According to Judy Paris, she and her cohorts are — despite their demonstrated practice of prohibiting dissenting input from appearing on their blog — in no way reluctant to discuss their ideas about this and that even with people who disagree with them. They aren’t afraid of a little heated debate, they say, and Judy in particular claims to have thick skin.
Recently, Judy offered me a 99th-hour (out of 100) opportunity to “meet” her on her friend’s radio show for a chat. She didn’t say what she wanted to talk about, only that I couldn’t use any of Goerge Carlin’s words. I’ve been over the reasons why I declined even though I was aware this would lead her to belch up the claim that I was afraid to take on her ideas.
Well, it’s not difficult to see that this is a lie. Merely by writing on several occasions about the things she has said and inviting her to comment, I have shown that I’m not afraid to engage in a discussion with her. My feeling is that the Internet is a vastly superior medium for the kind of exchange that Judy and I would have, because I have a lot of questions for her and even if she knew the questions in advance and could rattle off the answers from a piece of paper, I don’t think her friend’s show is long enough to accommodate them. Furthermore, it is much easier for those following along to see questions and answers in written form rather than be forced to listen to and sort through an audio file. This, I am fairly sure, is why transcripts of proceedings like Senate hearings and court trials are routinely produced and released.
So, I feel that we should continue this.
I know that Judy reads this blog, and I know she’s aware that her comments here are perfectly welcome. Therefore, any failure on her part to at least begin to attempt to answer any of these questions within the next week (that gives her about 100-fold as much preparation time as she gave me here) will serve as evidence of extreme cowardice, and more importantly, as evidence that she has acknowledged being in the wrong several times over and that her opinions should be laughed over the horizon by thinking folks. If Judy does not reply within a few days, I will e-mail her to let her know this post exists.
The only ground rule is this: Justifying anything on the basis of a textual deity of any sort will be rejected on the grounds of this not constituting a legitimate reply. Because we are talking about matters of public policy here, we seek consequentialist arguments, not dogmatic ones. Furthermore, the god of my own understanding, a morally unimpeachable sort herself, holds beliefs precisely contrary to those of the god of Judy’s understanding, and the commandments and desires of these beings — for which there of course exists equal evidence — therefore cancel out. Then there is the obvious (to those who are awake) fact that a god who does not want people to act in a certain way (as with gay homosexers) would likely not imbue its “children” with such tendencies and would surely not allow such behavior to be ubiquitous in a way certain to divide its supposed favorites into warring camps, notions of “free will” notwithstanding. In fact, I submit that my personal god is more powerful than Judy’s because she (the deity, not Judy) actively avoids appealing to people with an intelligent quotient below eighty.
I do not mean to state that no one can mention “God” here — only that my eyes will register all references to this entity in the context of justifying a secular or emotion-driven position as “BA DEE BA DOO BE-BOPPITY YEE-HAW” or something similar. In other words, it will be noncontributory noise, just as though I had indeed called into the “New Tak Radio” show and proceeded to expel huge bursts of flatulence into the handset.
Links to scientific papers, government documents, or other sources of information are of course welcome in and some cases may be necessary. There will be no moderation or deletion of comments and Judy and her friends are encouraged to ask their own questions, but only after they have answered those asked of them. I have tried to make my questions focused without them being unjustly leading, but if I have erred, this will become evident soon enough and I apologize.
I will say emphatically that I hope Judy does not fear stirring up negative comentary or being judged to be intellectually substandard as a result of this exchange. If it is any consolation, Judy, it is unlikely that I could believe you to be much dumber than I already do. Should you care, you can change my mind for the better, but not for the worse.
With that out of the way, here are my questions for Judy Paris (or anyone who also believes I am averse to discussion and wishes to serve as Judy’s proxy). I’ll start with a lucky seven (or so).
- In a letter to the Concord Monitor, you wrote that “Homosexuality is much like a predisposition to alcoholism and free-will choice still influences outcome.” What is your evidence that choice influences sexual orientation? (I will assume based on your wording here that you consider homosexuality a disease, and will remind you that while the AMA considers alcohol a disease, the DSM does not consider homosexiality to be one. You can choose to address this, or not.)
- Do you believe that two people of the same sex can engage in long-term, loving (as in romantic love, not familial) relationships? If not, what evidence informs your position?
- Regardless of whether the non-choice of homosexuality is primarily genetic or primarily environmental in origin, why do you believe that gay couples do not deserve the same rights as other members of society? (Even if you for whatever reason ignore all other questions, I would appreciate your answering this one.)
- In terms of government and private entitlements (health insurance, death benefits, and so on), do you draw a distinction between those that should be available to a heterosexual married couple and those available to a disabled person who lives non-romantically with his or her caregiver and the caregiver himself or herself? What reasons underlie this distinction?
- In terms of thse same entitlements, do you draw a distinction between those that should be available to a homsexual couple and those those available to a disabled person who lives non-romantically with his or her caregiver and the caregiver himself or herself? What reasons underlie this distinction?
- You recently wrote “Let’s face it, there’s only one God and should be only one church anyway.” Does this mean you would favor the elimination of synagogues, Seventh-Day Adventist churches, Jehovah’s Witness churches, Unitarian Churches, LDS churches, Greek Orthodox churches, and the other “rogue” houses of worship too numerous to list? (I remind you of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and quote from that document, with emphasis mine: ” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”)
- In the same comment, you wrote that “[some people want to] change the Bible to say it’s okay to be a homosexual.” This implies that you do not believe that the Bible approves of homosexuality. Does this mean that you, as a Bible believer, believe by extension that the church you go to should not permit gays to attend? More broadly, do you believe gays can be “true” Christians?
That should do it for now. Take your time, please — I know you’re fond of reseacrhing your positions before mouthing off about them, and I wouldn’t want you to abandon this habit for the sake of little ol’ me.