Grove City Professor Throckmorton Attacks Anti-Gay Propaganda

As the school psychologist during all my undergraduate years as at Grove City College, Warren Throckmorton counseled a couple of my friends about their closeted homosexuality. (I also visited Professor Throckmorton while a junior and an Evangelical Christian for probably three elective counseling sessions but for different reasons.  I liked him a lot.)  Here’s how Box Turtle Bulletin sums up the Throckmorton my friends and I remember:

As a conservative Christian psychologist, Throckmorton has supported the right of counselors and ministries to offer ex-gay therapies. Earlier in the decade, Throckmorton worked with PFOX in their efforts to oppose sex education curriculum in a suburban Washington, D.C. which was friendly to gay students, and he produced the video I Do Exist which promoted ex-gay therapy.

And now, here’s a very cool update.  There is an anti-gay propagandist, Scott Lively, author of Pink Swastika who is running around trying to argue that Nazism was an essentially homosexual movement and that the present day gay rights movement is a fascist one.  Here’s how Throckmorton responded:

Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton has undertaken a remarkable series of posts which methodically dissects The Pink Swastikaand looks at the historical distortions behind it. Many LGBT people might find Throckmorton’s work in this area a pleasant surprise.

And for his own words, here are excerpts of Throckmorton rebutting this dangerous nonsense and standing up for Nietzsche:

On Nietzsche:

it is unthinkable that Nietzsche would have approved of National Socialism. One Nietzsche scholar, Stephen Holgate at Warwick University, believes Nietzsche would have been critical of how the Nazi’s applied his writing, saying, “Nietzsche was not anti-Semitic or a nationalist, and hated the herd mentality.” However, Nietzsche’s sister was quite enamored with the Nazis and promoted her brother’s works in that context. Writer Ben Macintyre, who Lively and Abrams quote to support their views, dismissed the notion that Nietzsche was sympathetic to National Socialism.

Nietzsche’s views about the ideas later embraced by the Nazis is not conjecture. Clearly, what the Nazis embraced was the edited version of his work packaged by his racist heterosexual sister. Nietzsche’s sexuality — whatever it might have been — cannot be held to have anything to do with the selective use of his philosophy by his sister and the Nazis.

Given the presumed influence on the Nazis, Lively and Abrams need to prove Nietzsche was homosexual for their argument to seem plausible. However, the evidence that Nietzche was a homosexual is quite sparse and speculative.

On Lively’s thesis of homosexually motivated Nazis in particular:

In Uganda among Christian groups and government leaders, and encouraged by Mr. Lively, homosexuality is considered the root of society’s evils. Two of the American “experts,” Lively and Brundidge supported the notion of toughening laws against homosexuality with compulsory “treatment” considered an option. Treatment protocols are being readied now.

Scott Lively encouraged the Uganda church leaders to view the tiny gay movement in Uganda as related in some way to the same movement that propelled the Nazis to power in Germany. However, if one looks for similarities in rhetoric and policy positions, one can more readily find them by noting how the government in power then in Germany and now in Uganda regarded homosexuality. In The Pink Swastika, Lively discounts the Nazis’ public rhetoric and policies as a means of distracting attention to the homosexuality in the ranks of Nazi leaders. What might the same rhetoric and public policy objectives mean in Uganda?

I think any parallels between Nazi Germany then and homosexuality now will lead to mostly inaccurate conclusions, including the similarities in rhetoric I point out here. Many groups, including gay and Christian activists, have used Holocaust metaphors to frame rhetoric in a way that will sway public sentiment. In truth, gays were not victimized to the same degree that the Jews were, but they were victimized. Christian advocates such as Mr. Lively, who want to make sinister linkages between Nazi Germany and gay people must be prepared to explain why more obvious rhetorical and policy similarities, such as noted above, are not indicative of equally nefarious intents.

This rhetorical sword cuts two directions and without any benefit to the Gospel. These analogies are not only factually challenged but have the woeful effect of hindering the Gospel.  When Christians make spurious comparisons to the Nazis, they should not be surprised when the targets of those comparisons lash back and consider them hateful. There should be little wonder why they don’t feel the Love.

There are many more such posts linked at the bottom of the Nietzsche post and through Box Turtle Bulletin.