Over the past couple of days a reader and I have been going back and forth about my last post. Our conversation was cut short but there was one thing they said that struck home with me and frankly I’ve been stuck on it ever since I read it.
They had a number of good points but the biggest one:
You seem to be more focused on your right to call other people assholes than on finding the best way to rid society of religious and/or homophobic zealots. Since you seem to be unwilling to discuss, let alone consider, other less swearword-based ways to convert idiots like Eich to more rational, tolerant people, I am probably also within my right to categorise you as an asshole, too.
Earlier in our conversation I mentioned that anyone who pushes their beliefs on wether someone else can get married or not is an asshole…basically I said asshole a lot.
After reading that sentence it struck me that calling someone an asshole (even if they are being one) in this context is clearly not the best way to convince the person or others like them into changing their ways or even possibly considering it.
But now I’ve been thinking. What is the best way?
Whenever I find out someone I know is against gay rights the first thing I usually do is..well..react with disbelief. If I’m not struck speechless I’ll ask them if they know what year it is, if they have any clue how backwards their beliefs are and while I don’t call them an asshole to their face I’m sure my facial expression shows what I think of them.
Really I have no clue what the answer is. How do you react to finding out someone you know and maybe love is against gay rights in a way that can possibly sway them the other way when there’s a good chance their beliefs are just as deeply embedded as mine are?