The world of the “woke” gets increasingly curious by the day.
Recently, an article crossed my desk from Frontpage Magazine. It described a movement to specifically involve the LGBTQ crowd birdwatching.
I have never been a birdwatcher (or “birder,” as they are called). I enjoy beautiful plumage as much as anyone and spent many hours as a child with my father’s uncle’s copy of Audubon’s Birds of America, which I eventually inherited. However, the book is enough for me. Sitting outside on a cold, damp day waiting in the hope of finding the bird on the wing is not my idea of a way to spend an otherwise duty-free Saturday afternoon.
At the same time, I do understand the appeal for those who feel it. God’s creation is magnificent, and the beauty of birds—and their sometimes amusing behavior—is a beautiful part of it.
On the other hand, I never thought that the birdwatching world excluded those who make up the alphabet soup of LGBTQ+ inclinations.
David Sibley disagrees.
Mr. Sibley is the author and illustrator of The Sibley Guide to Birds. His illustrations are like those of the legendary Audubon. However, Mr. Sibley believes that the outdoor birdwatching scene threatens many people. On February 27, 2021, he posted on Facebook, “The outdoors is for *everyone* and has felt unsafe to many LGBTQIA2S+ folks for too long … Today, ask yourself ‘What could I do better?’”
A Chorus of Approval
The posting touched several nerves. Frontpage’s author, Danusha Goska, recorded several of the responses.
“Too many white cis/het (and male) people are so used to not having to think about anyone but themselves. It’s part of the foundation of white/straight privilege. They don’t have to think about race or gender, because it doesn’t affect them every single day, like it does so many others.”
“LGBT+ people [are] threatened, attacked, even murdered.”
“Homophobia and the violence that flows from it is a well-documented scourge.”
While I was unaware of such a controversy until a couple of days ago, some see the birdwatching world as a haven of the right-wingers that Hillary Clinton once described as a “basket of deplorables.” Such was the apparent premise of an article in Audubon Magazine in 2018, titled “For the LGBTQ Community, Birding Can Be a Relief – and a Source of Anxiety” by Benji Jones. It begins with a not-too-subtle comment about the species homo sapiens.
“If there’s one reason so many queer folks love nature, it’s that animals aren’t judge-y: A raccoon doesn’t care who you’re attracted to, a garter snake isn’t going to question your gender….”
This statement is a classic of anthropomorphism—applying human traits to non-human beings. The author implies that lower animals decide not to judge, care or question.
The fact is that animals cannot decide anything. They lack the ability to reason. There may be a degree of instinctive intelligence, but that is all. My dog does not decide to bark at the mailman when he comes up to my door. She instinctively senses that the mailman is invading her territory, and she does what she can to defend it. She is just as likely to bark at me when I come up onto the stoop until I say something, and she connects my voice to an instinct that tells her that I am “safe.”
An Intellectual Dead End
The tortuous chain of pseudo-reasoning that connects birdwatching to racism and homosexuality is typical of the left. Any apparent connection is sufficient, even if a modicum of research proves it false.
In an earlier article for Frontpage Magazine on a similar subject, Danusha Goska pointed to a National Public Radio broadcast that illustrates another example of this illogic-in-action. At the center of the “issue,” are the many birds named after the naturalists that first discovered the species.
In fact, the American Ornithological Society is considering changing the names of 149 North American birds named after men. NPR approves. The slate must be washed clean of all anti-woke sentiment.
The segment specifically mentioned the Bachman warbler, which nears extinction. The NPR segment dismisses John Bachman (1790-1874), stating, “Bachman also fancied himself to be a scientist.”
Rescuing Dr. Bachman
Danusha Goska corrects the scientific record, Dr. Bachman was “responsible for the descriptions of the 147 mammal species included in Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, a massive work produced in collaboration with John James Audubon.” In fact, the association of Dr. Bachman and Mr. Audubon was such that two of Dr. Bachman’s daughters married two of Mr. Audubon’s sons. He was also a professor of Natural History at the College of Charleston.
This information was not hard to find. I was able to confirm the information with a simple Google search whose only search term was “John Bachman.”
However, NPR could easily see he was a real scientist had they done any research. However, he was still a South Carolinian during the Civil War, so he must have been a racist. Wrong, in 2006, the State of South Carolina honored Dr. Bachman. The Senate resolution listed his many accomplishments working toward harmony between the races, including the teaching of those of African descent contrary to the times.
The whole birdwatching “conflict” is a case of absurdity embroidered with inaccuracy. In this, it is typical of much of the nonsense behind those who, like all Marxists, describe history through a class struggle lense. In this case, Birdwatching has been turned from an innocent pastime into an ideological battlefield. It shows that nothing is left undisputed in this total war to destroy American culture and Christian morals.
Photo Credit: © Maksym Gorpenyuk — stock.adobe.com