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Changing the world
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The long promised review. 
18th-Sep-2002 12:52 am
Ok, I got motivated and got my shit together long enough to write my review.

The Lambda Conspiracy by Spencer Hughes is quite possibly one of the most inflammatory novels I have had the misfortune of reading in a very long time. Thinly disguised as fiction, most of the characters within serve as either bullhorns projecting the views of the author, or as galvanized stereotypes refined further into stock bad people who no one could love. Every character in the book is flat and one-dimensional, serving only to illustrate an argument filled with circular logic and purple prose. Of course, the author would say I’m giving it a bad review because I’m gay, but I prefer to think I’m giving it a bad review because the book is horribly written and anyone with the IQ of a groundhog could see the logical flaws within.
The first argument presented in the book comes from a Tennessee senator’s speech at a Supreme Court Justice’s confirmation hearing. The author seems to suggest that views on social issues should not enter into the confirmation process, thus the gauntlet is first thrown here. At issue is a proposed Human Rights Amendment to the US constitution, adding Sexual Orientation to the list of minorities protected under law.
Our “good guy”, Senator Trumbull, decides to speak on behalf of his party’s nominee. He presents the following three qualifications to be eligible to be a protected minority class, and then “proves” that homosexuality does not fall under the purview of any of them.
1) A minority must not have equal access to education, job opportunities, and/or economic income. The senator then shows that homosexuals make more money and are more likely to get college degrees than their heterosexual counterparts. His proof on the economic front is that homosexuals are more likely to travel to Europe.

My first argument here is that the senator is quoting statistics, when later he mentions that statistics lie. It seems the numbers only lie if the don’t say what he wants them to. Second, in any oppressed minority, there will be exceptions. Out of all the gay men I know, I am the only one who has been to Europe. And that was in high school and using student discount rates. Education, yes, to a degree, we are better educated than most of America. This is a good thing, because it gives us logic skills to argue against this stupidity. Job opportunity is a lie. In theory, unless there is a non-discrimination clause in the hiring process, you can get fired for coming out. Crackerbarrel restaurants come to mind. If you have shitty job performance, that’s one thing. But if you get fired because you let the boss know you’re gay, that’s something completely different.

2) A minority must be powerless politically. The senator claims that PAC’s formed by homosexuals have allowed them access to run the country as they see fit.

Last I checked, other than Barney Frank and Diane Feinstein, and maybe one or two others, we really don’t have that many people on our side. If we did, wouldn’t ENDA have passed?

3) A minority must have distinguishing characteristics obvious to all. The senator says that a biological explanation would qualify, but he claims that most studies do not conclusively prove a biological cause. He then goes on to talk about how “reformed gays” speak of it as an unhealthy addiction.

Again, I may be a bit close to the subject matter, but I can survive without sex. I don’t need dick to make it through the day. I am not addicted to sex.

Later, during more conversation between Trumbull and Chase McKenzie, a reporter now in league with the senator, have a conversation televised where they present more arguments against homosexuality. In the regard, let me go over a few of them.
1) Research is being pushed for to find an HIV vaccine in the express intent to allow gay men to go back to the70’s era mindset of sexual liberation.

I hate to say this, but it still happens, regardless of HIV status. And in all subsets of sexuality to boot.

2) A complaint is lodged about a Presbyterian Church that fired a gay organist. Particularly since he was married. A lawsuit was filed against the church, since the area the church was located in had a non-discrimination clause. The characters in the book think that First amendment rights should supercede the rehiring of the organist and that the organist should reconcile with his family.

Without going into 1st Amendment rights, PC (USA) only has a policy against ORDAINING homosexuals. A gay person employed by the church would not cause policy issues. However, I think this was in reference to Rev. James A. Kennedy, who most members of PC (USA) consider to be a flaming nutcase. Second, reconciliation would only cause MORE problems. Better to let the people involved sort it out on their own.

3) A claim is made that the economy is bad because the USA has lost its Christian values.

Actually, the economy rebounded under Clinton, and went to hell under Republican presidents and their Christian buddies.

4) A claim is made that society doesn’t discriminate against homosexuals, as long as homosexuals are discreet.

One word. Stonewall.

Conversation then turns to the topic of Gays in the Military. Since the book was published in 1992, I can understand the inclusion here.

5) Since homosexual acts are forbidden, announcing that one is a homosexual is implying that you are committing homosexual acts.

Um, yeah. Just because I identify as a homosexual doesn’t mean I’m having sex with many men every night.

6) Military leadership is made by moral men. Since homosexuals are immoral and know it, they cannot be expected to serve in a moral and just military.


And then on to these little tidbits.

7) “The homosexual represses the reality that his behavior is abnormal and undesirable.” (pg 63). This comes along with a conversation about how homosexuals are narcissistic, having to justify their behavior at all times to fit with their unnatural view of life.

I refuse to dignify this with a response. Narcissistic, yeah, I know a few vain gay men, but as far as I know, they aren’t vain because they’re trying to justify a worldview. In fact, one could argue that the Fundys fit this description as well, since they have to write books to justify their bloated worldview.

8) “The homosexual movement itself is built on hatred- hatred of God’s law and hatred of the traditional moral order.” (pg 67)

More like hatred of bad interpretations of G-d’s law by a bunch of people with their heads up their asses. Not to mention long out-dated morality ignorant of the roots it came from.

9)”When civil rights activists demanded an end to injustice against blacks, they were appealing to commonly held moral assumptions.”(pg. 48)

Commonly held where? Last I checked, the same “traditional values” being used to decry homosexuality was used to hose down protestors peacefully demonstrating in the fight for civil rights for African-Americans.

10) “But the sin of homosexuality He calls an Abomination.” (pg. 67)

First, the only mentions of homosexuality in “New Testament” come from Paul. Not Jesus. Second, if the laws of the Tanakh are still valid in Christianity, why are the Christians not following the dietary laws or any of the other Levitical laws?
And from my own viewpoint, I really don’t think homosexuality as it exists today, was practiced in the forms we see in the modern age.

11) “This sin of unnatural sex is especially abhorrent to Him and always brought down a sentence of death upon the societies that practice and tolerate it.” (pg. 67)

Sodom and Gomorrah? According to newer translations and interpretations, it was caused by failure to give of themselves the goods the hoarded. Also, when I first read the passage, all I saw was a condemnation of rape.
Also, the more accepting ancient cultures never really fell. Yeah, the got conquered, but their culture lived on until the Christian church decided that it was all bunk. Also, Rome, known for its sexual proclivities, didn’t fall until AFTER the Empire became Christian.

And then some of the stories the author tells to illustrate his point.

12) A man kills himself after a Pastor counsels him to repent his homosexuality and go straight. The family sues for malpractice. A new law is passed requiring ministers to get counseling licenses.

I don’t see the problem with this.

13) A pornographer rapes a little boy.

Since when are pedophiles all homosexuals?

14) Bitching about AIDS funding, the disease is referred to as a federally protected plague, and a disease of faggots and drug addicts, since straight people don’t get it.

Whatever. As I recall, the heterosexual numbers are growing a hell of a lot faster than the homosexual numbers. And just look to Africa for more evidence.

15) A story is told of a bed ridden hospice patient who gets out long enough to have sex with a child. Lawsuit ensues.

First, the author glosses over why the child was on the street in the first place. If the boy was hustling, he was already taking risks with his health, and his parents were showing NO responsibility for the child in the first place. Second, most of the hospice patients I’ve dealt with (usually family members) can barely get out of bed, let alone go hire a hooker, find a place, and then fuck like rabbits, then get back in to the hospice.

This is why I have problems with the presentation of the subject matter. I haven’t even finished yet, but I assume it ends (based on reading the last two pages) with a heterosexual wedding and a national return to “traditional Christian values”.
There is no logic, just unmitigated hatred.
17th-Sep-2002 10:15 pm (UTC)
Wow. You ripped him a new one. :>
17th-Sep-2002 10:16 pm (UTC) - Re:
Why thank you. I was slightly put off by his prose. I'm glad it came through:)
17th-Sep-2002 11:07 pm (UTC)
yes indeed that book is a piece of trash filled with hate and some very biased veiws .... i so cant stand right wing hate filled idiot fundies

17th-Sep-2002 11:30 pm (UTC) - Re:
What annoys me is that people swallow this tripe whole. Beliefs deserve to be taken out of the box and examined, not just blindly followed.
18th-Sep-2002 06:24 am (UTC)
Um, yeah. Just because I identify as a homosexual doesn’t mean I’m having sex with many men every night.

Hell yeah! /I'm/ homosexual and I'm sure as hell not having sex with ANY men! ;)
18th-Sep-2002 06:29 am (UTC) - Re:

We'd be worried if you were;)
18th-Sep-2002 07:16 am (UTC)
We? Who's we? Hunh?

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you! :)


Watch out, ladies and germs, she's BACK!
18th-Sep-2002 12:25 pm (UTC) - Re:

And hey, I'm a queen...I hae the privilige of using the royal "we";)
18th-Sep-2002 01:29 pm (UTC)
Dude, now that I've seen you, the visual of you being a queen... I dunno. I don't see it. :)

18th-Sep-2002 10:22 pm (UTC) - Re:
Well, this is true. My one and only stint in drag hid my face behind a nun's habit...And it's hard to be feminine when you're wearing wool.
18th-Sep-2002 10:53 am (UTC)
Education, yes, to a degree, we are better educated than most of America. This is a good thing, because it gives us logic skills to argue against this stupidity.

Well, *openly* gay people tend to be better-educated. That's because having more education often means having skills that are in demand among employers, which in turn means better job security, and thus the freedom to come out without (as much) fear of losing your job.

In a society in which queer people were accepted as being equal to straights, I suspect there would be no difference in education levels between the two groups.
18th-Sep-2002 12:22 pm (UTC) - Re:
Very true. I keep forgetting my qualifiers. But then this was typed when I was half awake.

19th-Sep-2002 08:41 am (UTC) - Shaitan's Advocate
You shouldn't let works of fiction infuriate you so. People will always hate homosexuals, heterosexuals, blacks, jews, the french...don't give them power over your emotions.

19th-Sep-2002 10:28 am (UTC) - Re: Shaitan's Advocate
I'd argue that good fiction should create an emotional response for the reader, but since the book wasn't good fiction...
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