OPINION – The diplomatic isolation that is befalling Pavlov due to its unprogressive condemnation of homosexuality, while well-meaning, must avoid a loss of the moral high-ground by the invocation of Godwin’s Law.
The June 26 statement by Pavlovian Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Mr. Cazimir Qёrimbasy, in which that micronation characterises homosexual acts as “degeneracy, harlotry, and infidelity,” may serve to appease some religious zealots of the community, but it will only serve to place Pavlov on the wrong side of history. Combined with the government’s promise to persecute (not prosecute) homosexuals and their supporters in the name of a Christian God, Pavlov has, in what is generally the progressive and tolerant community of micronationalism, committed an act of diplomatic and migratory self-isolation, if not effective self-mutilation.
Regardless of one’s personal belief on the topic of homosexuality, there is a need in a small community such as micronationalism to let bygones be bygones. What one participant in this community – indeed, the wider world – chooses to do in his or her bedroom is inconsequential to another participant, especially when the interactions of micronationalists are often separated by the medium of the Internet.
It is important that we, as a professional and secular society, approach each other with mutual respect and judge each other based on our individual merits and contributions. It is these characteristics that determine the value of any one micronationalist; it is ultimately what determines the value of any individual in any society. Pavlov, in its attempt to occupy a falsely-perceived religious and moral high ground on the matter of homosexuality, has forgotten that such individuals are as capable as anyone else of contributing positively to the development of a community.
While a Pavlovian, or anyone for that matter, is entitled to be personally disgusted at the thought of a homosexual act in the bedroom, it’s important to keep the matter in perspective. The general opposition of religions, and in this case, Pavlov’s government, is squarely focused on the aspect of homosexuality that occurs in the most private of settings – the bedroom – and usually, like heterosexual intercourse, out of view of the public. It is focused on the act of sexual intercourse that, whether heterosexual or homosexual, the vast majority of individuals will never see another individual engaged in unless they’re a party to it.
The principle of out-of-sight and out-of-mind should be at play in this situation. One shouldn’t be judging another based on his or her disgust at what he or she imagines the other is doing in privacy. Any such judgment should be based on the individual’s merits as a contributing member of society. If engaging in a particular sexual act with another consenting adult in the privacy of one’s home is what helps keep the individual happy, and thus a productive contributor to society and its goals, then it makes only sense that the government not persecute or prosecute the individual for that.
To persecute a homosexual because government officials are personally repulsed by the thought of homosexual intercourse, which to the vast majority of them will remain merely an experience of the imagination, is unabashedly intolerant and disrespectful to individuals who, while homosexual in orientation, are nonetheless honest, hard-working, considerate and positive contributors to the community just like most other individuals in this world.
In choosing the road of persecution, Pavlov, or at the very least its current government, is adhering to an ill-conceived notion that an individual’s carnal acts in the bedroom are his or her one and only defining characteristic. It shouldn’t even be considered a defining characteristic in a meritorious society.
Yet the rest of the micronational world, as it pushes back against Pavlov’s unabashedly intolerant promulgations, must be keen to not lose the moral high ground which it currently holds on a solid footing.
In a well-intentioned editorial, Prince Freï of Lorenzburg characterizes Pavlov as an “Agent of Darkness,” suggesting that its decision to persecute homosexuals is akin to the persecutions of “classical tyrants from Emperor Nero to Henry VII and (arguably) Hitler and Stalin.” This imposition of a modified version of Godwin’s Law is dangerous and counterproductive hyperbole that undermines the moral high ground for the progressivists.
Pavlov and its government, having “jurisdiction” over an effective population consisting of a single-digit number of individuals (who grant that unenforceable jurisdiction voluntarily for as long as they’re interested in participating) cannot be compared to the Rome of Nero, Hitler’s Germany, or Stalin’s Soviet Russia nor the heinous atrocities committed by these deranged individuals.
Pavlov’s declaration against homosexuals, while disagreeable and repugnant, will not result in the next Holocaust and to suggest otherwise by equating the micronation’s leadership to Hitler is a blatant insult to the millions who died at the hands of Hitler or any of the other tyrants invoked by Prince Freï. No micronation, Pavlov included, has the capability to actually physically persecute its citizens or murder them en masse for being homosexual or anything else for that matter; certainly not on the scale of the tyrants. A micronation is but a momentary soapbox for its creator and a few close associates over the many years of their respective lifetimes after all.
The comment, while made during a passionate and sensible plea for tolerance, nonetheless shows a regrettable lack of perspective and awareness of what a micronation really is in the grand scheme of law and society. It only provides fodder to Pavlov to fling back. Given the strong feelings of society that remain over the atrocities of Hitler and Stalin, it also provides Pavlov with a rallying point by which it can build support from others by shifting focus.
It is easy to get lost in emotion when speaking on a topic for which one has much passion. Prince Freï should not be held in disregard for his unwise comparison; however, we must always take that step back, think rationally about our comments and remember that we can excise the ignorant from our community without descending into ignorance ourselves.