October 26, 2005
I'm always right! But you're a bigot!
For those who don't want to read through this very lengthy debate in its entirety, Sean (via Michael Demmons) links to a post by Jason Kuznicki which summarizes what he considers Gallagher's key points.
There seems to be a real, almost obsessive need to "prove" that opposition to same sex marriage constitutes bigotry. I don't think this is the wisest way to argue anything, and I find myself wondering whether Maggie Gallagher is playing the role of a sort of political tar baby. The harsher the attacks against her, the more insecure her opponents look. (Not that ideologues would care...)I think this "if you disagree with me, you're a bigot" meme has gotten really, really tired. The problem is, the more time people spend talking only with each other and not with people they disagree with, the more likely they are to be convinced that not only are they right, but that their opponents are more than wrong; they are evil, bigoted, and analogous to Nazis.
Did you miss the post where Volokh said that gays “recruit” straight people to become gay.Well, I don't know whether he meant this post, but I did blog about it, and I thought Eugene Volokh was trying to raise some honest concerns on his mind. Isn't that what we want?
Did you miss the post where Volokh said that we’re all disease-ridden vermin?Actually, I did miss that one. I searched carefully for it, too. Might he mean this post?
Some readers challenged my claim that there is "disproportionate and grave health danger from male homosexual activity" to men, compared to the danger from male heterosexual activity. I think this danger is tragic, and I very much hope that medical advances will lead to the danger's decreasing. All decent people should agree that it's tragic. (The bunk that we hear from some quarters about AIDS being God's punishment for homosexuality would suggest, as some wit put it, that lesbians must be God's chosen people, since their rates are apparently very low.) But it seems to me quite clear that this danger is very much there.I doubt it that could be it. The "disease-ridden vermin" part just doesn't stand out. I don't know whether this commenter is trying to put words into Eugene Volokh's mouth (I never like it when people do it to me). But in light of his confession yesterday, I don't think he'll be effectively cowed:
OK, though, I confess: I am developing an ulterior motive in writing about this stuff. The more people tell me not to write about things that strike me as important and perfectly legitimate to write about, the more I'm tempted to write about them. If people are trying to cow others into not discussing this information, then it's all the more important that we remain uncowed.Professor Volokh is absolutely right, folks. If opinions can't be freely discussed in the blogosphere, where can they be discussed?
Back to the commenter, who is also upset about Clayton Cramer:
Did you miss former guest-blogger, and noted homophobic bigot Clayton Cramer?I have repeatedly, even vehemently disagreed with Clayton Cramer (especially over sodomy laws), but have found him to be a gentleman. Plenty of people support sodomy laws out of a belief (in my view a misguided one) that "sodomy"(a misnomer) is harmful so people should be prevented from harming themselves. I think honest debate over these issues is infinitely preferable to name calling, and I'd offer the drug law debate as a less inflammatory example. The idea of imprisoning people for consensual malum prohibitum conduct offends every principle in which I believe. But calling someone a "bigot" for disagreeing with me would be the ultimate cop out. Not only would I miss an opportunity to advance my argument, I'd actually be harming it. But this point is lost on ideologues, who think opponents deserve a sound scolding, if not something worse.
While I necessarily don't share his convictions (the right to wave a marriage certificate has never struck me as going to the essence of American freedom), I rather enjoyed Jason Kuznicki's take on bigotry:
One judges bigotry not by whether a position is popular or unpopular, progressive or conservative, but by whether the person holding that position is willing to engage with their opponents, to consider the issue from all different sides, and to think that maybe, just possibly, those who hold differing views might do so sincerely, and even with good reason.That's fair enough for me.
But what if I am wrong?
posted by Eric on 10.26.05 at 08:13 AM
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