We’ve all been there, someone posts something on Facebook, various people either ignore it or chime in. But then there is that one person, that is so infuriately righteously ignorant that you can’t help yourself but respond. While your response is thoughtful and respectful and you think you might be engaging a rational thinking adult, they double down on their tightly scripted talking points and it escalates rapidly.
The response below is one snippet of a 207+ comment thread. This was sent to me by Josh’s father, who could not be more proud of his son.
Read the whole thing, you’ll learn something and you’ll understand why his parents are so very proud of him.
From time to time, during all that reality and work, I like to take a break, and so, I come here, read your latest commentary, and get some much needed relaxation from all the other pressures of my life: my PhD, what I’m going to do afterwards, family, etc. I like debating, and I’m willing to discuss my thoughts with anyone who wants to discuss theirs. I like the fact that even though there are people in this country who disagree with force that could move mountains still manage to live together peacefully. That’s incredible. And as a budding political scientist, I want to know why that can happen here in this country, but not other places, even when they do the same things that we do. And I want to know why different programs work better in other countries than here, given all our freedom. It’s a mystery to me. To put it in words that perhaps you understand, I’m not satisfied in somebody telling me that something is the will of God; I, like Einstein, want to know [if God even exists #1], and if so, why He made the choices he did, and how He makes things work, and why He didn’t do things differently.
There are many things that I have learned throughout this heated debate of ours, and, in a most stereotypical formulation for Jews, I’d like to share with you a story. A man came to the home of Rabbi Shammai and said, “Teach me the Torah while I stand on one foot.” Shammai looked at the man, sensed the mocking nature in his soul, and basically told him in the vernacular of the time to GTFO. The same guy went to Rabbi Hillel and said the same thing, Hillel said that the basic tenet of Judaism was to love your neighbor as yourself, that the rest is just commentary, and to go study. This is one of my favorite stories in all of Judaism, because it demonstrates who we are as a people. You mentioned that you study Judaism yourself and that you have a very expensive library and you don’t loan out your books. I don’t know what this is supposed to mean, but it does demonstrate your complete lack of understanding of the Torah. The Torah is about learning, and Judaism is about questions, and not answers. By not loaning out your books, you are keeping that knowledge for yourself because of the expense of your things. Perhaps you should start living what you preach.
Again, you make this stupid argument that homosexuality is a choice and an action and a behavior. Being a pastor is a choice; following Christianity is an action and a behavior. Being Jewish is a behavior. Yes, the Constitution expressly says that you have this right, but the Constitution also does a lot of other things, of which you are unwilling to uphold because it doesn’t fit in with your religious beliefs.
While you may think that this makes you a good person in the eyes of your lord, it makes you a terrible American. There are plenty of things I disagree with, like Ku Klux Klan having the right to spread its filth across the Internet and protest for white power rights. But the Constitution acknowledges this group’s rights, and I have to accept that because I want my rights too. Accepting a law that bars the right to peaceful hate speech infringes on my right to free speech as well.
Your comments on Matthew Shepard are ridiculous; you are blind, and you deny reality. I suspect you could explain away all hate crimes against the GLBT community. A better way out of the question would have been to say he was wearing jeans and polyester, as the Bible tells us not to mix different cloths.
You are literally the epitome of the problem with liberal democracy–you want your rights to trump the rights of others because you inherently believe their rights do not exist, and the system is flawed because technically, in order to ensure freedom across the board, you must be able to voice your opinion and participate in the system. In other words, you want your sorry bigotry to be accepted because it is your right to believe whatever you want. Well, instead of lambasting us liberals, you should be thanking us for understanding how our system is supposed to work and continue to support your freedom to speak your mind when you refuse to uphold that which you claim to love. In many other countries, when the political tide changes, minorities that were once the majority often find themselves in quite the kerfuffle. We do not accept that kind of behavior here. If you feel your life is being threatened by some great gay or lesbian menace, the police are a phone call away.
I am not interested in painting people as evil. Evil has no place in government. Evil is for the spiritual plane. My interest is liberty and the rule of law.
Still questioning why separate but equal is appropriate, despite every time I’ve answered you? Let me break it down. If God rented a car one day, was pulled over for speeding, and upon not having license or registration for the car said He was God, He would be arrested, institutionalized or deported. Why? The US does not recognize deities or demigods. US law recognizes the rights of all people to pray to deities, but not deities themselves or their progeny. We do not make separate law in this country for different people. Every American citizen is protected by the same law and has access to the same law.
I found your last paragraph to be particularly amusing–still quoting scripture from the NT. Why? It’s pointless. I’m not Christian. I do not believe in the NT. Do you just not understand what Judaism is? Can you not comprehend that we don’t believe in Jesus’s existence as you do?
I get the sense that you feel I’m lost and need to embark on a journey for truth. Let me be clear, I am glad you found your truth, but it is not for me, and it is not what the United States of America is. Your truth seems to exist in a place, not of love, but of intolerance, bigotry, and the overt denial of reality and the Constitution. Your truth also seems to make many excuses for itself. Time and time again, you’ve said that you want the people of the US to follow biblical law on this one, but you don’t think that homosexual activities should be a crime. I’d understand if you opposed both; I’d disagree, but I’d understand.
In the beginning of this post, I mentioned a quote from the movie “Sixth Sense.” In the movie, Bruce Willis’s character thinks he is a psychologist helping a little kid. Truth is, he’s a ghost haunting the child. The trouble with ghosts in that movie is that they don’t realize they are ghosts. What I’ve learned from this thread is that the same goes for bigots.
I’m sure those of us working in the LBGTQQI activist movement have been in contact with people like this Pastor. I’m never as thoughtful, smart or articulate as my new friend Josh.
Bolding is mine.
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