USA Christian Nation, PART-4,
Anti-Christian Americans; Church, State, and GAYS;
Here is What the Critics Say AGAINST the Christian Founding;
Perhaps the greatest error of Secular Academia, is misunderstanding, confusing and equating "Church-and-State" - with "Religion-and-Denomination",
Also misunderstanding, confusing and equating "Religion-and-Church" - and "Law-versus-Preference"
You'll be amazed at how CLEAR . . . this most confusing issue really is . . . when understood though the Founder's eyes!
Do You Qualify for An Honorary "Doctor of Divinity" from Cambridge Theological Seminary? If you believe God's Word as Stated Above: Probably! (Click for a Free Evaluation)
Will You Take "THE BIBLE PLEDGE?"
(Christians Sending a "Message" to ALL Elected Officials!)
Many Thousands Already Have: And GOD is "Keeping Track!"! (Are you Afraid? Ashamed? Apathetic? Anti-Christ? Or Against God's Authority?)
"The BIBLE is the WORD of GOD!
As I UNDERSTAND the BIBLE,
>> I will NEVER 'GO' against, 'VOTE' against, or 'SPEAK' Against, I am a 'CHRISTIAN AMERICAN'!",
>> The WORD of GOD,
>> So Help me GOD!
Please "CLICK" the following to Affirm your Commitment as a CHRISTIAN AMERICAN to the Word of God upon the Earth!
This Christian American BELIEVES in the WORD OF GOD!
Below is an article by "STOP THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT!"
It shows how they interpret the History of the Founding of the USA. Their comments in black color, with comments by NewtonStein in Dark and regular blue color:
SOCIAL CONSERVATISM AS A COERCIVE TOOL OF THE STATE
PART I: Homosexuality under governments by religion, fascism, and hard-line Communism
This essay addresses social conservatism as a tool of force used by the state. In free nations which are supposed to be founded in the principles of liberty, individuals have liberties of conscience and may choose to be social conservatives in their personal lives. To use the state to coerce others into lives of social conservatism violates the principles of free conscience. In nations like the United States that bar religious tests for oaths of office, religion is not a viable reason to force social conservatism down the people's throats with legislation. The cries of tradition and heritage by the religious right is an attempt to influence law to do exactly that. A conservative and traditional lifestyle is one's personal choice and only that. A free nation must have a pragmatic set of laws that put all of us on equal standing in matters of liberty of conscience. The religious right of the Republican Party tries to fool the people with all that less government talk to get votes. But on religious, social, scientific and sexual matters they are all about government interference and like Islamic radicals, they wish to control both the public and the private lives of the citizenry.
A clue to the mind of the extemist religious conservative is found in Randall Terry's statement quoted in The News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, August 16, 1993:
"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good.... Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism."
Uncomfortable as it makes people to compare religion with dictatorships, the most dangerous dictatorships of the twentieth century were also socially conservative in regards to family values, reproduction and sexuality. Whether it was the Motherland, the Fatherland or a Christian Nation, the same message of intolerance runs through them.
Just like religious conservatives throughout history, secular authoritarians have also attempted to use the authority of state as a tool to force their version of a conscience upon the rest of people. Or else. While only one-third of people generally tend to be socially conservative, this does not make a difference to those possessed with the compulsion to force their morality upon all others for their own good. This is not to say fundamentalists and other religious extremists are actually Nazis or Stalinists, but that they hold very similar views on these familial, social and sexual issues and employ similar language in their positions and propaganda. It is for the same reasons I see the fascism in radical religion that conservatives have coined the word Islamafascists to describe Islamism. But both religions have a fundamentalist wing that continually attacks, pluralism, modernity and secularism. There are Islamists just as there are Christianists. Radical Islamists want to defeat the same forces of modernity, humanism and secularism that the Christian extremists do. At the UN, we see Islamic nations, the Catholic Church and Protestant fundamentalists on the same side in important social matters of science, sexuality, education and equality.
It may surprise many that hardline communists were also hardline social conservatives on the matters of family and sexuality. It is the nature of the authoritarian control freak to incorporate their rigid social views on these matters into state policy for all. Its for our own good, say the Marxist, the fascist and the religionist. The answer to this perverse mix of despotism and family values lies in the all or nothing, black and white natures of religious fundamentalism and nationalism. It is not about left versus right because social conservatism can be found in both as tools of the state. Social conservatism, both religious and secular, when wed to nationalism and embraced as state policy, has almost always turned into an enemy of tolerance and liberty. In fact, social conservatives in the United States, led by Christian conservatives, have opposed a long list of rights movements that expanded liberty. In America, they oppose(d) religious diversity, religious equality, abolition of slavery, women's suffrage, desegregation of the Bible Belt, integrating the armed forces, Integrating the schools (Brown v Board of Education), mixed race marriages, acceptance and equality for Jews ("not in OUR country club or restaurant!"), the Civil Rights Act of 1965, gender equality laws, women in authority, career women, reproductive education clinics, contraception rights, reproductive choice, Gay and Lesbian rights, ....... and more to come I am sure. It was humanists, both religious and secular that banded together to win the rights movements of the past. The conservatives were on the other side. Such is the case presently with regards to gay, lesbian and reproductive rights. Bedroom issues really get these people's fur up. <
Pat Robertson has been known to say some off-the-wall, out-to-lunch, ridiculouys things. So let's nopt make Pat wait any longer. Pat was heard on the 700 Club saying these things on 5-18-93 and 8/6/98:
"I have known few homosexuals who did not practice their tendencies. Such people are sinning against God and will lead to the ultimate destruction of the family and our nation. I am unalterably opposed to such things, and will do everything I can to restrict the freedom of these people to spread their contagious infection to the youth of this nation."
"If the widespread practice of homosexuality will bring about the destruction of your nation, if it will bring about terrorist bombs, if it'll bring about earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor, it isn't necessarily something we ought to open our arms to."
In an Interview with Molly Ivins on September 14, 1993 (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), Pat added to his long list of oblivious comments:
"Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians."
Its Flatulent Pat again. Because of popular cultural myths and the nature of the religious right's propaganda, most people don't realize that Nazi Germany and Stalin were on the same page as religious conservatives have been regarding homosexuals. The anti-gay propaganda of both the religious conservatives and the Nazis is nearly the same in tone and content. One is religious, but the message is basicly the same message of intolerance coupled with the willingness to use violence and blackmail to accomplish their objectives. Both embrace rigid patriarchal family views that see women as men-helpers and baby-makers. Both consider their views virtues and if anyone disagrees, they are un-American, (and un-German, there), and probably un-Christian in both. Religious fundamentalists in America and the Nazis of Germany became the moral crusaders to save the family in a nation that is supposedly threatened by decadence. The sky is falling and civilization will crumble. Both Nazism and religious fundamentalism are extreme right wing ideologies that embrace a state enforced social conservatism. Both are blends of extreme nationalism and obsessions with law and order and a predestined Christianized moral fiber of the nation. Both loudly proclaim their so-called family values as the foundation and the salvation of the nation. Without them, civilization crumbles.
Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Let's take a look at Germany's road to militant homophobism. After the German unification of January, 1871 a new legal code was established. At this time, Paragraph 175 was established in German law.
1. A male who indulges in criminally indecent behavior with another male, or who allows himself to participate in such activity, will be punished with imprisonment.
2. If one of the participants is under the age of twenty-one, and if the offense has not been grave, the court may dispense with the sentence of imprisonment.
In this same period, the German journalist Wilhelm Marr coined the label, anti-Semitism. It went beyond ethnic and religious bigotry but also referred to liberalizing trends conservatives of Germany associated with Jews. Concepts like civil rights, equality, and constitutional democracy that religious conservatives and nationalists saw as disrupting society were blamed on Jews. Like America's right wing nationalists and isolationists, they railed against internationalism, anti-war views, both free trade and socialism, cosmopolitanism, libertarianism, and of course, the bane of every anally retentive, obsessive compulsive dictator in human history, religious or not, those university intellectuals, professors and students alike.
Nevertheless, a gay and bisexual culture flourished in urban communities. "City air makes men free" was the German saying. Gays built support networks and a culture where they could express themselves more. They created a network with meetinghouses, pubs & taverns, restaurants, literature, art, theater, fashion, etc. In the public sphere of urban areas, because of openness, homosexuality was tolerated more, if not accepted as a fact of life in many urban areas. Which it should be. The social conservatives did not take kindly to this open atmosphere of intellectual discourse in Germany.
The goal of the 1890s gay rights movement was to repeal Paragraph 175, educate the public, and excite homosexual people into activism for equality. At this time, Magnus Hirschfield founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee (SHC). The organization established a petition drive for the repeal of 175 and sponsored a drive which sent educational materials to newspapers, politicians and justices in the court system. The committee had more support than any other gay rights organization in the world. In Britain, the organization under Edward Carpenter had to operate more quietly because of the Calvinism. Carpenter's organization was supported by many working class groups. Like the Suffrage movement in Europe, it had the support of the democratic left. One of the German SHC's popular publications was the annual publication, the Yearbook for Intermediate Sexual Types. The SHC held the belief that "Uranians", homosexual men and women, were the third sex. Not successful in the goal of having Paragraph 175 repealed, a strong gay rights movement still grew in the 1890s. The experience of the German LGBT community is very instructive to the rest of humanity because it was in Germany that the first modern gay rights movement was born. Germany was at this time the most liberal and socially tolerant nation in world. The allies had decreed it so. It became a global leader in gay rights because the allies said it had to have liberties of conscience and due processes for civil rights. It did so and then the Nazis came.
Hirschfield's politics were democratic left. His movement had support from both the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of Germany and the Marxist Social Democratic Party (MSDP). The two parties varied in times and degrees of support. Although the movement weathered some backlashes such as one after highly publicized trials of gay men in 1907, the movement prospered and found support. Its influence continued to grow right up until the start of World War One when operations were suspended due to the national crisis.
After the war and the failed socialist revolution of 1918, the SCH reorganized as Institute for Sexual Sciences (ISS). Its Motto was PER SCIENTIAM AD JUSTITIAM, which meant 'Justice Through Science'. They were way ahead of their times thinking natural sciences should have that much power. Darwin's myth shattering discoveries had no small part in the rise of natural defenses for bisexuality and homosexuality. The religious right fights scientific authorities and the philosophy of science for this same reason. The principles of Occham's Razor aren't for the faithful. The Institute was involved in research, publications and forums regarding sex laws, sex crimes, abortion, homosexuality, family planning, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases. It had marriage counseling and did research on marital problems. Hirshfield then started and led the World League for Sexual Reform. Members came from European nations, the United States, the Soviet Union, Japan, Australia, China, and India. When the Bolsheviks took power in Russia, homosexuality was decriminalized. Denmark was also becoming liberalized. Gay activist and filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim, Director of 'The Einstein of Sex', spoke regarding Hirschfield:
"Magnus Hirschfeld was one of the first sexologists ever, and after 200 years of sexual repression by the church he stood up and said I'm fighting for gay rights. As a doctor, as a scientist, as a respected person in society he was close to losing everything and making a lot of people very angry. But he managed in his very humanistic, diplomatic way to convince people at the time; a lot of intellectuals - who were trying to change the law, known as Paragraph 175."
After World War One, the Weimar Republic didn't persecute gay men with the same intensity as the First Reich did. German society became more open and more tolerant. The Police had rules for arresting people, too, they did not like that new development at all. Gays opened clubs and theatres; literature and film with gay themes grew. One of the principles believed by Hirschfield and his organizations was biological determinism. This proved damaging to the movement when the Nazis rose to power because some Nazis seized upon it as reason for the imprisonment and extermination of biologically broken and geneticly inferior people. Like Islamists, Stalinists and Christianists, Nazis weren't interested in any diversity.
The liberal atmosphere of the new Weimar Republic was increasingly attacked from the mid-1920s onward as the Nazi Party gained power. Nazis considered increased social tolerance a sign of Germany's failure. And crime was up because police now had laws to abide by in arrests! Like the Nazis, Christian fundamentalist's also take this view. Behind the religious right's attack on privacy is an attack on liberty itself. Fundamentalist and isolationist Pat Buchanan wrote in his column in 1977: "Homosexuality is not a civil right. Its rise almost always is accompanied, as in the Weimar Republic, with a decay of society and a collapse of its basic cinder block, the family."
Of course, no such thing as a collapsing civilization was happening when Germans were becoming more open. Right wingers just don't like true liberty no matter where it pops up. Liberty involves an expectation of privacy. Liberty to a right winger is the freedom to use the government to shove their religion and lemming-like nationalism down your throat. Openness is almost always rejected by religious conservatives and right wing nationalists. Having a free marketplace of ideas is counterproductive for authoritarianism. With authoritarians always knowing the facts of life, no other viewpoint need be allowed. Traditionalists and those sworn to convention will think homosexuality is an enemy of civilization. They could not be more wrong. Nations and States with gay rights laws have lower divorce rates. Massachusetts and Connecticut, having gay marriage and domestic partnerships have the two lowest divorce rates in the Nation. Germany was experiencing many of things that go along with an open society. Democratic societies with rights protections are messy affairs compared to the cut and dried situations of dictatorships and theocracies. I was going in the opposite direction that Pat Buchanan claims. Since the times of Emperor Constantine, true believers have rejected true Republicanism and democracy as chaotic and unstable. It was the Nazis, like Christian and Islamic fundamentalists do now, that claimed that homosexuality was ruining the family; that the nation was decaying. How many times have we heard the right wing propaganda telling us that America is decaying? How many times have we heard the baseless claim that homosexuality brought down great empires? The myth of the fall of Greece just keeps going and going and going. Hitler believed that fable regarding Greece and Rome. Nothing of the sort happened. It is bunk. (A great set of essays on the history of western intellectual traditions can be read at The History Guide.
On May 14, 1928, the Nazis issued a party statemenet in a questionaire that was distributed to party offices and members throughout Germany:
"It is not necessary that you and I live, but it is necessary that the German people live. And it can live if it can fight, for life means fighting. [The] German nation... can only fight if it maintains its masculinity. It can only maintain its masculinity if it exercises discipline, especially in matters of love. Free love and deviance are undisciplined. Therefore, we reject you, as we reject anything which hurts our people. Anyone who even thinks of homosexual love is our enemy. We reject anything which emasculates our people and makes them a plaything for our enemies. ... We therefore reject any form of unnatural sexuality, above all homosexuality, because it robs us of our last chance to liberate our people from the chains of slavery under which they now suffer."
Religious fundamentalists also use this myth as a propaganda tool. Because of the internet's open discussions, many of the myths about homosexuals are getting less traction. With a majority of American HIV cases now contracted by heterosexuals and IV drug users and the fact that worldwide, 93% of the infected are heterosexual, that tirade has lost its influence. This trend began in the early 1990s when New York City's HIV cases took this turn. For a great way to get specific city and state statistics, go to HIV INSITE.
Hitler's first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels, once said:
"He lectured me on the role of homosexuality in history and politics. It had destroyed ancient Greece he said. Once rife, it extended its contagious effects like an ineluctable law of nature to the best and most manly of characters, elimination from the reproductive process those very men on whose offspring a nation depended. The immediate result of the vice, however, was that unnatural passion swiftly became dominant in public affairs if it were allowed to spread unchecked".
Diels used this propaganda in his speeches as early as 1934. The Nazis became moral crusaders for National morality and German purity. Christian fundamentalists take this same postion in their propaganda wars against liberalizing laws and expanding liberty. They almost always have. Time and time again, they cite their laws of nature and the causes of the breakdown of the family just as the Nazis did when Germany was finally liberalizing. Religious conservatives offered the same arguments against abolition and suffrage. Society will break down if we abandon convention and tradition, they claimed. The Romans said the same thing when Rome was sacked 'because it turned its back on the ancient gods'.
The religious point of view adds the authority of scripture, which declares homosexual acts are capital offenses. That is the hateful and intolerant rationale behind the signs at anti-gay rallies that say God Hates Fags, and Death Penalty for Fags, and Thank God for AIDS. The Nazis hated gays for a variety of reasons and eventually killed thousands.
As they rose in power, the Nazis sought to make laws harsher and more conservative. When the vote in Reichstag finally came in 1929, the Nazis lost by a narrow majority. Regardless of their loss, the Nazis made a claim that Jews were leaders of homosexual movement and they sought to undermine German morality. After the vote, the official party newpaper, Volkisher Beobachter, stated:
We congratulate you, Mr Hirschfeld, on the victory in committee. But don't think that we Germans will allow these laws to stand for a single day after we have come to power; These efforts are nothing but vulgar, perverted crimes and we will punish them by banishment or hanging."
To the Nazis, Homosexuals also had a negative impact on German national strength because they didn't reproduce and increase family sizes. Like religious fundamentalists, Nazis were intensely patriarchal and pronatalist. Like religious right leaders such as Lou Sheldon and James Dobson, Nazis and fascists in general were obsessed with family, marriage and strict fatherhood. This is strict patriarchy no matter what culture it is found in. Because of this obsession with a domestic ideal for women, their status in the Third Reich depended on their reproductive activity. Mussolini also held similar views, recommending twelve children per family to boost the Italian population. He not only banned contraception and abortion, closing all the family planning clinics, he made the Roman Church the official church of Italy. Women in the Reich were paid to have extra children and those with or more were honored by with the Cross of Honor of the German Mother. The Nazi textbook for sexual health was a book by Munich University Professor Max von Gruber. Called Sexual Hygiene, it attacked masturbation and homosexuality while declaring, "Sexual intercourse takes place within wedlock. ... The purpose of marriage is the procreation of children and their upbringing. National growth requires marriage to produce at least four offspring." In Germany and Mussolini's fascist Italy, clinics, contraceptions and abortions went underground. Women who were found guilty of abortion were punished severly. In tandem, Nazis blamed gays and lesbians for a lower birthrate. In the Nazi scheme of things, women's place was in a well populated home and homosexuality must be wiped out. Things weren't much different in Franco's Spain. A Wikipedia article notes: "To say that Spanish social values under Francisco Franco were conservative would be a great understatement. Both public laws and church regulations enforced a set of social strictures aimed at preserving the traditional role of the family, distant and formal relations between the sexes, and controls over expression in the press, film, and the mass media, as well as over many other important social institutions." Under Franco's fascist regime, all contraception was outlawed. With contraception being illegal, Spain's abortion rate climbed.
Many of these beliefs hold true with the religious right, too. I have seen the population theme fundamentalists pushed in internet newsgroups by religious fundamentalists. Many times, people of the religious right would post articles about how the west is going to fall because we don't procreate as much as others. Like fascists, religious radicals preach that homosexuality will contribute to the fall of the nation. Pat Buchanan's book on the fall of the west is full of this baseless myth and propaganda. Pat, like the fascists, attacks liberty as a source of anarchy and the fall of the west. Nazi propaganda was obsessed about German reproduction rates and the higher reproductive rates of 'inferior races'. Just search any religious conservative blog to read this propaganda. While White Supremacists are up front on these issues, the average extremist fundamentalist veils their remarks with statements on how 'third world' countries have big families and people of the west don't. This fearmongering racism. The latest fearmongering I have read recently regards the fall of Europe to Muslims and Islamic fundamentalism. Since the terror attacks of 2001, statements by Christian radicals like Ann Coulter that depict our superior religion vs the inferior and violent Islam. Never mind that Christianity has generated more violence, cleansings, torture, inquisitions, death, and wars than all the other religions put together. The Enlightenment stuck a wrench in the engines of church-state alliances, so most of the sectarian violence in Europe came to an end at that time. While liberals and centrists are tolerant of other religions, Christian conservatives are not. Its not Biblical to tolerate any other religions. The Bible, like the Quran forbids other religions to exist. See my side by side scriptural comparisons of the Bible and the Quran.
From Nazi leader Herman Georing's Nine Commandments for the Worker's Struggle regarding the place of women in Nazi society:
"take hold of the frying pan, dust pan and broom and marry a man."
The Bible takes a similar approach to women's issues, shutting them up for God.
Collosians 3:18: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord."
Let's look at some more of Pat Robertson's ridiculous ideas. The first two are from the 700 Club on January 8, 1992 and July 27, 1995. The third is from a 1999 Fundraising letter.
"I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that's the way it is, period."
"As long as the husband is following the mandate of the Lord, the wife should submit to his leadership even though she may disagree with it. God's standard is true. Yet in many marriages, the wife is more able than her husband. Regretfully a woman with great abilities sometimes marries a man who does not have much ability. This wife must resist the temptation to dominate her husband. Her husband will sometimes make decisions that the wife feels are wrong. She must either gently persuade her husband or pray that God will change her husband's mind."
"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians."
One has to wonder if Pat's mom dropped him on his head as a baby a lot.
On January 30, 1933 Hitler finally took office. The Nazis received 2.6% of the popular vote in 1928 but with a message of law and order, family values, and civilization is crumbling, the Nazis succeeded in becoming a fordimable political party. The Nazis were now in power and Pat Buchanan's decadent Weimar Republic could finally be saved from itself by the salvation of patriarchy, German purity, law and order. Hitler then convinced his cabinet to declare a state of emergency to deal with, among several things, the decadence of civil liberties. The Nazis had the same view of democratic institutions favoring expansion of individual freedoms as the religious conservatives do regarding the ACLU.ORG, AU.ORG, PFAW and other civil rights and constitutional watchdogs. The police were suspicious at first but eventually cheered the move because they were no longer hindered by the decadent Weimar due processes of law that protected the rights of citizens. The Nazis hated those obstacles. Now they didn't need warrants again. The police liked that. Police could now make preventative arrests and cases would no longer be thrown out because police violated someone's rights or acted illegally. The twelve year experiment in liberal democracy with constitutional protections collapsed as the law and order Nazis rose to power. The fearmongering about the decay of civilization worked and now they could get to work to silence all other voices and lifestyles. The end of freedom of association had come. Soon, alongside Nazi racism and elimination of civil liberties, all homosexual and lesbian organizations were banned. Stormtroopers in brown shirts raided the gathering places, pubs, and cafes. Gays and lesbians were increasing driven underground or out of the cities. The decadent liberties of the 1920s were gone. Germany had finally ended that decadent experiment in democracy and liberties. Racialists, homophobes, traditionalists, and the church, just couldn't stand the freedom. They violated their sense of order to enter into a pluralist and open society.
Jerry Falwell, evangelist and Chancellor of Liberty University said immediately after the 9-11 attacks:
"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, 'People for the American Way' --all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, "You helped this happen! ...God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve," --
On May 6, 1933 Nazi stormtroopers and Hitler Youths in brownshirts raided, ransacked and closed the Institute for Sexual Science. Thousands of books from the institute's library were thrown in the infamous book burnings of May 10 at the center of Berlin. Acting as saviours of Germany, the Nazis burned 12,000 books, 35,000 photographs and thousands of other files, tracts and research papers from the Institutute. Into the same bonfires the Nazis threw thousands of Jewish books and religious texts. The writings of intellectuals were also targeted. Like the fifth century's Saint John Chrysostom 'the Golden Tongued', the Nazis railed against Jews and homosexuals. And like the relgious right, they railed endlessly about Reds; Marxists, liberals and socialists. All over Germany there were book burnings to save the Republic from the chaos and anarchy of democracy, the destructiveness of civil rights and from itself.
In November of 1933, the Nazis enacted The Law Against Dangerous Habitual Criminals and Measures for Protection and Recovery. Courts could now order castration for sex crimes and what Nazis considered deviant behavior. Rape or sex with boys under fourteen and open homosexuality (Paragraph 183) could merit castration. The law didn't include rape or sex with underage girls. If one killed for or during sexual excitement, punishment could include castration along with the sentence (Paragraphs 223-226). The Hitler Youth Book explains it this way: The "Law against Dangerous Criminals" provides for the castration of serious moral criminals. It is to be seen as a way of saving the criminal by freeing him of his sick drives. It will also surely prevent serious crimes in the future.
Homosexual Ernst Roehm was a leading Nazi and an imagined contender for Hitler's power. Roehm was a member of Hirschfeld's League and was active in meetings. During 1933 and 1934, Roehm was the leader of the SA (Stormtroopers) which numbered two million. The Treaty of Versailles put strict limits on the German government's military so there were organizations like the SA that filled the gap. Himmler and Hitler, both also anti-gay, worried that Roehm would use the Stormtroopers as is own personal militia to seek power. The death of Hindenberg in 1934 brought Roehm's possible power challenge into Hitler's view. Like the Stalinists, the German left had used Roehm's homosexuality to discredit the Nazis, even though there was only one gay Nazi in power. This same propaganda is used by religious radicals in their attack on gays and lesbians.
June 30, 1934, Roehm was murdered along with his associates in the infamous Night of the Long Knives. During this night and the next three days, over one thousand of Hitler's enemies were also murdered. (The Night of the Shattered Glass was when Nazi stormtroopers and Hitler Youths in brownshirts destroyed thousands of Jewish businesses throughout Germany. Boycotting Jewish businesses had begun in 1933). For the Nazi hierarchy, this was two birds with one stone. A homosexual and a contender for power. Both were unacceptable to most Nazis. Hitler and Himmler used his homosexuality as an excuse to serve anti-gay propaganda needs while eliminating a powerful player and suspected challenger in the Nazi party. There is no evidence, then or now, that this was Roehm's intention. Regardless of the truth in the matter, it served the Nazis well as propaganda to strengthen the appearance of the Nazis as law and order, moral crusaders for German family values. The law and order propaganda ad served them well, leading to the elimination of most civil liberties throughout Germany. Religious conservatives, like the Nazis, go to the extremes in this. Their propaganda covers the same family values territory.
Himmler took over the leadership of the Stormtroopers and initiated plans to rid the organization of all homosexuals. Hitler then ordered that all homosexuals in Germany were to be registered. In 1934, the special Division IIS was created for investigating and arresting homosexuals. The Gestapo was given the job of creating files on each homosexual. Immediately, local police forces all over Germany were instructed to maintain and turn over lists of all men who were suspected of being homosexuals. Within a short time, the division had 20,000 names. These dossiers were called pink lists. Homosexuals now joined the list of asocials in the Nazi party's moral crusade to rescue Germany from the decadence of the Weimar Republic and thew national shame of losing World War One. In reality, it was a predictable reactionary right wing move against a developing liberal society. Today's McCathyists and Christianists want to do the same thing in the US.
THE NEW YORK WORLD-TELEGRAM, December 17, 1934
"Adolf Hitler's secret police, aided by the Elite Guards, began a nationwide drive today to purge the Reich of sexual abnormality. They threw into jail between 500 and 700 men accused of perversion. In recent conferences of the party, Herr Hitler emphasised a determination to stamp out sex perversion among all Nazi organisations. It was recalled that after his purge of June 30, he made a pledge to German mothers that their sons would never be contaminated if they joined his Storm Troopers."
"Those shameful acts against nature, such as were committed in Sodom, ought everywhere and always to be detested and punished. If all nations were to do such things, they would be held guilty of the same crime by the law of God, which has not made men so that they should use one another in this way" (Augustine Confessions 3:8:15)
"There is among some animals a powerful sex drive, an irresistible urge (Grk oistrus) no different from madness. Even so, they do not experience this type of love but remain within the bounds of nature. Although roused ten thousand times, they never transgress the laws of nature. ('Saint' John Chrysostom; "Against the Opponents of Monastic Life 3")
Chrysostom, like many Christan fundamentalists, had the same view found in Nazi propaganda. Chrysostom and Augustine were quite wrong, of course, living in a time of great scientific ignorance. Homosexual bonding, bisexuality and same sex parenting are common and naturally occurring in every generation of bird and mammal species' societies.- They are part of the social glue in these animal's social structures. It is a mistake to think that the only social units in a society are reproductive ones or imitate those only. Nature is far more diverse and smarter than that.
On June 26, 1935 the Ministry of Justice issued The Amendment to the Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Diseases which expanded the list of crimes in Paragraph 175. Under this revised law, if a man was convicted under Paragraph 175, and if he consents, he could be castrated. The amendment defined homosexuals as asocials who, to Nazis threatened to undermine national morality. Freedom is destroying the family. This kind of rhetoric is identical to what we hear from the anti-gay propaganda of the religious right. Nazi propaganda painted gays as socially abberant, mentally ill, offending nature, and endangering the fabric of society. So did Castro and Stalin. In Germany, 'Chronic homosexual offenders' found themselves in the concentrations camps wearing pink triangles with the number 175 boldly displayed on the backs of their jackets. The new law went into effect on September 1st.
"175a: Penal servitude up to 10 years or, where there are mitigating circumstances, imprisonment of not less than three months shall apply to: (1) a male who, with violence or the threat of violence to body and soul or life, compels another male to commit a sex offense with him or to allow himself to be abused for a sex offense; (2) a male who, by abusing a relationship of dependence based upon service, employment or subordination, induces another male to commit a sex offense with him or to allow himself to be abused for a sex offense; (3) a male over 21 years of age who seduces a male person under twenty-one years to commit a sex offense with him or to allow himself to be abused for a sex offense; (4) a male who publicly commits a sex offense with males or allows himself to be abused by males for a sex offense or offers himself for the same."
Paragraph 175b: An unnatural sex act committed by humans with animals is punishable by imprisonment; the loss of civil rights might also be imposed.
Paragraph 174: incest, sexual offenses with dependents
paragraph 176 pedophilia. Persons convicted under these laws also wore the pink triangle.
Lumping incest and pedophilia in with homosexual orientation as the Nazi laws did, Ex-US Senator Rick Santorum (PA) said some pretty bizarre things in an interview right before the Lawrence V Texas ruling at the US Supreme Court. When the ruling did come down, it was a bright day for liberty and a dark day for the religious right. They immediately went off the deep end with a storm of "tales from the slippery slope".
"We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold Griswold was the contraceptive case and abortion. And now we're just extending it out. And the further you extend it out, the more you this freedom actually intervenes and affects the family. You say, well, it's my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that's antithetical to strong healthy families. Whether it's polygamy, whether it's adultery, where it's sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family."
Later on, he throws in bestiality for good measure, using the phrase, man on dog. Editorial cartoonists had a field day. Santorum's right wing Christianity, like the Nazis and Islamic extremists, downplays any right to privacy and claims homosexuality can destroy a society. Like the Nazis' declaring a state of emergency to end the Weimar decadence of democracy and individual freedoms, Santorum attacks individual freedom and uses the same family values rhetoric in order to protect civilization. Perpetuating ignorance, he equates homosexual relations and love between consenting adults with child molestation, which is felony rape!. I guess Rick is not aware (again!) that straight couples practice anal intercourse, too. One of the reasons why the Texas legislature banned anal intercourse for gays only is that after field research, they found it to be too popular with straights to completely outlaw it.
Christian zealots like the Man on Dog himself aren't the only ones against privacy. Right wingers hate it. Heinrich Himmler had this to say regarding privacy in a speech to SS leaders at Bad Lodz on February, 18, 1937 :
"If you further take into account the facts that I have not yet mentioned, namely that with a static number of women, we have two million men too few on account of those who fell in the war, then you can well imagine how this imbalance of two million homosexuals and two million war dead, or in other words a lack of about four million men capable of having sex, has upset the sexual balance sheet of Germany, and will result in a catastrophe.
I would like to develop a couple of ideas for you on the question of homosexuality. There are those homosexuals who take the view: what I do is my business, a purely private matter. However, all things which take place in the sexual sphere are not the private affair of the individual, but signify the life and death of the nation, signify world power"
Due to the belief held by many Nazis that homosexuality was a sickness that could be 'cured', camp policy was to re-educate them through humiliation and hard labor. In the present there is a Christian conservative organization known as NARTH. NARTH is a proponent of a pseudoscientific and faith based approach called Reparative Therapy. To the Christian fundamentalist, homosexuality is a a sinful illness that can be cured. The NARTH folks reject the biological foundations of sexual orientation although nature supports it completely. Some Nazis, however, took the biological point of view to extremes and sought to exterminate them as geneticly deviant human beings. Nazis feared their effect on German masculinity. Some homosexuals were even forced to visit brothels weekly as part of their re-education. Some were subjects in biological experiments although no scientific knowledge was ever gained. According to Auschwitz commander Rudolf Hess' memoirs, gays were segregated to prevent the spread of homosexuality. Homosexuals were often chosen for the deadliest work in munitions factories and quarries.
Spread of homosexuality? This is the same viewpoint that is constantly shouted out in the religious right's propaganda. Without thinking, they propose that gays will convert children and young men to their lifestyle. Aside from the fact that you can't convert someone's sexual orientation, why would someone choose to invite bigotry, fear, and danger into their life? Thats DUMB! Why would anyone do THAT? The religious right's propaganda about spreading homosexuality is illogical and unscientific, based in arguments from misinformation and at times, dishonesty. It defies common sense because if people really had a choice, why would they choose such a tough life in an intolerant and uneducated society? It makes no sense. Its the kind of irrational thinking which usually hides behind the cover of revelatory religion.
"All other frenzies of the lusts which exceed the laws of nature, and are impious toward both bodies and the sexes, we banish, not only from the threshold but also from all shelter of the Church, for they are not sins so much as monstrosities" (Tertullian, Modesty 4)
Under the anti-gay policies of Nazi Germany, thousands, possibly tens of thousands of homosexual men were sent to concentration camps in Buchenwald and Flossenbuerg where there were dangerous quarries to be worked. Gays in the Berlin area ended up on the train to Sachsenhausen. There were no gettos for gays in Nazi Germany. It was compliance or harassment and imprisonment in Germany. Later on during the war, Buchenwald would serve as headquarters for the Danish Nazi doctor, Carl Peter Vaernet, who worked on his hormone-implant cure for homosexuals.
Castration was another cure for deviant behavior and a way to safeguard the quality of German hereditary flow. Initially, a homosexual could plead out to a lower sentence by allowing the justice ministers to order castration. That ended in short order as the prisoner quickly lost his say in the matter because, in the Nazi order, courts and camp officials could now summarily order castration. As it was in religious inquisitions and cleansings, you didn't have the right to an attorney while you were being questioned.
"I do not characterize every Jew as inferior, as Negroes certainly are.." (Nazi Anthropologist Eugen Fischer, June 20, 1939)
Homosexuals and Jews were not the only people worked to death in the camps. Alongside the persecuted were Blacks. Although no major program was organized, Blacks in Germany also faced discrimination and violence, including being worked to death in the camps. A Nazi propaganda poster showed a mixed race friendship with the caption underneath: The Result! A loss of racial pride. The Holocaust Encyclopedia article is blunt:
The fate of black people from 1933 to 1945 in Nazi Germany and in German-occupied territories ranged from isolation to persecution, sterilization, medical experimentation, incarceration, brutality, and murder. However, there was no systematic program for their elimination as there was for Jews and other groups.
After World War I, the Allies stripped Germany of its African colonies. The German military stationed in Africa (Schutztruppen), as well as missionaries, colonial bureaucrats, and settlers, returned to Germany and took with them their racist attitudes. Separation of whites and blacks was mandated by the Reichstag (German parliament), which enacted a law against mixed marriages in the African colonies.
Following World War I and the Treaty of Versailles (1919), the victorious Allies occupied the Rhineland in western Germany. The use of French colonial troops, some of whom were black, in these occupation forces exacerbated anti-black racism in Germany. Racist propaganda against black soldiers depicted them as rapists of German women and carriers of venereal and other diseases. The children of black soldiers and German women were called Rhineland Bastards. The Nazis, at the time a small political movement, viewed them as a threat to the purity of the Germanic race. In Mein Kampf (My Struggle), Hitler charged that the Jews had brought the Negroes into the Rhineland with the clear aim of ruining the hated white race by the necessarily-resulting bastardization.
Diluting the white race was also a major concern for the racist religious conservatives in the south who sought to keep slavery, and then segregation, legal. Like Christian conservatives and racists of the segregated states, Nazi propaganda painted black men as rers of white women. In our nation, that led to thousands of vigilante murders and town lynchings. In the Bible belt and other rural strongholds of religious conservatives, this belief about Black men led to thousands of lynchings in the Bible belt. Whole communities were guilty of horrific crimes of murder. Ideologically, the violence was designed, among other reasons like wanting a 'white town', to protect the virtues of white women. White women being with white men supported the cause of white manlihood. White Christian southerners in these days feared the masculinity of freed black men and killed them because of it.
Hitler claimed in Mein Kampf that "the Jews had brought Negroes into the Rhineland with the clear aim of ruining the hated white race by the necessarily-resulting bastardization". This viewpoint was also held by anti-abolitionists and supporters of laws against interracial marriages. An 1863 Miscegeny tract designed to attack the abolitionist Republican administration was entitled "Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man and Negro". The pamphlet's aim regarded the producing of children by mixed marriages, thereby diluting the white race. Like the Nazis, religious conservatives actually feared the end of the white race by race mixing and made it a propaganda tool to instill fear and bigotry in the people. Racial pride was nearly as much a part of the anti-abolitionist's propaganda as it was with the Nazis. They took the same approach, appealing to racial purity. To this day, white supremacist Christian groups maintain that agenda, in tow with its anti-immigration, anti-trade, anti-gay, and anti-pluralist ones, to keep Blacks, Jews, and Mestizos from diluting the white race.
It wasn't long ago that almost all the laws in this nation regarding marital, sexual, and social relations between blacks and whites were clearly Christian white supremacist in nature. Groups like the KKK and the Aryan Brotherhood came into existence as a desire of some for a return to the norms and ideals of the past's traditions. Typical of the conservative religious state governments that fought progress were laws such as those Section 4189 of the Alabama Code which declared unabashedly:
"If any white person and any Negro, or the descendant of any Negro to the third generation, inclusive, though one ancestor of each generation was a white person, intermarry or live in adultery or fornication with each other, each of them must, on conviction, be imprisoned in the penitentiary or sentenced to hard labor for the county for not less than two nor more than seven years."
The Nazis defined Jewishness in a similar manner in the Nuremburg laws.
Echoing the noisome sores of the 306 Synod of Elvira, imperial decrees, five general councils and the early sixth century Councils in Gaul, Nazis outlawed marrying a Jew and allowing a Jew to enter the legal profession. With the Nazis banning Jews from the dining cars, the Nazis continued that begun by the Synod of Elvira that banned a Christian from sharing a meal with a Jew.
Due to traditional religious and race traditions, laws against mixed race marriages existed at one time or another in most of the USA until the US Supreme Court put a stop to them in 1967. With the passage and enforcement of unconstitutional laws, the USA was a racist nation for almost 200 years because it didn't abide by the principles of equality and liberty for all. It is a good thing the 1960s came along with all of it's activism and challenges to traditional dogma. With liberalization movements in the 1890s and the 1920s, it was only a matter of time before one had the momentum and became effective in liberalizing society.
The fourteen states that didn't have miscegenation laws used discrimination, intimidation and violence to keep mixed race marriage frequency down. This is the same tactic used against homosexuals. The Bible Belt and religious conservatives throughout America fought interracial marriage to the bitter end just as they did racial segregation. Some states even left these laws on the books after they were ruled unconstitutional. See my miscegeny article for a more detailed look at how these laws were ended in the USA.
In 1936, Heinrich Himmler created the Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion. Under him, Joseph Meisinger ran the organization at the start. Under Meisinger, the Gestapo created a sophisticated network of spies and informants. Arrested homosexuals were used to create lists of other homosexuals. Their address books were seized in arrests and raids on their homes and persons. Teachers feared their students. Students feared their teachers. The workplace became a nest of spies and conspiracies. Bosses feared workers. Workers feared bosses. Nobody could be trusted. Your family included. A cold fear swept Germany's gay community.
After Hitler took power, 100,000 men were arrested for the crime of homosexuality. Around 50,000 went to prison although this is a conservative estimate. Nodody knows for sure due to the destruction of records by the Nazis in the closing days of the war, some evidence says 15,000 gays may have been sent to the camps for re-education or extermination. One expert on this matter, Rudger Lautmann, believes about 60% of gays in camps were killed in one way or another. The figures may be way off, too. Some have suggested that 100,000 were sent to the camps when homosexuals disappeared a night. Most camp records were burned but many police and court records exist. The jury is still out and even the conservative numbers on this crime are terrible.
As mentioned above, the German left, Stalin and the religious right made hay out of homosexual Nazis even though there was only one in leadership. Here is part of Himmler's Speech at Bad Tolz to the SS Group Commanders on February 18, 1937:
"In the SS, today, we still have about one case of homosexuality a month. In a whole year, about eight to ten cases occur in the entire SS. I have now decided upon the following: in each case, these people will naturally be publicly degraded, expelled, and handed over to the courts. Following completion of the punishment imposed by the court, they will be sent, by my order, to a concentration camp, and they will be shot in the concentration camp, while attempting to escape"
After Paragraph 175 was revised and the Gestapo's Special Office IIS was created, the arrests of homosexuals rose dramaticly. This culminated with a Gestapo directive on April 4, 1938 that opened up the gates of the concentration camps to gays and lesbians. Although lesbian networks, clubs, and cafes were also destroyed by Stormtroopers, there weren't any laws regarding lesbian acts in Germany. Writers like Erhard Eberhard published booklets that grouped homosexuals, feminists, individual rights activists, Constitutional democrats and Jews as those people who sought to destroy Germany. In Eberhard's booklets, he claimed that the women's rights movement was nothing more than a front for seducing women to lesbianism. This is rather Pat Robertson, too. And all that's missing in Jerry Falwell's post 9-11 statement are the Jews. Conservatives failed at having laws against lesbian acts enacted but managed to end press freedoms for them with the 'Protection of Youth from Obscene Publications Act.' A religious conservative's dream come true, of course. All in all, a major reason why lesbians werent targeted lke the men was because in Germany, women did not have any public role in society. To the fascists of Germany, Italy, and Spain, women were inferior to men. They were baby-makers and man-servers. This is also the view of fundamentalists. Here is what Pat Robertson said on the 700 Club on May 18, 1993,
"I am absolutely persuaded one of the reasons so many lesbians are at the forefront of the pro-choice movement is because being a mother is the unique characteristic of womanhood, and these lesbians will never be mothers naturally, so they don't want anybody else to have that privilege either."
There were police lists of lesbians, however, because they were deemed sexually aberrant and anti-social, and not expected to reproduce; a threat to Germany's moral fiber and national strength. People who were a threat to "Germanhood" had to be monitored closely. One Lesbian, Henny Schermann, was arrested in 1940. On her prison photo was the label licentious lesbian. Also a Jew, she ended up at the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Marked for extermination, she was gassed at the Bernburg Psychiatric facility in 1942 where she was being treated for lesbianism. Bernburg was one of the Nazi's euthanasia centers for those the Nazis considered asocials, perverts or aberrants who should not be allowed to reproduce or consume natural resources that 'the reproducing' will need. An interesting fact is that in both Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, gay men and lesbians married each other in order to protect themselves from persecution and violence. Reparative Therapy move over, you've met your match!!!
After the war started, homosexuals that found themselves in the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Neuengamme were experimented upon by the Danish SS doctor, Carl Vaernet. The SS gave him a research position, a staff, laboratories, financial support, and camp inmates with which to experiment upon. His treatments included castration for the incurable and hormones for the others. Under the Nazi doctrine of re-education, Vaernet had developed a hormone implant for homosexuals. Vaernet was able to get three Danish patents and one American patent after his escape from post-war imprisonment. A British patent is also suspected.
The conservative religious policy found at NARTH, also sees gays as sick and curable. Religion based 'Reparative Therapy" is the religious fundmentalist's version of re-education.
A similar sequence of events transpired in Russia and the Soviet Union. Compared to the attitudes of Europe, Russia was relatively tolerant of homosexuality during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. In 1706, this all ended with Peter the Great in power. Peter also established a state church, creating a church-state alliance much like many Europeans did. Persecution against homsexuals began within his military machine. Previously, since the people's accepted homosexuality as a fact of life, there were no laws punishing homosexuality. Peter's law, "O sodomskom grekhe, o naslli i blude", based on Protestant Sweden's law, made sodomy a capital crime. Ten years later, Peter, who is rumored to have been a bisexual, liberalized the law to corporal punishment. Capital punishment remained if rape or violence was involved. As Russia was further influenced by increasing contacts with Europe, the society became influenced by the anti-homosexual rhetoric and discrimination policies of Christianized Europe.
By 1835, under Nicolas I, a new law was enacted that was based upon the German model. In 1845 homosexuals convicted of vice contrary to nature could spend five years in Siberia and lose all of their civil rights. The courts sentenced consenting adults as criminals and enemies of public order. But then came the first modern gay rights movement in the world in Germany. Russians embraced toleration and decriminalization was even suggested. Instead, the sentence was reduced from 4-5 years to 3 months or more for consensual homosexual relations. Alongside of this new liberalization, the police and courts rarely enforced the law.
After the January, 1917 Russian revolution, another drive to decriminalize homosexuality started. This campaign was not the idea of the Bolsheviks but of the Constitutional Democrats (YAY!) and the Anarchists (Anarchists were big supporters of abolition and suffrage). By the end of the year, the anti-homosexuality laws had been repealed. With the exception of where homosexuality was the most common in the Muslim Republics of Azerbajan, Turkmenia, and Uzbekistan, and the Christian republic of Georgia, there was no mention of homosexuality in the Soviet criminal codes. As late as 1930, the Great Soviet Encyclopedia stated, Soviet legislation does not recognize so-called crimes against morality. Our laws proceed from the principle of protection of society and therefore countenance punishment only in those instances when juveniles and minors are the objects of homosexual interest."
After Stalin's rise and subsequent ending of these liberties and protections, it took Russia until 1993 to return to this modern and principled position. Homosexuality was again decriminalized when Soviet Communism fell. Laws liberalizing abortion, marriage, contraception and homosexuality that were instituted in 1917 were all repealed by Stalin and his psychotic madness. Like Germany's decadent Weimar Republic which promised individual rights, the Russian Revolution's original social libertarianism was now a threat to that same nation's moral fiber under Stalin. Go figure. The religious right uses the same extremist propaganda. Pat Robertson had this to say on the 700 Club on may 18, 1993:
"The radical left is doing everything it can to destroy the moral fiber of America. They want to do away with the family"
Oh please, poor, pitiful, pathetic Pat. One doesn't have to be a conservative or a religious nutcase to have a moral sense. You're just mad because your idea of what America's moral fiber should be is under attack. The religious right constantly whines about how liberals don't believe in right and wrong but that is a lie. Many just don't embrace the religious fanatic's version of right and wrong. Humanism and common sense has beaten out superstition and the authority of ancient religious texts. Its been going on since the Renaissance and picked up full steam during the enlightenment. As Thomas Jefferson wrote to his Nephew Peter Carr in 1787, "The moral sense, or conscience, is as much a part of man as his leg or arm. It is given to all human beings in a stronger or weaker degree, as force of members is given them in a greater or less degree. It may be strengthened by exercise, as may any particular limb of the body. This sense is submitted indeed in some degree to the guidance of reason; but it is a small stock which is required for this: even a less one than what we call Common sense. State a moral case to a ploughman and a professor. The former will decide it as well, and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules." Jefferson also noted to John Adams in 1816, "I believe... that [justice] is instinct and innate, that the moral sense is as much a part of our constitution as that of feeling, seeing, or hearing; as a wise Creator must have seen to be necessary in an animal destined to live in society." Since those early days of science, humans have gained knowledge of evolution and the fact that morality is biologically anchored. Whole fields like Sociobiology, behavioral genetics and Evolutionary Psychology have shown us that Jefferson was correct. Jefferson used the word 'creator' but we now know that morality is a product of human evolution whether by intelligent design or not. It makes sense that those with social skills, empathy, and a sense of fairness would leave more of their genes in the succeeding generations. This plays out in every primate's society. Chimpanzees for instance, punish those that don't share with those that have shared with them. Food and social intercourse is witheld from such individuals. Here is the moral sense at work in non-literate animal societies. People don't need books and religion to know right and wrong. Moral reciprocity does not require an alphabet. For a primer on this subject, read twice Pulitzer Prize winner and naturalist, Edward O. Wilson's The Biological Basis of Morality.
The starcrossed Weimar Republic had lasted twelve years when Hitler ended its civil liberties and declared an emergency. His cabinet gave him everything he wanted to end the freedoms of the Weimar Republic. The Russian experiment with increased personal liberties had lasted sixteen. A nation that was seen as socially enlightened all over the world was now covered with darkness as nationalism and Stalin's propaganda of revolutionary puritanism and proletarian morality drove the people inward because it was against nature. The bUSSR failed because it was unnatural. This combination of authoritarian social conservatism and fanatical nationalism is also found in right wing Christian propaganda. As we see whenever the USA engages in a military campaign, you're a traitor if you don't agree with the government's decisions .The same despotic combination of social conservatism and nationalism found in the secular dictatorships and the Christian right are also found in radical Islam. They, like the Christian right wing, rant endlessly on the evils of a secular nation with rights to privacy. Somebody has forgotten to tell them that the US Constitution is just that, secular, humanist, and full of liberties that don't serve religious fanaticism well. Stalin's propaganda machine had attacked Germany's gay rights movement. Like today's religious radical's, Stalin used the false notion that the Nazis were being "led by homosexuals". The truth is that the only homosexual in the Nazi Party with any significant power to reckon with was Ernst Roehm. The social freedoms of the Russian revolution died when Stalin came to power. Stalin started persecuting gays in the 1930s. Stalin's decree of December 17, 1933 and the legislation of March 7, 1934 criminalized homosexuality. Article 121 of the criminal code called for up to 9 years of imprisonment for consenting adults. Stalin even intervened when the Soviet Constitution was being drawn up to make sure homosexuals received harsh penalties. (The good old days) To the Stalinists, homosexuality was a sign of the moral decadence of the bourgeoisie and was considered counter-revolutionary and unpatriotic. The God and Country crowd of the USA is similar in their attacks on those deemed unAmerican and unpatriotic. With all the rants about tradition and their unwritten constitution of handy quotes, religious zealots don't know that their views are not congruent with the US Constitution. Not even close.
Stalinist views on homosexuality as un-Socialist spread to other Communist nations. Moralist progaganda of the religious right is fat with talk of moral decadence. Ironicly they tie it to Communism, when actually Stalin's communism used the same nationalistic and authoritarian social conservative propaganda as the radical Christians do as far as family planning, reproductive choice, contraception. With a certain element of the religious right, there are always Communists Everywhere! and Socialists lying in the closets and under your beds waiting to topple the Constitution. Like the Nazis, Stalinists, and religious zealots of Islam and Christianity see homosexuality as a sign of moral decadence and was considered dangerous to the nation's moral fiber. There was and is no evidence of anything of the sort.
Stalin had moved against gains that women had made. Stalin's ultranationalism, revolutionary purity, and his campaign against moral decadence brought about the reversal of the liberties gained by women regarding marriage, sex education, contraception and abortion. Lesbians became a target of discrimination and persecution, losing jobs, being kicked out of universities and sustaining blackmail and threats regarding the custody of any children they might have.
This attitude continued. In 1952, on page 35 of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia an article titled Gomoseksualizm appeared.
"The origin of Homosexualism is linked to everyday social conditions; for the overwhelming majority of people indulging in Homosexualism, these perversions stop as soon as the person finds himself in a favorable social environment.... In Soviet society with its healthy mores, Homosexualism as a sexual perversion is considered shameful and criminal. Soviet criminal legislation regards Homosexualism as punishable with the exception of those instances where Homosexualism is a manifestation of marked psychic disorder."
Ah, yes, re-education rears its sinister head again. A more favorable social climate is the answer to everything! Until the 1980s, Gays and lesbians were routinely committed to hospitals where the Soviets had their own Reparative Therapy, which involved several months of psychotropic drugs. This was done by force. They had no choice. Punitive Psychiatry in the Soviet Union was used upon all manner of people, especially intellectuals with enlightenment ideologies. Intellectuals get persecuted along with everyone else whenever there are inquisitions, persecutions and cleansings in history. It happened in Milosevic's Yugoslavia. It happened with Mao Tse Tung in China, Pol Pot in Cambodia and Castro in Cuba. It happened with right wing governments and their death squads all over Latin America during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. It happened with Franco in Spain, Pinochet in Chile. Argentina also had a horrific period of disappearing people. When the alliances of church and state arose in late antiquity, it was the classical philosophers, teachers and Aristotlean scientists who were punished along with the religiously incorrect pagans, Jews and heretics. (It should be noted that every major medical organization in the west rejects Reparative Therapy as pushed by NARTH and Christian fundamentalists as dangerous and unscientific.)
It may come as a surprise to most that while the Christian fundamentists in America were attacking homosexuals during the Reagan years, the Soviets mounted its own anti-homosexual campaigns run by the state. A million copies of teacher's manuals on sex education stated homosexuality was a pathology and a "violation of normal principles of sexual relationships" and "Homosexuality challenges both normal heterosexual relationships and society's cultural, moral attainments. It therefore merits condemnation both as a social phenomenon and as a specific person's behavior and mental attitude". Those could be the words of fundamentalist Muslims and Christians, too.
When HIV/AIDS appeared, Soviet leaders, like religous fundamentalists, said it was all the gays' fault. Even though HIV started in Africa due to rampant heterosexual promiscuity, this deceptive propaganda worked well among Soviets and religious fundamentalists. The truth was far more ugly. It is a tradition sub-Saharan Africa that men could, alongside having a wife and children, have girlfriends and visit prostitutes. This tradition of rampant heterosexual promiscuity is what caused the spread of HIV that resulted in the deaths of millions of deaths due to HIV/AIDS. UNAIDS claims that 93% of the HIV infections in the world are due to heterosexual contact. The HIV/AIDS epidemic started as a heterosexual's disease and spread to other high risk groups via international travel and trade. In most African nations, infected women outnumber infected men because of the high risk, promiscuous nature of the African cultures. Infected women outnumber infected men in India, too. Already, in the USA, of those infected through sexual activity, three of seven are heterosexuals. Worldwide, it is still mostly a heterosexual's disease. See this CDC slide. With 90% of people being heterosexual, this spells big trouble in the USA considering that there are 15,000,000 new cases of STDs every year. It is only a matter of time before 90% of cases will be due to heterosexual contact. To compound this problem, places like the Bible Belt that the teach abstinence only have the highest rates of STDs (teen pregnancies and divorce, too) in the nation. See my Bible Belt statistics which includes many eye raising CDC slides. In a recent survey (early 2005) a dangerous scenario emerged. Comparing the pledgers of virginity until marriage with the non-pledgers, 13% of pledgers engaged in sodomy and oral sex in order to stay technically chaste, in order to claim they had held to their values. WHAT are these people doing to our kids!? The rate of this behavior in the non-pledgers was 2%. This bound to spell trouble if it is not addressed with comprehensive sex education that places abstinence as the first but not the only sexual strategy.
While Stalin's proletarian morality and puritanism were enforced by Article 121, professionals questioned its logic. A 1973 textbook on Criminal law by Mikhail Shargorodsky and Pavel Osipov addressed the irrationality of Article 121: "In the Soviet literature of jurisprudence, there has never been any attempt to articulate a sound scientific basis for the existence of criminal penalties for muzhelozhstvo [sex between men]. The only reason that is usually given - that the subject is morally depraved and has violated the rules of socialist morality - cannot be considered substantive, since negative personal traits cannot serve as grounds for criminal penalties and the amoral nature of an act is insufficient for declaring it criminal. . . . Serious doubts exist regarding the expediency of retaining criminal penalties for the unqualified act of muzhelozhstvo." While homosexuality was decriminalized, remnants of the socially conservative attitude remained strong. A 1990 book on sexopathology (Valishenko, pg 429) defined homosexuality as a "pathological drive" and "a strong pathogenic factor encouraging the formation of homosexual attraction can be the inculcation by parents and teachers of a hostile attitude towards the opposite sex."
Unfortunately, the book remained in use for many years.
While there was literature such as the textbook above, at the same time activism was growing. In 1989, the Russians took a page out of Magnus Hirschfileds book with its Institute, its research and its conferences. and the Sexual Minorities Association was established. Like the German Institute for Sexual Science, the organization sought the repeal of the anti-gay laws, particularly Article 121. And like Hirschfields gay right movement of the 1890s and 1920s, they sought to educate the public. Social conservatives of Christianity, Fascism and Stalinism have madly fought these kinds of liberalizations. And like the German Institute, The Sexual Minorities Association (SMA) began a regular publication. Not long after the establishment of SMA, the first ever international conference on these matters was held in the USSR. With the growing openness in Gorbachev's Glasnost, the conference, called The Status of Sexual Minorities and Changing Attitudes Toward Homosexuality, was held at the History Institute of the Estonian Academy of Sciences.
Cuba and Latin America
Latin America is another place where human rights have never quite taken hold. The Enlightenment was primarily an affair of the French and northern Europe so Spanish and Catholic colonies did not export ideas of the enlightenment as did the Brits, the Dutch, the French and the Scotts. Left and right, dictatorships have persecuted homosexuals. The key to understanding why religious conservative governments are similar to dictatorships is their demand for enforced ideological, social and sexual conformity in a uniform society. Religion and dictatorships just can't stand pluralism. It gets them out of sorts. Neither recognizes a right to privacy or a liberty of conscience. In that regard there is very little that separates dictatorships from the so-called governments of God when it comes to their rhetoric and demands regarding homosexuals. Pluralism is considered an evil. Diversity is a dirty word in the ears of religious and nationalist conservatives. Choice leads to the fall of civilization. Liberty is chaotic and dangerous.
Communist dictator Fidel Castro considered homosexuality to be a result of the decadent social liberties of the Batista regime and spoke of "revolutionary puritanism" as the national cure. There is something wrong with liberty according to the religious zealots and dictators. After a couple of years of relative quiet for homosexuals, Castro adopted the Stalinist model and began a two decade persecution of gays and lesbians. Homosexuals were sexual deviants and agents of imperialism. Like Stalin's Russia, Cuba's homosexuals were asocials. As in Nazi Germany, Cuba's homosexuals were rounded up, held without any legal due process, and sent to machinegun-surrounded labor camps for re-education and rehabilitation. Reparative Therapy, dictatorship style. Communist Cuba's First National Congress on Education and Culture held in 1971 pointed to "the social pathological character of homosexual deviations" and decided "all manifestations of homosexual deviations are to be firmly rejected and prevented from spreading".
Ah, spreading it, again. That's looking very chicken little.
To Cuba's Marxists, the bourgeois decadence and capitalist degeneration had to be stopped and replaced with lifestyles and beliefs based on the principles of a purer revolutionary morality. Homosexuals were hunted down, intellectuals were spied upon and rounded up, publishers and theaters were closed down, magazines were outlawed, shops were closed, restaurants and clubs were closed, writers were disgraced and lost jobs, books were rejected at publishing houses, and people disappeared at night. Socialist morality required the criminalization of homosexuality. Universities, the theater, the arts, and the press were purged of homosexuals. Revolutionary Puritanism is no different than Calvinist Puritanism.
Paralleling left wing authoritarian morality in Cuba was Chile's persecutions of dissenters under Pinochet. Not only were conservatives and intellectuals persecuted, gays and lesbians were targeted. Under Pinochet, homosexuals disappeared the way Argentinian dissenters did. But the Chilean gay community was courageous against great odds. A right wing dictator and the Catholic Church. Someday, Pinochet would be gone. In a seven year battle and after loosing in 1996, the gay and lesbian community finally won in the Chilean Senate when laws criminalizing same-sex sexual relations were repealed. Law 1047 and 18216 issued in December, 1998, repealed the same-sex law, Law 365, and ended the imprisonment of convicted gay men for up to five years. That is a major achievement considering the church and state obstacles. Unfortunately, the Latin American version of the Nazi's ideal of maleness is alive and well there. In 2001, off duty military set fire to a gay bar in Santago, Chile with over 400 patrons inside. No charges were ever filed. That is simply monstrous for a government to turn away from the principles of equality like that. In El Salvador, neo-fascist paramilitary groups target gay men for violence. In the city of Bagota, Columbia, right wing death squads cleanse neighborhoods of homosexuals. In Mexico, a long time abuser of civil liberties, the governor of the state of Chiapas said at a luncheon that all homosexuals should be killed. Over the next twenty months, twelve gay men were murdered in Mexico. In Brazil where machismo is strong, wives, girlfriends and gays (and secret gay boyfriends of married men of course) are beaten or killed without subsequent arrests, a similar cultural deficit found in Islam. They call it honor; I call it murder. This male machismo factor was found in the Nazi concept of Mannerbund. It's worldview is similar to the radical conservative Christian attack on gay men as effete and effeminate. The fascist Mannerbund supposedly celebrated rugged Aryan maleness and separated itself from all things effeminate in a complete way. Fascist society was to be built around the Mannerbund ideal of men in which the only way men loved each other was in a chaste way. Mannerbund was shot through and through with concepts of moral cleanness, nationalism and a military model of manliness. Homosexuals had to be cleansed from the nation because they didn't meet the manly ideal that shunned eveything feminine. The Mannerbund ethic required that all men were to separate themselves from all things feminine. This exclusivist concept of masculinity, like that of the patriarchal Christian and Muslim men in their ideal society, denigrates gay men as out of place in this universe. Foremost in the mind of the religious fundamentalist, like the fascist states, and for whatever reason, is their radical agenda to deny the GLBT community of equal rights under the law. In the enlightened mind, it is all about equality under the law, not age old traditions. Traditions don't have a good record on human rights.
Homosexuality was finally decriminalized in Cuba in the 1979 Penal Code but gays are routinely persecuted nonetheless. Gay and lesbian newspapers, publications and organizations are still against the law. Clubs are routinely raided and shut down. Costly fines are still levied. In today's Cuba, homosexuals are considered unfit to join the Communist Party. They violate communist morality.
It appears that Communists and religious fundamentalists are all on the same page with the fascists when it comes to national morality and the issues regarding sexual orientation. The same repression of sexuality shouts from all of these ideologies. The same enforcement of family values in the interest of the state shouts. Communist, fascist or religious fundamentalist, its the same kind of obstinate, myopic, pretentious, obsessive-compulsive people making proclamations for the good of the rest of us. After all, the sky could fall if homosexuals were afforded individuality and dignity. Civilization will crumble. Gays and civil rights caused the Jets to slam into the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. Just ask Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. They all say that the sky will fall and they all go to similar ends to force their ways upon their respective societies. In the west, religious conservatives have no idea what the principles of liberty are but they use them to undermine freedom for the rest of us.
Leviticus 20:13: If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
More of Heinrich Himmler speech to SS Leaders on February 18, 1937 at Bad Tolz:
"A nation with many children can gain supremacy and mastery of the wordl. A pure race with few children already as one foot in the grave; in fifty or a hundred years it will be of no significance; in two hundred years it will be extinct. It is essential to realise that if we allow this infection to continue in Germany without being able to fight it, it will be the end of Germany, of the Germanic world. Unfortunately this is not the simple matter it was for our forefathers. For them, the few isolated cases were simply abnormalities; they drowned them in bogs. Those who found bodies in the mire did not know that in 90% of the cases they found themselves face to face with a homosexual who had been drowned with all his belongings. This was not punishment, more the simple elimination of this particular abnormality. It is vital we rid ourselves of them; like weed we must pull them up, throw them on the fire and burn them. This is not out of a spirit of vengeance, but of necessity; these creatures must be exterminated."
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum article on the persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany.
The Christian Right and The Rise of American Fascism by NY Times journalist Chris Hedges
Libertarian Reason Magazine'sInvitation to a Stoning by Walter Olson.
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