Saturday, April 12, 2008

Who's being violent to whom?

In the comments section of my previous post responding to Evil Bender on the issue of violence against gays, Mr. Bender (Sorry, I can't resist saying that) responded to the remark on my post questioning how many cases there were similar to the Matthew Shepherd murder, which was a hate inspired crime which I, like every other civilized human being, condemns. In fact, I'm for the death penalty for such people. I wonder if Evil Bender is willing to go as far as I am in prosecuting the perpetrators of the crimes about which he professes to be so concerned.

What I originally challenged in my post was how many incidents there were similar to that of Matthew Shepherd. Now I'll give Evil Bender one guess as to what is similar to a murder motivated by anti-gay hatred. I'll give him a minute to think about this ...

... Ready for the answer? The answer to the question, "What is similar to a murder motivated by anti-gay hatred?" is ... "A murder motivated by anti-gay hatred"! Now in response to this he provided a link to a 2006 FBI report on Hate Crimes that lists the following number of murders motivated by anti-gay hatred:

Zero. There were no murders motivated by anti-gay hatred in the report Evil Bender cites.

Then, after making what he thinks is decisive blow against my argument (which, curiously, consists of actually confirming what I said), he waited for a response from me, and when he didn't get it on his time schedule, he challenged me once again:
I notice you still haven't admitted that violence against homosexuals is a real and continuing problem. I'm still waiting for you to do the honest thing and admit you were wrong.
Now despite the fact that my original question is about on the level of a first round question in "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" Bender goes off on the whole broad question of anti-gay hate crimes, and declares a national emergency. Now I question whether the statistics in the FBI report constitute a national emergency, particularly when far less than half of the low number of incidents it reports are not physical violence--and none are the type of crime I asked about: murder.

Again, those who commit these crimes should be locked up and forced to repeatedly have to point out to people who comment on their blog that their data actually supports their own case, over and over and over again. That'll teach 'em.

But then Evil Bender made the following statement:
I suggested that you were downplaying actual violence in an attempt to make anti-gay bigots look like victims and homosexuals looks like the perpetrators, when the opposite is true.
Really? What Evil Bender needs to do is put down the FBI report on hate crimes and take a look at the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs report on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Domestic Violence in the United States in 2006. Notice that that is the same year as the FBI report Evil Bender points to that reports all of that anti-gay violence, so we have a good comparison.

While the FBI report lists 1,195 incidents of anti-gay hate crimes (most of which are not violent crimes against someone's person, and many of which are "intimidation," a definition for which I could not find on the site)--and, again, no murders, the number of gay domestic violence incidents for the same year is 3,534.

Oh, and four murders. That's ... let's see ... four more gay on gay murders than there were murders of gays by gay haters, of which there were none. And by the way, the report states that murders were underreported in their study. In addition, there were almost three times the number of violent incidents--maybe more, depending on the percentage of these that were incidents of "intimidation." In fact, the organizations reporting these kinds of statistics (which are themselves gay organizations) commonly list gay on gay violence as one of the top three health concerns of gays and lesbians.

Now Evil Bender says that I was making the perpetrators of anti-gay violence look like "victims" when I have now said several times that I'm for prosecuting them to full extent of the law--curious coming from a person who has charged several times now that I have misrepresented him. But he also charges that I have made homosexuals look like "the perpetrators" of violence against gays.

Well, I don't remember saying that, but for what it's worth, I will say it now: Most reported incidents of violence against gays are perpetrated by gays. If he doesn't believe it, then his argument is with gay organizations who are reporting these facts and not with me. If Evil Bender is so concerned about the well-being of gays, he would have more of an impact trying to convince gays to stop committing it against each other.

In any case, if Evil Bender is wanting an admission from me that I was wrong, I suggest he do a little more research.

27 comments:

Motheral said...

...the Matthew Shepherd murder, which was a hate inspired crime which I, like every other civilized human being, condemns.

No, you did not condemn it; you excused it by insisting it wasn't a problem worthy of anyone's attention, and by childishly making fun of everyone who expressed concern about it. That's not "condemnation," by any reasonable measure.

There were no murders motivated by anti-gay hatred in the report Evil Bender cites.

A lot of blatant racial discrimination went on without any actual killing of black people. Does that mean we were all totally silly to think racial discrimination was/is a problem? Is racism only worth our attention AFTER there's a lynching, and ONLY in the place where the lynching took place?

Bender goes off on the whole broad question of anti-gay hate crimes, and declares a national emergency.

I don't recall Bender using the phrase "national emergency." Once again, you excuse hate-crimes against gays by distorting and making fun of the words of those who criticise them.

Also, I made a point, at least once, about the anti-gay rhetoric coming from your fellow right-wing "Christians," and the possible connection between such attitudes and anti-gay violence, and you completely ignored it. Once again, you're excusing anti-gay bigotry.

...the number of gay domestic violence incidents for the same year is 3,534.

Domestic violence -- gay or straight -- is a completely separate issue from hate-crimes and routine discrimination. You know this, and your attempt to muddy this debate is babyish, defensive, and downright pathetic. Do you really think you're fooling anyone?

Martin Cothran said...

Motheral,

Does that mean you join me in wanting the death penalty for the murderers of Matthew Shepherd?

Evil Bender said...

Dear Martin,

Thank you for continuing to shift the goalposts, make irrelevant points, refuse to ever admit you were wrong, change the subject, and lie about my positions.

You've made a wonderful demonstration of the vacuousness of your position. I won't be bothering with you in the future.

motheral said...

Martin: what, exactly, makes you think I DON'T support capital punishment for people who commit such crimes? I certainly don't remember saying anything to excuse or belittle the magnitude of such crimes; so I really don't see why you'd have to ask me this quesiton.

Martin Cothran said...

Motheral,

In case you didn't notice, you accused me of excusing the murderers of Matthew Shepherd. So I figure if you want to punish them less than I do--and I'm so soft on the issue, then what does that say about what you think about the murders?

So are you with me?

Motheral said...

Besides, Martin, I don't have to "join you" in condemnig hate-crimes: I've been doing so for many years already. It's you who have "joined" me, by changing your tune in haste, AFTER you realize you've made yourself look like a horse's ass.

Motheral said...

Martin, your last post was one of the most ridiculous non-sequiturs I've seen since...well, since the last time a creationist or an Iraq-war-supporter opened his mouth. Where, for starters, can you POSSIBLY find any basis for your insinuation that I want to punish certain murderers LESS than you do?

Your tactic of throwing a totally bogus accusation under the word "if" is transparently Rovian in origin. Not to mention transparently cowardly and dishonest.

Martin Cothran said...

Motheral,

I assume you know the difference between an assertion and a question. I never made any assertion about where you stood on the death penalty for the murderers of Matthew Shepherd. I asked if you supported it. You still haven't answered me.

Why is this so hard for you? Are you for it or aren't you?

Motheral said...

I assume you know the difference between an assertion and a question.

Yes, and I also know when a lie is being thinly disguised as a question. "How many underage girls did Cothran rape in Texas?" is a good example here. Hey, I was just ASKING, right?

I asked if you supported it. You still haven't answered me.

Yes, I did answer you. Since you're too lazy to scroll up and see it, I'll just paste it here: 'I don't have to "join you" in condemnig hate-crimes: I've been doing so for many years already.' Is that clear enough for you?

If this is the kind of stuff you teach in all those books about "rhetoric," I think I'll give your books a miss.

Martin Cothran said...

Yes, I did answer you. Since you're too lazy to scroll up and see it, I'll just paste it here: 'I don't have to "join you" in condemnig hate-crimes: I've been doing so for many years already.' Is that clear enough for you?

Well that was sufficiently ambiguous. Do you mean you are inviting me to infer something from what you said? Every time I've done that before you complain that I said you said something you didn't say. I wonder why you can't just come right out and say you don't support the death penalty for Matthew Shepherd's murderers.

Could it be because it would make your accusation that I want to "excuse" the murder of Matthew Shepherd look a little silly, since I want a stiffer penalty for the perpetrators than you do?

Motheral said...

Sure, Martin, I'll join you in demanding capital punishment for Matthew Shephard's murderers, when you join me in repudiating all of the "Christian" rhetoric and "interpretations" of the Bible that are curretnly used to dehumanize gays and lesbians, justify treating them as second-class citizens (if not as deadly threats), blame them for all of society's current ills, threaten divine punishment of them for harmless actions, and justify ostraccizing and even killing them in the name of your God.

You really shouldn't try to play the "insinuating question" game, or the "match my rhetoric on demand" game -- you're really not that good at either. It's perfectly obvious that you're desperately trying to avoid responsibility for your previous ill-chosen arguments.

Martin Cothran said...

Motheral,

I chose all the arguments I used and I like them just fine. The fact that you don't, with all due respect, is not my problem.

I'll be happy to condemn any action that meets all the criteria that you laid out. The problem is, of course, (and the this was the point of my original post) that the minute anyone expresses any opinion in conflict with activist gay organizations, they immediately are labeled bigots. Of course, you and Evil Bender basically proved my point by doing just that.

Motheral said...

I'll be happy to condemn any action that meets all the criteria that you laid out.

Okay...Any time now...We're waiting...

The problem is, of course,...that the minute anyone expresses any opinion in conflict with activist gay organizations, they immediately are labeled bigots.

Why is that a "problem?" If you're "happy" to condemn the hateful rhetoric and discriminatory practices I've already pointed out, then why should you be worried about "activist gay organizations?" You're not scared of them, are you?

Anonymous said...

I thought the discussion was about physical violence against people solely because of sexual orientation. How many such reported attacks on heterosexuals are there in the US? Mr Cothran brought up gay-gay domestic violence; yet that pales in comparison to heterosexual domestic violence, estimated by the site below to be 960,000 to 3,000,000 million cases per year.
http://endabuse.org/resources/facts

PS I thought Mr Cothran was going to cut down on the homosexual sex posts in deference to my sensibilities? Perhaps he could comment on why he states studying Latin is best even though AP students do better on the SAT? or what a design characteristic is?

jah

Martin Cothran said...

Motheral,

I condemned the murderers of Matthew Shepherd (going farther about it, in fact, than you were willing to go), and said that people who commit violence against gays by saying that they should be locked up. I will also add that I think hateful language (like some of the name-calling that you employ on this blog--and others apparently) used against any humans (homosexual or otherwise) should also be condemned.

I realize, in doing this, that I am once again going beyond what you are yourself willing to go. In fact, it is rather ironic that you would be condemning hatefulness when your own practice of using hateful language in your posts is such a good example of it.

And why do you keep saying I'm scared of people who use hateful language just because I condemn them for doing it? If I was scared of that kind of thing, I wouldn't let you post on this blog at all, now would I?

Martin Cothran said...

Jah,

How many such reported attacks on heterosexuals are there in the US?

I have no idea. What does that have to do with the argument? Evil Bender said that homosexuals were not responsible for violence against gays. I pointed out that most of the violence perpetrated against gays is by gays through domestic violence.

And you better not compare gay domestic violence favorably with heterosexual domestic violence. People like Motheral and Evil Bender will charge you with "offering excuses" for gay domestic violence if you do that.

But, oh. Wait. I forgot about your tender sensibilities about this issue. But, of course, you asked the question, didn't you?

Anonymous said...

I'm curious: What does this conversation accomplish? I don't see any substantive discussion of any real issues. Instead it's "evil bender said this", "Martin Cothran said that", and so on. All sides of this debate seem far more concerned with proving the other person wrong than in accomplishing anything productive, and quite frankly, it's petty.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I was trying to show that Mr Cothran's comment about gay-on-gay violence has nothing to do with attacks on people solely due to their sexual orientation. I suggest that gay-on-gay violence is precipitated by the same motivations which produce heterosexual-on-heterosexual violence.
Gays are attacked (fairly often) because they are gay whereas heterosexuals are not attacked (to my knowledge) because they are heterosexuals.
jah

Anonymous said...

Curious anon,

What did you intend your post to accomplish? Could you give an example of a post which might accomplish something productive? Otherwise, quite frankly, it appears that you are just criticizing and not contributing anything useful.

[And as sarcastic as that may sound, it is also serious.]

jah

And I have to say one thing nice about Mr Cothran: He, unlike many bloggers, allows all sorts of posts here and doesn't delete comments just because they are somewhat rude or antithetical to his views or logic.

Motheral said...

I realize, in doing this, that I am once again going beyond what you are yourself willing to go.

Coming from someone who first mocked and belittled those who criticized anti-gay discrimination, then hastily made all the necessary condemnations AFTER being proven wrong, this assertion is just plain laughable. Are you even serious?

In fact, it is rather ironic that you would be condemning hatefulness when your own practice of using hateful language in your posts is such a good example of it.

And once again, you excuse anti-gay bigotry by comparing it to something both very different and not nearly as harmful to innocent people. For someone who aspires to be a conservative Christian intellectual, you've sunk a lot lower than I expected.

Martin Cothran said...

Anonymous,

I can perfectly well understand your sentiment here. It is easy to fall into the "I'm right and you're not" kind of discussion. As Jah kindly pointed out, I am fairly liberal in my comments policy, and, unfortunately, this does not always lend itself to the most rational environment for discussion.

I have had several of my friends encourage me to just pull the plug on overly negative commenters, and I may indeed do that at some future point if it starts to seriously cramp my enjoyment in having a blog. But until then, there are going to be commenters who get on here and abuse the privilege I am allowing them.

One of the things that ends up happening in this kind of environment is having your personal integrity gets questioned merely because you hold a certain opinion. The result is that you feel like you have to defend yourself on that score, and your tendency in responding to such things is to give as good as you get. I think his may be part of what you are referring to.

Even in the midst of all that, I have tried to bring things back to the arguments themselves and avoid personal attacks and "gotcha" posts (not always successfully, I am sure).

If we could dispense with the insults, it would give me more time to respond to the legitimate points people do make.

Motheral said...

One of the things that ends up happening in this kind of environment is having your personal integrity gets questioned merely because you hold a certain opinion.

No, Martin, your personal integrity is being questioned because you're behaving dishonestly: misrepresenting what others said, then pretending not to understand it, changing the subject (or just vanishing) when one of your central arguments is refuted, hiding behind phony victimhood stories, and making up insinuations that obviously have no basis in observable reality. IF you don't like having your integrity questioned, then start showing more integrity, and stop blaming others for the consequences of your reckless and unsupportable assertions.

You're not a victim of a conspiracy, or the "thought police" in black helocopters; you're a victim of reality, and your own refusal to acknowledge it. Be grateful you're not being threatened with actual violence -- that's more than a lot of people who disagree with your "philosophy" can say.

Martin Cothran said...

Ah yes. Motheral. The Apostle of Love. I just bath myself in the positive vibes he emits as he lectures me on the evils of hatefulness.

He thinks every logical inference from someone else's position (except those he draws from what I say) are illicit, and every figure of speech used to characterize someone else's position (except those he uses) a literal summary of it.

When I respond to someone else's argument, in which they themselves have sidetracked the discussion, I am "changing the subject". When I don't respond to every one of the 20 arguments thrown at me in the comments section, I have lost the point.

And then, after offering a lecture on mischaracterizing other people's positions, he somehow reads into what I said that I think I am the victim of a conspiracy.

Maybe this is why he has been kicked off at least one other website: He can't argue with someone without questioning his integrity and honesty.

Anonymous, are you there? This is what I am talking about.

Motheral, have ever written a positive comment on someone's website? Ever?

Anonymous said...

Poor, poor Martin. Spanked on his own blog by Motheral.

Motheral said...

Motheral, have ever written a positive comment on someone's website? Ever?

Yes.

Poor, poor Martin. Spanked on his own blog by Motheral.

I might just make him like it yet.

Hannah J said...

It's on your own blog, Motheral; does it count?

Lee said...

The point of having "hate crimes" legislation is not to mete out harsher punishment for the same essential offense. It's to redefine the nature of "offense".

As Mr. Cochran points out, capital punishment is the worst punishment our justice system has to offer. If you believe someone who murders a gay ought to be executed, same as someone who murders a straight, then that can hardly be construed as believing that opposing hate crimes legislation shows disrespect for gays.

The purpose of hate crimes legislation is simple: it's another foot in the door for treating liberal client groups better than everyone else under the law.

That's why, say, when members of the favored groups are murdered by the unfavored, it's murder plus hate crime, but when the unfavored are murdered by the favored, it's only murder.

Hate crimes are also a foot in the door toward preventing churches from teaching that homosexuality is a sin. In Australia, for example, a preacher has to watch what he says from the pulpit. If he says anything that can be construed as "hate", then it's a hate crime.

That's where we're heading, or so I fear. I don't have to guess at what comes next. Anyone who disagrees with a liberal spreads hate, by definition, just ask any liberal. Only a matter of time before disagreeing with a liberal is a hate crime. The groundwork has already been laid on college campuses and corporate "sensitivity training" seminars.

Of course, this post is going to be labeled as "hate" and "dehumanization" towards homosexuals. Sorry, folks, that's not the way sin works. We are all sinners. I'm not tempted by homosexuality, but I have many other sins that are indeed quite troublesome and hard to give up. That's not dehumanization; rather, it's a recognition of the human condition. Many times we don't even know what they are until we've been given, through God's grace, the power to see them for what they are. The Lord requires that we try to spot the sin in our lives and to repent of them. Being a Christian does not mean never sinning, ever again, would that it were so simple. However, it does mean never being at peace with one's sin. It means fighting it with every resource at your disposal, which includes prayer and seeking other means of grace.

A repentant homosexual Christian is, therefore, in the same boat that any other Christian is, regarding his sin. They are to be embraced and encouraged and helped to overcome the sin in their lives. That's what church is for. On the other hand, an unrepentant homosexual, from the Reformed Christian perspective, is in the same boat as any other unrepentant sinner.

This is not a dehumanizing view toward homosexuals. It's a respectful view. To believe that they can't fight their sin but are simply compelled to be slaves to it is the dehumanizing view. The worst thing you can call someone is not a homosexual; it's a sinner. And we're all sinners. Sin is a horrible thing. It's why Jesus died on the cross. If cleansing sin was easy, He wouldn't have needed to do that.