Am I a horrible person?

 

(Be honest. I welcome the harsh reality and differing points of view)

When I look at the Syrian refugees on TV, I feel nothing. When I hear the plight of people on the African continent, I feel nothing. In fact, if I had it my way, I’d ban Australia from accepting Syrian refugees and would stop all African aid. Well, maybe not all aid and maybe I’d accept some refugees, but only gays and atheists. Because—though I hate believing it—a lot of people in the Middle East and Africa deserve persecution and endless strife.

For years, gays and atheists have faced severe penalties throughout the two regions. Gays have been lynched, atheists have been thrown in jail and the outrage is mainly confined to outside their borders. The tolerance towards LGBT people across most of Africa is nil. We’re hunted, we’re bashed and we suffer horrendous attacks in the form of governmental legislation, even in places such as Morocco and Egypt, but especially in places such as Uganda and Somalia.

So when ebola hit, I didn’t raise a brow, I didn’t donate money, I simply hoped that the wild populations of ape (gorilla, chimp, etc) managed to pull through okay. I didn’t give a shit about human fatalities. People were sick and dying, I saw them on TV every night, but I switched to something more interesting and quickly forgot about them.

And when it comes to Syria, meh. Just another homophobic country where the people and their attitudes don’t warrant my compassion. In actual fact, a lot of them deserve to suffer the brunt of persecution. Yes, I just inferred that again. A lot of people in Syria and Iraq deserve it. Don’t get me wrong, though, the children don’t, but almost every parent, politician, teacher, whatever, across those two countries that would impede LGBT rights deserves every lost relative, every beheading, every dead fucking wife.

My compassion extends to people that stand up for people that don’t deserve to suffer, and them only. But guess what, gays suffer in every facet of their lives. Their own parents are likely to kill them, not just the terrorists. I know that’s not true of every mother or father, and I know 100% of the population isn’t quite so extreme, but people that hold extreme prejudice are the clear majority and everyone knows it, including Amnesty International who struggle with the backward locals when trying to save LGBT persons.

But let’s not forget atheists. They live in hiding, too, forced to live in countries ruled by morons, and if you’re actually suspected of being one, well, the rule of law dictates execution – and that’s if the thug ‘vigilantes’ don’t drive you out with machetes first.

The views I express above are extreme, cruel and unhumanitarian in nature, but it’s the way I feel and I don’t see them changing anytime soon. I don’t actively wish for these people to suffer and I hope the right people make it out safe, but to all the rest, what goes around comes around and until such time I see change for the better in the lives of minorities in those countries, fuck you.

The fear and persecution faced by ordinary civilians in a town occupied by ISIS, is the same fear and persecution faced by almost every single gay man, woman and child across the entire Middle East and majority of Africa. This is why my compassion doesn’t extend beyond my personal minority. This is why the only refugees I’d accept are from my personal minority. This is why I defy conventional and naive liberal wisdom and meet the hostile attitudes of these medieval factions with cynicism and indifference regardless of what they’re fleeing.

I may feel differently tomorrow, but my compassion is battered to a pulp by the continual hardships faced by LGBT persons at the hands of these people I’m ‘meant’ to feel sorry for. I’m sick of hearing things like Muslim refugees throwing Christians overboard; I’m sick of hearing things like Christian Amnesty workers refusing their duty to help innocent people; I’m sick of hearing things like ordinary civilians rushing in to stone gay men thrown off buildings by ISIS. I’m just sick of these deluded idiots and I don’t want them polluting the liberal west with ideological extremism that seems impossible to counter despite offering them freedom. And I’d be lying if I said that the amount of Mosques popping up all over the country didn’t unnerve me.

They must know the pain of persecution; know what it’s like to be born a person at odds with the people in charge; know what it’s like to have their lives destroyed, their friends killed and their justice miscarried by self-righteous, misguided, ignorant, ideological, cruel and ARROGANT men of a different leaning – and then change for the better, otherwise no one will want them, especially their god, and rightly so. It’s an opportunity for their society to progress.

To conclude, I hate feeling this way and I’m frustrated that I can’t seem to rise above the same selfish and ignorant antics of the people that lead me here – not to mention the antics of the far-right. But the disgusting and glaring hypocrisy of these people seeking refuge is too hard to ignore. And trust me UN, there is NO side to rally, especially as the fall of Saddam Hussein quickly becomes one of the USA’s biggest and most ill-advised mistakes of all time. All it’s achieved is handing extremists the power to not take down these regimes built on Islam but become new regimes built on an even more extreme version.

And just an FYI, culture is no excuse. Human rights are borderless, raceless and non-negotiable. A gay man deserves to be respected and accepted, even if he’s born on the streets of Riyadh.

 

***

Further reading. Some quotes and facts to leave you with:

Obama, on his most recent African visit, stressed the importance of gay rights in Africa, to which the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, replied: “There are some things that we must admit we don’t share. [LGBT persons] are not really an issue on the foremost minds of Kenyans.” – This isn’t surprising, of course, when surveys show nine in ten people in that region believe homosexual acts, therefore LGBT persons, to be unacceptable. So, do Kenyan’s deserve international aid? I don’t think so. Help is for people willing to change for the benefit of all citizens. Besides, they’re so fucking corrupt, I doubt money would end up being spent on those who need it.

As for where the murder of gay people is legally sanctioned… Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, etc. But even if you look beyond written legislation or countries with no actual legislation regarding the issue, most LGBT persons born across the Middle East and Africa are destined for a life of hell, and I won’t support countries or persons that inflict it upon them #NoAid

By the way, the same countries that generally murder or persecute LGBT persons also murder and persecute atheists. For a laugh (and cry) Google the story of Mubarak Bala.

Here’s another joke, this time brought to you by the former president of Iran:

“In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at Columbia University in response to a question about the execution of two gay men. “In Iran we do not have this phenomenon,” he continued. “I do not know who has told you we have it.”

The only nations that deserve a helping hand are the ones where there’s an increasing move towards the protection of all citizens, such as South Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Am I a horrible person?

  1. I don’t disagree with you. Many of these refuges, not all certainly, but enough that it’s a concern, have values that are opposed to LGBT, woman’s rights and frankly Liberal values. I don’t think they should be allowed in, especially if their presence impedes or threatens other groups of people. Frankly I feel as though they will.

    Check out this article http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/12/gay-refugees-placed-in-separate-accommodation-after-attacks/

    Now if the other refugees are willing to treat LGBT refugees like that, I really doubt they’ll bring anything positive to the communities in which they are placed. I think as a gay person you have every right to feel concerned by all of this and should feel free to lobby against it. I get a little offended by naive leftists who slur anyone who does not want refuges in their country as “racist” or “Islamophobic” since my very way of life is threatened by many of them.

    That said, I could see exceptions being made for certain groups of refugees whose lives are in danger due to their sexuality or values. But harsh as it may be, I mostly agree with you.

    On an unrelated note, I’m looking forward to your Middle East story, if you still plan on writing it.

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    1. It is such a difficult thing for me to think about constructively. Because their mindsets and values are everything that goes against what liberals stand for. But at the same time, they’re like that because of their environment. But take this for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcsG-u2GtZE – a small muslim minority isn’t that detrimental, but when that small minority becomes a big one, problems start arising (we’ve seen the problems in France).

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  2. For now, I’m only responding to your “Am I a horrible person?” heading. It feels like you’re framing your views, here. (Though I could be completely wrong.) I’ll respond later to the content of your argument. You raise thorny, important issues, worth careful response. And you’re reaching out not just for response, but for critical response. Sadly, given my commitments, my content response may take some time, maybe months. And it will probably come in bits & pieces.

    “Am I a horrible person?”, of course, is a self-inflicted attack called “ad hominem”. Rather than addressing the merits of your thought, you’re attacking your personhood, the person who thought the thoughts. It’s much more than a logical fallacy, though it is, indeed, at least that. Mason, I really winced when I read it, though maybe I’m hypersensitive. As a 65 year old American gay man, I have seen, heard, and deeply felt WAY too many GLBTQ people’s acts and thoughts attacked merely because they were GLBTQ. It also sounds far too close to self-hatred, though again, I could be deeply mistaken here. (And I would really like to be deeply mistaken here.) That last point may be my own hearing of WAY too much GLBTQ self-hatred.

    Let me raise two more critical points about “Am I a horrible person?”

    First, I write this the day after public radio, in the US, reported that, in Bangladesh, an openly gay blogger had been murdered with an ax by a Bengali group “enforcing” their religious, political & gender/sexuality “norms”. Needless to say, his gay friends were jumping back into the closet and hunkering down, if not fleeing the country. The reporter stated that most of the people there seemed to tacitly approve.

    Given this & others like it, sadly, tragically, OF COURSE it’s not surprising that a gay man would react with horror at “these people” coming to your country. And in both the US & Australia, GLBTQ rights in law are recent and grossly incomplete. Major sectors of the population still strongly oppose these laws, and more so extending them. Violent responses against GLBTQ persons, at least in the US, are not only horrifying, but also horrifyingly common.

    That your views are psychologically, even politically “understandable” does not necessarily make them right (or wrong). But it does necessarily remove any stigma of “horrible person”.

    Second, if I found your views extremely distasteful or even dangerous, I would still not want to suppress them (and certainly not suppress them by shaming). That, I believe, is dangerous for a democracy. I realize that England (and perhaps Australia) have different views about speech suppression than does the US. (And France even more so.) We may seem a bit wild on this side of the pond, with our traditions of permitting free speech, ESPECIALLY free political speech. Though we do have our limits. One of our greatest jurists, Oliver Wendell Holmes, once said, “Free speech does not include the right to yell, ‘Fire’, in a crowded theatre.” But other than advocating the violent overthrow of the government or inciting to riot, we’re pretty touchy about making sure free speech, even obnoxious free speech stays free. Speech that bullies, speech that demeans & threatens – that’s a different matter, and one we still struggle with. At least here in the US.

    Expressing political views, though, is central to democracy. It helps us find our ways forward. And your views certainly qualify as political speech and so, in my eyes and in US tradition, protected speech.

    I may be making too much of “Am I a horrible person?” But you asked for a response, and that touched a nerve, something I felt I needed to address before dealing with your argument’s content.

    And of course I’m open to critical responses about what I’ve written.

    Let me end by being clear: no, Mason, you’re not a horrible person, not at all. You may be wrong in this view or that argument. You may even be very wrong. But horrible person, no.

    With love & respect,

    Dave Young

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    1. Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply, but I appreciate the rational approach to my ranting.

      Even a year and then some later since posting this entry (where does the time go?), I’m still struggling!

      A lot has changed re. the refugee crisis, while at the same time, nothing has changed. All these people still need homes, most of them are still Muslim and I still don’t feel empathy, I still feel indifferent, I still don’t want them here (Australia). I know the Koran condemns gays, and I know it’s all they know, but in my opinion, if your free thinking mind agrees with that, you’re garbage. I’ll sit back and enjoy the safety of my secular country, while you can suffer the torment of losing your home, your family – just everything.

      Though to realize that the world is making me into what it made them is giving me perspective.

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  3. Mason, generally I am in agreement with your comments, though maybe I would not have expressed them quite as harshly – or more correctly – I wouldn’t have actually thought of them in quite the way you did. Regardless, I do understand your point of view and support the intent.

    I am curious though why the majority of gay people feel that the “liberal” cause is their defacto stance. I am a gay male in the US and am most definitely conservative and a Christian (please don’t attack me for being a person of deep faith. I don’t pretend to have any of the answers to the questions that you probably have). One thing that always bothers me is that people want the government to dictate to the people how they should feel about some minority group. We gays don’t just want the government to tell straights that they have to treat us fairly, we also expect those to LIKE us. But that idea is pretty ludicrous really when you think about it. I mean, I guess it helps that most of those people are now afraid of beating us up (thank goodness), but many of the people that wouldn’t have ever done something like that now actually hate us. My point is that while the government can dictate to us how we should act towards others it certainly can not – and has no business trying to – tell us how to FEEL about others.

    I identify as a conservative in almost all things. I do NOT believe the governments’ job is to dictate how I feel about another people group (though I have no business assaulting them – or they me). I do NOT feel that the governments’ job is to solve all of societies ills. I believe people should work hard, earn what they get, give back to the community they live in and respect other peoples lives. I believe in a small central government that maintains a strong military and stays out of my business and the business of other countries.

    I also believe that people generally get what they deserve. While I can’t stand the idea that people in places like Iran are living the way they do – I figure they MUST like it (at least on some level) since they have been living the same way for thousands of years. If the people of those countries don’t like their government, their culture, or their way of life – well, then it is THEIR job to CHANGE all of that.

    I hope I expressed a little of what I was trying to. I didn’t intend to carry on.

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    1. Sorry it’s taken so long to reply.

      To answer your question “I am curious though why the majority of gay people feel that the “liberal” cause is their defacto stance” – I’d say the answer is multi-layered. “Liberals” fought for us. They accepted us. They are the reason we are safer and more accepted around the world. Just compare LGBT rights between liberal-leaning countries and conservative-leaning countries. The stark reality is that liberalism is far more associated with acceptance and compassion, of not just gays but other minorities also.

      Liberalism to me is compassion. It’s love. It’s respect. And when it comes to a democratic government, it’s not that they’re “telling” people how they should feel about certain minority groups, they’re simply making sure to protect and acknowledge minority groups in all aspects of legislation and law. Basically, they’re ignoring the haters in favour of doing their job, which is to represent all people. Of course, if the government told a Christian church to hold a gay wedding that’s a different matter, and definitely an overreach and is, in fact, anti-liberal.

      And you being a Christian doesn’t bother me. Both my grandmothers were Catholics, my mum feels a real connection with the Christian faith, and I honestly don’t care what people believe so long as it’s not used to control my life. I am secular. If I want to work on the Sabbath, I’ll work on the Sabbath. If I want to have sex with men, I’ll have sex with men. If I choose to die with dignity through assisted suicide, I will do so. My innate liberty as a person of this Earth far outweighs the religious dogma that someone chooses to believe. Yes, it may support your personal moral framework, but it may not support mine.

      Heck, I hold some traditionally conservative stances, e.g. I’m pro life, unless the woman is the victim of rape or if the pregnancy endangers her life. I’m also pro death penalty (with strict caveats, mind you). I think there’s a real problem of people siding with their–well, ‘political ideology’ instead of what they truly believe. It’s okay to disagree! But I’ll still vote for a liberal party because they still represent the majority of what I care about.

      When it comes to the size of the government, this is where conservatives get hypocritical IMO. Big or small, it doesn’t really matter so long as it’s kept within certain boundaries. Conservatives hate big government, but are happy enough to micromanage and do everything they can — including fast tracking legislation — to get what they want. They’re all for liberty and doing what they want without the government meddling in their private affairs, but don’t want other people to have their liberty, too. A good example of that is Christian conservatives preaching ‘freedom of religion’ but doing what they can to restrict Islam at the same time.

      But it’s messy, that’s for sure. Take fireworks for example: In Australia they’re HEAVILY regulated, basically banned, but maybe I want to enjoy them. Maybe I want to take the personal risk and use them and I have every right. However, they were banned because kids were blowing their hands off, even dying. So it’s a toss up between what’s more important, my right to take personal risk and enjoy what I want (which is a fair argument), or do we protect kids from themselves? An issue being that yes, it’s a parent’s responsibility to ensure their kid’s safety, but kids do stupid things sometimes, especially with friends. So in this case, for me personally, I’ll surrender my right to use fireworks to ensure their safety. The tug of war between left leaning and right leaning governments may result in periods of deregulation and periods of regulation, but maybe a happy medium can be found (after all, I still get to enjoy fireworks with every event this state (Victoria) has to offer, and are a much better display than would I could achieve in my backyard).

      Regarding your final point, I like to think people get what they deserve, but a lot of the time they sadly don’t. And that’s another reason I’ll vote left. The left might be annoying and very naggy, but people are more often held accountable and punished for their misdeeds when liberals are in charge, which explains why the most liberal countries are generally the least corrupt, while the most conservative countries are generally the most corrupt. I know where I’d prefer to live.

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