I recently had a conversation with a conservative Christian about Referendum 71 on facebook. For those of you who do not live in Washington, Referendum 71 extends the rights of people who are in domestic partnerships. People in domestic partnerships are not necessarily gay, but the conservatives have decided that this is a gay marriage issue are strongly opposed to it. I don't know why the ignorance and hatred that emanates from peoples' comments surprises me, but it still does. My facebook friend (FBF) has made it clear that he is not interested in having a rational conversation because he refuses to speak about the points I've made. Instead, he makes false accusations and ignorant remarks repeating the same statements over and over even after I've pointed out how wrong these statements are.
I have decided to post our facebook conversation here in hopes that people who are not as close minded as FBF can possibly see how irrational religious arguments are against gay rights. Warning: I did not correct spelling errors....everything is copied exactly as it was written. I only replaced names to protect privacy.
Here's the post I put on my wall:
I encourage all my Washington friends to Approve Ref 71.....there is absolutely no rational reason not to. If you think you have one, try me. Watch this video and explain to me why it is right for a person to bring their stepson to the hospital an...d be denied treatment until the biological mom can get there. It is wrong and I think everyone knows it. Nobody has the right to deny other people their rights.
FBF: I don't know the details of Referendum 71 but I do not vote for anything gay. Sorry just my personal beliefs.
Me: So, you're admitting you are prejudiced against gay people? How about replacing gay with black and see how that sounds. It is absolutely irrational to deny people rights because you don't like the way they are. And sorry, you don't get off the hook by saying that's just what I believe. People used to believe slavery was right, but that doesn't make it right. You do not have the right to infringe on other peoples' rights. If you don't like the lifestyle, don't live it.
FBF: You can get angry and call me a racist if you want and if believing that homosexuality is morally wrong and a psychological disorder is wrong than God will judge me. That is my opinion and I am not racist. As a matter of fact when YOU think of racism why do you automatically think "black". Take the plank out of your own eye before you try to remove a spec from mine. We are all entitled to our opinions and MY right to disapprove of homosexuallity is just that, myt right. God bless you *Humanist Mama* for your kind heart.
Me: I did not call you a racist...I was trying to point out your prejudice against gay people by showing you how terrible it would sound if you said, "I do not vote for anything black." All I did was replace one word. I am not claiming that you would say that. And by the way, I chose black because black people are a minority like gay people. I could easily have said Jew, Asian, Muslim, etc to make the same point. So, not that does not make me racist to point out your prejudice.
By the way, homosexuality is not a psychological disorder....there is plenty of evidence that it is natural. You saying it does not make it so, and if you choose to believe irrational things without evidence that is your issue. But, I also have the right to point out to you that you are being prejudiced and archaic with your beliefs.
FBF: Sorry *Humanist Mama*, I beg to differ about homosexuality not being a psychological disorder. Fact of the matter is that there is no concrete proof either way in this matter. I am a psychology student and have actually done research into the matter so when I say my opinion is that homosexuality is a psychological disorder there is no prejudice there. That is my personal opinion and as far as that goes being of a certain race or creed cannot be helped. "I" believe that homosexuality can. I do not believe that one is born as a homosexual. I believe that it is learned behavior.This is not prejudice this is just refusing to buy into what someone says just because they say it is so. They call that critical thinking. I do not treat anyone cruelly. I do not "bash" homosexuals just for being what they are. I actually have compasion for them because I believe that they are lost. I believe in Jesus Christ and I also believe that every word in the Bible is true and fact. Because of that belief I have to take my stand that homosexuality is nothing more than an immoral person. God demolished the city of sodom (sodomy) for being evil and imoral people. As you know I personally am NO angel but I have seen the error in my ways, have accepted Jesus Christ as my savior, have asked for forgivness, and now live my life as best I can to follow God's will for me. I do apreciate your tender heart in this matter and I actually do have empathy for those people; however, I will not vote for anything giving rights to sick and immoral people. It is the same thing as saying there is nothing wrong with a child molestor.
After all this we may have to agree to disagree. My intentions were not to make you angry, I was just sharing my opinion and perspective.
Me: *FBF*, I guess you differ with the consensus of professionals in the world who know that homosexuality is not a psychological disorder. Link to American Psychological Association
And critical thinking involves looking at all evidence and not being biased when doing research. I am quite surprised that a professor would take your research seriously because all of my professors had strict requirements for my sources when I was studying for my Bachelor's degree in Psychology 10 years ago and my recent degree in Nursing. Sources had to be current (no sources greater than 5 years), they had to be from peer reviewed articles, and they had to be unbiased. When one cherry picks invalid and outdated studies one can come up with the same conclusion you have to justify your "personal opinion". You may not have done this intentionally. Some people want to believe something so bad that they refuse to look at the evidence that contradicts their beliefs or they twist it to mean something it does not.
You may not think you are cruel to homosexuals but many of the comments you have made on this thread today have been extremely cruel and hateful. And I think it is justifiable and proper for me to be anger about your outright prejudice and denial of it. In the real world hate does not equal love and by saying that you do not think homosexuals should have rights you are being very hateful. So, no matter how much you want to believe you are showing them the "love" of Jesus Christ you are actually showing them quite the opposite. There are many Christians who realize that homosexuality is not a choice.
You summed up your paragraph by saying that homosexuality is equivalent to child molestation. I will tell you the difference *FBF*.....homosexuality is not harmful to anyone while child molestation is. Nobody has the right to infringe on another person's rights. It's as simple as that.
I also take great issue with one of your last statements, "I will not vote for anything giving rights to sick and immoral people." I'm assuming that by "sick" you're referring to this imaginary psychological disorder since that was the purpose of your more recent paragraph. If so, I have to assume you believe all people with psychological disorders should not be given rights. Our world has been there and done that too and we've come out of the dark ages to realize the error of our ways. Do you also believe that all people with psychological disorders have chosen to have these disorders?
I think as you continue your education you will find that this is not the case and I can guarantee you that you will never be taught in a reputable psychology class that homosexuality is a "disorder".
As far as you saying immoral people should not be given rights....what makes homosexuals immoral in your eyes.....your religion? The word immoral is generally reserved for people who actually hurt other people. They have done nothing to hurt other people yet you call them immoral simply for being who they are? In many countries you are "immoral" because you are a Christian.....should you have rights? A few years ago it was "immoral" for people of different races to marry each other, and god forbid if they had children! And, the Bible was often used to justify this prejudice too. Hmmmmmm....kind of makes you wonder.... are people who eat shrimp immoral too?
FBF: I never said anything about hating homosexuals. Congratulations on your Bachelors degree, however that does not make you right. Reputable psychology classes. Yap, yap, yap. All you have done is state opinion and none of it is truth or fact. All I'm saying is that I believe that homosexuality is wrong. As an American I have that right. I don't hate anyone. So as for saying that I am not showing the love of Jesus is plain ignorant on your part. If you want to think that I am prejudice let me help you and I will tell you you are damn right I am. Homosexuals are sick people and I don't think they should have the right to polute society with their illness. At the same time I absolutely am against mistreating anyone. I think they need help. Someone much wiser than myself called homosexuals an abomination...oh yeah that was GOD. I am agreeing with Him so if you still want to say I am wrong go ahead that is your right and I definately don't want to take that away. But through your anger you are showing your bias in this situation. Once again before you start attacking me consider yourself. Your degrees do not automatically make you right.I know some homosexual people and I do not treat them any different than anyone else. Bottom line is that you do not know me and accusing me of hate is unfounded. I have more compasion than you could ever know. Let me say again that there is no evidence either way that homosexuality is or is not a mental disorder and I side on the is side. That is my opinion and only that. My vote will be against Ref 71 as a simple power of attorney will allow DP the same rights they are whining about not having.
FBF 3rd grade teacher: Well said *FBF*!
Me: It's clear that you don't want to respond to any of the actual points I made so I guess our conversation is at an end. I'll close with a quote from the American Psychological Association:
"Is homosexuality a mental disorder?
No, lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations are not disorders. Research has found no inherent association between any of these sexual orientations and psychopathology. Both heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Both have been documented in many different cultures and historical eras. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual relationships are normal forms of human bonding. Therefore, these mainstream organizations long ago abandoned classifications of homosexuality as a mental disorder."
If you do not care to respond with actual information as I have, then don't bother. Maybe someone without a closed mind will learn from this exchange.
It is so sad that some religious people can't see past the noses on their face or have reasonable conversations. On a related note, as my kids and I were driving to my mom's house last night, we saw some people standing on the corner with signs reading "Reject 71." Alongside their parents were two small girls holding signs. So sad. Of course I support the free speech rights of the adults who wish Referendum 71 to be rejected. I am disgusted that they would use their children in this way.
It brought up a conversation in the car because my kids wanted me to "Honk for support". I explained that the people were wanting us to support something that was wrong and I will not honk. I explained what Referendum 71 is and that it is wrong to take away people's rights simply because they are different than us. It's just like people telling black people they couldn't drink from the same drinking fountain. It is wrong and I will always stand up and point out people's prejudices until they are few and far between. My son and daughter both responded with the same question: "Well how would those people feel if somebody told them they couldn't love the person they love? I bet they'd be really sad and then they would understand."