You’re just waiting for the next “Family Values” Republican to get caught with his pants down, aren’t you? They’re being exposed fast and furiously now that bloggers can do an end run around mainstream media enablers.
It’s hard to keep up and keep score, but you can put money on the fact that the biggest pushers of anti-sexual rhetoric and hand-wringing have got a lot of personal sexual addiction to hide. And the most anti-gay whatever are the most likely to be caught in some bathroom somewhere doing exactly what they condemn and coming up with excuses for cheating on their token straight families that only enablers could believe.
That’s not to don their masks of homophobia or agree that there’s anything wrong with the sex they want. It’s to marvel at the depths of their hypocrisy and their comfort in hurting others who like the sex these hypocrites seek in the dark.
So in July just after we stomached US Senator David Vitter of Louisiana’s exposure that this married “Family Values” crusader has been visiting prostitutes and is known for wearing a diaper in these escapades, we’ve got more hypocrisy.
Remember when Vitter’s wife in all self-righteousness told Newhouse News Service in 2000 that if her husband were as “unfaithful” as Bill Clinton, her response would be “a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I’m walking away with one thing, and it’s not alimony, trust me.”
Next in July, the Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay $660 million to 508 litigants who filed suits as victims of sexual abuse by priests. Barbara Blaine, founder of SNAP (Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests) explained the Church hierarchy’s willingness to settle as a cover-up: “More than anything else, they are fixated on avoiding depositions and courtroom testimony where they’ll be treated like regular citizens instead of royalty, and where they have to explain decades of secrecy and recklessness and corruption.”
Then, Republican Florida State Representative Bob Allen was nabbed in a Titusville, Florida park men’s restroom when he agreed to give an undercover officer oral sex for $20. This staunch advocate of “Family Values,” never saw an anti-sex bill he didn’t like. He even sponsored HB 1475 that called for punishment for consenting adults who practice “lewd or lascivious offences,” even just “the simulation of any act involving sexual activity.”
My, oh my! And with police recordings and reports contradicting him, Allen, get this, denied any wrongdoing. “I certainly wasn’t there to have sex with anybody and certainly wasn’t there to exchange money for it,” he told the press.
In fact, he claims he was seeking oral sex because: “This was a pretty stocky black guy, and there was nothing but other black guys around in the park.” Okay — searching for public sex to save him from his racist fear that he “was about to be a statistic.”
And then the Young Republican Federation eliminated from its website all references to its recently elected leader and rising star in the national GOP, Glenn Murphy, chair of the Clark County, Indiana Republicans, after police charged him with “Criminal Deviate Conduct” for sexually assaulting another man following a Young Republicans party in late July. Of course, as a consultant for Republican candidates, Murphy regularly used wedge issues such as gay marriage to promote them.
Murphy, his lawyer writes, defends his actions as between two consenting adults. Got it. It’s okay for two consenting adults if one of them is an anti-gay Republican?
I’m sure I’ve missed some, but stay tuned. Expect many more.
Repression leads to obsession. And sexual addiction and its cover-up with sexual and religious righteousness are widespread cultural phenomena our sexually sick culture doesn’t want to face.
“As long as we can pin addiction on dysfunctional families and make them the primary cause of sexual addiction,” Anne Wilson Schaef asks in Escape from Intimacy (1989), “can we then hold onto the illusion of ‘normal,’ refuse to look at the role of our institutions (especially church and school), and avoid completely the role of addictive society?”
As I discuss in When Religion Is an Addiction, sexual and religious addictions are not strange bedfellows. They have a long history of cross-addiction in the Christian Church back at least as far as Church Father St. Augustine.
Today, though, it’s multiplied by the sexualization of our culture through conservative corporate, “free market” consumerism. Sex sells. It’s portrayed as something everyone can “have” better if they buy, buy, and buy more.
Sex is sold as proof you’re a real man or woman. It proves you’re finally close to another human being.
Everyone else has the stuff that ensures that they are having the great sex you aren’t. And if you aren’t compulsive about sex, you’re told there’s something wrong with you. Even “science” colludes with the idea.
This is an ideal environment for institutions to recruit people by convincing them that they’re guilty for having, or even thinking about, sex. A tried and true method for getting people to relieve their guilt would lose much of its power if society weren’t selling things this way. No wonder right-wing religion is in cahoots with big business and its consumerism.
The resulting societally encouraged sexually addictive thinking and its guilt would require healing and learning how sexuality can be holistic and healthy. But the popular method is to try to relieve the guilt and shame by another addiction – the addiction to the feeling of being righteous.
Enter anti-sex politics and right-wing Christianity with its fear of anything it can’t control. Hide in the high of feeling righteous and identifying with each righteous cause, cling to the righteous feelings of right-wing Christianity’s exclusivism, and you have crossed into another addiction.
It’s easier than coming to terms with what you hate about yourself and rejecting the institutions that promote that hate.
And this righteousness high works, until the addict falls off the wagon.
Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas where he taught for 33 years and was department chair for six years, Robert N. Minor (he/him), M.A., Ph.D is the author of 8 books as well as numerous articles and contributions to edited volumes. He is an historian of religion with specialties in Biblical studies, Asian religions, religion and gender and religion and sexuality. His writing has been published in Whosoever since 2005 and he continues to speak and lead workshops around the country. In 1999 GLAAD awarded him its Leadership Award for Education, in 2012 the University of Kansas named him one of the University’s Men of Merit, in 2015 the American Men’s Studies Association gave him the Lifetime Membership Award, and in 2018 Missouri Jobs with Justice presented him with the Worker’s Rights Board Leadership Award. He resides in Kansas City, Missouri and is founder of The Fairness Project.