In Praise of Discrimination
Joy Pullman entitles her excellent column on The Federalist this way: “Discrimination Is Healthy And Normal—Sex Confusion Is Not.” She begins her piece by pointing out how the left has hijacked a perfectly good word and twisted its meaning:
Discrimination sounds so terrible. Shouldn’t people with power stop it in every form? That sounds plausible, but like the other arguments offered by LGBTQ activists (when they offer arguments instead of appeals to emotion), it’s wrong and hurtful.
She goes on to point out that “non-discrimination” ordinances, which sound so constructive at first blush, are actually “anti-science, anti-reason, and anti-humanity.”
They are “anti-science,” because they ignore the plain, obvious, unarguable truth that every individual is either male or female as a matter of pure biology. “[E]very human being has either XX or XY chromosomes embedded in every cell of his or her body. That makes each of us biologically male or female, no matter how we feel about that fact.”
This shatters any pretense that special protections based on transgenderism is a good idea. “We should treat (people),” she writes, “as biology reveals them to be.”
In addition, the latest research into the “born that way” meme when it comes to homosexuality is that there is no such thing as a gay gene.
“[S]cientific findings released earlier this year during the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago call this premise into question. During the meeting, Michael Bailey of Northwestern University unveiled comprehensive research results which suggest that genetics alone do not determine ‘sexual orientation.’
“In his research, Bailey and other scientists examined the DNA of 400 men who described themselves as homosexual. Ultimately, the researchers concluded that homosexuality cannot be traced to specific genes.
“The genes were neither sufficient, nor necessary, to make any of the men gay,” wrote Ian Sample, science correspondent for The Guardian.
“The findings show that it is impossible to accurately predict a person’s sexual behavior by solely examining DNA.” (Emphasis mine.)
Adapting to these skewed and scientifically insupportable conceits – that transgenderism is benign and that homosexuals are born that way – is “anti-humanity” because it leads to enabling rather than helping people who are trapped in a mentally and emotionally disordered world. Just as we should not enable substance abusers and gambling addicts by indulging them, so we should not enable the sexually confused.
Johns Hopkins stopped doing sexual reassignment surgery in the 1970s because the hospital discovered it did not work. Transgenders, surgical alterations or no, have a suicide rate that is 20 times higher than the normal population. Transgenders need reparative therapy, not genital mutilation.
Finally, Pullman argues, non-discrimination policies are “anti-reason,” simply because discrimination itself is not evil but in reality good, necessary and virtuous.
“The problem with this is that discrimination is not just good, it is necessary for life.
“Everyone judges, and everyone has to. If you are a business owner, you must judge whether a certain applicant for a job will do it well. That means different things for different businesses, but if an employer does not discriminate between hard workers and lazy workers, or qualified workers and unqualified workers, or employees with good interpersonal skills and those who can’t convey basic information, the business will fail. It will provide no one with jobs and no one with services if it doesn’t exist.
“We all judge, all the time. I discriminate against people who kiss me, and even free-love people probably do the same. A random person cannot walk up to me at Wal-Mart and smooch. Normal people call that sexual harassment. We all also discriminate against the people who can use our things. It’s not okay for the petty thieves who rifle through my street to find my car keys and take a joy ride. And nobody (except college students) thinks it’s okay to walk into anyone’s house and open the fridge for a snack. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume almost everyone in the world feels similarly. We’re all food discriminators, car judgers, kiss gatekeepers, and more. And we should be.
“There is no way to live without discriminating, except in utter chaos.”
So discrimination, for the right reasons and against wrong and socially destructive behaviors, is not bad, it is good, right and necessary.
Here is the key pull quote from her piece:
“Even a ‘non-discrimination’ ordinance discriminates, by conveying what city council members consider acceptable behavior and what they do not. All such ordinances do is substitute one judgment about what is appropriate sexual behavior for another, far older, judgment. The LGBTQ lobby sneaks their new judgment past everyone by labeling their discrimination ‘non-discrimination.’ That’s an old trick, called ‘lying.’”
As I have written before,it is long past time for conservatives to reclaim and rehabilitate the word “discrimination,” particularly when it comes to homosexual behavior.
The left has twisted this word to create the utterly false impression that discrimination of any kind at any time for any reason is by definition wrong and immoral.
Of course, leftists are oblivious to the reality that they, these self-described paragons of tolerance, routinely discriminate against people of Christian faith, by refusing them permission to pray in public, by fining them for declining to photograph lesbian commitment ceremonies, by throwing them out of graduate programs in counseling, or by suing them in court if they won’t rent their facilities to same-sex couples. So their blindingly hypocritical mantra is “discrimination for me but not for thee.”
The truth is that public policy is about nothing other than discrimination. This is all it is about, all it can be about, and all it should be about.
According to Webster’s, the verb “discriminate” is from a Latin word meaning to “distinguish between.” It means to “differentiate,” to “distinguish by discerning or exposing differences,” “to make a distinction” or “to use good judgment.”
This is what public policy is all about: using good judgment to distinguish those behaviors that are worthy of public approval from those behaviors which ought to receive public disapproval.
Public policy is about discriminating against behaviors that are socially destructive and corrosive to the social fabric. So, we rightly discriminate against people who rip off convenience stores, burgle houses, drive while drunk, eat the faces off homeless people, gun down servicemen on military bases, embezzle funds from employers or clients, or beat their wives.
This discrimination is based, you will note, on behavior. Public policy is not a concern until an individual acts. As Thomas Jefferson said, “[T]he legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions.”
We should not therefore discriminate against a man for his sexual inclinations, only for his sexual conduct. We don’t punish people for what they think about doing, or even for what they want to do, but only for their actions, for the times when they yield to socially destructive impulses.
In other words, regardless of one’s sexual “orientation,” sexual behavior is always a matter of choice.
If a man’s actions are contrary to good public policy, it is altogether right that society should discriminate against such behaviors by, at a minimum, expressing public disapproval of such conduct.
In fact, we discriminate, both in public and private, against sexually immoral behavior all the time.
We discriminate against people who engage in prostitution. Private companies discriminate against those whose sexual conduct make them poor representatives of company values. (You can ask Tiger Woods with his lost endorsements all about that.) Private companies discriminate against executives who sexually harass employees. The military drums generals out of the army altogether for adultery and harassment.
We discriminate against adults, even priests, who have sex with children. We discriminate against teachers who have affairs with students. We discriminate against teachers who moonlight in the porn industry. We discriminate against students who engage in sexting. We discriminate against rapists. We discriminate against those who expose sexual partners unknowingly to the AIDS virus. We discriminate against those adults who commit statutory rape against minors. We discriminate against homosexuals and prostitutes by refusing to allow them to give blood. Los Angeles County discriminates against porn actors who won’t wear condoms.
The point is this: we discriminate against sexually immoral and inappropriate behavior all the time. And homosexual behavior is sexually immoral and inappropriate.
As the president of the American Family Association, Tim Wildmon, has often said, homosexual behavior is “immoral, unnatural and unhealthy.” It is contrary to “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” as the Founders put it. It puts the human body to sexual uses which are utterly contrary to the way in which the human body is designed. And it is accompanied by a raft of pathologies, including HIV/AIDS and a host of other debilitating sexually transmitted diseases. It shortens the lifespan of those who engage in it by anywhere from eight to 20 years.
In other words, this is behavior that no rational society should ever condone, endorse, subsidize, or enshrine. We’ve waged all-out war against cigarette smoking because it cuts six to seven years off the lives of smokers. We should care no less about those who are destroying themselves through non-normative sexual behavior.
We should discriminate against this kind of behavior not because we hate people but because we love them. We do not want to see them destroyed by their sexual choices, and we don’t want to see others destroyed through the diseases that are transmitted to them in unnatural sexual acts.
Did the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) discriminate against immoral sexual behavior? Yes, and it should have. Did “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” discriminate against immoral sexual behavior? Yes, and it should have. Do state marriage amendments that protect man-woman marriage discriminate against unnatural sexual behavior? Yes, and they should.
We should reform our public policy on this issue by once again refusing to use the power of government to endorse homosexual behavior, to subsidize it, or to give it special protections in law.
Bottom line: it’s time for conservatives to unhesitatingly reclaim the “D” word, dust it off, and use it without apology. A rational culture that cares about its people will in fact discriminate against adultery, incest, polygamy, pedophilia, rape, bestiality, and, yes, homosexual behavior.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)
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