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Sunday, 24 May 2015

It is not a disease to be cured

This week I travel back in time – but only in a figurative sense – to April, and to something which came to my attention that I wanted to write about, but delayed doing so because I wanted to see the outcome.

On April 21st in London, it was planned to organise an event called the ‘Holy Sexuality Conference’ which was to be based on the rather odd belief that homosexuality is a disease that can be cured. So now I go back further in time, to the Victorian era, and their silly beliefs (which I also mentioned last week). No doubt people who look to the past for their inspiration for the future, find in this now remote age, a comfortable place of refuge where they can live knowing that, that which they abhor, is a disease waiting for a cure. And apparently a cure has been found, which is strange, because homosexuality is not a disease!

Thankfully this bizarre and offensive event was not held because the UK Home Office refused visas to the people from the US intent on coming to the UK to promulgate something called ‘conversion therapy’. This by the way has been widely condemned by the medical profession as well as people like President Obama. Nick Glegg, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats here in the UK, said: “If anything needs curing, it is the outdated belief that being gay is wrong or something to be ashamed of. Sexuality is not an illness but an inherent part of who you are.”

It is very much a Victorian belief. It is a belief that was part of callous age, dominated by Social Darwinism, and it has become an era where people today, in their minds, seek refuge, for the certainty of the past has an appeal when confronted with the complexity of life and modern times, especially when the future looks so uncertain, matters being the way they are.

Among the proposed speakers at the cancelled conference was one from that infamous extremist party known as UKIP – did I not tell you that they were a party of racists, nationalists, xenophobes and homophobes – just like the Nazis party in Germany in the 1920s, 1930s and the first half of the 1940s.

So why was I interested to write about this silly conference? There are three reasons. The first is that homosexuality is not the only aspect of human identity that people mistakenly considered as something to be cured. I have already mentioned in a previous blog that the profoundly deaf are also classified as being in ‘need of a cure’, but do not see themselves as in any way requiring a cure. What is needed, they say, is a cure for a society that considers them this way – Nick Glegg’s point. And in the case of the profoundly deaf, it is not religion that is the source of the nonsense, but science – this is because both have more in common than most people think! Of course you will not think this if your name is Richard Dawkins or you are part of his silly ‘science and reason’ movement and are one of his disciples. But people caught-up in ideology and dogma very rarely do any thinking – the whole point of ideology and dogma being that the need to think becomes unnecessary.

This now brings me to my second reason – that there are hidden things that I call ‘Silent Narratives’ at work that lead people to think that gay people, disabled people, and others are in need of cures, and these narratives are based on (perverse) notions of what constitutes a normal human being, from which flows classification, separation, exclusion, persecution, and the labelling of people as being in some way, deficient and not fully human (deficit model thinking). This is an area where European culture excels and is one of the foundations on which the modern world is built – with horrific consequences, as the Holocaust demonstrates. And deficit model thinking can be found in both religion and science – this is because they have far more in common than the ‘science and reason’ devotees understand.

And finally my third and final reason is again something which has been mentioned in previous blogs: gender is not binary. But if you are caught-up in these ‘Silent Narratives’, then you will think that it is, and for those who are of ‘Third Gender’, life is thus made intolerable.

And about all these things I will be saying much more in future blogs. I will also be moving on to address how these very complex ‘Silent Narratives’, which embody all sorts of strange beliefs, influence just about every aspect of Western culture – in particular its technology, its science, its engineering, some aspects of its art, and something called ‘ICT-ART CONNECT’ which now has a new name – STARTS. A rose is a rose by any other name. And one day I will reveal some of the 'Silent Narratives' of the vainglorious ‘enlightened ones’ in DG CONNECT, but I have a feeling that they will not appreciate being made the subject matter of art! Hard luck – when you sow the wind, you should expect to reap the whirlwind! Everything is connected …  

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