Kingsport (Tennessee) Newspaper Publishes Opinion Piece Declaring Homosexuality a Disorder

For some reason, the Kingsport Times-News (Tennessee) — the newspaper that recently published an editorial supporting the Boy Scouts of America’s separate-but-equal theory of dealing with gay people — published another appalling article.

This time, it’s an opinion piece from local resident (and board member of the Rockford Institute) Mark Atkins, who thinks that the evidence shows that homosexuality is a disorder (The article is, not surprisingly, behind a paywall):

I claim no expertise whatsoever. I am only a cracker barrel philosopher and student of human nature, and I will remind liberal readers of their claim to be open-minded and will ask them not to blow a gasket because I suggest something with which they disagree.

… in the case of male homosexuality, I contend that for many, the blossoming of homosexual proclivity is the result of some early life injury, be it sexual and/or some form of neglect. If true, this must be a terrible blow to any attempt to legitimize it.

AIDS is associated with male homosexuality for a reason and is the epidemic that it is because of the nature of the male homosexual act and the extremely promiscuous nature of male homosexuality. It is estimated that gay men will have on average anywhere from 100 to 500 inidivudal partners in a lifetime, depending on what source you consult. I contend that a straight man who approached even 50 conquests would have issues.

Along this line, if we normalize homosexuality, upon what grounds do we condemn polygamous marriage, bestiality, or pedophilia? That they remain culturally abhorrent to both liberals and conservatives alike? But for how much longer? Will not the same rationale that homosexuality is normal and that man ought to be free to do what he chooses wear down our cultural abhorrence and common sense as it has with homosexuality in the last 50 years?

How does this get through even the most rudimentary vetting process? How does anyone in our society still think like this?!

I dare someone to submit an opinion piece to this paper that contains even more made-up bullshit just to see if it’ll get printed. (If it does, you’ll get a legit reward.)

Feel free to debunk Atkins’ claims in the comments.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://goddoesnt.blogspot.com/ James Lindsay

    I’ve been to Kingsport a few times. This isn’t surprising to me.

  • cr0sh

    Damn – this pisses me off. My wife has a gay uncle who lives there; he’s one of my favorite members of her family (he’s fond of me as well – I’ll always have a sugar daddy if I ever need one – lol!). I think he only lives there because it’s all he knows, and the rest of the family is there, too. I’m just really disappointed by hearing of this.

  • C Peterson

    Certainly, the quoted observations stand at odds with the wider scientific understanding of homosexuality. But really, so what if it is a disorder? I wear glasses, because I’m myopic. A “disorder”. Laws don’t treat me differently for that. If homosexuality is, indeed, caused by some “injury”, why is that a blow to any attempt to “legitimize” it?

    Crazy talk.

    • sideshow billybob

      There’s a problem with your disorder comparison. We can correct myopia with glasses, as you said. You just KNOW someone is going to say homosexuality can be “corrected” like myopia. Just ask Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, about his little controversy with “conversion therapy.”

      • Hat Stealer

        We could always argue that people can choose not to be ‘corrected’ if they don’t want to be, but that’s going down a path that gives the argument to much credence in the first place.

      • C Peterson

        Well, if somebody could figure out a way to “correct” homosexuality, fine. I’m sure some people would opt for it. Of course, the reality (which may well come to pass) is that somebody could figure out how to selectively adjust sexual orientation, which means some straight people might opt to become gay. It is a common theme in science fiction that in the near future people will freely choose their sexual orientation and gender, and experiment with various combinations throughout their lives.

        I did consider that myopia is technically correctable. However, there are many other “disorders” that are not- a distinction that does not generally result in people being treated differently in a legal sense.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=709103781 Daniel Sinclair

          Trannies employ surgery and hormone treatment to ‘fix’ their own ‘biological mistake,’ i don’t see why hx can not also be viewed and treated as a biological and/or developmental problem.

      • http://www.facebook.com/eukota Darrell Ross

        I don’t think his analogy was meant to be taken as far as you took it. He was just pointing out that the disorder argument is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

        Similar to how the choice argument is irrelevant.

    • Xala

      Hmm, I don’t think we should be too blase.

      Psychopathy is a disorder. There are arguments that paedophilia is a disorder. We do (and should continue to) legislate agains the behaviour that these disorders stimulate. While I don’t agree with the argument in the case of homosexuality, I can see where it’s coming from and therefore think it is in the interests of liberty to contest the view that homosexuality is a disorder.

      Ultimately I think all behaviour is on a spectrum. It’s hard to draw the line. I consider myself pretty much straight, but have had a minor dalliance with another woman in the past. Would I now be ‘disordered’ in Mark Atkins’ world? The word ‘disorder’ encourages black-and-white thinking that obscures the enormous complexities of psychology. This is harmful to thinking in many areas beyond homosexuality.

      • C Peterson

        Where we limit people’s rights due to some sort of disorder, we only do so to the extent that it is necessary to protect the safety of others. So if you have uncontrolled epilepsy or an uncorrected vision deficit, you might not be able to drive. In the case of behaviors, the situation is the same. A pedophile is not allowed to act on his impulses because it is widely accepted that this results in a victim. Likewise for a psychopath. But that argument can’t be made for homosexuality.

        I agree with your comments about “disorder”, and don’t believe that word describes homosexuality. I was only arguing that even if we see it as such, that doesn’t justify limiting homosexual behavior.

        (I have argued in the past that if psychopathy and pedophilia are disorders- which I think they are- it is immoral for society to respond to the crimes they produce with punishments.)

      • Baby_Raptor

        Psycopathy and pedophilia run the risk of hurting others.

        Who does me dating or marrying a woman hurt? Note: Christians who think that their personal beliefs should never, ever be offended don’t count. We’re talking actual hurt, not imagined hurt.

        • Charles Honeycutt

          I don’t know… is Butthurt real or imaginary?

      • John

        It’s worth noting that psychopathy and pedophilia are not, in themselves, illegal. It’s when you act on them that it can become illegal, and there is where the analogy ends, since consensual homosexual sex hurts nobody.

    • mobathome

      @daf2335999abd273bbfc3a4d6ce22c68:disqus wrote “I wear glasses, because I’m myopic. … Laws don’t treat me differently for that. ”

      Laws do treat myopics differently by, for example, conditioning their right to drive on their wearing corrective lenses if their myopia is severe enough.

  • Stev84

    Another idiot channeling Paul Cameron.

    And of course he uses the disingenuous “I just have a different opinion and we can agree to disagree” BS. As if this is just some theoretical ivory tower debate that doesn’t affect actual people.

    • Baby_Raptor

      It doesn’t affect him, so who cares if people disagreeing causes actual harm?

      If it were a right of his being denied, he’d be singing a whole different tune.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.potter.73 Matt Potter

    If in the opening paragraphs of your opinion piece you “remind liberal readers of their claim to be open-minded and will ask them not to blow a gasket because I suggest something with which they disagree”, I would suggest you reexamine your opinion.

    • indorri

      I keep an open mind when people speak in good faith. I don’t keep an open mind for lying bigots.

    • Alice

      If he really believed the Golden Rule, then he would be open-minded first.

    • Charles Honeycutt

      So what is it called when a speaker preemptively and disingenuously tries to brand his critics in negative ways so that he can pull a “See? I called it” when he is criticized?

      Funny how such a tactic is invariably code for “I know I have no argument.”

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        That rhetorical strategy is called ‘poisoning the well’.

  • Kengi

    Why do so many Christians not understand the concept of consent?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      1 bark means yes, 2 barks means no.

    • Ibis3

      Because they (the men, i,e, the only ones who count) don’t require consent to “make conquests,” only authority.

      • judyv

        Even as he says men who sleep around have “issues” he uses the word “conquest.” Which tells you everything you need to know.

      • guest

        “the men… don’t require consent”

        Are you seriously implying that all christian men are rapists?

        • Charles Honeycutt

          No, Ibis3 is not. Xe is clearly referencing some pretty well-known issues with the religion and how it can affect the thinking of its adherents, not implying your strawman.

          The Bible expressly allows and even encourages rape per God’s will. It also expressly places women in the category of “property” over and over again.

          Many modern followers have a belief system built upon these things. That it has become more complicated and subtle does not change the underlying ideology and its dehumanizing effect on women.

          This very blog has shown quite a few instances of religious leaders describing their authority over their wives and of women being used as baby factories for religious reasons. They’re outliers, yes, but they exist because the religion gives them a strong social base to build on towards such behavior.

        • Earl G.

          Neither your god nor your magic book is opposed to rape. Therefore, a Christian man who is not a rapist either:
          A) is using morality he got from OUTSIDE the bible
          and/or
          B) is obeying SECULAR laws enforced by a secular government

          • guest

            Actually, I’m an atheist. Thanks for asking.

            I just wanted clarification on her statement. It came across as a broad generalization, and those are distasteful… even when leveled at groups we disagree with.

          • Rwlwoffice

            Really? Point out in the Bible where God is not opposed to rape.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              If a man rapes a virgin, he can pay her father 50 shekels of silver and marry her.

              The Israelites murdered all the Canaanite men and boys and all the grown women, but kept the virgin girls for themselves. Gonna go with rape on that one too.

              Lot’s daughters raped him by getting him very, very drunk. Their actions were frowned upon for the incest, but not for the rape.

              And those are just the examples I came up with off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s more.

              EDIT: Yep, just thought of one. If a girl is raped in a city, it doesn’t count, because she didn’t scream loud enough. Instead, she’s just a slut/adulterer who deserves to be stoned to death.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    First thing I thought of.

  • articulett

    I think we can condemn pedophilia and bestiality because they do not involve consenting adults. We would not want ourselves or our loved ones to be raped and, as such, we can readily condemn all sex that involves unwanted sex. As for polygamy, the bible allows it, so I’m not sure what the author is condemning it for– unless, of course, it involves non-consent and/or non-adults (the issues that seem to escape him). I can understand why legal entities and insurance companies might have problems in regards to marital rights (like citizenship, marital property, parental rights) if people could have multiple spouses, but polygamists do it all the time– they just have one “legal” spouse, and the rest of the spouses become spouses in a religious ceremony. Other peoples’ “condemnation” doesn’t seem to affect them, though jealousy might. Societies condemnation doesn’t matter when you imagine you are obeying higher laws.

    Atkins seems to be bending over backwards to nurture his prejudices. Methinks he doth protest too much. It sounds to me like he’s afraid of what HE might do if society doesn’t condemn homosexuality.

  • SecularPatriot

    How does this get through even the most rudimentary vetting process? How does anyone in our society still think like this?!

    It’s Tennessee. Hardly, “our society.”

  • jenbo

    This is absolutely appalling for so many reasons.

    First, who the f*ck are you, man? He introduces his claims with, “But I contend…” yeah? based on what? personal experience? nope, didn’t mention that. Experience of a friend? nope, didn’t mention that either. On the basis of several studies you’ve conducted? uh, nope again. Because he’s reviewed several published, scientific articles? :-/…. This knowledge he claims to have is just pulled out of his own tightly clenched assho!e.

    Second – and closely related – he makes a plethora of ridiculous claims about AIDS and crap, yet doesn’t cite ONE source of his information! It’s all hearsay based on his personal prejudice. In what universe can that be used to construct a logical point, not to mention an entire argument?

    Third, what is this “unnatural” argument people keep appealing to? I don’t understand it. Oh, now Christians are all hippies? cause piercings, air conditioning, Bibles, makeup, art, math, and televangelists don’t appear in the “wild.” Should we rid ourselves of those destructively unnatural things too? And what do you base your idea of naturalness on anyway? Certainly not on what actually happens in nature since homosexual behavior is extensively documented among hundreds of animals – although that’s probably because they haven’t heard the saving truth of jeebus yet and been placed in “corrective therapy.”

    Finally, please tell me someone else noticed that he specifically and constantly refers to “male homosexuality” as a disorder. Thus, female homosexuality is no biggie and nothing to be worried about…. just further proof that these people are only against the form of homosexuality which involves two penises because that makes them feel icky.

    • Kengi

      The “unnatural” argument often comes from the New Testament. It’s the supposedly biblically knowledgeable Christian response to the complaint that Levitical laws no longer apply when discussing same-sex behavior.

      In Romans I, Paul (actually the anonymous author writing as Paul) calls same-sex behavior unnatural. This argument, however, seems strange at first since Paul also calls long hair on men unnatural.

      I little investigation into the translations as well as common philosophical arguments of the time sheds some light on the language used. It was common at that time to use what was referred to as an “argument from nature” to support an assertion. “Nature”, however, wasn’t what we think of as nature today.

      The argument from nature was actually referring to the nature of a particular society at that time. In other words, it’s the argument that the action (or hair length) is simply against the social norms of that particular culture at that time.

      So, when you hear the bigots cry “Unnatural!” it’s often a misunderstanding of arguments from Romans I. Of course it also could just mean they think only humans have same-sex attraction (Even the animals know better!), which is another factually incorrect argument often seen.

      • Stev84

        It can also come from Catholic natural law.

      • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

        Re: “In Romans I, Paul (actually the anonymous author writing as Paul) …”

        If I may be a little pedantic, the Epistle to the Romans is considered by nearly all scholars (including many who aren’t believers themselves) to be one of the seven “genuine” Pauline epistles. That is, the 7 were largely written by one person, a Hellenized Jew who converted to Christianity, became a missionary for the faith, and who later inspired the stories told about him in Acts of the Apostles, and who wrote them from the mid 40s through the mid 50s CE. Linguistic style evidence and themes, among other indicators, all strongly suggest a common authorship among these 7. Even so, some interpolations have been identified within some of them, and a couple of them may have been amalgamations of more than one letter he’d written.

        The other 6 “genuine” epistles are both Corinthians, Philemon, Philippians, Galatians, and 1 Thessalonians. The others are all very likely written by later anonymous authors claiming to be Paul; in other words, forgeries.

        • Kengi

          You probably also know there is a lot of bad logic in the field of biblical scholarship. For example, those claiming those 7 epistles to be “undisputed” do so using the strong internal evidence (the style and consistency) being so strong to buttress the very weak external evidence (such as the mention of the epistles in sources 200 years later) to claim the two combined mean there is strong evidence overall.

          The reality is that the internal evidence only supports the claim of single authorship, but not who the author was. It’s a logical fallacy to use strong evidence of one thing to claim it makes the weak evidence stronger.

          The dating “evidence” is then based on the idea that the epistles actually came from the real Paul rather than having actual documents from that period.

          Unfortunately this kind of thinking in biblical scholarship is common. For some reason they don’t think they need to use the same methods historians use for all other subjects. In fact, much of the support for calling those epistles undisputed is the claim that they were undisputed in the past, so they should continue to be undisputed now. Again, bad logic.

          So I’ll be pedantic now. Yes, you are right. The consensus is that this was one of the undisputed epistles. But since I don’t buy it, I’ll stick to my original description.

          • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

            Ordinarily, I’d point out that there are patristic quotations of the genuine Pauline epistles that date much earlier than 200 years after their supposed authorship, as you claim is the case. But since you’ve made up your mind already, you “don’t buy it,” and view yourself as more knowledgeable than scholars (believers & non-believers alike) who’ve studied this material for many years, I won’t bother, and will let you think whatever you’ve chosen to think.

            • Kengi

              Ordinarily, I’d point out that I’m not saying I know more than scholars in the field, but that I’m agreeing with some scholars vs others. But I won’t bother and will let you think whatever you’ve chosen to think. (Wait a minute, I did bother, which makes me an insufferable passive-aggressive asshole!)

              The field of religious historians is chucked full of true believers as well as non-believing apologists, which makes consensus far less important than in the sciences or secular history.

              The evidence for the undisputed epistles is simply evidence of the largest single primary source for the the documents, not evidence of actually being the mythical person “Paul”.

              The other epistles weren’t so much “forgeries” as simply other authors writing in the name of Paul, which was a very common technique in those days. Most people reading those epistles at that time wouldn’t have viewed them as either authentic nor as forgeries, but simply as additional epistles in the name of the mythical man named Paul from different authors.

              This is a common blind spot that believers and apologists have when studying biblical documents. They fail to put the documents into the context of the time they were written, instead seeing them as evidence of the original people and stories, despite no such evidence existing.

              The Paul of the epistles was probably just another mythical figure in early Christianity. There was, however, obviously the actual (probably single) person who wrote the undisputed epistles. But they may have been written decades after when the mythical Paul was supposed to have lived.

              And they were certainly written in his name, as was common at that time when writing about the lives of prophets, archangels, demigods and such. If you want to call that person “Paul”, that’s fine with me, but you shouldn’t think of him as the Paul of the stories.

  • A3Kr0n

    I think it would more interesting to see if a factual opinion on homosexuality was submitted. We already know the bullshit ones get through.

    • jdm8

      Not only that, I heard these claims in the 80′s. You’d think they would change up their lies once in a while.

    • jdm8

      Not only that, I heard these claims in the 80′s. You’d think they would change up their lies once in a while.

  • Pisk_A_Dausen

    “Evidence clearly shows”
    “I claim no expertise whatsoever”
    “I contend that”
    “If true”

    *sings* One of these is not like the others!

    • RedGreenInBlue

      Indeed. Mark Atkins displays an ignorance of the basics of constructing a valid argument (let alone a sound one) the like of which I haven’t seen for a long while. The premises are simply plucked out of thin air, and even then the most of the conclusions he draws don’t follow from them.

      None of us are wholly rational beings, religion is not the only cause of flawed thinking, and it’s far easier to spot someone else’s daftness than our own. However, it really does boggle my mind sometimes how damaging to our critical faculties religion in particular is.

  • Tometheus

    OK, here’s what I don’t get: He complains about “the extremely promiscuous nature of male homosexuality” in order to prevent homosexuals who are declaring their monogamy from getting married? DOES NOT COMPUTE

    • Billy Bob

      Most of the homophobic bullshit doesn’t.

  • smrnda

    Doesn’t this guy realize that the whole ‘early trauma’ model of homosexuality has pretty much been ditched by every credible psychologist and psychiatrist, and that the model was mostly the product of psychoanalytic theories that had more in common with astrology or tarot readings than real science?

    When someone begins by stating they have no real credentials, and then proceeds to talk out of their ass with a bunch of “I suspect” or “it is commonly known” passive voice sentences, they should be dismissed as an ignoramus, told to learn something, get some credentials, and then come back.

    And the old, tired slippery slope. If you believe morality is determined by harm, consent and such, why homosexuality is okay and the others are not is pretty plain; however, most religious people tend to view morality strictly on a punishment or reward system, where if you aren’t going to roast in hell for eternity, there’s no reason not to do things. Additionally, if god’s commandments make everybody miserable, they’re still right..

    • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

      Re: “Doesn’t this guy realize that the whole ‘early trauma’ model of homosexuality has pretty much been ditched by every credible psychologist and psychiatrist, and that the model was mostly the product of psychoanalytic theories that had more in common with astrology or tarot readings than real science?”

      Not that I’m defending this view … I most certainly am not! … but I’m sure he’d say something like, “Of course psychiatry ‘ditched’ that, they were pressured into ‘ditching’ it by “political correctness” and the homosexual agenda.

      In other words, pointing out that science doesn’t support him, isn’t likely to work. His kind are already armed with a ready defense to anything they choose not to accept. For the most part, there’s no form of factual correction that will work on them, because they can rationalize dismissing any contrary facts.

      • Billy Bob

        Ah yes, the evil “gay agenda” that it seems only the anti gay bigots got a copy of.

      • http://twitter.com/JayKingOfGay Jay, King of Gay

        when they say “of course they ditched it, they were pressured”
        It’s always good to remind them that psychology (and medicine) started off by labeling anything and everything abnormal as “disorders” or diseases” –an upgrade from saying someone was cursed or possessed by demons. It wasn’t until the last 60 or so years that scientists actually began going through all those things that people just assumed were diseases and disorders and discovered that homosexuality just didn’t meet the criteria. There’s no pathology to speak of.
        In essence when they say “it was removed from the list by political pressure” you can say “it was added to the list without any evidence in the first place”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523906651 Chas Swedberg

    We don’t have the whole article, but does he talk about women or does he state that being male AND gay is double icky?

    • Alice

      Looks like he completely left lesbians out, probably because he likes the porn they make too much. :)

  • Carmelita Spats

    Holy Christian Voyeurism On A Cracker…Mr. Peeping Tom is insufferable with the bogus “unnatural” argument…Birth control is also UNNATURAL yet I bet his wife chugs down birth control pills with a giant vat of Mr. Pibb…For the umpteenth time, Christoholics DO NOT believe in privacy when it comes to consenting ADULTS…They’re “beef” has less to do with Roe vs Wade and more with Griswold vs Connecticut…It’s ALL about voyeurism and patrolling the bedrooms of consenting ADULTS…I smell desperation or maybe it’s the wife’s perfume collection: Desperate Affair in a Cheap Motel Room, or Whatever Happened to My Dreams of Opening a Small Business, or Mommy’s Valium/Gin Headrush Chocolate Cake or I Like to Lick My SUV, or Hey Baby Dig My Pleated Dockers or Sometimes I Wish I Was a Female Mountain Gorilla.

    His PUBLIC email address is at the bottom of the article…
    jppaleoconservative@gmail.com

    • Kengi

      Yeah, living in houses and indoor plumbing is also unnatural, but I suspect he avails himself of those unnatural benefits as well.

      • Billy Bob

        If you’re looking for consistency in the homophobic crowd’s rhetoric, you’re looking in the wrong place.

      • John of Indiana

        I wouldn’t be so sure of the indoor plumbing. it *IS* Tennessee, after all…

        • jerry

          don’t blame Tennessee for this ignorant jackass. I was born and raised there and refuse to acknowledge this brand of idiocy. if men want to marry men or women marry women they should have every right to be just as miserable as heterosexual married couples…

    • Baby_Raptor

      “Conservative” right there in his email address…That says all you need to know about this guy.

  • Hat Stealer

    Wow, just running through the cliches wasn’t he? Gays get AIDS? Gays have many parters? Slippery slope e.i. where do we draw the line?

    Why doesn’t he mention that all gays are pedophiles while he’s at it.

    • David_in_Houston

      Yeah, I suppose the gay men that have 1,000 partners don’t have time to molest children. So I guess he had to chose which outdated meme to use, since both can’t be true at the same time.

      • Hat Stealer

        …Unless children count as partners!

        Ew.

  • http://truth-tables.com James Hotelling

    I’m offended by the fact that he cites men’s sexual contact with women as a “conquest”, but I’m flattered that he thinks my same-sex attractions make me attractive enough to have had over 100 partners!

    • Hobjob

      As a straight guy I found that offensive.

  • rain

    I always get nervous when I see “proclivity”. It’s just something about the word that says “Hello, I’m a dweeb”.

    • Tom

      Something wrong with “dweebs?” Bear in mind that you’re posting this in a discussion about bigotry.

      • midnight rambler

        Yes, there is. In general slang, a dweeb is someone who thinks they’re a nerd/geek but is actually stupid.

        • Thackerie

          ThanX! I’d always wondered about the distinction. Now, could someone please define “dork”?

          • http://twitter.com/redheadbluesoul redhead bluesoul

            Dork: dork (as in “jerk”) n. : a dull stupid fatuous person; misfit (as in “anomaly”) n. : someone unable to adapt to their circumstances; anomaly (as in “person”) n. : a person who is unusual; schmuck (as in “jerk”) n. : (Yiddish) a jerk.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    I claim no expertise whatsoever.

    Apparently Mr. Atkins subscribes to the superstition that admitting right at the beginning that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about makes that fact unimportant.

  • judyv

    I loved the part about a straight man approaching 50 “conquests” having “issues.” Do I detect a note of envy? I’m a straight woman and before I got married I was approaching 50 “conquests” and I don’t feel like I have any issues whatsoever. I don’t think this author believes women like me even exist. Or, we’re probably deeply troubled sluts with issues.

    Yeah, definitely sounding a little defensive about his own lack of experience, I’m thinking.

    • John of Indiana

      Really. I’m a straight man who’s had 54 (and counting) partners. I wonder what he thinks *MY* “issues” are?
      I think he’s jealous.

    • Artor

      I’ve had a number of partners, maybe approaching 50, but the funny thing? Not one of them was a “conquest.”

  • ortcutt

    Argument circa 1918: if we give women the vote, on what grounds will we deny fish and chairs the vote?

    • Stev84

      Christians decried giving women the right to own property, sort out their own legal affairs and vote as “unnatural” too. They said that the Bible clearly states that women are inferior and feared that giving them rights would upset the natural order of things.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Are you shitting me?

  • WallofSleep

    “…if we normalize homosexuality, upon what grounds do we condemn polygamous marriage, bestiality, or pedophilia?”

    Can this bullshit meme die already? I’m not even gay, and this offends the hell out of me.

    • Billy Bob

      You must be like me. Offended by bullshit and bad reasoning.

  • Baby_Raptor

    The typical tolerate my intolerance cry.

    The thing is, we don’t have to tolerate stupid. We also don’t have to tolerate willful denying of the truth. He’s just regurgitating tired old lies that have been disproven over and over.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    “It is estimated that gay men will have on average anywhere from 100 to 500 inidivudal partners in a lifetime, depending on what source you consult.”

    Two things

    1) That number seems very high, but even if it were true you would probably find the same number for straight men.

    2) Even if the number is true, so what? As long as you practice safer sex and are aware of your status and have sex with a condom does it matter to you? I fucking hate slut shaming because, guess what, we are not designed for monogamy and it may be surprising to some, but sex is fun and you can have sex with more than one person.

  • NewDawn2006

    Is this guy still living in the 80′s?

    • Billy Bob

      The 1880′s maybe.

  • cipher

    I claim no expertise whatsoever. I am only a cracker barrel philosopher and student of human nature

    That’s as far as anyone needs to read.

    Okay. I claim no expertise whatsoever; I am only an armchair theologian and student of history. I say Jesus probably never existed, and if he did exist, the stories about him have no more validity than do the mythologies of other cultures. I think Christianity’s doctrine of salvific exclusivism is the result of psychopathy or early childhood trauma on the part of those who developed it.

    If I post this comment there, how well do you think it will go over?

    • Pepe

      What you just wrote contains more truth than his entire article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/neil.robinson.75436 Neil Robinson

    A better analogy would be left-handedness. Until recent times it was considered a disorder, not to mention ‘sinister’, and of course it’s ‘incurable’.
    I for one enjoy my own particular ‘disorder’ but wonder where those 100-500 guys are that I’m supposed to have had sex with!

    • Tak

      My mom started out left handed and because it was considered sinister she was forced to use her right hand and it eventually became her dominant hand. She was raised catholic, went to a catholic school and apparently had nuns who backed her parents on switching to being right handed. She also had a lot of emotional problems and I wonder if the handedness thing was a contributing factor. Mom explained her handedness story to us kids after she went OFF on a teacher who tried to get my sister to stop using her left hand.

      • allein

        My dad (who’s in his 70s now) is left handed, writes and eats with his left, but he bowls and plays softball as a rightie, because that’s just how he learned to play. As far as I know no one ever tried to force him to switch.

  • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

    The loudest whiners are the biggest deniers. He’s projecting his fetish via christ speak. He probably caught himself checking out some young guy and now he is raging like a lunatic against his natural desires. I’m not advocating that he should go and pursue those desires but Jeebus H Lucifer everybody is attracted to their same sex at least once in their lifetime. Get over it already.

  • Tracie Harris

    My favorite part is this:

    >I claim no expertise whatsoever. I am only a cracker barrel philosopher and student of human nature, and I will remind liberal readers of their claim to be open-minded…

    So, if I don’t disregard authoritative consensus in an area of study and listen to someone who starts out by telling me they have no expertise or authority in the field, no formal training, but they disagree with the authoritative, expert consensus of people how HAVE devoted their lives to this area of study…I’m not being fair and open-minded?

    The mental health professionals that diagnose these disorders have already identified this classification as an error, and corrected it. I subscribe to evolution, but I’d be all over anyone who tried to use Piltdown Man as actual evidence to support some sort of off-the-wall opinion about how evolution works. What an idiot. I actually laughed about this for several minutes. The only unfunny aspect to this is that there are still people who believe it. If those people weren’t still so influential (and glad to see their influence waning so fast in society today) this would be quite hysterical.

  • SeekerLancer

    “Be open minded while I be completely closed minded and full of crap.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Burnham/100003095363229 Alan Burnham

    OMG! That paper is WORSE than Fox News!

  • eric

    I contend that for many, the blossoming of homosexual proclivity is the result of some early life injury, be it sexual and/or some form of neglect. If true, this must be a terrible blow to any attempt to legitimize it.

    Nope, not at all. It doesn’t matter if someone’s preferences comes from brain injury or daddy issues or because mom ate too much rutabaga while pregnant; they should be legal unless there is a good ethical reason not to allow it.
    Imagine someone said, “I contend that for many, the blossoming of interracial proclitivity is the result of some early life injury…this must be a terrible blow to any attempt to legitimize it.” Would anyone accept the conclusion even if the premise were true? No. Same goes here.

  • Kimpatsu

    Hemant, in the paragraph “I claim no expertise whatsoever. I am only a cracker barrel philosopher and student of human nature, and I will remind liberal readers of their claim to be open-minded and will ask them not to blow a gasket because I suggest something with which they disagree” you emphasize the second sentence.
    I would emphasize the first.

  • Chad

    By what basis do we make laws prohibiting polygamy, beastiality, etc? How about on the facts related to each of them? He committed a slippery slope fallacy. While realizing that the objections against homosexuality are not valid in a sucular society, this doesn’t automatically give any other form of sexual expression a pass. Each form of expression needs to be analyzed separately.

  • kayla

    I guess I can see where you may not understand why “bestiality, or pedophilia” wouldn’t be ok when your concepts come from a book that has something like. If you want a wife, just rape her and pay her dad, and so long as she’s a virgin and screamed for help, we won’t have to kill her.

  • David_in_Houston

    I’m really curious where the “500 to 1000 partners” meme actually came from. My guess is some homophobic “family values” douche bag in 1970 asked gay men living in Castro, that were coming out of gay bath houses, how many partners they’ve had. So, of course, all gay people living in 2013 are exactly like those men from 40 years ago. Because our society is exactly the same as it was back then, right? — Either that, or those bigots just pulled that stat out of their collective asses, knowing that the people back then wouldn’t question that bogus claim.

    • CottonBlimp

      On a more fundamental level, how can they possibly get an accurate number from people? I can tell you the number of sexual partners I had because I can count them on my hands with a little help from my feet. If you actually have had over 500 sexual partners, how can you possibly remember the actual number unless you were actively counting *as* you were having sex?

    • Stev84

      Paul Cameron pulled it out of his ass I think

  • http://twitter.com/JayKingOfGay Jay, King of Gay

    “Along this line, if we normalize homosexuality, upon what grounds do we condemn polygamous marriage, bestiality, or pedophilia?”

    (1) They are separate issues that need to be sorted out separately.
    (2) polygamy and pedophila fall into the “been there, done that, didn’t work out so well” camps mostly due to harm and exploitation of both women and children. Pedophilia in particular.
    (3) Consent is the basis of law. Consent marks the difference between “borrowing” and “stealing”. We do not allow children to consent to anything because we are of the opinion that it’s best to not let them make life-altering decisions on their own. They are fragile and easily manipulated.
    Besides, if 40-year-old-Robert and 3-year-old-Susan want to have sex, they can…provided they wait until Susan is of legal age. It’s less a ban as a “waiting period”.
    Animals are property. Funny story, wives were the property of her husband, historically, so in a sense if you have a pet dog –you already are in a “traditional” marriage! But in all seriousness, we have no way to measure whether an animal even understands the concept of marriage, let alone consents to enter one. Plus there’s the whole citizenship thing. Several obstacles would have to fall out of the way before this would even be possible.
    Good rule of thumb. The day we see babies and animals on the steps of the courthouse protesting for the right to marry adults, then we need to give this serious consideration, before that happens, not so much.
    Polygamy is stil a separate issue. Funny thing, those “one-man-one-woman” remarks don’t countradict polygamy –just group marriage. But as polygamy is practiced today, it’s NOT group marriage. The wives aren’t married to each other, just the husband. So a man with 6 wives, has 6 marriages happening simultaneously. Nothing in the “marriage is one man and one woman” argument ever says anything about how many marriages you can have going at once.

  • jondon4

    I’m left-handed. Is that a disorder or just part of nature’s diversity?

  • Sue Blue

    Any bets on how soon Mark Atkins will be discovered in a bathroom stall with a guy? Only deeply closeted people terrified of their own sexuality worry so much about what others do with theirs.

    What a walking encyclopedia of outdated tropes and flat-out wrong bullshit about homosexuality. The only good thing about this article is that it lets everybody know who the idiots are.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sandy-Kokch/100000074576649 Sandy Kokch

    I claim no expertise whatsoever. I am only a vodka sozzled, weed raddled, Saturday night barroom philosopher and student of human stupidity, and I will remind Repubtard readers of their laughably ridiculous claims to be lovers of the Constitution and will ask them not to blow a gasket because I use my 1st Amendment right to free speech to suggest something with which they disagree.

    … in the case of anti-homosexual bigotry, I contend that for many, the blossoming of bigoted over vocalness and obsession with all things homosexual is the result of some secret fetishistic fantasizing about hot sweaty man on man action, hidden by feelings of guilt and embarrassment, spiced with frustration. If true, this must be a terrible blow to any too cowardly or frightened to let their inner Ru Paul out.

    Vainglorious stupidity, willful ignorance and cognitive dissonance is associated with the US Religious Right and Republicanism for a reason and is the epidemic
    that it is because of the nature of the Right Wing Echo Chamber Of Lies, inherited Puritanical bigotry, incestuous closed loop thinking and the extremely parlous state of US education systems. It is estimated that Repubtards will read and re-mail on average anywhere from 100 to 500 Brietbart, Beck and Barton lies and conspiracy scares per month, depending on how much whisky they drink and Fox News they watch. I contend that a Progressive thinker who approached even 50 similar internet fails in a lifetime would be rare.

    Along this line, if we normalize current Repubtard thinking and policy, upon what grounds do we condemn the KKK, WBC, or Iran? That they remain culturally abhorrent to both liberals and compassionate conservatives alike? But for how much longer? Will not the same rationale that right wing theocratic extremism is normal and that man ought to be free to say whatever he likes freely and protected from all sense, reason and criticism wear down our cultural abhorrence for bigots and common courtesy in discourse as it has in the last 10 years?

    And what about the children? And fluffy kittens? And Moms Apple Pie? An AK47 cooling on the windowsill? Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh MY!!!!!

    Oh my…. the horror….. the horror

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1351473675 Matthew Baker

    I think story hungry newspapers will publish just about anything these days.

  • PreseaVH

    Did you know that you can find Mark Atkins and email him questions at mcatkins@hotmail.com ?

    It’s public info. Before you come at me, check the following for the page: http://cottagegroveschool.com/home.html , then this one: http://cottagegroveschool.com/aboutus.html for the pic referencing.

    Enjoy, heathens.

  • Crazy Russian

    > I claim no expertise whatsoever.

    Translation: I’m talking out of my ass.

    > upon what grounds do we condemn polygamous marriage

    I’d like to know that myself.

    The rest of this drivel doesn’t even merit response.

  • JA

    So…what about female homosexuality/lesbianism?

    Also, homosexual behavior has been observed in over 1500 different species, so the whole “nature is on our side” argument falls flat as well.

  • njew84

    My question to the GLBT community would be that if indeed scientific discovery did in fact prove homosexuality was a disorder and they were working on a developing a treatment for that disorder, how many of you would choose or be willing to take part in that?

    Also, if in fact there was a “cure” how many of you would then “choose” to remain homosexual?

    I’m very interested in what does cause this behavior in humans and even in animals. I know it is a rather common behavior in a large number of species but I’m just curious why? Do any of you know where I could find a reliable source to where I can find such information?

    • scottc

      Since the 1970s, the consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions globally is that homosexuality is a normal variation of human sexual orientation. but hypothetically, if it was a disorder and a treatment existed, I would not take part. If there was a cure, I would not change my orientation because it is innate – I knew I was gay when I was 6 – it is who I am.

      As for reliable sources, the above article clearly shows the reality of endless misinformation and malicious falsehoods that exist about this topic. This poor man is one of many who are not homosexual but believe they know more about my sexual orientation than I do. Ironic that this “student of human nature” deliberately chooses not to recognize me as human and seek to understand my humanity. His entire article proves that. He, like so many others, desperately wants his lies to be facts, so research carefully – demonizing and marginalizing the lgbt community is alive and well on the internet.

      The best sources I reviewed that delved into your questions with accurate information were a few wiki pages:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality (scroll to #6 Cause)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation (#3 sexual orientation and evolution)

      Hope this helps.

  • patricous

    It bothers me less that the author has his opinion than the fact that the Kingsport, TN “news”paper published its content. Kingsport…fundamental-Christianity and closeted “down low” married men who seek extracurricular sexual male-male encounters…these are one in the same.


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