Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A New California Textbook Requirement?

Michael Williams
pointed me to this piece of nonsense:
SACRAMENTO - The state Senate will consider a bill that would require California schools to teach students about the contributions gay people have made to society -- an effort that supporters say is an attempt to battle discrimination and opponents say is designed to use the classroom to get children to embrace homosexuality.

The bill, which was passed by a Senate committee Tuesday, would require schools to buy textbooks ``accurately'' portraying ``the sexual diversity of our society.'' More controversially, it could require that students hear history lessons on ``the contributions of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America.''

Though it's a California bill, it could have far-reaching implications, not only by setting a precedent but also because California is the nation's largest textbook buyer and as such often sets the standards for publishers who sell nationwide.
Oh yeah, this is really important! What's even more outrageous is that homosexuals have been claiming various important figures from history as gay with evidence that to call it "thin" would be generous.

Was Shakespeare gay? A lot of people claim it because of his sonnets--but fail to understand the nature of how Elizabethan writers wrote poems in language that today would seem like an experssion romantic love, but was at the time considered a way of expressing strong fraternal love.

It is certainly possible that Shakespeare was bisexual. Christopher Marlowe, one of Shakespeare's contemporaries, was certainly interested in sex with other men, and made no secret of it. There were no actresses in those times; boys dressed up to play women's parts, and as much as many proper Englishmen of the time disapproved of women acting, after the Restoration, it appears that concern about the moral hazards of dressing boys up in dresses and having them kissed by grown men took precedence over women playing women.

Still, the most that we can say about Shakespeare is that he could have been bisexual. There's no evidence for it.

Abraham Lincoln is another historical figure who is now claimed to be bisexual--and again, based on a mixture of plagiarism and intellectual dishonesty. The historian Philip Nobile first started working on this gay Lincoln book, and then withdrew as the evidence turned out to be non-existent, has a scathing criticism:
The argument is "irrefutable," Gore Vidal blurbs on the book's cover. And, in fact, Tripp's work is as good as the case gets for Lincoln's walk on the Wilde side.

Unfortunately, that is merely a way of saying the Gay Lincoln Theory fails any historical test. "Useful history" is always a dubious kind of scholarship. But in its attempt to be useful for gays today, The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln reaches far beyond the merely dubious. The book is a hoax and a fraud: a historical hoax, because the inaccurate parts are all shaded toward a predetermined conclusion, and a literary fraud, because significant portions of the accurate parts are plagiarized--from me, as it happens.

Tripp and I intended to be coauthors of the book, laboring together on the project from 1995 to 2000--when our partnership, already fissured by dueling manuscripts, came to a bitter end. We quarreled constantly over evidence: I said the Gay Lincoln Theory was intriguing but impossible to prove; he said it was stone-cold fact.

More advocate than historian, Tripp massaged favorable indicators (Lincoln's early puberty), buried negative ones (Lincoln's flirtations with women), and papered over holes in his story with inventions (Lincoln's law partner and biographer William Herndon never noticed the homosexuality because he was an extreme heterosexual and thus afflicted with "heterosexual bias").

I quit the project first in 1999, when Tripp refused to include citations to Charles Shively, a former University of Massachusetts historian and Tripp's main guide to the gay Lincoln. "Darwin didn't do it," he said to me, referring to Darwin's initial failure to cite precursors in The Origin of Species. Although Tripp profusely copied ideas and references from Shively's flamboyantly rendered Lincoln chapter in Walt Whitman's Civil War Boy Lovers, he brushed off proper mention because he thought Shively's reputation for being "too gay-lib" would dissuade readers.
More importantly, a rather prominent gay activist tried to blackmail Nobile into not criticizing this dishonest crock:
"IF YOU DON'T STOP MAKING A STINK about Tripp's book, I'm going to expose you as an enormous homophobe," Larry Kramer telephoned me to say last October. "For the sake of humanity, please, gays need a role model." I replied that the book was so bad, it would backfire on the homosexual movement when reviewers and readers caught on to the fabrications, contradictions, and general nuttiness of The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln.
And this is the problem. Homosexual activists are desperate for positive role models to make themselves feel good about themselves. There's a bit of a shortage of prominent homosexuals in history, partly because homosexuality throughout much of history has been reviled so severely--and those that were unquestionably homosexual or bisexual are hardly stunningly positive: Edward II; King James I (yes, the guy who commissioned the King James Version of the Bible); Ernest Roehm, Hitler's leader of the Sturmabteilung.

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