December 24, 2013

Kathy Griffin tweets a graphic, comparing Phil Robertson and Matthew Shepard — not a victim/victim.


Twitchy decries the comparison mainly on the theory that Robertson committed no act of violence against gay people and also observing that "the murder of Matthew Shepard... might not have had anything to do with Shepard being gay after all, but rather with drugs."

Here's the book that came out last September examining that evidence that the murder wasn't about homosexuality but crystal meth: "The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard."

But let's take this a step deeper and compare the repression of free speech and the use of physical violence to control and oppress people. Murder — especially torture murder, like Shepard's — is a terrible crime. Is it even worse if it is a hate crime — that is, if the victim is chosen because he belongs to a group toward which the murderer feels hate? The reason it is considered worse is because of what it does to the minds of other members of the group.

We all fear crime, and if there is a lot of murder going on, it erodes our sense of well-being and may inhibit our freedom to move around town. But when the crime is hate crime, it has a disparate effect on the minds of the people, so that some are constrained and afraid more than others. That matters! In fact, spreading a false belief that a murder is a hate crime also imposes that disparate burden on members of the group that was supposedly targeted.

Hate speech similarly affects the minds of the members of the group against whom hate has been expressed, and it can produce the same kind of fear of violence that is caused by a report of a hate crime. Now, there is hate speech and there is hate speech. Think of the most virulent hate speech, and you should see how powerful it is, how justified and painful the fear is. In extreme cases, members of the targeted group should take alarm and even flee in terror. A purveyor of hate speech need not commit an act of violence to create a fear of violence. He might inspire others to commit those acts of violence, and even if he doesn't, the threat of violence alone has an effect. False reports of hate speech work the same harm.

In the set of statements that could be characterized as hate speech, what Phil Robertson said was not that bad. Many would argue for a narrow definition of hate speech such that what Phil Robertson said would not be in the set at all. Defining the category very broadly is a political and rhetorical move, and it isn't always effective. At some point — and perhaps with Robertson, we've hit that point — you're being too repressive about what can be said on issues about which decent people are still debating, and it would be better to hear each other out and remain on speaking terms.

There is more good to be achieved by talking to each other and not shunning than by treating another human being as toxic. In fact, to treat another person as toxic is to become hateful yourself. It's better to let the conversation flow, and if you really think your ideas are good, why switch to other tactics? What's the emergency? Especially when your cause — like gay rights — is for greater human freedom, you ought to resist becoming a force of repression.

Since making his controversial remark, Phil Robertson has put out the message that as a Christian he loves everyone. Love speech is the opposite of hate speech, and it has so much more to do with Christianity than the reviling of sin in the earlier remark. He wants to speak against sin, but it's a problem when you aim a remark at a kind of person who has, over the years — over the millennia — felt a threat of violence and the burden of ostracism. I think Robertson knows that.

That's what I want to say in this conversation that I think should flow on. The love is in the conversation. The conversation is an independent good, even if we never agree.

Come on, haters. Show the love.

It's Christmas Eve.

178 comments:

madAsHell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
virgil xenophon said...

The VERY CONCEPT of "hate speech" is totalitarian and inevitably leads to "thought crimes." All hate-speach laws should be done away with as they are yet another marker on the road to the tyranny of the leftist, statist "Political Correct."

As the philosopher Eric Voegelin once wrote: "The end result of 'progressive' politics is totalitarianism."

Paco Wové said...

Poor comment thread, Godwinned in its cradle.

Shouting Thomas said...

Bullshit, Althouse.

If you live in fear of others, the answer is to toughen up.

If I were of a mind to, I could name you several straight men who were murdered by gay men.

Look, prof, you don't give a fuck about the fact this poor boy has been the lifelong punitive target of the quota systems. And, I don't give a fuck about your pet victims. That's all this is really about for you. Gays are your pets. Something about them turns you on. So, you are constantly searching for some kind of bullshit justification for shilling for them as victims.

You don't give a fuck about my problems. I don't want your pity. I learned to fight back. I learned to fight back against women like you who want me to take it up the ass for blacks, women and gays.

Fuck the victim bullshit. Toughen up. Learn to fight back. Stuff the whimpering victim crap up your ass.

You got your troubles and I've got mine.

Merry Christmas.

Birches said...

Come on, haters, show the love

You might disagree, but it seems to me that most of the devoutly religious people in the comments section have been talking about love since the incident blew up. We are some of the most un-hate filled people around. I've often said that if Matthew Shepard's killers had been members of a Church, that murder would never have happened. With the exception of a few pro-life fanatics, Christians don't go around hurting those they disagree with.

Today's society would be a lot better off if the majority of us spent Sunday learning about God's love instead of doing whatever it is we're doing now.

Ann Althouse said...

@madAsHell Twitchy makes that point, quoted by me in the post, and I go on to cite a whole book on the subject.

@virgil xenophon I wish you'd read the whole post and engage with the larger problem that I've described. If there is serious, virulent hate speech, such as Hitler's anti-Semitism, it causes intense pain and fear, it foments violence, and it is a warning that should cause real alarm. You are also conflating the problem of hate speech with the problem of criminal statutes about hate speech.

Birches said...

Of course, the bomb throwers always get the most attention. . . .

Broomhandle said...

Althouse has definitely found a subject that brings the commentariat running. You may be overdoing it though, as these seem to be slipping back into the two or three person Left/Right obsessive pissing matches of yore.

Paco Wové said...

I'm sure, on this Christmas Eve, millions of Christians and other religious people around the world will come together in gratitude, knowing that Ann Althouse only considers them a little bit hateful.

Ann Althouse said...

"'Come on, haters, show the love.' You might disagree, but it seems to me that most of the devoutly religious people in the comments section have been talking about love since the incident blew up. We are some of the most un-hate filled people around."

Some of you are. Ironically, your post has exactly the same time stamp as one that is especially hate-filled.

I said "Come on, haters"… if you are not a hater, then you're not one of the people I'm talking to. And the post is addressed to the whole American political arena, not just to the people who comment here.

Iconochasm said...

Shouldn't the issue of generating fear in a community already be covered under domestic terrorism laws?

Ann Althouse said...

"Poor comment thread, Godwinned in its cradle."

Look up what the Godwin rule really is. The citation of Hitler here was apt and completely justified.

Paddy O said...

I think a show co-hosted by Mike Huckabee and Kathy Griffin would be a ratings winner. Blogs wouldn't need to talk about anything else.

Sure it would be about the worst possible show I would want to watch, well at least tied with the Kardashians, but even still, it'd be a ratings winner.

The show could be called "Pay Attention to Me."

Shouting Thomas said...

Especially when your cause — like gay rights — is for greater human freedom, you ought to resist becoming a force of repression.

This is your lie, Althouse. You're a liar. You don't know that you are a liar, but you are.

This political movement you support is not "for greater human freedom."

It is an attack on freedom and human dignity.

You are completely deluded. Wait for this to play out. This is one of those odd areas of human experience where the ideal is at odds with the reality of human life.

What you call "prejudice" in the traditional role of gays was a compromise reached through thousands of years of human experience. Those generations of humans who reached that compromise are smarter than you.

You're wrong. Completely.

EDH said...

You see, in the Animal Farm of hate speech, some haters are more equal than others.

Like Kathy Griffin...

"I don't go to your job an knock the dicks out of your mouth."

garage mahal said...

I learned to fight back against women like you who want me to take it up the ass for blacks, women and gays.

Merry Christmas!

Ann Althouse said...

"Shouldn't the issue of generating fear in a community already be covered under domestic terrorism laws?"

This post isn't much about laws against hate speech.

In the United States, we have a First Amendment right to say the most vile things. It's worth remembering that, but there is more to this discussion than what the laws are.

You're free to do a lot of harmful things. I'm talking about what we should do, not what we can be prosecuted for. Retreating to a discussion of what the laws are is changing the topic and making it easier.

I would like people to read and understand the subject in the post and to seriously engage with what is said, not to trot out things you're reminded of that you usually say when the trigger "hate speech" seems to have been hit.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

OK, sorry, but my inner copy editor is stirring here and will not be silenced.

Kathy Griffin's graphic has him as "Matthew Shepherd." Your headline, Ann, has him as "Matthew Shephard."

The man's actual name was Matthew Shepard. Can't anyone trading on his symbolic value bother to spell him right?

Skeptical Voter said...

Virgil Xenophon beat me to the punch. The very concept of hate speech and hate crimes is ludicrous liberal bed wetting.

Dead is dead---and it doesn't much matter to the deceased how he came to that condition. He may have been tortured to death by his fellow meth tweakers who intended to harm him or run over on the highway by someone too drunk to form any intent at all.
As for hate speech the concept is anathema to the free expression of ideas. Blue stocking censorship (although in the case of GLAAD perhaps pink stocking) of words is just that--censorship.

Gahrie said...

We wouldn't need "hate speech" and "hate crimes" if we actually punished people for their crimes, instead of merely housing them in comfort for a few years.

Shouting Thomas said...

Wikipedia says that the death toll from AIDS now stands at 34 million!

This global pandemic was triggered by the irresponsible sexual behavior of gay men, Althouse.

Gays are exponentially more likely to kill themselves with their own sexual behavior than to be a victim of a crime of any sort.

You are mighty selective in your fucking outrage.

What in the fuck are you doing?

Gahrie said...

If there is serious, virulent hate speech, such as Hitler's anti-Semitism,

Did the NAZIs say anything worse about the Jews than the Democrats regularly say about the rich, Tea Party and conservatives?

PB Reader said...

I completely reject the notion of "hate speech" and increasing the penalties for crimes committed with "hate" in the mind. This just plays to the worst totalitarian instincts of mob justice.

A crime is still a crime, but thoughts and emotions are completely irrelevant to the crime. You cannot penalize someone for what they think, only what they do. The exception to this is speech as long as it is not slanderous.

Unfortunately most of those who would inflame a situation and declare something to be hateful or racial are committing slander, and should be held legally liable for their actions.

fivewheels said...

Who do you suppose is more filled with hate, Robertson toward gay people or Griffin toward devout Christian people? Not a rhetorical question.

JRH, esq. said...

A magnificent defense of thought crime as an institution.

You would make a first-rate benevolent dictator, Prof.

Gahrie said...

Isn't this an example of civility bullshit?

Hate speech is saying anything that a Lefty finds offensive. Nothing a Lefty says can be called hate speech. Just ask Sharpton, Farrakhan, Shultz and Savage.

madAsHell said...

Twitchy makes that point

Sorry. I failed to read the assignment. I deleted my wayward comment.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Gahrie,

Did the NAZIs say anything worse about the Jews than the Democrats regularly say about the rich, Tea Party and conservatives?

Well, yes. Yes, they did. Next?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Know what I hate? Calling people haters. It's way too easy, and cowardly, actually.

Ann Althouse said...

"I completely reject the notion of "hate speech" and increasing the penalties for crimes committed with "hate" in the mind. This just plays to the worst totalitarian instincts of mob justice."

Please read my comment at 10:01.

William said...

Before Hitler had broken hs first window Lenin and Stalin had killed millions. The artists and intellectuals, the people who dreamed of a better world, were more often than not supportive of these murders, even when they were being murdered. Lenin and Mao considered gays the epitome of bourgeoise decadence and sent lots of them to their deaths. But Griffin lacks sufficient knowledge or imagination to comprehend the harm caused by self righteous leftists.

Ann Althouse said...

"Sorry. I failed to read the assignment. I deleted my wayward comment."

LOL. Thanks.

somefeller said...

I'm feeling a lot of love here.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Althouse, insofar as Robertson just relayed biblical wisdom, you are saying that certain aspects of the Bible are hate speech.

Merry Christmas to you too.

m stone said...

After reading these comments, I'm thoroughly in the Christmas spirit!

Paco Wové said...

"Think of the most virulent hate speech, and you should see how powerful it is, how justified and painful the fear is. In extreme cases, members of the targeted group should take alarm and even flee in terror."

No, not seeing it. The Nazis were violent thugs who delighted in bodily harm and property destruction. That's where their terror came from. Not their speech.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Shouting Thomas, I have to confess I'm liking the cut of your jib today.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

PB Reader,

A crime is still a crime, but thoughts and emotions are completely irrelevant to the crime. You cannot penalize someone for what they think, only what they do.

No, sorry. I think the category of "hate crime" is as ridiculous as you do, but intent is the key element of many if not most crimes.

If A is up a ladder and drops a heavy object on the head of B below, killing him, it matters a great deal whether A meant to kill or injure B. I mean, it doesn't matter much to B, who is just as dead either way; but it matters to us, wouldn't you say?

Shouting Thomas said...

The civil rights era is over, prof. There aren't any civil rights battles for you to fight.

Nurse your nostalgia for the gold old days when you were the sainted reformer by listening to your Dylan records.

You're drowning in nostalgia for your youth.

Let it go. You aren't a sainted martyr fighting for the persecuted. Your gay friends and family members aren't being persecuted. You're just haggling for more stuff for people who are already fat and rich.

Give it a break.

John said...

Thomas said:

"You don't give a fuck about my problems. I don't want your pity. I learned to fight back. I learned to fight back against women like you who want me to take it up the ass for blacks, women and gays.

Fuck the victim bullshit. Toughen up. Learn to fight back. Stuff the whimpering victim crap up your ass."


Ann then said:

same time stamp as one that is especially hate-filled.

What Thomas said is hate filled?

So where do you stand, Ann, on laws banning hate speech? For or against them?

So where do you stand, Ann, on laws making hate crimes more serious than the underlying crime itself? For or against them?

As a Christian I say Merry Christmas.

As a human and a citizen, I say go fuck yourself. I suspect that Thomas was speaking for others as well as himself in his comment. I am certainly happy to say that I am in agreement.

And I do not see any hate in his comment or in my agreement.

John Henry

Inga said...

What a wonderful Christmas message ST. What would you want done to gays, for he sin of spreading AIDS? Lock them up in the gay gulag? Crucify them? Would you volunteer to be judge, jury and executioner? I feel the love force flowing strongly in ST on this fine crisp cold Christmas Eve morn.

Now for he sane people here. Telling homosexuals who are Christians that they are sinners, won't change the fact that they have an imprinted sexual orientation, most likely from before birth. I think perhaps those who wrote the Bible and condemned homosexuality as sin, didn't have the technology to concieve of such a thing. I forgive Christians for believing an ancient text written by fallible humans, because they believe in their hearts it is Divine. I guess we all will find out the Truth when we pass away from our earthly existence.

Paco Wové said...

"you are saying that certain aspects of the Bible are hate speech."

Yes, she is. It's the logical endpoint of the "leftist" argument here.

Since we've hauled up the Nazis from the ashpit of history on this Christmas Eve, I'm reminded of that story of the rabbi who willingly went to the gas chambers in lieu of another, knowing that after all, seventy years hence, Western civilization's learned teachers of law would consider his religion just a milder version of hate than that which the Nazis were pouring out, and no worthier of existence. Why not get it over with?*


*I may have gotten some details wrong.

Shouting Thomas said...

@Inga

You fucking idiot. You don't speak for gaysl

My gays friends don't agree with you about anything.

This habit of pretending that disagreement with your opinions suggests that I bear some sort of animosity against millions of people I don't even know is underhanded, infantile shit, Inga.

Go fuck yourself and Merry Christmas.

William said...

Ernst Rohm and his Brownshirts were instrumental in the rise of Nazism. Rohm and many of his lieutenants were openly homosexual. Homosexuals were not just the victims of hatred but the proponents of it.

John said...

Michelle said:

The man's actual name was Matthew Shepard. Can't anyone trading on his symbolic value bother to spell him right?

What difference, at this point does it make?

Nobody gives a shit about Matthew Shepard as a person. Especially people like Kathy Griffin and Ann.

He might as well never have been born. All he is is a rock to bash opponents heads with.

Bashing with love, not hate, of course.

I for one am sick and tired of having him thrown into my face. Fuck Matthew Shepard and the horse he rode in on. Not Matthew the person, his death is a tragedy as is any other murder.

But Fuck the Matthew Shepard that Ann and Griffin are talking about.

John Henry

Renee said...

What worries me isn't what Hollywood thinks, but people I know and love who believe this and rather then approaching me and figure out what I disagree and AGREE with gay rights that just assume this crap.

Inga said...

ST, may God bless you and keep you, because the devil is nipping at your heels.

Bill Crawford said...

My problem with "hate speech" is that there seems to be no clear or objective way of defining it.

Is a statement an example of hate speech based on the underlying beliefs or attitudes of the speaker? (Someone who elsewhere says "I hate gays" and then speaks against them?)

Or is it based on whether a person feels hated after hearing the statement, regardless of the intent of the speaker?

As has been demonstrated already in this thread, "hate speech" has been used to suppress free expression for political/cultural ends, and it's lack of clear definition helps make this suppression possible.

John said...

What was it Orwell said in about the future? I think it especially captures the future that progressives wish us to have.

Oh yeah:

"The future is a boot smashing a human face forever."

No doubt on the bottom of that boot will be a picture of Matthew Shepard.

John Henry

somefeller said...

I think this the part where Shouting Thomas says he's going to take a break to do some yoga, play his guitar and go to church. Because he's happy and filled with the Holy Spirit, you fuckers!

Michael K said...

"I wish you'd read the whole post and engage with the larger problem that I've described. If there is serious, virulent hate speech, such as Hitler's anti-Semitism,"

Hitler was NOT about speech ! Good grief !

If all Hitler did was rant about Jews and the other groups he murdered, we would not have had the Holocaust. The gay lobby has jumped the shark on this one.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Inga, your reasoning is an inch deep.

Why do you suppose the Bible labeled those activities as 'sin'?

I'll tell you why.

It was centuries before the 'germ theory' of disease became known.

But way before they knew WHY certain things (e.g. STDs) happened, they certainly were observant enough to know THAT they happened, and seemed to happen more to people who engaged in certain behaviors (anal sex, sex with animals, promiscuity in general, etc.)

That's why those activities are grouped together, and all called 'sins' in the scriptures. It was the only terminology they had, science being non-existent.

Shouting Thomas said...

I think this the part where Shouting Thomas says he's going to take a break to do some yoga, play his guitar and go to church. Because he's happy and filled with the Holy Spirit, you fuckers!

Precisely.

I am a happy warrior.

somefeller said...

No doubt, ST! That's obvious to everyone reading.

Inga said...

SHTSI,
I certainly hope you don't have shrimp for an appetizer before your Christmas ham today, only concerned for your health, don't be angry.

garage mahal said...

Nobody gives a shit about Matthew Shepard as a person. Especially people like Kathy Griffin and Ann.

This one of my favorite right wing retorts. Because you don't care who Matthew Shepard was how could anyone else! Also interchangeable with blacks, the poor, women, gays, unemployed, unions, etc

Renee said...

@ Igna

Teachings of the Catholic Church

"2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition."



This section falls into the larger section of chastity.

Why are acts objectively disordered.

"They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved."

(All of this applies to straight people as well)

What it seems the power of the Hollywood media is suggesting is that if I don't approve your sexual acts I must want you tortured and die out in the cold.

We always make clear the difference between the person and the act, it seems this media mob to treat the Catholic Church as hateful monsters intentionally blurs this distinction.
-----------

IN BRIEF

2392 "Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being" (FC 11).

2393 By creating the human being man and woman, God gives personal dignity equally to the one and the other. Each of them, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity.

2394 Christ is the model of chastity. Every baptized person is called to lead a chaste life, each according to his particular state of life.

2395 Chastity means the integration of sexuality within the person. It includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery.

2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.

2397 The covenant which spouses have freely entered into entails faithful love. It imposes on them the obligation to keep their marriage indissoluble.

2398 Fecundity is a good, a gift and an end of marriage. By giving life, spouses participate in God's fatherhood.

2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).

2400 Adultery, divorce, polygamy, and free union are grave offenses against the dignity of marriage.

Rob C said...

How do we parse/handle this:
"In the set of statements that could be characterized as hate speech"

COULD BE CHARACTERIZED?!?

The biggest single problem with all of this "hate speech" routine is that we're all submitting to the heckler's veto. Even worse, we're submitting to the heckler's interpretation of what was said rather than what was actually said.

At this rate I'm probably going to wind up channeling Protein Wisdom and the whole bit about intentionalism versus interpretation...

rcocean said...

Looks like the usual suspects. It'll be one of those threads.

And Kathy Griffith shows there is no connection between humor and intelligence. Sarah Silverman reinforces the point.

eric said...

Allow me to be the one to stand up for hate.

There are lot's of things I hate. And hate can be a very motivating emotion.

1) I hate those who want to curb hate speech. What the hell is hate speech anyway and who gets to decide? Dangerous.

2) I hate sin. No, I don't hate the sinner, but I do hate sin. This includes men having sex with men, having sex outside of marriage, adultery, bestiality, pedastry and the rest.

3) I hate laws that say hate crimes are worse than non hate crimes. I think a man who murders out of hate can be saved. I think a cold blooded killer, on the other hand, is so far gone, we ought to throw him down deep into a cellar and toss out the key.

Hating is ok. Even God hates. He hates sin.

Don't be afraid to hate, it's a great motivator. Only the deceiver wants you to stop hating.

Just be sure to not let yourself be consumed by hatred, or to hate good things. Only hate that which is evil.

John said...

GM,

Please do not label me "right wing" or "conservative" either.

I detest both those groups as much as I detest progressives. All they are is "progressive light"

If you want to label me, call me what I am, a proud "liberal" in the classic sense of the word.

Or Classical liberal, libertarian or minarchist. I prefer liberal but will answer to the others.

Not of either wing.

Proud supporter of Obie, BTW. He has done more to bring liberalism to the fore in 5 years than a President Ron Paul and a House and Senate full of Cruzs and Pauls etc could have done in 20.

We are winning. It took us 80 years to get to this point and the battle to reverse those years will not be won overnight. But we are making more progress than I ever expected in my lifetime.

John Henry

Inga said...

Hate is good. Christmas Eve sermon.

Renee said...

An individual is asked by a journalist his view on sexual sin in the context of his faith, according to Kathy Griffin that person should stay silent.

I must stay 'silent' or else I will be compared to people murder.

"this weird new bullshit: the Gay Suits demanding “gay positive” in the media versus the Gay Dudes who just want “gay reality” in the media no matter how painful and flawed that reality is. -Bret Easton Ellis (Out Magazine)"

sykes.1 said...

Stephen Jimenez has written a book about Shepard's brutal murder that states that he was killed over a meth deal gone bad, and that his killer, a homosexual, might also have been his lover.

As far as Phil Robertson goes, his full statement is simply mainstream Christian and Jewish doctrine: the homosexual act per se is a sin, but the homosexual person is to be respected and loved. And, of course, be encouraged to desist from his or her sin. The same is true of other kinds of sins and sinners: repent and reform and be saved.

It is nowadays believed by some or many that homosexuality is a result either of a genetic mutation during reproduction or an intrauterine infection. In either case, homosexual acts would not be a free choice, and the traditional, mainstream Christian and Jewish position might be seen as unrealistic. However, similar claims of biochemical or neurological causation have been made for all sort of addictions. Are alcoholism and drug abuse then not sins?

Kathy Griffin's own bigotry and debauchery are too well know for people to take her seriously as a social reformer.

virgil xenophon said...

@AA/

That gray area part of the Venn diagram where culture and politics overlap is where "hate speech" laws get made. Thus while from a technically legal standpoint the Duck Dynasty imbroglio is not directly a first amendment thing, the manner in which the Robertson's cultural opponents seek to negatively characterize/slander and marginalize them "preps the battlefield" as it were with the heavy artillery of cultural opprobrium that creates the sort of cultural zeitgeist which allows statist governments to enact laws/statutes that DO officially stifle/restrict/censor free speech. Thus such heavy-handed non-governmental cultural efforts are, to my mind, to be strenuously rejected.

If you're worried about coping with some new-age neo-Nazi movement, when the new-era Nazis (HOWEVER defined) start throwing stones thru windows, arrest them for THAT, but counter their speech and appeals to the public with better speech and more enticing appeals., not jail.

Democracy and capitalism, if allowed to work, have internal self-correcting mechanisms. It has been said that the reason there has never been a lasting stand-alone socialist party formed in America, even in the 30's and the days of the greatest public orator in American history, socialist Eugene V. Debs, was because of "the low-price and ready availability of beef-steak." Worry more about leftist kafka-like bureaucratic tyranny like the current version of the IRS that arrives, like the fog, "on little cat's feet."

somefeller said...

Just a thought, when I see people here talking about gay rights as being a species of progressivism that leads to totalitarianism. There once was a time when certain sorts of people said that the civil rights movement was a species of progressivism that leads to totalitarianism.

In fact, both are species of progressivism that lead to more freedom for all, in the best American tradition. And that's why the gay rights movement is gaining supporters, including among young libertarians and conservatives, while the anti-gay rights side is looking more and more like the twitching of those falling behind. Such is the arc of history, which bends toward justice.

That having been said, Kathy Griffin's comment was excessive, tacky and ill-advised. In other words, standard Kathy Griffin stuff.

Broomhandle said...

Mikhail Kalashnikov just died. No Google doodle?

David said...

Hate the sin, love the sinner.

Unless the sinner is a southern redneck closet genius who has a national platform and deserves to be taken down because he's a threat to the narrative.

garage mahal said...

Faith in Jesus and Hate Speech. I Thought This Website Was Crazy, but What Happened Next Changed Everything.

mccullough said...

The best lack all conviction while the worst are filled with passionate intensity.

There's too much passion around these issues from some on both sides. Mostly from people who make money and get publicity for what they say. So we get varying degrees of hate. Hate pays

mccullough said...

Righteous indignation is a sin

David said...

Who perpetrates the most violence on gay men? Other gay men or straight men?

I limit this inquiry to men because women are a relatively small percentage of perpetration of violence.

I do not know the results, but guess that other gay men are predominantly the ones doing the violence. This is because intimate relationships are a fertile source of violence. It does not necessarily prove that gays are more prone to violence in intimate relationships, but it might clarify where the real caution for gay men lies.

The other area of caution on violence for gay men is in the quickie or one night stand. I knew several closet gay men who got beaten up and robbed on trips away from home in lieu of the sexual encounter they had anticipated. A very sad and ugly thing.

Is anyone publishing studies on where the real threat of violence towards gays come from? I doubt it. Too controversial and too easy to politicize.

Bruce Hayden said...

Somefeller - you are frankly delusional when it comes to your assertion that progressivism leads to more freedom. Believing that it does, despite a century or more of evidence to the contrary, is probably how you can maintain your progressive ideology. But that doesn't make you right, but rather, I would suggest, possibly delusional.

Inga - adultery and promiscuity are innate and hardwired into a lot more people than homosexuality, and yet are also considered sins.

Henry said...

Althouse wrote: There is more good to be achieved by talking to each other and not shunning than by treating another human being as toxic. In fact, to treat another person as toxic is to become hateful yourself. It's better to let the conversation flow, and if you really think your ideas are good, why switch to other tactics? What's the emergency? Especially when your cause — like gay rights — is for greater human freedom, you ought to resist becoming a force of repression.

Imagine an invisible toxic phlogiston, a constant reservoir of hatred in some proportion to the human population. A face, a name, an incident collapses it into the angry minds of the mob. When the cause loses immediacy, the toxic element disperses outward. It slowly collects until its malevolent pressure finds entry into small minds through some new catalyst. It doesn't really matter what the trigger is. The name and face of George Zimmerman grow stale. Enter Phil Robertson. Like nature, hatred abhors a vacuum.

Inga said...

Bruce, I don't believe for a minute that promiscuity and adultery are hard wired. THAT is a choice, not homosexuality, unless it's a passing phase by a confused adolescent. There are the truly homosexual, they do not change their minds with maturity.

virgil xenophon said...

PS to my last: I should have thrown in there an equally gifted speaker, Huey P. Long whose "Every Man a King" and "share the wealth" platform was so appealing FDR adopted large parts of it in self-defense. And of course, a correction: I was thinking of Long when I said the 30 for Debs, he was actually a giant of the late 19th Cent and early 20s--a four time socialist candidate for President who Pres Grover Cleveland had jailed.

somefeller said...

Somefeller - you are frankly delusional when it comes to your assertion that progressivism leads to more freedom. Believing that it does, despite a century or more of evidence to the contrary, is probably how you can maintain your progressive ideology. But that doesn't make you right, but rather, I would suggest, possibly delusional.

Admittedly, the freedom to discriminate based on race, gender, etc., has diminished over the decades. So if that's the main "freedom" you think is worth protecting, I can see your point. Of course, that has led to a greater sphere of freedom and opportunity for those who would have been on the wrong end of that "freedom". But as I said, the arc of history bends a certain way, at least in this country. And that's no delusion.

damikesc said...

But, if the comparison is inapt, it's hardly weong to note that. Shepherd wasn't killed because he was gay. It was a drug deal gone bad.

I don't agree with hate crime laws because what constitutes "hate: is so very fluid. I don't offend easily. GLAAD is offended at the drop of a hat, largely to make money.

I'd argue a murder with no possible reason behind it is far more terrifying than a murder because of a specific reason. The fear will be centered in one group instead of the populace at large...but it would be less, overall, fear. Do terrorist bombers pick specific targets to express their rage? No, they seek targets that will cause the most chaos.

Renee said...

@Bruse

Adultery and promiscuity are acts.

Same-sex attraction in of itself, isn't a sin. Or how I phrase to my children, "that some people just do not have an interest in the opposite sex" isn't a sin. Yeah.. that is when it becomes sinful.

Lust and temptation is hard, you can't even buy groceries without some suggestive cover of Cosmo telling you how have sex.

damikesc said...

Now for he sane people here. Telling homosexuals who are Christians that they are sinners, won't change the fact that they have an imprinted sexual orientation, most likely from before birth. I think perhaps those who wrote the Bible and condemned homosexuality as sin, didn't have the technology to concieve of such a thing.

You're aware hetero sex without marriage is ALSO sinful, correct? Many kinds of sex are sinful. If you do not feel they are, that is grand...let's not pretend Phil is just way out in left field on this.

Michael said...

Matthew was beaten to death by his gay lover over a drug deal. But that fact is as uncomfortable as Christian doctrine.

Inga. You should read somerhing about the gay bath house scene in San Francisco in the 1980s and then decide about gay promuscuity. You may well he right, but you should have a look at one of the many well researched and written books on the period.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

There are basically only two reasons to intentionally hurt someone. One reason is seflishness. For example, a guy might kill a person to steal something, or to keep him from competing with you for the same woman, or he might kill a woman by overdoing it while beating her up to control her with torture. Or, you can kill a person because you hate them. For instance, Claus von Stauffenburg hated Hitler, and so tried to kill him. He is to be admired for having done so. Generally, people love (in the true, idealistic sense) what is beautiful, and beauty is mostly what is good. Love tends to be motivated by goodness and its opposite, hate, tends to be motivated by badness. In fact, acting on hate is more exclusively motivated by badness than acting on love is exclusively motivated by goodness, because whereas a special talent might well play a large role in deciding to be loving to someone, lack of talent isn't as much going to motivate one to hate inasmuch as lack of talent tends to cause its own destruction. It is very seldom right to kill someone merely because the person is hated, but very rarely it could be right. And quite generally, it is less bad to kill someone from hate than from selfish reasons.

Consider what the Analects of Confucious say about hate:

The Master said, "It is only the (truly) virtuous man, who can love, or who can hate, others."

People will sometimes say that hate is universally wrong. But some people are bad enough to be worthy of hate, and a very few, like Hitler, are so bad that it is right to act on that hate and wrong to not kill them if one has a good opportunity. One might could say that it was right to kill Hitler from love of those he would kill, but to me that is all that hate is--hate of someone is just feeling that on balance the world would be better off without the person's existence. Let me make clear what hate is not. Take someone who is horribly handicapped, say a baby that is born mentally retarded with scarcely any brain activity who requires tens of thousands of dollars of care each day to keep alive. One does not hate someone like that. One may (or may not) fail to feel sufficient love to keep him alive--the sacrifice to oneself and the others needing one's love may be excessive. But this is not what hate is. Von Stauffenberg presumably wasn't motivated to kill Hitler because he wasn't willing to love Hitler enough to put up with the sacrifices Hitler was imposing on himself, his family and those he was unselfishly loving. I think von Stauffenberg tried to kill Hitler because he felt rightly that it served higher good. In other words, von Stauffenberg tried to kill Hitler because he hated him, the best reason of all to try to kill someone.

The pro-sodomy movement tends especially to be against hate, because as an emotion hate frequently has an inertia to it that makes it difficult to displace by the sort of emotions that sodomy-chemicals tend to cause. And people will feel hate partly just to make sure they can feel hate, to test to make sure they aren't under the influence of sodomy. People can get somewhat insane in hate, and accordingly they will try to make a rational point of not getting carried away by hate. But a truly reasonable person tries to understand the reasons why there can be insane characteristics in hate. The simplest explanation is NOT that people have insane tendencies to hate too stubbornly an unforgivingly or to hate too much because it makes a nice contrast when much love is felt. No, it is irrational to suppose that people would such particular qualities for no reason when there is a very particular reason for them, viz., that such "insane" qualities are in fact quite useful when threatened by sodomy. The rational person is discriminating in his hate--knowing the appropriate sort of hate for the situation, he tends to feel the appropriate hate for the situation.

Ecclesiastes: "to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven ... a time to love, and a time to hate..."

Mark Nielsen said...


A different take on one of Althouse's statements:

[Suppressing] ["h]ate["] speech similarly affects the minds of the members of the group [whose speech has been suppressed], and it can produce the same kind of fear of [retribution] ...

I've never watched a minute of Duck Dynasty. But I read the supposedly-offensive words, and I don't see much there. I personally think the whole thing is probably a plot hatched by A&E to get publicity for the show.

But the reactions to the whole affair are very real, and illustrate very well the looming tyranny of PC thought. And, yes, it makes me afraid. I'm a Mormon working in academia. How long will it be until I must renounce either my membership in a "hate group" or my career?

Michael said...

The best advice on this or nearly any topic comes from Philo of Alexandria and I paraphrase him here:

Be kind because they too are going through a great struggle.

Bruce Hayden said...

Renee - sorry, I meant the tendency for adultery or promiscuity is hardwired into many, if not most of us, and not the performance of those acts. The sin is in the acting on the inclinations or drive, and not really having them and overcoming such.

Jupiter said...


"In fact, spreading a false belief that a murder is a hate crime also imposes that disparate burden on members of the group that was supposedly targeted.

Next you'll be telling us that Marx's Das Kapital imposed a disparate burden on the working class.

Broomhandle said...

Speaking of Godwin, it occurs to me that Matthew Shepard is GLAAD's Horst Wessel. The analogy isn't exact but it's pretty close.

Michael K said...

Blogger Inga said...
"Bruce, I don't believe for a minute that promiscuity and adultery are hard wired. THAT is a choice, not homosexuality, unless it's a passing phase by a confused adolescent. There are the truly homosexual, they do not change their minds with maturity."

Well said, Inga.

We need to be reminded from time to time of the force of your intellect.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Some further remarks.

This is all being talked about with the wrong focus.

If you would just take the anthropological viewpoint, it would become clear, and make sense.

It's all about guarding against those things that result in disease and death, with the added element of protecting innocents in the communities, small and large, that we, as social animals, must live in.

Anal sex is (realitively) unclean and more apt to cause disease that can be spread to innocents. I have no issue with consenting adults who take great hygiene precautions, but many don't, so if I KNOW you engage in anal sex, and I DON"T KNOW how careful you are, I am correctly a bit more wary of you, than of others.

Same goes for bestiality and promiscuity - the danger of spreading what you might pick up, to innocents.

That is why a man and a woman in a monogamous relationship is the 'ideal' for the species. They have the potential to create the next generation, and their sexual mores protect themselves, their children, and community others, from disease.

Over our history on the planet, we have sought to enforce these good behaviors, and discourage the bad ones, though we have not always properly labeled the 'why' - variously calling it 'sin', making laws against it, shaming it, etc.

The point is, it is RATIONAL.

Ann Althouse said...

"Hitler was NOT about speech ! Good grief !"

He STARTED with speech.

Anglelyne said...

I would like people to read and understand the subject in the post and to seriously engage with what is said...

Meanwhile, back in the real world...

Ann, if these matters, right now, were entirely extra-legal and being handled as merely social matters, merely matters of civility, your call to "seriously engage" here would make sense. But I believe you're missing something here. Something about a cart, horses, barn doors, let me think, I'm sure it'll come to me. Maybe you should have started that "let's have a civil discussion" stuff before your guys went all Stasi on us.

While you're invoking the First Amendment as if its existence is, right now, keeping all these issues strictly in the social sphere, the sphere of debate about civility, "anti-haters" everywhere are assiduously working to change that.

All this concern trolling of yours - "how 'bout you haters involve yourself in thinking about your good manners, your Christian kindness, so you don't bother us while we champions of freedom get on with gutting your traditional liberties" - is really starting to stink.

I'm sure nobody noticed how you snuck in that "what Phil Robertson said was not that bad", as if the debate starts with the premise that all reasonable people agree that there really was something wrong with what he said, and all we need to talk about is what degree of social sanctions we should bring against him. Loss of livelihood? Hound him into diversity classes? The stocks? Reasonable people can disagree!

I doubt you even noticed this yourself.

Love speech is the opposite of hate speech, and it has so much more to do with Christianity than the reviling of sin in the earlier remark.

You really sound like an idiot when you when you play dress-up as theologian. I offer that observation in the spirit of the purest Christian charity, of course, as we should all kindly correct wrongthink.

Jupiter said...

"There once was a time when certain sorts of people said that the civil rights movement was a species of progressivism that leads to totalitarianism."

No need for the past tense, somefeller.

The civil rights movement was a species of progressivism, and it was used as a pretext for a vast expansion of the scope and power of the federal government. The pretext no longer exists, but the powers will never be relinquished. Segregation was a governmental policy, and it would have been possible to eliminate that governmental policy without destroying the rights of free association and private property.

A hard look at history will show that exceptional powers are granted to deal with exceptional circumstances, but they tend to be used for other reasons. The EPA is now in the Climate Change business. The US Department of Agriculture is the world's largest welfare agency. The Department of Energy is a bank, and all its borrowers are broke.

madAsHell said...

I don't believe for a minute that promiscuity and adultery are hard wired.

My penis tells me otherwise....

Sigivald said...

Think of the most virulent hate speech, and you should see how powerful it is, how justified and painful the fear is. In extreme cases, members of the targeted group should take alarm and even flee in terror.

In the example you link to, the "extreme case" that did justify alarm and then flight was ... not just "hate speech", but the people who made it becoming the State.

The Nazis weren't much of a threat - not beyond the level of a street gang - until they took the State's power as their own.

Let's not conflate anything normally called "hate speech" with the National Socialist State, shall we?

It's both a cheap tactic and cheapens the real crimes of the Nazis by comparing them with the other use of "hate speech", which is just "speech that disparages a group the speaker likes".

Contra your reply to Virgil above, "serious, virulent" isn't the problem. It's power attached to it that's the problem.

(e.g. the speech of various radical Imams against gays and Christians is "serious and virulent" in the US, but they have no power here so they're not scary.

Powerless raving, hateful assholes aren't very scary.

Powerful ones are.)

Skeptical Voter said...

Yeah Ann--sorta like Obama, Hitler started out as a real good talker.

Cheap shot I know--but deeds not words are what count.

YoungHegelian said...

@Broomhandle,

Speaking of Godwin, it occurs to me that Matthew Shepard is GLAAD's Horst Wessel.

Good catch on the historical analogy, what with the murky deaths of both used to political ends!

Of course Shepard was just some kid in with the wrong crowd & Wessel was a full-bore SA thug, so there is a big difference in, shall we say, moral agency between the two.

SGT Ted said...

There is more good to be achieved by talking to each other and not shunning than by treating another human being as toxic. In fact, to treat another person as toxic is to become hateful yourself. It's better to let the conversation flow, and if you really think your ideas are good, why switch to other tactics? What's the emergency? Especially when your cause — like gay rights — is for greater human freedom, you ought to resist becoming a force of repression.

This here is where I am at. The Phil =not a victim/Matt =victim is merely part of the ongoing campaign by the left attempt to make people like Phil toxic.

Mark Steyn called it “de-normalizing”; putting people beyond the pale of polite society and mainstream culture based on their opposition to leftist political encroachment on basic civil liberties.

The left has developed and tested these “de-normalizing” techniques in our Universities for the past 40 years, using the rhetorical vehicles of "diversity" and "tolerance" to smuggle in totalitarian ideological control of ideas and speech.

Now, the graduates of these schools, steeped in this illiberal Academic culture, are using it on ordinary citizens that get out of line. Which was and is the goal of these people for the society they desire to create, where their ideological preferences are privileged over their opposition.

That's why those that wish to cut taxes are equated to racists and haters of poor people. It is to “de-normalize” those people that dare oppose them in order to effectively disenfranchise them of their 1st Amendment right of free speech.

Anglelyne said...

"Hitler was NOT about speech ! Good grief !"

He STARTED with speech.


Well OK then. We just need to ban speech. Even certified right-think Good Causes have been known to incite the excitable to violence, sometimes horrific violence.

Alright, I am now convinced that you're having a little Christmas Eve jape with us. Well played, ma'am. And you had to say something this stupid for us thickies to get the joke.

Jason said...

Angelyne, I noticed that, too. Althouse starts with false premises right out of the gate.

I noticed some time ago that The Professor is incapable of talking about homosexuality like an adult.

gadfly said...

Fortunately for me, I don't subscribe to Twitter (and I cannot think of any good reasons to do so)- so I cannot see Kathy Griffen's tweeted picture. Since I don't know who she is (my first thought was Kathie Gifford)- so I will pass on a non-story about a non-debatable subject.

There are lots of stories out there, Ann, that do not involve the nonsense that is Twitter. It is indeed complementary that you have generally stayed away from this idiotic social media while Professor Jacobson pisses me off with his frequent adventures into that dark world.

Crazy Jane said...

I have a problem with "hate crimes." Our founding documents leave us free to hate whom we will, misguided or not. We do not have thought police in this country, at least not yet.

The reason the murder of Matthew Shepard was wrong was because Matthew Shepard was a man, not because he was a gay man.

The reason the police beating of Rodney King was wrong was because he was an American citizen with the right not to be beaten by the police, not because he was a black man.

If we acknowledge the humanity of each individual, it seems pretty obvious to me.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Hate works.

Calling Romney an out of touch greedy capitalist pig worked. So that is what my side, which when it comes to voting has been R, needs to do.

Hate abortion. Show women who committed suicide after abortions. Show abortions themselves. Show Gosnell and others. Then show Dems cheering Wendy Murphy. Moby some of her press gigs with pro-abortion chants with old hags cackling in glee at the freedom for teens to get abortions paid for by Christians.

Hate fraud. Show starving children then Solyndra fat cats living Wolf of Wall Street style on the taxpayer dime.

Hate Obamacare and highlight the deaths then contrast with Obama giggling about opposition to it.

Hate Hate Hate 24/7 with no end to the forever campaign.

Happy Warrior said...

Back in the old days, people held a view that what went on in their minds was something that they influenced, if not at least to a degree controlled. Growing into adulthood was in part a process of becoming adept at living like this. How is this done 'under the hood'? From the mature human capacity to choose a perspective about the events happening to and around us.

Many benefits flowed from believing and acting according to this way of thinking. One benefit was that fear was viewed as flowing from the thoughts of the individual feeling fear, not the situation itself. Consequently, one could be calm in the face of fearful circumstances. Similarly, in the face of harmful or hateful circumstances (or both!) one could find a perspective that resulted in authentice love. In this Christmas time, the premier example was Jesus in the midst of being crucified unjustly. As the account goes, from the cross his thoughts and prayer was 'Father forgive them for they know not what they do' -- about as 'unnatural' an act as you could imagine.

When we choose to live like we don't have that capacity to choose our perspective about the events around us (as well as about the people and ourselves), we become at best a robot, being programmed from without. This then is my problem with the idea that 'hate crimes' are worse than plain old crimes because they cause a specific class of people to feel fear because of their membership in that class. This fear that is caused in the members of the class does not come from a specific threat, but a potential threat that statistically will not ever happen to them. I don't dispute that we can all feel fear from very low probablity threats (my personal one being that the earth will be struck by an asteroid large enough to render the earth uninhabitable). However, the mature (and what used to be called 'sane') approach is to meet such fear with courage and not be hindered by fear. Identically, this is what is required to love the unlovely and unloveable.

Chris Lopes said...

I'm not sure what to make of some of the people here who seem so willing to take the wrong train to work today. If I am reading the Professor correctly, she is not talking about what should be legal or illegal, or even what should be culturally allowed or not. She's basically saying we should stop trying to shout each other down and actually start listening to each other.

I think her definition of hate speech is
speech that is designed (by the speaker) to intimidate and cause fear in some group or individual. Given that definition, she is talking about Kathy Griffin as much (if not more) as Phil Robertson. The reference to Shepard was hers after all, not Professor Althouse's.

SGT Ted said...

Hate is good. Christmas Eve sermon.

Just look at GLAAD. They thrive off of hate. They rely on it. If they didn't have hatred in their service, they wouldn't exist as they do right now. They hate just as much as any mouth-foaming fundy. And that's the entire root of their problem.

Hate isn't any prettier coming from gay people. It's not fabulous at all.

SGT Ted said...

This is a problem: If you are a gay man who is not The Gay Man as Magical Elf, then you run the risk of being ostracized by the elite gay community.

Written by a gay man about GLAAD. He calls GLAAD PC corporate fascists too. I agree with him. They are.

Ann Althouse said...

"Well OK then. We just need to ban speech. Even certified right-think Good Causes have been known to incite the excitable to violence, sometimes horrific violence."

That is not what I have said. I am not talking about laws, as I've said over and over again here. Are you deliberately misunderstanding me, not bothering to read me, or genuinely incapable of understanding what is being said?

Ann Althouse said...

I would patiently explain in simpler and simpler language if I believed people were reading what I am saying and really could not understand, but I don't think that is what is happening here.

If I'm wrong and you really can't understand, show me and I will say more. Otherwise much of this thread is just people spouting off about feelings they've had that are somehow triggered by whiffs of things they think they are seeing in what I have written.

I would appreciate the basic respect of having my words read and understood before you rush to fight with me.

eric said...

Inga wrote:

"Bruce, I don't believe for a minute that promiscuity and adultery are hard wired. THAT is a choice, not homosexuality, unless it's a passing phase by a confused adolescent. There are the truly homosexual, they do not change their minds with maturity."

The Inga's of the world don't understand the Christian position.

Homosex is a choice. Adultery is a choice. Promiscuity is a choice.

Being attracted to men is not a choice. Being attracted to women not your spouse is also not a choice. Being attracted to many different women, another non choice.

We do not choose who we find ourselves attracted to. Hell, if we did, many of us married men would only ever choose to be attracted to our wives.

Certainly, Inga, even you can agree that men don't choose to be attracted to women they aren't married to? Let's hope.

However, our actions are a choice. Always.

Men attracted to men (not a choice) then have sexual relations with those men (choice). Men attracted to women not their spouse (not a choice) then have sexual relations with those women who are not their spouse (choice).

See how this works?

The hard wiring isn't in the actions we take. It's in our attractions.

If you think men aren't hard wired to be attracted to multiple women, you might want to have a sit down with some of your male friends and learn something. Given the opportunity, men would choose to copulate with 100's if not 1000's of women. It's how we are hard wired.

We choose to get married and be with only one woman for many reasons, and deny ourselves the sexual license to copulate with any female that moves.

I hope this makes clear the Christian position on sin.

eric said...

"I would appreciate the basic respect of having my words read and understood before you rush to fight with me."

I tend to agree with Dennis Prager here. If the words of the author aren't generally understood, it's the authors fault.

Michael K said...

"He STARTED with speech."

If only he had finished with speech, like the "haters" you hate.

I still say the gay lobby has gone over the side on this one. They will regret this, I suspect. They'll never say so, unlike Cracker Barrel.

Shouting Thomas said...

The real problem you're facing, Althouse, is that you are unaccustomed to a blunt and convincing rebuttal of your ideas on this subject. That's what I've been doing for a long time.

My ideas on this subject are informed by a lifetime of close association with gay men. I was there during the heydey of the coming out party in SF, and I was on your side back in those days. Observation of the reality of gay behavior, and the outcome of it, along with my friendships with gay men, changed my outlook, and convinced me that the traditional role for gays was the proper role.

My long association with Filipino culture showed me another traditional and workable role for gays.

Your ideals are unworkable. You are committing the cardinal error of the progressive, which is to think that because you profess "love" that love is the outcome of what you profess. It's the sin of good intentions.

You're wrong. I've observed and lived with the outcome of your ideas. Your ideas are ultimately destructive for everybody, and they are particularly destructive for gay people.

Human behavior and society do not function according to rationalism or idealism. The environment in which you live and work leads you to the delusion that rationality and idealism should rule. You left the practical world of the law as a business for that precisely reason.

Your job is to be an idealist. That idealism works best confined to your classroom and your books.

SGT Ted said...

I'm sure nobody noticed how you snuck in that "what Phil Robertson said was not that bad", as if the debate starts with the premise that all reasonable people agree that there really was something wrong with what he said, and all we need to talk about is what degree of social sanctions we should bring against him. Loss of livelihood? Hound him into diversity classes? The stocks? Reasonable people can disagree!

This is a very good point.

William said...

Wasn't Ernst Rohm the first victim of Hitler's persecution of the gays. Shouldn't he be in the pantheon of gay heroes?.......The last president of South Africa denied the existence of AIDS. He thought it was all some kind of scheme by big pharma to sell expensive drugs. He was personally responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of AIDS victims. He spoke at Mandela's funeral. Any chance that Griffin would make a joke about this?.........There are apparently a fair number of people on this planet who find that pissing or being pissed on is an erotic act. I don't know if being a piss freak is hard wired or developmental. To me the act seems icky, but I'm behind the curve on this sort of thing. On the hipster show Girls, one of the characters engaged in it, so by this time next year it will probably be all the rage......I think piss freaks should have the right to marry, adopt children, and to live their lives free of ridicule. That said, I think I should have the right to find that the way they express their sexuality is weird and distasteful.......In our era, sex is far more often engaged in for recreational than pro relational reasons. Some sex acts don't look like they'd be all that much fun and are open to criticism on that basis.

Anglelyne said...

That is not what I have said. I am not talking about laws, as I've said over and over again here.

Yeah, we know that. I addressed why your "it's not about the law" is also problematic in reality, if not woolly-minded about reality. You ignored that and jumped on that verb "ban", in order to go on insisting you've got something terribly interesting to say here that others just aren't getting.

Some people are knee-jerking, but I don't think it's your readers who are being obtuse here.

Mitch H. said...

If bad speech is equivalent to murder, than Kathy Griffin is a genocide.

Hitler didn't start with speech, he started with a beer-hall putsch, if I recall correctly. Mein Kampf was written in prison *because* he started with violence, sort of like how Hugo Chavez started with a failed coup attempt and later managed to get in via the ballot box.

Kathy Griffin is not a genocide, for the literal-minded. Just a tiresome harpy. Presumably loud, I've managed to avoid watching anything with her in it since, hell, when did NewsRadio go off the air? Wait, I'm confusing her with Andy Dick. Which middle-of-the-road sitcom am I supposed to remember her from? Suddenly Susan? Did I actually ever watch that, or is this one of those "recognition through cultural osmosis" deals?

Lydia said...

Althouse said...It's better to let the conversation flow, and if you really think your ideas are good, why switch to other tactics? What's the emergency? Especially when your cause — like gay rights — is for greater human freedom, you ought to resist becoming a force of repression.

Isn't a big part, maybe the biggest part, of the outrage over Robertson's statement due to his graphic depiction of a gay sex act? An act that fills many, maybe most, people with repugnance? And if that's the case, can gay activists really just "let the conversation flow", rather than directing it into abstractions, like "rights" and "justice"?

SGT Ted said...

Ask any mom of a teenaged boy if male promiscuity is hardwired.

Broomhandle said...

YH,
Not so much in who he was but in the way his death was exploited.

Leit Bart said...

Does anyone find the depiction of gays in this Obamacare commercial hateful? Loathesome?

http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/18/if-you-think-pajama-boy-looks-effeminate

Shouting Thomas said...

And, Althouse, as you've been gloating for the past week, you thought blunt criticism of your ideas on this subject had been banished from polite conversation.

That's probably true in the little re-education camp where you live and work.

But, as you've discovered, those ideas you thought had been banished from polite conversation still live.

Rusty said...

First you call it a drug deal gone bad and in the next breath a hate crime. Which is it?

He wants to speak against sin, but it's a problem when you aim a remark at a kind of person who has, over the years — over the millennia — felt a threat of violence and the burden of ostracism.

You mean jews?
Homosexuality hasn't been reviled by all cultures through 'millenia'.

You're maybe too close to this subject.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Hate speech similarly affects the minds of the members of the group against whom hate has been expressed, and it can produce the same kind of fear of violence that is caused by a report of a hate crime.

The rigged deal takes place as the person who hears the so-called 'hate' is given absolute discretion in judging it beyond the pale. That's an injustice, as the alleged 'victim' can use it to convict the speaker of "****-ism" with merely a fake assertion of distress.

Facebook intellectuals who declare that "Hate speech is not free speech" are using the cheapest of dodges to suppress honest discussions, and should be ashamed of so abusing their own noggins while they abuse those they label arbitrarily as 'hate' speakers, and all other parties to the discussion while they're at it.

Lydia said...

Nice: GLADD has bullied Bob Newhart into withdrawing from a speaking engagement with a Catholic group of businessmen, which happens to endorse the Church's stand against SSM.

"No conversation for you!" (Think Seinfeld's Soup Nazi.)

Lydia said...

That's GLAAD.

Elliott A said...

Cherry picked religion and human nature are at the core of the whole discussion. Knowing now that homosexuality is not a choice, but rather how some people are made should make a person of faith accept that if they are that way, God made them that way and the people who penned the Bible didn't have access to this information. "Because the Bible says so" is in direct contradiction to the teachings of Christianity and Judaism. We see the problems the Muslims have with the absolute veracity dogma of the Koran.
IMHO (a Jewish person by the way) God would not have so many different kinds of people with so many different religions if it mattered to Him. As Ghandi said when meeting with the Muslim political leader after the British left India, "Our only difference is that we pray to different faces of the same God".
We are all different and to some the differences are annoying, disgusting, unfathomable and just plain weird. Once you accept the differences you can honestly stand against quotas, affirmative action and preferences. The individual either has "it" or they don't. It is nobody's fault, it is in the DNA.
And to all who celebrate: Merry Christmas!

Paco Wové said...

"At some point — and perhaps with Robertson, we've hit that point — you're being too repressive about what can be said on issues about which decent people are still debating, and it would be better to hear each other out and remain on speaking terms.

There is more good to be achieved by talking to each other and not shunning than by treating another human being as toxic. In fact, to treat another person as toxic is to become hateful yourself. It's better to let the conversation flow, and if you really think your ideas are good, why switch to other tactics?"


An interesting dynamic here is that Althouse is talking, decent person to fellow decent person, to the likes of Inga, somefeller, and GM. Come on! Don't be so mean to the bitter clinging troglodytes! They might come around! But those people aren't the ones that are responding to her – far more enjoyable to tell other people how hateful they are.

AllenS said...

I've had my DNA tested, and there was no information provided to me about my sexual preference.

eric said...

"Knowing now that homosexuality is not a choice, but rather how some people are made should make a person of faith accept that if they are that way,"

As mentioned earlier, this is in error.

Who we have sex with is a choice. Who we are attracted to is not a choice.

See the difference?

God didn't make us rapists. He gave us the choice to refrain.

A homosexual has the choice not to engage in sex, doesn't he?

There's your choice. In so choosing, one chooses sin. Just as one chooses adultery, or multiple sex partners, or bestiality, or pedastry.

It's possible a pedaphile doesn't choose his attraction to children. However, what he does about that attraction is certainly her choice.

Renee said...

@Lydia

Wow.

I don't know. We are being silenced. I read how they have been twisting Pope Francis words, knowing that no one is going to bother to just Google to the Vatican and figure out that isn't what the Pope is saying.

We had Sunsong convinced by a satirical site, that the Pope was reversing everything about Catholicism.

We have George Soros and GLAAD using their financial power to destroy businesses and entertainmeners into submission.

How far will this go?

SGT Ted said...

The real shame is that most gay men—who are every bit as hilariously filthy and raunchy and un-PC as their straight male counterparts—have to somehow tow the GLAAD party line in public or else be criticized.?

GLAAD even goes after their own. This should be instructive to those that think Phil the Duck should be subject to the same. But it won't be.

iowan2 said...

Lets be clear.

GLAAD, and the rest, have the goal of marginalizing the Bible into the same category as KKK

Meet the same fate of referencing the bible as wearing a white hood.

Disagreeing with the bible is no longer good enough, those that insist on referencing it as a world view must be punished.

That is all Phil Robertson did, share the good news. Everyone that is claiming to be offended worked very hard to access the supposed slight.

Smilin' Jack said...

That's what I want to say in this conversation that I think should flow on. The love is in the conversation. The conversation is an independent good, even if we never agree.

Bullshit. I suspect that in reality you, like me, would go to considerable lengths to avoid a conversation with Phil Robertson about anything, and especially gay sex.

Come on, haters. Show the love.

It's Christmas Eve.


Bah, humbug.

Unknown said...

Mr. Blogger Elliott A:

"Knowing now that homosexuality is not a choice, but rather how some people are made should make a person of faith accept that if they are that way, God made them that way and the people who penned the Bible didn't have access to this information."

This issue is not an has never been abut attraction, it's about actually having sex. PR went semi-graphic about it because sex is, well, graphic and not pretty. Your comment shows a profound disregard for the Bible in many ways, not the least of which is that in Romans it says clearly that mankind went for something other than the authority of God, and one of the results was men desiring to have sex with men and women desiring to have sex with women. I.e., homosexual desire is not a "fault" of an individual as much as society.

Birches said...

I'm so glad I had other things to do today and didn't keep up with this thread . . .

virgil xenophon said...

The masthead on the British blog "Harry's Place" says it all, really:

"Liberty, if it means anything, is the right to tell people what they don't want to hear."

Alex said...

Germany, England and other EU countries have laws against this type of hate speech that Robertson spewed. Why are they wrong? They obviously have better functioning countries than we do, Apple notwithstanding.

Alex said...

Why are Christians obsessed with gay people?

eddie willers said...

I noticed some time ago that The Professor is incapable of talking about homosexuality like an adult.

This her blind spot

Kind of like Camille Paglia and her love of Madonna.

damikesc said...

Why are Christians obsessed with gay people?

You seem to confuse "answering questions" with an obsession.

Alex said...

It's an obsession. Phil Robertson could have simply said 'no comment'.

eric said...

Alex wrote;

"Why are Christians obsessed with gay people?"

Why are gay people obsessed with Christians?

Alex said...

The very fact that he had to go on and on about orifices reveals that he might be a latent homosexual himself.

Alex said...

eric - because Christians are actively obstructing the civil rights of gay people?

eric said...

Alex wrote;

"eric - because Christians are actively obstructing the civil rights of gay people?"

I could see someone making the argument that Phil Robertsons civil rights have been "obstructed" because his religious belief's caused him to be fired from his job.

But I have a difficult time seeing how Phil Robertson is "obstructing" the civil rights of gay people.

Perhaps he's being lumped into the larger group of Christians and an assumption is being drawn. Like when racists lump all colored people together and call them all criminals or something?

Please help me understand, Alex.

Jason said...

Shush, Alex. Grownups are talking.

virgil xenophon said...

And of course Alex just has to bring up that old canard used by queers and their lefty "progressive" allies to slime normal males--that they are all "latent homosexuals" underneath, thus implying that, at base, homosexuality is actually "normal." Not only is this a typical debating tactic, but "Queer Theory" academics often espouse this belief as well--the disgusting tactics of someone who realizes he's on the losing end of the argument while at the same time trying to suggest the legitimacy via "normality" of queers by stealth (i.e., the suggestion that everyone's a potential Queer..)

Michael said...

Well here we are on Christmas Eve going on and on about gays. Nowhere else on the entire planet is this much wind being devoted to the topic.

Alex said...

Michael - the simplest way to get it out of the daily discussions is to grant gays their full civil rights.

n.n said...

Shepard was a victim of his own sins. Don't do drugs!

Robertson was a victim of people with an expensive yet marginal education. Replacing biology with sexual education has been a cause of progressive confusion.

Gahrie said...

She's basically saying we should stop trying to shout each other down and actually start listening to each other.

I'd agree, but things have gone too far. The Left and the Right are living in two different realities today, and we have to be able to agree on facts and truths before we can have a meaningful conversation.

virgil xenophon said...

@Gahrie/

Yes, my favorite formulation of that viewpoint is that "We are all living in an M.C. Escher world now," i.e., "ships passing in the night" but only in adjacent parallel universes..

Elliott A said...

Why would anyone choose to have sex with someone who holds not a physical attraction, but a physical repulsion? This makes no sense. Human nature makes us seek that is pleasurable and avoid that which is not. To take the words written by men and have the arrogance to say that those words perfectly reflect God's will is not an intellectually defensible position. It is not possible to know God's will. This is what I meant by "cherry picking". One section says that homosexual behavior is a sin. You follow that one. The Old Testament has 611 specific commandments all prefaced by "God said" I guarantee there are only a handful of people who follow them all. What makes one commandment more important than another? Who are we to say?
The adultery example is not congruent since the choice not to have sex with a particular individual does not prevent you from having pleasurable sex. The homosexual example requires individuals to live out their lives without knowing sexual satisfaction which is the most powerful physical experience in humans. What would be the point of God doing that to 10% of the population in perpetuity? This is quite contrary to the loving God meme our faiths all contain.

eric said...

Therein lies the rub, eh Elliot?

Once you acknowledge the choice, now you have to cry to the heavens, "But it isn't fair! Sex feels so good! How could it possibly be sinful?!"

But at least now we can move the argument forward, instead of claiming they have no choice in the matter.

Yes, we all have a choice.

But is it fair? What if your only sexual satisfaction comes from gay sex? What if your only satisfaction comes from bestiality? What if your only sexual satisfaction comes from rape? What if your only satisfaction comes from pederasty?

Life, it's so unfair.

Michael said...

Alex. No, I think I will continue tomdeny them their rights, that being in my power,of course. Nothing gives me more pleasure unless it is my taking your personal share of the financial pie which I will make a point to do in 2014.

Cheers.

Jupiter said...

Alex said...

"the simplest way to get it out of the daily discussions is to grant gays their full civil rights."

You mean, including the right to decide who gets to have a job?

Alex said...

Amazing how easy it is to expose the Althouse commetariat as bigots. They just do it on their own with hardly any prodding.

Michael said...

Alex. Spot on old chum. Is your horse named smug and your saddle named sanctimony or is it the other way around racist and homophobic turd?

Renee said...

But .marriage public policy was about obligation not rights.

Even the highest court in New York upheld that in 2006, heterosexual behavior is naturally ordered in creating a child and obligations of both mom and dad. Sure some heterosexual couples do not have kids and we can't force people to marry but male/female sex leads to children. So we want to encourage marriage for specific reason.

What leads to the state having an interest in a relationship? If it involves an obligation.

Even gay atheist children have a mom and dad...

Right?

You can ignore an obligation, but you can not make it vanish or silence it.

It isn't a right to deny an obligation.

Krumhorn said...

Ann, I think you made a noble and reasonable effort to thread the needle on how our speech is classified by others, particularly those who disagree. In general, you always seem to exhibit a tendency to be reasonable and find a path. But you expect too much.

Once you begin the process of parsing out what is (and what is not) hate speech, you have to begin with an assumption of generalized goodwill. I do not make that assumption. I do not believe for a second that when folks label something as hate speech, that they are making a moral statement. You said it best. They are making rhetorical and political statements.

From there, you descend into lawmaking and achieving political objectives.

While I think you are almost always reasonable, I think you are also usually unrealistic.

- Krumhorn

Illuninati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Illuninati said...

I'm probably too late to weigh in on this case, but there are problems here.

The real hate speech here is by those who are establishing a connection between Phil Robinson to the death of a man whom he didn't know and had never harmed. I know of no instance in which Phil Robinson has ever suggested that anyone should harm homosexuals. That form of hate speech is similar to the charges made against Sara Palin in which the left tried to smear her with the shooting of Gabby Giffords by a deranged man who if anything was a lefty himself.

The story about what caused the Mathew Shepard murder has become a lefty myth which is short on facts. There is no proof that the Matthew Shephard murder was related to his sexual orientation. The lack of proof has not stopped the lefties from creating a giant myth with which they are demonizing anyone who does not submit to their agenda. That myth itself is a form of hate speech. Here is a source which calls the lefty myth into question if anyone is interested.
http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=277685&page=4

Drago said...

Alex: "Michael - the simplest way to get it out of the daily discussions is to grant gays their full civil rights."

Do those "full civil rights" include forcing Christians to perform services at homosexual weddings upon pain of loss of business by the state?

Alex said...

Drago - yes, the law does not allow discrimination based on gender/creed/race/religion/sexual orientation.

Renee said...

Orientation (a state of being of an individual) is different that an physical act or a relationship with another.

n.n said...

While Shepard was a victim of his choices, Robertson was a victim of a cult which worships sex, money, and ego.

People should be free to be their own victims. However, that right does not extent to other lives.

While Christians around the world celebrate life, Democrats celebrate death.

Merry Christmas!

eric said...

Drago,

Your civil rights end where Alex's begin.

Alex said...

I am not gay, but I believe in gay rights like all 30-somethings who are not Evangelical Christians.

Illuninati said...

Alex said...

"I am not gay, but I believe in gay rights like all 30-somethings who are not Evangelical Christians."

Why have you singled out the evangelical Christians? In what way are evangelical Christians more hostile to "gay rights" than Catholics and Muslims?

Alex said...

Catholics are not hostile to gays, but Muslims are.

Illuninati said...

Alex said...
"Catholics are not hostile to gays, but Muslims are,"

You have morphed from "gay rights" to hostile to gays. That is a big jump. Does the Catholic church support "gay rights" in the sense you mean or not?

Illuninati said...

As Alex's comments show, the left has decided to single out evangelical Christians for their hate campaigns. Why would that be?

Of all the groups who have fought and died for religious freedom and tolerance, none have ever surpassed the evangelical Christians. The Catholic church did a yeoman's job bringing the invading Germanic tribes together into Western civilization but about 1100 they went off the tracks and set up the Inquisition which persecuted religious dissenters and murdered some of them. The Protestant Reformation was necessary to take Western civilization the next step towards tolerance and freedom which we have today. Islam started out as a regressive religion which has become worse over time.

If you want to destroy Western Civilization and set up a tyranny like the leftists do it is essential to destroy the Religious group which is least likely to buckle and support that tyranny. That would be the Evangelical Christians.

eddie willers said...

I am not gay, but I believe in gay rights like all 30-somethings.....

I was an idiot liberal until age 38, so there is still hope for you.

Alex said...

eddie - I'm 37.

damikesc said...

It's an obsession. Phil Robertson could have simply said 'no comment'.

...or the interviewer couldn't have asked the question. Maybe the media is the one obsessed with homosexuality.

Michael - the simplest way to get it out of the daily discussions is to grant gays their full civil rights.

Because that's done well with any other "civil rights movement". God knows there aren't any agitators who make money off of discontent constantly bitching about non-issues and infantilizing their own "protected class" to this day.

Drago - yes, the law does not allow discrimination based on gender/creed/race/religion/sexual orientation.

So, Christians should opt to just enslave themselves?

Seems like a bad idea.

"Give them their 'civil rights' and, by the way, you should also go ahead and forfeit yours".

You're aware that this will simply lead to the backlash to end all backlashes against homosexuals, right?

SGT Ted said...

Phil Robertson could have simply said 'no comment'.

Translation: He should have kept his mouth shut if he knew what was good for him.

yes, the law does not allow discrimination based on gender/creed/race/religion/sexual orientation.

If you really believed that, you would oppose what GLAAD is doing to him, simply because he spoke his religious views out loud.

Phil hasn't ever tried to get any gay person fired for advocating gay marriage and equality. But, GLAAD is attacking religious people and trying to ruin their lives, simply for speaking their beliefs out loud.

GLAAD are a pack of evil bigots doing to Christians what was once done to them.

eddie willers said...

eddie - I'm 37.

Sometimes all it takes is a single moment to crystallize what has been bubbling in the back of the brain. (and I can tell you are conflicted by your posts)

Mine came while I was watching the hate filled Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden performing their High-Tech lynching of Clarence Thomas.

There is a good chance that this regime will do something in the next year that will make you think, "Oh....that's what eddie was talking about".

Alex said...

eddie - I'm never going to change my mind on religion, gay rights, abortion rights. I'm a strict libertarian on all things.