Monday, July 30, 2018

Repeating religious anti-LGBT rhetoric with a belief that it is civil discourse

Kathleen McKinley
Kathleen McKinley, May, 2016 via Fox 26 Houston
Kathleen McKinley does not approve of transgender people. The Federalist informs us that Kathleen McKinley is a blogger for The Houston Chronicle and commentator on Fox 26 in Houston. For the record (and for context) it would seem that she hasn't commented at Fox 26 since May, 2017. I get no hits from a search at the Houston Chronicle.

McKinley's other activities are less relevant than her offerings at The Federalist although they might indicate something about honesty. Even then, my interest is limited to intellectual honesty. Mckinley has a polemic at The Federalist titled: Twitter Banned Me For ‘Hate Speech’ When I Opposed Trans Troops, Honor Killings. In point of fact she was suspended as she explains:
I’ve always tried to be very civil, so I never imagined I would be suspended for anything. Imagine my surprise on Friday morning when I clicked on Twitter and was informed that my account had been locked for “violating our rules against hateful conduct.” They sent me to a page that demanded my phone number — which I had never given before, and did not want to then, but that was the only way to get back on.
Then I was directed to a page to delete my two tweets, one from a year ago, and the other from a month ago. The page stated, “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.” As you can see in my two tweets pictured below, I did none of those things. Stating, in a civil manner, why I disagree with transgender troops is in no way a threat or harassment.
Let's explore McKinley's civility (she was kind enough to supply a screen capture of the presumably deleted tweets):

This tweet is not terribly coherent. She has repurposed the anti-gay rhetoric of “normalizing” a sexual orientation that she does not approve of to gender affirmation, which she also does not approve of. Then she has incorrectly stated that a medical condition is a disorder.

The consensus of medical science is that the incongruence of natal sex and gender, while relatively rare, is a natural variation in human sexuality. To call that a “mental disorder” is comparable to saying that trans people are insane. Transgender people are not insane. That, alone, is very offensive. When combined with the notion of not wanting to “normalize” transgender people it is indisputably hate speech. It is neither civil nor an intellectually honest argument opposing transgender service in the military. It is unoriginal derogatory rhetoric.

The second part of her tweet regards gender affirming surgery. In that regard she is simply uninformed or parroting the rhetoric of a conservative Christian pressure group or the Catholic Church. Only about one-third of transgender people have surgery (although it is becoming more popular). The RAND Corporation estimates that transgender care could represent an additional 0.04% to to 0.13% “increase in active-component health care expenditures.” In other words, it is statistically irrelevant. RAND studied the 20 other countries that allow transgender people to serve their nation.

Transgender people currently in the military are highly trained officers and enlisted personnel. Replacing them is more costly than dealing with their healthcare expenditures. They deserve to be judged on their performance.

Concern over surgery expenses is not hate speech. It is ignorance.

Overall, the fact that Kathleen McKinley believes that her discourse is civil and not harassing says something about the range of her empathy. My guess is that she has been influenced by religious dogma.

Somehow we have failed to educate enough people on transgender issues. Our schools have failed to educate people about the difference between a belief system —based on faith — and science which is based on evidence. Intellectual curiosity is becoming increasingly rare in our society.

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