Joe's used to speaking outside his expertise — he's opined about politics and economics, badly — but now in his recent interview with Christianity Today, he takes a hatchet to gay people, and along the way, he makes a truly strange argument about language.
Interviewer: In the last month, same-sex marriage has become legal in Iowa and Vermont. What do you think about same-sex marriage at a state level?If I understand his argument, he's saying that being queer is "strange and unusual"…because the dictionary says so. And there's only one dictionary. You know — the dictionary! That one.
Joe: At a state level, it's up to them. I don't want it to be a federal thing. I personally still think it's wrong. People don't understand the dictionary—it's called queer. Queer means strange and unusual. It's not like a slur, like you would call a white person a honky or something like that. You know, God is pretty explicit in what we're supposed to do—what man and woman are for. Now, at the same time, we're supposed to love everybody and accept people, and preach against the sins. I've had some friends that are actually homosexual. And, I mean, they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldn't have them anywhere near my children. But at the same time, they're people, and they're going to do their thing.
People have all kinds of attitudes about language, but it takes an especially obtuse individual to insist that a dictionary definition is the true meaning of a word. Words have different senses, as with 'queer'. It's hard to make the argument that the dictionary definition for one sense of a word should determine the meaning of a completely different sense. It's like going to the bank for some cash and being surprised not to find a river there because 'the dictionary' says that a bank is 'sloping land by a river'.
There's a lot more to the article: his "state's rights" trope that was used to justify racism in the South. And his admission that he's 'had some friends' who are gay. (Why do they always say that?) But of course he won't let his friends near the kids. Feel the Christian love.