Come And See The Violence Inherent In The System

Sullivan points to the following gem from the editors at the NRO:

Given their cavalier disregard for the freedom of conscience, it’s little surprise that the gay lobby is equally disdainful of democracy: They began pursuing legal challenges to Proposition 8 practically before they were done tallying the votes. Lamentably, the state attorney general defending the will of the people will be former Jerry Brown, the liberal former governor who was an open opponent of the measure and tried to sabotage it. The legal challenges will be heard by the same state Supreme Court that overturned California’s previous law forbidding gay marriage back in May. There’s a real possibility the will of the people will be spurned a second time, democracy be damned. They’ve already burned the Book of Mormon. The First Amendment is next.

You could point to regrettable incidents that some in the gay lobby may have taken part in, burning the book of mormon seems particularly inflammatory, if you pardon the pun, but the notion that the first amendment is at stake is pretty rich. The logic, according to our repressed wingnuts, is that the first amendment struggle goes something like this:

Wingnut- “Homosexuals are filthy sodomites who should not have access to marriage.”

Evil gay person- “Nonsense. I demand the same rights as you and will fight for them.”

Wingnut- “Why won’t you respect my right to free speech?”

And there you have the wingnut understanding of the Constitution.

86 replies
  1. 1
    SBG says:

    I’m not going to read the NRO, but isn’t this quip directed at the Freedom of Religion portion of the 1st Amendment?

  2. 2
    Betsy says:

    Isn’t burning the Book of Mormon an *exercise* of first amendment rights, rather than a repudiation of them? But I guess that wouldn’t occur those idiots.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    @SBG: Who knows what they are thinking.

  5. 5
    John S. says:

    And there you have the wingnut understanding of the Constitution.

    Ain’t it the truth.

    That seems to be the rationale behind a town in Utah fighting to prevent the display of the ‘Seven Aphorisms’ by a religious group despite the Ten Commandments being on display there already.

    We’ll see if the majority of the SCOTUS adhere to the rule of law, or if they give in to their wingnut ways.

    Shorter Christianists: They’re oppressing us with their equality!

  6. 6

    i hate to be a damn dittohead, but you summed it up perfectly.

  7. 7
    gnomedad says:

    No one plays the victim card like wingnuts.

  8. 8
    Warren Terra says:

    Indeed, the first amendment bars the government from instituting a religion. Thus, this argument from NRO makes perfect sense so long as (1) allowing gay marriage amounts to the government instituting a state religion of Non-Mormonism; next they’ll allow pork products as part of the state religion of Non-Judaism; or (2) gays are the government. Since the first option makes no sense, I for one etcetera etcetera.

  9. 9
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    So much for church/state separation:
    Mormon Support For Prop. 8 Under Investigation

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ― California officials are planning to investigate whether the Mormon church gave an accurate accounting of its role in the campaign that succeeded in getting a same-sex marriage ban approved in the state.

    The action by the California Fair Political Practices Commission came in response to a complaint filed two weeks ago by a gay rights activist. Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate, accuses the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of failing to report the value of the work it did to support Proposition 8.

    It probably never occurred to the geniuses in Salt Lake City that their willingness to directly involve the Mormon Church in politics will not help Mittens should he choose to run in ’12.

  10. 10
    Incertus says:

    @SBG: If it is, then it’s even more stupid than the freedom of speech argument. All the freedom of religion clause does is protect individual churches from being fucked with by Congress–it doesn’t provide a positive right to impose your religious beliefs on others. The sooner the wingnuts figure that out, the better off we’ll all be.

  11. 11
    Original Lee says:

    former Jerry Brown

    I didn’t know Jerry Brown was a fan of Prince. OTOH, "The Liberal Former Governor Formerly Known As Jerry Brown" has a nice ring to it.

  12. 12
    Walker says:

    @John S.:

    That seems to be the rationale behind a town in Utah fighting to prevent the display of the ‘Seven Aphorisms’ by a religious group despite the Ten Commandments being on display there already.

    Holy crap, these are freakin’ awesome (though the article truncates them to make them seem even weirder than they already are):

    * SUMMUM is MIND, thought; the universe is a mental creation.

    * As above, so below; as below, so above.

    * Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.

    * Everything is dual; everything has an opposing point; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes bond; all truths are but partial truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.

    * Everything flows out and in; everything has its season; all things rise and fall; the pendulum swing expresses itself in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.

    * Every cause has its effect; every effect has its cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is just a name for Law not recognized; there are many fields of causation, but nothing escapes the Law of Destiny.

    * Gender is in everything; everything has its masculine and feminine principles; Gender manifests on all levels.

    Not quite Timecube, but working in that general direction.

    Edit: It appears that Balloon Juice does not support HTML lists.
    Edit Edit: Woah! Clearly asterisks as bullets do weird things.

  13. 13
    Face says:

    OT, but concerning the Second Amendment. Here’s the money quote (IMO):

    HARRISBURG, Pa. – A Pennsylvania woman sued a sheriff Monday who revoked her concealed-weapons permit after she upset fellow parents by wearing her holstered pistol to her 5-year-old daughter’s soccer game.
    …………………..
    Hain said Monday that her baby-sitting service has suffered, her children have been harassed, and she has been ostracized by her neighbors because of DeLeo’s actions.

    That’s right, folks. She runs a baby-sitting service carrying a loaded weapon on her person. Cuz kids never jump around and hang on you and push triggers. How nice.

  14. 14
    Betsy says:

    What drives me crazy is the inability to distinguish between saying someone or some group shouldn’t do something, and saying they shouldn’t have the right to do it. You have the right to say any vile and hateful thing you want. I have the right to call it vile and hateful and say that you shouldn’t say it. That is not the same thing as infringing upon your rights. Arg! And racists/sexists/homophobes use this logical fallacy ALL THE TIME.
    R/S/H: "All those [fill in blank] are genetically/morally inferior."
    Reasonable person: That is disgusting, and you shouldn’t say something like that ever.
    R/S/H: "But but but I have the RIGHT to say it!!! I thought all you pussy liberals liked free speech! You want to shut down my free speech!"
    Reasonable person: Sigh.

  15. 15
    Comrade Napoleon says:

    @Original Lee:

    Maybe he is now Geraldine Brown, and that is why he can not be trusted on this issue.

    By the way, I know I have thought about posting this before but I think I have not, but listen to Christian radio sometime. It is shot through with the concept that if you do not whole heartedly support their agenda, you are practically the Romans feeding the Christians to the lions.

  16. 16
    Paul L. says:

    You missed part of it John

    Wingnut- “Homosexuals are filthy sodomites who should not have access to marriage.”

    Evil gay person- “Nonsense. I demand the same rights as you and will fight for them.”

    So I am going to check if you donated to a prop 8 campaign.
    If you did, I am going to call for a boycott of where you work and blacklist you.
    Now shut up and get out of my neighborhood you hateful Christianist breeder homophobe!!!!!!!!

    Wingnut- “Why won’t you respect my right to free speech?”

  17. 17
    Nicole says:

    Majority rules, minority rights. Why is this so hard to understand? (facepalm)

  18. 18
    shirt says:

    Pete Wilson’s prop. 87 (anti-imigrant) did more to turn California a deep blue than anything the Democrats could have said. Its imp[act at the time was not really well understood, especially by the conservatives. Prop 8 is going to have a similar effect, probably in helping to secularize the governance of the country. (although, the GOP example of riding the evangelical tigerdoes remind one of a certain lady)

  19. 19
    Original Lee says:

    @Napoleon:

    Actually, I thought maybe he holds copyright to Governor Moonbeam and the NRO didn’t want to pay him royalties. Alternatively, maybe he has chosen a symbol out of a font set that the NRO is too cheap to download. Or, because it’s the NRO, maybe they think he’s a zombie. Zombie Jerry Brown is full of teh awesome on Prop 8.

  20. 20
    Va Highlander says:

    "Inflammatory" or not, I think burning some – to my mind – silly text like The Book of Mormon pales in comparison to denying a class of citizens equal rights and protection in the eyes of the law. I know this is stating the bleeding obvious, but still, it should be said. And one would think that the Mormons, who have made so much of their own historic persecution, would be more sensitive such issues.

  21. 21
    gex says:

    I love how boycotting (a favorite tactic of the ultra religious) is suddenly oppression when gay people boycott. As though we ought to be forced to support companies that supported laws discriminating against us. We don’t have a right to choose to take our business elsewhere.

    I believe Iggy Pop described the conservative idea of freedom best: "it would mean so much to me if you would only be like me." They’re all for freedom, except for when people that are different from them try to exercise that freedom. Then suddenly we’re oppressing them.

    You know what? Let’s bring it on. I want to see all the various Christian sects of this country stop fighting the secularists and fight amongst themselves to see whose word of God gets to be supreme law of the land. I’ll agree to live by their religious rules as soon as they settle that dispute.

  22. 22
    Bob says:

    Those who have said that the wingnuts don’t understand the consitution are right.

    The right falls back on "the people have spoken" as if that’s always the final word in a consitutional democracy. Sorry, what they describe is mob rule.

    Even though it might not fall io favor of gay marriage, the consitution -there to protect the minortity, not the majority – will have the final say, not the voters.

  23. 23
    gex says:

    @Va Highlander:

    And one would think that the Mormons, who have made so much of their own historic persecution, would be more sensitive such issues.

    One would think that, but one would be wrong. They are the cowardly kids in the schoolyard, joining in on the bullying lest the popular kids (more mainstream Christians) start picking on them instead.

  24. 24
    leo says:

    Why is it "disdainful of democracy" when Jerry Brown tries to challenge this thing in court? Wasn’t he elected himself — or did he just sneak into the building and start ordering people around?

  25. 25
    Joshua Norton says:

    Wingnut- "Why won’t you respect my right to free speech?"

    Freedom of Speech has never meant freedom from its consequences by any legal means available.

    They’re just trying to stifle dissent to make the problem go away – and it isn’t going anywhere. They’ve created it, they can live with it.

  26. 26
    John Cole says:

    And one would think that the Mormons, who have made so much of their own historic persecution, would be more sensitive such issues.

    The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that all of the support for this in California by the Mormon church was actually an attempt to make Romney palatable to the Christian right in 2012. “See- they hate gays just like us!”

    Go ahead, mock me. I know it is crazy. But there you have it.

  27. 27
    Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @Paul L.: You’re only bringing attention to the fact Prop. 8 backers threatened to out people on the anti-discrimination side.
    You’re not even trying to be a good troll.

  28. 28
    Michael D. says:

    @Paul L.: I will paraphrase something John Cole said in a post awhile back:

    If you don’t want to be accused of being a bigot and supporting discrimination, stop giving money to causes that support bigotry and discrimination – particularly causes where your name and employer get added to a list available publicly.

    If I was running for office and you didn’t like me, I know for certain that you would go through every public record to see what causes I support, and you would make sure everyone knew about them, wouldn’t you?

  29. 29
    John S. says:

    If I was running for office and you didn’t like me, I know for certain that you would go through every public record to see what causes I support, and you would make sure everyone knew about them, wouldn’t you?

    No, Paul L. would run non-stop ads accusing you of being a San Francisco style drag queen who is soft on crime and throws tea parties for terrorists.

    Your stance on the issues is irrelevant.

  30. 30
    Michael D. says:

    @gex:

    I love how boycotting (a favorite tactic of the ultra religious) is suddenly oppression when gay people boycott.

    Conservatives who boycott companies like Ford for offering DP benefits and Disney for having Gay Days = OK

    Gays boycotting companies who support stripping them of rights ≠ OK

    I guess the right to boycott is another right conservatives don’t want us to have either. Maybe that will be the next proposition on the ballot.

  31. 31
    elmo says:

    John, I don’t think that’s crazy at all. I think it’s self-evident.

    As for the "religious freedom" business, I think the argument goes like this:

    Other countries (that don’t have a First Amendment protecting religious freedom) have allowed gay marriage. After these other countries (that don’t have a First Amendment) have allowed gay marriage, those other countries have then gone a step further, and either harassed or brought legal action against Christians for "hate speech" and discrimination when those Christians have proclaimed their beliefs about gays or refused to allow gays to marry in their churches.

    Naturally, therefore, if this country (that does have a First Amendment) allows gay marriage, we will necessarily follow in the footsteps of those other countries and proceed to punish Christians for their religious beliefs. In order for that to happen, the First Amendment will have to disappear, or something — so, gay marriage is a threat to the First Amendment. QED.

    I wish I could remember the name of the logical fallacy that describes "assuming what you’re trying to prove." Because this is the Platonic ideal of that.

  32. 32
    Michael D. says:

    From the NRO article – aka, Department of False Analogies:

    So far, no gay-rights activist has had the brass to burn a Qu’ran on the doorstep of a militant mosque where — forget marriage! — imams advocate the stoning of homosexuals.

    Trust me, when Muslims in America pour $20 million into a campaign that changes the law to allow for the stoning of homosexuals, I will be right there on the steps of Al-Farooq mosque in Atlanta to protest.

    Idiots.

  33. 33
    MH says:

    Wingnuts seem to think that freedom means always getting what you want.

  34. 34
    Comrade Napoleon says:

    @Va Highlander:

    And one would think that the Mormons, who have made so much of their own historic persecution, would be more sensitive such issues.

    Funny you should mention that. Around 15 years ago I recall some vote coming up in the Senate, and for the life of me I can not recall what it was, but it was some issue where there was a liberal vs. conservative divide on the issue, as I type this the issue may have been school prayer, but in any event the liberal position was clearly to protect a "minority" against government forcing something or other and Orin Hatch actually voted with the liberals after an appeal to him based specifically on that basis.

  35. 35
    Va Highlander says:

    @John Cole:
     

    The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that all of the support for this in California by the Mormon church was actually an attempt to make Romney palatable to the Christian right in 2012. “See- they hate gays just like us!”

     
    Hadn’t thought of that. I almost wish you hadn’t thought of it either, but it does make sense. Still, if such is the case, they’ve chosen a hard row to hoe. One religious cult depending on the tolerance and forebearance of another is hardly a strategy for success.

  36. 36
    Shygetz says:

    I wish I could remember the name of the logical fallacy that describes "assuming what you’re trying to prove." Because this is the Platonic ideal of that.

    Begging the question.

    So far, no gay-rights activist has had the brass to burn a Qu’ran on the doorstep of a militant mosque where — forget marriage! — imams advocate the stoning of homosexuals.

    PZ Myers calls it "fatwah envy", and it does seem to be an epidemic in the wingnut religious right.

    The First Amendment does not protect you from the social consequences of your speech; it protects you from government interference with your speech. Paul L., if you don’t want to be treated like a bigot, then don’t be a bigot.

  37. 37
    Va Highlander says:

    @Comrade Napoleon:
     
    Makes sense to me. My mother is a church-goin’ Methodist and has generally supported the more "liberal" view of school prayer on just these grounds. She didn’t want some renegade snake handler messing with her children’s heads, forcing a particular brand of Christianism on the young and the impressionable.

  38. 38
    Comrade Napoleon says:

    @elmo:

    And what country would you be talking about? Not many countries recognize gay marriage (and I do not mean civil unions) and in may countries with secular governments the churches are not able to legally marry or grant a civil union. The US is an outlier when it comes to that. For example, if you are Catholic and want a Catholic wedding in France you go to the church and get married, but the priest is not able to legally marry you. For that you have to go to the local civil authority and get married (this is unlike the US where you may need to go to the civil authority and pick up the marriage license, but you can then go to the priest and have him sign it and make it official).

  39. 39
    John PM says:

    And there you have the wingnut understanding of the Constitution.

    The wingnuts don’t even understand their own religion. How could they possibly understand the Constitution.

    As I have said before in other posts here and elsewhere, should the Rapture come, the wingnuts are going to be the ones "Left Behind" (suck it, Kirk Cameron). The Anti-Christ (Sarah Palin) and the False Prophet (William Kristol) will then lead these true believers all the way to the firey pit of hell. Before being sent into the pit, however, a absolutely flaming Jesus Christ will read them the riot act.

  40. 40
    Comrade Napoleon says:

    @Va Highlander:

    My mother, a Roman Catholic, was very much of this same view since she was forced in public grade school to recite the King James version of Our Lords Prayer. I think that may be why the Hatch thing impressed me.

  41. 41
    elmo says:

    @Comrade:

    Beats the hell out of me which countries — I was reporting the argument, not by any means agreeing with it. Canada, maybe? I have a vague recollection of the God-botherers getting het up about losing their freedom in Canada.

    Yeah — having just done a quick Google search of "Canada religious freedom gay," Canada is at least one of the countries they’re worked up about.

  42. 42
    Xanthippas says:

    Not quite Timecube

    I’d be willing to pay someone to try and put that on a monument in a public park.

  43. 43
    Comrade Napoleon says:

    @elmo:

    I really don’t believe that the Canadian government is forcing unwilling churches to marry gay people. This has all the hallmarks of one of their fabricated outrageous, like the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine.

  44. 44
    elmo says:

    @Comrade:

    Agreed and agreed. Sorry if I made it sound like I was agreeing with the factual premise of the argument, that was sloppy of me.

  45. 45
    jrg says:

    Wingnut- “Why won’t you respect my right to free speech?”

    These are the same sort of people that claimed the backlash against Imus was a threat to his free speech. There is a large segment of this country who are so stupid that they believe that "Freedom of Speech" is the right to say anything, to anyone, without any sort of backlash.

    It’s pathetic, really. As soon as someone gets called out with a (perfectly legal) boycott or harsh response, the loudmouths piss their pants and whine about their "first amendment rights". The fact that the offended party is also exercising their First Amendment rights is completely over their heads.

    …But what else can these people do besides hide behind false accusations of censorship? It’s not like their ideas can stand on their own.

    That said, the anti-prop8 folks need to take a breather. They need to recognize this will be a long, difficult, generation-long effort that won’t be won in court rooms or polling booths. Hearts and minds, my friends, hearts and minds.

  46. 46
    Joshua Norton says:

    I look forward to reading the legal argument that teh gays are violating the rule of "no takesy’s back".

  47. 47
    seeker6079 says:

    Elmo, whatta load of crap. Here in Canada we have gay marriage and anti-hate human rights legislation and yet somehow the churches are all still standing and all firmly retain their right to practice their faiths and not be forced to do gay marriages. I notice that you don’t bother to provide even a single hyperlink to any such alleged harassment or legal action . (I’m sure that some batshit loonies try here and there but they get shot down, like the people who file bogus lawsuits get shut down. The system works and both the rights of gays and religious people are respected. Of course, that’s the part that people like you HATE isn’t it? That people you don’t like get the same rights and freedoms as you.

    You are correct, though, in noting that you are assuming what you want to prove. You just err in thinking that it is your opponents when, in fact, it is yourself. You assume that if equality arrives then all of your rights will disappear. You are simply unable to conceive of a country where you don’t have a privileged position and others aren’t permitted things that you are.

    I wonder, too, whether there’s a bit of projection going on. People like you must have a little nagging fear programmed into your subconscious: "When we had all the rights we did our best to discriminate, to keep other people down, to deny their humanity and their citizenship. If they have the same rights we have then they will do the same to us!!!!!" cries that paranoid little voice in your head. Don’t listen to it, Elmo. Gays don’t want to piss on your religious freedom. They just don’t want your religion pissing on them. I know that you don’t understand that, though. No amount of evidence or rationality will convince people like you.

  48. 48
    seeker6079 says:

    Hmph. Elmo:
    I just tore you a new one only to find out that you weren’t actually advocating that but your writing led me to believe that you were. I willingly withdraw the second person singular stuff and replace them with third person plural.

  49. 49
    Jeff says:

    @Michael D.: They also so quickly forget their own threats.

  50. 50
    elmo says:

    @seeker:

    Heh. Funny. Can’t wait to go home to my partner and tell her about it. :-)

  51. 51
    ksmiami says:

    My guess having grown up in the golden state and been the victim of badly written legislation is that since Prop 8 actively targets a group for descrimination, that the courts should and will strike it down under the Equal Protection clause. Besides, isn’t Mormonism just an excuse for child exploitation?

  52. 52
    Blue Raven says:

    Canada sticks to putting ‘phobes in front of their civil rights tribunals when they act in a more secular arena. Example on religious grounds: the winner of a beauty pageant for plus-size women was invited to judge a tourism board’s pageant. The invite was revoked when they found out she’s a Wiccan. The folks who run the tourism pageant were, by sheer coinkydink, active in AB’s ‘phobe crowd fighting same-sex marriage. Their dropping the witchly beauty put them on a straight track to that board’s meeting room. *NB: I forgot its proper name.

    I admit that board’s existence strikes me as a bit chilling somehow, but I also admit that (a) I know little about it and (b) I guess someone needs to hear civil rights cases that are violations of established rules. They must have felt it wiser to give such cases a dedicated first hearing space than throwing them in with criminal or tort cases.

  53. 53
    Blue Raven says:

    BTW, people need to quit with the fucking hearts and minds meme. Courts weighed in on racial discrimination before the bigoted hordes were driven out in a generational sweep. 40 years after MLK, we have Obama. Many hearts and minds only come along after the law demands lip service. So stick that shit where the sun don’t shine

  54. 54
    seeker6079 says:

    Blue Raven:

    The intersection between free speech / individual-religious rights on the one hand and hate speech restrictions on the other can be troubling. I have handled human rights cases (oddly enough, from both the complainant and respondent side) and have profoundly mixed feelings about them. Their goals are laudable but they often have a real feel of "no rules" social engineering about them. As so-called remedial bodies they act as if none of the standard rules of evidence, joinder and right to a full and effective defence apply to them and it can piss one right off.

    I had one client had to lay out thousands to put anti-racism signs up, even though [a] he wasn’t the owner of the apartment building when the incident occurred, [b] the racist employee was long gone and [c] the complainant no longer lived in the building. The Commission felt that since that my client and the former owner had, ten years ago, had joint ownership of another building that was sufficient to merit his joinder; his singular lack of responsibility for any of the events at issue, or even connection to them, was written off as unimportant given the "remedial" nature of the legislation.

    That said, when they overreach they tend to be slapped down by appellate courts.

    Here is a Christian site with list of such cases. http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/.....anada.html
    You’ll note that many of them were struck down on appeal.
    On a related note: One is amused that the writer of that post is appalled that the Knights of Columbus had to pay $2k for their bad treatment of two lesbians… but has no problem with that same organization spending $1.25m on Prop.8.

  55. 55
    seeker6079 says:

    What Blue Raven said about the secular arena. It is exactly the point that Dan Savage keeps hammering on: churches are entitled to a privileged, protected position under the constitution vis-a-vis their faiths \… but they want to retain that protection when they emerge to become actors in the civil, secular world. The lesbian case noted, for example, was over the use of a secular space: a rental hall.

  56. 56
    Tzal says:

    Did Jerry Brown change his name? I don’t understand. I mean, it can’t be a typo. Right? It’s an editorial. By editors.

  57. 57
    ksmiami says:

    The Courts have generally served as the last bulwark of protecting minories against the tyranny of majority rule. There have been bad decisions like Dred Scott, but the wheels of justice are always on the march

  58. 58
    Cassidy says:

    @ Paul L.
    Free speech does not guarantee freedom from consequences.

  59. 59
    jrg says:

    Many hearts and minds only come along after the law demands lip service. So stick that shit where the sun don’t shine

    Whatever. It’s not really my battle to fight, and if you feel compelled to ignore my opinion, you have every right to do so.

    That said, I think you’re missing an important distinction between 60s era civil rights legislation and today… There is no existing, mandated separation between gays and straight people as there was during the "separate but equal" time of racial discrimination.

    I would argue that people are less racist than they were in the past, because blacks and whites have worked together and gone to school together since the 1960s. No such mandated separation exists between gays and straights today.

    In other words, court’s action did not change racial attitudes, the fruits of the court’s action did. The current situation is not the same.

    But please feel free to continue your insults.

  60. 60
    South of I-10 says:

    And there you have the wingnut understanding of the Constitution.

    Help! Help! I’m being repressed!

  61. 61
    seeker6079 says:

    Shorter jrg: Because this factual situation can be distinguished, no civil rights need apply.

  62. 62
    jrg says:

    Shorter jrg: Because this factual situation can be distinguished, no civil rights need apply.

    No, I’m just pointing out the error in your logic: "40 years after MLK, we have Obama. Many hearts and minds only come along after the law demands lip service."

  63. 63
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    When you cannot support your position under the state constitution, tell voters they should change the state constitution because that liberal court ignored the "will of the people."

    When the Attorney General notes the legal effect of this change in the ballot pamphlet, accuse him of trying to sabotage the "will of the people."

    When your ballot measure is challenged on its merits, accuse the challengers, and pre-emptively the court, of ignoring the "will of the people."

    The whole separation of powers thing, SO not the "will of the people."

  64. 64
    Zifnab says:

    That said, I think you’re missing an important distinction between 60s era civil rights legislation and today… There is no existing, mandated separation between gays and straight people as there was during the "separate but equal" time of racial discrimination.

    That’s the beauty of new racism. Back in the 40s and 50s, racism was enforced. You had two side-by-side water fountains, two different sets of restrooms, two different sets of businesses serving racially separate clientele. Even white people thought this was stupid and silly, and the bigots lost to the practicality that building two of everything was stupid.

    But with new racism, its not the state that enforces the bigotry. Bigotry is left to the people. You fight to let businesses abuse their employees. You fight to let public schools have the freedom to screen out undesirables. You fight to crack down on crimes committed by minorities and to starve them of social services based on the whim of the more local government officials. It’s the freedom to be bigoted.

    The gay marriage bans are designed to keep gay couples from receiving the same benefits of straight couples. This keeps their taxes higher, their cost of living higher, and it singles them out as freaks. Stereotypes are easier to perpetuate since you can’t compare gay and straight divorce rates. Gays must all be promiscuous. It discourages people from "coming out of the closet" because if you’re not married, I’ll never receive an anniversary invitation or have to worry about contacting a man’s husband or a woman’s wife if you end up in the hospital.

    Because they can’t be singled out like blacks or latinos, It’s an attempt to force gays back in the closet. Kinda like the trick Achmadinijad(sp?) played when he announced that there were no gay folks in Iran. Remove every legal visible trace of gay, then set up laws and regulations that punish outed individuals. Pretty soon, fewer and fewer folks see a reason to come out of the closet, and you can sleep better knowing that Chuck down in accounting doesn’t really have a boyfriend and your wife isn’t sleeping with your female secretary because gay people don’t exist to you.

    Its exactly the same as segregation, except better because of that extra layer of plausible deniability.

  65. 65
    jcricket says:

    The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that all of the support for this in California by the Mormon church was actually an attempt to make Romney palatable to the Christian right in 2012. “See- they hate gays just like us!”

    This is not a conspiracy theory at all. There’s well documented evidence the Mormon church has officially been pursuing a "hey evangelicals – we’re just like you" policy for the last decade or so. Rehabilitates their image (so they’re not seen as, basically, Christian Scientologists) and gets them more political clout.

    Again, much like the GOP in general, Mormons are hitching their ride to the wrong wagon train, but it’s fine by me if all the intolerant fsckwads "congregate" together in an easy-to-identify grouping.

    And the whole right-wing reaction to any judicial ruling that doesn’t go there way (see Schiavo, Terri) makes it easy to understand why judges and lawyers now vote Democrat 5-to-1. It’s not because those folks suddenly became liberal, it’s because conservatives have made the independent judicial process the enemy.

  66. 66
    Will Danz says:

    So far, no gay-rights activist has had the brass to burn a Qu’ran on the doorstep of a militant mosque where — forget marriage! — imams advocate the stoning of homosexuals.

    Ha, the rightwingers in this country LOVE the militant Islamists. They’re everything the wingnuts aspire to be.

  67. 67
    John S. says:

    The wingnuts don’t even understand their own religion. How could they possibly understand the Constitution.

    POTD

  68. 68
    Quicksand says:

    Heh, "freedom of conscience," that’s good. Somebody remind me, which amendment is that in?

  69. 69
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @jrg:

    That said, I think you’re missing an important distinction between 60s era civil rights legislation and today… There is no existing, mandated separation between gays and straight people as there was during the "separate but equal" time of racial discrimination.

    I realize you were not trying to draw a strict analogy with this, but because people elsewhere have, I think it’s useful to point out that the California Supreme Court did not see that as any important distinction in looking at the "separate but equal" implications of state law. Citing to two USSC decisions which found the creation of a "separate but equal" law school for blacks and military program for women were unconstitutional, the court stated:

    As plaintiffs maintain, these high court decisions demonstrate that even when the state grants ostensibly equal benefits to a previously excluded class through the creation of a new institution, the intangible symbolic differences that remain often are constitutionally significant.

    In re Marriage Cases

  70. 70
    Calouste says:

    @elmo:

    You might want to point these folks to the Netherlands. The first article (not amendment, article) of the constitution guarantees equal protection to all and forbids discrimination on any grounds, with explicitly mentioned (amongst others) religion and sexual orientation.

    Of course this is a country that recognizes gay marriage so Christians must be prosecuted there? I guess Christian parties having one third of the seats in parliament, having two parties and the majority in the coalition government and providing the prime minister must amount to serious prosecution.

  71. 71
    Tony J says:

    And there you have the wingnut understanding of the Constitution.

    I’ve always seen the logic this way:

    The Constitution was written by white, heterosexual Christians, for white, heterosexual Christians.

    so

    The Constitution was obviously never intended to apply to non-white, non-heterosexual non-Christians.

    and

    They are white, heterosexual Christians.

    therefore

    The Constitution, with it’s rights and protections, only applies to them.

    so

    Any attempt by non-white, non-heterosexual non-Christians to claim Constitutional rights is Unconstitutional.

    and

    Using means that would be Unconstitutional if used against a white, heterosexual Christian to block these attempts is, in fact, defending the Constitution.

    And there you have it, brave American heroes every one of ’em.

  72. 72
    kindness says:

    Once again, notice how most the reichtwingnutz sites do not offer a comment section with each post.

    Gee….I wonder why that is???? Hmmm…..

  73. 73
    gocart mozart says:

    Quicksand, although the exact phrase does not appear anywhere in the constitution, "freedom of conscience" is a very good, concise definition of the first amendment.

  74. 74
    Quicksand says:

    @73:

    Quicksand, although the exact phrase does not appear anywhere in the constitution, "freedom of conscience" is a very good, concise definition of the first amendment.

    Maybe so, if that’s how you choose to interpret it. But NRO is saying, outright, that the "gay lobby" (is that like the entrance hall to a musical theater?) has a "cavalier disregard for the freedom of conscience."

    I can’t square that with "freedom of conscience" meaning anything like "the protections of first amendment."

    But I bet they’d love to commingle the two.

  75. 75
    CrazyDrumGuy says:

    […] there is “no rational basis” for a Florida law prohibiting gays from adopting children. John Cole outlines the wingnut interpretation of the Constitution when it comes to Teh Gay. Now you know what to […]

  76. 76
    AnneLaurie says:

    The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that all of the support for this in California by the Mormon church was actually an attempt to make Romney palatable to the Christian right in 2012. “See- they hate gays just like us!”

    Not *all* the support, but Willard Romney his-own-self tried this line of argument back when he was running to be governor. It backfired, because we Massholes are very bigoted about our generous civil-rights ideals, but the very fact that the stupid bustard thought it was a good idea to try should’ve made him ineligible for higher office.

    Many hearts and minds only come along after the law demands lip service.

    Back in the 60s, I actually had a blacklight poster that said, "Once you have them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow."

  77. 77
    seeker6079 says:

    Let’s not forget the underlying reality that the Mormons would like to softpedal at large (and emphasize in private in wingnut land): Prop.8 was put over the top by religions using a vast amount of its money to ensure that their definition* of a religious marriage would govern a secular civil right. It is that simple. This was not about protection of religious liberty. It was about using the no-go zone of religious liberty as a base of attack to bend the civil state to its will.

    Endnote * – The current definition, in the Mormons’ case.

  78. 78
    Martin says:

    If I was running for office and you didn’t like me, I know for certain that you would go through every public record to see what causes I support, and you would make sure everyone knew about them, wouldn’t you?

    Looking at it a different way, since the Big-9 said that money=speech, wouldn’t looking up who someone gives money to be no different than looking up their Facebook page? I don’t remember any conservatives arguing against countertop inspection as part of a job interview, but once we get to money suddenly everything is off limits? The supreme court seemed to imply otherwise…

  79. 79
    Utah Mormon... Democrat? says:

    I am a Utah Mormon Democrat (Yes, Susan, there really IS such a thing as a Utah Mormon Democrat). I am also an attorney, and I pride myself on being able to see the validity of competing points of view. I believe that I understand why everyone is getting so heated on this Prop 8 brouhaha, and I think I can understand where some of the vitriol (on both sides) comes from. However, it is ludicrous to suggest, as have many Prop 8 opponents, that the Mormon Church (or the Catholic Church, or Islam) does not have the right to take a public stance on what it considers to be a "moral" issue.

    Apparently, these individual’s view of free speech only extends to speech with which they agree.

    Religious bigotry is no less despicable than any other kind of bigotry. Burning a book which others hold sacred IS (and SHOULD BE) a protected form of free speech, but merely because something is Constitutionally permissible does not make it any less morally repugnant. It is also Constitutionally permissible to use the "N word", yet I am still offended when I hear it, and still have a VERY low opinion of those who use such offensive- albeit protected- speech.

    Although I may not agree in all respects with the gay rights activists, I DO support the rights of gay rights activists to engage in the political process for redress of their grievances. Bearing this in mind, please do not think me unreasonable to expect that I, or my church, should be granted the same privilege. After all, if one’s proposition is sufficiently meritorious, it should stand up to questioning in the marketplace of ideas.

    After all, we’re not Republicans, right? Isn’t ours still the party of the intellectually curious, and NOT the party that merely shouts down those with whom they disagree? It would be devastating to think, right on the heels of Obama’s triumph, that our party might becoming the refuge of screaming zealots from ANY camp.

  80. 80
    seeker6079 says:

    Utah Mormon:
    I will assume for courtesy’s and argument’s sake that you are not a concern troll.

    1. The arguments of many against Mormon participation go to its "safe haven" approach. It wants to be a secular actor but retain its religious privilege, to shout in the public square but to be sanctimoniously immune from criticism. To use Orwell’s definition they want a modern version of "benefit of clergy" where no matter what they do they can’t be called on their actions.

    2. Not mentioned here is the issue of tax exemption. The Mormon church has become fabulously wealthy and has gained a large measure of that wealth from its tax-exempt religious status, a tax status which is conditional on not being a political actor. I’m straight and atheist. I’ve got no civil problem with Mormons threatening damnation to their flocks if they don’t believe X or Y, and getting scads of cash for the privilege with no visit from Uncle Sam. I’d prefer that such religious welfare queen behaviour be ended, but it’s here and I’m stuck with it. I DO have a problem with that river of blackmailed cash being pumped into the body politic to strip some of my fellow citizens of their rights simply because one particular set of theological mandates says that they are Bad People.

    3. That the Mormom Church is being ferociously criticized is not abridging its free speech; it’s the free speech of others being exercised.

    4. Unaddressed in your post is the simple religious-secular divide. Why on earth should any church or belief set of any kind have a say in civil marriage? It is a simple civil right which, like all civil rights, should be available to all citizens. The intervention of faith groups on the side of Prop* simply says this: "our definition of marriage must be made mandatory on the civil arm". Why?

    The Mormon Church’s campaign against 8 was based, in part, on complete lies (forced gay marriages and so forth). It is difficult to take serious the claims of moral probity coming from liars. (Those of us brought up in the Catholic church are, naturally, well accustomed to this sort of lying sanctimonious bastard madly intervening in the secular world, And they ain’t immune from being called on their hypocrisy either.

    By the way, I think it rather likely, given your language, that you are a concern troll. Your use of the word "zealots" for example. I’d hope that if somebody tried to take away my civil rights I’d be zealously angry, too. We are talking about basic civil rights of the citizenry, period. This is not a subject for "reasonable debate". If you want to be a bigot and strip your fellow man of his blood-won rights then please don’t be expect to be treated as if this is Jefferson and Adams exchanging letters. You are attacking the very foundations of the democratic ideal, not exercising them.

  81. 81
    Darkrose says:

    @Utah Mormon… Democrat?:

    I believe that I understand why everyone is getting so heated on this Prop 8 brouhaha, and I think I can understand where some of the vitriol (on both sides) comes from.

    Did someone come into your house and tear up your marriage license and force you to divorce your wife (but we’re generous; you can keep living together)?

    Then no, you don’t understand.

  82. 82
    Michael D. says:

    @Darkrose:

    Did someone come into your house and tear up your marriage license and force you to divorce your wife (but we’re generous; you can keep living together)?

    Then no, you don’t understand.

    Thank you.

  83. 83

    […] John Cole at Balloon Juice. Sadly, it’s not really a parody: Wingnut- “Homosexuals are filthy sodomites who should […]

  84. 84
    Kaleberg says:

    So, where is the ballot initiative to disallow Mormon marriage in California? Better yet, get a whole bunch of groups involved. Why allow mixed race marriages? Why allow Monday marriages? What kind of person gets married on a Monday? Why allow marriages with tasteless flower arrangements?

    Doesn’t Neiman Marcus sell his and her matched ballot initiatives in California? How much do they cost? There’s surely enough spare change flopping around in CA now that the election is over.

    Why not just get rid of marriage and change the name of the state to Fornicalia? Motto: Fornicalia is for lovers.

  85. 85

    […] on people’s perceptions of right, wrong, and shades of gray, I point you to this Balloon Juice commentary on an absurd editorial in the National Review. The NRO’s argument, in essence, is that the […]

  86. 86
    Grizzlie Antagonist says:

    The "wingnuts" are the assholes who believe in gay marriage.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] on people’s perceptions of right, wrong, and shades of gray, I point you to this Balloon Juice commentary on an absurd editorial in the National Review. The NRO’s argument, in essence, is that the […]

  2. […] John Cole at Balloon Juice. Sadly, it’s not really a parody: Wingnut- “Homosexuals are filthy sodomites who should […]

  3. CrazyDrumGuy says:

    […] there is “no rational basis” for a Florida law prohibiting gays from adopting children. John Cole outlines the wingnut interpretation of the Constitution when it comes to Teh Gay. Now you know what to […]

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