UI 051: Discriminate – Tolerate – Celebrate – Unity

500px-Gendersign.svgIs it wrong to discriminate?

Is it good to tolerate?

Why should we celebrate?

I don’t want to say I told ya so, but I did.  I’ve mention several times on this podcast, and in my class on Torah Means Teacher (my other podcast) that the greatest issue I have with same-sex marriage is the blurring of distinctions between the sexes.

While males and females are of equal human value they are still not the same.  Males and females have inherent differences.  One is not better or worse than the other, just different.  To negate that is to argue against logic, common sense, science, facts, and fundamental truths.  Yet there are those who do argue against the facts, and they use their beliefs and feeling to argue the facts.

So while, there is nothing immoral about same-sex marriage or perhaps even redefining the term marriage from only meaning male – female marriage to also meaning same-sex marriage, there is the fundamental problem of uprooting truth to justify an agenda.

This basic untruth (that male and female are the same and interchangeable) will undoubtedly have damaging ramifications for individuals and society. Now, I am sure some people reading this may be saying “Oh come on, what difference does it make whether or not the  sexes are kept distinct from each other?”

Well one problem that is already happening is in regards to tolerance and discrimination.  If a person does not agree with notion that male and female are the same, they are considered bigoted or sexist.  So it also goes with virtually every major world religion or civilization – ever.

Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Catholics, Baptists, and Jews who take there religion seriously will be considered sexists, bigots, or homophobes because none of these major religions (at least in their relative Orthodox streams) deny that male and female are distinct and different.   So if  an Orthodox Synagogue does not want to host a wedding that is fundamentally oppositional to their marriage doctrine, they will likely be sued for discrimination.  If a Catholic adoption agency is bias to male-female married couples who are looking to adopt compared to same-sex married couples – they are guilty of discrimination.  On and on this goes.  And has already happened:

Quick Examples From:

The Huffington Posts LGBT section: click here

The Catholic Charities’ site: click here

The feminist movement’s greatest achievements were in demonizing men, masculinizing women, and confusing everyone about gender roles and identity.  Ironically what the feminist movement did not do was celebrate women’s femininity.  I remember being taught as a kid to open doors for women, then by the mid-eighties I was routinely scorned for doing what before helped me feel like a man, and show respect for women.  Many girls and women were very forthright about their ability to open a door for themselves.  Somehow my subtle polite gestures and offerings were found to be offensive and disrespectful.  Way to go Betty Freidan.

Now to be clear I am all for the 19th amendment, and like I said earlier – male life and female life are of equal value. But where the neo-feminist rhetoric or current gender equality arguments and I disagree is in regards to simply acknowledging that the sexes are different from one another and should be kept distinct.

Why?

As Dennis Prager puts it:

The major reason is this: Gender increasingly no longer matters. There is a fierce battle taking place to render meaningless the man-woman distinction, the most important distinction regarding human beings’ personal identity. Nothing would accomplish this as much as same-sex marriage. The whole premise of same-sex marriage is that gender is insignificant: It doesn’t matter whether you marry a man or a woman. Love, not gender, matters.

Some examples of this war on gender:

–This year Harvard University appointed its first permanent director of bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and queer student life. The individual, Vanidy Bailey, has asked that he/she never be referred to as he or she, male or female. Harvard has agreed.

–In 2010 eHarmony, for years the country’s largest online dating service, was sued for only matching men and women. Its lack of same-sex matchmaking meant that it violated anti-discrimination laws in some states. As a result, eHarmony was forced to begin a same-sex online service.

–Each year more and more American high schools elect girls as homecoming kings and boys as homecoming queens. Students have been taught to regard restricting kings to males or queens to females as (gender-based) discrimination.

–When you sign up for the new social networking site, Google Plus, you are asked to identify your gender. Three choices are offered: Male, Female, Other.

–Catholic Charities, which operates the oldest ongoing adoption services in America, has had to end its adoption work in Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington, DC because the governments there regard placing children with married man-woman couples before same-sex couples as discriminatory. Increasingly, even the mother-father ideal is being shattered in this battle to render male-female distinction insignificant.

–The socialist French government has just announced that in the future no government issued document will be allowed to use the words “mother” or “father.” Only the gender-neutral term “parent” will be acceptable in France.

–And in Rhode Island this year, one school district cancelled its father-daughter dance after the ACLU threatened to sue the district for gender discrimination. Only parent-child events, not father-daughter dances or mother-son ballgames, will be allowed.

And all this is happening before same-sex marriage is allowed. Imagine what will happen should same-sex marriage become the law of the land. It will hasten the end of the male-female distinction and of any significance to mothers or fathers as distinctive entities. It will mean that those who, for religious or other reasons, wish to retain the man-woman definition of marriage will be legally and morally as isolated as racists are today. And it will mean that teachers and other adults who ask little boys and girls who they would like to marry, will, in order to be in sync with the morality of our times, have to make it clear that it might be a someone of the same sex. “Will you marry a boy or a girl?” will be the only non-bigoted way to ask a young person about their marital plans.

(…) It is not enough to mean well in life. One must also do well. And the two are frequently not the same thing.

What good will come from dismantling the distinctions between male and female? How does society benefit from confusing the sexes and basically rendering them meaningless? For an example read this from The Washington Post.  The legal definition of mother and father (being gender based) are about to become meaningless in California. I am sure they mean well, but what good will this do?

And this brings me to the impetus for this weeks episode… Conchita Wurst a.k.a. Thomas Neuwirth. He/She (for the sake of brevity and some clarity I’ll use the pronoun “she”) is the now global superstar singer who won the 2014 Eurovision Award just a couple days ago. Here the acceptance speech and winning performance:

So for here we have an personification of the issue I opened up with.  Thomas Neuwirth / Conchita Wurst is a great example of blurring the lines between male and female.  To be clear she is still a he as far as genitalia, but rather than simply dressing up as a woman and taking on as many feminine aspects as possible, she still wears his beard.

In effect she is the bearded lady in an age of political correctness – an age where it is a social taboo to openly judge someone based on their appearance.

Of course, reality does not care about political correctness.  Reality is real and true, where as political correctness is fake language made up to obfuscate what is real and true.  The reality is that people do judge others by their appearance.

What would this Utopia they suggest be like, a magic land where people don’t pre-judge others by their appearance?  If you saw a clean cut man wearing a blue and black uniform with badge, gun, and boots would you not assume he is an police officer of sorts?  Or if you saw someone wearing hospital scrubs would you not assume they probably work in medicine?  If you were walking down a dark alley in Houston, and heard footsteps behind you, would you not feel relief when you realize it is a group of young men all wearing nice business suits carrying brief cases?  On the other hand would you not feel perhaps anxiety were you to realize it is a group of young men sloppy dressed in low hanging shorts, tank tops, and bandanas?

Perhaps we prejudge based on appearance for good reason.  Perhaps this notion of everyone else tolerating the new and abnormal is not a good thing.  Perhaps it should be the other way around.

If you want to do your own thing and act abnormal, be a nonconformist, challenge the prejudices – go right ahead…  But you should be tolerant of the reasonable prejudices the rest of the world will have.

For example, I am tattooed.  Not proud of it, but it is true.

Yep that's me and my arms. Sometimes we have a constant reminder of our past transgressions, so be careful how you act today.

Yep, that’s me and those are my arms. Sometimes we have a constant reminder of our past transgressions, so be careful how you act today – you might actually be around tomorrow.

And it’s not just that I have one or two patches, or some stickers on my body… No, I have entire limbs and much of my torso covered.  Like I’ve said in other episodes… I wasn’t always religious (and I’ve got proof).

So having had these tattoos for about 20 years now, I can speak with a bit of personal insight into the world of a “freak.”  I knew when I was getting them that people would judge me differently.  Though not the primary cause, it was still a cause more than a deterrence.   I wanted folks to not think of me as if I were like everyone else.  My guess is that this simple truth holds water for almost everyone who alters their appearance in such a way that the general public sees them as abnormal.

Here is another personal example for you:

Before I was getting tattooed, I was getting huge.  Not with fat, but with muscle.  I was a competitive bodybuilder and lifted weights religiously from the age of 13 to 20.  By the time I was around 18 I had won Mr. Teen Texas in bodybuilding, and the following year I was fourth in a Mr. Teen USA bodybuilding competition.  Before I quit bodybuilding to focus on martial arts I was 5’5″ and 245 pounds of muscle.  Back then, I was definitely seen as an oddity and a freak.  And that was exactly what I wanted.  Again not a primary reason, but an affirming one none the less.

IMG_0142

And yes, this handsome young man was also me at about 18 years old… back when my skin was colored by awful tanning spray and not tattoos.

Now that you know some of my history, let me say that not once did I choose to feel offended when someone prejudged me as a moronic gym rat.  Nor have I ever taken offense when people assume I am a criminal misfit because of my tattoos.  I have to tolerate what my behavior logically induces in the mind of the observer.  Nearly everyone saw me as a threat, and though they were wrong – their reasoning behind that judgement was correct and useful.  The hard truth is I would have thought the same had I seen someone like me… and so would he.  That is part of why we look that way, and carry it out into the world.

 

 

Was I discriminated against?  I have no idea.  I also don’t care.

  • How would I know? Maybe that person just doesn’t like people in general.
  • Why would I care?  I know how I appear to others, they have the right to not like it… So what?  I move on.

My attitude with regards to discrimination in America today is let the free-market work this out.  There was a time and place where civil rights and anti-discrimination had to be fought for, virtually no moral thinker denies America’s past transgressions.  But to America’s credit that age is our past.  So much so that now people have to invent new ways of defining discrimination (ie. micro aggression and institutional discrimination).   Pretty much whenever they start adding adjectives to a term, you can be sure they are fishing to feed there agenda.

But here is the real problem with people who call for tolerance and supposedly battle discrimination, what they really want is everyone to celebrate their abnormalities.  It is not enough that most folks don’t care about the gay guy in the NFL, we are supposed to celebrate him.  Why?  What is courageous about coming out in 2014 as a gay man?  Seriously?  Ironically today the courageous person would be the NFL player who says “While I don’t think homosexuality is idea or normal, never the less I respect and value him and his partner as fellow human beings and wish them the best.”

In fact, I am sure that at some point someone is going to call me out as intolerant, because I have the audacity to call a behavior abnormal.  So there is nothing normative in human civilization?  Or American civilization? Or within the communities we live in.

There is normal, and that is exactly what these people are out to shake up.  They think they are doing a noble cause.  They are fighting for rights.  They are enlightening the close minded.  They are bringing redemption, peace, and unity to the world. But with all their great and noble intentions they failed to realize the ultimate consequences of their actions and demands.  They engaged in what Thomas Sowell calls “Stage One Thinking.”

There are consequences for teaching untruths and rendering terms meaningless.  Male is not female, and generalizations are necessary for understanding and wisdom.  I don’t think they realize they are creating a world of chaos, confusion, and ultimately destruction.

Yes destruction.  I am not being hyperbolic.  Whenever I hear “unity” my spidey senses tingle. What they mean by “unity” is “Unite in my way alone.”  They probably don’t realize that, but that is the case none the less.  This is the cry of the adolescent totalitarian.  They want everyone to agree with their way, and follow their rules, and believe their truth.

Notice that those who cry for unity rarely debate or take critical challenges of their views. They resort to logical fallacies like ad hominem attacks or emotional appeals.  They dismiss their critics as bigots, but never argue the point.

Again, I deal with this in my personal life as religious Jew.  I know plenty of Jews who cry for “unity.”  Because I live in an Orthodox neighborhood I regularly here this on behalf of Orthodoxy.  But I also hear it from the other sects with whom I engage with as well.  So everyone wants unity?  No… Everyone wants everyone else to do it their way.  That is not my ideal.

I think one of the contributing reasons to Judaism survival and ability to grow and be a beneficent influence for the world has been our disunity.  Each sect has its role and purpose.  Choice is typically a good thing.  It allows people to fit in where they can and then adjust accordingly. If, on the other hand, everyone were to try to fit in the same one size fits all hole – that would be catastrophic.  No.  God set us up with differences and distinctions.

We had  twelves separate tribes, and to this day we have a three fold division within the Jewish people (Israelim, Leviim, and Kohanim.)  There is a gradation of status which comes along with added prohibitions and obligations.

This separation provides order and structure to the people. God set up this world in an ordered and structured manner. Our entire existence, in a purely secular physics sense, hinges on very particular orders and structures. Our sanity requires order and structure. To value the dream of unity and tolerance over the necessary reality of order, structure, and separation, is worse than foolish – it is destructive. I know they mean well and have good intentions, but in the final analysis what matters most is does it do good.

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