Gay rights = Civil rights

Civil rights movements are always transgressive in their own time. They break social mores, challenge previously unquestioned biases, and root out traditional moral values to replace them with newer, more progressive ideals. This is true of the abolitionist movement to end slavery, the women’s suffrage movement and subsequent feminist/women’s lib movement, and the civil rights movement for African Americans. In their own day, the “right thinking” traditionalists denounced them as unchristian and anti-biblical. But eventually, they become the new status quo, and the new religious right has to find a way to distance themselves from what their intellectual forebears wrought. Despite the fact that the Southern Baptist Convention specifically formed to defend slavery, you won’t hear Baptists today bringing that talking point up very often.

This creates a problem for god-humpers. The most prominent civil rights movement today is the gay rights movement. God-humpers oppose it, because it involves people living their own lives uninfluenced by a 2,000 book of fables that they believe should control everyone and everything. But the gay rights movement is playing out very much like past civil rights movements–civil rights movements which the fundamentalists now pretend they supported all along (they didn’t).  In fact, the arguments for and against gay marriage in particular are extremely similar to the arguments for and against miscegenation in the first half of the 20th century. In both cases, it was argued that god separated the races/sexes because he never meant for them to marry. In both cases marriage between people of different races/same sexes were argued to be “unnatural”. In both cases it was argued that mixed race kids/children of gay parents would somehow suffer from their parents mixed race/same sex relationship. And in both cases these arguments are complete and utter horseshit. The Loving v. Virginia case of 1967 guaranteed the right to marry to all mixed race couples in all 50 states, and the gay marriage issue is progressing in a very similar fashion, except at a much faster rate. It’ll be legal in all 50 states in maybe 5 to 10 years or so, and even the staunchest opponents seem to realize this.

What to do? The god-humpers want to oppose gay marriage, but they also want to pretend that god-humpers never took the wrong side in the very similar fight over interracial marriage. Well, there’s no way to resolve the cognitive dissonance other than to pretend it’s not real at all. Gay rights has nothing in common with black civil rights! Why, because I SAY SO DAMN IT!

Last month, Pennsylvania’s attorney general refused to defend a state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Her website argues: “The issue of same-sex marriage is squarely in the tradition of the struggle for civil rights in the U.S.” That comparison has significant implications for how same-sex marriage advocates treat marriage laws that they disagree with. It also deserves more scrutiny.

No, it really doesn’t. The Pennsylvania judge didn’t just pull that comparison out of her ass. It has been noted again and again by numerous observers of the movement, and has strong historical evidence to support it. Like I said, look up the ruling in the Loving case and read it. Replace the racial stuff with sexual orientation stuff, and it’s easy to see that we are having the exact same argument, just about a different minority.

As a grassroots supervisor for California’s Proposition 8, I was surprised to see numerous yard signs stolen, slashed and defaced. Those responsible were likely law-abiding citizens. Why the exception? Undoubtedly, many felt they were in hand-to-hand political combat against discrimination, hatred and bigotry.

“Grassroots”? Bullshit. Michael Erickson, the author of this garbage, got his law degree at Brigham Young University. So he is probably a Mormon. There was nothing grassroots about the Mormon church’s support for Prop. 8 in California. The church itself funded numerous political operations in hopes of influencing the voting public (something non-profit organizations are not supposed to do), and then lied about their involvement repeatedly, even after documents proving their financial involvement surfaced.

I don’t support vandalizing signs, but if the vandals (misguidedly) thought they were helping fight discrimination, hatred and bigotry, they were merely using the wrong methods to target the right group. Anyone who supported Prop. 8 supported discrimination, hatred and bigotry. That includes you, Mr. Erickson.

I will give him credit for at least recognizing that the people who defaced signage are probably otherwise good people, and will extend the same courtesy to him. I have no doubt that Mr. Erickson opposes any form of violence or vandalism against gays or gay rights supporters, which automatically makes him better than the entire Russian government and a healthy chunk of the Russian people on this issue. But the fact that he is humane in one area of human rights does not cancel out his bigotry in others. In the 1960s there were undoubtedly people who thought blacks should be treated equally….except when it comes to marriage. Mr. Erickson has taken a similar position on gays judging by the rest of his op-ed. It’s a lesser bigotry, but lesser bigotry is still bigotry.

It’s no secret that media coverage disproportionately favors same-sex marriage. A candid admission in the Washington Post explains why “(many journalists) see people opposed to gay rights today as cousins, perhaps distant cousins, of people in the 1950s and 1960s who, citing God and the Bible, opposed black people sitting in the bus seat, or dining at the lunch counter, of their choosing.” (What goes unsaid is that the most influential civil-rights leaders, “citing God and the Bible,” opposed discrimination and segregation on religious grounds.)

Actually, what most often goes unsaid is that in almost every civil rights conflict, the Bible is quoted to support BOTH sides of the issue. This is because the Bible is murky, muddled, contradictory, and irrelevant to modern life. It’s primed to be manipulated and read however the reader wants to read it. Every civil rights movement (including the gay movement) has religious people on both sides, quoting the same scripture to say the opposite thing. It’s almost like the Bible is bullshit or something!

Regrettably, some infamous groups spew anti-gay rhetoric that is hateful and indefensible. But far too often the media amplify these voices and conflate all religious opinion with this easily assailable straw man.

Comparing you to the yahoos at Westboro Baptist Church or the American Family Association would indeed be tearing down a straw man. But that doesn’t mean that your views are not hateful or indefensible. Lesser bigotries, as before.

As such, they entirely ignore, as a Deseret News editorial put it, our “morally complex and pluralistic world” (June 30). A world where some religious faiths that only endorse marriage between a man and a woman also support nondiscrimination laws for gays and lesbians. And a world where some gays and lesbians oppose same-sex marriage “citing a belief that children benefit most from opposite-sex parents.”

Those are both minority opinions. Sure they count to some extent, but they don’t represent either group. More importantly, yes, we do live in a morally complex and pluralistic world. But that’s exactly why religion is growing more and more irrelevant every day, and why more and more people are leaving their churches. Religions too often speak in absolutes, in black-and-white morality, in unquestioned divine authority, in faith unsupported by facts and evidence, in the primacy of tradition over a society that adapts to improve the lives of real people instead of please the whims of invisible imaginary people. Religion just doesn’t fit any more, and it is slowly dying as a result.

Unfortunately, the situation is unlikely to change unless this civil-rights comparison is scrutinized. Here are three differences that deserve attention:

Scrutinize it all you want. It will change nothing, because your starting position, the very beliefs you stand on, are what’s really wrong with your argument.

First, laws prohibiting interracial marriage were designed to promote white supremacy. That’s why a unanimous Supreme Court invalidated these laws for having “no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination.” In sharp contrast as one gay-marriage advocate acknowledges, “Unlike racial segregation, to which anti-gay laws are often compared, the traditional restriction of marriage to opposite-sex couples was not designed, in and of itself, to denigrate or harm same-sex couples.”

“One gay marriage advocate said something stupid, so that makes the stupid thing true!”

When North Carolina outlawed gay marriage in 2012, do you think that had any purpose other than to reinforce straight privilege? Straight people get the benefits of marriage, gay people don’t. Therefore, privilege. Straight people get to visit their dying spouses in the hospital, gay people don’t get that privilege. The law was designed specifically to reserve certain privileges to straight couples and deny them to gays. To argue that it serves any other purpose is absurd.

As for “traditional marriage”, there’s no such thing. Racial segregation has a long and storied tradition as well, and not all forms of it were “designed” to reinforce privilege in one race. Many, like marriage, weren’t designed at all, but instead arose organically and only became enshrined in law later on. Regardless of whether opposite-sex marriage was ALWAYS designed to denigrate gays, there’s no questioning that RIGHT NOW it is. And that’s what matters.

Second, the Civil Rights movement, according to noted leader John Lewis, “was built upon deep-seated religious convictions” and, without such faith, “would have been like a bird without wings.” But it’s hard to imagine prominent gay-marriage advocates describing their movement as “built upon deep-seated religious convictions.” Indeed, it has often been hostile to religion.

To be sure, some of that hostility stems from perceived, and sometimes very real, denigration by some religious adherents. Nevertheless, the different roots of these movements appear to manifest sharply contrasting fruits. Compare, for example, the gospel-inspired Civil Rights anthem “We Shall Overcome” to the now popular mantra “Get on the right side of history!” Or compare the Christian perseverance evident in this preacher’s promise, “We will win you with the power of our capacity to endure,” with the conventional pride revealed in this politician’s bluster, “It’s going to happen, whether you like it or not.”

The past civil rights movements also took place in a time when religion had more political strength than it does today. As I already mentioned, our society is going through a slow process of secularization, and religion’s power is waning. It should come as no surprise, then, that religion has less of a role to play in current issues.

This doesn’t change the fact that there are indeed many Christians who support gay rights. As I discussed above, this shouldn’t be surprising to anybody, because the Bible says only what the person quoting it wants it to say.

Third, whereas segregationists fought to preserve their social status and political power, many in the religious coalition for man-woman marriage seek, in the words of President Obama, “to preserve and strengthen families.” Although in favor of same-sex marriage now, even President Obama acknowledges that their “impulse” to strengthen families “is the right one.”

Bullshit. “THINK OF THE CHILDREN!” was a constant refrain amongst segregationists. It was alleged, without evidence, that mixed race families would be unstable, that allowing interracial marriage would lead to black men raping white daughters, that mixed race children would not turn out as well as “pure” children. The gay marriage opponents make all the same unsupportable claims, saying children of gay parents will turn out bad, comparing gays to pedophiles, and insisting that only opposite sex marriages can be stable. Nothing has changed except the identity of the minority being denied its rights.

Notwithstanding these differences, discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation should be addressed. Marriage, however, is about more than civil rights for individuals. Marriage has profound implications for a historically vulnerable and underrepresented class of persons — children.

That’s what the opponents of interracial marriage said. They were wrong, and so are you. Their beliefs were based on superstitious misapprehensions of a minority, and so are yours. Because of white privilege, they couldn’t see (or wouldn’t see) how they were harming others. The same goes for you and your straight privilege.

In the fortieth year since Roe v. Wade, public opinion has settled on a middle ground that recognizes the concerns of both pro-choice and pro-life advocates — approving of abortion for threats to a mother’s health, rape, incest, and birth defects, but disapproving for elective birth control, selecting birth traits or avoiding parental responsibility.

If the public discussion on marriage is not prematurely curtailed, public opinion might yet arrive at a common ground that recognizes the dignity of gay and lesbian Americans while also preserving marriage between a man and a woman as the surest foundation for the future of children.

How would you like it if we found a “middle ground” when it comes to YOUR rights? You seem to be fine when the rights of gays and women are on the line, but what if we start curtailing yours because of “the children”? That sound good to you? Would you like it if the people took a vote on your marriage? Would you like it if we declared, based on no evidence, that Mormons make bad parents, and that therefore you can’t get married? Would that be okay with you? Would you feel that we were “respecting” your “dignity” if we prohibited you from visiting a dying spouse in the hospital just because we disagree with your faith/lifestyle, based on such stupid arguments? You can’t respect people’s dignity while denying them certain basic privileges which you reserve to yourself. So long as you insist on doing so, you are a bigot, and you are discriminating.

Oh, and the Mormon church didn’t allow blacks to be ministers until…what? 1975? 1976? Some time around then. But you’d rather we forgot all about that, wouldn’t you, Mr. Civil Rights Man?

The Dumbest Comment in the Universe

The Atlantic Wire recently posted an article on recent poll data regarding the issues of gay marriage, affirmative action, and the NSA. It says about what one would think. Most Americans favor gay marriage, oppose affirmative action, and really hate the NSA. This is consistent with what several other polls have shown. It comes as no surprise.

But, oh, the comments on that article. A piece that involves both homosexuality and race is bound to bring out the pudding-brained godfuckers and hate-sucking bigots, and this one is no exception. There are a ton of dumb-as-a-box-of-finely-sifted-shit comments on it. But one in particular really stood out to me, so I thought I’d single it out for some mockery.  Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to the man who calls himself vanhellsinger:

vanhellslinger 2 hours ago

The numbers change from day to day. For Example.

Now, normally when a human being types something like this, statistics usually follow. But that’s only true in this case if you speak some strange language in which “statistics” means “utter fucking imbecilic lunacy.”

Since the beginning of gay rights which started when Obama was elected…

Wait wait wait. Let me pull a Kanye here. I’ma let you finish, but first I gotta point something out. If you think Obama invented gay rights, you seriously haven’t been paying attention. I mean, where have you fucking been for, oh, the last thirty fucking years or so? You do realize that when the Netherlands became the first country to legalize gay marriage in 2001, Obama was a state senator in Illinois, and no one outside of that state even knew who the fuck he was, right? This is another way of asking just how goatfuckingly stupid do you have to be to think gay rights started with Obama?

Anyways, please continue.

Since the beginning of gay rights which started when Obama was elected the number of violent attacks against homosexuals has risen exponentially.

I mentioned this last time, but it bears repeating. The right wing bigots love pointing to the problems that they themselves create by discriminating as justification for discrimination. It’s like a dog that shits on your carpet then demands a laxative. “See this shit? This shit proves that you need to help me shit more.” Fuck you, dog. How about I rub your nose in your shit, whap you with a rolled up copy of the Constitution, and throw your ass outside where there’s no carpet for you to shit on?

Millions of people are outraged that a proven degenerate behavior is being promoted as a civil right.

Vanhellsinger of course provides no evidence for this. But like all bigots, he speaks for the people! And the people, apparently, are fucking nitwits.

Why not make having cancer a civil right?

Are you suggesting we shouldn’t let people with cancer get married?

Giving minorities a job, promotion, passing grade, and much more just because they are black is so wrong with obviously most people.

Who the fuck gives people a passing grade just because they’re black? I’ve taught at universities for years and never seen anyone do that.

Look what AA got us a President with what appears as an educated intelligent man, but is he?

I can tell someone here is not an educated, intelligent man.

The NSA leak is just another way for the liberals to distract us from the real issues-

Yeah, they’re distracting us by making Obama look  like an asshole. What a brilliant strategy!

The failure of ObamaCare

I don’t like it, therefore it’s a failure!

So if I don’t like the Miami Heat, does that mean I can just give last year’s NBA championship to the OKC Thunder? Because I’d love to do that.

the Fraud of Gay Rights

Let’s be clear here. This guy is actually saying that the NSA scandal was a conspiracy to distract us from the fact that gay rights isn’t real. It takes a special kind of mind to come up with something like that. It’s one of those special minds that rides the special bus and wears a special helmet.

a President that is a coward and unable to defend the American people- Bhengazi

Yeah, the president is soft on terror. I mean, all he does is send flying death robots around the world to kill al Qaeda members whenever they poke their heads above ground. What a pussy.

and not doing anything about Nuclear development in Iran and NK.

“Not doing anything” must mean “levying heavy sanctions on both countries and building up our military presence in the region in response” to this guy.

I suspect the democrats orchestrated this NSA scandal.

You thought I was kidding earlier when I said this guy actually fucking thinks that the NSA is a conspiracy to distract us from our God-given duty to hate fags? Nope. He really is that deranged.

I often wonder what the world must look like to one of these people who think everything is a conspiracy based around whatever they happen to hate.

“My coffee maker broke! Fucking homos!”

“A bird shit on my car! God damn you, Obama!”

“ObamaCare spoiled the end of Game of Thrones for me! Nooooooo!”

Dems have destroyed America ever since the civil war, FDR, Truman, JFK all were bad leaders and caused mass death in unnecessary wars.

…Unnecessary wars? You mean like World War II, the war that FDR and Truman fought? You think we need to bomb Iran and North Korea, but we shouldn’t have retaliated for Pearl Harbor, or stopped the Nazis from overrunning Europe?

And that’s the sentiment on which this dingleberry ends his dribble. Obama created fags, and we should have let the Nazis win. Thank you, Internet, for making me aware of this guy’s existence. Now excuse me while I go take a shower and silently weep for humanity’s future.

Couldn’t have said it better myself

More good news: Minnesota is set to become the 12th state to legalize gay marriage. We got the bigots on the run, people. And their own words about this issue indict them more than anything I could say about the issue.

Republican fucknut legislator Dan Hall of Minnesota wants the world to know what a hateful shit-biscuit he is. In doing so, he reveals the authoritarian fundamentalist mindset that all freedom-loving people are up against:

“Forcing others to give you your rights will never end well,” said Sen. Dan Hall, a Republican and a pastor. “It won’t give you the recognition you desire.”

Hear that, folks? A vote held by a democratically elected state legislature is “forcing” the bigots to give you “your rights.” You really can’t make it any more clear who’s on the right side and who’s on the wrong side of this issue.

Well, maybe you can…

Hall said gay marriage supporters have told him he’s on the wrong side of history but, he said, “the truth is I’m more concerned about being on the right side of eternity.”

Sen. Hall, let me be the one to explain to you why we’re winning: History is REAL.

More Oklahomans make fools of themselves

I already looked at one idiotic argument against gay marriage from my home state of Oklahoma. That particular bit of stupidity was from just some random schmuck in Edmond. Today’s bit of drooling inanity, however, comes from people with actual power. Three state legislators, to be precise.

Young Oklahoma Republican lawmakers: Sanctity of marriage must endure

BY STATE REPS. ELISE HALL, JUSTIN WOOD AND JOSH COCKROFT

Note to bigots: If you want people to represent your position on gay marriage, you should not get guys called “Wood” and “Cockroft” to do it. You’re basically just inviting assholes like me to make fun of you.

As the three youngest members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives Republican caucus, we continue to believe that the push for a new definition of marriage is an attempt to carve out a special right that has no basis in the traditions of our country.

Since when do rights need to have a basis in tradition? Did women’s right to vote have any basis in tradition? Did equal rights for blacks have any basis in tradition?

We believe that all Americans deserve to be treated with dignity…

Okay. I’m not playing bullshit bigot boilerplate any more. Just move on to the obvious contradiction of this statement that you will inevitably make…

but that equal treatment has no bearing on the question of how marriage is defined.

So we can just throw out Loving v. Virginia and start banning interracial marriage again. Because the definition of marriage has nothing to do with equality. Nothing at all.

You see this thing I’m doing here? It’s a rare (on the right wing) form of thinking called “following a sentence through to its logical implications.” You might want to try it some time. Because I don’t think equality having nothing to do with marriage is anything you would ever actually want to stand by.

Marriage is defined as the union of a man and a woman. It’s not defined as a union between a man and another man nor a woman and another woman.

Don’t you just love how right wingers suddenly turn into strident lexicographers whenever the prospect of people they don’t even know having a relationship they don’t approve of comes up? We can’t redefine marriage! Think of the damage it will do to our dictionaries!

Doing so would represent creating a new right, not adhering to any previously understood right.

Bullshit. Giving women the right to vote didn’t “create a new right”. It took an existing right and extended it to a new group of people. That’s how this whole “equal rights” thing works.

Is gay marriage gaining traction with young people? Yes. But that is because of the moralistic relativity that is constantly being promoted by Hollywood and in many areas of pop culture today. The idea that is too frequently becoming the norm is that everything is allowed and nothing is off limits.

It’s pop culture’s fault! If we censored movies and made it harder to have this conversation, then we could be bigots all we want without ever having to worry about public exposure!

Whenever there’s some kind of moral panic, people often target some aspect of pop culture as the supposed cause of all our problems.  In the 20s it was jazz music and dancing. In the 30s it was movies.  In the 50s it was comic books. In the 60s it was rock music. In the 70s, heavy metal. Pornography, video games, horror films, gangster rap music, reality TV–all have found themselves in the cross hairs of sanctimonious culture warriors who want an easy target to solve all their problems. The reason is simple: pop culture is an easy target. It’s highly visible, and there’s always someone out there who finds some aspect of it offensive (usually because it depicts something unfamiliar to them). And, as any rational person might suspect, there is little evidence that pop culture actually has the power over people’s minds that the culture warriors say it does. Pop culture reflects us much more than we reflect it.

But culture warriors rarely care about facts. They care about airy principles and vaguely defined “values”. The myth of American “moral relativism” is a perfect example of this. Whenever right wing douche-nozzles like these guys talk of “moral relativism”, replace the term with “moral system different from my own” and you get their real point. I doubt there are very many Americans who believe “everything is allowed and nothing is off limits.” If there were, the murder and rape rates would be MUCH higher than they actually are because of all the people who just kill and take whatever they want. But the vast majority of Americans do in fact realize that these things are wrong, and don’t do them. They’re not moral relativists–they just have a moral system that differs from the Evangelical system, which is good, since the Evangelical system is based on bigotry, ignorance, superstition, venality, hatred, and pervasive stupidity.

God intended one man and one woman to be tied in holy matrimony for their entire lives.

No. God intended for Evangelicals to shut the fuck up and leave gay people alone.

I have just as much evidence to support my hypothesis as you do yours.

Proponents of gay marriage will point fingers at straight couples getting divorces, but that’s not the fault of traditional marriage — that’s an issue for each individual couple to deal with and answer to God. Humans are flawed individuals and fall short of the grace and glory of God. That, unfortunately, includes marriages that end. It is a straw-man argument.

It’s still better than “God says so.” Unless you’ve got a good solution to the Euthyphro Dilemma, your divine command ethics is up shit creek without a god-paddle.

And, no, it’s not a straw man. Bigoted douchenuggets repeatedly argue that gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed because children need both a mother and a father. Pointed out that divorce results in children being raised without one or the other–but we still don’t outlaw straight marriage–is entirely relevant.

Gay marriage proponents argue that long-term gay couples deserve the right to marry so they can maneuver certain legal matters dealing with things ranging from wills to being put on life insurance policies. There are alternate ways to address legal issues. A widespread acceptance of nontraditional marriage is not the way to go.

Not there aren’t other ways. Oklahoma has a frickin’ constitutional amendment which specifies that there not be any. Not only is gay marriage outlawed, but so are domestic partnerships and civil unions. There is no legal recourse, and assholes like your are precisely the reason why.

This is like putting someone in a cage, locking the only door, then saying, “It’s your fault for not finding another way out.” And it confirms one of the most important lessons we can draw from this whole gay marriage debate: The Religious Right is made up of a bunch of assholes.

We feel young Republicans and conservatives are open-minded and, in some ways, are very different from their parents’ generation. That doesn’t mean we are ready to stand for allowing the legal definition of marriage to be stretched into areas it does not belong for the pursuit of convenience or social pressure.

Go fuck yourself.

Is the ability to visit your spouse in the hospital a matter of “convenience”? If you think it is, then you really are a completely inhuman piece of shit. And the state legislature of Oklahoma is starting to fill up with these. I keep hoping that the next election will give it a good flush, but find myself disappointed year after year.

Sigh. Why do you do this to me, Sooner State? Why?

Good Ideas Don’t Need Death Threats to Protect Them

A group of Muslim extremists is demanding death for “insulting” their precious, delicate religious sensibilities. Must be Tuesday. Oh, wait, it’s Sunday. Guess it could be any day of the week, come to think of it.

Dhaka, Bangladesh (CNN) — Tens of thousands of radical Muslims marched toward the capital on Saturday to demand laws to target bloggers they said denigrated Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.

Muhammad must be a colossal wuss if he can’t handle a few bloggers making fun of him. Or could it be that Islam is all just complete bullshit unsupported by facts and reason (shock!), and the only way it can stand is by threatening and intimidating those who ask questions for which it has no answer?

Anyways, I’m 100% on the side of those bloggers.

The bloggers initiated a recent sit-in at Shahbagh Square demanding the death penalty for people involved in war crimes perpetrated more than four decades ago.

Okay, maybe not 100%.

Can we ever have a rally in a Muslim country that doesn’t involve calling for someone to be killed? That would be nice. Look, I’m all for punishing war crimes, but the death penalty is not the answer to all of our problems. Answering cruelty with more cruelty is not the right way to go.

But let’s also be careful not to equate what the bloggers are doing with what the Muslim extremists are doing. The bloggers are calling for the death penalty for war crimes. The extremists are calling for the death penalty for saying mean stuff. I’m not for the death penalty either way, but at least in the former case an actual crime was committed.

Muslim hard-liners under the banner of Hefazat-e-Islam on Saturday rallied against bloggers and authors.

Poverty. Starvation. Violence. Crime. Communicable diseases. Illiteracy. Superstition. Misogyny/rape culture. Ethnic hatred. Under-funded schools… What? Oh, sorry. I was just making a list of the problems faced by a struggling, third world country like Bangladesh. I’ll let you know when I get to “bloggers and authors.” Infant mortality. The lingering effects of the 2005 tsunami. Unsafe work conditions in factories. Political corruption…

The Hefazat rally branded the government as cohorts of the atheists and said they wanted it to meet 13 demands, including reinstatement of “absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah” in the constitution and capital punishment for those who would denigrate Islam and its prophet.

The demands included declaration of the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect as non-Muslim, a ban on free mixing of men and women, making Islamic education mandatory at all levels and no installation of any sculpture in any public place.

That’s all a bunch of oppressive bullshit, but I’m almost with you on that last one. Wish more people were on board with that in my country, at least as far as publicly-funded property goes.

Speaking of my home country, let’s check in on how far we’ve come in our own struggle for civil rights and equality.

ROCHELLE, GA – …

Stephanie and Keela are white and Mareshia and Quanesha are black. They’re seniors at Wilcox County High School, a school that has never held an integrated prom during its existence.

“There’s a white prom and there’s an integrated prom,” said Keela.

The rule is strictly enforced, any race other than Caucasian wouldn’t dare to attend the white prom.

Sigh. It’s days like this that I just want to give up.

Oh, and hey, South, are you listening? I say this as a person who was a resident of you for many years: I want you to find every sharp object available and just ram it right up your tightly wound, bigoted asshole. Just fuck yourself with every sharp object known to man, and just keep doing it ’til you bleed out and die and let the rest of us finally try to make some real progress on racial equality in this country.

Segregated proms. In 2013. Fucking shameful.

Freedom for me, but not for thee

I saw Ed Brayton’s brief commentary on this article and had to throw in my two cents. The article is in WorldNutDaily, so you already know it’s gonna be goatballs crazy. But even by WND standards, it’s a whopper. The author, Erik Rush, calls his column “The Other Rush”, which one would think means that he’s happy being second fiddle to America’s most notoriously bloviating gas bag. But it seems rather that he’s trying to one-up Limbaugh in terms of just what a hateful right wing authoritarian he can be.

The title lets you know exactly what you’re in for:

How to disarm the Mainstream Media
Exclusive: Erik Rush wants ‘treasonous’ reporters prosecuted for misuse of free speech

“Misuse” of free speech isn’t very clearly defined in US law, Holmes’ overrated “fire in a crowded theater” standard notwithstanding. Regardless, if the purpose is to “disarm” the “mainstream media”, then it’s pretty clear that whatever this is about, it’s unconstitutional. The First Amendment explicitly protects the press from being disarmed. Kinda like how all those rednecks keep reminding us the Second Amendment does for American gun owners. Except in this case, the media isn’t actually gonna blow anybody’s head off.

Well, it’s Free Speech Week, an annual celebration of Americans’ right to free speech hosted by the Media Institute. Partnering organizations include media organizations across the political spectrum. What’s ironic is the extent to which Americans’ free speech is under assault at present. While this is more evident among the non-liberal, non-secular folks among us, this oppression is just part of a design that will ultimately stifle all of our speech and liberties to varying extents.

I think we need to start a Self Awareness Week. During Self Awareness Week, people will be encouraged to pay attention not only to what they’re doing but also to the context in which it’s done, and to notice things like the fact that you’re publishing this on the internet without any repercussions whatsoever so obviously no one has taken away your free speech you stupid fuck.

Since it is Free Speech Week, I can’t think of a more perfect time to clarify just what free speech is and, more importantly, what it is not.

Translation: I’m gonna make sure free speech only applies to “non-liberal, non-secular folk”.

I’m going to get ahead of myself here and presuppose a Mitt Romney victory in November. This is the only scenario in which America will be able to get her feet back under her, so to speak, and plot a course out of the bog in which President Obama has situated us. An Obama re-election will essentially mean a national bracing for impact, and all bets may be off with regard to preserving our liberties to any meaningful degree.

What liberties, exactly, has Obama taken from you? At least with Bush people could point to specific legislation, the PATRIOT Act, for example, which expressly curtailed certain freedoms. But what has Obama done that affects anyone’s freedom? Usually the “freedom” people accuse Obama of taking away is the “freedom” to take away other freedoms, such as the “right” to deny birth control coverage to an employee. And, as we’ll see, the “freedom” to take away other people’s freedoms is exactly the kind of “freedom” Rush wants to protect.

Yes, many Americans are now cognizant of the fact that progressives have “progressed” America dangerously close to being a Marxist-socialist nation and that we are collectively responsible for not having checked that progress.

Have you ever read the writings of Marx or any other socialist? America is nothing like the society they envisioned. It’s not even close. America is about as Marxist as Honey Boo Boo is talented.

…there are other widespread, organized threats to America’s ongoing concern as a representative republic with guaranteed personal liberties, free speech foremost among them.

Here, I am speaking of the press

Fucking First Amendment! It violates the First Amendment! Or something…

the conglomeration of national broadcast, digital and print media organizations that has been incrementally packed with ideological liberals and socialists, and so has disqualified itself as the impartial government watchdog it once was.

Okay, a few things here. 1.) If you think the media was ever impartial, I’ve got three words for you: William Randolf Hearst. 2.) Being liberal disqualifies you from being a government watchdog? I see what you did there. 3.) The existence of Fox News contradicts all such “liberal mainstream media” demagoguery. 4.) HOW THE FUCK DOES THIS AFFECT YOUR FREE SPEECH? You can’t have free speech so long as liberals have free speech? You do realize that free speech doesn’t mean freedom from being disagreed with.

Oh, wait, we’re operating on the right wing conception of “freedom”, which means “taking freedom from others.”

During my lifetime, I have seen the press become an advance force for social engineering and global socialism.

During my lifetime I’ve seen the press become an ADHD fever dream of sensationalistic headlines and flashy graphics that convey almost no information and perpetuate the “careers” of people like Paris Hilton far beyond their expiration dates. But, yeah, global socialism and all that.

In the matter of this president, the press largely facilitated the ascension of Barack Obama. The instances wherein they have promoted, shielded and aided him are beyond enumeration.

This goes beyond such things as MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and his man crush on Obama – I’m talking about treasonous collusion.

You keep using that word “treason”. I do not think it means what you think it means.

And how exactly is supporting the President “treason”? When people on Fox gushed about Bush, was that treason too?

One particularly scandalous incident occurred during the second presidential debate, when CNN moderator Candy Crowley made an interjection that appeared to have been as spontaneous as Ambassador Chris Stevens’ murder, and which led to a solid point scored for Obama.

Romney said something which was demonstrably false, and she asserted so. I don’t know if it’s flattering or frightening that you see “true” as meaning “a solid point for Obama”.

Most recently, after Mitt Romney brought up Obama’s 2009 “Apology Tour,” the press did their best to support Obama’s claim that this never happened, despite boundless reams of footage that exist chronicling the event.

Well, the footage proves that there was a tour. But it’s the whole “apology tour” thing that the press is denying. And so they should, as the tour had nothing to do with apologies. But when exactly do you plan to get to the part where any of this is treason?

In perhaps the worst recent transgression, on Oct. 21, Phoenix, Ariz., CBS affiliate KPHO ran a lower-third graphic indicating that President Obama had won the Nov. 6 election over Gov. Mitt Romney. A technician’s cute stunt, or subliminal propaganda? In any case, it was technically a prosecutable offense the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Communications Commission should be all over.

What’s that? Some low level techie at a local TV affiliate in Arizona made a dumb mistake? Kill him! Kill him!

You think I’m kidding about the kill him part?

It is improbable that the framers of the Constitution anticipated a situation in which the press were entirely given over to seditious, anti-American policies. If they had, it is likely that their modus operandi would be similar to that for any faction found guilty of high crimes. Trials for treason and the requisite sentences would apply, and I would have no qualms about seeing such sentences executed, no matter how severe.

Still think I’m kidding? Treason is a capital crime, so Rush is in fact saying that people who support liberalism in the media should be killed. No joke.

And as for the “improbable” situation that Rush alludes to, something of this nature, in which people were saying “un-American” things in the press like “Let’s secede from the Union”, did in fact happen to our founders, culminating in the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798. And SOME of them, such as John Adams, did support rounding up dissenters and jailing them. OTHERS, such a Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, opposed the act. The Founders weren’t a homogeneous unit that agreed on everything. They had disagreements just like everybody else. And, in the case of the Alien and Sedition Act, it would surely be ruled unconstitutional today, and it led to numerous problems for the people who supported it. In fact, Jefferson (a Democratic-Republican) pardoned those convicted under the act, and then turned around and used the act against the very Federalists who had originally supported it!

The lesson? As our founders learned, if you support laws to prosecute your enemies for their speech, it won’t be long before that law is turned around and used on you. So don’t support such laws. But learning this lesson requires self awareness and foresight, things which are entirely lacking in today’s right wing.

This is not likely to occur, however. Radio personality and nascent media mogul Glenn Beck…

*Snort* Just a sec. I gotta take a moment to laugh at even the suggestion that Glenn Beck is a “media mogul”. I’m better now, please continue…

…has the intention of putting the establishment press out of business. While I wish him every success, it doesn’t seem likely that he will accomplish this through his organizations alone. In addition to the advent of powerful alternative media sources, I believe it will be necessary to codify – or reaffirm – the nature of crimes against the Constitution and the American people. In this manner, we can thwart the designs not only of the press, but all global socialists operating in America.

Again, what are these crimes, other than the “crimes” of disagreeing with you and (allegedly) supporting a candidate that you don’t support? And who the hell are these global socialists? And what exactly is so threatening about the media?

Let me check up on our Illuminati Lizard People Overlords over at CNN just to see what dastardly plots are unfolding… Oh God. They have a headline on the front page of their website that reads “‘Dancing With The Stars’ Goes Country”. Rush was right! This truly is the end!

Those whose speech and actions impinge upon the God-given rights set forth in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution are, by definition, excepted from protection under the First Amendment (as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment).

So God gave you the “liberty” of not having other people vocalize opinions that differ from your own? And how much of a fucking pussy are you if you can’t even handle people in the media saying things you disagree with?

The wingnuts, if we took them seriously, would have us believe that America is simultaneously the strongest country on Earth and so fragile that it could be taken down by puffy faced blabberers like Chris Matthews. And that the only way to protect liberty is to take it away. And that we should make government smaller by expanding its ability to control individual expression. And that our unbridled, exploitative capitalist economy is “Marxist” and should be replaced by unbridled, exploitative capitalism. And that Chuck Norris has interesting things to say.

This is a very important concept to consider, because it is based on these presumptions of protected speech and equal protection for all that progressives and socialists have engaged in their predation upon our liberties.

They think they can effect change through free speech! How un-American! Don’t they know that here in America we effect change by shutting down people who suggest we might need to change something?

If these truths can be acknowledged and widely accepted as such (as opposed to progressives’ Orwellian interpretations), then the political disenfranchisement of liberals, progressives, socialists and Marxists can begin in earnest, and in the open.

The right wing sure is getting bold, isn’t it? My guess is that ten years ago WorldNutDaily would never have published such an unambiguous call for all those who oppose them to be silenced by force. Fascism was indecorous back then. But now, as a lovely infographic over at xkcd illustrates, the far right has pushed itself into the mainstream by taking over a big chunk of Congress (especially the House), and as the mainstream becomes more looney, the looneys see this as an opportunity to push the boundaries of “acceptable” lunacy.

The Overton Window has shifted, and we’re now living in a world where right wing authoritarianism can rear its ugly head unabashed and unafraid. Tell rape victims that God wants them to have that child? Sure. Declare that corporations are people? Why not. Call 47% of Americans freeloaders and unapologetically praise the greed of the wealthiest Americans? Of course! Transvaginal ultrasounds? Disenfranchising black voters? More warmongering with Iran after two failed wars? Second Amendment remedies? Women who use birth control are sluts? Football players should be silenced when they express an opinion? Jail people for being liberal in public on the charge of crimes against the constitution? Hey, the sky’s the limit!

Ed (not Brayton) over at Gin and Tacos gave a rather bleak assessment of our current cultural dialogue. While I’m not as pessimistic as he is, I have to agree that we as liberals have failed at something basic. In our misguided attempts to be “fair and balanced”, we’ve let the meaning of terms shift (including the term “fair and balanced”), and we’ve allowed the looniest of the far right lunatics to control the tenor of the debate and say the most ludicrous things without fear of reprisal or scorn.

Of course, I’m not a lunatic like Rush, and under no circumstances should even lunatics being censored just for disagreeing (I say this even when it comes to “hate speech” laws in Canada and Europe that penalize people for spouting homophobic garbage). But allowing free speech should never mean failing to mock and deride people who says stupid or bigoted things. Just look at Rush’s article for an example of how dangerous it is to play the “respect people’s beliefs” gambit. Rush is so emboldened that he now believes it is a CRIME to disagree with him. He’s grown so accustomed to seeing the media put kid gloves on when dealing with creationists, global warming deniers, market dogmatists, homophobes, and all sorts of goatfucking crazy people that he now perceives the mere presence of liberals to be treasonous.

When somebody says something stupid, there should be a chorus of dissenters pointing out how wrong and stupid the claim is. Of course the stupid person will say that being called stupid is a violation of the First Amendment, but the fact that he or she believes this is part of what makes him or her stupid. The people with truly indefensible ideas can’t withstand scrutiny, so their only recourse is to silence those who would contradict them. Bad ideas need external, non-intellectual support. And as long as we have this mentality of “respecting beliefs” no matter how insane or demonstrably false those beliefs are, we are giving them that support, and opening a window for them to completely alter how our nation discusses important issues.

I say let the wingnuts like Rush have their word. But then I’m gonna have my word. And if the wingnuts don’t like it, they can go fuck themselves.