Stop Calling Me "Anti-Gay"

I love gay people. I really do. I think people with same-sex attraction of any type are human beings made in the image and likeness of God with inherent worth, dignity, and value. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.

However, according to the MSM and many people on my FB feed, I'm anti-gay and homophobic.

Why?

I happen to support traditional marriage. My reasons are both secular and religious.

A liberal Facebook friend made the following comment after I defended my hometown newspaper for refusing to print same-sex marriage announcements, given that same-sex marriage is illegal in North Dakota:



The name-calling comment, by the way, is due to a previous commenter who had called me a "close-minded asshole."



Anyway, she's "never know me to be mean," yet apparently she thinks I'm close-minded and anti-gay - despite all evidence to the contrary! I don't suppose it's ever occurred to her to think for herself and come to the conclusion that I'm NOT anti-gay, and I find it appalling when people are mean, cruel, or violent toward those who identify as gay? (For example, I abhor the Westboro Baptist Church and all their disgusting acts of hatred.)

Here's the thing: it's possible to be opposed to a specific behavior or mindset without hating the person who commits that behavior or holds that mindset. For example, I have a relative, one I love very, very much, who committed adultery. I HATE that act of adultery. In fact, I despise it. But I still love my relative with all my heart and always will.

I don't hate gay people. I consider same-sex acts to be sinful, yes, and it makes me sad when people commit sin. However, I also recognize that people have free will and that includes the free will to commit sin, or to reject my beliefs and live as they please. But I am not bound to conform to their beliefs just as they are not bound to conform to mine, so I refuse to reject Truth in order to make people happy -- because ultimately tolerance is not a Christian virtue, and condoning what I believe to be sin would be a hateful act because I'd be showing utter disregard and contempt for that person's immortal soul.

The Anchoress said it better than I can:
The truth is, one can be a Christian and still be sympathetic to some parts of the so-called “gay agenda” without signing on in toto. One can disagree on the issue of gay marriage — based on scripture, or thousands of years of tradition, or on natural law — without actually hating anyone. But the right to principled opposition is being erased, quickly, and the press is doing all it can to help erase it. We are losing the right to say, “I don’t think the same way you do; my opinions are different.” That matters, a lot.

This is our mainstream press — the people charged with the public trust — and it has moved beyond advocacy and into “search and destroy” mode.

This is not about being “right” or “wrong” on an issue. This is about menacing and bullying people into conforming or paying the price. It’s about the bastardization of the word “tolerace” in our society, to the point where the word no longer means “live and let live” or “let people be who they are”; the word has become distorted in a very unhealthy way. Someone’s a bigot? Let him be a bigot; like it or not, a man is entitled to his damn bigotry. Someone’s a curmudgeon? Let him be a curmudgeon. Someone’s a misogynist (or, conversely, a male-hater?) let them be! People are entitled to be who they are — just as a church is entitled to be what it is — free of government compulsion to be what they are not. We cannot “make” people be more loving. We cannot “legislate” kindness. A bigot, or a hater (of any sort) will eventually find himself standing alone, will have to figure things out for himself. Or, not.
I think all human beings have inherent worth, dignity, and value, regardless of their race, sex, sexual orientation, sexual behavior, or any other characteristic. Any unjust discrimination in their regard is to be avoided.

I don't support traditional marriage or oppose same-sex marriage because I hate gay people; I support traditional marriage and oppose same-sex marriage because traditional marriage is a cornerstone of society established for the purpose of raising children in a stable family unit. This definition has come under attack by no-fault divorce, contraception, and abortion; our culture has attempted for years to redefine it into nothing more then "two [or more] people [or buildings, or animals, or abstract concepts, or father/daughter couples] who love each other and want to commit for an indefinite period of time" -- in other words, to render it virtually meaningless and unrecognizable.

Yes, I fully condemn people like Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian who make a mockery out of traditional marriage as well -- but who can blame them, given the attempt to redefine marriage that has been carried out since the sexual revolution? They were never raised to know what marriage is or what it is supposed to be.

I'm also furious about the smear job against Chick-Fil-A that's being perpetuated by the MSM. For example, Boston mayor Thomas Menino said,  "If they [Chick-Fil-A] need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult - unless they open up their policies."

WHAT POLICIES? Chick-Fil-A has no policies regarding gay people. They don't refuse to hire or serve those who identify as gay. So what policies are Menino referring to?

Chick-Fil-A's founder, Dan Cathy, stands for traditional marriage and donates to groups that also stand for traditional marriage, but "standing for traditional marriage" is NOT synonymous with "homophobia" no matter how much the MSM wants you to think so. Please, people, quit drinking the liberal Kool-Aid and THINK!

And don't get me STARTED on how the vast majority of those I know who are in favor of same-sex "marriage" are also pro-"choice." The logic is bizarre. I'm "anti-gay" because I stand for traditional marriage as a basic cornerstone of society, as it has been, historically, for thousands of years (in pagan societies as well as Jewish and Christian ones), but they get all up in arms when I point out that they favor denying actual human rights to innocent human beings.  I think that that it's a crime to murder the unborn, and I think it's morally wrong to unjustly discriminate against those who identify as gay. Unlikely as it is, if science were to discover a "gay gene" that was able to be diagnosed prenatally, I would also oppose the abortion of unborn children on the basis of their sexual orientation. Yet I'M the alleged bigot?

So do me a favor, any liberal who is reading this, and stop calling me "anti-gay." Disagree with me all you want, but have the courtesy to disagree with what I actually believe instead of what you think I believe.

I don't see how I can be "anti-gay" when I believe that all people, gay or straight, are human beings with intrinsic worth, dignity, and value, and I've yet to encounter a single person who can explain to me -- using LOGIC AND REASON, not just pure emotion -- how that belief is hateful and homophobic.

If anyone believes they can, then please, feel free to try.

Comments

  1. This is a really, really good post :) Much better written than I ever could.

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  2. Well said, JoAnna. Though we will probably always disagree on many social topics (including the hot-button issue of same-sex marriage), I have always respected you as a person and very much enjoy reading your posts here.
    Even though we probably disagree on most political issues, I agree 100% with you on the subject of human dignity. It's sad how easily people jump to sweeping conclusions about a person based on a single belief (in this case, whether or not you felt the Forum was right to refuse to publish that wedding announcement). Unfortunately, I have seen this happens on both sides of the political spectrum. That exchange on Facebook truly made me sad.

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  3. And I might be beating a dead horse here because I know you and I have already discussed this... but I think commenting on the post was looking for trouble - she was already upset and angry about the issue itself, and it was unlikely that you would be able to have a logical and reasonable debate about it when her emotions were already running high. To an outsider who doesn't know you, I'm afraid your attempt to have a reasonable debate about the subject might have seemed like trolling. Just through in my unsolicited 2 cents, because I <3 you.
    On a related note, might I recomment this excellent post from The Bloggess regarding the confusion between normal, intelligent human beings on the internet, and trolls? http://thebloggess.com/2012/06/how-to-tell-if-youre-a-troll/
    Just my 2 cents on the subject.

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  4. Amazing post- thank you for the great read. I'm sharing it everywhere I can, especially the graphic about "tolerance".

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  5. Hi JoAnna - the comment that you made on my blog lead me to yours. I believe you when you say that you are not homophobic. I believe that you are a compassionate and kind person who loves and respects people with same-sex attraction. And I share some of your criticisms of the people who are calling you out for standing by your convictions about the Catholic view of marriage.

    But here's the thing: if you are participating in attempts to outlaw gay marriage, you are engaging in anti-gay behavior. Here's why: gays want the right to marry. Whether you approve of gay marriage or not, there are many legal rights that marriage confers, and there are some solid legal grounds for gays to ask for it. Being against gay marriage and believing gay sex is a sin is neutral; actively working to make gay marriage illegal or to keep it illegal is anti-gay. I think this is pretty uncontroversial logic.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Knight.

      Your logic is far from uncontroversial - in fact, it's flawed. By your same logic, if I oppose sibling marriage, I am "anti-sibling." If I oppose parent/child marriage, I am anti-parent and anti-child as well.

      When you say the legal rights of marriage, I assume you're talking about things like medical decision-making, hospital visitation, inheritance rights, etc. If the government chooses to confer these rights to gay couples, that's fine with me. I'm not necessarily opposed to laws that would allow one person to designate a non-related person as their next-of-kin for the purposes of medical decisions and inheritance rights. I just don't think it's needed or necessary to redefine marriage to achieve those ends when it can be done legislatively.

      Moreover, your argument seems to be that it's fine to have religious beliefs as long as you don't bring them into the public square. (Never mind that there are plenty of secular arguments against gay marriage.) However, President Barack Obama himself disagrees with you:

      "But what I am suggesting is this - secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King - indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history - were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. So to say that men and women should not inject their "personal morality" into public policy debates is a practical absurdity. Our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition. - Barack Obama, "Call to Renewal" Keynote Address, June 28, 2006"

      Finally, are you in favor of the HHS mandate? If so, you must therefore be anti-Catholic. Why do you hate Catholics, Knight? After all, it's fine to be in favor of contraception, but you should not be forcing your beliefs on those who believe it is a sin to purchase contraception for others to use.

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    2. Also, Knight, I'd encourage you to read Jimmy Akin's excellent article at the National Catholic Register: Are You a Hater or a Bigot? Or Are You Just Intolerant?

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    3. Except that no one is asking for "sibling marriage." And no one is asking for "parent/child marriage" (ok, maybe one deeply disturbed couple in Australia). But really, these are straw-men arguments.

      I read the link you posted from the Catholic Defense blog, and I posted a reply on my blog and on his. Skimming the other two articles, they offer similar objections to gay marriage. The problem is that all of these are essentially religious arguments against gay marriage, not secular ones.

      Yes, to some degree, I disagree with President Obama on this point. Sure, one's religious beliefs should inform his or her approach to public policy. That said, these beliefs should not be used to supplant the beliefs of other reasonable people who do not agree. For example, Reform Jews believe in gay marriage; Episcopalians allow gay marriage; the United Church of Christ recognizes gay marriage. Should the state favor the Catholic view of marriage over theirs? In my opinion, the state cannot arbitrate between these competing views, and must fall back on its core, secular values embedded into our system: fairness, the guarantee of property rights, and equal protection under the law.

      Please, call me Sam. I'll have a look at that last link you posted, and check back if you have any additional comments. Thank you for the discussion. Regards, Sam

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    4. I forgot one point: it is estimated that marriage confers over 1100 rights to the married couple. Adding/revising over a thousand laws seems like the long way of going about giving equality to gays and lesbians.

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    5. Sam,

      Except that no one is asking for "sibling marriage."

      Irrelevant. Your logic still holds. If you are opposed to sibling marriage, you are anti-sibling. That is your own logic.

      But really, these are straw-men arguments.

      How so? Can you clarify what position is being distorted?

      The problem is that all of these are essentially religious arguments against gay marriage, not secular ones.

      Please cite where religion is invoked in any of the articles to which I linked.

      Should the state favor the Catholic view of marriage over theirs?

      The state should favor whichever form of marriage promotes a stable family unit. Given that homosexual unions are by their very nature sterile, they do not promote a stable family unit since they cannot produce children at all.

      Equal protection under the law already exists. Both heterosexuals and homosexuals may marry one unencumbered, unrelated, consenting adult of the opposite sex. If heterosexuals could contract same-sex unions but homosexuals could not (or vice versa), then unequal protection would exist. But as it is, equal rights exist already.

      I took a look at the 1100 rights you mentioned, and many are already conferred to cohabiting couples or even unmarried and non-cohabiting couples.

      One example: insurance. My current place of employment offers its insurance plans to married couples, common law spouses, and same-sex domestic partners. You don't need to be married to get insurance if your partner, same sex or hetero, works for my company. You just need to supply an affidavit and/or a document proving that you share a household, such as an apartment lease or the deed to your home, and a copy of the signature page of your joint tax return (I had to supply a copy of my marriage license and the signature page of my tax return).

      Easy peasy. I really don't think it'd be as difficult as you make it out to be to confer certain privileges without redefining marriage.

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    6. It's a straw-man because you're refuting a position that seems similar to mine, but that no one has taken.

      The state makes no assumption about any couple's fertility, nor imposes any requirement regarding the couple's physical (or mental) fitness as parents. A medically sterilized couple is still able to marry, for example.

      These are religious arguments because the state is unconcerned with a couple's fecundity; child-bearing and child-rearing are treated as an issue separate from marriage. Religion, on the other hand, seek to conflate the two. Historically speaking, the state's interest in marriage has always been one of property rights, not child welfare. That is a very modern concept.

      I guess my counter-argument boils down to this: gay couples exist. Gay couples have children. The state should grant the security and stability of marriage to protect the children of these unions.

      And as to your thoughts about same-sex rights - sure, it sounds easy, but then, so does putting a toddler to bed or going to the DMV. :-)

      It's your blog, so please take the last word. Again, I thank you for considering my thoughts.

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    7. Sorry for replying to an old post and I don't know if either of you will see this, but I think there is a unifying principle that should be acknowledged and is missing from your discussion. Sam/Knight says Joanna is being 'anti-gay' because she oppose gay marriage. The missing principle that needs to be discussed is love.

      Loving someone means to want what is good for that person.
      So the question that needs to be decided is weather or not legal marriage is a good thing to allow homosexual persons to have.

      Knight would seem to believe so and Joanna disagree.

      The key question is weather or not the homosexual relationship itself is something that damages and does harm to the homosexual person.

      _IF_ as Joanna believe, homosexual sex is harmful to the person who engages in it, and as the catholic church teaches homosexual unions are harmful , physically , spiritually and socially to the people who suffer from the inclination to seek them.

      _Then_ by opposing laws that encourage homosexuals to engage in union is actually a way of helping homosexual people avoid doing things that hurt themselves. It is an act of being loving towards and is in fact 'pro-gay'. Which is to say seeking what is good for gay people.

      The argument about weather or not homosexual sex is harmful to gay people or not is one I don't have time to get into here. However, it has merit even from a purely atheistic standpoint.

      JoAnna you should write an post that is title. Why I am 'pro-gay' and people don't know it ;)

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  6. Excellent as always JoAnna. Keep it up!

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  7. This is a GREAT post JoAnna! I'm adding it to my Catholic Soap Box blog! God bless!!

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  8. So so true, couldn't have said it better. I applaud you

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