Okay, that’s a rhetorical question.
After Governor Pence responded to the decision striking down DOMA, citizens who disagreed with him flooded his Facebook page. Their comments were removed; when asked about that, Pence said the comments had been “uncivil” and profane. As the media has reported, screenshots proved otherwise. Evidently, our governor is too thin-skinned to engage in good faith with those holding opinions different from his own, so his staff simply erased them.
That’s a relatively minor–and all too predictable– example, however. What really caught my eye was an Op-Ed penned by Curt Smith in yesterday’s Star–a counter to the Star’s surprisingly excellent editorial.
Curt Smith, for those who are unfamiliar with his background, is a longtime local culture warrior. I first met him when I was the ‘token heterosexual’ in a group that visited the offices of Senator Dan Coats to express concerns about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” This was during Coats’ first term, and Smith was his AA. Smith met with the group–Coats did not–and spent most of the uncomfortable half-hour telling us that God disapproved of homosexuality.
Let’s just stipulate that it wasn’t a productive meeting.
My other illuminating Curt Smith story occurred when the Jewish Community Relations Council convened a community-wide meeting at the Jewish Community Center, to determine whether the organization should take a formal position on the effort to place a ban on same-sex marriage in the Indiana Constitution. The session began with a panel discussion; David Orentleicher and I argued that a position opposing the Amendment and supporting same-sex marriage was consistent with Jewish values. Curt Smith and someone I don’t recall spoke in opposition. During the lively question and answer period that followed, Rabbi Dennis Sasso spoke eloquently about the importance of separation of church and state, and made several biblical references to justice and equality. Curt Smith responded by telling Rabbi Sasso that he had misunderstood the biblical text, and he offered to send the Rabbi “biblical scholarship” that would straighten him out.
I’ve never forgotten that exchange. It was one of the most arrogant and offensive things I’ve ever seen.
Arrogance is one thing, however, and dishonesty is another. In his column yesterday, Smith wrote the following:
A 2012 study published in a well-known academic journal, Social Science Research, showed children raised by lesbian or gay parents fared worse than children of straight parents when it came to education, mental health, criminal history and other measures. The study looked at a large, random sample of young adults over age 18.