Friday, August 9, 2013 - Volume 4, Number 6 – Page 2

© Copyright 2013, The Ultrapolis Project.  All Rights Reserved.

With Malice Toward All, & Defense of Traditional Marriage

Readers Respond to UWFR of June 29 on New Gay Pride, and Ultrapolis Essay on Marriage




Readers on Malice Toward All:  New Pride Not New


Gay Hate Not New


I just read your editorial [“With Malice Toward All”, (UWFR, June 29)].  I agree substantially with it.  I don't see the hatred and bloodlust as a recent phenomenon, however.  Perhaps it has expanded, or become more public (especially in the mainstream media), and/or perhaps I am just not in a good position to objectively see these changes over the years.  In any case, I definitely recall hatred expressed by gay people (and their opponents) going back 25+ years.  What I have taken note of over the years is a decrease in hate-mongering among conservatives.  I suppose it could be the result of the psychology of the mob - first anti-gay words were tolerated, even cheered, and the anti-gay hater were emboldened, then (now) the anti-'homophobe' words are cheered and the gay haters are emboldened.


Throughout the article, my mind kept wandering to situations across the globe (especially in the Muslim lands), then you would remind me that you were talking about Americans.  I think the process at work is the same, though.  These gay haters, are the same as the jihadists, the same as the anti-abortion extremists, the animal rights and environmental extremists, etc.  It's a selfish process whereby these people hold some personal idea so dear that little else matters except the promotion of that idea...the end justifies the means.  I think people (and countries) are at their best and humanity is exalted when their personal ideas are subordinate to more transcendent concepts like fairness, freedom, respect, responsibility, etc.  I think one's self interests are better served by trying to lift everyone up, than by trying to lift just yourself up.


And, Not Just Gay


I witnessed some moderated talk show on one of the CNN channels the other day discussing what's next for the gay rights movement.  It sounded like the backroom verbal sparring you might expect at a meeting of extremists (minus the vulgarity, not a debate fit for a general audience, even a CNN audience.  I don't think this would have happened even a couple years ago.  Such daring, and who, except the extremists (and their note-taking opposition), would even care to watch it.


I think the process is at work in other areas, too, like the regulatory bureaucrats that relish every chance to exercise their powers (it's the rule that matters, not the intent of the rule) or the government officials that fear terrorists so much that they violate the freedoms of the innocent in order to protect the innocent.  So, apparently, some central Texas teenage video gamer has been in jail for a couple months without charge or trial because he made joking remarks which were perceived as 'imminent' threats.  On an online video game/Facebook forum, this guy was called out-of-his-mind by someone he was chatting with.  He responded that yeah, he's so out-of-his-mind that that he's gonna' shoot up a school, “lol, jk”.


Continued column 2 >



 < From column 1


Some stranger in Canada spotted the remarks and called police in the guy's city and (despite two months having passed) the police arrested him without evidence substantiating or corroborating the threat, and has held him for the last two months...this in Texas, USA, not Uganda.  Disgusting!


 Weston Anderson

Houston, TX


Label the Act, Not the Person


I did read your article, and my main reaction is that I have seen more expressions of celebration than of hate.   I do know about the expressions of hate, but I've seen them all along, from certain people.  I've used terms like "breeders" myself (affectionately, I like to think, but it IS an epithet).   I don't think it's new or even worse now.   I'm reading the novel "A Single Man", in which Isherwood's protagonist both explains and exemplifies the hatred that the persecuted often feel for the persecutors.   The post you gave as an example doesn't seem worse than the thoughts expresses in the book (from 1964).


That said, I think it is seldom useful to label someone a homophobe (Karl Rove, Jerry Falwell, Alec Baldwin), or a racist (Paula Deen, Michele Obama), for a couple of reasons.  First, it means that you are likely to filter every action by that person through the lens of this label.   Second, the accusation in the label is difficult for the accused to defend against, and impossible for the accuser to prove.   Assigning a motivation behind an action, when you cannot possibly know that motivation, leaves the action itself unaddressed.   It's also an ad hominem attack.


Assigning the label to the particular action or behavior seems more productive.  A person can be shown how a particular behavior is harmful (racist, homophobic, etc), and that person can choose to stop that behavior.   But if that person IS a homophobe, at what point does the person go from being a homophobe to being a non-homophobe (if that's even possible)?


Kevin Bailey

Corsicana, TX


Editors’ Note:

To that last question we must say we think it is possible.  Otherwise all discussion would be pointless, and taught racism or sexism could never be un-taught, and nothing would ever change.



Continued column 3 >

< From column 2

Readers on Traditional & Gay Marriage


Not My Business, But Don’t make it My Business


I read your article [“A Gay Defense of a Traditional View of Marriage” (Ultrapolis Section, re-posted June 28)]. Such a tough topic. And you take a position that is contrary to what I imagine is near 99% of gays. I don't even know what I believe with respect to this topic. I suppose I don't care as long as businesses (of all types) and churches aren't obligated to "sell their product" to gays if they don't want to  (or to blacks, or to whites, or to women, or to men, or to [Asians], [etc.]). I've always believed (quite firmly) that the business owner should have the right to sell to whomever he wants to, but in the U.S. today that appears not to be the case.  If I don't like midgets, or Cubans (I'm Cuban), or any other group I should be able to not provide service to them (since it is MY business). Then of course market forces will act upon me (or not) due to my decision to sell or not to sell to whomever I want. Of course the government has interfered in the market to such a degree that a "free market" (contrary to popular belief) does not exist.

Other than that, I don't care who marries who. I suppose that it's none of my business.


Joaquin Arguelles

Miami, FL




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