OK. Let’s start with the caveat: I frequently feel the need to couch what I’m saying with an offhand phrase that is meant to deflect illogical criticism.
How about… “Sure Saddam is a bad guy, but that doesn’t justify invading a country blah blah blah.”
Or… “Drinking and driving is a bad idea, but the so-called field sobriety tests don’t measure intoxication and therefore blah blah blah.”
The real purpose behind this conceit is literally to pre-acknowledge the listener’s unjustifiable reaction to the statement, and to focus them on the point you are trying to make. I don’t want to get into an argument about whether Saddam (or DWI) is ‘bad’, but I know that may be the illogical response to what I’m saying, so I attempt to head it off at the pass. Guilty as charged.
As much as I might abhor the polygamist lifestyle, as much as I might have an unsubstantiated hunch that something’s wrong there or that a crime has been committed, it don’t mean jack.
The true measure of a democracy is how the government treats politically and socially unpopular groups. Texas, we have failed in this regard. [Emphasis added]
NFWS makes good points in other part of the post, but honestly, why does anyone care about someone else’s ‘polygamist lifestyle’?
I’m probably overreacting to the word ‘lifestyle’. To me, that echoes what I hear when someone talks about the gay or homosexual ‘lifestyle’.
Huge difference between them of course. Primarily, being gay is not a choice (or as Fox News likes to call it a ‘lifestyle’). Of course engaging in homosexual acts is a choice – in the same way that engaging in heterosexual acts is a choice. And as long as both participants are lucid and consenting, you don’t need a criminal defense lawyer.
But having homosexual feelings, i.e. being homosexual is not a choice. (For those too stupid to understand the distinction – let me ask you this: In Sixth/Seventh Grade, did you have ‘feelings’ for both boys and girls, but because you are uber-moral you only chose to act out on the ‘feelings’ you had for the opposite sex?)
However, choosing to have multiple wives is… a choice. FLDS members may see it as God’s directive to them, but they are still choosing to live the way (their understanding of) God wants them to.
Also, I personally know the anonymous blogger NFWS, and doubt he cares about polygamy. And I can actually prove his pro-gay (or is that anti-anti-gay) bona fides.
So, to recap
- I too sometimes try to preempt illogical criticism with a throw away line (and maybe that’s what this is)
- I’m hypersensitive when I hear someone describe someone else’s ‘lifestyle’, because it’s sometimes a pretext for bigotry or ignorance
- NFWS has – in my book anyway – unquestionable tolerance for others
Why would anyone take the time to care about, much less abhor, someone else’s polygamist lifestyle? What difference does it make to you?