Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Homosexuality is like Murder - Justice Scalia

“If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?

Okay, I just got off of Facebook (with great difficulty; I believe the disease is progressive) and find myself in conflict with my online buddy Justin Rosario. I have happily read his posts on Proud To Be A Filthy Liberal Scum for some time now. 

But I disagree with his current thread regarding Supreme Court Justice Antonia Scallia's comments regarding Homosexuality. 

JR/PTBALS excoriates Scalia for equating homosexuality with murder. What follows is a long line of barely intelligibly harsh responses, mostly to whether Scalia deserves to live or not.  None address Scalia's comments in context or his logical argument. By that I do NOT mean that I agree with Justice Scalia. But ignoring his (and all The Court's members) high level of discourse and smarts is just lazy. 

My reading tells me that the Justice was expressing an opinion by asking a question: "If I can't have an opinion on this, what CAN I have an opinion on?" 

This is a grammatically correct question and deserves to be answered. 

However, it is quite challenging and has so far been ignored by all the people gathering wood to burn the Justice at the stake. 

I do not care to defend or explain much beyond saying that more reading is necessary and thought before you impress me. And isn't that what you all want?

My conflict reminds me of Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? and the shit storm it stirred up 50 years ago. In the climactic scene, Spencer Tracy makes first an overview of the situation and then picks one particular place to dig in. His skills of elocution and logic are sublime and he makes a compelling argument. 

So to, does Scalia.

No, I don't agree with him. But I did take the time to read most of his speech. I wonder if the many people posting harsh, negative, and often profane responses to the headline and not to Scalia's statements or his argument, read anything at all. 

I do not wish to silence anyone, just to make my contribution. Here is my suggestion (It is the same I give to all my students at some point) : Slow down. Read the problem.

Slowing Down would be the opposite of reading a couple of words and deciding what their meaning is and how you feel about it. Slowing down here would mean reading a little more of the speech Justice Scalia was making, and how his statements are couched. Also, since this comes not in the speech, but in the Q&A after, the question posed should be examined. 

I believe that my feelings could be loosely grouped with Samuel Clemens' on Last of The Mohicans when he disagreed with reviewers of the competing novel in this way: 

"It seems to me that it was far from right for the Professor...to deliver opinions on Cooper's literature without having read some of it. It would have been much more decorous to keep silent and let persons talk who have read Cooper."
I feel the same about most of these postings. 

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