Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Know your enemy.

In working for our goals, we need to know more than where we want to be. We need to know who is standing in our way, what those persons believe, and why.

People who argue queer issues often appeal to religion, and in America, religion for the most part means Western Christianity in various modern manifestations. Therefore, in engaging such people, we should show some familiarity with Christianity beyond straw-man portrayals in the mainstream media, lest we needlessly antagonize the very persons whom we are trying to win over.

For example, I have heard activists justify a publicity stunt that made us look spectacularly bad to the general public by arguing the "fact" that Communion represents the minister or religious institution, as opposed to any connection that it might have to Jesus Christ. Even worse, when I pointed out the issue to one activist, he insisted on wallowing in his willful ignorance.

Activists' ignorance of Christianity is especially frustrating since Christians have made such an effort to make the needed information available. How often do you hear that Christians refuse to discuss their beliefs?

The above applies to secular political ideologies as well. Many people in the P.C. left tend to lump everyone who disagrees with them into some undifferentiated "right." What do neocons, theocons, paleocons, populist conservatives, limited-government libertarians, and anarcho-capitalists all have in common, other than the "fact" that they are all on the "right"? An argument that would make perfect sense to an Objectivist might deeply offend a traditionalist conservative, and vice versa. Moreover, we should stop using terms like "corporatism" and "laissez-faire" without looking up what they mean.

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