Monday, May 17, 2010
Following BP’s many failures, President Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu assembled a team of five “extraordinarily intelligent” scientists (Obama’s words), whose specialties range from bomb design to Martian mining, to clean up the Gulf spill.
But the gay community’s so-called “fiercest advocate” included someone by the name of Jonathan I. Katz. A physics professor at Washington University in St. Louis, Katz, is a member of the JASON think tank, did his early work in astrophysics, though he now tackles a wide variety of physics problems. Katz is arguably, the most controversial member of the team after he published an essay titled, “In Defense of Homophobia.”
Homophobia is the moral judgement that homosexual behavior (most of the arguments in this essay refer specifically to male homosexual behavior) is wrong. Homophobia is not like ethnic, racial or religious prejudice, which deny the intrinsic moral rights and value of other people. Rather, it is a moral judgement upon acts engaged in by choice.
And from the same essay, there’s this pip:
In America attitudes towards homosexuality changed in the 1970’s. It went from a private, furtively practiced, vice to an open and accepted subculture. In many circles, “sodomite” ceased to be an insult. This acceptance led to the toleration, and wide practice, of gross homosexual promiscuity. HIV, falling onto that fertile soil, made the AIDS epidemic. Even before AIDS was recognized, practicing homosexuals were notorious for a high rate of venereal diseases.
And from the same essay:
What of those cursed with unnatural sexual desires? Must they forever suppress these desires? Yes, but this is hardly a unique fate. Almost everyone has desires which must be suppressed. Most men and women think adulterous thoughts fairly often, and find themselves attracted to members of the opposite sex to whom they are not married. Morality requires them to suppress these desires, and most do not commit adultery, though they feel lust in their hearts. Almost everyone, at one time or another, covets another’s property. They do not steal. Many people feel great anger or intense hatred at some time in their lives. They do not kill.
I am a homophobe, and proud.
While the environmental and ecological situation in the Gulf of Mexico worsens each day, and capping the leak caused by the collapse of the rig in the Deepwater Horizon zone must be a top priority for the administration, I also have to question how it is possible that of all the scientists in the U.S., President Obama, our so-called “fiercest advocate,” hired a team member who holds such profoundly and unapologetically homophobic views?