by Dr. Stephen Baskerville
July 9, 2010
Stephen Baskerville is associate professor of government at Patrick Henry College and author of Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family (Cumberland House, 2007). He is working on a book on sexual politics. Read full bio.
It may be no accident that Dale McAlpine, the Christian arrested for street preaching in England, was nabbed for his views on homosexuality. As Melanie Phillips points out in the Daily Mail, the preponderance of cases in what she calls Britain's "attempt to stamp out Christianity" involve homosexuality.
This is also true in the U.S. and elsewhere as Christians find their beliefs attacked and infringed upon once they criticize homosexuality. "This is in contrast to other contentious issues such as abortion, where the law specifically provides exemptions for conscience," Phillips writes.
Clichés about "inequality," "discrimination" and other politicized jargon borrowed largely from the American civil-rights era disguise a much deeper development. The sexualization of politics (and the politicization of sex) is the most important – and least scrutinized – political development since the 1960s. In 40 years, the political Left has transformed itself from a socialistic campaign against property and enterprise into a sexual attack on the family, marriage and masculinity.
This sexual agenda is more than a simple request for "equality" (for feminists) or to be left alone (for homosexuals). It is an ideology with no precise limits that espouses an open-ended sexual "liberation" for all, but which quickly expands into sweeping demands to impose its standard on others through government control. As Burke observed, "Liberty, when men act in bodies, is power."
Because this power covers what was once considered private life, the potential for intrusion is also unlimited. The words "power" or "empowerment" are now ubiquitous in feminist and gay literature, describing a control over other people's private lives as well as public policy. Voices of restraint like gay campaigner Peter Tatchell, who criticized McAlpine's arrest, do not change the larger reality.
Like other ideologies only more so, the danger may be seen in the absence of dissent. More than any other, sexual politics neuters and, ultimately, emasculates its opposition. Feminist and gay politics contain a hostility toward heterosexual masculinity that is increasingly shared by the mainstream culture.
The Daily Mail recounts that McAlpine was arrested because the policeman himself claimed to be deeply offended by McAlpine's views, which were apparently expressed to him alone. "I am a homosexual, I find that offensive and I'm also the liaison officer for the bisexual-lesbian-gay-transsexual community," officer Sam Adams apparently told McAlpine before arresting him. I find many opinions offensive, but I cannot handcuff and incarcerate the people who express them.
Do homosexuals now have their own police that protect only them? Does a "bisexual-lesbian-gay-transsexual" police force arrest only heterosexuals? McAlpine’s arrest apparently resulted from the officer’s “official” function on behalf of special interests and from his own subjective feelings, rather than on the equal protection of the laws. A free society cannot exist where the police serve special interests and where no distinction is recognized between hurt feelings and crime.
The sexual agenda is the most extreme in our culture today. Here in the U.S., the Employment Nondiscrimination bill will force employers to hire not simply homosexuals who keep their private lives to themselves (and who therefore need no special provision), but also cross-dressers who exhibit themselves publicly.
Homosexuality is only part of a larger politics of sex that already exercises highly authoritarian powers, and Christians are not the only ones to run afoul of it. Heterosexual fathers, who embody the hated "patriarchy," are subject now to a host of summary punishments, including incarceration without trial, simply for being fathers. This is exercised mostly through the divorce machinery, but it is spilling over to target both fathers and mothers in intact families.
In "The Prison and the Gallows," feminist scholar Marie Gottschalk has shown with forthright honesty how the rapid rise in incarceration since the 1970s results directly from the sexual agenda. The U.S. and Britain are the epicenter of the new sexual politics. It is our task to bring it under control.
This commentary first appeared in WorldNetDaily.