He advises physical violence against boys:
Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch.
But merely harassment and rigid gender roles for girls:
And when your daughter starts acting too butch you reign her in and you say “Oh no, oh no sweetheart. You can play sports. Play ‘em. Play ‘em to the glory of god. But sometimes you’re gonna act like a girl, walk like a girl, talk like a girl, and smell like a girl. And that means you’re gonna be beautiful. You’re going to be attractive. You’re gonna dress yourself up.”
We may laugh at the other extreme, where parents refuse to tell anyone the gender of their baby, but if Pastor Harris’ views are anywhere near the norm, it’s easy to sympathise with their reluctance. There are so many problems here that all I can do is make a list.
- You can’t beat/harass/punch the gay out of a child.
- Even if you could do (1), it still wouldn’t be ethical.
- It also wouldn’t be something Jesus would approve of.*
- How sad for boys that what they do is dig ditches.
- How sad for girls that their purpose is to be attractive.
But this is the narrow world that this pastor and his flock live in. You heard them laughing and cheering along. More moderate religious adherents may argue “that’s not me — they make us Christians look bad!” The fact is that these people also believe they’re the true Christians doing god’s will. Unless the moderates aren’t also appealing to the bible as absolute truth to be interpreted at will, they’re just as bad. They affect what society sees as normal and acceptable, and this acceptance includes those who interpret the bible in more draconian ways. If we’re to find religion acceptable only when it corresponds with secular mores anyway, why bother giving religion any credence at all?
If you wonder why I give these ideas any attention, here is your answer: I want to give exposure to every case I see of someone using religion to lend authority to their personal prejudices. With enough incidents like this, we might turn public opinion to disdain and revile religion. It is my dream that one day soon, the majority of us will be rid of it entirely — that parasitic meme. People like this should be too ashamed of themselves to ever admit their bigotry aloud. Let’s make it so.
* Presumably a pastor cares about this.