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By Nicholas LĂ©nart April 26, 2014

The Death of “Because” and the Reign of Reason

Illustrated by SONIA HAASE

 

In the spring of 2013 Yelana Mizukina, a russian lawmaker and head of the Committee on Family, Women and Children, deliberately made the world a more hateful place by endorsing one of the most bigotted beliefs of Russia’s Orthodox church. She and her close ally Olga Batalina, also a lawmaker, spearheaded Russia’s ban on homosexual “propaganda”, defining propaganda as anything “aimed at the formation of nontraditional sexual behaviour”. To the great disdain of the world’s LGBT community, the law came into effect during the summer of 2013.

The passing of this law is indicative of one of two things. Either Mizukina was not “endowed with reason and conscience” as the U.N. Charter of Human Rights would have us believe, or she purposely chose to cut herself off from the reason and conscience with which she was endowed, choosing instead to favour dogmatic belief. Conceeding that Mizukina was altogether lacking in reason and conscience would paint a very bleak image of mankind, one which is immediately discredited by the existence of countlesss great thinkers and social activists throughout the course of human history. It is therefore more probable that Mizukina chose to rid herself of the ability to reason and her human conscience in favour of hateful beliefs devoid of foundation.

As a result of their disregard for the potentially moral faculty of reason, whenever Mizukina, Batalina or the notorious Putin attempt to justify the enactment of the law, all they can come up with are a series of unfounded and predjudiced assertions claiming that homosexuality somehow adversely affects society. They are essentially incapable of providing anything more substantial than “because” as an answer.

It is time that bigots learn that “because” is not a justification, it is not a reason. “Because” is a homophobe’s excuse, it is hate’s greatest ally and it is entirely unreasonable. Hate is mankind’s greatest enemy, reason mankind’s salvation. For reason rescues the oppressed and marginalized from the grips of the hateful and reveals the truly deficient and evil nature of hate. When dogma and reason collide, reason always emerges victorious.

On March 21st, a small group of Dawson students, one Marionopolis student and myself stood in front of the Russian embassy in Montréal in solidarity with all those who are currently being psychologically and physically tortured and, at times, killed by vigilante homophobes. We stood for two hours protesting against Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law that has done nothing but condone these acts of violence against LGBT people. We did what bigots willfully and unintelligently refuse to do. We exercised reason and human conscience.

We refuse to stand in silence while fellow human beings fall victim to unjust persecution. For the invisible bridge of consciousness connecting us to one another has collapsed under the weight of bigotry. It is the duty of each and everyone of us to rebuild the bridge. It is our obligation to LOVE.

About the author

Nicholas Lénart is a student in the Liberal Arts program. 

About the illustrator

Sonia Haase is a graduate of Illustration and Design at Dawson College. Many of her pieces feature clean lines and bold shapes but she also enjoys creating realistic work such as portraiture and painting directly from life. Cartoons and comics have inspired Sonia for as long as she can remember.

Ideally, Sonia would like to work in the field of advertising as a storyboard artist or do the line work or coloring for comic books. Although she might have preferences she is open to various career possibilities as long as it involves creative work and that it allows her to gain experience and grow as a person and an artist.

Her favourite traditional mediums are Chartpack markers and fine liners. Her favourite digital medium is Adobe Illustrator.

Comments

  1. space-default-avatar

    mtblanc

    May 1, 2014

    You are very right to associate law, justice, and reason.  After WWII, the world community deemed it necessary to distance itself from the irrational behaviour of the Third Reich and to protect individuals from abuses caused by discrimination, which is rooted in hateful reactions to difference.  The number of protective human rights instruments entrenched after WWII is staggering, and a list can be found in the following link:  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/UniversalHumanRightsInstruments.aspx

    Each of these instruments is rooted in the reasonable premise that all human beings are created equal regardless of the details that might differentiate them, such as the colour of their skin, their ethnic origin, or their sexual orientation, among others.  These instruments were signed by the community of nations that surfaced after the 1940s, and they rule our world now. 

    What this means is that today, a “law” discriminating against a group based on sexual orientation is no law at all.  It is a mockery of reason-based law, and it is therefore invalid in the eyes of the world, regardless of what the country or party that passed that pseudo-law may think.

    Thank you for pointing out as well that love is not an irrational emotion, but a choice rooted in the exercise of sympathy and compassion, both of which require intellectual faculties.  You wrote a fine article here.

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