Thursday, June 10, 2010


When people are frustrated with their condition in life, be it economically, emotionally, relationally, or sexually, there is the great temptation, if not a perceived downright need, to act out that frustration through aggression visited upon one or more people or groups that is or are felt to be safe to persecute.

So, for example, if a person is frustrated by his/her boss, that person might well displace that frustration and act aggressively toward his/her spouse and/or children and/or some minority group.

Similarly, when any of one's expectations exceed what is actually received, that frustration, that hurt, can and often is directed to others who often have nothing to do with the cause of that person's frustrations due to his/her unfulfilled expectations.

Strident homophobia can be seen to be a result of assorted frustrations people feel! As I've often written, emotionally and sexually intact people don't obsess over and/or condemn the love and sex lives of others!

Moreover, the torturing of logic to justify one's homophobia ("for the good of the children"; "maintain traditional family values"; "for purposes of national security"; "it's against the Bible," etc.) clearly shows how much the frustrations of life cause the emotional need for the strident homophobe to hang on to his/her homophobia so as to in some measure seek the release of the anxieties provoked by his/her frustrations.

Two relatively recent examples highlight the Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis: The cases of Ted Haggard and George Rekers.

Both of these strident homophobes clearly had emotional/sexual frustrations that manifested themselves in condemning what they, themselves, were unsuccessfully trying to suppress. And those frustrations manifested themselves in the form of rhetorical aggression against that part (or those parts) of themselves that were the cause of their undoubted psychic pain; that caused undoubted tremendous psychic, and perhaps even physical, pain onto numerous LGBT people.

Moreover, to the degree the economy gets worse, and expectations of financial reward exceed the reality, we can expect there to be more scapegoats sought by those who can't healthfully handle the frustrations of life, and who thereby seek a target on which to vent those frustrations. And that venting often takes the form of aggression, be it verbal and/or behavioral.

So it should come as no surprise when many Roman Catholic priests, for example, who have made a commitment to be celibate in order to be priests in the Roman Catholic Church, handle what sexual frustrations many of them are likely to have by showing some level of rhetorical aggression toward Gay people, especially when it is estimated, albeit by necessity anecdotally, that a relatively large proportion of RC priests might well be Gay themselves.

So, any frustration, be it sexual or otherwise, sets the stage for aggression to follow. And, to the degree that homophobic rhetoric is allowed to continue, especially continue by appeal to the Bible and to God by clergy and their followers, we can expect a continuation, or even an increase, in aggression directed against LGBT people.

Emotionally intact and mature people learn to handle life's inevitable frustrations in healthy ways.

Strident homophobes, on the other hand, those who bear false witness and castigate LGBT people, take the coward's way out in dealing with life's inevitable frustrations, and thereby show themselves to lack the emotional and/or sexual intactness necessary to both live an abundant life, as well as contribute to a healthy and civil society.
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