Thursday, February 4, 2010
A Classical Liberal Unsheathes His Sword: My Response to Dr. Lively
Dr. Scott Lively, the subject of two earlier posts, was gracious enough to write in a more detailed defense of himself, which I include here along with my response.
First, I did not accuse you of being anti-Semitic. I suggested that your initial response to me was dehumanizing, in the same way that anti-Semites dehumanize Jews. I approached you as one human being to another because I accidentally stumbled on your blog during an Internet search. Your post that day was about The Protocols, so I thought I would do you a favor and give you a research tip on the Protocols that you would probably never have encountered on your own. Igra is an obscure enough figure as it is, and his book about Shaw is for all practical purposes unknown to the world. What a coup, I thought, for a researcher to find a comprehensive, published analysis of an aspect of one's field of study that no one else in the field has ever even heard of. As for Shaw's conclusions, I really don't know enough to have a firm opinion.
I frankly expected a note of thanks. Instead, and this is the dehumanizing aspect, when you discovered that I am publicly known for my views and work against the homosexual movement, I became for you just a prop for a blog posting. It was as if I had stopped to help you push a stalled car out of traffic and instead of showing appreciation, you turned to your friends in the car to say "What an a**hole this guy is."
I don't really care that you posted our exchange. I obviously do not self-censor my views out of concern for what my opponents will say about me. What bothers me is that once you had identified me as a "homophobe" you felt entitled to dispense with normal civilities and treat me as an object of ridicule. That is precisely the attitude of anti-Semites for Jews, and, more importantly to me (since all who share my views on this topic are being subjected to such a campaign in America today), the attitude they would like the general public to hold. Replace "Jew" with "homophobe" (meaning anyone who holds a Biblical world view) and ask yourself whether it is "gays" or believing Christians (and Orthodox Jews) who are being actively marginalized in this way.
Secondly, I made the mistake of assuming that you were a faithful Jew regarding the issue of homosexuality. All of my Jewish friends agree with my views, generally, and my first book, The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party was co-authored by Orthodox Jewish researcher Kevin Abrams. We actually wrote The Pink Swastika to stop the "gays" from misappropriating the Holocaust as a political tactic. You might not be old enough to remember that the primary symbol of their movement in the 70s and 80s was not the rainbow but the pink triangle, in support of the claim that they suffered a "Gay Holocaust" equivalent to that against the Jews. Our book forced them to back off that claim (though a watered down version is unfortunately still featured in many Holocaust museums).
I truly don't understand how you can consider your tolerance of the mainstreaming of homosexuality as anything other than a repudiation of the Torah. While I was in law school years ago I had the great privilege of working closely with Rabbi Samuel Dresner, who asked me to do a re-write of his final book "The Case Against Homosexuality: A Jewish View." He was at that time in the latter stages of his battle with cancer and did not have the stamina to do the work himself. His argument against homosexuality from Judaism was so strong and compelling I can't see how any Jew can today support the legitimizing of it.
Unfortunately, Rabbi Dresner passed away before the project was completed and his wife refused to allow the book to be published in an unfinished state. However, I count my months of interaction with this fine scholar among the most valuable steps in my education and one of the reasons I have continued to focus my career on opposition to the homosexual political agenda (NOT homosexuals as individuals). Indeed, I count Rabbi Dresner as my first (informal) doctoral advisor in the pursuit of my Th.D., the thesis for which is now published in the form of a textbook on my website www.defendthefamily.com and is attached to this e-mail. It is titled Redeeming the Rainbow: A Christian Response to the "Gay" Agenda. I incorporated much of what I learned from Rabbi Dresner in this book.
I earned my Th.D. while serving as a litigation attorney in Southern California (having just graduated law school with a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude and passed the CA Bar Exam on the first attempt in a year when more than half of all applicants failed). I chose an admittedly humble institution both because it was close to my home and because it allowed me to work directly with Dr. Richard Anderson (then in his early 80s), a highly respected pastor and teacher who had personally known and worked with many of the founders of the Charismatic movement, which is my own theological persuasion.
I don't know about you, but in my experience there are far too many people trading on the credibility of their alma mater who do not deserve it for their work. I suppose they got what they paid for. You may not agree with my positions, but if you read my book you should at least grant that I have paid my scholastic dues for my degree.
Finally, as to the attacks against me on the Internet. If you are willing to consider that among social movements in the West the homosexual one is singularly aggressive in the pursuit of its own interests, and that being unconstrained by conventional morality in the matter of their sexual conduct they may be unconstrained in matters of truthfulness and justice, then perhaps you will be willing to reconsider their case against me. I don't deny or apologize for being a leading opponent of their agenda, which I do in fact consider a great menace to society. However, I vigorously deny the accusation of malice toward "gay" or lesbian individuals.
My entire body of work is grounded in systematic logical analysis backed by reasonable observation and careful documentation and is focused on the prevention of the mainstreaming of sexual perversion as a matter of public policy. I am against what they do, not who they are, and it is for the purpose of steering society toward a more marriage and family-centered model, not to stamp out whatever they want to do in the privacy of their subculture so long as they stop trying to remake civilization in their own image. You might disagree even with this position, but it is a far cry from the evil caricature they have painted of me.
Dr. Scott Lively
Ironically enough you have been helpful for my research. I am not so much interested in the Protocols in of itself, but as a study in the absurd. Ingra, from what I can tell, was himself someone who had gone off the edge in a delightfully scholarly fashion. For this I am grateful. I think it says something about you that you pointed me in the direction of Ingra as someone who should be taken seriously as a scholar. A recurring theme in Izgad is that people should be understood less in terms of what they officially support or oppose, but in terms of which ideas they believe are worthy of serious consideration and which ideas they dismiss as satanic or insane. For example, how fast would you start edging away from someone who started talking about this interesting idea, which he is not sure about, that the United States government was really behind 9/11? Obviously this is in a completely different category from raising taxes on stock options.
As for whether my actions dehumanized you, on the contrary my response was an important part of my tolerating you. If I were not a classical liberal, it would be much simpler to deal with you. Since you are someone who does not believe like I do, I could come after you to inflict bodily harm in order to "teach" you the "error" of your ways. If my lessons proved fatal well then that would mean one less unbeliever and a better world for everyone else. Since I am a classical liberal, I have to "tolerate" you. Not only that, I am even morally obligated, God help me, to go out of my way and even put my life on the line to protect you from all the non classical liberals, who wish to cause you physical harm. (This would include modern liberals, who wish to jail you for hate speech and take your kids away to be "reeducated.") The one bright spot in this, that makes classical liberalism bearable, is that my classical liberalism allows me to subject you to a withering storm of ridicule and scorn as long as I do not cause you any physical suffering (your feelings get no protection what so ever).
I grant you that that the modern left is quickly transforming the term "homophobe" to mean anyone who takes the prohibitions of Leviticus seriously. This is a cover for an attack on the liberties of religious people. My nightmare scenario is that the government is going to come and take my job and children away on the grounds that I am a hatemonger who believes that homosexuality is a sin. Let us be clear I do believe that homosexuality is a sin in the same way that I believe that eating pork is a sin for Jews. (I do not pick and choose my passages in Leviticus.) When I use the term "homophobe" I mean something much more specific; this singling out of homosexuals, above and beyond other groups of sinners, as some particularly dark and nefarious force and obsessing about it. Notice how you jumped on Bruce Douglas the homosexual for his part in the Protocols. Why didn't you talk about how poets or Catholics created the Protocols? Henry Ford published the Protocols in the United States; are the Protocols an example of Capitalist bigotry?
I believe that the modern left will use any excuse to come after religious people and it is therefore important not give them any excuse. Have you considered that this little joy ride stunt in Uganda may very well lose us Proposition 8. This will mean that a United States court will be declaring that it is bigotry to define marriage as something between a man and a woman (despite the fact that technically homosexuals have an equal right to marry members of the opposite sex as heterosexuals) to such an extent that one is not even allowed to amend the Constitution of a State in order to do this.
I view myself as a faithful and Orthodox Jew. I also oppose laws that that cause physical harm to homosexuals and have no desire to see the government do anything to stop people from choosing to live a gay lifestyle. In theory, I am even open to secular gay marriage as long as we do not say that it is some sort of civil right. I am perfectly willing to buy into the argument that monogamous homosexual relationships provide the sort of benefits to society that homosexual ones provide and that it is reasonable for our secular government to provide similar encouragement (like tax cuts). This is not a contradiction to my Orthodox beliefs that homosexuality, like eating pork, is a sin. As a classical liberal I have learned to live with the fact that people are going to be allowed to do things which I believe to be sinful and immoral, but as long as no physical harm is done, I must not cause any physical harm. I believe that many types of Christianity are idolatry (as are certain types of Orthodox Judaism). That being said I would be in the front lines to stop the Israeli government from closing down the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. I will protect that right of Christians to venerate crucifixes in church and I will protect the right of gay Satanists to shove crucifixes up each other's rectums in Satanist temples.
I am a classical liberal and an Orthodox Jew. I stand for a free society against the unbelievers who never believed in the concept in the first place and the heretics of the modern left, who have sold their liberal principles out for tribalist gain. I have clearly defined principles and I am willing to consistently stick to those principles even when they are inconvenient. You may disagree with my political principles, but I challenge you to find an inconsistency in them.
Benzion N. Chinn