Gayness in Marriage Debate Sparks Ignorant Statements Again
A commentary on I Protest’s entry Fighting for the right.

You know, I actually used to like reading “I protest,” but I’ve discovered that he makes more ignorant statements than the “ignorant right wing bigots” he always seems to be attacking.

I’m not going to put the disclaimer about me not being a homophobe on here again.  If you can’t remember that long or scroll down the page a bit to find it, this website will clearly go over your head, so head on out to right away.

Frank says:

Over on TalkLeft, in the comments to “S.F. to Continue Issuing Gay Marriage Licenses,” I’ve been conducting a pretty heated argument with a couple anti-gay-marriage bigots. One of these persons, one Patrick, has continued to deny his bigotry even as he has displayed it. His best argument against gay marriage so far has been that “most people oppose it, therefore it should be illegal.”

Frank doesn’t have a great opening statement here.  I mean, we do live in a democracy.  Or a republic, depending on how technical your take is on our government.  At any rate, we vote for what we want to happen in our country.  That means majority rules.  Nine times out of ten, when the majority says they do or don’t want this or that law to be passed or not passed, that’s how it should be.  That’s how democracies/republics work.  If you don’t like that, you move to a democratic country where more like-minded people such as yourself live, or where there’s some govermental body that enforces that which you feel so passionately about.  When you live in a country where the majority of people disagree with what you feel should be legalized, you are living in the wrong country.  When you discover this, you are generally faced with two options: Deal With It OR Leave.

Frank continues:

I realize that in many ways this kind of argument is futile. Patrick and “IWW” have their minds made up and no amount of evidence, hard fact or reasoned discourse will influence them. If anything, it will only make them cling more tightly to their bigotry and ignorance, since to them a contradiction of their cherished preconceptions is a threat to themselves, as individuals. It is a threat to their egos, to their self-images, since their self-images and egos are tied up in those preconceptions. I couldn’t be more threatening to Patrick if I were coming at him with a knife. (If anything, he would likely find that easier to handle, since it wouldn’t challenge his ego.)

I was not there for this argument, so I’m not going to try to defend this Patrick and IWW character, but I will say that Frank’s comments about these two guys sound an awful lot like tripe Slimee would say when she couldn’t think of a valid arguement to support her position in a debate (which was just about every time we disagreed on something).

Here goes a description of the general strategy being used here:

1) Find a name or label or example from history that his utterly deplorable.  Good examples are Hitler, bigot, racist, homo, Rush Limbaugh, Osama bin Laden, Pol Pot, Josef Stalin, Christian Fundamentalist.  These are just a few, but any of them work.

2) Call your opponent that name/label.

3) Make unqualified judgements about that persons character, and tie it in to what is going on in that person’s head, so the argument is completely un-refutable by everyone except the person who the comment is made about.  Here’s the beauty though: his name has already been tainted by step one, so whatever comes out of their mouth to defend themselves is suspect.

4) Act all intelligent and snide by putting in some supporting comments that say how certain traits they possess actually re-inforce your allegations, accomplishing two important things: making you sound like an expert in psychology or something, and making the other person’s fate sealed in terms of losing the argument. I mean, how can you argue with an expert in psychology or something?

Frank sez:

I don’t typically stoop to name-calling and I have a strong reason to call Patrick and “IWW” bigots. It is because that is what they are. If you oppose gay marriage on principle, then you’re a bigot.

How does that make you a bigot?  Do you know what it means to oppose something on a principle?  It means you have values, and principles and morals.  How can you sit there and tell me or anyone else my morals are skewed, especially when you are making allegations about a majority of the country’s morals?

It reminds me of a cheesey story I probably heard in a church or something.  There was this mom watching her kid in the marching band during a small town’s parade.  The kid was marching left/right on 2 and 4 and the rest of the band was marching left/right on 1 and 3.  The mom leans over to her friend and says, “Look at my boy out there, he’s the only one marching in time with the music.”

Since I’m sure there are still slimee ditto-heads in the readership, I’ll explain it for you guys: in a democracy, when you are in the minority, you are wrong, no matter what your mom says.  Just like in war, where history is determined by the victors, right and wrong are decided upon by the prevailing majority.

Just like if someone in 1958 opposed interracial marriage, they were a bigot.

How is an interracial marriage anything like a gay marriage?  For that matter, how is opposing interracial marriage make you a bigot?  I don’t oppose interracial marriage, but if I did, it doesn’t say anything about what I believe black, asian, white, hispanic or any other race of people should be treated like.  Sometimes, opposition to interracial marriage is a cultural thing.  Take Orthodox Judaism or Gypsy culture — their cultures for the most part insist on marrying within their culture.  That means an Orthodox Jew boy is going to be severely looked down upon for marrying a Jamaican girl, for instance.  It doesn’t mean they don’t believe a Jamaican girl can’t do all the things and shouldn’t be afforded all the rights of any other citizen, they just oppose the marriage of one to an Orthodox Jewish boy.

There are a number of reasons, some scientific, some moral, that can be cited to argue against homosexuality in general, not just marriages.  I’m not going to cite them here, because frankly, it’s not my argument.  I’m up in arms over the fact that so many people seem to be having this entire argument with each other without citing a single fact or figure, and arguing what each other’s morals should be.

Frank continues with intense moral indignation:

These people like to call the rest of us “ignorant,” “misguided,” “twisted,” or that worst of all labels, “liberal” (as if being a liberal were something of which to be desperately ashamed). It is past time to take the discourse back. If someone is a bigot, call them a bigot. Don’t spare their feelings and don’t consider all sides. Yeah, there are shades of gray, but these days the fight (and it’s not a debate, it’s a fight) is pretty clearly a fight between right and wrong. I

t’s wrong to discriminate based on sexual orientation. It’s wrong to lock someone up forever without charge or due process on the arbitrary say-so of one man. It is wrong to steal from the poor to line the pockets of the rich. It’s wrong to censor the truth if it contradicts a favored political opinion.

There are shades of gray, but they’re in the middle. Right now, though, we’re not in the middle. A bunch of people have dragged us all over into an area that’s pretty damned black. It’s time, and past time, to do something about it. It’s time to put away sensibility and express ourselves clearly, succinctly and without pulling any punches.

Call a liar a liar, call a bigot a bigot, call a damned fool a damned fool and call a criminal a criminal, even if he has gotten away with his crime. If we don’t do this, certainly no one else will.

There’s really no point in commenting on any of that other than to say good luck fighting this battle — but wasn’t it the liberal battle cry a few years ago that you can’t legislate morality? Conservatives aren’t trying to legislate morality by banning gay marriages, they are simply expressing in black and white what has been understood for generations: marriages are between men and women.  It definately is an odd commentary on our culture today that those lines are blurred and open for debate, and no one takes a second thought about it.

Honestly, I really can’t talk — I’ve grown up in the fscked up culture, too, and the only reason I’m aware that the discussions we have about this are grossly absurd is because I have a sense of history, and I read a bunch.

Think about it — killing unborn babies, not just legalising homosexual marriages, but legally protecting such things, the debate about cloning people — these are absurd things to debate, things that would have been obvious to 100% of the population 50 or 100 years ago (which is not that long ago in the grand scheme of human history).

But I digress a little.  I’m allowed.  Someone named Rayne responds with:

What really bugs the bejabbers out of me is that most of these rabidly bigoted morons do not have the first clue about the Constitution. One has to point out Section 1 of the 14th Amendment: All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

They usually counter with something trite like marriage has always been a man and a woman. To which they must be reminded that is a religious perspective and the government only sees contracts, not religious institutions — since the First Amendment clearly says, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

Let’s get right down to the meat of things.  All laws came from a religion of some kind or another… these absurd debates I mentioned earlier … they aren’t absurd to us now for two reasons.  1) Our nation’s conscience isn’t anchored to the same moral highground it used to be, and 2) (at least for my generation) we’ve lived in a society where things like abortion and homosexuality have been at least somewhat accepted since before we were born.

So to construe every law a minority of the country doesn’t like as something that is respecting religious tenets to argue against it is at best flawed.  Do not murder is a religious tenet, but I don’t hear a great call within America to repeal that law (except when it comes to unborn children).  When you use that argument to support your position, you can’t have it both ways.

Just as a sidenote, I hate it when the first amendment is mis-quoted.  The full sentence is: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of people to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The bolded part is what should have been quoted… the thought isn’t finished until the semi-colon.  It’s not a thing that really detracts from his argument, but it is an important part of the sentence.

Rayne finishes with the zinger:

If they don’t like it, they can move to a country without the freedoms from persecution that the U.S. Constitution has extended to them for so long. Maybe they’d be happier in China.

Frank responds:

They probably wouldn’t like it so much in China, either. All marriages are “civil unions” there. The religious/social wedding is entirely separate from and unrelated to the legal process. Ultimately, to get married in China, one fills out the proper forms and has them stamped appropriately by the proper functionaries. And that’s pretty much it as far as the government is concerned.

Of course, China has other problems, like denial of the presence of homosexuality, for example. My wife (who is Chinese, by the way) swore that China has very few if any gay people. I’ve had to tell her many times that they’re there, they’re just hiding their sexuality from societal disapproval. (Which disapproval, incidentally, carries much more weight there than a Westerner can easily understand.)

Do I really need to point out the humorous arrogance this man has in explaining to someone from her own country what exactly is going on in their minds and day to day lives?  For the love of John, she’s from China.  You aren’t.  And you are telling her what’s going on not only in her own country, which you will clearly have less knowlege of than someone who grew up there, but in the minds of her countrymen and women.

I’m strongly considering taking I Protest off my reading list simply because of the arrogance and lack of intelligent mental processes Frank has demonstrated in the last couple articles.  It’s not that I disagree strongly with his position on this.  My personal opinion falls into the realm of “Our country’s respect for the institution of marriage is so retarded, why should we deny gays and lesbians the misery most marriages have become and horde all the fun for the straights?”

But if there’s going to be strong debate on the subject, and you are going to support one position or another, do so with at least a modicum of mental precision, and research your position. If you are putting this issue on the pedastal with Rosa Parks and race relations, then make sure your position is supported by more than a gut feeling of fairness.