While regular readers here know that I'm a libertarian (or, more precisely, an Objectivist) rather than a conservative, I still mostly shy away from social issues, especially to the extent that my more conservative readers and friends will be unnecessarily annoyed by what I say. Additionally, I find little chance of either side of convincing the other, and I like to focus on where we can work together to defeat Progressivism.
Everyone once in a while, I get a comment which moves me to discuss an issue a little further, and today is such a day.
I'm not surprised that my note this morning about a recent study purporting to show worse outcomes for children in a household with at least one gay parent caused a response from someone more socially conservative, but actually what I got was much more about the commenter's idiocy than about social conservatism. (And, it wasn't from one of my regular AmSpec interlocutors, who, I believe, understand what I said in the first paragraph above.)
To wit, the comment I received in my e-mail this afternoon:
Libertarians seem proud of their indifference to the inner life--spiritual or psychological--of the human being. Thus, they really don't get the whole issue of homosexuality.
Preferential homosexuality and transgenderism are trauma-based in the sense that they spring from faulty bonding and identification with the same-sex parent starting in early life, which is traumatic to psychosexual development. That's the real issue, the one that everyone avoids. Journalists on the Right are just as guilty as anyone else of this heinous fraud. Mental illness isn't liberty, and neither is a cultural environment as warped as the one this country has now. Shame!
I think it's worth responding in public, even knowing that some of my (sane) social conservative readers will disagree with me in part. So, here goes:
Libertarians (or Objectivists, like me) are not (necessarily) indifferent to the "inner life of the human being." What we object to is government involvement in that life...and in most other aspects of our lives. My political view has nothing to do with whether or not I "get the whole issue of homosexuality" -- not that I even know what that means.
Second, nobody -- and I mean nobody -- knows what causes homosexuality, and it's exceptionally unlikely that there is just one cause or just one set of variables which must combine to cause it. I don't really like discussing it in this way because it makes it sound like a disease or other illness, which the commenter obviously intends, describing being gay as "trauma-based." As if that weren't enough, he goes on to explicitly call homosexuality a "mental illness." I believe it is none of the above, but even the most aggressively anti-gay theory of its origin is nothing more than an unproven theory.
My take: This commenter is a liar, a bigot, and represents everything that makes moderates, libertarians, and many young people dislike and distrust the entire social-right, perhaps in the same way that Alan Grayson or Nancy Pelosi makes Democrats look like extremist, mindless loons.
As for his statement that "mental illness isn't liberty," I suspect he is projecting, because he's clearly much closer to mental illness than any gay man or lesbian woman I've ever met. But seriously, how do you live every day with that much hate inside you? (Or are you secretly bisexual and just scared to death of admitting it to yourself?)
It's one thing to have a religious objection to homosexuality, or even a policy objection to gay marriage or gay adoption for other reasons. It's another thing entirely to make up a pseudo-science claiming to know where homosexuality comes from, and likening it to injury and insanity.
The commenter referred me to the web page (which I will not link to) of an organization which suggests that it can get people help with "unwanted homosexuality." Sorry, mister homophobe, but that just sounds far too much like something decided on at the Wannsee Conference.People like you scare me far more than any homosexual does -- because I now know your "inner life," and it's uglier than the love child of Henry Waxman and Helen Thomas.