Many on both sides are opposed to our ideal of respectful relationships and dialogue.
Some of them think that such respect is impossible to achieve, others feel that
extending that respect to those on the other side is wrong. The resulting dynamic is
one which (in our opinion, unfortunately) plagues most discourse on the moral/political
issues surrounding homosexuality today. We call this (sadly) popular method of
engaging those we disagree with "Method D".
What does this dynamic look like?
- For one thing, it is marked by fear. A posture of defensiveness is assumed. It is
not safe to listen or respect, on this view--the other side will take advantage of
whatever we give them.
- It is also marked by distrust. There is no need to listen, on this view, because
whatever the other side says about itself is lies. There is no attempt to get to
know or learn about the other side, to allow them to speak for themselves,
because nothing they say can be trusted. Those who are distrustful in this way
may believe that there is a conspiracy or an organized effort to propagandize.
Because the other side cannot be trusted, everything that is known and
believed about them comes from leaders and authorities on one's own side.
- It is also marked by a war-like attitude, a tendency to see one's main goal to be
defeating or crushing the other side. With this attitude, there is no attempt to
discern the justice or legitimacy of the other side's claims or complaints. If it
hurts them, it must be good. If it costs us something, it must be bad. Often this
attitude is accompanied by the belief that the other side is extraordinarily and
incorrigibly vicious--that they are not worth dialoguing with.
In contrast to the above we have a different approach called Method E, described on
Definitions of the sides and methods are derived from Bridges-Across web site