Priorities

Posted on November 1, 2011

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I came across a picture on Facebook that sparked something inside me.  It’s two images with a caption: two guys kissing, two starving children with arms outstretched, and “If the picture on the left shocks you more than the picture on the right, you need to revise your views on immorality.”

I agree, but not for the reason that the poster intends.  This sort of argument is indicative of the rhetoric I’ve seen used by advocates of gay marriage.  It boils down to this: why are you fighting us when there’s so much worse in the world?  I know, posters like this are trying to say that homosexuality can’t be a sin, because sin and evil are something like a child starving to death.  But I believe that there are levels of evil, and some should be fought more than others; but all are evil and should be opposed.

Think of it this way: I could put a picture of a child cursing next to one of a child shooting another kid in the head.  Clearly, then, my message is, “with all the violence in the world, we should focus on keeping our kids from killing each other, more than on how they talk.”  And I agree, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to let my child say whatever she wants.  It means that different levels of evil/wrong have different levels of punishment.  My kid shoots or hits someone, she has the law to deal with (in addition to my wrath); she cusses, and it might be a spanking or a time-out (circumstances depending).

In other words, I see homosexuality as morally reprehensible, and I see child poverty and starvation as worse, but both carry punishment.  The real problem is that neither corporeal punishment is easily observable; we only recognize it if we adjust our point of view.

So I’m sorry that some people have chosen a lifestyle that doesn’t sit well with the rest of society–join the club.  But that doesn’t mean we should compare their “plight” to starving, impoverished African children, as a baseline to say, “Look, we’re not as bad as the people who let this happen; you should just shut up and let us have our way.”

One more observation: the basis of the pro argument in this case is this: you should realign your priorities to match ours, because we’re right.  The problem is that it ignores a fundamental truth, especially for this nation, that individuals have a right to prioritize their life as they choose.  So please, if I haven’t persuaded you to agree with me (and I probably haven’t), at least try an argument that doesn’t make you look like a moron.

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