Plumb Lines

April 23, 2009

Multiple Choice

Filed under: Uncategorized — Matthew Schmitz @ 6:49 pm

Question:  Which of the following two ads can be described more accurately as bigoted and ridiculous?



Please indicate your selection in the comments thread.

Matthew Schmitz



  1. The premise of your question is a bit like asking “which acid burns more.” The anti-Mormon ad uses erroneous, shocking, terroristic, and bilious imagery to depict what proposition eight was intended to do (annul existing same-sex marriages as well as outlaw new ones), which does not change the factual basis of its claims.

    The NOM ad uses more vaguely menacing imagery to get its point across. I agree it has come under criticism because most people see it as homophobic. That’s a pretty easy conclusion to draw since one woman says she is “afraid” of same-sex marriage. Granted, she’s afraid of the threat it poses to her individual rights rather than the act, but it is easy to conflate the two. Furthermore, the NOM ad, unlike the anti-Mormon ad, uses only veiled references to actual cases to prove its point that SSM will take away people’s rights to deny gays services, etc. The only problem is that these people were affected by anti-discrimination laws and were business owners.

    So same-sex marriage won’t take rights away, where as Prop 8 did, even if it was a newly established (many of you would say contrived) right. The introduction of SSM will probably lead to discrimination protection on the national level for gays, which of course won’t allow you to fire them, refuse them business, etc. But that doesn’t force you to agree with homosexuality, make you say it is okay in church, or teach your children at home that it is correct.

    Obviously the anti-Mormon rhetoric is unfair, but by giving money to a public policy issue they made themselves targets. You know as well as I do that 1 ad cannot define a whole movement. The NOM ad is amateurish from the perspective of an ad man, and the anti-Mormon ad is worse.

    What we should be doing is not rating ads, though, as a way to decide who is more wrong or hateful. That gives any idiot with a camera and a Mac the ability to dictate our discourse. I hate YouTube.


    Comment by Michael E. van Landingham — April 24, 2009 @ 3:38 am

  2. “The introduction of SSM will probably lead to discrimination protection on the national level for gays, which of course won’t allow you to fire them, refuse them business, etc”

    This is already largely the case, and where it isn’t, it should be (with the usual caveats about religious liberty). The more serious threat isn’t about discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as such, but on the kind of marriage you have. Thus the stories about the wedding photographer who was successfully sued because she didn’t want to photograph gay weddings, the church in New Jersey with the beachfront pavilion, and above all, the fate of the Catholic adoption agencies in Massachusetts. Despite my many ambivalences about the topic, these anti-discrimination torts and laws are something I do worry about.

    Comment by David Schaengold — April 24, 2009 @ 8:01 am

  3. […] Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael E. van Landingham @ 2:40 pm Think the NOM is hardcore when it comes to loving marriage? Think again. No one wishes for days bygone more than […]

    Pingback by Emily Post, True Defender of Traditional Marriage (Invitations) « Plumb Lines — April 24, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

  4. Thanks for your comment, MEvL. You could hardly be more right about the uselessness of comparing such things. Hopefully I’ve done something to deflate the outrage over the NOM ad.

    Comment by Matthew Schmitz — April 24, 2009 @ 3:17 pm

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