John Corvino’s latest post could be read with profit by some leaders in the American Psychiatric Association. We did not even have a debate planned; we had an academic program planned for over 7 months. Then, group four as identified in this essay became vocal and as the APA wrote, “misinformation and rhetoric” became the story.
Here is the punchline, but please read the whole piece.
Then there are those who wonder whether the silence I’m lamenting really is a problem at all. My Aquinas cancellation suggests that it is: intentionally or not, the cancellation sent students the message that this topic is literally unspeakable. But the problem is by no means limited to one side. Last year I did a same-sex marriage debate (with Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family) at another Catholic college. A week before the event, my host told me that a student was trying to organize a protest. “Because he doesn’t want a gay-rights speaker on a Catholic campus?” I asked.
“No, because he doesn’t want your opponent here,” she answered. The student thought that opposition to same-sex marriage should not be dignified with a hearing. On a Catholic campus!
That student, like the rest of us, would do well to recall the words of John Stuart Mill. In his 1859 classic On Liberty Mill argued that those who silence opinions — even false ones — rob the world of great gifts:
“If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”
The moral of the story? Let’s keep talking.
I just noticed that this may not be John’s latest post as it was first posted on 365Gay on April 28. However, it is timely…