It is a commonplace tactic for those who do not have a leg to stand on regarding the facts and evidence to simply ignore the facts and evidence, and instead resort to ad hominem attacks. Attacking the character of one’s intellectual sparring mate is always far easier than dealing with the actual arguments.
And if one does not like the arguments and evidence the opponent is providing, another trick is simply to shoot the messenger. Instead of dealing with the message, just vilify the messenger, and pretend the truth will just quietly go away.
There are plenty of activist lobby groups that regularly resort to such tactics. A good example of this has occurred recently, with the sacking of a Christian pro-family leader. Warwick Marsh was dumped by the Rudd government because of his association with the booklet, “21 Reasons Why Gender Matters”.
Because the booklet looked at the well-being of children, and the right of every child to be raised by his or her own biological mother and father, and discussed homosexuality in part, the homosexual lobby has gone ballistic, running overtime about this terrible document.
Indeed, it is hard to keep up with all the mud-slinging, hatred and heterophobia pouring forth from their websites and blogs. One leading homosexual activist has been making the rounds of every site he can, telling us of his earth-shattering discovery. He is obviously very proud of all his hard detective work.
According to him, there are two – yes two! – errors out of the nearly 200 references in the booklet. Now I don’t accept that the two references in question are in fact suspect. But even if they are, what is the outcome of his earth-shaking charges: he is simply telling us that 99 per cent of the references are accurate. Gee, that’s a pretty serious and damning charge. Imagine that: a paltry 99 per cent accuracy rate.
If we applied such fine-tooth combs to the typical homosexual activist document, we might be lucky to find a 50 per cent accuracy rate. Indeed, I don’t know of too many people in any profession who would quibble with a 99 per cent accuracy rate. But our homosexual friend thinks he has made the discovery of the century, and thinks he has just shot the entire booklet down in flames, forever discrediting the authors and their integrity.
Might I suggest that if this is the best this fellow can come up with in all his diligent investigative work, he perhaps should consider finding a new day job? But his fellow homosexual activists have claimed this to be the best thing since creamed cheese. Indeed, another high-flyer homosexual activist was positively drooling over all this, praising the research with these words:
“Another important spin-off from last week’s debate is greater scrutiny of the claims and credentials of anti-gay activists like Marsh and Williams. Gay and Lesbian Equality WA has taken a blow touch [sic] to some the [sic] statistics in ‘21 Reasons’.”
Yep, that sure was some blowtorch job alright. It was such a convincing and devastating demolition job that I was almost tempted to give the whole game away. Of course such a criticism is in the same league of that offered by crikey.com when they said “On and on it goes, page after page, ‘supported’ by nonsensical and misinterpreted studies”.
So let me see if I have this straight: according to crikey, all of the following are unreliable, discredited and misleading sources:
-The Australian Bureau of Statistics
-The House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Education and Training
-The World Health Organization
–The Sydney Morning Herald (obviously one of the nation’s most homophobic newspapers)
-The Department of Family and Community Services
-Monash Centre for Population and Urban Research
-The United States Department of Labor
–Women and Health
-Michael et. al.’s Sex in America: A Definitive Survey
–Archives of General Psychology
–Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy
–International Journal of Eating Disorders
-The House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs
-National Centre in HIV Social Research
–Journal of Population Economics
–American Sociological Review
–Archives of Sexual Behavior
-Australian Institute of Criminology
–Journal of Interpersonal Violence
–Clinical Infectious Diseases
–American Journal of Public Health
–International Journal of Epidemiology
–Sexually Transmitted Infections
–The Washington Blade
–Melbourne Community Voice (MCV)
-Kirk and Marsden’s After the Ball
-Altman’s The Homosexualization of America
And so on. What are we talking about here? Government research reports; global health organisations; reputable medical journals; scientific journals; official HIV research centres; homosexual books; homosexual newspapers; and so on. So all this comprises “nonsensical” studies? Well, if you want to call homosexual books and newspapers nonsensical, I suppose I can agree with that much at least.
As I say, this is all about shooting the messenger. They cannot argue with the facts, with the evidence, and with the arguments, so they simply try to discredit the whole thing with name-calling, mud-slinging and hysterical rants.
Indeed, the ad hominems and viciousness just keep coming and coming. Consider yet another activist who provides this objective, reasoned and gracious evaluation of the booklet: “Referring to the vitriolic bile spouted by the authors of ‘21 reasons why [sic] Gender Matters’ as ’strong stuff’ is a little bit like saying that Hitler was ‘a bit naughty..[sic]’ In my opinion, anyone that cares to put associate [sic] their name with 24 pages of homophobic, trans*phobic [sic], sexist, poorly researched and heavily baised [sic] tripe is not fit to be in the position of a role model or an authority.”
Leaving aside for the moment why it is that so many of these angry activists seem to have so much trouble with simple spelling, we have here another perfect example of how the other side operates. It is name-calling pure and simple, without an iota of argument, evidence or fact.
Of course fact, reason and evidence are not exactly their strong suit. Shouting people down and showing just how ‘tolerant’ they are seems to be about all they can muster. But hey, shouting a lot is a whole lot easier than actually coming up with solid evidence and sound argumentation.
This crowd seems to think that if it shouts long enough, loud enough and often enough, it can make its case and win the day. Sadly, this is just all too typical of those we are up against. But we will keep marshalling the evidence, providing the arguments, and demonstrating the facts. In the end truth always wins out.
So let the mud continue to fly. It is a clear and certain sign that the other side does not have a leg to stand on, and is involved in acts of desperation, complete with smoke and mirrors. The more they shout and roar, the more one can be sure that the truth may not in fact be with them.