Stony Brook University’s Graduate Queer Alliance (GQA) has managed to elevate opposition to free speech to a Zen Art. The group recently demanded that their university apologize simply for hosting my friend Frank Turek in a debate that had nothing to do with homosexuality – that is until his opponent, Michael Shermer, interjected the issue into the debate. It is worth noting that the audience actually booed Shermer after he continued to lecture them on how they would all some day accept same-sex marriage.
This is not an isolated incident. Readers will remember my column, “The Cisco Kid,” which documented Frank’s troubles with Cisco back in 2011. After a homosexual Cisco employee found out about Frank’s book criticizing same-sex marriage, he demanded that Frank be released from his role teaching management training seminars. Of course, the seminars had nothing to do with homosexuality. The homosexual activist/employee was simply looking for a reason to bring sex into the workplace.
This is part of a larger trend in our society, which can only be characterized as sexual totalitarianism. It involves three basic steps:
Interject homosexuality into every discussion on every conceivable topic.
Ban those who refuse to affirm homosexuality from the discussion.
In the process, reaffirm your commitment to free speech and the importance of open debate and dialogue.
The debate between Shermer and Turek was titled “Morality, Science or God.” It is worth repeating that Turek said nothing about homosexuality in his opening statement. Shermer raised the issue in the exchange that occurred between the opening and closing statements. Of course, that does not affect the free speech question that soon emerged. Whether the debate was about homosexuality or not, Turek and Shermer’s views were equally protected by the First Amendment.
But because Turek took a different position than his opponent - which, of course, tends to happen during debates - the heads of GQA members began to explode. In an editorial written for Stony Brook’s student newspaper, the GQA stated the following:
“Turek’s propaganda is so far from the truth that it should be self-evident in the 21st century and especially to the millennial generation that currently attends Stony Brook that a speaker who holds these beliefs should not be given such a prestigious platform to speak in the first place … This is not an issue of free speech, not least because the views that Dr. Turek expresses have already been evaluated and exchanged in public forums countless times, and it has been concluded that they are indeed wrong and harmful.”
Translation: The debate over important matters of public policy is over and our side won. Therefore, we get to implement our ideas without opposition. This poses no problems for the free exchange of ideas because millennials know best.
Their mendacity continued:
“We may live in a country and a world where many people do in fact agree with Dr. Turek. However, this does not change the fact that what he is saying is factually incorrect and truly harmful to students … Again, disagreement and debate on social and moral matters, even when there is a common set of facts, is the crux of a liberal university culture. Free and open debate should be encouraged, but not when what is being said is so clearly wrong and so clearly harmful to others.”
Translation: Debate is important. But we don’t have to back our assertions with evidence. Our side won so now we are only obligated to tell you what speech is harmful to you and to ban it accordingly. We are only doing this to protect you.
In contrast, New York Apologetics, the organization that hosted the debate, had this to say about free speech:
“Our particular take on this is that we believe that in order to understand both sides of an argument, you really need to hear from experts on both sides.”
So which side is actually taking the “liberal” position on the speech issue?
In contrast to the apologists, the GQA passed a resolution that demanded censure of Stony Brook’s School of Social Welfare for co-hosting the debate in what they called a “flawed manner.” They also demanded an apology from all administrators responsible for exposing them to ideas different than their own.
Translation: It is an abdication of responsibility for administrators to expose students to contrary ideas. Those students pay good money to have their ideas confirmed.
Here is what the resolution actually says:
“At the Graduate Queer Alliance, we believe in free speech, we believe in the freedom to practice one’s faith, we believe in diversity… We support these things even if opinions are different from our own. However, we are vehemently against pointless bigotry of any sort. Together with other LGBTQ groups and other clubs and organizations on campus, we are passing resolutions against Turek’s hate-speech.”
But, according to their Facebook posts, it isn’t Turek who is full of hate. The GQA admits to being full of self-described “rage.” One post reads:
“Our rage does not come from this one event, but rather the insidious, and explicit micro/macro aggression we experience everyday on this campus … It’s time Stony Brook took homophobia, queerphobia and transphobia seriously.”
A Stony Brook student sharply criticized the GQA in an interview with my friends at Campus Reform. But he refused to give his identity and would only speak on a condition of anonymity. This demonstrates that the tactic of sexual totalitarianism is working. Self-described “queers” are not victims of aggression, micro or macro. They are the ones making people afraid of them. In other words, they are actually fostering “homophobia, queerphobia, and transphobia.”
To his credit, Michael Shermer was appalled by the actions of the GQA and issued a joint statement with Frank Turek condemning the actions of the organization. In other words, he did not want to be a part of the sexual totalitarianism that was unfolding at Stony Brook. The only remaining question is this: How does one make it to graduate school without understanding basic principles of free speech?
Indeed, it is getting increasingly difficult to distinguish “educated” men from the ignorant masses.