Editor, Ceres Courier,
I was shocked and dismayed by the opinion article "The push to ‘queer' our children' and as from the response Mr. Benziger claims he has received, I am not the only one. The article was so biased and factually incorrect, it has given me a new view of the Ceres Courier. What kind of newspaper prints such hatred and vitriol without first doing some simple fact-checking.
The author, Aquila, claims that 50 years ago the Communist movement presented 45 goals to change America that included a goal to create tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality. This is simply not true. These 45 goals were taken from a book called, "The Naked Communist," written by Cleon Skousen. Cleon Skousen is not a Communist supporter, but quite the opposite. He is a conservative Christian that gave his view of what he thinks of the Communists. Mr. Skousen's list of what "he thinks" the Communists goals for society are biased due to his anti-communist and faith based stance. The list is not from a Communist, but a Christian, in an attempt to link Communism and homosexuality. Much like Mr. Aquila is trying to do. It is quite disturbing that Aquila knows so little about the list he quoted several times. I could sit down and write a list of what I think Aquila's agenda is, but that would not make it so. Just because Skousen wrote what he believed was the Communist agenda does not make it so. In the first paragraph, Mr. Aquila is showing his ignorance and lack of fact checking that made me not even want to continue reading such garbage, but sometimes ignorance is entertaining.
Mr. Aquila then went into whether or not being gay was genetic. How does this even matter? Whether it is genetic or not, some people are gay and some are not. Have they found genes for shyness or fearlessness? These are traits that I've seen people born with, but have never questioned whether they choose to be shy or fearless. That is just the way they are and I choose to accept people how they are. I don't know what makes me a heterosexual, but I know it is not a choice. I couldn't choose to be gay, just as much as my friends that are gay could choose to be straight. But the fact is, it doesn't matter how someone is gay, just that as human beings they should be treated with respect and dignity.
Mr. Aquila then claims that, "Those who promote homosexuality suggest for children to explore their own body and experiment with those of the same sex." Whom does Mr. Aquila know that does this? Can this be backed up with something factual, not just a fictional missive on Mr. Aquila's part. I don't know anyone that even "promotes" homosexuality, much less promotes experimenting with homosexuality. However, I do know many people that promote tolerance of homosexuality. I teach my children not to judge others or act hateful towards others based on sexual preference or any other reason.
Then Mr. Aquila brings NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association) into the article. I do not know of any person, homosexual or straight, who believes in or would promote what NAMBLA stands for. NAMBLA is a group of pedophiles. Pedophiles are very different than homosexuals and to lump homosexuals in with this group of pedophiles is unconscionable and ignorant.
If Kevin Jennings supports NAMBLA and supports pedophiles, then he should not hold that office, but once again, homosexuality and pedophilia are two distinctly different things. One is between two consenting adults and the other preys on children. This has nothing to do with teaching tolerance of homosexuality.
Then Mr. Aquila goes on to somehow link the incidence of child sexual abuse (pedophilia) with the incidence of homosexuality. I'm not quite sure if he is trying to say that being sexually abused causes homosexuality or what his exact point is, but if it is that being sexually abused causes homosexuality, wouldn't it mean we should be even more tolerant to these adults that were abused as children. I find it interesting that you discount any genetic reason for homosexuality because there are not studies to prove it so, but easily believe it could be caused by sexual abuse, though that also has no evidence to back it.
Then comes the Bible. Mr. Aquila says that the Bible says that a marriage is between a man and a woman. I've read the bible and I remember Old Testament biblically a marriage was between a man and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, for as many women as he wanted. Many Old Testament prophets had multiple wives. You said, "God does not change nor the Bible." If you want to go by the Bible, Mr. Aquila, then I suppose you also believe in polygamy, slavery (Leviticus 25:44-46) and that women should not speak in church (1 Corinthians 14:34-35). Or do you just pick and choose which parts of the Bible you decide to follow?
I have no problem with a person choosing psychotherapy to deal with being homosexual in a mainly heterosexual society, but what I, and most people, have a problem with is that a parent may force a child into a psychotherapy situation with a goal of changing the child's sexual preference. Homosexuals don't need to be "repaired," though I'm sure therapy would help them deal with the ignorance and lack of tolerance Mr. Aquila portrays so well, which they will have to deal with throughout their lifetime.