December 21, 2013

Widely held religious beliefs that you can't talk about openly in America.

I've been thinking about the "Duck Dynasty" controversy and what it means for religious people in America, most of whom — or at least very many of whom — adhere to a scheme of beliefs that includes forbidding homosexual behavior. They're seeing how badly it can hurt your career and your social standing to express this belief.

How can there be a norm against the expression of something that so many people believe on a profound level?

But it is not unusual at all. There are many things that religious people believe that they also know they can't go around saying. You're not going to do very well in American society, for example, if you come right out and declare that people who don't follow your religion are going to hell. You'll be drifting toward Westboro Church territory if you talk like that. You sound like a crazy hate-monger. The fact that you truly believe it and that it's religious won't help your standing in the community.

So it's not unusual that some widely held religious beliefs aren't fit for expression to the general audience, only a bit surprising when something new crosses the line from fit to unfit. How did that happen? It happens! The culture changes. Think about how that happens.

Speaking of Westboro Church, I see those people are making a show of their support for Phil Robertson. Now, they are religious people who have thrown aside the interest in social acceptance. They've chosen to be in-your-face outrageous, and they seem to believe that God is giving them credit for enduring social scorn.

Jesus said: "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

270 comments:

1 – 200 of 270   Newer›   Newest»
Greg Hlatky said...

Not only can't you talk about them openly, you can't even talk openly about what you can't talk about openly.

clint said...

"Speaking of Westboro Church, I see those people are making a show of their support for Phil Robertson. Now, they are religious people..."

Um.

No they're not.

Really.

They're a semi-legal family/gang/club devoted to ginning up outrage and using it to generate revenue through nuisance lawsuits.

Farmer said...

How did that happen? It happens! The culture changes. Think about how that happens.

These days? Through intimidation, threats, the destruction of the enemy's career via the media, and attempts to humiliate and emasculate via re-education. As GLAAD's VP noted: “We believe the next step is to use this as an opportunity for Phil to sit down with gay families in Louisiana and learn about their lives and the values they share.”

Farmer said...

I wish just for once one of these people would say damn the torpedos and tell GLAAD to go fuck themselves. They'd probably make more money in the end from people like me who are barely aware of their existence but would gladly buy a t-shirt or something to put a few bucks in their pockets for having the balls to push back.

rhhardin said...

There's a loud lefty queer lobby.

It didn't cross into unacceptable.

Freeman Hunt said...

Clint +1.

Ever notice that there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the things that Westboro protests or supports? That's because they're only looking to maximize offensiveness for the sake of their lawsuits.

Westboro has nothing to do with regular people and their beliefs. Regular people get a little tired of having Westboro trotted out at every opportunity as a supposed example of what regular people's beliefs amplified would look like. They're not even close.

rhhardin said...

On the other hand vagina talk has become acceptable, which may be a wholesome step in public debates about sex differences, against the feminists.

John Lynch said...

I think the problem with America is that there are so many things that are true that we can't say.

Farmer said...

You're not going to do very well in American society, for example, if you come right out and declare that people who don't follow your religion are going to hell.

You're also not going to do very well in the Catholic church with that attitude either.

madAsHell said...

Hey, I just tweeted you,
And this is Westboro,
But here's my number,
So call me, moby!

betamax3000 said...

Re: "The fact that you truly believe it and that it's religious won't help your standing in the community."

Depends on which community. The Community of Your Family? The Community of Your Church? The Community of Your Co-Workers? The Community of Your Faculty? The Community of the Entertainment Media? The Community of Community Organizers?

We All Have Overlapping Circles of Community in Our Personal Venn Diagrams. Some Matter to Us, Some Not So Much.

Michael K said...

Ann, you are missing the story here, probably because of your gay son. I could not care less about gay marriage but I think the Nazi-like tactics of the militants on the GLAAD side will only make the anger increase.

The pressure inside the religious portion of the US population is increasing. I don't know where it will go. The A&E suits no more understood the attraction of that show (which I have never seen) than the Hollywood suits understood the popularity of Forrest Gump. Both thought they were making fun of right wing idiots.

Instead, they made their own image look ridiculous.

EDH said...

You're not going to do very well in American society, for example, if you come right out and declare that people who don't follow your religion are going to hell.

What if you're asked, like Robertson was during his interview by Esquire?

Is that all your enemies have to do to destroy you: ask?

SGT Ted said...

What the outrage is about, Althouse, is the hypocritical double standard that the Gay Activists have constructed for themselves that grants legal and social protects their opinions and their choice of conduct, but seeks to legally and socially punish and forbid heterodox opinion and conduct.

Don't pretend that it is OK to do to Christians what used to be done to "out" homosexuals, simply because of a difference of opinion.

You are excusing the same sort of Stalinist social and legal conformity that kept gays in the closet for decades and blacks in segregated communities, simply because you agree with the outcome.

Paco Wové said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paco Wové said...

"[Westboro Baptist Church] are religious people who have thrown aside the interest in social acceptance. They've chosen to be in-your-face outrageous, and the[y] seem to believe that God is giving them credit for enduring social scorn."

As has been noted, you are choosing to be very dense here.

heyboom said...

You're not going to do very well in American society, for example, if you come right out and declare that people who don't follow your religion are going to hell.

The irony here is that if you replace the term religion with ideology/lifestyle then this is exactly what modern liberals are doing to Christians.

The difference is that they seem to be doing very well with this at the moment.

SGT Ted said...

I'm not even a Christian. But I recognize bigotry when GLAAD opens one of it's celebratory orifices and says bigoted things about Christians.

“We believe the next step is to use this as an opportunity for Phil to sit down with gay families in Louisiana and learn about their lives and the values they share.”

I think it is high time that GLAAD sit down with some Christian families and learn about their lives and the values they share, rather than resorting to bigotry and Stalinist social pressure via mob rule and economic warfare.

betamax3000 said...

Of Course, in the Althouse Commenting Community All of These Things can Be Discussed, Mainly Because Most People Here, Whatever Their Viewpoints, Operate in Good Faith. Too Many Public Communities Do Not Act in Good Faith, Only Rhetorical Nails and Hammers, which is Why the Hate-du-jour.

rhhardin said...

"if you come right out and declare"

That's hendiadys.

betamax3000 said...

At the Betamax3000 Compound the Community Knows That the Voices in My Head Will Lead Them to Greater Peace and Enlightenment. The Walls of the Compound Are Very High. There are Pamphlets.

pm317 said...

Speaking as a non-religious person, I see the pendulum swinging too much to the left. The left has the media megaphone to persecute the other half, politically and socially. While certain things are not told for a larger audience and expect scorn and penalty otherwise, it seems to me that every little thing the opposition does and says is fair game for the left and the lefty media these days, race and religion being the top two categories -- "cling to guns and their religion." It is a different kind of persecution we see today and you have my sympathy for the right half of this country -- they don't have the media on their side, they don't have savvy political leaders on their side, and they don't have the winning political coalition on their side. It is coming at them from multiple direction. This is not just some benign cultural change that people like Phil Robertson should watch out to say the right thing.

Ann Althouse said...

Look, the culture can't be changed with merely bullying and anger. There is backlash to that. You have to affect millions of minds in subtle ways. If it were easy... well, it can't be easy, because if it were easy that backlash would also work and nothing would change.

madAsHell said...

Sorry, I know this is off topic, but it just has to be shared.

Pajama Boy has been revealed.

His name is Ethan Krupp, and.....get this.....he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison within the last year.

So, yes, he's likely to be under 26 years of age, and not a victim of Obamacare.

betamax3000 said...

At the Betamax3000 Compound the Community Knows That Inequality is the Only Equality That All People Share. That is in One of the Pamphlets.

pm317 said...

You all remember who stopped prop 8 in California, right? It was not the religious right.

PB Reader said...

then there are the widely-held religious beliefs you can't speak out against.
- global warming
- modern liberalism
- socialism

rhhardin said...

Don't put down bullying and anger.

It's a sexual orientation.

B&A.

rhhardin said...

The backlash would be S&M.

rhhardin said...

Get a foursome together.

Paco Wové said...

"Look, the culture can't be changed with merely bullying and anger."

Not sure who you're directing this at. Bullying and anger are pretty much all I see.

betamax3000 said...

At the Betamax3000 Compound Fences Make Great Neighbors. That Is Why We -- as a Community -- Participate in the Ritual of Community Fence Raising: A Community That Can Build Its Own Fences is A Community that can Free Itself of Community's Over-Reach. You Can Paint Your Fence Any Color You Like.

traditionalguy said...

Jesus also told his disciples that after He was gone and before His return when they were identified as hated Christians for preaching the Gospel and brought before kings and tribunals for His names sake that "...not a hair on your head will perish. Stand firm and you will win your life."

Jesus remembers weak believers who do not deny his name.

However, Jesus did not mention not losing social reputation, tenure, or a Cable TV Show.

pm317 said...

Many who have not seen the show comment and comment away. I am no hillbilly -- grew up in big cities all my life, liberal as one can be, as non-religious as can be but I love the show. These are intelligent, engaging personalities.

For example, there was a seen in one show where grandpa Phil takes his four little grandkids fishing. And the grandpa is hooking the worm the fishing rod and the worm is alive and one granddaughter is squeamish and the grandpa says, the worm is happy and the kid asks (spontaneously) "happy to die?" (she is like 5, 6 years old) -- how authentic is that? And one of them catches a fish, and the other one of them is sad and says.. "it has brothers and sisters in the water" and on and on..

Farmer said...

Ann Althouse said...
Look, the culture can't be changed with merely bullying and anger.


Of course not. The intimidation is only part of it.

The other part has been to overrepresent homosexual men in film, in novels, and on TV, and to make sure they're completely desexualized stereotypes that exist primarily to serve as straight white women's best friends and wise counselors. When there are gay male couples, they must be lovingly devoted to each other. The couples are always portrayed as pretty much exactly like straight couples, only they're into other dudes and they lisp and like show tunes and interior design and get emotional over silly things. It's a bizarre approach really. Make gay men these ludicrous cuddly teddy bear stereotypes and then express outrage if anybody contradicts the very stereotypes that anybody with a brain knows 10-20 years from now we'll all be lambasted for believing (and we'll be blamed for creating and perpetuating them as well. Take that to the bank.).

But it's worked! Credit where it's due.

(This is only for gay men, of course. Lesbians and bisexuals are pretty much ignored except when they're made to look like super hot chicks who are probably really more into dudes anyway).

pm317 said...

haha.. falling prey to the usual phonetic stuff:

seen = scene

Paddy O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curious George said...

"You'll be drifting toward Westboro Church territory if you talk like that. You sound like a crazy hate-monger. The fact that you truly believe it and that it's religious won't help your standing in the community."

And the next thing you know a dude in a "I Tappa Kegga" T-Shirt will be all up in your grill.

Mike Smith said...

Please keep in mind the Phelps' of Westboro infamy are Democrats and have run for office on the Democratic ticket.

Anglelyne said...

How can there be a norm against the expression of something that so many people believe on a profound level?

It's called "tyranny", Ann. And you're right, there's nothing new about it. Change? Yeah. As in plus ça change.

Love the way you segue into Westboro Baptist Church. Think about how that happens.

betamax3000 said...

At the Betamax3000 Compound Adults Are free To Do as They Please with Other Consenting Adults Behind the Safety of Their Fence. Looking Over Another's Fence without Consent can Lead to Expulsion from the Compound. Life is Good at the Compound.

Birkel said...

What of the EEOC, Professor Althouse? Is the only "protected class" that enjoys no protection religious?

To what other groups would you, Professor Althouse, make this argument? Can you, Professor Althouse, imagine yourself making this argument to blacks? Gays? Women?

SGT Ted said...

The Gay lefts intimidation and bullying campaigns have all been backfiring lately.

I think it is due to them overplaying their hand last year with their "anti-bullying" PR campaign that was really a campaign in support of the Gay Lefts obvious efforts to bully others into conformity with their politics and suppress others speech rights via social ostracism. Just like what was done to gay people prior to Stonewall.

C Stanley said...

You're not going to do very well in American society, for example, if you come right out and declare that people who don't follow your religion are going to hell.

What if you're asked, like Robertson was during his interview by Esquire?

Is that all your enemies have to do to destroy you: ask?

12/21/13, 10:21 AM

This!!!

The rest just makes me roll my eye but this part makes me livid. It isn't about people choosing to get in others faces with their beliefs, it is the activists setting up questions so that the honest answers can be held up and attacked as unfit thoughts.

Ann, as for backlash...personally I think the gay lobby has gravely erred in recent years. They saw the incremental changes toward acceptance, which was happening mainly because they weren't being offensive, and now they have overreached and assumed most people will overlook the bullying tactics.

Paul said...

How does culture change?

Google Yuri Bezmenov.

C Stanley said...

The fact that atheists are offended by Christians believing they are going to hell is so absurd anyway. At worst it's complete bullshit, they're not really offended but use it as a club to beat Christians by calling them hateful. At best it's a complete misunderstanding of what Christians believe.

chuck said...

The threat of Hell isn't a big deal if you don't believe in the existence of Hell. Generally it is better to make more concrete threats: loss of work, imprisonment, torture, and execution. That has has worked pretty well for the Left over the years. At the low state of cultural advancement achieved by the US only the first is realistically available at this time, but even that provides a potent threat that can be used against those who don't believe in AGW and other popular religious fictions.

chuck said...

tell GLAAD to go fuck themselves.

Bit crude, that. I'd prefer the immortal words of Rhett Butler, "Frankly, my dears, I don't give a damn."

pm317 said...

Muslims who are perhaps the most homophobic ever, have their protectors, the lefty media and the liberals. The right in this country has to just fall in line with the left and everything will be alright.

Saint Croix said...

The irony here is that if you replace the term religion with ideology/lifestyle then this is exactly what modern liberals are doing to Christians.

Not just Christians. You say the wrong joke on twitter and they will destroy your life.

This woman was not a public figure. She was a nobody. And yet she's been completely vilified, and she lost her job.

Illuninati said...

Althouse said:
"But it is not unusual at all. There are many things that religious people believe that they also know they can't go around saying."

I don't buy your premise. Never in my life time have I encountered the situation that religious people are persecuted because they believe in hell. In fact, people like to use the word hell so freely that it has become a slang word.

The persecution of Christians may be a new phenomena in this country but it has been going on for 2000 years. At this very moment Christians in Nigeria are suffering an ongoing genocide because of their faith.

MayBee said...

C Stanley- exactly! How can someone be offended by someone of a religion other than their own telling them they'll go to hell?

As I said yesterday, it's like my vegan friends being all upset I eat meat. They thnk that is sooo wrong, and are happy to tell me so. But so what? I don't share their beliefs, so They have no power to offend me.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveR said...

Well its really not about religion or going to hell. However normal and righteous you feel in your own circle, the larger society and its institutions may not accept you. Entertainment and Academia are already on board but government and religion, not yet. So calling it a sin, is a problem. From a Christian perspective, its between you and God.

Freeman Hunt said...

I spent all of my teenage years as an atheist, and most of my friends were evangelical Christians who thought I was going to hell and would often tell me so to try and convince me to join their faith. I wasn't offended. I didn't believe in hell, so how could that possibly have been offensive? They thought all kinds of things were sins that I didn't as well. Again, not offensive.

People today are a bunch of self-entitled wusses.

"I can't take you thinking anything negative about anything I think or do! I demand that you only think everything I do and think is great or you're a hatey hating hater! I hate hatey hating haters like you!"

Please. People need to get over themselves.

MayBee said...

Yes, Freeman.

And yes, Saint Croix. Something is happening in America where people have become like Romans needing to throw some new gladiator into the ring to fight for survival of their reputation, just for amusement.

I'm bored. Who can I destroy today for saying something I didn't like?

somefeller said...

I'll repost a couple of good bits of commentary on this. From Josh Barro at Business Insider:

There's one America where it's OK to say this about black people in the Jim Crow-era South: "Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues." There's another America where that statement is considered to reflect ignorance and insensitivity. In one America, it's OK to attribute the Pearl Harbor attacks to Shinto Buddhists' failure to accept Jesus. In the other America, that is not OK. There are two Americas, one of which is better than the other. And it's instructive who's sticking up for the worse America.

somefeller said...

And from Ta-Nehisi Coates at the Atlantic:

The black people who Phil Robertson knew were warred upon. If they valued their lives, and the lives of their families, the last thing they would have done was voiced a complaint about "white people" to a man like Robertson. Ignorance is no great sin and one can forgive the good-natured white person for not knowing how all that cannibal sausage was truly made. But having been presented with a set of facts, Robertson's response is to cite "welfare" and "entitlement" as the true culprits. The belief that black people were at their best when they were being hunted down like dogs for the sin of insisting on citizenship is a persistent strain of thought in this country. This belief reflects the inability to cope with an America that is, at least rhetorically, committed to equality.

Birkel said...

somefeller:

I'll leave you to debate yourself about those points of Phil Robertson's view.

When you're done debating yourself, try tackling Thomas Sowell's positions about the upward mobility of blacks over time. Good luck producing anything useful.

somefeller said...

That having been said, A&E is being a bit dishonest by feigning shock at what Robertson has said. It shouldn't be a surprise that someone like him is going to make ignorant, gay-baiting and racially insensitive (I'll be nice and not say the comments were worst than that) comments like he did, all the while predictably cloaking them in the mantle of religion and social conservative victimology. They were happy to promote him and make money off of him and the values he supposedly embodied. They shouldn't punish him for being himself, since that's what they were promoting.

Birkel said...

This Just In:

Ta-Nehisi Coates is an expert about the people Phil Robertson new personally. Ta-Nehisi Coates knows more about people he has never met than Phil Robertson knows about people alongside whom he worked.

Thanks, Ta-Nehisi Coates for being omnipotent. You, Ta-Nehisi Coates, are my new lowercase-g god.

Birkel said...

Another News Flash:

What Phil Robertson said was "ignorant... and insensitive".

However, when somefeller speaks out against the long-held religious views of millions of Christians across centuries he is promoting knowledge and sensitivity.

Because shut up!

pm317 said...

somefeeler is harbinger of things to morphnext. The gay angle has backfired and the lefties have moved on to examining Phil Robertson's 'racist' remarks. Like I said yesterday, I hope the racebaiters get the backlash next.

somefeller said...

Also, I suspect Phil Robertson will turn out just fine after all this. He may end up the keynote speaker at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Heck, he might be the nominee, given that according to at least one GOP politician, he's the new Rosa Parks!

William said...

I suppose in high school and some other settings gays are singled out for unfair treatment. That's not true in the entertainment industry, however.......I live in NYC. I've known far more gays than duck hunters. I've known most in a workplace setting and never had any reason to dislike or hate them, and many were likable, decent people. That said, I've always felt a little uncomfortable around them. I don't think homosexuality is catching, but most gays think that straights are repressed homos. When I was younger, I found it expedient to keep a little distance in the relationship. (Once of the nice parts of being old is that one no longer gets unwanted gay advances.). At any rate, gays should be allowed to work out their destiny in peace and quiet, and, by the same token, so should mildly homophobic duck hunters.

somefeller said...

The gay angle has backfired and the lefties have moved on to examining Phil Robertson's 'racist' remarks.

I know, it's so unfair to quote people and discuss their comments. It even hurts the feelings of a big-city "liberal as one can be" type (who just happens to love that Sarah Palin and continuously mouths the latest anti-Obama/anti-liberal platitudes, because you're as liberal as one can be!) like yourself. Just shameful, I know.

Birkel said...

This Just In:

Rosa Parks standing up to bigotry and intolerance in defense of her race was and remains good.

Phil Robertson standing up to bigotry and intolerance in defense of his religion was and remains bad.

Because, somefeller says, shut up!

C Stanley said...

@Maybee- and wouldn't it be bizarre to think (or pretend to think) that your friends were being hateful when exhorting the perils of meat eating? I mean, that sort of thing can get annoying, but I don't get how anyone can twist it into thinking the intent is hateful. Obviously people that proselytize, about religion or diet or anything else, are doing so out of concern, not hate. They're not wishing harm or damning someone to a bad fate, they're trying to warn them. So if you don't agree or believe that fate will happen, why would you not just shrug it off?

somefeller said...

Yes, Birkel, yes, Robertson and Parks are just the same! Keep going with that line of argument, it will only turn out well.

John Lynch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birkel said...

Standing up for religion is double-plus ungood.

So somefeller has spoken. So let it be done.

Phil Robertson is ready for his two minutes of hate.

Illuninati said...

somefeller quoted:
"It shouldn't be a surprise that someone like him is going to make ignorant, gay-baiting and racially insensitive (I'll be nice and not say the comments were worst than that) comments like he did, all the while predictably cloaking them in the mantle of religion and social conservative victimology."

Lets see if I understand the sentiment. According to the left, Mr. Robertson is evil because he is a Christian who lives in the South and therefore he is automatically guilty of anything they wish to accuse him of and it is OK to hate him. Once we begin down this road of hatred and self righteousness, where is the end point? Could we even say that perhaps the World would be a better place if Mr. Robertson and millions like him no longer existed?

Birkel said...

Defending all the unalienable rights acknowledged in the US Constitution is unacceptable.

Only some of those rights are worthy of support, right somefeller?

You sure *you* want to continue down that logical road?

pm317 said...

Somefeeler, no shame in not being your kind of liberal.

somefeller said...

Nope, try harder, Illuninati. You didn't go the full Godwin on that post (though the implication was obvious), but I'm sure you can rise to the occasion.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Except, if you truly believe someone is going to hell and you DON'T warn them, you're actually violating the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. Because to love your neighbor, you must work for their salvation.....

Birkel said...

I wonder if anybody will read these comments and note that I am the liberal and somefeller is the reactionary.

I'm guessing the distinction is well past somefeller's ability to grok.

And I'm guessing somefeller assumes I'm supportive of Phil Robertson's religion.

carrie said...

The censorship applies not only to religion, but to political beliefs. Try being open about being a conservative in Madison, Wisconsin. America is not the land of the free anymore. I used to feel comfortable posting on this blog, but given the NSA and the IRS scandals, I don't even want to do that much anymore. America has become Stalinist.

Illuninati said...

somefeller said...
"Nope, try harder, Illuninati. You didn't go the full Godwin on that post (though the implication was obvious),"

You already beat me to it with your posts.

The reason I have repeatedly pointed out the crimes on the left is because I'm tired of the self righteousness on the left.

somefeller said...

Ah yes, because criticizing people who make ignorant comments is denying their Constitutional rights. Very logical there, Birkel, very logical.

And like I said, A&E shouldn't punish Robertson for being the type of person that he is. They were happy to promote him and they should take the bitter with the sweet.

Plus, he has a bright future as the very model of a modern social conservative major general, so no one should worry about him. Another option would be for him to do a reality show with Sarah Palin and a lesser Kardashian. We live in a land of opportunity, so he'll be fine.

Anglelyne said...

Freeman: "I can't take you thinking anything negative about anything I think or do! I demand that you only think everything I do and think is great or you're a hatey hating hater! I hate hatey hating haters like you!"

Wussiness has mutated into outright mental illness. We have people who've been brought up in a void structured only by the most vacuous notions of "rights" and "freedom". Unlike mentally and emotionally healthy people, they've succumbed to the stupefying propaganda that happiness and wholeness are just the granting of some alleged "right" away, just a matter of getting the law to force other people to tolerate them. When the glorious revolution comes and goes, when they're in the possession of every right (and then some) and they realize they're still not happy and whole, and life is, well, life - it's a bitch and then you die, same as it ever was - they go crazy and start witch-hunting.

Still not happy? Then obviously it's not enough that Goodman Smith and Goody Jones live and let live. Not accepting, not wuuuuuving, not celebrating their [fill in the blank] every day in every way is the real persecution!

This shit never ends, because the people pulling it got nothin' else. Twitter crusades: the new crack.

Birkel said...

What about defending Title VII of the US Code, somefeller?

All criticism is equal. But some criticism is more equal than others.

sunsong said...

I would recommend taking a pause and really looking and listening and learning. And then I would recommend being more loving, more kind, more compassionate, more forgiving, more grateful, more helpful, more giving, etc. Be the person God wants you to be. Another way of saying that might be to recommend being an inspiration rather than a judge and critic.

Birkel said...

It is impossible to be an inspirational judge or an inspirational critic? Good to know.

Paco Wové said...

"Ah yes, because criticizing people who make ignorant comments is denying their Constitutional rights. Very logical there, Birkel, very logical."

I believe what Birkel is trying to say — which you might have recognized were you not working so hard at being the sneeringest asshole you can be — is that there are federal laws that protect employees' rights to express their religious beliefs. It is possible that this is not such a case, but it would be nice to see somebody make the argument as to why.

Anglelyne said...

sunsong @2/21/13, 12:26 PM:

Dear sunsong, as you have gone through your life, I'm sure you have had no inkling whatever about how much Christian charity, compassion, and forbearance has been shown to you, nay, how truly heroic levels of self-mastery have been exercised, in your not having been punched in the face every day of your life, you loathsome bliss-ninny git.

somefeller said...

Are you referring to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Birkel? If so, I'm happy to defend it. Unlike Phil Robertson, I don't have nostalgia for the good old days before desegregation. In fact, I favor extending its protections to GLBT people. Do you think Mr. Robertson would agree?

Rusty said...


Plus, he has a bright future as the very model of a modern social conservative major general,

Your grasp of 'consrvative' is rather limited.
I suggest "Protein Wisdom" for a more thorough and nuanced example.

Birkel said...

Title VII defends Phil Robertson's employment against religious discrimination.

Go ahead, then. Defend Phil Robertson under Title VII and then let's have the discussion about how law reflects our values. So calls to end employment (including independent contracting -- so don't bother with that bit of obfuscation) are against stated values as evidenced by laws protecting against religious discrimination.

I'd love to hear your take-down of GLADD for their calls to violate Phil Robertson's rights under Title VII.

Go!

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael K said...

"Plus, he has a bright future as the very model of a modern social conservative major general, "

Is there an off switch to this idiot ?

Just asking.

readering said...

Who wants to go back to the days when sectarian divisions based on who was going to hell were such that Catholics did not socialize with Protestants or Christians with Jews? I'm talking the two decades following WW2 not the European seventeenth century.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Only lefties glaadly equate Phil Robertson and the Westboro church.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
somefeller said...

I don't give free legal advice, Birkel. That comes at a price. But I can tell you that just saying "this is my religion" isn't a complete get out of jail free card for otherwise problematic behavior in the workplace. But as I said, I don't think A&E should punish someone for being an ignoramus when they've never pretended to be anything else.

n.n said...

It's also taboo to discuss human evolution from conception to death. The biological facts of human life serve to undermine the narrative which has rationalized progressive morality, and libertine behavior generally. Any effort to describe the terms and circumstances of reality will invite a progressive screech and liberal doses of condemnation.

I am sorry, Professor Althouse, but which religion are you discussing? It would serve society and humanity well, if we addressed the tenets of each religion with equal objectivity. It's unfortunate that dreams of money, sex, and ego distract us from addressing issues on their merits.

Anyway, Forward to dysfunctional convergence. I wonder how long the federal government will be able to preserve stability through printed wealth.

somefeller said...

Personally, I'm looking forward to Robertson's 2016 GOP Convention speech and bright future as a conservative icon. The movement deserves nothing better.

William said...

A lot of this is kabuki. If a gay or a black feels that this is the most hateful remark he's ever heard, then he's led a sheltered, happy life. The outrage is disproportionate to the offense......On the other hand, Robertson is the manager of a hundred million dollar business. He should be sufficiently aware that GQ is not the proper media outlet for preaching against anal intercourse......There were comments that Lena Dunham's show Girls was racist because it did not feature any black characters. Dunham put an end to the controversy by, in the show, taking a black lover and appearing in the nude with him. Perhaps Robertson can use a similar strategy on his show. He can take Dan Savage on a hunting trip and go all Deliverance on him out in the wild. A sure fire ratings grabber and a graceful deference to Dan Savage's utopian dreams.

LarsPorsena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

People are now willfully misunderstanding Robertson's "racist" comments. His point wasn't that segregation was better. (I mean really. How willfully awful of a reader does one have to be to take it that way?) His point is that in spite of the terrible evil of segregation, he thinks people were happier then because they had God in their hearts and their families in their lives, that God and family are such incredible goods that they can fulfill a person in even the worst of times. He's saying that now, even though things are far better when it comes to equality, people are less happy because government programs have eroded away the great goods of God and family, that even in the best of times there will be less happiness without God and family.

Birkel said...

somefeller:

I'll happily not pay you for any legal advice you might offer. I'm guessing I know quite a bit more about the subject than do you.

So I take it your position remains: Phil Robertson paraphrasing the Bible and standing by long-held Christian doctrine =/= a "get out of jail free" card...
which therefore excuses A&E from making a decision to end Phil Robertson's employment based on his religion in contravention of Title VII of the US Code.

What do I win?

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger LarsPorsena said...

Gosh! Hollywood types think the 50's blacklisting of entertainers was a manifest Amerikan injustice.

Its new manifestation, not so much.

12/21/13, 12:59 PM

Julius Reincarnate said...

There is so much in your post, Professor, that needs to be shot down.

A "norm against the expression of something"... You assume a homogenous culture! It ain't. There's the big liberal culture and the only slightly smaller conservative culture. Phil Robertson was throwing meat, perhaps unintentionally, to both of them. Both subcultures ate it up. But within the conservative subculture... who, after all, are his media "customers"... his statements were not out of line at all.

You really have to believe in this concept of a "general audience" for your ideas to have traction. But didn't "general audience" die in the 1960s? Maybe it made a slight comeback in the 1980s-- remember the Cosby show?-- but then the notion continued its death spiral.

And it's only true in the weakest possible sense that the Robertsons were "persecuted". They are celebrated by a good portion of the country and a good portion of the culture. Their show had to go away sometime... and if you are a reality TV star, what could be better than going out with a big "this is ME!" statement that makes you a hero for those who actually watch your show. And let's not forget the massive Wal-Mart sales.

The Robertsons got everything they could want of out this. It would seem that they got paid in precisely the currency they wanted to get paid in. They didn't pay any price. Hardly what Jesus was talking about....

Professor Chaos said...

"I don't buy your premise. Never in my life time have I encountered the situation that religious people are persecuted because they believe in hell."

I don't buy the premise either. Can you give some examples? Even this duck hunter thing seems to contradict it. He quoted a verse from 1 Corinthians saying that various types of "sinners" (the greedy, drunkards, etc.) are in danger of Hell, and he's only being persecuted because homosexual practitioners are on the list.

El Pollo Raylan said...

The Robertsons got everything they could want of out this. It would seem that they got paid in precisely the currency they wanted to get paid in. They didn't pay any price. Hardly what Jesus was talking about....

You don't understand resonance, do you?

Birkel said...

Freeman Hunt:
Of course you are correct. But the two minutes of hate cannot stand for truth to get in the way.

The Leftists are reactionaries. People like you and me, with no particular dog in the fight (if I took your earlier meaning about your religious preferences, or lack thereof) are the liberals arguing for tolerance.

All I want to do is exercise my right to free speech in the marketplace of ideas. Others would shout me down and I won't tolerate their Will to Power.

C Stanley said...

@Freeman Hunt- GQ editors didn't help matters by providing absolutely no context for his racial remarks. It's presented in a text box with no explanation for how or why the topic came up!

But no, I'm sure they weren't willfully trying to present him as a racist.

somefeller said...

You win nothing, Birkel. Which I suspect is a common occurrence in your life, you disinterested true liberal guy, you. But thanks for playing.

Birkel said...

somefeller:

So you think it's ok for a company to violate Title VII? How retrograde and reactionary.

Do you understand what the word "liberal" means?

El Pollo Raylan said...

somefeller said...
Personally, I'm looking forward to Robertson's 2016 GOP Convention speech and bright future as a conservative icon. The movement deserves nothing better.

Nonsense. Americans haven't elected a man with a beard since Benjamin Harrison.

[what about 2008? - ed.]

Birkel said...

El Pollo Raylan:

Your editor is a funny guy.

somefeller said...

I'm pretty sure I understand the meaning of that word, Title VII and a whole host of issues better than you do, Birkel. But I'm sure you understand lots of other things that I don't. Josh Barro's Two Americas article that I linked above touches on that phenomenon.

Julius Reincarnate said...

You don't understand resonance, do you?

Perhaps my head is out-of-tune. One moment while I FFT the Gospels... And now I'm gonna compute the frequency spectrum of modern liberalism...

Nope! Nothing.

Birkel said...

Oh, somefeller...
I'm quite sure your bona fides are something to behold, LOL.

Mine are so meager, after all.

harrogate said...

"He's saying that now, even though things are far better when it comes to equality, people are less happy because government programs have eroded away the great goods of God and family, that even in the best of times there will be less happiness without God and family."

Freeman, you might be taking more than a little creative license there. I didn't see even the slightest textual evidence of him anywhere saying something to the effect of "even though things are far better when it comes to equality....."

For that matter, while I am sure that he agrees with the "government programs have eroded" the good stuff argument, he didn't quite come out and even say *that*.

Willful misreadings cut both ways, you know.

somefeller said...

If you say so, Birkel. But maybe you can make a strike for conservatism and the new Rosa Parks of 'Murica by purchasing a nice Duck Commander ensemble for the holidays. Show some resonance!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Freeman Hunt,

I spent all of my teenage years as an atheist, and most of my friends were evangelical Christians who thought I was going to hell and would often tell me so to try and convince me to join their faith. I wasn't offended. I didn't believe in hell, so how could that possibly have been offensive?

Exactly. Except that it doesn't even matter, for the sake of this discussion, whether you yourself believe in Hell or not. What matters is that the person talking to you does.

Here is someone who is personally convinced that you are setting yourself up to be in unimaginable agony for eternity, and is doing his or her best to prevent that happening to you. You may think this person badly mistaken, but how could you possibly resent this person, or take offense at what is obviously a charitable act?

I can't imagine having the fortitude of an LDS or a Jehovah's Witness missionary. Minimal respect for any human being trying to help you (whether or not you think you need help) demands kindness and patience; to me it also demands hearing the argument and considering it seriously.

harrogate said...

There are an almost infinite number of things Phil Robertson could have said that would have sufficiently horrifed a great many people now defending him, and caused them to be much more, shall we say, "understanding" of A&E not wishing to any longer provide him with a platform.

I mean, if he had started ventilating about how neo-Nazis are misunderstood and actually mean well, or about how great female circumcision is and how we need to start practicing it in the US (see what I did there?), how much flack would anyone be giving A&E for saying you know what, we have speech rights too, and we no longer wish to be a paltform for him to use. In the end everyone knows this is not a speech issue. Nobody gets guaranteed air time.

Freeman Hunt said...

Birkel, I am now a Christian.

I've been an atheist, a liberal, a Christian, and a conservative.

I would say that if one wants to maximize the "fuck off and die" reactions he gets from people and can only be one of the four, he should be conservative.

SGT Ted said...

Just like the gay left, somefeller has to mischaracterize Phils words to then attack him as a reprehensible bigot, unfit for polite society. Phil was talking about all sin. He didn't advocate Government action to enforce his views on anybody. Somehow the Hets and drunks managed to not be enraged and demand action.

The social conformity bullshit from the left, especially the gay left, is the same type of the legal codification of moralistic bullshit I actively opposed when I was a young man when it was coming from the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition. Most of the Christian bullshit has since been defeated in the Courts.

I look to the day when the leftists get the same treatment. They are due for a comeuppance.

This isn't about "morality", or "homophobia". This is about coerced social conformity.

If the response to contrary speech is "you had better keep it to yourself, or you won't be able to work in this town". then we don't live under the US Constitution anymore. We live at the whim of the popular sensibilities of whoever has taken over the culture, which is the same way that the old straight culture kept gays in the closet and blacks in their own areas of town.

What is going down is the essence of the Free Speech movement of the 1960. COmmunists demanded, and received, acceptant of their non-conformist ideas and conduct by the rest of society by claiming their American right to dissent and freedom of conscience. In return, they are now removing and restricting those same rights from those that let them in the door. The left is dismantling the Free Speech movements gains in order to gain and hold power. Only "correct" speech is allowed now on campus.

This is why leftist politics has to be opposed. It is totalitarian in function. It isn't American.

Birkel said...

What? You can't make an argument, somefeller? Please, oh please, Mr. High Powered Lawyer Somefeller... Bestow upon we lowly mortals why it is fine for A&E to fire Phil Robertson for his religious views.

I'll wait patiently all day long for anybody to make the argument that it is perfectly legal to discriminate against Christians for expressing Christian orthodoxy.

And then, when you're done with your big fancy, high priced lawyerin'...

I'll wait for you to write the justification for why it would be fine to discriminate against other religious groups for expressing their religious views under the current, duly passed law.

I'm sure we all look forward to the EEOC's new directive following your brilliant legal analysis.

Birkel said...

harrogate:
I will once again try to bring the subject back to where it belongs.

This conversation ought not be about the First Amendment. That is implicated only when there is government action.

What we are talking about here is a violation of US law, duly passed by Congress, by an employer against an employee. (And don't bother with the independent contractor nonsense; it matters not.)

somefeller said...

The social conformity bullshit from the left, especially the gay left, is the same type of the legal codification of moralistic bullshit I actively opposed when I was a young man when it was coming from the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition.

Another Real Liberal for Duck Dynasty and against the all-powerful gay left on the thread. It's the beginning of a new movement, I tell you! I'm proud to be here and witness the creation.

Birkel said...

somefeller now stands shocked, SHOCKED! to find out about this new movement advocated by Voltaire.

hombre said...

Classic liberalism held that one had a right to state his opinion without fear of retribution. Modern liberalism, not so much.

In either case, the line would likely be drawn at statements inimical to the financial interests of an employer.

If that, or some "morals" clause in their contract is the basis for the "firing" and litigation follows, it will be interesting to see A&E : a) Attempt to justify proceeding with the DD Marathon on the heels of Phil's comments and showing next season's episodes already recorded, if they do so; b) Attempt to overcome "the Althouse Defense" that a vast majority of the viewers and the country share the religious beliefs giving rise to his comments and that the comments were not, by any reasonable definition, homophobic, and were therefore not damaging to A&E.

William Chadwick said...

I'm a non-religious libertarian, and I don't find things conservative Christians believe any stupider that the stuff "liberal" State-cultists espouse. Your average "liberal" (and by "liberal" I mean of course "tax-happy, coercion-addicted State-humper") believes malarkey even the banjo-playing kid from DELIVERANCE would be too smart to be fooled by. What the Duck Dynasty crew believes--using the Jeffersonian formula--neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. Statism, on the other hand . . .

William Chadwick said...

I'm a non-religious libertarian, and I don't find things conservative Christians believe any stupider that the stuff "liberal" State-cultists espouse. Your average "liberal" (and by "liberal" I mean of course "tax-happy, coercion-addicted State-humper") believes malarkey even the banjo-playing kid from DELIVERANCE would be too smart to be fooled by. What the Duck Dynasty crew believes--using the Jeffersonian formula--neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. Statism, on the other hand . . .

SGT Ted said...

It is very amusing to see somefeller arguing with ideas no here is making.

Well...sneering at them, rather.

somefeller said...

I'll wait for you to write the justification for why it would be fine to discriminate against other religious groups for expressing their religious views under the current, duly passed law.

You'll be waiting a long time, because I didn't say it was. But maybe you can show us how simply claiming that something is "just my religion" automatically leads to victory in a Title VII case against one's employer. But first, go purchase some Duck Commander merchandise. The Robertsons would be pleased by your display of resonance.

William Chadwick said...

Of interest:

http://dailycaller.com/2013/12/20/whos-worse-phil-robertson-or-floyd-lee-corkins/#!

Birkel said...

hombre:

What would be interesting to see is if A&E can find any court willing to interject itself even if the clauses we all guess were written into a contract actually exist. As soon as a court upholds the contract, there is state action and the arguments become much more tricky.

Encumbrances on land were invalidated because only a court would have been able to enforce the racist provisions. Provisions in contracts that provide for slavery are unenforceable.

And one can easily venture a guess that a court would not allow itself to be the tool of oppression against religious views as proscribed by Title VII.

hombre said...

somefeller wrote: "Another Real Liberal for Duck Dynasty and against the all-powerful gay left on the thread. It's the beginning of a new movement, I tell you! I'm proud to be here and witness the creation."

Nothing new about it. Just classic liberalism juxtaposed against your kind of liberalism, or more aptly put: fascism.

somefeller said...

Didn't you notice the comments above from the self-described liberals for Robertson, Sarge? Or were you too busy reminiscing about your days on the barricades against the Moral Majority?

traditionalguy said...

Robertson is not dumb. He is a marketing genius who knows his customers are outdoors folks like himself.

Those customers respect his Calvinist frontier faith in the Depravity of Man and the Grace of God in Jesus. That describes them.

Robertson's doctrines come straight from Saul of Tarsus and Augustine of Hippo rediscovered by John Calvin who taught it to John Knox and from him to the Scots Kirk that brought it here in in the Scots-Irish immigration waive.

The fun for many who watch the show is crusty Robertson's strength as he posts his theses on the A&E Door and A&E runs away from debating his questions for fear of the Gay Papacy.

SGT Ted said...

mean, if he had started ventilating about how neo-Nazis are misunderstood and actually mean well

Yes, because opining about the philosophy of Christian sin is just like advocating for Neo-Nazis. Nazis are anti-Americans who advocate killing Jews and social deviants. That's not what Phil was anywhere near with his talk about sin and you know it. Now you just sound desperate.

If our Universities can stand all the neo-Communists and neo-Marxists having jobs there, maybe we can show some tolerance for Phils continued employment.

Birkel said...

I call on every reader here to witness "somefeller and his last stand".

Somefeller is now reduced to arguing Christian doctrine of the last 2000 years is "just my religion" that therefore allows an employer to discriminate based on religion.

All the prior case law that says Title VII covers working on the Sabbath (Jews and Seventh Day Adventists): just your religion and of no legal consequence.

All the prior case law that wearing head coverings is covered by Title VII (Jews and Muslims): just your religion.

Title VII has now been reduced to "whatever somefeller believes is an appropriate basis and not just your religion".

Reactionary.
Illiberal.

somefeller said...

Somefeller is now reduced to arguing Christian doctrine of the last 2000 years is "just my religion" that therefore allows an employer to discriminate based on religion.

And Birkel continues to misstate my position. But he calls on you to witness, because attention must be paid!

harrogate said...

Sarge, I didn't say they were anywhere near the same thing. What I am saying is that people are not outraged because A&E chose to disassociate from a man's views, and take away their platform. They are outraged because of sympathy with the particular views he expressed.

If it was really just a matter of "Phil just spoke his mind," after all, then the extreme examples I presented would be fair game too, wouldn't they?

Birkel said...

somefeller:
I will be happy to state your position accurately if you would choose one and stick with it. The goal posts are tired and wish you to leave them alone.

Now then, I have stated a position quite clealy. If you wish to do anything but provoke and whine, please do so.

Title VII may protect Phil Robertson from adverse employment decisions based on A&Es religious discrimination.

You are free to cite any case law you wish that is on point.

Personally, I am happy to follow this new set of ideas only recently made public by Voltaire.

Paco Wové said...

"There are an almost infinite number of things Phil Robertson could have said that would have sufficiently horrifed a great many people now defending him..."

But he didn't say those, did he? The very title of this post is "Widely held ... beliefs that you can't talk about openly.." these are mainstream religious doctrine, shared by quite possibly the majority of people on the planet (or at least professed by the faiths they belong to). Your hypothetical wrenches it so far out of place as to be useless.

Birkel said...

harrogate:

If you can show any US law on point that offers protection to the points of view you suggest, I will read it.

Otherwise, what I and other commenters suggest is that Phil Robertson is facing religious discrimination which is offensive to the law and the liberal principles upon which this nation was founded and continues to depend.

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

Title VII may protect Phil Robertson from adverse employment decisions based on A&Es religious discrimination.

Or, it may not. Just raising the claim of religious discrimination doesn't automatically lead to victory if a court case ensues. Your statement assumes A&E's actions would constitute religious discrimination under Title VII and there's a bit more to it than just saying "I'm just expressing my religion".

But it does seem to lead to inclusion in the ever-expanding pantheon of conservative victimology.

Rusty said...

The only way this could get any worse is if Robinson were a jew.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

So it's not unusual that some widely held religious beliefs aren't fit for expression to the general audience, only a bit surprising when something new crosses the line from fit to unfit. How did that happen? It happens! The culture changes. Think about how that happens.

Think about the grievance culture.

n.n said...

A&E knew exactly what Duck Dynasty represented, and they chose to produce and broadcast it anyway. The homosexual lobby knew exactly what Duck Dynasty represented, and yet they made no effort to condemn it. While A&E's motive may have been purely monetary, what was the homosexual lobby's motive to refrain from executing their usual tactics? Did they believe that people would reject what Duck Dynasty represented after they saw these Christian "hillbillies" in all their glory?

wildswan said...

Senator Daniel Moynihan said that the welfare state was destroying the African-American family - and was totally vilified as illiberal. Bill Cosby talked about the collapse of the African-American family and got into trouble. Phil Robertson thought that parts of the African-American experience in the past were more positive than the present and he's in trouble.

The collapse of the African-American family has led to the African-American birth-rate falling below replacement rate. No one discusses it. No liberal cares even though this means that African-Americans are being wiped out. When the fall is irrevocable and evident, Moynihan, Cosby and Robertson will be vindicated. Or we could talk now about gains and losses over the last sixty years? Can we talk about: gained, equality but: lost, the family. Did this have to happen? Can we reverse the loss of the family? Who is more likely to help reverse the loss of the family - Robertson or the liberals?

eric said...

"Look, the culture can't be changed with merely bullying and anger. There is backlash to that. You have to affect millions of minds in subtle ways. If it were easy... well, it can't be easy, because if it were easy that backlash would also work and nothing would change."

GLAAD is doing it's best.

Now it's experiencing the backlash to it's bullying and anger. They are anything but glad.

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

And now that Phil Robertson is an icon among the sort of conservatives who are in the less-decent part of Josh Barro's Two Americas (to be fair, not all conservatives reside there and some liberals do), I ask such conservatives who are here: should Robertson go straight for a Presidential/Vice-Presidential run, or something less ambitious? Or instead, should he stay on the reality TV path that he has trod to wealth and fame and that other conservative icons go to after seeking office?

Just wondering. I always like to learn what others are thinking.

SGT Ted said...

Phil should just go about his life.

I don't watch his show. I watch Moonshiners for my hillbilly fix. :)

I don't see a movement to put him into office taking place. I doubt he would even consider it, frankly.

How come somefeller is discussing non-existent things and attributing them to people here, while the rest of us are talking about what happened to Phil for agreeing with the Pope out loud?

Birkel said...

SGT Ted:
somefeller is a super-smart lawyer with excellent bona fides who cannot cite a single case on point w/rt firing somebody for espousing their widely held, 2000 year old religious doctrine.

If the law is on your side, you pound the law. If the facts are on your side, you pound the facts. If neither the law nor the facts are on your side, you pound your desk.

somefeller is pounding his desk like a well trained monkey. And I'm feeding him bananas.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, reactionaries like somefeller claim words mean precisely what they mean when they say them. Nothing more and nothing less.

And liberals like the newly discovered Voltaire fellow are liberals of whom the super-credentialed somefeller was unaware.

somefeller said...

How come somefeller is discussing non-existent things and attributing them to people here, while the rest of us are talking about what happened to Phil for agreeing with the Pope out loud?

The Pope is against gay marriage (at least within the Church) and isn't changing RC doctrine on extramarital sex, but claiming he and Phil are expounding the same sort of Christianity is false and even dumber than your usual comments, Sarge. Plus, according to Rush, the Pope is preaching Marxism, so why is a red-blooded 'Murican like you referencing him?

n.n said...

The sudden and selective outrage raises further suspicions. The timing of the court's decision to declare Utah's heterosexual marriage law to be unconstitutional can only be considered to be perfect. The court or activists' choice to target Utah, with it's disfavored minority Christian sect, was also "enlightened". This is theater, with the normalization of homosexual behavior only one of many plot mechanisms.

somefeller said...

And Birkel continues babbling, with a hoary old lawyer cliche to boot. After all, claiming religious discrimination is all you have to do to win a case against one's employer, regardless of your own actions or the terms of your employment. Especially if you are Phil Robertson. Because Voltaire!

mr said...

Does somefeller have a point to make? Because I haven't seen him make one.

SGT Ted said...

I don't think the Pope is cool with homosexual conduct. Are you positing that the Pope doesn't think homosexuality is a sin anymore?


Phil also talks about it in the context of other sins, some of them sexual as well. Phil's expression of sinful life is closer to what the Pope actually calls for than your assertion about what the pope is for, somefeller.

somefeller said...

Then you should read more closely, mr. Or better yet, read the articles I linked to and cited. They made some points on this story de jour quite well.

Birkel said...

somefeller:

Please provide a single case citation in which an employer did not have liability for firing an employee for espousing their longstanding religious views outside the workplace. I have citations at the ready supporting my assertion as to the nature of Title VII protections. Do you?

The Voltaire reference is to your feigned ignorance above. It's a reference to your inability to argue in good faith.

SGT Ted said...

I based my opinion on what I have read from both of them.

They are essentially in agreement, when you get rid of the classy vag vs anus comparisons.

They both seem to chastise the sin and not condemn the sinner. To call it "gay baiting" which you have done, is a lie.

Maybe you can accuse A&E of gay baiting and have credibility. But not with your other argument.

You are a monkey flinging ideological poo. You are not making any sort of sensible argument.

harrogate said...

Sarge and Birkel,

So you're both saying that in taking away their platform A&E would be committing "religious discrimination." So ok, it's not just *any* views. Its *religious* views and expressions you are defending. Fair enough as it goes.

Relatedly, I find it interesting how you guys and so many others are also fond of speculating some version of "what of he was a fundamentalist Muslim?" Strange query, that, however, since for all that accusations against "liberal Hollywood" for "protecting Islam," you have to look pretty goddamn far and wide to find programming from Hollywood showcasing Muslims and the tenets of their faith.

See, again, the issue is specifically that the critics of A&E's decision are critics because they feel sympathy to the views at the center of the controversy and sympathy for the person who expressed them.

Sorry, but that is neither a stance in favor of free speech not a stance against religious discrimination.

Verily and yea and forsooth A&E is no more obligated to provide airtime for ole Phil then they are to give airtime to a Mullah or a Yankees fan or a Buddhist. A&E wants to distance itself from what ole Phil said. Doesn't matter if he expressed "widespread " views or not. They have that right. They don't have to give time to Phil Donahughe either ( see what I did there?)

mr said...

Yeah, or you could summarize it in a line or two. Because I've read all your comments, and all I see is you sneering at people.

Is that your point? That you're smarter than everyone because you linked to a couple of stories on the net?

somefeller said...

I don't think the Pope is cool with homosexual conduct. Are you positing that the Pope doesn't think homosexuality is a sin anymore?

Er, no I'm not positing that. That comment about RC doctrine went right past you, huh? But if you think a Jesuit who has made the pronouncements that Pope Francis has made recently has much in common with Phil's vulgar and ignorant blather, well, I can't help you much. And like I said, Rush has excommunicated the Pope from conservatism, so you shouldn't cite him and instead, stick with Phil, Glenn Beck and other approved luminaries.

Birkel said...

harrogate:
I'll mark you down for "it's ok to discriminate against an employee for their religious views."

Do you have anything else to offer?

EMD said...

I watched Dog Day Afternoon last night. I doubt you could make that film today. Ditto Blazing Saddles.

Forward!

somefeller said...

Please provide a single case citation in which an employer did not have liability for firing an employee for espousing their longstanding religious views outside the workplace.

There's so many factual assumptions wrapped up in that sentence, all of which require proof in this circumstance for you to be as correct as you think you are in this circumstance. Which is one of my points. And since you have case cites ready to go, can you provide one showing that all a plaintiff must do is make an allegation of discrimination to prevail? Or is there more to it than that in Title VII cases?

SGT Ted said...

It might be religious discrimination. Or not.

If it is also cool to fire gays for espousing pro-gay marriage views, then you are at least intellectually consistent.

A&E can show whatever they want I suppose. it is their number one show, so the idea that Phils words hurt them financially, which would be a justification to fire him, is a non-starter. He isn't an "at-will" employee. He has a contract.

Remember all those blacklisted actors and Hollywood industry people that couldn't work because they were Communists? I have been told endlessly by the left that it was wrong.

But, I guess it is now back in fashion to Blacklist entertainment industry workers, as long as the *correct* ideology is targeted.

Sorry, your argument falls flat. It is offensive to the 1st Amendment to hold that people should lose their livelyhoods for what they say off the clock. Thats my point.

Birkel said...

somefeller:

At this point Phil Robertson has the prima facie case. You can't get anywhere without that.

You're honestly asking me to point to a case that describes what the prima facie requires?

harrogate said...

Sarge and my point is that I hope you would take the same stance regardless of what those views were otherwise you're just defending your own ox.

Neither you not Birkel would put up with the network taking a show off the air if it's star suddenly converted to radical Islam? Or revealed he had been such all along because a reporter finally "asked"?

I applaud you on your consistency then, I guess. Although I do feel like it's odd that you equate the potential denial of airtime with depriving someone of a livelihood.

Birkel said...

And to anybody still reading:

Notice that now somefeller admits Phil Robertson's case against A&E might be able to proceed. He's saying "there's more to it than that" and that is an admission that A&E might very well have discriminated against Phil Robertson's rights in violation of Title VII.

But notice too that somefeller is perfectly ok with that particular result. He's not bothered at all by the possibility that another person faces discrimination. Because, you can all see from somefeller's above comments, it's the right type of discrimination practiced by the right type of people.

somefeller is a reactionary.

David said...

I blame the universities more than anything else. Our colleges and universities were supposed to be the places where open inquiry, robust debate and fearless questioning was a cherished value worthy of sturdy support.

Supposed to be, but not actually. Agenda pedagogy, speech codes, politicized tenure selection, shunning, shaming and outright vicious attacks have become the norm. The universities, even some of the very best, have become captive to contemptible elite.

It sets the tone for everything else, and becomes the training ground for even further atrocity against freedom of belief.

Also Hollywood.

But mostly it's the intellectual class, and that ain't Holllywood.





Birkel said...

harrogate:

It's a matter of equal protection under the law. It's wonderful that you concede that might be rightly applauded.

It's frightening that devotion to a bedrock principle of the law now stands out as unusual.

Perhaps you're honestly seeing a principled stance outside of politics for the first time. More is the pity.

SGT Ted said...

If Phil took up Islam, then said that he doesn't think people should be treated badly for being sinners, I would be cool with that. it's the ones that saw the heads off the gays I have a problem with.

I have always been very libertarian when it comes to speech. As well as the peaceful practice of religion.

My beef is really with anti-liberty knuckleheads on both sides. The left has more of them these days, disguised as "liberals". That's the problem.

Jason said...

Ok, Birk... I'll bite, since somefeller is too stupid and juvenile to bother engaging with. Why is independent contractor status as opposed to statutory employee status irrelevant when considering unlawful discrimination claims, assuming A federal contract is not involved?

harrogate said...

Birkel who the hell are you to tell me what I am seeing for the first time? Smug ass drivel is the best you've got?

The line I am taking here is to doubt very, very seriously indeed, the idea that there is principle or consistency guiding the caterwauling against A&E. That doubt comes from the things that are being said by the caterwaulers. Mostly what I'm seeing is, people are pissed off because they are seeing deeply held views being disrespected by A&E and by a lot of other people ( including, in this case, me). Fair enough. But don't act like you're fucking martyrs for freedom of all religions either.

harrogate said...

Sarge, but what if he took it up and said the extreme things we often see people quoting from radical Islam? Would you be all like A&E better leave that man on its platform as long as he damn well wants to have it!!!!

?

William said...

Historical note: There were people who thought that the round up of Japanese and other suspect minorities after Pearl Harbor was unconsitutional. None of those who objected were the Communists, nor their later supporters. Walter Lippmann claimed that just as no one had a right to live on an aircraft carrier, no Japanese had a right to live in California. He urged their speedy round up and evacuation.. Lippmann's private secretary was a Soviet spy. He thought McCarthy was a hysteric......I await with eagerness HBO's long anticipated series about Roehmer and the Brownshirts. This will break with Hollywood's recent habit of portraying gays as either victims or witty interior designers and, instead, portray a gay man, Roehmer, as a fully evil villain.

Paco Wové said...

"That doubt comes from the things that are being said by the caterwaulers."

Such as...?

FYI, I also have doubts that any sort of religious exemption would protect someone like Mr. Robertson in this circumstance. A private company should have pretty wide latitude about whom they decide is a liability to them and therefore needs to be cut loose.

Birkel said...

Jason:
Because courts don't like being made into an ass. Imagine a construction firm saying "I won't hire that black firm as my independent contractor because I'm racist" and playing out whether a court would intervene or not. Remember, you can say nothing and generally avoid liability but here that is not the case. Here we have the employer announcing their discriminatory intent.

Also, whether somebody is an independent contractor is not obvious, as there are many questions to consider.

Also, state laws may be quite a bit broader than the federal law. I mention Title VII only as a proxy for the federal and state laws that cover the same intellectual space. That state law might be from Louisiana or any other state the contract references under its choice of law terms.

Julius Reincarnate said...

Here's some old escape music for 'ya...

It goes on and on and on and on...

I'm gettin' off the midnight train. Gonna go for a pub crawl instead. 12 pints... I can do that!!!

I was trying to work in the idea that the cultural police are blue-blooded robots, but I'm already a pint and a half in and so I'm instead thinking that we might need Wavelets to capture the resonance. Ingrid Daubechies... Where art thou?

Birkel said...

But, as mentioned above the contract will not be dispositive if enforcement of the contract is "against public policy" or some such. Enforcement can create the state action that would implicate the First Amendment.

somefeller said...

Birkel, I support keeping the courthouse doors open for everyone, including social conservatives. That's why I'm not a "tort reformer" or an opponent of civil rights laws. But filing a lawsuit, making an accusation or even establishing a prima facie case (and I'm not making any claim on that in this circumstance) does not constitute automatic victory in Title VII cases. As stated, there's a lot more to it than that and a lot more would have to be shown to prove Robertson has been discriminated against under Title VII. My point on that topic is pretty simple and you haven't disproven it.

But please, continue with your exercises in mind-reading and declarations of who is a dread reactionary. You obviously need a hobby or two.

El Pollo Raylan said...

re: Journey. I liked them better when for the most part they were Carlos Santana's band: link

Birkel said...

So now we have somefeller admitting that a case for religious discrimination might obtain. This is excellent news.

We have a prima facie case.
We have an admission, I believe, of A&E's intent to discriminate.

What are we left with?
An argument against undue burden?
OK, fine.
Let a court announce that standard.
To my knowledge it would be a case of first impression and I'd love to read that opinion.

As for hobbies, one of mine is defending freedom. Would that you might join my exercise.

Birkel said...

somefeller:

Please provide what your point is.
Say it precisely.

I took your point to be quoting two other people and offering sophistry.

somefeller said...

Birkel: I've made my points. If you didn't understand them, or want to hand-wave, that's your problem. And I'm glad you have a hobby in "defending freedom". Americans should sleep more soundly with that knowledge, I'm sure.

somefeller said...

Prediction: this is the part where Birkel declares Victory on the Internets!

Julius Reincarnate said...

Victory on the Interwebs!

@CrazyChicken - That was subtle. Maybe I am a Catholic after all? Must check CWT of the Gospels... does it correspond with the African beats of y'er Woodstock hippie?

I used to have an office at 815 Mission Avenue... rented it from biblical Paul... three pints in... the temple of El-P.L. more or less across the street.

Worked under a gay guy for a while. He was a nice stand-up dude. Fit too. They are human, you know, not machines...

Birkel said...

somefeller:

A one sentence or one paragraph summation of your point would be handy. Please, by all means, say something useful so dullards like I can comprehend.

I've read your comments again and all I can find is self-flattery, self-congratulation and feigned ignorance. I've not read one single, substantive point.

Your disdain for Phil Robertson is clear to all.

hombre said...

somefeller: ... should Robertson go straight for a Presidential/Vice-Presidential run, or something less ambitious?

Probably less ambitious. A run against the Al Sharpton/Sandra Fluke ticket looks daunting.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

The point of somefeller is to engage people he hates so as to frustrate them.

This isn't rational and it has been around a long time.

I applaud it. Many comments sections would be echo chambers like 94.32% of diologues in University are without sassy little goofballs to entertain me like our esteemed attorney friend.

Polished Turd is a fitting description.


sunsong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

Birk…

The court may not like being made an ass of, but first of all, there's almost no chance that Robertson is going to be considered an "employee" rather than an independent contractor.

Second, the courts still don't get to write law, and there is still a significant burden to climb because Title VII just doesn't apply to independent contractors unless someone's trying to do an end run around the law.

See: http://www.gshllp.com/download/60_second_memos/Be%20Aware%20of%20Potential%20Anti-Discrimination%20Protections%20for%20Independent%20Contractors%20AV%203%2025%2009.pdf

There must be some very extenuating circumstances for the courts to apply Title VII to an independent contractor status. This attorney's newsletter sketches out some circumstances where that MIGHT happen. But it does not seem true at all that it matters not a whit whether Robertson is a contractor or a statutory employee.

I believe that A&E does have and should have a freedom of association right to not include the guy in the films… which they could have exercised simply by editing him out of everything in the following season.

I also believe that Disney and NBC shareholders should be looking at remedies to compensate them for the failure of A&E's management to uphold their fiduciary duty to them to maximize value to shareholders rather than kowtow to outside interests like GLAAD and their own prohomosexuality biases.

The company should also take care to ensure that its internal corporate climate does not become hostile to the expression of Christian/Catholic beliefs (or Jewish or Muslim) for that matter, such that someone could claim constructive termination. Who knows what was said at that management meeting… and who was sitting at the table biting her tongue in fear of losing her job, too?

Broomhandle said...

I love these extravagant displays of Lefty incontinence. It smells like desperation. Without a doubt the Blue Model is slowly dying, choking on it's own contradictions and lack of restraint.

Julius Reincarnate said...

Sure, Broomhandle, but who's got the power. The Blues have the power. You can't comprehensively consider free speech issues without a consideration of power.

Four pints...

YoungHegelian said...

@sunsong,

There is no Third Vatican Council. There's only been One & Two.

The quotation you posted is fake, and for good reason.

Julius Reincarnate said...

...and any competent lawyer representing the Robertsons would have included a clause about controversial expression into their contract with A&E, nullifying any Title-Whatever claims.

Know your client!!!

Jason said...

Yeah, I'm thinking a simple restatement of long-established Christian doctrine from someone whom A&E knew was a Christian when they started filming isn't going to hold up well, if they want to play the "controversial statement" game.

Among Christians, the statement he made is not controversial in the slightest.

Julius Reincarnate said...

...I mean "representing A&E" of course...

Can a contract between a company and an independent contractor validly nullify Title-Whatever claims of religious discrimination?

I actually don't know the answer to that...

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 270   Newer› Newest»