To Stigmatize Or Not

On April 15, 2014, in Barack Obama, by donlinek3b

[guest by Dana] Over at The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf posts an interesting and compelling defense of traditional marriage from a self-described 23-year-old African-American college student and a strong Christian who believes in the Biblical definition of marriage. The young woman is tired of critics equating her to an anti-black racist. Keep in mind that one day this 23-year-old African-American female college graduate might become an executive at a successful company, or perhaps even become the face of the company. Should there be an expectation for her to step down? Are we at the point where a person of faith (resulting in a now seeming unacceptable moral view), should be disqualified from professional advancement? Should there be a political and moral vetting done *before* any advancement or promotion to the executive level …just to make sure? Would an African-American woman be accused of bigotry in this situation? Should society stigmatize her as a bigot and punish her professionally for her expressed views and beliefs? I realize the general issue was discussed on Patterico’s Mozilla thread, however, because I found the young woman’s correspondence so compelling in its thought and clarity, I wanted to share it with readers. Personal opinion: I am not in favor of gay marriage. There are a lot of people who do support it, and I have read and heard their opinions so many times. I am aware of the fact that many of them think that if someone does not approve of gay marriage, that means they are a bigoted person who hates anyone who is different from them. This is a gigantic misconception and it’s absolutely crucial that this misconception is erased, because it’s overwhelming. Sure, there are some traditional marriage supporters who do dislike gay people. They imagine the idea of themselves kissing a person of the same sex, and that’s gross to them because they don’t have those attractions, so they see gay people and automatically think “gross,” “strange,” etc. I wish they would calm down with the knee-jerk reaction and understand that gay people are not some kind of strange, alternate, not-quite-human species. Gay people are just people. I don’t see gay people as different; I see them as fellow human beings who happen to have different feelings and different opinions than I have. “Opinions” is key there. It’s not just that gay people have different feelings of attraction. They also have different opinions than I have on what marriage is and where it came from. Gay people, and straight people who support gay marriage, believe that marriage is something created by humankind. Government does play a big role in marriage, after all. (And like I said earlier, I’m not sure that’s a good idea.) However, I have a different opinion. I believe that God, who created all people, has His own intention for what marriage is supposed to be. I believe He deliberately created two inherently different, non-interchangeable types of humans so that one of each could permanently join together and start a family. In both Testaments, the Bible mentions that homosexual behavior is a sin- and in more places than I have room to mention, the Bible shows pictures of marriage, romance, and sex as things that are all wrapped up in God’s amazing design … and His design was intended for couples made up of one of each sex. My point is that when I say I am not in favor of gay marriage, I’m not trying to create my own definition of marriage based on what I do and do not think is “gross,” and based on which groups of people I do or do not “hate.” All of that is a misconception. The reality is that I am trying to show others God’s picture. When I say “homosexual behavior is a sin,” people who react with “that’s hateful” don’t understand what sin is and why it’s important to speak out against it. My belief is that sin is anything that goes against God’s design and His rules. People who don’t believe in sin obviously do not see anything wrong with homosexual behavior and they don’t know why people like me speak out against it, so their reasoning is that what I say must come from hatred. But if I hated all sinners, I’d hate myself. There are lots of sins that exist, and in fact, everyone in the whole world has sinned. When either side of the gay marriage debate focuses only on homosexuality, they miss the bigger picture. I hope that non-Christians understand that the reason we Christians openly voice our opposition to sin is that our desire to be forgiven of our own sins is the reason we became Christians in the first place. We see sin as something that separates us from God, and we see Jesus as the one who took the punishment for our sins and saved us. We can’t be silent about that; we must tell other people. We can’t explain who Jesus is and why His death is so important without also explaining what sin is. Everyone sins. Everyone has an innate desire to sin, unfortunately. Some people’s innate desire is for homosexuality. I understand when gay people say that they can’t help having those feelings. I understand that hearing “you can change if you pray and try hard over time” is extremely difficult. Maybe we Christians haven’t talked enough about how we believe that everyone is a work in progress, including ourselves. Whoever chooses to believe in the Biblical definition of sin is choosing a sometimes difficult life of putting God ahead of themselves and their own desires. I don’t want to give the impression that it’s only gay people who must learn to control their desires, and straight people are okay. I’m sorry for all the times that Christians have given that impression. Like I said before, I see gay people as people. They are just people who sin in a different way than I do. My beliefs don’t come from hatred and an arrogant desire to feel superior. And many traditional marriage supporters have beliefs similar to mine. Yes, there are hateful traditional marriage supporters, but there are also traditional supporters who sincerely do not hate at all. Yes, we try to convince others to believe what we believe, but that’s because our beliefs are so important to us that we feel it would be wrong and clique-like to keep them only to ourselves. I wish that more gay marriage supporters would not automatically think of us as “hateful bigots” who are trying to “brainwash” other people into believing what we believe simply for the sake of becoming one of us, to add to our numbers and to make us feel superior. It’s not about us. It’s about God. I’m not trying to be mean to gay people. I instead want to reach out to gay people, and all other people. Let’s agree to talk to each other politely, and respectfully disagree about our different beliefs. –Dana

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To Stigmatize Or Not

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Via Las Vegas Review Journal: Approximately 40 protesters gathered outside Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department headquarters on Friday asking for Sheriff Doug Gillespie to intervene and “protect the people” involved in the Cliven Bundy cattle dispute. The gathering organized by tea party supporters called for Gillespie to “do his job” and protect the Bundy family […]

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Bundy Supporters Demonstrate Outside Las Vegas PD HQ To Get Sheriff To Protect Bundy Family From Govt

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The wall of shame? Drew – We’ve all worked hard to make health care reform a success — many have fought for decades. It’s something I’ll tell my grandkids about. OFA is putting together the permanent record of the people who made health care reform happen — everyone from Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama and, […]

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The Wire addresses yesterday’s brouhaha over the misleading Ezra Klein/Matt Yglesias Voxsplainer that claimed: The United States’s national debt is 12.5 trillion dollars. The Wire cites criticisms by me and Erick Erickson. Ezra Klein’s explanatory journalism website Vox.com hasn’t officially launched yet, but that hasn’t prevented it from drawing the ire of conservative pundits, and the latest outrage – coming from right-wing bloggers Eri[c]k Erickson of RedState and Patterico – has Klein admitting the need for more explaining on his site. Which maybe isn’t the best sign. . . . . Yglesias gets into trouble a mere 5 seconds in. The video’s title card reads: “How scary is the US public debt?” but Yglesias says “national debt.” Conservatives were quick to point out that these are two different things. U.S. public debt refers to only debt held by the public, while the national debt encompasses all debt, adding in intergovernmental holdings , which is basically money the government owes itself. The issue is that the two measurements give you two different totals: $12.5 trillion and $17.5 trillion, respectively. Even though Yglesias says national debt, the video uses the $12.5 trillion figure to make its point. The author of the Wire piece understands my argument a lot better than Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias pretend to: Patterico makes the point that the only people who’d recognize the difference between public and national debt are people already familiar with the subject, and thus wouldn’t need the video’s basic explanation. Anyone in need of the kind of explanatory journalism Vox is looking to provide would simply assume the two are the same, since the video seems to use them interchangeably. Yup, that is exactly my argument. Which brings up a good question: just how effective (and ideological) is Vox’s explanatory journalism going to be? In an email to Patterico, Klein wrote, “If we did have an article we’d probably spend some time explaining the difference.” Whether or not you think the video was misleading, the fact that Klein admits an explanation deficiency on an explanatory video doesn’t look great. Between this and the Nate Silver/Paul Krugman feud, the wunderkinds are finding the rollout is tougher than the startup . By the way, in an effort to find out how intelligent but less informed people might view the video, I asked my children what they would think if a video said: “the United States’s national debt is $12.5 trillion” accompanied by a graphic that said: “debt held by the public: $12.5 trillion.” What would they actually think the U.S. national debt is, based on that? My son Matthew responded: “Isn’t it $17 trillion? That’s what it was two weeks ago.” He’s 11. That’s my boy! Unfortunately, most twenty-somethings (and even older folks) these days lack the knowledge of current events possessed by my 11-year-old. Those are the people most likely to be misled by Yglesias’s false equation of debt held by the public and total debt.

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The Wire on the Misleading Klein/Yglesias Voxsplainer on the Debt

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How do you say “wimp” in Russian? OBAMA: Meanwhile, the United States and our allies will continue to support the government of Ukraine as they chart a democratic course. Together, we are going to provide a significant package of assistance that can help stabilize the Ukrainian economy, and meet the basic needs of the people. Make […]

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