Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Happy Holidays Everyone!

There is a truly magical place on the internet where one can step through his/her monitor and find an exotic world where reality is suspended; a place where Standard English is turned upside down; a Dictionopolis where dictionaries are rewritten every day to fit the needs of the current discussion. A place where the wise are foolish and the foolish are wise; a place where college educated men and women with degrees in law and science and medicine can be humbled by grand wizards who speak a special magical language with words that mean precisely the opposite of the user's intended meaning.

Welcome the bizarre world that is the Opine Editorials.

After I wrote my piece titled, "WWJD" I was approached by Opine Editorials blogger "On Lawn" and asked if we could talk, to work out our mutual differences. In the spirit of good will I went to Opine Ed and attempted to reach out and make a difference to our adversaries. Knowing that a sideshow would be the likely outcome I still went and gave an honest attempt to breach the gap between our two camps. I have to give much credit to both Fannie and Jane Know for their heroic efforts as well, but all was in vain when it came to meaningful dialog. Still, the effort alone yields its own reward, so not only can I rest at night knowing that I kept my part of the bargain, I also know that the lurkers have had an opportunity to see for themselves what was said. So now, let's review what exactly happened.

The highlights of the thread written by On Lawn:

"Every now and again something more concrete..." This dismissive comment comes in the thread itself. (We haven't even started talking yet, and already the disparaging comes)

"Do you (individually) think it reasonable to expect the government to support a program (marriage) that..." (An attempt to say because I am for marriage equality, I am against marriage)

"Would you, once you've re-made marriage..." (An attempt to inject that marriage equality is a re-make of marriage, and pass it off as an assumption for all parties)
"...your chosen lifestyle..." (An attempt to inject the idea that being gay is a choice as an assumption into the conversation)

"Lets take this road of mutual understanding to its peaceful ends..." (Mordred: "Father, let us embrace!")

Things were said like "John Hosty has given us a message of love, happiness and charity. A very good lesson that I hope everyone contemplates", and "It is time that love conquered all. John, lets meet at the table and work this thing out then, okay?". Also at the beginning of the thread were some direct questions for me to answer, so I dove in and answered each one.

Then the shit comments start flying ( here are some "fun" quotes to contemplate):

"When it comes to sex, men and women are not equal." (Now remember, the article I wrote was about Christian responsibility to act Christian. This comment fits in how?)

"Women need the self confidence in themselves..."

"...responsibility of of a man to support and care for his family..."

"...modern day nightmare."

"It isn't that women and children are 'moot' in your marriage, it is that you really don't have a marriage despite the bells and whistles and a piece of paper."

"This isn't what I or you think, this is about what I do. What we think is irrelevant. It is about objective action, not thought. I engage in activity that as a matter of biology may bring children on to this earth. This is about what happens when men and women abandon their responsibility to children."

"You don't care about anyone but yourself." (See above)

"Maybe we need to reflect on our Baptismal Rites.... and reject Satan's false promises." (Now I am equated to the Devil)

"I'm really not against you John." (See above)

"There is nothing simple about being a single mother."

"Marriage ... is about children."

" is is about being prudent in understanding how men's and women's bodies work..."

On Lawn:

"...marriage expects equal gender representation"


"your self-centered viewpoint"

"...children have a right to their heritage -- to know who their parents really are." (They won't know this if GLBT people are allowed to marry?)

"...parents should respond to that right by committing to each other and their children in marriage before engaging in pro-creative acts." (So not only can GLBT not get married, straight people can't have sex before marriage?)

"...I am asking is that you recognize their rights..." (And deny your own)

"...marriage recognizes their children's rights..."

"...the special role that procreation has in society."

"You, for instance, would make a great father, I'm sure."

"...but a real husband..." (Like I'm not one currently)

"...there is no oppression of homosexuality..." (Are the alarm bells ringing?)

"...based on some notion of who they "are" rather than what they can accomplish." (You don't have to be gay if you just try harder)

"...look around you in Massachusetts. It has a thriving baby manufacturing industry..."

"...Marriage is between a man and a woman..."

" Massachusetts that definition is neutered..." (Does that mean it won't hump your leg?)

"...birth certificates -- which were meant to record an event, became children's registration cards.. Parent-A and Parent-B.." (Because they were so sacred before)

"...homosexuality is never engaged in to have children." (So THAT'S what we're doing wrong!)

"Surely you came prepared to discuss the needs of people other than yourself too, no?"

"Start showing respect, because that is what we have done, for you."

"Yet you have not replied to these concerns."
"Do you really think that concern for children is a ploy? A manipulation with hidden agenda to hurt gays?" (Is this a trick question?)

"Do you really think these talking points...are just debate acrobatics?" (funny you should ask...)

"Clearly we cannot progress when you treat our concerns so rudely"

" I remind you to come to this discussion in mutual respect, and remember mutual means two-way."

"Have we not addressed your concerns?"

"...then we can agree that these questions are to get your opinion and nothing more."

"How would your opinion on these matters fragment the conversation anyway? You tell me :)"

"I cannot offer solutions to a problem I have yet to get to the bottom of."

"Please answer the questions..."

"At my work, I have found that the first item to is to identify the problem. Then to solve a problem one must also identify how you can know the problem is solved."

"But on the subject of Civil Unions and DP's I have expressed concern that they are, especially for the GLBT who are calling for equality, overly exclusive and unjustly discriminating against other banded family situations."

"Are you going to pretend that the concerns have not been brought up?"

"Again, read the comment above that you are struggling with."

"Come back to the table..." (As if I had gone somewhere)

"...will you release the comment I placed at your site?"

"Remember we are all in this together."

"At this point you have abandoned the attempt to make peace."

"And intimating at some hidden and unnamed insult." (How could I derive anything insulting from what has been said?!)

"You are taking a peace process and playing both victim, and judge. That is no way to breed mutual respect Mr Hosty."

"you are simply afraid of seeing the concerns others"

"You have been behaving selfishly"

"You have to admit, you were unprepared to show concern." (This is the part where I think he might have been looking in a mirror when he thought this)

"You were asked to see concerns, and started struggling. You continued to ask that we see only your concerns, that the others were distracting you."

"If you are offended by that, I cannot put it any more politely."

"If by offended you mean you acted rashly, and selfishly, and it has turned to casting you negatively, I can only offer that we are judging actions and not you."

Fitz said:

"Wait a minute.Is John Hosty of KnowThyNeighbor really asking, “What Would Jesus Do”? (Because KTN people are heathens for trying to take our white hoods off. That's right, I said it. I use my REAL NAME because I am proud of what I stand for, and I have the courage to say so. Not a damn one of the Opiners wants ANYONE to know their true identity. Much evil can be done, and is, under the cloak of anonymity.)

Sorry folks, I have to get up from the dissection table and walk away from this mess. I think this was enough for you to get a full whiff of their brotherly compassion smells like. For the Full Monty feel free to read the complete thread and comments at Opine Editorials.

Opiners, you have asked me questions that you think you already have the answer to, then waited for my answer so you can show me how wrong I am. This is an obvious sign of someone who is thinking as an adversary rather than as someone in a co-operative effort. Even if you deny this to the day you die, it is as plain as day to all that read it, so I'll let the comments speak for me.

Why all the hostility? When I went back to read the post for an analysis, it made even less sense, and seemed more caustic when reading it again after a few days of reflection.

OK, so I'm divorced. Now what? Does your morning cereal taste better today? Where is the all important benefit you fight so hard for that I am supposed to give up my marriage to accommodate your needs? Do you really think that because I got married to a man, your kids are going to forget how to "do it", then the human race will cease to exist? I suspect you think no such thing. What is more likely, from my experience, is that you think vile and unintelligent things about GLBT people, so you want to control their perceived impact on society. You don't want our relationships dignified in the same way as yours simply because you disapprove.

Ever hear of a land of free people called America? Last time I checked my inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness kicks the shit out of your right to dictate to me what my marriage should be. You have no more right over the word "marriage" than you do over the word "God". So take your opinions you wish to pass off as facts and sell them to whoever is foolish enough to buy them, because the kids of tomorrow aren't bringing this to their country.


Ryan Charisma said...

"You have no more right over the word "marriage" than you do over the word "God"."

AMEN - well stated

"You don't want our relationships dignified in the same way as yours simply because you disapprove."

I ALSO suspect that these ignorant Opiners (if you will) don't want little Britney and Johnny growing up to be big bad gays.

Fannie said...

I found the conversation you reference to be extremely frustrating and hostile. We both exercised much patience but ultimately I am starting to conclude that most of these people aren't working with a full deck. They are everything they claim they are not. The very words they use to talk about gay people betray the loathing and disgust that lies beneath their demeanor of "reason" and "concern for children."

They are fixated on calling us "selfish" for wanting rights they already have.

And, the anonymous "op-ed" moniker is perhaps the most hostile and unreasonable of them all. Under his cloak of anonymity, he derails conversations, takes our quotes out of context, and is hyper-combative. He is anything but looking for a dialogue.

Fitz and Jose aren't really worth dealing with anymore. Jose is very hostile and while claiming to "love" gay people never fails to write some *ahem* "philosophical" incoherent rant about gay people, their absurdity, their perversity- which is all just a long-winded way of saying gay people are icky.

And it's impossible to have an actual conversation with Renee who (as you allude) brings everything back to the beauty of man-woman sex. She is incapable of appealing to anything other than natural law for her "defense of marriage."

Anyway, I find it sad and unhealthy that their largely anonymous internet personas are almost solely dedicated to negating and opposing gay people.

John said...

I don't think the Opiners even know what gay means.

Fannie said...

For as much talking as they do about gay people, I really don't think they know what gay means. Renee has actually suggested that Governor McGreevey (the gay man formerly married to a woman) should have just sucked it up and stayed with his wife, because being gay doesn't get him "off the hook" (of what, it's not clear).

Anyway, just for fun, I googled "Opine Editorials" and came across some things.

One of them being Opine's "companion" website:

What is this website, you may be asking? Proof of the "Fitz" moniker's obsession with negating and opposing gay people. He has compiled an exhaustive internet anti-gay "library" of sorts, rife with his usual unintelligble, mispelled, and error-prone diatribes interjected within.
I'm sure the Opiners are very proud of it though.

Secondly, hits of the Opiners participating in comment threads all over the internet came up. Amusingly, they invite people back to Opine Editorials a "group blog that defends marriage against the proposed merger with SSM" and such.

More telling than these shameless promotions is the fact these people have been using the same arguments for years. They don't want dialogue, because they are already convinced of the correctness of their views. We are too, admittedly- but that Chairm spouts the same fallacious "marriage demands integration of the sexes" arguments time after time, and On Lawn continues with the ridiculous "gay marriage is akin to racial segregation" bit shows me that they are unwilling to revise illogical thinking.

I guess you can't teach some old dogs new tricks.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

One of the many things that bother me about Opine Ed is that all of them seem so geniunely unhappy. Why the hell would I want to follow them?

Jane Know said...

Yep... I am sure they use the same-old regurgitated not-thought-out responses to every single one of their opponents.
Half of them make no sense at all, and the rest are full of logical inconsistencies and made-up defintions to commonly-used words.

John Hosty, again, I applaud you for your articles.

ps-the picture is great. ;-)

John said...

"Renee has actually suggested that Governor McGreevey (the gay man formerly married to a woman) should have just sucked it up and stayed with his wife"

Expanding a bit on that thought, they also suggest that unhappy, even borderline abusive marriages must be salvaged, either in the interests of the children or for the glory of God.

When I argue on Christian Forums and I bring up the point that people should not be forced to be unhappy, the common retort is:

"Read your bible; divorce is wrong, and if you can't be happy in your marriage, then that is your cross to bear."

And your cross is nothing compare to what Jesus did for you, so to seek relief is to be selfish.

Jane Know said...

"Expanding a bit on that thought, they also suggest that unhappy, even borderline abusive marriages must be salvaged, either in the interests of the children or for the glory of God."

Yes, because growing up in abusive household is MUCH better than the horrors of single motherhood or fatherhood.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

Conformity seems so important to the radical right. I spent part of my childhood growing up in New Hampshire, and I remember kids getting beaten up for being the new kid. It seems almost like a "hive" mentality. Communism lite, or something to the same effect...