Friday, July 19, 2013

Why Ruin a Perfectly Good Rant

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard a lot of verbal tantrums condemning equal rights for LGBT’s. That’s not exactly a shock when it’s become obvious the conservative anti-gay movement is losing the battle an inch at a time. They’re not taking it well and their protests over something they consider fundamentally wrong range from idiotic to simply misinformed. I make it a point to ignore the idiotic ones. How can you have an intelligent conversation with someone who thinks the “gay panic” defense is a legitimate excuse for murder? You can’t and screaming at them accomplishes nothing.

However, not everything I’ve heard has been ridiculous. A good deal of it is just misinformed. Some of it is also good for a laugh. For example, the rants and articles that focus on the biblical tale of Sodom and the statement some groups feel it makes about anal sex. It’s evil. God says so. After all, sodomy was such an egregious sin God burned the town to ash in order to wipe the practice off the face of the planet…or so the tale goes. Since all gay men engage in anal sex in a non-stop orgy that takes over entire neighborhoods in San Francisco during Pride week they’re clearly evil. (Insert giggle here. Feel free to include an eye roll.)

I think Jay Michaelson said it best in his Huffington Post blog entry from a few years ago. “Reading the story of Sodom as being about homosexuality is like reading the story of an axe-murderer and saying it's about an axe.”(1) The sin the story highlighted was rape not sodomy but let’s not confuse the issue with facts. It would ruin a perfectly good rant to suggest they do a little research before they make another mistake like adopting the moniker “tea baggers” without first conducting a Google search. The rest of us find those little gaffes amusing though I’m not sure snickering is the reaction they’re going for.

In this case, a few minutes on the internet would dig up some interesting statistics about the practice of sodomy in the US that might send them searching for a new rant.  According to a 2010 study on sexual behavior, 10% of heterosexual couples admit to having anal sex on a regular basis.(2) The study also went on to say that only 66% of gay couples engage in it. By the Conservative “anti-sodomites” own claims, the gay population accounts for a mere 3-5% of the total population. You don’t have to break out a calculator to see what that means. 5 of every 100 men are gay. 3 of those 5 men practice anal sex. On the other hand, 9 of the remaining 95 men practice the same thing. (This is a good place for more giggling.)

In other words, they’re condemning the wrong group but far be it from me to ruin a perfectly good rant so, rant on. I could use a laugh.

1. Michaelson, Jay. (2011). Who Are The Real Sodomites? Huffington Post Religion

2. Center for Sexual Health Promotion. (2010). National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior.

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