Of Ducks and Gays and Tolerance

The advantages of classical liberal market cosmopolitanism--the idea that it's best to set aside peaceful differences of opinion and creed and worries about different races, nationalities, and genders when deciding how we interact with the world--has a great track record of making us all richer and happier.

A & EA & E

The idea that that people should be punished with boycott or losing their jobs over having wrong beliefs hobbles the flowering of tolerant classical liberal market cosmopolitanism.

There may have been a good reason why classical tolerance of expression was summed up in the epigram: "I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it!"

That has a different feel than: "I disagree with what you say, I think you are evil for having said it, I think no one should associate with you and you ought to lose your livelihood, and anyone who doesn't agree with me about all that is skating on pretty thin ice as well, but hey, I don't think you should be arrested for it."

A stern insistence on boycotting or refusing any truck or barter with those who hold different beliefs or practice different ways of life (peacefully) does not directly implicate specifically libertarian questions about rights or freedom. No one's freedom in the true libertarian sense is harmed by people trying to drive them from society or the market because of their beliefs or creed as long as it is done through mere refusal to associate, or advocacy of refusal to associate. We have no right for others to do business with us or to tolerate our beliefs or practices as long as said intolerance does not turn to violence.

But regularly acting on the idea that those with wrong ideas deserve to be driven from society in any conceivable non-violent way might, I suggest, make for a less lovable, rich, and peaceful world. When we start regularly restricting people's opportunities in commerce or association over differing beliefs, what could be peaceful ideological differences start to tip over into people fighting for what they can understandably see as their metaphorical life--their social or economic life. It's a dangerous game and if pursued vigorously and across the board by everyone who disagrees with everyone else on issues or practices they consider vital, will make everyone worse off.

Centuries after the Enlightenment, most people's notions of "free thought and expression" still amount to: it's OK to think and express OK things. It's a limited view that can lead to a less varied, vital, and livable culture.

Jonathan Rauch wrote on these issues of true liberal tolerance of differing opinion in the December issue of Reason

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  • kinnath||

    Seriously Brian. What a terrible thing to write; I must now shun you and demand others do as well. It's the only tolerable thing to do.

  • ||

    I knew he was secretly selling us out to the socialists the whole time.

  • Ted S.||

    No; Brian needs to be shunned for the shitty alt-text.

  • Steve G||

    Another Duck Dynasty article? Somebody's got POLLZ envy

  • ||

    Excellent point, Brian, but remember that KULTUR WAR (which is what this is) is a wonderful and incredibly useful tool for politicians, collectivists, tribalists, partisans, and TEAMs, which is why they stoke it and feed it and try and make it the forefront of everything everyone does. It nicely distracts from the malfeasance of politicians or TEAMs or the government, and gets people hating each other and at each others' throats instead of at the throats of those who would control them.

    A lot of people enthusiastically wade into the KULTUR WAR, but remember who it truly serves and who have been some of the biggest pushers of KULTUR WAR over the last decades: people who want power.

  • SIV||

    A lot of people enthusiastically wade into the KULTUR WAR

    You more than most.

  • tarran||

    But putting into practice the idea that those with wrong ideas deserve to be driven from society in any conceivable non-violent way might, I suggest, make for a less lovable, rich, and peaceful world.

    This is baloney.

    Let's say Bo were to advocate child rape. Further let's say that he would ask for pictures of our children so that he could masturbate to them. We never could prove he was actually raping children, but Bo were to keep making creepy comments in thread after thread.

    Should individuals listen to his drivel out of a sense of cultural altruism? Or should they choose to maximize their happiness by refusing to have anything to do with him?

    Because that's what a boycott really is, a large number of individuals choosing to avoid someone or something that is distasteful to them. The notion that they should be forced to read or watch something they disagree with is ridiculous.

    People who get pleasure out of interacting with iconoclasts or with disreputable types, or inviting people who hate each other to dinner party becasue it makes for fun fireworks (Epi) are free to do that. The people who don't like having their blood boil are free to order their affairs to never hear an upsetting word, and *that* is what constitutes a peaceful society.

  • kinnath||

    And tarran takes a double gainer off the 10 meter platform.

  • tarran||

    The question is, am I resting at the bottom of the pool with a broken neck? Or am I coming out of the water triumphantly while nubile, gorgeous groupies rush me with warm, soft, fluffy towels to dry me off?

  • kinnath||

    I did not say "completes" a double gainer.

  • tarran||

  • ||

    Brain isn't saying you should be forced to come to one of my hate-filled dinner parties, tarran, he's just saying that if people were a little more accommodating of different viewpoints (though probably not the child molestation that fascinates you so much), it might be better for everyone over time.

    Also, did you get that invite to my party where I invite your ex-wife? Come on, man, you have to come. It'll be so boring if you don't.

  • tarran||

    Can't go. Have a hot date.

    By the way, she said she's bringing cookies. She thinks I'm coming, so I cannot guarantee that they are poison-free.

  • Michael Hihn||

    But Brian also suffers the delusion that Ron Paul is a libertarian. If Rick Santorum announced a plan to balance the federal budget in ten years, would we claim yet more proof of a libertarian era? Or would we reject Santorum's extreme social conservatism? And if we'd reject Santorum, why should we revere Ron and Rand Paul, who are Rick Santorums with spending cuts?

    The Rauch column that Brian links to .... strongly disagrees with Brian. Not all libertarians have been co-opted by the American Taliban, yet. Many of us (most?) still know the difference between individual liberty and government force.

    Duck Dynasty's Robertson was defined as a "hypocrite" by Jesus of Nazareth, in His Sermon on the Mount ... for making a public spectacle of his faith. All too common among faux Christians.

    A&E is intolerant, but Hobby Lobby is not? (gasp) None dare call that bigotry. But it is,

  • Generic Stranger||

    Pretty much this. Boycotting is one of the most important ways of punishing bad actors in a free market system. If a service does not satisfy customers for whatever reason - whether it's due to poor quality, lack of demand, or due to a political disagreement - then those customers have the right to seek service from businesses that do satisfy them. Whether people organize to do so or simply all come to the same conclusion independently doesn't really matter; a business that pisses off its customers is one that won't survive.

  • ||

    Holding an unpopular view (or expressing one that a vast majority of people share but no one really talks about) doesn't make you a bad actor though.

    Uses of force and fraud ARE things that make you a bad actor worthy of punishment.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Anyone has the right to refuse to patronize anyone else for whatever reason they feel like it. If it's because you don't like someone's viewpoint on gay marriage or if it's because you don't like the way they wear their socks doesn't really matter.

    One can certainly make the argument that a boycott isn't appropriate in this case, but it seems to me that Doherty is attacking boycotts themselves and is basically saying they're NEVER appropriate, which to me is self-evidently wrong and antithetical to libertarianism.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Ah. Boycotts are cool, but boycotting boycotts is antithetical to libertarianism. My head hurts now.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Heh, let me rephrase:

    It seems to me that Doherty is making the case that Boycott's are anti-libertarian, which to me is self-evidently wrong and antithetical to libertarianism.

  • ||

    I don't disagree with the idea of boycotts. I just think it's stupid to boycott something because one cast member said something you don't agree with and that's what I thought Brian was trying to get at.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Perhaps they are antithetical to classical liberal market cosmopolitanism, but not to classical liberal market paleotarianism.

  • Invisible Finger||

    No, Brian is just saying boycotts are intolerance.

    If you don't like WalMart, you don't go. That is still tolerance.

    If you make it a point to tell people why you don't go to WalMart, that is intolerance.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    If you make it a point to try to get WalMart to stop selling me a DVD because you don't like, that's intolerance.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    So, is there something wrong with intolerance, IF?

    Provided no one's rights are violated?

    I am intolerant of bad service. Is there something wrong with that provided I don't act against the rights of those providing bad service?

  • ||

    There is if you try to get that person fired. Unless they gave you bad service AND a deep dish pizza.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I am very intolerant of bad books. But I don't try to get retailers to take them off their shelves to protect the psyches of others. (I just pan them in reviews.)
    Now, I understand that anyone who wants to get Book X taken off the shelf at Walmart is within their rights to ask, and that if Walmart does remove the book, the company is within its rights (and not, as many would suggest, practicing "censorship") to do so. However, I'd still say the petitioner and Walmart are assholes for taking down the book. Yes -- I care.

  • Invisible Finger||

    So, is there something wrong with intolerance, IF?

    As with everything else, the problem is usually dosage.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Those who attempt to drive from society people with "wrong ideas" are, in a case like this, also trying to keep me from interacting with or encountering those "wrong ideas."
    Feel free to boycott whatever you want. But don't try to drag me along on your little ride.

  • tarran||

    Those who attempt to drive from society people with "wrong ideas" are, in a case like this, also trying to keep me from interacting with or encountering those "wrong ideas."
    Feel free to boycott whatever you want. But don't try to drag me along on your little ride.

    I agree with this 100%. Persuading is OK.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I don't think the offendees are outside their rights in asking A&E to take the show off the air. But I do think they are assholes for doing so.

  • BigT||

    Life, liberty, and the pursuit of assholedness are inalienable rights.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Unless they're forming uncrossable picket lines or trying to get the government to enforce their views, how does a boycott drag you along for the ride?

  • jdgalt||

    True as far as it goes, but so what? You're equally free to boycott back (and will only stupidly handicap yourself if you refuse to consider the idea).

  • Seamus||

    Irony alert. Robertson is being demonized for supposedly analogizing homosexual acts with bestiality (something which, by the way, he did not, though he did say that both were immoral). Now tarran comes along and analogizes Robertson's statement that homosexual acts are immoral with a hypothetical person's advocacy of child rape.

  • tarran||

    Not quite. I'm just needling Bo with a libelous hypothetical. I chose it solely because it amuses me.

  • ||

    I fully support that aspect of your post.

  • Will4Freedom||

    I'm fairly new here and don't know you folks, but I thought the whole idea was that there is no "one size fits all" solution to the issues of our day.

    The man was asked about gays... he answered. He was not promoting aggression toward them.

    If his beliefs offend you that much, don't watch. I don't watch because I think the whole premise of this show and others (moon shiners, prospectors, etc.) is to mock southern or mid-western lifestyles.

    Lighten up.

  • tarran||

    Wilco, francis.

  • GILMORE||

    "
    Will4Freedom|12.19.13 @ 3:31PM|#

    I'm fairly new here and don't know you folks..."

    RUN!! RUN!!! WHILE YOU STILL CAN!! BEFORE WARTY BITE....(thud, sound of chains being re-attached)

    I'm pretty much entirely in agreement.

    *although I neither watch or don't watch the show because I don't have cable.

    If it did mock anyone's lifestyle, and it did so in an *awesome* way, I'd be completely down with it. Did Portlandia mock hipsters? I also have never seen that. I have never seen a *lot* of stuff. Mocking and insulting people (DONE WELL) is my favorite form of 'free speech'.

  • Will4Freedom||

    What's a Warty?

    Yeah, I guess I'm an old soft heart and don't take pleasure at other's misfortune... for the most part. I have an ex-wife... never mind.

    I have noticed that there's not many folks on here. Seems like a small, but friendly group.

    Cheers.

  • GILMORE||

    No tarren, its not 'baloney', specifically in context.

    Is there anything in the DD show (I wouldn't know - no cable, no tv) where these fellas repeat/ advertise/ promulgate this "anti-gay" belief?

    If no, then all this particular example of 'boycott' (or whatever it is) is doing is objecting to the very idea of this guy even *holding certain beliefs*.

    If the show has nothing to do with forwarding said beliefs, then advocating a boycott isn't in any way changing how these beliefs are spread to the public. Its simply a spiteful behavior which advocates mass-punishment of people who hold views (privately, even) that are unpopular.

    I've run into cases a number of times in the past where liberalish people seem to want to imbue/taint certain works of art with the negative aspects of the creator's character: Miles Davis is lambasted for being a Misogynist (he was), Celine a pro-Nazi (he was), Roald Dahl an anti-Semite (he was), Faulkner a racist (I have no idea and don't care)... etc etc.

    I've never liked this attitude at all. The works of each of these people - by and large - have almost nothing* to do with these "negative" beliefs and their work does nothing to promote them. Spitting on them because you don't like the people is childish. I see the same thing here.

    [*for the record, Celine was a total cunt and aside from Journey to the End of the Night, I think his stuff is pretty shit and he should be remembered forever as a scumbag. But.... 'Journey' is still amazing.]

  • Drake||

    I have watched very little of the show - but among other things, the guy is a Southern Evangelical preacher. He seems like a nice guy and doesn't run around bashing gays.

    But, asked questions about sin in an interview, he gave the answers I would have expected.

    I wonder if GQ had an agenda with this guy or the show and purposely steered the conversation in that direction.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    The article is exactly what you'd expect an interview of a DD guy in GQ to be. I'd bet the writer is a bit nonplussed by the tone of the furor.

  • Zeb||

    That's the funny thing here. Why would anyone expect this guy to believe anything different? He was asked a question and answered it.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    They should be boycotting St. Paul instead of Duck Man.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    you wonder? I have little doubt that's exactly what they were hoping for.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Did you read the interview, N.K.? 'Cause I have to disagree.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Having now read through it, I see your point.

  • GILMORE||

    When I went to college in Tennessee (as a NYC Yankee) I was offered some advice once by a local = "it is not always essential or even recommended that you always announce what you believe about something, or that you disagree with what other people might believe; "gettin' along" is about not minding so much what other people think, or feeling like you have to share your opinion all the time."

    Basically, the point (in this context) was that a lot of people I was going to meet came from some pretty die-hard evangelical or pentacostalist backgrounds, and generally it would be more productive to not get into a fucking debate all the time with everyone, and just drink your beer and not be a douchebag. i.e. there's a time and a place for debate = but it aint all the time, everywhere.

  • Zeb||

    That is an important lesson to learn. Sometimes difficult to stick to, but crucial if you don't live in a bubble.

  • GILMORE||

    It was not long afterward that I was in a political philosophy class where one gay female learned that one of the other students was a devout Christian something or other and decided to "Out" him by asking him 'if 'you Christians' ran the world'... what would you do about gays etc'. He demurred repeatedly that the laws of God and Man were not the same and that they had no Theocratic ambitions etc, until finally after repeated demands from un-satisfied lesbian, he finally confesses, "it doesn't matter because in our view you're going to hell anyway". She then throws her arms up in *victory* and proceeds to go, "SEE? SEE? This is what their "Christian Love" really is... blah blah blah."...

    At some point the class was just fed up with her, and I asked, "Why do you even give a shit? If you don't believe in hell, why should it make a fucking difference WHAT they think of homosexuality? He already admits that that they leave judgement to God, etc."...

    The irony which no one missed was that the kid who 'ostensibly' was supposed to be full of hate-for-gays in his heart was actually a hell of a lot nicer to this girl than Ms."TOLERANCE FOR ALL!", who was a screaming selfish cunt who demanded every discussion be about her pet issues, and regularly picked out people in the class as her ideological 'enemies'.

    None of this was lost on me at the time.

  • Nixonfan||

    See: "gentleman".

  • Old Bull Lee||

    At the same time they dis someone's beliefs, these people will vigorously defend someone like Roman Polanski for something he actually DID.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, what tarran said.

    I imagine almost everyone draws a line somewhere beyond which their social tolerance does not extend. For a lot of people saying that God hates fags (or some nicer version of that) is over the line. For a lot it isn't. The child molestor example is extreme, but useful in illustrating the point. I think most people would want to boycott a program featuring someone who talks about molesting children, or killing all the Jews or some other horrible thing.

    I think our culture has come so far on gay acceptance that comments like what the Duck guy made can really just be laughed off, but everyone gets to decide where they draw the line.

    This reminds me of a few times I tried to explain to Dunphy why not everyone can accept that most cops are good people just doing a job. There has to be some line beyond which "just doing my job" is not an excuse. Most people would agree that mass extermination camps crosses that line. I, and many other regulars on here would say that arresting people for selling drugs crosses that line.

  • The Other Kevin||

    Well said. But are there any Reason-Rupe polls on this subject?

  • ||

    Exactly this. Someone needs to get on that.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Businesses should do what's best for the bottom line.

  • some guy||

    So long as they also follow the NAP, yes.

    A&E seems to think they will be better off without this guy. There's no way to know if they are right.

  • Kevin47||

    They are almost certainly wrong. Duck Dynasty is the top rated cable show, and it is almost certain to go away. Netflix has to be drooling.

  • JeremyR||

    Why would Netflix be drooling? They probably feel the same way A&E does.

  • ||

    So is Glenn Beck. He offered to put the show on The Blaze cable channel

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    The era of outrage.

    I must be outraged by anyone who doesn't think like me. The media told me I must.

    I don't believe anyone's rights were violated here, hence, I don't care.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I don't believe anyone's rights were violated here, hence, I don't care

    See, this could be very funny, if applied in the right situation. (In any case, I hope that's not a hard and fast rule for you, Frankie.)

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Actually, it is.

    A person may do as they wish, PROVIDED in doing so they don't infringe upon the rights of others.

    Why shouldn't it be?

  • Zeb||

    I certainly agree with what you say there. But most people care about things other than whether or not rights have been violated.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    And that's okay. Didn't mean we can't disagree. Just mean it isn't an immoral action until rights are involved.

    Perhaps I could have phrased that better.

  • Zeb||

    it isn't an immoral action until rights are involved

    I am inclined to agree, but that is really something I have trouble settling in my mind. I certainly believe that no violence is justified unless rights are being violated. But I'm not sure I can limit what I think of as moral to only situations where rights are involved. For example, I think that perhaps it is immoral to be needlessly emotionally cruel to a spouse or family member, but I'm not sure there are any rights being violated there.
    Or, in other words, I think that morality applies even in cases where no use of force would be justified.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    While I understand what you're saying, the alternative would be to censor certain types of speech, and we know where you pop out of that rabbit hole.

    Once you claim harm based upon emotional distress, you can claim aggrieved status for anything anyone says. Such a system cannot exist without infringing on free speech.

    Bullying laws are similar.

    Everyone has the right to be an asshole.

  • brec||

    There are behaviors that are immoral but which are not rights violations. It would be immoral to attempt to suppress such behaviors by force, e.g., to pass laws against them. Still, they are immoral.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Disagree. An action can only be immoral if it infringes on the rights of another.

  • wareagle||

    no one's rights, francisco, just some folks' feelingz.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    And that's what the world has come to. Somewhere, along the line, people have come to believe they have a "right" to not be offended.

    Sticks and stones...

  • some guy||

    I've always said that the only person who has any control over whether you will be offended is you. So you shouldn't blame others for something that is your own fault.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    In this situation, I don't agree with either side. I don't particularly like people who push religion. I don't like folks who tell other folks they must agree with them.

    It's okay to not like people or even groups of people. As long as you don't initiate force, we can agree to disagree and nothing more needs to be done about it.

  • wareagle||

    this is the residue of the PC police. The church of the aggrieved and offended is always full, and it is more than willing to preach to everyone else about what they think and what words they use. The church grows because its tactics work.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I predicted this back in the mid 90s when all this PC bullshit took off. Once you start mucking with what people are allowed to say, it will collapse into the realm of the absurd. No matter what the topic, I can find someone who will be offended by your comments.

    Attempting to prevent folks from being offended is an exercise in futility.

  • Invisible Finger||

    The problem is people say the word "right" when they really mean "entitlement".

    People have always had the right to not be offended, they can simply avoid the offensive source. The entitlement to not be offended means supporting a coercive act against the offender.

  • Zeb||

    Secretly, most people who claim a right not to be offended really love being offended. I can't think of any other explanation for the perpetually offended.

  • Invisible Finger||

    There's definitely a self-centeredness to dwelling on being offended.

  • Brian||

    I knew this was coming weeks ago.

    I was reading an article about Phil and thinking, "What are the chances that these southern, rural, outdoorsy, Christian folks have politically correct views on abortion, race, and gay marriage, and how long before we find out?" A few weeks, apparently.

    I'm surprised they avoided it for this long.

  • Brett L||

    It must be nice to have the column half-written when the rocket goes up.

  • Paul.||

    I am outraged at the things that outrage people!

  • RBS||

    OUTRAGEOUS!

  • Tman||

    I'm interested to see what A&E actually does, as the following for DD is enormous. As you've probably read, they bring in 14 million viewers per episode, whereas for instance the finale for Breaking Bad on brought in 10 million.

    They may talk a mean talk about how supportive of LGBT rights, etc. etc., but the bottom line is that DD makes them an enormous amount of money. They also realize that if they ban Robertson from the show the others in the family will most likely stand with Robertson, thus making the show banned as well. A&E has already had advertisers tell them that they stand with DD and Robertson because they too are "Christian businesses".

    I think this ends up making a boat load of money for everyone involved, and once the attempts by the PC crowd have backfired tremendously, and further isolated them from the mainstream.

    You'd have thought they learned from the Chik-Fil-A mess, but you'd be wrong.

  • Tman||

    To further accentuate my point:

    http://www.truthrevolt.org/new.....suspension

  • wareagle||

    and like CFA, this has zero to do with gay rights since neither Phil nor Dr Chicken was advocating that any harm be done to days. Each man expressed his opinion which, last I checked, is allowed, albeit apparently only in certain states.

  • Paul.||

    Phil nor Dr Chicken was advocating that any harm be done to days.

    Yeah, but what about the nights?

  • wareagle||

    damn. Proof-reading; how's it work?

  • Tman||

    What bothers me about the complaints is the fact that they chose to go nuts over these comments because they know what a wide audience DD has. There are numerous examples of people on TV expressing their bigoted views on just about everything, but no one cares because they don't have a big audience.

    Meanwhile, behind closed doors A&E is laughing all the way to the bank.

  • wareagle||

    it's not just audience; it's also target. For instance, it is okay to ridicule men in general, most whites, church folks, southerners, and a few other groups. Then there are the victim classes.

  • Invisible Finger||

    That's why, as stated elsewhere, it's nothing but culture war on both sides.

  • Mike M.||

    I've never even watched the stupid show or gone duck hunting in my entire life (and I doubt I ever will), but I tell you, I'm thinking about going out and buying one of their duck calls anyway just to stick it to the gay mafia.

  • Kevin47||

    This. I'm fine with gay marriage (though I prefer to end government marriage entirely) but the gay power groups would glaadly shred the balance of my personal liberties to advance their broader ideology. The Duck people don't really want anything other than for me to buy their duck calls and watch their silly show.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Holy fuck, man... I'm not buyin a fucking duck call... no way... I'm not buying anything toweled, printed, shoed, called, planted, or molded with some familicious evangelical badasses on it. These guys are Americans. Pure and simple. But I'm not drying my ballsack with a printed ZZ top lookalike swamp monkey. And this has NOTHING to do with my support of their free speech rights- WHICH I totally support even while I've played on the other side of the court more than once and it wasn't too bad depending on the team. TMI fo Reason. This is fam so who gives a fuck.

  • ||

    You know how the rent a mobs like to disrupt events with whistles? Picture a GLAAD event being disrupted by a 1000 people using duck calls. That mental image is priceless.

  • ||

    A few days ago, I was eating at Chick Fil A in South Charlotte (NC) at 3 in the afternoon and there were 12 cars in the drive through line - the dining room was half full at a time of day other fast food places are empty. The food court in the iconic SouthPark mall a few mikes away is about 90% people eating Chick FIl A, with the other places having their Asian immigrant employees just staring into space hoping for a customer.

  • Sigivald||

    The idea that that people should be punished with boycott or losing their jobs over having wrong beliefs hobbles the flowering of tolerant classical liberal market cosmopolitanism.

    There may have been a good reason why classical tolerance of expression was summed up in the epigram: "I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it!"

    It sure seems to me like that first paragraph is not "a right to say it", but "a right to say it without upsetting anyone enough that they'll refuse to deal with you".

    Remember, the "right to say it" in the second paragraph is a right to not have the State [or a quasi-State church] arrest, fine, or imprison you for it - not a right to not have your neighbors snub you and your customers pick a different provider of services if they think you're reprehensible.

    I think Nazis have a right to deny the holocaust and, to pick the famous example, march through Skokie.

    I don't think I harm classical liberalism by refusing to do business with anyone stupid enough to admit being one.

    The more boycotts are deployed against basically harmless people who Disagree With The Hive Mind, the more they lose their power and the less people care; I see it as a self-correcting mechanism.

  • XM||

    The people who think homosexuality is a sin are harmless folks. They do not actively advocate for their persecution. I would say 30-40% of Obama's own base is socially conservative.

    But if you're leftist and you think Jews run the world, well, then you wish for pain on Israel. And unlike those people who protest funerals, some of these people are in power.

    I don't like to play equivalency games, but.... some black kids playing "knockout games" on Jews and hunting down a baseball players gets less attention than this?

    We all know many minority owned businesses will hired based on racial preferences. We're all tribes. When will the left ever learn that the "equality" utopia they seek doesn't exist even in their own rank?

  • The Other Kevin||

    I think what Brian is saying, in short, is that we should be more careful in picking our battles. Because these days, EVERYTHING is a fucking battle.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Because that's what a boycott really is, a large number of individuals choosing to avoid someone or something that is distasteful to them.

    No it isn't. Boycotts are Culture War 101 politicking.

    Boycotts by definition have to call attention to something which is the opposite of avoiding it.

    Individually we could ignore the trolls here and they would go away. But posting "Please stop responding to TROLL A!" perversely lends the troll more validation and ensures its continued existence.

  • Zeb||

    Boycotts are both things.

  • Invisible Finger||

    So a boycott is avoiding AND not avoiding?

    It takes doublethink to agree with that.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Seriously, TV is so fucking banal that this controversy is actually pretty cool. I don't care for the mundane, family-centered, undercurrent religiosity of the Duck Hunters but never once did I wish them ill will or to be taken off the tube I rarely watch. And, the old man doesn't want gays to be treated with will or taken out of the human race. The man's a fucking Christian for fuck's sake- it's no goddamn secret he will be uncomfortable with all the sinners and gays. But, he's not espousing anything remotely despicable and he had the balls to state his opinion in the face of a ridiculously cliquish and narrow-minded media. This hardcore atheist actually appreciates his manliness. I dislike his personal world view but this only matters to my ball of brains as a conceptual matter.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Yes, mostly this, and how terrible must it be to be Perpetually Aggrieved? What a mundane existence.

  • db||

    The sad thing in my mind about this is the close timing with Chris Cheng's coming out. This will likely overshadow Cheng's message of tolerance and diversity in the gun owning community (which is a real thing in my experience) with a lot of confirmation bias on the opposite side.

  • SusanM||

    Soon to be deleted....


    "How do we capture the moral high ground when we turn into oppressors to deal with oppressors? To say "It's wrong to dictate someone's beliefs so we'll dictate their beliefs".

    I've said all this before. We can either grow up and accept that lasting equality won't happen overnight at gunpoint - and accept that, right now, some people don't like or understand us - or become as marginalized as feminists and African-Americans by playing the eternal victim card."

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Soon to be deleted? You do realize this is reason.com right?

  • INFORG||

    Susan - you must not come here often.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    I don't dear, but, my vagina is available at your nearest collegiate play... Just look under the banister floating through your stoned mist near the gilded massive frame of that mustachioed city father people no longer give a fuck about...

  • Kid Xenocles||

    Deleted? Did you post that at DU or Huffington or something?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Two possibilities:
    1) Clueless newbie
    2) Mary Stack or White Indian

  • ||

    Just because this is incoherent doesn't mean it will be deleted.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I think what Brian is saying, in short, is that we should be more careful in picking our battles. Because these days, EVERYTHING is a fucking battle.

    But if you aren't willing to fight to the death any time, any place, you're just a sellout; your Political Theology is impure.

    HERETIC!

    SPLITTER!

  • Kid Xenocles||

    Don't worry guys, A&E will be sure to donate all the profits from this show to a gay rights charity rather than benefit from such intolerant people.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    ha! someone fire up a change.org petition!

  • jdgalt||

    This article is horse hockey. Free speech is about being free from GOVERNMENT compulsion, not from other individuals' perfectly valid right to refrain from doing business with persons they consider immoral or unreasonable.

    Gay-haters are getting their just deserts.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Well, to be fair, dear... A and the E didn't cancel the shows... which means in spite of the controversy the light bill will be paidz.

  • JeremyR||

    Free speech is something that transcends government.

    Yes, government shouldn't prohibit it. But neither should corporations or society as a whole. Trying to suppress free speech and unpopular opinions is wrong, no matter who is doing it.

    Is it as bad as when the government uses force to lock people up or kill them? No. But it's still a threat to freedom.

  • Yet another Kevin||

    I think sometimes the best way to deal with opinions you don't agree with is to have it out with them and expose their nonsense (if indeed it is nonsense) for what it is. Boycotting people, or some other form of shutting them down, just divides us into camps that don't get any further in my view. The boycotter is the righteous avoider of "bad" people with "bad" thoughts or the intolerant bastard, depending on viewpoint. That's not to say it doesn't have its place: lousy service providers or truly evil shmucks can feel the public's wrath.

    But for lesser stuff, might as well have it out if it's worth having the argument. Approach with care.

    Of course, it can cut both ways and the person calling someone out can end up looking the fool if the other guy is the better arguer and has the better case.

  • RishJoMo||

    lol, wow that makes a lot of sense dude.

    www.PrivaWeb.tk

  • Agile Cyborg||

    This is a story about spirit, ultimately. The human thing. The energy within that most are afraid of. Afraid to express. Need to conform. Need to not piss off the husband, wife, school, group, neighborhood, forum, place where I get points based on clever shit (reddit)... and so on.

    It's about a simple old man with lips sharing a view. Having the fucking balls to spout.

    Americans have become a syrup. A flowing malaise of weakness. Where man and woman are afraid of pretty fucking much everything except dying. Being dead at 85 is not an issue but being afraid of all sorts of immoral shit and free speaking is like a bull butting the social face.

    The Duck leader is wrong. We all know that. He's old school Christian. Most of us either come from it or get it. It's not his fucking menu of, frankly, stupid that pisses the proper intellect off... It's how awesome his brazen fuck-you society shit is...

    I guess Christianity is the new punk, bitches.

  • Nixonfan||

    The Left seeks to ban opposing thoughts because it has no answers for them, only dogma.

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Who gives a shit what these bearded assholes think about anything.

  • Echarles||

    A&E concluded that comparing homosexuality to criminals behavior and bestiality was a different idea of what they have in mind regarding Christianity values. They fired him. What is the problem here from a libertarian perspective? Where is the outrage against Conservatives like Palin and Cruz who invoke "free speech" and "censorship" violations? Since when did the Right stand job socialism? Guess what, freedom is about intolerance and discrimination. Hooters discriminates. BET discriminates and prevents non-blacks from employment based on skin color. Keep the eye on the ball people.

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