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AoSHQ Podcast: Guests, CAC and Ben K. | Main | Is This Something? / Lurkers Delurk Thread
March 14, 2014

Ezra Klein Hires Gay Writer Who Controversially Sometimes Disagrees With Other Gay Writers;
Intolerant Left Gets Outraged Once Again (Yawn), But Fails to Get Their Scalp

I have little use for Ezra Klein but I applaud him here for two things:

1. Hiring a guy who he knew would write things that his intended audience would react intolerantly towards.

2. Then defending his hiring of the guy, and imploring "liberals" to practice what they preach as regards tolerance for dissent.

The writer, Brandon Ambrosino, angered many on the intolerant left for writing that despite expecting to be shunned at his alma mater, Liberty University (a Christian institution founded by Jerry Falwell), his preconceptions were in fact wrong, and most at Liberty University didn't seem to care all that much that he was gay.

But then he truly crossed the line when he dared to venture the idea that not all on the left are perfect moral paragons with impeccable levels of psychological and emotional centeredness, but sometimes -- get this -- demonstrate their own form of ugly hostility to those perceived as The Other:

The world and the people in it are really wonderful with just a smidge of ugliness about them. I think the really vocal anti-gay Christians display this smidge, but I also think the really vocal anti-Christian gays display it as well.

He's annoyed the gay left in other ways, such as asserting that sexuality is not immutable. In one post he apparently noted his own previous persuasions of seemingly straight men to "try his sexuality," and wonders, then, if it can be true that sexuality is entirely inborn.

It's a fair point. I personally think sexuality is pretty much inborn myself, and I'd personally characterize those straight men enticed to "try his sexuality" as "probably already kinda secretly gay."

But would his critics on the gay left agree with that proposition? Or would they call that somehow hateful, and seriously contend that whereas homosexuality is inborn and immutable, heterosexuality is a social construct that is mainly "chosen"?

Would they claim that while straight people can (and perhaps should) be persuaded to try gay sex, it is monstrous to suggest the reverse?

Of course this is all a silly proxy fight over sideshow issues which really do not bear on the actual issue in contention (whether it is right, or even acceptable, to fault gays for engaging in gay sex).

The whole "Born this way"/"People choose their sexuality" argument is a bit silly, given that I think 95% of people would agree on the basics underlying sexual preference (sexuality is chiefly determined by inborn desires but can be modified in reaction to circumstance) and actually only disagree on what implications to draw from this predicate.

That is to say, people will chose to emphasize the "chiefly determined by inborn desires" or "can be modified" according to Arguing Preferences, but I have to imagine that 95% of the public (and 95% of gay activists, too) imagines both things are simultaneously true.

The arguments aren't really about the underlying facts; the underlying facts are just yelled a lot in service of whatever political position one wishes to take.

Noah Rothman has a couple of thoughts-- optimistic ones.

The lesson is becoming clear: the perpetually aggrieved can be, and often are, safely ignored. A once powerful movement, which apparently sees its relevance sustained only by the number of careers it is able to end, has been almost entirely marginalized, even if they do not recognize that fact yet. They have become as effective as those foolish cultural conservatives who were moved to boycott Coca-Cola over a harmless, multi-cultural Super Bowl ad - which is to say, not at all.

Rothman has more on this (I didn't steal the whole thing, you know).

I hope he's right that the worm has turned and that ridiculous people are now being ignored for being so ridiculous.

You should listen to Powers Booth. He's a smart man.

digg this
posted by Ace at 04:57 PM

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