Thin Red Line of Liberalism: When their own arguments backfire
Philosopher J.P Moreland once attended a gay pride lecture where a Lesbian woman was discussing the moral issues facing the LGBT community. During her lecture, she happened to look out into the audience and notice Moreland in the crowd. Apparently she recognized him, which is not uncommon, since he had been very vocal in defending the Christian views of morality to this community. She stopped her talk and began to tell a story aimed directly at this Christian apologist.
She told him, “I returned home after weeks of travel the other day. My girlfriend greeted me at the airport, and with great excitement, we ran towards each other and hugged in a loving embrace. On the ride home, I got to tell her of all the great stories of love and hope that I had experienced while on the road. When I got home, she surprised me by having my favorite meal ready to eat. After we finished, we sat around the table discussing with much hope and joy our plans for the future. Our love is so strong, it seems as though our hearts and minds are connected.” After recounting this experience, she turned and looked at Mr. Moreland and asked, “Who are you to deny me this love?”
The crowd erupted into applause and cheering. Although her argument presented nothing more than her own experience, to that crowd what she presented was just as good as some scientific validation of their worldview. J.P Moreland politely asked if he could tell a story as well. She welcomed what she thought would be some moronic response that would only strengthen the validity of her previous statement.
Mr. Moreland began by saying he would like to tell a similar story. “Jack was 65 and had been traveling for weeks. When he got home, he was greeted by his boyfriend Teddy who was 13. Teddy had taken the bus all the way to the airport so that he could greet Jack. The two ran to each other and hugged with excitement. When they got home Teddy had prepared Jack’s favorite meal. They watched their favorite movie together and talked about the future with hope and excitement.” As he was finishing J.P. Turned towards the woman who just moments ago had captivated the crowd with her story and asked, “Would you deny them their love?”
Visibly upset, she grabbed the microphone and scowled at him. “That is disgusting. Are you trying to compare us to that old pedophile and that young boy?”
“My goal,” stated J.P, “was to show that you too have boundaries you think should not be crossed. Although you say people should be free to love whomever they want, you do not really believe that yourself. If you were to suggest that a 13-year-old is too young to know better I could simply claim that you are guilty of age discrimination.”
Everyone has lines they think should not be crossed. A person who approves of every behavior cares about nobody. In talking with a humanist friend the other day, they mentioned that there are certain people whose sexual attractions are mental disorders. On what basis could they make this determination? Was this person not born with these desires? Was this person not free to love in whatever way they wanted to? Liberalism cannot answer such challenges and self-destructs under the weight of its enormous contractions.
As Mr. Moreland demonstrated, this is not hard to do. Simply use the same arguments and sound bites propagated by the LGBQT community and replace the characters with something they might find offensive. And since being offended seems to be a national past time for some, you should not have to wait long. When they approach you with their disgust and ask, “How dare you?” simply show them, that they do not believe their own argument. And if their same argument can be used to support something they find disgusting, then the flaw is not in my morality but their justification.
Culturally-based morality is an ever moving goal post. It has no foundation in any real reality that can be measured objectively. My hope in pointing this out is not to enflame hatred or bigotry, but to help them understand that the reason I’m not in their boat is because it is full of holes.