Thursday, September 1, 2011

Winning By Any Means

[TW: Homobigotry]

I actually feel sorry for Jennifer Roback Morse.

Upon reading some of her mean, hyper-defensive posts as of late, I find it pitiable that a purportedly-religious woman admits to being intentionally provocative with her posts and that she is, at least judging by her writing, so lacking in understanding of her political opponents.

Responding to critics of her infamous "anal sick is icky" post, she does not write or explain herself well. Instead of apologizing for her wrong or even admitting that she was rude, she chalks up the outrage about her statement to the suckiness of her opponents. A snippet from her recent post about the matter:

"...the Life Style [sic] Left is so deeply imbued with statism (i.e. the ideology and cult of the state) that they [sic] reflexively interpret and reinterpret every issue in terms of what the government is or isn’t doing. For a movement that claims to be about freedom and liberation, this is not a good sign."

"The Life Style Left"?

I didn't even know that was a thing, and I like to think I'm pretty plugged into this debate. Whenever people use grand, sweeping statements like "the Left" (and yes, "the Right") I immediately become very curious to see their Venn diagram of how they categorize humanity. Judging by Jennifer's writing, does her world basically consist of two categories of people: us and them?

Her immature categorizations aside, her argument itself is perhaps only comprehensible to those who already share her view about this caricatured "Life Syle Left" movement.

She then proceeded to express (sincere or sarcastic?) glee in the amount of comments her "anal sex is icky" post inspired, and then threatened:

"...perhaps this is the sort of post the Market demands, and therefore, what I ought to produce more of."

The privileged message there is that bigotry sells, so who cares if her words actually hurt people. Indeed, hurting people seems to be her point. She ends:

"You may wonder: since I believe this set of comments was basically irrelevant, what exactly was I trying to get at with The Post in Question, apart from the intrinsic amusement of taunting Leftists? I will explain in another post."

Taunting, huh? Now that was an interesting word choice and admission coming from someone who obviously didn't get the PR memo that it's The Homosexualists Who Are The Big Mean Bullies Of Innocent, Sweet "Marriage Defenders". So, again, like we've been saying all along, many "marriage defenders" do not have as innocent of motives as some of their leaders claim.

Then, in another post responding to some critics who wonder why anti-gay people are so "obsessed" with homosexuality, Jennifer notes that her blog talks about a wide variety of social issues, not just homosexuality. She then ends:

"We ["marriage defenders"] think the sexual revolution is an on-going train wreck. We are ready willing and able to talk about all those issues. Will you [lesbian, gay, and bisexual people] join us? Or are you simply obsessed with yourselves?

Just asking."

Welp, I guess she's only "just askin."

Seriously, though, by suggesting that advocates for LGB equality are "obsessed with [our]selves," she utterly fails to understand that our push for equality isn't for shits and giggles and isn't because we find it particularly entertaining to constantly defend ourselves from people who regularly tell us how immoral, unhealthy, and sucky we are. Rather, many of us take issue with Jennifer's advocacy, and the advocacy of organizations like one she is affiliated with, because (a) they are sometimes mean and (b) they seek to deny us our full equality in civil society.

Like, my partner and I just want equal rights from the government. And lady's going to tell me that makes me "obsessed" with myself? Easy for her, with her legally-wedded hubby, to say.

People with relatively large platforms to share their views, I believe, have a moral responsibility to raise the level of discourse and civility. And, if anti-equality religious people believe they have a moral obligation to speak out against same-sex marriage then by all means do so, but it would seem likewise reasonable for them to take on a moral obligation to speak with at least some compassion, kindness, and maybe an iota of accurate insight into the other side's position.

I can respect the arguments of a person, such as anti-equality advocate David Blankenhorn, who consistently recognizes nuance in debate and the human dignity of same-sex couples, even if I strongly disagree with his reasoning and conclusions. I have engaged in conversation with him at the Family Scholars Blog and have found him to be genial and willing to make concessions when appropriate.

People within the marriage debate love to make predictions about which side will be on the Wrong Side Of History. Those predictions are always interesting, assuming as they do that there's ever, like, a single historical narrative about contentious social and political debates. (Seriously, some people currently think those who granted women the right to vote are on the Wrong Side Of History). However "history" ultimately comes down on the morality of same-sex marriage, it seems to me that, oftentimes, people are remembered not only for their victories, but for the means by which they achieved their victories.

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