A chara, – May I respectfully suggest that if someone is upset by being called homophobic, they refrain from espousing homophobic views. Problem solved. – Is mise,
George’s Quay, Dublin 2.
So there you go. The persecution of Jews through the centuries must have been justified, because why would their persecutors have accused them of child murder and treason and all those lovely things unless it was true? School bullying is no longer a problem because the victims wouldn't just get bullied for nothing, would they? We no longer have to feel bad about the victims of Stalin's purges because, well, they would have been just fine if they weren't actually Trotskyists and saboteurs. No smoke without fire, after all.
How doesn't everybody else see this? It's so insanely simple when you get it! It cuts through so many ethical, jurisprudential and philosophical Gordian knots with one swift flash of steel!
The writer may object that she is condemning expressed views, which are publicly aired, as homophobic, as opposed to deeds or actions which have to be discovered through investigation. And this is true, and my satire does indeed rather overstate the case for that reason.
But how does it make her comment any more superfluous and cheap? The point of the whole correspondence is whether an expression of opposition to same-sex marriage makes you homophobic or not. To say, "We wouldn't say you were homophobic unless it was true" is adding nothing at all to the debate. It's what a frustrated father says to a smart-alecky seven-year-old daughter when he's tired of arguing with her.
Another letter on the same page is touching in its naivety:
Sir, – Breda O’Brien (Opinion, February 8th) seems to think that a Yes vote in the forthcoming referendum on marriage equality will be an endorsement of those who seek to stifle the expression of dissenting views on the issue. I can assure her that it will be nothing of the sort. The only outcome of a Yes vote will be that same-sex couples will finally be afforded the same rights that other couples currently enjoy in society. Nothing more, nothing less. – Yours, etc,
How can he say this, when the very correspondence in which he is entering brims over with letter-writers eager to pathologize their opponents, and a recent article in the same paper (I think it was the same paper) called for a government body that would be a watch-dog against "homophobia"? It's like you can hear the knives being sharpened already.