Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for July, 2010

Rob Tisinai takes on Molotov Mitchell

Timothy Kincaid

July 26th, 2010

Anti-gay activists hate it when you use the word “hate” so I won’t say that WorldNetDaily’s Molotov Mitchell hates you. He just wants to love you to death.

But publicly calling for the execution of all gay people is a little extreme – even for WND – so Mitchell and crew have revised their call to execution of some gay people and limit it, for now, to overseas. In this way Mitchell and WND can support Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill but pretend that they only want to kill the really bad gays. But to do so, Mitchell has to lie through his teeth about what is really in the bill.

But Rob Tisinai isn’t letting him get away with it. Rob, whose videos never cease to make me smile, has an ability to cut through the bullpoop and distill the position and logic of anti-gays into easily understandable – and easily mockable – concepts.

But that assumes that there is some logic to distill. And in this case, it seems that Mitchell is just saying anything that serves his argument of the moment regardless of fact, consistency or logic. Molotov Mitchell is quick to condemn others of “a deliberate disinfo campaign” for posting the actual bill which was presented to the legislature and for explaining what it says, in English, while his opinions are based on, well, something else.

  • Mitchell’s comments on the bill were based on some new secret version that he can’t share because he hasn’t read it, but he’s had some really nice telephone conversations with someone (who’s not a member of the Uganda parliament).
  • When he told his viewers, “This isn’t my opinion…This is what’s in the bill,” he failed to tell them he wasn’t talking about the real bill that’s been introduced, but some altered future hypothetical version. Which he hasn’t seen.

And, no, to date there has not been any new bill presented to the legislature. That “new bill” seems to exist only in the imagination of people who want to support horrific human rights abuses in Uganda but know that public calls for execution of gay “repeat offenders” makes them seem primitive and amoral.

And Rob gets to the heart of the reasons why Mitchell’s diatribes are confusing and contradictory.

I’m going give this kind of messy thinking a name, because I run across it so much: the argument ex contradictio, or “argument from contradictions.” It happens when you defend a statement by uttering another statement that contradicts the one you’re trying to defend:

* I can tell you exactly what’s in the bill…even though there are multiple, conflicting versions of the bill.
* A deliberate disinformation campaign has led us to take out the material that our opponents falsely said was there.

The argument ex contradictio is hard to refute precisely because it’s such a mess. Your listeners have a to juggle conflicting statements, experience confusion, and then rise above the confusion to recognize that confusion is exactly what your opponent is trying to sow.

And yet again, Rob has made me smile.

Rob Tisinai’s video on the danger to children

Timothy Kincaid

January 25th, 2010

In April of last year, Rob Tisinai prepared a video debunking many of the claims made by anti-gay activists about the consequences of marriage equality. Tisinai skillfully simplified each claim its essentials and by using easily understood graphics provided visual clarity to reveal the lies.

Tisinai has now taken the same approach to the false connection between homosexuality and pedophilia. Using data similar to that in Box Turtle Bulletin’s report Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?, Tisinai shows that there is a threat to the safety of children and that threat is fed by false assumptions and the political demonization of gay men.

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