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Saturday, August 9, 2014

False Equivalency

I have noted that the news media, especially left-wing outlets. like to make comparisons that don't quite fit. For a long time, I've lamented the fact that the media equate the Gay Rights movement to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Race and sexual proclivity have nothing in common.

Race is an innate quality, and to discriminate against someone based solely on that criterion is illogical. In the modern era, most Americans cannot claim descent from solely one race, so such a bias is increasingly ridiculous. I am a blend of mostly European stock and a smaller percentage of Cherokee blood. Three of my children are 3/4 Mexican and 1/4 Pomo Indian, and the Mexican side is an unknown concentration of Amerindian, Spanish, and possibly African blood. Most Black Americans are, in fact, of mixed African and European descent. However, all of these lineages have one thing in common--they are inherent characteristics that came with birth.

Sexual preference is not. Period. All reputable studies confirm that homosexuality emerges as the result of key life experiences, often traumatic ones. Three studies have been used by proponents of garriage (my term for the contradiction in terms "gay marriage") to suggest that homosexuality is innate, however all three fail to pass the rigors of proper science. The most famous of these was done by Simon LeVay, who suggested that a certain area in the brain was larger for gay men and females in cadavers he had studied. However, the size range for both groups was equal, with some individuals in all groups having similar brain sizes in this area,  and it is unknown how he confirmed which cadavers were and were not homosexual. Moreover, the study was not blind, and the groups studied were not large enough to be statistically sound. In addition, no researcher has been able to reproduce his findings.

Science also confirms that there is a difference between the relationship that comprises a marriage and the relationship between a gay couple. For starters, biology itself has dictated that men and women are to procreate. It is the means of procreation for not only our species, but also most other complex animal species. The benefits of such an arrangement are myriad, but all lead to the production of hardier individuals and the survival of the species. Marriage simply formalizes what biology has already determined. Indeed, government did not create the concept of marriage, but simply recognizes it and authorizes people to perform recognized ceremonies.

However, the news and entertainment media insist that both relationships are the same, while simple logic and human anatomy would make the opposite case. Proponents make an argumentum ad ignorantiam, basically saying, "Why not?" However, this logical fallacy is neither unanswerable nor sufficient to make sweeping changes in the way we legislate.

Aside from that issue, we also see the media asserting a false equivalency between Hamas and Israel. Hamas is a terrorist group that attacks specifically non-military targets. Moreover, it fires its missiles from crowded residential areas to maximize civilian casualties when retaliatory strikes occur. It has dishonored truce after truce, and will accept nothing less than the utter annihilation of the Israeli state. It victimizes its own people purposefully, murdering in cold blood any Palestinian who voices dissent or refuses to cooperate.

Israel, meanwhile, uses its missiles to target the areas from which Hamas has fired its rockets. It takes extraordinary measures to minimize civilian casualties, even making phone calls to the places it intends to strike to warn civilians to clear out. It has negotiated truce after truce, and would stop its military actions the moment Hamas actually honored its bargains. Israel fires missiles away from its civilian population. Some have argued that Hamas cannot do so because all of Gaza consists of crowded urban sprawl, but a quick look at Google Maps will confirm that such is not the case.

Add to that the false equivalencies of the Occupy protests and the Tea Party, social conservatives and Nazis (who were anything but), et al ad infinitum. Those who fail to pay close attention fall victim to these tactics. They were used often by Goebbels, who made false equivalencies between Jews, communists and anarchists. The concept of the Big Lie is nothing new. It is shameful how readily we fall prey to it as Americans who should know better.

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