What do Sarah Palin and Carrie Prejean have in common? Both are evangelical Christians. Both are babes. by Phil Manger
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Last fall I wrote a three-part series, which I posted on this site, on "Sarah Palin and the Politics of Elitism" (which you can read here, here, and here). My thesis was that the vitriol poured on Palin by the cultural elites stemmed from their insufferable snobbery and the fact that she was not one of them, that her fundamental worldview, shaped as it was by her roots in small town America and the Alaska outback, clashed with the outlook of those whose ideas had been molded by the Ivy League.
Those are still my views, and I'm pleased to find that they are shared by others, as well. See, for example, Yuval Levin's excellent essay in the February issue of Commentary. However, in recent weeks I've become aware of another ingredient in the mix, something so subtle that I missed it at first, but which I now believe to be a significant factor in the elites' almost deranged hatred of Sarah Palin.
When I was writing about Palin last fall, I saw her as an American Margaret Thatcher, a woman who had also come from a lower middle class background and who challenged the male leadership of her own political party and eventually prevailed over it. That, in fact, was how Palin was described in an email from an Alaskan that had been forwarded to me. I was, of course, aware that Palin was also a very attractive woman, but I did not see that as playing a significant role in either her popularity with the culturally conservative Republican base or her unpopularity with the elites. Now I believe her physical attractiveness is a factor, not in her popularity with cultural conservatives — after all, Susan Boyle is hugely popular despite having some decided deficiencies in the looks department — but in the elites' intense dislike and utter contempt for her.
As Levin has noted:
Palin became the embodiment of every dark fantasy the Left had ever held about the views of evangelical Christians and women who do not associate themselves with contemporary feminism, and all concern for clarity and truthfulness was left at the door.
A break with reality of this magnitude cannot solely be the result of mere cultural differences. Something else has to be at work here. While Palin's traditionally conservative social views are certainly part of it, I believe that what really enrages her critics is the fact that these views are being expressed by an attractive and successful woman.
I owe this insight to Carrie Prejean. For those of you who have been living under a rock or on another planet, Prejean, a.k.a. Miss California, was the Miss USA finalist who gave a politically incorrect answer to a question posed by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, one of the judges in the competition. Hilton, who is gay, asked Prejean if she thought other states should follow Vermont's recent example and legalize same-sex marriage. Prejean started to give a fairly standard, safe beauty-pageant-type answer ("I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other..."), and then, almost in mid-sentence, abruptly seemed to change her mind, and stated that she believed marriage should be between a man and a woman. Her answer was polite and straightforward, and she said she meant no offense to anyone who was listening, but that was what she believed. You can verify this for yourself here.
Miss Prejean then lost the crown to Miss North Carolina, Kristen Dalton, and finished the competition as first runner-up. Hilton called Prejean's answer the "worst in pageant history" and he and another judge said she lost the crown because of it.
That should have been the end of it. The real scandal here is that this young woman was penalized for simply expressing a personal opinion — an opinion shared by a majority of Americans and a majority of Californians, whom she was representing in the pageant. Nevertheless, this was a beauty pageant, not a debate among candidates for public office. It hardly qualifies as a major news event.
But it wasn't the end of it. Prejean's answer was denounced almost immediately by officials of the Miss California-USA organization. The next day, Hilton posted a rant on the Internet in which he, among other things, called Prejean the b-word. He later apologized, then withdrew his apology and added the c-word to the epithets used to describe her.
Then it got ugly. A campaign of accusations, leaks, rumors and innuendo began. Not content with simply denying her the Miss USA crown, Prejean's enemies wanted to strip her of her Miss California title as well.
The first accusation was almost laughable. She was accused of lying about dating Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps. Actually, she never claimed that. Her grandmother told a reporter she had had lunch with Phelps and attended a sporting event with him. Prejean wouldn't comment on the story except to say that Phelps was a "great man".
Then she was accused by pageant publicists of lying to her church when she told the congregation that pageant officials had told her not to bring up her faith during her appearances on several talk shows. However, pageant officials admitted that they did talk to her before she went on the talk shows and instructed her on the kind of answers she should give, although they denied telling her not to mention religion.
Next, someone leaked a story that Prejean had had breast implants shortly before the Miss USA pageant. Officials of the Miss California organization then confirmed the story and told the media that the organization had paid for the implants. This is confidential medical information, and it could have come from only one of two sources: the office of the physician who did the implants, or the Miss California organization itself. Since the physician would face professional discipline, including the possible loss of his license, for revealing such information, the most likely source is someone in the state pageant organization, and the leak has all the earmarks of a planned leak — i.e. information leaked for the sole purpose of getting it out in the public so that it could then be "officially" confirmed.
Even worse than the leaking of confidential medical information, however, was the publication of old court documents from Prejean's parents' messy years-ago divorce. According to the documents, both parties to the divorce traded accusations of homosexuality — mother against father and father against stepfather — and, so the journalistic theory goes, these accusations planted the seed of homophobia in the mind of the impressionable young Carrie Prejean.
And then a gossip website dropped the big bomb: they had NUDE photos of Prejean! PROOF that she had lied on her application when she said she had never posed nude! However, when a photo finally appeared on the website, it proved to be quite tame. While Miss Prejean is topless, her back is to the camera, and she is showing less skin than she and other Miss USA contestants displayed while parading across the stage in their swimsuits on national television. I’ve seen racier photos in the women’s magazines you can find in any supermarket checkout line.
Finally, Prejean was accused of violating her contract by speaking in her church and making a commercial for a traditional marriage group without first getting the permission of the Miss California organization. This has to be the most ridiculous charge of all. Such contracts are meant to apply to public appearances at events like trade shows and county fairs, not take away the title-holder's First Amendment rights.
While all this has been going on, the blogosphere has been hammering Prejean mercilessly. A Google search on "Carrie Prejean" yields over 12 million hits. (In fairness, I should mention that some gay websites, while disagreeing with her views, have been supportive of her right to express them.)
According to news reports, California pageant officials are now contemplating stripping Miss Prejean of her crown. They have scheduled a press conference for Monday to announce their decision, and Donald Trump, who owns the parent Miss USA franchise, will announce on Tuesday whether she will still be the Miss USA first runner-up. Somehow, I doubt Prejean will lose either title unless she chooses to resign. Firing the pleasant and popular Prejean — she was elected "Miss Congeniality" by her fellow Miss USA contestants — would do incalculable damage to the Miss USA franchise. Donald Trump is a businessman and nobody's fool. He's not going to throw away his investment for the sake of political correctness.
So, why has Carrie Prejean gotten so much attention? Why are so many people trying to destroy her with a relentless campaign of lies, smears and vilification? She is not running for office, she is not going to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency (at least, not any time soon), she is not in a position of authority. She is a 21-year-old college student who is no threat to anyone. All she did was give an honest answer to a question — a question she almost certainly never wanted to be asked. President Obama holds exactly the same view of marriage and has much more power than Miss Prejean, yet he has not been similarly slimed.
The answer is so perverse as to be almost beyond belief. Carrie Prejean has been vilified because she is an extremely attractive and articulate evangelical Christian. And, yes, I said articulate. If you don't believe me, check out this video of the April 26 service at San Diego's The Rock church. This is a woman who knows what she believes and why. She has been the victim of a combination of anti-Christian bigotry — the only form of bigotry that is still socially acceptable in America — and the resentment sometimes displayed toward confident, attractive people.
Which brings us back to Sarah Palin.
The 2008 Presidential election is over, and Gov. Palin has long since returned to Alaska and, except for a trip to Indiana to speak to a pro-life group, she has pretty much been devoting herself to her official duties. Although there is talk of her running for President in 2012, and she is still the first choice of most Republicans, she has not been acting like a Presidential candidate.
Which is why it is so puzzling that the vicious attacks on her have continued unabated. When Dan Quayle, — who, while Vice-president and while a candidate for the office had been treated by the news media in much the same way Palin has been treated — left for Arizona after the Bush-41 ticket lost the 1992 Presidential election, nobody heard much about him afterwards. Palin is still in the news almost every day.
The latest line of attack is the filing of frivolous ethics complaints against her. There have been so many of them, and they have been so ridiculous — with each complaint announced (illegally, because ethics complaints are not supposed to be made public until reviewed by the state personnel board) by the complainant with a press release and a broadcast to the blogosphere — that this has all the earmarks of a coordinated campaign.
One complaint alleges that Palin improperly used her office to promote a private business because she wore an Arctic Cat jacket at the Iron Dog snow machine race. Arctic Cat sponsors her husband Todd's racing team, and she was wearing the team jacket. Another complaint charges her with with "accepting outside employment". The "outside employment" she allegedly accepted was her trip to Indiana to speak to the pro-life group.
So far, 14 complaints have been filed, and nine have been dismissed by the personnel board. Five others are still under investigation. The irony in all this is that no governor in Alaska's 51-year history has done more to end corruption and bring transparency to government than Palin. In fact, the very system that allows the filing of all these frivolous complaints is in part a result of Palin's past campaigns for ethics reform.
The governor has to pay the lawyers who defend her against these complaints out of her own pocket. When legal bills reached $500,000, her friends set up a legal defense fund. And guess what? An ethics complaint was filed against the fund.
The liberal media and much of the blogosphere actually take these complaints seriously, as if they are indicative of some deep character flaw in Palin. For example, Chris Kelly, who is a writer for Real Time with Bill Maher and who also blogs for Huffington Post seems to think wearing an Arctic Cat jacket is practically criminal. However, one newspaper, the Anchorage Daily News (which endorsed Obama for President) has finally said editorially that enough is enough.
Although Sarah Palin is a governor, and therefore possesses some real political power, while Carrie Prejean is a college student and possesses none, the two women actually have much in common. Both are intelligent, confident, articulate and attractive women who are also evangelical Christians. Both women have been attacked because of these attributes and because they are women of integrity who will not compromise their beliefs for political or material gain. And both women have weathered the attacks against them with grace and dignity.
In fact, the women may recognize the similarities in their respective situations. According to Prejean's father, Gov. Palin recently phoned her to offer her encouragement and support.
I've always had a deeply felt need to believe the good guys will eventually win, so I think things will turn out well for these two women. Perhaps Palin will become President, and Prejean a Fox News anchor. Or maybe they'll end up doing something else. In any case, I don't believe their enemies will have the last word.
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The real scandal here is that this young woman was penalized for simply expressing a personal opinion — an opinion shared by a majority of Americans and a majority of Californians,
A good theory, but one which is neither true, nor would it be relevant if it were. Since when in this country does the majority have the right to oppress the minority because the minority holds an unpopular viewpoint or engages in an unpopular activity? The whole reason we are a Republic and not a democracy of mob rule is so that the rule of law can protect the rights and interests of minority groups.
What's more, support for gay rights is NOT a minority viewpoint. In the lastest polls (see pollingreport.com) 57-60% of the population supports legal civil unions or gay marriage and the percentage is growing.
It's reassuring to know that in America the bigotry represented by the women you laud here is doomed to obscurity.
You might try adding a button for "Don't like the article". But then, any expectations of balance or integrity from the right were eliminated by your consistency over these past dozen years.
Your "theory" of cultural elitism as an explanation for some of the media response is plain simple - just the same old hype and denial that republi-cons have been spinning madly for years to cover the indefensible public gaffs - AND inability to form any kind of sustainable social contract with others who do not share your "world view" or ideologies. For example, the beauty queen's mis-statement that America is great having given Gays & Lesbians marital rights, her bias/opinion notwithstanding. Hello?
The other challenge (for her AND Palin) is how to continue claims upon a mythical moral high ground when your past(s) hold inconsistencies and immoralities - sort of like the rest of us humans.
BTW, in case you care, this "ivy league" opinion comes from a high school educated son of a Wyoming working class family.
Dave Nalle stated, "What's more, support for gay rights is NOT a minority viewpoint. In the lastest polls (see pollingreport.com) 57-60% of the population supports legal civil unions or gay marriage and the percentage is growing."
--I checked your source, and according to those polls the Majority are not for "gay marriage." a high percentage are for "civil unions." there is a difference. If you add them together, then the number is higher, but the poll does not add them together.
Phil's statement is correct: "The real scandal here is that this young woman was penalized for simply expressing a personal opinion — an opinion shared by a majority of Americans and a majority of Californians"
I'm an unabashed liberal but i must say Dave, you're wrong on this. Ms. Prejean simply said that she believes marriage is something that should exist between a man and a woman and she's entitled to that opinion. Had she said "Gays are a perversion and should burn in Hell" than I'd say she's deserving of our ire. I happen to believe that same-sex unions should be formally and legally recognized as "Civil-Unions," but not marriage.
this article is well thought out and supported by facts. the big problem with this stink is that the elites, gays don't care to discuss that even they know their fish stinks.it is so much eaiser for them to continue in their downward spiral and their lunancy. don't confuse these people with the truth and facts they don't exist in their world just the evidence of their sickness. now this new twist on our culture demands that all have to view everything through the sick and degenerate queer filter. it would be much eaiser if all would keep their decided sexual prefrence private. there is more to this life than being beat over the head by a gay agenda.
As a blue collar. articulate, intelligent Christian woman, I do not count Palin or Prejean among my peers. Neither are qualified for the posiition they sought. The duties of both Miss USA and Madame President require the ability to reach across cultural & ideological divides to form cohesive support for and from ALL Americans.
'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
There sure is a lot of crap from conservatives who call themselves libertarians.
Would anyone defend this woman if she was asked about the Middle East and responded: "Well, Jews simply shouldn\\\'t have the same rights as others. That is what I was taught. Now, no offense to anyone but God said the Jews are a damned race and that is how Christianity traditionally saw them. I\\\'m just standing up for tradition."
But let some bimbo make antigay statements in the name of her imaginary friend in the sky and suddenly it\\\'s just fine. She was free to say what she wanted and others can criticize her. None of her rights were violated, except in the imagination of conservatives. We also have the right to criticize bigots, even when their bigotry is religiously-based.
Please change your lable to "conservative" - it\'s called truth in advertising.
No, I will NOT change my label to "conservative". I'm not only a libertarian -- I am a RADICAL libertarian. As a delegate to the Libertarian Party National convention in 1975 I introduced the plank that called for the U. S. government to allow gays to serve openly in the military -- the first such plank in ANY American political party platform. I repudiated the LP's presidential nominee for 1976 because he said he would not run on the same ticket with a homosexual. Even so, support for same-sex marriage is NOT a litmus test for libertarians. In fact, I would argue that a true libertarian CANNOT support same-sex marriage.
Civil marriage is a collection of "rights" -- not in the sense of the inalienable rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but in the sense state-enforced CLAIMS on the resources and behavior of others. People who have moral objections to homosexuality -- and they have the absolute RIGHT to those objections as long as they don't initiate force against anyone else -- would be forced at gunpoint to honor those claims.
But all this is beside the point. Carrie Prejean is a 21-year-old college student and is no threat to anyone. And your analogy with religious bigotry is incorrect. Prejean did not say anything negative about homosexuality or gays. All she said is that she believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. Period. She has the right to her opinion.
BTW, your "bimbo" comment and your comments about "her imaginary friend in the sky" show us who the real bigot is.
So where is your medical scientific proof that homosexuality is a sickness? Last time I checked there is none. In addition the debate is still ongoing if homosexuality is a choice or a natural thing. So far studies have leaned towards it being natural but overall its still inconclusive.
Please enlighten me on how a "true" Libertarian can't support same sex marriage?
Does it affect our taxes? No.
Does it affect your rights as a person? No.
Libertarianism's core beliefe is in my words: "to have the right to be left alone" Thats why I support same-sex marriage because it has no negative affect on me or anyone else for that matter. In my opinion Granted the better Libertarian position would be for the government to get out of marriage entirely but that is nearly impossible. Getting the government out of marriage is a steeper hill than legalizing same-sex marriage.
As for Prejean, who cares. Everyone should know that the fashion industry is nortiously liberal so this is like clockwork. The left got pissed, big deal and the conservatives pounced on it, despite that there are bigger issues at hand (like the idiot in the White House for one) but I guess they needed something easy to attack.
If you are an employer and offer benefits to the spouses of your employees, you would be required by law to provide them to same-sex spouses even though you may find homosexuality revolting.
If you are a landlord who wishes to rent only to families, you would be required to rent to same-sex couples, even if you disapprove.
If you are the administrator of a church-related hospital, you would be required to grant, not only automatic visitation, but the right of a same-sex "spouse" to make medical decisions for a patient. Admittedly, this last argument is kind of weak, since you can grant a medical power of attorney to anybody. But the availability of medical powers of attorney also undercuts one of the main arguments for same-sex marriage.
If you are a credit card company that automatically issues a second card for a spouse, you would be required to issue a second card to a same-sex "spouse" even if you disapprove of same-sex marriage.
And so on.
Perhaps the idea of gay marriage doesn't bother you. But it does bother other people, who also have the "right to be left alone".
Actually Phil Blue, the people in those examples are being left alone and are not precluded from making money. I dont see what the problem is.
Also, the example "If you are a landlord who wishes to rent only to families, you would be required to rent to same-sex couples, even if you disapprove" is highly deceptive. Many same-sex couples have children either by adoption, formerly of another relationship or fertilization. So the landlord would still be renting to a family.
All of these examples fall under private property rigths. They want to deny services to someone they have every right to. In addition I'm pretty sure no gay or lesbian would work for an employer who finds homosexuality revolting.
Based on the comments I have read - the truth sometimes hurt.
Views are based on ones opinion - Miss Prejean had her own. Good, bad or indifferent - we should all respect it. Most gays want us to tolerate their rights, etc. However, they are unwilling to tolerate our opinions.
It's amazing the hypocrisy that is being dealt on these two ladies. I watched an interview of the N.O.W representative and why they were not supporting Miss Prejean - the lady came off with she had implants, etc...... Talk about double standards.
Good thing I never got into the hype of N.O.W - which is a ridiculous organization. If anything, they have damaged the family values of this country.
Posted By: Walt Thiessen
Date: 2009-05-11 16:39:48
What about her failure to show up at a series of events scheduled for Miss California to appear at? This seems to be a glaring omission from your analysis. Apparently, the problem has gotten so bad that today the Miss California people deputized her first-runnerup to be available from now on, regardless of what Donald Trump decides.
I am constantly amazed at the lengths that self-described Christians will go to in order to claim that they are being targeted by liberals for their faith. This article continues that pattern. Wouldn't it make more sense to simply be secure in your faith and not worry about what others think? Apparently not.
Such self-described Christians are engaging in a cycle of promoting chaos and crisis. If the chaos subsides, they must reenergize it, because the resulting calmness is too uncomfortable. In this way, they blithely move from one crisis to another. Peace, stability, and balance are out of the question in their world.
I was planning to write another article today dealing with precisely that issue -- i.e. Prejean's alleged failure to show up at official Miss California events -- and the organization's designation of the first runner-up to perform those duties as "Beauty of California Ambassador" (sounds a little like "Operation Iraqi Freedom", doesn't it?)
Considering the fact that the Miss California organization has been stabbing Prejean in the back since the night of the pageant -- beginning with Miss California co-directors Keith Lewis and Shanna Moakler refusing to meet her backstage after the pageant, to Moakler telling Perez Hilton she agreed with him (his vulgar denunciations of Prejean, that is), to leaking confidential medical information about Prejean, to claiming that her "nude" photos violated her contract (not so, say those who have studied the contract), to claiming that her speaking to other groups without the permission of the organization violates her contract (I dealt with that in the article) to today's action -- I am not surprised that she doesn't have a lot to do with the organization these days.
Actually, Walt, I think that Lewis and Moakler are delighted that Prejean IS NOT performing her Miss California "duties". This issue has gotten so much traction -- in large part due to the actions or inactions of the Miss California organization itself -- that it is probable that a public appearance by her would bring out an army of angry demonstrators.
So, you don't think Christians are targeted because of their faith? Have you read some of the responses to this article? Or the comments sections under most news stories about the Miss California issue? As for being secure in her faith and not worrying about what others think, Prejean was so unconcerned about what others think that she stuck by her beliefs even when she knew it would cost her the crown. And she has reacted to the vitriol that has been poured on her since with dignity and grace.
Be honest, now. If Carrie Prejean had said she is for same-sex marriage, do you think she would be enduring what she's enduring now?
By the way, what do you mean by "self-described" Christians and "their world"? You're skating on thin ice here, Walt. I'm a Christian, and so are a lot of other libertarians. Even when I was an atheist, I never understood the hatred many libertarians harbored toward religious people in general and Christians in particular. For your edification, here's a link to an article Walter Block wrote last year. Dr. Block, by the way, is an atheist.
Posted By: Jahfre Fire Eater
Date: 2009-05-11 18:11:14
In my experience, the vast majority of individuals are intolerant of and bewildered by principles that they do not share. Liberals tend to HATE people who hold positions contrary to their own. Conservatives tend to FEAR those they don't see eye-to-eye with. Libertarians can be either liberal or conservative and vary similarly in their reactions of hate or fear. They are simply confused individuals who have mistaken an intellectual tool for a political party. Voluntary self-marginalization isn't a virtue in my book.
The primary tactic of the "haters" is to present information aimed at painting their target as a hypocrite. In the mind of the haters, nothing is more worthy of instant dismissal than hypocracy, real, imagined, faked, it makes no difference. The point is to rationalize their dismissal of the messenger so they do not have to face the principles underlying their opposition. Principles to a liberal are like water on a witch; incompatible with their continued existence. When faced with examples in the real world, they will always attack the messenger and never address the reasons that other disagree with them. They drive government to outlaw their opposition through their hate.
The fearful conservatives do much the same thing except they know painting a liberal as a hypocrite is both redundant and futile, so they paint them as evil and harmful to society. Then use fear to pursue legislation to outlaw those who oppose them.
Both of these groups, no matter what political party they choose, are enemies of liberty and tolerance.
Posted By: Walt Thiessen
Date: 2009-05-12 06:15:56
"So, you don't think Christians are targeted because of their faith?"
I didn't say they weren't targeted. I said that they're overly sensitive to it. I'm not a Christian (although I'm not an atheist either), and I find that my spiritual views get targeted as well. The difference is that I generally don't take offense to the criticisms; instead, I largely ignore the critics (unless I find that they're using their criticism to attack my rights). I certainly don't go out of my way to start fights with my spiritual critics.
I've found that many Christians, particularly of the anti-gay-marriage variety, are extremely sensitive about their views and about criticisms to their views, and many do go out of their way to start fights about it. In fact, that's really what the whole anti-gay-marriage thing is all about...starting a fight because someone else (usually a gay who wants to get married to another gay) doesn't live by the believer's religious value system and wants to live by a different value system.
The anti-gay-marriage Christians started that fight by trying to use government to deny gays their basic human right to marry whomever they choose, regardless of gender, and regardless of how the Christian in question feels about their use of the word marriage. For those same Christians to then complain about being targeted for their views is just indefensible. You can't start a fight and then blame the other guys if they fight back.
"The anti-gay-marriage Christians started that fight by trying to use government to deny gays their basic human right to marry whomever they choose, regardless of gender, and regardless of how the Christian in question feels about their use of the word marriage."
I don't want to turn this into a debate on gay marriage, but I think you've got it backwards. In an earlier post, I noted that
Civil marriage is a collection of "rights" -- not in the sense of the inalienable rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but in the sense of state-enforced CLAIMS on the resources and behavior of others. People who have moral objections to homosexuality -- and they have the absolute RIGHT to those objections as long as they don't initiate force against anyone else -- would be forced at gunpoint to honor those claims.
I gave examples of some of those claims in a subsequent post. Those who insist on legalizing same-sex marriage are really demanding that the government use its police powers to impose those claims on people who may disagree with the idea. Gays already have the right to do most of what marriage allows heterosexual couples to do. They can live together, grant each other powers of attorney, leave one-third of their estate to their partners, etc., etc. About the only thing they can't do is refrain from testifying against their partners in a court of law -- and that right is now being taken away from spouses in heterosexual marriages as well.
Christians didn't "start" anything. They are most concerned about the assaults on marriage that began with the introduction of no-fault divorce laws in the 1960s and have extended right up to the denial of the right of someone to refrain from testifying against his or her spouse. Libertarians should be be concerned about this, too. Walter Block has noted that totalitarians always target the church and family for persecution:
Why pick on religion and the family? Because these are the two great competitors – against the state – for allegiance on the part of the people. The Communists were quite right, from their own evil perspective, to focus on these two institutions. All enemies of the overweening state, then, would do well to embrace religion and the family as their friends, whether they are themselves atheists or not, parents or not.
Libertarians, of all people, should be "pro-family". And we should at least be tolerant of religion.
Posted By: Walt Thiessen
Date: 2009-05-12 10:05:45
Which came first, Phil, the chicken or the egg? The idea of a "civil marriage" is a government construct originally created to prevent blacks and whites from intermarrying back in the 18th and 19th centuries. Now it's being applied to prevent gays from marrying.
The fact is people have the right to marry independently of the construct of civil marriage, and any attempt by advocates of civil marriage to block their attempts at marriage is itself a violation of a natural right of contract.
So once again I say the anti-gay crowd started this fight by hiding behind the government construct of "civil marriage." In other words, they are using government force to support the imposition of their religious objections to the actions of others.
This is my last word in this thread on the subject of gay marriage, which I really didn't set out to write about, anyway. (The article was about the abuse that is heaped on attractive Christian women who speak their minds.)
The debate about same-sex marriage is ENTIRELY about civil marriage. As I said above, there is nothing to prevent any two people of whatever sex from living together, granting powers of attorney to each other, etc., etc. If they want to "marry" in that sense, nobody's stopping them. But civil marriage is about a lot more than just living together; as I pointed out in two previous posts, it is actually a set of state-enforced claims against third parties.
Also, opposing same-sex marriage is NOT being anti-gay. I've already mentioned my own history as a supporter of gay rights (at a time when that position was NOT popular, at least among straight people -- it wasn't even all that popular in the Libertarian Party at that time). And I know others who have also been supporters of gay rights, but who draw the line at same-sex marriage.
And the opponents of same-sex marriage did not "start" the fight. Until about a decade ago, every culture and government in the history of the world had sanctioned marriage only between men and women (sometimes between one man and multiple women). They only got active after others started trying to legally redefine marriage.
BTW, did you see Donald Trump's press conference today? Looks like I was right about at least two things I said: Carrie Prejean would not lose either title, and she is also a very intelligent and articulate woman.
Posted By: Walt Thiessen
Date: 2009-05-12 11:58:23
I think you left something out about your discussion of civil marriage. It's not just about claims against third parties. It's also about gaining government privileges for oneself that are unavailable to people whose marriages are not legally recognized, such as the privilege to file income taxes as married rather than single, thus avoiding the "marriage penalty."
It's interesting that you're defending the idea of civil marriage, because it implies that you condone the idea of making individuals subservient to and dependent upon the state for their "privileges."
Posted By: Bill Garcia Jr
Date: 2009-05-14 08:06:02
As a Libertarian I dont hate religion, I hate those who use religion in order to use the government jackboot to enforce private morals. In this country that consists mostly of the Christian Right. I rarely see Jews, Muslims or any other religion lobby for morality legislation.
Walt is also spot on how how the Christian Right likes to fight but when their target fights back they pull the Oppression/Victim card or on rare occassions the Communist/Socialist Card. Hell I believe they have even surpassed Sharpton and Jackon in using it and I thought that would be virtually impossible.
If you add a thumbs-down button you can claim to be impartial. Which this analysis is not.
Prejean's fate mirrors shifting public opinion, which is becoming more democratic, which implies we're all equal, we should all get an equal chance in life. The new sentiment is, you should get what you work for. The public is increasingly sick of people jumping into positions of influence for reasons that look like special favor (beauty, which is genetic favor; religion, which is mysterious), because it is a kind of elitism. Ivy-League elitism has been sneered at for centuries, and Big Wealth is the next elite to fall. Anything that seems public gets more attention. Public opinion is shifting in favor of gay marriage, ergo, Prejean lost. Public opinion is shifting against the religious right and towards the agnostic left, ergo, Prejean lost. Public support is shifting away from wealthy business owners and towards common workers and their unions, and Prejean certainly does not look like that. Ergo, she lost.
I'm sorry, but I couldnt disagree more with this article. She is not being vilified for being a christian, or having a particualr view on marriage; she is being vilified because she is a hypocrite, presents herself as arrogant and pampered, and is a masetr of rhetorical and theatrical devices to avoid honest questions. Her performance on Larry King was the most self-serving, transparent, obnoxious planned performances I think I have ever seen.
UPDATE: It's Nov 13, and we're now up to 30 porn pix and EIGHT video tapes (as opposed to "one" mistake she made when she was "17" for her "boyfriend" who she knew for 4 days).
Personally, I don't care how many sex tapes she made and have no problem with any of them. But for her to present herself as this wholesome virginal model of chastity; to proclaim the Glory of Christian Virtue as against the Heathen Homosexual Agenda; to present her as a Victim; and for people to actually defend her with blinders on so big they would weigh down a Clydesdale...ell that's worthy of several guffaws - and maybe an article retraction - dontcha think, Mr. Manger?