Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Book Review: Making Gay Okay

The stack of books I'm trying to read is much larger than what my calendar allows for. When I do actually finish a book though, I want to use the blog to tell you what I thought about it. I'm happy to lend this or any other book in my library if you live near me and don't look like a hooligan.

Making Gay Okay was one of the best social commentary books I have read in a long time. Robert Reilly does what no social commentator or policy maker in America has done: he looked at the facts at play.He analyzes what is behind the huge gains that the homosexual movement has made in this country in the last twenty years or so. The book is divided up into two major sections: Part 1 is "The Rationalization and How It Works" and Part 2 is "Marching through the Institutions." Together they take the reader through the basics of determining morality and then exactly what is happening to key American institutions.

In the first section, Reilly lays out the basic philosophy of Aristotle, who suggested that reality is something external to us, and therefore it is something to which we must adhere. Since reality it is external to me and not something I created, I must adhere to it or cause great damage to myself. This is especially true as regards morality: morality is external to us and not something we decide for ourselves, therefore we must live in accord with it or we do great harm to ourselves.


This ancient view of the world was eclipsed by Jean Jacques Rousseau, who believed and taught that reality was a human construction. Morality, as one piece of this human construction, could be molded and changed as necessary. But since morality is a construction of a society, in order to change morality, every institution of the society must be made to go along with the change. This can be done subtly or overtly, but it must happen. If any institution is exempt from the new reality, which is really a charade, then the whole charade is threatened.


And that leads to the second half, where Reilly illustrates the homosexual movement's march through key institutions. It started with the psychological sciences. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) had considered homosexuality a "sociopathic personality disturbance," in the original Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) in 1953. But by the time the DSM-II was published in 1968, the word "sociopathic" was dropped. But the homosexuality couldn't be promoted as a basic human right if it was still considered a mental illness, so activists had to remove the "thumb of psychiatry." This they successfully did, not by conducting or discovering new research, but simply by political activism. They disrupted meeting, protested, and coerced members of the APA, until the DSM-III was published in 1987, at which point homosexuality was quietly removed as even a category in the manual, despite there being no new evidence to contradict the original manual entry.


To further the charade that homosexuality is absolutely equal to heterosexuality, Reilly documents how activists have made advances in key areas that threatened the charade: parenting, education, the Boy Scouts, the military, and foreign policy. I want only to reprint a quote from a child raised by same-sex parents:

I built up a great deal of fear and frustration. I was angry that I was not part of a 'normal' family and could not live with a 'normal' mother. I wondered what I did to deserve this. Why did my biological mother let a lesbian adopt me? How could she think that this life was better than what she could have given me?...During those years  I talked with my sister about my feelings and problems. We discussed how we didn't understand my mother and her lifestyle. We talked of how we resented her for placing us in such a situation, all the while knowing how hard it would be for us. (page 151)
If you are intimidated by the charge that you are unloving for opposing homosexual acts, I can't recommend this book highly enough as a necessary underpinning to your own knowledge and background. It doesn't so much teach you how to discuss the topic with others, it's not a field manual in that sense, but it is incredibly helpful for educating yourself and letting yourself know that no, you're not going crazy for opposing homosexual acts.

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