Freedom of speech

I love conservativism… hate conservatives.

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I love conservative ideology.  I really do.  The states rights, the small government, the low taxes, the active military, all of it.  I just can’t stand conservatives.  I hate them more than any other member of a political ideology.  Mostly because they are intent on being deliberately stupid and spreading this stupidity like a plague.  Eventually they’ll run their course but not before making life difficult for everyone else.  This Duck Dynasty Phil is a wonderful case in point.

Conservatives are rallying to this banner in the name of free speech and family values.  #IstandwithPhil.  Phil screwed up.  He said something gross (really gross) and stupid and offensive.  I honest don’t know if he knew how offensive he was being.  Maybe these attitudes are just so common among backwards rednecks that no one thinks anything of it, but conservatives, you’re smarter than this.  You know in your heart of hearts he’s being gross, stupid, and offensive and he doesn’t deserve your support.  You’re going to give it to him anyway aren’t you.  You’re outraged that his right to free speech has been suppressed in some way.  Except, it hasn’t.  The government hasn’t swept through with federal agents to jail him for his speech crimes.  The government doesn’t care and that’s the limit to your right of free speech. It doesn’t protect you from getting fired from your job.  It doesn’t protect your employer from outraged citizens boycotting businesses and expressing their outrage.  It just keeps the government off your back.  You know this, but you’re going to vent about your free speech issues anyway no matter how willfully, intentionally, stupid it might be.

Many of you claim to be Christians.  Can you imagine Jesus saying anything like this?  If Jesus ever expressed an opinion on homosexuality it isn’t recorded in the Bible.  But if he did I imagine he’d have given the same treatment to gays that he gave to the woman caught in adultery.  I don’t think he’d go on a rant about the wonders of the vagina and it’s superiority to the male anus.  Or suggest that gay people are inherently propelled into bestiality.   Whatever Jesus was, he was never foul; he was never crude; and he’d be ashamed of the way you treat people.  I’m all for family values.  Private family values.  Going back to the Jesus thing, he told people that public prayers were worthless.  So much so that when I was a kid, I thought I was supposed to literally pray in my closet.  Jesus intentionally separated secular/political spending and religious spending.  He drove the bankers out of the temple.   There is simply no mechanism that Jesus would support for mixing public and religious life.  Yet we see the constant insertion of religiosity into the public and political sphere.  My family values are different than your family values.  They’re unique to me.  I live in a country that values that individuality.  What this means is in an increasingly crowded society you need to pull in your elbows a bit to make room for others.  Specifically this means your public display of religiosity needs to be carefully orchestrated so it doesn’t crowd out my religiosity or lack thereof.  Where’s the line?  Easy.  Ask yourself, is it appropriate for a muslim, pagan, hindu, or any other religious leader to be involved in a religious display?  Then it’s appropriate for you.  If you don’t want an imam to lead a Fajr prayer service in a public school, or have a witch cast a blessing spell then you can’t lead your own prayer service.  It’s either that or be confined to closets when praying (which I’m ok with).

I get tired of the selfish, unending hatred of anyone who doesn’t see your point of view.  This is America, the home of political pluralism, or so we like to think.  Embrace your intellect, fight for your values.  But make the fight mean something.  Don’t throw your energy defending some gross ignorant redneck from the wilds of Louisiana.  Fight the battles that matter.  Seek out real injustice, true corruption and genuine abuse of power.  Root out waste, fraud, and inefficiency. Build a nation that respects a plurality of beliefs and rigorously defend, not the beliefs, but the plurality.  Create a government that is nimbler, more efficient, and more honest so that it can better respond to the needs of the people.  It won’t solve every problem, but it’ll lay the groundwork for the compromises that will.  And don’t be stupid.    That’s all I’m saying.  Don’t be stupid.