It’s not just fun to write about the sexual deviancy of the holier-than-thou religious far-right — and their not quite so religious political shills — it’s also instructive. For their self-righteous preaching against decadent secularism and its anything goes sexual mores makes perfect sense in a worldview guided by their own twisted fantasies, where indeed… anything goes.
It’s not just hypocrisy; it’s projection. Or at the very least, jealousy. Constrained by the unhealthy belief that “normal” sex should be mundane and pleasureless, their own secret desires bulge out in all directions like a water balloon squeezed between your fingers.
For example, there’s the tragio-comic story of Spokane’s soon-to-be-former Mayor Jim West, a man so ashamed by his own nature, that his otherwise healthy homosexual desires were apparently perverted into pedophilia. The knee-jerk liberal in me wants to be empathetic to West, for he is in many ways a victim of society’s cruel intolerance of gays… but the writer in me can’t help but find humor in the ironic details of the former gay-bashing state Senate Majority Leader’s sudden fall from grace. The Spokesman-Review has posted a transcript of an online chat session on Gay.com between West (jmselton) and a forensic computer consultant posing as a teenager (motobrock34); the following excerpt struck me as particularly amusing.
jmselton: if i thought i would marry again, i’d marry Cathy McMorris the congresswoman.
motobrock34: is she nice?
jmselton: very and cute
jmselton: sweet is more like it.
I’m sure Rep. McMorris is flattered. Though of course, as he typed this, West was actually masturbating at his computer, fantasizing about motobrock34, and how “we’ll rub our dicks together.” In the words of the Spokane mayor, which may someday be immortalized as a kind of gay chat room farewell speech:
jmselton: yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
jmselton: oh boy
Oh boy, indeed.
Of course, if you enjoy sheer ridicule, nothing compares to the story of Neil Horsley, the folksy, anti-abortion, anti-homosexual, pro-secessionist, nut-case activist, who admitted to Fox News Radio host Alan Colmes that while growing up on a farm in Georgia… he had sex with a mule. Really. But even more amazing, is the fact that Horsley actually came back onto The Alan Colmes Show this Thursday, to further explicate his unique views on human sexuality and, um… animal husbandry.
Alan replayed a clip in which Horsley frankly explained that growing up, you experiment sexually with anything that moves, saying “If it’s warm and it’s damp and it vibrates you might in fact have sex with it.” So of course, Alan took advantage of the second interview to ask the question that was surely on everybody’s mind:
AC: Have you ever had sex with a washing machine?
NH: Um, well… I’ve never really thought about it, but the fact of the matter is that if it shakes, and there have been times I’m sure when in reality, that would be an option.
I never knew cleaning your laundry could be so dirty.
At this point, the interview started to get a little too weird, even for Alan, and so he tried to shift the conversation towards normal sexual behavior — like homosexuality — but after admitting past or potential relationships with farm animals and large household appliances, Horsley hemmed and hawed about whether he ever had sex with a (gasp) human male. Eventually, Alan was able to pin him down.
AC: Let’s get it on the record Neil. Before you found Jesus, you had sex with a man, right?
NH: Certainly. I’ve had sex with anything that would move. If we had a warm watermelon out in the field I might give it a name.
Graphic courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board
Come to think of it, the one on the right looks kind of cute… sweet is more like it. Look at those full, sexy lips… yeahhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhh… oh boy!
Horsley continued to expand on his theory that we are all born in sin, and thus it is natural (if not normal) for a male to express his sexuality in any way possible, and that the only reason we don’t is that we are socialized to express it in more acceptable forms. Alan disagreed, saying that he personally never had any desire to have sex with farm animals or other men… and Horsley actually made fun of him, blaming his sexual hang-ups on his mother:
NH: What happened to you is that you got pussy-whipped at a very early age.
That’s right Neil… there’s something wrong with Alan. I suppose it’s no surprise that Horsley would eventually come to Jesus, considering he pretty much came to everything else. News Hounds has more coverage of the second interview, and you can listen to an excerpt yourself, courtesy of Fox News Radio.
Now I’m not suggesting that all anti-gay, anti-abortion, traditional-values Christians are closeted homosexuals like West, or somewhat-repentant vegephiles like Horsley. Some of them are just cruelly and sadistically heterosexual, like Dr. W. David Hager, a prominent obstetrician-gynecologist and Bush Administration appointee to the FDA’s Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs.
As some of you might know, the Advisory Committee voted 23-4 to make emergency contraception, known as Plan B, available over-the-counter, and it was Dr. Hager who was key in persuading the FDA to make the highly unusual decision to reject the recommendation. (A decision that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists called a “dark stain on the reputation of an evidence-based agency like the FDA.”) Dr. Hager recently delivered a sermon at his alma mater, Asbury College, a small evangelical Christian school in Wilmore, Kentucky, in which he warned that a war is being waged in this country against evangelical Christians like him, and that God had used him to stand in the breach. It was in this sermon that he revealed the role he played in the FDA’s controversial decision.
It was also this sermon that convinced Linda Davis, his former wife of thirty-two years, to break her silence about the sexual abuse and humiliation she suffered during their long marriage. As an article in The Nation reports, she was enraged by her ex-husband’s public moralizing on sexual matters: “It was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard.” Davis alleges that she was repeatedly sodomized without her consent.
“I probably wouldn’t have objected so much, or felt it was so abusive if he had just wanted normal [vaginal] sex all the time,” she explained to me. “But it was the painful, invasive, totally nonconsensual nature of the [anal] sex that was so horrible.”
“I would be asleep,” she recalls, “and since [the sodomy] was painful and threatening, I woke up. Sometimes I acquiesced once he had started, just to make it go faster, and sometimes I tried to push him off…. I would [confront] David later, and he would say, ‘You asked me to do that,’ and I would say, ‘No, I never asked for it.'”
As The Nation points out, Dr. Hager is no fringe character, but a well-credentialed and respected OB-Gyn and the author of six books on women’s health issues. (FYI, I highly recommend the General’s Amazon review of Hager’s As Jesus Cared for Women.) He doesn’t advocate faith as a substitute for medicine, but rather relies on his conservative Christian ideology as the basis for his paternalistic approach to women patients… a worldview in which men are expected to act as benevolent authority figures for the women in their lives.
At home, Dr. Hager apparently practiced what he preached… well, the authority part, not the benevolence. As Davis told The Nation….
Sex was always a source of conflict in the marriage. Though it wasn’t emotionally satisfying for her, Davis says she soon learned that sex could “buy” peace with Hager after a long day of arguing, or insure his forgiveness after she spent too much money. “Sex was coinage; it was a commodity,” she said. Sometimes Hager would blithely shift from vaginal to anal sex. Davis protested. “He would say, ‘Oh, I didn’t mean to have anal sex with you; I can’t feel the difference,'” Davis recalls incredulously. “And I would say, ‘Well then, you’re in the wrong business.'”
By the 1980s, according to Davis, Hager was pressuring her to let him videotape and photograph them having sex. She consented, and eventually she even let Hager pay her for sex that she wouldn’t have otherwise engaged in–for example, $2,000 for oral sex, “though that didn’t happen very often because I hated doing it so much. So though it was more painful, I would let him sodomize me, and he would leave a check on the dresser,” Davis admitted to me with some embarrassment. This exchange took place almost weekly for several years.
And it gets even worse. In 1995 Davis was diagnosed with narcolepsy, and she says her husband took advantage of the disease, as an opportunity to regularly sodomize her.
Somehow, I don’t think this is how Jesus would have cared for a woman.
Dr. Hager’s term on the FDA panel expires this June, and he is widely expected to be reappointed, possibly to the panel’s chairmanship. That there would be such a stark contrast between his public and private life is not surprising — there are, of course, hypocrites on both sides of the political spectrum. But that this is the kind of person the Bush administration would seek to lead the FDA on women’s health issues is at the very least disappointing, if not frightening.
The aggressive overreaching by the religious right in their campaign to impose their own biblically inspired sexual mores on society as a whole, begs the question: what are they so afraid so?
And I think I know the answer: themselves.