Six questions for supporters of same-sex marriage to answer -- forthrightly.
Once again (this time in Wednesday's newspaper), the Star Tribune has printed a letter that attacks people by labeling them as hateful because they take a position against homosexuality. The paper should at least have required the letter writer to provide the reason for using that label.
Those wanting to change a societal norm about homosexuality have the burden to show the reason for this major alteration. They need to provide civil answers to questions like these:
1) Were our ancestors all dumb and bigoted because they thought homosexuality was wrong? Some may think that accepting homosexuality is innovative and progressive, but others say abandoning our previous norm may be presumptuous on our part. In other words, our ancestors might have been right, and we might be wrong.
2) Don't our sexual organs exist for reproduction? How does homosexuality square with that?
3) It is no secret that the human sex drive is a lot stronger than is needed for reproduction. Do we just give into those desires, or do we try to control them? The ancients told us that controlling our physical desires is one of the things that distinguish us from the beasts. Sexual desires, if not controlled, easily lead us into trouble.
4) Most everyone still agrees that humans can take their sexuality to where it is morally wrong. Almost all will agree that, among other things, adultery, pedophilia and bestiality are wrong. Why should homosexuality, which was once included in this group, be moved to normal sexuality?
Is it based on an argument that there is no moral choice involved in homosexuality; that it is a product of nature?
Couldn't others in the group above use the same argument -- they just couldn't help themselves -- they were born with those desires? Why does the nature argument work for homosexuality but not the others?
5)Prevalent homosexuality has made its appearance in human history before and has never lasted. Why is it going to work this time when all the other appearances failed? Changes in norms require universal acceptance. Why should we go down this road again when many, probably a majority, will always see homosexuality as going against nature, not normal? Can't we learn from the past that prevalent homosexuality will not work in society?
6) Here's one religious question, directed not toward those practicing homosexuality but toward those who support others who do. Should we be trying to encourage others to repent of a wrong, or pat them on the back as they go down a road that could lead to perdition?
The supportive group may consider themselves full of justice and love, but if there is a God who is opposed to homosexuality, as many religions claim, they may be doing indescribable harm to those they are patting on the back, and most likely to themselves.
• • •
These are nonhateful questions that need to be answered by those wanting to change an ancient norm. Calling your opponent vile names may work in the short term.
Many propagandists have used that technique very successfully. But if the underlying idea is not based on truth, it is doomed to fail.
If all you have is name-calling, you have no valid position. If truth is on your side, answer these questions in a civil manner.
* * *
Dan Nye lives in Edina.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.