Josh Rosenau, who teaches at the ever more ludicrous National Association for Science Education (NASE) and runs the blog "Thoughts from Kansas," apparently had some time on his hands after a hard day of stamping out creationism and responded to my earlier post in which I pointed out the increasing intolerance and hatefulness emanating from the general direction of the gay rights movement.
I pointed out the increasing facility such groups have displayed in the use of terms such as "bigot" and "gay-hater" to smear their opponents. Rosenau used basically the same argument as an anonymous commenter on the original post who said, "But you guys are bigots. It's not hateful if it's true."
To which I responded, "So then it's okay for people to call gays 'faggots' on the grounds that its true?"
On the one hand it is understandable that there would be heated rhetoric in a debate about closely held beliefs, but when the rhetoric descends to pretty hateful name-calling--particularly when committed by the side that is always giving preachy lectures to everyone else about the evils of being hateful--someone needs to be called on the carpet about it.
Rosenau justifies his use of hate speech this way:
Trying to take away people's marriages, simply because one is prejudiced against those people's sexualities, is bigotry. And that's hateful.Take away people's marriages? Isn't the whole debate about whether they are marriages in the first place? Do they teach about avoiding the fallacy of begging the question over at NASE these days?
And how is the moral position that marriage is between a man and a woman "hateful" anymore than believing that yellow and blue make green is hateful? Does Rosenau really believe that the belief that marriage, by definition, is a relationship between a man and a woman is inherently hateful? That believing it somehow elicits the emotion of hate in the person contemplating it?
Of course he doesn't. But I'm sure it makes him feel all righteous in his crusade of moral condemnation to say it. Congratulations to him.
I have been involved in innumerable public debates and discussions about this issue ever since I walked the language of Kentucky's Marriage Amendment into a state legislator's office four years ago and started the process that ended up in our constitutional language--language that did little more than codify what already had been assumed. And one thing you can always count on: however civil you are, the people with whom you debate on this issue, with a few notable exceptions, will be ill-tempered and vindictive in the extreme.
And then they'll accuse you of being hateful.
The bottom line is this: If the defenders of traditional marriage employed name-calling in any way, shape, or form, gay rights groups would be squealing to high heaven and the media would be on it in a second and calling on them to account about it. But when gay rights groups themselves engage in the very behavior they are always condemning, they become indignant when someone else point it out.
Gay rights groups are the ones who are constantly championing tolerance. But when they themselves start goose-stepping, we're supposed to sit calmly by and admire the parade.
The Rosenau proffers this bit of logic:
The question, less stupid than the one Cothran originally posed, is whether you should be enacting discriminatory social policies on the basis of those personal beliefs. The answer is still: No.
That leads to things like the eugenic anti-miscegenation laws struck down in 1967's Loving v. Virginia (several years after our biracial President-elect's parents were able to marry in Hawaii), and before that in a California Supreme Court ruling from the 1940s which was the basis for the decision which (all-too-briefly) allowed full marriage equality in California. Cothran's argument would apply equally well (modulo small changes in wording) to those earlier laws, which suggests that it is not the way we should be making policy.
What social policy is he referring to being "enacted"? Same-sex couples were never able to marry precisely because marriage was always understood to be--by definition--between a man and a woman. Nothing needed to be done to keep it that way--until gays convinced judges and a few local politicians to change the clear meaning of words.
You can bring about all kinds of social change by just going into the law and redefining words, but by what manner of disingenuousness do you then go and accuse people who don't like it when you do that that they're the ones "enacting" something?
When the public has to act in self-defense when gays start changing the meanings of words, it isn't because they're the ones who want to change anything.
Gays are always arguing that they don't want special treatment, they just want to be treated like everyone else--except they don't want to be criticized (that's "bigotry"), they don't want to be disagreed with (that's "intolerance"), and they want the right to change the law without going through the normal channels of the democratic process--oh, and the right to overturn decisions made through that same process.
And now they want the right to change the definition of words without anyone else complaining. Special rights? What special rights?
And then there's Rosenau's argument that observing the meaning of the word "marriage" is the same as miscagenation. Right. Interracial marriage never violated the definition of the word "marriage." The argument in miscagenation was that people of different races shouldn't be married because of whatever racist belief that is based on. The argument in same-sex marriage is that people of the same sex literally can't be married because that not even what marriage is.
The dictionary never defined marriage as being the union of two people of the same race. But, before the exponents of postmodernist sex started changing the meanings of words, it always defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
But such is the state of "thought" in Kansas.