Homophobia—Transphobia—Islamophobia. These are just a few of the common epithets that one is likely to hear in discussions of current cultural issues. The political left has chosen to use such labels as a means of discrediting anyone who disagrees with their progressive political agenda. However, as we will see in this article, such labels are essentially meaningless and are intended solely to “shout-down” the opponents of leftists or to discredit anyone who disagrees with the political agenda of the left.
First, it is necessary to understand that the ideas of the political left cannot be supported by reasonable and rational argumentation. Therefore, because their ideas are so vacuous, leftists have resorted to shouting-down their political opponents or labeling their opponents with pejorative labels in an attempt to discredit them. Labels such as “racist,” “sexist,” or the three phobias listed at the head of this article are intended to squelch debate and to demonize the opponents of leftist ideology.
One only needs to consider the state of discourse prevalent on our university campuses in order to grasp this point. Conservative speakers are routinely barred from speaking at American universities and conservatives are harassed and even assaulted because of their political views. If the ideas of the left are actually defensible, then why are they so afraid to have their ideas challenged by opposing views?
Second, it is necessary to understand what, precisely, the leftists are intending to convey when they accuse their opponents of being Homophobic, Transphobic, or Islamophobic. The key to these pejorative labels lies in the “phobia” portion of the labels. By using pseudo-psychological terminology, leftists hope to paint their opponents as being the ones who are the deviants.
According to the definition provided by the Mayo Clinic, “phobias are an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of objects or situations that pose little real danger but provoke anxiety and avoidance.” Acrophobia, for example, is an irrational fear of heights and arachnophobia is an irrational fear of spiders. While I can certainly sympathize with anyone who is afraid of a tiny eight-legged creature with the power to kill an adult human being, (when camping, I always check my boots before I put them on) I can see how such a fear might be unreasonable if it leads to a paralyzing inability to act in the presence of such a creature.
While the two previously mentioned phobias are legitimately recognized psychological disorders, the leftist labels “Homophobia,” “Transphobia,” and “Islamophobia” are manufactured terms whose sole purpose is to discredit anyone who disagrees with the prevalent leftist ideology on certain issues. These terms exist primarily to paint anyone who disagrees with the leftist agenda as being the one who is psychologically suspect.
For example, if I appeal to the creation mandate given by God to be fruitful and to multiply (Gen 1:28) and conclude, quite rationally, that a homosexual relationship is, by definition, a sterile sexual relationship that undermines the creation mandate, then, according to leftist ideology, I am the one who has the problem that needs to be corrected. If I appeal to the clear biblical teaching that homosexuality is an abomination before God (Lev 18:22; 20:13), and conclude that such a judgment is reasonable, then I am the one who is the deviant. I must be “homophobic” if I do not think that homosexuality is “normal.” (I have always said that if homosexuality were normal and natural, then none of us would be here in the first place!)
If I take the clearly scientific (and may I say, biblical) position that humans exist in two sexes, male and female, and then question whether a male can be changed into a female or a female into a male, then apparently I am the one who is deficient. I must be Transphobic if I do not reject the rational, scientific, as well as the biblical teaching on what it means to be human.
Regarding the manufactured term “Islamophobia,” if I point out that Islam has, from its very beginning, practiced forced conversion by the sword and still teaches that no human government is legitimate that is not based on the teachings codified in the Qur’an, then I must be Islamophobic if I regard these facts as a threat to liberty. If I point out that Islamic law demands the stoning of homosexuals, then I am the one who is apparently insensitive, not to say, defective.
Apparently, if I come to the defense of the homosexual against stoning by Moslems, then I am Islamophobic. If I defend the Moslem and his desire to execute homosexuals, then I guess I am homophobic. According to the radical leftists today, I just cannot win!
Well, perhaps I should not expect leftists to think rationally. After all, as mentioned earlier, none of their positions are actually rational or defensible. However, since Homophobia, Transphobia, and Islamophobia are manufactured terms, perhaps I should not be too worried if such labels are applied to me. I will follow biblical teaching and not worry about what irrational leftists choose to call me.
For a recent incident at U.C. Berkeley, see this story: https://www.foxnews.com/us/uc-berkeley-police-arrest-suspect-in-campus-attack-on-conservative-activist
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/specific-phobias/symptoms-causes/syc-20355156, accessed 4/29/2019.
It is certainly the case that the terms Transphobia and Islamophobia are manufactured terms, since these two terms were coined in leftist activist or political settings. The term “Transphobia” was apparently coined by Davina Anne Gabriel in TransSisters: The Journal of Transexual Feminism, (1989). The origins of the term “Islamophobia” are uncertain, but it seems to have appeared in the late 1980s or early 1990s. While the term “Homophobia” was coined by the clinical psychologist George H. Weinberg, himself a heterosexual, (Society and the Healthy Homosexual. New York: St. Martin’s, 1972) Weinberg did take an activist role seeking the acceptance of homosexuality within the medical community and society at large. Weinberg is largely credited with removing homosexuality as a disorder from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Therefore, an activist or political motivation cannot be excluded from any discussion of the term “Homophobia.”
Geore H. Weinberg’s initial decision to coin the phrase “homophobia” arose as he observed his own reactions and the reactions of others to homosexuals. However, when one considers the actual sexual practices in which homosexuals engage, such reactions of abhorrence are not only understandable, but quite natural and reasonable.