I’ve been listening to the arguments of some people who have different opinions from me on a variety of issues. Based on the reasoning and arguments they use, it appears that I am both a piscaphobe and a fishist. Here is the evidence for this conclusion.
First of all, I don’t like fish. Don’t get me wrong; I like a few types of fish (canned tuna and anchovies on pizza). In general, I just don’t like fish. I avoid Red Lobster and Long John Silver’s because of this. It makes going out to a nice restaurant a little inconvenient, but I cope by eating at Chinese, Mexican, and Indian restaurants, as well various fast food and steak places. Based on what I can tell, this makes me a fishist.
However, it goes far beyond this. I find that the smell of cooking fish frequently makes me quite uncomfortable, and sometimes nauseous. Further, I have refused to eat with people who were going to eat at a seafood restaurant! While Red Lobster, for example, serves steak as well as seafood, I find the presence of fish, shrimp, and lobster so unpleasant that I have difficulty enjoying my steak. Worse, it is usually cooked poorly. It is so extreme that I even married a woman who shares my views on fish. She is, if anything, more extreme than I am. I am clearly a piscaphobe as well.
OK, perhaps I’ve been a little silly in presenting this case. It does serve to illustrate how I feel people who disagree with certain politically correct positions are portrayed. Two terms that irritate me in particular are “racist” and “homophobe”. I’m not going to claim that the terms don’t accurately apply to some people, but it seems like these terms are used to avoid debate.
The term “racist” refers to a person who makes decisions about how they treat people based strictly on the race of those people. However, in practical use, it seems to be applied only to negative decisions applied to people of certain races, regardless of whether race was a factor. By definition, this means that racial quotas are racist. In practice, objecting to racial quotas is declared to be racist.
If you think racial quotas are a good thing, I would be happy to discuss the pros and cons of the issue with you. If you accuse me of being racist when I don’t agree with you, then I have no choice but to conclude you lost the debate. Calling me racist is not an argument. It does not depend on debate. It is an accusation that is calculated to make me back away from my position to avoid the label.
The term “homophobe” literally would mean “someone who is afraid of homosexuals”. In practice, it is applied to people who believe that homosexuality is wrong. The reason the person feels homosexuality is wrong, or the nuances of the stance, usually aren’t a factor. For example, I believe that engaging in homosexual sex is a sin. I also believe that engaging in heterosexual sex outside of marriage is a sin. I believe that marriage only exists between a man and a woman.
Before you jump on my case as being a “homophobe”, consider this: I consider the sex I had before I got married to be a sin at the same level as someone else’s homosexual sex. If you object that I am denying someone the ability to engage in sex with someone they want to, please realize that I am also denying myself the opportunity to engage in sex with anyone other than my wife, even if I wanted to. I also think it is wrong for a person to hit or injure another person for any reason. So, if we get mad at each other, we should both refrain from hitting each other.
If you think I’m intolerant, realize this. I’m willing to agree to disagree. I am not willing to endorse an opinion I don’t agree with. If you don’t agree with my opinion, you don’t have to endorse it, but please show enough tolerance to be civil and agree to disagree.