The Kind Avenue has taken the time to respond to my last post. For those who don’t know, he and I are having a tiff about gay marriage and civil discourse via multiple mediums: WordPress and Youtube. Intense, I know. Basically, he is a staunch advocate for the LGBT community to the tune of “either you’re with me or my enemy.” Although I’m no Fred Phelps, in his eyes, I fall directly in the enemy’s camp. I’m a⎯what’s the little word he uses to describe me and others like me?⎯”bigot.” As such, my “prejudiced” views should be and have been curtailed in multiple senses on his Youtube page. Well, that doesn’t sit well with a journalist.
Before I go into why, let me first say, Jeremy, (may I call you that?) I’m glad “hearing such epithets from those who oppose human dignity doesn’t bother you in the slightest.” I was harder on you than I should have been and let it be known I wasn’t intentionally trying to be mean-spirited. I was frustrated and got snarky. There will be lot more of piss n’ vinegar in this post, but know it doesn’t reflect how I feel about you. I bear you no ill will, and your gospel of kindness needs to be spread. You’re clearly intelligent and articulate yet so very dangerously wrong on this matter. For that reason and that reason alone, I’m going to eviscerate your posted response. I’m going to rip through your rhetoric and show you have nothing but nerve to call me and others like me “bigots.” I promise you: I will illustrate the dystopia where we “don’t tolerate intolerance” and why that scares the hell out of me.
Let’s start with the “epithets” quote. I’m sure you’re well aware words have power as you blog. Likewise, I used “eviscerate” to emphasize the fact I’m not going to respond to you, but emphatically and thoroughly refute you. Similarly, regularly portraying people who merely disagree with you as “those who oppose human dignity”or “bigots” is using inflammatory language. These words and phrases are charged and volatile. They have certain serious connotations, and you stick these derogatory labels on people like they’re Hello-My-Name-Is stickers at a high school reunion. They are not to be thrown around willy-nilly.
It follows then you must have a reason to dub me and others who hold to the traditional and logically coherent definition of marriage as “bigoted.” From what I can tell, hardly any effort has been given on this front to support calling a Christian “a homophobic bigot.” The burden of proof falls on you here. It’s a positive claim, and your utilization of these words creates an expectation of evidence that is not being fulfilled to justify likening me and others like me to the KKK as “straight supremacists.”
Good luck, by the way. There is nothing inherently hateful in the statement “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman” much like being French isn’t entailed in bachelorhood. Even holding to and saying, “I believe homosexuality is wrong” is not implicitly homophobic either. Swap “homosexuality” with “adultery” and again, there is no inherent fearful hatred against adulterers to be deduced from the statement. It’s hard, nay, logically impossible to see why “homosexuality” would be any different.
It’s foreseeable that you will respond with homosexuality is an immutable property like being black, Asian, etc. An adulterer can stop being adulterous but a gay individual can’t stop being who he or she is. But this does you no good. Firstly, I’m using “homosexuality” to refer to actual gay acts and not the nature of the person. Secondly, by the very effort of arguing, you presuppose and concede that I haven’t said something inherently prejudiced. An argument uses premisses to illustrate a conclusion that isn’t singly intrinsic and clear within one of the premisses. Hence, your asserted conclusion that I’m “a bigot” does not follow from the claim “Modus Pownens thinks marriage is solely between a man and a woman.”
That’s your dilemma: Defy the laws of logic in a futile exercise to show me as said “bigot” or admit you are unwarranted in your calumnious accusation of me and defamatory insinuation against millions of Christians, implying that instead it is you⎯dare I say it?⎯who is the bigot.
Not a pretty implication is it? Now, I don’t think you have a vendetta against Christians. In civil discourse, you’re supposed to be charitable. Please try to apply it sometime. I digress; let’s keeping going down the rabbit hole.
It’s been established you don’t have a rational basis to refer to those who disagree with you as bigoted. Hence, at the very least you’re being unfair and inaccurate and at the worst, borderline libelous in some contexts. So when rationality fails you, you defer to emotion:
This isn’t to say that I reject philosophical argument or intellectual investigation; I obviously hold these in the highest of regard. Still, I feel that to respect such things, it is necessary to recognize their limitations. Although rational inquiry is one of the most adept tools we humans have in our arsenal, it isn’t always a propos. There are times for emotion, for personal stories, for laughter, for crying, and for righteous indignation.
Opposition to hatred and bigotry is one of those times. Intolerance must be shouted down, marginalized, and passionately, emotionally shredded, not countered with cold logic. Human dignity is a matter of the heart, not the head, and the fight to defend it should be carried out likewise. To deny this is to give a platform not only to anti-LGBT haters, but also to other hate groups like the KKK, neo-Nazis, and far-right “nationalist” parties like Greece’s “Golden Dawn.”
John Locke and people influenced by him like the Founding Fathers of our democracy would disagree with your removal of reason from the establishment of human dignity and its “certain unalienable rights” that are held “to be self-evident.” The problem here is that the heart can’t beat for a cause without the brain in the head controlling it. Yes, fighting for human dignity requires passion, but it needs to be bridled and supplemented with argumentation, otherwise you come off as an irrational ranter. You’re not going to rally the open-minded to your cause for human dignity if you don’t respect the human dignity of your opposition.
You’re right; “intolerance must be shouted down” and shown as faulty, but there exists civilly recognized methods to do so. That’s what’s great about the American democratic experiment. It gives us the opportunity to weigh and measure particular world views in a “marketplace of ideas.” Good ideas are kept; bad ones are culled, ergo go ahead and speak out against what you believe to be injustice. Combat it by showing it to be wrong for both rational and emotional reasons, but don’t stoop to its level. The unjust have a right to be egregiously mistaken just as you have the right to identify why they are.
Frankly, your “ends-justify-the-means” mentality towards this issue is disconcerting. A pivotal good is preserved by giving “a platform” for hate groups to be hateful within reasonable limits e.g. permitting the KKK to demonstrate compared to letting them lynch AfricanAmericans. But if we completely fail to tolerate intolerance, we concede a beachhead for oppression. We open the door for the majority to trample the minority. What happens when a view is considered unpopular? History teaches clever, eloquent and evil men thrive under the political system you advocate. When they dub someone or a group as “intolerant,” “unconstitutional” or “bigoted,” they are legally allowed and able to crush anyone on a whim. They mobilize the masses, and “marginalized” becomes Orwellian for eradicated.
Blocking me on Youtube for disagreeing with you, well, the government of your channel isn’t a democracy, and it’s not like it’s the world. However, let’s for the sake of argument, crown you Emperor of Earth. I would be deathly afraid of your regime if how you run your online fiefdoms is any indicator. You’re quick to censure, and from my experience, you don’t “call out their ignorance, and if possible, attempt to persuade them to abandon their bigotry.” As illustrated above, you irrationally believe those who merely disagree with you as prejudiced. In true propagandist fashion, you’re quick to label those people as “bigots” or “straight supremacists, and any attempt to show otherwise “is to frame such pathologies as legitimate differences of opinion rather than the inhumane illnesses that they truly are.” There are more than one billion Christians in the world whom you erroneously would deem as intolerant homophobic bigots. And finally, you don’t “tolerate intolerance…”
…I wouldn’t vote for you,