Monday, 4 January 2010

Various Agendas

After a few days of intensive arguing about Tennant's swansong, I've noticed hardly anyone is using the phrase "gay agenda" anymore. Maybe people are just sick of being shouted down over it, or maybe people have finally realised that RTD had no agenda so much as the twin beliefs that bigotry can be effectively fought by normalising the "other" (which is true) and that if you do something seventeen times in a row, it must make the point seventeen times more powerfully (which is decidedly not true), but it was certainly good to see the back of it.

Then I found out that the phrase has popped up in a far more sinister context somewhere else. Specifically, Uganda, a country so homophobic it apparently constitutes compromise for them to simply lock up homosexuals for life, rather than actually execute them. And, of course, the lunatic American religious right has to get in on the action.

Beyond the sheer eye-bleeding outrage of this sort of bullshit, it's interesting to note just how blind the American "guests" at the Ugandan... symposium? ... hate rally? are claiming to be. You attend an event which claims homosexuality has a "hidden and dark agenda", you tell people that homosexuals will attempt to "recruit" their children, try "to defeat the marriage-based society", compare it to paedophilia and warn that the gays will sodomise teenage boys, and then claim surprise when those you preach to consider what you're discussing as an existential threat to their society? You tell them that homosexuality is something sinister and dangerous, that those who practice it could be cured but just don't want to be, and then play innocent when the conclusion is that these people need to be destroyed? Please.

All of this reminds me of what someone once said about political and religious philosophy: if you're going to espouse a philosophy you need to not just consider what the philosophy itself will result in, you also need to consider whatever idiotic twisted form of that philosophy the idiots of the world will grab onto will result in, too. In this case, of course, the philosophy of these particular Americans started out as a massively twisted form of something else, but the basic premise is the same. If you preach hate, and rage, and fear, you can't complain when those you preach to become hateful, and rage-filled, and afraid. Especially when they direct it at the very target you've been telling them to.

Of course, I don't believe for a minute these people are genuinely surprised (especially given that they've apparently had somewhat more input into the Ugandan legal decision than they'll admit to), but it still serves as an interesting (if stomach-churning) example of the way bigots can (claim to) compartmentalise their hideousness, how they can wish away an entire group of people, tell everyone of the dire consequences of them not disappearing, and then protesting their innocence when the people they whip into a frenzy take action. It's "Will no-one rid me of this turbulent priest?", only in this case it's more like "Will no-one rid me of these sinister society-wrecking paedophiles?"

And, as a result, an awful lot of people are going to end up in prison for life. Or worse. It would be a mistake (and even maybe indicative of a colonial attitude) to suggest that these Americans are single-handedly responsible for the proposed changes to Ugandan law, but they've certainly helped.

It kind of makes me grateful that I live in a country where anyone is in a position to complain that there are too many gay characters on Saturday evening TV.

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