Observations

May 2, 2012

I was thinking about two incidents I referred to in my last post, namely the Christian students walking out of a talk by gay activist Dan Savage at a high school ‘journalism’ conference when he was attacking them and their beliefs, and the incident at Indiana University where transgender students attempted to disrupt a talk by Pastor Doug Wilson on human sexuality and the Bible. In many ways these two incidents highlight the difference between the views of conservative Christians and the Secular Left with regard to free speech rights.

Christians generally believe people should be free to express a variety of opinions, but students shouldn’t be forced to listen to speakers attacking their beliefs whereas those on the Secular Left don’t believe those they disagree with should be allowed to speak at all.

The idea that the Left is more supportive of diversity and tolerance is perhaps the biggest lie foisted on modern observers.

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Juan Williams Gets Lynched by NPR

October 21, 2010

For committing the crime of being honest and reflecting an opinion held by the vast majority of Americans on (curses be upon them) FOX news, uppity Juan Williams has been duly dispatched by his journalistic masters over at NPR. Apparently they have been itching to have him removed for fraternizing with the enemy, but his exchange with (curses be upon him) Bill O’Reilly was a word too far. This was the horrendous exchange:

O’REILLY: Continuing now with our lead story, danger from the Muslim world.Joining us from Washington FOX analysts Mary Katharine Ham and Juan Williams.So, Juan, I got to tell everybody, own up to this, that talking points memo was really written by Alan Colmes.
So, where am I going wrong there, Juan.

 JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, actually, I hate to say this to you because I don’t want to get your ego going. But I think you’re right. I think, look, political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don’t address reality.
 
I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.
 
Now, I remember also that when the Times Square bomber was at court, I think this was just last week. He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts.
But I think there are people who want to somehow remind us all as President Bush did after 9/11, it’s not a war against Islam. President Bush went to a mosque –
 
O’REILLY: Well, there isn’t any theology involved in this at all from my perspective, Juan. But you live in the liberal precincts. You actually work for NPR, OK?
 
WILLIAMS: Yes.
 
O’REILLY: And it’s not about — it’s about politics as I said. But — my analysis is that this Israel thing and that liberals feel that United states is somehow guilty in the world, of exploitation and backing the wrong side, and it makes it easier for them to come up with this kind of crazy stuff that, well, you can’t really say the Muslims attacked us on 9/11.
WILLIAMS: No, but what Barbara Walters said to you –
 
O’REILLY: Were they Norwegians? I mean, come on.
 
WILLIAMS: Wait a second though, wait, hold on, because if you said Timothy McVeigh, the Atlanta bomber, these people who are protesting against homosexuality at military funerals, very obnoxious, you don’t say first and foremost, we got a problem with Christians. That’s crazy.
 
O’REILLY: But it’s not at that level. It doesn’t rise near to that level.
 
WILLIAMS: Correct. That’s — and when you said in the talking points memo a moment ago that there are good Muslims, I think that’s a point, you know?
 
O’REILLY: But everybody knows that, Juan. I mean, what are, in 3rd grade here or what?

 *shudder*

Juan Williams, who wept tears of joy onscreen when Obama was elected, can hardly be called a right wing extremist. But in the world NPR and the secular Left inhabits, association with perceived conservatives is as bad as actually being one – and actually being one is the worst thing possible. And so Juan Williams was summarily lynched for leaving the liberal plantation and consorting with the enemy.

As I have pointed out previously, the Left’s agenda is fundamentally antithetical to free speech. Not content to argue their points and allow the most reasonable arguments to win hearts and minds (possibly because Left wing arguments are rarely ‘reasonable’), the Left seeks to silence all who do not follow lockstep with a particular rigid ideology. Any straying from the party line or association with undesirables can result in dismissal, being verbally pilloried or worst of all, being labeled a bigot.

And it is more than apparent that for the Secular Left, the word “bigot” is code for “someone we want to silence”.


Politics, Principle and Anonymity

October 19, 2010

One issue that has begun to define this current election season has been the use of anonymously funded political ads. This is largely the result of the Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to fund political ads, a renewed commitment to free speech that should never have been restricted to begin with. As a result those who are most concerned about such ads tend to be on the Left as their ideas are often the targets of such speech.

My personal feelings on this are mixed. I made the choice sometime ago to append my name to my political opinions via this blog. I did so because I have a strong sense personal responsibility and integrity regarding my beliefs and opinions, and tend to see those who write anonymously as being unwilling to own up to their opinions.

However, my experience writing a blog has opened my eyes a bit. The reality is there are very unscrupulous people out there – people with personal vendettas that make it their mission to personally attack others, destroy reputations, make false accusations rather than debate and discuss issues in a reasonable and intelligent manner. They are often people with nothing to lose – loners with no families, jobs of significance or friendships that are impacted by uncivil behavior. And so an ordinary person expressing his or her opinion runs some risk that such people may glom onto them and smear their reputations in such a way that affects their life outside of their online presence. It is chilling to the civil discourse critical in a democratic society, but it is the reality of the web. If I weren’t secure in my own life outside of this blog, the decision to post online would be a much more difficult one.

And it is important to remember that some of the highest discourse in or own country’s history was anonymous. The writers of the Federalist Papers used the pen name ‘Publius’, homage to a founder of the Roman Republic. Those writing on the anti-Federalist side used the pseudonyms ‘Federal Farmer’ and ‘Cato’. These writings represent the best of American rhetorical and political writing, perhaps some of the best in the history of the world. In many ways they benefit from anonymity of the authors, as it focuses the reader’s attention on the ideas being presented rather than on the personalities or interests of those writing – which is where the focus should be in good political discourse.

Indeed, the tactics of the New Atheists and the Alinskyite Left may increasingly make the anonymous expression of opinion a political and civil necessity, as such groups focus on the corruptive practice of vituperative personal attacks. A recent initiative by the ultra-Leftist Daily Kos site utilizing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) seeks to bring the personal attack to a whole new level. The group is seeking to ‘Google Bomb’ Republican candidates by getting sympathetic associates to enter searches in Google with damaging search words. The result of this is to cause the most damaging stories to rise to the top of the list of Google results and cause mindless voters (whom the Left obviously disdains) to unthinkingly accept the top searches as fact, and so be moved to think poorly of those candidates. I think the electorate is increasingly savvy to such technical shenanigans (especially now that the strategy is getting a lot of press) but it exemplifies the cynicism with which the Left operates in our political system.

And it exemplifies the reasons why some would choose to operate anonymously – in an environment where corporate or personal reputations can be damaged by a rogue writer with a computer and grudge or a radical organization intent on manipulating elections, anonymity may be one of the greatest protections of free speech we have.


Is the Homosexual Agenda Fascistic?

June 29, 2010

As they pursue their agenda, the homosexual lobby attempts to frame itself as advancing fundamental freedoms. They liken themselves to civil rights advocates that came before – those that pursued greater freedom and fundamental rights for racial minorities and for women. To the degree that they can do this, they find great sympathy amongst the American electorate who are ever interested in advancing such freedoms as indicated by our 200+ year history.

But the question has to be asked, does the homosexual agenda actually advance freedom? Two recent events suggest the opposite.

The first takes place in my home state of Minnesota at the Twin Cities ‘Pride’ festival in Minneapolis’ Loring Park, which is a yearly gay celebration event. For the past ten years, Brian Johnson has passed out Bibles at the event, partly in protest of the event. He was even allowed to have a vendor booth there – until last year. This year he sought to continue to pass out Bibles and literature in the public park during the event – and the event organizers then sought a restraining order to keep him from doing so. A US District Court Judge then ruled in favor of the protestor and he was allowed to express himself at this public venue.

In attempting to restrict the rights of Brian Johnson, the Gay Pride Event organizers were actually being consistent with the effects of laws in place elsewhere that presumably protect homosexual rights, as has been noted before on this blog. Already in certain places in Europe one can be arrested for expressing criticism of the homosexual lifestyle or homosexual behavior. This demonstrates how, unlike other civil rights groups, the homosexual lobby seeks not only to prevent obvious discrimination, but they also want require acceptance of their behaviors, affirmation of their lifestyles, and a state sanction of their point of view. As much as this is true they seek to limit the religious and free expression rights of other. But in a recent Supreme Court decision they go even farther.

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled along these lines in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, a case where a Christian student group was uniquely denied recognition at a University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. They were denied access because they failed to comply with the college’s view of homosexuality by not allowing those who advocated a, “sexually immoral lifestyle” from having membership in the organization. Notice that the criteria made no specific mention of homosexuality or sexual orientation – merely that the choice of advocating certain lifestyles deemed immoral by their Christian faith (which would include adultery and sex outside of marriage) was contrary to the purposes of the organization.

It is notable that certain Christian beliefs would be contrary to the tenets of a gay advocacy group as well, and for such a group to exclude Christians who didn’t agree with the purpose would be exactly the same. Just as avowed Republicans could be excluded from a student Democrat group, or an avowed capitalist from the Young Communist League. Diversity on campus derives not from forcing every group to admit members who oppose the primary purpose of a group, but from allowing all sorts of groups to advocate on behalf of their own beliefs and interests. Forcing a Jewish organization to accept Neo-Nazi’s or a feminist group to be taken over by men is not to enhance ‘diversity’ but to subdue the messages and purposes of those groups. In the same way the policy of Hasting’s Law College abrogates the fundamental rights of CLS to express and advocate on behalf of a particular point of view – which incidentally is exactly the precedent held by previous Supreme Court rulings like Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. Both these decisions affirmed the right to association and its importance in preserving our 1st amendment rights.

In a matter of a few years we have gone from recognizing this freedom to completely rescinding it with CLS v Martinez. The primary reason we have done so is because of the influence of the homosexual lobby and its political agenda, which is consistently antagonistic to the rights of others. In fact, other than Islam, the most repressive force in Western societies is political correctness which is consists in large part of advancing the gay agenda. As Justice Alito brilliantly observes:

I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that today’s decision is a serious setback for freedom of expression in this country. Our First Amendment reflects a “profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, 270 (1964). Even if the United States is the only Nation that shares this commitment to the same extent, I would not change our law to conform to the international norm. I fear that the Court’s decision marks a turn in that direction. Even those who find CLS’s views objectionable should be concerned about the way the group has been treated—by Hastings, the Court of Appeals, and now this Court. I can only hope that this decision will turn out to be an aberration.

This decision will only be an aberration to the degree that the American electorate rejects the homosexual agenda – otherwise we can expect that our rights will continue to be reduced in the name of political correctness.


The Death of Free Speech and Religious Liberty in the UK

May 3, 2010

In yet another example of an increasingly intolerant Europe, a British Baptist pastor has been arrested in the UK for calling homosexuality a sin – as the Telegraph reports:

Mr McAlpine was handing out leaflets explaining the Ten Commandments or offering a “ticket to heaven” with a church colleague on April 20, when a woman came up and engaged him in a debate about his faith.

During the exchange, he says he quietly listed homosexuality among a number of sins referred to in 1 Corinthians, including blasphemy, fornication, adultery and drunkenness.

After the woman walked away, she was approached by a PCSO who spoke with her briefly and then walked over to Mr McAlpine and told him a complaint had been made, and that he could be arrested for using racist or homophobic language.

The street preacher said he told the PCSO: “I am not homophobic but sometimes I do say that the Bible says homosexuality is a crime against the Creator”.

He claims that the PCSO then said he was homosexual and identified himself as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender liaison officer for Cumbria police. Mr McAlpine replied: “It’s still a sin.”

The preacher then began a 20 minute sermon, in which he says he mentioned drunkenness and adultery, but not homosexuality. Three regular uniformed police officers arrived during the address, arrested Mr McAlpine and put him in the back of a police van.

At the station, he was told to empty his pockets and his mobile telephone, belt and shoes were confiscated. Police took fingerprints, a palm print, a retina scan and a DNA swab.

He was later interviewed, charged under Sections 5 (1) and (6) of the Public Order Act and released on bail on the condition that he did not preach in public.

In this exchange and subsequent arrest, we see all the typical elements of the fascistic gay rights agenda – individuals are offended by something said, a government official whose sole purpose is to advance that agenda involves himself in the process, and then escalates the activity to a ‘crime’ according to some vague and obscure statue. The offending citizen is then hauled off and upon release warned to cease speaking outside of the boundaries set by the politically correct state.

The great myth of the gay rights agenda is that it is merely about tolerance and equality. In Europe, where this agenda is much more firmly entrenched than it is in the US, we see that the agenda is really about coerced affirmation and state sanction. It isn’t enough merely to allow homosexuals to behave as they desire, but the state must recognize such behavior as good and right, and through draconian measures, prevent anyone from saying otherwise.

We must conclude that not only is the gay rights agenda ill-conceived on many fronts; it is also fundamentally detrimental to all our rights and liberties, and should be opposed by those who love liberty, whatever their views of homosexuality itself.