Kermet (Merl?) Key responded to my recent letter to the editor of the Republic.
He's wanting to have some discussion, and I will indulge him. He clearly doesn't understand that the letter consists firstly of a gentle rebuke to judgmental (and potentially self-righteous) Christians, but then separately of an inquiry into the source of Gay Pride, and finally an argument why special protections of LGBT people in the law is impractical as a legal matter and illogical based on current law.
Willful ignorance is nothing of which to be proud. For example, when Justin Hohn begins his June 18th letter to the editor he attempts to address his fellow Christians regarding the source of LGBT pride and focuses primarily on his interpretation of the Bible. Perhaps the former City Council candidate merely forgot that there are more than one-hundred (100) Christian churches in Columbus (yes, that’s the city and not the county). If everyone of them reads their Bible’s the same way Justin Hohn does then perhaps he can explain to them, and us, why there seems to be a need for so many different churches?
But that alone does not prove willful ignorance, merely sinful pride and arrogance in the belief that one person’s limited understanding of the infinite is enough to determine how another person should live their lives for the infinite. No the willful ignorance comes from the complete lack of understanding the source of LGBT Pride.
Now, if you have any basic familiarity with formal rhetoric, you've already identified an impressive flourish of fallacy:
Fallacy #1: That since some Christians disagree on different parts of the Bible, none of it is knowable and there is no such thing as consensus. In reality, very much of the Bible is agreed upon by most Christian churches, which is why these churches all claim the descriptor of "Christian."
Fallacy #2: That the number of churches in Columbus has anything at all to do with the specific points I made about the Biblical view of sin in general and the sin of homosexuality in particular. In reality, I never cited the number of churches as dispositive about anything.
Fallacy #3: That it proves anything at all- willful ignorance, sinful pride, or arrogance to claim that you can understand plain Biblical language. In reality, there are things about the Bible that remain somewhat unclear, but this isn't one of them.
Fallacy #4: That I'm trying to force someone to live their life a certain way in accordance to my Biblical worldview by arguing that homosexuals should not feel proud of that identity and that extending special legal protections to them is inappropriate. In reality, I'm only saying what I'm saying—nothing more, nothing less. I’m not at all proposing any “bedroom’ police, much to chagrin of those like Mr. Key who prefer to argue against straw men of their making.
Mr. Key transitions to an attempt to legitimize the "pride" of the homosexual by sharing the history of the Stonewall Riots and the Christopher Steet Gay Liberation March. Is this really a source of gay pride? That because some other homosexuals nearly 50 years ago marched in a parade where they were unpopular, that today's homosexuals should feel proud of themselves? That seems wholly inadequate as an explanation to me. Is it courageous to march in the street for the right to sodomize when others may attack you? I think not. I wouldn't find it courageous if a KKK group brazenly marched in the street to inflame public emotions and stir up trouble. That's not courage-- it's narcissism. It's placing ones own desires above the welfare of others.
Contrast this with a soldier returning home from Viet Nam who is spat upon or attacked. Why is this actually courageous? Is it not because the soldier was serving his country instead of himself? It is the antithesis if the gay "courage" it takes to march in the street.
No, this Christopher Street march wasn't courageous, it was selfishness. There’s no courage here to claim. And even if there were courage to claim, it is specious it transfer that pride to a homosexual 50 years—a couple generations--and hundreds of miles removed from it.
Mr. Key cites Bill Nye(!) to support his claim that race is a human construct. Well, perhaps with the middle-schoolers alarmingly exposed to Mr. Key’s ways of thinking, this is sufficient. But here in the land of adults, we cite adult sources, not children’s entertainers. This is the fallacy of “appeal to authority”—only the authority here is a children’s entertainer. Hilarious. Or concerning, depending.
Mr. Key thinks that my argument that LGBT identity is solely based on an individual’s own identification as such (based their feelings), means that I missed the meeting of the HRC. We already know that logic is a major challenge for some, but I’ll helpfully point out that it means no such thing. The absence of my name on an attendance roster, or a photo of all attendees that I’m not in, or a simple affirmation from me that I didn’t attend—THOSE things would indicate that I didn’t attend the meeting. Since Mr. Key isn’t very good at making his own argument, I will help him out.
What Mr. Key is likely trying to say is that if I had attended the HRC meeting I would know that others can apparently define “LGBT” sufficiently to form a basis on which to discriminate against someone.
But this isn’t defining LGBT identity at all. An effeminate straight man could be plausibly be denied housing by a landlord based on that’s landlord’s suspicion, that the straight man was actually gay. That does not make the straight man gay. He is still straight—and WHY? Because HE SAYS HE IS. That’s the point. Only the individual is arbiter of his own LGBT “identity”—regardless of the perception of others.
Interestingly, Title VII protections only apply to those who actually belong to a protected class and can prove that the discrimination was because they are part of that class.
So our hypothetical straight man cannot being a sexual orientation claim because he’s not actually gay- regardless of whether the discriminator thought he was and even intended to discriminate against him.
While I am rather well-read, I am not a lawyer and there may very well be legal precedent that allows someone to claim protected status if they are discriminated against because the discriminator intended to discriminate against a protected group that the individual was not a part of. But from what I can tell, one must actually be a part of that protected class in order to have any legal standing at all.