Late last week David Farrar (DPF) at Kiwiblog took offense at my post critiquing the claims of Redefinition of Marriage Bill submitters to the Select Committee, that ‘gay suicide’ was a reason the bill should be passed, and that if it was, ‘gay suicide’ would decrease.
- CoNZv. 1 Feb. Using Suicide to Push Gay Cause Reprehensible!
- Kiwiblog. 2 Feb. A Callous Post by DPF.
My two main points were:
- a) It is reprehensible to use ‘gay suicide’ as a political lever.
- b) that sociological studies (even amongst the gay community itself) dispute a so-called ‘gay suicide’ epidemic. (See also Is ‘Gay Suicide’ a Real Epidemic?). I cited reports from Live Science as one source.
- c) That gays are not fragile victims, so the claims were demeaning to that community.
David objected, and blogged, “The only thing disingenuous and distortionary is John’s blog post. It’s appalling.” (Although, I do have to say it was a bit disconcerting to be posted UNDER Dai Henwood). David’s diatribe attracted 128 Kiwiblog comments, almost all of which agree with me,
10. Don the Kiwi (921) at 11:19 am
“No David. What is appalling is your continued bias and support of the Redeifintion of Marriage bill – John Stringer is right on the button.”
which perhaps proves that DPF is out of touch with his readership on this one, and that many commentators agree with the points I raised. (You can read all 128 comments here at David’s site).
So, is that CoNZv. 128 Kiwiblog nil?
Maybe David and I, like Professor Dawkins and Lord Williams, should publicly debate this one before the 2nd Reading Debate in late February. (If you pay for the Backbencher’s spicy wedges David, I’ll fly up, although are you eating more than lettuce at the moment? You can be Dawkins!).
“The lack of empathy…is truly appalling, and worse from someone I normally have a lot of time and respect for.” I still have huge respect and time for David (see the third para of yesterdays More on the Gay Cake Debate); we just disagree on this one. He goes on to say in Callous,
“Most of us can only imagine what it is like, but only a small amount of empathy is needed to understand how agonising it must be to be say 15 or 16 and realising you are different from your mates.”
Except that teenagers specialize in being different. At school I was very different from my peers (as a christian). I was regularly mocked, referred to as “the Rev.,” and derided, but always stood up to it and argued the toss. At Victoria uni. I had water balloons thrown at me. As a pastor, I’ve dealt quite closely with teenage suicide (one of my son’s close friends took his life just a few weeks ago), and Emma Campbell was a friend of mine. I also have five young adult kids who’ve been through a lot, so I’m close to this stuff.
I think David missed the central premise of my post, and the readers seem to agree. So, over the next week while I’m away in the States on a (non-gay) men’s retreat with no internet/phone/laptop (or wife) [no order of precedence there], I’ll post a scheduled series on the Callous comments, as many of the points are interesting and relevant to the current public debate on redefining marriage.