Self-Hate and Dogma: A Look into the World of Closeted Gays and the Bible

The problem with self-hate is that it tends to be more than just the self-loather’s problem. The abhorrence spreads like a cancer and leaves a trail of victims. And nowhere is this more true than among the closeted homosexuals who hold position of power in politics and organized religion.

Each month, it seems, another elected official or so-called family values advocate is being outed. In a recent documentary, Outrage, filmmakers label politicians like Charlie Christ, Ed Koch, Larry Craig, and David Dreier, among others, as closeted homosexuals. If they are in fact homosexuals, then the irony is that these same elected officials have a poor record when it comes to passing pro-gay policy. Or maybe it’s not so ironic after all. What could be a stronger form of denial than turning the gun on your own?

Straying from one’s self and beliefs in this country is thought to be far better than straying from the brutality of the Bible. Take a recent advertisement against one of the candidates for Alabama’s governorship, Bradley Byrne. The opposition labeled him as someone who believed in evolution and stated that Byrne “said the Bible was only partially true.” Byrne shot back with his own statement, insisting that he believed “every single word” of the Bible — which, of course, would include talking snakes, virgin births, and the mandatory killing of homosexuals.

Earlier this month, the Family Research Council, a Christian organization that claims “homosexual conduct is harmful” and “is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects,” had a bit of a shock. One of its founding members, George Rekers, who was also a board member on the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, was found to be jaunting around Europe with a male prostitute. Rekers had hired the man from an advertisement on the gay Web site,, claiming afterward that he had hired his “boy” to carry his luggage and at first did not know that his companion was gay. (To gain access to, which describes itself as “The world’s largest gay escort and massage site,” one must agree to be over eighteen years of age and then click on a button just inches from a shirtless male model, who reveals much less than some of the other boys Rekers surely encountered as he surfed the site.)

Rekers has always been an anti-gay advocate. He has often testified against gay adoptions and same-sex marriage. His life has been dedicated to sabotaging the civil rights that would most likely benefit people, well, like him.

Though Rekers will be shunned, the cycle of angry, closeted gays coming to power will continue. Homosexuals who want to politic or preach, who don’t have the backbone of a Barney Frank, will cower to the words that mandate self-hate and will follow the path of the Outrage cast.

But we don’t blame the books or the institutions. We fault those who were forced to abandon themselves because of the books and give up their selfhood to be part of the institutions.

So if we can’t blame the books or the institutions, maybe it’s best to weed out the self-haters before they come to power.

Here’s a phenomenal idea: Penile plethysmography. This device, which measures the circumference of an erection, was used in a 1996 study by researchers investigating links between homophobia and homosexuality. Study subjects were men who had all described themselves as exclusively heterosexual. In their interviews more than half of these subjects displayed homophobic views. They were then hooked up to the plethysmograph and shown pornography. Each participant was aroused to the same degree when viewing heterosexual and lesbian sexual interactions. But interestingly enough, the only time that there was significant difference in degree of arousal between the homophobic and non-homophobic groups was when a video depicting male homosexual sex was viewed. “The homophobic men showed a significant increase in penile circumference to the male homosexual video, but the non-homophobic men did not,” the research claimed.

I’m only kidding about implementing penile plethysmography to weed out closeted gays before they could wreak havoc on their own people. That would be as absurd as some interpretations of Genesis. But if you ask most believers (who know the Bible) why the city of Sodom was destroyed in the Bible, they’ll note that it was because a homosexual rabble wanted to have sex with two visiting male angels. Never mind that this mob, gay or straight, was steadfast on raping the angels, which most rational people would recognize as a crime.

Maybe that is why pedophile priests (who are criminals) have been harbored and vindicated by the church, while homosexuals (who are not criminals) are treated as second-class citizens by that same establishment.

So if we choose to take our morals from the Bible alone, and if homosexuals deserve the fate prescribed for them in Leviticus, then let’s not stop at the heretical gays, but carry it over to those vile Sabbath-breakers, those apostates who would use the Lord’s name in vain, and the rarely seen, but heard to have existed, adulterers.

I’m sure that these sinners hate themselves, too.

Noah Lederman writes the travel blog, Somewhere Or Bust. His travel writing has appeared in Chicago Sun-Times, The Economist’s More Intelligent Life, Gadling, and the anthology What We Brought Back. more


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