First of all, a special thanks to my wife and my friends Rich and Dan for providing me with a relatively steady stream of reading and writing material. The fact that there’s a seemingly unending supply of news stories being provided is at the same time encouraging and depressing.
So, let’s start at the top, and hope I get through the rest by Saturday. Fair warning: I’m going to be gone again next week, so there’s going to be a handful of videos, photos, and other throwaways just to make sure you have something to read while I’m gone, and then it will pick back up the following Sunday or Monday.
Today’s lesson in logical fallacies comes to you courtesy of the Family “Research” Council. Part of that is in quotes because given some of the things they’ve come up with over the years, like …
- claiming that ending DADT would lead to an increasing number of sexual assaults on heterosexual servicemen,
- repeatedly associate homosexuality with pedophilia, and
- same sex parents are somehow harmful to children …
… I’m inclined to think they wouldn’t know research if it took a running start, leapt up onto their heads, and danced naked to an extended remix of “Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder.
My conclusion is further supported by Tony Perkins of the aforementioned group, who made some interesting parallels during a radio show the other day when he was attempting to defend his constant attacks against the gay community at the expense of doing something useful with his time. This is what his brain was able to cobble together on the fly:
The month of June is Gay Pride Month. Now, I have not yet seen where they have declared Adultery Pride Month, I have not seen where they have declared the Drunkenness Pride Month. Here’s the issue, J.R. [the caller] … it’s not a matter of whether or not someone can do what they want to do with their lives, God gave Adam and Eve a choice, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.
And here we start off with the phrase of the day: false equivalence. Did you catch it? Let’s go through the list:
First, you have adultery, where you break your marriage vow to be faithful to your spouse and engage in sexual activity with someone else. This can cause all sorts of problems and end up in divorce, unintended spread of STDs (to your spouse who thought you were being faithful and didn’t use protection with you), and potentially a couple of kids who hate you for thinking of yourself to their detriment. Not a good thing.
Then, there’s drunkenness … which can also pose a clear and present health risk to you, and other people if you get behind the wheel of a car. Because of your impaired judgment, you could end up losing your job, your family, and even your life if you’re not careful. Again, bad.
Finally, there’s homosexuality, which is just one particular way your brain could end up wired – through genetics, fetal development, or both – that makes you attracted to members of the same sex. Problem is, there’s no evidence whatsoever that homosexuality is the root cause of any sort of harmful behavior, tendencies, or affliction.
See the difference? Two of these – drunkenness and adultery – are harmful to one’s self and others in measurable, demonstrable ways. Homosexuality, not so much. Not at all, actually. But since it – or something we assume as the modern interpretation of homosexuality – is forbidden in the bible along with a bunch of other crap we no longer care about, then that’s enough for Tony to lump them all into the same category.
For the rest of us who live in the real world, we apply a little more thought to these things and realize that just because a book tells us something is good or bad doesn’t instantly make it so, regardless of how many devotees say otherwise. If that weren’t the case, we’d all let our underage daughters develop unhealthy, obsessive relationships with men far older than they are and get involved in gang wars that end up almost killing them. Because OMG TRUE LOVE.
We’re talking about redefining the rest of culture and making others both embrace, celebrate and subsidize. We’re talking about changing the laws that will influence what our children are taught in schools, it’s already happening in those states that have legalized same-sex marriage or had it forced upon them by the courts. We’re talking about religious organizations losing their religious freedom, that’s already happened, church facilities in New Jersey have lost their tax exemption because they refused to allow their facilities to be used for same-sex commitment ceremonies. We’re seeing issues of public accommodations where because of the passage of these laws people can depending on what sexual orientation they may have at a given time can use whatever public facility they want. So, these are issues, it’s being pushed.
For the record, Tony, the reason that church facility in New Jersey lost its tax exemption was because it was contingent upon the property being open for public use on an equal basis. The second they violated that, their exemption went away. See what happened there? Render unto Caesar, bitches.
And yes, I’ll admit that culture is being redefined. That’s because for the longest time our culture has been one where white heterosexual Christian males were the only ones with any influence or power in this country. Things are changing such that women are now allowed to vote and hold jobs in the same fields as men (yet still only get paid $0.77 on the dollar for it …). Minorities are making significant strides as well; one only needs to look at our president to see how far we’ve come since the civil rights movements of the 1960s.
It’s GOOD that it’s being redefined. Hell, I remember when I was growing up, you would end up in a fist fight if you called someone “gay” or “homo” because of the insult it carried. Now we’re moving to a point where kids in each classroom learn from an early age that homosexuality isn’t something to be feared or laughed at, but to be understood because of the very real possibility that some of them may realize they’re “different” someday. And for the first time, they’ll be living in a society that doesn’t hate or ostracize them for it, but helps them understand what it means … and that it’s actually going to be okay.
I was going to conclude with something more eloquent, but I think I can easily sum it up by saying, Screw you, Tony, for thinking that’s a problem.
We never asked for this debate, I entered into public office workings on marriage policies to promote marriage but it was the homosexual community that wanted to have this discussion on redefining marriage. So it’s not that these other issues are being ignored or that they’re not important, you’re absolutely right J.R., whether it’s adultery, whether it’s any type of sexual immorality it’s a problem, but we’re not celebrating those other forms as a society, we’re not promoting it and teaching it as normal in our schools. And where they do bring it up, yes, we do address them. This is where the battle lies right now for the future of our country.
YES, it most certainly IS true that other problems like adultery or “other” immorality (say. for example, pedophilia in the priesthood) are being ignored in favor of homosexuality. I suspect that’s because of the huge amount of lobbying you’re doing for the conservative movement; you don’t want to antagonize too many politicians who are on Marriage – and Mistress – Number 2. Or, in the case of Newt Gingrich, Number 3.
That’s also an interesting way to phrase the problem: We never asked for this debate. Of course you didn’t. That’s because you and people like you labored under the assumption that your way of life and your dominance in American society would never wane to the point where you’d end up being told that you don’t run the show anymore.
Oh, what a horror it must be to have to face the fact that other people are finally going to have the rights you’ve enjoyed for centuries now. That’s a damned shame.