The Unfundamental Conversion

Why Not to Judge Racist, Bigoted, and Sexist People

January 22nd, 2013 | Posted by Lana Hope in Homeschool

Yes, a lot of people are racists, bigoted, and sexist. We live in a world where people love to push the other person down. People love to make themselves superior  and shove the world in a nice box. But life doesn’t work that way.  And that box is wrong. As we’ve seen from the test of time, women aren’t more dumb than men, and girls aren’t worse at math than boys. Stereotypes are not only wrong, but they are also holding us back from moving forward.

But. Yet.

I grew up in that box.


I hated being the inferior sex, but I still believed I was. I was taught that I had to wear more clothing, speak more soft, and watch boys at our homeschool camps get to rock climb. My homeschool leaders would have denied they were teaching me that I was inferior, but they were.

And I honestly believed being gay was a choice. A simple choice. I had never met a gay person. I had no idea.

I grew up isolated. I simply didn’t know what I didn’t know. I love homeschooling. Always will. But this doesn’t change the fact that because I was homeschooled, I was taught my parents view of the world and never had the opportunity to have a teacher with a different perspective. I simply could not imagine another world out there. The homeschool, evangelical culture was my life. One world, one lens, that’s all I had.

My friends in Asia can’t understand a way of life where people work hard and live above the poverty level. Some cannot imagine earning the kind of money that would even afford a car. I’ve tried to teach them tricks, and its failed. In the same way they can’t imagine, I couldn’t imagine another way of life outside fundamentalism growing up. My world was black and white. How could I imagine what colors were? The Bible said homosexuals can’t inherit the kingdom of God; this meant they went to hell. Logical? Not quite. But I simply couldn’t imagine.

Some of us didn’t grow up fortunate enough to be taught what it really meant to love our neighbors as ourselves. My family was not mean or malicious. We weren’t out to get anyone. We were simply clueless. We didn’t know what we didn’t know. My parents were honestly as clueless as me.

That’s changed now.

When you meet a clueless person, try to have patience. Yes, talk to them. But have patience.

I changed. But the part that made me most reluctant to change was that people called me bigoted and sexist at my university. That hurt me. And I grew to think of these people as just hateful people. They never convinced me. Only leaving the country convinced me.

Always remember, people are a work in process. Lets go alongside and help each other rather than judge each other. And I think that doesn’t just include lifestyles; it also includes not judging a person’s belief’ system.

Anyway, food for thought.


Proud anti-complementarian (who does still believe in sin, btw)

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  • FG

    I’m assuming that when you suggest one not “judge” another (whether beliefs or lifestyle), am I correct to assume you’re referring to those who condemn by issuing labels such as a “bigot” or “sexist”?

    Would you, however, say that it’s improper to issue truth-claims or value judgements? If so, why? And if not, is it then permissible to render value judgements about things like, for example, homosexual behavior (which you addressed)?

    Given your background, I can only assume you know that when the Bible refers to homosexuals, it’s referring to those who engage in homosexual behavior, not to those simply subject to homosexual temptations (after all, one is not guilty for merely being tempted to sin). Given this fact, in what way is such behavior not a “choice”? Homosexuals, after all, are volitional beings, not robots or puppets.

    Note that I’m not denying that some people suffer homosexual temptations, just like some men suffer temptations to cheat on their wife. However, we don’t excuse men who cheat on their wife merely because they are tempted to do so. Nor do we excuse those who steal because they are tempted to commit theft. Why then should we excuse (or legitimize) homosexual behavior from anyone merely by virtue of their being tempted to do so?

    When scripture indicates that those who willfully engage in homosexual behavior (or any other willful sinful lifestyle) shall not inherit the kingdom of God, you suggested that wasn’t “logical”. Precisely what logical fallacy (formal or informal) is being committed, or which law of logic is being violated?

    Finally, so that I’m not misunderstood, I live in Southern California and am immersed in the larger culture. I’m not unfamiliar with those engaged in various sinful lifestyles, nor am I only in contact with those who share my world view, so I’m not speaking out of ignorance or being naive. I share this because, if and when I issue value judgements, it is not out of bigotry or ignorance. Nor do I hate anyone for engaging in homosexual behavior any more than I hate my children when they sin. But, because I love my children, I tell them the truth regarding ethics. I am not, of course, suggesting we walk up to anyone at any time and tell them they’re in sin. But when engaged in a discussion on the topic, one should be able to make general statements (i.e., not directed to any particular individual) about moral propriety.

    • I am simply saying don’t talk bad about them, love them, let them in your church, don’t look at them as if they have a defect.

      • FG

        In that case, I’d agree with you.

  • Love you post!

  • JW

    Bigoted and sexist. I get very wary of those who use those terms because often times they are used to put someone in a box if they don’t fit into a moral or amoral classification.
    Just as the word homophobia. Phobia is fear of something so if someone is called homophobic it is supposed to mean fear of homosexuality but in this day it means those who just think it is wrong and they should have no rights. The repackaging of terminology in order to make America a more diverse society.

    • Yes. This. I agree. There are some people who are still scared of homosexuals though.

      • FG

        For the sake of clarification, a “phobia” is not merely a “fear”. Rather, it is an irrational or unground fear. For example, a rational person probably would probably fear black widows, and rightly so. But that wouldn’t constitute a case of arachnophobia, since black widows pose a danger worth fearing.

        Be that as it may, in what way is anyone afraid of homosexuals? I’d like to see anyone produce an example wherein a person is somehow afraid of homosexuals. Perhaps some may fear (or, at the least, exercise concern regarding) the homosexual agenda, however, given the destruction to the moral fabric of society such an agenda poses, that’s a perfectly valid thing to cause anyone concern.

        Finally, I agree with JW’s initial point. The ad hominem terms in question require some prior ethical theory which will inform the use of such terms, and it’s those prior theories which need to be debated. For example, one cannot be sexist if one’s views about the roles of men and women are correct. Unless the critic can offer some argument which supports his ethical views, his criticism has no argumentative force.

        • ooh, sometimes it surprises me. Some people in the south are afraid they will become gay by touching a lesbian. Of course, that’s the minority, and its less so today than 10 years ago, but homophobia especially in the past was very real.

          And I don’t think people who believe in traditional roles are correct. Different but equal is an oxymoron.

          • FG

            Seriously? You’ve personally met someone who actually told you they believed they could become gay by touching a lesbian? or is this something you heard second-hand? I know there are some wacky people out there, but such a belief is so silly as to be held by practically no one. There are probably more people who believe Elvis still lives than there are that believe one can become gay through nothing more than casual contact.

            As for traditional roles, I suspect you and I have entirely different notions of what constitutes “traditional roles”, which I think is why you have a difference of opinion. Were we to sit down and examine how we each view “traditional roles”, I’ll bet we wouldn’t differ as much as you think.

            The same problem of needing to define terms exists with your locution, “different but equal”. Without knowing exactly what you’re investing in that, I will say that, generally speaking, the terms are not oxymoronic. For example, in the USA, the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court are different but equal, because they play entirely different roles, but they have equal power via those different roles (as far as the Constitution is concerned). The point is, two things can be equal in one sense and different in another sense, so that there’s no contradiction in any way.
            With regards to Christianity, men and women have equal value and rights, but the two simply play different roles within marriage. I make note that this difference in roles is only within marriage, because prior to entering marriage there’s little or nothing to distinguish between men and woman with respect to their roles (e.g., both can go on missions, go to college, get a job or career, etc.). And even within marriage, such “roles” only exist to maintain some semblance of order and peace. Obviously there may be occasional exceptions which may require roles to adjust at times. But I suspect most of your objections to traditional roles find their locus in your life experiences, wherein husbands lord over their families, and wherein such abuse is defended as being a biblical doctrine.

  • FG

    Um, after rereading what I wrote, I realized my second paragraph appears rather contradictory. What I meant to say by the latter sentence is that I’ll bet we don’t differ as to what men and women’s roles actually are (where any such roles exist).

    • No it happened to a lesbian friend of mine who worked at a dealer in rural Texas. Perhaps she exaggerated, but I believe it. I know a preacher who when I was a kid (yes, 15 or more years ago) said he couldn’t lay hands and pray for the AIDS victim cuz he might get it. Lack of education does exist.

      As to homosexuality, many are afraid of their agenda, afraid that homosexuality will evoke Gods wrath upon us. I’ve had people tell me just that. But God also speaks out against divorce, adultery, and fornification, which many Americans are not clean of. It does appear that many Americans are just afraid of homosexuality because its different.

      • FG

        Yes, I suspected that was only hearsay. I also suspect your lesbian friend is engaging in biased hyperbole. The AIDS story, on the other hand, though not analogous, is perfectly believable. But that has nothing to do with being homophobic. That’s just ignorance about how a deadly, contractable disease is contracted.

        You’re entirely correct that many focus more on a sin like homosexuality while ignoring other, more common sins (when was the last time you heard anyone speak out about the sin of gluttony?). However, the difference between gluttony and homosexual behavior is that there is no glutton agenda to force everyone else to validate or legitimize gluttony. The homosexual community, on the other hand, have a large militant agenda, in which they desire to force acceptance of their lifestyle. It’s not as if they want to be left alone to engage in their behavior behind closed doors. Instead, they want to impose legislation which will force anyone with an opposing view to legitimize their behavior as being somehow “normal”, which it clearly is not.

        • I think its a lot harder on gay people than we as straight people realize. I was just watching the documentary called the Bible tells me so (or something like that). When one Christian man came out as gay, people in the community threw a can into his business, shattered the glass on his car. (this was several years ago) One high school boy had someone come to his house and write “you are a fag” in chalk. The documentary also said that in 1967 1 in 10 people said they hated homosexuals. That IS changing in America, but I think the East and places in the West like Colorado and California are much more progressive than places in the south. Obviously schools are tolerant these days, but the old country folks are not nearly as polite. My friend who works at a Boys and Girls club had a hospital worker come to their after school program to teach the kids about STDs, and she told the kids if they were gay they would get AIDS. I thought my friend was misinformed, but the entire staff seemed upset by the visit. So I don’t think homophobia has gone away just as racism has not gone away; its just better than the past.

          Whether you think its normal or not, 10% or more of our population are homosexuals. The GOP will have to move on.

  • FG

    Interestingly enough, I watched that film (i.e., “The Bible Tells Me So”), and it turned out to be little more than an apologetic for homosexual behavior, promoting many falsehoods and fallacies.

    First off, these anecdotes about people mistreating homosexuals are logically irrelevant when determining the moral status of homosexual behavior.
    Second, the suggestion that homosexuals have had it hard already assumes their behavior to be legitimate, which begs the question in the dispute over the propriety of homosexual behavior. After all, what if I suggested that murderers have had it hard, what with all the persecution they’ve endured for their behavior? My point is that it can only be said that homosexuals (or murderers, thieves, etc.) have “had it hard” if the their behavior is legitimate and not worthy of negative attention. I am not suggesting that some of the things done to homosexuals are proper responses to it; but if the behavior is immoral, it would appear that those who engage in it are at fault for bringing negative attention on themselves.

    Regarding “hating homosexuals”:
    Clearly, we’re not to “hate” homosexuals any more than we are to hate murderers or anyone else. However, there’s a large chasm of difference between “not hating” and “accepting as legitimate”, and the latter hardly constitutes a “progressive” attitude. In fact, it’s quite a regressive attitude, given that some ancient cultures likewise accepted such behavior.

    Regarding use of the ad hominem term, “homophobic”:
    As we already observed, one will have a near impossible time finding anyone to whom the term can be legitimately applied (and we already demonstrated that the only example you were able to provide turned out to be hearsay, which came from a biased source). It’s interesting that many homosexual apologists are quick to be offended at terms like “fag” and such, and yet they have no problem using the derogatory term “homophobic”, which is clearly just an exercise in name-calling. It would be nice if both sides ceased usage of such terms when engaging in rational discourse.

    The term, “normal”, is not equivalent to “statistically regular”. “Normal” has to do with what something is supposed to be. If the majority of the population were murdering one another, that wouldn’t be a “normal” condition for humans, since humans were not created to commit murder. “Normal” denotes either a standard or a teleological end. It has nothing to do with statistical regularity.
    But how does homosexual behavior fare statistically? The 10% statistic which is popularly promoted by homosexual apologists is false, and was based on the largely debunked Kinsey Reports. The cumulative conclusion of modern studies find the percentage range to be around 1.5% to 3%. Such low numbers do not even constitute statistically “regular” behavior. Besides, since when does statistical regularity legitimizes any behavior? If men regularly cheated on their wives, does that somehow legitimize adultery? On another thread, you lament the regularity with which some communities “brainwash” their children. Is that therefore a legitimate way to raise children, given the prevalence in which it occurs?

    Finally, it’s not clear what relevance the GOP has to the issue of homosexual impropriety. Perhaps you can explain that.

    • Well, in truth, I am not concerned with how many people are actually, in fact, homosexual. The stats also depend on whether we count bisexuals in the list. Whether there is one gay person in America or 100 million, they are people. So that is my starting point. We are talking about people.

      Your quote: “I am not suggesting that some of the things done to homosexuals are proper responses to it; but if the behavior is immoral, it would appear that those who engage in it are at fault for bringing negative attention on themselves.” This is where you lost me. In the video, before the people had relationships, they were getting negative comments, and property destroyed. But even if they HAD been engaging in a relationship, they still aren’t at fault for other people’s reactions to them. We are NOT talking about a murderer. These gay people haven’t hurt any of those people. We can’t compare.

      On the definition of homophobia, personally, I think anyone who would hurt gay people has a rational fear of them. I don’t believe in name calling back. But whatever we call it, whether prejudice, homophobic, or bigoted, I take a stand against this treatment of gay people.

      Re: GOP: You mentioned the legalizing of homosexual marriage. I thought you meant of the government license. The main group opposing gay marriage is the conservative Republicans. Whether Republicans agree with legalizing marriage or not does not change the American voice, particular among our young voters, who in the future will not vote Republican if the Republicans insist on stopping gay marriage. The American people are not going to tolerate anti-homosexual and anti-women stance. Again, whether you see these things as anti-homosexual or anti-women is not relative to the fact that young Americans, at large, DO see it that way.

  • FG

    You suggested that the main group opposing gay marriage is conservative Republicans. That’s simply incorrect. In my state of California which overwhelmingly consists of liberal Democrats, the citizens passed Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. When militant homosexuals fought it in court, a homosexual judge overturned the will of the people and claimed the proposition violated the state constitution (which it did not). So the people of this state (again, overwhelmingly democrat voters) passed an amendment to the state constitution to again limit marriage to the normal definition, i.e., between one man and one woman. And again, homosexual activists who sought to force their agenda on citizens had a liberal-activist judge overturn the amendment. This is not the will of the people. This is about activists who want to impose their lifestyle on the public. The brutal reality is that homosexuals simply cannot win in the arena of ideas or via the democratic process, so they must use tyrannical means and force their agenda via activist politicians (liberal politicians even passed legislation in this state outlawing professional counsellors from attempting to help homosexuals who desire to change. If that isn’t tyrannical, I don’t know what is).

    You’re correct that younger voters will eventually redefine marriage, but that’s only because they’ve been indoctrinated by a liberal public school system and a liberal media which promotes their behavior as a legitimate “alternative lifestyle”. It’s certainly not because they’re capable of providing a cogent, rational defense of any redefinition of marriage.

    You suggest that Americans are somehow pro-abortion and pro-homosexual, however, one should not view “Americans” as a monolithic group in this way. This country is split on such issues, with the majority still viewing abortion and homosexual behavior as immoral. Even the voters of my own extremely liberal state do not endorse those things.

    Regarding murderers:
    I meant to say that, if murder were somehow legitimate, then hunting murderers down and imprisoning them would be equivalent to mistreating them. However, their behavior is immoral (in addition to being “unsafe”), and that’s why, as you noted, the law must be involved.

    You opined that “homosexuals have not hurt or mistreated society as a murderer has”, but again, that is both naive a very shallow view of ethics. First, how are you privy to whether or not it harms anyone? Certainly many homosexuals have died of AIDS (and male homosexuals still remain the most infected group), so much so that the disease would almost disappear were it not for male homosexual behavior. And aside from the immediate, proximate harm, how do you know there is no deferred or remote harm to eventually come to society? Moreover, there’s more than just physical harm. There’s emotional, psychological, and spiritual harm which is inflicted on society.

    You suggest that homosexuality is no worse than fornication. Yes, I agree, but how does pointing out the sin of fornication mitigate homosexual behavior? It’s also not clear why you’re raising the punishment for either which only applied to theocratic Israel as they existed in the past. This country is no theocracy, and not all sins are to be dealt with as they were in the Old Testament, nor am I suggesting we go to such a system. In fact, I never even suggested that we have civil punishments for homosexuals (nor, as you rightly mentioned, should we throw rocks in their windows or attack them on the street, etc.). I’m only suggesting that redefining marriage and conferring special rights on them is immoral.

    Regarding “choice”:
    First, many homosexuals have abandoned that lifestyle, so, with respect to homosexual behavior, clearly one can change. People have free will and are not somehow forced into performing homosexual acts.
    Second, redefining homosexuality as an “orientation” is merely an attempt to diminish the immoral nature of the behavior. After all, what if I redefined adultery as an “orientation” which doesn’t allow for monogamy? Do you think my wife would have compassion on me and tolerate any sexual behavior outside of our marriage were I to have such an “orientation”? Furthermore, most homosexuals have a background which fits a very narrow profile, which is indicative of a psychological pathology and not some intrinsic biological orientation. Certainly there are exceptions to the causes of homosexual temptation, but one cannot ignore the similar trauma that many have suffered, which contributed highly to their internal disposition.
    Third, raising the issue that homosexuals are not responsible for the temptation they may feel toward homosexual thoughts or behavior is to attack a straw man. I never suggested that their temptation was a choice. In fact, I’ve been clear to state that I’m referring to a behavior, not to any internal struggle. Given that the issue is about volitional behavior, my comparison to murder is not, as you suggested, something to laugh about, because both are immoral choices.

    I addressed the term “homophobia” in a response to your use of the term in the next-to-last statement of your prior comment dated January 23. You noted that harming homosexuals, in your opinion, constitutes an irrational fear. But repeating your commitment to use of the term just begs the question. The important issue is, is it true? I’ve given reasons why it’s not a valid term, and those reasons have not been addressed. I am not suggesting you are wrong about needing to treat people as Christians ought to do. However, it would be more appropriate to simply say that harming homosexuals or anyone else is simply wrong. I would encourage you to avoid the labels, because they carry too much baggage, and they imply homosexual behavior is on the same level as, for example, being black, which is not a behavior nor something for which a person ought to be reprimanded. Being black is not a choice nor immoral in any way, but the same cannot be said for homosexual behavior.

    • I just disagree with you on homophobia. I know you don’t like the label. But as I said, homosexuals have been deeply hurt. Then they say people are homophobic. What am I supposed to say, “No, no, homophobia doesn’t exist.” Yes, it does exist. If you don’t think so, whatever. I am just going to disagree with you, and move on from that discussion.

      “You’re correct that younger voters will eventually redefine marriage, but that’s only because they’ve been indoctrinated by a liberal public school system and a liberal media which promotes their behavior as a legitimate “alternative lifestyle”. It’s certainly not because they’re capable of providing a cogent, rational defense of any redefinition of marriage. ”

      This is where you have lost me since the majority of my homeschool friends have also changed their minds about homosexual marriage. They changed their minds because they don’t think they can love their neighbor and oppose gay marriage. Also, as to your last sentence, the only defense against homosexual marriage is one based on religion. (hetrosexual people have STDs also) Don’t use the Bible, and you don’t have an argument.

      • FG

        On the contrary, it’s not a matter of me not “liking” the label, “homophobic”. Personal preferences (whether yours, mine, or the homosexual community) are quite irrelevant. As I’ve continued to emphasize, the issue is one of truth, and I’ve argued that the term is used erroneously. Thus far my arguments haven’t been directly addressed, so I’ll simply abandon the topic until something more than hearsay is offered in defense of the term’s veracity.

        Regarding public opinion, I’ve offered you an empirical example in the form of two public votes opposed to same-sex marriage in what is arguably one of the most liberal states (and one of the most populated) in this nation. All you’ve offered in return are anecdotes about a few home-schooled friends. This is hardly a stalemate.

        You noted that the only defense against homosexual marriage is based on religion. First, the issue is “same-sex” marriage, not homosexual marriage, since homosexuals have always been able to marry, and, in fact, have done so.
        Second, the only logical ground which affords homosexuals the right to be treated with decency is the same ground which forbids their immoral behavior. After all, apart from God, one has no moral duty whatsoever to treat others with any kindness or decency. Therefore, if one cannot appeal to God for moral standards, then homosexuals (and anyone else for that matter) are open game for the nihilist and anarchist.

        Finally, how are heterosexual STDs relevant to this topic? It’s also not clear how the religious makeup of the nation has any logical relevance to the moral status of homosexual behavior or same-sex marriage.

        • You brought up AIDS, not me. That’s how it came up.

          And you know, the meaning of words are not static. They vary culture to culture and by audience and by the times. So many factors. Study the philosophy of language. That’s why I disagree with how you define your words (constantly). You go to a dictionary, and then say the rest of society is crazy for not following a dictionary. Society doesn’t use indoctrination to mean “teach.” When people talk about indoctrination, they are talking about brainwashing. When people are talking about homophobia, they are speaking about a hatred for homosexuals or a fear of the homosexual “agenda.”. You don’t like that definition, you think its misleading, you think it has hidden agenda in it, that’s fine, they don’t ask your permission to use the word the way they want. Whether you agree with them or not doesn’t change how THEY use it. A fear of homosexuality, for most people, means much more than just afraid to touch someone.

          Anyway, I can’t think of anything else to say. We aren’t getting anywhere anyway. I think you know my general stance on morality, and we can leave it at that.

          • FG

            I brought up AIDS in response to your claim that homosexual behavior causes no harm. That still doesn’t explain how heterosexual STDs is relevant to our discussion.

            You needn’t have pointed out that meaning of words are not static. After all, I’ve repeatedly noted that many of the terms we use are equivocal, which is why, as you observed, I insist on properly defining how we use any term. And when I do attempt to “define” the usage of a term I’m not running to a dictionary, precisely because I’m not interested in terms de dicto, but rather, I want to discuss the terms de re. In other words, equivocating on a term like “indoctrinate” only serves to confuse any discussion about whether or not people are forced to adopt a belief.

            Why do you think so many people go around and around in a discussion without any progress? Often it’s because they’re speaking past one another, because they mean entirely different things when they use terms. This is why, in the field of philosophy, precisely defining how one is using a term is so important. Otherwise we could all be speaking jabberwocky, and no progress could be made in any dialogue.

            Dennis Prager often notes that he prefers clarity over agreement. In other words, whether or not two people agree is less important than that they clearly understand one another’s position. And a failure to define one’s use of the term prevents such clarity in understanding (and note that I’ve been emphasizing defining “one’s use” of a term, not simply defining the term itself).

            You suggested that those who use the term “homophobia” can mean:

            1. Hatred of homosexuals, or
            2. Fear of the homosexual agenda, or
            3. The fear of becoming homosexual through casual touch.

            Okay, fine, why not simply address whether or not the term is valid in any of those uses?

            We already discussed #3, and no evidence has been shown that anyone has such a phobia.

            I already addressed #2, and given the harm such an agenda brings to others, fearing such an agenda is as rational as fearing a rattlesnake, i.e., there’s nothing irrational about fearing (or at least having a healthy concern for) something which poses a very real threat.

            What about #1? Well, it’s obvious that there are many who do, in fact, hate homosexuals and are not shy about expressing their feelings. And if homosexuals want to label such persons “homophobic”, that’s fine, but it’s intellectually lazy, disingenuous, and misleading. Here’s why that’s so: Homosexuals apply the same label to those who, not having any hatred toward homosexuals, but instead, have a moral opposition to the behavior. Hence, even those who try to love homosexuals are lumped together with those who hate homosexuals and all are labeled “homophobic”, and this obfuscation is intentional so that anyone with a moral objection can be silenced by way of things like “hate crime” or “hate speech” legislation. And THIS is why I seek clarity about the term. You see, many homosexuals hate anyone who dares to point out that their behavior is immoral, and that’s why they apply the label, “homophobe”. Given such a use, one may as well view such homosexuals as “heterophobes”, “theophobes”, moralphobes”, Christophobes”, and so forth, and one could easily defend such labels by offering example after example of homosexuals mistreating anyone who takes a moral stance against their behavior.

            Personally, I don’t like such labels because they never seek to address the fundamental issues. They’re ad hominem and assume that the user of the term is correct in his assessment before any real assessment has been made. Which brings me to your OP, which began as a declaration of why one ought not to judge racist, sexist, bigoted people. Don’t you see that in using those terms, you’ve already judged others as being “racist”, “sexist”, or “bigoted” without even assessing whether your use of the terms are justified? It would be as if someone walked up to you and said, “I’ve decided not to judge you for being an idiot.” Would you respond with, “Gee, thanks!” or would you ask, “What justifies your notion that I am an idiot?”

            You see, our use of language matters. It matters because vague or sloppy use of langue is often used as a tool to mislead, manipulate, or otherwise bring harm. You know, there really is a satan, and his weapon is not a pitchfork. His weapon is lies, i.e., deception, confusion, and promotion of false ideas. Misleading language can do a lot more harm than anyone may think (how many relationships are ruined over nothing more than a misunderstanding?). It’s no coincidence that Paul wrote that our weapons of our warfare are not carnal, and that the solution was to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Societal struggles are ultimately about ideas, and about whose ideas will prevail and inform law. I don’t engage in a dialogue with you because I somehow have lots of time on my hands (believe me, I’m very busy). I have these discussions because they’re important and they matter. You matter. You’ve chosen to create a blog and speak to the world, and what you say matters and may have eternal significance to someone who reads your words. Choose those words carefully.

          • You know, words do matter. I agree. And I can only imagine how a gay person might feel if he read your words that seem more concerned with dismissing racism, sexism, and bigoted ideology than addressing it. You can’t say that it doesn’t exist or that its justified. Words matter. As I said, people know what I mean when I talk of these things. I actually think you know what I mean too, but if you don’t, there’s not any other way I can make this more clear than to say racism, sexism, and bigoted people exist, and I disagree with it, and I stand against it.

            Anyway, I’m through with this discussion. I’ve stated my opinion. But just remember, gay people read what you write too.

          • FG

            I don’t know how one can read what I wrote and somehow get the idea that I’m dismissing racism, bigotry, or sexism. What I clearly wrote was that any use of those terms has to be (1) properly defined so as not to be misleading (intentional or otherwise), and (2) one has to assess whether those to whom the term is applied are actually guilty of that of which they are accused.

            Finally, I don’t mind at all if homosexuals read my words, because nothing I’ve written is false or meant to harm them. Nor is it at all clear why one should avoid the truth simply because others may have negative feelings when encountering it. Should the doctor withhold informing a patient of his sick condition merely because the patient will feel sad, angry, or upset in some way? Doesn’t a doctor have a responsibility to tell his patient that he is sick, and doesn’t the patient need to know he is sick prior to acknowledging the need for treatment?

          • Ettina

            You really can’t see how pointing out heterosexual transmission of STDs is relevant? You just claimed that homosexuality is harmful because of an STD. By that argument, heterosexuality is just as bad.

          • IKR?!

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