Matt Walsh is (continuously, egregiously, and exhaustingly) wrong about: Whether gay marriage exists

After the SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage, Matt wrote two articles. His first, “Gay Marriage Still Doesn’t Exist, No Matter What the Supreme Court Says”, was published on the day the US Supreme Court released their ruling. Four days later, after allegedly receiving tons of hate mail, he published his second article, “Yes, Gay Marriage Hurts Me Personally”.

What Matt got wrong

Pull up either article and pick any sentence at random. Congratulations, you’ve found one of his many errors. Both articles read like a catalog of logical fallacies. Even the titles of the articles are fallacious.

“Gay Marriage Still Doesn’t Exist, No Matter What the Supreme Court Says”: The phrase — “no matter what the Supreme Court says” — indicates an ad hominem attack on the five Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of same-sex marriage because, you know, in Matt’s world common people understand more about Constitutional law than any judge would. The conclusion, “gay marriage still doesn’t exist”, is patently false. It does exist in the US, and it also exists in twenty other countries.

01 false

“Yes, Gay Marriage Hurts Me Personally”: His second article, which is his first article rewritten with the help of a thesaurus, is an argument based on an appeal to pity and an appeal to force all rolled in one. Pretty clever, actually. “Oh, look, the ruling has hurt me personally. Please help me because if you accept the ruling, it’ll hurt you, too.” Of course, after 2,800 words, Matt never did tell us how same-sex marriage actually hurts him personally.

02 False
Both articles ramble from one fallacious argument to the next — ad hominem, slippery slope, anecdotal evidence, appeal to force, appeal to pity, red herring, and well, pretty much all of these. For the sake of brevity, let’s skip analyzing each fallacious argument. The much shorter approach is to show what Matt should’ve done, but didn’t.

In 1967, the SCOTUS ruled in Loving vs Virginia that marriage is a “basic civil right” and that states can only limit that right if they can show a “compelling reason” for the limits. This case legalized interracial marriages, and it set the stage for the eventual same-sex marriage ruling.

The 1967 ruling defined marriage as a basic civil right, a concept most people would not disagree with. Without that definition, governments could limit marriage for the most capricious of reasons. The ruling also reaffirmed that marriage is a state issue, not a federal one, but because marriage is a basic civil right, any limitations would have to pass a “compelling reason” test. As a basic civil right, the right to marry is protected under the Constitution.

To debate the validity of same-sex marriage someone would either need to prove that marriage is not a basic civil right — dangerous territory with serious and wide-ranging implications — or show a “compelling reason” why same-sex marriage should be denied despite the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

The crux of Matt’s argument is that God defined marriage for the purpose of procreation and since gay people can’t procreate, they shouldn’t be allowed to marry. That is a fine argument for a prohibition against requiring one’s church to perform a marriage ceremony for same-sex couples, but it’s irrelevant outside of that context. The argument ranks right up there with the argument put forth in Loving vs Virginia that if God had meant the races to marry each other he wouldn’t have placed them on different continents. The short and sweet of it is that a law needs to rely on more than religious beliefs to be a valid.

Matt also tried to identify a “compelling reason” argument, but fumbled with one fallacious premise after another. For example, not all gay people, he argues, are monogamous. Matt fails to mention that neither are heterosexuals. That pesky Fourteenth Amendment gets in the way. If we agree that same-sex couples can’t marry because of a less-than-perfect track record on monogamy, then we also have to prevent every other type of couple for marrying for the same reason.

Matt is particularly fond of the fallacy of anecdote. Because a gay person somewhere says same-sex marriage shouldn’t be legal, we shouldn’t legalize same-sex marriage. Because a gay person somewhere says that if you are going to cheat or have an open marriage, we shouldn’t legalize same-sex marriage. Again, that pesky Fourteenth Amendment gets in the way. If we agree that gay people can’t marry because some of them think the idea is a bad one, or some believe in open marriages, then neither can any other type of couple marry since there are people in every demographic who believe that marriage is a bad idea or who believe in having an open marriage.

03 False

Surely one has to agree that marriage is for the sake of the children, and since gay people can’t procreate, same-sex marriage shouldn’t be legalized. Right? The fallacy here, of course, is one of an appeal to emotion. When all else fails, think of the children! The argument ignores the fact that many heterosexuals can’t procreate because of age or physical limitations or simply choose not to have children. It ignores the fact that marriage laws are not based on whether a couple plans on having children or not. It is also ignorant of the scientific progress that has put us on the verge of being able to medically assist homosexual couples to reproduce together.

While the numbers are hard to estimate, perhaps as many as nine million children have same sex parents. Preliminary studies suggest that children raised by same-sex parents are at least as well adjusted, maybe even better adjusted, than their peers raised by heterosexual parents.

“Many studies have demonstrated that children’s well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents’ sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents,” said Siegel, co-author of the American Academy of Pediatrics report. Siegel’s statement is consistent with many other research papers’ conclusions on the well-being of children raised by same-sex couples.

Parting thoughts

Matt failed to demonstrate why same-sex marriage should be illegal. He also failed to show how legalizing same-sex marriage personally hurts him or anyone else. All Matt proved was that piling paragraph after paragraph of fallacious arguments on top of each other is a good way to get fans amongst a certain segment of undiscerning readers.

Matt Walsh is wrong about: Adoption

Matt Walsh is wrong about whether LGBT couples should not be allowed to adopt children. It’s no secret that he thinks homosexuals are perverted sinners, so it’s no surprise that (after thoughtful deliberation, I’m sure) he has also decided that LGBT couples should not be allowed to adopt.

“Gay activists argue for their parenting rights not based on any scientific analysis, or any cogent constitutional claim, and certainly not on what’s best for the child, but simply on what’s best for them, personally … Gay couples do not have a right to be parents, because kids are not property or fashion statements …”

Walsh says it’s the children who have rights — rights “to a mom and dad”, rights which are violated when society allows unstable, disloyal homosexuals to adopt them. Indeed, he goes so far as to say that just the fact of having LGBT parents means children are being “sacrificed at the altar of liberalism” and “used and abused and manipulated”.

Walsh is correct that children have rights, similar to the ones everyone else has. And, we all hope that children have a loving home and loving parents. Matt is also right that providing children a stable, loving, two-parent home is the statistically ideal for kids, parents, and the community. However, he is misguided when he argues that those parents must be a man and a woman. Unsurprisingly, he makes false and uninformed assumptions about the relationships of LGBT people to bolster his argument.

“Whatever (heterosexual) divorce rates say, the fact is that gay couples, particularly men, are very often not monogamous. Although infidelity occurs among straight couples, in the gay community it is part of the lifestyle.”

Ignoring the incredibly ignorant ad hominem attack on gay couples, Walsh is simply wrong that LGBT parents cannot provide a stable and loving home. He ignores the fact that there are happy LGBT homes literally everywhere in America, and he somehow has the erroneous idea that kids who were raised in LGBT homes are speaking up against it as adults en masse.

“Many children of gay parents have come out of their own closet, so to speak, free from the pressure to pretend everything is fine, and finally able to cry out against the notion that kids can do just as well with two mothers or two fathers.”

As a matter of fact, the people whom he has used as examples of children speaking up against their LGBT homes were not adopted by LGBT parents. They were people who had one biological parent who “came out” as LGBT, an event which is, understandably, often dramatic and difficult for families. (And, frankly, that’s all the more reason for not putting cultural or legal pressure on gay people to stay in the closet or have opposite-sex marriages.) He can’t make the point he wants to make using the people he picked as examples. They were not adopted by gay couples. They were not in need of a home. They were previously in a two-parent family before one of their parents came out of the closet and started a new relationship. Their problem is not the new relationship’s ratio of men to women, it’s the trauma of the end of the old relationship. Matt also does not seem to understands that, just like opposite-sex homes, not every same-sex home is the same. Nor does Matt acknowledge that, unlike in his examples, in an adoption situation the agencies and social workers involved thoroughly investigate the homes before deeming them suitable for children. In short, if he had argued that some LGBT homes were not suitable for children, he’d be correct. Then, if he’d erase LGBT and argue that some homes generally are not suitable for children, he’d be so correct that we could all just stop arguing about this and we’d get write a post about how Matt Walsh is right about something, finally.

Finally, Matt is wrong about the “science” from which he has cherry-picked his evidence. He quotes Yale professor Kyle Pruett — who himself has said that anti-gay activists are guilty of cherry-picking from his work, and who in fact, has never done any studies on homosexual parenting since his focus is on divorce and single parenthood. His work studies children who have had their own nuclear families torn apart and are now being raised by one parent, not kids with no families who are up for adoption.

Matt cites Pruett when argues that:

“Mothers and fathers play differently, communicate differently, prepare the children for life differently, take risks differently, and look at the world differently. These are not just assumptions, but cold, hard, indisputable scientific facts, backed by years of research and millenniums of human experience.”

Let’s be charitable and assume that Walsh just doesn’t know about the 2012 Salon interview in which Pruett says that the difference between mothers and fathers are not “rooted in chromosomes”. Pruett said, “I think they’re rooted in culture. There are many same sex couples that divide up tasks in the way that heterosexual couples do. … The work of Charlotte Patterson and others has said we don’t need to be especially worried about these children. They’re doing fine. So let’s pay attention to the children we know we have to worry about, the children of the poor or vulnerable single parent.” Simply put: Matt, that science you’re appealing to? It doesn’t say what you seem to think it says.

The rest of Matt’s supposed scientific rationale also falls flat. The research he links to is from unabashedly Christian organizations such as IONA. There’s nothing inherently wrong with religious organizations doing research, but it must be taken with a grain of salt. Or in this case, with ocean’s worth of it. As a current student of biology and psychology, one of the first things I learned to watch out for in research is confirmation bias. Confirmation bias occurs when a researcher erroneously interprets data to confirm his or her own pre-existing beliefs. It can ruin experiments by causing a researcher to use improper procedures or to analyze or present data improperly. Confirmation bias means the researcher — usually unintentionally — looks only for what she or he was expecting to find and stops looking when she or he thinks it has been found. Matt clearly understands that this might be an objection, since he makes a point of saying that gay activists have conducted their own research that he assumes must be flawed.

“The researchers advertised their study in gay publications and forums, selected volunteers who knew what was being studied and why, and then interviewed the parents about how their children were doing … most of them [the parents] reported that everything was peachy and their lifestyles have not been detrimental at all.”

If we were going to discount the research Matt doesn’t like, we should also use his reasoning to discount the research he does like.

So, what does the science actually show? Have there been any studies from unbiased researchers? Yes, indeed! A meta-analysis (a study of studies, basically) from researchers at Michigan State University examined 19 studies and concluded that, “Results confirm previous studies in this current body of literature, suggesting that children raised by same-sex parents fare equally well to children raised by heterosexual parents.” Children raised by same-sex parents are not any better or worse-off than children raised in opposite-sex homes.

There are so many children without families who need homes, and there are an abundance of stable, loving families — same-sex and opposite-sex alike — which are ready to take these children in. Matt Walsh should stop attempting to deny these kids their right to a loving home.

Matt Walsh is wrong about: The Duggars and homosexuality

Duane Gish was a Young-Earth Creationist famous for debating evolutionary biologists. Facts were not on his side, ever, but he “won” more debates than he lost. He used a technique now known as the “Gish Gallop”, which involved him throwing as many arguments and topics onto the stage as he could and watching as his poor academic foe swatted at them like he was surrounded by gnats. Yes, none of what he said was accurate, and an academic foe could easily refute each one…eventually.  And it wouldn’t matter anyway; Gish always had one more equally invalid argument up his disingenuous, illogical sleeve.

By now you must be thinking what I’m thinking: Matt Walsh must love Duane Gish!

“After all, Lena Dunham admitted to inappropriately touching her sister, and she told the story in a jovial way, as if it were an amusing anecdote…Yet Dunham remains a liberal hero…

Just like Bill Clinton, who was credibly accused of rape multiple times. And Harvey Milk, a gay rights icon who got his very own Hollywood biopic, and a creep who regularly sodomized teenage boys. Progressive culture is filled to the brim with rapists, molesters, and deviants, but they never seem worried about any of it until some well known Christian crosses the line.”

Matt Walsh is wrong about the Duggars.  You’ll notice he uses the Gish Gallop style of argument. And I guess I could leave it at that, but I want to be cute. So I’ve coined a new term to describe the horror show that is a Matt Walsh blog post: “Walsh Wallofshit.” His defense of the Duggars, such as it is, is that, “Yes, they sinned and that’s terrible. But Bill Clinton! And Lena Dunham! And Harvey Gay Milk! And the Duggars are a fine family!” I’m not going to defend Bill Clinton, nor explain why Lena Dunham and Harvey Milk have nothing to do with this. That’s the Walsh Wallofshit game and I’m not playing. Let’s explain why he’s right and then wrong about the Duggars, and why Ma, Pa, and Josh Duggar’s actions have outraged so many.

“I’m not diminishing Josh Duggar’s infractions. As I said, he did something very bad. Horrendous. Disturbing. Evil. These were major sins. But Christians commit major sins sometimes, which is the whole reason why Jesus died on the cross.”

Let’s leave poor Jesus out of this, Matt. You are not defending Jesus here, though I understand why you might wish you were. It’d be pretty easy. You’re supposed to be explaining why the Duggars aren’t awful hypocrites. Remember the title of your essay? Anyway, that’s what I’m here to discuss. It might help if we remember that no “Progressives” attacked Jesus because of what the Duggars did. Face it: You’re defending a guy who has admitted to molesting young girls. And that is not acceptable. But, hold on … do we really need to talk about what is so outrageous about him defending the Duggars, let alone the circuitous and logic-free manor he went about doing it?

Let’s please not forget that there are very real victims here. Choices that Josh Duggar made harmed young girls. He harmed children. Choices his parents made added to the harm. They harmed children. That behavior disgusts humans everywhere and should not be defended.  So Matt Walsh is right when he says they made mistakes and wrong to defend them. Period. The story could easily end there. We are sad for the victims of this tragedy and we unequivocally condemn the actions of those who perpetrated this horrible act. This is not a political issue. And I submit it is not “Progressives” who made it one. “Progressives” were not the ones trying to lecture the nation on Family Values. “Progressives” have simply said in effect, “Ok, Duggars, now you know that we know you don’t know what a family value is either. So please stay out of politics with that nonsense.”

The reason so many humans are disgusted by the aftermath of this whole affair is rooted in common sense and a very basic theme in the Bible: The bit about letting he who has not sinned cast the first stone. We all know how the Duggars feel about homosexuals. They liken them to pedophiles and rapists. And we all know how horrible pedophiles and rapists are! Here’s the thing: Pedophiles and rapists are awful. I think people like the Duggars and Matt Walsh are so flummoxed by “Progressives’” acceptance of homosexuality because in their minds homosexuality and pedophilia are two sides of the same coin. I’ve always given people like that a bit of a pass because they do sincerely believe that homosexuality = pedophilia and pedophilia is clearly abhorrent. But now we find them defending pedophiles! That logic, generously taken at face value, begs an interesting question: “Let’s even say that homosexuality is abhorrent — if being gay is as bad as being like Josh, and if you feel empathy for Josh and want to defend him, shouldn’t you feel empathy for gay people and want to defend them too?”

Of course there is no use trying to apply logic to Matt Walsh’s argument. On the one hand homosexuals are pedophiles which is awful, but on the other pedophiles (or at least those named “Duggar”) aren’t really that bad, are they? Anyway, because he doesn’t seem to know, I’ll tell Matt what this progressive thinks about this tragedy: The Duggars have proven themselves unworthy of the kind of admiration they’ve received. They can obviously keep their opinions, but they can’t presume to lecture earnestly about family values and human sexuality without being laughed off the stage. They are terrible hypocrites for continuing to tell the world how awful gay people are while simultaneously failing so seriously to deal with the molestation problem in their own family. And, Matt Walsh is wrong about the whole wretched tragedy.

Matt Walsh is wrong about: Progressives and the Duggars

Matt Walsh is wrong about why “Progressives” are appalled that Josh Duggar allegedly molested several girls while his parents covered it up. Rather than defending the Duggars, as his article’s title seems to promise he will, he instead resorts to his bread and butter — he finds a way to attack Liberals and their evil, perverted ways. Matt first tries to explain why there has been such a backlash against the Duggars:

“Not because Josh’s actions were terrible — though they were, of course — but because the Duggars are a prominent Christian family who regularly speak out on contentious social issues like gay marriage. They are roundly despised for their beliefs, their outspoken nature, and for the parents’ decision to have 19 kids. Progressive trolls have been anxiously waiting for a chance to burn them down and dance on their ashes, and now they’ve finally been given the opportunity.”

This is a point worth reflecting upon. There probably are some “progressive trolls” (which, as everyone knows, are far more dangerous than the less common and much more friendly “conservative trolls”) who are happy that the Duggars have been shown to be hypocrites and who rejoice at their downfall. There are, however, others — like myself — who would not classify themselves as such. I have not been crouched and ready to pounce on the Duggars at the first sign of a screw up. Indeed, before this scandal, I knew of the Duggars and their 19 children, but was perfectly happy to leave them to live whatever lives worked for them. It was the scandal that caused me to give them more than a moment’s thought. And, it outraged me for reasons that really should be obvious.

Now it is not news to anyone, except perhaps his fans, that Matt joyously inserts hyperbole into his articles. His writing can veer so far from the truth that one expects him to be a writer for The Onion. (Although, I suppose the Blaze is not actually all that much different from a satirical paper.) To wit:

“Just a cursory look at the blogosphere and my social media feeds reveals legions of people positively giddy about this situation. Relieved. Ecstatic. Finally, they say, these Christians have been proven frauds! They are sinners! Hypocrites! Jesus is a lie! Christianity is false!”

C’mon, Matt. No one is claiming that this shows that Jesus is a lie, nor that Christians are frauds. What people are claiming is that the Duggars are hypocrites. Not all Christians. The Duggars. Remember when Jim Bob ran for office in 2002 and said that incest and rape should be capital crimes? “Progressive Trolls” do.

In the article he brings up five primary main points. Let’s look at a couple of them:

“The Duggars are Christian. The Duggars are conservative. The Duggars don’t believe in gay marriage. Someone in the Duggar family did something terrible.”

The Duggars are obviously Christian conservatives who oppose gay marriage. None of that has ever been in doubt. To say “someone … did something terrible,” however, is a gross simplification of what actually happened. Josh Duggar molested several young girls. And his father, Jim Bob Duggar, waited far too long (over a year) to report his son to authorities. Even worse is that he did not take strong enough measures to repair the damage done to the victims nor to correct his son. The Duggars claimed that their kids went to counseling, but actually they just sent Josh to live with a family friend where he worked for a construction company for a few months. There has been no evidence that any action was taken to help counsel the victims of the molestations.

Over a year after the incidents, Jim Bob Duggar brought his son to talk to a State Trooper — a family friend, it turns out — who apparently gave Josh a “stern talk.” He did not file a report. (That same police officer is currently serving a very long prison sentence for child pornography.) Eventually, in 2006, law enforcement officials investigated the allegations, but by then the statute of limitations had expired. So, all in all, it is not enough to say that “someone” did “something” wrong. Many people did very specific things wrong.

“Speaking of hypocrites, I’m going to be very frank with you: I simply don’t believe most progressives actually care that Josh Duggar touched his sisters when he was 14. I don’t believe they are upset about it, or that it offends them, or that they are morally troubled by it. I don’t believe them. I just don’t.”

Matt has telepathic powers he uses to discern the true intentions of all those disgusted by this scandal. He then goes on to attack Bill Clinton and Lena Dunham, failing to recognize that the main difference here is that neither is revered for their chastity and deep Christian values, and neither have ever molested a child. On countless occasions the Duggars have spoken out against rape, incest, fornication, adultery, pornography, and gay marriage. At the same time, they attempted to cover up their son’s terrible sexual misdeeds.

Besides, the whole idea of bringing up Liberals who were less-than-sexually-virtuous is a silly one. It is the equivalent of Charles Manson’s attorney getting up in court and saying, “Why, of course my client is a murderer, but remember Jack the Ripper?” It is irrelevant, and it does nothing to show that the Duggars are not hypocrites, which you’d expect should be the main focus of Matt’s article. Then again, this is Matt Walsh, a blogger who won’t pass up any opportunity to knock Liberals, no matter how inappropriate or unrelated.

Walsh ends his attack on a most delightfully sanctimonious note:

“So go ahead and crucify the Duggars if you like. Burn them at the stake. Rip them to shreds. I won’t be joining you. Instead, I’ll be off to the side praying that you can endure it when the mob eventually turns around on you.”

Thanks, Matt! Geez, what a good guy! If there is one word Matt Walsh does not understand, it is irony. He is trying to pass himself off as a saint, praying off in the corner in the midst of a riot against the Duggars. He passes off this shoddy piece of writing as a defense of the Duggars, when it is really just another one of his diatribes

Josh Duggar allegedly molested several girls and his parents covered it up. That is disgusting. Period. Walsh does not seem to be able to wrap his head around this fact, at least not fully enough to take a break from doing what he loves to do most: making Straw Man arguments and ad hominem attacks on Liberals. He takes a tragedy and uses it for his own attempted political point-scoring. Indeed, the irony of this article is that it shows that “Progressives” are not the analytical hypocrites of this situation. Matt Walsh is.

A note about Caitlyn Jenner

Lindsey, a new contributor here at WIMWWAT, did an excellent job of responding to Matt’s recent post about Caitlyn Jenner. I just wanted to add a personal note, as the main WIMWWAT editor, to supplement what Lindsey said.

Of the many Matt Walsh posts I’ve had the misfortune to read, this one (and his previous one on the same topic) stands out in my memory as being particularly awful. It was really, really tough to read. Frankly, if I didn’t feel like my work on this blog gives me a sort of obligation to the public to read and help draft replies to Matt’s absurdities, I don’t think I would have made it through it.

Sadly, given the numbers of times I saw this post shared on Facebook today, it would appear that a great many people who are otherwise kind and sensitive and empathetic have collectively set aside their humanity when it comes to this topic. I don’t really understand why Matt has chosen transgender people to be the targets of his worst and most obnoxious writing, but I abhor it.

To the members of our WIMWWAT audience who are transgender or who have loved ones who are, I think I can safely speak for the whole writing team when I say that we are glad to be associated with you, even if it’s just through the tenuous connection of this blog. Thank you for keeping on when keeping on is tough to do. The world can be an unfriendly place, but we hope that WIMWWAT is a refuge from all that.

If anyone with relevant personal experience is interested in contributing another post on this topic, we are eager to explore it further. Please get in touch.

Matt Walsh is wrong about: Caitlyn Jenner

When anything culturally or historically significant happens in our world, I find myself getting the same kind of anticipatory feeling of dread I get while waiting in the exam room for an appointment at my gynecologist. Each time, I know that, before long, the world will be burdened with yet an other close-minded and judgmental Matt Walsh article. After Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover hit the web yesterday, I knew it wouldn’t be long before the malodorous scent of everyone’s “favorite” Internet troll would begin to waft my direction. So, I was not surprised when I saw his ambitiously titled blogpost making its way around the Internet this morning.

What Matt got right

Matt expressed concern for Caitlyn’s (please note the pointed, correct usage of her name) physical and mental well-being (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that the concern is earnest). As Matt mentioned, she is going through a deep transformation at a rapid rate, and this transition is something that is often painful for individuals and families to go through, even without the media coverage of what Caitlyn is experiencing.

Matt also acknowledges that there is a difference between a male and a female, and he believes that, “Womanhood is itself beautiful. Women bring something distinct and special to the world.”

Finally, Matt is also (accidentally and partially) correct that, “Bruce Jenner is not a woman in any sense or to any extent.” Matt’s right about this because, as it is clearly states on the front page of the magazine as well as in the text of the magazine’s story, the person in question is not Bruce Jenner. It’s Caitlyn Jenner, a woman who is very distinctly NOT Bruce Jenner. Though she shares many of the attributes that made him who he was, she has made a choice to leave him behind and to bring her outer-self into harmony with her inner-self.

What Matt got wrong

Throughout the piece Matt Walsh makes haphazard and glib descriptions of Caitlyn Jenner as “mentally disordered”, “horrifying”, having “psychological struggles”, and even compares her transgender to schizophrenia. Based on how he talks about it, it seems unlikely that Matt Walsh suffers from a mental illness or loves someone who does. In fact, Matt has even suggested that depressed individuals succumb to their “illness” by CHOOSING to be unhappy. Obviously, that is far from the reality of depression, and schizophrenia is far more than a person born with the genitalia of one sex identifying with the lifestyle and biology of another. Depression and schizophrenia are both conditions that distort a person’s ability to see reality or find anything redeeming about the reality they do see. Both illnesses are terrifying and dangerous for individuals, even more so in a world where they are as misunderstood as they appear to be by people like Matt Walsh. Gender identity disorder, or gender dysphoria, is more related to resulting feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression that come when an individual identifies with a gender that is different from the one they were born with.

If you distill the argument Matt is making against the Caitlyn-Jenner-shaped package of transgender individuals as a whole, it basically comes down to this: Matt believes sex and gender to be the same thing. He believes that the sex you are born with is biological in both physical make-up and brain matter, and that nothing a person can ever do cosmetically or surgically will ever change their gender from the one they were born with.

Matt is wrong. Gender and sex are absolutely, unequivocally, not the same thing. Gender is the sex with which an individual identifies mentally, emotionally, and physically, while sex refers only to the respective reproductive organs an individual is born with. Sex is a biological construct, whereas gender is more widely considered a construct of society and culture. What it is to be a male or a female differs considerably across the globe. The gender roles and stereotypes of women in America very greatly from their counterparts in the Middle East, or Asia, or Africa, etc.

Additionally, Matt erroneously claims that feminists and progressives embrace the concept of “neurosexism”, which is the idea that there is no difference between the physiological characteristics of the male and female brains. What he (probably intentionally) failed to mention is that this is not actually a widespread belief amongst feminists or academics.

Furthermore, Matt suggests that no human beings are ever born with any kind of gender misidentity or confusion, which is simply preposterous. Every human starts life in the womb by first forming female sex organs, and then for some of us, those eventually change into male organs. One in every 2000 people is classified by medical professionals as intersex. One in every 2000! Don’t let Matt confuse the issue — transgender individuals are neither mentally ill nor uncommon.

He also suggests that because a bunch of his bros would never want to date or marry a transsexual (a transgender individual who has undergone a sexual reconstructive surgery), it’s impossible to change a body from its original form. Thank God Matt doesn’t work at a VA hospital or the prosthetic wing of a orthopedic surgery center, because he’d be the little black raincloud telling our country’s heroes that, “Even though these rad looking prosthetic blade legs can work and function in place of the legs you lost when an IED exploded under you in Iraq, don’t actually consider yourself able-bodied — the legs you were born with are gone, and because of that, you can never be considered to have legs ever, ever again.”

Matt says, “Your self is your body, mind, and soul. It is physically, metaphysically, spiritually, philosophically, scientifically, rationally and logically impossible for a self to change into a new self. A self can only be what it is.” That clearly contradicts the Christianity that Matt is always using as a weapon against anyone whose choices or lifestyle he disagrees with. Such a sentiment negates Christian teachings about baptism, repentance, forgiveness, and grace that can help transform a person’s heart and soul. Are those all not identity changes of various types, especially if body, mind, and soul are linked? Christianity is the idea that a sinner’s imperfections can be cured through Jesus Christ. Matt cannot stay true to his faith while simultaneously denying the possibility of change that is at the core of Christianity.

I could go on for hours about Matt’s mistakes, his allergy to nuance, and his seemingly willful lack of understanding. But, at the end of the day, what Matt Walsh gets wrong here — and in most of his other articles as well — is his lack of humanity and empathy for others who are struggling or in pain. Bruce Jenner chose to do what he could to move beyond his pain and transform his body and life so he could be true to the deepest desires of his heart and soul. His “self”. What has emerged is Caitlyn Jenner, a woman as imperfect as the rest of us, but a woman nonetheless. I am a woman, and I am not offended that Caitlyn is trying to live courageously in a world where she could find every reason not to. She’ll have to struggle every day to stay true to herself and her beliefs in the face of people like Walsh, who only seem to offer harsh judgments and ridicule instead of support and acceptance.

I AM A WOMAN, and I stand with Caitlyn Jenner.

Matt Walsh is wrong about: Baltimore’s riots

While he was in Utah for a “Stand For Marriage Rally”, Matt hastily wrote his views on the riots in Baltimore. Just like he did in another article five months ago, Matt accuses the black community of holding up violent criminals as heroes, lacking ambition to work, turning to crime, and not being involved in their own community.

What Matt got right

He knows there’s a problem, and it makes him angry.

What Matt got wrong

Matt’s patronizing message, scarcely hidden beneath all his anger and vitriol, is that everyone in the Black community needs to quit being thugs, get a job, and care about their community.

Almost twenty years ago I moved to Baltimore for work. At the time Matt, also a Baltimore resident, was ten-years-old. Like many other suburban white kids, Matt was probably attending a well-funded grade school. He probably sat in class daydreaming about things grade-schoolers daydream about, like being a fireman, astronaut, or superhero. Freddie Gray was just a few years younger, but like many other poor black kids, he was probably attending a poorly-funded inner-city school. Like Matt, Freddie most likely also sat in class daydreaming about being a fireman, astronaut, or superhero. But unlike Matt, Freddie faced a variety of extra challenges in ever reaching those goals. The 2015 Baltimore Riots were already brewing as Freddie’s neighborhood sank deeper into poverty, a trend which began more than thirty years earlier as blue collar middle class shipping and manufacturing jobs disappeared from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

Ten years ago, when I left Baltimore to return to the rural Maryland Eastern Shore where I grew up, Matt was attending broadcasting school in Baltimore. His career choice would lead him to his first job, in my hometown a hundred miles east of Baltimore, a year or so later. At the time Freddie Gray was finishing high school, and just a year away from his first arrest. The tragic march toward the 2015 Baltimore Riots continued.

The parallels between Matt’s experiences and Freddie’s reveal an important question, one which Matt was seemingly too busy complaining about black people to answer in his article: What happened in that ten-year span between 1996 and 2006 that led two grade-schoolers, Matt and Freddie, on such different paths — one had a productive (sort of) career path in broadcasting, and the other went from problem to problem until his tragic death at the hands of police? Pointing fingers and telling black people to quit being thugs and to get a job certainly doesn’t come close to answering the question.

Matt does, though, bring up an example that can help illuminate a possible answer. On St. Patrick’s Day, 2012, about 500 black teens and young adults organized on social media to spend the evening at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor — the same place thousands of White people also chose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Now, three years after the fact, Matt claims to be uneasy about taking his family to the Inner Harbor because of “roving gangs of black teens”.

So, what happened on that St. Patrick’s Day? A lot of white people got scared. As one taxi driver said: “[Baltimore and Light Street] was blocked and 35 to 40 people, young kids, were walking across. They’re looking at you, staring at you. … You’re not going to get out and chase them.” Oooh, black kids staring at you. Scary.

Since Matt is a white person still so scared by all those black people staring at white people in the Inner Harbor three years ago that he won’t take his family there, it comes as no surprise that Matt labeled Freddie Gray a “thug” and a “violent criminal” because of his criminal charges (fifteen for narcotics possession, two for intent to sell, and one for burglary). Freddie’s arrest and prosecution record is, in itself, indicative of the problems black residents of Baltimore faced that white residents, like Matt, never had to consider. Of the chargies against Freddie, the burglary resulted in a verdict of not-guilty, one of the intent to sell charges was dropped, five of the possession charges were dropped, and another of the possession charges also resulted in a verdict of not-guilty. Just short of half of the charges against Freddie over the years were dropped or resulted in verdicts of not-guilty, which helps explain the ACLU’s lawsuit against Baltimore Police Department’s arrest tactics.

Sadly, police aren’t the only problem making life difficult for kids like Freddie. For example, black neighborhoods became ghost towns after Wells Fargo and other banks deceptively offered subprime “ghetto loans” to the “mud people” and then foreclosed on tens of thousands of them when the housing bubble burst in 2008. Boarded up houses spread through the Black communities like a malignant cancer with over 33,000 foreclosures by Wells Fargo, alone.

Several decades of poor policies have left the city segregated. black neighborhoods are surrounded by white neighborhoods, and the whole city is surrounded by white suburbs. Economic booms largely pass the black neighborhoods by: Black people in Baltimore average 42% less annual income than others, and in Freddie Gray’s neighborhood unemployment is above 50%. When Freddie Gray probably sensed the cards were stacked against him by the time he reached high school.

Parting thoughts

Some time ago I read an newspaper opinion piece written by a young black man. He described how difficult it is for people like him to succeed in the modern service and information economy. This article was written thirty or thirty-five years ago, so I have no link to share, but one sentence he wrote all that time ago still stands out in my mind today. As I remember it, he wrote something along the lines of this: “A young white man holding his head high and taking charge in his job is seen as a leader and will go far with the company. A young black man holding his head high and taking charge in his job is seen as a threat. If the young black man takes a more subdued approach to appear more amiable to his coworkers, he’s seen as weak with no future as a leader. Either way, he’s not going far with the company.”

Now think about all the white people who felt threatened by the “stares” of all the young black people celebrating St Patrick’s Day in 2012. Their presence in the upscale tourist part of town prompted a state legislator to call for state troopers to protect the “crown jewel of Baltimore” from the “menacing” teens. Not much has changed in the decades since I read that young black man’s opinion piece.

Like Matt, I’m a white man and have never lived in a poor black neighborhood. I’m sure I will always fall short of fully answering the question of why Baltimore boiled over. I can google, and read, and tie a lot of loose ends together. I can empathize and attempt to understand. But, I’m unlikely to completely succeed. John Blake, though, has first hand experience to draw on, and he did a good job of explaining it:

The older black men were gone.

I asked 28-year-old Zachary Lewis about the absence of older men. He stood by a makeshift memorial placed at the spot where Freddie Gray, the man whose death ignited the riots, was arrested.

“This is old here,” he said, pointing to himself. “There ain’t no more ‘Old Heads’ anymore, where you been? They got big numbers or they in pine boxes.” In street syntax, that meant long prison sentences or death.

We hear about the absence of black men from families, but what happens when they disappear from an entire community? West Baltimore delivered the answer to that question this week.

Perhaps, on topics like this, Matt Walsh should do more reading and empathizing, and spend less time trying to hammer yet another nail in a struggling community’s coffin.

Matt Walsh is wrong (and also sort-of right) about: The origins of homosexuality

Full disclosure: I studied gender and sexuality in history for a living, and was paid money – some of it likely taxpayer money, no less – to do so. This probably means that Matt Walsh and his fellow travelers would sooner take advice on marriage from Donald Trump than accept my opinion on sexuality and gender. Yet, I do admit that I love responding to pontifications on the subject I’ve spent way too much of my life on from people who aren’t exactly interested in even trying to be impartial. As the wise Jimbo Jones once put it, “It makes me feel like a big man.”

Here Walsh responds to Ben Carson’s comments about homosexuality being a choice. I do want to give Matt Walsh some credit. One, he actually disagrees with Carson’s use of same-sex acts in prison as proof for homosexuality not being inborn while at the same time showing an understanding that sex, especially sexual assault, can be about power not desire. That’s a surprisingly feminist response from the guy who described feminism as “moral and intellectual poison”. Second, when he talks about the debate over homosexuality being messy and not at all definite about homosexuality being inborn, he’s not wrong, challenging the very premise of this blog.

So, is that it? Well …

Born that way? It’s … complicated, one way or the other

While I’m complimenting Matt, I think this article shows Matt is evolving as a pundit, since he pulls the neat trick of the trade in somewhat acknowledging that an issue is clearly complex and ambiguous but still offering up his own clearcut, absolute answer. Matt points out there is far from any conclusive answer to the question of whether or not homosexuality is inborn, or is instilled by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Also he gives a nod to the fact that some specialists believe that the idea of homosexuality as an identity is just a product of developments in the nineteenth century, and before that homosexuality was just thought of as something you do. However, even there he, and the clearly biased Daily Caller article he cites, make it sound like the verdict had already been reached. At least the thought of Matt Walsh agreeing with diehard followers of Michel Foucault of all people entertains me terribly.

Here’s a good spot to admit my own bias and blind spot: Sexuality may be fluid to a degree (something Matt also, to my amazement, seems to admit), but I do believe that homosexuality is at least partially inborn. Further, I am absolutely convinced from my own research that there are people throughout history and human cultures who, even if they did not describe themselves or were described with terms exactly equivalent to today’s “gay”, understood themselves as having an exclusive desire for the same sex and did have words and phrases to present themselves as such. I am also not nearly as well-versed in the scientific literature on homosexuality as I am with the historical and theoretical literature.

Still, I have my quibbles with how Matt presents things here. The historical consensus is not nearly as absolute as Matt thinks it is. Speaking as someone who is part of it, the field of the history of sexuality in the past decade or so has moved away from the absolute stance that identities based on sexual desire for the same sex were completely unknown in the entire world until some German and British sexologists happened to think of it. Very few today will talk about gay people existing consistently and in the same way all throughout history without at least admitting to some theoretical complications, but for the most part a solid number of historians who at least dabble in sexuality are more likely to agree with Helmut Puff, who put the matter this way: “Homosexuals … are not absent from ancient texts, nor is the notion of the sexually fallen sodomite unknown in modernity.” I think Matt’s proving the second half of that statement nicely, but we’ll get to that.

As for the scientific controversy, I know enough to know that, like the historical argument, it’s not nearly as settled as Matt says it is, nor will it be anytime soon, if ever. Part of the problem is that even his scientific citations come filtered through biased sources: The Aquilia Report, a self-described conservative Presbyterian site, and Life Site News, which anyone who loves to hate-read Matt Walsh should know all about. (As an aside, this really does bug me on a level that transcends my own politics. Regardless of his stances, how can Matt not see there’s a problem, at least on a purely rhetorical level, with just presenting information through someone else’s interpretation of it?)

Another part of the problems is that he doesn’t seem to know or care that there are multiple conflicting studies. The twin studies Matt thinks decides the debate once and for all have been very contentious, with the researchers behind a 2010 twins study in Sweden cautiously concluding in their abstract that the results are “consistent with moderate, primarily genetic, familial effects, and moderate to large effects of the non-shared environment (social and biological) on same-sex sexual behavior.” Even the case that there are suggestive physiological differences between heterosexual and homosexual people is still wide open. There have been peer-reviewed articles on homosexual men having differently formed brains and studies suggesting that finger-length ratios differ between women who identify as gay and women who identify as straight. My point is definitely not to settle the debate one way or another, but rather that Matt shouldn’t try either, for all his sneering that progressives aren’t the real “pro-science folks”.

It doesn’t help that Matt thinks the whole complex problem of understanding how human sexuality is shaped is settled by the fact that we’re not sexual creatures at the age of two (what does that prove exactly, considering the popular image of prepubescent boys running from girls with cooties?) or that people who are sexually aroused by characters like the “Biker Mice From Mars” exist (seriously, psychologists have explained and addressed why erotic kinks does not equal homosexuality or bisexuality since Freud).

Gender matters

Matt next brings up gender, and declares, “Our proclivities are fixed at the moment of conception, [progressives] say, but our gender can be adjusted anytime we like.” For starters, that’s not what trans identity is. Whatever Matt thinks of trans identities, Bruce Jenner simply isn’t saying that she can return to being male if the mood happens, but that female is and always has been her authentic self.

I actually am on the same planet … no, the same dimension as Matt in that I think some theorists and activists in their rallying cry against “essentialism” in sexuality sometimes fumble the ball in arguing that sexuality can be extremely fluid at the same time gender identity can be fixed for trans individuals. But it’s still not at all the “gotcha” against pro-LGBT activists the way Matt thinks it is, especially because Matt himself doesn’t really understand what the trans community is about. (Not to mention that there is still a small but vocal group of left-wing feminists who decry the trans community like Julie Bindel and Germaine Greer, but we already established Matt likes to think feminists and leftists are rigidly monolithic groups who can only move in lockstep.)

Sexual identity is not just about sexuality

But Matt takes a step back and decides, “These are interesting quandaries, fine for an academic conversation, but it’s not all that important.” Except the entire point of his argument is over whether or not homosexuality is inborn and what it means if it isn’t, but, hey, he’s getting paid for writing what he does and I’m not (… oh God). So let’s let him do his job.

Matt sees this as exposing the true agenda of progressivism, “that [it] insists that you are what you feel, and what you feel is entirely out of your hands; you are a slave to your emotions.” No matter how many times I’m exposed to lines like this, I’m still sick of hearing them in all its faux-benevolent glory.

Why I feel that way boils down to how oblivious it is. I shouldn’t even have to point out that choosing not to “act upon your gay feelings” is not only difficult, but painful and destructive. Just read Radclyffe Hall’s Well of Loneliness. Or the writings of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, the nineteenth century founder of the modern gay rights movement. Or, really, you can go all the way back to Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II.

Matt does bring up the ex-gay movement, but only in the form of the show “My Husband’s Not Gay”. He berates liberals for mocking the people living out their lives in front of the camera, but doesn’t mention that some made fun of the show for the poorly disguised sexual frustration of the men involved, on top of the dishonesty behind presenting the couples involved as normal Mormons, not the dedicated ex-gay activists they are. Besides, isn’t Matt the one always irritated at people being hyper-sensitive and trying to shut down anything that offends them? At any rate, it’s interesting that Matt doesn’t dwell on the ex-gay angle, probably because even he’s aware that the movement has been tainted by multiple apostates now denouncing the movement, publicized and lasting “lapses” by major leaders, the well-attested lack of scientific legitimacy, and little things like the fact that the United Nations Committee Against Torture has investigated conversion therapy techniques.

Yet, the real reason I find all this so offensive is that it reveals a total disinterest in even attempting to have empathy for LGBT people. Here’s something I keep having to say to people like Matt Walsh: you’re not just asking gay people to stop having sex; you’re asking them to lead lives devoid of authentic romance and intimacy. I do know of religiously devout gay people who have decided to lead lives of celibacy, yet still seek out like-minded partners with whom they can enjoy intimacy that stops short of sex. I disagree with their choice, but it’s better than resigning oneself to a total absence of romantic companionship or inflicting one’s denial of desire on a person of the opposite sex. Also, at least they comprehend something that Matt Walsh, even with his own fulfilling marriage and advocacy of the state of blissful companionship, will not or cannot: It’s not LGBT activists and allies who are fixated on sexual desire; it’s people like Matt.

If I could refrain from premarital sex and adultery, you can refrain from intimacy altogether!

Matt returns to the theme that the “sin” of gay people, seeking the same emotional fulfillment and intimacy he enjoys, is no biggie, since it’s no worse than other “sins”.

This is something else that gets brought up a lot by anti-gay rights conservatives, and it again rests on a disturbing lack of basic empathy for gay people. Premarital sex and gay sex may both be “sins” according to one’s moral and theological calculus. However, on the less lofty plane of day-to-day life, it’s a ridiculous idea. The devout woman or man who refrains from premarital sex but still has hopes of one day receiving sexual release — and, let’s never forget, the more G-rated joys of companionship — may be genuinely suffering, but no person could reasonably compare it to the suffering of a gay man or woman who has to live with despising their own sexual and romantic desires, rather than seeing them as something that will someday be blissfully answered.

I have to say, I find this disingenuous, especially coming from Matt Walsh, who takes such delight in denouncing the Left’s agenda and speaking truth to the tyranny of feminists and gay rights activists. Tell us, on the off chance you even read this, why you think gay people’s desire for romantic and sexual fulfillment is sin, and is lesser to your own and your wife’s desire? What do you really mean when you mention homosexuality in the same paragraph as pedophilia and bestiality? Honestly, Matt Walshes of the world, in the future spare me the “I’ve struggled with sin too!” claptrap. Compared to this, sci-fi novelist and far-right pundit Orson Scott Card’s opinion that homosexuality is a mental illness caused by child abuse is morbidly refreshing.

And anyway, whether or not it’s a choice shouldn’t matter in the long run. Well, admittedly, as a scholar of the history of sexuality it matters to me because I think seeing a history of homosexual identities that stretches out far and away from just the modern West is a much more accurate — and compelling — story. But as far as sexual and marital freedom, and society’s investment in supporting it, is concerned, Matt is actually sort of right again: The question of it being inborn or a choice is all academic.

Matt Walsh is wrong about: Minimum wage

Matt Walsh argues that some jobs are inherently “worth more” than other jobs, and that’s why some jobs pay more than others. Intuitively, we can all sort of agree with that notion, which is why we readily accept, as fact, that a burger flipper doesn’t have as an important job as we have. Ironically, the burger flipper thinks the same way, which is why shows like Married With Children are so successful — even the burger flippers can laugh at the shoe salesman.

Want to know who the shoe salesman laughs at? Yup. The amateur blogger who bangs out an article or two per week for a living, complete with misspellings and grammar errors, and claims to be a hard-working, self-made man. Let’s face it: The burger flipper feeds us, and the shoe salesman puts shoes on our feet. What does the amateur blogger do for us?

If one follows the logic of Matt Walsh and his concept of the inherent worth of a job, of the three career choices, who should get paid the most, and who should get paid the least?

What Matt got right

If you want to earn more money: buckle down, get training and/or education, work hard, and then you can reap the benefits ten, or twenty, or more years down the road.

What Matt got wrong

Everything else. But, for the sake of brevity, here are his most egregious errors:

  1. Matt broke down the worth of a job based on the level of education and training required to do the job. More education and training (expense incurred by a future employee) is needed to be a dental assistant, paramedic, or any of the other professions Matt mentioned, but does that additional education and training make these jobs more “valuable”? The average person needs to eat every day, but only needs a dental assistant once every six months (if he/she is conscientious of his/her teeth) and a paramedic once, maybe twice, in a lifetime. The worth of a job is, or at least should be, based in large part on how much other people need the results of the work, and not on how much time and money one has dedicated to training to do the job. That means the burger flipper is, from a certain perspective, at least as important as a dental assistant or paramedic, whose services we use much less frequently, but find very valuable when we need them. It also means that amateur bloggers, star quarterbacks, and red carpet stars are among the least important jobs around. Oddly, the least important by this measure tend to have the highest average higher payouts.
  2. Matt ignored the historical trend of the declining middle class. He quibbled over a $15 per hour minimum wage, and in the meantime he missed the fact that forty or fifty years ago the average blue collar worker was earning the equivalent of twenty dollars an hour.
  3. Matt also missed the fact that, since a large percentage of American manufacturing jobs moved overseas, we have shifted to a service and information based economy. The high paying jobs — those jobs that pay more than fifteen dollars an hour — require tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of dollars of education. Gone are the days when one could graduate from high school and start a job with lower middle class pay, and with a few years of hard work, make his or her way to solid middle class status in a blue collar, manufacturing job. Today people entering the work force as a high school graduates start at poverty level pay, and even after a decade of work they can only expect to be paid slightly above poverty level. Even many college graduates enters the job market at a little better than poverty level, and in ten years they may be able to achieve some kind middle class status. Basically, more education isn’t necessarily a reliable pathway to higher pay.
  4. Matt ignored his own past advice about college being a waste of time and money for most professions by basing his “value” of jobs on how much education and training is needed to perform a job. The more education, the more valuable the job is, which is doubly ironic since Matt consistently dismisses the idea that college is necessary and since he never actually graduated from college himself. Indeed, as someone with little education, by Matt’s definition he should only be making the current minimum wage, not more than $15 per hour as he claims.
  5. Matt ignored the corporate welfare aspect of the minimum wage story: McDonald’s and other corporations in the fast food and retail industries can get away with paying at or near poverty level wages because our government will pick up the slack in food stamps, welfare, and WIC programs. A single person earning $11 per hour, for example, may still qualify for food stamp assistance. It is no coincidence that 20% of the available jobs are in the retail sector, and 16% of Americans are receiving food stamps. If these government programs didn’t exist, the service industries would not be able to retain a competent workforce unless they raised their starting wages to at least a living wage.
  6. Matt consistently claims that with hard work and making personal sacrifices to forgo luxury items like Internet, cable TV, and good food, they too can make $15 per hour or more after ten years. There are more workers than there are available jobs that pay at least $15 per hour. No matter how hard one works or how much training and education one receives, if the jobs aren’t there, the only choice may be flipping burgers or running a cash register at Walmart.
  7. In 1965, three-quarters of Americans earned the equivalent of $30,000 ($14.42 per hour) or more per year. Today, a little less than half make that amount. During the Great Recession, the top ten percent of wage earners saw their incomes grow, while everyone else saw their wages stagnate or decline. In 2012, the top earners took home half of the wages, a record since statistics started being collected in 1917. Had Matt done his homework, perhaps he would have been more concerned with the shrinking middle class and the growing disparity between the haves and have-nots.

Finally, it’s worth examining some potentially dubious claims that Matt made about his own work history. He claims that while working at WZBH, he made $17,000 per year or about $8 per hour. Even if his claimed wage of $17K is correct, it’s important to note that his work at WZBH consisted of a four hour morning show, five days per week, so his salary was actually about $16.34 per hour. If we assume two hours of preparation time for each show, his salary was $10.89 per hour. (And, this conflicts with his earlier statements that he made $400 per week in that era, which would be a bit over $20,000 a year.)

For comparison, the poverty level for a single person is defined as $5.40 per hour (Matt was single during his WZBH years). As a single man, Matt was wealthy compared to people who earn minimum wage and have to support a family, and that radio work doesn’t include extra income he presumably earned from the commercial voice work he did that I used to hear on the radio in that era.

Similarly dubiously, he claims that when he was working at WZBH he had to forgo Internet access. But, his Facebook and YouTube profiles from that time shows frequent posts, well versed in pop culture, at times when it’s unlikely he was in the office. These frequent posts continued even after he was fired from WZBH in 2011, so it seems unlikely, in any case, that he was reliant on his Internet access at work.

Final thoughts

Per the usual, Matt had an opportunity to tackle a complex issue in a thoughtful way, but he didn’t. Using his own experience as proof that “anyone can make it”, he fudged the numbers to garner sympathy for his “hard work”, and he chose to unfairly denigrate large groups of people as lazy loafers who want something for nothing. He illogically asserts the worthlessness of a college education by emphasizing all the college grads who end up flipping burgers because there’s no work available, but then criticizes the burger flippers for not working hard to get education and skills to earn a better living. Sorry, Matt, but not every issue can be adequately explained on a high school level of thinking. Perhaps you should leave the complex issues to those who are willing to give a thorough and thoughtful analysis.