Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Culture Campaign's Idea of Truth

As noted in the last post, Sandy Rios thinks liberals are liars for holding the entirely reasonable opinion that war in Iraq has been a failure. The Culture Campaign appears to believes that anyone who does not believe a murderer who changes his story is indifferent to truth.

The context is once again the Laramie Project, a play based on the brutal 1998 murder of homosexual Matthew Shephard in Laramie, Wyoming. At trial, one of the defendants, Aaron McKinney, offered a "gay panic" defense, i.e., that he could not control his rage when the victim made a sexual advance. Since that time, McKinney has changed his story and claims that the murder resulted from a drug deal that went wrong. The Culture Campaign blog concludes that "truth doesn't seem to matter--even to out educators" because everyone does not prefer the convicted murderer's new story like they do.

Reasonable minds might differ about whether McKinney way lying at trial, whether he is lying now, or whether both stories are lies. What is not in doubt is what is in the play, that he offered the "gay panic" defense at trial. This is the truth regardless of Culture Campaign's attempts to mislead. Maybe he offered that defense because he thought he was justified in killing a gay man who made a sexual advance. That is bad. On the other hand, maybe he offered that defense because he and his lawyer thought that a jury composed of citizens of Laramie would think it was alright to kill a gay man who made a sexual advance. In its own way, that is much worse.

In an earlier diatribe about the Laramie Project, the Campaign claimed that the convicted murderer's new story "conclusively established" the falsehood of his earlier one. They were wrong then and they are wrong now. The changed story proves that he is a liar. It does not prove which time he lied.

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