Not so long ago, one could debate with a liberal. But nowadays, whenever you disagree with them, they have a ready comeback to shut you up, one that is very difficult to rebut:
You are a hater spreading hate and a bigot spreading bigotry.
The implication is that your opinion stems from some deep-seated unworthy negative emotion and is thus fundamentally illegitimate. And so not even worth debating.
The best response to this is not to pathetically apologize and assure them that you mean well, really. Instead, point out that it is rude of them to cast such aspersions on your character. You refuse to engage with them unless they will debate with civility.
The same applies when one quotes religious sources to justify one’s personal beliefs, such as referencing the fact that according to the eternal, universal laws of Noach transmitted in the Torah, sodomy should be outlawed, and same-sex marriage is not just forbidden but constitutes the nadir of societal degeneracy.
Secularists will interpret one’s words in the most uncharitable fashion and respond:
- Your religion differs from the latest social fad, so it is inherently hateful, so shut up. (Of course, they will only tell this to Christians and Jews, but not Muslims.)
- Your deeper motivation behind taking your position is hateful, because otherwise why wouldn’t you be out promoting something else religious like not to desecrate Shabbos, intermarriage, or the like? Why oppose the LGBT movement, of all things? You must have an irrational, unworthy, emotional dislike for them and your religion is just a pretext to express your hateful tendencies.
- You must be a closet pervert, or else you wouldn’t focus so much on sexual matters.
- If you think my religion is “hateful”, so be it. But I will not be deterred by your denigration of my faith. Also, this is an argument from popularity, which is fallacious.
- I and others discuss matters related to the LGBT agenda because it is a major issue of the day, if not the foremost one. And although those and many other sins are rampant among the Jewish people, there is no political movement actively legitimizing and promoting desecration of Shabbos and the like. Also, the LGBT ideology militates against basic family-oriented sexual morality that is universal and fundamental to civilized society, and therefore in a way speaking out about this is even more pressing than promoting Torah observance in those other areas. Also, there are plenty of rabbis encouraging non-religious Jews to observe Shabbos, but precious few speaking out against the LGBT agenda. On a personal level, I can tell you that I had almost no knowledge of or interest in the LGBT agenda until it was legalized in the USA due to the calamitous Obergefell ruling.
- Odd, isn’t it, that if one would return that compliment and cast such aspersions on the motives of LGBT advocates, that accusation would be met with outrage and condemnation, and yet it is viewed as perfectly acceptable to hurl at religious people.
Both the second and third point are also classic examples of ad hominem attacks—dismissing the character of the person making the argument without actually responding to its substance. You would think that these liberals, who all attended college and sing its praises, where they are supposedly schooled in the art of detecting logical fallacies and are therefore armed with reasoning skills vastly superior to those religious plebs who didn’t attend college, would notice these glaring errors. You would be wrong.
To those who say my stance on LGBT matters is intolerant and hateful, I say that as far as I am concerned, I am simply being true to my religion, and of this I am proud. Moreover, I can quote Torah sources relevant to the issue upon which I base my view. If you think I err in my quotes or you have counter-quotes, I am willing to discuss that. But to dismiss my words out of hand as hateful without any rational debate—this very accusation is intolerant and hateful of religious folks. As an Orthodox Jew, I am fully entitled to delve into Torah sources in order to seek guidance and remain true to my religious tradition—even if that means holding views that (gasp!) don’t conform to the latest wacky intellectual fad, or to secularist values in general.
Accusing an Orthodox Jew of hate merely for holding unpopular views and voicing them unapologetically is blatant anti-religious—in this case, anti-Semitic—persecution. But of course, that itself is the latest social fad—to shame and ostracize all dissenters from the new atheist ideology by branding them as monstrous haters.
Don’t be ashamed of the scoffers whose only “argument” is anti-religious slurs. Speak out proudly in defense of the eternal, universal laws of Noach.