a “gay behavior”, a term which surprisingly hasn’t yet really been defined in this conversation, so which I operationally define to be a quality that is inherent to all homosexuals across the board and is not found in the heterosexual population. A certain portion of both gay men and straight men advocate for unprotected sex on a regular basis, so a propensity for unprotected sex can’t itself be a “gay behavior”.

    And wouldn’t this difference in base HIV rates be amplified as the gay male population is significantly smaller and more incestuous than the straight male population? If one assumes more sex is happening among a certain portion of the gay community, then you have a subgroup of a subgroup who are, primarily, fucking one another repeatedly. You can even further narrow it down (although not as definitively) by saying a portion of that subgroup of a subgroup do not practice safer sex measures every time.

    So you’re now looking at a highly rarified subpopulation of a subpopulation of a subpopulation of a subpopulation. Given the size of this subset, any sort of STD is going to propagate faster through it. And your level of abstraction is so great that any comparison of this fourth degree subpopulation to the entire population of homosexual males, let alone heterosexual males, is immediately suspect.

  87. However, there IS an excellent cause-and-effect link between unprotected sex and HIV infection — which means that the most likely explanation, all other things being considered equal, is that gays are having far more unprotected sex than are straight people.

    If you delete “the most likely explanation, all other things being considered equal, isl” with “there is a good possibility” I would be in full agreement with you.

    Yes, I agree there is an excellent link between unprotected sex and HIV infection. You simply haven’t demonstrated that because the rate of HIV infection is higher than gays, that they are having more unprotected sex than straight people. You’ve only demonstrated that there ARE gay people who are having unprotected sex.

    If other things actually were equal, then you might have the cause and effect link to make your claim. I’m not even saying that your actual conclusion is wrong. I am saying that you inference is WAY off.

    Unless, of course, you want to admit that gay sex is more likely to transmit HIV than straight sex, both in terms of your partner likely being infected AND the sex act itself being more inherently suited to spread HIV.

    These would be two reasons why your statistical inference is wrong. My understanding is that gay sex is more likely to transmit HIV than straight sex for the two reasons you state. In fact, because of that, even if gay men were having less unprotected sex than straight persons, they could still easily have much higher rates of HIV infection.

    If you are trying to argue that because of the two reasons above that gay people should never have unprotected sex and be less promiscuous, I agree with you.

    And since there is plenty of evidence that straight people have unprotected sex, because of unwanted pregnancies, and transmissions of STDs (including HIV, despite the apparently lower transmission rate). So I’m sure we agree that straight people should never have unprotected sex and be less promiscuous.

    NDT, one more thing. Is there a point behind you’re writing “want to admit”?

    QuakerJono, excellent points! I would add that what has “helped” describe the situation you present is the fact that despite advances in gay rights and acceptance, there are still people who act irresponsibly because of intolerant upbringing, etc.* One only has to watch people like Larry Craig and Ted Haggard to see that there is still a long way to go.

    *Note: The statement above is not an endorsement for irresponsible behavior by any means. And is not meant to imply that if intolerance did not exist that irresponsible behavior would magically end in the homosexual community. Heck, there is no intolerance against straight people during their upbringing, but yet there is irresponsible behavior there too.

    Help me out here, Pat.

    I’ll try, because as I alluded above, I certainly don’t have any definitive answers here.

    These are people who lack the judgment capability to stop themselves from having sex in the first place, and you think they will wear condoms?

    Here’s the thing. Children lack judgment regarding a lot of things. Children are told a lot of things they should do and not do. And guess what, they sometimes do the things they shouldn’t do and do not do things they should do. I haven’t met anyone for which that was not the case. We’re all exhibit As when it comes to that.

    While growing up, children need tools to be able to survive even when they do something wrong, which inevitably happens. I don’t think making sex this taboo is the way to do it. Sometimes I think it drives more teens into having sex than it would otherwise.

    I think teens need to be taught the following:

    1) Sex is a good thing under the right circumstances.
    2) There are no good circumstances for teens to be having sex. And be told all the reasons, as possible, explaining why that’s the case. That such a mistake can cause a dramatic life changing event that they are not prepared for, or even death. But the reasons should also go beyond that, including the emotional stuff, etc.
    3) Anyone having sex should be responsible, and in many cases should involve protection against STDs and pregnancy (and explained how that is done).
    4) That when a person tells you that that they love you, sometimes they really don’t.
    5) That even if a person loves you, diseases can be transmitted and unwanted pregnancy could result.

    NDT, what’s interesting is that as poor a judgment is that the teens in your examples exhibited, the “adults” exhibited worse judgment.

    As I said, I don’t have the answers. I will eventually go with what demonstrably works. If that means abstinence only, period, I’ll go with that.

    But let me ask you this. Suppose it could be demonstrated that the “abstinence only, period” approach doesn’t work as well as an alternate approach, would you then endorse the alternate approach?

  88. Is there a point behind you’re writing “want to admit”?

    Yes.

    NDT, what’s interesting is that as poor a judgment is that the teens in your examples exhibited, the “adults” exhibited worse judgment.

    That’s what happens when teens are taught that you don’t have to be responsible with sex.

    Especially in the gay community, where one-third of positive men can be having unprotected sex over half of the time with people whose status they either don’t know or know to be negative — and still be blaming Ronald Reagan for causing the AIDS epidemic.

    And thus on to QJ:

    And your level of abstraction is so great that any comparison of this fourth degree subpopulation to the entire population of homosexual males, let alone heterosexual males, is immediately suspect.

    And given our occurence of HIV in the population, that subgroup, as I pointed out above, is roughly one out of every four gay males.

    Meanwhile, if you were to apply that same logic, it constitutes barely one percent of the general population.

    To me, the difference is very simple; if Britney Spears and Paris Hilton were gay men, their lives and sexual practices would be admired.

    As straight women, they’re just promiscuous sluts.

  89. “Promiscuous sluts” who have multi-million dollar deals with cosmetics companies, fashion designers, and record labels. Paris lives in West Hollywood. Britney has a home in the Hollywood Hills. Every nightclub in L.A. wants them to party in their establishment. They own cars that cost more than an estate in Mississippi. And the L.A. County Sheriff gives them special treatment in jail.

    Those two aren’t exactly a case study for the brimstone and fire “wages of sin” sermon, Reverand!

  90. QJ, I would write a vicious retort, but I’m just glad your power is still on and you’re not freezing into some sort of furry lump. Or maybe it isn’t, and you’ve figured out how to build an Internet connection out of a lampshade and two coconuts. 🙂

    Those two aren’t exactly a case study for the brimstone and fire “wages of sin” sermon, Reverand!

    Actually they’re a great case study — in demonstrating what happens when your only usefulness is as a sexual plaything and when all people care about is how much money they can make off of you.

    Would you really want either of their lives, John?

  91. Is there a point behind you’re writing “want to admit”?

    Yes.

    Would you please share your point then. I have no problem admitting anything really, even if it smacks against whatever agenda or opinion I have. Really.

    In fact, I admitted what you suggested I should admit.

    If you don’t want to share, I’ll be happy to move on.

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