Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Grassroot Thoughts - Part 2

The other letter that caught my eye in Tuesday's Record, by Sarah Albano of Fergus, is one that may provoke some controversy here.

Ms. Albano speaks to the right of Freedom of Speech, and the recent spectacle surrounding the ceremony where Margaret Somerville was given an honourary degree, but was greeted by some faculty and protesters in a not-so-honourable fashion:


The word 'homophobia' is used improperly

I am weary of people misusing certain words. One that keeps popping up in the news is the word "homophobia." What on earth does it mean?

Does it mean people have a phobia of homosexuals?

A phobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by extreme and irrational fear of simple things or social situations.

The correct use of the word homophobia should refer to people who have extreme and irrational fear of homosexuals.

That certainly does not refer to those who simply do not accept some of the agenda being advanced by the homosexual community.

If someone of a different faith dialogues with me, we may have very strong opposing views. Would it be correct for me as a person of one faith to call the other a "Christianphobic" person because that person does not agree with any of my views? That would be ridiculous. I can accept that there are others who hold views with equal conviction to their faith as I do to mine.

I was recently shocked at the name- calling and irresponsible comments made by those in the gay community toward Margaret Somerville, who was given an honorary degree by Ryerson University.

Somerville is free to express her views on this issue. This does not make her homophobic. It simply means she has a different view. And if my memory serves me correctly, we live in Canada and she is as entitled to her view as you are yours.

There will always be those who disagree with you. This doesn't mean they hate you or discriminate against you; they simple don't agree with you.





Wikipedia defines homophobia as:
"fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals. It can also mean hatred of and disparagement of homosexual people, their lifestyles, their sexual behaviors, or cultures, and is generally used to assert bigotry.

When the term is applied to political or religious opposition to specific sexual acts or political positions, it has been criticized as a pejorative, loaded term intended to discredit religious criticism of homosexuality."


So who is right? It seems to me that 'homophobia' is a convenient weapon to be hurled at anyone who doesn't buy into the gay agenda - Dismiss any discussion as 'homophobic'. End of story, unless a Human Rights Tribunal gets involved.

In my search for a definition of homophobia, I came across this very interesting article written by a Penn State political science student. The full essay is available online, but here are some points to ponder:


Stop the name-calling. Stop redefining social phobias to fit your ideological and political agendas. To tolerate homosexuality, one does not have to agree with it, support it or think it is natural.

The next time someone says homosexuality is wrong, disgusting or that they'd just rather not see it, respect their opinion and tolerate them.

The people who have been called "homophobes" in the past have a right to think this and to say it. It does not make them homophobic because this radical definition is wrong and intolerant.

Likewise, homosexuals have the right to be gay and be proud of it. They cannot demand that people tolerate them if they do not reciprocate that tolerance.

Now, to be clear, I do not necessarily agree or disagree with any of the above. I am simply putting forward some items for discussion. We may as well enjoy our Freedom of Speech while we still supposedly have that right.

118 comments:

aliasdictus said...

You're right, Sommerville is not a homophobe, she's a bigot.

Mac said...

A homosexual calling someone homophobic serves the same purpose as a native calling someone racist or (sorry, ladies) a feminist calling a man a chauvinist. The purpose of the accusation is to intimidate the other party.

When challenged in this manner, most people will pause and silently consider whether the accusation is true... what, if any, appropriate response they can make... whether it's prudent to continue the discussion whatsoever.

People who use this tactic aren't interested in dialogue. They have no desire to explain their rationale, to present their case or to seek understanding. They want others to lower their heads and to question themselves. People who use this tactic do so to exploit reasonableness and indecisiveness in others.

It is not a tactic of someone who is confident in their position and logic. It is a tactic of slander and discredit. It is despicable.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac, that was incredibly well said. What a great analysis of human nature.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

"Aliasdictus", although I suspect who you really are, I decided to let this one through because I am intrigued - What is the difference?

aliasdictus said...

Your suspicions are in error, Joanne. She is a bigot in as far as the answers.com definition of being intolerant of those who differ.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Bigot: One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

And that applies to Margaret Somerville how?

Annie said...

Well said Mac!

Society has turned to 'labeling' everyone that doesn't agree with whatever their way of thinking as a 'hater' or phobe. If you disagree with American policy you are 'anti American', if you disagree with making abortion illegal you are a baby killer, if you disagree with the agenda of some of the gay community such as changing the definition of marriage, no matter how accepting you may be otherwise, you are immediately a 'homophobe'.

This need to label those that have a different view point with some sort of hate label is getting out of hand.

It makes me think of that saying my father used to mutter at times: those that scream the loudest about intolerance are themselves usually the most intolerant.

Thanx for your thoughts Joanne

kelly said...

Mac & Annie! I couldn't have said it better myself! I agree totally.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I just received a comment from one of 3 people in the whole world who are banned from this blog:

"We may as well enjoy our Freedom of Speech while we still supposedly have that right."

Says the woman who has to moderate posts to make sure that any comments criticizing her faulty logic don't make it to the board where others may read it.

Joanne talking about freedom of speech. Funniest thing I've read in months.

Too bad nobody else will get to read this comment. I guess I don't have the right to enjoy my freedom of speech anymore.

--------------------
My response:

You are more than welcome to exercise your freedom of speech on your own blog, and anywhere else where your comments are still tolerated.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Reply to second comment from banned person:

If I infuriate you so much, why do you keep coming back for more?

Red Tory said...

I’d like to know what this “Gay Agenda” is that I hear so much about. Does it mean being pushing to be recognized as a person with equal worth, value and status to that enjoyed (and largely taken for granted) by the majority of individuals who are heterosexual? Many heterosexuals seem to take offense at such initiatives to “level the playing field” for gay people and regard them as an impertinent affront to what they consider as being the comfortable normalcy of their lives, if not an outright assault designed to nefariously undermine the legitimacy of their moral universe altogether.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

RT - The gay agenda, as I see it, is a multi-pronged deliberate effort to "normalize" homosexuality. This initiative is being carried out through schools, media and lobbying by radical groups such as Egale to influence politicians and assist Human Rights challenges.

Rights are one thing, but trying to change the hearts and minds of a large portion of the population is another. Therefore they are trying to reach the children, in order to influence the upcoming generation.

Read this

Margaret Somerville felt that interests of children would be best served in a heterosexual family, if memory serves me correctly. As a professor of ethics, that is her perogative. Some elements choose to see that as homophobic or bigoted, and they displayed their displeasure accordingly.

At what point is someone displaying homophobia, and when should a Human Rights Tribunal step in?
And at what point does all of that infringe on freedom of speech? That is my question to you.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

It makes me think of that saying my father used to mutter at times: those that scream the loudest about intolerance are themselves usually the most intolerant.

Thanks, Annie. Wise man, your father.

Mac said...

Labels serve a purpose; to generalize and thereby minimize and ultimately dehumanize. The inevitable result is the end of debate/discussion and polarization.

I'm as guilty as anyone of this. During the past decade of Liberal rule, I became so disgusted by the abuses and arrogance of their leadership, I've grown cynical regarding liberals at all levels.

Unfortunately, I haven't seem much to disprove my cynicism. Notable exception: Zac and occasionally RT.

RT, folks who have agendas, regardless of their stripe, don't want equality. They want special consideration; enhanced right, if you will. Those who want equality go quietly about their lives and achieve exactly that.

Red Tory said...

Oh my gosh… imagine trying to “normalize” homosexuality! Whatever will be next? Man on dog sex? (Hat tip to Sen. Rick Santorum for that one.) Not that I’m suggesting you’re a homophobe, but would I be correct in assuming that you regard homosexuality as “abnormal” or perhaps even a “perversion”? To me, this is where we start to get into the muddy waters of bigotry and so on. Some people appear to want it both ways; that is, to be bigoted, homophobic or whatever, but then be quite indignant if they’re called out as being such.

Zac said...

Joanne, I can tell you honestly that gay people could care less what you, or anybody, thinks of them. The entire struggle is for equality rights. That's all.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

would I be correct in assuming that you regard homosexuality as “abnormal” or perhaps even a “perversion”? To me, this is where we start to get into the muddy waters of bigotry and so on. Some people appear to want it both ways; that is, to be bigoted, homophobic or whatever, but then be quite indignant if they’re called out as being such.

Ah, there you have it folks! An iron-clad example of how having a certain thought and expressing it can label you as a homophobe.

So, if I understand you correctly, RT, if I actually think that being homosexual is 'abnormal', then I am a bigot and/or a homophobe.

So just to sum up now, if anyone accuses the lifestyle of homosexuality as being "abnormal", one is therefore a bigot.

Now if I think that swingers are "abnormal" and I say that, am I being a bigot there too? Just wondering?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The entire struggle is for equality rights. That's all. Zac, I so disagree with you, but I'm not going to call you any names. I respect your right to have a thought and express it in a civil manner.

Red Tory said...

Are you going to post my response to Zac, or just tee up your own responses first?

Zac said...

Joanne, I'll give you an example, it may not be apt to you, but it is to me.

When I was younger my parents placed me in a Hebrew school. A gang of thugs spraypainted swaztika's on the wall of our school. They came back again and again, breaking windows and paintings such gorgeous epitaths as, "death to jews" and what not.

Now, while I'm not comparing homophobia to anti-semitism, I will say this: I don't care why these people dislike me. I don't care what their motivations are, but I fight against such people not to change their minds about jews, but rather to ensure that jews are treated fairly.

The same goes for homosexuals. They, like most people, could not care who thinks their lifestyle is abnormal. The only thing that is important is that people tolerate them, don't discriminate against them, and treat them equally. This is what the entire episode is about.

I'm not telling you that you have to enjoy their company, or have them as guests in your home, I'm saying treat them as anyone else is treated. Give them the same rights that you have. Give them the same respect that you would like to receive.

Homosexuals cannot, and will not, receive equal rights until people deem them worthy of such rights. People who disregard them and marginalize them and being counter-productive to the struggle for equality.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

RT - It might have got lost in the shuffle. Post it again.

Zac said...

Joanne, you really must get rid of the comment moderation stuff. Or perhaps its better at keeping the wolves at the gate than I could imagine.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Zac, I don't like it either. It ruins the flow. However, today it is necessary. Trust me!!!

Zac said...

Hey, I'll take your word for it.

Annie said...

The discussion about equal rights always makes me smile.

Like it or not, some people in our society have different rights and not every thing is equal. That said, it doesn't mean they are being discriminated against. I certainly would not want to go back in time where gays were persecuted or discriminated against in the work place or courts etc. Gays DO have rights... and they are about as equal as anyone gets.

Children don't have the same rights as adults, men don't have the same rights as women, criminals don't have the same rights as those who are not, Christians don't have the same rights as Muslims, the handicapped don't have the same rights as the able bodied, the First Nations don't have the same rights as non-natives, Ontarians don't have the same rights as Albertans. Everyone is protected against discrimination by the laws of the land, as it should be. Honest to goodness human rights are and should be protected. But, if you think everyone in this land has true 'equal' rights you are crazy. The homosexual/heterosexual communities are no different. "Equal" doesn't exist and never will. We can only strive to eliminate intolerance and prejudice, not give every single person the exact same expectations as every other person.

I'm also not sure how Joanne saying she thinks of something as 'abnormal' makes her a bigot or homophobic. ‘Abnormal’ is a completely subjective word, I don't see any reason to label her with a 'hate name' simply because you disagree. Hatred is hatred regardless who is throwing it.

It's sad that we've got to a point in our society that you can't disagree without being insulted for your opinion. Seems to me that free speech is really only for those who are politically correct or parrot the party line. Those with a differing point of view do not appear to have the 'equal right' to speak without censure or ridicule.

Oh... wait! There's another right some have that others don't. Well, isn't that shocking in our oh so equal society! /sarcasm

Red Tory said...

Ah, there you have it folks! An iron-clad example of how having a certain thought and expressing it can label you as a homophobe.

You are twisting my words to suit your purposes. I explicitly said that I was not calling you a homophobe, but cautioned that when you venture into these muddy waters, it tends to invite such accusations. So I don’t know what that does to your “iron clad” example. Deep-sixes it, I would think.

So, if I understand you correctly, RT, if I actually think that being homosexual is 'abnormal', then I am a bigot and/or a homophobe. So just to sum up now, if anyone accuses the lifestyle of homosexuality as being "abnormal", one is therefore a bigot.

You are making some rather amazing logical leaps and bounds here. Again, I did not call anyone a homophobe or a bigot and would agree with Mac that these words are all too frequently used to silence debate by those who would seek to intimidate their critics. Personally, I don’t think that homosexuality is any more “abnormal” than someone having an unusual eye colour. Clearly, if you have green eyes, then you are in a small minority of people in general, but does that make you “abnormal”? It’s a loaded word, that.

Of course, you’ve tipped your hand here by using the expression “lifestyle of homosexuality” that clearly connotes to anyone in the know that you don’t believe there is a biological foundation or imperative for homosexuality, but that it is a mere choice.

Now if I think that swingers are "abnormal" and I say that, am I being a bigot there too? Just wondering?

If one were to apply your tragically flawed logic, then the answer would be, yes.

Bigotry (homophobia, in this particular case) is irrational and emotional. It can’t be reasoned away. You actually proved my point in a rather inadvertent way. That was, some people want to hold to their bigoted opinions (which they’re entitled to) but also get indignant when taken to task and called a bigot.

Red Tory said...

Good thing my word processor has a better memory than I do...

Zac -- I have to take issue with you here. It’s not JUST about equality rights (although that’s very important), it’s about being recognized as socially acceptable and not being regarded as a freak of nature. I have gay friends who could give a flying fig about SSM, but simply want to dovetail with the mainstream and don’t feel their sexual preference should be how they are defined as a person.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well, I thought this topic would generate a lot of discussion, and it turns out I was right! Unfortunately I have to attend to some other business right now, but send your thoughts, and I'll check it out when I get back.

Red Tory said...

This moderation thing is bullshit.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

RT - I hadn't seen that comment to Zac before. Don't know what happened, but glad you could retrieve it.

This moderation thing is bullshit

Yup. But necessary. And it's not that I don't like a good debate, but I cannot stand name-calling, or highjacking the thread. Please be patient and I will answer your arguments later.

Red Tory said...

Joanne -- I appreciate the problem with moderation thing. It’s something I wrestled with for a while and finally just gave up on it altogether. As far as I’m concerned anyone can post anything they want. If I find something exceptionally offensive or completely gratuitous, then I’ll zap it. My experience keeping it free and open has been good for the most part. I find that 99% of people are happy to play by the rules (such as they are) and are willing to moderate themselves. But then I’m not easily offended and have little objection to swearing and such. Also, if a thread veers off to points unknown, that's okay by me.

Zac said...

I certainly would not want to go back in time where gays were persecuted or discriminated against in the work place or courts etc.

You don't have to go very far, it's happening today. In fact, it happened recently in my city.

A man was fired from working at a daycare because his employer saw him kissing another man at a bar outside of work, thus outting him as a homosexual. Yes, that's right fired. Guess, mommy and daddy had a bit of a problem with fag being around their kids.

Gays DO have rights... and they are about as equal as anyone gets

If it were up to some people, *cough*, won't say any names or anything *cough*, gays wouldn't have the right to marry. Does that sound equal to you?

Heterosexuals are allowed to marry, but homosexuals aren't. Sure sounds equal to me.

Christians don't have the same rights as Muslims

Where'd that come from?

Zac said...

Unfortunately, I haven't seem much to disprove my cynicism. Notable exception: Zac and occasionally RT

Awww Mac, I'm blushing.

Zac said...

It’s not JUST about equality rights

Well, no it's not. Its about dignity and respect as well.

I see where your coming from RT, but honestly the majority of homosexuals I talk do, could care less if someone dislikes them because of their sexual activity. It's not that big of an issue for them. You don't like it, look somewhere else. The problem comes when people try to resrict their rights and discriminate against them.

Ariock said...

You are joking right? You are complaining about being called a homophobe for preventing two consenting, loving adults from having the same rights as any other married couple just because they both have dangly bits (or a lack of dangly bits). And why? Because the institution of marriage is in danger! EEK! RUN FOR THE HILLS!

If that isn't an unreasonable, unsubstantiated fear, then I don't know what is.

Oh, and the next time you get the shit beat out of you for being a Christian, THEN you can complain about how the gays want "Special" rights.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwen_Araujo
oh, and the defense her assaints used was "gay panic" (obviously no such thing as homophobia, though, right?)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_panic

PGP said...

It is the pathological need of the lefties to have a label for everything.
The first line of defence for the weak minded ( especially politically correctoids ) is to have a LABEL to paste on whoever challenges their views.
In their world failure to agree makes anyone something less than human.
You must be an "ist" or "ant" or "Phobe" of some sort if you don't go along with the tongue clucking finger wagging "superior" ones.


OMMAG

Joanne (True Blue) said...

There is a lot to respond to here, but for starters, I just want to say to Red Tory, that the debate is not about whether or not homosexuality or swinging is "normal" or not.

The debate is about a person's right to say that in a public forum. They may be called a bigot or homophobe or whatever for saying it, but if society decides it is indeed an offence to say such a thing in public, then what? Where is the fine line between freedom of speech and when does it become bigotry? And when does that become a crime?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

But then I’m not easily offended and have little objection to swearing and such. Also, if a thread veers off to points unknown, that's okay by me.

It's not even just that. The people in question have chosen to make very rude, crude comments on other blogs and although I respect their right to freedom of speech, I also respect my right not to allow that kind of abuse on my own blog.

Zac said...

Its your choice for sure Joanne, but I think if someone stoups low enough to say things that are absurd, they make themselves look stupid enough that no one takes them seriously.

Personally, I didn't think what the 3 in question said was bad in the least. In fact I found them all very, very intelligent. I think they added to the discussion. But thats me.

Plus, threads always get hijacked. Seriously, second someone mentions the word "same sex marriage" or "abortion", regardless of the context in which someone writes about it, it will bring out everyone who has an opinion. Some person will act like the catalyst and everyone will gang up on that person like the boogeyman. It's happened on my blog, RT's blog and it will happen here again and again.

If you want my opinion of why you get so many angry posts, I think its because you choose such controversial subjects. You always post about social issues, I've never debated the fiscal imbalance or foreign affairs here. Not that that's bad or anything, I'm just saying.

Red Tory said...

Mac -- …folks who have agendas, regardless of their stripe, don't want equality. They want special consideration; enhanced right, if you will.

So, do I take it from what you said there that blacks who campaigned for civil rights in the 60’s weren’t seeking equality, but “special consideration” and an “enhanced right”?

You know Mac you come across as a fairly moderate and eloquent person, but I can’t help but detect an undercurrent of prejudice in what you’ve been writing on this subject. When you say things like “Those who want equality go quietly about their lives and achieve exactly that” this seems to translate into “Just shut the f-ck up, mind your own business, don’t make a peep, god forbid don’t make an overt spectacle of yourself and we’ll happily ignore you and pretend you don’t exist. There… You’re equal!” The fact of the matter is that those who “go quietly about their lives” don’t achieve equality. It does take people willing to stick their necks out and put themselves on the line to gain access to the rights that the majority of people take completely for granted as a given.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Zac, I'm trying to tone down the emotion here by asking the question, where do you draw the line between freedom of speech and the kind of hateful rhetoric that is considered to be a crime?

Zac said...

It does take people willing to stick their necks out and put themselves on the line to gain access to the rights that the majority of people take completely for granted as a given.

Very well said RT.

Zac said...

where do you draw the line between freedom of speech and the kind of hateful rhetoric that is considered to be a crime?

I covered this topic not too long ago on my blog where I so calously stated that, "ezra levant is ass-backwards about hate speech."

There I noted the case of David Ahenakew but I guess that I can bring it on out again.

When speech is considered a crime, depends on the situation and context in which it is given. If you advocate causing harm to a person or identifiable collective, that is hate speech. If you demean said group along the same lines that their simple presence or existence could be justified as a threat to the reader of listener of your comments, that, in my mind, would also consititute hate speech.

Red Tory said...

Sweater Guy -- It is the pathological need of the lefties to have a label for everything.

He says… before going on to label everything in sight. LOL.

The first line of defence for the weak minded ( especially politically correctoids ) is to have a LABEL to paste on whoever challenges their views.

Um, like say calling liberals “pathological” or slapping them with your oh-so clever “Correctoids” label?

In their world failure to agree makes anyone something less than human.

Gosh, they might even be considered weak-minded, pathological Correctoids!

Man, you really are too funny.

You must be an "ist" or "ant" or "Phobe" of some sort if you don't go along with the tongue clucking finger wagging "superior" ones.

Mr. “I don’t believe in labels” then trucks out a wagon-load of derisive rhetoric and cat-calls to characterize liberals (Would those be the same LEFTISTS that I hear so much about from my conservative friends? Gee, what do you know, they use that “IST” thing too! Imagine that. Not that I’m suggesting you’re a fabulous hypocrite or anything.) And could we possibly, in our wildest imagination construe the “tongue clucking, finger wagging ‘superior’ ones” to the ELITISTS THAT I’ve also heard so much about from the right-wing pundits and blowhards? Oh and look… they use that “IST” thing again.

Joanne moderates, so I can’t really cut loose here (oh, but I dearly want to…) so for the time being this will have to suffice.

Zac said...

Don't worry about pgp, RT. He's like the uncle that drinks too much at family dinners. Everyone just sits there, smiling and nodding at his comments hoping he doesn't notice.

Red Tory said...

I have to take issue with something that Annie wrote earlier and that is on the matter of “hate names”… This I would assume to include racist, bigot, homophobe and so on. The remark passed muster here with barely a passing thought, if any at all, but what does it really mean? Should one deduce from this that by calling someone a racist (which they may very well be) the person making the accusation is therefore a “hater”? I’m sorry, but to me this is just more spin and fallout from years of listening to AM radio yak-fests that routinely characterize liberals as “haters” -- disagree with Bush and you’re an America-hater, disagree with unfair taxation and you “hate” free enterprise. And so on. This hate thing has been done to death. (As has the “angry” meme… Yeah, we’re all “angry” here on the left. LOL.)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Joanne moderates, so I can’t really cut loose here (oh, but I dearly want to…) so for the time being this will have to suffice.

Thank you for trying to control yourself, RT.

I see where PGP is coming from, but you guys like to nitpick every little thing instead of looking at the big picture - which is your right, because at this point in time, we still have freedom of speech. (Except for 3 people in the whole world who will remain nameless).

Red Tory said...

Joanne -- Well you’ve now attempted to put a finer point on the issue at hand, or at least reclassified it to this: “Where do you draw the line between freedom of speech and the kind of hateful rhetoric that is considered to be a crime?”

Gee, well why didn’t you start with that proposition in the first place? ;-)

No need to knock yourself out, I have an answer. Because that wasn’t what this post was about at all. Nice attempt to change horses in mid-stream though.

This post was about the resentment you (and others) feel at being called homophobes and bigots when… um, you are.

So why not just admit it? I love the faux victimization that you’ve assumed (and Mac has neatly although perhaps not quite intentionally fed into) that if you’re criticized in this manner you’re “reasonableness” is being “exploited.”

“Boo hoo, those nasty gays and liberals are calling us names we don’t like. They’re so hateful! Why can’t they just go away and leave us alone?”

I think on issues like this, some on the right-wing need to take a long hard look inside their own selves before they start flailing around calling people haters who need to label everything or bleating that their free speech is being trammeled on by those nefarious liberals. If you’re a bigot, well so be it… If you find the homosexual “lifestyle” distasteful, well so be it. If you think it’s a perversion of nature, well so be it. But don’t moan and keen when those who disagree call a spade a spade. It’s sort of like a white supremacist indignantly saying, “How dare you call me a Nazi!” Give me a break.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

This post was about the resentment you (and others) feel at being called homophobes and bigots when… um, you are. And that's where we started. What makes me a bigot?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

RT - Don't you see that the labelling that you are doing is just as hateful as calling someone any other name?

Red Tory said...

Joanne – Yes, I am a nit-picker. I think a lot can be revealed through small details. Unfortunately I don’t have the quote at hand, but as Oscar Wilde once said that if you look at the details, the big picture will become evident. It’s all well and good to talk about the “big picture” but if it’s constructed out of a stack of tiny lies, discrete fibs, misinformation and blatant untruths, then what good is it? You tell me what the “big picture” is here. I’d be interested to know. You now appear to claim that it’s determining where the line is between freedom of speech and “hateful rhetoric” that’s considered by… I have no idea… some hypothetical person one assumes… to be a crime.

Well, this certainly wasn’t the “big picture” that you started with. The new proposition that you’ve apparently switched to is even murkier and in greater peril of becoming muddled than the original line of reasoning.

p.s. I’m glad you appreciate the restraint exercised in moderating my comments, but I have to admit there’s a certain frustration factor involved. Which is kind of ironic, don’t you think given this thread is now ostensibly about “free speech”?

Lord Omar said...

Hel-lo Jo-Anne,

..but you guys like to nitpick every little thing instead of looking at the big picture -

Not looking at the big picture is exactly what conservatives refuse to do, time in and time out. Times change, life evolves and society must not only except those changes, but embrace them for the good of that society. One of the big ticket issues for those on the right is the horrors of the "special interest group". Special interest groups hijacking the societal agenda at every turn, to the perceived detriment of mainstream society. But was the historical norm not basically an all-white, predominately Christian, heterosexual societal hierarchy that ruled without opposition? In essence, a "supreme interest group" representing the majority and refusing to grant status to those in the minority? That is not democracy and it is not representative of a country to be proud of. Albert Camus said it best when he stated, "Democracy is not the law of the majority, but the protection of the minority". That concept is what makes a country great and will produce a society to embrace and be proud of.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

RT - but I have to admit there’s a certain frustration factor involved. Which is kind of ironic, don’t you think given this thread is now ostensibly about “free speech”?

Just asking that the language be kept civil. Thanks.

Red Tory said...

RT - Don't you see that the labelling that you are doing is just as hateful as calling someone any other name?

What utter piffle.

Here’s the definition of a Bigot:
One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

Now key in on that word Intolerant:
Opposed to the inclusion or participation of those different from oneself, especially those of a different racial, ethnic, or social background.

Now explain to me how that is “hateful” in any way.

If you’re a bigot, then just admit it.

QED.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

If you’re a bigot, then just admit it. If you think I am, just say it.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Hel-lo, Om-ar...
Very wise words.

Albert Camus said it best when he stated, "Democracy is not the law of the majority, but the protection of the minority".

Exactly. I quite agree, and it is the

children

we need to protect, just as Margaret Somerville stated.

Red Tory said...

Okay Joanne, I think you’re a bigot. There. Are you happy now? If it makes you feel any better, I’m a bigot too. In fact, according to our friend Omar, I’m a racist as well. But here’s the difference… I don’t take his allegation as being “hateful.” To the contrary I consider it for its relative merits and take away the thought that, yes, perhaps in some respects I am indeed a racist.

In this particular matter, methinks thou doest whine too much.

I find it amusing that many social conservatives will not just come right out and admit that they despise gays, they think their “lifestyle” is an abomination, they believe it’s perverse and counterproductive, etc., etc. You want to mince around the fringe and not say what you really feel because you’re afraid you’ll then get labeled as being a “bigot” or whatever. Well, boo-hoo. I say, put up or shut up. I’ve got a lot more respect for gigantic dickheads like Falwell who actually make their positions on the subject well known and open to criticism than for the sanctimonious fraidy cats cowering behind the parapets moaning about how they’ll get called bad, hateful names if they dare express their true feelings. Yeah, them liberals are all about crushing free speech. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Red Tory said...

Oh... It's all about the children. Puh-leeze, spare me.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

RT - I'm still not clear why you've labelled me a bigot. What exactly did I say?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well, I'll just sum this up with what Mac said at the beginning:

People who use this tactic aren't interested in dialogue.

It is not a tactic of someone who is confident in their position and logic. It is a tactic of slander and discredit. It is despicable.

Mac said...

So, do I take it from what you said there that blacks who campaigned for civil rights in the 60’s weren’t seeking equality, but “special consideration” and an “enhanced right”?

Is there a reason why you feel a need to change the context of my words?

You know Mac you come across as a fairly moderate and eloquent person, but I can’t help but detect an undercurrent of prejudice in what you’ve been writing on this subject.

Ah, that explains the need. You don't like with what I said but you can't find a way to tear it to pieces so you accuse me of being prejudiced. Thanks for providing an example of what I was talked about.

When you say things like “Those who want equality go quietly about their lives and achieve exactly that” this seems to translate into “Just shut the f-ck up, mind your own business, don’t make a peep, god forbid don’t make an overt spectacle of yourself and we’ll happily ignore you and pretend you don’t exist. There… You’re equal!”

You’re making assumptions with your “translation” which aren’t accurate. You’ve judged me based on your prejudices instead of asking me to further articulate my thoughts. You make accusatory statements and, later in another post, you use a wide brush and paint everyone who doesn't agree with you as bigots and/or homophobic. Is this supposed to contribute to the discussion?

The fact of the matter is that those who “go quietly about their lives” don’t achieve equality. It does take people willing to stick their necks out and put themselves on the line to gain access to the rights that the majority of people take completely for granted as a given.

I disagree. Those who make a spectacle of themselves (and then pretend to be shocked when those around them aren’t impressed) don’t achieve equality; they’re not interested in achieving equality. Being obnoxious does nothing to foster mainstream acceptance if that was what those with agendas truly desired.

The rights which you seem to think they’re struggling to gain are entrenched in our Constitution. Zac’s example is classic. The man may have lost his job but he will win a huge settlement because his rights have been violated. Good for him, I say! The employer is completely in the wrong and there is no way for him to defend his actions.

Felix Taylor, Jr. said...

Like the Islamofacist, certain radical elements in the gay rights movement are not interested about getting respect, they want submission. Anyone who has a compulsion to dispute this fact can talk to Michael Coren about it.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac, well said. You have a gift for clarity and perspective that rises above the mud-slinging and emotion. I know from previous discussions on this issue that you support gay marriage.

However, you are one of the few that I've come across who doesn't take cheap shots at opposing viewpoints.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Black Canuk - certain radical elements in the gay rights movement are not interested about getting respect, they want submission.

Exactly. Thank you for reminding us all that is the the fringe radical elements that keep pushing what I have referred to as an 'agenda'.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

When speech is considered a crime, depends on the situation and context in which it is given. If you advocate causing harm to a person or identifiable collective, that is hate speech. If you demean said group along the same lines that their simple presence or existence could be justified as a threat to the reader of listener of your comments, that, in my mind, would also consititute hate speech.

Zac, that's a pretty good definition of hate speech, IMO.

Going with that definition, I fail to see why someone like Margaret Somerville stating that children are usually better off with heterosexual parents is an act worthy of calling her a bigot, which in my mind is very close to hate speech. The only difference is whether or not there is a Human Rights action brought against you.

Margaret Somerville, btw, is not the only person in the world who believes that children are better off with a

mom and dad.

And from the Record, regarding the New York court's decision to limit marriage to a man and a woman: "the judges concluded that legislators could reasonably believe that such marriages benefited children."

Unlike racism, the judges concluded, "the traditional definition of marriage is not merely a byproduct of historical injustice."

What I find amazing is that New York judges are allowed to say such things! Are they not "bigots", by some people's definition?

Also, how is it that in Canada we have this supposed absolute truth that having children is a "right", and yet in other places, (even a supposedly modern and evolved state like New York) are even allowed to question such a thing, let alone disallow gay marriage?

I guess my ultimate point is that we are being conned.

Zac said...

Joanne, hate speech is a mile away from intolerance and bigotry.

To say that you dislike an identifiable collective simply because of their shared background, nationality, ethnicity or religion is intolerance.

Describing them as being a threat to another identifiable group or advocating violence to that group, is hate speech.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Zac, in theory your definition is a good one. In practice, I'm not so sure. There is a grey area in between that only Human Rights tribunals seem to be able to decipher.

KEvron said...

joanne,

you're quite mistaken; "homophobia" is pseudo psychobabble used by bigots to mask - nay, justify - their hate. the term needs to be tossed on the same scrap heap where phrenology and alchemy reside.

KEvron

Joanne (True Blue) said...

oh, and that jackass joanne wouldn't publish my comment! basically, i said the term "homophobia" is pseudo -science use by bigot to justiry their hate. what's so bad about that, jo?

Kevron, you can say that here and I won't even call you jackass! How about that?

KEvron said...

retracted.

KEvron

Joanne (True Blue) said...

retracted.

Thanks. Not sure if that is an apology, but it's appreciated anyway.

KEvron said...

"....Not sure if that is an apology"

considering the source of the faux pas, i figured you'd see the first retraction there.

indeed, my retraction is my apology. i offer no excuses.

KEvron

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! thanks, Kevron. Now just so you know, I'll be closing up shop here soon tonight, so if you post something and it doesn't get through, don't get all upset and think I rejected your comment. I have got one miserable cough and am going to bed. Hard to hack and type at the same time anyway.

Zac said...

There is a grey area in between that only Human Rights tribunals seem to be able to decipher.

I don't think so.

"I hate faggots"

Intolerant, but not causing hate. Simply an expression of bigotry.

"faggots are a disease"

Such a comment could enable someone to view the entire homosexual community as a threat, thus passivley promoting hatred and violence against them.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

O.K. Zac, hypothetically speaking, what if someone writes a letter to the editor expressing his concern that a gay agenda is being taught in the schools?

Would that be an example of either intolerance or hate speech? Or neither?

Mac said...

I have a hypothetical situation for consideration too...

Suppose a group of folks who pick their noses decide to fight for nose-picker rights. They decide to call themselves the NPR.

The majority of citizens aren't particularly interested in whether or not the NPR excavate the mineral resources of their nasal passages but they're really not interested in watching it and figure such things should be done in privacy.

There are a few old-fashioned folks who are fairly grossed out but no-one really pays much attention to them.

NPR were determined to have their rights entrenched in the Charter for obscure reasons involving social acceptability of their penchant. The Supreme Court says NPR don't need to be articulated in the Charter because such rights are self-evident. The government declares they have no right in the noses of the nation which unfortunately inspires a cocaine advocacy group to an ill-considered public snorting event that resulted in a number of arrests...

NPR hold "Nose Pick Parades" and get upset if politicians and other public officials don't attend.

Despite their evident success in securing their rights, NPR isn't satisfied and accuses everyone who questions their movement of being nose-pick-phobic, whether or not it is true.

Is there an acceptable method for anyone to say the NPR are as intolerant in their beliefs as the old fashioned folks are in theirs?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mmmmm... Very interesting and entertaining hypothetical question, Mac. I'll be looking forward to seeing Zac's response. Now I must look for a kleenex.

Mac said...

Now I must look for a kleenex.

You have options. What you do in private is your own business.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! Good one, Mac!

I really hope this is not politically incorrect.

Zac said...

what if someone writes a letter to the editor expressing his concern that a gay agenda is being taught in the schools?

Intolerance.

In my books anyways. I'm no legal scholar, but I don't think your promoting hatred. Of course it would all matter what exactly you were saying in your letter.

Zac said...

Mac, while I find your "situation" pretty funny, it's not particularly apt in the least.

You can do better than that.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Intolerance.

In my books anyways. I'm no legal scholar, but I don't think your promoting hatred. Of course it would all matter what exactly you were saying in your letter.


So how would you explain what happened to Chris Kempling?

Zac said...

While I don't feel that I have to "explain" a thing, I will state that there is a difference between expressing your opinion as an individual and expressing your opinion as a professional.

I also notice that this individual ran as a candidate for the Christan Heritage Party, last time around. What a proud bunch of wankers they are....

I can only imagine what his views about homosexuality are.

Mac said...

I don't know about Joanne but I certainly didn't mean to put you on the spot, Zac.

That being said, I think my scenario is reasonably apt. No truly hypothetical scenario is completely encompassing. My point was pretty clear: those who have agendas and use accusations of phobias with a wide brush on anyone who doesn't agree with them are as intolerant as the worst of their critics.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well said, Mac. I may use that some time if you don't have a copyright on it.

Zac, sorry if I seemed argumentative.

Zac said...

No truly hypothetical scenario is completely encompassing.

Of course not Mac. I understand that.

My point here is that you cannot reduce people who strive for equal rights to a mere interest group. No one is requesting, or demanding, "special" privliges, rather equality.

My point was pretty clear: those who have agendas and use accusations of phobias with a wide brush on anyone who doesn't agree with them are as intolerant as the worst of their critics.

Perhaps. But you must keep in mind that there is no grey area for human rights. It is black and white. You either have them, or you don't. Refusing to acknowledge the rights of a minority is wrong, plain and simple.

Plus, I'm not sure what "agenda" you are referring to. Homosexuals who demand the same rights and privliges as everyone else, don't have "agendas", they have goals. The goal of equality.

The only ones who have agendas of any type are the social conservatives who strive to restrict the rights of those they look down upon.

Mac, you must also try to put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Imagine you were belittled on a daily basis because of who you were. Imagine people hated you simply for being you. Imagine having people whom you've never met tell you that you can't enjoy the same rights and privliges as them simply because you are you and what they think you are is wrong.

I'm sorry if you dislike someone calling you a homophobe, or a bigot but try being called a faggot on a daily basis and I think you'll gladly accept the label.

Mac said...

Refusing to acknowledge the rights of a minority is wrong, plain and simple.

I absolutely agree, not just in the case of minorities, but in the case of all human rights for all citizens. Are you one of those who believes rights are the exclusive territory of minorities?

No one is requesting, or demanding, "special" privliges, rather equality.

I wish I was as certain of this as you appear. Unfortunately, I’m not.

Since you are so certain, can we try another hypothetical situation? How would you confront someone who is demanding special privileges under the guise of equality? If that person accused you of intolerance and/or hatred, how would you deal with it?

The only ones who have agendas of any type are the social conservatives who strive to restrict the rights of those they look down upon.

I disagree, Zac. There are many others who have agendas which have nothing to do with equality of rights. I could expound on this but I don’t want to risk offending Red Tory who mistrusts my motives for posting.

To be brutally honest, I’m as worried about the radical social conservatives as you are since fanaticism of any description is wrong. Since my personal philosophy is closer to libertarianism, I hold my nose and vote Conservative. Knowing there is an element of radical social conservatism in the Conservative Party makes me uncomfortable.

I assume you voted Liberal in the last election. How did you feel, knowing there were elements of the former corrupt regime still firmed entrenched in your party of choice? Let’s hope neither of our parties succumbs to the Dark Side.

Imagine people hated you simply for being you.

I don’t have to imagine that, Zac; I live it. I am a WASP heterosexual male. According to some people, I’m the most evil creature on the face of the planet. Yes, I am being facetious. In a more practical level, do you remember what I do for a living, Zac? Do you think I may have faced unthinking hatred before?

I'm sorry if you dislike someone calling you a homophobe, or a bigot but try being called a faggot on a daily basis and I think you'll gladly accept the label.

I’m not homophobic nor am I a bigot so why would ever I gladly accept a label?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac I know you're addressing Zac, but I have to throw in my 2 cents worth, and then I'll sit back and let you guys continue:

In a more practical level, do you remember what I do for a living, Zac? Do you think I may have faced unthinking hatred before?

You're talking about reverse discrimination, right Mac? That's a good point.

Are you one of those who believes rights are the exclusive territory of minorities? That's a good question, Mac. I stupidly veered over to RT's for a little discussion about religion (what was I thinking?) and quickly found out that only minorities are allowed to have opinions and the right to respect.

Apparently for the sake of argument, all Christians are lumped into one category, thereby making them a majority and therefore without protection, or at least without credibility.

On the other hand, there are such divisions in Chrisitanity with regards to beliefs even on SSM, that I don't even think it is a valid argument. There is probably a group of fundamentalists from various faiths who refuse to change their beliefs according to what the courts dictate, but last time I checked, that was still legal in Canada.

I don't advocate the use of violence or hate speech or anything like that, but when something is happening in your society that you don't agree with, then I think you need to get more information, process it, and decide how you're going to deal with it.

I resent being thrown into that "right-wing religious fanatic extremists" group, not necessarily by yourself, but certainly by many others. To me it is a form of bigotry because the person who says it is making assumptions about the other person, and trying to allocate them to a neat little box where they can hurl abusive language simply because they don't adhere to the unwritten rule of submission.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sorry about the rant, Mac. I guess that was more than 2 cents worth.. ;)

It's just when I see stuff like this from Zac The only ones who have agendas of any type are the social conservatives who strive to restrict the rights of those they look down upon., it makes my blood boil.

I have sympathy for people like Fantod, but the situation is so different in the States. Here the pendulum has swung way off in the other direction.

Zac said...

when something is happening in your society that you don't agree with, then I think you need to get more information, process it, and decide how you're going to deal with it.

Seems to me Joanne, that you've already figured this one out. Gays getting married, don't sit right, no matter what facts get tossed your way eh Joanne?

I have sympathy for people like Fantod,

No you don't. Don't pretend that you do. Before you asked Fantod if civil unions were acceptable. Do you really believe that either there Joanne? If everyone got to marry except you and someone said, we'll offer you civil unions and you can shut up about it, would you be happy?

There is no barganing when it comes to civil rights. You can't pick and choose who you wish to acknowledge. This isn't the simplified perverse game of give and take that you seemingly want it to be.

With that said you can keep your disengenous moral gaze and heap your scorn somewhere else. But of course it's all about the children right? Spare me...

Zac said...

I absolutely agree, not just in the case of minorities, but in the case of all human rights for all citizens.

So if we're on the same wave length why are we still discussing this Mac?

I wish I was as certain of this as you appear. Unfortunately, I’m not.

What's to be uncertain about? Equal rights for all. What's so horrid about this concept?

Since my personal philosophy is closer to libertarianism

You detest the state, yet are willing to utilize it to interfer in the personal lives of individual citizens? How libertarian of you Mac....

In a more practical level, do you remember what I do for a living, Zac?

I understand the police don't have the best reputation around. In my books they do, but I understand the garbage that you have to put up with when your on duty.

What about when you take off the uniform, badge, and gun? Do people react the same way to you? Being gay is something you are, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for rest of your life. At least you get to change once and a while.

Mac said...

Good rant, Joanne.


When I referred to my career, I was actually thinking about my two compadres in the hospital in Saskatchewan; did you hear about it?

Reverse discrimination is a reality; sad but true. I've been refused service in a restaurant in Richmond because my friend and I were white. Another time, I went to a store in an Asian mall with an Asian friend. The store clerk followed me around until my friend intervened.

Time to visit my chiropractor!!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac - Interesting story! And I'm sure it's not an isolated case.

Zac - You are certainly entitled to your own opinion but when you try to tell me what I'm thinking and feeling, you cross the line. You are making assumptions based on your own perceptions of what I have said, but you have no idea what I'm thinking.

Don't pretend that you do. Before you asked Fantod if civil unions were acceptable. Do you really believe that either there Joanne? That was a question for Fantod.

You seem to want to deny my the right to my own thoughts, Zac, which I find highly amusing. If you can think of a way to access and control my thoughts, I will be very impressed.

Zac said...

If you can think of a way to access and control my thoughts, I will be very impressed.

I don't have to. I know how you feel about this issue, as we've gone round and round with this a few times in the past.

But incase you've missed the past few, here's how it goes:

Z: SSM is a civil rights issue
J: How's about civil unions, they can have that
Z: Seperate yet equal is not equal
J: Yeah, but what about the children?
Z: Same-sex couples have been adopting children for some time now and I haven't seen the sky fall yet
J: Well, we should give the kids a fighting chance
Z: Fighting chance for what? No harm will come to the child
J: Ok, I need some facts on this.

If I've missed anything let me know....

Or perhaps I should just put on my mind reading hat again?

If your argument against SSM is "for the children", I'd like to see some proof that harm will come to children who are raised by same-sex couples. Without any, you should admit your true intentions about this issue or drop it.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I'd like to see some proof that harm will come to children who are raised by same-sex couples.

I can only point to experts such as Margaret Somerville. However I'm sure you would discredit that source. This is just another issue where we will have to agree to disagree.

Zac said...

I can only point to experts such as Margaret Somerville.

Somerville, falsely, bases her argument on reproductive technology. She doesn't argue with facts, all she comes armed with is a pea-shooter filled with opinion. If this is your expert, I would expect you to dive deeper.

Perhaps some statistics on this issue? Perhaps some data on the harm that children whose parents are the same gender will endure?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Perhaps some statistics on this issue? Perhaps some data on the harm that children whose parents are the same gender will endure?

Unfortunately, we are living the experiment right now, and will only have statistics as time goes on. We and a few other countries are the guinea pigs for the rest of the world to watch. Time will tell.

Zac said...

So, Sweeden, the Netherlands, Andorra, Spain, England, Wales, Scotland, South Africa, Iceland, and Belgium are not good enough testing grounds for you?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Zac, that's hilarious! You give England as an example and they don't even have same-sex marriage. It's called a civil union, and you said yourself it's not the same thing! You can't have it both ways, Zac!

Zac said...

You give England as an example and they don't even have same-sex marriage.

An example of same-sex adoption. I thought that's what the topic was over here.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well, if you start looking at that, I guess we'll have to pull out all the stops and look at stats from all kinds of adoptions that aren't in a two-parent heterosexual family, including single parent homes, etc. and see how they stack up against the so-called traditional family. A pretty daunting task.

BTW, thanks for helping me hit the 100 mark. ;)

Zac said...

Not a problem for the hundred mark...my pleasure.

I posted on Somerville over at my blog. I read through a bunch of her stuff and I have to admit, she does lay out some interesting arguments. Regardless, she asks one pivotal question that I left open to readers of my blog. You might want to have your say.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Zac. I'll check it out.

Mac said...

So if we're on the same wave length why are we still discussing this Mac?

I would say it’s because you stated everyone is seeking equality and nothing more and I disagreed. I notice you carefully didn’t address or even acknowledge my hypothetical situation.

Equal rights for all. What's so horrid about this concept?

It’s a wonderful concept but reality is something else altogether.

You detest the state, yet are willing to utilize it to interfer in the personal lives of individual citizens?

Libertarians don’t detest the state. They acknowledge the state plays a vital role in the lives of it’s citizens (security) but they are the antithesis of the nanny state. Now, where exactly did I say I wanted to interfere in the personal lives of individual citizens?

What about when you take off the uniform, badge, and gun? Do people react the same way to you?

There is relative anonymity when the uniform is off but those who know what I do for a living have certain expectations of me, whether I’m on shift or off. Yes, I have been awakened by neighbours pounding on my door or calling asking for help. When I attend social functions, typically I get introduced as being a police officer as if to warn people not to do something illegal for fear I might disrupt the event by arresting them.

Are gay people now required to wear a sign which declares their sexual orientation or do they not have the same relative anonymity as I do? Just asking...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac, I'll be very interested to see how Zac answers your last question.

(This could go to 200!)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Or not...

Zac said...

I notice you carefully didn’t address or even acknowledge my hypothetical situation

If you are referring to the situation of the nose-pickers, I think you’ve just answered your own question.

Now, where exactly did I say I wanted to interfere in the personal lives of individual citizens?

Using the state to restrict the rights of citizens, such as limiting marriage rights, is interfering in the lives of individual citizens. But of course, that’s very libertarian. How dumb am I?

You see Mac, using the state to impose your will on individual citizens is the absolute antithesis of neo-liberalism. Which is why social conservatives are a foul perversion of the original doctrine in which conservatism rests.

Mac said...

Zac, I'm sorry I didn't clarify which hypothetical situation. I was referring to this one from Sun Jul 09, 10:04:35 PM EDT:

"Since you are so certain, can we try another hypothetical situation? How would you confront someone who is demanding special privileges under the guise of equality? If that person accused you of intolerance and/or hatred, how would you deal with it?"

I am truly curious of your answer.

Using the state to restrict the rights of citizens, such as limiting marriage rights, is interfering in the lives of individual citizens.

Can you please tell me where I advocated interfering in the lives of individuals? As far as I'm concerned, governments at all levels have too many fingers in too many pies.

In case you've forgotten, I support SSM. In fact, I think the "marriage" versus "civil union" conflict is an exercise in semantics since all marriages are licenced by the state and not the Church. All marriages, by definition, are civil unions.

FWIW, I don't believe marriage is a "right" at all. This practise of calling anything & everything a "right" is annoying and ridiculous. It seems like every time someone wants something, they invent a new "right" and start demanding it!

If churches or individual preachers or priests don't feel comfortable marrying same-sex couples, that's a "freedom of religion" debate. If a same sex couple truly want to get married, they can find a church which supports their values or do like so many non-religious couples do- by civil ceremony!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Which is why social conservatives are a foul perversion of the original doctrine in which conservatism rests.

Mmm... If I didn't know better, I'd assume that Zac is calling me smelly and perverted.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

It seems like every time someone wants something, they invent a new "right" and start demanding it!

Indeed. Prostitutes feel they have the 'right' to a safe working environment. Before we know it, they'll be on Workers' Comp.

Zac said...

How would you confront someone who is demanding special privileges under the guise of equality? If that person accused you of intolerance and/or hatred, how would you deal with it?"

Perhaps if you clarified which "special privliges" you are referring to, I could answer such a question.

Can you please tell me where I advocated interfering in the lives of individuals?

Mac, I was unaware that you supported SSM. I thought you were with Joanne on this one and were against it. Regardless of that, what I meant by my statement was that not allowing certain people to get married based on sexual orientation or not allowing them to adopt children based on the same logic, is using the state to interfer in the lives of citizens. Which is why I find social conservatism rather paradoxical.

This practise of calling anything & everything a "right" is annoying and ridiculous.

Mac, when the state deny's someone something that another group in society has without justification, that "something" becomes a right because everyone else has the "right" to get married. A heterosexual couple could no more be denied marriage than they could be denied freedom of speech. Thus they have a right to it. Telling someone else that they do not have the same "right" as someone else is discrimination.

If a same sex couple truly want to get married, they can find a church which supports their values or do like so many non-religious couples do- by civil ceremony!

No one is telling Churches to marry same sex couples. That was part of the original legislation. But when the church tries to inject their personal beliefs into civil society, they are overstepping their bounds, just as the state would be if they tried to force churches to marry gays against their will. This is another reason why religious arguments don't fly when it comes to the SSM debate.

Zac said...

Mmm... If I didn't know better, I'd assume that Zac is calling me smelly and perverted.

No, I'm saying that you are misinterpreting the original doctrine of neo-liberalism, or conservatism. You cannot call yourself a conservative (an ideology that rests on the basic principle of freedom from the over bearing reach of the state) if you are willing to invoke the state to interfer in the lives of citizens, to satisfy your personal views.

If you ask me, allowing same-sex marriage is a basic principle of conservative philosophy.

I can hear John Locke and Adam Smith rolling in their graves now.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Zac, that was my feeble attempt at a joke.

O.K. I'm not a conservative then. I can live with that. I don't much like labels anyway.

Zac said...

Zac, that was my feeble attempt at a joke

I thought you were being rather facetious, but I decided to jump into the poli sci crap regardless.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

but I decided to jump into the poli sci crap regardless.

Oh, man. I don't have a hope in beating you in a poli-sci argument. I know better than to even try. ;)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Zac, by your definition, though, would that not make any Liberal supporting same-sex marriage a Conservative?

Mac said...

Perhaps if you clarified which "special privliges" you are referring to, I could answer such a question.

Zac, I didn’t give an example as the question seems so self-evident to me. Did you have a problem understanding what I meant, Joanne? By seeking special privileges, I meant trying to gain extraordinary or unmerited benefits inconsistent with reasonable expectations.

Mac, when the state deny's someone something that another group in society has without justification, that "something" becomes a right because everyone else has the "right" to get married.

I believe you are misinterpreting the meaning of rights. In my view, a “right” is a fundamental freedom which belongs to all people. Rights underpin our society and our civilization. You’re talking about entitlements which are not rights since entitlements are situational, not fundamental.

To use your example, not everyone has the “right” to get married. Seriously. If you don’t believe me, I suggest you try to marry your first cousin and see how far you get. Laws are in place to prevent this for a number of reasons but mainly to ensure genetic diversity. Marriage is not a right; it’s an entitlement granted and regulated by the government.

That being said, the government cannot discriminate against people based on a number of criteria, including sexual orientation. Freedom from discrimination is a right. To prevent a same sex couple from marrying because of their sexual orientation is discrimination. This does not mean they have the right to marry; it means the government would be wrong to prevent the marriage.

I just had a strange thought. To extend the example, if a same sex couple who are first cousins tried to marry, they might be turned down despite the unlikely chances of reproduction. I’d like to think the couple would be allowed to marry but who knows with governments?

Something I’ve meaning to mention to Joanne since we've discussed SSM before. I believe the part of the celebration of marriage within the church where the clergy invokes the blessing of God on the couple and their union is the “sacred” part of marriage and nothing the government does will ever change that.

Zac, you ignored another question of mine. Although it was almost rhetorical, I would like to know your answer...

Are gay people now required to wear a sign which declares their sexual orientation or do they not have the same relative anonymity as I do? Just asking... Mon Jul 10, 07:15:59 PM EDT

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac, I had no problem understanding what you said to Zac, and you make some very valid points in my opinion.

I think you have distinguished very well between "rights" and "entitlements". You both have argued in favour of same-sex marriage, but from different angles.

I've already done some investigation into closely-related same-sex partners. I believe that first cousins are in fact able to marry now; at least they are in Ontario. However, anything closer is not allowed, whether same-sex or opposite. The reasoning has to do with the issue of possible coercion (sp?)

I believe the part of the celebration of marriage within the church where the clergy invokes the blessing of God on the couple and their union is the “sacred” part of marriage and nothing the government does will ever change that.

Thank you for pointing that out, Mac. And that isn't even restricted to same-sex marriages. I've been to a few heterosexual weddings where God wasn't even mentioned, and instead they were asking the blessing of the moon and the stars. I had no idea that inanimate objects could think.

So what it boils down to, I guess, is your own personal attitude. I've said to Zac before that I would feel better if we all just got civil unions, and then a separate church ceremony afterwards.