Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Follow the Bouncing Ball

Patrick McIlheran started a tasty little debate about homosexuality when he commented on Jennifer Morales' decision (she is a Milwaukee school board member) to announce that she is a lesbian. He claimed to not really care and said "we didn't need to know that."

Jay Bullock, author of folkbum's rambles and rants, took McIlheran to task with a piece titled "Hey Gays, Go Back in the Closet and Let me Insult You." I thought it was funny ... and to the point.

Back came McIlheran and this time he backed up his play with a quote from a post by Rick Esenberg, Catholic lawyer ubiquitous. Below is the quote with an intro from McIlheran (which is pertinent to my response ... gee, this is fun):

Esenberg is responding to a response, that of blogger Jay Bullock, who didn’t
like my comments, saying it’s because I must not like gay people. Actually,
Jay, it depends on the gay person. Some are nice, some aren’t, and their gaiety
doesn’t seem to have much to do with it.

Esenberg points out — and I’m going to quote him at length, because he says it so well — that there are people who “may have gay friends and may accept gays and lesbians in all walks of life. They may support civil unions, or at least are willing to
honor and respect gay and lesbian relationships. ...”

“But somewhere, in ways that they may not be able to articulate, they do
not believe that homosexuality is ‘just as good as’ or ‘essentially the same as’
heterosexuality. Maybe its a deeply embedded preference for relationships that
continue the species (wouldn’t evolutionary biologists expect this?) or maybe
it’s an innate belief that heterosexual relationships are complementary; uniting
the two parts of the human family (the Roman Catholic view). In that sense,
homosexuality is to be accepted, but heterosexuality is the norm and, perhaps,
something to be hoped for.

“So many people I know would fully accept their children as gays or
lesbians, but are glad that they are not.“Are such people bigots? Are they in
need of reeducation?”

Apart from the flippant use of the word “gaiety” which nails Patrick McIlheran’s bigotry to the wall, Rick Esenberg’s comment is interesting. I suspect Esenberg is speaking more for his group of friends than the general populace. I can believe that his group of friends would have an innate belief that homosexuals are not as good as heterosexuals and that they are essentially not the same as heterosexuals. It’s pretty obvious from his previous writings and from the position of the Roman Catholic church of which he is a member.

Does it mean that he and his friends are bigots? No, I don’t think so. I have a younger brother who is gay and I do not claim to understand the why either. But, there is the difference. My group of friends and family don’t even bother with the questions that Esenberg posts. We don’t have the answers … it’s a biological, perhaps cosmic thing and we are not meant to understand.

And, I’m sure Esenberg is right about some parents being relieved their children are not homosexual? They’re probably relieved though, not because of any shame, but probably because they don’t have to worry about bigots like McIlheran diminishing their children and relegating them to being objects for flippant comments and to second-class citizenship.

4 Swings of the bat:

Michael J. Mathias said...

Well put. And passionate.

John McAdams said...

Calling people like McIlheran bigots is itself a form of bigotry.

Want to find the bigots in this debate? Find people who won't do what McIlheran and Esenberg do: discuss the issue rationally.

Find people who are mired in dogma -- in this case, politically correct dogma.

John McAdams said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Other Side said...

Oh, so I suppose when a person is a bigot one can't state that as fact ... or I should consult with John McAdams first.

Give me a break. My argument was rationally written and my analysis of McIlheran right on. If you don't like it, tough.

I also happened to read Esenberg's response and found it thoughtful. I agreed that I had assumed too much.

But, your circular logic is plain nonsense.