We. The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is a good time to remember my favorite quote by him. “We must learn to live together as brothers [and sisters] or we will die together as fools.”
Rather than thinking we, I observe many people falling into the us-them approach to injustice, politics, regionalism and more. To make lasting progress, I think we should believe we are all flawed and work to live together. I am okay and you have the problem is not the path I believe we should follow. I have a full-time job addressing my flaws.
Tony Dungy. An example of the us-them mentality and the need for us to learn to live together involves Tony Dungy. He has been under attack this week. He was a very successful Black football coach and is now an announcer for NBC. He is a prominent Christian. He does not support homosexuality.
The latter position is the focus of the attack. Cyd Zeigler wrote an article and others have joined the criticism. Tony is being called a hater and a homophobe for his beliefs. The call is for him to be fired by NBC.
My concern is not about the issue of homosexuality. My concern is for the accusations and how they are made. As most of you know, I have a deep concern for how we argue issues.
First, to disagree with a lifestyle is not in and of itself hateful. I have a wide variety of lifestyles with which I disagree. I disagree with many of the lifestyle treatments of women in certain religions and countries. Even though my disagreement may be strong, it is not hateful.
To disagree is not necessarily a statement of hatred. In the case of homosexuality, if someone supported the shooting in Colorado Springs, I would call that hateful. I do not find anything I have read or heard about Tony that would indicate his stance is hateful.
Second, a phobia is an irrational fear. To call people who disagree with homosexuality homophobic makes no sense to me unless they are irrational and fearful.
To logically conclude from certain starting assumptions that homosexuality is wrong is not irrational. I may disagree with the starting assumptions, but people are rational if given their conclusions rationally follow from the starting assumptions. You could argue starting assumptions are irrational but that would be a much more difficult task than arguing they are wrong.
To disagree with someone’s lifestyle is not necessarily a fearful act. Again, I disagree with many lifestyle acts but have no fear of them. For example, because of my upbringing, when I see a ring in a person’s nose, my free association is to pigs. Pigs have nose rings for several purposes. I recognize young adults may put rings wherever they want to put rings. I do not fear them for their lifestyle. Given my past experiences, I just have an unfavorable image because of my association to hogs.
I believe some people have fears of homosexuality, I even believe some have irrational fears, but I do not find anything I have read or heard about Tony that would indicate his stance is fearful or irrational.
To disagree with Tony is okay. To vigorously disagree is okay. But to slander or be hateful to him in the disagreement is not okay. If a person does not like hate, then he or she should not practice hate.
Again, please note carefully my statements are about the mode of argumentation and not about homosexuality.
Harry Truman. A friend sent me a link to the transition of the presidency from Truman to Eisenhower, a Missourian to a Kansan. In light of recent events, I think it is worth reading.
I had no idea about the drop in cancer deaths. Good news in deed!
Not only giving but giving with dignity.
Thoughtful first responder and a good community program rewarding acts of kindness.