Friday, August 14, 2015

Homosexuality: The Conservative "Last Stand"

Andrew Hodges, author of "Alan Turning: The Enigma," describing the findings of scientists by the mid-20th century regarding the mind and human development: "... nineteenth and twentieth-century science had been peeling the onion of the mind, and had dented the concept of responsibility with 'mental illness', shell-shock, neurosis, breakdowns and so forth. Where was the line to be drawn? The conservative fear was that every kind of behavior would be excused by appeal to some irresistible, uncontrollable, force majeure. ... they sought a non plus ultra [nothing beyond this] to the pretensions of mental determinism, a barrier against the flood of threats to traditional values unleashed by the Second World War. They found one in homosexuality: the new men's talk of 'conditions' and 'complexes' was not to be allowed to excuse a deadly social evil, corrupting and weakening everything in its path" (p.579).

It's hard for me to fathom the relentless social/moral fears flooding the conservative mind: to approach the world in fear, in terms of threat and loss, believing one's self to be surrounded by enemies.

Though, of course, I have my own set of fears regarding the ever-present threat of fascism (the easy answer to complex questions), and where fear is high, fascism is just around the corner.

Yet, my Christian Faith provides a basis of confidence: "Fear not."

And "perfect love" (meaning complete, no piece missing) "casts out fear."

The conservative mind will gladly take away freedom in order to maintain social morality. And no better arena in which to engage the "liberal enemy" than the arena of sexuality, both homosexuality and women's bodies.

Here is the fulcrum on which the conservative mind balances ... lose here, and everything is lost.

Whereas I say: win here, and everything is gained - freedom and democracy grow all the larger.