Friday, March 25, 2011

Is Truth Wins Out Attempting to Silence Personal Choice?

       So I have been paying alot of attention lately to the Truth Wins Out website, and their arguments about how it was legitimate for them to fight for the Exodus International app. to be removed from the Apple store. Though I do feel that it is their right to fight for such a cause, as I have stated previously, I believe that this sets a dangerous precedent regarding individual choices.

       Interestingly, the gay rights blog AfterElton agrees with me on this issue, themselves saying that it was wrong for Apple to pull the app. Truth Wins Out responded in a less than legitimate fashion, and instead of using logic and reason, used the same old victim mentality that I have seen from them over the past year.

       After Elton deals handily with the concept of individual freedom of choice in downloading and paying for the app. As this is an argument many have made, myself included, it is one which I would expect a legitimate response from TWO about. But do they give us such a response? No, of course not, because in reality their is no response. The only response that I could find for this argument is a "social utility" response. That individual rights should be sacrificed because the overall purpose of the app. is negative and derogatory towards a minority group. But if this is the case, it still gets away from the actual issue, for it in no way affects individuals who are LGBT if they dont let themselves be affected by it. If I don't want to download the app, then I wont download the app. TWO is claiming that this is causing psychological harm and emotional trauma to those who do so...fair enough; but it is their choice to download the app and take on that psychological harm themselves. It should not be mine or Apples concern if they do so.

TWO then claims the following,

Oh, well, I don’t know how much time you spend covering things like gay teen suicide and the damage religious extremists do to gay teens and young adults, because I don’t read your blog, but we’re sort of the experts on that, seeing as it’s in our Mission Statement. So you might think it sounds “ironically familiar,” but whereas the Right doesn’t have the moral authority or the concrete evidence to show that they have a good reason to protect youth from gay people, we have both the moral authority and the concrete evidence, and the statistics on bullying and suicide, and a treasure trove of testimony and reporting on the effects of so-called “reparative therapy,” and unlike the Religious Right, we can back up our assertions with the findings of every single major medical and mental health organization in the United States.
        As stated above, this is completely missing the point! They are using LGBT suicides as justification for their cause, when in reality they have nothing to do with it. LGBT suicides are cause by unchosen external forces that have an impact upon peoples lives. This app. on the other hand, is a chosen download for an organization that the person who is downloading it knows about. Even with all of their evidence from medical and mental health organizations, that does not give them or Apple the legitimacy to tell someone what they can and cannot do, what they can and cannot believe. That is the key point here, and that is why their is so much controversy over this issue. Instead of allowing its customer base to make their own personal decisions, Apple has decided to cave to political pressure and has removed an app. based upon personal choice.

       So what am I getting at here? Why is this important? Because somehow instead of allowing for freedom of choice in our society, we are starting to pigeonhole people into set constructs that we want them to be in. Ex-gays - those are illegitimate and the choices that they make are just as illegitimate. Though we may not agree that ex-gays exist, it is their right to choose to follow that path.  TWO does have some legitimate concerns, and ones that should be broadcast as well, but in no way should Apple have decided upon the course of action that they did. Apple has caved to the populous and silenced a section of people that mainstream society finds harmful.  Apple inherently told that section of society that their personal choices are not valid, and thus they should not try to make them. This is a very dangerous slope that we have started a decent upon, and one which I feel will harm both the religious and gay rights community in the end.

1 comment:

  1. I would definitely say that hate starts way earlier than actual violence, but I think pulling every bit of hateful speech isn't the way to fix it, either. It just breeds more hate.


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