Another Profile In Courage

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The student paper at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign runs six out of the 12 Danish Muhammad cartoons. The college shows its support by firing the editor and the opinion editor, the editorial board of the Daily Illini publishes a public shaming of the two, and a mob of diversity brownshirts holds a rally against "hate."

Editor Acton Gorton and his opinions editor, Chuck Prochaska, were relieved of their duties at The Daily Illini on Tuesday while a task force investigates "the internal decision-making and communication" that led to the publishing of the cartoons, according to a statement by the newspaper's publisher and general manager, Mary Cory.

Gorton said he expects to be fired at the conclusion of the investigation, which is expected to take two weeks.

"I pretty much have an idea how this is going to run, and this is a thinly veiled attempt to remove me from my position," said Gorton, a U. of I. senior who took the newspaper's helm Jan. 1. "I am feeling very betrayed, and I feel like the people who I thought were my friends and supporters didn't back me up."

Interestingly, U.I. Ubrana-Champaign is also the home of Francis Boyle, the secret hero of my long-ago article on the anti-defamation industry. In addition to being a staunch opponent of the school's Fighting Illini mascot, Boyle is the law professor—or more accurately, the apenecked, purplenosed paddy slob—who sought Justice Department help against students and colleagues he believed were harrassing him on the basis of his Irish ethnicity.

In case all the self-censorship has made you forget what all the hubbub is about, take another look at the cartoons.

Thanks to commenter Mark Deming for the tip.

NEXT: "No, I said Muhammad had to kick the goat out of the outhouse before he had sex with his mother"

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  1. “…and second to educate each other that all religious figures are worthy of dignity and respect regardless of diversity of faith.”

    I call bullshit. Are the Catholics and Protestents who participated in the Nazi regime’s dream of a German empire worthy of dignity and respect? I scoff at such stupidity.

  2. I wonder if they view Rastafari or Voodoo in the same way.

  3. Also, does this mean that L. Ron Hubbard is now above criticism?

  4. Deus ex Machina,

    I guaran-damm-tee that they don’t hold their tongue when Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell say something stupid.

  5. Thanks for the link to the bad music discussion list

    Damn people.

  6. who sought Justice Department help against students and colleagues he believed were harrassing him on the basis of his Irish ethnicity.

    Ethnicity is lame, that should be the “Irish race”.

  7. Went back and looked at the cartoons again. I still like the one with the dog best. It’s just so fitting, even if it’s a fake. Certainly the funniest.

  8. yeah, you don’t get a lot of leeway as a college paper if you do anything remotely controversial because everyone is going to try and face-fuck you.

    this is speaking as someone who was an editor on a college paper that decided to run an insert from bradley smith’s enterprising holocaust revisionism group as well as a pro-life insert. the reaction was pretty fucking vicious in both cases, though being threatened by the jlo was funny. but there’s really no reason to expect help or support from anyone but the journo profs. and even then…

  9. If one actually clicks the “public shaming” link, one finds that:

    Gorton and Prochaska made the decision [the cartoons] should run in this newspaper. This decision was made without the knowledge of the Editorial Board, the editorial adviser and the publisher of the paper.

    So, given that, fill in the blank: Gorton and Prochaska should not lose their positions because ______________________ . Is there some reason the actual publisher should not have the final say over what goes in the paper? And should people who put things in that the publisher doesn’t want there keep their jobs?

  10. So the public shaming would leave us with the following gems:

    “We want to make it clear that while we do not necessarily disagree with the decision to print these cartoons, we disagree with how they were run.”

    So it’s not what was, done, but how. Sounds like an episode of ‘Who’s the boss’.

    It came off as an arrogant defying of authority.

    Heaven forbid anyone in journalism defy authority…unless it’s authority outside of journailsm.

    IN the end, the paper’s publishers have the right to rid themselves of employees who don;t run every decision up the flagpole of incompetence. It doesn’t make them right.

    Chalk up another victory for the factotums of conditional free speech at our institutions of higher learning!

  11. “..and second to educate each other that all religious figures are worthy of dignity and respect regardless of diversity of faith.”

    Respecting an individual’s right to freedom of religion is not the same as respecting their religious beliefs, icons or indeed their religious figures.

    I respect Muslim’s right to follow the faith of Islam – each to their own I say, but I have absolutely no respect for Islam itself, quite the opposite; personally I consider it an absurd intolerant bunch of superstitions that tends to engender a medieval set of values in its adherents.

    I can’t see any difference between dicing someones political outlook to dicing thier religious outlook. Why should someone’s religion get the kid glove treatemnt.

  12. Again, why is ridicule hate?

  13. Again, why is ridicule hate?

    Newspeak.

    I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they’d never expect it. – Jack Handy

  14. The actors have changed but this drama repeats itself on countless campuses every year.

    When an intrepid editor gets his head sawed off and vidoetaped by a hooded member of the Campus Coalition for Muslim Mayhem (CCMM) I’ll perk up and take notice.

  15. “I am feeling very betrayed, and I feel like the people who I thought were my friends and supporters didn’t back me up.”

    Even though he’s likely to get screwed on this, it sounds like Mr. Gordon learned an important lesson. Never trust anyone to support you if they have something to lose by doing so.

  16. At least somebody at U of Ill decided to run the largely innocuous cartoons. The Daily Emerald had this to offer instead.

  17. that’s fucked.

    at least you figure out what’s important under pressure, i guess.

  18. Timothy, that column you posted makes me want to punch the sanctimonious SOB who wrote it.

    Some days it?s hard to support free speech. Yesterday was one of those days. People died yesterday, partly because of the exercise of free speech. . . .I offend people every week. I go out of my way to do it. But no one has ever died because of something I?ve said.

    Probably because nobody gives a damn what you’ve said, you pompous little fuck.

  19. I really am baffled by all of this. Why do (so many) Muslims think that their rule against any portrayals of Mohammed applies to non-Muslims as well? Why is it that a person is “hateful” simply by not following the tenets of a religion that person does not belong to? How are these violent protests and setting fire to things any different from, say, a group of Jewish folk beating me up because they saw me eating a ham sandwich? Is Gary Larson hated by Hindus? Let me know, I really can’t figure this one out.

  20. Jennifer: I know, he’s easily the worst columnist at the ODE, and they’ve got some gems. He’s not even really good for comedy value. My comments on his column here.

    You should really search the site for his article about why smoking is cool. And be sure to check out the deliciously mouth-breathing columnist photo.

  21. “I offend people every week. But nobody’s died because of what I said. Isn’t that fabulous? Bask in the glow of my morality and goodness. Why, oh why, can’t everybody be more like me?”

    Every once in awhile I contemplate mellowing out and being less of a misanthrope–and something like this comes along to remind me why I must stay the course.

  22. Jennifer: Indeed. It’s important to keep on the good and misanthropic path. And, hey, maybe you can thank people like Gabe for helping keep your course true.

  23. Thank them by gently choking them…

  24. You know, between that article and that post a few days ago about that idiot Ben Shapiro, I’m wondering–when did virtue switch from an act of commission to an act of omission? By which I mean, virtue used to be something you actively did: “I help the poor. I saved someone’s life. I volunteer for charity.” But now, people think that virtue involves not actively making the world a better place, but simply avoiding things–“I don’t smoke. I don’t have sex. I don’t write things that inspire psychopaths go out and kill people.”

    That’s it? That’s all it takes? Christ, Gaius is right and our civilization is fucked.

  25. From the Daily Emerald:

    “Muslims make up 20 percent of the world?s population. With the global political climate being what it is today, we can?t afford to piss off that many people.”

    So we should just roll over and let them run the world? This is Neville Chamberlain logic.

    I hope this kid gets more sense when he gets out of college.

  26. Everybody’s friend is everybody’s fool.

  27. Timothy, I found the smoking article, damn this guy is a tool, he later mentions he only smokes when well dressed.

    http://www.dailyemerald.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2006/01/31/43df3be985270?in_archive=1

    Since I am such a superbly professional journalist, I will disclose my own biases right from the get-go. I am a smoker. In the year that I?ve been smoking, I?ve smoked about two and a half packs of cigarettes ? total. My last cigarette was several months ago (although I?m probably going to smoke another one a little later today). Though I?m not a regular smoker, and I?m not addicted, there?s nothing I love more than a good cigarette or two every couple of weeks when the urge strikes.

  28. Gabe Bradley: “I?m a big free speech supporter.”

    Seems more like a big athletic supporter.

  29. I just read that smoking column. Here’s some freelance advice to Bradley: if you are going to write a whole column dedicated to the fact that you do something solely because you think it makes you look cool, you should first try using Photoshop to erase that enormous red zit visible on your nose.

    Unless, of course, the zit in the photo is your way of saying “I’m such a bold freethinker that I defy society’s clear-skin-centric conventions of beauty. Because I am cool.”

  30. I’ve gotten a lot of milage over the years out of ODE columnists. Aaron Shakra chiefly among them, if you really need some entertainment value.

    What is it about student dailies and getting the tooliest tools for columnists? Even at Oregon with its much-touted Journalism school…ught.

  31. they have to strike the correct balance between affable and bland.

    maybe supervirgin ben shapiro can start some sort of douchebag chic movement so we can start getting columnists laid.

  32. But dhex, if Shapiro loses his virginity, what will he have to brag about? Simply saying “I don’t smoke pot” isn’t enough to make a person stand out.

  33. I dunno… I just read both columns and there are more good points there than in the average NY Times op-ed. To wit, “We should see every mainstream Muslim leader denounce these disgraceful acts of cowardice and sacrilege. And yet we don?t.”. Or, “What?s really troubling to me is when the government steps in and starts unreasonably restricting the choices of private business owners. One of these days, when we?ve got nothing better to do, we ought to take another look at this city?s policies that keep smoking out of bars and restaurants.”

    His pomposity comes across as tongue-in-cheek to me.

  34. I would guess, Jennifer, that the phenomenon you describe concerning virtue is the b-side to the one in which people who get themselves hooked on, say, heroin, then publicly kick their heroin habit, are described as “heroes,” in contrast to the people who were never stupid enough to get hooked on heroin in the first goddamned place. Given that, is it any wonder that the refrainers want to position themselves as virtuous?

  35. An Irishman hails a cab in New York City. He is surrounded by various beat-up suitcases and bags. he asks the cabbie

    “Do ye have room for me suitcase of clothes ”

    The cabbie replies “Sure thing pal”

    “Do ye have room for me box full of hats ”

    “Sure ,thow it in”

    “Do ye have room for me bag of knick knacks from me home ”

    “Yea, just thow it in”

    “Okay…now do ye have room for a pint of whiskey and 5 pounds of potaoes?”

    “ummm….okay”

    The Irishman sticks his head in the cab…**BLLAAAHHHH***…and pukes all over the backseat.

    (I’m here all week)

  36. Again, why is ridicule hate?

    Good question. I’m still trying to figure out why opposing gay marriage is hate.

  37. Phil, another thing is that in my examples and yours about kicking a heroin habit, you’re talking about behavior that only helps the person himself. I’d always thought of virtue as something that helps OTHERS, not yourself. If you eat a healthy diet you are not being virtuous; if you give food to someone who can’t afford it you are. Kicking your own drug habit is not virtuous, but helping someone else kick his is. Virtue is supposed to make the world a better place, not make you, personally, more comfortable in the world.

    So I suppose I should rephrase my earlier question: When did virtue change from unselfish behavior that helps others, to selfish behavior that helps yourself?

  38. When did virtue change from unselfish behavior that helps others, to selfish behavior that helps yourself?

    Wait, I know this one!

    In 2000, when Chimpeachment W. McHitlerburton stole the election?

  39. I am NOT responsible for the irrational reactions of others to something I say, write, or draw. They are. As a matter of civility, culture, gentility, whatever, I might refrain from offending people, but that’s a different matter. I even might chastize someone else for breaching etiquette and offending people, just because civil behavior is usually a good thing. However, if someone reacts like an insane person and hurts or kills people over some words or pictures, that person is wrong, no matter how insensitive or crass I am. Period. Not even debatable. Sticks and stones, you know. Although much of the speech out there is crap, I don’t want to reduce it even further to the lowest common denominator of acceptability, either. Tailoring speech around hecklers’ vetoes is a Red Queen’s race, anyway.

  40. I notice no one has answered Phil’s question, and that’s probably because he’s exactly right. We don’t really know what, if any, editorial process was supposed to have been followed and if the fired editors didn’t follow it or that’s just the fig leaf that’s being used.

    This much is clear, regardless of where you stand on whether the Danish cartoons should be republished — it’s a contentious issue, and editors shouldn’t just do it on a whim. These editors knew this would cause controversy; that’s probably why they did it. It’s only sensible for them to have consulted with their editorial board and make sure everyone is on the same page. Anyone care to hazard a guess as to why they didn’t do that?

  41. I can’t pinpoint a moment in time, Jennifer, but I hardly think it’s a recent phenomenon. Keep in mind, in the Catholic tradition, the seven virtues that oppose the seven deadly sins were nearly all virtues of a personal sort: Humility, kindness, abstinence, chastity, patience, liberality and diligence.

  42. So I suppose I should rephrase my earlier question: When did virtue change from unselfish behavior that helps others, to selfish behavior that helps yourself?

    Since people realized that making a show of fake piety gets more credit than quietly improving the world. So I’d guess it’s probably always been that way. If I remember the catechism of my youth correctly, there were plenty of examples of such in the new testament.

  43. the seven virtues that oppose the seven deadly sins were nearly all virtues of a personal sort: Humility, kindness, abstinence, chastity, patience, liberality and diligence.

    True, but with the exceptions of chastity and abstinence, these do at least somewhat improve things for people around you: if the person next to you is kind and humble then you’re better off than if you’re sitting next to a rude blowhard.

  44. True, and if the person sitting next to you is a flatulent slob you’re worse off, but that doesn’t make taking two drops of Beano with every meal a virtue, either.

  45. that doesn’t make taking two drops of Beano with every meal a virtue, either.

    Maybe not, but I’d think it’s closer to virtue than simply eating a vitamin-rich diet that will make you healthier but won’t make a damned bit of difference to the life of anybody else on the planet.

    Although flatulence reduction is probably more a matter of manners than of morals. As is humility, come to think of it.

  46. I’m still trying to figure out why opposing gay marriage is hate.

    Because it’s spiteful denial of full participation in the culture for no other reason than that you expect other people to abide by your concept of “sinful,” that’s why. Which is as dumb as expecting non-Muslims to abide by Muslim concepts of “blasphemy,” isn’t it?

  47. I hardly think it’s a recent phenomenon. Keep in mind, in the Catholic tradition …

    Maybe it’s a Christian thing. I understand that Buddhists aren’t supposed to meditate, or “pray”, for anything that would bring direct personal benefits. It should always be for or about something or someone else. Here, we end up thanking God for the virtue that allowed us a touchdown and “just saying no” evolves from a choice to a moral quality.

  48. “The cartoons go against the mission of the University,” Shorish said.

    Really?

  49. Tim:

    oh my. you survived some big-time twaddlenockery.

    ” With the global political climate being what it is today, we can?t afford to piss off that many people.”

    that has been cited by Marbles et al above. it’s all a part of the “love free speech, within limits”.

    judge bork for everyone!

  50. “…and second to educate each other that all religious figures are worthy of dignity and respect regardless of diversity of faith.”

    Whoever called bullshit on this, seconded.

    “That old saw about “to understand all is to forgive all” is a lot of tripe. Some things, the more you understand them, the more you loathe them.”

    -R. A. Heinlein

  51. It’s only sensible for them to have consulted with their editorial board and make sure everyone is on the same page.

    With apologies to Matt Welch, editorial boards seem like useless bureaucracies. I would think a publisher would be more concerned with sales than whether or not a few people get their underwear in a bunch. The editorial board should follow from that perspective; then decide if printing the cartoons would be good or bad for sales. At this point, I can’t see any reason to think it would hurt sales.

    But we’re talking about a subsidized enterprise of a state school, so business sense is thrown out the window. Or maybe the school gets more donations from Muslim alums than from Native American alums.

  52. VM: Twaddlenockery. I like that, I’ll have to steal it.

  53. These editors knew this would cause controversy; that’s probably why they did it.

    Agreed. Certainly they’ve got every right to print whatever they like, but there’s definitely a point where doing so amounts to little more than stirring up shit just to see what happens. It’s at that point where I begin to have about the same amount of sympathy for that type of journalist as I do for the extremists who believe that the rest world should conform to their ideas about piety.

  54. So I suppose I should rephrase my earlier question: When did virtue change from unselfish behavior that helps others, to selfish behavior that helps yourself?

    Seems to me that Ben Shapiro’s refusal to procreate does provide net benefits to society.

    I haven’t punched a pompous ass in the face yet today. Worship my virtue!

  55. New Abu Ghraib photos have just been released. I wonder if certain Muslims will have enough sense to realize that they, not the cartoons, are what people should find offensive.

    Probably not.

  56. Before the Daily Illini’s current regime, they had a lot of problems with charges of anti-semitism.

    The newspaper was obsessed with Israel and always had a pro-Palestinian view. But it was the editorial page that caused the most controversy.

    For example, they printed a letter titled “Jews manipulate America”. The article says “At the time, the paper’s editors vigorously defended their right to publish even though they found it ‘vile.'” Nobody was suspended or fired.

    Only a cartoonist was suspended for a month for a cartoon about Jewish bankers with big noses. It was certainly a lot less newsworthy than the Danish cartoons, and attacked race rather than beliefs.

    Talk about a double standard.

  57. So I guess the US government now has a duty to prevent the latest release of Abu Ghraib imagery to avoid offending anyone.

  58. So I guess the US government now has a duty to prevent the latest release of Abu Ghraib imagery to avoid offending anyone.

    I’m already seeing the “shame on you for publishing photos that inspire the enemy” argument appearing on various sites. Nice argument–we can be as evil as we want, just don’t let anybody know about it.

  59. Here’s a quote I saw that, while I’m most definitely against torture and the abuses at Abu Ghraib, is a little extreme: ?This is truly American ugliness that no other country in the world can compete with,? Yemeni journalist Saleh al-Humaidi told Reuters.

    ?The Americans ought to apologize to mankind for their government?s lie to the world that it is fighting for freedom and that it came to Iraq to save it from Saddam Hussein?s oppression,? he said.

    Like there aren’t other governemnts doing as bad, if not worse, things.

    So while I agree with you to a certain extent, Jennifer, I don’t think we can consider ourselves as the most vile, or evil, or whatever country on this planet.

  60. So while I agree with you to a certain extent, Jennifer, I don’t think we can consider ourselves as the most vile, or evil, or whatever country on this planet.

    I tend to agree.

    But somehow –

    “America, just doesn’t suck as bad as every other place on Earth.”

    – doesn’t strike me as a real exciting slogan either.

  61. Lowdog, I didn’t say we are THE most evil country on Earth; no, there’s at least a hundred countries worse than us. But we can easily become the most evil country if too many people buy into the idea that “if anything evil happens, we must sweep it under the rug.”

    Bumper-sticker slogan: America–hey, it could be worse!

  62. Oops, my italics got messed up there, but I’m sure ya’ll can figure it out.

    Isaac – of course, you’re right, but for some journalist dipshit to say that no other country can compete with our “ugliness” is absurd.

    How about people burning buildings and rioting because some cartoonists made pictures of their prophet? That doesn’t seem all that pretty to me. How about cutting off someone’s hand for stealing? How about gang raping a girl because she talked to the wrong guy?

    And for the record, I am not defending our actions at Abu Ghraib.

  63. Because it’s spiteful denial of full participation in the culture for no other reason than that you expect other people to abide by your concept of “sinful,” that’s why. Which is as dumb as expecting non-Muslims to abide by Muslim concepts of “blasphemy,” isn’t it?

    So expressing your religious beliefs is now a de facto expression of hate? And why is simply upholding a centuries-old tradition “spiteful”?

    Excuse me, but that’s just as illogical as automatically claiming that anyone who criticizes you automatically hates you.

  64. Jennifer – we’re on the same page, it’s just that when I saw what you wrote about us doing evil things it made me think of what I read from that journalist, and it got me steamed again.

    I just wanted to share. 🙂

  65. And why is simply upholding a centuries-old tradition “spiteful”?

    I think it’s pretty spiteful to deny people certain rights just because “it’s always been that way” or “giving them rights offends my religion.”

    Slavery, and preventing women from voting, were centuries-old traditions, too. But I’d say anyone who opposed ending such traditions was a pretty spiteful creature.

  66. we’re on the same page, it’s just that when I saw what you wrote about us doing evil things it made me think of what I read from that journalist, and it got me steamed again.

    Yeah, that journalist was a fool, but don’t let his hyperbole distract you from the very real evils that America has been doing.

  67. Slavery, and preventing women from voting, were centuries-old traditions, too. But I’d say anyone who opposed ending such traditions was a pretty spiteful creature.

    And efforts to end both were spearheaded by Christian organizations, interestingly enough.

    Jennifer, Freedom of Religion is a centuries-old tradition. Are you in favor of ending that, too?

  68. Jennifer, Freedom of Religion is a centuries-old tradition. Are you in favor of ending that, too?

    No, I support traditions that guarantee people’s freedoms and rights. I only oppose traditions that try to deny people freedoms and rights, like for example a gay man’s ability to marry the man he loves.

  69. Holly, do you truly equate gay marriage with ending freedom of religion? Or were you just hoping that comparison might score you a couple of points?

  70. Cpt. Holly,

    I think you can recognize the difference between people wanting rights that are in violation or others’ religious belief and using religious law to deny those rights. When it comes to gay marriage, I can’t think of anyone who has said that churches should be forced to perform or recognize them, only that gov’t should.

  71. So expressing your religious beliefs is now a de facto expression of hate?

    “Opposing gay marriage” is not an expression of a religious belief. It’s a political action. Now, “Homosexuality is a sin” is a religious belief. But that’s not what you’re talking about.

    And why is simply upholding a centuries-old tradition “spiteful”?

    Denying other people full participation in the culture is, indeed, a centuries-old tradition, but it’s nevertheless spiteful. In any case, I promise that when Teh Gays are allowed to marry, none of them will ever force you to marry another man. If you can’t think of a way that two men or two women marrying actually hurts anyone, my recommendation is that you stay out of it.

    I can see, though, that you weren’t actually looking for answers. You just wanted another opportunity to play the “Woe betide us poor Christians, who still cannot catch a break in today’s America” card.

  72. No, I support traditions that guarantee people’s freedoms and rights. I only oppose traditions that try to deny people freedoms and rights, like for example a gay man’s ability to marry the man he loves.

    Holly, do you truly equate gay marriage with ending freedom of religion? Or were you just hoping that comparison might score you a couple of points?

    Therein lies the problem, Jennifer. You say that you only support “traditions that guarantee people’s freedoms and rights”. Yet you also say that those traditions that deny such rights (such as conservative religious beliefs) should be jettisoned.

    Polls show and overwhelming majority of Americans oppose gay marriage. Polls also show that at least 50% of the population are either evangelical Christian or Catholic.

    If you want gay marriage imposed on all 50 states, something’s got to give.

  73. You say that you only support “traditions that guarantee people’s freedoms and rights”. Yet you also say that those traditions that deny such rights (such as conservative religious beliefs) should be jettisoned.

    I did not say such traditions should be jettisoned; I said they should not continue to be the basis of law.

  74. Shorter Me: Explain the difference, Captain Holly, between these two statements —

    1. My religion forbids depiction of its main prophet, therefore you should not be allowed to do it.
    2. My religion thinks homosexuality is sinful, therefore you should not be permitted to marry your same-gender partner.

    Upon previewing: You say that you only support “traditions that guarantee people’s freedoms and rights”. Yet you also say that those traditions that deny such rights (such as conservative religious beliefs) should be jettisoned.

    You do not have the right to have other people — in this case, homosexuals — behave the way you want them to, and confine themselves to the behaviors you want them to have.

  75. I think you can recognize the difference between people wanting rights that are in violation or others’ religious belief and using religious law to deny those rights. When it comes to gay marriage, I can’t think of anyone who has said that churches should be forced to perform or recognize them, only that gov’t should.

    If it were truly a situation of “live and let live”, then it wouldn’t be a problem.

    But as we have seen in places like Sweden, Great Britain, and Canada, even expressing your religious conviction that homosexuality is sinful can get you arrested, convicted and fined.

    Given the fact that the City of Seattle a couple of years ago forced a stationary company owned by a Christian woman to print wedding announcements for a gay couple, such things are not that far off here.

    Libertarians used to be horrified by such infringements on religious practice. Now it’s considered necessary to grease the skids for gay marriage.

  76. You do not have the right to have other people — in this case, homosexuals — behave the way you want them to, and confine themselves to the behaviors you want them to have.

    Ah, but Phil I do have the right to vote my conscience, and if my conscience says gay marriage is wrong that’s the way I will vote. And if the polls are right, about 2/3 of Americans agree with me.

    What are you going to do about it? Disenfranchise anyone who doesn’t agree with you?

  77. I do have the right to vote my conscience, and if my conscience says gay marriage is wrong that’s the way I will vote.

    Yes, you do have the right to vote this way. And Phil has the right to say that it is spiteful of you to deny rights to gay people just because they offend your religion.

  78. Given the fact that the City of Seattle a couple of years ago forced a stationary company owned by a Christian woman to print wedding announcements for a gay couple, such things are not that far off here. Libertarians used to be horrified by such infringements on religious practice. Now it’s considered necessary to grease the skids for gay marriage.

    What Libertarians said they supported what Seattle did? Names? Links? Or are you making this up?

  79. But as we have seen in places like Sweden, Great Britain, and Canada, even expressing your religious conviction that homosexuality is sinful can get you arrested, convicted and fined.

    That’s a separate argument, Cpt. Holly and I think that very few who post here would be in favor of speech restrictions of any kind. The fact the people are criticizing U.I.U-C for firing its editors for printing the Muhammad cartoons supports that notion.

  80. Given the fact that the City of Seattle a couple of years ago forced a stationary company owned by a Christian woman to print wedding announcements for a gay couple, such things are not that far off here. Libertarians used to be horrified by such infringements on religious practice. Now it’s considered necessary to grease the skids for gay marriage.

    What Libertarians said they supported what Seattle did? Names? Links? Or are you making this up?

    Nice selective editing, Jennifer. The last two statements were a generic personal observation about attitudes towards gay marriage. By combining the two paragraphs, you made it appear that I was referring specifically to the Seattle example.

    I expected better of you…

  81. Damn brownshirts, how dare they hold a peaceful demonstration to publicize their cause?

    Tim Cavanaugh, conservatarian.

  82. Holly, what “infringements on religious practice” were you referring to, then, that Libertarians now supposedly support?

    By the way, my quoting you wans’t “selective editing;” it would have been so only if I had cut out something you’d written in between the two. And I did no such thing. But tell me, please–what infringements on religious practice have Libertarians been supporting to grease the skids for gay marriage?

  83. Ah, but Phil I do have the right to vote my conscience, and if my conscience says gay marriage is wrong that’s the way I will vote. And if the polls are right, about 2/3 of Americans agree with me.

    See, this is the difference between a “religious belief” and “political action.” If your conscience (is that what you call God now?) tells you gay marriage is wrong, don’t marry another man. Using the mob power of the ballot box to deny others their desire to do so is petty, vindictive assholery.

    And it absolutely, positively precludes you from lecturing libertarians on what they should and shouldn’t be horrified about, if you’re willing to use the coercive power of government to forcibly prevent people from doing something that hurts nobody. In fact, it pretty much makes you a statist rather than a libertarian.

    What are you going to do about it? Disenfranchise anyone who doesn’t agree with you?

    No, see, I’m not a statist like you. I will merely socially shun anyone who does so, and not keep my opinion concerning their assholery a secret. I’ll also contribute money towards initiatives which attempt to convince people otherwise.

    Nice to know I can simply toss you in the box with them there Muslims that want other people to abide by their religious beliefs even when they don’t share them. All of a type, you theists are.

  84. That’s a separate argument, Cpt. Holly and I think that very few who post here would be in favor of speech restrictions of any kind. The fact the people are criticizing U.I.U-C for firing its editors for printing the Muhammad cartoons supports that notion.

    In my generic personal observation, I’ve noticed that many Reasonoids don’t seem to have a problem with speech restrictions if they are directed at the Religious Right.

  85. See, by the way, no vote is ever going to be taken on whether gay marriage is “right” or “wrong” — that’s far outside the scope of state power — but some may be taken on whether people who are not you should be allowed to do it.

    PS In re the Seattle example, there was a city anti-discrimination law that forbade denying services on the basis of sexual orientation. There’s no “Olly Olly In Free!” clause if your religion says “Gays are icky.” Don’t like it? Lobby to change the law — and good luck with that, in Seattle — or do business somewhere that doesn’t have such a law.

  86. the City of Seattle a couple of years ago forced a stationary company owned by a Christian woman to print wedding announcements for a gay couple, such things are not that far off here.

    Have a link or more info on that. Sounds made up.

  87. In my generic personal observation, I’ve noticed that many Reasonoids don’t seem to have a problem with speech restrictions if they are directed at the Religious Right.

    Which Reasonoids, and which speech restrictions did they support? Bear in mind that saying “Wow, that guy is a jerk for saying that” is NOT a speech restriction.

  88. That may be what they call a “persecution complex”, Captain Holly. Take care to distiguish ridiculing someone’s statements from calls for such speech to be banned.

  89. That may be what they call a “persecution complex”, Captain Holly. Take care to distiguish ridiculing someone’s statements from calls for such speech to be banned.

    David, in all seriousness, Holly does occasionally make posts like “I’m raising my daughter to be religious. I’ll bet you think that makes me a bad parent, huh?” I think he really DOES think people are out to get him, but if he could give examples of Reasonoids actually saying such things he’d be a lot more sympathetic in his attempts to play the persecuted martyr.

  90. Jennifer,

    You aren’t a misanthrope. You get selectively angry at elements of humanity. That doesn’t make you a misanthrope.

  91. I still want him to explain where the daylight is between the two statements I posted above. He never will, of course.

  92. PS In re the Seattle example, there was a city anti-discrimination law that forbade denying services on the basis of sexual orientation. There’s no “Olly Olly In Free!” clause if your religion says “Gays are icky.” Don’t like it? Lobby to change the law — and good luck with that, in Seattle — or do business somewhere that doesn’t have such a law.

    Hmmmm. I distinctly remember reading where some Reasonoid wrote that “using the mob power of the ballot box” to deny others their rights was “petty, vindictive assholery”

    Let me see, who was that?

  93. Holly, have you found the links where Reasonoids called for restrictions on religious speech?

  94. Quick comment on the topic related to this thread:

    As someone who graduated from the good old U of I way back in 89, I must say I’m astonished to hear about all the exciting controversies the Daily Illini has been up to since then. Trust me, back in the eighties, the DI was the most relentlessly boring paper imaginable. How times have changed.

    Thanks for listening. You may now resume calling each other names.

  95. There is an answer to bias in media, to the information slant created by money in the newsroom.

    http://www.makethenewsbetter.com

  96. Perhaps the sanest response yet seen to the Cartoon Apocalypse of ’06:

    Israeli Publisher Announces Anti-Semitic Cartoon Contest

    A Danish paper publishes a cartoon that mocks Muslims. An Iranian paper responds with a Holocaust cartoons contest — Now a group of Israelis announce their own anti-Semitic cartoons contest!

    Eyal Zusman (30), actor and writer, and Amitai Sandy (29), graphic artist and publisher of Dimona Comix Publishing, both from Tel-Aviv, Israel, have followed the unfolding of the “Muhammad cartoon-gate” events in amazement, until finally Zusman came up with the right answer to all this insanity – and so they announced today the launch of a new anti-Semitic cartoons contest – this time drawn by Jews themselves!

    “We’ll show the world we can do the best, sharpest, most offensive Jew hating cartoons ever published!” said Zusman, and Sandy added: “No Iranian will beat us on our home turf!”

    The contest has been announced today on the http://www.boomka.org website, and the initiators accept submissions of cartoons, caricatures and short comic strips from people all over the world. The deadline is Sunday March 5, and the best works will be displayed in an Exhibition in Tel-Aviv, Israel.

    Sandy and Zusman are now in the process of arranging sponsorships of large organizations, and promise lucrative prizes for the winners, including of course the famous Matzo-bread baked with the blood of Christian children.

    http://www.comicon.com/thebeat/2006/02/israeli_publisher_announces_an.html

  97. Hmmmm. I distinctly remember reading where some Reasonoid wrote that “mob power of the ballot box” to deny others their rights was “petty, vindictive assholery”

    In the interest of pushing this thread over 100 comments:

    Holly, Google and Reason’s own search engine both return zero results for the phrases “using the mob power of the ballot box” and “petty, vindictive assholery” at the reason site. If you’ve got proof, let’s see it.

  98. I said those two things, Tim, in my comment above. Ol’ Cap thinks he’s pullin’ a “Gotcha!” Except I would agree that lobbying to rescind an existing antidiscrimination law is, indeed, petty, vindictive assholery. So, sorry, Cap, no “Gotcha!” for you.

    You ever going to explain the difference between these for me?

    1. My religion forbids depiction of its main prophet, therefore you should not be allowed to do it.
    2. My religion thinks homosexuality is sinful, therefore you should not be permitted to marry your same-gender partner.

  99. Not that I don’t support Cap’s right to engage in petty, vindictive assholery, mind you – just that, if/when he does, I reserve the right to call him a petty, vindictive asshole.

  100. I said those two things, Tim, in my comment above.

    Aha. The important thing is that the thread topped 100 comments.

  101. You ever going to explain the difference between these for me?

    1. My religion forbids depiction of its main prophet, therefore you should not be allowed to do it.
    2. My religion thinks homosexuality is sinful, therefore you should not be permitted to marry your same-gender partner.

    Perhaps, oh Virtuous Phil, you could explain how a government forcing a religious person to do something against their beliefs is not a violation of their First Amendment freedoms.

    Unless, of course, you think that persons who believe homosexuality is sinful don’t deserve religious freedom, in which case your “petty, vindictive assholery” is completely understandable.

    But hey, let’s try it from this angle: Say an evangelical Christian wanted a gay-owned flower shop to provide flowers for his wedding. The flower shop owner refuses, because he thinks Christianity is homophobic. Is the flower shop owner within his rights, or not?

  102. Perhaps, oh Virtuous Phil, you could explain how a government forcing a religious person to do something against their beliefs is not a violation of their First Amendment freedoms.

    If gay marriage is made legal, what exactly will the government be forcing you to do?

  103. Holly, Google and Reason’s own search engine both return zero results for the phrases “using the mob power of the ballot box” and “petty, vindictive assholery” at the reason site. If you’ve got proof, let’s see it.

    As a clarification, when I wrote “Reasonoid” I meant it to mean a regular H&R commenter (such as Phil or Jennifer or Akira), not an official Reason contributor. I will try to be more specific in the future.

    Aha. The important thing is that the thread topped 100 comments.

    Besides, it gave me an excuse to comment some more.

  104. Okay, Holly, so which posters have seriously advocated restrictions on religious freedom? And how will you be forced by the government to violate your religious principles if gay marriage is made legal?

  105. But hey, let’s try it from this angle: Say an evangelical Christian wanted a gay-owned flower shop to provide flowers for his wedding. The flower shop owner refuses, because he thinks Christianity is homophobic. Is the flower shop owner within his rights, or not?

    Not to speak for Phil, but yes the shop owner is within his rights. Of course, I felt that the invitation designer was within her rights as well. Neither should be forced by government to do business with those that they don’t want to (although I think that there should be exceptions for monopolies, essential services, and emergencies). I also feel that neither is a particularly good businessman.

  106. I support the right of any printer or graphic designer to discriminate against gay people. I’m sure that wedding planners, florists, caterers, musicians, and bridal boutique owners will understand and continue to refer brides to that printer.

  107. We’re still waiting for how two consenting dudes getting hitched forces you to do anything, Captain Holly.

  108. The suspended Daily Illini Editor-In-Chief has been forced to seek legal counsel. A second Chicago Tributne article is available here.

  109. You know… I have nothing against freedom of speech, but I also know that we all can maintain peace by tolerance and sensitivity.

    Malaysia is a mult-racial multi-cultural country and we maintain peace with each other by being sensitive of each other’s culture and religion. Doing that does not lessen what we are or steal our freedom, it only makes us richer as we share each other culture.

    I am a Muslim and when I found out about the cartoons, I shrug it off as one of those ignorant ppl’s work. Later I realise that it was not. It brings up the question. Does freedom of speech also means the freedom to insult? If so, then if someone make a couple of demeaning cartoons of your family member and post it on local newspaper, you will shrug is off as free speech?

    I find the reaction of the middle-easterners to be extreme and uncivilized. But they are not a reflection of Muslims around the world and I hope ppl here are smart enough to see the difference.

    The comments has been a very interesting read to say to least.

  110. We’re still waiting for how two consenting dudes getting hitched forces you to do anything, Captain Holly.

    I have to jump in. He did, sort of, but didn’t connect all the dots for you.

    People, here is the disconnect that is swirling around Capt. Holly’s comments:

    Suppose that, under your religious beliefs, you consider homosexual acts to be sinful. You don’t want anything to do with that, and you don’t wish to be forced to support that in any way.

    Fine. But if the State allows two dudes to get married, that in itself does not infringe upon your religious beliefs in any way. You don’t have to support or condone this in any way.

    assuming that the State allows you to keep to yourself in this manner. However, in the current USA, we have many nondiscrimination laws.

    What Capt. Holly is perhaps not making clear is that his true concern is that his freedom of association may be violated.

    This concern is not about the right of gays to marry, per se. It is about the State’s power to interfere with your freedom of association. And that concern is not unwarranted.

    Suppose you speak aloud your belief that homosexuality is sinful — and this is considered hate speech, and the law punishes you for it.

    Suppose you own a banquet hall, and you refuse to rent it out to a gay couple looking for a place to have a wedding and reception, because you don’t want to support their marriage or lifestyle in any way. Suppose this is illegal discrimination under the law, and the State forces you to either rent out your hall to the couple or be punished.

    Suppose you own a business. You want to provide various employee benefits to your staff. You want to extend beneficiary and spousal coverage rights to the married partners of your heterosexual employees, but not to those who are in gay marriages, because you don’t want to support homosexuality in any way. Suppose the law forbids you to discriminate against gay vs. hetero married couples in this maner — you must either extend these coverage rights to people you’d rather not, or to none at all.

    None of these scenarious is all that far-fetched; in fact, I think the last two are almost inevitable. In all three cases, the law is probably well-intended, but in all cases it violates freedom of association (as all nondiscrimination laws do).

    These laws are, in fact, every bit as unjust as laws that would punish a Muslim restaurant owner for refusing to serve wine and pork to his Christian clientele (because these items are forbidden by the Muslim’s religion).

    So — at least in the near term — it looks like, realistically, we have a choice between an American where either the rights of gays are violated, or the rights of people like Capt. Holly’s will be. (Even though in the latter case it’s not gay marriage per se that will violate his rights, but the way gay marriage is likely to be handled by our entrenchment of well-intentioned but sometimes unjust nondiscrimination laws).

    So a guy like Capt. Holly has to choose between fighting for his own rights or those of gays. And I’m not 100% sure I can entirely blame him for choosing his own rights over sacrificing them for someone else’s.

    And the sentiments of a post like this don’t help much:

    In re the Seattle example, there was a city anti-discrimination law that forbade denying services on the basis of sexual orientation. There’s no “Olly Olly In Free!” clause if your religion says “Gays are icky.” Don’t like it? Lobby to change the law — and good luck with that, in Seattle — or do business somewhere that doesn’t have such a law.

    In other words: “If one of your own freedoms is violated, screw you — the mob has spoken. Submit, or move to someplace where your rights aren’t violated, or we’ll thrown in jail. Don’t like that? Then try to change the mind of the mob that outnumbers you and is already violating your rights. And good luck with that.”

    With attitudes like that very much in evidence, no wonder Holly is in fear for his rights. Because that’s every bit as much vindictive assholery as the attitude of “I think gays are icky and I don’t like them, and I don’t want to have anything to do with them, or do anything that in any way might help them get along in life” is.

    The libertarian solution is to allow gay marriage and also roll back the nondiscrimination laws, and let the chips fall where they may.

    Conventional wisdom is that gays and all other opressed minorities will then whither up and die because no one will sell them food or shelter. But remember our discussion of streetcar segregation a few months ago? It wasn’t the streetcar companies that were intent on treating their black customers like dirt, it was the local and state laws that required them to do so.

    Most people, including most bigots, will put their own profit before whatever satisfaction they might get from indulging in petty and irrational discrimination. Thank God for the almight dollar. Social pressure of anti-bigots helps too.

    If the discrimination is truly irrational, even unpopular minorities will be able to find what they need. There may be a few hold-out bigots, but if they face general social disapproval and the loss of potential profit, they’ll either come around or find themselves the shunned minority eventually.

  111. Stevo Darkly,

    EXCELLENT post! I fully agree.

  112. I still have two questions on the table before I answer any of yours, Holly. Snap to it if you want answers.

  113. But to stir the pot, assuming arguendo that I agree that businesses should be allowed to discriminate on the basis of skin color, sexual orientation, etc., then they have to put up a sign: “No Homos Welcome,” or “Sorry, No Blacks,” or, “Keep Walking, Christians.”

    Does that sound OK, Holly? Just so the cards are on the table from the get-go, and everyone knows where they can and can’t shop?

    You really don’t want to answer that question about those two statements, do you? Wonder why that is.

  114. And finally, Stevo, the paragraph you quoted from me was meant to show that there was a wider legal context to the example ol’ Cap tossed out than just “Mean old homos made kindly Christian printer do something he didn’t want to.” It’s incumbent on a business owner to know the legal atmosphere in which his business will be operating. If you run afoul of the law, you don’t get to just shout “But I’m a Christian!” and that’s that. Get the law changed. But be honest about what you’re doing: “I don’t want to serve homosexuals, so I want this law rescinded.”

  115. If so, then if someone make a couple of demeaning cartoons of your family member and post it on local newspaper, you will shrug is off as free speech?

    No, I won’t shrug it off. What I will do is publish demeaning cartoons of my own. The solution is more speech, not less.

    Not to mention the idea that it helps to not take yourself so seriously, like this Israeli group that is running an anti-semitic cartoon contest:

    http://www.boomka.org/

  116. Suppose you own a banquet hall, and you refuse to rent it out to a gay couple looking for a place to have a wedding and reception, because you don’t want to support their marriage or lifestyle in any way. Suppose this is illegal discrimination under the law, and the State forces you to either rent out your hall to the couple or be punished.

    Stevo-

    Consider this: Even in states without gay marriage or domestic partnership laws, some gays are embracing the non-state aspects of marriage. They hold ceremonies which they call by a variety of names, including “committment ceremonies” or even “wedding ceremonies” (especially for those whose churches offer gays the religious aspects of marriage). They hold big parties with friends and family. They hire florists and musicians and caterers and rent halls.

    Gay weddings are happening without the endorsement of the law, and so businesses will face issues of discrimination regardless of whether gay marriage is legal. However, legalizing gay marriage WILL enhance freedom of association: It will allow consenting partners of the same sex to share property, power of attorney, and other legal responsibilities in the same way as heterosexual couples.

    As to Phil’s statement about moving, I didn’t take it as an endorsement of tyranny of the local majority. I took it as a twist on an argument frequently made here when people claim that a state law violates their Constitutional rights: Unless the right in question is explicitly, unambiguously spelled out in the text of the US Constitution, some posters will undoubtedly say that it’s a matter of state law, and if you don’t like it you can move to another state. So Phil is saying “Yeah, well, if you don’t like an anti-discrimination law you can move to another state”, sort of as a way of turning the tables. I’ve noticed him turn arguments around like that before, and I assumed he was doing it this time as well.

  117. But to stir the pot, assuming arguendo that I agree that businesses should be allowed to discriminate on the basis of skin color, sexual orientation, etc., then they have to put up a sign: “No Homos Welcome,” or “Sorry, No Blacks,” or, “Keep Walking, Christians.”

    Does that sound OK, Holly? Just so the cards are on the table from the get-go, and everyone knows where they can and can’t shop?

    Cap’n Holly can answer for himself, but since I’ve also argued against nondiscrimination laws, I’d like to respond also.

    If “Does that sound OK?” means “Is that something you would find personally welcome or desirable?” I would say no. But if it means, “Should that be legal?” I would have to say yes.

    There’s even an upside. Such signs, IMO, are tantamount to seeing signs that say, “This Business Is Run by an Asshole,” and I consider that useful information.

    Gay weddings are happening without the endorsement of the law, and so businesses will face issues of discrimination regardless of whether gay marriage is legal. However, legalizing gay marriage WILL enhance freedom of association: It will allow consenting partners of the same sex to share property, power of attorney, and other legal responsibilities in the same way as heterosexual couples.

    thoreau, that’s an interesting observation. I would say that legalizing gay marriage will enhance freedom of association for gay people, but — if combined with nondiscrimination laws — will still limit freedom of association for would-be gay-shunners.

    But your observation that de facto gay marriage ceremonies still give certain businesses the opportunity to discriminate — and be punished for it — is interesting. And I think true. But legalizing gay marriage won’t change that either. A homophobic-run business (HPRB) is still forced to cater to gays. (Literally “cater”! Ha! I make funny.) There’s nothing for a HPRB to do but (1) cave in, but under resentment that seems self-justified (because it’s rights of association really are being violated), or else (2) lash out by supporting any move to make open homosexuality even less socially acceptable, so even the unofficial de factor wedding ceremonies become less common. And that’s not good either.

    Again, it’s really the nondiscrimination laws that are the big roadblock to acceptance of gay rights, paradoxical as it may seem. Unfortunately, attacking such well-intended laws is something very few of us are actually inclined to do.

  118. If “Does that sound OK?” means “Is that something you would find personally welcome or desirable?” I would say no. But if it means, “Should that be legal?” I would have to say yes.

    No, not just legal, required. Either your business is open to the public — all the public — or you must make clear to potential customers exactly who you do and don’t sell to, with allowances for refusing service on other bases (like someone is rude to you, or is smelling up your store with B.O., or somesuch).

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