Disagreeing is NOT a Disease

I recently submitted a letter to my local newspaper (“The Daily News” of Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada).  Their opinion page has a “We Say” column written by the publisher and some editors and a “They Say” column usually coming from another newspaper.  The editor chose not to print my letter, but I think the point still needs to be made.  Following is my letter as submitted:

Ah, what an interesting juxtaposition in the editorial column of your Thursday, May 23rd issue.

The “We Say” has “If Boghossian was trying to encourage kindness and respect when trying to persuade faith-based people, it’s unlikely his comments calling faith a cognitive sickness will result in more proselytes.  Just a guess.”

The “They Say” is titled “Homophobia still being fought”.

Wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to the second item?  If people are opposed to homosexuality, calling their view a phobia is ______.  (I think you can fill in the blank.)

It is a cheap shot to call an opponent’s position a sickness.

Ever heard of drapetomania?  Here is the opening sentence in Wikipedia’s article on it: “Drapetomania was a supposed mental illness described by American physician Samuel A. Cartwright in 1851 that caused black slaves to flee captivity.”

Rather laughable these days.  Too bad “homophobia” and “faith virus” both are not held to the scorn that they deserve.