Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ the Gays

Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “okay,” came with an email note:

Another one about Birmingham, where more schools are dropping the “No Outsiders” education program because of religious objections. The parents are fighting against homophobiaphobia (sp?).

The BBC story begins:

Four more schools in Birmingham have stopped teaching about LGBT rights following complaints by parents.

Leigh Trust said it was suspending the No Outsiders programme until an agreement with parents was reached.

Earlier this month the city’s Parkfield Community School suspended the lessons after protests were held.

Campaigner Amir Ahmed said some Muslims felt “victimised” but an LGBT group leader said No Outsiders helped pupils understand it is OK to be different.

. . .Mr Ahmed said his community was “respectful and tolerant” of British values but now felt victimised.

He claimed parents who had protested were “effectively seen as homophobes in the wider community”.

“Fundamentally the issue we have with No Outsiders is that it is changing our children’s moral position on family values on sexuality and we are a traditional community.

“Morally we do not accept homosexuality as a valid sexual relationship to have. It’s not about being homophobic… that’s like saying, if you don’t believe in Islam, you’re Islamophobic.”

No, Ahmed’s analogy doesn’t hold. You are “Islamophobic” not if you reject Islam, but if you are bigoted against Muslims. And if you are bigoted against homosexuals, and deny them liberty and rights, as many Muslim countries do, then you are homophobic.

The artist gets it absolutely right:

 

34 Comments

  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Similar problems here in Wichita at the new library with reading time for children. Apparently they ran into problems when some of those doing the reading were from the LBGT citizens. Not sure how this argument turned out but not surprising considering where this is.

    • max blancke
      Posted March 22, 2019 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      I looked that one up, as it seems strange that anyone would object to reading time is some of the readers happened to be LGBT.
      If the reports are accurate, it was/is a program specifically set up for drag queens to present story time. It is a national movement, which sometimes also includes drag makeup tutorials for the kids.
      I suppose from a child’s perspective, it is just a flamboyant adult in costume, reading stories.
      Looking at some of the images, it does seem to sometimes push the borders of what is acceptable taste. But again, I am an adult, and have seen quite a few drag shows in my time. So some of the associations I make with them and overt sexuality are likely unnoticed by the kids.

  2. pablo
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. Paul made some vague allusions to it, but that’s subject to interpretation. Most of the hateful stuff in the new testament comes from Paul.

    • Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:38 am | Permalink

      “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality.”

      He probably thought he had a secret to hide and not to attract too much attention, what with 13 male bffs and all.

  3. mrclaw69
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    This is where the enshrining of offense-taking and victimisation-narratives gets you!

    Group A is offended by X and demands it be removed/censored based on their victim-group status. In so doing, Group B, which seeks acceptance through the teaching of X, considers A’s offense and the censorship of X offensive to their victim-group status.

    To be sure, I side with the LGBT group here; but the point is that basing decisions on whether victim groups take offense is in many cases to the disadvantage of other victim groups. Such decisions should never be taken on this basis.

  4. rickflick
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    “. . .Mr Ahmed said his community was “respectful and tolerant” of British values but now felt victimized.

    Victimized? Does he feel British values have changed? Or is it that the open discussion of British values is a bridge too far? But, open discussion is part of British values too. What happened to “respect?”.

    • BJ
      Posted March 20, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Respectful of the parts that make the UK a far better place to live than, for example, Syria or Saudi Arabia, but victimized by the parts that promote ideas and philosophies that oppose their regressive views.

    • Posted March 20, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      I can see their point. Respect for British values just means acknowledging that Brits have different values and not complaining about them. On the other hand, when Brits teach Muslim children something in direct opposition to what they get taught at home and in the mosque, that’s going too far in their minds. This is how cultures clash. In this case, I would tell the Muslims that they need to either accommodate the more enlightened view or go back home.

      • rickflick
        Posted March 20, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        I sure some few probably end up returning to the ME. On the whole, I think they probably feel the benefits of a free and open society has become preferable.

        • Posted March 20, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I am sure you’re right. I’m fine if they stay here (wherever “here” is) but they need to loosen up on the gay kids. It’s a small “price” to pay.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted March 20, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Victimized? Does he feel British values have changed?

      Comparing the values of Britain when I was at school in the 1970s and early 1980s, the values of the country – and much more visibly, of it’s population – have changed. What was acceptable in terms of vilification and assault of the gay, the non-white, the just plain different, has changed over the last 30-40 years. Some people find that scary.

  5. BJ
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    “Fundamentally the issue we have with No Outsiders is that it is changing our children’s moral position on family values on sexuality and we are a traditional community.

    “Morally we do not accept homosexuality as a valid sexual relationship to have. It’s not about being homophobic… that’s like saying, if you don’t believe in Islam, you’re Islamophobic.”

    Well, that’s your fucking problem. In the UK, LGBT folks have the same rights as everybody else, and they apparently need the support of teaching children from certain cultures and religions that it’s OK to be LGBT. If Muslims feel “victimized” by this teaching (and therefore must also feel victimized by the philosophy of the country in which they’re living), they should either suck it up or assimilate. The very people who actually need this to be taught in class don’t want it to be taught in class. But I guess some people and places in the UK (and other Western countries, and non-western countries that respect the rights of all people to be treated fairly and equally) will once again go along with the “we respect your bigoted religion/culture,” to the detriment of everyone else. I guess that’s “socially just.”

  6. Adam M.
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I can’t help but suspect that those schools wouldn’t have stopped the program had the offended people been Christians instead of Muslims.

    • Posted March 20, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it is OK to offend Christians, because they usually don’t bomb or shoot when offended. Though some try hard to break this stereotype :-(.

  7. max blancke
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I have to admit I am on the fence on this one. I was firmly in the “your sexuality is none of my business” camp, and still largely am.
    Except I now have a very troubled and confused kid, who is part of a group of friends from the same school who have all decided to change gender. Therapists and staff at the school have done nothing but reinforce and affirm them. From talking to the parents, none of the kids have any intersex disorders, and all had childhoods and physical development typical of their sex.

    There has to be a line between teaching acceptance of gender and sexual preferences, and evangelizing to kids about the benefits of the LGBT lifestyle. Part of it is that the curriculum seems to be always produced by activists, who by nature are not interested in a balanced presentation.

    I also think that the transformation of Birmingham is going to lead to much bigger problems than a lack of LGBT advocacy in the schools. Liberal folks there have been pushing an Islamophilic agenda for a while, apparently blind to the fact that the first thing an Islamic majority does is strike down liberal policies. Often literally.

    • BJ
      Posted March 20, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      I agree that when it goes beyond teaching, “this is the range of people who live in our society. Treat them with respect like anyone else,” it does become problematic. It’s a matter of philosophy and politics whether we should, for example, be reinforcing young kids claiming to be transgender (we should still respect them and treat them fairly). It sounds like your kid has fallen into one of those “rapid onset gender dysphoria” cliques. I hope it turns out OK.

      • max blancke
        Posted March 20, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        It stands to reason that when little clusters of kids simultaneously decide that they are Trans, gender fluid, or in some cases gay, it is a social phenomena.
        Or a contagious disease, but the data does not support that.
        What seems to be happening is that the kids are being taught this sort of thing:
        “Some people your age feel uncomfortable or awkward with their bodies. Those people are Trans persons. If they start to live as the opposite sex, they will feel whole and fulfilled”.
        But everyone feels awkward and uncomfortable with their bodies, especially as adolescents. So the suggestion is planted in their heads, and they obsess over it, and some percentage of kids convince themselves that the only way that they are going to be happy is by transitioning to the opposite sex. And they always think that the next step in the process is the one that will make them happy. And maybe the worst part is that every one of those kids is now depressed.

        I do have a real problem with the people who are pushing this agenda on kids.

        When I was young, I attended a hard core Christian school for a while. They were obsessed about gays. They just knew that the gays were trying to recruit all the kids. I believed that the very idea was absurd. I have a gay sister, and all of us knew she was gay long before we knew what that meant, and before she was aware of it. Her coming out just affirmed what we always knew.
        But I also think that kids can be convinced of just about anything, and they will always turn it right to 11.

        So we should absolutely teach civility and tolerance. But we should not let activists set the agenda. They are not acting in the best interests of the kids or society as a whole.

        • rickflick
          Posted March 20, 2019 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          I’ve never heard of this phenomenon of kids becoming interested in exploring alternative sexual identities, outside of legitimate cases(1% ?). What have you been reading? When I was a kid it seemed most people were comfortable being who they found themselves to be(1960s). There were undoubtedly some few who had a hidden issue, but it’s hard to imagine a large number of false positives.

          • max blancke
            Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

            It is hard to imagine, but it is way more common in the last few years than ever before. What I have been reading is every non-biased source I can find.
            Also, I am married to a physician who has professional knowledge of the issue.

            As to numbers, my understanding is that generally, intersex conditions involve about .018% of people, most of whom are not really sexually ambiguous, but simply have treatable chromosomal disorders. People throw around 1.7% as a number, but that is being very generous with the definition of intersex, and includes things like Turner syndrome.

            I mentioned previously that this phenomenon is occurring in groups of kids that interact socially. It seems more prevalent in girls, for some reason. In our case, my child has always been a healthy boy. He now is of dating age, feels he is a girl, but dates exclusively girls who think they are boys. And there is nothing ambiguous about any of them, except the way they present themselves. Haircuts and baggy clothes, mostly.
            I grew up with a sister who was what we called at the time a “tomboy”. Nobody ever had a problem with it, and it was part of her essence. Unmistakable then and now.
            These kids do not come anywhere close to giving off that vibe.
            And there is no history or detectable physical reason for this.
            If I went to the doctor and said that I feel like I am having kidney failure, I demand to be put on the transplant list, the doc would perform some tests, then likely send me to a psychiatrist.
            If I went to the doc and said I am now a woman, and demand hormone treatments and serious surgical intervention, the response would be different. I might get the psych consult, but it is very likely the psychiatrist would affirm my self diagnosis, and send me back to the surgeon with an endorsement for my requested treatment.
            Almost certainly after I went the surgical and hormonal transition route, I would find that the measures I took did not solve my problems, and likely made my body issues irreversibly worse. Depression is a near certainty, suicide attempts would be likely.

            As a frustrated parent, I really want some sanity and reason put into this process. Medical advocates should be liable for doing easily predictable harm to patients. And the schools should be just as careful to skeptically evaluate activist presentations on LGBT issues as they would a program on religion produced by the Rajneeshees or members of Heaven’s Gate.
            That is my personal opinion, as someone who has no issue with actual trans persons or anyone’s sexual orientation.

            • rickflick
              Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

              It sounds like a social phenomenon similar to mass hysteria. You are right. Authorities in these cases should be cautious and skeptical without being judgmental or condemning.

              • max blancke
                Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

                From an interview with Dr. Lisa Littman:

                “It’s hard not to notice when a condition that was thought to be incredibly rare starts to happen in clusters of people who know each other. Parents online were describing a very unusual pattern of transgender-identification where multiple friends and even entire friend groups became transgender-identified at the same time. I would have been remiss had I not considered social contagion and peer influences as potential factors. It is worth noting that social contagion is not necessarily a bad thing per se. It simply means that behaviors or attitudes can spread through social networks.”

                https://quillette.com/2019/03/19/an-interview-with-lisa-littman-who-coined-the-term-rapid-onset-gender-dysphoria/

            • rickflick
              Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

              Best of luck with you family.

  8. Steve Gerrard
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    “It’s not about being homophobic… that’s like saying, if you don’t believe in Islam, you’re Islamophobic.”

    The correct analogy is pretty simple. Whether you believe in Islam or not is irrelevant. The relevant question is: do you think it is okay for other people to believe in it? If your answer is no, you are Islamophobic.

    By analogy, then, it is isn’t whether you are homosexual or not, or believe it is wrong for you, but simply this: is it okay for other people to be homosexual? If your answer is no, you are homophobic.

  9. CAS
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if the definition of Islamophobia used by many is a purposeful distortion of language to shut up critics. This converts critics of awful holy texts (which are of course above criticism) into bigots. The distortion is so obvious, yet the far left and believers continue to use it.

    • Posted March 20, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      It is most definitely a purposeful distortion of the language and I find it continuously irritating.
      A phobia is a fear, claustrophobia the fear of enclosed spaces, hydrophobia, fear of water and so on. This term “Islamophobia “ is fear of Islam. Possibly a reasonable fear depending on your disposition. It does not mean that you necessarily hate and despise the followers of the Islamic Faith.
      The Islamic Republic of Iran has stated publicly that it would destroy the world with nuclear weapons should the need arise in the full knowledge (theirs) that they are all going to paradise whilst the rest of the nonbelievers are carbon crisp.
      This is a justifiable reason to be fearful of Islam or North Korea but we don’t say Northkoreaphobic.
      Homophobia is also incorrect.
      Islamists have hijacked the language to suit their agenda so that now anyone who is “Islamophobic “ is a danger to their religious freedom etc etc.
      I am tired of it!

      • max blancke
        Posted March 20, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        “phobias” are usually defined as an irrational fear of something.
        I am not sure that the way I feel about Islam is particularly irrational. My views were formed after visiting several mosques, working in a number of Islamic countries, and reading the literature, including annotated Korans and Hadiths.
        And I don’t mean that I visited Dubai for a weekend. My longest trip, which encompassed several Islamic countries, lasted 18 months.

        When a little kid tells her teacher “When we are in charge, all of you are going to be beheaded”, it is not unreasonable to have some apprehension about the culture that child is growing up in.

        • Posted March 20, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          Aw. All kids go through a “beheading” phase. I used to behead my sister’s Barbies regularly. They mostly grow out of it.

          • Posted March 21, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

            Mr Paul Topping. Seriously?
            All children do not go through a beheading phase. I most certainly did not. Neither did I pull the wings from flies and other juvenile unpleasantness.
            Also assuming you are serious this response completely misses the context of the last Max Blancke post. It is extremely alarming that children are indoctrinated in this fashion. They learn this from adults not dismembereing Barby Dolls.
            Assuredly I am definitely Islamophobic.

            • Posted March 21, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

              No, not seriously. Ok, I am sure I did pull the head off a Barbie once or twice but I didn’t make a habit of it.

              Now, seriously, I don’t give much credence to an anecdote about a child talking about beheading. Such stories are often offered to inflame. Even if a child did say this, I would not base policy on it. Children say stupid things.

              I’m not an Islamophobe but I also don’t agree with many of their religious teachings and traditions. I doubt we’re going to make much headway telling them to give up their religion. The best we can do is to encourage good Muslims that want to bring their culture into the 21st century and discourage (or fight) the bad ones.

              • max blancke
                Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

                I believe that particular anecdote came from a teacher in Australia. Here is a “sunrise live” report about the issue generally there, but not that specific incident.

                There are also lots of images of kids in the west holding signs saying things like “Behead those who insult the Prophet”.
                Of course ISIS, plumbing the depths of depravity, has published videos and images of kids actually beheading infidels.
                I guess we all have our own threshold for how many such instances we can become aware of before we start to be concerned, or decide it might be an emerging trend.

    • BJ
      Posted March 20, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Every x-phobia and x-ism is intentionally distorted to be used as a cudgel by activists from some group or another these days. It only continues to get worse.

  10. ashdeville
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    It will be telling to see how this rolls out. I am really worried that the LGBT community will simply be thrown under the bus to appease the muslim communities. And next will be gender separation and non-stun halal slaughter.

  11. Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    ” You are “Islamophobic” not if you reject Islam, but if you are bigoted against Muslims.”

    I think this is an unfortunate but common viewpoint.

    I also think it is wrong.

    Islamophobia is a term frequently wielded against those who criticise Islam, as often highlighted on this website. It is used to demonise, shut down such criticism and avoid discussion.

    Yet the term is etymologically self explanatory. Bigotry against Muslims is different and demands another word.

    Until such an alternative finds itself in usage I will just have to un-apologetically declare that I am Islamophobic. At the same time I am certainly not anti-Muslim.

    I am also fascism-phobic and phobic of one or two other ideologies, yet reject the “irrational fear” part of the definitions as my strong opposition is to them based firmly in rational analysis.

    • Posted March 21, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Yes indeed! My view explained by your good self perfectly.
      I also am unashamedly “Islamophobic” and it is not irrational.
      I also have some experience of Islamic societies although much of it was quite long ago.
      I spent some time in Algeria in the early 1960s well before it changed to the dangerous (for some)place that it is now.
      Algeria has or did have some of the finest Roman ruins at that time virtually unchanged and untouched with very very few visitors.
      I was without exception always treated with the upmost genuine good manners and politeness and made quite a few friends whom I often stayed with. The question of religion never surfaced or was an issue.
      How times have changed for the worse.


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