Monday, July 18, 2011

More Than Words

Getting back to that Barry Rosner column, I could almost use it for the next Agenda Lies installment, due to the underlying falseness that forms its premise. That falseness can be found in his words here:

"But never, seemingly, is there an actual discussion about the words themselves and why they are hurtful.

The focus is always on the act, the criticism and the contrition."

That falseness is in believing the focus does NOT belong on the act, or that words used in that act are of any true significance. It is indeed the act of name-calling where the real sin is committed, not in the name used to inflict the harm. One gets the sense that had Ozzie Guillen called the writer a horse's ass, not only would there have been no story, but not one sports writer would opine on the distress experienced by horses everywhere.

No. Rozner's column is simply a not-so-veiled defense of deviant sexual behavior and the people who engage in it. He starts from the unsupportable position that states that homosexual behavior is morally benign or morally equal to heterosexual behavior between a man and a woman married to each other. To him, as to other self-deceived people, it is not wrong.

OK. Let's suppose for a moment that it is not wrong. If that's the case, then what's the problem? As I said in the previous post, if someone calls me a "polack", I can't and don't take offense because I don't find being Polish to be anything to regret in the least. If I'm called a "Jesus freak", the same applies.

AH! they will respond. But you haven't been subject to the same evil persecution as homosexuals have! Really? There was a time when polack jokes were all the rage. Along with it came the condescension that would follow being caught in the act of making the average human mistake. "What a polack!"

Not good enough? Doesn't compare to physical attacks suffered by some homosexuals? Perhaps not. But Christians in many parts of the Middle East are still attacked and killed because of their beliefs. I haven't been attacked physically, but I'm attacked often on this here blog for expressing traditional and orthodox (not what Alan, Dan, Geoffrey and Feodor regard as orthodox, but ACTUAL orthodoxy) opinions. That makes me a victim in the same way most homosexuals are victims these days. A victim of mere name calling. I can't tell you how much sleep I've lost over such attacks. OK, I can tell you: none.

But that's all really besides the point. The point is that what Guillen has done is shown a great lack of self-control and poor judgement. And that would be poor judgement in publicly calling another person ANYTHING that isn't both a truthful description as well as pertinent to whatever discussion was ongoing at the time.

I don't think Guillen really had the writer's sexual orientation in mind when he called him a faggot. I don't think Kobe Bryant had the referee's orientation in mind when Kobe called him a fag. I don't think Joakim Noah had the fan's sexual orientation in mind when he called him a fag. I doubt any of these guys is even aware of the sexual orientation of any of their "victims".

Rozner sees these situations as opportunities lost for not using them to begin public edification on the horrors of using "anti-gay" slurs. But again, if the behavior is not wrong, then those engaging in it aren't wrong in their engagements, and using the term can't be offensive. Go ahead. Call me handsome in a manner meant to disparage me. See how offended I get. Call me a Jesus freak or a polack. I know the terms are meant to be negative and hurtful, but they aren't if I see nothing wrong with being handsome, Christian or Polish. What I do feel is confusion and a level of pity for the one calling me those names. It's like trying to kill me with a rub-down and a warm bath. It just won't hurt me. Nor can it.

What bothers those like Rozner is that people still understand that homosexual behavior is wrong and abnormal. They don't like people to believe that. And they want people to STOP believing that regardless of whether that belief is truthful or not.

This pants wetting over the use of homosexual related slurs is not much different than the manner in which bullying is being addressed these days. The attention is neither on the bullying or the name-calling, but rather who is being bullied and what slurs are being hurled about. Bullying and harrassments in schools have been going on since there have been schools, but the bullying of homosexual kids (or those believed to be homosexual, or kids who think they're homosexuals, or kids who are told by adults who should know better that it is OK to accept their homosexual urges as normal). Athletes and coaches have been yelling at refs, fans and sports writers since there have been sports, but somehow it's not that they lose their self-control that's the issue, but how their lack of self-control manifests itself.

Why is this? It's simple. Because those who are so corrupted as to believe that homosexual behavior is something worthy of defense are doing what they demand the rest of us never so much as dare think of doing. They are trying to force their morality down the throat of America.

I guess if Barry Rozner believes that homosexual behavior is worthy of defense, his column is one he had to write. But here's the real reason why one shouldn't hurl "anti-gay" slurs at people: if the person isn't a homosexual, you're making a horrible slanderous remark. It's like calling someone a thief if he's never stolen anything in his life. It's like calling an honest person a liar. It's like calling a hard working guy lazy. However, if you call a person a thief because he steals things, you're simply stating a fact, whether you use the actual word "thief" or any slang alternative. There's nothing wrong with stating the obvious.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's Only Words, and Words Are All I Have...

This article can easily be used for another Agenda Lies post. Lies are at the heart of the position espoused by Barry Rozner. But instead I have a different point to make.

And I believe I've made it before in some past post. That would be the old "sticks and stones" issue. Why would anyone get so bent out of shape over being called things? The only rational reason revolves around the implications the epithet provokes.

Imagine if you are a thief. To be widely known as a thief would put a serious cramp in your business as to be known as a thief would make you an object of constant scrutiny as well as to be considered one that cannot be trusted. To be regarded as a thief unjustly, however, brings about the same conditions. No one wants to be regarded as a thief whether one is or isn't an actual thief. Why is that?

Because being a thief is a bad thing. If someone was to regard me as a thief, I would be hurt because the fact is that I am not. It would hurt in the sense that it was untrue and I would be suffering that scrutiny without legitimate cause.

There are other words that imply the same thing. "Robber", or "burglar" also mean that one so labeled helps himself to the possessions of others without consent of the owners. "Klepper" is another, although it is derived from the psychological condition of one who steals for no reason. I wonder if kleptomaniacs are offended to be called a klepper or if they hear someone using the term as an epithet toward another.

Part of the point I am trying to make has to do with the word being hurled my way and whether or not it is accurate of me in any way, and whether if it is accurate, if it is something of which I would be proud, or at least not something by which I could find offense.

If I am called a polack, I can't be offended because I am of Polish decent. Though the term is supposedly a slur, what it means is not a great deal different from merely calling me Polish. Neither do I find to be offensive because to be Polish is not something I can help, nor does it have anything to do with the quality of my character. (Of course, I am an American first and foremost as far as nationality goes--the origins of my ancestors is entirely irrelevant.)

Imagine if you were actually perfect. Would there be any alternative word for that which could be hurtful? Being perfect is, well, perfect and perfection is that unattainable something to which most people aspire as closely as humanly possible. What would being marginalized for being perfect mean? Would it be a slight against you, or would it mean an issue for those who shun you? Obviously, the latter. Those who shun you have the issue for not being able to bear the thought that you are automatically "better" in everything. Not "better" or more worthy as a person, but better in terms of ability.

So where's the problem with being called any slur? Is the slur just a slang term for an otherwise accurate label?

Some nitwits who visit here have chastised me as a homophobe for my use of the contraction "homo". Boo-hoo. I am neither irrationally afraid of either mankind in general or homosexuals, whichever the mean by the term. They will call me "bigot" for my use of the term. But obviously, I am no bigot simply for using a contraction.

But it is hurtful, they will say? Why would or should it be if there is nothing wrong with being a homo? What the hell is wrong with them for taking offense at being something they proclaim to be morally benign?

I can be referred to as a "Bible-thumper" or a "Jesus freak" or a "fundie" and be marginalized as a result. That's OK. There are plenty of like-minded people with whom I can associate, as well as more rational "non-religious" people who can deal with our differences. And politically, I've been called an "asshole Republican" and I merely consider the source.

Recently, there has been legislation proposed, and I think adopted, by some states and possibly on the federal level, that would alter legal documents and laws that use the term "mentally retarded" or any of its forms. I bring this up because it is also irrational to me. It used to be an acceptable term, but because it's been used as an epithet, it is no longer acceptable. What seems to be lost on those well intentioned supporters of such changes is that whatever term or word is used to replace that which has become an epithet, the replacement will be used in the exact same manner in due course. The term was meant to attack those who have shown a lack of intelligence by their actions or mistakes regardless of their true level of intelligence. For the mentally retarded, to called a retard is merely a statement of fact. Change it to "challenged" and what do you think will happen? Do something stupid and someone will eventually call you "mentally challenged".

The real issue here is two-fold.

1) For the pitcher, it doesn't matter what words one uses to attack another person. The issue is the attack itself. The attitude that one is trying to insult and hurt another is the sin, not the method or word used.

2) For the catcher, this also has two components of note.
a) If the label is accurate or not, why let it hurt? Why give it the power intended by the pitcher? Get a spine.
b) If the label is accurate or not, what difference if it is a slang term or not?

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Agenda Lies

Welcome to a new feature here at Marshall Art's. This is something I've been wanting to begin for some time, but just couldn't decide on the format. I vacillated between a variety of options. It was after I saw this video that I decided to just jump in and do it. As you can see by clicking the link, the video is entitled "Name the poison". Another way to say this is, "call evil by its name". It's what is so desperately needed in this country these days, lest we suffer the consequences that befall those where good men have done nothing. (The video itself does not relate to this new feature, but is worth a visit, as is the blog that posted it.)

So here it is and I intend to present as the Spirit so moves me the lies that are put forth to sway public opinion toward a far greater moral decline than our nation as thus far suffered. They will be presented in no particular order regarding importance or potential for damage, as I believe them to be equal in their insidious effects. Blatant lies or slight twists of the facts. There's no difference.

Some lies are sincerely held as truths, though claims of sincerity also raise suspicion. Some of these lies are simply what some so desperately want to believe that they then lie to themselves about just how sincerely they believe them.

So the agenda to which I refer in the title is that of the homosexual agenda. Therein lies the first lie I will cover in this series: "There is no agenda."

I could point to the book "After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90's" by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, but the liars will pretend that the opinions of two homosexuals does not an agenda make. But it's not as if they are the be all and end all of the agenda and the movement that seeks to implement it.

It's really far simpler than that. Every homosexual wishes their desires and behaviors would be tolerated and accepted as normal and equal to heterosexual behaviors. THAT constitutes an agenda.

Of course that would not include those homosexuals who do NOT put their urges above reason and righteousness. Not all men allow their desires to consume them to the point of demanding others accept them. I have no doubt some homosexuals insist on rising above letting their desires rule their sense of right and wrong. We call such people "MEN", or "MATURE ADULTS".

But to insist there is no agenda is an outright and obvious lie. It doesn't matter if a particular homosexual spends no time actively pursuing the goals of the agenda. But to pretend an agenda doesn't exist, or that that same particular homosexual dares to insist one doesn't exist is a lie. The danger of this lie is in the attitude it hopes to encourage. It is the same as saying there is no real danger of Islamofascism to our way of life. The level of danger and how that impact might be felt at any given moment is irrelevant. But as more people begin to believe that there is no danger, that there is no agenda, the easier it is for that danger/agenda to metastasize and become commonplace in our culture, to infect it and lower our standards of behavior and morality.