Commentary: Who are the haters?

The most volatile issue facing our culture is the increasing demonization of those who oppose — anything. Allegations of hate have become the latest weapon in the war of intimidation. Nowhere is this bullying word applied more readily and frequently than to the issues of immigration, abortion, and homosexuality. How can we return to civility with these ongoing challenges?

Let’s begin by questioning when, in the annals of human history, did simple disagreement become hate? It’s hard to imagine America’s founding if the framers had labeled dissent in those terms. Hate implies a wish to do harm. We’re told not to judge, Yet, isn’t the allegation of hate a judgment of unseen motives? Who, for example, is truly seeking to harm others as it relates to homosexuality? Opponents, or those who blindly celebrate the reduction of human beings to an activity occupying a micro-fraction of a person’s life?

Americans have largely accepted the narrative that homosexuals comprise a separate ethnic group. Yet the only evident distinction between homosexuals and heterosexuals is sexual preference. Homosexuals have no distinct skin color, unique language, or accent. No ethically distinguishing birth characteristics like the oriental epicanthic fold of the eye, or the Mongoloid sacral spot. They cannot trace their “ethnic” ancestry back to a homeland or hero, and without medical science’s assistance they cannot reproduce. Though debated, the 2013 American Psychiatric Association and 2016 John Hopkins studies reaffirm the lack of a clear genetic cause for same-sex attractions.

Yet if such proof were forthcoming it begs a larger question: Why is our culture bent on defining people by a private act occupying a fraction of their lives? Why has sexual preference become the dominant qualifier of human value? Isn’t that what has and is being done?

Consider the descriptive title. Gay, a politically correct euphemism screaming sexuality. This person is esteemed because they have a certain sexual preference. Consider the reductionism. “A” is not a scientist, an athlete, an author, an entertainer, a doctor or educator. “A” is a homosexual, etc., as if sexual preference makes a person better at performing the above.

This emphasis is unavoidable of course since sexual preference isn’t readily visible. I’m able to celebrate African-Asian-Hispanic-Native-American diversity on sight. In addition to the characteristics mentioned above, each possesses a visible cultural history of dress, food, dance, song, even spirituality, all richly conducted outside the bedroom. To celebrate sexual diversity is to be
confronted with sexual information that tells me nothing about the person except who they sleep with.

This sexual micro-definition must employ falsehoods to encourage this celebration of diversity. Consider the fallacy of homosexuals having children. Yes, homosexuals can adopt and raise children, but two men/women, cannot birth a child. Two homosexuals cannot both be the biological parent of a child. Without medical science and cooperation from the opposite sex, and since at least some children resent or regret being raised by same-sex parents, homosexuals will continue as the only “ethnic” group incapable of reproducing themselves through normal sexual relationships. Why is it considered hateful to make that biologically accurate statement?

Witness the final reduction of human value. Unable to reproduce naturally, homosexuality spreads through political intimidation, or the glorification of its sexual distinction epitomized in the greatest of contradictions, the pride parade. What a basis for boasting! Not that I cured cancer, founded a hospital, or dug an African village well. Not spending a summer working in the inner city mediating a cease-fire between rival street gangs. Not giving up my Thanksgiving holiday to work in a soup kitchen, though all the above might be true. Not hatefully, but sadly, celebration springs from the smallest factor imaginable: I sleep with someone of the same gender.

Who are the haters? Those who encourage dreams extending well beyond the bedroom, or those who reduce human worth to acquiring another sexual experience as a person’s highest, defining aspiration?

William Shifflett is an Edinburg resident.