The editors at the Kingsport Times-News in Tennessee must be really starved for content. For the third time in the past nine months or so, they’ve published a grossly homophobic column by resident Mark Atkins, who seems to have made it his personal mission to spread as much vitriolic slander about gay people, trans people, and women as possible.
In his past writings, he’s said that homosexuality is a disorder and that consensual pre-marital sex will essentially destroy civilization. This time, he’s after anyone who’s okay with gay people at all, comparing them to abusers and pedophiles. Hemant has written about this guy before — here and here — and like Atkins’s previous editorials, this one’s not available online. Here’s a picture of the latest clip:
The gist of the piece is this: “Openly gay men will always creep out straight men.” That’s the actual, verbatim thesis statement. Some highlights:
[Liberal LGBT supporters] must be abhorred the same as the stranger in a trench coat trying to give candy to a child.
Because supporting equal rights is tantamount to child abuse? I don’t think so. Studies of same-sex parents don’t think so. Growing support for marriage equality doesn’t, either. Claiming that all LGBT advocates and allies are trying to recruit your children is so very Anita Bryant, and it’s simply not true. We’re not trying to recruit your kids. We’re trying to make the world safer for the ones who are already gay.
There is a vast gray area wherein we can debate the wisdom of indulging in the many ways human beings seek pleasure or escape, be it games of chance, whiskey, marijuana, Xanax or all-you-can-eat buffets. But in the case of homosexuality, it is truly black and white, far and away trumping its double-cousin, feminism, in its defiance of human nature.
Uh oh. Looks to me like we’ve got another case of an angry straight man worried that gays and women are going to take all his power away. First off, being gay is far more than a means of “seeking pleasure,” and this column is a shining example of how it can actually create lots of undeserved and unwanted hardship. Mr. Atkins doesn’t explain his problem with feminism, but I can only assume he’s threatened by the prospect of women having anywhere near the amount of privilege men have in society today.
This is the closest we will ever get to his admitting that women, like LGBT people, are treated as second-class citizens; and that confession is couched in poorly disguised fear that he’ll one day become the victim of the same marginalization he’s helped inflict on others. And does it really defy human nature to want to be treated equally? Does this man know what he’s saying?
Homosexuals are bound by nothing more than a pathology that I posit is directly linked to childhood abuse and/or neglect (hardly an original thought). It is a dysfunction that, regardless of its root causes, ought to be avoided if possible, corrected if it cannot be avoided, and resisted if it cannot be corrected.
It is not a pathology. It is not linked to abuse. And it cannot — and should not — be corrected. Even some Christians think so, not to mention thousands of certified professionals. Your inability to understand difference does not make it a disease that needs to be treated.
Regardless of what homosexual activists want to believe, the legitimization of homosexuality is a gateway to the long-term legitimization of pedophilia — and polygamy, and prostitution, and consensual cannibalism, and whatever else toots some subgroup’s horn.
I’m running out of ways to say that this man has no idea what he’s talking about. Can we please see some evidence that LGBT rights are in any way linked to pedophilia? How in the world does marriage equality beget cannibalism? And by the by, polygamy and prostitution are both somewhat legal in parts of the country — pretty Christian parts, too.tr
But apparently we’re supposed to forgive all of that because Atkins sneaks in a cleverly-timed call for “compassion” for our gay brothers and sisters, saying that “it is not wrong to be tempted.” Make no mistake, though. Homosexuality should never be “normalized,” he writes. And activists who argue anything else should be “treated like irreconcilable enemies.”
It’s not like the Kingsport Times-News reaches only ignorant people, which is what makes this even more confusing. In a recent article about a Tennessee preacher’s viral sermon bashing interracial marriage, several commenters (many of them self-described Christians) spoke out about how horrific and ungodly the man’s sermon was. What editor let Atkins’s piece run? Does this paper have any subscribers left after several columns from this person? How many letters do they get every day telling them never to run this trash again?
I am not worried that Mark Atkins’s column will convince anybody to adopt his absurd beliefs; the majority of the country is headed in the right direction when it comes to LGBT equality, and even many of those who haven’t come around yet are smarter than this. I am, however, a little worried for the editor who’s likely on the brink of losing his or her job, but at this point, good riddance.