Saturday, March 11, 2017

Are we conservatives still opposed to homosexual practice?

In the aftermath of the M.Y. flap, to which I alluded in the last post, I am moved to ask a question:

Are conservatives still opposed to homosexual practice?

Here's another question:

Do conservatives realize that homosexual practice between vulnerable boys, age approximately 17, and older men, entered into by the boys partly because they are in need of an older male role model, is profoundly unhealthy, a horrible perversion of the mentoring relationship?

This leads to another question:

Why in the name of all that is holy, and of our opposition to all that is hellish, would conservatives laud and support a man who lauds and supports those kinds of relationships?

Or are we just so desperate and uninformed that, having been told (truly or falsely) that this man doesn't support those relationships with boys as young as thirteen years old, we promptly conclude that we can go right back to treating him as a legitimate conservative author, pundit, and speaker and yell in outrage about the "terrible smearing" against him?

I kid you not: When I pointed out on Facebook that M.Y. has doubled down, repeatedly, on the alleged wonderfulness of relationships between older men and 17-year-old boys, I was at first told that this was false. When I provided the evidence, did the person say, "Oh! I didn't know that. Wow, that's really creepy; I'm going to have to re-think my support for him"?

Not a chance.

Since when do conservatives make an icon out of a man who glorifies (pardon my wording) buggery between boys who are desperately in need of help and older men?

Yet this, this, is M.Y.'s self-defense against the charge that he glorified it between thirteen-year-old vulnerable boys and other men. No, no, he didn't. Why, not at all. He never meant thirteen-year-olds. He means 16-and-17-year-olds. And then it can be wonderful.

Didn't know that? Well, if you didn't, you're not alone. And I put it to you that too many in the conservative media didn't emphasize this and condemn it because they are too busy trying to "redeem" M.Y., both as an individual and as a pundit. They should stop. Now.

Oh, by the way, in case you want some documentation, here you go. From the very press conference in which he apologized for his "imprecise language."

I shouldn’t have used the word “boy” — which gay men often do to describe young men of consenting age — instead of “young man.” That was an error. I was talking about my own relationship when I was 17 with a man who was 29. The age of consent in the UK is 16.
I did say that there are relationships between younger men and older men that can help a young gay man escape from a lack of support or understanding at home. That’s perfectly true and every gay man knows it.
This is the same type of thing that he said from minute 5 onward in his "apology video," which has been for some reason removed from Youtube. There he said that he "stands by" the comments that he made in the leaked videos as he intended them, because he meant those comments to apply to such relationships with 17-year-olds, and specifically had in mind his own "first boyfriend," when he was 17 and the other man was much older. So let's go back to the original video and even interpret his remarks as applying to 17-year-olds (waiving the fact that they really do seem to be meant to apply to 13-year-olds in the original context). Watch the video here. Now, let's be ever-so-charitable and assume his later reinterpretation. On that reinterpretation, what is he saying about sexual relationships between 17-year-old boys, or even 16-year-olds, and older men?

You know, people are messy and complex. In the homosexual world particularly. Some of those relationships between younger boys and older men, the sort of coming of age relationships, the relationships in which those older men help those young boys to discover who they are, and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable and sort of a rock where they can’t speak to their parents. Some of those relationships are the most -” [interrupted]
I think in the gay world, some of the most important, enriching and incredibly life affirming, important shaping relationships very often between younger boys and older men, they can be hugely positive experiences for those young boys. They can even save those young boys, from desolation, from suicide [people talk over each other]… providing they’re consensual.”
So are conservatives okay with this now? Should we be hastening to put this guy back in the position of someone we go to listen to, someone whose book should be sold, someone who was (poor fellow) "smeared" because people thought he was talking about 13-year-olds (a highly defensible position, by the way)? Should we regard him as a conservative?

M.Y. is normalizing homosexuality in the conservative world. We aren't leftists, remember? Supposedly we realize that homosexual relationships are destructive and that very young men should not be mentored into the homosexual world. Supposedly we want men to find a healthy, normal sexuality. And if we're not idiots (never mind whether we're leftists or not), we realize that there is something wildly unhealthy about 17-year-olds who have a sexual relationship with a much older person because they "can't speak to their parents," because they are looking for a "rock" and "reliability," in short, as a substitute parent-child relationship. Hello? That would be creepy and unhealthy even if it were between a young woman and an older man and had those features. And let's admit, too, that there is no question of these being lifelong, committed relationships. Milo can blather all he wants about how "hugely positive" they are, but this isn't remotely like marriage.

I submit that the conservative fascination with this guy is a symptom of some sort of weird dysfunction in the conservative world that has come with the Trump phenomenon. It's a combination of several things,

1) Some conservatives just want an attack dog whom they can regard as being on "our side." It makes them feel good. They can let Milo be the jerk and sit around and snigger while he's nasty, without getting their hands dirty themselves, then talk about how he's "brave" and "bold" and "politically incorrect," while ignoring the true nastiness of, e.g., sending a pic of a black baby to Ben Shapiro when his baby is born.

2) Some conservatives, perhaps especially some who are conservative on the moral issue of homosexuality, have a kind of weird fascination with a homosexual like Milo because they feel sorry for him. They almost feel like they have a personal relationship with him, and they view regarding him as just a sick puppy whom we should have nothing to do with as "mean."

3) Relatedly, some conservatives want to fall all over themselves to be agreeable to any homosexual who doesn't fit the mold of leftist homosexuals in the U.S. If a homosexual is willing to admit that what he's doing is perverse (even if he keeps on gleefully doing it!), then they want to grasp at that as a sign that he's on the upward way, even though it probably isn't. This is also related to the "gay friendly" stuff we see in our churches.

4) Some conservatives (again, relatedly) have a "savior complex" towards certain individuals. They keep hoping they can "reach out to" these individuals and save them, even if that means giving them a public platform. The common sense position that it doesn't do a person with severe personal problems any good to be blowing kisses to his adoring fans doesn't resonate with these "conservatives." They hope to be enough a part of that adoring public to have the opportunity to save him as a brand from the burning.

5) Too many conservatives got attached to Milo through their attachment to Donald Trump, and now they feel like they have to stick to him because they have once chosen to identify him with "our side." This is precisely an example of the corruption of the right by Trump and those in his train (such as Milo) that we Never Trumpers predicted from the outset.

Part of what this corruption has done is to cause conservatives to ignore M.Y.'s passionate defense of man-boy relationships with troubled youths as long as the troubled youths are above the age of consent in a particular venue. This is sick stuff, yet nobody on the right seems to be talking about it. What's the matter? Are we conservatives still opposed to this kind of thing? Then let's stop making excuses. And let's get rid of this guy from our lecture circuit. We can pray for his immortal soul, but he isn't your long-lost brother or your child, and even if he were, he would be bad news. The best thing that could happen to him would be for him to have to get rid of his handsome young aides and get a different day job. Insurance sales. Or something. And be out of the limelight. Or better yet, go off to a desert island and pray and rethink his life. But if he isn't going to do that voluntarily, for goodness' sake, conservatives, stop giving him adulation and a platform. And stop it yesterday.

Update: Here's a working link to the "apology" video. Again, notice that right in the midst of his "apology," from minute 5 onward, he strongly stands by the idea that homosexual relationships between older teens and men older than themselves can be such a great thing. He's clearly describing something that any sane person will see is not healthy--a relationship in which the older man "takes care of them financially" and/or "emotionally," a relationship that is an "escape" from a situation where they are "having trouble with their mom and dad." The idea that this is a good thing is crazy, but he's promoting it as a good part of the gay scene.


Power Child said...

There are a couple interesting things going on. Two come to my mind, but there are certainly more.

First, as should be obvious, is tribalism backfiring. M.Y. carries the Red Team flag and so many of those who consider themselves on the Red Team feel an obligation to rally to his support, regardless of whether M.Y. violates the Red Team's core values or founding charter or whatever.

The other thing is, it's hard for most people to maintain a nuanced position that includes both compassion and negative judgment and doesn't veer into either hatred/violence or admiration/apologetics.

The Torah treats homosexuality as a fairly serious offense to God, but doesn't prescribe any particular human emotional response (as for instance is prescribed to eating pork: "the meat of the pig shall be detestable to you" or some such thing) nor even a social response, except possibly execution--translations vary on whether "put to death" in that context really means capital punishment or simply being cut off from the Tribe of Israel.

I don't know much about Jesus's relationship with prostitutes, but what little I've heard makes me think he probably was walking that fine line in an exemplary way.

(I realize not all of that is relevant to M.Y., who is a repulsive person for other reasons besides what he likes to do in the bedroom.)

But long story short, I think Trump and the Alt Right have been horrible for conservatism. The Left couldn't have conjured up a better way to defeat conservatism. Who was it...Peter Hitchens?...who said "If you don't like the religious right, wait until you meet the post-religious right."

Lydia McGrew said...

I do consider that, from a natural law perspective, the common human reaction of disgust to homosexual acts is in an important sense the right one. The apostle Paul is clear that these acts are against nature, not simply against some declared or revealed law of God that is a "black box" and that we cannot see the reason for. Moreover, and relatedly, the homosexual lifestyle is generally one of misery and loneliness. This is because homosexuality *is* against nature, and trying to live your life defining yourself by a perversion is highly likely to make you unhappy.

What particularly strikes me in the remarks I'm highlighting in the main post, though, is this: The peculiar evil of initiating vulnerable young men, approximately 16-20 years of age, into the homosexual lifestyle when they seek older male love and affirmation. And the peculiar of M.Y.'s praising and promoting that peculiar evil. Even if this older boys are technically above the age of consent, phrases about millstones come to mind. I think most westerners have a legitimate understanding of the fact that a boy of this age needs a male role model, someone he can trust, who can help him move into full adulthood as a man. And we realize that young men who for whatever reason are not finding that role model at home may need other men to step up and provide it. This is generally a laudable act on their part. For the homosexuals to imply (which Milo clearly does) that this healthy, laudable mentoring is being satisfied by homosexual initiation and by drawing vulnerable young men into the barren, miserable, and unsatisfying homosexual lifestyle and by using their bodies for perverted gratification is utterly disgusting and outrageous.

Ingemar said...

Before 2016 was sparkle in anyone's eye (or rather, 2014 or so), Bruce Charlton and I derided the Alt-Right as the "Boromirosphere" referring to the fallen Gondorian hero from Lord of the Rings. The Alt-Right, like Boromir, argued to their fellows that the best way to defeat the Enemy is to use their weapons against them. Unfortunately this very tactic makes Boromir betray the Fellowship and gets him killed.

This point isn't actually about M.Y. but about the philosophy of "no bad tactics, only bad targets." In my view, the thing (there may be more than one thing) that the alt-right has adopted from their enemies is a postmodernist-Marxist worldview of a dialectical struggle between victims and oppressors, labeling themselves as the oppressed and therefore justifying any and all actions against their opponents. Apropos of postmodernism, there's a rather blatant push to condemn all views contrary to their own as wrongthink--and their Wikipedia clone (Infogalactic) was designed to present articles that caters to the user's political prejudices, right or left.

The acceptance of M.Y. as a major figure is just one of the many pathologies that have arisen by the Alt-Right's selective devotion to truth.

Or as Zippy has said time and again, right liberals (in this case Trump fans), being the rear guard of liberalism, just are Clinton-era Democrats.

Lydia McGrew said...

Insightful comments, Ingemar. I have thought of Boromir again and again during this campaign, though in a way I think it's too complimentary to the alt-right (most of them) to compare them to Boromir. I have trouble imagining the alt-rightists dying gloriously to try to save two hobbits from being captured by orcs. They'd probably sit around snarking at the hobbits as "losers" for being unable to fight the orcs off by themselves. And laughing at Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli for taking all that "useless" time to mourn Boromir and send him down the river in a boat.

I compare Boromir more to the well-intentioned Trumpites, the really good people, who got drawn into the Trump campaign through their fear of losing power. Perhaps the alt-right represent what Boromir would have become if he had lived and hadn't repented of having tried to take the Ring from Frodo. (Shudder.)

By the way, the Tomi Lahren fiasco is another example of all of this. I guess a certain kind of conservative likes a shallow-thinking, pro-abortion airhead and thinks of her as a political thinker just because she has said some things that have made the left angry.

Lydia McGrew said...

That is a certain kind of "conservative," quote-unquote.

Ingemar said...

I was reminded that Boromir was a good Man, in fact, one of the best Men of his era, but his story is illustrative of the fact that just a little leaven of wickedness is enough to lead to doom.