Read Erdvig’s original article here.
Read my original refutation here.
Read Fowler’s critique here.
Read Part 1 of this article here.
Read Part 2 of this article here.
On “Bottom-up [sic] Subjectivity”
Fowler’s main “argument” against the acceptance of LGBTQ+ people is this:
“Of course, it is laudable when people love their friends and families and don’t want to hurt them. Any other intention would not make sense. But from an evangelical Christian standpoint, our commitment to God and to truth trumps our sentimentalities and even our staunch devotion to our loved ones. In fact, changing the truth in order not to hurt someone’s feelings is like a doctor not revealing a potentially fatal disease to a patient because he or she does not want to hurt the patient’s feelings. When we stop valuing and pursuing truth, all other ills find a home where truth once lived.”
The question is whether Fowler has the correct definition of and “truth.” If it is true that queerness is totally wrong, I suppose he is right. I am using much the same rationale in writing this post condemning his arguments, even though I think that at heart he is trying to be a decent person. But if “truth” requires one to become and act permanently inhuman, how true is it? Moreover, his medical analogy does not hold up, and in fact supports me. It would hurt the patient’s feelings much more to find that they had been withheld information, assuming that they lived to find this out. Thus, it may in the short term hurt Fowler’s feelings to call him out on his truly reprehensible bigotry (it cannot fairly be described in gentler terms), but if he learns to treat all humans as human beings ought to be treated, everyone will be much happier. For when we stop valuing and pursuing truth, which even according to his Bible is treating everybody with love, all other ills find a home where truth once lived. Are there any evils that result from too much love and respect for humanity?
Fowler attempts another medical analogy in his next paragraph, attempting to argue for reparative therapy:
“But our approach is to ask “What can we do to change the situation?” rather than to simply try and make the world more accepting. It’s like the difference between radical surgery and hospice. One you do because you want to fix it. The other you do because nothing else worked and you resign yourself to what doctors say is inevitable.”
The trouble is that trying to “fix it”—meaning to attempt to remove one’s homosexuality or transgenderism—is completely ineffective. Otherwise, there would be no gay or trans* people. It would be like using phlebotomy to treat a crushed spinal cord. It does not help, and may kill the patient. Reparative therapy is exactly the same. The only noticeable effects are low self-esteem and an increased risk of suicide—all iatrogenic. Making the world more accepting and providing better access to transgender care is actually the sort of “radical surgery” that needs to be done. It is the only way to make queer people’s lives generally better. “Hospice” would be just accepting that nothing can be done and letting the world go about its business the same bad old way it always has.