Discrimination: It’s good for business!

There are different types of conservatives out there. There’s just the run of the mill conservative, a person whose beliefs differ from my own liberal beliefs, but who isn’t an asshole or a bigot. Just different. Then there are the assholes and bigots, the ones who pick up on conservatism because it gives them an excuse to attack some racial or sexual minority. There are the True Believers (aka god-humpers), the ones so caught up in a religious ideology that they believe it without question and see implications of it in everything. There are also the plutocrats, heartless elites interested only in augmenting their own wealth and power, and constantly pushing for lower taxes even if it means the environment is raped and poor people die of preventable diseases. (Seriously, fuck those guys.)

But then there are the libertarian types. They’re generally easy to get along with in comparison to the assholes and god-humpers. They tend to be mostly rational and willing to see other people’s viewpoints. The points they have to make are not always irrational, authoritarian or just downright ignorant. They are often intelligent, informed and politically engaged. Honestly, if the libertarian types ran the Republican Party I wouldn’t find it loathsome like I do now. (Unfortunately, the plutocrats hold the real power in the party and the base is overrun with assholes and god-humpers. Hence the loathsomeness.)

But the libertarians do have one really, really, REALLY fucking annoying tendency. They have difficulty seeing the political, social, or legal value of anything apart from its economic value. If they get it into their heads that a law hurts the economy, then they’re against it, and their money-hardened brains don’t really even process the concept that it could be a good law apart from whatever (real or imagine) economic damage it does. Case in point, Joshua Steimle at Forbes.com, who recently spat out this bit of Libertarian Wankery:

Entrepreneurship Threatened By Ruling In New Mexico Gay Marriage Case

It should be noted that this case wasn’t about gay marriage per se. Gay marriage is in fact advancing in New Mexico and is already being carried out in some counties. But the case in question took place at a time when gay marriage was not allowed and the case is not about legalizing gay marriage. Rather, it’s a discrimination case about a photographer who refused to work at a gay wedding ceremony several years ago.

Steimle (I don’t have the foggiest idea how that letter-salad of a name is supposed to be pronounced) begins reasonably enough:

Whenever the law interferes with entrepreneurial activity it creates a barrier to entry and makes the practice of doing business less efficient. Some would say certain inefficiencies in an economy are good and desirable, as when bad people are prevented from doing bad things by laws and regulations that catch them before they do any harm. This realm of “positive law” includes laws against drunk driving and insider trading. These laws create criminals where there is no victim but merely the perhaps likely threat of harm, and reasonable people can debate the merits of such laws.

This is why I like the libertarians (Steimle doesn’t claim to be one, but comes across to me as one, so I presume he is). Even when I  disagree with them, I don’t entirely disagree with them. Part of what they say usually makes good, rational sense.

The recent ruling wherein the high court of New Mexico ruled against Elaine Huguenin, a professional photographer who refused to photograph a gay marriage ceremony due to her religious beliefs, goes far beyond merely attempting to prevent harm. Rather, it aims to criminalize behavior that has no potential to cause physical harm, but at worst can only be considered offensive. If allowed to stand, the consequences will be negative for all entrepreneurs whether straight, gay, black, white, male, or female.

And then he turns around and says something stupid. The worst harm discrimination can do is to be “considered offensive”? Do you know ANYTHING about the history of this country?

Elaine Huguenin is the co-owner of Elane Photography along with her husband. Their small business is based in New Mexico. In 2006 she refused to photograph a gay marriage ceremony for Vanessa Willock and her partner, citing religious beliefs. Elaine and her business came to national attention after the couple sued her, claiming discrimination. According to the New Mexico Human Rights Act, it is illegal for a business to refuse its services to an individual because of that person’s sexual orientation. The same law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry and gender.

On August 22nd, 2013, New Mexico’s highest court ruled against Elaine, stating “When Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the NMHRA in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races.”

It cannot be disputed that Elaine broke the law.

And now he’s being sensible again. Yes, she clearly violated the law. Whenever a god-humper talks about issues like this, that part is often lost on them. If Steimle were a god-humper, he would probably “dispute” it by regurgitating Bible verses and whining that he’s being persecuted just like the Jews under Hitler.

What we can dispute is whether the long term consequences of having such a law in place are beneficial for society.

After the ruling, Louise Melling of the American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement saying “When you open a business, you are opening your doors to all people in your community, not just the select few who share your personal beliefs.”

Were this reasoning to be applied equally to all cases, as blind justice demands, then a business owned by a gay individual must provide services to the Westboro Baptist Church, if asked to. A Jewish entrepreneur must provide services to a neo-Nazi.

And now he’s being stupid again.

Dear Mr. Steimle, would you please LOOK AT WHAT YOU YOURSELF WROTE JUST A FEW PARAGRAPHS AGO.

According to the New Mexico Human Rights Act, it is illegal for a business to refuse its services to an individual because of that person’s sexual orientation. The same law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry and gender.

Do you see “political affiliation” or “organization membership” on there? No. And that’s the law. What Melling says is not the law. She’s just someone from the ACLU who said something that doesn’t accurately represent the law.

The reasoning behind anti-discrimination laws is to protect groups that have historically been given second class citizenship on a basis of something that is either not under their control (race, sexual orientation, place of birth) or that is specifically protected in the constitution (religion). There is no history of persecution of the KKK–in fact, they’ve historically been the ones doing and promoting discrimination.

That’s why we need these laws. What Melling said is irrelevant, and you know this, because you said so just a little while. Please pay attention.

According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 85% of Americans believe Elaine had the right to refuse service to the gay couple. I suspect the percentage would be even higher if respondents had been asked not if a Christian woman could refuse to photograph a gay marriage ceremony, but if a business owned by an African-American woman must provide services to the KKK.

What do you think the percentage would be if it were a klansman refusing service to a black woman? People don’t exactly think very clearly on issues like this.

And a black woman refusing to serve the KKK is not comparable to a photographer refusing to serve someone just for being gay. The KKK actively hate and attack black people. Gays do not have anything against photographers.

It is important to reiterate that no harm was done to the gay couple other than to offend their sensibilities.

Utter bullshit. It cost them time and resources to find another photographer. If this practice were allowed to proliferate to other businesses, it could seriously impact the lives and well-being of gays by making it more difficult for them to obtain services than straights. Real harm, even ECONOMIC harm (since that’s how Steimle thinks) has been done here.

How do I know this? Because that’s exactly what happened to blacks back when it was allowed to discriminate against them. Ask anyone who played on an integrated football team in the 1950s who had to scramble to find a hotel for 80+ players and coaches when they learn that the one they booked didn’t allow blacks. Or any hungry black many who had to search around town to find a restaurant that would serve him. It hurts people.

If you are a Christian woman who a week ago was thinking of starting a wedding photography business in New Mexico, might you be thinking twice today?

I’d be impressed if you could think once.

If the Court’s ruling is allowed to stand, this sends a chilling message to entrepreneurs—if someone, anyone, doesn’t like you, your business, or what you stand for, then all they need to do is claim discrimination, and they can sue you.

Utter paranoia. Hypothetically, someone might attempt to abuse the law in this fashion, but whether they could actually succeed would require them to prove you actually discriminate.

It does not matter whether the entrepreneur is black or white, gay or straight, liberal or conservative, male or female. Anyone can be targeted. It’s only a matter of time before alleged inferior service, rather than outright refusal of service, is all that is necessary to claim discrimination and bring suit. To those who claim this is unrealistic and will never happen, I would point out this is exactly what I was told about the type of lawsuit Elaine Huguenin just lost.

“I was told this by my imaginary friend Steve the Wonder Chicken. He’s never done me wrong before!”

Entrepreneurs already face enough hurdles. They must deal with the IRS, The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare), and other city, county, state, and federal regulations.

Yeah, I’m sure wedding photographers are really struggling with Obamacare.

Add to this the threat of an expensive lawsuit based on your beliefs, even if you pick no one’s pocket nor break anyone’s leg, and for some it will be the difference between starting a business that brings us an innovative product or service that improves our lives, and getting a safe job working for someone else.

Anti-discrimination laws are bad, because people who want to discriminate won’t do business in your state. Think of the economy!

So should we allow discrimination against blacks or Hispanics or Muslims or Jews so that people that want to discriminate against them will do more business in our state? According to Heimle’s stupid argument, that’s exactly what we should do.

But the argument is utter nonsense. For one thing, there is more at stake here than merely who’s doing business in one’s state. There’s also the interest of protecting the rights of a class of people who have been historically subject to widespread discrimination. Even if that means a few bigots won’t do business in your state, it’s still worth it. But libertarians simply can’t process this. They see something that might hurt business and immediately conclude it’s bad without further consideration.

But even if we limit ourselves to economic arguments, it’s still stupid. Yeah, anti-discrimination laws might drive the bigots away, but so fucking what? Smart, educated people are more likely to favor gay rights and equality, and they also make for great entrepreneurs, and they would find a state that protects gay rights to be more attractive for business. And it’s not just entrepreneurs. Many big businesses today, including big ones like Google and Boeing, are actively pushing for protections for gays and lesbians and would find a state more attractive if it had laws to that effect. One could easily argue that protecting gay rights could improve the economy.

And as for a bigot who’s so petty and hateful that he/she wouldn’t open a business in NM simply because they won’t allow him/her to discriminate? Fuck ’em. Who needs ’em? Let ’em move to fucking Saudi Arabia and live in the repressive theocratic nightmare that they apparently think society should be. Let ’em move to fucking Russia, where discrimination against gays is now enshrined in federal law. I don’t see why we should need or want their business.

They’re probably shitty photographers anyways.

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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?

Immutable Stupidity

The WingNutDaily never fails to entertain me, especially their excessively mustachioed publisher Joseph Farah, who consistently sputters out right wing nonsense so insanely stupid that one can’t help but wonder whether his entire journalistic career is one big Andy Kaufman-style piece of performance art. Today’s piece is a particularly exquisite morsel of Dumb, because nothing causes fundamentalist brains to go haywire quite like the menace of Gay.

“Non-discrimination” is one of those new buzzwords that has widespread appeal.

It’s not exactly new…unless your thinking is permanently rooted in the 1950s.

After all, nobody can defend discrimination against people because of immutable characteristics like their skin color, religious beliefs or ethnicity, right?

*Spit take* Did you just describe religious beliefs as immutable? Then does that mean you fucking Christians will stop hassling everyone and trying to convert them?

People like you, Mr. Farah, do defend discrimination based on these things all the time. Evangelicals have no problem with discrimination based on religion–so long as it’s not against their own religion. And, no, Mr. Farah, religious belief is not immutable, but homosexuality is.

But America has moved way beyond that ideal. The cultural and political pendulum has swung so far the other direction that “non-discrimination” actually means victimizing people because of their religious convictions.

I bet you like thinking about that pendulum swinging. That big, luscious pendulum, swinging back and forth, back and forth.

WND reported last month that the San Antonio City Council, way down in the heart of Texas

It’s actually closer to the rectum of Texas. But that’s not San Antonio’s fault. Texas is mostly rectum.

of all places, is considering a change to its “non-discrimination” ordinance that will seemingly bar those who take the Bible seriously from holding office.

I can’t understand why I’ve got this sudden feeling of skepticism towards absolutely every word that follows…

In the rush to condemn “bias” of any kind, in particular discrimination against people based on their sexual proclivities and behavior, faithful, Bible-believing Christians and Jews could be permanently banned from participation in city government, business and even employment!

Note how he leaves out Muslims, who are even more hostile to gays than Christians.

“Now wait a minute, Farah,” you say.

Actually, what I say is more like, “Go fuck a goat and die of goat AIDS, Farah.”

[“]What are you talking about?

You probably get asked that a lot, don’t you?

That wouldn’t be legal. This is still America, where people’s religious convictions are protected by the First Amendment! Furthermore, the Constitution explicitly prohibits any religious test as a qualification for office or public trust.”

A fact Farah will conveniently forget when it comes to the question of an atheist holding office.

Well, tell the city council in San Antonio.

There, council members are on a path to add “sexual identity” and “sexual orientation” to the city non-discrimination ordinance, which, on the face of it, would bar anyone from office who has “demonstrated a bias” against someone based on categories that include “sexual orientation.” The proposal does not define “bias,” which, according to local church leaders, could mean someone who declares homosexual behavior is sinful, as the Bible clearly does.

Local church leaders have a bad habit of being completely and utterly full of shit.

The new ordinance would state: “No person shall be appointed to a position if the city council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or disability.” [emphasis added]

And here is where we learn that Joseph Farah can’t read. Or, more likely, that he knows his audience can’t read. I’ve highlighted the word here that he is clearly ignoring. Barring “Bible-believing” Christians from office would clearly violate this ordinance. So if the ordinance is enforced correctly, god-humpers in San Antone have nothing to worry about.

That said, I don’t think this ordinance could cut the Constitutional mustard. Not for the dumbshittery that Farah gives as reasons, but because it says “in word or deed”. Farah is right about one thing–the ordinance is vague. It might be construed as barring people from appointments based on their speech, which would be a violation of the First Amendment. It’s hard to tell, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this ever went to court and got shot down.

Church leaders have gathered to discuss what they consider an alarming plan. They said it would allow the city council “to prohibit those that speak their religious beliefs regarding homosexuality from serving on city boards.”

No, it wouldn’t, because it clearly states that religion is one of these protected classes. This is classic right wing scaremongering. Create an artificial crisis, trust in your dull-witted followers to believe it even when the evidence that it’s fake is right in front of them, then profit off of them. It’s fucking sickening, and speaks poorly of our species that people like Farah are able to do it so easily.

It’s why America’s founders established a Bill of Rights. These were not “special privileges” bestowed by government. Instead, they were recognized as God-given rights.

Which is why the Bill of Rights mentions god precisely ZERO times.

Whenever government starts handing out special protections of classes of people, especially based on their behavior, you are no longer protecting rights, you are denying them.

Religion is a behavior. Should we not protect your rights?

That’s where the homosexual agenda is rapidly heading.

The movement started with this slogan: “It’s nobody’s business what I do in the privacy of my own bedroom.” It has become a movement that is obsessed with what people do in their own bedroom – a movement that seeks to identify people based on what they do in their own bedroom, or anywhere else for that matter.

And they project their own shortcomings onto others, too!

Yet, few Americans have yet realized how far off the rails this train has veered.

That’s because most Americans aren’t so stupid that they wouldn’t see the word “religion” in that quote above and fail to realize that you’re making all this shit up.

The popular culture loves, adores and worships all things “gay.”

Well, I do like Batman. So you got me there. And Lady Gaga is pretty gay. I’m not a Lady Gaga fan, but I do like her a lot when she’s naked. Does that make me so straight I’m gay?

But I don’t think a guy with Joseph Farah’s mustache has any right to attack people who like gay things.

In such an environment, is it really that tough to imagine Americans being victimized because of their most heart-felt religious convictions?

Poor god-humpers. Always the victims. Boo hoo hoo.

Grow up, shitbritches. No, you are not the victim. No one declared your marriage illegal. No one beats you up for going to church. No one fires you for being a superstitious testicle head. No one is telling you that your consensual adult relationship is evil and disgusting and a threat to all of society. You are not the fucking victim here, so stop bitching and whining.

It’s easy. It’s just one small, inevitable step from where we were just a few years ago.

He’s got one thing right here. Gay rights is inevitable. People like Farah are flailing because it is becoming increasingly obvious that they have lost the fight and that full equality for gays and lesbians is now a matter of when, not if.

And I love watching them flail. Schadenfreude is a wonderful thing. 🙂

A failure of irony

Bill Hicks famously said that fundamentalism breeds a lack of irony. Fundamentalists often have extreme difficulty recognizing telling contrasts between what is said and what is implied by the context in which it is said. Often times, this failure can come in multiple layers. Take, for instance, the publication which calls itself American Thinker, which frequently publishes utterly thoughtless dribble that only repeats right wing talking points, such as the piece we’ll be looking at today, in which author Paul Schlichta actually quotes an author without realizing that the author was being ironic.

What’s wrong with Same-Sex Marriage?

By Paul Shlichta

There’s nothing wrong with it. The fact that bigots and fundamentalists keep trying and always failing to make the case that there’s something wrong with it is evidence of this.

This year, June’s wedding bells had a discordant tone, as they ushered in a raft of same-sex marriages.

It’s funny how bigots always feel the need to speak of gay marriage in the most ominous tones, hoping to convince the reader that it’s the fucking scariest thing in the universe. In actuality, it’s utterly innocuous, and will have no effect at all on the vast majority of people. But maybe if we talk about it in Vincent Price voice, and have a Theremin playing in the background, and use a metaphor that invokes Edgar Allan Poe, we can make it scary. OoOOOooooOOooooOOOOooo!

By the way, since when are rafts ushered in by anyone to anything? Did I just miss some recent event where bells usher in rafts?

I hereby invoke a panel of experts — Fr. Thomas Vandenberg, G. K. Chesterton, and Kurt Vonnegut — to explain why such marriages are a dangerous debasement of the concept of marriage.

Bells, ushers, rafts, and now juries? Unmix your metaphors, Mr. Shlichta. You clearly don’t understand how writing works.

And really, Kurt Vonnegut? The agnostic socialist renowned for his transgressive writing that was frequently banned by conservative prudes and moral busybodies? You’re invoking him? This ain’t gonna go well for you.

Fr. Vandenberg’s new book, Rediscovering a Pearl of Great Price , is an inspired exposition of the full meaning of Christian marriage, It should be required reading for couples planning to marry, although some of the passages may come as a surprise:

The greatest gift a husband can give his children is to love their mother, and the greatest gift a mother can give her children is to love their father. That is what will keep the proper balance in the family and make their home environment secure. That is what will free the children from their primary fear, which is to be abandoned by one of their parents. Why do they fear that? Because that is what has happened to so many of their friends at school.

This is clearly bullshit. The greatest gift parents can give their kids is to love their kids. Even parents who hate each other and get divorced can still raise a good child by letting their love for the child overcome whatever disdain they have for each other. I’ve seen it happen, so I know it’s true.

Even if we go along with Vandenberg’s pseudo-philosophical ramblings, how is this a problem for gay couples? If they love each other very much, then they should be fine parents according to this. You have failed to make your point.

Marriage is supposed to have the ambitious goal of providing children with a nurturing and reassuring base from which to learn to face the world. Therefore, parents must not only be good persons, not only a man and a woman (so as to provide the dual role models psychologists say they need), but also so unshakably devoted to each other that their mutual love can withstand all the temptations and shocks that life will hurl at them, as well as the abrasion of living with each other.

You see what Shlichta’s doing here? He’s throwing in “man and woman” as if it’s relevant to Vandenberg’s quote, but his parenthetical justification actually involves something completely different from what he quoted above. Instead of being about the importance of loving each other (which gays are perfectly capable of doing), it’s actually about “dual role models”. As if some other man or other woman couldn’t fulfill that role for them.

To this end, sexual passion and the bewildering differences between the sexes jointly play a vital role.

“Bewildering”? Does a vagina really confuse you that much? I can just imagine Mr. Shlichta at home, staring in utter disbelief as his wife inserts a tampon, muttering to himself, “I…I don’t understand…What’s happening???”

As Chesterton put it:

The differences between a man and a woman are at the best so obstinate and exasperating that they practically cannot be got over unless there is an atmosphere of exaggerated tenderness and mutual interest.  To put the matter in one metaphor, the sexes are two stubborn pieces of iron; if they are to be welded together, it must be while they are red-hot…

Great. More metaphors. Besides, if men and women are so irreconcilably different, doesn’t that mean same sex marriage might be the better option?

Therefore, as Fr. Vandenberg goes on to emphasize, sexual intercourse is not merely a permitted “perk” or a reluctantly tolerated means of procreation but rather a vital and holy part of marriage…

If there’s one thing that makes my skin crawl, it’s a fundamentalist attempting to talk about sex. Seriously, if someone came up to me and said, “I slid my hard cock into her wet pussy, stuck my finger up her ass, and fucked her while she called me ‘daddy’ and cried,” it wouldn’t skeeve me out as much as the sentence quoted above. Not even if he added, “Then I made her lick expired Miracle Whip off my taint.”

…a divinely sanctioned means of demonstrating and intensifying conjugal love to make it withstand the rigors attendant upon raising children.

That’s how you see sex? It makes it easier to raise your kids? Fucking weirdo. How the fuck do you get off calling the gays “perverts” when this is what’s going through your mind when you fuck your wife?

Fortunately, as with all animals, men and women have the proper equipment for such activities.

He means cocks and cunts, which not all animals have.

The corresponding parts of the male and female body interact quite neatly for both mutual pleasure and procreation.

I feel so sorry for any woman you have ever slept with.

Not so for homosexual men and women. Whether or not there is anything wrong with their desires, they simply don’t have the proper apparatus to fulfill them.

This is entirely predicated on you knowing what they desire. You do not. Like all sanctimonious busybodies, you just assume you know what everybody’s business is and insert yourself into it. I’m not gay, but I would bet that if you said this to a gay person, their response would be to tell you to take your proper apparatus and fuck yourself with it.

They must resort to clumsy makeshifts, like cargo cult devotees trying to make airplanes out of straw.

A cargo cult is a phenomenon observed on Pacific islands after WWII. During the war, many islands, inhabited by hunter-gatherer tribes who had little contact with the outside world or modern technology, became the home of make-shift airfields. The soldiers at these airfields sometimes shared what they were flying in with the natives, who referred to it as “cargo”. After the war, the airplanes and soldiers (and cargo) disappeared, and on some islands new religions emerged in which the natives built airplanes out of bamboo and straw to try to make the cargo come back. They obviously had no idea how an airplane actually works. The physicist Richard Feynman used cargo cults as a metaphor for pseudoscience–someone who reconstructs the superficial appearance of something, but has no comprehension of its inner workings. Mr. Shlichta is invoking this idea.

Keep this in mind when he quotes Vonnegut later.

Alternatively, they submit to grotesque operations, trying to alter their bodies to suit their desires. The artificiality of these attempts to mimic normal sexuality will inevitably distort the emotions that arise from them and will tend to adversely affect any children living with them.

You know that part of the Bible where Jesus says, “Judge not, lest ye be judged”? Yeah, Christians just kinda ignore that. They fucking LOVE judging people, and this article is just dripping with judgmental attitude.

You see those transgender people? They’re grotesque! And they’re just trying to mimic MY sexuality, which is totally NORMAL. It’s normal to view sex as primarily geared towards making you raise kids better. I’m normal! They’re the grotesque weird perverted ones!

Homosexuals who engage in such desperate expedients shouldn’t be condemned for wanting to do so. As the psychoanalyst in Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You Mr. Rosewater  explained:

Let’s assume that a healthy young man is supposed to be sexually aroused by an attractive woman not his mother or sister. if he’s aroused by other things, another man, say, or an umbrella, or the ostrich boa of the Empress Josephine or a sheep or a corpse or his mother or a stolen garter belt, he is what we call a pervert. Let us hasten on to the admission that every case of perversion is essentially a case of crossed wires…

Vonnegut was being sarcastic, you fucking nitwit. All you have to do is just read a little further down the page to see that. Here’s what immediately follows the Vonnegut quote above:

Mother Nature and Society order a man to take his sex to such and such a place and do thus and so with it. Because of the crossed wires, the unhappy man enthusiastically goes straight to the wrong place, proudly, vigorously does some hideously inappropriate thing; and he can count himself lucky if he is simply crippled for life by a police force rather than killed by a mob.

You see that part about police brutality and lynch mobs at the end? That’s the part where a rational mind reflects on what he/she read before and realizes it shouldn’t be taken on face value, that Vonnegut is actually making a quite different point than what a literal reading of the words might indicate. It’s called fucking irony. But for our noble busybodies at the American Thinker, that just doesn’t register with them. They see “pervert” and their feeble minds go no further.

In fact, there is neurological evidence that at least some homosexuals are wired differently and cannot help their proclivities. Others contend that homosexuality may be one of the aftereffects of sexual abuse during childhood. In recognition of such factors, the Catechism of the Catholic Church proposes the apparent paradox of condemning homosexual acts while urging that people afflicted with homosexuality be treated with sympathy.

Every major psychiatric organization has reached a consensus that homosexuality is not dangerous and should not be treated as a disorder. So everything in this paragraph is pseudoscientific bullshit that has no bearing on modern psychological medicine.

But we cannot debase the whole concept of sex and marriage merely to oblige them. The objective of what a gay activist has called the “”war we’ve already won” is to reduce marriage to a lowest-common-denominator status that will inevitably include polygamy, which is already being touted on ABC-TV as  “normal” and being campaigned for in Canada. That’s too high a price to pay for making homosexuals feel better about themselves.

None of this follows from anything you’ve said above. Not a single bit of it can be logically inferred from anything that proceeds it in the article. It’s just yet another bigot declaring by fiat that gays are evil because imaginary Jesus says so.

And the gay marriage initiative is not about making gays feel better about themselves. It’s about treating them like humans who have the same rights as other humans. Honestly, I don’t give a fuck about how they feel. All I care about is treating people equally.

Unfortunately, the institution of marriage is currently being attacked by several forces that, deliberately or inadvertently, are destroying it and thereby undermining our society:

  • The current fad of cohabitation. Single mothers usually do not assume this role voluntarily but are forced to do so by the perfidy and selfishness of men who desert them when they become pregnant. In consequence, the children suffer from the absence of a father and seek a male role model and mentor, often by joining gangs.
  • Ultrafeminists, who regard men as “the enemy”. They encourage the idea that men are unnecessary for raising children and regard lesbian couples as the new “normal”. To this end, they cite psychological studies that fall apart when examined.
  • Our protosocialist state, which seeks to diminish the concept of family in order to make the state the primary “parent”. This may be one reason why liberals are so enthusiastic about same-sex marriage — because it weakens the status and importance of families.

Now we’ve degenerated into the all-too-typical right wing freak out about how gays and feminists will destroy the universe. I especially love how his first point (aside from confusing cohabitation with single mothers) puts all the blame on men, and then his second point puts all the blame on “ultrafeminists” who supposedly hate men. Make up your mind, assfuck.

But whatever the causes, the debasement of the concepts of marriage and family will destroy us. Lycurgus achieved it in ancient Sparta and produced a nation of racist brutes. The USSR tried it, with partial success, in the last century and begat a dysfunctional society that is now painfully groping its way back to normality. These are hardly encouraging precedents. The legalization of same-sex marriage is a decisive step down that slippery slope.

Neither the Spartans nor the Soviets legalized gay marriage. And, in fact, both society’s were actually quite conservative. And Lycurgus, as our primary source Plutarch even admits, probably never even existed. He’s a legend, cobbled together from the storied lives of several different Spartan kings.

Of course, I’m not at all surprised that your ultimate evidence is fables and legends. That’s all religion is good for.

“Disturbing”

I’ve written about MassResistance before. They’re an incredibly bigoted anti-gay organization in Massachusetts who are, for all intents and purposes, just big fat fucking sore losers who can’t handle the fact that gay marriage is legal in their state.

There are tons of bigots out there. But if anything really stands out about MassResistance, it’s just how up front they are about saying that they are oppressed by gays simply because gays exist and are gay in their presence. All bigots ultimately feel this way, but most try to hide it and fabricate nonsensical reasons for why they’re bigots. But not MassResistance. They object to gays existing at all, and that’s quite apparent in their coverage of a recent gay pride parade in Boston.

CAUTION: SOME OF THE PHOTOS BELOW MAY BE DISTURBING

Here’s what they mean by “disturbing”.

A person who's different from me. I'm disturbed.

A person who’s different from me. I’m disturbed.

Yep. The most disturbing photos they can come up with are men who dress like women. But to MassResistance, a man wearing a dress is just about the most horrifying thing in the universe. In fact, they want to make sure we all know that a man wearing a dress is THE primary thing that frightens them.

Making a dysfunctional and dangerous behavior the “new normal”

If the transgender movement achieves its goals, this is what people in your businesses, government offices, classrooms, and public facilities will look like — whether you like it or not.

BELOW: These are all MEN

Men might wear dresses in your presence! Oh, the humanity!

Like I’ve said before, this is MassResistance’s fucking M.O. Merely existing while gay is an affront to them, and they routinely condemn gay people on no other basis than the fact that they aren’t hiding, ashamed, in the closet. But they go beyond that. Ed Brayton recently highlighted a MR article making excuses for Russian bigots who attacked gays for the “crime” of kissing in public.  And their bigotry goes even further than that. They recently posted a supportive article about legislation that’s on the verge of becoming law in Nigeria. Here’s what will happen if it is enacted:

Nigeria’s House of Representatives voted Thursday to ban gay marriage and outlaw any groups actively supporting gay rights, endorsing a measure that also calls for 10-year prison sentences for any “public show” of affection by a same-sex couple.

Just to be clear: Man wearing a dress? MassResistance calls this “Disturbing”. Russians physically assaulting people and Nigerians denying free speech and putting people in jail for 10 years just for kissing or hugging in public? MassResistance calls these atrocities “bold steps to fight back.”

There are fascists in America. People who think that violence is an appropriate response to a minority daring to be different in their presence. People who think that conformity should be enforced by law. People who think that disagreeing with them should be outlawed. People who think that the worst thing in the world is having to be in the presence of other people who don’t live the way they live.

I don’t use the word “fascist” lightly. In fact, I hate the fact that so many people use it loosely, and this might very well be the first time I’ve called someone fascist on this blog. But if anyone deserves to be called fascist, it’s MassResistance. They go well beyond the bigotry seen on most other fucking right wing dingleberry websites. They may not be fully fascist, but they definitely fall under the category that Umberto Eco called Ur-Fascism. Eco lists the traits of ur-fascism, and MassResistance meets them all:

  1. The Cult of Tradition (part of any movement to deny gay marriage)
  2. Rejection of modernism (a constant refrain is that the modern world has degenerated due to fags)
  3. Action without reflection (Supporting Russians who throw eggs at gays who kiss in public? Check.)
  4. Disagreement is treason (Supporting a Nigerian law that outlaws gay rights groups? Check.)
  5. Fear of difference (Duh. This is most of what they do.)
  6. Appeal to social frustration (They actually rationalize Nigeria’s law by saying Nigeria has an AIDS epidemic–never mind that most of those AIDS victims are straight)
  7. Obsession with conspiracy (The Boston parade is a conspiracy to promote transgenderism!)
  8. Enemies portrayed as both too strong and too weak (Gays are taking over! But they’re also degenerates who all die of AIDS!)
  9. Life is permanent warfare (Again, this is pretty much all anti-gay groups.)
  10. Contempt for the weak (MR actually argues that the gays who were assaulted in Russia INCITED violence against themselves merely by kissing.)
  11. Everyone is educated to become a hero (This goes hand in hand with the religious right’s persecution complex)
  12. Machismo (That man’s wearing a dress! Shame him!)
  13. Selective populism (Even the name MassResistance suggests this. They claim to speak for the masses. But they do so in order to crush a minority whom they despise, and the majority of Americans actually support gay rights. So they only speak for “the people” in their own twisted minds.)
  14. Newspeak (This is another one that’s so common on the religious right that it’s hard to find a religious right organization that doesn’t do it.)

MassResistance certainly isn’t the only group that fits this bill, but they are definitely one of the worst anti-gay groups–much worse than, say, NOM. Their complaint is that gays exist at all, and they have repeatedly endorsed violence and draconian tactics to address their complaint, and blamed such anti-gay violence on gays themselves. If they’re not already fascists, they’re uncomfortably close.

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.

The Titanic Gets a New Captain

A group of aging, superstitious partriarchs guilty of covering thousands of child rapes all over the world just elected a new leader. Why is this news? Because people don’t pay attention. Case in point, the new guy’s agenda…

A Vatican spokesman says Francis will be a reformer, and will call the church “back to basics.”

It would be nice if “basics” included not molesting kids and treating gays and women fairly. But somehow I suspect it’s more along the lines of “keep the bitches in their place and make sure the fags are miserable.” It would be nice if world leaders noticed the same things that I do about the Church, but such is not the case.

Meanwhile, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has congratulated Pope Francis a native Argentine and expressed hope that he will work toward justice, equality and peace for all.

How plausible is this hope? Wait for it…

As we noted earlier, the new pope has clashed with the Argentine government over his opposition to gay marriage and free distribution of contraceptives.

Shock! Horror! He’s just like everyone else in the Catholic leadership. I can’t believe that the Pope is a crusty old bigot who’s just gonna fuck up other people’s lives. It’s only been that way with every other Pope ever in the history of Popery!

When is the rest of the world going to realize that the Catholic Church isn’t going to change, and  stop treating them like they have even a modicum of legitimate authority? The Catholic Church should be treated like the fossilized remains of human civilization that they are. They should be ignored, except when they do something evil like rape a kid, in which case they should be hunted down like dogs and put on trial and imprisoned like any normal criminal. And the election of a new Pope shouldn’t be any more newsworthy than the KKK electing a new Exalted Cyclops.*

_______________________________________

*Yes, that’s a real rank in the KKK. And yes, it sounds more like something a douchebag classicist would name his penis.