This morning I got up, had some coffee and checked my Facebook. Nothing unusual to report, except that a lot of my gay and lesbian friends are posting about an article that was written about gay discrimination.
What makes this article different is that the author openly and freely expresses his opinion that it’s perfectly acceptable to discriminate against the LGBT community. Matt Walsh’s article has folks up in arms. People are demanding that it be taken down and that this is the type of attitude that has put us back into the same mindset that the U.S. was in with regards to racial discrimination in the 50’s.
Here’s my problem with all this hoopla. Matt Walsh is a blogger. Just like you and just like me. The difference is that he has convinced a small, independently owned network to publish his garbage. As much as I disagree with his opinions, I’m open minded and intelligent enough to know that what he is expressing is just that; opinion.
Granted, he completely disregards and even dismisses the 14th Amendment which was written to provide protection against former slaves from discrimination but which is worded in such a way that it protects ANY and all groups from such laws being written that would allow discrimination or dismiss the legal protection afforded to those groups.
Here’s the bottom line; this guy is an ass. He’s obviously just another bigot with an audience. We feel frustration and disgust from people like the members of The Westboro Baptist Church but we’ve come to accept that they are simple minded racists and bigots that are warping the Constitution to meet their own agenda.
Walsh is entitled to express his opinion. A right that is protected under the First Amendment which protects his freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
Just because he has put his thoughts down and pushes them out into the virtual world does not make them law! It does not make them valid arguments to support such laws. In fact, his openly hateful attitude would probably be something that Right Wing Conservatives would shy away from quoting because it’s so over the top! It would actually defeat their agenda to pass laws that allow business owners to deny services to members of the LGBT community.
My point is this: As intelligent, educated individuals we are allowing ourselves to get worked up over the simple minded attitude of one hateful man. Someone who makes his living by bashing a group that he knows nothing about. A group that he is afraid of because of his ignorance about us.
Using his words to justify outrage and dissatisfaction towards our legislators is as irresponsible as his actions. Why stoop to his level?
I’ve never made it a secret that I don’t follow the typical “militant” attitude towards equal rights that others may have. I believe that education and thoughtful process are the only ways to prove that all groups are worthy of the same rights and responsibilities that the laws provide.
To me, giving this man a slot on my Facebook page, even if it’s to bash him is granting him 15 minutes of fame. Something that I am happy to afford him because my faith in the ability of the majority to do what’s right will mean that his rants will disappear into the wind just as quickly as they appeared. But crying out that he is going to be the downfall of our society is giving him entirely too much credit. Credit that he is not worthy of.