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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Fred Phelps is dead. (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Fred Phelps is dead.
Derrell
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I honestly don't know how I feel about this. I've been thinking about this since I found out he was in hospice care. AS a Christian, I should feel some kind of remorse. I'm finding it hard to mourn his passing.
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Lyrhawn
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Lots of talk of people protesting at his funeral.

My favorite suggestion was to have a gay pride party across from his funeral.

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
"I take no solace or joy in this man's passing.

"We will not dance upon his grave, nor stand vigil at his funeral holding 'God Hates Freds' signs, tempting as it may be. He was a tormented soul, who tormented so many.

"Hate never wins out in the end. It instead goes always to its lonely, dusty end."

George Takei takes all the fun out of justifiable spite.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Derrell:
I honestly don't know how I feel about this. I've been thinking about this since I found out he was in hospice care. AS a Christian, I should feel some kind of remorse. I'm finding it hard to mourn his passing.

I know God is deeply disappointed in Mr. Phelp's use of the gifts he was given. As all men are brothers, I mourn that he squandered his time, and harmed so many people, and now leaves this life adrift.
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Kwea
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May God have more mercy on his soul than he had for others while alive.
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Sean Monahan
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Here is an interesting article (and there are many similar) about how Phelps actually helped to further the cause of gay rights.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
quote:
"I take no solace or joy in this man's passing.

"We will not dance upon his grave, nor stand vigil at his funeral holding 'God Hates Freds' signs, tempting as it may be. He was a tormented soul, who tormented so many.

"Hate never wins out in the end. It instead goes always to its lonely, dusty end."

George Takei takes all the fun out of justifiable spite.
If there is one person on Earth that could make his death be an incredibly funny thing (and be justified in doing so), it would be George Takei. The fact that he hasn't gives me even more respect for him.
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TomDavidson
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Bear in mind that Takei, as wonderful as he is, hires writers for his Twitter feed.
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Samprimary
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There's nothing to celebrate in any person dying — not in and of itself, and also not in Fred Phelps' case at all, as he had become irrelevant to his own movement and no active harm is abated by his expiration. There's also the fact that he got to live a full life, which means that the conclusion of that life doesn't offer much meat to celebrate. 84 years! He had a pretty good run and he seemed to be in good health for most of that — we should all be so lucky. Hooray?

However.

The excommunication from his own church, though. That's just poetic. The miserable old shit reaps what he sows, in the end, in the most astoundingly quintessential way. Kicked from his own movement in a power struggle — of all things, for suggesting they not be so hostile to each other. Confined in exile in a hospice, left to rot, as isolated from the rest of humanity as a person can be. If anything, death is a mercy from that. If you were really spiteful, if you really harbored antipathy for him, you'd have wanted him to last a while longer in that hell.

Phelps is really a pretty clean case of "and nothing of value was lost" — his estranged kids all describe a remarkably horrid home environment, with a painkiller addicted, psychotic, abusively overlording Phelps sr. having psychotic screaming fits and demolishing furniture and plates on a regular basis, eventually forcing all the kids to support the family by selling cookies for "charity" door to door after school each day. If the kids didn't reach a quota (or phelps was just in a foul mood) they were beaten heavily. One phelps child was beaten into shock with over 200 strikes with a rattan cane or a similar instrument. All the while, Phelps preached all the best fire and brimstone and held as many of his children in his thrall with tales of the hell that awaited them if they stepped outside his command. One Phelps child literally sprinted out of the compound the night he turned 18, convinced utterly that he would be going to Hell for doing so, but still thinking the alternative was worse.

As a minister he was one of the odiously common Christian champions of inflicting physical violence on children. Or wives, for that matter. He encouraged men to beat their wives heavily for disobedience; one of his followers had to get bailed out of jail after following his advice. Phelps' wife at the time was even literally thrown down stairs as a method of punishment. The man was a demented and violent maniac, but he was able to threaten or coerce local government officials out of prosecuting him, so the abuse continued nearly unabated at home, as did the constant (further) endangerment of the children being sent long distances into the city to keep selling cookies to support dad's drug habits.

Nothing else about the man manages to be more than marginally less abhorrent.

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vineyarddawg
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Actually, as I understand it, Phelps was excommunicated specifically because he was dying. His warped theology teaches that true "sanctified" followers of Christ will never die, but will be taken directly into Heaven. By physically dying, he proved that he was not one of God's "elect," so he was excommunicated from the church.

I agree, though, that it's a poetic turn of events during the final days of his misspent life.

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advice for robots
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Well, he reaped what he sowed. Hopefully the bitterness he brought into so many lives can now begin to soften so healing can begin. And hopefully the church he founded will lose its potency without him.
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Foust
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So, here's a thought: on balance, Phelps was a force for good in the world.

I'm sure he hurt many people in his immediate vicinity.

But from a wider perspective? Didn't he do a lot to discredit homophobia?

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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Foust:
So, here's a thought: on balance, Phelps was a force for good in the world.

I'm sure he hurt many people in his immediate vicinity.

But from a wider perspective? Didn't he do a lot to discredit homophobia?

Sure, and Warren Jeffs did a lot to bring to light the negative aspects of polygamy, the KKK did a lot to discredit racism, and 9/11 helped us understand that there are terrorists in the world.

We've been looking at this all wrong. Why aren't these groups given legitimacy and their leaders given medals?

IT'S AN OUTRAGE!

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Foust
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Was support for polygamy, terrorism or racism things?

Look, nationalism/racism got killed dead by WW2, but WW2 was apocalyptic.

Phelps was just a dummy with a sign.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Foust:
... nationalism/racism got killed dead by WW2 ...

?
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
quote:
Originally posted by Foust:
So, here's a thought: on balance, Phelps was a force for good in the world.

I'm sure he hurt many people in his immediate vicinity.

But from a wider perspective? Didn't he do a lot to discredit homophobia?

Sure, and Warren Jeffs did a lot to bring to light the negative aspects of polygamy, the KKK did a lot to discredit racism, and 9/11 helped us understand that there are terrorists in the world.

We've been looking at this all wrong. Why aren't these groups given legitimacy and their leaders given medals?

IT'S AN OUTRAGE!

Geraine, here Foust is right, so the not exactly comparative comparisons don't work. Phelps did more damage to his own side and ended up being a utilitarian compliment that effectively further delegitimatized religious objections to gay rights.

quote:
Look, nationalism/racism got killed dead by WW2
and here Foust is pretty much as wrong as it gets so.
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Foust
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
and here Foust is pretty much as wrong as it gets so.

What I mean is, that since WW2, racism and nationalism have increasingly become verboten topics of polite conversation, in a way they never had been before in history.
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Samprimary
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It's pretty specious to say that WW2 was 'what killed it' and I'd have to be convinced of an argument that tyjk7kljihjuytrykll-]][uitgy5rtf43rthlo;[p']'wertyuiop[]
poop

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Samprimary
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uh sorry about that, other sentient beings decided it would be hilarious to share my keyboard ANYWAY as I was saying i would have to be convinced of an argument that ww2 was the primary instigator of anti-racism, but I suppose it could be done
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Foust
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
uh sorry about that, other sentient beings decided it would be hilarious to share my keyboard ANYWAY as I was saying i would have to be convinced of an argument that ww2 was the primary instigator of anti-racism, but I suppose it could be done

Can we agree that the holocaust was a main factor in the discrediting of anti-Semitism, at least in the west?
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Foust:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
uh sorry about that, other sentient beings decided it would be hilarious to share my keyboard ANYWAY as I was saying i would have to be convinced of an argument that ww2 was the primary instigator of anti-racism, but I suppose it could be done

Can we agree that the holocaust was a main factor in the discrediting of anti-Semitism, at least in the west?
Tony Judt wrote an interesting treatment of the post-war ideological shifts in Postwar, his history of Europe from 1945 on.

An interesting takeaway is this: anti-semitism and racism against Roms (Gypsies) was aided as a political imperative in Germany and elsewhere at all turns by an unassimilated, or seemingly unassimilable, population of actual Jews and Roms. Following the war, the population of European Jews and Roms had been so badly reduced as to eliminate any remotely reasonable fear (or whatever was closest to reasonable before the war) of an actual Jewish cabal against western society. The Jewish population of Poland was reduced from some millions into less than 2,000. There was not a single wealthy Jew left on the continent with his businesses and estates intact following the war.

To add to this effect, Poland, the former center of world Jewry for centuries, opened its borders to Aliyah, making it the only soviet satellite to do so. As a result, the 2-3 hundred thousand Jews who returned to Poland after the war fled in massive numbers. There are more Jewish Polish citizens alive even today in Israel, than in Poland.

Think about that. Judt points out that it was rather convenient to embrace anti-racism and reconciliation after the war, as there was essentially no place in European life left for Jews to occupy anyway, and they were strongly incentivized to leave Europe by the partitioning of Israel. People get very magnanimous when even the mere appearance of a threat is gone.

Judt also dismisses the impact of Allied re-education efforts in postwar Germany as misdirected and largely fruitless. People became aware of the atrocities of Nazi Germany, often by forced viewing of documentaries, but the popular culture quickly segregated its thinking to differentiate Nazi Germany from Germany itself. This was not helped by the Allied efforts that focused their attention on the elimination of Naziism rather than of deeper ideological reconditioning. But there was very little imperative to actually re-educate. The Jews were not coming back.

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Emreecheek
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I really don't think Phelps was a help. If anything, WBC gives bigots something to point at so they can say "See, guys? THOSE are bigots. Those WBC people. We're nice, though. We're nice people who don't want you to have equal rights in our society." It's super frustrating.

It gives some kind of false "Moderate" place that people can stand and pretend to be nice.

This article kind of sums up my thoughts about the "nice" bigots.

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kmbboots
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Very good article.
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Dogbreath
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I really like that article, mainly because the "it's ok to advocate really horribly things so long as you do it with the best intentions" mentality has always really disturbed me. If you advocate oppression, the person being oppressed doesn't care if you're kind and sweet about it or are screaming like a lunatic, you're still just as much of a bully either way.

Actually, having been bullied, I can tell you I much preferred the bullies who were just straight up rude or even violent as opposed to the condescending, smug ones who belittle and torment you with a smile on their face.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
I really like that article, mainly because the "it's ok to advocate really horribly things so long as you do it with the best intentions" mentality has always really disturbed me.

For me it's any sentiment that if your oppressors are being 'polite' or 'have good intentions' you should in any way be expected to be polite back, or you're the 'intolerant' one and they are showing 'tolerance'
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Dogbreath
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The "intolerance" thing bothers me quite a bit as well. Quite a few people legitimately believed they're the ones being oppressed for not supporting SSM. Paraphrase of a conversation with an a friend of mine a few nights ago (the topic of homosexuality had come up, and she rolled her eyes and sighed, which prompted this):

Me: (jokingly) "Hey, what've you got against gay people?
Her: "Oh, nothing against gays themselves. I have a couple gay friends. I wish they'd stop forcing their agenda down my throat."
Me: "Wait, what? Who's tried to do that?"
Her: "You know, the gays running around calling us "breeders", saying "you have to accept us or you're a bigot", ostracizing people who don't agree with them."
Me: "Really? This has happened to you?"
Her: "Yeah! Well, not me personally, but you see it happening all the time now. If you're not a supporter of the gay agenda, you're a pariah."
Me: "What agenda?"
Her: "Supporting gay marriage, that sort of thing"
Me: "Do you think gay marriage should be legal?"
Her: "No. I'm not a homophobe! I just don't think it's natural, it's not part of God's plan."
Me: "Ok. You're Catholic, right? Do you think Muslims are following God's plan?"
Her: "No."
Me: "Do you think Muslims should be able to build and worship in Mosques? Do you think we should recognize marriages between Muslims performed by Muslim clergy? Or do you think that they should be forced to have a Catholic wedding if they want to be legally married?"
Her: "Yes, no, of course not!"
Me: "Why not?"
Her: "Because of the 1st Amendment! You can't make religious laws. Just because they don't follow my religion doesn't mean that that they can't get married how... oh. Well, it's different."
Me: "How?"
Her: "Because Muslim or Christian, marriage is between a man and a woman!"
Me: "Why?"
Her: "Because God says so!"
Me: "But you just said we can legislate religion..."


After this, she decided she wanted to change the subject. But one thing that's fascinating to me is that people might even equate the two positions as having similar levels of intolerance. Are SSM supporters trying to prevent straight Christians from being able to marry? Are they trying to pass laws making it legal for businesses to discriminate against people who don't approve of gay marriage? Are they trying to use legislation in *any* way to oppress or harass people who don't support gay marriage?

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BlackBlade
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No, they'll just push you to resign for donating to causes that reflect your values and oppose theirs even if you fully intend to support pro equality culture and policies within a company.
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Dogbreath
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If your "values" involve trying to make laws legalizing discrimination, then it's perfectly reasonable for people to not want to use your products. There's a huge difference between "I'm not going to use your products/financially support you because I disagree with you" and "I'm going to try and pass laws to discriminate against you and keep you from having the same rights I do, because I disagree with you." One is a strictly voluntary act (choosing not to buy/use something), the other is coercive. How exactly is it "intolerant" for me to not give money to people who use that money to do things I disagree with?
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BlackBlade
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You pay for Firefox?
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Dogbreath
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No, thus the "use their products."
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Dogbreath
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But that's all beside the point. The point is, if I disagree with Mozilla appointing a bigot as their CEO, there's no reason I should feel obligated to continue using Firefox. And if, as a business owner, said CEO advocates discriminatory laws that actively attack and disenfranchise a meaningful percentage of my customers, I'm well within my rights to stand beside my customers and ask people visiting my site not to use Firefox. Again, it's a free country, people can use other browsers, or they can use other dating sites. At no point am I trying to pass a law to make using Firefox illegal. I'm simply exercising my right to do as I wish with my time and resources. The other side is not content with this, and is actually trying pass laws to *force* people to live according to their religious beliefs. I see no reason why I should feel obliged to support said people in the name of "tolerance."
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BlackBlade
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You can do what you want as a consumer, including being a bigot towards people who are hetero-normative. You may not be aware of this, but when Mr. Eich was appointed CEO, employees of Mozilla posted on Twitter calling for his resignation specifically because of his donation to Proposition 8. Enormous pressure was put on the board to ask for his resignation internally and externally.

Mr. Eich had unequivocally expressed support for the established policies that Mozilla had in place. Again, he unequivocally stated he would absolutely support Mozilla's equality policies in place. But we won't know if he meant it because nobody wanted to give him a chance to demonstrate that. He was gone within 10 days.

I'm just stuck with my consternation that so many people won't believe the logical extension of this behavior. Pick your stance, there are horrible implications involved with it. Iraq/Afghanistan, abortion, drugs, 2nd Amendment, trade protectionism, minimum wage, tax rates. Would any of these warranted protesting a CEO's appointment because he donated towards a cause that advanced a position on *any* one of these issues?

No, absolutely not.

We'd call it McCarthyism if it did. And during McCarthyism there were actual communists seeking to infiltrate our government and steal its secrets. The evidence of harm from a belief system does not by itself warrant treating advocates of that position as worthy of exile. Drugs kill thousands every day, abortions have resulted in the deaths of millions of viable human beings, Iraq and Afghanistan have killed hundreds of thousands if not millions and obliterated the fabric of our due process and summoned the modern surveillance state, but we suppose that the denying of millions of our gay American brothers and sisters the right to equal protection under the law is somehow unique in the damage being caused?

I would be aghast if a firm in Utah was demanding the resignation of a CEO for donating to a group attempting to block proposition 8. I would be enraged if I heard somebody say, "Mrs. Smith quit her job at Company X, she said, "Management told me I wouldn't be promoted because I said abortion shouldn't be illegal, and donated to planned parenthood."

Why should we afford same-sex marriage a unique place where all members of one side of that issue are to be shunned and shamed? Is it because the issue is one-sided to us? Is it because the arguments they advance have too much religious justification so we can just ignore them? Is that why we can treat them with the prejudice we castigate them for exhibiting?

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BlackBlade
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As somebody else said,

"Hiring somebody that has personal beliefs that may be considered offensive is not supporting bigotry. Deciding to not hire somebody solely on the fact that you disagree with their beliefs... that's bigotry."

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PSI Teleport
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Dogbreath, I think it's inconsistent to refer to a man who financially supported Prop 8 a "bigot," and then act all confused when your friend from the example above claims that the same label has been applied to her or people like her.
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Dogbreath
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There's a huge difference between being fired for your political beliefs (which is, afaik, illegal) and resigning. Do you seriously think it was wrong of Mozilla employees expressing concern over their new CEO being a bigot? Like, how would you feel as a black man if your company appointed a CEO who donated money to organizations that supported making interracial marriage illegal and wanted to bring back Jim Crow laws, but reassured you he wouldn't enact racist policies in your specific workplace?

So no, Mozilla employees expressing concern over a having a CEO who actively supports anti-gay interest groups isn't Mccarthyism, that's free speech. And right now Eich is realizing that if he chooses to exercise his rights to support bigotry, other people are free to exercise their right to call him out on it. Nobody attempted to pass a law to disenfranchise him, nobody fired him,there was no congressional hearing on whether or not he was a homophobe, nobody told him he's not allowed to be married to his wife. He's still perfectly free to believe what he wants and say what he wants and believe whatever kind of bigoted garbage he wants. And I'm free to say what I want and use my money and time and resources as I please, too. Me expressing my diagreement with him because of things he supports and choosing not to use his products is a perfectly valid choice for me to make. What would you suggest? Force people to keep using Firefox just so you don't hurt his feelings? What's more important?

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by PSI Teleport:
Dogbreath, I think it's inconsistent to refer to a man who financially supported Prop 8 a "bigot," and then act all confused when your friend from the example above claims that the same label has been applied to her or people like her.

No it's not. He's not a bigot because he follows a religion that teaches that homosexuality is wrong, just as my friend isn't a bigot for following a religion that teaches that Islam is wrong.

He's a bigot because he supports passing laws to disenfranchise people. He believes that some people deserve more rights than others and supports treating a whole group of people as second class citizens.

That's what makes him a bigot.

If my friend were to, say, support passing a bill to make illegal for Islamic people to marry, I would call her a bigot too.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
There's a huge difference between being fired for your political beliefs (which is, afaik, illegal)
It might be in this case, it's not clear if CEOs are covered by the same legal protections afforded employees. It's certainly illegal to treat regular employees this way. Can you explain why we protect employees but not the CEO in this way?

quote:
Do you seriously think it was wrong of Mozilla employees expressing concern over their new CEO being a bigot?
What? No! Expressing concerns is a very normal productive thing. Calling for somebody's resignation on a social media site is not an appropriate way to express concerns with your company's choice in CEOs, even if your concern is legitimate (In this case I don't think it is). If you can, you speak to the person privately. If you can't you apply upward pressure by speaking to your manager and having them relay your concerns down the chain. You circulate a petition within the office, secure signatures, and then send it up.

But it would be inappropriate to call for somebody's resignation purely on the strength of one political position. Was Mr. Eich failing to do the job? Was he disparaging other employee's beliefs? Was he trying to get employees to take a position on that issue? No, he was doing his job. He was asked to be CEO. They didn't ask him to resign when his donation was made public years ago.

quote:
Like, how would you feel as a black man if your company appointed a CEO who donated money to organizations that supported making interracial marriage illegal and wanted to bring back Jim Crow laws, but reassured you he wouldn't enact racist policies in your specific workplace?
To the extent he was true to that claim, I would work under him. I went to a school where Mormons were classified in inter-faith chapels as separate from Christianity. It hurt. But because they treated me with respect and dignity otherwise, and didn't mistreat me, and because I understood that their beliefs mandated I be classified in this way, I was willing to continue going to school there. When my gymnastics teacher told me that because I wouldn't attend competitions (they were held on Sundays) that therefore my dedication to the team was suspect, and I was not going to be invited to our team party, I quit. If I hadn't quit I would have told my instructor that policy was unacceptable. If he had allowed me to remain on the team as a full member, and accept I couldn't participate in competition on Sundays, even if he loathed that belief. I would have stayed on the team.

quote:
So no, Mozilla employees expressing concern over a having a CEO who actively supports anti-gay interest groups isn't Mccarthyism.

Them refusing to work for somebody because of a political position absolutely is McCarthyism in spirit.

quote:
Nobody attempted to pass a law to disenfranchise him, nobody fired him,there was no congressional hearing on whether or not he was a homophobe, nobody told him he's not allowed to be married to his wife.
No, they didn't do any of those things. those would just be even bigger outrages. But they did say he can't work at Mozilla because of his beliefs. He didn't say he wouldn't work and be fair to homosexuals or those who believe they should be afforded marriage recognition.

But I ask again, why same-sex marriage? Why not myriad other issues? Should the next CEO be given a political background check that establishes if he is on the right side of all political issues based on his political donations?

[ April 05, 2014, 09:52 PM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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Dogbreath
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Did they actually refuse to work for him, though? Or tell him he can't work there? They asked him to resign, and AFAIK he resigned of his own volition.

Also, it's my right as a human being to work for whomever I wish (so long as they're willing to employ me) and likewise, not work for whomever I wish, for whatever reason. Slavery is illegal. (though right now I actually am bound by contract to work, that's an exceptional case that doesn't really apply to the civilian job market. Likewise, I have no real right to free speech for similar reasons)

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Did they actually refuse to work for him, though? Or tell him he can't work there? They asked him to resign, and AFAIK he resigned of his own volition.
I am confident (though not sure) that he was asked to resign, and he complied. Because really, if you are being asked to quit after 10 days by your board how effective are you going to be at your job? He voluntarily resigned in pretty much the same way Nixon voluntarily resigned. He read the writing on the wall, and knew the organization wasn't going to let him continue on there.

Frankly, if I was an employee there who had also donated to Prop 8, I would be terrified that I would be similarly pressured by co-workers posting on line demanding my resignation as well.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
... Iraq and Afghanistan have killed hundreds of thousands if not millions and obliterated the fabric of our due process and summoned the modern surveillance state, but we suppose that the denying of millions of our gay American brothers and sisters the right to equal protection under the law is somehow unique in the damage being caused?

This is an odd step in reasoning.
The fact that the people that are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands and violating the privacy rights of billions haven't been prosecuted for their crimes doesn't mean that lesser acts of oppression should be ignored. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Edit to add: To be clear, the government officials responsible for these acts definitely should be prosecuted. If we're talking about a CEO that enabled spying on billions of people, then you're damn right they should step down.

[ April 05, 2014, 11:06 PM: Message edited by: Mucus ]

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
We'd call it McCarthyism if it did.

I think that this has gone awry as well.

McCarthyism was horrifying since it was a "witch-hunt" in that numerous people were being accused of being Communists or being blacklisted without proof that they actually were communists.

In this case, this doesn't apply. This Mozilla CEO is not being falsely accused of being an opponent of same-sex marriage. He freely declared himself, the "witch" declared himself to be a witch.

You're just using McCarthyism as a provocative and in my opinion, misleading word here. What you really have here is just an old fashioned boycott.

[ April 05, 2014, 11:59 PM: Message edited by: Mucus ]

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Dogbreath
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Yeah, and it's not like action hasn't been taken on those fronts, either.

For example, as far as boycotting goes, I haven't actually boycotted Firefox. (I'm using it right now) I've gone into more detail in the "boycott Ender's Game" threads, but I think a lot of boycotts are misaimed or unnecessary. I do avoid buying Nike shoes and shopping at Wal*Mart, because of their immoral business practices. I absolutely support the boycott of industries that pressure the U.S. government to engage in warfare, though since a lot of those industries get most of their money from the government in the first place, I think political reform is the best way to go about this. I know many, many people who boycott companies that contribute to planned parenthood. (though I don't, I fully support their right to oppose abortion in any way they choose)

I guess the main reason why you're seeing so much of this happening with regards to gay marriage is:

A) This is an issue that is currently a very hot topic.
B) It's something that we can actually directly affect. No matter how many political rallies I go to, or how many protests I take part in, I can't really do much to convince congress not to go to war. But with things like Proposition 8, we can pretty directly affect the outcome of the SSM debate.
C) The issue with opposing SSM comes down to more than a political position. It's about whether or not it's right to create laws based on religious beliefs, and whether or not it's right to discriminate against homosexuals. I believe it's absolutely wrong to involve religion in government, and I also believe it's absolutely wrong to deny basic human rights to anyone due to their sexual orientation. I feel, much like with racism, we need to be as firm as possible in stopping the encroachment of personal or religious opinion in the creation of laws.

Here's a recent example of another boycott: Soffe is a sportswear company that primarily caters to the military. Recently, it was discovered that they ran at least one sweatshop in Bangladesh, and the Marine Corps responded by pulling all their products from exchanges and no longer offers any Soffe products. I'm sure quite a few people at Soffe lost their jobs as a result. Do you feel like this boycott is an example of McCarthyism, just because the Marine Corps has different "values" than the people at Soffe and was being intolerant of their belief that it's ok to exploit people in other countries for cheap labor? Or do you think, when it comes to issues of human rights, it's important to take a stand and boycott/protest people and corporations who disregard and show contempt for those rights? Even if you might be viewed as being rude or intolerant?

I obviously believe the latter, and indeed, I have put my career on the line several times in the military due to various issues like this. (Several times in protest of DADT, once over the treatment of a mentally ill service member, other times in smaller issues) I think our nation needs morally courageous men and women who are willing to stand up for what's right more than it needs people to be polite and obsequious to bigots and religious fanatics.

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BlackBlade
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Mucus:
quote:
The fact that the people that are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands and violating the privacy rights of billions haven't been prosecuted for their crimes doesn't mean that lesser acts of oppression should be ignored. Two wrongs don't make a right.
Two wrongs don't make a right that's true. Unless you're willing to apply the same standard of conduct towards other equally important political issues you must explain why you are singling one out for special treatment.

quote:
Edit to add: To be clear, the government officials responsible for these acts definitely should be prosecuted. If we're talking about a CEO that enabled spying on billions of people, then you're damn right they should step down.
So basically every single CEO who contributed to George W. Bush's reelection campaign?

quote:
McCarthyism was horrifying since it was a "witch-hunt" in that numerous people were being accused of being Communists or being blacklisted without proof that they actually were communists.
You misunderstand me. It wasn't the lack of proof that was the most awful thing about McCarthyism, it was the belief that if somebody subscribes to communism they should be treated like an enemy to American society. Certain industries jumped all over the anti-communism furor and internally aggressively sought out communist leaning individuals and saw to it that they lost their livelihoods and self-respect.

quote:
You're just using McCarthyism as a provocative and in my opinion, misleading word here. What you really have here is just an old fashioned boycott.
I'm using McCarthyism because it applies. The quest for rooting out out-of-step ideologies and aggressively punishing them is a long sordid thread in history. The mind boggles how just a few short years ago when positions were flipped, this very board said that people shouldn't lose their jobs because they support gay rights, they should be treated based on the merits of their work.

Personally I think many of the people arguing with me find it easy to excuse this behavior because it's for a cause they agree with. But I'll lay off the accusations of fellow board members' motives if you'll refrain from trying to tell me what I'm trying to do, and just address what I say.

Dogbreath:
quote:

A) This is an issue that is currently a very hot topic.

No disagreement there.

quote:
B) It's something that we can actually directly affect. No matter how many political rallies I go to, or how many protests I take part in, I can't really do much to convince congress not to go to war. But with things like Proposition 8, we can pretty directly affect the outcome of the SSM debate.
The die as they say has already been cast on this issue. I think we all know on this board that marriage equality is coming, I'm glad for that. Trying to bludgeon ideological purity though is something human beings are too quick to engage in, and it's always harmful, even when they are good ideals.

quote:
C) The issue with opposing SSM comes down to more than a political position. It's about whether or not it's right to create laws based on religious beliefs, and whether or not it's right to discriminate against homosexuals. I believe it's absolutely wrong to involve religion in government, and I also believe it's absolutely wrong to deny basic human rights to anyone due to their sexual orientation. I feel, much like with racism, we need to be as firm as possible in stopping the encroachment of personal or religious opinion in the creation of laws.
Well, now we have a serious disagreement. To be sure, I don't believe in utilizing the government as a vehicle to enact religious compliance. This is exactly why I belong to a religion that says that all out of wed-lock sex is sinful, and same-sex couples cannot marry, yet I advocate against passing laws requiring others to institutionalize that belief.

But I do not believe it is right to tell the religious that their beliefs have no place in law, or how they vote. To be sure, I'm all for there being a secular justification for laws that we pass. I'm not for telling the religious people that their beliefs are not valid justifications for even their own votes. I hate that that has increasingly become a thing where you cannot have a respectable opinion unless you cut religion completely out of it.

quote:
I'm sure quite a few people at Soffe lost their jobs as a result. Do you feel like this boycott is an example of McCarthyism, just because the Marine Corps has different "values" than the people at Soffe and was being intolerant of their belief that it's ok to exploit people in other countries for cheap labor?
This isn't a good example of what I'm angry at. I'm not lambasting OK Cupid for asking people not to use Firefox. I'm not angry that gay rights advocates think donating to Proposition 8 is odious and shouldn't happen. I am angry that a CEO who has assured his company that he will uphold the equality policies and procedures it has in place, was asked to resign for only one reason. He donated to a political cause he felt obligated to support. We would not countenance that were it numerous other causes of equal importance.

I'm angry that employees of Mozilla thought it was appropriate to undermine their leadership by going to social media to air their grievances without (from what I can tell) making any effort to do so internally.

I'm a big fan of protesting, I've participated in it myself. But I would be stunned if my co-workers went online found my name on a list of Obama donors, and then publicly requested that I be fired for supporting the anti-business legislation "Obamacare". Then, not only were they not disciplined, they were applauded for standing up for business and freedom. And then I was asked to quit.

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scifibum
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BB, I agree with you that it would have been better for there to be some conciliatory neutral ground between approving of the guy's politics and hounding him out of the job. I think - especially since the fight was already won in CA - it would have been both more charitable, and more politically savvy to let it go.

However, I wanted to respond to a couple of points you've made.

quote:
He donated to a political cause he felt obligated to support. We would not countenance that were it numerous other causes of equal importance.
You seem to be forgetting that the people who are countenancing what happened with Eich regard the battle over Prop 8 in a very similar way to how they view the civil rights movement in the 1960s - that there's one very clear right side and one very clear wrong side. That Eich (apparently) considered it important is hardly an excuse when you view it that way.

I understand why you approach the subject this way. You belong to a community and a family where good people are on the "wrong" side here - and you know exactly where they are coming from, even though you disagree. It seems quite reasonable to you that Eich was standing up for principles that he believed in, and it seems wrong to punish him for it - you can see the same sort of reaction being pointed at the good people you worship with and attend family reunions with. I have that same problem - I understand very well where my conservative LDS family and friends are coming from. But to others, what Eich did isn't reasonable, and is only understandable as bigotry, and is completely indefensible.

So it's a bit tone deaf to say that if it had been some other comparable issue, nobody would put up with the ire recently directed at Eich - because, in the view of many, the only comparable issues are things that would have resulted in the same (or quite possibly much more universal) disapproval and distancing.

I think it's better to be conciliatory and very important NOT to perpetuate the meme that the "gay agenda" won't be fulfilled until everyone is forced to pretend to agree. But it's also important for us to understand that it's very difficult to set aside what Eich did - to understand that it's very much the same as if he was advocating for racial segregation - in the view of those who don't feel like they can ignore it.

The other thing:

quote:
I'm angry that employees of Mozilla thought it was appropriate to undermine their leadership by going to social media to air their grievances without (from what I can tell) making any effort to do so internally.
Internally agitating for a change in leadership is quite possibly worse than individually airing opinions on social media. You can't do it without using company resources. It's directly insubordinate. I get that you disapprove of what they DID do, but this is not a realistic or better alternative.
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scifibum
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On the subject of McCarthyism: the truly scary and bad thing about the red scare was that the government was trying to root out and punish people for having the wrong opinions. What happened with Eich happened in the private sector. You can think it's wrong, and draw some limited comparisons to McCarthy, but until the government is involved in persecuting people for their opposition to SSM, it's not the same.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
... you must explain why you are singling one out for special treatment.

I think you first need to demonstrate that I am singling one out.

quote:
quote:
Edit to add: To be clear, the government officials responsible for these acts definitely should be prosecuted. If we're talking about a CEO that enabled spying on billions of people, then you're damn right they should step down.
So basically every single CEO who contributed to George W. Bush's reelection campaign?
Go on? I'm not sure where you're headed with this.

quote:
Certain industries jumped all over the anti-communism furor and internally aggressively sought out communist leaning individuals and saw to it that they lost their livelihoods and self-respect.
Again, that's just describing an economic boycott. Economic boycotts affect livelihoods. That's what they do, that's pretty much the point.

Affecting livelihoods is not a unique aspect to McCarthyism.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
You seem to be forgetting that the people who are countenancing what happened with Eich regard the battle over Prop 8 in a very similar way to how they view the civil rights movement in the 1960s - that there's one very clear right side and one very clear wrong side. That Eich (apparently) considered it important is hardly an excuse when you view it that way.

I think this is the crux of the issue, and it's one I've brought up to BlackBlade (and others) about this and other issues with the church. When you're surrounded by a group of people who believe in something really horrendous, and they seem to otherwise be good and decent people who live moral lives, it's easy to try justify their beliefs, or at least soften them and make them more palatable, even when you don't agree with them. I've had this happen to me too, and I still catch myself doing it with other issues. (like misogyny in the military, for example)

The thing is, I really, legitimately have no problem with people who believe homosexuality is a sin. Much like I have no problem with people who think drinking coffee is a sin, or premarital sex is a sin, or giving blowjobs is a sin, or using electricity is a sin, or not wearing a head covering is a sin, or eating meat on Fridays is a sin, or not living with your parents until you marry is a sin. (yes, that's a real thing)

The difference is, those people despite being sometimes very passionate about said beliefs, never try and legislate any of the other offenses. I don't see people picketing outside of Starbucks with "God hates lattes!" signs, or trying to pass laws to get butcher shops closed on Fridays, or any number of other ways of legislating morality. Which is why I don't really buy it when people who support the NOM and other groups say they're just "staying true to their beliefs." They're more than capable of realizing that other things (coffee, blowjobs, hats) are things that, while important to their religion, should not be forced on nonbelievers. So why should their views on sexuality be forced on nonbelievers?

I honestly think, much like with the flimsy attempts to use religion to support bans on interracial marriage (something the Mormons apparently also oppose), it's a case of people hiding behind a handful of Bible verses to support bigotry and oppression. If it was merely a religious issue, and not a social and prejudice issue, it would be treated like any other special religious commandment and not be inflicted on the public at large.

So, imagine if it was discovered Mozilla's new CEO supported the KKK financially. Except, the KKK wasn't the joke it is now, but actually a fairly powerful organization with real political influence. Would your reaction be the same? My grandpa told me about when they found KKK members in their town in the late 50s, the men of the town got together and drove them out of town. I'm not saying that's not an overreaction, and I realize the NOM doesn't commit hate crimes or advocate violence on the same level as the KKK, but these are comparable situations.

I guess in conclusion, I'd say nobody is discriminating against Eich because of his beliefs (or if they are, they've wrong to do so), they're opposing having him as a representative of their company because he actively advocates treating certain people as second class citizens.

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Darth_Mauve
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Dogbreath--that is a great explanation of my thoughts exactly.

backers of Proposition 8 said, in effect, "My faith and religion thinks your relationship is wrong. So my beliefs demand that your relationship is not recognized by the state."

There is a lot of Ick factor some see in gay marriage, but that same excuse could be used to invalidate all types of marriages.

By the very definitions of some churches, getting married outside of the church is not really getting married. According to the Catholic church, I am living in sin with my wife because we were married in the botanical gardens and not their cathedral. How valid is a wedding held by Elvis in Vegas, or those Jews who don't even mention Jesus, or the Muslims, or LDS, or atheists.

If we allow the church of the majority to define who can get married based solely on their religious faith, isn't everyone in trouble of having their marriages eventually outlawed?

Racism is an attack. It says, "I am right and you are wrong."

Boycotting hetro-supremisists is self defense, no matter what your sexuality is. It is not a complaint about that person's beliefs, but a complaint about that person's insistence that their beliefs are imposed on others.

I like chocolate. My wife like's peanut butter. A flavorist is the a person who judges you based on what flavors you like. I do not judge my wife on her love of peanut butter. However, if my wife tried to outlaw chocolate because it wasn't peanut butter, I would judge her.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
But I do not believe it is right to tell the religious that their beliefs have no place in law, or how they vote. To be sure, I'm all for there being a secular justification for laws that we pass. I'm not for telling the religious people that their beliefs are not valid justifications for even their own votes. I hate that that has increasingly become a thing where you cannot have a respectable opinion unless you cut religion completely out of it.
I don't think an attitude of 'don't be religious in your voting!' is actually very common at all. Perhaps someday it will be. What I *do* think has begun to happen without being common yet in the slightest is an attitude of 'don't be religious in your voting of how *someone else's* behavior will be governed and then expect the traditional cloak of religious respectability to cover you'.

I'm often troubled enough when it's one group of evolved primates telling another what they can and cannot do, on their own behalf. Even when I agree with the group doing the telling. But then when that same group of evolved primates-just like me-sticks the magic words 'God says...' in front of their effort-and it has been nothing else for this issue, fancy it up how we may-yeah, the sooner such thinking is shunned and relegated to history, the better. Frankly, conservative religious types in this country would appreciate this virtue of secularism a lot more if they weren't convinced-rightly so-that it's unlikely for a politically powerful group in this country to stand up and say 'God says...!' for anything they themselves disapproved of.

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Samprimary
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The whole part where people boycotting mozilla over brendan eich got called/conflated/hyperboled into "mccarthyism" is fairly ridiculous but there is a point in that the eich boycott represents another step into decidedly illiberal territory working on ultimately counterproductive initiatives and incentives

i would feel worse about it if eich hadn't been given an opportunity to illustrate in any meaningful way that he was no longer in support of homophobic law, but he opted to stand his ground

that's fine, it's his right to stick to his guns. and mozilla had to fire him pretty much, wouldn't have survived with that image of "that one with the homophobe at the helm"

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