Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Matthew Yglesias is posting about David Brooks piece on John Stott. Here is a quote from Yglesias:
Among other uncompromising views, Stott "does not accept homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle." ... According to Brooks, not everyone on the religious right is a mad dog, nutty, hate-filled, gay basher. Some people are, like Stott, calm, cool, collected, intellectual, self-reflective, gay bashers.
The problem here is that like many a liberal before him, Yglesias equates "gay basher" to "regarding homosexuality as morally illegitimate." Allow me to explain why this is inappropriate.

"Gay bashing" has definite violent connotations. It once referred to ambushing someone like Matthew Shepard and beating him to death with baseball bats. Now it might refer to heaping verbal and emotional abuse on a homosexual for his sexual orientation. However are all difference of opinion "bashing"? No. So a difference of moral opinion doesn't qualify, provided you do your best to keep the discussion calm and rational. Either you support gay rights or you "bash gays" is the fallacy of the excluded middle. There are middle paths where you both oppose violence, but deny moral legitimacy.

Now if you want to call "regarding homosexuality as morally illegitimate" discriminatory, then you have a case. Except that not all discrimination is bad. Racial is bad. Unless its Affirmative Action which is defined as positive discriminatory behavior to offset previous discrimination that has had an adverse impact. Sexual is bad. Unless its Affirmative Action again. Or if the fundamental physiological differences between the genders are significant, like in medicine. The discrimination debate is anothe whole can of worms frankly, but you could make the argument there.

Getting the point? "Bashing" is over the top.

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