Friday, August 10, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 5) - Homosexuality, Abortion, and other simple choices

-1-
Saw this on Facebook. Frustrated.

-2-
The problem with the image above also exists in this image.

-3-
Now, I happen to agree with the second image and not with the first. But both of them take an issue that has many facets and is deeply personal and treat it like a favorite color choice. Views on abortion and the morality of homosexuality are not decided by the flip of a coin and will not be changed by Facebook pictures or bumper stickers.

-4-
Not to mention that labeling those who adhere to the law of the Hebrew Scriptures as sexist, chauvinistic, judgmental and xenophobic is rather anti-Semitic, don't you think?

-5-
It was brought to my attention tonight that "xenophobia" means fear of strangers/foreigners. It's often used incorrectly. "What about if you don't like foreigners, but aren't afraid? You just think you're better? Is there a word for that?" "Hatred." Hm, yes.

-6-
I'm not claiming a high ground here. I've definitely gotten to the point where a snarky one-liner is more satisfying than taking the time to think out and explain my position. But just because I'm guilty of treating those with whom I disagree as morons doesn't make it an acceptable way to have dialogue.

-7-
If you want to engage in conversation about the arguments made in these images, I'm willing to do that. But doing so in a post called "7 Quick Takes" would be rather ironic, given that I'm complaining about oversimplification. :-)


10 comments:

  1. I think your conclusion that "bumper sticker" arguments are easy but not terribly useful is absolutely correct. In general, people do not want to think through...well, anything. They would rather have things be cut-and-dry and easy to choose.

    It's easy and popular to say you are "modern" and "civilized" because you support same-sex marriage. It's apparently not easy to realize that there are still people in the world who follow all the Old Testament laws. They're called Orthodox Jews, and I'm pretty sure making fun of them by that name makes you anti-Semitic.

    It's not easy to make a nuanced, logical argument against abortion, but it is necessary and possible. It's also possible to do from Christian, Catholic, and secular points of view.

    That complexity is part of why I aim for changing hearts instead of changing laws. It's a much slower technique, but it does work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Changing hearts is much more permanent, too. If you haven't read her blog before, you should check out Sheila at A Gift Universe. She's been writing recently about the intersection of faith and politics, good stuff.

      Delete
  2. I think the 1st image just exemplifies how stupid people can be. It's not even a real argument when you don't know the meaning of what your writing and then try and lash out at entire groups of people. It looks like something some high schooler cooked up that got spread around Facebook.

    No self-respecting intellectual who wants to argue for gay marriage should even use that image even if they agree with some of the basic arguments that it contains.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely a frustrating trend. In this particular case, I know the person who posted it to be an intelligent woman, but it can be so easy to just re-post something flippant that makes the other side look ignorant or worse. Certainly something we can all guard against.

      Delete
  3. I'm a Jew, and I still think that the Ultra Orthodox and the fundamental Christians who follow the Law to the letter are sexist, chauvinistic, judgmental and xenophobic. I'm not anti-Semitic, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting perspective. I think Christians who follow the Law to the letter have missed the point of Jesus' New Covenant; the Hebrew Law is no longer applicable in whole. But I've often wondered how faithful Jews discern what parts of the Law are still applicable and which were meant only for the society to which they were originally revealed.

      I can understand trying to follow the Law to the letter with the belief that this was revealed by God and no prophets have come along speaking authoritatively against it. I think sexist does not necessarily apply because that implies a value judgment between sexes, whereas the Law treats the genders as different but both valuable. Chauvanistic? Maybe, using the definition of undue partiality towards one's own group... but rather understandable, since God called that group His chosen people! I don't really see evidence of being judgmental or xenophobic, though. Could be I am just not familiar enough with the Hebrew Scriptures.

      Delete
  4. Glad I came across your post. I intended to write 7 quick takes on the same issues but I got carried away with my arguments so now its just a regular and lengthy blogpost. So I'm glad at least someone in 7 quick takes is commenting about it. I believe changing hearts is more permanent too and I rarely write political posts but sometimes we do have to venture into such things because "not to oppose error is to approve it" (Pope Felix III) I'm going to hang out in your blog and read today and check out your link to A Gift of Universe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Writing about faith and politics is uncertain ground on the internet, where people cannot read facial expression or tone of voice. My goal is to write truth without unnecessary offense... knowing that in rare cases, truth will cause offense no matter how it is phrased, but also that truth can be used deliberately to hurt. I pray I am successful.

      Delete
  5. Followed your link from conversiondiary.com. I have been up to my eyeballs in the issues of the Church and homosexuality lately. It's breaking my heart. I'm struggling, struggling, struggling to make show my non-believing friends how the Church's position isn't bigoted or hateful. It's nearly impossible and it makes me so sad. I also hate all of the simplified sloganeering on Facebook. And being called a hateful bigot - not directly maybe, but it's certainly implied - on an hourly basis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a difficult topic. Above all, of course, we must love, but that doesn't mean an "anything goes" attitude. I have written before about homosexuality, which may or may not be helpful to you. My prayers are with you as you try to be a faithful witness.

      Delete