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03/10/2009

Video: Ugh, the 'hater' argument is so tired

by Jeremy Hooper

So the entire premise of the following video is straw man-ish, since, obviously, not all LGBT activists consider everyone who disagrees with them to be "haters." The reality is much more varied, with most in the gay community far more concerned about combatting misinformation, correcting misrepresentation, and standing against the usage of personal religious belief to stifle others' civil freedoms than they are about placing any certain labels on those who keep anti-gay bias alive.

But overlook that fact, if you will, and take a gander at the clip. We'll get back to you after you've watched:


How Much Hate Does it Take to Call Someone A Hater? [Tangle (formerly GodTube)]

Okay, so this dude's stated goal is to correct illogic. However, his presentation here is illogical at its core! First, as mentioned, he's cast his opposition in one certain light, acting as if his self-conversation is the one and only way such a discussion can possibly play out. In truth, if he were to share such words with us, this is what would happen:

G-A-Y: "You actually think that homosexuality is immoral?"

Video dude: "Well yea, actually I do"

G-A-Y: Option A. "Oh. Well, I'm sorry you feel that way, and I hope you'll do both yourself and the LGBT community a favor and reconsider that which you have accepted as truth. If you look at the bible in a more objective way, considering some of the scholarly data about the "clobber passages" that have long been used to persecute gays, then you just might start to see things differently."

Option B: "Oh. Well, nice to meet you. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I see my friend Cathy over by the onion dip. [raised voice] Cathy, is that you?"

Option C: "Oh. Well, fair enough. Just as long as you don't use your chosen faith beliefs against the civil freedoms to which I'm entitled by virtue of my humanity and/or citizenship, then we will have no problem. In fact, I'll fight for your right to visualize my burning in a fiery eternity.

This onion dip is really great, right?
"

But to the minds of the "victimized" evangelicals, none of these options are ever given any public mind. It's far easier to pull out the broad brush and paint all LGBT people as militants who are obsessed with bashing the poor religious folk, so that's the archetype that's ascribed to us around 98.67% of the time (seriously -- we've calculated it).

Moving past and looking beyond the unfair casting: There's also the little matter of virtue. At worst (at least in our eyes), this guy makes it sound like his thoughts automatically hold more nobility. At best, he thinks that all viewpoints deserve the same footing. What he fails to realize is that for those of us who've culled our views on sexuality from science and personal experience, and our views on liberty from a reasoned study of this country's principles, a premium is inherently placed on arguments that are based in fair, decent treatment.

He never for a second stops and asks why the LGBT community might view the ideas that gays can "change" or that their lives will bring upon them "the wrath of God" with any sort of scorn. Instead, he states those thoughts as simply as if he were saying that it's raining outside, with an umbrella being the obvious, universally-accepted answer to said problem. To him, "repenting" is an umbrella -- a no-brainer solution to the homo downpour. And he seems to want a world where his unfettered, unapologetically condemnatory suggestions are viewed as loving and respectful simply because he labels them that way.

Well, that's not how the world works. Some ideas simply are better. Some standpoints are undeniably short-sighted, hurtful, biased, and counterproductive. Some personally-held beliefs are unfit for governance. We of course think his views are in the wrong, and he surely thinks the same about ours. Fair enough. But if he is going to hand out one-way ticket's to Beelzebub's backyard BBQ, then he needs to at the very least understand why some might rip into their hell-bound tickets!

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Your thoughts

BTW, this is the same guy as in this post. http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2008/11/video-the-ones.html

Posted by: Matt Algren | Mar 10, 2009 10:46:01 AM

Wow, good catch, Matt. I had forgotten about that one.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 10, 2009 11:23:26 AM

I never forget a garage.

Posted by: Matt Algren | Mar 10, 2009 12:11:15 PM

The truth of the matter is there is a large portion of GLBT people who do think that people of faith who find homosexuality immoral are haters and bigots. Also there are people of faith who do look at the bible in an objective way and by doing so they are labeled liberals and heretics by members of their faith.

I think it's easier for us to say that our country's laws shouldn’t be run by someone else personally-held religious beliefs. However we do live in a country where those personally-held religious beliefs are protected and in a lot ways their way of life will be impacted when the day comes that GLBT rights are rightfully and equally protected by our government.

Posted by: Alonzo | Mar 10, 2009 12:49:47 PM

Alonzo: It's not just that it's EASIER for us to say that our country's laws shouldn’t be run by someone else personally-held religious beliefs. It's FUNDAMENTAL that our country operates in such a way.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 10, 2009 2:13:17 PM

Sounds like the Maggie Gallagher argument - deflect any argument of gay rights to how so-called religious people are being called bigots because they are allegedly only standing up for their personal beliefs.

This argument ignores the levels that some of these so-called religious people stoop to - i.e. dehumanizing the gay community, relying on inaccurate anecdotes and discredited research, and distorting credible research to defend their point of view.

It's not a Christian move, but a cynically political one.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Mar 10, 2009 2:59:52 PM

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