Peter Espeut , Contributor
I must congratulate the gay lobby for conducting one of the slickest and most comprehensive public-relations campaigns I have ever seen.
In their struggle to remake the world in their own image, they have taken on every social and political institution, including the family, the school, the Church and the State. By dressing up their cause as one of 'human rights' and 'justice', they have managed to capture much of the discourse, and make gains in supposedly sensible places such as Europe and the United States of America. Even the Episcopal Church has lost its way.
Describing an element of their strategy in my column last week, I wrote: "The gay lobby abuses all those who disagree with their lifestyle by branding them as mentally ill, as 'homophobic' - a word which they have concocted."
In his column last Sunday, 'The 'facetiest' red man in Jamaica' (not referring to me, by the way), Gordon Robinson, wrote: "By the way, Peter, 'homophobia' is very much a real word and a real worldwide disgrace. It's not 'concocted'. Look at the Oxford Dictionary."
Gordon is usually more perceptive. The Oxford Dictionary contains words in use, whether concocted or properly derived. My point is that the word 'homophobia' has been specifically invented as part of the campaign to 'normalise' the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) lifestyle, by asserting that persons who disagree with it are psychologically disturbed.
WORDS AND MEANINGS
'Phobia' in Greek means 'irrational fear of', and 'homo' comes from the Greek word 'homoios', which means 'same', as opposed to 'heteros', which means 'different'. The word 'homosexual' refers to persons of the same sex (gender), while heterosexual refers to persons of different gender.
'Homophobia' then would mean 'an irrational fear of sameness', which is meaningless. What humans actually fear is people who are different from them (heterophobia?). 'Homophobia' is a word (poorly) concocted as a campaign slogan intended to demean straight people who believe that homosexuality is not a lifestyle to be considered normal.
The word 'homophobia' was coined by gay activist George Weinberg in the 1960s to refer to heterosexual men's fear that others might think they are gay. In his 1972 book Society and the Healthy Homosexual, Weinberg used the word 'homophobia' differently, as a personality profile to describe the psychological aversion to homosexuality. He describes the concept as a 'medical phobia', proposing that those who harbour prejudice against homosexuals are suffering from a psychological malady, an irrational state of mind. There is no doubt that the intention is to brand all people of conscience (including Christians, Jews and Muslims) who genuinely believe homosexuality to be an aberration as mentally ill.
Medically, there is no such phobia, but the concocted word has caught on, and those who use it - like Gordon Robinson - are unwittingly buying into the LGBT campaign. Intolerance towards gay people there certainly is, and a real worldwide disgrace it certainly is! But worldwide mental illness? No!
But give credit where credit is due: it has been an effective slogan.
If the cause of the LGBT lobby is just, and rational, they should be able to advance their cause through the use of reason, avoiding abusing their opponents in the same manner as gay people are abused. Manufacturing abusive words such as 'homophobia' is the sort of 'eye-for-an-eye' approach that will make the whole world blind.
But the LGBT PR campaign is one of abuse, where they attack the messenger rather than trying to refute the message. Since religion (not just Christianity) is the main opponent of the normalisation of the LGBT lifestyle, the goal is to destroy and discredit religion, to demean the noble (if embattled) institution of marriage, and to redefine 'the family' in their own image.
George Davis, in a well-researched column ('Is Jamaica ready for the 'coming out' party?' Gleaner, December 12, 2012), demonstrates how "homosexuality is now firmly mainstream after years of strategic effort to have it permeate popular media". He writes: "But how did we get here? How did homosexuality wriggle its way into the mainstream, to be front and centre everywhere we look? The answer is startlingly simple: television." By first capturing Hollywood, the LGBT lobby is winning the media war.
But I disagree with George on one point: He calls the LGBT victory an "immutable reality". The LGBT public-relations campaign (posing as a campaign for 'human rights' and 'justice') can be easily exposed and discredited as irrational and illogical and nonsensical. But if no one consistently answers and refutes these foolish arguments, people may believe they are true.
Peter Espeut is a sociologist and Roman Catholic deacon. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.