Reality and Morality

To the editor:

I would like to respond to the letter from Casey McMullen published on 11/13/21.

In her letter Ms. McMullen makes two arguments: one based on law and the other based on morality.

In her legal argument, Ms. McMullen makes reference to the state anti-bullying statute, which prohibits students from intentionally inflicting emotional distress on other students based on (among other things) the other student’s “gender identity and expression.” She implies that any words or actions that result in emotional distress for an LGBTQ student would violate this law. This would include a refusal to use the student’s chosen pronouns or referring to the student according to his or her biological sex rather than his or her preferred sexual identity.

However, in order for these actions to be violations of the law, they would have to be done with the intention of inflicting emotional distress. Ms. McMullen seems to be assuming that these actions can only be done with that intention — that there could be no other motivation behind them.

That, however, is not necessarily true. There are many students in our schools who refuse to give credence to the distorted view of reality that says men can be women and women can be men. Their words concerning LGBTQ students are not necessarily motivated by a desire to inflict emotional distress, but by a desire to live their lives in the real world rather than surrender to the distorted version of reality that others are trying to force upon them.

Second, with regard to Ms. McMullen’s moral argument — Ms. McMullen argues that the kind and empathetic response to a student’s desire to be recognized as a certain gender and called by a certain pronoun is to do what the student wants.

This argument ignores the fact that the student’s request carries with it several levels of moral complexity. To comply with such a request would mean condoning, supporting, and participating in a view of reality that, in the eyes of many, denies reality and is destructive of society. To comply with such a request would not be true kindness.

On a number of different issues, Americans are being forced to take a stand against those who are trying to impose their distorted interpretations of reality upon us. The example referenced in this letter is only one among many. The sad truth is, that if we do not actively oppose them now, they and their pseudo-realities will soon control our lives and destroy our society.

Michael Thom

New Ulm


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