Hail the Passing of a Paranoid Homophobe

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State noted this week the death of 90-year-old Tim LaHaye, a name known and condemned by everyone who believes in equality rights.

Tim LaHaye, left in a screenshot from the documentary "The God Who Was Not There," courtesy of Niklas Pivic

Tim LaHaye, left, in a screenshot from the documentary “The God Who Was Not There,” courtesy of Niklas Pivic

Like me, you may remember his blockbuster Left Behind series of prophecies or other books he wrote as founder of Liberty University’s Tim LaHaye School of Prophecy. An avowed dominionist christianist, the series served to brand him forever as homophobia personified and as the darling of the Religious Right. LaHaye earned millions of dollars trying to smash every argument for equal rights for women and LGBT people.

Americans United featured a quote from LaHaye’s 1977 Understanding The Male Temperament that is a window into mental illness brought on by pure hatred.

“A large percentage of women’s and children’s attire is designed by homosexuals, who can hardly be expected to highlight the differences between the sexes. Because the mother is so feminine, what she considers ‘darling’ or ‘cute’ may really be harmful for a boy”

In that same book, he urged men to consider what it would be like to be under “submission…on a 24-hour basis, 365 days a year.”

“That is exactly what God demands of your wife,” he explained.

LaHaye was fixated with queer people to the point of obsession, believing we had superpowers with a secret language, the “biggest liars.” He became a hero to American fundamentalists by cleverly capitalizing on the intersection of christianists’ fixation with the “end times” and opposition to women’s rights and hatred of LGBT people. LaHaye’s blatant, unbridled cynicism made him grandfather to the modern Religious Right.

We are fast approaching a time when we will never remember his books or the man himself, although we have to continue to address and dismantle the Religious Right’s stranglehold on vast swaths of the US.

For more on the Religious Right, check out my series, American Fundamentalism (Dominionism) Drives Political Religious Right.








Alison Gardner