Can't be Neutral on Bigotry - Island of Sanity

Island of Sanity



Tolerance & Bigotry

Can't be Neutral on Bigotry


Suppose that a business never showed any black people in their ads. And suppose that when questioned, they explained that they did this to avoid offending white people. This would be so outrageous that it’s hard to imagine any company doing such a thing today. As a white person, I would protest the assumption that all white people are so racist that we would be offended by just seeing a picture of a black person. If the only way to avoid offending racists is to act like a racist yourself, then, sorry, there is no easy way out: You’re going to have to take a stand for or against racism.

Suppose that a business never used the word “Christmas” in their ads. And suppose that when questioned, they explained that they did this to avoid offending non-Christians. This is not considered outrageous today. Are all non-Christians really such anti-Christian bigots that they are offended just to hear the word “Christmas”? (As a Christian, I don’t recall ever being offended by hearing someone mention “Hanukkah” or “Ramadan”. I guess I’m just not as big a bigot as these anti-Christians.) If the only way to avoid offending religious bigots is to act like a religious bigot yourself, then, sorry, there is no easy way out: You’re going to have to take a stand for or against religious bigotry.

What makes this particularly ridiculous is that businesses publish ads encouraging us to do our Christmas shopping at their stores … but they refuse to use the word Christmas. They hate Christians so much they can’t even bring themselves to say the name of our holy day, but they want us to give them money. They want us to pay to be marginalized, disdained, and insulted.

© 2006 by Jay Johansen


Comments

Sabine Jul 23, 2014

Many people are born outdise of wedlock', currently and in the past. In times before marriage existed as a legal or even cultural institution, people still got on being born just fine. I make absolutely no moral call on this; it is merely a statement of reality that people can be born outdise of marriage and that the simple act of procreation is unhindered by that. Do you disagree with the notion that many people are born outdise of married couples?Now to address the article Some states restrict the marriage of people suffering from syphilis or other venereal diseases. Really? That is, to me, horrifying, I must say. When a state recognizes a marriage, it bestows upon the couple certain benefits which are costly to both the state and other individuals. Fair enough. propagation of society is a compelling state interest It is, but far from the only one. Elderly couples can marry, but such cases are so rare that it is simply not worth the effort to restrict them. It may be rare, but it is an easy case to restrict. Why don't we? The burden of proof, therefore, is on the advocates of gay marriage to show what state interest these marriages serve. The will of the people is a state interest.To respond to the whole gay parenting section without bothering to quote anything, this argument always relies on the terrible naefvete9 that it is simple, straightforward, and not restrictive of rights to have children raised by their biological parents. I spent two-thirds of my pre-adult life without one of my biological parents, due to the unavoidable circumstance of sudden and unforeseeable death. I have family members who grew up without one or both biological parents, usually to their benefit, even though they could have theoretically been raised by them. It seems that two-parent households often fare better than one-parent households, despite this author's total dismissal of studies that say such a thing. (Preemptively, in case you bring up Regnerus's recent study, the methodology is laughably poor and he has been derided by many, many respectable critics.) All told, I think it is responsible to help children have a stable household, even if it is not your ideal. Gay and bisexual people will continue to at least have their own children anyway, even if adoption were made impossible. Some have compared the prohibition of homosexual marriage to the prohibition of interracial marriage. This analogy fails because fertility does not depend on race, making race irrelevant to the state's interest in marriage. By contrast, homosexuality is highly relevant because it precludes procreation. This analogy fails less than one would think, if you consider that the previous goalposts were intensely racist ideals like racially pure procreation. (I hope we can reflect on that as disgustingly bigoted, even though there are people who support those notions today.) Some argue that homosexual marriages serve a state interest because they enable gays to live in committed relationships. The rights listed after this statement are much easier to obtain through marriage. See my original ease of access comment. Marriage is also sentimental for many people. As a result, the happiness of the parties to the marriage, rather than the good of the children or the social order, has become its primary end, with disastrous consequences. When married persons care more about themselves than their responsibilities to their children and society, they become more willing to abandon these responsibilities, leading to broken homes, a plummeting birthrate, and countless other social pathologies that have become rampant over the last 40 years. No one owes society a cisgender heterosexual relationship, a lifelong commitment to said partner, or 2+ children. I apparently value personal freedom more than this author does. The biggest danger homosexual civil marriage presents is the enshrining into law the notion that sexual love, regardless of its fecundity, is the sole criterion for marriage. Socially, this is how many people already think of marriage. A desire to hold on to a past definition out of tradition is not a rational one. upon what basis cant it deny marital recognition to a group of two men and three women, for example, or a sterile brother and sister who claim to love each other? No very good ones. Enabling marriages to multiple people would require something of a reworking of the current system, but it is not an unworthy goal. Enabling marriages between (consenting, uncoerced, etc.) siblings would require significantly less.At the end of the day, if the people support a change in the definition of marriage, why not respect their will? If the people want their tax dollars to support the costly marriages of seemingly non-procreative couples, why not allow it? In fact, that whole cost argument falls apart if the people are willing to bear the cost for the happiness of others, which they increasingly are. Love is a convincing argument for many people, because love is why many people get married now. And I fear a state that does not serve its people.As it becomes increasingly apparent that procreation is less of a priority even for cisgender heterosexual couples (or cis/trans homosexual couples or other possible pairings who slip through via an unchanged or unchangeable gender marker), it would seem that the procreative argument against marriages that might appear non-procreative by default becomes one of tradition, and arguments from tradition generally do attempt to veil conservatism and, yes, bigotry.

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