Free Speech for Me, but not for Thee

Wednesday, March 8, AD 2017

 

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts notes the hostility that much of the contemporary left has to freedom of speech for those who have the temerity to disagree with them:

 

Is illustrated here:

Yep.  My older boys have already run into this.  The idea that ‘you don’t have a right to offend me.’  Uh, yes I do.  That’s freedom of speech.  Or let’s just whittle it down to mere ‘freedom.’  Sure, I can not listen, disagree, argue the point, or even show you to the door if I deem you rude or obnoxious.  But violence or, worse, calling for officials and institutions to punish wrong speak?

Growing up, Voltaire’s famous quip was the John 3:16 of American liberalism:

I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.

If I heard that once, I heard that a billion times. It might be worth digging it back up and using it again.  Or more of us you might end up getting caught up in the storm, as professor Allison Stranger discovered all too well.

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16 Responses to Free Speech for Me, but not for Thee

  • Fruits of the Dictatorship of Relativism: Our right to speak depends on truth, a thing higher than opinions, but there is there is no truth, and therefore no commonality or reason to allow speech.

  • The funny thing is, I posted that as a throw away. Things are busy right now, and I’ve been backing down on ‘hot button’ posts. I assumed this would be a ‘yeah Dave, duh’ post. And yet we have a bold defender of the dream of censorship and intolerance we’re seeing from the modern Left.

  • I believe the notion of “repressive tolerance” can be traced back to Herbert Marcuse in the 1960s.

    “Withdrawal of tolerance from regressive movements before they can become active; intolerance even toward thought, opinion, and word, and finally, intolerance in the opposite direction, that is, toward the self-styled conservatives, to the political Right–these anti-democratic notions respond to the actual development of the democratic society which has destroyed the basis for universal tolerance. The conditions under which tolerance can again become a liberating and humanizing force have still to be created. When tolerance mainly serves the protection and preservation of a repressive society, when it serves to neutralize opposition and to render men immune against other and better forms of life, then tolerance has been perverted. And when this perversion starts in the mind of the individual, in his consciousness, his needs, when heteronomous interests occupy him before he can experience his servitude, then the efforts to counteract his dehumanization must begin at the place of entrance, there where the false consciousness takes form (or rather: is systematically formed)–it must begin with stopping the words and images which feed this consciousness. To be sure, this is censorship, even precensorship, but openly directed against the more or less hidden censorship that permeates the free media. Where the false consciousness has become prevalent in national and popular behaviour, it translates itself almost immediately into practice: the safe distance between ideology and reality, repressive thought and repressive action, between the word of destruction and the deed of destruction is dangerously shortened.”

  • It’s easy to be a liberal. One doesn’t need to think. All one needs do is memorize a number of false assumptions/axioms/equivalencies/calumnies/non sequiturs/slogans and have the lungs to scream them.

    ‘Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” William F. Buckley, Jr.

    I avoid interaction with liberals. However, the simple formula of how to deal (from Ann coulter) with a liberal, if you must. One, ask the numbskull to provide data, evidence, facts. Two, ask the idiot to compare the lie to rational alternatives (Compared to what?). Three, ask how much it will cost; not only fiscally, also morally, demographically, etc.

  • T.Shaw and MPS…… Thanks for the quotes. I’m actively involved in public square testimony. Our gathering last Saturday was 150 for the national Trump rally. The opposition can’t look in the mirror. William F. Buckley “they are the other views.” Spot on.
    And “word of destruction and deed of destruction.” Being played out before our very eyes. Thank you both.

  • We live in a world where much of political discourse is a species of self-congratulation and where you have an accumulation of bourbons with privileges enforced by law or guild rules. Both sorts of people tend to resent it when you present them with questions to which they cannot respond. Note, this is happening at academic institutions. The progressist conception of public life is derived from secondary school social relations.

  • I believe the notion of “repressive tolerance” can be traced back to Herbert Marcuse in the 1960s.

    What the ‘notion’ amounts to is a complaint by Marcuse that the man in the street doesn’t give a rip about Herbert Marcuse’s social fantasies.

  • Thank you all for these very important insights giving voice (giving a name) to our cultural condition. Only TRUTH has freedom of speech. Lies, half truths and perjury must be identified and countered to maintain a balanced society and freedom itself.
    “Voltaire’s famous quip was the John 3:16 of American liberalism:
    “I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.” “They will stand up to be condemned.”

  • Atheistic communism denies God and God’s image in man: free will. Atheistic communism denies freedom. Slavery denies freedom but not necessarily God and God-given free will.
    LBGT denies freedom of conscience and free will. LBGT guilts God for creating the sexual orientation of same sex attraction. LBGT guilts God for the free will choice and freedom to act out the same sex attraction through sodomy, the addiction to sex through lust and the addiction to sodomy and lesbianism. LBGT guilts God for God-given free will and the freedom to exercise free will into addiction to sodomy and lesbianism. Who can prevail in a court of law with God as his witness; with God as his judge, when the prevailing sentiment has indicted and guilted God as the cause of every evil in the world?
    Who can prevail in a court of law when God given free will and freedom are found to be the cause of addiction to sodomy and lesbianism?
    LBGT are gnostic communism. Gnostic communists are worse than atheistic communists because they take subterfuge in civil law without regard for anyone’s civil rights. Gnostic communists guilt God for their civil rights and tyrannize the people by imposing atheism on the people.

  • ‘Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” William F. Buckley, Jr.
    Love that one, T. Shaw.

    I’m quite intolerant to bad ideas…but that doesn’t mean I try to silence them, it means that I try to destroy them, and for that to happen they’ve got to be exposed and torn to bits. You shove’m down, all you do is make ’em stronger.

  • I’m thinking about starting a line of Aaron Burr Slapping Gloves for folks what don’t take kindly to other folks what take offense at what folks have to say.

  • Ernst Schreiber……

    The gloves will lead to dueling pistols.

    The problem with the pistols is that the swine whom you just challenged can’t be trusted to walk away fifteen paces before turning around to fire.

    Back then there were gentlemen.
    Today it’s uncertain if you’re challenging a gentleman, woman trapped in a man’s body or a man who was a woman but decided to change into a man.

    Better leave the white gloves in the dresser.

  • That’s what seconds are for Philip. .Although, I suppose we could always just rough and tumble with Arkansas toothpicks

  • Or use broadswords, the weapon the long armed Lincoln chose when he was challenged for a duel. In some of his “duels” Old Hickory grabbed anything that was within reach.

  • I like the “talk softly and carry a large stick,” approach. Buford Pusser had the right stuff. Sometimes a 4×4 speaks louder than words.

  • Foxfier: Principles must be judged. People must be tolerated. A two way street.

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France Attempts to Criminalize the Pro-Life Movement

Wednesday, December 7, AD 2016

I am not afraid; I was born to do this.

Saint Joan of Arc

 

 

The Socialist government in France, deemed likely to be massacred in the coming elections, are doing what Leftists traditionally do when they are running behind:  wave the bloody fetus and bash pro-lifers:

 

 

 

On Thursday, the French National Assembly passed a bill that makes it a crime to post information online that challenges abortion. Pro-life activists who continue to operate online face up to two years in prison and a fine of more than $30,000. The bill is an expansion of a 1993 law that penalized giving out “false information” or physically blocking those seeking abortion from entering clinics. The bill passed by French lawmakers will punish web operators who post material considered “deliberately misleading, intimidating and/or exerting psychological or moral pressure.”

The French legislation follows a controversy that erupted after the French government blocked an advertisement featuring smiling children with Down syndrome because it could dredge up feelings of guilt from woman who decided to abort babies diagnosed with the genetic condition in-utero. About 96 percent of all babies diagnosed with the condition are aborted in France. The two-minute ad featured testimony from Down syndrome children and adults, as well as their parents explaining that they were capable of living full and happy lives. In November a French court upheld the ban, saying the video would “‘disturb the conscience of women who, in accordance with the law, have made personal life choices.’”

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8 Responses to France Attempts to Criminalize the Pro-Life Movement

  • And we are ‘waiting’ for the persecution, chastisement, punishment to begin? We are waiting for fire to fall from the sky? It’s here. I’m reminded of what we know of the beginnings of Nazism – the first, subtle persecutions of Jews, then many others. The silence was deafening, until it was too late for everyone.

  • The modern French govt was conceived in hatred and founded on tyranny. How have the French people survived in such moral squalor for so long? It is a crime to appeal to the conscience of your countrymen? Such a nation cannot endure.

  • Another indication, in case we needed one, that the mentality of the governing class in western Europe and Canada is about the same as that of the higher education apparat in this country. Because the judiciary (and much of the legal profession) shares this mentality, constitutional guarantees are naught there, and, if the same sorts have their way, will be here as well (through bogus use of variants of consumer protection law and the usual projection about ‘hate speech’). Another prediction: when that happens, the following social segments will prove themselves to be supercilious fair-weather friends: the bulk of the clergy, the Republican establishment, soi-disant libertarians, and the Catholic left.

  • The modern French govt was conceived in hatred and founded on tyranny.

    Get a grip. The current Constitution of France was written in 1958 by Charles de Gaulle (a devoted Catholic) and his assistants. The country had a vigorous Christian Democratic movement as recently as the 1940s.

  • They SHOULD have their consciences disturbed.

  • Sad. We should have let the Jerrys keep France.

  • From the country that invented state terrorism. Sad that Britain did not wipe them out millennia ago. Although, thinning the French herd might be a blessing for the rest of the world.

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One Response to Free Speech Is So Eighteenth Century!

Red Fascists at Work

Monday, February 29, AD 2016

 

What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage, and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of those around you, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises.

Abraham Lincoln, September 16, 1858

 

 

 

It has become so common for leftist groups to attempt to shout down conservatives at state funded colleges and universities that we overlook what a true outrage it is.  Institutions of higher learning are supposed to be places of free inquiry.  Instead, they are today commonly citadels of bigotry and intolerance where campus radicals, aided and abetted by the administrations of these state institutions, play out brown shirt fantasies against anyone with the guts to stand against them.  What happened to conservative commentator Ben Schapiro a few days ago at California State University Los Angeles is typical:

 

Initially, administrators at the taxpayer-funded public university tried to force the postponement of the event in favor of a later event where Shapiro would have to appear alongside speakers who disagreed with him. Shapiro vowed to speak at the original time scheduled, and the university backed down, releasing a statement Thursday:

Author Ben Shapiro was invited to speak this afternoon at Cal State LA by the Young Americans for Freedom, which is a registered student organization. The event, “When Diversity Becomes a Problem,” was funded by the Associated Students, Inc., the student government.

Leading up to the event, there were a number of emails and social media posts that caused concern for the campus community. Given threats and expressions of fear, President William A. Covino proposed a rescheduled event that would be civil and inclusive, and in which Mr. Shapiro and speakers with other viewpoints could offer their perspectives in an organized forum.

“My decision was made in the interest of safety and security,” Covino said. “I am disappointed that Mr. Shapiro has not accepted my invitation to speak in such a forum. He has indicated that he will come to Cal State LA to speak today at the University-Student Union Theatre, where he was originally scheduled to deliver his talk,” Covino told the University community Thursday morning.

Covino added: “I strongly disagree with Mr. Shapiro’s views. But if Mr. Shapiro does appear, the University will allow him to speak. We will make every effort to ensure a climate of safety and security.”

In his remarks, Shapiro blasted Covino and other faculty members who tried to stop the event from taking place, and who had threatened violence against Shapiro, including professors Robert Weide and Melina Abdullah.

He called them “disgusting” and described Covino as a “totalitarian” and an “idiot” whose behavior exemplified “an insane society created by the American left who says that anybody that disagrees with them must be silenced.”

He explained that there are three kinds of diversity: diversity of color, diversity of values, and diversity of ideas. Only the last kind, he said, was valuable to society and could create stable and healthy communities.

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3 Responses to Red Fascists at Work

  • The great Divide. Liberial Tolerance.

    Call it the Grand Canyon of Tolerance. A place where hatred is nurturing in the young hearts.
    A hatred for good. Void of virtue but filled with indignation towards Liberty. Ah yes…higher education at it’s worse…thanks liberal Universities. You’ve been breading a culture of Nazis that would make Hitler blush.
    Great job. 🙁

  • I never went to college and I thank God that I never did. I was trained and educated in the US Naval Nuclear Power Program – effectively 4 years of real college education shoved down the throat in 2 years of technical training – 12 to 16 hours a day 6 days a week until being sent to the submarine. Then the real training and education began with cleaning the bilges beneath the feedwater control station and steam generator level control system in the feedwater bay of Engineroom Forward. Everytime those Reactor Coolant Charging Pumps started up just forward of where I was cleaning as the boat tosses and turns on the surface in the North Atlantic in November made me realize where I was and what I had done to myself. Don’t puke now – you’ll just have to clean the bilge all over again.
    .
    Freaking spoiled brat millennial children and their commie pinko idiot professors! They got no idea what diversity and tolerance really is – shutting your freaking mouth as your division CPO is screaming at you for not doing a good enough job at bilge cleaning and you’re dog tired from being awake for 16 hours and a reactor coolant leak drill is now going to be randomly run to see how well you respond when you can’t see straight or stand on your feet. I hate godless liberal progressivism.

  • When will Mr. Shapiro run for president? Common sense, guts and the ability to handle a hostile crowd. When was the last time we saw someone with those abilities?

Blatantly Unconstitutional

Friday, July 3, AD 2015

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To the past, or to the future. To an age when thought is free. From the Age of Big Brother, from the Age of the Thought Police, from a dead man – greetings!
― George Orwell, 1984   

 

It seems I made a mistake this morning and woke up in a foreign country where it is always 1984:

 

Brad Avakian, Commissioner of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries and acting Minister of Thoughtcrime, wrote that Sweet Cakes owners Aaron and Melissa Klein must “cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation.”

The Daily Signal reports that the $135,000 figure took into consideration the couple’s physical, emotional and mental damages:

Examples of symptoms included “acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “excessive sleep,” “felt mentally raped, dirty and shameful,” “high blood pressure,” “impaired digestion,” “loss of appetite,” “migraine headaches,” “pale and sick at home after work,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “shock” “stunned,” “surprise,” “uncertainty,” “weight gain” and “worry.”

How about we give you five bucks for the doubt, surprise, uncertainty and worry and call it even? That’s $5 more than the rest of us get for feeling the same feelings.

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19 Responses to Blatantly Unconstitutional

  • The following is going to sound as though I want this response. I do not. I hope and pray it doesn’t come to this. But sadly the only response liberal progressive Democrats will respect is the Maccabean response. Further, there is a reason why God nuked Sodom and Gomorrah.
    .
    I despise the Oregon Soviet Socialist Republic. Ever been there? Portland has a Che Guevara Avenue, that murderous Latin American thug. The largest Mall in Portland is like a small or medium size one in the Carolinas. Towns in the Willamet Valley are run down and dilapitated. The eco-wackoes won’t allow industry to invest. The dope smoking hippie drop outs of the 1960s come out to dance in the streets on Saturdays while pink shirted Planned Parenthood baby murderers pass out their leaflets. The phrase “flying spaghetti monster” came from a liberal addled nit wit out of OSU in one of the small towns to denigrate Christianity and the residents are proud of that. I got proudly told about that when out there. Over half the Catholics I met are die hard Democrats and extoll Jimmy Carter as a great President. By State law you are not allowed to fuel your vehicle, but you have to bring your own bags to the grocery store and bag your groceries yourself. What a backward hipppified enviro-wacko State!

  • Paul: You and I need to emigrate to America (a red state). A friend recently relocated to Wyoming from the Connecticut SSR.

    .
    Liberal idiots (I repeat myself, again, and I need to be more charitable to idiots) are so stupid (total lack of self-awareness) they don’t recognize the totalitarianism. Liberalism/progressivism is either a crime or a disease.

  • The Leftist hysteria continues, emboldened by the rulings from our robe’d masters, their madness unabated by sense or charity.

  • When did we, a people born in a free land chartered to govern ourselves, become bored with God’s gift of freedom?

    Perhaps one answer –when we took upon ourselves to decide who lives and who dies in the womb. One cannot respect freedom when you are willing to deny the innocent of life.

  • People crushed by laws, have no hope but to evade power. If the laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to the law; and those who have most to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous.
    Edmund Burke

    ‘And do not listen to those who keep saying, ‘The voice of the people is the voice of God.’ because the tumult of the crowd is always close to madness.’
    Alcuin

    It is impossible to suffer without making someone pay for it; every complaint already contains revenge.
    Friedrich Nietzsche

    Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.
    George Orwell

    So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.
    George Orwell

    Liberalism is the Transformation of Mankind into Cattle.
    Frederich Nietzsche

  • This is an artifact of the corruption of a wing of the legal profession (and the problem professional people generally have in understanding where they really stand in the society in which they live). Either the lawyers involved get put in their place by non-lawyers, or it continues. (And do not rely on Addison Mitchell McConnell to be of any assistance).

  • There was no same sex marriage law in Oregon when the Kleins were prosecuted for discrimination. See the posts at HERITAGE FOUNDATION.ORG. The posts tell of Avakian being in collusion with the gay agenda. The atheists are offended, the homosexuals are offended, but the Christians have no innate ability to self-preservation, no constitutional civil right to self-defense. The Eighth Amendment criminalizes cruel and unusual punishment. $135,000 for an unbaked cake. The state never proved that the Kleins were discriminating and not following their relgious beliefs. The Kleins’ case is in the public domain. The media and the newspapers get to talk about the case. Silencing the Kleins of their freedom of speech is unconstitutional, as unconstitutional as not acknowledging the Kleins freedom to conscientiously object to threatening customers. This lawsuit only provides proof that the Kleins were denied the free exercise of their religion, Get the government out of my soul. Separation of church and state . Get the government out of the Kleins’ soul.

  • You know, not too long ago these good people of conscience would be able to take their fight all the way to the US Supreme Court for recourse to an unjust fine and punishment.
    That’s all in the past now, isn’t it? The mostly liberal activist judges are as anti-Christian as anybody in this once-Christian country, and they aren’t afraid to mangle to law to prove it. Scary.

  • If I were a cynical person, I would begin making contacts within the Muslim community and start talking a lot to them about how the “gay” agenda is going to attempt to trample on their rights as American citizens.

    Politics often makes strange bedfellows. As odd as this may sound, the fact of the matter is that American Muslims are our allies on this issue.

    Anyone who does not believe that should try holding a “Gay Pride” parade in Dearborn.

  • good post.
    Now compare your post to the following:
    “16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.”(Revelation 13 v 16-17).
    Now, people, the question?
    Is this what St. John the Evangelist was talking about or not?
    .
    http://popeleo13.com/pope/2014/11/14/category-archive-message-board-175-jesus-end-time-hints/
    .
    Its time-up, folks.

  • How about if law abiding citizens were to organize into specific interest groups with the objective of getting unjust laws, or interpretations thereof, changed. Their war strategy would be massive disobedience to the unjust law. It would probably be necessary to use this approach very selectively, where it would be clearly in the interests of the effected folks to fight it, as most business people are loath to rock for boat for any reason.

    Anyone wish to add to this notion? It worked when our country was formed (Tea Party). Are things that different today?

  • Committees of correspondence would certainly be easy to set up with the internet.

  • Like the idea Don. Seems to me we need a big issue or a small but intense issue to focus attention and gather support for creating a Committee of Correspondence.

  • Art Deco’s critique of lawyers in this drama strikes me as an oft missed piece. The reality of law school when I attended (Temple, 2008) is that the vast majority of teachers and students are intent on making their mark.

    They look back at Loving, Brown, and Roe and see immortality.

    Most will go on to more mundane pursuits. Some will become wealthy. Some will re-discover humility. Most will harbor secret dreams of tyranny that manifest themselves in support for extreme causes.

  • A PEOPLE APPRAISED OF THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS IS THE GREATEST SECURITY FOR FREEDOM.

  • cthemfly25

    Your assertion is correct in my view.
    The loss of respect for life has desensitized and vandalized the human soul that is indifferent to God, leading the way to continued self loathing as a culture.
    This debauchery is increasing in popularity and acceptance. “What’s fair is foul and what’s foul is fair.” W.S.

  • We are suffering infallible ignorance ferociously (civil forfeitures, massive fines, lawsuits, taxation/confiscation) forced on us by feral fascism, beginning on the gore-dripping tines of the terrorist trident: the lying media, Obama and his gangsters, and the ideology-enforcing Supreme Court.
    .

    They are strongest (in Spirit) when Christians are weakest (in the eyes of evil).

    .
    The rewards of eternal life (which Christ purchased with His Life, Death, and Resurrection) far, far exceed all Earthly joys.
    .

  • “IN GOD WE TRUST” , our American motto stands as a beacon for truth and Justice. If a person cannot admit to “IN GOD WE TRUST” , that person need not be trusted either.

  • With a found hour this afternoon, I went to Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Tried to include the cyber people here in a request for fortitude renewal. In thinking of the triplet of colorful mention above, the last part of it wouldn’t surface- what was it? – and now there’s the realization that the depth of the betrayal of justice ‘for all’ is the ‘new normal’. Fast bypass.
    The other day in this crowded neighborhood, two hawks made a symbolic visit. There was a dead chipmunk ( think little and cute, rather than rodent) in the road across the street, courtesy of Tiberius the cat. A hawk flew down for the carrion, but was chased away by another. The first one sat on a service wire with wings remaining spread, a vision of power, and joined by the second after it was chased away by the cat. Later on the chipmunk remained in the road. These predators didn’t have charity for one another, and, no justice for the chipmunk.

Freedom of Speech in the Age of Obama

Sunday, September 22, AD 2013

“for if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.

George Washington

From The Baltimore Sun:

The format of the forum did not allow the public to stand and ask a question. Instead, those who wanted questions answered had to write them on a piece of paper. Dance read the questions and had members of a panel, which included state schools Superintendent Lillian Lowery, answer them.

When Small started speaking, Dance told him that he believed his question would be answered, but Small continued to talk. After a couple of minutes, a security guard confronted Small, saying, “Let’s go. Let’s go.”

Small, 46, asked him if he was an officer and the security guard, an off-duty Baltimore County police officer, showed him a badge. The officer grabbed Small’s arm and pulled him toward the aisle. The audience gasped and some people sitting nearby got out of their seats.

As he was being taken out, Small said, “Don’t stand for this. You are sitting here like cattle.” Then he said, “Is this America?”

The officer pushed Small and then escorted him into the hall, handcuffed him and had him sit on the curb in front of the school. He was taken to the Towson precinct and detained. Small was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, which carries a fine of $2,500 and up to 10 years in prison, and disturbing a school operation, which carries a fine of $2,500 and up to six months.

The police report said that Dance’s chief of staff, Michele Prumo, who was standing on the side of the auditorium, had asked the officer to walk over and calm Small down. The report also said Small had attempted to push the officer away when he first confronted him.

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14 Responses to Freedom of Speech in the Age of Obama

  • Why are off-duty cops still considered “police officers” when they are off duty working security?
    Tell a mall cop to —- off isn’t “disregarding a lawful order” (which can get you shot) and shoving him would be simple assault if prosecuted at all.

    Btw, what shove? I didn’t see one.

  • Correct on both points Thomas. There are endless problems with this arrest and any competent defense attorney will be having a feast in this case. I can’t wait for the 1983 civil rights violation case to be filed over this farce.

  • There is one thing to remember. This incident took place in Maryland, a one-party state if there ever was. I lived there from 1989 through 1993. It was not as crazy as it is now, but still, I was glad to leave.

    Maryland Democrats do not like it when they are challenged, as they run the state as their own personal fiefdom. Mr. Small is by no means guaranteed a fair trial. Baltimore County surrounds the city of Baltimore (states that were originally southern, as Maryland and Missouri are, do not usually include incorporated cities in their counties) and while Baltimore County is not as bat-**** crazy as the Washington suburbs, they can be crazy enough.

  • Intimidation is the only card left for the gang-banging thugs aka Leftovers.

    At one point the striking resemblance of Nazi tolerance and thought police forum.

    Poor Marylanders.

    The 9/12 organizations are in existence because the threat IS REAL.

    Thanks Donald for passing this disturbing clip along.

  • Robert Small is one of the authors/contributors to The American Thinker. He wrote an article in August 2013: Filmmaker Dennis M. Lynch Exposes the Illusory Fence “Protecting” Our Border.

    So it doesn’t surprise me that someone who writes articles, speaking out against what’s wrong with America and the US Government, would speak out at a school board meeting as well. The fact that it was filmed so that the world could see how wrong this is – That is amazing to me! We can see how much like Nazi Germany our so called Republic has become!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Source: DMLdaily Facebook Page
    You may need to scroll down a bit for the entry (21 Sep 2013).

  • How dare he not move faster when the guy in the white t-shirt shoved him! That’s practically battery! The off-duty cop could’ve pulled a muscle trying to move the citizen out of the meeting. /sarcasm

  • The thought police denied Mr. Small his First Amendment right to peaceably assemble. Mr. Small and each and every citizen owns the public places and buildings. Mr. Small may not be removed without violating his civil right to peaceably assemble. His taxes pay their salary. Fine way to treat a free man. Now, Mr. Small must prove his innocence.

  • After watching this, I got the distinct sense from what I could hear that there were people in the audience who might have been a heartbeat away from mobbing the rent-a-cop. If there is open revolt, it will likely begin in just such a way, when a group of people suddenly and collectively decide — with e e cummings’ Olav — that there is some s**t they will not eat.

    This may be more likely a scenario than the one in a “Non Sequitur” cartoon from some years ago in which a shepherd is seated on a rock reading his “Modern Sheep Herding” magazine while in the background one sheep is addressing the rest of the flock, saying, “All right. On the count of three we turn carnivorous.” The panel was entitled, “The meek decide that it’s time to inherit the earth.”

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  • freedom of speech died as soon as that moron Obama got into office…he has put a sock in the mouths of every American…God help us all..

  • “There can only be Democracy where there is morality, and there can only be morality where true religion exists.”
    Going from memory here so please
    excuse my paraphrase if its not perfect.

    George Washington has it right.

    This is proof.
    Take the liberal and their false religion.
    Then see it in action on the clip above.

  • Demand a recall of the School Board.
    They are servants of the people, not their masters. When a tax paying citizen asks the School Board for direct answers (rather than through a “filter”) and they are told to shut up and sit down or go away, this should be the signal for corrective action to be taken against the School Board. If such action is not taken, it is giving approval to the School Board that they are, in fact, no longer servants of thew people, but their masters.

  • What is shown as have happening in the video is so wrong. Even if the security guard is an off duty police officer, he is nothing more than security guard at the meeting. The security guard is acting like a bully. I give Mr. Small credit for not losing his cool when he was being bullied by the security guard.

  • The “security” cop denied Mr. Small his constitutional rights in a physically abusive manner bordering on assault. Did it not occur to the many liberals, in whose mouths butter would not melt, that they were watching and condoning a nearly Nazi-like moment. The country is well on the way to becoming a police state.

Of Bible Verses, Cheerleaders and the Constitution

Thursday, May 9, AD 2013

4 Responses to Of Bible Verses, Cheerleaders and the Constitution

  • These cases are just absurd. Do the rule of procedure require the ‘public interest’ shysters and their straw plaintiffs to pay the court costs and the defendants’ legal bills?

  • Unless there is a provision under a statute awarding fees and costs Art, a court would have to find that a suit was completely without merit before assessing fees and costs. I agree with you that these types of suits where activist groups drum up a straw plaintiff would be brought far less frequently if the losing party had to cough up fees and costs routinely for the prevailing side.

  • Donald R. McClarey,
    Agreed. I noone would complain if the cheerleaders put up a Mark Twain quote. Why should the court waste its time on this? Its not as if courts are despirate for cases.

  • Taxes are owned by the taxpayers even while being administered by the administration. All public square, land and waterways are owned in joint and common tenancy by each and every citizen. Government does not own the public square, the people do and the people are a free people. with a free will and a free soul endowed by our Creator. Anyone who rejects our founding priciples, rejects his country, his citizenship and commits treason.

That Inconvenient First Amendment

Thursday, September 27, AD 2012

Eric Posner, a University of Chicago law professor, and son of Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, one of President Reagan’s less wise judicial appointments, writing in Slate thinks that perhaps it is time that Americans stop making a fetish of freedom of speech as embodied in the First Amendment.  Christopher Johnson, a Protestant who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, gives Posner a fisking to remember:

University of Chicago law professor Eric Posner thinks that this country really needs to dial down its obsession with free speech:

The universal response in the United States to the uproar over the anti-Muslim video is that the Muslim world will just have to get used to freedom of expression. President Obama said so himself in a speech at the United Nations today, which included both a strong defense of the First Amendment and (“in the alternative,” as lawyers say) and a plea that the United States is helpless anyway when it comes to controlling information. In a world linked by YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, countless videos attacking people’s religions, produced by provocateurs, rabble-rousers, and lunatics, will spread to every corner of the world, as fast as the Internet can blast them, and beyond the power of governments to stop them. Muslims need to grow a thick skin, the thinking goes, as believers in the West have done over the centuries. Perhaps they will even learn what it means to live in a free society, and adopt something like the First Amendment in their own countries.

Maybe that’s right.  But actually, America needs to get with the international program.

But there is another possible response. This is that Americans need to learn that the rest of the world—and not just Muslims—see no sense in the First Amendment. Even other Western nations take a more circumspect position on freedom of expression than we do, realizing that often free speech must yield to other values and the need for order. Our own history suggests that they might have a point.

Look at it this way.  At least the trains will run on time and everyone will be able to read the “No Food Today” signs.  Posner points out that it was the left which first turned the First Amendment into an weapon.

The First Amendment earned its sacred status only in the 1960s, and then only among liberals and the left, who cheered when the courts ruled that government could not suppress the speech of dissenters, critics, scandalous artistic types, and even pornographers. Conservatives objected that these rulings helped America’s enemies while undermining public order and morality at home, but their complaints fell on deaf ears.

Shogi, the Japanese version of chess, has a unique characteristic.  Because of the way the pieces are shaped, no piece is ever completely out of the game.  Any of your pieces that I happen to take can be turned around and employed by my army.

A totem that is sacred to one religion can become an object of devotion in another, even as the two theologies vest it with different meanings. That is what happened with the First Amendment. In the last few decades, conservatives have discovered in its uncompromising text— “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech”—support for their own causes. These include unregulated campaign speech, unregulated commercial speech, and limited government. Most of all, conservatives have invoked the First Amendment to oppose efforts to make everyone, in universities and elsewhere, speak “civilly” about women and minorities. I’m talking of course about the “political correctness” movement beginning in the 1980s, which often merged into attempts to enforce a leftist position on race relations and gender politics.

Posner wants Americans to remember two things.  The First Amendment is strictly an American idea whose inspiration is not shared by anybody else in the world and which cannot force people stop thinking bad thoughts.

We have to remember that our First Amendment values are not universal; they emerged contingently from our own political history, a set of cobbled-together compromises among political and ideological factions responding to localized events. As often happens, what starts out as a grudging political settlement has become, when challenged from abroad, a dogmatic principle to be imposed universally. Suddenly, the disparagement of other people and their beliefs is not an unfortunate fact but a positive good. It contributes to the “marketplace of ideas,” as though we would seriously admit that Nazis or terrorist fanatics might turn out to be right after all. Salman Rushdie recently claimed that bad ideas, “like vampires … die in the sunlight” rather than persist in a glamorized underground existence. But bad ideas never die: They are zombies, not vampires. Bad ideas like fascism, Communism, and white supremacy have roamed the countryside of many an open society.

In the past, American “values” have made this country look bad to the rest of the world.

Americans have not always been so paralyzed by constitutional symbolism. During the Cold War, the U.S. foreign policy establishment urged civil rights reform in order to counter Soviet propagandists’ gleeful reports that Americans fire-hosed black protesters and state police arrested African diplomats who violated Jim Crow laws. Rather than tell the rest of the world to respect states’ rights—an ideal as sacred in its day as free speech is now—the national government assured foreigners that it sought to correct a serious but deeply entrenched problem. It is useful if discomfiting to consider that many people around the world may see America’s official indifference to Muslim (or any religious) sensibilities as similar to its indifference to racial discrimination before the civil rights era.

It says in another part of the First Amendment that the US government is supposed to be indifferent to the sensibilities of all religions.  That’s what we were always told whenever some governmental entity allowed the display of the Cross or the Ten Commandments anyway.  So it’s unclear why the United States government should care one way or the other about the feelings of Muslims.

But according to Eric Posner, they apparently should care deeply whenever Islamic feelings are hurt.  Not only that, this American law professor thinks that the fact that Washington was unable to legally force Google to take that film down is a scandal.

The final irony is that while the White House did no more than timidly plead with Google to check if the anti-Muslim video violates its policies (appeasement! shout the critics), Google itself approached the controversy in the spirit of prudence. The company declined to remove the video from YouTube because the video did not attack a group (Muslims) but only attacked a religion (Islam). Yet it also cut off access to the video in countries such as Libya and Egypt where it caused violence or violated domestic law. This may have been a sensible middle ground, or perhaps Google should have done more. What is peculiar it that while reasonable people can disagree about whether a government should be able to curtail speech in order to safeguard its relations with foreign countries, the Google compromise is not one that the U.S. government could have directed. That’s because the First Amendment protects verbal attacks on groups as well as speech that causes violence (except direct incitement: the old cry of “Fire!” in a crowded theater). And so combining the liberal view that government should not interfere with political discourse, and the conservative view that government should not interfere with commerce, we end up with the bizarre principle that U.S. foreign policy interests cannot justify any restrictions on speech whatsoever. Instead, only the profit-maximizing interests of a private American corporation can. Try explaining that to the protesters in Cairo or Islamabad.

I’ve got a better idea, Professor.  Try explaining to the protestors in Cairo and Islamabad that ANYTHING that happens inside this country is none of their damned business.

The mendacity and dishonesty of this piece is easily ascertained by asking yourself a simple question.  If some form of artistic expression had insulted Jesus or villified Christianity, would Posner still have written it?

If some museum displays an egregiously blasphemous painting of Jesus or Mary, if a particularly blasphemous movie was made, if another TV show or play debuted which ridiculed Christians or if Bill Maher opened his pie hole, would Posner think it regrettable that the US government was unable to legally prevent these things from happening?

Of course  he wouldn’t.  The question wouldn’t even come up.  And the reason why the question wouldn’t come up is simple.  Christians don’t kill people and destroy property when they are insulted and villified or their Lord is blasphemed.

A faculty sinecure at the University of Chicago Law School would seem to suggest a certain level of intelligence.  So it’s hard for me to figure out why Eric Posner thinks that restricting American rights simply to avoid offending Muslims is a good idea.

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6 Responses to That Inconvenient First Amendment

  • The First Amendment is protected by the Second. Obama and the Democrats would do well to remember that. Oh wait – they do know that, hence their initiatives against firearm ownership. So only perverts will have freedom of speech so that they can dispense their pornography and only criminals will own guns with which to protect their activities. This is so Orwellian!

  • We might repair to the thought of Alvin Gouldner and Thomas Sowell to better understand what is meant by ‘liberal’ social thought at this point and then look at the behavior of the judiciary, the professoriate, and the nexus between them as represented in this chap Posner. Here is the hypothesis: these fellows conceive of the rest of society as being under their tutelage, and you no more have a right of free speech than you do in daddy Posner’s courtroom or junior Posner’s classroom. It is the job of the rest of us to remind Prof. Posner’s that we have all been out of school for a while even if you never left, buddy.

  • The answer to savagery is not slavery. It’s confronting savagery.

    Anyhow, the embassy massacre wasn’t caused by a YouTube video. That is propaganda. It was about Obama’s failed foreign and security policies.

    “Too many of the people at the top of our society are cowards.”

    Minor edit: Your self-anointed elites are unprincipled cowards and traitors.

  • A++, Art.

    August 13, 2012: George Steele Gordon:

    “Intellectuals, especially in the social sciences, have a nasty habit of thinking that, ‘This is the way the world should be, therefore this is the way the world can be.’

    “Sometimes the mind just boggles.

    “The Atlantic has an article this month with the title ‘Americans Want to Live in a Much More Equal Country (They Just Don’t Realize It).’ I am always curious when intellectuals announce that the people (who in the American constitutional system serve as the sovereign power) don’t know what’s good for them (What’s the Matter with Kansas?) or don’t even know what they want.

    “Implicit in all of these revelations, of course, is the firmest, if never directly expressed, belief of the Left: That the average person is too stupid to run his own life, let alone make public policy decisions. Those few, those happy few, that band of liberal intellectuals, must do that for them.”

  • If I followed this right, Posner is saying that a US move to take control of international communications systems would be welcomed by the rest of the world. That’s what he’s actually saying. I don’t know how to refute something that transparently idiotic. I mean, all First Amendment issues to the side, and questions of universal rights just tossed out the window, what does he think would happen if the US government announced that from now on, everything on the internet would have to be cleared through them?

    Maybe Posner anticipates that each country would have its own internet censorship board. But a heck of a lot of the internet is stored on US servers and bounced of US satellites. Thanks to cloud computing, it is impossible to say what information isn’t housed in the US. So Posner is essentially recommending an international cartel on information run out of Washington DC, and he thinks that that will relieve anti-US sentiment.

Free Speech For Me, But Not For Thee

Thursday, September 13, AD 2012

For if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.

George Washington

 

One of the interesting fall outs of the rampages in Cairo and Benghazi is the calls by some on the Left for jailing people for exercising freedom of speech.  Eugene Volokh of The Volokh Conspiracy blog pointed this out yesterday:

That’s what MSBNC contributors Mike Barnicle and Donny Deutsch, the University of Pennsylvania’s Prof. Anthea Butler (Religious Studies), and of course the Egyptian government argue with regard to the movie that mocks Mohammed:

Prof. Butler: “Good Morning. How soon is Sam Bacile going to be in jail folks? I need him to go now.When Americans die because you are stupid…” “And yes, I know we have First Amendment rights,but if you don’t understand the Religion you hate, STFU about it. Yes, I am ticked off.” “And people do go to jail for speech. First Amendment doesn’t cover EVERYTHING a PERSON says.” “[T]he murder of the Ambassador and the employees is wrong, wrong. But Bacile will have to face his actions which he had freedom[.]”

Mike Barnicle: “Given this supposed minister’s role in last year’s riots in Afghanistan, where people died, and given his apparent or his alleged role in this film, where, not yet nailed down, but at least one American, perhaps the American ambassador is dead, it might be time for the Department of Justice to start viewing his role as an accessory before or after the fact.”

Donny Deutsch: “I was thinking the same thing, yeah.”

In a way this is an unsurprising development.  The Left in this country, with honorable exceptions, has not been overly fond of the concept of free speech for some time.  Speech codes seeking to hamper the free speech rights of conservatives and Christians have been a staple at many colleges and universities for the past twenty years.  Conservative speakers are routinely shouted down when they speak on campuses.  The recent attack on Chik-Fil-A by the Mayors of Boston and Chicago was merely the latest manifestation of the willingness of many on the Left to use government power to suppress views they hate.

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26 Responses to Free Speech For Me, But Not For Thee

  • It is ironic and oxymoronic that the liberal left defends the very thing – radical Islam – whose adherents would slay them on sight. They prune themselves, whether by sterile sexual relationships or by inviting their own execution. Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison.

  • Add to this that it was not about the movie but a well planned retaliation:

    http://frontpagemag.com/2012/caroline-glick/attacks-on-u-s-embassies-were-not-about-a-movie/

    The Devil lies in many ways. The MSM is his mouthpiece.

  • Of course if the MSM is truly upset about offending religious sensibilities they will oppose this:

    http://www.catholicleague.org/crucifix-masturbation-film-wins/

    Waiting…

  • “it might be time for the Department of Justice to start viewing his role as an accessory before or after the fact.”

    Justice is predicated on intent. If Bacile intended to incite the murder of the ambassador, then he is guilty of complicity. The prosecutor would have to prove conspiracy or intent to commit murder or an act of war. Again, there is the matter of the thought police. How could the prosecutor determine what any person has thought or is thinking unless the prosecutor owned the other person’s soul? Slavery starts with the denial of the other person, made in the image of God, and his freedom to not incriminate himself, especially if he is innocent of the charges, as inscribed in our Fifth Amendment. Citizens have become too indifferent to their own freedom, so that they will lose freedom by not recognizing it in others.

    No one can own my soul because God created my soul for me. Those who would take my life to own my soul, must realize that when a person takes my life to own my soul, he forfeits his own immortal soul.

  • It’s the same as always– free speech, unless someone is offended. Measured in terms of damage, not outrage. (see also: “protests” that involve burning things, flipping cars) I’ve seen people compare this to incitement to riot, or yelling fire in a theater.

    Sorry, no, saying that Mohammad slept with a bunch of women (since I’m not going to watch the youtube video, and that’s the only specific complaint I’ve seen offered) isn’t either of those things.

  • The video is so startling to me, I can’t believe it is happening. Can we all say lemmings!!
    Poor education and religious formation have sown a blight on our country. Bon Appetite!!

  • I will bet everyone of those individuals who signed the petition to silence the speech of Beck and other conservatives will begin to remember what, in fact, they did. The whole purpose of the video was to get people to think and it worked.

    America is the only sovereign nation on the globe whose founding principles guarantee the individual sovereign person FREEDOM.

  • Re: Mary De Voe

    That is why the HHS mandate has been changed—-RIGHT??? They have had adequate time to realize their mistake but haven’t offered to correct it. Your hope that these folks will see their mistakes is laudable. I’m from Missouri and they have to show me. Freedom of religion and speech are being attacked and one only need smell the coffee to realize it!!

  • “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire

    So I guess the left will defend the Catholic Church if we are so offended by Obama care that we start rioting in the streets and killing people?

  • Don, the interesting thing is that this actually seems to be “free speech for thee, but not for me”. I can’t think of a historical parellel.

  • There were Japanese and Germans placed in concentration camps by the U. S. government. Do we really think that this bunch of thugs cares about a few limits on free speech for Catholics. I doubt it.

  • Ray wrote, “There were Japanese and Germans placed in concentration camps by the U. S. government. Do we really think that this bunch of thugs cares about a few limits on free speech for Catholics. I doubt it.”

    If we carried this over as an exact analogy, then it wouldn’t be Catholics or other orthodox Christians who would be jailed, but Muslims. We have been at war with Islam sine 630 AD. Yesterday was the celebration of the Holy Name of Mary when in 1683 King John III Sobieski of Poland invoked her name to defend Vienna, Austria against the Muslim hordes of the Ottoman Empire. Remeber that at the time Japanese and Germans in the US were placed in camps, we were at war against Japan and Germany. While internment in hindsight was wrong, if the analogy were to be carried forward, it would be Muslims who should be interred, and history shows what happens when otherwise is the case.

    Disclaimer: I am not advocating for internment of Muslims. What I am saying is that today’s society is so topsy-turvy that the government recognies the enemies of Christendom as friends and condemns the adherents of Christianity as enemies. Where is good King John Sobieski of Poland when we need him!

  • The name of the good king for us is Benedict, our current Pontiff. What rights have our brother Americans of the Muslim persuasion have been taken away. The Catholics rights are presently being poached( if only bit by small bit). During that time during the 1600’s the Europeans had begun losing their Catholic faith. The Good King from Poland was a stalwart Catholic and it was his faith that allowed for his success.

  • There is no question that the First Amendment is under attack today. But while it is indeed appalling that so many Americans would so readily sign a petition to take away rights guaranteed by the Constitution, I do have to wonder how many people the video team approached who held firm and refused to sign for that very reason. We only see about 4-1/2 minutes of how long a tape? It is obvious by the way they jump around between petitioners that the tape has been edited. Did none of those approached refuse to sign? Or did 99% refuse? It’s easy to “prove” your point when you only include the data supporting it, but it’s not necessarily honest. We should always be careful lest we find ourselves guilty of the same tactics we abhor in others.

  • I think the point of the tape Mike was not how many people signed the petition but that those who signed, while they were seeking to take freedom of speech from others, blithely affirmed their support for free speech. Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living and that was the tragic element in this humorous video.

  • “Yesterday, was the celebration of the Holy Name of Mary when in 1683 King John III Sobieski of Poland invoked her name to defend Vienna, Austria against the Muslim hordes of the Ottoman Empire.”

    Thank you for remembering, Paul, and I do hope you regain your health and strength. King John Sobieski mustered the fighting men to save Vienna. The Encyclopedia Britannica tells that King John Sobieski’s baker invented the bagel, trying to make the bread look like the stirrups on John Sobieski’s saddle. A new and wonderful way to eat bagels.

    Where is King John Sobieski today? King John cavorts with Lech Walesa and Gov. Mitt Romney.

    Tomorrow is the Exaltation of the Cross.

  • Some people will sign anything.
    Reminds me of the people at a greenie gathering, who were raising a petition to ban Di-hydrogen Oxide, because it kills people if you immerse yourself in it, it can kill if you ingest too much of it, babies drown in it etc. etc.
    Almost everyone approached, signed to ban it.

    Di-hydrogen Oxide = H 2 O = water.

    What a bunch of chumps.

  • Just had some of your islander folks visit for 18 days. They are from Timaru. We love you folks down under but you only have thousands of whackos. When we have an equivalent percentage here in the states it is millions. It is easy to disavow a few but here the numbers are much larger. Stay with us brother and keep up the good fight with your cousins in the states. Thanks for being interested in our wayward form of democracy.

  • Mike-
    it doesn’t matter that some folks hopefully didn’t sign, other than in a it-could-be-worse, everyone-could-be-lining-up-to-sign way.

    It’s a bit like going “Hey, Libya isn’t so bad– over 99% of them were NOT involved in beating our ambassador to death!”

  • Slight thread drift…I named my first son John, in part, because of King John Sobieski. You didn’t want to mess with the Polish Husaria. There is supposed to be a movie coming out in October that is about the events of the Siege of Vienna (Victoria). Don’t hold me to that, as it was something I read on the Internet (YouTube). It has been planned for a long time.

    The Left is hypocritical and obnoxious. Mike Barnicle was suspended from his job at the Boston Globe (or fired from it) because of plagarism. The rest of that bunch is beneath contempt.

    Should Obumbler abscond with the election, I will look into moving my family to Poland.
    No Democrat Party, no radical Muslims, they are not destroying their currency and Catholics are the majority.

  • “How soon is Sam Bacile going to be in jail folks? … I know we have First Amendment
    rights, but if you don’t understand the religion you hate, STFU about it. Yes, I am ticked
    off.”

    Why do I get the feeling that Professor Butler is a lot more complacent when the object
    of some ‘artist’s’ ridicule is not Islam, but rather Christianity? Was she this upset when
    Andres Serrano was publicizing his photo “Piss Christ”, which shows a crucifix submerged
    in urine? Where was her outrage when Chris Ofili received federal dollars to exhibit his
    work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art? One of his works depicted the Virgin Mary using
    elephant dung and cutouts from pornographic magazines. The New York art world and
    academia in general both praised the works, snickered at the objections of Christians,
    and reminded everyone of the primacy of the First Amendment.

    If Ms. Butler doesn’t have similar outrage for Messrs. Serrano and Ofili, perhaps she
    should take some deep breaths, review her copy of the Constitution, and then ‘STFU’.

  • Ray.
    6.54 pm.
    Thanks for your kind remarks. Pleased to be with you.

    “.Just had some of your islander folks visit for 18 days. They are from Timaru”

    Islanders? we call the people from Fiji, Samoa, Cook Islands, Vanuatu etc. Islanders.-)
    Still, NZ in relation to the US is small in land mass, so fair enough.
    Timaru is a port town on the east coast of the South Island, and I’m sure your friends said they were Mainlanders. I’m from the North Island, and we do have a North/South rivalry, particularly in the game of rugby at this time of year. 🙂

  • Pingback: William Saletan, Meet Christopher Johnson! | The American Catholic
  • 54 days until the election. There is a 54-day Rosary Novena starting (some people started yesterday). Please join https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/499344486760072/?notif_t=plan_user_joined

  • Cardinal Dolan CNSNEWS.com Go check out what The good Cardinal is worried about. I guess I am not really a Catholic after all. Muslim? Islam? WHATEVER!

  • Lefties are enamoured of political correctness; hence, the assault on free speech…

In Defense of Mother Russia

Friday, August 24, AD 2012

I haven’t heard much about the ongoing dispute between the Russian government and the Western media over the fate of the faux “punk rock band” ***** Riot in the American Catholic media. But this is a dispute in which I believe we ought to take sides as Catholics.

[No, I will not give the vulgar hate group the sociopathic pleasure of having yet another Christian publication use their name]

Three members of the vulgar hate group were arrested following their desecration of Moscow’s largest Orthodox cathedral. They have now been sentenced to two-year prison terms, with the six months spent at trial counting as time served.

My position on this incident is pretty clear. I stand 110% with the Russian government, the Orthodox Church, and the tens of millions of Russian Orthodox who have condemned the vulgar hate group – and I believe all Catholics in all countries ought to do likewise.

Not simply because this appears to me to be a deliberate ploy encouraged and promoted by anti-Russian elements in Europe and the United States; not simply because in all of the Western countries hypocritically condemning Russia these same actions could be and likely would be regarded as hate crimes according to their own established laws; not simply because the right to free speech does not, never has, and God willing, never will mean the right to invade any space one chooses and defecate on the floor; not simply because I respect the religious sensibilities of the Russian people; not even because I am fairly certain that being on the opposite side of whatever cause the degenerate celebritariat is championing is almost always the best and wisest choice – ???. Not just for those reasons.

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59 Responses to In Defense of Mother Russia

  • Here in Scotland, it is the offence of Profanity to disturb worship. The essence of the offence is the disturbance and annoyance of the minister and congregation, and the interruption of their devotions.

    A building enjoys no special protection and it is not an aggravation of a breach of the peace or of mobbing and rioting that it is committed in a place used for worship.

    This seems to me a proper distinction.

    Of course, any wilful damage to the fabric or plenishments of the building is the crime of malicious mischief.

  • You summed it up well, Bonchamps: “The sad thing is that I believe that much of this anti-Christian hatred – and I am now speaking generally and globally – is motivated merely by the fact that vulgar, hateful people cannot tolerate the existence of other people who, even though they are as oppressed by sin as everyone else, aspire to be something more than mindless animals who do nothing but hump one another and follow the latest idiotic trends. Sloshing about in a sewer filled with their own spiritual feces, they must pull everyone else down into it, and erase any suggestion that it might be possible to escape. That is the only way it can be enjoyed.”

  • The problem with calling the group in question a “hate group” is that, despite the name, they do not hate Christianity. As I understand it what they’re protesting is the perversion of the Russian Orthodox Church by the Russian government. Disagree with their methods, and even disagree with their point of view about the Church hierarchy, but this isn’t a Madonna situation where they were being needlessly provocative in an effort to harass Christians. They’re calling attention to something which is legitimately troubling. John O’Sullivan has more details about them here and here.

  • The jerks have a point. There’s something wrong in Russia, and the Orthodox Church is happily cooperating with it.

    There was a case in Chicago in 2008 where a group of protesters disrupted a mass being said by the Cardinal. They received probation, community service, and a $2600 fine (to pay for cleaning the fake blood out of the carpet). That seems appropriate.

  • No, Paul. I will not sign on to what seems to me to be a morally and spiritually blind bandwagon assault on the Russian state. In a world in which millions of Christians live under direct Islamic oppression and are increasingly marginalized in the secular West, Russia stands out as a beacon of hope for afflicted Christians.

    In my view, and in the view of millions of believers, this group’s act was OBJECTIVELY hateful. It had the effect of rallying the average Russian around this supposedly dangerous regime. Even if you’re right and they don’t hate Christianity – frankly I find it impossible to reconcile their actions with any sort of love for it – they have violated Christianity. All theological and historical disputes with the Orthodox aside (and we can’t just forget those either), they willingly and knowingly defiled a sacred space. In my view, this is a hateful act. Maybe their subjective rage is channeled at Putin, but their objective victim is Christianity.

    And it is far from their first anti-social act. Other members of this group have engaged in public orgies, for heaven’s sake. A Ukrainian sympathizer also cut down a cross memorializing the victims of Stalin’s genocidal campaign. Their very name is an affront to any sort of public Christian morality.

    Nope, I’m not on the anti-Russia bandwagon, and not going to get on it any time soon just because they don’t like the neoconservative foreign policy (yeah yeah “neoconservatism doesn’t exist”, whatever) of remaking the Middle East, which has included the ousting of secular regimes relatively friendly to the millions of Christians in the region and their replacement with Islamic fanatics who murder and oppress them. I actually have family in that part of the world.

    No, what I see here is a government under assault from a gaggle of Western anti-Christs who are enraged at the existence of a country whose leadership isn’t afraid to openly profess a traditional form of Christianity. I absolutely will not side with them or the filth they seek to defend.

  • Pinky,

    “There was a case in Chicago in 2008 where a group of protesters disrupted a mass being said by the Cardinal. They received probation, community service, and a $2600 fine (to pay for cleaning the fake blood out of the carpet). That seems appropriate.”

    There was a time when they would have been publicly disemboweled. If they did this in a mosque in the Middle East, they would have been torn to pieces. If they did it in a mosque in Europe, they would probably go to jail for longer than two years.

    I think 18 months behind bars is comparatively light. Maybe it will cause them to think long and hard about the seriousness of defiling a sacred space and disrupting social order. If this was some kind of first-time offense by a group of silly teenagers, I would agree with you. But this is a group of anti-social provocateurs that have repeatedly engaged in public acts of blasphemy and obscenity. They are finally getting their just deserts.

  • With all due respect, I believe that Bonchamps’ responses to Paul Z. and Pinky are correct. I agree.

  • “Since its formation in presumably 2008 Voina has staged in public a succession of extreme actions described as performance art. These have included the painting of a male phallus on a St. Petersburg Bridge, the staging of a public orgy at the Timiryazev Museum in Moscow involving nudity and (apparently) full penetrative sex (Tolokonnikova was a participant though heavily pregnant), the throwing of live cats at the staff of a McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow, the overturning of police cars apparently on one occasion with a policeman inside, the firebombing of property with petrol bombs, the staged hanging of an immigrant and a homosexual in a supermarket, the projection of a skull and crossbones onto the building housing the Russian government, the spilling of large live cockroaches onto the stomach of a pregnant member of the group (Tolokonnikova again) and the theft of a frozen chicken from a supermarket, which was stuffed up the vagina of one of the women members (apparently Maria Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova apparently was also present).”

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/118287.html

    No civilized nation should be forced to tolerate this. They ought to all be institutionalized, truth be told.

  • this isn’t a Madonna situation where they were being needlessly provocative in an effort to harass Christians.

    In Madonna’s situation, it is nothing but a marketing strategy to prolong her already far too long public career.

    I am with Bonchamps on this one. At least the Russians seem to take Christianity seriously.

  • n a world in which millions of Christians live under direct Islamic oppression and are increasingly marginalized in the secular West, Russia stands out as a beacon of hope for afflicted Christians.

    Russia is essentially a state run by organized criminals, headed by a pseudo-authoritarian regime. It continues to flex its muscles over its former satellite countries.

    All theological and historical disputes with the Orthodox aside (and we can’t just forget those either), they willingly and knowingly defiled a sacred space. In my view, this is a hateful act.

    I don’t disagree with that, nor do I disagree that their act is otherwise repugnant. I am merely contending that their motivation is distinct from cowards like Madonna and others who employ shock for the sake of shock.

    Nope, I’m not on the anti-Russia bandwagon, and not going to get on it any time soon just because they don’t like the neoconservative foreign policy

    A complete non sequiter.

    No, what I see here is a government under assault from a gaggle of Western anti-Christs who are enraged at the existence of a country whose leadership isn’t afraid to openly profess a traditional form of Christianity.

    I think you are blinded to what Putin and the Russian leadership is about. They are about as “Christian” as the current American ruling regime.

  • Paul,

    We’re not going to see eye to eye on this. You subscribe to one narrative about Russia, and I find the truth better represented in a different set of facts and perspectives.

    Even if Putin in his heart was a cold, dark atheist, his public support for the Orthodox Church means something and has a significance apart form whatever he and his lieutenants actually believe.

    Oh, and what I said was absolutely not a “non sequiter.” That is exactly why many in the West oppose Russia. I don’t give a damn if it “flexes its muscles over its former satellite countries.” For a country that developed the Monroe Doctrine and has been actively trying to preserve global hegemony to be miffed by that is beyond hysterical.

  • Bon, you seem to be ascribing bad motives to those who disagree with you. Personally, I’ve seen no information on which to build a positive narrative about Russia. All indications are that any kind of dissent is silenced by the government. I can’t get that worked up in support of this punk band doing some terrible things, but if the reaction to it is emblematic of a regression toward totalitarianism, then it’s definitely to be criticized.

  • Pinky,

    What “bad motives”? I don’t attribute any bad motives to you or Paul. If you mean the Western media establishment and the neocons, yes, guilty as charged, I think their motives are bad and their pontificating on the evils of Russia to be among the most hilariously hypocritical things I have seen in my life.

    It is simply false that “any kind of dissent is silenced by the government” – anti-government protests involving tens of thousands of people have taken place in Russia with no more or less police concern than that which you will see at the RNC and DNC conventions this year.

    The reaction to this band is also most emphatically not a “regression towards totalitarianism” either. The laws under which these disgusting criminals were prosecuted are similar to laws that exist on the books in every Western country – laws that would be quickly invoked and enforced if a politically-protected group was the target of a similar outrage.

    Maybe you haven’t seen any positive information about Russia because you haven’t even consider the possibility that it might exist. It does.

  • What these people did violated the rights of Russian Christians and the Russian Orthodox Church. They deserve to be punished, and I would call for the same punishment if it were done to a Catholic Church here.

    In fact, some imitators HAVE done this sort of thing in Catholic Churches in Europe, and are now facing similar sentences!

    Is the Catholic Church in Germany and the German government “regressing towards totalitarianism”? To ask such an absurd question is to answer it.

    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/24/13454525-copycat-pussy-riot-protesters-could-face-3-year-sentence-in-germany?lite

  • Don’t you people get it? This is about Christian rights. Forget your views about Putin and the Russian government. The movement, the people supporting the vulgar hate group are doing so because they want to encourage MORE obscene violations of Christian holy places. They want to take away our rights to have our own sacred, protected times and places.

    This is a time to stand in solidarity with, if not the Russian state, at least your fellow Christians!

  • I worry about my fellow Christians in Russia. I see a far greater threat to their future from Putin than from that band. Their actions, while offensive and ridiculous, were dwarfed by ongoing anti-government rallies alleging electoral fraud and widespread political corruption.

  • Well Pinky,

    I completely disagree with you. In fact I find your statement to be quite at odds with demonstrable fact and reality. Putin has restored the Orthodox Church to prominence and importance in the nation.

    You really need to take a good, long look at the international forces arrayed against the Russian government and the Orthodox Church – what they believe, what they stand for, what they want to accomplish, what they have accomplished in the West. I will without hesitation and with a measure of pride take the side of the Russian establishment over the morally and spiritually degenerate Western establishments any day of the week. What a government publicly endorses and promotes is as important as what it “really does”; what our governments promote are impiety and anti-Christian prejudice, and what the Russian government promotes is piety and respect for established Christian institutions (without, to my knowledge, violating anyone’s individual rights to religious liberty). I don’t care if they get something politically out of it. It has effects that are only good, that are in fact the greatest good for a society.

    Every country, even the United States, has been rocked by allegations of massive electoral fraud and political corruption. We had one president who was impeached recently, another who ascended to the White House in spite of losing the popular vote (which was extremely close), and an administration that is almost certainly complicit in sending illegal guns to Mexico for the purpose of creating a pretext to crackdown on the 2nd amendment. Frankly I see nothing taking place in Russia that is any more alarming than what I see in any other country, certainly nothing worthy of special, explicit hostility.

  • I’d also still like to know if the German Catholic Church and government are displaying signs of totalitarianism and repression in the charges they have brought up against the copycat sympathy protesters, linked in my previous post.

  • Bonchamps, with respect, your entire argument in defense of Russia seems to be based on the idea that all the other western countries are gripped in the throes of secularism. While this might be true to a certain extent, that fact does nothing to exculpate Russia from the charges that its administration or government are corrupt. I think anyone who has studied Russia from afar could tell you that many aspects of Russian life, at least in the political sense, are not much improved since the days of the USSR.

    I don’t care if they get something politically out of it. It has effects that are only good, that are in fact the greatest good for a society.

    This is fairly naive and horrifying. Naive in the sense that you seem to take Putin’s “piety” at face value. Putin is acting not to solidify the Church and sanctify his people, but rather cynically to ensure that the Church has his back. It’s horrifying because you’re essentially saying that cynical piety is all right because it keeps the people in line.

    Frankly I see nothing taking place in Russia that is any more alarming than what I see in any other country, certainly nothing worthy of special, explicit hostility.

    When political opponents here are murdered or almost murdered with the regularity they are in Russia, then I might be more inclined to agree with you.

  • Paul,

    I stand by what I said, and naturally, I reject your spin on it.

    I am absolutely not saying that it is ok to lie about piety to “keep people in line.” I do believe that the government probably considers all of the costs and benefits of its policy decisions (as all governments do), and that there is really nothing wrong with benefit from mutual interests, even if both parties have different reasons for having that interest. Government-promoted piety is positively good, regardless of why it is done. The “why” will matter as far as their individual souls are concerned, but those who benefit from living in an explicitly Christian culture will also benefit. There is nothing “horrifying about this.”

    I take Putin’s belief that the public restoration of Orthodoxy as a defining aspect of Russian culture and politics is good for Russia as a nation at face value. His personal piety is a different story.

    Since we obviously don’t agree on these issues, we should probably both move on before this gets as ugly as I fear it can get.

  • The German case is quite different. There, the protesters disturbed public worship. Every state in Europe guarantees freedom of worship and such actions are rightly criminal.

    That is a very different matter to staging a protest in a building sometimes used for worship, but when no service was in progress.

  • I don’t think it is “very different.” It is somewhat different, but these are differences of degree and not kind. I’m not positive but I believe there were people in the cathedral at the time trying to pray.

  • I mean, what the hell would be the point of a protest if there were no people around to see it?

  • The Russian Orthodox Church has valid Holy Orders and valid Sacraments, though it is not in union with Rome. Even Rome recognizes the validity of Eastern Orthodox Churches, of which the Russian one is an autonomous, autocephalus member. As such, isn’t there a Tabernacle in the Church where the Pussy Riot was staged, and doesn’t that Tabernacle contain the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Blessed Lord and Savior? Don’t Eastern Orthodox do it the same way? Orthodox Anglicans do. So the actions of the Pussy Rioters are even more reprehensible.

    Get out of thinking that the Roman jurisdiction is the only Catholic one. It demonstrably is not, and Rome’s recognition of the validity of Eastern Orthodox Holy Orders and Sacraments is a case in point. BTW, even the Pope had kind words to say about the recent meeting between Patriarch Cyril of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Archbishop of Poland.

  • While this doesn’t relate to the merits of the case (I’m in agreement with Pinky and Paul Zummo on them), for informational purposes:

    “As such, isn’t there a Tabernacle in the Church where the Pussy Riot was staged, and doesn’t that Tabernacle contain the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Blessed Lord and Savior? ”

    The Russian Orthodox do not reserve the sacrament in a tabernacle, because the bread and wine are combined and served out of a single chalice (the intinctioned cube of Eucharist is dropped into the communicant’s open mouth by the priest using a a golden spoon).

    Actually, I’ve had some Russian Orthodox folks online (which, as we all know from Catholic combox wars can be a weird sample) tell me that they consider the Catholic practice of reserving the sacrament in the tabernacle and most especially the Catholic practice of Eucharistic adoration, to be idolatrous. “It misses the point that the Eucharist is food” was the way it was put to me.

    While it in no way excuses the behavior of the punk band, there is, honestly, reason to be concerned about the Russian Orthodox Church and its place in modern Russia. Keep in mind, despite the official atheism of the Soviet regime, there were strong and disturbing ties between the ROC and the communist regime. These ties have continued in Putin’s Russia, where not only are a lot of ex-KGB types running the government, but Patriarch Kirill himself has been strongly implicated as having been a long term KGB informant and collaborator.

  • Thank you for the clarification, Darwin.

  • “I’m in agreement with Pinky and Paul Zummo on them”

    I’m not the least surprised about that.

    “there is, honestly, reason to be concerned about the Russian Orthodox Church and its place in modern Russia”

    I’m more concerned about the place of the Church in the West and under Islamic rule. I don’t see why it is any of our concern at all what happens in Russia, which is not persecuting Christians, which is not threatening any of our legitimate interests, and which has a government that has the overwhelming support of the people.

  • One might care because they like to threaten Catholic Poland at times, or because although the Orthodox are not officially persecuted by the state, the Orthodox have consistently used the state to harass Catholics in Russia — going so far as to effectively kick Catholic clergy out of Russia by revoking their visas.

    One might also consider it problematic for a Christian church to explicitly align itself with an oppressive and at times murderous regime. That can seem helpful at times (especially when the other options seem fairly barbaric — though that’s not the case with Russia) but in the long run being too cozy with nasty people never seems to work out very well.

  • “One might care because they like to threaten Catholic Poland at times”

    Oh please. When did the post-Soviet Russian government threaten Poland? Other than, perhaps, in response to NATO’s belligerent insistence upon a missile shield (why do we have a divine right to that again?)’

    “or because although the Orthodox are not officially persecuted by the state, the Orthodox have consistently used the state to harass Catholics in Russia”

    Ok. That’s a legitimate problem and it should be addressed. I’ll grant that one, no question. But it is hardly a matter that warrants Russophobia, or joining in the obscene chorus of celebrities, government officials and media personalities condemning Russia on the grounds that these hideous criminals were simply “expressing themselves.”

    “One might also consider it problematic for a Christian church to explicitly align itself with an oppressive and at times murderous regime. ”

    You really need to take off the nationalist blinders. This country has only been free of racial apartheid for a generation, has supported murderous regimes around the world for geopolitical gains, and has killed millions in “wars of choice.” I’m not saying that all of these acts were totally unjustifiable, but together they constitute the thinnest of glass houses from which no stone ought to be cast.

    The bottom line is that the forces arrayed against Russia in this case are enemies of Christianity. In this case, Catholics ought to stand in solidarity with the Russian Orthodox against the onslaught of hypocritical condemnation coming from people like Obama, Madonna, the rest of the vapid Western media-government complex.

  • You really need to take off the nationalist blinders. This country has only been free of racial apartheid for a generation, has supported murderous regimes around the world for geopolitical gains, and has killed millions in “wars of choice.” I’m not saying that all of these acts were totally unjustifiable, but together they constitute the thinnest of glass houses from which no stone ought to be cast.

    If the Catholic Church (or any other) was as totally subservient to the US government and US national interests as the Russian Orthodox Church is to Russia’s, I would consider that very, very problematic as well.

    And that’s despite the fact I think it’s clear that the US is a much safer and better power to have controlling the international scene than the Russians. I’m about as comfortable with Putin’s Russia as I am with what China has developed into. It’s not an “evil empire”, and Putin is certainly no Stalin, but that’s praising with faint damns.

    Am I joining the chorus of people decrying Russia’s action? Not at the moment. The band does basically sound like hooligans to me (even if they’re hooligans on the right side when it comes to Putin) and if you’re going to stage a protest such as theirs in Putin’s Russia, you can’t be surprised to land in prison for a couple years. So my reaction to the celebrity fuss is basically, “What, this is what it took to make you notice the repressive regime in Russia?”

    But I do not think that Putin’s regime is good for Russia, and I don’t think it’s remotely a benevolent force in the world.

  • Darwin,

    Suffice to say, I disagree with you across the board. I’m particularly disturbed by the fact that you are more concerned with getting in shots at “Putin’s Russia” than you are the the sanctity of holy places and the rights and sensibilities of fellow Christians. I believe your priorities are completely wrong, and I’ll leave it at that.

  • While I think that what they did was bad — I think that Putin’s attempt (successful, thus far) to coopt the Russian Orthodox Church to support his own corrupt and violent ends is more blasphemous than anything that these bozo protesters have done.

  • Well, let me put it this way. In the future, I’ll make another big foreign policy post with special emphasis on Russia/Putin and we can hash it all out then. I’m neither willing or able to do it now, though.

  • It is perhaps worth recalling that the Kram Khrista Spasitela was built by the blood-spattered tyrant, Tsar Alexander to commemorate the defeat of Napoléon. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture was commissioned and first performed at its dedication.

    It is a monument to the victory of despotism and ignorance over freedom and enlightenment and to the defeat of that Grande Armée, whom Hilaire Belloc hailed:

    “You who put down the mighty from their seat
    Who strove to fill the hungry with good things
    Who turned the rich man empty to the street
    And trailed your scabbards in the halls of kings…”

    It could be truly said of Moscow, as was written of Jerusalem, “If you had known the time of your deliverance…” Alas! its priests, too, then as now, had “no king but Caesar.”

  • I mean seriously, anyone who praises Napoleon while denouncing another ruler as “blood-spattered” is brain-damaged. And the suggestion that Napoleon’s army was bringing “enlightenment” and “freedom” is just as arrogant, deluded, and disgusting as the illusions of people who think they can bomb and mass murder the Muslim world into democracy.

    From now on, leave your sanctimonious comments and pedantic lectures on someone else’s posts. They aren’t welcome here.

  • Against the bigoted, ignorant, Russophobic filth penned by Belloc (whom I’ve never cared for) and praised by MPS, I offer a passage from the Marquis de Custine’s multi-volume work “The Empire of the Czar”, written in 1843:

    “Moscow is everywhere picturesque. The sky, without being clear, has a silvery brightness: the models of every species of architecture are heaped together without order or plan; no structures are perfect, nonetheless, the whole strikes, not with admiration, but with astonishment. The inequalities of the surface multiply the points of view. The magic glories of multitudes of cupolas sparkle in the air. Innumerable gilded steeples, in form like minarets, Oriental pavilions, and Indian domes, transport you to Delhi; donjon keeps and turrets bring you back to Europe in the times of the crusades; the sentinel, mounted on the top of his watch tower, reminds you of the muezzin inviting the faithful to prayer; while, to complete the confusion of ideas, the cross, which glitters in every direction, commanding the people to prostrate themselves before the Word, seems as though fallen from heaven amid an assembly of Asiatic nations, to point out to them the narrow way of salvation. It was doubtless before this poetical picture that Madame de Stael exclaimed – Moscow is the Rome of the North!”

  • Well, de Custine went to Russia looking for arguments against democratic governments which he opposed. He liked the Russians but was appalled at the autocracy he found. Many of his quotations are absolutely damning, and could apply to Putin’s regime today:

    “I don’t reproach the Russians for being what they are; what I blame them for is their desire to appear to be what we [Europeans] are…. They are much less interested in being civilized than in making us believe them so… They would be quite content to be in effect more awful and barbaric than they actually are, if only others could thereby be made to believe them better and more civilized.”

    “Russia is a nation of mutes; some magician has changed sixty million men into automatons.”

    I heartily recommend his Letters From Russia which gives a nice overview of what he saw in Russia.

    http://www.oxonianreview.org/wp/the-marquis-de-custine-and-the-question-of-russian-history/

  • I don’t have a problem with the Russian government’s prosecution per se. But two years in prison seems wildly excessive.

  • Donald,

    I don’t particularly care for autocracy, or for the head of the state to be the head of the church – these are aspects of Russia I can do without.

    But a nation that produced Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakriev, Borodin, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Shostakovitch, Prokofiev, and many lesser known but equally talented artists and musicians is not a nation of mutes and automatons. The Russian 19th century produced some of the most enduring and amazing artwork I’ve ever known.

  • I don’t have a problem with the Russian government’s prosecution per se. But two years in prison seems wildly excessive.

    These broads are serial public nuisances, so something more severe than parole after 20 days might be expected.

  • “The Russian 19th century produced some of the most enduring and amazing artwork I’ve ever known.”

    I have long been a student of not only Russian history but also its culture. I even took three semesters of Russian language as an undergrad, to the detriment of my gpa, alas. There is much to admire in Russian culture. As to Russian government, I am afraid that an all too accurate assessment was given by a Russian nobleman after the murder of Paul I in 1801: “Despotism tempered by assassination, that is our Magna Carta.” A good book on Russian culture is James Billington’s The Icon and the Axe.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Icon-Axe-Interpretive-History/dp/0394708466

  • Art Deco,

    They’ve already been in jail for six months. I don’t think you can call that getting off easy.

  • Although it seems clear that Vladimir Putin is up to no good in co-opting the Orthodox church to his grandiose plans, nonetheless these punks have deliberately chosen to insult the memory of millions of victims of Communism by cavorting at the restored Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, which was destroyed at the orders of the monster Stalin.

  • >Oh please. When did the post-Soviet Russian government threaten Poland? Other than, perhaps, in response to NATO’s belligerent insistence upon a missile shield (why do we have a divine right to that again?)’

    Um … how does a missile *shield* signify belligerence? All it does is prevent missiles from destroying a country. Yes, I know, Russia thinks it’ll just protect us from nuclear retaliation if we attack them. But to you seriously think any president (real or potential) – Bush, Obama, Romney, Ryan or another realistic candidate – wants to incinerate innocent Russians in an aggressive nuclear strike?

    Poland’s desire to be defended from Russia is understandable, given the recent East European history – Russia dominating Poland in the 18th century, the Partitions at the end of said epoch, the Russian occupation of central Poland in the 19th century (and the brutal repression of any and all Polish rebellions during that time), the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1920-21 or so, and of course Stalin’s betrayal of the Warsaw rebels and subsequent establishment of a Communist puppet state in that land after World War II. And that’s not even counting the rivalry between Moscow and Poland for Eastern Europe in the centuries before Peter the Great.

    Even if we forget Poland (since, given history, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Kremlin thought trying to dominate/occupy/control that country is too much trouble than it’s worth) , there’s still the ex-Soviet republics, which Putin’s Russia is trying hard to dominate. Just think about the 2002 hacking of Estonia, Russia’s interference with the 2004-2005 Ukranian elections (Putin was on the losing side of the Orange Revolution), and the 2008 invasion of Georgia, among other things. Want to know why Alexander Lukashenko is still dictator of Belarus. Because he and Putin are BFFs.

    Honestly, I find it quite ironic that such a devoted opponent of US imperialism (real or otherwise) seems to be just find and dandy with Russia’s very real imperialism in eastern Europe and the Caucasus region.

  • They’ve already been in jail for six months. I don’t think you can call that getting off easy.

    Did I even imply it was?

    These women are attention whores. They thrive off challenging authority with paying trivial prices for it. Give them small (but escalating) jail terms for each instance of vandalism, disorderly conduct, disruption of a religious service (a class A misdemeanor in New York, btw), criminal trespass, and resisting arrest. Eventually, though, it is not unjust to point the cannon at the cat. They ought to do themselves and everyone else a favor and get normal jobs.

    As for Russia, it is a foreign irritant, not a peril. As for the Russian political order, regrets but the attempt at democratic institutions was contemporary with an economic catastrophe. One ought to hope for a recovery in fertility, successful improvements in the effectiveness and reliability of police and courts, and a regulatory regime that does not ratify or promote rent-seeking before one hopes for a restoration of competitive elections. (Even so, Putin’s regime is likely the most liberal-democratic in the civic realm of any outside the periods running from 1905 to 1918 and 1988 to 1999).

  • >As for Russia, it is a foreign irritant, not a peril.
    Tell that to the people of Eastern Europe…

  • The basis of the the ABM Treaty is that in the realm of ballistic missiles so called defensive weapons tend to destabilise existing deterrents. If the Russians had wanted to use their missiles against the Poles, the propitious time was in 1989; that era is long gone now. The Poles should not rely on bear baiters in the Pentagon for support, but instead come to a regional understanding with the other Europeans including the Russians.

  • Tommy,

    To answer your questions…

    “Um … how does a missile *shield* signify belligerence? All it does is prevent missiles from destroying a country. Yes, I know, Russia thinks it’ll just protect us from nuclear retaliation if we attack them. But to you seriously think any president (real or potential) – Bush, Obama, Romney, Ryan or another realistic candidate – wants to incinerate innocent Russians in an aggressive nuclear strike?”

    Do I think that any of these people want to attack Russia unprovoked? No. Well, maybe John McCain… but this is besides the point. To deprive Russia of first-strike capability can only be interpreted as hostile. Do you seriously expect Russia to just assume the permanent good intentions of the West? You speak of “recent history” going all the way back to the 18th century. Russia only needs to go back as far as Operation Barbarossa to justify the maintaining of a sphere of influence and nuclear first-strike capabilities.

    It is unreasonable to demand of others what you would find unreasonable if demanded of you. You would not rest on the assumption of Russia’s permanent benevolence, and so it is absurd and almost dehumanizing to expect them to do likewise.

    “Poland’s desire to be defended from Russia is understandable, given the recent East European history”

    Poland really has nothing to do with this. It was brought up by Darwin as an example of Russia’s offenses against another Christian nation – as if no two other Christian nations have gone to war, as if all three Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox nations haven’t engaged in regrettable belligerence and war with one another.

    A NATO missile shield isn’t about protecting Poland from a nuclear strike, for heaven’s sake. It is about limiting Russia’s offensive and defensive capabilities.

    “there’s still the ex-Soviet republics, which Putin’s Russia is trying hard to dominate.”

    Oh really? There’s no other power using its own international spy agency to ferment political upheaval and regional opposition to Moscow in these republics? There’s no power whose actions are obviously aimed at the complete encirclement of Russia?

    Russia would be insane not to oppose the West. The color revolutions are CIA-engineered shams.

    “Honestly, I find it quite ironic that such a devoted opponent of US imperialism (real or otherwise) seems to be just find and dandy with Russia’s very real imperialism in eastern Europe and the Caucasus region.”

    I am not opposed to imperialism as an abstract category. I don’t have an abstract, moral problem with say, the Monroe Doctrine. But – and I will elaborate on these issues much more when I eventually do a big foreign policy post (maybe after the elections) – I do believe that

    a) Russia is completely right in identifying Western actions in the ex-Soviet republics as encirclement, and this is fundamentally hostile
    b) Russia is completely justified as a nation in opposing Western attempts to encircle it
    c) Russia, in supporting the secular dictatorships of the “Islamic” region of the world (North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, etc.) is objectively supporting the Christians who live relatively unmolested under these regimes, while recent US support for Islamic fanatics in Lybia, Egypt and now Syria is – among other things – a direct threat to tens of millions of Christians around the world.

  • Russia is repressive. Nice to see you’re sadistically enjoying P**y Riot’s suffering (clearly, you find femininity&female organs scary) When Russia passed its antigay laws… the first man arrested wasn’t gay, but a straight married man. Russia has been against free speech for years. Read about Dostoevsky and Tolstoy.

    You’re defending oppression&censorship. P**y Riot isn’t sociopathic;they were battling the sociopathic Vladimir Putin.

    How to sweet someone who revels in the censorship and oppression of others. You’re just like Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor. You HATE women and freedom.

  • Susan, the pu$$y rioters defiled a Christian Church. If their intent was to protest against Putin, then they should have carried their protest to a govt bldg, NOT a Christian Church.

    Having pro-sodomy filth laws isn’t fre speech. It’s promotion of godless sexual idolatry and iniquity. The gays who won’t repent belong back in the closet where they belong, and Christianity belongs front and center in the public square.

    As for the first man arrested who was straight, if he was promoting homosexual filth, then his arrest, regardless of his sexual orientation, was right and correct. There are only human rights, and the filth of these sexually promiscuous creatures does not qualify as a human right. Indeed, for this kind of filth God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

  • How to sweet someone who revels in the censorship and oppression of others. You’re just like Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor. You HATE women and freedom.

    If that’s the way you want to put it, sister, go ahead. Betwixt and between hating women and freedom I have little time for vulgar professional adolescents who deface public property and disrupt other peoples’ common activities.

  • I will leave the judgement on Putin’s Russia to historians who will doubtless have better access to the information needed to make that judgment than any of us is likely to get.

    What is clear is that this band willfully defiled a church. In any country, rights are not absolute, but need to be balanced against other rights. If they had been sent to jail for two years for making their “protest” in Red Square, I would be supporting their right to free speech (even if I very definitely disagree with much of what they are saying). They do not however, have a right to enter a church or other non-governmental or non-publically owned space in order to make that protest.

    Personally, I get the impression that they wanted to be arrested; they got what they wanted and I am not going to loose too much sleep over it.

  • Susan,

    The most frightening thing about your kind is your complete inability an unwillingness to recognize the rights and freedoms of others. In your sick, twisted, limited world view, religious worshipers have no rights and freedom. If you decide you want to stomp into our churches and menstruate on the floor, you believe you should have that right, and that we have an obligation to sit there and like it.

    Well, let me tell you something sister. Under the laws of civilized nations, you don’t have this right, not in Russia, not in the U.S., not anywhere. If you think preventing and punishing such vile, hateful acts is “censorship”, then you are sick in the head and you belong in a mental institution. In a just society, a rational society, you would have already been committed.

  • May God bless Bonchamps, Maryland Bill and Art Deco.

  • God Bless all of us. Just because people disagree with Bonchamps about the nature of the Russian government, that doesn’t make them the enemy (and even if they were, we still should ask God to bless them).

    I do have reservations about Putin’s government, a lot of them. But I know I don’t know enough to be sure one way or the other. I also know that to a certain extent, whether Putin is a saint or a sinner, it doesn’t change the wrongness of what this “band” did in a Church.

  • Susan, I disagree with Bonchamps about this, but I wouldn’t accuse him of hating women or freedom. Attacking someone’s motivations is bad form. And also, just because Putin is a sociopath, that doesn’t mean his oppnents aren’t.

  • The Russian Orthodox do not reserve the sacrament in a tabernacle, because the bread and wine are combined and served out of a single chalice (the intinctioned cube of Eucharist is dropped into the communicant’s open mouth by the priest using a a golden spoon).

    Darwin, you are wrong. We do in fact keep the reserved Sacrament in a tabernacle on the Holy Table at all times, for Presanctified Liturgies during Lent and for the communion of the sick at all times of the year. Just because we don’t have a practice of Eucharistic Adoration outside of a liturgical context doesn’t mean that the Altar does not at all times have the Holy Gifts placed on it.

The Way Freedom of Speech Dies

Thursday, November 3, AD 2011

 

Time magazine, anyone still reading it?, has a truly despicable piece by Bruce Crumley in which he basically says that “they had it coming” after a French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, was firebombed:

 

Okay, so can we finally stop with the idiotic, divisive, and destructive  efforts by “majority sections” of Western nations to bait Muslim members with  petulant, futile demonstrations that “they” aren’t going to tell “us” what can  and can’t be done in free societies? Because not only are such Islamophobic  antics futile and childish, but they also openly beg for the very violent  responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy in the name of  common good. What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and  by tempting belligerent reaction?

The difficulty in answering that question is also what’s making it hard to  have much sympathy for the French satirical newspaper firebombed this morning, after it  published another stupid and totally unnecessary edition mocking Islam. The  Wednesday morning arson attack destroyed the Paris editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo after the paper published an issue certain to enrage  hard-core Islamists (and offend average Muslims) with articles and “funny” cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed—depictions forbidden in Islam to boot.  Predictably, the strike unleashed a torrent of unqualified condemnation from  French politicians, many of whom called the burning of the notoriously  impertinent paper as “an attack on democracy by its enemies.”

We, by contrast, have another reaction to the firebombing: Sorry for your  loss, Charlie, and there’s no justification of such an illegitimate  response to your current edition. But do you still think the price you  paid for printing an offensive, shameful, and singularly humor-deficient parody  on the logic of “because we can” was so worthwhile? If so, good luck with those  charcoal drawings your pages will now be featuring.

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12 Responses to The Way Freedom of Speech Dies

  • About 95% of the responses to the article were negative, some ferociously so. (And the one’s with explatives appear to have been deleted). Most of the remainder were from a social-work type who fancies that Charlie Hebdo is engaging in a form of school ‘bullying’. That is how much rapport a twenty-year employee of Time has with the magazine’s own readership. It is a wonder that these publications have remained commercially viable for as long as they have.

  • Didn’t read the article (refuse to give TIme hits) but let me get this straight – you mock some group for being so thin skinned that they blow you up simply for mocking them, and when they DO blow you up, thus proving your point, you are somehow wrong or to blame?

  • No, c matt, that’s not what he means. What he means is that if you mock Muslims for being so thin skinned that they firebomb you for mocking them, you’re the one to blame when Muslims firebomb you.

    There’s no other group in his rolodex who gets this infantilizing treatment.

    Sure, he’s a weasel here, but he’s simply making explicit what elite opinionmakers (most recently, pop-biblical scholar Bart Ehrman) have long tacitly conceded.

  • Sure, he’s a weasel here,

    He is not a weasel. He is being an obnoxious scold. If he fancied he would persuade anyone, he is seriously inept at the art of rhetoric. The interesting question is:

    1. Is his social circle so monochromatic that he had no conception he was insulting his readers?; or

    2. Did he fancy his readers needed a tongue-lashing from the principal? (And would sit there and take it?).

    You notice something else? He is the Paris bureau chief. Time used to run one piece of explicit commentary. It ran the full length of the very last page and was commonly penned by a contractor (Barbara Ehrenreich, Charles Krauthammer) rather than someone on the masthead.

  • “Is his social circle so monochromatic that he had no conception he was insulting his readers?”

    “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.” The late Pauline Kael, long time movie review for the New Yorker, after Nixon smashed McGovern 60-40 in 1972. Never underestimate the thickness of the ideological bubble some of these people live in.

  • Well, the weasely aspect for me is two-fold: one, a brief boilerplate condemnation (“no justification”) in what is clearly a justification for a firebombing. The second is implicit in the faux-broad plea for civility–there’s no way he’d write the same piece if, say, the SSPX had vandalized the magazine’s offices.

    That’s a very interesting catch on the backpage column, moving in-house. I invariably scanned it when I read the magazine, especially for Krauthammer. Maybe it’s part of a workplace PIP now…

  • You’re right. Weasel he is.

  • Woe to those who call evil good.

    Time what?

    Crumley: how appropriate is that?

    Those who trade liberty for safety will lose both.

  • I’m with C Matt. I’m not going to click on that article. Controversy = hits = the appearance of interest.

  • More justice for those so unenlightened as to not cave in to the Religion of Paroxysm: “Muslim terrorists in northeastern Nigeria murdered 63 Christians in bomb and gun attacks at police stations and six Christian different churches.”

  • Pingback: FRIDAY EXTRA: PERSECUTION | ThePulp.it

4 Responses to Well, He Could Always Blog!

  • I wonder how often judges actually wish they could beat lawyers/plaintiffs/defendants to death with their gavels?

  • Perhaps after attending a re-education camp and taking a class in sensitivity training, he could be permitted a sentence a day, carefully monitored of course.

  • Mr. Collins, probably more often than we would like to believe.

    But then, I am sure the sentiment is reciprocated.

  • “I rather doubt that he meant that, as Voltaire was a physical coward as well as being a congenital liar”

    You shouldn’t hold back Don of what you really think.

    IMHO, he’s also a detestable human being because of the thousands of priests and nuns he killed through his writings of “enlightened” thought.

    A Freemason as well as an anti-Catholic & anti-Semite, he refused to recant Satan on his deathbed.

    What a life.

WJBA? In 2010 Would Jesus (Along With His Apostles & Saints) Be Arrested For Hate Speech?

Wednesday, August 4, AD 2010

A few short years ago the mere suggestion that the Son of God, His Apostles and Saints would face arrest for hate speech would have seemed absolutely ludicrous. However, events have spiraled out of control across the western world. In his opinion that strikes down California’s recently voter approved marriage law, Judge Vaughn Walker wrote that those who speak in the name of religion to put across their views that same sex marriage is wrong are “harmful to gays and lesbians.”

Across Europe and Canada, faithful Christians speaking out for traditional marriage face the threat of being hauled off to court for citing the teachings of the Catholic Church and various Evangelical Churches. Where will this all end? Some see a great persecution coming against the Christian faithful. Though possible, one need remember that the Christian faith always grew when persecuted.

The Catholic Church has long taught that some individuals have an inclination toward same sex attraction; they are to be loved as all people are to be loved. The Church teaches that these feelings are not to be acted upon. The Church goes on to teach that all individuals are given a cross to carry in this world and for those who are same sex attracted; this is their cross. An organization exists for those who are same sex attracted called COURAGE. It has many chapters and members.

Recently a profile was done in The New York Times on same sex attracted Eve Tushnet, the Ivy League educated Catholic daughter of Harvard Law professors. She has chronicled her growth in Catholicism and the logic of the Church’s teachings on sexuality. For years the Catholic Church took some heat from some quarters of Christianity for not stating that anyone who is same sex attracted would be going to hell. The Church now is facing a maelstrom of vitriol from those who claim the Church hates homosexuals.

For the Church to change her teachings would be to deny not only what Christ said (Matthew 11:20-24,) but his Apostles, not to mention Saint Paul’s lengthy discourse on the subject (Romans 1:26-28, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.)  In addition to the Apostles and saints, there is a rich history of saints writing on the subject, particularly the Early Church Fathers like Saint Augustine, St Justin Martyr, St. Basil and St John Chrysostom as well as Church intellectuals like St Thomas Aquinas, Saint Albert the Great (the greatest scientist of his time,) along with mystics like St Catherine of Sienna to name but a few. To say that the greatest minds of their respective eras were all wrong is simply breathtaking.

Many who disagree with the Church tend to forget that homosexuality was much more common and approved of by the Roman government in the early Christian era than it is even in 2010. Many in the upper echelons of Greek and Roman culture experimented with all sorts of sexual practices. It would have been far easier for Jesus, the apostles, saints and popes to approve of this conduct than it would to disapprove of it. Christianity might have grown at a faster pace. However, there was a reason for this swimming against the tide, and the faithful accepted it.

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4 Responses to WJBA? In 2010 Would Jesus (Along With His Apostles & Saints) Be Arrested For Hate Speech?

  • Great column as usual, Dave. It just blows my mind that our nation is no longer a republic of, for and by the people but an elite and arrogant oligarchy that is unleashing one perverted social experiment after another on us.

    The far left have the nerve to needle the conservatives for wanting to have less government yet have government restrict marriage. Quite the contrary, we want to be able to decide how our society should function, not have the government do so.

    It’s a shame that the voters in my state of California were robbed once again, but we can still hope for the Supreme Court to save the day. In the meantime, this should serve as a wakeup call for the voters, especially those in the 45 states who have kept marriage to one man and one woman, to vote the radicals out in the fall and make sure the Democrats never control government again as long as the militant secularists who are ruining this nation continue to call the shots for the party.

  • This is almost a grand slam!

    This is government hate speech against, and injurious to, Christians, Jews and Muslims.

    Oh, that’s okay!?

    Never mind.

    Thanks for voting for them dems.

  • Prepare for the worst. There is little doubt that in the near future Christians will be arrested and imprisoned by the American Socialist State if they continue to preach the gospel and traditional morality. The American politicians have created their long desired Atheistic State which will have no tolerance for believers. Prepare for the dark days of persecution but the good news is that it will separate the wheat from the shaff and the sheep from the goats.

  • But Jesus and the Apostles were arrested and even put to death for their speech.

    When DeGaulle was reproached for not taking more care against assassination, he replied: “It comes with the job”.

Firing of Dr. Kenneth Howell to be Reviewed By University of Illinois Committee

Wednesday, July 14, AD 2010

Last week I wrote here about the firing of Dr. Kenneth Howell who had the audacity, in a class about the Catholicism, to actually state Catholic doctrine about homosexuality.  There has been enough of a furor since that the University of Illinois is acting, according to this story in the Chicago Tribune:

A faculty group at the University of Illinois’ flagship campus will review the decision to fire an adjunct religion professor for saying he agreed with Catholic doctrine on homosexuality.

Urbana- Champaign campus Chancellor Robert Easter said Monday he hopes to have a decision on the firing of Kenneth Howell from the Faculty Senate’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure by the time fall classes start. The review is to determine whether Howell’s academic freedom was violated.

“We want to be able to reassure ourselves there was no infringement on academic freedom here,” new university President Michael Hogan told members of the Faculty Senate on Monday. “This is a very, very important, not to mention a touchy and sensitive, issue. Did this cross the line somehow?”

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10 Responses to Firing of Dr. Kenneth Howell to be Reviewed By University of Illinois Committee

Elena Kagan Says It Is Fine If The Law Bans Books

Tuesday, June 29, AD 2010

SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan has argued before the Supreme Court that it’s fine if the Law bans books.

Her rationale?

Because the government won’t really enforce it.

I’m no legal scholar but this sounds like a 3rd grade argument.

Aren’t our nominees suppose to have better reasoning skills and a solid grasp of the U.S. Constitution?  As well as a fundamental understanding  of such concepts like Freedom of Speech?

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14 Responses to Elena Kagan Says It Is Fine If The Law Bans Books

  • Bibles banned in China – is that what is coming here?

  • So is Elena Kagan willing to support banning pornography magazines and books?

  • Like all the other “brilliant” liberals, Kagan the pagan is incapable of right reason.

  • Scratch the thin veneer of liberal bu!!$#it and you slam into totalitarianism.

    Peace, justice and human dignity: the slaves will enjoy free health care, free lunch, and free fornication!!!

  • But don’t you know that if you don’t want free health care, free lunch and free fornication you are part of the “let them eat cake” coalition?

  • And what’s with the new symbol thingies?

  • Phillip and all the non-gravatar readers,

    I got tired of looking at the random abstract icons, so I switched the default to MonsterID’s in the faint hope that some of you guys will sign up for free gravatar accounts/icons.

    😉

  • And what’s with the new symbol thingies?

    Yeah, Tito. How are we supposed to upload a real picture? I tried registering at WordPress, but it won’t accept any reasonable facsimile of my real name as a user name. Can we upload a pic without registering at WordPress?

  • I kinda like my monster thingie. 🙂

  • I also had the same problem as j. Used multiple variations of my name and said they were all used. Must be a govt. program.

  • Phillip et al.,

    Just so everyone knows, MonsterID links that icon permanently to the email address you provide.

    So if you get tired of it, you have motivation to go over to http://en.gravatar.com/ and sign up for a free account!

    🙂

  • To be fair I am rather doubtful that Kagen wantts to ban books. I am trying to recall the exact sequence of events here . I actually think what started this all this were the ealier comments of the Deputy Solicter that gave the SUp COurt Justices the heebee jeevees and thus Kagen here is trying somehow to recover.

    That being said the Supreme Court can make the most seasoned lawyers look like idiots and also (and this is the problem the GOP will have in her hearings) she is basically just working for the boss. So when these hypos come out that go to the most alarming degree well there is not exactly a easy answer.

  • jh

    Nail! Head!

    She’s going to rubber stamp Obama. She’s a nothing and will continue to do nothing except vote for whatever the boss wants.

    Phil, I’m paying for the free health and lunch. They’re on their own when it comes to fornicking. I’m of the “let them have the opportunity to pursue happiness” coalition.

    My grav seems appropriate!

Supreme Court Rules That Public Universities May Discriminate Against Christian Student Groups

Tuesday, June 29, AD 2010

Back in 1979 I was one of the founding members of the Christian Legal Society at the University of Illinois.  Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Hastings College of Law at the University of California was within its rights to deny recognition to the Christian Legal Society because the group requires that members agree, among other principles, that sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is sinful, and that members must be Christians.  Hastings contended that these principles violated the open membership policy of the university, in that it would discriminate against prospective members on the grounds of religion and sexual orientation.  Go here to read the decision.

Justice Alito, joined by Chief Justice Roberts, Scalia and Thomas, wrote a thought provoking dissent.

The proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate.” United States v. Schwimmer, 279 U. S. 644, 654–655 (1929) (Holmes, J., dissenting). Today’s decision rests on a very different principle: no freedom for expression that offends prevailing standards of political correctness in our country’s institutions of higher learning.

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23 Responses to Supreme Court Rules That Public Universities May Discriminate Against Christian Student Groups

  • Kagan once said, it’s okay for the government to ban books because the gestapo would be ineffective at enforcing it.

    You have to scratch a liberal just a wee bit to get to the totalitarian essence under the uber-thin vineer of warm and fuzzy bu!!$hit.

    Isn’t there a right, somewhere in the US Constitution, to free association, in addition to the rights to abortion; gay privileges; being fed, clothed and housed by the taxpayer.

    The king denied the Colonists the right to meet. They met anyway – Committees of Correspondence. The king isn’t king of this country. We shall overcome.

  • The pairing of decisions yesterday reminds us that our constitutional rights are basically at the mercy of the whims of Justice Kennedy. It’s truly frightening. Though he seems to have re-discovered some measure of a backbone, on social issues he remains completely inept.

  • Has there ever been a less consequential decision? Gays aren’t going to get elected to leadership positions in CLS.

  • Question: If Hastings is a state institution, thus receiving government funds (from the tax payer), does that not mean it is essentially a politically-funded entity?

    And if so, should we not be surprised that what is politically correct weighs heavey on their policy choices?

  • Has there ever been a less consequential decision? Gays aren’t going to get elected to leadership positions in CLS.

    I think the issue is more that it makes it very difficult for CLS to assemble, hold activities, etc. on campus if theyr’e not recognized as a campus organization.

  • Darwin, CLS can, and probably will, amend its pledge banning gays and the club will continue with business as usual, i.e., without gays.

  • One of the things I find interesting is that the argument that a group should be allowed to keep out people they do not like is being argued by two different groups.

    First, CLS. They say they should be free to have a group which follows the principles they hold dear. Of course, if they were not on a campus, looking for funding and approval to use facilities on campus, I think no one would question such a right.

    However, the second group is the university itself. If CLS has a right to discriminate, why does a university not have that right? To argue in favor of CLS is to argue in favor of the university, as far as I see it. That, I think, is the paradox with this case.

    Can someone show me why CLS can discriminate and not the university? I am in favor of free associations, and I do think a university should encourage such free associations (the university’s policy is wrong), but I also do wonder how a university is not accorded such a right?

  • BTW, I would even agree the university is going against its claims of tolerance to discriminate in this way, however, the question is not whether or not the university is acting bad, but whether or not it is within their legal rights.

  • Eh, you might be right, RR. I guess as an old Boy Scout I figured the organization would stick to its guns and suffer the consequences. 🙂

  • I am not a huge Kennedy Basher but bioth the right and left are right at times he gets carried away with his verbiage. I am amazed that a Catholic Justice basically said that Creed like matters are like Loyalty Oaths

  • Has there ever been a less consequential decision?

    I disagree. Traditional morality is only tenuously tolerated. This further institutionalizes its banishment from the public sphere. It has very little to do with whether CLS admits gays or not; look beyond the legal ramifications to see the cultural narrative. A Christian group, along among others, is singled out for chastisement. This has everything to do with what metaphysical premises are acceptable in polite company.

    “Untenured” at WWWtW said it best (with respect to another story):

    Increasingly, we are seeing secularists posture as though their pet metaphysical and moral committments are some kind of reasonable “default” that everybody would naturally gravitate towards if only it weren’t for the malign influence of religious “indoctrination.” There is a very real movement to portray traditional morality as some kind of “pathology” that is okay to exercise coercion against. Witness, for example, the attempt to make moral objections against homosexuality appear as if they are *no different* from objections to interracial marriage. Even people with philosophical training who ought to know better, like to pretend that this line of reasoning is cogent out of some kind of weird “political solidarity” with “sexual minorities.” They don’t give a darn about intellectual honesty- they want to deny traditional moral beliefs a toehold in the space of reasons, and they will do so by any means necessary. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that we are soon going to see people arguing that there is *no difference* between a homeschooler being taught traditional morality and an underage bride at a Mormon polygamy compounds. Then some arguments, with the pretense of hand-wringing, about how reasonable people have no choice but to coerce these backwards homeschoolers out of existence. For the sake of the children, of course.

  • ” I would even agree the university is going against its claims of tolerance to discriminate in this way, however, the question is not whether or not the university is acting bad, but whether or not it is within their legal rights”

    Henry I think it is clear that the University cannot , as a general matter with exceptions of course) discriminate against viewpoint discrimination.

    Now I realize this is a complicated case and in hindsight I am willing to bet the Justices wised they never took up the case because they discovered it was such a procedural mess and the factual record was clouded.

    That being said while many are saying the Opinion is narrow ( focusing just on this odd unique all comers policy) I am not so sure if it that narrow at all. The comments by some of the Justices on how they got there are perhaps the most disturbing and I am hoping like Justice ALito this si an aberation

  • “Eh, you might be right, RR. I guess as an old Boy Scout I figured the organization would stick to its guns and suffer the consequences.”

    Well the case is not over. They still have a chance to prove that this “all comers” policy was a pretext for unlawful discrimination

  • “However, the second group is the university itself. If CLS has a right to discriminate, why does a university not have that right?”

    I would say that a private university should have that right, but a public university does not. Here we have a governmental institution, Hastings Law School, imposing membership criteria on a private entity, the Christian Legal Society. All Catholics, members of an organization that is looked upon with hatred by many of the elites in our society, should look with alarm at this decision. “The Catholics want to prevent women from being priests? Fine, we will pass a law dictating that no non-profit may have tax exemption unless they sign on to this non-discrimination policy.”

  • I would say that a private university should have that right, but a public university does not. Here we have a governmental institution, Hastings Law School, imposing membership criteria on a private entity, the Christian Legal Society.

    Actually, the problem is the university is saying that, as a public institution, it cannot accept a private society as a student body if it is going with such discrimination. In other words, their argument is if they support the society, they are supporting such discrimination as a public institution. They are not saying what CSL can or cannot do, just what they can or cannot do if they want to be a student group at Hastings. The court, of course, said something unusual, in that it said a university can engage in such rules, but does not have to. It’s really a messed up case, because on every level, there seems to be a kind of self-contradiction involved.

  • “Actually, the problem is the university is saying that, as a public institution, it cannot accept a private society as a student body if it is going with such discrimination.”

    That is a way of saying that the public entity will discriminate against a group based upon its membership policies, unless the private group has membership policies acceptable to the public entity. The implications for Newman Centers on public campuses are clear, along with any groups that are in official disfavor. The true absurdity of this policy of course is that almost all private groups, by definition, discriminate. A staunch Republican like me would not be wanted among College Democrats. If I join a Chess group on campus, I will be expected not to insist upon the group playing checkers. Why this absurd policy of no discrimination in admissions by private groups of course is being implemented on campuses is as a hammer to beat groups that do not sign on to the gay rights agenda. This is governmental action engaging in viewpoint discrimination in order to banish from campuses those groups engaging in heretical thoughts.

  • It’s really a messed up case, because on every level, there seems to be a kind of self-contradiction involved.

    I don’t think I agree or understand what you said before, but I agree with this sentence. Whenever one tries to enforce what SCOTUS said in this opinion is a “viewpoint-neutral” outlook, you run into problems once you have conflicting viewpoints. Instead of ditching the whole flawed approach, the majority here tried to argue “this form of discrimination isn’t really discrimination” by pointing out that CLS can exist off campus (which as a college student I can tell you is a waste of time; w/o events on campus and the funding to throw even small lunches, recruitment is difficult to impossible).

  • Says Kennedy, via the Washington Post: “A vibrant dialogue is not possible if students wall themselves off from opposing points of view.”

    Memo to Kennedy – as an American citizen, I have a right not to engage in dialogue. As an American citizen, I have the right to freely associate with whomever I choose. And the students on that campus, a public campus, have those rights as well.

    The right to associate and exclude on the basis of values may be the only thing that prevents radically different groups from going to war with each other. American governments and courts that think they can force everyone to “dialogue” are going to be in for a rude awakening. This isn’t Europe.

  • “A vibrant dialogue is not possible if students wall themselves off from opposing points of view.”

    Kennedy is always good for a bone-headed quote. This one is hilarious for two reasons.

    First, the clear intent of the Hastings Policy is to quash a point of view that the administration of the law school finds distateful by denying the Christian Legal Society recognition.

    Second, if there is any group more cloistered from opposing views than the federal judiciary, with lifetime appointments, I am unaware of it.

  • Henry Karlson wrote: “If CLS has a right to discriminate, why does a university not have that right? To argue in favor of CLS is to argue in favor of the university, as far as I see it. That, I think, is the paradox with this case.”

    This is exactly what my husband said when we discussed it. He’s pretty libertarian in outlook. His argument is that the university can make whatever rules it wants to for official clubs, that the students are still free to do what they want, but if they take the university’s money and free space, then they have to abide by the rules. He says it’s better for them to do so and believe what they want to.

    Things are coming to a head, and I’m afraid that anyone looking for tolerance anywhere is likely to be disappointed.

  • “His argument is that the university can make whatever rules it wants to for official clubs, that the students are still free to do what they want, but if they take the university’s money and free space, then they have to abide by the rules.”

    It should not be the role of any government entity to set the membership policies for private groups. It is of course especially ironic that this attempt to stifle a viewpoint is taking place at a university, a supposed citadel of intellectual liberty. Of course most universities in this country, as demonstrated by repeated attempts to impose speech codes on students, are as enamored of freedom of speech as they are of cutting their budgets to reduce the exorbitant tuition that they charge.

  • The libertarian outlook sees this case as yet another illustration of the need for separation of Schooling and State.

  • It’s really a messed up case, because on every level, there seems to be a kind of self-contradiction involved.-Henry Karlson

    Seems? (Hint: category error.)

Sharia in Dearborn?

Thursday, June 24, AD 2010

Apparently the police acting to unconstitutionally arrest individuals attempting to hand out proselytizing literature to Muslims in Dearborn is not unusual according to this release from the Thomas More Law Center:

In what some have described as police enforcement of Sharia law at the annual Dearborn Arab International Festival, last Friday night Dearborn Police Officers arrested four Christian missionaries and illegally confiscated their video cameras which were recording the events surrounding their arrests.  The Thomas More Law Center, a public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, today announced it is representing all of the Christian missionaries.

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28 Responses to Sharia in Dearborn?

  • “Will we see more of this type of official misbehavior wherever Muslim immigrants become the majority…”

    Yes.

  • I don’t know. This sounds more like an attempt by the police to keep the peace.

    I’ve been at pro-life rallies where police have arrested pro-abortion activists who were handing out literature. It’s the same principle, make sure a heated situation doesn’t escalate.

    Given that the missionaries were targeting a large gathering of Muslims, this sounds like it was intended to provoke a reaction. I think it would have been different if they had been handing out literature during a normal day.

    I’m sympathetic to the message of the missionaries, but I don’t think the method is effective.

  • “I don’t know. This sounds more like an attempt by the police to keep the peace.

    I’ve been at pro-life rallies where police have arrested pro-abortion activists who were handing out literature. It’s the same principle, make sure a heated situation doesn’t escalate.”

    Such an action is unconstitutional. You can’t arrest people constitutionally for fear of violence from the targeted audience. That is called a “heckler’s veto” and has been condemned by the Supreme Court many times.

    http://www.rbs2.com/heckler.htm

    This is not a murky area of the law. The Dearborn police knew that legally they could not arrest the missionaries but they did it anyway.

  • Such an action is unconstitutional.

    To be more clear, police in the case I described above did not make any arrests until the pro-abortion people had been warned several times to move across the street.

  • JohnH; I don’t think that affects the question of the constitutionality of the request. Why have the police the right to issue such directives if no laws are being broken? If they do so in order to “keep the peace,” and in doing that they attempt a “heckler’s veto,” then they are acting unconstitutionally.

    Not that our country is very big on members of the state or federal executive branches adhering to the constitution…

    My sense is that these sorts of arrests happen all the time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if these evangelists entered the festival precisely because they knew it would cause conflict. What is being sought here? A true evangelization or an opportunity to score points in the culture wars?

  • WJ

    I know examples of evangelicals doing this at Catholic events, being thrown out (and if they won’t go), being arrested. So you are correct — this kind of thing happens all the time, and yes, the evangelicals are looking for conflict.

  • An example where this happened, and where Protestants have played the martyr card for similar activities against Catholics, look no further than here:

    http://formercatholicsforchrist.com/mrssexton/index.html

    On Monday, Sept.2, a woman walked up to the booth and took some of our tracts. She proceeded to walk into out booth, throw the tracts on the ground and stood on them, blocking the posters. We asked her to stand outside the booth, as we had spent $250 for the booth. I even advised her to purchase a booth next year and call it “Former Catholics For Christ is a hate group” and to use all the information she had gathered in our booth. She refused to leave, stating that she had permission from the Stark County Fair Board to picket us. My sister went to the fair board office to find out if this was true. She had lied. They called security, but to our surprise, the security refused to ask her to leave the booth. They said she was exercising her free speech. Diane explained that the booth was not “free” and that we had purchased the space. We again asked that she be removed to the outside of our booth. The security guards refused. My husband asked, “Is it okay if I take our Jesus is the Only Way poster and stand in the Catholic booth down the isle.” The security guard threatened my husband with jail if he spoke again. Finally an officer in full uniform showed up. He argued with the lady for about 10 minutes until the Stark County board showed up and made her leave. She returned to the sheriff’s booth where she worked (“volunteered”). Many of the booths that witnessed the events came up and offered their support.

  • “My sense is that these sorts of arrests happen all the time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if these evangelists entered the festival precisely because they knew it would cause conflict. What is being sought here? A true evangelization or an opportunity to score points in the culture wars?”

    Considering the fact that three of the four missionaries are converts to Christianity from Islam, I rather suspect an opportunity for true evanagelization. In any case, the important point for me is that cops have no right to arrest individuals who are simply exercising their right of freedom of speech peacefully on public property.

  • By asking the Christian evangelists to move across the street, the intent of the police may not have been so much to deprive them of their right to distribute literature as to exercise a reasonable time, place and manner restriction on their right to assemble. Not sure if this is kosher though if the distribution violated no ordinances, etc. But probably very understandable. I suspect the charges will be related to refusing to comply with police instructions rather than distributing anything, and further suspect they’ll be dropped.

  • I suspect the charges will be related to refusing to comply with police instructions rather than distributing anything, and further suspect they’ll be dropped.

    Ditto.

  • Henry K.,

    Remember this is an Arab International Festival, not a Muslim International Festival.

    Your straw man holds no water.

  • Tito:

    And the festival in Ohio was a public one… not a Catholic one…

  • Tito,

    if it is an Arab festival than perhaps the title of the post, which refernces sharia, should be edited

  • Nope. One of the key elements of Sharia is that proselytizing Muslims is not to be tolerated. The Dearborn police department seem to agree with that.

  • The Dearborn Chief of Police is a Muslim.

  • It is funny how my comment was deleted. But I will try one more time:

    the situation with the booth and the anti-catholic was at a city festival, not a Catholic one…

    [found the comment and restored it]

  • I don’t know what happened to your previous comment Karlson. This is my thread and I’ve approved each comment you’ve made.

  • Well, someone deleted it, perhaps before you saw it, Donald.

  • “Not sure if this is kosher”

    Actually, if we’re talking about Muslims the proper term would be “halal” — the dietary rules of Islam, which actually are similar to those of the Jewish faith in some respects (e.g. banning pork, requiring specific methods of slaughter).

    The event in question bills itself as an Arab International Festival. Now, haven’t some of us been making the point, in posts regarding Israel and the Palestinians, that NOT all Arabs are Muslims? Surely there are Christian Arabs (most likely Maronites or members of other Eastern Rite Churches) in Dearborn as well as Muslims. Do they participate in this festival? It would be nice to get their take on the situation.

    I

  • Yes Elaine, Dearborn has very large Arab population and they are Muslim, Christian, and some rather secular. I’m not familiar with this festival but I’m quite sure it’s open to the general public and people of all faiths and ancestry attend. Dearborn has a very large and popular festival in the summer that many people from all over the region attend. I wouldn’t be surprised if these folks intend on distributing their literature then too. My guess is that if they do they will be sent away or locked up again.

  • It really doesn’t matter if the missionaries are ineffective or a little obnoxious, that’s not the point. The point is that this is America and people are allowed to hand pamphlets to you and say things to you about their beliefs. I’m always polite to the Baptists, Mormons, JWs and anti-corporate union petitioners when they come to my door. I don’t always take their stuff, but I don’t summon the police either. The union people usually need a shower unlike the Mormons, but hey, it takes all kinds.

    When I lived in Pittsburgh there were street preachers downtown and in Oakland. They were totally obnoxious, IMHO, but they were allowed to do their thing due to freedom of speech–they weren’t arrested. We have the freedom to make asses of ourselves. One guy was an ex-Catholic and he tried to engage me in conversation. He was itching for an argument, and I didn’t give him the satisfaction. But I didn’t get offended by him either. I’m just thankful that I don’t need the require the kind of meds that he should have been on. Even so, these people weren’t hurting anybody and more than the pigeons.

    These Muslims need to get used to America. It might be more to our advantage to pass out copies of the founding documents. Obviously it would be nice if they converted to Christianity, but most are too stubborn and brainwashed, not to mention scared, to even think about it.

  • These Muslims need to get used to America. It might be more to our advantage to pass out copies of the founding documents.

    The chief of police in Dearborn is behaving in a manner congruent with the default settings of the educational apparat in this country, which in turn is simpatico with the political class in Canada, Sweden, and the Netherlands, among other loci.

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  • JohnH says:
    Thursday, June 24, 2010 A.D. at 1:26 pm
    I don’t know. This sounds more like an attempt by the police to keep the peace.

    I’ve been at pro-life rallies where police have arrested pro-abortion activists who were handing out literature. It’s the same principle, make sure a heated situation doesn’t escalate.

    Given that the missionaries were targeting a large gathering of Muslims, this sounds like it was intended to provoke a reaction. I think it would have been different if they had been handing out literature during a normal day.

    I’m sympathetic to the message of the missionaries, but I don’t think the method is effective.
    =====
    Um, there’s a freedom of religion, but NO freedoms for abortion within ANY aspects of the Constitution, the Declaration, nor the Bill of Rights. So, for police to arrest someone for passing out PRO-abortion literature is perfectly within the province of law enforcement. Whereas, police have NO rights with respect to what someone does regarding religion and the free exercise thereof. PLEASE READ YOUR FOUNDING DOCUMENTS: Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence before commenting on what you “think” is okay or not. Opinions are NOT valid in a court of popular opinion nor courts of law!

  • It appears to me that the police were very patient, my father raised me to obey the law and if the police asked me to leave the area then i better leave the area. If you hang around and argue you should expect to be arrested. Also the they stated they were across the street, apears to me they were right next to a ride at the event. Bottom line is they went their to get a rise out of the event and they got what they deserved.

  • The missionaries were aqcuitted back in September of the bogus breach of the peace charges:

    http://www.examiner.com/independent-in-detroit/four-christian-missionaries-acquited-of-inciting-dearborn-michigan-muslims