News that the neo-Nazi group World Wide White Pride had endorsed Amendment One — the Bigot Ballot — serves as a reminder that even the Holocaust did not eliminate the worst of irrational, religion-based prejudices. The WWWP website routinely re-hashes WWII history, from a point of view sympathetic to Hitler and his aims.
It therefore is profoundly disturbing that in an anti-amendment editorial, the N.C.-based News and Observer alleged that gay-bashing bigots who use religion as an alibi for their gay-bashing “deserve respect.” What is next? Will the News and Observer editors say that the hateful views of religious anti-Semites “deserve respect”?
What are the roots of this anti-human gay-bashing justified through religion?
One root is found in the coincidentally-named Constitutio Criminalis Carolina, promulgated by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor who alleged that his power came from God.
The Carolina, as it is often called for short, was a legal code, which had this to say about homosexuals: “The punishment for fornication that goes against nature. cxvj. When a human commits fornication with a beast, a man with a man, a woman with a woman, they have also forfeited life. And they should be, according to the common custom, banished by fire from life into death.” Be it noted: the etymological roots of the anti-gay pejorative “faggot,” a word which also means “kindling wood for fires,” stems from the practice of burning gay human beings alive.
The Carolina directly influenced later German laws, including the notoriously anti-gay Section 175. As power shifted among various of the German-speaking regions, the gay-bashing laws would get variously written. In 1872, the penal code of the North German Federation said this: “Unnatural fornication, whether between persons of the male sex or of humans with beasts, is punished with imprisonment, with the further punishment of a prompt loss of civil rights.” Today’s religious gay-bashing bigots do not even wait for a homosexual to be found guilty before depriving her or him of civil rights.
Throughout the late 1800s, voices of enlightenment endeavored to eliminate these hateful gay-bashing laws. Yet, in 1909, the Reichstag published a “Scheme for a German Penal Code,” which said this: “The danger to family life and to youth is the same. The fact that there are more such cases in recent times is reliably testified. It lies therefore in the interest of morality as in that of the general welfare that penal provisions be expanded also to women.”
Remember that, the next time you hear NOM bigots, or Concerned Women for America bigots, or Tami Fitzgerald the bigot saying that the 1960s brought about the downfall of civilization through increased acceptance of homosexuality. Remember that. Or if you will, NEVER FORGET. Already in 1909, there were gay-bashing bigots, acting on the hateful religio-legal inheritance of the Carolina, saying that “The fact that there are more such cases in recent times is reliably testified.”
I am going to presume that readers understand where Section 175 led in the period of the Holocaust, and that they understand the religious justifications used for homo-hate during the Nazi period. However, if any of the editors of the News and Observer who outrageously think — in this day and age — that religion-based homo-hate “deserves respect” — I say, should any of those editors happen to be interested in learning the least thing about the historical basis for religiously-justified persecutions of gay human beings, they should feel free to contact me for a topic bibliography.
By saying that these hate-mongering religious justifications for political gay-bashing “deserve respect,” the News and Observer editors are enabling monsters like Pastor Sean Harris, who instructs parishioners to “crack” the wrists of their non-gender conforming sons, and the neo-Nazi supporters of Amendment One, who think that a gay-bashing version of Christianity goes hand-in-hand with their notions of white supremacy.
The News and Observer titled its op-ed “Just Say No.” We must not only “Just say no” to approvals of religion-based gay bashing, wherever they occur; we must also look at where religion-based gay-bashing led in the Holocaust, and say NEVER AGAIN! There is no legitimacy to any claim that God has authorized somebody to hate homosexuals and/or to treat them as second-class citizens. Shame on the editors of the News and Observer.