Thursday, February 08, 2007

Good Idea

NARTH -- the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality -- put up a terse announcement on their web site:
February 5, 2007 - NARTH has decided to shut down the blog, effective today. The decision came after several discussions over the blog content and the nature of the discussions on it. We wish to thank all those who participated in the blog in a civil and constructive way. - NARTH Blog Committee NARTH Blog Closes Down

You remember when a NARTH shrink, Joseph Barger, wrote on the site's blog that it was a good thing to tease gay and transgender kids at school, because it will put pressure on them to conform to normative social expectations.

Or ... remember when Gerald Schoenwolf posted that big essay on "Gay rights and political correctness," where he argued that blacks who were captured in Africa and kept in slavery in America "were in many ways better off than they had been in Africa." No, people were not impressed by that. In fact, that one ended up with Joseph Nicolosi stepping down as president of NARTH. As Wayne Besen said at the time, "The group was quickly becoming the Mel Gibson of the ‘ex-gay’ world."

It's weird how this happens. Remember the RecallMontgomerySchoolBoard.com (now Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum) bulletin board? Woo-hoo, that was a rollicking good time. Each comment had a little title, like "Pure Evil," or (my favorite) "Throw the Bumbs Out," and people talked about how foul and nasty homosexuality was, and everything they could think of, from "beastiality" to flavored condoms (which were not in the curriculum, though CRC told people they were).

I can't help myself. Here's a good one from the old Recall site. You can just see this person's face as they wrote this, pounding on the keys:
are these people totally nuts? WE HAVE THE POWER AND THE RESPONSIBILITY TO GET THEM OUT OF HERE. THEY AND ALL OF THEIR WHACKED OUT LIBERAL MINDED IDEAS CAN TAKE UP RESIDENCE SOMEPLACE BESIDES OUR CHILDRENS SCHOOLS- MAYBE IN FRANCE. BYE BYE
[Date=11-11-2004] Name:ELLEN CLEARY EMCLEAR@AOL.COM, [Msgid=736620]

(Didn't I hear somebody refer to "The Angry Left" recently? Does anybody think our side ever approaches this tenor? I mean: ever?)

The Recall Group quickly realized they had to block their bulletin board from public view, especially after their leader, Michelle Turner, had to go apologize to the MCPS school board for threats that had been made against them.

When the CRC started their own blog, they knew immediately that it would not be a good idea to have comments. But really, it was not a good idea for them to blog at all -- we had too much fun repeating their stuff over here. Their blog died from lack of attention sometime in the summer of 2005.

Blogs are a unique literary form. You publish as soon as you write, with no editor, no re-writing, no feedback until it's out there. And then, sometimes you might miss a fact or spell something wrong, your logic might not have been as sound as it could have been, you might hurt somebody's feelings ... there're a lot of things you can do wrong in this forum. NARTH finally figured out they couldn't handle it. The CRC gave up. Even their forum almost never has anybody at all reading it -- it lists current users at the bottom of the screen, and any of the rare times I look at it, it's just me.

I think it comes down to this: their way of thinking doesn't stand up in the light of day.

There is a perfectly valid viewpoint that I would call "conservative," that values tradition and loyalty and authority and faith, and favors behavior closer to the norm, or behavior that follows social and cultural standards. It contrasts with a view that I suppose is "liberal," since that's how the dichotomy is framed, where social norms are a guideline but not a mandate and people accept and welcome interpersonal differences. There is plenty of room to negotiate public policies between those two poles.

But this third way, the CRC way, insists that its views are the only valid ones, and rejects both thoughtful conservatism and liberalism.

And it is our civic duty to make fun of it.

Well, at least NARTH learned something. It was a good idea to shut down the blog.

(Hat tip to Throckmorton for noting this.)

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Does anybody think our side ever approaches this tenor? I mean: ever?)"

You, for one.

February 08, 2007 1:58 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

You, for one.

You're kidding.

JimK

February 08, 2007 2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. It sounds just like you. Go back and read some of your posts.

February 08, 2007 2:30 PM  
Blogger andrear said...

Anon- you are the biggest joke of all.

February 08, 2007 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Phentermine said...

Nice design of blog.

August 13, 2007 3:23 PM  

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