Beliefs, people, and the “hate” card

If there is one universal truth about the queer movement and the media, anybody who does not emphatically embrace the movement and everything it demands is painted as a “hater.” The queer community is painted as victims and those who oppose them as oppressors driven by hatred and bigotry.

Which makes about as much sense as saying I automatically hate my Catholic neighbour simply because I am not Catholic.

The issue is always painted as a “rights” issue in that if we do not support the proposed changes in public policy, or if we do not want to bake a cake for a gay “wedding,” then the basis for our disagreement is inherently personal. We are against the people, themselves. And that is clearly hatred, we are told.

But there is more at play than just the people, though there is obviously a personal element to all of this as well. Changing policies is never merely about people, it is always also about principles. It is about philosophy. It is about an understanding of reality. And when it comes to reality, people have always had widely divergent beliefs about reality.

Let’s consider the transgender community for a moment. When a man says, “I am a woman trapped in a man’s body” and demands to use the woman’s bathroom he is not merely expressing his belief about himself, he is actually expressing a much broader belief about humanity as a whole.

We are not defined by our bodies.

Just because my body is comprised of DNA that contains a “Y” chromosome, and just because I have all the physiological organs associated with males in the human species, does not mean that I am a “man.” My true identity can be 100% divorced from my physiology, biology and genetics.

And if my true identity can be 100% divorced from my physical body, then it must be the case for all humans that our physical body and our identity are two completely separate, and unrelated, things. The human person and the human body are completely separate entities with no intrinsic relationship. This concept, in various forms, has gained significant attention in the popular media recently.

(As I have argued elsewhere, this concept that our identity is not, at least in part, defined by our bodies has led to a whole bunch of other fascinating self-identity claims.)

This is more than a statement about themselves, personally; it is a far-reaching statement about the human species as a whole. It stakes out some very specific claims about human nature that, if true, apply to every human on the face of the planet. So to affirm their personal decision is to do a whole lot more than just make some specific affirmation of them individually, it is to agree with the general philosophical understanding inherent in their claim.

And if you disagree with the underlying philosophical worldview that is inherent to their claim then, it is alleged, you hate them as individuals.


I have some Atheist friends. We have gotten along for years, though we have sometimes ruffled each other’s feathers. Atheism is a certain worldview that, if true, paints a certain picture of humanity; a certain picture of my friends and I. Because of their Atheism they go through life with a certain perception of themselves, a certain self-identity. Something along the lines of a random product of blind chance in a purposeless universe.

As a Christian I disagree with their underlying worldview. I disagree with their philosophy. As a result, I also disagree with their understanding of humanity and, by extension, their self-understanding. I disagree with their self-identity. I believe they were created by God, in his image. Nothing random or blind about it.

Despite disagreeing with their self-identity I have never had an Atheist claim that I “hate” them. They have never called me a bigot. At least not that I recall. And I’ve had a lot of such conversations, so if it ever did happen it was extremely rare and apparently forgettable.

I’ve also interacted with people who believe in Karma and Reincarnation. They believe in the “Cosmic Cycle” and the fact that they have lived previous lives. Such belief forms part of their understanding of themselves; their self-identity.

Again, as a Christian I do not believe in Reincarnation and, therefore, I do not believe that we have lived past lives. By extension I disagree that they have lived past lives. I disagree with their self-identity.

But, once again, I do not ever recall having them accuse me of hatred.

I should also point out that these groups (and others like them) also disagree with my self-identity as a Christian, but I have never claimed that they hate me. In fact, the thought has never crossed my mind. Disagree with me, certainly! Perhaps think less of me because of my “superstitious” beliefs (or something like that), maybe. But not hate. Not bigotry. It’s never crossed my mind.

Rather, we are all able to sit around a table, hash through life’s biggest issues, disagree with each other at a very fundamental level about reality and our place in it, and even disagree about our respective self-identities and never, not even once, descend into accusations of hatred. We can get frustrated with each other because we are unable to get past some philosophical logjam, but we never stoop to accusations of hatred.

So why, for the love of God, is everybody who disagrees with the queer movement immediately and universally painted as a “hater?” Why is it that people with every other self-identity imaginable to humanity can find themselves in disagreement with others over that very same self-identity without the accusation of hatred ever coming into the conversation?

It almost seems, for some odd reason, as though matters of sexuality get some kind of “special treatment.

Perhaps there is grounds for treating this subject differently. One can go through life believing almost any self-identity without it really impacting your day-to-day life. But, perhaps, with the queer movement their self-identity has a significant impact on their daily lives that other self-identities do not.

Let’s consider another “human identity” issue with extreme consequences for the person involved; abortion. There are those who believe that the fetus in the womb is equally human as the rest of us, and deserves our full protection.

And there are those who think the fetus is just a clump of lifeless matter akin to a cancerous growth (that just happens to be “born” into a human). These are very different perceptions of human life – particularly the pre-born – and the consequences of that disagreement are of mind-blowing significance. If it is true that the pre-born are equally human then abortionists have ended the lives of untold millions of humans around the globe.

And if the pre-born are equally human, then an abortionist is functionally equivalent to a killer. But even the pro-life community (most of them, anyway) would not accuse the abortionists of being “baby haters.” What they are doing is essentially perpetuating the longest running case of genocide in human history, but we are not under the impression that those who conduct abortions actually “hate” the babies whose lives they are ending. Rather, we recognize that they are working with a different (and we would argue, faulty) understanding of what it means to be human. Instead of hatred, we recognize that most abortionists probably see the pre-born as more or less lifeless clumps of flesh and bones. They probably feel no more emotions (either positive or negative) toward the pre-born than they would toward the pimple on their nose.

Even those who terminate babies are not accused of hating them.

Even a practice with such dire consequences for the human race (or, at least, the pre-born among us) is not grounds for a misguided label of “hatred” and “bigotry.”

And whatever inconveniences the queer community may be subjected to, like having to suffer the excruciating trauma of using a washroom consistent with their biology, is not even conceptually comparable to having their lives terminated because they are seen as “not equally human.” At least that’s not a problem they face in North America where the accusations of hatred flow free and frequently.

So even when life itself is on the line, the accusation of “hater” simply isn’t part of the vocabulary of discussion.

If I may, please, can we all just grow up, have a rational discussion with each other, and stop with the name-calling? This is eminently possible with absolutely every other self-identity known to man, and even possible when life itself is on the line. So for the queer self-identity – when far, far, less than life itself is on the line – accusations of hatred and bigotry speak volumes about the accuser, not the accused.

It would be so refreshing if the queer community would begin a response to – for instance – a religious freedoms law with something along the lines of, “We respectfully disagree with the basis of this law for the following reasons…”