The Hate Card is Hypocrisy
–noun, plural -sies.
1. a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.
2. a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude.
3. an act or instance of hypocrisy.
So when could you possibly make “a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess” more than when you reproach another for an attitude or behavior that you are actually exhibiting yourself?
How often have you been attacked by (or been the attacker, as the case may be) those all too familiar slurs?:
BIGOT! HATEMONGER! HOMOPHOBE!
The next time you are on the receiving end of such an assault, you might consider following the script that has become my standard response in that situation:
First point out to the attacker that he (or she) is doing what he is accusing you of being. (And the distinction between doing and being is indeed crucial – because you do not want to afford anyone so much as a pretext to say you are responding in kind.)
The next step is to make the point that using such words is engaging in ad hominem – good old fashioned name-calling.
[ad hom-uh-nuhm ‐nem, ahd-]
1. appealing to one’s prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one’s intellect or reason.
2. attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument.
Now ask your assailant if he thinks calling someone who you have a dispute with names is not a bigoted thing to do. Ask if he thinks hurling dehumanizing epithets at another person is not a hateful way to behave.
At this point (if you still have the opportunity – as well as the desire to do so) you are in a position to make the case that, since these derogatory labels that he is trying to slap on you actually describe the behavior that he is engaging in, his assertions are therefore also hypocritical.
(Throughout the conversation make sure you pointedly focus your criticisms only on his behavior and his expressed attitudes or beliefs – not on his person or character. Like I said before, you want to parse your words carefully to avoid even the appearance that you are just hurling insults back at the the person insulting you.)
On Friday the Washington Post published an excellent article by Matthew J. Franck titled “In the gay marriage debate, stop playing the hate card”, and I was pleased that the article got some attention on a segment of Talk of the Nation at NPR today.
One of the most important points Matthew Franck makes is that:
Robust debate is necessarily passionate debate, especially on a question like marriage. But the charge of “hate” is not a contribution to argument; it’s the recourse of people who would rather not have an argument at all.
But rather than bothering to make their case, same-sex ‘marriage’ advocates would prefer a different approach:
Marginalize, privatize, anathematize: These are the successive goals of gay-marriage advocates when it comes to their opponents.
–noun, plural -mas.
1. a person or thing detested or loathed: That subject is anathema to him.
2. a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction.
3. a formal ecclesiastical curse involving excommunication.
4. any imprecation of divine punishment.
5. a curse; execration.
Matthew J. Franck continues:
First, ignore the arguments of traditional marriage’s defenders, that marriage has always existed in order to bring men and women together so that children will have mothers and fathers, and that same-sex marriage is not an expansion but a dismantling of the institution. Instead, assert that no rational arguments along these lines even exist and so no refutation is necessary, and insinuate that those who merely want to defend marriage are “anti-gay thugs” or “theocrats” or “Taliban,” as some critics have said.
Second, drive the wedge between faith and reason, chasing traditional religious arguments on marriage and morality underground, as private forms of irrationality.
Finally, decree the victory of the new public morality – here the judges have their role in the liberal strategy – and read the opponents of the new dispensation out of polite society, as the crazed bigots of our day.
A few years ago, shortly after a judge attempted to force same-sex so-called ‘marriage’ on the citizens of Hawaii, two members of Congress appeared together on NPR. One was a Democrat, the other a Republican; one for same-sex ‘marriage’, the other opposed. As men who understood the value and necessity of civil discourse in a democratic society, they had decided that the same-sex ‘marriage’ debate was already becoming far more acrimonious than was acceptable.
The purpose of their joint appearance was to announce that they had reached across the isle to one another and resolved to launch a renewed effort to foster the kind of thoughtful discussion of the issue that should occur between freedom loving people. Their goal was to find as much common ground between their positions as possible in the hope of finding a reasonable compromise between the two camps. They figured a process of respectful dialog would be the only feasible way to arrive at a solution we all could at least live with.
One of the first listeners to call into the show that night was a gay fellow who proceeded to praise the same-sex ‘marriage’ supporter for his position and thank the program’s host for offering that congressman air time to advocate for his position. But he then immediately turned around and very harshly lambasted not just the other congressman, but also the show’s host and NPR as well for daring to allow such a homophobe on the air at all! The way he put it was “…as a hatemonger, he was entitled to no forum whatsoever.”
There is your hypocrisy for you. They hold up as their banner (along with the rainbow, of course) words like ‘inclusiveness’, ‘tolerance’, and most of all ‘equality’. But where the rubber meets the road, their working definition of those words means that only they have any right to freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, or even freedom of thought. Those of us who dissent are simply guilty of hate speech, or hate mongering, or hate crimes and we are “entitled to no forum whatsoever.”
Early in the Proposition 8 campaign, when yard signs started disappearing en masse, and people’s cars, homes, and churches started getting vandalized, it became obvious that along with marriage we were also fighting for our right to participate on an equal basis in our own democratic process (without fear of recrimination, that is). Everything that has happened since then has only confirmed for me that we could even be on the verge of becoming one of those nations where people are incarcerated for expressing their beliefs too publicly. Those are the stakes of this conflict.
So the next time someone tries to play the hate card on you, call him on it. Expose his hypocritical (and hateful) behavior for all to see.
The hate card is hypocrisy.