Originally published in the Washington Times on October 28, 2018.
Post: Oregon Bakers Fined $135K Over Wedding Cake Appeal to Supreme Court. If this is not overturned by SCOTUS everyone — EVERYONE — is at risk of financial ruin if we refuse to paint, print, sculpt, film, or speak messages of government propaganda with which we disagree.
Fallacious Fred: I think it’s more about discrimination then anything. You wouldn’t like it if someone discriminated against you because of your skin color.
My Answer: Sexual behavior is a choice. We discriminate against poor choices (as we should) all the time. For example, no one would suggest these bakers should be forced to bake a cake promoting the bad choice of incest. Likewise, no one would suggest they be forced to promote the bad behavior of adultery.
Why, then, do we presume to force someone to promote the choice of sodomy? You are conflating categories. We can and do choose our sexual behavior. We don’t choose the color of our skin. A moral society does discriminate against immorality, and sex has always been, and still is, a moral discussion.
Fred: Please prove to me that it is a choice.
Answer: Stop and think about what you just said!. You’re suggesting that your behaviors (what you eat, what you say, what you read, how fast your drive ) are not choices. You can’t possibly believe this. If you did, you would be admitting that all human actions (our choices to lie, cheat, and break your wedding vows, for example) should simply be celebrated as “who we are.”
I should not have to prove to you that sexual behavior is a choice because, if I have to do so, you are admitting that behaviors such incest and adultery are beyond your moral obligations and culpability. You are also essentially saying anyone with an appetite toward such actions should be granted minority status and their consequent behaviors should be celebrated rather than restrained.
Fred: You are comparing apples to oranges. You’re wrong on this one.
Answer: Well, actually I am not. You are the one guilty of conflating categories, not me. As I have already said, you are claiming identity and inclinations are one in the same. You also don’t even attempt to refute that, by definition, sexual behavior is exactly that — a behavior, and not an identity. You also continue to ignore that, as such, your sexual actions should and must be restricted and controlled under the assumption of free will, personal responsibility and the greater moral good.
Fred: Yeah ok Just keep going on hating instead of accepting people, if that’s what makes you happy.
Answer: This is not a valid or even a cogent response. Disagreeing with someone doesn’t mean you hate them, for if it did, you would clearly be guilty of hating me. Furthermore, ignoring your opponent’s premise by doubling down on your bias doesn’t make for a good argument. You might want to look up the definition of bigot before you go much further down this path.
So, let me ask you again — Can a person who has an inclination toward incest control his appetite to have sex with his sister? Should he? Can a person who has an inclination toward adultery control his appetite to have sex with a bunch of women other than his wife? Should he?
If the answer is yes (and I surely hope you’re not suggesting otherwise), then why can’t a person who has an appetite for sodomy control his behavior in like manner? Why should the man or woman inclined toward homosexual behavior be granted minority status and not the one inclined toward incest or adultery? This is a logical question as much, if not more so, a moral one.
The bottom line is this: Our legal and moral system does not conflate inclinations with identity. We are the imago Dei (the image of God), we are not the imago dog. We are not animals. We are morally culpable beings who have the ability and the responsibility to choose our behaviors. Our entire system of justice assumes we are accountable for these choices. If you don’t believe this then go ahead and rut about and have sex at will. Ultimately “discrimination” doesn’t matter for you have no choice. You are a beast rather than a human being.
Fred: Believe everything in the Bible because you know it’s all true. Talking donkeys, snakes handing people apples, and virgins having babies. None of it is possible, but true.
Final Piper Answer: Frankly, I didn’t say anything about the Bible, therefore, your response is little more than sleight-of-hand. It’s a straw man argument; a classic fallacy of avoidance. By employing it, you are not even attempting to answer my questions or refute my premise. Why do you persist in your curious distractions? Why the dodge?
I’ll ask you one more time. Do you really believe human identity is nothing more than the sum total of human inclinations? Do you believe we have the ability and the responsibility to choose our behaviors or do you hold that all people, regardless of race or creed are destined to imbibe their every appetite at will? Are we beasts or are we human beings?
Why don’t you answer these questions?
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