Miranda Devine is (still) a social teratoma

Oh my goodness, it’s her again.

I’ll just ignore the irony of her headline (this isn’t a tweet), and I’ll take a look at what she’s trying to say.

Since when is Miranda Devine qualified to dictate what gays must do? She’s not even gay, or so she says. It doesn’t actually matter, she still wouldn’t be qualified. No one is.

Neuroscientist David Eagleman is a pioneer in the nascent field of neurolaw. He’s trialling an fMRI-based update of biofeedback cognitive training intended to strengthen the prefrontal cortices of criminals, to help them gain the conscious control necessary to suppress their antisocial impulses. Eagleman and his colleagues are hoping to minimize recidivism among those convicted of things like casually snatching old ladies’ bags and beating up gay people on a whim.

I propose that Miranda Devine submit herself to Dr. Eagleman’s trials. She’d make a very interesting subject. Her offences against social progress are simultaneously reactionary and calculated. She’s obviously a careful communicator, but she clearly neglects to account for the potential societal effects her articles might have.

This pattern is typical among violent offenders and social parasites – they plan right up until they’ve executed the deed, and largely ignore the consequences. Devine is careful not to break the law, but then I never said she was a bag snatcher. She’s worse precisely because she isn’t a criminal.

One could argue the wholesale abuse homophobes like Devine broadcast is more psychologically damaging to the gay community than a cut lip and a few bruises inflicted by an inarticulate cretin on Chapel St. I don’t see how that conjecture would be controversial.

These antisocial types invariably refuse to accept the consequences of their actions. Devine actually goes one further – she actively defends her fellow offenders in order to absolve herself of responsibility. Such is the way of the ‘nuclear family’ regressive movement.

I was extremely disappointed to hear Jeff Kennett – a widely respected advocate for mental health – speak out against the rights of homosexual couples to raise children. Kennet was promptly repudiated by sensible people everywhere. Then in her article, Devine despicably appropriated Kennett’s earnest attempt at rapprochement on Joy FM into her nasty agenda.

Now, she could be making progress on the foresight front. She did find an online analogue to plugging her ears and cacophonously doxologizing deafness. As a friend pointed out, her most recent manifestation of digital diarrhoea didn’t come with a comment box. Though that might have been the work of a fractionally less crude editor. (Update: there is now a comment box and the responses read like they were written by sock puppets.)

The big problem with Miranda Devine’s latest thesis is her claim that anyone who disagrees with her is simply intolerant. Phrased like that, you could say, well, fair enough. But Devine isn’t merely airing an opinion – she’s making claims that have facts bearing on them. As discussed elsewhere on this blog, opinions that run counter to facts are not opinions anyone is obliged to respect.

We simply know from numerous studies that children raised by gay parents are no more likely to be gay than their ‘traditionally raised’ peers. (And even if these children are more likely to be gay, so what?) The evidence also tells us that children raised by gay parents are no less well-adjusted than their ‘traditionally raised’ peers. These real-world facts leave her case against gay marriage decidedly flaccid. Miranda Devine is wrong when she pleads otherwise, and this is important to notice.

These sorts of factual slips are what got Andrew Bolt in trouble. Devine can claim ‘freedom of speech’ all she likes; but again, freedom of speech was intended to subvert propaganda, not to justify its perpetuation. If she honestly believes that she should be allowed to say what she likes, she’s not allowed to whine when she’s rebuked.

I’m yet to hear a compelling argument supporting the notion that allowing homosexuals to marry will somehow threaten the institution of heterosexual marriage. And whenever I hear conservatives say ‘homosexuality is a choice,’ I always think ‘well, maybe for you – but not for me,’ and I’d wager that other straight people feel exactly the same way. I’m also yet to meet a totally homosexual person who feels the converse, namely that ‘heterosexuality is a choice’. Honestly, if your sexuality is threatened by the right of someone else’s to theirs, you’re not comfortable with your own biology. There’s obviously something you’re not telling yourself.

Science tells us that homophobic men are much more aroused by gay porn than other men who identify as heterosexual. Suppression isn’t healthy – just look at what pastor Ted Haggard went through. There’s an echoing refrain here. Think about it, where does the motivation for homophobia – whether it’s expressed as self-loathing or pathological fear – come from? How often do you see homophobia aired today without somehow stemming from the doctrines of some primitive cult?

But it’s too easy to just blame religion. Regular readers and anyone who knows me will be aware that I think using religious convictions to justify anything is an act of intellectual high treason. Playing the God card appears to be nothing more than appealing to a socially accepted justification for inveterate bigotry. My mother identifies as a Catholic (now an atheist –Ed) and she has a very strong moral sense, one that largely mirrors my own as an atheist. She justifies her morality with reason, not faith. And that’s a good thing too, because she quite reasonably believes most Catholic ‘moral’ teachings are antiquated and invidious.

Clearly then, being religious does not justify being intolerant; religion merely offers a feeble excuse for the atavistic bigotry it inculcated. It arguably reinforces it today too. Religion is always a crutch for the fearful and it too often serves as a vehicle for the wicked. It doesn’t matter which religious cult you want to identify with, nothing you say will ever be immune to scrutiny. The slaughter of sacred cows is the price of democracy and free speech.

I stand up for gay rights because I know that Christopher Hitchens was right when he said that homosexuality isn’t just about sex, it’s about love. He said this when he was defending his friend Stephen Fry during a debate against a certain stridulous conservative British politician and a mendacious archbishop hailing from Nigeria. Both of these creeps represented Miranda Devine’s own Catholic church. The same church that has allowed AIDS to ravage Africa by perpetuating the odious lie that condoms spread HIV.

It’s ironic that the representatives of a superstitious Mafia claiming to preach love and tolerance readily proliferate so much hatred, suffering and death.

Miranda Devine and her priggish colleagues do not convey moral teachings that any decent human being should respect. They speak out against social justice and human rights. They seek to restrict the liberties of people they have no right to judge.

Attempting to feed vulnerable gay kids whose parents read this refuse and concerned ‘traditional’ parents of gay kids the notion that homosexual love is not as worthy of respect as heterosexual love is an act of unforgivable cruelty. Devine’s new column is the latest incarnation of a virulent cultural strain of surreptitious theocracy. It’s anti-democratic, it’s antisocial and it’s sub-criminal. It’s the cancer eating our discourse; a disease eroding decency.

But it is sort of welcome. We at least have some sort of metre by which to measure social progress, though admittedly the results themselves aren’t very encouraging. Devine clearly has the right to say and publish what she likes because she elucidates what the idiots are thinking. What she lacks is the right to avoid a good impugning. That’s freedom of speech in action, baby.

Telling people how to respond to criticism is not something Miranda Devine has any business doing. Like her, I’m comfortable waxing acerbic about things that irritate me; but unlike her I know what I’m doing and I’m proud of it. I don’t care who I offend, but I recognize the right of others to feel offended. I would never consider back-peddling or making excuses for my views. But I will change my views if the facts change. If she wants to know what it is to be vile, she should proofread her own text before she posts it.

If fMRI-based biofeedback isn’t available for public offenders like her, she at least needs to talk to a counsellor. Someone has to tell her that she can’t vitiate the malice behind her convictions by invoking Jesus.


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