Robin Dembroff, a celebrity among lefty, tranny and sodomite philosophers, has produced a small article on Roy Moore, calling him odious. I want to address some of what she (I decline to use her preferred personal pronoun they) has stated.
No, let’s not forget Roy Moore’s repeated and firm insistence that millions of Americans, including myself, belong in prison simply for being gay. He made this plain when he told CSPAN’s Bill Press that “homosexual conduct” is equivalent to bestiality, and should be criminalized.
Dembroff writes that Moore has made a firm and repeated insistence that millions of Americans should be in jail for being gay and that he said this when he said that homosexual conduct should be criminalized. But this is wrong and seems like a blatantly obvious lie: Moore doesn’t want to throw people in jail for being gay, but only that gay conduct is criminalized. Thus, it’s about homosexual behaviour (e.g. sodomy between men). Moore stated that much in the video provided by Dembroff herself – that is, Moore clearly stated that it’s about conduct, not people. He stated that repeatedly. Watch the video to see for yourself.
Sometimes people suggest that there’s no proper distinction between “being gay” and “doing gay”, but that’s silly. Nothing about having a homosexual inclination or an “orientation” necessitates homosexual conduct. To say otherwise is to endorse the idea that people with homosexual inclination cannot control their sexual behaviour, which should strike lgbt allies as a classically “homophobic” thing to say.
Other times it is suggested that prohibitions against homosexual behaviour would be like prohibiting Catholics to go to Mass, which would penalize Catholics for being Catholic. In this same way, they argue, prohibitions against gay conduct would penalize gay people for being homosexual. But that’s wrong. Let me explain why.
Part of being a good Catholic involves Mass attendance, because Catholics are obliged to go to Mass; but no person with homosexual inclination is obliged to perform homosexual conduct. There’s no analogous religious or spiritual system that obliges sodomy. There’s also no standard of what makes a good, homosexual person. Thus, restrictions on homosexual conduct cannot be compared to restrictions against Mass attendance, or at least not in the respect mentioned above.
Objectors might argue that prohibitions against sodomite behaviour have an discriminatory effect, because gay persons are those who are most inclined toward sodomite behaviour. In other words, mostly gay people will be caught in any enforcement effort. This is likely true. But so what? Where’s the rebuttal?
I ask that question because my admission still doesn’t suggest that homosexual persons would be imprisoned or penalized for being gay, but only doing gay. And moreover, that it has a discriminatory effect is no problem for Moore, because he views the homosexual condition as an ailment and that homosexual conduct is immoral and unnatural. Moore thus finds the discriminatory impact of this prohibition to be justified, just as prohibitions against stealing have a discriminatory but justified impact on kleptomaniacs.
This comparison between kleptomaniacs and homos might insult you, but here we have a debate about the homosexual condition and gay conduct, not a debate about whether Moore wants to imprison people for being gay. I thus encourage my readers to remember what’s at stake here: We are only discussing whether Moore is suggesting that we imprison people for being gay. I have given good reason to doubt that.
Let’s move on to the final point I’ll address. Dembroff writes:
If Moore’s comparison between homosexuality and bestiality reveals one thing, it is that Roy Moore has a serious case of what I call “straight ignorance.” Straight ignorance is epistemic handcuffs. It is an ignorance that prevents someone from understanding gay people’s identities and experiences.
Perhaps straight ignorance is best understood by looking first to white ignorance. The philosopher Charles Mills describes white ignorance as ignorance of racialized experience that is disguised simply as knowledge. White ignorance makes black and brown lives unintelligible, and replaces true understanding with stereotypes and projections.
Straight ignorance presupposes that heterosexuality is the cultural gold standard. Heteronormative practices, values and habits are the lens through which everything is seen — a lens hidden under loaded concepts like ‘natural’ and ‘normal’, even ‘Biblical’.
Straight ignorance means seeing monogamous, heterosexual marriage as unremarkable, but polyamory as bizarre. It means never questioning one’s own gender, but being puzzled or even disgusted by a bearded person wearing a dress. It means never thinking twice about holding your partner’s hand in public or walking into a bathroom.
Poet Lauren Zuniga describes first hearing the word “heteronormative” as being “handed a corkscrew after years of opening the bottle with [her] teeth.” This also was my experience. But I suspect Roy Moore won’t overcome straight ignorance so easily.
These paragraphs lack proper argument; hence, it’s hard to interact with Dembroff’s reasoning (largely because she presented none), but I don’t see any good reason to think that there’s a case of culpable ignorance.
Consider myself: I uphold a classical realist metaphysic and its understanding of human nature. This understanding undergirds a further understanding that human nature is heteronormative. From this, and natural law ethics, I believe that the homosexual condition is a deviation of human sexuality and that homosexual conduct is morally bad. Furthermore, from that same perspective, I believe that sex with animals is more objectionable than homosexual conduct, but I also believe that these acts are similar inasmuch as they are both contrary to right reason and the natural order. These beliefs of mine are not “hidden” under concepts such as the “natural”, but are knowingly based upon nature. I take these beliefs to justified on grounding independent of any lived experience as a “homosexual” or a “heterosexual”, and I further take these beliefs to be dependent and justified through reason, argument and metaphysics.
Does any of this suggest that I am ignorant to how other people might understand human nature, their identity or their sexuality? Does any of this suggest that I am prevented from that understanding? Does any of this suggest or imply that I have replaced “true knowledge” with sterotypes and projections? I don’t see why. In fact, I think that I am well informed about it, though I disagree with the assessments and ideas of sexual progressivists, finding them to be unreasonable. Of course, I might be wrong in my finding, but that’s to be determined through the evidence and debate. Dembroff can’t just presume this within public discourse.
What about my lived presumptions and feelings? For example, I don’t think twice about holding my wife’s hand in public and I often cringe with pity and disgust when I see a trans, bearded man in a dress. Does any of this show or suggest an ignorance? I don’t think so.
I don’t think twice about holding my wife’s hand in public because I hold the belief that it’s a proper and socially acceptable expression of our natural union and love. That two homosexual men might think twice about holding hands is indicative of a difference, but nothing here suggests that this difference is unwarranted or that I am somenow culpably ignorant. Likewise, I feel disgust and pity when I see active trans-persons, like bearded men in dresses who believe that they’re women, but that’s because I believe that they are acting contrary to their good, the common good, God’s will, and degrading themselves. Nothing here suggests that I have an ignorance, or at least none to which I am epistemically culpable, nor even one relevant to the justification for my beliefs. Again, I might be unaware of some relevant truth; but if I am, then that is something that needs to be shown in an argument.
So here’s the problem: Dembroff can’t simply assume that those who strongly disagree with her are ignorant, which implies that there is some sort of “true knowledge” to which they do not know. Likewise, when I find “polyamory” bizarre (that’s an understatement) or feel disgusted with bearded men in dresses, Dembroff can’t simply assume that I’m ignorant, nor that my classical realist perspective or my Catholicism, or whatever else, is blinding me to a relevant truth.
Why can’t she presume this? Well, because they pertain to some of the very issues at stake between social conservatives and progressivists; and so she needs to argue for them. Otherwise, she begs a question. Thus, Dembroff can’t presume her contentious ideas, simply categorizing our responses or feelings as a product of ignorance. Philosophy is harder than that. It’s much harder than that. And I suspect that if she were not a diversity hire and a celebrity amongst the secular intelligentsia, and if she were not uttering vogue ideas, her peers would quickly remind her about that fact.
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- Part 2: Responding to Transgender Philosophers: “Talia Mae Bettcher” - January 15, 2018
- Part 1: Responding to Transgender Philosophers – “Talia Mae Bettcher” - January 14, 2018
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- “Philosopher” Robin Dembroff Writes About Roy Moore - January 5, 2018
- Don Lemon and Ryan Anderson Debate Homo “Marriage” Stuff - January 4, 2018
- What We Can Learn from the Nativity Story - December 25, 2017
- What is natural law? - December 23, 2017
- In Defence of Philosopher Tully Borland - December 7, 2017
- On the Black Family, Absentee Parents and Progressivism - November 24, 2017