Veering off from my usual Rant Mode topics, we have some Joe the Plumber to cover! (Or notJoe the notPlumber, as it were.):
Christianity Today: In the last month, same-sex marriage has become legal in Iowa and Vermont. What do you think about same-sex marriage at a state level?
Wurzelbacher: At a state level, it’s up to them. I don’t want it to be a federal thing. I personally still think it’s wrong. People don’t understand the dictionary–it’s called queer. Queer means strange and unusual. It’s not like a slur, like you would call a white person a honky or something like that. You know, God is pretty explicit in what we’re supposed to do–what man and woman are for. Now, at the same time, we’re supposed to love everybody and accept people, and preach against the sins. I’ve had some friends that are actually homosexual. And, I mean, they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldn’t have them anywhere near my children. But at the same time, they’re people, and they’re going to do their thing.
Yes, because The Gay is obviously contagious. Myths to be tested: 1) “Queer” is not a slur, and 2) The Gay is contagious and will harm your children. Okay, so he gets some points back for admitting that gay people are actually people and not demons sent from the mouth of hell. (Not many points, though.) Way to go for speaking your mind, Joe the P, but I disagree, for several reasons.
1) Queer can very definitely be a slur. Have you walked the halls of an average public high school lately, Joe? “That’s so gay.” “Man, what are you, queer?” “You’re such a queer.” “Look at her, she’s such a lesbo dyke.” I have gay friends who are still in high school, and they have to deal with this every day, with their very way of life and an important part of their identity being assaulted by people who are either being hurtful on purpose or just plain ignorant. Spend a day in the shoes of a gay kid in a public school, Joe. Then tell me if you think “queer” is a slur or not.
2a) The pejorative meaning of a word is separate from the actual meaning – that is, words mean what we make of them. “Bitch” means “female dog”, which has become an insult most frequently used on women, and may indicate latent sexism when used in the proper context. Put simply: Regardless of the dictionary meaning, words can be twisted by common use into insults. (Since we’re using dictionary meaning as a basis for argument, “gay” means “happy” and thus “gay marriage” is “happy marriage” – why do you hate spousal happiness?!)
2b) As for The Gay being bad for children, my best friend was raised by her mother and the mother’s partner, to no ill effect. She’s actually better-adjusted than a lot of kids I know from average two-parent households, and she’s been with her current boyfriend for years. “The Gay is contagious and will harm your kids.” Myth busted, Jamie.
And for your further elucidation, I present this informative graph, courtesy of the folks at GraphJam:
Thank you, and good night.