In the grand mythos of homophobic rhetoric, the myth of “gay recruitment” is one of those stories that really just makes no goddamn sense. Seriously, have you ever met someone legitimately trying to recruit straight people into being gay in order to boost the numbers? But like flying saucers, some people don’t need empirical evidence; they just want to believe.
Which brings us around to Russia. Again. While most of the advanced world doesn’t view Russia’s homophobic legislation favourably, there are a few bigoted holdouts, vocally ignorant and with no plans of ever changing. Like toss-pot Gordon Klingenschmitt (feel free to make your own jokes about his last name, because I sure have!), an anti-gay advocate clinging to the fringes of his religion. He decided to use his show, Pray in Jesus Name, to talk about how anyone who “recruits” children should be put to death. Because Jesus says so!
As you can see in the above video, after quoting Luke 17:2 and removing the context, he tells his viewers that “if you’re recruiting children into sin, Jesus says you should have the death penalty."
Except that Jesus actually didn’t say homosexuality was a sin. And he never said anything about the death penalty either. Although we probably could pull up John 8:7, where Jesus says, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” So I’m guessing he wasn’t a fan.
But that’s the thing! All I did was pick a quote that supported my point of view, stripped away the context (he was saving an adulteress from being stoned to death, FYI) and said “THAT’S WHAT JESUS WANTS!” See how easy that is? I could be right, but I would still be right in spite of myself because I’m just interpreting scripture on my own terms.
Which brings me back to my initial point: science can provide empirical evidence and discredit hatred and bigotry, but people are still going to believe what they want. Even if it goes against other things they believe, they’ll find a way to work around it. And that’s the depressing part of it all: they believe in this kind of hatred because they want to. The only thing we can do is give them a reason to believe the right thing.