Court sez Calling Someone Gay is Not Defamatory

Court sez Calling Someone Gay is Not Defamatory June 1, 2012

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Dan Savage, who simultaneously makes a living from complaining that gays are bullied–and from bullying people half his age by suggesting they are gay–could not be reached for comment.

The court’s ruling points to one of the more tortured facts about our culture’s attempt to square the circle when it comes to advocates of homosex who cannot bear mere tolerance and feel compelled to glorify homosex as the source and summit of all that is good. On the one hand, the goal of that culture is to compel positive approval of sin and to punish those who are simply not going to change their minds on that point. Hence, the weird and tormented love/hate relationship of the gay community with Christians (see “Perpetual Indulgence, Sisters of”). Gay activists very much itch with the totalitarian desire to shut the mouths of Christians forever on the subject of the sinfulness of what they do. On the other hand, they also know that merely shutting our mouths simply means the triumph of force when what they really do hunger for is real approval for their sin, which they will never get. It’s an intolerable dilemma, as the attempt to justify sin in the eyes of God always is.

Relatedly, the project of trying to justify sin is also being attempted through fostering attitudes like this ruling that, in essence, “Gay is OK. So OK, in fact, that calling somebody ‘gay’ is not slander.” This too presents a dilemma. On the one hand, it is true that mere concupiscent desire is, in fact, not sinful and so, in that sense, it should not be regarded as immoral to be same sex attracted any more than it is immoral to feel any other temptation. Even Jesus was tempted. With that realization goes–or should go–the abandonment by Christians of the attempt to identify mere homosexual attraction as somehow sinister, blameworthy, etc. The fact that Melinda Selmys has to argue with a considerable number of Christians who will not even allow chaste gays into the Church or the kingdom of heaven demonstrates the poison of uncharity that has, paradoxically, given credibility to apologists for homosex. A vocal minority of Christians will not take yes for an answer from chaste and observant Christians who are same sex attracted. They insist on identifying temptation with sin–homosexual temptation, not their own, of course–and drumming out of the Church people who are doing their best to obey Jesus. The Church herself rejects this approach, but there are always Pharisees who think they are holier than the Church.

On the other hand, however, is the fact that the gay movement is attempting to say that it is not immoral to give in to the temptation, which is equally rubbish. And since most people know this in their bones, the fact remains that calling somebody “gay” *is* still taken as somewhere between an insult and a titillating joke when the person is not, in fact, gay, while calling somebody “gay” when they are, in fact, gay mean “this person does things I would prefer not to dwell on too much and which I regard as, at best, morally unsound”. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself why Dan Savage called kids “pansy-asses” when he want to insult them and not, say, “fools” or some other less homosexually-charged insult. If he does not regard homosexual acts as, in some sense, wrong, why would he think it a particularly exquisite stab to suggest that Michele Bachmann’s husband was a closeted homosexual? If I want to insult Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden, I do not dig down into the mud and haul up the epithet “Catholic” to hurl at them because I think “Catholic” is a good thing. Dan Savage consistently acts as though “gay” is a bad thing when treating with his enemies.

Indeed, Savage and others betray a *profoundly* conflicted relationship to language when attempting to rationalize the gay lifestyle as a positive good. Most emblematic of this is the simultaneous attempt to shout down anybody who regards homosex as disgusting with the tired epithet “homophobe” while simultaneously laboring with might and main to turn the name Santorum into a term synonymous with all that is most disgusting about homosex. It’s a remarkably telling way of expressing hostility to identify your worst enemy with what you yourself do. The question that practically screams out of Savage’s behavior–and the behavior of the legions of other advocates of homosex who cooperated in his campaign–is “exactly whose behavior do you hate and find disgusting?”

All this betrays the fact that the whole attempt of the gay movement to torque the views of ordinary people past “tolerance” and to force active approval of homosex is deeply compromised by the fact that the advocates themselves know, at some deep level, that what they do is wrong and unnatural. Attempts to re-write human nature by judicial fiat not only won’t change popular attitudes toward homosex among straight people, they also won’t change it among gays like Dan Savage either. The primary losers of this court decision will be those who want to have their cake and eat it by insisting that homosex is great–while attempting to use the odium of homosex as a weapon against their enemies. Every schoolyard bully who says, “He’s so gay!” of some enemy can now point to this court ruling and preposterously claim, “I wasn’t slandering anybody”. Everybody will know it’s a lie, but guys like Dan Savage will have to agree with the bully–or acknowledge with their words what they already acknowledge with the actions: that there is indeed an odium that attaches to homosex which they themselves exploit even as they deny doing so.

Sin is built on lies. Lies eventually collapse under their own weight of self-contradiction.

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  • antigon

    Mr. Shea:
    Yes. Was in fact quite struck by this when covering the NYC Fecal Pride Parade in the 80’s for a Catholic paper. On the one side you had, depending on the year, some fifty to a hundred thousand proclaiming their (arguably malodorous) pride, replete with the full support of the political establishment marching along, including mayors both Dem & GOP. But across from St. Patrick’s there was always a gaggle of a few dozen, mostly senior ladies & their rosaries, with a few rabbis, a couple of priests, & some earnest Evangelicals carrying signs such as ‘God hates the sin, but loves the sinner.’
    The contrast could hardly have revealed the political triumph of the homosexualist enthusiasm more vividly.
    But instead of ignoring, laughing at, or even engaging the gaggle some, as the various groups marched by – Dignity, Motorcycle Dykes, Nambla, et. al – with much dancing, laughing & apparent fun, when the gaggle came into view the marchers’ expressions immediately changed into contortions of what can only be described as hatred, accompanied by much screaming. T’was really something, like clockwork.
    It crossed the mind, as your observations about Mr. Savage above indicate, that the marchers were horrified by the gaggle because, despite the 100,000 (plus entire political establishment) to 40 advantage, the 40 were enough to remind the marchers what their souls already knew.