What is so damned special about LGBTQ people that we attract so much unique intolerance?

Thursday’s polemic at the blog of ultra-conservative-Catholic Witherspoon Institute’s blog is titled: From Christians Who Formerly Identified as LGBTQ: A “Thank You” to Our Allies. This stunning display of inquisitiveness and critical thinking was authored by Jean C. Lloyd.

Jean C. Lloyd is a lesbian married to a gay man whom she met through the oddly named Courage Ministry. Lloyd is also a professional Catholic. Lloyd sports a PhD. In what discipline and from where are never disclosed. Suffice it to say that her advanced degree does not enhance her credibility. If it did we we know its source and subject. Even then, expressions of ignorance speak for themselves.

All that we get from Witherspoon is: “Jean C. Lloyd, PhD, is a teacher and a happily married mother of two young children.” Hopefully those kids will be less neurotic than their parents. Let us hope that neither turns out to be gay.

This piece starts out as an ode to Barronelle Stutzman, the bigoted florist who defied applicable local law by refusing to sell flowers if they were to be displayed at a same-sex wedding. Washington State’s highest court has once again determined — in light of guidance resulting from the Masterpiece Cakeshop case — that the state’s nondiscrimination law applies to Stutzman. Lloyd ends up at:

The Stigma of Homosexuality

… I know firsthand that dealing with same-sex attraction used to carry a huge stigma. If people knew, it was a mark of disgrace. Most of us dealing with it felt ashamed and suffered the pain of that stigma, at least privately. Many in my generation, and especially those before mine, tried to deny it and hide it.

That is pretty honest. In her case the shame is the result of the Catholic Church’s teaching that gay people are objectively disordered. According to medical science that is simply untrue. Dogma will not yield to realities so the Church teaches gay people to hate themselves.

While the closet was difficult for those of us dealing with same-sex attraction years ago, the ticker-tape parade that awaits us today if we “come out” and establish our identity based on our desires presents us with a host of other problems. These days, it is not our disordered sexuality that is to be kept in the closet, but our faith in Christ. …

Ms. Lloyd is wed to the notion that we insist on “celebrating” our sexual orientation. “Pride” only exists because of religious opprobrium and superstition regarding sexual orientation from some religious sects. Furthermore we appreciate when someone comes out of the closet. It is best for them and it is best for the community. Lloyd drank the Kool-Aid. She would crawl through broken glass before she would write “gay people.”

In Lloyd’s distorted world there are no gay people. There are people who sometimes experience “same-sex attraction.” The rhetoric is designed to imply that being gay is no different from people who are predisposed to abuse drugs or alcohol. I wonder how she feels about stigmata or the use of a cilice.

You will have to wonder about the cilice but one question gets answered (emphasis added):

Over many years of struggle, what transformed the stigma for me was neither shame nor pride, but surrender—a surrender to the Savior’s embrace. I slowly began to unite the wounds of my sin and my struggles with same-sex attraction with the wounds of Jesus. In time, I began to see the stigma transform into a kind of stigmata. …

The above defines the difference between faith and superstition and most Christians — including Catholics disagree with Ms. Lloyd. I would not bother but Lloyd is using her superstition to foster anti-LGBTQ intolerance.

What would one of these expositions be in the absence of self-victimization:

The Stigma of Christianity

But now to you, Baronelle and company: what of the stigma of your opposition?

As you well know, all who seek to be faithful to Christ face stigma in our culture. LGBTQ issues have become everyone’s issues. Even those who have never struggled with same-sex attractions or gender dysphoria have to face the new sexual orthodoxy. So you were faced with a choice: compromising or being willing to oppose the culture. And because you opposed the culture, very real suffering has come to you. You are called “bigots” and “haters.” Those who stand with and defend you, like those at Alliance Defending Freedom, are labeled as members of a “hate group.”

It would help if she spelled the name correctly. It is Barronelle (two “r”s). Ms. Lloyd is confusing belief with conduct. Nobody cares about anyone else’s religious beliefs until those beliefs become conduct. Ms. Stutzman can believe anything she likes about same-sex marriage. That does not license discrimination in defiance of local law. Service does not constitute approval! Approval is neither solicited nor required. Moreover, service promotes nothing other than a business transaction; the exchange of money for goods or services.

Bigotry is partly defined as narcissistic behavior. When Ms. Stutzman refused service based on sexual orientation because she does not approve of gay people, that was an act of bigotry making Stutzman a bigot. She and she alone is responsible for people calling her a bigot. Alliance Defending Freedom is deemed a hate group because, among other things, it has sought to criminalize homosexuality. ADF regularly defames LGBTQ people.

Poor us” is an example of the narcissism. In the final analysis Lloyd is claiming that she has been victimized because she and others expect LGBTQ people to be tolerant of intolerant conduct. Religion does not provide an excuse for bigotry. Imagine the outrage if a Chabad Lubavitcher denied service to a Catholic because he did not want to “promote” Christian beliefs that are at odds with Jewish beliefs.

Parroting the bullshit:

“Harboring hate in my heart”—as if hate could be the only reason to decline to participate in a same-sex wedding. I winced and thought of you, Barronelle, serving your client faithfully for ten long years, then quietly and politely declining to do flowers for his wedding.

By that definition of participation, the guy who loads the rental chairs into the delivery van that will bring the chairs to the wedding is a participant. It is nonsense. If I sell flowers intended for a Scientologist that does not mean that I am participating in his wife’s “Silent Birth.”

It is really astonishing. These people probably provide goods and services for all sorts of events that would be forbidden if one were a participant. They don’t seem to be turning away service for Hindu or Buddhist weddings. Both of those deny the very existence of Jesus Christ and both are polytheistic. Nor can I find a case where a Hindu declined service to a wedding of a different faith because they would be serving beef at the reception. What is so damned special about LGBTQ people that we attract so much unique intolerance?

Carrying the Cross, Running the Race

Not all Christians will suffer the way Barronelle, Jack, and others have. But this stigma of opposition will come to each of us. Many of us will bear the pain of being among the few to stand for truth in a beloved LGBTQ-identified one’s life, not enjoying the closeness that celebrating their LGBT identity would allow. …

Poor them. These people suffer from their own stupidity.

These imbeciles insist that we want them to “celebrate” our sexuality. It is a cousin to the ridiculous notion that we seek their approval. Truth — real truth — is defined by evidence, not religious dogma. Lloyd is promoting the acceptance of lies because she defines truth as the teachings of the Catholic Church. Here are some simple truths:

  • Gay people are not “objectively disordered.”
  • Sexual orientation is not a choice.
  • Conversion therapy is ineffective and harmful.
  • Most people who claim to have changed their sexual orientation are pretending to be heterosexual. Many were bisexual to begin with.
  • American jurisprudence holds that there are no religious exemptions to otherwise valid laws.
  • Transgender people actually exist.
  • People become transgender to mitigate the effects of acute gender dysphoria.
  • There is no research to sustain the religious belief that people have gender dysphoria because of “underlying issues.”
  • There is no cure for gender dysphoria. The only thing that relieves the symptoms is gender affirmation.
  • Bigotry towards transgender people is based on the notion  that the existence of trans folks contradicts Genesis 1:27.

I didn’t choose the cross of same-sex attraction. Nor did Barronelle choose the cross of opposition that was placed on her. Yet God has allowed these crosses to come to us. And when those of us who have struggled see Barronelle refuse to lay her cross down, she becomes Simon to us and helps us continue to shoulder our own.

She is incapable of writing “I did not choose to be a lesbian.” No but she chooses to claim to have been cured or reoriented or whatever the fuck these crazy people are asserting these days. As for Stutzman she made a choice to deny service in defiance of valid law. “As you sow, so shall you reap.”

There is something sociopathic about all of this which is depicted by a lack of empathy. Ms. Lloyd writes not a syllable about the gay couples that were denied service by Stutzman and Phillips. Instead, she writes of Stutzman “quietly and politely declining to do flowers for his wedding.” Politely refusing service is oxymoronic. Quietly? She might as well have shouted “faggot!” In the end that is what she did because she is a self-absorbed and self-righteous narcissist.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.