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Golden Rule Day Gathers Steam

This commentary is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the opinion of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin.

Timothy Kincaid

April 22nd, 2008

NOTE: The authors at Box Turtle Bulletin do not share consensus on this issue. Watch for further commentary.

goldenrule.pngFriday will be the Day of Silence, observed by schoolkids across the nation to remind their peers that LGBT kids are often silenced by homophobia and acts of violence against them. This year, the DOS will be in honor of Lawrence King, a 15 year old kid shot in the head by a classmate for being gay.

At the initiation of the Day of Silence, anti-gays became furious. They saw this as an effort to encourage students to think favorably of homosexuality. And rather than risk a reduction in the cultural rejection of homosexaulity, they harshly objected to any effort to draw attention to the verbal and physical violence that gay students experience every day.

So they started a rebuttal, the Day of Truth. As Daniel illustrated, there’s little truth expressed by DOT, but that’s not important to them. Their primary purpose is to make certain that gay students know that they reject the DOS’ efforts to reduce violence and discrimination against them.

Further efforts to counter the Day of Silence include a call to parents to remove their children from school that day lest they find merit in the anti-violence message.

Often this response leaves gay people and their friends confused. “Shouldn’t Christians be the first to oppose violence and cruelty?”, they ask.

Well that message is finally finding a home. A joint effort by Warren Throckmorton, psychology professor at Grove City College, and Michael Frey, a director with Campus Crusade, seeks to support the message of non-violence.

Throckmorton and Frey are encouraging conservative Christian students to join the silent protest, but to also let their classmates know that it is because of their Scriptural belief in the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

It now appears that they are finding support from some Christian kids who were a bit uncomfortable with the message of rejection and condemnation.

Some bridges are being built. For instance, a Campus Crusade for Christ group at Slippery Rock recently entered a dialogue with a gay support group on campus and will help lead the call for respectful treatment of all students on campus. Randy Veccia, student leader, says the efforts of both groups will serve “to raise awareness that everyone deserves to be loved.” Christian students in high schools in Greensboro, NC are going to reach out in ways not contemplated before.

And the effort now has the support of Rev. Bob Stith, Gender Issues Strategist for the Southern Baptist convention.

I have long thought Christians were missing a great opportunity by not being more vocal in helping to make our schools safe places for all kids. It doesn’t require that we compromise our beliefs. Indeed it can give us a great opportunity that we might not otherwise have.

What a wonderful opportunity to express our convictions in a way that is positive, loving and redemptive. What a wonderful opportunity to train our children to care about all people, to model the example of Jesus and the woman at the well.

Who knows but what this could even be the beginning of a movement that will turn the tide of school shootings and violence in the hallways?

I have no expectation that any of those involved in this effort will change their theological objection to sexual activity between individuals of the same sex any time soon. Nor do I think that is a reasonable demand to make of them.

Further, I hope that we are all careful that efforts are not made to dis-identify those individuals who are currently being targeted for bullying and violence, thus diminishing the message that these specific people - gay kids – are worthy of decency and love.

But I welcome those conservative Christians kids who are willing to stand up against mistreatment of their gay fellow students, whether or not they are convinced of their salvation. And I believe that as conservative Christian students begin to see their gay classmates as children of God and worthy of respect, and as gay students begin to see conservative Christians as allies rather than oppressors, common ground can be reached.

We can all at some point make our theological arguments on their merits once peace is established. But in the meanwhile lets agree to join forces to fight against the common enemies of violence and brutality.

Comments

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William Calhoun
April 22nd, 2008 | LINK

Now this is a good sign. My own move as a Christian to a more tolerant position was based on the realization: “if I were gay, how would I want to be treated?”. Yeah, I know, this is sort of a “well, duh” moment. If the Golden Rule isn’t the core of Christian behavior, what is? But I think this is a good start, especially is it keeps folks focused on the idea that even those with whom we have deep and unresolvable disagreements are also human beings deserving fair and just treatment, the same treatment we’d want.

Joel
April 22nd, 2008 | LINK

“if I were gay, how would I want to be treated?”. Yeah, I know, this is sort of a “well, duh” moment. If the Golden Rule isn’t the core of Christian behavior, what is?

I ask myself that but replacing it with a sin. (I am not comparing the idea of the existance of a homosexual… but rather their actions. Like kissing, holding hands, caressing… etc. ) Now i ask myself first and foremost, what does God want from me? Remember, love God over all things. And denying ones self is a step towards salvation. Thats how my christian side empathizes with a homosexual. The need for them to deny themselves in order to walk to heaven, if they refuse, however, it does not matter since God is THE truth and he admonishes such action. So in reality, they either change(their behavior) and be saved or my intolerance towards their actions will be apparant, due to God’s own standard.

Not exactly sure how you would treat an adulterer/theif/murderer. their actions are sinful… would you also ask yourself, “if i were X, how would I like to be treated” or, “what would Jesus do?”.

Bruce Garrett
April 22nd, 2008 | LINK

Not exactly sure how you would treat an adulterer/theif/murderer.

See…right there is the problem. It’s fine to agree that violence against school kids shouldn’t be tolerated, right up to the point you start asking for that to be put into practice rather then theory, and then you run smack into this “but we can’t look the other way when it comes to sin” bedrock.

As long as people are adamant that same sex love is equal and equivalent to murder in the eyes of God then you will never get them to agree In Practice to work against anti-gay violence. Think about it for a moment please…what is it we do when we see someone trying to murder someone else? We stop them…with force if necessary. What do we do to murderers? We put prosecute them. We put them in jail. By force. Force is how you deal with murder and homosexuality is like murder, so you can’t argue that using force against it is morally wrong any more then it is morally wrong to use force to combat murder.

That is going to be the thinking Every Time it comes down to actually putting into practice any effort to combat anti-gay violence in schools as opposed to making noble statements about it. If you don’t punish sin, you are condoning it. If you look the other way you are condoning it. If you act like gay kids aren’t doing anything wrong you are condoning their sin. If you treat them just like anyone else, you are condoning their sin. There will be no silence, there can not possibly be silence, because silence is looking the other way, is consent. And that is why any effort to combat anti-gay violence that amounts to more then noble rhetoric will be resisted because homosexuality is a sin Just Like Murder and you wouldn’t ask anyone to look the other way when it comes to murder would you?

I can’t believe that Throckmorton after all these years doesn’t know how these people think. They don’t regard punishing homosexuals for their sin as bullying any more then they regard punishing murderers as bullying. If you wouldn’t look the other way when Johnny tries to murder Bobby, you wouldn’t look the other way when Johnny kisses Bobby either because that’s as good as trying to murder him. That is how they think. You will never get a handle on violence toward gay kids until you get a handle on that.

Liadan
April 22nd, 2008 | LINK

Well, sure it’s marginally better than the Day of “Truth” nonsense, but if one already agrees that anti-gay violence is wrong, why not participate just like everyone else in a day meant to combat anti-gay violence? Why go to such lengths to make sure everyone knows you certainly don’t approve of Teh Homosexuals and their Unnatural Homosexing Ways even if you might not think it’s terribly decorous to beat them up?

All it’s doing is putting the focus on your ever-so-important disapproval instead of on the people getting beaten up and silence that you happen to disapprove of. Newsflash: It’s not about you for once.

[Generic “you” throughout.]

Michael
April 22nd, 2008 | LINK

@Bruce

I think many, if not most, Christians do recognize homosexuality as a fundamentally different type of sin. Actions that directly harm others demand a reaction – often a forceful one – regardless of one’s religious affiliation. Private sins against God need not evoke the same reaction.

While I definitely agree that anti-gay attitudes are deeply ingrained and represent a serious obstacle in gaining equality, I would like to think that a mutual understanding might eventually be achieved. Throckmorton’s efforts are a step in that direction.

Buffy
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Good for them. I personally don’t care if they dislike us so long as they don’t actively work against our rights or spread lies about us.

Granted I don’t anticipate them turning around and changing in any great way, but at least they aren’t directly fighting us for this one day. That’s a start.

William
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Bruce Garrett, you have explained the crux of the problem very clearly. That’s why “Christian” homophobia is so insidious and so ugly.

Joel
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

“I think many, if not most, Christians do recognize homosexuality as a fundamentally different type of sin. Actions that directly harm others demand a reaction – often a forceful one – regardless of one’s religious affiliation”

I agree Micheal. I do not, whoever, believe christians take homosexual behavior an entirely private thing. Promiscous sex=private, but unless you are advocating and parting from the premise of a free of homosexual behavior public life, they are not quite the same…

Public life is not like TV… you usualy have a heads up warning(which would be private) and can turn it off whenever something ‘wrong’ appears(and even then that would be pushing it, the CBS Luke and Noah storyline come to mind, and how they catered to the complaints of anti-gay and christians), like promiscous sex in the TV.

Thus, it gets a different reaction from christians. Example: Two men kissing in some corner of the university/school… that is an ‘afront’ and a ‘forcing homosexuality down our throats’. WHy? Because they can not control where TWO MEN kiss, hold hands… etc. And like bruce puts it “If you don’t punish sin, you are condoning it. If you look the other way you are condoning it. If you act like gay kids aren’t doing anything wrong you are condoning their sin. If you treat them just like anyone else, you are condoning their sin.”

Bruce, i believe christian view homosexuality more in the ‘degree of sin’ as promiscous sex, and not as murder. Either one will keep you from heaven if you dont atone but, in how to deal with it… there are different approaches(in accordance to their degree). I will note tho… some see no difference between one sin and the other.. they are all the same since all have the same result, burning in hell forever, and ‘spiting in God’s cross’.

Jason D
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

“Not exactly sure how you would treat an adulterer/theif/murderer.”

Comparing gays to adulterers, thieves, and murderers is laughable. Theft and murder have a victim, homosexuality does not. Adultery involves betraying a freely given promise, homosexuality does not.

Homosexuality is not comparable to these sins, so how about a fair comparison? In scope and content homosexuality is more like smoking or drinking — since the “harm” is personal. I’m talking about the perspective that says any drinking/smoking is bad, I’m not talking about alcoholism.

So, should a smoker be beaten? Should a smoker be killed? Is it okay to kick someone’s butt up and down the street if you’re a non-smoker and they ask you for a cigarette or a light? If you see someone smoking, is it okay to throw a beer bottle at them and call them names?

And to be fair, Christians are downright accepting of adultery. Look at their divorce rate – it’s just as high, if not higher than the national average. The bible says divorce is not okay unless your spouse cheated on you, and I’m pretty sure re-marriage is out of the question. From what I understand, remarriage is adultery and the newly formed couple is “living in sin” for however long they remain together.

Yet they have no problem looking the other way and not judging each other on that one.

“their actions are sinful… would you also ask yourself, “if i were X, how would I like to be treated” or, “what would Jesus do?”.”

From what I gather, Jesus would hang out with the gays. He would not be hanging out with the pious Christian hypocrite televangelists, he would not be Dobson, Kern, or Matt Barber’s best friend.

Jim Burroway
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Wait a minute Joel. One minute you’re talking about promiscuous sex, and the next you’re complaining about two men kissing.

Next time I see a heterosexual couple kissing or holding hands, mind if I point at them and wail about promiscuous sex?

Because frankly, I’m not seeing the connection. And I find it offensive that you apparently do.

Joel
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Next time I see a heterosexual couple kissing or holding hands, mind if I point at them and wail about promiscuous sex?
I dont see the connection, christians do. On the basis of ‘sin’, or more to the point, God’s standard.

Personally though, i connect it more with an older man kissing a young boy. And that connection is so disturbing that i abhore homosexual behavior, and even heterosexual behavior ‘out of love’. (Maybe not heterosexual behavior ‘out of love’ but only because its so ‘normal’). You will say, ‘BUT THE OLDER MAN IS ONLY LUSTING’. Really? care to back it up?
Reminds me of Stacey Harp and her disbelief that homosexuals can love each other and her overly convinced rhetoric that ITS ALL ABOUT LUST.

Joel
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

OOPS jim.. i didnt see you said HETEROSEXUAL COUPLE… my reply was to homosexual couple. They look alike, MY BAD.

“From what I understand, remarriage is adultery and the newly formed couple is “living in sin” for however long they remain together.”

Dunno abotu christians in general but catholics do not let the divorced/remarried person take communion(as it is living in sin). Now that i think of it… divorce is a one time action, but its ‘punished’ by catholics even if she mightve reconciled with God.

Shane
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

I think so much of conservative Christian thought is stuck in stereotypical mud when it comes to gay people. “They’re all shallow and sleep around. They want to indoctrinate our children and steal them away to some awful lifestyle, where by their very evil nature they will be dead 20 years sooner than their counterparts.” To me, I see these ideas as fueling an industry. This type of rhetoric, regardless of the cost to gay youth, makes them a lot of money and having an “enemy” is a great way to appeal to that itchy beast in all of us that just loves to sacrifice a scapegoat. But if certain conservative groups are willing to recognize their efforts have helped generate violence against gay people, then well, that’s got to be at least a small, positive step in the right direction.

cooner
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Not exactly sure how you would treat an adulterer/theif/murderer.

I’d want to see them tried and convicted under the legal system. I certainly wouldn’t use it as an excuse to beat the crap out of them when they’re defenseless. I’m sure some would, but I wouldn’t call that righteous behavior.

And denying ones self is a step towards salvation. Thats how my christian side empathizes with a homosexual. The need for them to deny themselves in order to walk to heaven.

I find this attitude depressing, offensive, and hypocritical all at the same time. I don’t really see the majority of vocal Christians ‘denying’ themselves much of anything, especially looking at televangelists and fancy megachurches with Starbucks and video game systems installed. And I don’t see many Christian married couples ‘denying’ themselves of one of the most fundamental needs, to spend your life and share physical and emotional closeness with the person you love. It seems you’re placing a particular heavy onus on gays to deny themselves, far more than any of the other sinners sitting in the pews.

Mostly I find it disturbing that your faith perceives homosexuality as a sin that MUST NOT be condoned, even to the extent of looking the other way … while an act of violence of beating someone up is not a sin, and looking the other way and ignoring it is actively encouraged.

“Day of Silence” meets “Golden Rule Pledge” « Crossing the T
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

[…] (Thanks to Box Turtle Bulletin.) […]

pupster
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

I think Liadan summed it up best.

Here’s a question: all these people who read the bible and take it literally – do they ever stop to think about what it is they are reading? I mean seriously…

Timothy Kincaid
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Ummmmm… OK

And now back to the topic at hand: the Day of Silence and the Golden Rule initiative.

Mike Airhart
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Umm, where exactly has it been documented that “Throckmorton and Frey are encouraging conservative Christian students to JOIN the silent protest”?

It has seemed all too apparent that Throckmorton has been targeting the Golden Rule protest AGAINST the silent protesters so as to give antigay parents (many of them being bullies who teach their kids to bully) an alternative to keeping their teen-agers home for a day.

My distinct impression is that the Golden Rule folks are accusing the Day Of Silence protesters of NOT practicing the Golden Rule.

Please document where Throckmorton has said that the Golden Rule folks should join in supportive solidarity with the DOS.

Johno
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

[Personally though, i connect it more with an older man kissing a young boy.]

That reveals nothing about gays and something very creepy about you. Where did all these people off their meds wander in from?

Golden Rule day seems like a step in the right direction, but is still pointlessly divisive. Now that DOS has been so hopelessly politicized by these Christians who want to see gay teens murdered, it may be the only solution at present.

But having been a victim of emphatically Christian violence myself several times, I think they need a Golden Rule day, as a completely seperate issue from DOS.

Timothy Kincaid
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Mike,

This is from Throckmorton’s blog:

I know of 19 schools who are pledging the Golden Rule Pledge on or around the Day of Silence. One Campus Crusade group at Slippery Rock University met with a gay support group on campus recently to offer assistance with the Day of Silence observance. Many CRU students will remain silent and distribute cards with the Day of Silence message on one side and the Golden Rule Pledge on the other. I hope to have a link to a more complete list of schools soon.

And from his Golden Rule page:

A variety of options exist on the DOS, including silence. Whatever option one chooses, we do not encourage protests, divisive actions or criticism of others. One way to live out our faith is to treat others fairly and with respect.

Wayne Besen
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Throckmorton is at it again.

You see, by having everyone agree on a “golden rule,” school districts can avoid passing anti-bulling regulations that explicitly mention the words “gay” or “lesbian.” They can say everyone is covered by the broader and “inclusive” language. Of course, we all know that unless these words are specifically mentioned, gay students are often ignored when harassed.

I certainly hope no one in our community is gullible enough to be duped into supporting this obvious bait-and-switch.

I take my hat off to Throckmorton. He is certainly crafty in his anti-gay activism.

David
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

I think this will be helpful for GLBTQ people, in the long run, and the best case for that lies in rebuttal to the question Joel raised:

“I ask myself that but replacing it with a sin. (I am not comparing the idea of the existance of a homosexual… but rather their actions. Like kissing, holding hands, caressing… etc. ) . . . Not exactly sure how you would treat an adulterer/theif/murderer. their actions are sinful… would you also ask yourself, “if i were X, how would I like to be treated” or, “what would Jesus do?”.”

Murder, adultery, stealing are violations of the Golden rule for when one places one’s self in the position of the person being murdered, cheated on or stolen, people usually say ‘I don’t want that to happen to me’

but – most people will not say ‘I don’t want that to happen to me’ when the actions in question are kissing, holding hands, caressing (presuming it is all consensual).

The actions involved in same-sex intimacy are not intrinsically sin – they do not violate ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ – while the actions involved in murder, adultery, theft, and prejudice and persecution, do intrinsically violate ‘love your neighbor as yourself’.

Anti-gay theology is flawed by its assumption that homosexuality is sin, even though same-sex intimacy does not violate ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ – when a same-sex couple consensually engages in intercourse they are no more harming each than when a mixed-sex couple engages in intimacy.

GRD may be an attempt at bait-n-switch – I don’t trust Throckmorton as far as an amoeba could throw him – but I think it will, as often happens, have unintended consequences for the anti-gaypeople crowd.

When people starting looking at this question in terms of ‘how would I want to be treated’ – not only do they tend to see ‘I don’t want to be persecuted’ – they tend to see as well ‘I like being kissed by my beloved so probably Joe likes being kissed by his beloved Tom’ – and realize that same-sex intimacy does not violate the Golden Rule, and cannot be sin.

This may turn out to be the point in time where homophobes lost their war on GLBTQ people and regained their spirituality.

Jason D
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

“This may turn out to be the point in time where homophobes lost their war on GLBTQ people and regained their spirituality.”

That would be nice, there are far too many people with logs in their eyes, judging(lest they be judged!) who are definitely NOT loving their neighbor as themselves. They’ve made a false idol of their own dogma. And poor Grace, she seems to be lost somewhere.

David
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

“people with logs in their eyes,”

Lol. I have been known to tell homophobes that the illusion of a speck they imagine they see in my eyes, is merely the shadow cast by the forest of logs in their own.

William
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Wayne is right, I think: he has the measure of Throckmorton.

Seriously, how many students in any school don’t know all about the Golden Rule? The problem is that some think – and are encouraged by irresponsible adults to think – that it doesn’t apply to LGBT people. The whole point of the Day of Silence is to make it absolutely clear that it does – and that’s precisely what the anti-gay brigade don’t want; hence the canting attempt to throw a bucket of fudge over it.

John
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

I agree with Wayne as well. I think this Golden Rule campaign is just a way to “silence” the Day of Silence protest. By trying to impliment this larger Golden Rule issue that applies to so much more than anti-gay violence and harrassment, he is just trying to push gay and lesbian safety concerns off the front burner.

If he and his supporters agree that gays and lesbians shouldn’t be harrassed and subjected to violence in schools, they should simply support the Day of Silence.

Bruce Garrett
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

You see, by having everyone agree on a “golden rule,” school districts can avoid passing anti-bulling regulations that explicitly mention the words “gay” or “lesbian.” They can say everyone is covered by the broader and “inclusive” language. Of course, we all know that unless these words are specifically mentioned, gay students are often ignored when harassed.

They don’t consider it harassment. So they’re not ignoring it. They’re looking right at it and they don’t see it as harassment. They see it as Love. They don’t feel that they are bullying anyone. Any effort to stop the bullying of gay kids that is predicated on the fundamentalists agreeing, even in some small minuscule sense, that what they do is bullying is doomed to fail.

Some years ago I watched an argument on Usenet about how the Golden Rule applies to the treatment of gay people, and the consensus among the bigots was that “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” meant that they should try to save people from homosexuality because if they themselves were trapped in it they would want to be saved. See how that works? The Golden Rule is thereby transformed into permission…no…a requirement, to harass gay people.

You just can’t finesse this. They will argue with you that leaving gay kids trapped in homosexuality is itself a kind of bullying. They will argue that they are saving children from burning in Hell for eternity which is a far worse fate then being beaten up, let alone merely being called names. They will argue that the Golden Rule means they Have to harass…no…Save kids from homosexuality, because they would want to be saved.

If Throckmorton has never seen this then he is amazingly innocent and uncurious. The Golden Rule basically gives fundamentalists permission to do whatever they want to other people, so long as they can convince themselves it’s being done in the name of a righteousness they themselves would want. The road to hell is paved with tons of that gold.

Mike Airhart
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

I agree with Bruce’s last paragraph:

I have often demanded that antigay activists honor the Golden Rule.

Bigots respond that if they were gay, they would want to be bullied and harassed because any amount of violence is justified to save a soul.

Throckmorton fails to offer specific steps to define, much less reduce, antigay violence and harassment.

If isolated groups of heretofore antigay Christians recognize that they have until now violated the Golden Rule, and seek reconciliation with the DOS supporters (who honor the Golden Rule), I think that’s great.

But I believe Throckmorton’s core plan remains vague and open to exploitation by bullies.

David
April 23rd, 2008 | LINK

“The Golden Rule is thereby transformed into permission…no…a requirement, to harass gay people.”

Would you mind supply some actual examples of this?

I argued with homophobes for several years on beliefnet (and elsewhere for more than 20 years) – and not once in thousands of posts did anyone ever even attempt the argument you mentioned, much less as a consensus position. Nor do I recall see any such an argument from Gagnon or other leading pro-discrimination theologians.

So, it would be interesting to see an actual example of it, particular since it is easily rebutted.

Bruce Garrett
April 24th, 2008 | LINK

Would you mind supply some actual examples of this?

Recall I said this was on Usenet, which may seem like ancient history to most folks here…but this is what I keep my old Usenet archive online for at home. Just a quick scan found this exchange from July, 1996. I’m just quoting the relevant portion of the post, and a few of the headers so you can verify it for yourself if it’s still in Google News…

—-
From: krolczyk@MCS.COM (Chris Krolczyk)
Newsgroups: alt.society.generation-x,alt.politics.homosexuality
Subject: Re: Gay Rights? Or the Bill of Rights?
Date: 3 Jul 1996 15:37:19 -0500
Message-ID: 4rellv$mif@Venus.mcs.com

Todd Andrews (tandrews@deltanet.com) wrote:
: Micky DuPree wrote:

: > Long-distance phone service doesn’t “hit home” with me either, but the
: > next guy in the long series that has tried to sell me some is running
: > the risk of having his head handed back to him on a platter with mashed
: > potatoes and dressing. I don’t quite have Jesus’ patience.

: > But while we’re on the subject, what part of “Do unto others as you
: > would have them do unto you” are you having trouble with?

: If you think about it, if I was doing
: something that is destructive to myself and immoral, I would want
: someone to have the courage to tell me and try to make me understand,
: even if I fought, and scratched, and denied the truth all the way.
—-

This is probably the conversation I was recalling in my previous comment. Again, is 1996, so it’s not like it is something new. I remember “Todd Andrews” very well, and strongly suspect he went by several different aliases in the newsgroup alt.politics.homosexuality over a period of many years. The person following up on it, Chris Krolczyk, didn’t offer much in the way of rebuttal and I would be interested for sure in hearing yours.

But…take a look at this…really look at the thinking going on there. I’m sure there are dozens of different ways of arguing this…it’s a kind of sophistry after all…but none of them will reach someone who can frame the Golden Rule in that manner.

You just can’t finesse it with them. This…”well let’s try to make the schools safe for All children”, without explicitly including the gay kids in it too just won’t work. But then, admittedly, including them won’t work either since the sort of person who believes the Golden Rule allows them to harass gay kids isn’t going to obey one that tells them to leave them alone. They’re on a mission from God. So they tell themselves.

At some point, the argument that protecting gay kids from harassment amounts to harassing the fundamentalist kids and denying them Their religious freedom needs to be addressed head-on. You just can’t finesse it.

Bruce Garrett
April 24th, 2008 | LINK

Sorry…that should read…”so you can verify it for yourself if it’s still in Google Groups…” Google Groups is what DejaNews used to be. And…yeah…I just looked up that message ID and its in there. I could scan my archives for the original post from Andrews but I have to go to work now…

Timothy Kincaid
April 24th, 2008 | LINK

David,

I’ve heard that argument myself. Many times.

Here’s an example of a more common variant of the argument. In his blog from January 23, 2004, Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, discusses one reason why he opposes letting gay people marry.

Had same-sex marriage been legal in 1990 I am certain that I would have tested that option. … The law kept me from making one, if not many, huge mistakes. …

I encourage you to take a stand for today’s gay youth by opposing same-sex marriage; they may not thank you today, but protecting them now provides them with a better chance of being around to thank you later.

He doesn’t reference the Golden Rule directly, but it is the base of his argument. If he had been “done unto” as others would have him do unto them, then he would have made a mistake. (sorry for the awkward grammar)

And he clearly believes that the Golden Rule doesn’t mean treat gays the way he wants to be treated. Rather, to Alan, it means treat gays the way that will make their life more difficult so that they don’t make mistakes – regardless of whether you want to be treated this way or not.

TJ McFisty
April 24th, 2008 | LINK

Had same-sex marriage been legal in 1990 I am certain that I would have tested that option. … The law kept me from making one, if not many, huge mistakes. …

I encourage you to take a stand for today’s gay youth by opposing same-sex marriage; they may not thank you today, but protecting them now provides them with a better chance of being around to thank you later.

Well, straight up marriage offers people to make their own mistakes–I know two people in my office right now that agree with that, but I don’t hear them saying “Boy, I sure wish that wasn’t available as an option to me.” Well, they say that right now because both are uuuuugly divorces but they don’t mean it.

Anyway, I’ll just chalk this up to the Dumbest Argument I’ve Heard All Day, and believe me, I actually heard a doozy today: (teenager doing a staged debate at Kid’s Day event) “So, if we kill animals good instead of killing them bad then we could still eat meat and survive.”

Nope, Alan’s dumber.

Ben in Oakland
April 24th, 2008 | LINK

‘I encourage you to take a stand for today’s gay youth by opposing same-sex marriage; they may not thank you today, but protecting them now provides them with a better chance of being around to thank you later.’

Timothy– I think your example of alan chambers in this context is a good one. I think the quote you give is a perfect example of the twisty perversity and corruption (in the moral sense) of those who make their mission in life– or their self validation, or their salary, or all three– preventing others from having what they have chosen not to have for themselves.

Twisty #1– there is an admission here that there is something called gay youth that actually exists, something they seem usually to deny. I thought they were either all broken sexually or have to be recruited by hairy men 30 years their senior.

Perversity #1: Marriage is supposed to give you a better life in all ways– live longer, make more money, be happier, etcetcetc. Marriage is also supposed to be a commitment to one other person in a monogamous relationship. (I know, i know. I’m talking theory here, or at least theo-ry.) So, by opposing marriage for gay people, and closing that option off to ‘gay youth’, one (i.e., A.C.)is in fact promoting promiscuity and shorter life spans.

quite the opposite of what he says he wants.

Also quite the opposite of the golden rule herein under discussion. I see no evidence that chambers is clearly seeing what is moral and i am merely blinded by my lust. Therefore, denying me marriage is in my eyes not treating me how I would want to be treated– and in fact, am DEMANDING to be treated. It is substituting chambers’s ideological agenda for my plan for betterment of my life.

Chambers has admitted that he ‘struggles’ every day, and has been unable to pray-it-away. So have many other ex-gays and evangelists (Telegram for Paul Barnes!). I don’t think they should be allowed to be married to a woman or father children. According to our good Christian friends, fags are terrible parents AND molest kids AND turn them gay by just talking about it. And their very participation in the institution of marriage is enough to corrupt, debase, and destroy it.

Yet here we have married fags who admit that they still ‘struggle.’If I formed and organization to prevent ex-gays form marrying someone of the opposite sex, or keep them away from children, or whatever, they would rightly see it as an attack, not just trying to make people’s lives better and freer from sin.

But i would be justified because it is for THE CHILDREN (TM), DEFENDING MARRIAGE ™, and FOR YOUR OWN GOOD (TM).

Obviously,this is not an exercise in the golden rule at all.No more is Chambers’s statement. It is the imposition of a personal agenda, using lies, deceit, and wherever possible, the coercive power of the state.

And here we find the corruption at the heart of the matter: Chambers actively works to support what is clearly a prejudice that has nothing more going for it in truth, compassion, and reality than its longevity, persistence, virulence, and willingness to tell any lie, no matter how vicious or inane, or twist any moral precept (golden rule) to make its point. Yet it represents itself as capital-M Morality.

And his salary is dependent on it.

Joel
April 24th, 2008 | LINK

“At some point, the argument that protecting gay kids from harassment amounts to harassing the fundamentalist kids and denying them Their religious freedom needs to be addressed head-on. You just can’t finesse it.”

I concur.
IMO they cancel each other out, and its up to whoevers judging it to tip the scale one way or the other. WHich, imo, is wrong, since it would be more of a relative decision than one based on whos harrassing who.

For example: If the judge is a fundamentalist christian, the scale would tip over to freedom of religion. Whilst a secular judge would tip the scale over to ‘harassing’ gay kids.

David
April 24th, 2008 | LINK

So both cases were huge exagerations.

The argument is easily defeated with its corollary – ask the homophobe “would you accept being beaten or killed for being heterosexual, if it was by someone who believed that heterosexuality was sin?”

Be honest – the answer would always be no.

Strawman arguments are bad form when homophobes use ‘em, and just as bad when anyone else uses them.

On another point:

“At some point, the argument that protecting gay kids from harassment amounts to harassing the fundamentalist kids and denying them Their religious freedom needs to be addressed head-on. You just can’t finesse it.”

The answer is straightforward and direct. Because homophobes have defined their opposition to the existence of homosexuals as a religious belief, though the idea ‘homosexuality is sin’ – its corollary ‘homosexuality is not sin’ is also a religious belief and is as entitled to protection as every other religious belief. Since homophobes have a long-standing, well-documented history of complaining about instantiation of ‘homosexuality is not sin’ in the public arena, they have sacrificed their right to articulate ‘homosexuality is sin’ in the public arena.

Joel
April 24th, 2008 | LINK

“That reveals nothing about gays and something very creepy about you. Where did all these people off their meds wander in from?”

AWWW… i guess its from my side of the world(specifically, family), where, if you DO NOT see an analogy… your just as sick as them.
Again… I cannot treat immorality/wrong/evil as if it wasnt… thus, the outcoem of applying the GOlden Rule WILL NOT be the one gay, pro-gays or accepting christians want.

“I’d want to see them tried and convicted under the legal system. I certainly wouldn’t use it as an excuse to beat the crap out of them when they’re defenseless. I’m sure some would, but I wouldn’t call that righteous behavior.” No, that IS NOT the way one would treat a wrong. Rather, legally prosecuting it. BUT, when the wrong is legal, although i agree that beating the crap is exagerated… it is only exaggerated for a first offense, this of course would be relative). Jamaicans come to mind.
Lol.. if i told you i was a bi-gay you woldnt believe me… When they said ‘struggle’, i thought it woudl be exponentially less condemning(but i wouldnt have it any other way).

Bruce Garrett
April 24th, 2008 | LINK

So both cases were huge exagerations.

Who was exaggerating? Not me.

XGW Digest: April 26, 2008 | Ex-Gay Watch
April 26th, 2008 | LINK

[…] Burroway and Timothy Kincaid of Box Turtle Bulletin voice their opinions on Throckmorton’s Golden Rule […]

Warren Throckmorton
April 26th, 2008 | LINK

This has been an interesting discussion to read. What began as my reaction to conservatives calling for parents to keep their kids home has for some commenters turned into a means of excusing the very thing I want to stop.

I do not want my kids to be afraid to go to school and I do not want gay kids to be afraid to go to school. I do not want my kids to be beaten up because of some characteristic (or for any reason) and I do not want gay kids to be beaten up.

To me it seems simple. What am I missing?

John
April 26th, 2008 | LINK

Warren wrote: “I do not want my kids to be afraid to go to school and I do not want gay kids to be afraid to go to school. I do not want my kids to be beaten up because of some characteristic (or for any reason) and I do not want gay kids to be beaten up.”

If that really is the case, then why don’t you just support the “Day of Silence?”

To me is seems simple. What am I missing?

Timothy Kincaid
April 26th, 2008 | LINK

Warren,

I think it’s simply a matter of mistrust. Just as some conservatives don’t believe gay people when they say that they aren’t trying to subvert and overthrow marriage, some gays don’t believe you when you say you aren’t trying to subvert and overthrow the Day of Silence.

I hope that with time trust can grow.

Ben in Oakland
April 27th, 2008 | LINK

Here’s what your missing:

1) you are escalating a day of silence into another event entirely.

2) It isn’t about what some christian kids may or may not think about someone else’s so-called sins, their rights to religious or self expression, or anything. It is about gay kids and their allies protesting how gay kids are treated.

3) The criticism leveled at you comes from this basis: i’m sure you don’t want your buddies in the religious right, anti-gay industry seeing you as any kind of a sympathiser to the dreaded HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA ™, however sympathgic you might actually be, which I am not sure i believe. Your golden-rule day looks like an attempt to co-opt them and the issue.

Priya Lynn
April 27th, 2008 | LINK

Warren, your event avoids specifically mentioning gays which is obviously intentional. Its clear that you want to diminish the message that gays in particular are in need of protection. This gives anti-gays an excuse not to treat gays well, they can think “everyone” should be treated well, but that “everyone” doesn’t include wrong-doers like gays. Your event does little or nothing to directly combat bullying of gays.

Joel
April 27th, 2008 | LINK

“This gives anti-gays an excuse not to treat gays well, they can think “everyone” should be treated well, but that “everyone” doesn’t include wrong-doers like gays. Your event does little or nothing to directly combat bullying of gays.”

Thats the most sense ive heard of how this might be taken. Warren will obviously not get it because he just wants to spread ‘gods message’ of the golden rule, instead of the secular golden rule(DoS). Pretty much ignoring that not all christians take ‘gods message’ of the golden rule the same way(like the above quote implies). Or who knows, maybe what Priya Linn says actually demonstrated what warren actually thinks(but does not say).

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