She stammered—something to the effect of, “Ah, ah, well…I’ll have to think. You’re the first person to ask that question. Ah…it has to do with a training we went through about being more inclusive.” I gave a benign response and walked away.
I do hope at least one or two people who disagree with me will read this post, and if that is you, please
Regardless of how someone answers the moral question of whether homosexual behavior is good or bad, the right way to get clarity on the answer to this question is emphatically not to create “safe zones” where people are not allowed to ask the question at all.
The overwhelming number of people—Primarily Jews, Christians, and Muslims—who oppose homosexual behavior (not orientation) do so because they believe it to be immoral. The idea is that, like prostitution or bestiality, sexual relations between people of the same sex is a way of behaving which—though many are born with biological urges towards it—is fundamentally contrary to the way human beings were created to behave. In other words, those who oppose gay sex on religious grounds do so because they believe it is the sexual equivalent of drinking Windex or spraying coffee to clean windows. It is to use a thing in a way that violates its intended purpose, and in the process damages or distorts the user and the thing used. In philosophical terms this could be called an ontological incongruity. In Christian terminology it is known as sin.
Of course, there are a great many people in Europe and the U.S. these days who think people who believe this are ridiculously wrong, unenlightened, and backwards. Okay. Let’s discuss it. Let’s talk about why we think this and you think that. Let’s thoughtfully consider each others' ideas so we can identify the particular points about which we disagree.
But what does it say about the GLBTQ “community” that, instead of discussing and arguing about this issue like adults, they resort to establishing “safe zones” where people are not allowed to question or think about the issue at all?
Imagine this same approach applied to any other controversial moral question in another context. Consider the following scenario in a high school government class:
“Mr. Jones, you’ve said a lot about how capitalism creates wealth, but my uncle is a doctor and he says it would be better if the government took control of the healthcare system. What do you think about that?"
Indignantly clears his throat and points to a sign on the class room wall that reads “Safe Zone,” before moving to the next question.
Or what about a business?:
Board member sitting at the boardroom table to the company CEO:
“As we’re in the process of implementing the new policy, I was wondering if we could take a few minutes to discuss some questions about our plans for disposing of factory waste, and where we are with wage calculations for employees in our Mexico facility?"
CEO (along with everyone else in the room):
With a slight frown, nods in the direction of a placard on the wall that reads, “Safe Zone."
Or what about in the media? Never mind, that one’s too obvious.
In any case, the question all this raises is what exactly are we safe from in the safe zone? My suspicion is that ultimately safe zones only provide safety from the discomfort of critical thinking. As Robert Reilly says in his excellent book, Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexuality is Changing Everything, “The differences over which the culture war is being fought are not subject to reasoned discourse. Persons protecting themselves by rationalizing are interested not in finding truth, but in maintaining the illusion that allows them to continue their behavior."