Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Why attack the argument when you can attack the person?

Leonard Pitts Jr., sometime contributor to the Detroit Free Press, wrote this past weekend about his frustration with people using the Bible to support their resistance against embracing homosexuality. In his own words, "I've had it up to here with the moral hypocrisy and intellectual constipation of Bible literalists." I especially like the "intellectual constipation" part. Earlier in the article he states, "You're entitled to think what you think, no matter how stupid it might be." I love his writing. After all, that's what this blog is all about, everyone taking their turn being an idiot.

His article is an open letter to someone he only names at the end but we don't know exists, on behalf of Desiree, who we don't know exists, regarding an unnamed school's morning announcement we don't know actually happened. Let's assume everything is true, and that Mr. Pitts decided rather than contacting the adult from the story directly it was a better idea to soapbox his support for homosexuals on the pages of the Free Press.

Many bible-thumper's argument against homosexuality may be ill-formed, or even mis-informed. Pitts' column document's this particular crime against political correctness as:
"The coup de grace, though, was you invoking Sodom and Gomorrah and telling students homosexuality was 'wrong according to the Bible' because God ordered humanity to multiply, which gay couples cannot do."
As nonsensical as that argument may be, its nonesensicalness (I made that word up) wasn't the point of the column. Instead of pointing out lots of couple's can't have children for various medical reasons and that the bible doesn't condemn their relationships it instead attacks the speaker using two logical fallacies, guilt by association and ad hominem attacks.

After using Desiree's accusation of bigotry to color the adult's reputation (ad hominem) it attacks a whole class of "bible literalists" as hypocrites by pointing out several of the bible's rules we presume even fundamentalists can't follow all the time, like women not talking in church, only asking their husbands questions outside of church, working on Sundays, and my favorite: that men should marry the virgins they rape.

Isn't that last one a shotgun wedding?

Sometimes we use words whose meaning we've forgotten, like bigot, because everyone else uses them. That's why I make words up--they mean whatever I need them to mean. Like combining the words hypocrite and hypochondriac to make hypocritiac, hypocriphobic, or paranocrite to mean a person disposed to chronically complaining about hypocrites.

Anyway, I looked up the word bigot because it's used so much lately to describe people who won't embrace homosexuality and everything else Hollywood shoves in front of us I had to be sure:
big·ot n. One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.
So a person who is intolerant of those who differ are, well, bigots. I like the way Mark Steyn puts it in his WSJ article, It's the demography stupid:
"... Lady Kennedy was arguing that our tolerance of our own tolerance is making us intolerant of other people's intolerance, which is intolerable. And, unlikely as it sounds, this has now become the highest, most rarefied form of multiculturalism. So you're nice to gays and the Inuit? Big deal. Anyone can be tolerant of fellows like that, but tolerance of intolerance gives an even more intense frisson of pleasure to the multiculti masochists."
Pitts' column wraps up with an unanswered challenge that would fool only people spending too much time watching the Sopranos or Sex and the City. After complaining too many Christians are Johnny-one-notes the columns asks:
Meantime, people are ignorant in Appalachia, strung out in Miami, starving in Niger, sex slaves in India, mass murdered in Darfur. Where is the Christian outrage about that?
Where's the Christian outrage? Apparently the only time Mr. Pitts confronts Christians is when he's protesting their protests against homosexuality. All the missions to these places and more don't generate much press without Sean Penn, Barbara Streisand, and Angelina Jolie. The missionaries that have dedicated and lost their lives to educate, rehabilitate, feed, free, and protect without press releases or celebrities for thousands of years don't count because Mr. Pitts isn't aware of them. Mr. Pitts must also be unfamiliar with Matthew 6:2-5:
Thus whenever you do charitable giving, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in synagogues and on streets so that people will praise them. I tell you the truth, they have their reward.
Lastly, I'm curious why the fixation on Christians? Are they the only hold-outs against homosexuality? And are the ignorant, strung out, starving, enslaved, and murdered only their responsibility? If so we should let them know, but I'm confident people from many religions help all these people, too. Of course, only Scientologists can dispatch Tom Cruise and John Travolta to where help is needed most.

Leonard Pitts Jr. is allowed to write whatever he wants to write no matter how stupid it may be, but why pick on Appalachia?


  1. Lengthy but good response to the always far Left Leonard Pitts Jr. He seems to be able to find an idefensible place to stand against anything that good middle Americans generally stand for. But, think about it, his stand almost always can energize us to give more thought to - and even greater support for - our (we hope and think) well-grounded beliefs.

  2. I apologize for it's length, but didn't have time to make it shorter. Bigotry is a strong word to be cast about so easily. Similarly, hypocrisy is dangerous stone to throw in the media's glass house, which now looks less like a house than it does a... a... heck--I don't know. A glass house that looks like a lot of stones have been thrown out of it.