The First of 2013.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have the first recipient of the 2013 Godwin Awards!  This auspicious prize goes to Brian Camenker, president of the anti-LGBT / abortion / gun control organization known as MassResistance, for making statements that are not only staggeringly ignorant with regard to human sexuality, but also insulting to the LGBT community as a whole and draw a direct comparison to their supporters with the Nazi Party!

When you’ve got nothing left … you can still GODWIN!! (photo from GLAAD)

But first, some back story:

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Department of Education on Friday issued directives for handling transgender students, including allowing them to use the bathrooms or play on the sports teams that correspond to the gender with which they identify.

The guidance was issued at the request of state board of education to help schools follow the state’s 2011 anti-discrimination law protecting transgender people.

‘‘These students, because of widespread misunderstanding and lack of knowledge about their lives, are at a higher risk for peer ostracism, victimization, and bullying,’’ the document read.

Sounds reasonable for a delicate situation, right?  I admit I wouldn’t have much of a firm clue what to do as a teacher or administrator with a population of transgender students.  I knew absolutely none growing up (and no homosexuals, bisexuals, lesbians, etc., because they were all firmly in the closet where I lived) … so I would have no experience from which to draw.  This would help me figure out how to handle the situation in a reasonable – though possibly imperfect – way to let these kids have shot at growing up without catching even more static for being who and what they are.  And, to avoid some potential problems and grey areas, the BoE said:

It urges administrators to resolve issues on a case-by-case basis, and recommends sufficient sex-neutral restrooms and changing areas.

Well, along comes Brian – who, by the way, is NOT GAY – in an absolute lather over the fact that the state has the temerity to acknowledge the existence of transgender students and make some accommodations for them:

It’s insanity. I mean a boy cannot change his sex; your DNA does not change and you can call yourself something different, you can dress differently, you can take hormones, you are always a boy.

Camenker’s economics degree from the entirely church-owned University of the South in Sewanee undoubtedly bestows serious and far-reaching credibility to his personal opinions regarding sex, gender identity, and human sexuality.  While it may be true that sex may be immutable, he conveniently leaves out the issue of gender.  Those hippie liberals at the American Psychological Association go into more detail (PDF download):

Sex is assigned at birth, refers to one’s biological status as either male or female, and is associated primarily with physical attributes such as chromosomes, hormone prevalence, and external and internal anatomy.  Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for boys and men or girls and women. These influence the ways that people act, interact, and feel about themselves. While aspects of biological sex are similar across different cultures, aspects of gender may differ.”

Our professor of macro-sexonomics continues:

The damage that this does to everybody, including the person involved and everybody around, is just unfathomable.

“Unfathomable” sounds a lot more to me like, “I can’t be bothered to think about it so I’ll just say it’s bad.” To the person making the transition, it’s a move to finally match what they are on the outside what they are on the inside.  To those who accept it, there’s no issue.  To those who don’t, then there is potential for “damage” or some other harm that may arise from the fact they may hold some position of power or authority over the individual going through the transition.  Parents, for example, may end up reacting very negatively to their child coming out to the point of assault or even disownment. In fact, a study at the Williams Institute shows that about 40% of homeless teens are LGBT, and that rejection by their family is the primary reason.

So yes, being transgender can potentially be damaging; just not in the way he’s insinuating.  Finally, he wraps up with some Hitler.  Because who doesn’t like a little Nazi with their gay-homo fear mongering?

These school administrators … you think of them as what the Nazi concentration camp guards must have been like where they are doing this horrible evil and they are just taking orders or something, they believe in it. People need to rise up because it is only going to get worse.

I’m actually pretty sure there’s only a few people who go so far off the deep end as to think that the faculty and staff of the Massachusetts public school system making accommodations for transgender students is even remotely equivalent – in any capacity – to Nazi soldiers directly overseeing the extermination of Jews, Soviets, Poles, Romani, the disabled, Freemasons, Slovenes, homosexuals, and Jehovah’s witnesses among others.

From this implied relationship, we conclude that transgender equality is tantamount to genocide.  And doing something positive about it makes you a Nazi.  Well, thankfully, no … but making the comparison to Nazism does make him a bigot … and, conveniently, the leader of a hate group as identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  You can go to their website to learn more about the organization, and to the GLAAD site to see some of the gems this guy has come up with over the years.

For example (which I actually got from Right Wing Watch … sue me), the truth that the mainstream media doesn’t want you to hear:  homosexuality doesn’t really exist.

He claimed that LGBT rights advocates “take advantage of these very vulnerable kids at a vulnerable time in their lives,” arguing that homosexuals do not exist: “You know, a lot of doctors have said to me that nobody is homosexual, they are just heterosexuals with homosexual problems and yes, change is possible.”

Huh.  These must be the same doctors Todd Akin knows so well, who supposedly said that violent sexual assault has a way of “shutting down” a woman’s ability to conceive … despite all of the medical evidence to the contrary.  They probably also know Pastor Kevin Swanson who cited them when he made the scientifically laughable claim that regular use of hormonal contraception creates a forest of dead babies inside a woman’s uterus.

The probability is very good that they all come from the same pool of “doctors” who are drawn upon to support whatever religious conservatives say whenever they yap about outlandishly bad medical science:  the one in their collective imagination.  Which is convenient and all, since recent history has shown there’s no shortage of that in the political or religious world, especially when scientific claims are involved.  Say whatever you want about whatever you want, tack on the disclaimer that “some doctors” or “some scientists” support you … profit!!

So good job, Brian.  Growing up is difficult enough even when there’s nothing about you that stands out.  When you have the added burden of trying to come to terms with your sexuality or gender identity, it can get almost unbearable without any kind of support mechanism.  Screaming “NAZI” at the first sign of American society trying to do something in response to these issues – and presenting your own ill-conceived notions about it as supported “facts” – does nothing but fuel more ignorance and fear.

But I suppose that’s your goal, isn’t it?

This entry was posted in Freedom from Religion, Profiles in Fundamentalism, Religion and Public Life, Society Marches On, The Illogical School and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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