The following comes from a March 14 column in the Washington Free Beacon.
There are two ways to win an argument. The first is to calmly and rationally argue your position, gathering evidence and presenting it in a reasonable way that considers all the tradeoffs of various policy options.
The other is to stamp your feet and scream and denounce and ban and delegitimize.
We’ve seen a couple examples of the latter option deployed this week. This morning, Rod Dreher noted that Ryan T. Anderson, a friend of mine, has been blacklisted from presenting his calmly argued and thoughtfully reasoned (if not entirely persuasive*) case against gay marriage at Stanford University. Here’s the Stanford Daily:
Last Wednesday evening, the Graduate Student Council denied funding for an event hosted by the Stanford Anscombe Society following community outcry over alleged “anti-LGBT” content. …
Bringing the speakers to Stanford would threaten the safety of campus for the queer population, according to Brianne Huntsman ’15, who started a Facebook event to organize a rally at the meeting on Wednesday night.
“A lot of students who are queer come to Stanford because it’s one of the most LGBT-friendly places in the world,” Huntsman said. “I grew up in Utah, where it was really conservative and a lot of us come from similar backgrounds, and we feel that we every time we go home. Stanford is supposed to be a safe space for us.”
The appearance of Ryan T. Anderson—who, I can assure you, is not a terribly imposing individual—at Stanford University would “threaten the safety of campus for the queer population.” Assuming that they’re not worried about Ryan embarking on a rogue gaybashing campaign—again, he’s not a big dude—all they had to fear was … his speech. An argument. An argument that makes them uncomfortable. Those in favor of gay marriage have won. And instead of relitigating any of these arguments, they have chosen to simply delegitimize those who would oppose them. They are bigots not to be taken seriously, charlatans who should be shunned. This sort of anti-intellectualism taking place on the campus of one of our nation’s most esteemed colleges should shock the conscience….
To read the full posting, click here.