Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bigotry That Stands the Test of Time

I’m a daily reader of a blog called Dispatches From the Culture Wars, by a guy named Ed Brayton up in Michigan. Good commentary, day after day. Ed is a common-sense guy and a staunch defender of freedom of speech, among other things. I heartily recommend this blog to all two of my regular readers.

One of Ed’s blog entries this morning directed my attention to some commentary by former presidential candidate and Angry White Man™ Pat Buchanan, who weighed in on General Peter Pace’s opinion equating homosexuality with such immoral behavior as adultery.

I’m going to keep my definition of immorality short and sweet, and say that for something to be truly immoral, someone has to get hurt. Murder, rape, assault, robbery, adultery, wars of aggression, etc and so on. I don’t believe there’s a victim when consenting adults commit homosexual acts.

And that brings us to Buchanan, who writes:

On Pace’s side, that homosexuality is immoral, we have the Bible and Quran, 2,000 years of Christianity, Orthodox Judaism and natural law, the moral beliefs of virtually every society to the present, and the laws of every state before the 1960s. Up to 1973, psychiatrists treated it as a disorder. Nations where homosexuality is rampant have been regarded as “decadent.”

I don’t want to accuse Pat Buchanan of talking out his ass, but that’s pretty much what he’s doing. He lazily hides behind “the moral beliefs of virtually every society” and the “laws of every state” without questioning whether those beliefs and laws might have originated from superstition and misunderstanding. He brings up the outdated psychiatric classification of homosexuality-as-mental-disorder, and even correctly notes that that line of thinking was abandoned more than 30 years ago—but won’t dare let himself think the next logical thought: The medical community no longer classifies homosexuality as a mental disorder because it isn’t one.

You don’t get to have grandfather laws for bigotry and intolerance, Pat Buchanan. Maybe people have been harassing, victimizing, and discriminating against homosexuals for 2000 years, or for 5000 years, or since the beginning of time. No matter how long it’s been, it’s the oppressors who are wrong, not the oppressed.

When your beliefs run counter to reality, the burden of change is on you.

No comments: