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From the Pen of David Horowitz: October 16, 2009

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Posted on October 16 2009 12:49 am
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here

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When homosexuals object to the term “abnormal,” they are objecting to its prescriptive use –  for example in the claim that homosexuality is unnatural or immoral or should be illegal. As a matter of description, homosexuality appears to be both a fact of nature and abnormal. According to the best statistics available, between two and five percent of a population will be homosexual in any given society, whether that society is tolerant or intolerant of homosexual behavior. Studies of identical twins indicate that upbringing has little bearing on homosexual development. The conservative conclusion will be that homosexuality is normal in that it is rooted in nature, but that socially it is abnormal in that the vast majority of people are not and will never be homosexually inclined.

But description in this sense does not necessarily lead to prescriptive conclusions. The claim that homosexuality is socially abnormal does not lead to any conclusion as to whether it is immoral or not. Such conclusions must be a matter of individual principles and communal preferences. Many communities and religions do view homosexuality as immoral. These attitudes may be “oppressive” to homosexuals, but no more so than are some gentile attitudes towards Jews as souls condemned to eternal damnation. Jews can live with this attitude in a society that protects their rights as citizens and invokes tolerance of difference as its central virtue: e pluribus unum.

The demand that homosexuality should be made illegal, on the other hand, is not a matter of mere communal prejudice or individual preference. It is a demand that violates the social contract and its pluralist imperative, and runs counter to the very idea of America’s unity as a nation. The ideal of American pluralism — the political norm that governs the behavior of its citizen democrats — is the necessary embrace of diverse communities, even communities in fundamental conflict. The pluralistic norm of American democracy requires that the deviant community and the abnormal citizen (black, homosexual, immigrant, Jew) be equal before the law and enjoy the same inalienable rights as everyone else. To violate this norm, to break the law of America’s social contract, is to invite terrible consequences, as the bloodiest and most shameful pages of America’s history attest.

The Politics of Bad Faith

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