The fancy lads and lassies won’t like his letter! Poor Taylor Brorby.
Letter: Only the closed-minded presume enlightenment
By Paul Opperman on Jul 2, 2014 at 11:36 p.m.
In response to Taylor Brorby of Dickinson, N.D. (June 25 Forum commentary): Brorby hopes for open discussion of same-sex marriage in North Dakota. Sadly, the approach he takes in his June 25 letter is exactly what makes open discussion very difficult. He describes North Dakota as “closeted,” “close-minded,” “lagging behind,” and states that its close-minded residents “push base viewpoints of hate and bigotry” to the detriment of the mental health of its young people. With this barrage of name-calling and, behind it, a slew of false assumptions about why I and many others think same-sex marriage is wrong for society, how should I begin an “open” dialogue?
Clear the fog
I can only make a small attempt to clear the emotional fog and disambiguate some of the terms. The truth is that the vast majority of those who support the traditional conception of marriage do not push hatred of homosexuals. When we are labeled “bigots” for our sincere and rationally supported beliefs, we are pained because this name-calling cuts us off at the start and puts us in a “closet” so that rational discussion in the public forum is nigh impossible. The use of the adjective “close-minded” always presumes that the user is the “enlightened” one. It does not substitute for an argument that truly enlightens.