Our minister of education, Nancy Allan, was quoted as saying, “... that there are all kinds of harassment issues, name-calling, those kinds of incidents that occur in schools, and we believe that it’s absolutely necessary (for the inclusion of hurt feelings) to be in the definition (of bullying).”
I agree with Ms. Allan that being on the receiving end of name-calling is not a pleasurable event. But if name-calling is a form of bullying, aren’t the promoters of gay-straight alliances actually then resorting to bullying by calling those with whom they disagree, homophobics?
To even enter the discussion of whether or not the practices of the LGBT community should be publicly promoted as a common good is to risk being called a “bigot,” “intolerant,” “prejudiced,” “arrogant,” “homophobic,” etc. This tactic is used to silence discussion — not open it up.
I once heard it said that when people resort to name-calling, they have reached the end of their ability to articulate a rational argument.
The issue of sexuality and all its entailments is worthy of our best intellectual and emotional efforts. A lot is at stake. Name-calling on either side is not helpful in furthering our understanding of human sexuality and its purposes and ends. Let’s discuss, let’s dialogue, let’s disagree, but let’s not be disagreeable.
Perhaps the Brandon Sun would consider printing a series of conversations between people with differing perspectives to help advance understanding in these issues.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 13, 2013