Thursday, March 28, 2013

Expose of hate

Wow, it's the 21st Century, and we still have people using the same old tired arguments to justify beliefs that are only marginally covered in some ancient "holy" text.  These are the same arguments used by the Nazis to justify hatred of the Jews and other peoples in the early 20th Century, arguments used by Slave Owners to justify slavery in the 19th Century, and arguments used by racist to justify keeping the races separate during the mid-20th Century.  How are they using these same bigoted arguments now? attack homosexuals and gay marriage.  I ran into a person spewing this nonsense on a social website the other day.  Here's a brief rundown of the arguments with my opinions as replies (each one of these could be their own meme):

  • Societies that have embraced homosexuality have declined - (Comment: Really? Over-extended borders, reduced/squandered resources, foreign invasions, and heavy debt are all caused by homosexuality?)
  • Statistics show us that it's unhealthy to be homosexual - (Comment: What's really the point of this and how is this justification to deny equal protections under the law? It's risky crossing the street.  Should we stop equal access to education for those kids that happen to need to cross a street to get to school?)
  • God created and defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman - (Comment: Ah, here comes the bible-thumping!  Numerous scriptures were quoted at this point.  But, how many bible characters had multiple wives? A lot!  The bible even sets out rules on how to take captured women from military conquests home as wives.)
  • Homosexuals have a higher risk of mental illness - (Comment: Given the fact that homosexuality was classified as a mental illness up until the last part of the 20th Century, I would question any statistics linking mental illness to homosexuality.  But on that point, as more scientific facts are discovered, it is becoming increasing understood that most mental illnesses have a genetic factor, which means that being prone to mental illness is also something with which certain individuals are born.)
  • STDs, including HIV, higher among homosexuals - (Comment: Teen pregnancy is infinity higher among heterosexuals.  Coal miners have much higher risks of lung related diseases.  Umm, there's about a million other pointless and dubious statistics that can be pulled out of thin air.  All of this is completely unrelated to the fact that we all deserve equal treatment under the law. )
  • Societies that had a spread of Christianity had a decline in homosexuality - (Comment: No, homosexuals where just forced into hiding due to the same kind a bigotry being promoted in our time.  This is a kin to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claim that there are no homosexuals in Iran.  Complete nonsense.)
  • The gay marriage discussion is about changing the religious definition of marriage - (Comment: Again, no.  This statement an attempt to re-frame the discussion to pretend that promoting gay marriage rights is an attack on one's own faith, as if gay marriage is somehow violating the rights of unassociated individuals.  This is disingenuous at best.  The gay marriage rights discussion is about equal protections under the law without regard for what beliefs one group of people have about another group of people.)
  • Marriage isn't a human right, but rather an honored institution - (Comment: Talk about grasping for straws!  This is a scorched-earth attempt to argue that marriage is just some sort of contract. Well, even with contracts, we are all entitled equal protection under the law.  In other words, we are all allowed to enter contracts freely.  So, not only does that argument contradict the earlier argument about God defining marriage, it actually makes the opposite point it is trying to make.  The point is, we must have equal protection under the law, regardless the circumstances!)
  • Gay couples wish to force their beliefs on corporations and the government to take advantage of benefit structures geared for traditional families. (Comment 1:  Yeah, again, equal protections under the law is the point.  Do we give corporations the right to deny benefits to other classes of families based on religious beliefs?  No, because that is supposedly illegal.  Comment 2: This statement is a hint about the right of the corporation to have a religious stand.  However, a corporation is an imaginary construct of the law.  The presuppositional argument is that imaginary things (like corporations) have rights that trump flesh and blood people.  Since this person seems to believe that  corporations (which are imaginary) have more rights than actual humans, then let's give other imaginary things rights too, like giving the Easter Bunny the right to vote!)
  • Married couples pay more taxes.  Gay marriage would benefit the government.  (Comment:  First, "oh the horror of it all!  Oh no, the government will benefit from treating people equally!"  Second, married couples pay less, the same or more tax based on their family situation.  Number of kids, owning a home as a marriage couple, and other factors actually significantly reduce tax liability for families.)
  • The point continues: What if our world economy crashes?  Labor unions may fall into foreclosure; employers may have to declare bankruptcy and then won't be able to afford the benefit structures that support gay marriage afterwards.  (Comment: Really?  Argument against equal protections for gays involves what-iffing about world wide catastrophes?  Wow!  First, the inclusion of labor unions (the reason we have a middle class in American) as "foreclosing" is down right silly, and a very backwards way of expressing one's wishful thinking.  I'm not sure how a union would fall into foreclosure, since unions are a free assembly of individuals for the purpose of collective bargaining.  The bureaucratic portion of a labor union may go bankrupt, but that doesn't mean the union would cease to exist. A free assembly of individuals certainly cannot be foreclosed upon, as they are actual living and breathing people, not property.  Second, collective bargaining is used by employers to provide benefits to their employees.  The more employees that are covered, the more economical the benefits.  Having gay couples included actually helps reduce costs, not increase them.  Third, the idea that gay marriage will worsen a world wide catastrophe is completely ludicrous.  Bankers and Wall Street will have far more to do with that than any other minority in our population.)
Much like the average fundamentalist propaganda brochures, the individual who made these points concluded their statements with a bunch of rhetorical questions that they believe they answered in their diatribe.  I reserved my sharpest criticism for my own blog here, but I didn't let these bigoted claims go unchallenged on that social forum, nor was I the only one.  Another Christian and others also chimed in and called out this individual for those statements.