- Orwell at the Judicial Conduct Office
- ♥ > H8 (and other conversation-stoppers)
- Omar Mateen, Focus on the Family fan?
- NYT continues its Kellerism
- Everybody has to say something everywhere
I will quickly mention the very important case of Ruth Neely, a Wyoming municipal court judge whom a panel of the state Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics recently recommended be removed from office because she publicly expressed her religious opinion that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. The Commission alleged that Judge Neely manifested “bias or prejudice,” that her statements could undermine public confidence in the judiciary, and that they bear “the appearance of impropriety.” In my opinion, it is much more likely that removing a judge from office simply because she is a Christian will lead to a widespread loss of faith in the judiciary. Judge Neely was never actually asked to perform a same-sex marriage, and so she never refused to do so. No allegation of non-performance of assigned duties was lodged against her. So we can leave aside any hypothetical in which accommodating conscientious objection to same-sex marriage would result in a public official’s substantial incapacity to do her job.
What’s happening to Judge Neely is tantamount to imposing a religious test for office. The legal profession—bench and bar—should rise up to arrest this very troubling development.
[I]nvocation of “hate” has become a way of dismissing opponents by suggesting that their beliefs are beyond the reach of reason. You can’t debate someone who hates, because hatred precludes thought; it’s in the bones. If Republicans are motivated by “hate,” then they are not legitimate political actors, because political life cannot be predicated on irrationality. Reason is our common ground.
But if opposition to same-sex marriage, to transgender laws, and so forth are arguable positions, if those beliefs are rationally defensible, if they are amenable to debate by reasonable people, then opponents cannot be dismissed, and counterarguments are necessary. Needless to say, this is a far more precarious position for people such as Zack Ford: They may lose the debate. Better not to have to debate at all.
Arguments against same-sex marriage and many of the Left’s pet causes exist, though. The work of Robbie George and Ryan Anderson and many others — whether or not they are persuasive — cannot simply be dismissed. Yet doing so has been the preferred course, because it’s easier than engaging those arguments.
(Ian Tuttle) I assume that the Left has a least-favorite trope whereby the Right dismisses them, too, but I’ve not encountered it. “Socialist”?
Well, they’re back:
ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio actually went so far as to blame Christians for the attack. He tweeted: “You know what is gross–your thoughts and prayers and Islamophobia after you created this anti-queer climate.” He went on: “The Christian Right has introduced 200 anti-LGBT bills in the last six months, and people are blaming Islam for this. No.”
(Stephen Turley) Omar Mateen killed 49, wounded 50-whatever, and pledged allegiance to ISIS because he’s been listening to Focus on the Family. Yeah. Right.
Lydia McGrew clearly would reject the aforesaid Anderson Cooper Test. I could say this sort of thing in a boring lawyerly way — free speech means I don’t have to say it if I think the words idle and servile — but she says it better:
There are worse things than soppy sentimentalism. Cruelty and hard-heartedness, for example. But I want to be one voice stating that sentiment for the sake of sentiment has its drawbacks and that American culture is in grave danger of thinking just the opposite–namely, that sentiment for the sake of sentiment is inherently virtuous.
National sentimentalism is closely tied to virtue signaling, bandwagoning, and social bullying. I’m on a Facebook group consisting of professing Christians. One member posted to the group a day or two after the shooting complaining angrily that there had been no “statement” posted to that particular group about the shooting. Several people quickly assured him that they had expressed the proper sentiments on their personal pages. Nobody told him to go jump in the lake. Even I didn’t, because I didn’t need the drama in my life, and it wasn’t worth my time. But the reason that kind of bullying gets off the ground is because of the sentimentalist assumption that everybody has to say something everywhere. Everybody has to express a certain feeling. The whole nation is in mourning, don’t you know, and we all have to make our gesture of joining in, and if you don’t, you’re a bad person. This is simply not a healthy state of affairs.
I want to emphasize that I think this sort of interpersonal pressure to say something is a bad thing regardless of how sympathetic the victims are. I think this about the Sandy Hook massacre, too, or the Paris massacre. I’m making no statement just here about homosexuality. What I am saying is that sentimentalism makes people ripe to be manipulated into talking in a certain way because that’s what everybody else is doing, and that is bad in and of itself.
(Lydia McGrew, excerpted from an almost perfect Sentiment vs. Sainthood) I had my own Facebook dust-up on parallel lines, and I’m grateful to McGrew for fleshing out the insight I only alluded to (which allusion offended my friend mightily).
* * * * *
“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)