Thursday, October 15, 2009

Every Bad Argument - ELCA Gay Clergy

This article from the Wasau Daily Herald (online - and previously in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) is a one-stop-shop for just about every bad argument rhetorical tactic that is and has been made to defend the ELCA's recent gay-clergy decisions. I don't know if the professor is affiliated with the ELCA or not (he teaches Sociology). But he's well acquainted with the rhetoric.

The bad arguments/tactics include:

- Labeling the conservatives as "dissidents"

- Asserting that everyone chooses to emphasize certain parts of Scripture
(an easy way for him to marginalize the "dissidents" AND Scripture - which he compares to a Rorshack test!)

- Comparing the conservatives to snake handlers

- If you believe what the Bible teaches on this, you must be over-fixated on someone else's sexual orientation (an attempt to turn blame around, change focus of the issue)

- Misunderstanding/misapplication of Leviticus and the distinction between moral, civil, and ceremonial laws

- Marginalizing Scripture as "Bronze Age Morality". We're much more enlightened today!

- Misunderstanding of the role of polygamy in Scripture (hint - God never says to DO it)

Yes, we've heard all these before in one form or another - and any of these arguments or attacks is easily parried if our opponents were willing to listen. But it strikes me that these sort of rants are not meant to inform, debate, or persuade as much as they are to shame and silence opposition.

No comments: