OA_show('Wallpaper');
OA_show('Leaderboard - Xx90');
Choose your edition:

Search form

BOOKS: The Better Angels of our Nature

BOOKS: The Better Angels of our Nature

IMAGE 1 OF 2
Author Steven Pinker says the emergence of gay rights is a sign of human evolution
Harvard professor Steven Pinker has drawn a great deal of attention with his latest book, primarily because – in stark contrast to so much of what we’re used to reading – he argues for optimism about the state of the world.
 
In The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined Pinker makes a convincing case that, despite the atrocities of past centuries, we now live in relatively peaceful times.
 
Given the relentless barrage of horrifying images and terrifying messages that inundate us from mainstream media, Pinker’s thesis seems a difficult pill to swallow. But he backs up his argument with exhaustive research, pointing out that in medieval times people were far more likely to die at the hands of other people than we are today. He also marvels at the sheer volume and diversity of medieval torture devices that were actually used.
 
But queer readers may be especially intrigued by the pages Pinker devotes to advances in the rights of gay and lesbian people around the world. Rather than associating the gay liberation movement with depravity and the decline of civilization – like the modern religious right so often does – Pinker writes that the advances made by gay people and the overall decline in violence toward us is a sign of humanity’s advancement as a species.
 
In one key chapter, "The Rights Revolution," the straight-but-not-narrow Montreal native goes into detail about advances in understanding homosexuality. He begins with the story of Alan Turing, the British mathematician who broke the German Enigma Code during the Second World War, enabling Allied command to listen in on enemy communications and ultimately to prevail in the battle for the North Atlantic and perhaps even end the war in Europe. Turing’s work also helped lay the groundwork for the creation of the modern digital computer. But a few years after the war, Turing told a police officer about his homosexuality.
 
Pinker poses the question: “How did Western civilization thank one of the greatest geniuses it ever produced? In 1952 the British government arrested him, withdrew his security clearance, threatened him with prison, and chemically castrated him, driving him to suicide at the age of 42.”
 
Pinker goes on to ponder the mystery of homophobic violence. “There is nothing in it for the aggressor,” he writes. He describes the huge successes of the gay liberation movement, including how the coming out of a huge number of public figures led Western cultures to a much greater degree of acceptance of people formerly thought of as criminal deviants.
 
In another hopeful sign, Pinker points out that younger people are far less prone to homophobia than older ones. He notes that many young people don’t even care whether homosexuality is a matter of choice. They see it as perfectly normal, morally neutral and acceptable. “Young people, of course, tend to be more liberal than their elders, and it’s possible that as they creep up the demographic totem pole they will lose their acceptance of homosexuality. But I doubt it. The acceptance strikes me as a true generational difference, one that his cohort will take with them as they become geriatric.”
 
But Pinker is not in denial about hate crimes against gay people, noting that in some parts of the world homosexuality is still a crime punishable by the death penalty. He argues that while gay Americans still face violence, “We do know that they are safer from intimidation, safer from discrimination and moral condemnation, and perhaps most importantly, completely safe from violence from their own government. For the first time in millennia, the citizens of more than half the countries of the world can enjoy that safety – not enough of them, but a measure of progress from a time in which not even helping to save one’s country from defeat in war was enough to keep the government goons away.”
OA_show('Text Ad - #1');
OA_show('Text Ad - #2');

Comments

Ah right...nothing to see here....
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-16581758
New Anti-Gay Islamic Party in Netherlands
The further Islamicization of Europe. Is anyone listening?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/abigailesman/2012/01/16/muslim-party-seeks-power-in-dutch-parliament/
Rainbow Alliance Falls Apart in London, England
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/9296327/its_gays_v_muslims_as_the_rainbow_alliance_falls_apart_/
More Info. on Sharia and Gays in Europe
Another article on leftists being blind to Muslim hatred of gays in Europe:

http://www.queerlife.co.za/test/gay-opinions/31-opinions/643-gay-europe-is-warned-about-muslim-sharia-law.html
Thanks, Peter
An interesting aspect of internet publishing is that stories are perfectible even after they're posted, so everything published is really a first draft. Thanks for your corrections. And I agree with your comment on the review; another good piece by Matthew Hays.
Gays Abandoned by Left's Appeasement of Islam
Gays abandoned by the Left's Appeasement of Islam

http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/features-may-10-gays-abandoned-by-left's-appeasement-peter-whittle-homosexuality-islam

This excellent article came to me via Bruce Bawer's blog. I highly recommend gays get informed about what's coming our way via Islam.

http://memo.brucebawer.com/
ummm
Wasn't the pre Christian Roman Empire and Medieval Japan both tolerant of same gender sex and behaviour and the same time two of the most brutal societies in history? Also wern't they also very chauvinistic and misogynistic as well?
It's still dark in Muslim countries
It's still dark in Muslim countries. Islamists continue to be the principal source of violence and terrorism in the world today. While Muslim fundamentalists don't seem to be able to create modern technology, they definitely use it in their terrorism. Life for homosexuals in Muslim countries is still bleak. While the United Nations Human Rights Council finally passed a resolution in June 2011 that condemned anti-gay discrimination, that resolution was fiercely opposed by Muslim countries that still actively prosecute homosexuals for their sexual preferences. Five Muslim countries still have laws that make homosexuality punishable by death – Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. Many other Muslim countries criminalize consensual homosexual practices in some fashion. Yet, LGBT activists in QuAIA constantly try to convince LGBT people that gay-friendly Israel is evil, while totally ignoring the homophobia of Israel's Muslim enemies. So much for the evolutionary instinct for self-preservation.
Suggested minor editorial corrections
This is a good article, but could use a
few minor editorial corrections:
1. In the title, "Angles" should be "Angels".
2. In para. 4, "pinker" should be "Pinker".
3. In para. 8, "weather" should be "whether".
Sign in or Register to post comments