Rick Scarborough: "Calling Sodomites 'gay' is an abuse of the language"

Sodomy is a pejorative term for the act of putting your penis into someone’s anus. It was so named by religious Christians after the Bible story of the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah. You’ll remember this is the town where Lot protected some visiting (male) angels from a roaming (male) rape gang by offering them his daughters instead — an act that God deemed to be morally pure enough to spare Lot and his family from the coming destruction, back when God’s aim was better and he was actually capable of punishing gays directly instead of via natural disasters to unrelated areas of the world.

Sodomy was, until very recently, illegal throughout most of the United States — though, it was often defined very broadly, so as to also cover any other acts deemed “icky” by the people in power, which might include oral sex or sex with someone outside of marriage. The last laws were struck down by the Supreme Court in 2003. In a testament to how fundamentally backward religion forces humanity to act with regard to sexuality, regardless of whether the people in question acted with informed consent, the very act of putting dick in ass was illegal.

However, because the construct was almost entirely built as an assault on homosexuality, it was mostly only enforced when both practitioners were male.

Here in 2013, ten years after sodomy laws were struck down in toto, Pastor Rick Scarborough laments the “abuse of language” that is calling homosexuals anything other than People Who Put Dick In Ass.

Never mind that there are so many other sex acts that gay men could engage in, and that men aren’t the only ones capable of being gay. Never mind that use of the word “gay” is the end result of the retaking of a slur against homosexuals. Never mind that the word “sodomy” was either very tightly defined or so loosely defined as to be completely useless.

And to make matters worse, he goes on another ridiculous conflation — as the religious so often do — between homosexuality and pedophilia.

Pedophilia is in a class entirely separate from homosexuality in that homosexuals act with informed consent from all parties and do not actually harm society at large, despite religious protestations. The chief difference between homosexuals and heterosexuals is choice of pair-bonding partners from among a pool of consenting adults, leading to homosexuals pairing off with one another, who weren’t likely to pair off with opposite-sex partners anyway, doing absolutely no damage to the gene pool. In fact, there’s good evidence that preventing them from pair-bonding decreases happiness and ability to contribute to society, so being bigoted against gays is detrimental to society.

Meanwhile, the chief difference between pedophiles and teleiophiles is being attracted to a class of people who have or have not yet sexually matured (e.g., being old enough to provide informed consent), and we as a species protect our young from predators, sexual or otherwise. Since pedophilia is predation on children who are too young to be legally capable of informed consent, and therefore children should be protected against these predations because pedophiles can actually do lasting damage to them, it is understandable that people have a visceral negative reaction to pedophilia.

While a person with pedophilic tendencies might recognize these tendencies as societally disadvantageous (by potentially destroying young lives before they even start), some might not. Society at large has a tendency to stigmatize all members of a group that actively damages society itself, and so in most cultures, pedophilia is reviled. As murderers might deserve compassion for whatever differences in their brain structure cause them to murder, and as these murderers are capable of reform or controlling their impulses, so too might pedophiles merit compassion for whatever differences in their brains cause them to forego sexual maturity and informed consent when seeking mates.

So naturally the analog here is to call them “happy people” — you know, because the slur “gay” was retaken, and before becoming a slur the word meant “happy”. Note the choice of language completely omits the question of consent, which is the actual problem — otherwise, Scarborough might have started calling them “people for whom sexual maturity and consent are optional” instead of “happy people”. As though pedophilia and homosexuality were even remotely related. As though HAPPINESS was the bloody problem.

The whole religiously-motivated bigotry against homosexuality… I don’t get it. I don’t get how fundamentally incapable the religious appear to be to understand the foundation of all discussions of sex and sexuality: informed consent. It’s this fundamental incomprehension of language that baffles me. To see a guy like Scarborough rave about abuse of language because we’ve moved away from Bible-originated slurs that don’t even cover half the people he’s raving about, well, that’s just the icing on this fractal wrongness.

Rick Scarborough: "Calling Sodomites 'gay' is an abuse of the language"
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21 thoughts on “Rick Scarborough: "Calling Sodomites 'gay' is an abuse of the language"

  1. 2

    “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”
    Ezekiel 16:49 (NIV)

  2. 3

    In the documentary “Dildo Diaries” there is a very funny debate between two members of the Texas house about the repeal of sodomy laws in that state. The exchange starts around 4:34, and concerns whether a woman really has to turn her and her husband in if he “slips”.

  3. 8

    Libby Anne at LoveJoyFeminism has a good diagram to explain this, which I am having trouble finding. Short answer – rather than sorting acts into ‘consensual’ and ‘non-consensual’ boxes, Evangelicals sort them into ‘sin’ and ‘not-sin’. Consent doesn’t even come into the thought process.

    Which is why it took so long to get marital rape dealt with properly under the law.

  4. 9

    i don’t know of of any homosexual who lives in the city of sodom or was originally from the city of sodom, so in referring to homosexual people as “sodomites” this clown doesn’t have much room for talking about abuse of language.

  5. 13

    Here’s a funny little story:
    When I first read “Frankenstein” (yes, people, that’s a book), I started to wonder why everybody in that book was homosexual. Only when they called his innocent little brother “gay” I picked up a dictionary.

  6. 15

    Sorry in advance: I know this is off topic and the wrong place to post, but I don’t know where else to notify anyone:

    I’ve been getting a bug with the new FTB layout and since it hasn’t been fixed in a while I assume Admins might not be aware. Every now and then, the page loads in the “mobile view” designed for iphones and other small devices. The main screen is just a list of recent posts. Even when I click the “View Full site” button on the bottom, it still comes up mobile view. This happens most often on the front page only, but occasionally on individual blogs. It should go without saying that I am not using a mobile device. It’s happened from both my Windows computer running Firefox, and my Ubuntu computer, also running firefox.
    I know you’re not the official web admin for FTB, Jason, but I do remember you posting stuff about it before so I figure you’d be the best bet to pass the info along or have something done about it.

    Thanks a bunch!

  7. 16

    No problem OverlappingMagisteria. I know the web guy is in fact aware of the issue, but as I understand, he’s indisposed for family issues for the past few weeks and has not been able to devote a lot of time to it.

    I wish I could step in and shoulder the load, but I’ve got a crapload on my own plate as well at the moment… that, and I’ve never encountered the issue myself so it’s difficult to troubleshoot what I can’t see. My initial suspicions were to do with cookies — have you tried clearing cache/cookies and restarting the browser?

  8. 20

    People attracted to people in the pubescent age (past puberty) but still minors (or below the age of consent, if lower than 18) are ephebophiles.

    IMO ephebophilia is not reprehensible per se, being attracted to a 15 years old person is fine. Acting on it can be problematic depending on age difference and power differential (are you their teacher), but the attraction sounds fine.

    Back 100+ years ago, marriage age was 12-13, you were considered “old” at 25 (and dead at 45). It wasn’t a perversion to be attracted to someone your age at 12-13. Having a preference for certain youthful features, could look below-18 like.

    I’m 30 and look 20, few years ago I looked like a teenage girl – as such should I have refuses any advances made because I looked underage? And there’s a boy, 6’6″ 200 lbs, but only 12 years old. Should he accept advances because he looks adult? (those are rhetoric)

  9. 21

    I’d forgotten who Rick Scarborough was, so I thought the headline was about someone who pointed out that the sins of Sodom in the Bible story were impiety, rape, and lawless mob rule, and so comparing the inhabitants of that city to homosexuals in general is a criminal oversimplification.

    Seriously, I’ve read that story, and the suggestion that the only problem is that they weren’t lady angels is completely missing the point. I’m sure the authors of that story were not okay with the gay, but the fact that the rape mob was especially into dudes is hardly the most important thing – it was just one detail in a more general dystopia.

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