This past week, I was interviewed by the likes of the New York Times, the Tulsa World, and PBS television, as well as NPR and a host of other radio stations. The topic was my reaction to Friday’s Supreme Court ruling on marriage. As is often the case, editing and limited space resulted in my message being truncated at best. This said, it might be instructive for readers of this weekly column to be privy to some rhetorical questions I asked during these interviews—questions I believe make my point much more effectively than the brief quotes that actually appeared in the media. With this as context, please consider the following to be the “rest of the story” as to what I wish would have appeared in the media outlets mentioned above.
- Why is it intolerant for me to point out the intolerance of those who say they can’t tolerate someone else’s “intolerance?” Why is it hateful for me to call attention to the hate of those who clearly hate those they find “hateful?” Why is it illogical for me to argue for logic? Why is it fallacious for me to challenge those who use fallacies? And why is it considered libel for me to point out the illiberality of those who claim to be “liberal?”
- Why is it unscientific to argue for science; to contend for facts and, thus, point out that it is a physiological fact that gender is genetic and not a feeling; that it is a sociological fact that children fair much better in a household anchored by a married mom and dad; that it is a medical fact that some sexual behaviors result in disproportionate negative consequences; and that it is an economic fact that traditional marriage accrues to the financial advantage of women and their children?
- Why is it considered loathsome for me to argue for the highest definition of the human being and to contend that it’s an insult to dumb down the identity of a person to nothing but the sum total of his or her appetites and inclinations?
- Why is it angry for me to draw attention to the anger of those who are clearly angry?
- Why is it wrong for me to point out that many who disagree with my above points will find it impossible to avoid name calling and other meaningless breaches of basic freshman level Socratic logic; that in their closed-mindedness they will find it impossible to be open-minded; that in their illiberality they will find it impossible to be “liberal; and that they will not be able to resist shooting the messenger rather than simply considering the veracity of his message?
- Why is it wrong to challenge those who ignore the facts of an argument and instead digress into the fallacious, sensational and salacious?
- Why is it wrong to suggest that those who have lectured conservatives for years about the dangers of legislating morality are now celebrating the legislation of morality?
- Why is it wrong to point out that same judges who constructed the wall separating Church and State now seem intent on dismantling that wall brick by brick?
- Why is it wrong to ask what ever happened to academic freedom and intellectual liberty and to remind everyone that the liberal arts academy was founded some 800 years ago upon these precepts and not upon an ideological fascism where power suppresses the people and where conformity is demanded by demagogues who seek to silence debate?
- Why am I wrong to suggest that the thoughtful scholar and true liberal, as well as, the committed conservationist (i.e. one who truly believes in conserving not only the physical environment but also the time tested truths of justice and human dignity) must always seek to do what’s right regardless of what the Supreme Court of the United State says?
- Why is anyone wrong to remind everyone that morality isn’t determined by the minority, virtue isn’t defined by a vote, and nine men and women in black robes surely don’t have the power to tell over 300 million Americans what a sacrament of the Church is or isn’t?
- Why is it wrong to contend that, as human beings, self-evident truth is written on every heart and that we don’t have any right to make the rules up as we go?
Some questions to consider in the days ahead… Unless of course you’ve already made up your mind and you’re not interested in the answers.