I must say that as activists for your cause, you have developed many effective strategies, most of which involve a brilliant use of words. You have even cast yourselves as “pro-marriage” while branding those of us who stand for natural, male-female marriage as “anti-marriage.”
Given your careful and deliberate choice of words, I believe it would be very helpful if you could give us specific definitions to some key words and concepts, unless, of course, your goal is to stir up people’s emotions without any reference to truth.
Let’s start with the term “homophobia” (and related to it, “homophobic” and “homophobe”).
Some of your colleagues have referred to me as a vicious homophobe, as one of the nation’s most virulent homophobes (and much more), but I’ve yet to hear a cogent, gay-activist definition of homophobia, which historically (since 1969) meant, “an extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people.”
By your definition, what exactly is homophobia? What constitutes a homophobe or makes one homophobic?
Once on the radio, I dialogued with a gay-activist pioneer – really, an icon in the movement – and I asked him if I respected him as a fellow human being, sought to protect him against mistreatment and harm, but did not affirm his homosexuality, would I still be considered homophobic in his eyes.
He replied emphatically that, yes, I would still be homophobic. Do you agree?
If so, it would appear that your definition of “homophobia” would be the failure to affirm (or celebrate or support) homosexuality, which would be quite a change from the dictionary definition of the lexeme, not to mention completely unrelated to any kind of “phobia.”
To avoid potential misunderstanding, then, let me present this scenario.
Let’s say a lesbian couple lives next door to my wife and me, and the two women are raising a child together. My wife and I reach out to this couple, have them over for dinner, make sure their lawn is mowed when they’re away and even watch their child when they have an emergency.
At the same time, these two women know that my wife and I believe that their relationship is not valid in God’s eyes and that homosexual practice is sin. Are we thereby homophobic?
If not, then I would suggest you and your colleagues are throwing this epithet around as a tool of defamation even when it doesn’t truly apply. (In reality, there’s not a homophobic bone in my body, using the accurate definition of the word.)
If you have, however, decided to change the meaning of the word, you have now engaged in semantic dishonesty and are guilty of willfully using a dangerous weapon to disparage and discredit.
What about the word “extremist”? The Human Rights Campaign has just published a mini-book called “The Export of Hate” (replete with ridiculous, denigrating graphics), which alleges that, “There exists a network of extremists … [who] spew venomous rhetoric, outrageous theories, and discredited science.”
Now, I might mention the irony of calling an organization the “Human Rights Campaign” when the HRC has never done a single thing to help oppressed women worldwide, to feed starving children worldwide, to work for religious freedoms worldwide, to launch educational programs for the impoverished worldwide. To the contrary, it has worked exclusively to support LGBT rights, and those rights alone.
To the HRC leaders, I ask, why not call yourselves the Homosexual Rights Campaign – or would that have been self-defeating? But I digress.
I’m really wanting to understand what you mean by an “extremist,” which a major dictionary defines as “a person who holds extreme or fanatical political or religious views, especially one who resorts to or advocates extreme action.”
In your lexicon, am I an extremist if I state (as a biblical scholar) that the Bible clearly condemns homosexual practice, but the good news is that Jesus died for homosexual and heterosexual alike and offers us forgiveness of sins and new life? Does that make me an extremist?
If I quote a number of top LGBT scholars who agree with my view that the Bible condemns all forms of homoeroticism, does that make them extremists? Again, I’m just trying to understand what you mean by the term, since the HRC put me in their unfortunate and ill-conceived mini-book, branding me an extremist.
Is it only political and religious fanatics who believe that a child deserves a mom and a dad and who believe that we shouldn’t tamper with the institution of marriage? Is there any possible basis for these views that is rational and not fanatical?
And what about the term “hate”?
I know that some prominent judges have recently claimed that only anti-homosexual animus could lie behind the opposition to redefining marriage, and it would appear that you share that point of view.
But again, to be clear, let me ask you directly and forthrightly: Is it possible that I could not affirm homosexual practice without being motivated by hate? Is it possible that I could state that God clearly designed men for women and women for men without being motivated by hate? Is it possible that I could bemoan the terribly high rates of STD transmission among gay men without being motivated by hate?
I assume that folks from the LGBT community will post responses to this article here or on social media, and some might even respond with a blog, but since these really are weighty issues, and since gay activist organizations like the HRC and GLAAD and many others have used these terms so freely to vilify their opponents (not to mention allies like the SPLC who do the same), it’s only fair that you, as gay activists, provide simple answers to these questions.
So, please do define your usage of terms like homophobia, extremist and hater, not with misleading sound-bite clips used to demonize people of good conscience on my side, but rather with simple responses to my questions.