Thursday, August 16, 2007

This is what the Religious Right calls a children's book.

When the book Heather Has Two Mommies was released the Religious Right had fits. Rarely have they frothed at the mouth so much as over that book. The book was a children’s story about a girl who was being raised by a same-sex couple. That was considered evil and wicked and sinful.

The Religious Right said that children shouldn’t be told that that same-sex couples exist because they are too young to be exposed to that topic.

At the same time they endorse a farcical group often called “the exgay movement”. Groups like Focus in the Family pour money onto these groups in order to give the impression that religious therapy can turn gay people into straight people. That movement has spawned another movement: the ex-exgay movement”. That is made of up people who were previously “cured” through a dose of prayer but apparently preferred other things when upon their knees.

So far there has been no sign of an ex-ex-exgay movement.

Closely connected to these exgay “ministries” is NARTH, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. These are mostly religious therapists who are rather obsessed over the sexual partners of other adults. I always find it a bit bizarre when someone is really, really obsessed the sex lives of others. And one person who was close, both to NARTH and the exgay ministries, was Richard Cohen.

Mr. Cohen has personally produced a children’s book, Alfie's Home, which explains the exgay view of homosexuality in terms that, well, in terms even a child could understand. And it includes illustrations including a young boy lying naked in bed with a full grown adult male. Heather having two mommies was too advanced but apparently showing boys in bed with men is acceptable provided you are pushing an antigay agenda. If you don’t believe follow the rest of this post as we go through what Cohen is saying and show you precisely what he concocted to show children.

And perhaps you will learn precisely how to create a homosexual, according to the exgay movement. You can order it on line if you think this is really just a sick joke.

Step 1. Daddy is distant, Mommy is loving. Poor Alfie says his daddy works a lot and is never home. And when he is home he fights with mommy and yells at Alfie. Alfie want’s daddy to spend time with him. He says that mommy, “holds me” and talks about her problems and “it makes me feel very uncomfortable and strange.”
Step 2: Evil Vampire Homosexual. Now that Alfie feels too comforted by mommy and too distant from daddy along comes his Uncle Pete who just can’t get enough of holding little Alfie which makes him “feel loved.” Of course Uncle Pete then jumps into the sack with little Alfie and “started touching my private parts” and “taught me to touch and play with his”. So little Alfie and Uncle Pete bonk like rabbits “for several months”.Step 3: Alfie is called names at school. He became a teenager and “started feeling different” because he was called “Faggot” and “Queer” and Alfie “didn’t know what they meant.” Apparently Alfie was a very dumb teenager, about the only one who didn’t know what those words meant.
Step 4: Alfie decides he must be gay. But lucky for Alfie a nice exgay kind of therapist is able to set him straight, literally. He says Alfie just wanted love from daddy.
Because the evil gay uncle took advantage of Alfie feeling unloved then Alfie got confused and started dating boys because he was really looking for daddy’s love. The same way men date women simply because they never felt loved by their mothers. (Okay, that last bit isn’t in the book but it would follow, wouldn’t it?)
Step 5: Therapists confronts the family. Our nice multicultural therapist (they made sure he is black) gets hold of the evil Uncle Pete to make him seek help. And mommy and daddy come in to get their lives straightened out as well.
Step 6: Healing! Mommy and daddy are all better and happy because the therapist helped them. Uncle Pete cries and begs for forgiveness and Alfie feels much better because of it.
Step 7: The Final Solution. Alfie suddenly realizes “I’m not gay”. Spending time with daddy and having daddy touch him was all he needed. Now he is really home.
I can’t wait for the sequel. Alfie Knocks Up a Girl!

Surely when the term psychobabble was invented Richard Cohen was in mind. It is hard to believe that sane people think this way. It is even worse to think they want to get small children to believe these things. This seems to be a mixture of the old Freudian hocus-pocus about distant fathers and loving mothers added to the vampire theory of gay recruitment that the fundamentalists just lap up. But I would think that even they would have problems with drawings showing little Alfie and Uncle Pete snuggling in bed.

This stuff is just too weird. And I should note, scary as well. No doubt there is a market for all sorts of such titles. We could put out: Sara Burns a Witch; Mommy! There's an Islamofascist Under My Bed; Homeland Security is Our Friend; Invasion of the Taco Eaters; and Billy Bans a Book. All are sure to be favorites and they would make such lovely Christmas presents. On the other hand is there anymore more likely to cause the kids to appreciate more underware from grandma?