Articles

Saturday, December 21, 2013

We Can Have Gay Rights or Freedom of Speech

What do a reality show star, a cakemaker and a photographer have in common? They're all victims of a political system in which the mandate to not merely recognize gay marriage, but to celebrate it, has completely displaced freedom of speech.

The issues at stake in all three cases did not involve the Orwellian absurdity of "Marriage Equality". The cases of a Christian cakemaker and a Christian photographer whom state courts have ruled must participate in gay weddings or face fines and jail time were blatant violations of both Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion in the name of outlawing any dissent from gay marriage.

That is why Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty was suspended. Robertson, unlike Bashir, didn't take to the air to make violent threats against an individual. He expressed in plain language that he believes homosexuality is wrong. And that is something that you aren't allowed to do anymore.

The left sneers that A&E isn't subject to Freedom of Speech because it's a private company. And they're right. But then they insist that a cakemaker and a photographer aren't protected by Freedom of Speech or Religion because they're private businesses.

In their constitutional universe, companies have the right to punish speech in the name of gay rights, but not to engage in protected speech in dissent from gay rights. And that's exactly the problem. It's not just gays who have been made into a protected class, but homosexuality itself. To dissent from it is bigotry that you can be fired for, fined for and even jailed for.

Gay rights were not settled by legalizing gay marriage. We are facing an ugly choice between freedom of speech and gay rights.

In these three cases, gay rights activists have made it clear that we can have one or the other. But we can't have a country where we have both gay weddings and people who disagree with them.

And that's unfortunate because even the most generous interpretation of the benefits of two men marrying each other would struggle to prove that it is more beneficial to a society than the ability to speak your own mind and to practice your own religion without being compelled to violate it.

If we have to choose between gay rights and the First Amendment, the moral arc of the universe that liberals like to invoke so often will not swing toward the bullies who insist on dealing with their self-esteem problems by forcing everyone to consent and approve of their lifestyle.

Gay marriage was sold to Americans by cunningly crafted "gay families" on popular sitcoms. Now Americans are discovering that real gay activists aren't friendly people who just want to make jokes between commercial breaks, but are neurotic and insecure bullies who attack others from behind the safety of the politicians that they bribed with the massive disposable incomes that comes from not having families or long-term relationships.

Most Americans still believe that homosexuality, adultery and a range of other deviant sexual behaviors are sins. They also, like Phil Robertson, believe that disapproving of a behavior does not mean rejecting the person. That's where they part company with gay activists who are unable to tolerate Phil Robertson as a person if they are also unable to tolerate his opinion of their sexual habits.

The American tolerance for things like homosexuality comes from a mindset that is a lot closer to Phil Robertson than it is to Barack Obama. It's that very Phil Robertson attitude which allows Americans to disapprove of homosexuality, while accepting that homosexuals should have spaces for expressing their need for political identity ceremonies. That tolerance led to civil unions and then gay marriage. And that tolerance has been woefully abused.

Americans are far more tolerant of sexual misbehavior than they are of people trying to take away their civil rights. And that is something that gay rights activists need to consider carefully.

American tolerance for homosexuality is not a blank check. It's not the "progressive" endgame that the left believes it is in which tolerance for a thing is mistaken for the Stalinist willingness to punish dissent from that very thing.

When ordinary Americans talk about tolerance, they mean tolerance. When the left talks about tolerance, it means intolerance.

Now the gay rights movement, which is just another pimple on the bony arm of the left, is showing its true colors. It is showing that its calls for tolerance are really mandates for intolerance.

It isn't looking for public spaces in which to be gay, but the elimination of public and even private spaces that reject homosexuality. It's not gay rights that we are talking about, but gay mandates.

If Americans are forced to choose between Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion and gay rights; the Pajama Boys of America may not like which way they will vote.

32 comments:

Olive Allen said...

Free speech and yes they are bullies. They need to stop bullying people that don't agree with their chosen life style.

Edward Cline said...

This is one of Daniel's best "Either/Or" essays, and it can serve as a measure of just how much "thoughtcrime" and "speechcrime" have permeated American society. We have either the freedom to speak what's on our minds without fear of recrimination or retaliation by protected groups and/or the government, or we don't. There's no compromising middle ground. I don't particularly care for Phil Robertson and his hirsute gang of phony backwoods yahoos, but if any one of them wishes to reveal the shallowness of his mind about gays or anything else, that ought to be his right. I don't have to listen to him. Daniel's piece here isn't about A&E likely invoking a clause or rider in its contract with Duck Dynasty. It's about the likelihood that A&E caved to the neo-Nazi pro-gay outfits, which doesn't bode well for the sanctity of the First Amendment.

Anonymous said...

We have not had "freedom of association" since the so-called "Civil-rights act of 1964" was enacted. Although enacted in (somewhat) "good faith", it has degenerated into a "racial spoils" system.
From businesses being sued (and put out of business) for refusing to abandon their religious principles to "civil-rights" protections not applying to whites (especially white males), this whole "civil-rights" situation is a sham.
Ask attorney general eric holder and his boss, the o'bama. They have both stated that "civil-rights" protections do not apply to whites, but only to "people of color" who "cannot be racist". According to them, only whites can be "racist". This could be a good thing. Only "people of color" have "civil-rights". Us "disenfranchised whites" have Constitutional rights. In my book, Constitutional rights trump civil-rights every time.
The "pushback" is already starting.

srdem65 said...

Your opinion is on the mark, but...the gays are just following in the footsteps left by other anti-defamation groups, from the Am/Italians to the Jews to the Blacks. Oh, how could we forget the Arab/Islamists, too. The women of America once had a powerful group that almost changed the way women are seen or heard; NOW.
For all that it's an American tradtion to chastise those who speak ill of others, our right to say what we believe comes with a caution.

Anonymous said...

Politically correct fascists have no respect for any opinions but their own.

Anonymous said...

Hey gay, Don't ask the crowd what they think.... They want Barabas.

Anonymous said...

Paraphrasing Theodore Roosevelt -in another context : '... we are today suffering from the tyranny of the minority '

Crystal K

Dennis Latham said...

I just read Charlie Sheen's rant on the Duck Dynasty statements against gays. Big words and attacks from a self-destructing drug addict with the brain function of a potato sound just like what they are. An attack on someone for having the audacity of speaking their mind. That is what the left does. It never says we respect your opinion. They always attack as they try to dehumanize the person who doesn't agree with taking it in the butt. It's a war that in the end, the gays won't win, and if the Socialists or Muslims ever get real power, the purge will begin with them. You never hear gays condemn the treatment of gays in other countries. They just kind of ignore that bad stuff because it doesn't concern them. This country is crazy as hell to put up with such extortion from a lifestyle choice.

Anonymous said...

If A&E had a gay reality show and one of the stars voiced a pro-gay opinion in his off show life and then A&E fired them therw would be a lawsuit and a multi-million dollar settlement. The duck guys need to sue A&E.

Anonymous said...

" Gay Rights " ? They are afforded marriage and Rights to shut others up and force them to go against their beliefs simply based on the fact of a man who likes to stick his penis in another mans but t ? That's all this is raising male/male sodomy to glorious social heights while it ought to remain in the gutter.

Anonymous said...

First, by adopting the language of the homosexual by using the word "gay" to describe him/her is a mistake. It's like calling abortion "reproductive choice". There is nothing gay about a disorder that is unnatural and life threatening.

Secondly, we can thank the radical feminists for the situation today where both speech and religious principles are under attack and for the rise in the acceptance of homosexuality. They succeeded in transforming our culture into one pitting men against women, making men either effeminate, unnecessary or invisible (except to pay child support), making children into commodities, destroying their human dignity and rights, and destroying the sacredness of the institution of marriage by rejecting it in favor of casual sex and cohabitation. They desecrated the human person by reducing man to mere animalistic pleasure machines. Through their unrelenting attack on the very essence of the male and female sexes and denying there are any differences between them, gave the homosexual lobby the power to step up after them to declare desire for someone of the same sex is normal and therefore, should be accepted by the whole of society.

Elaine

Anonymous said...

Well meaning people support homosexual rights based on a projected falsified image of the homosexual community. This support allows the real homosexual community to continue without criticism. The real community is documented in Rueda's book The Homosexual Network. The reality can be found in homosexual bookstores, a history of the movement, medical records, at the homosexual parades and in homosexual publications. The real homosexual world is 180 degrees away from the newspaper and sitcom descriptions of that community. All individual homosexual lives are not represented by that community's values. Individual lives can be cherry picked and presented as representatives of the entire community when that is not the case. It sells the community however to the gullible.

Anonymous said...

There is a big difference between criticism and slander. Case in point honest criticism of Islam or of Blacks in this Orwellian world is considered slander punishable by the thought police. On the other hand, actual slander directed at Israel and/or Jews is considered simply criticism and is protected by the First Amendment. The Left has managed to turn the world upside down.

Doug Mayfield said...

'The cases of a Christian cakemaker and a Christian photographer whom state courts have ruled must participate in gay weddings or face fines and jail time were blatant violations of both Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion in the name of outlawing any dissent from gay marriage.'

Great article. The court rulings in these cases were perversions of the law on behalf of the Left who really do want to destroy freedom of speech. They try to make freedom of speech conditional on the idea that any speech must be approved by 'the community', the group, the state, whatever.

Underlying the idea that government must approve what you say is the Left's assumption that the individual is nothing and the group, in this case the socialist Left, is everything.

Until this pernicious idea is eradicated from our law and our government in favor of absolute and inviolate freedom and individual rights, we will continue to drift toward some form of tyranny.

Anonymous said...

profound. (yet again)

-- spanky

Unknown said...

It's all free speech. Phil Robertson saying what he said and A&E expressing disapproval. Robertson exercised poor judgment: it's never a good idea to embarrass your employer.

Anonymous said...

Remember too the homosexual alliance bases its power on a carefully crafted illusion about their sexual habits and conduct. Most people have nothing but the mainstream media fantasy as a reference; they just want to get married, have other peoples kids and the white picket fence.

To bad Phil Robertson didn't know the origins of GQ magazine, he might have thought twice about being interviewed by them. In the most innocuous way merely expressed how many feel without any malice. The concept of hate speech by individuals as dangerous precondition to violence is a legal and intellectual canard the left has been able to exploit since the time of the Nazis.

The only form of hate speech that's been demonstrated to incitement is state sanctioned hate propaganda. A question to the readers and Daniel; can anyone think of a single case of obvious incitement by a private citizen that has led to a third party engaging in violence against an identified group? I'm not thinking about crypto spokesmen for organized groups but your run of the mill freak in the basement types.

Personally I'm stumped, the only violence I've observed is where the state sanctions it and uses the media to indirectly sick the unstable and mentally ill on its enemies. Where I live in Canada the standard treatment is for the Toronto Star to put a picture of your house with the address as way of exposing ideological adversaries to retaliation by its proxies.

Anonymous said...

Another excellent article. Frankly, I tore up my tolerance for homosexuals' ticket when their irresponsible sexual behaviour brought about a world-wide plague that caused the death of tens of thousands of innocent victims. some of whom were my friends who tragically died as the result of tainted blood transfusions. Only in this politically correct upside down world could they reject responsibility for what they had done and still somehow become the darlings of "society" to the point that the cure for AIDS became the "Cause Celebre" despite the fact that far more individuals were dying from other diseases. I really did get tired of seeing all those red ribbons everytime there was an awards show on television. And once they controlled the narrative it was no longer enough to conquer their illness, they had to destroy the traditional heterosexual nuclear family hence the demands for civil unions, civil marriage, holy matirimony and of course adoption of children. Now they have successfully muzzled free speech and interfered with private enterprises. What happens when they can read our thoughts?

I look back fondly on those days when we "straights" thought about homosexuals as "harmless deviants" and considered what they did in private as their own business. Who would have believed then that they would become such a threat to civilized society?

DenisO said...

The outrage over an employer disciplining an employee is being taken to another dimension. I assume the employee is on paid leave, while they look at the contract wording and try to talk him into an apology. I have no doubt that Phil Robertson knew what he was doing, and there may even be some personal background conflict involved. Seems like an "I dare you" power-thing. A&E made a dumb business decision that they will try to reverse without loosing too much dignity.
The hypocrisy is obvious, but there has been no injustice, if you think about it.
Just shake your head and watch how the Left treats A&E, when they put Robertson back to work making them lots of money.
Regards,

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I believe it has happened already. He was put on hiatus during a hiatus. A&E was trying to buy off GLAAD with an empty move.

Rich G said...

Edward Cline, your comments are succinct and a cut above. Keep up the brilliant observations. I personally enjoy your website and your insightful commentary. You and Daniel bring it and are the articulate canaries in the coalmine. Not sure if that is the right reference I don't care (free speech) cheers.

Empress Trudy said...

What it irreducibly comes to is that activists are indeed, activists. Gay rights activists are doing what they do which is to attack everything on all fronts all the time. It's not supposed to be fair or reasonable or even make much sense. Of course it's hypocrisy. Of course it's not a free speech issue. Of course A&E can do what they like. But anyone with any sense has got to know that any channel and there's about a dozen of them now, that broadcasts and endless parade of reality show which are all of a type - and that type is to character a certain group or class of people as backwards hillbillies hicks and rednecks and lets all laugh at them because we're so much superior to them is clearly going to hold the cast or the characters in those shows to a different standard from virtually anyone else. The Gay Rights activists are a kind of collective conscience and ombudsman of the left where their job is to make sure the hillbillies don't get too uppity. And the solace that the people in the shows get is compensation beyond their wildest dreams.

It's a minstrel show.

The cardinal sin of anyone in a minstrel show is to momentarily stop hopping around on stage to speak plainly. Back in the day that could get you lynched. The Gay Rights activists are filling the role of the outraged upright white Christian citizens of a hundred years ago who suddenly decide that the black men on stage are a threat to their womenfolk and a few of them have to be strung up to teach the darkies a lesson. Different century, different roles, different agenda. Same ethos.

So as long as we remember that it's all of a minstrel show then we can go along our merry way shuckin and jivin.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps (I hope) I'm stating the obvious, but the sign reading "HATE SPEECH is NOT FREE SPEECH" is a declaration of war on the concept of free speech. Remove the modifiers and the sign reads, "SPEECH is NOT SPEECH" a contradiction (or existentialist mysticism). The plain meaning therefore is "speech which denigrates or condemns my values or behaviors should be prohibited by law". Since political protection for sincere statements of belief, (not explicit incitement to violate the rights of others, fraud, libel or slander) is the recognition that human beings must observe and understand themselves and the world around them, sharing (or not) the product of this cognitive effort with others, as a prerequisite for survival, the content of this speech can have no bearing on its status as speech. Asserting a content test for speech is not an attack on 'HATE' but on 'FREE SPEECH'.

jenna said...

I guess we've reached the point in human advancement where even uttering the word "heterosexual" is deemed homophobic. Charlie Rose avoids culpability by referring only to gays and "nongays."

fsy said...

How can it be that millions of decent and productive Americans can be intimidated by a very small group of arrogant, self-righteous, spoiled brats who threaten them with nothing more than being called a name like 'bigot' or 'something-ophobe'? When will the elephant finally stop being scared of the mouse?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Americans aren't... companies are

fsy said...

I think I wasn't clear, but I meant the general phenomenon of "political correctness" which has been foisted on Americans by a tiny minority of academics and media airheads. When will the vast majority finally throw these guys off their backs?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

When they understand

1. That it's happening

2. The sources of control

Shrewsbury said...

“If Americans are forced to choose between Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion and gay rights; the Pajama Boys of America may not like which way they will vote.” Yeah, but so what? Some judge will just overturn the vote. Here in the God-forsaken Golden State, a vote to make marriage strictly between men and women (as if it could ever really be anything else) was overturned by a single judge, a judge who was himself homosexual. Not that that affected his decision. He said.

Anonymous said...

It's part of the brilliant leftist plan of identity politics. Define groups by least common denominator demographics, like race, ethnicity or gender. Tell these groups that they all have to think alike, not based upon values, but upon their demographic. Next fabricate or exaggerate a cause to pander to the groups. Then use the discord created to divide a society against itself.

Anonymous said...

"That is why Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty was suspended. Robertson, unlike Bashir, didn't take to the air to make violent threats against an individual. He expressed in plain language that he believes homosexuality is wrong. And that is something that you aren't allowed to do anymore"

Whatever happened to the old media policy of letting a viewer/reader give a counter opinion since that's what this appears to be? There was no need to suspend him.

Keliata

Anonymous said...

This is not an employer-employee situation and Phil was an employee who was disciplined. A & E knew, or should have known, going in where the Robertson family stood on religion after all, every show closes with the family sitting down to dinner in PRAYER. So unless there was a specific clause in their contract that there were NEVER to speak about the tenets of their faith, either on or off the show, (and do you really think that the Robertsons would have signed something like that?) A & E has no leg to stand on.

A & Es response to GLADD should have been, we disagree with their beliefs and you have every right to attempt to organize a viewer/sponsor boycott at which you may be successful - and at that time we will look at your concern. Instead A & E bowed to the demands of a activist group without any regard to the members of the Robertson family and their beliefs. BTW, GLADD is very unsuccessful at organzing boycotts of anything!.

If Phil is not reinstated or is forced to limit his beliefs, I hope that DD continues and that the family just sit around at Duck Commander headquarters making duck call - it will be the most boring show on TV and A & E loses their pants. It will not hurt the Robertson family because they were rich before and their will be rich after.

But on a related note - there are people such as Phil who can withstand the backlash because they have the financial resources to do so - what about the single mom who self-censors at work because she is afraid that she will not get the extra shifts she needs to support her family if she expresses a wellfounded belief based in her religion? Happens all too often.

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