Why So Hateful?

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People should be able to be philosophically opposed on just about any issue without having to resort to hateful exchanges. I have witnessed people from all spectrums of political leanings engage in this conduct. I hope I have not been part of this nonsense. Perhaps it is my conservative bias that causes me to remember the more hateful and despicable attacks come from the left, but like I said, I’m probably biased. Maybe it’s easier to forget or give a pass to those that share your philosophy.
Hateful and pointless attacks do not accomplish anything to win someone to your way of thinking. All it does is reflect on what kind of person you are and causes others to lose respect for you, if they ever had any from the start. Of course, people’s definition of what is hateful, mean, or despicable can be remarkably and creatively different from your own. Some people take offence at the most benign commentary.
The folks making the disparaging comments know if they are being hateful. If the intent is to insult, berate, emotionally destroy, or perform character assassination, then that is obvious to most. However, honest, civil debate or certain elements of comedy, for example, are not usually meant to be hateful. How many comedians throughout history have made jokes that contain funny insults or get a laugh off of a stereotyped target group? Yes, some cross the line and their joke goes flat. If political correctness rules out ALL of that material, there will be quite a few open slots on late night tv and at standup comedy joints.

The hate is everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, Radio & TV News and Talk Shows, on-line newspaper readers’ commentary sections, bars and restaurants, everyday conversation. Not all the time of course. But enough to be a distraction to the important things of the day.

I am for passionate, honest debate, free speech, and varied opinion. But lies and insults are not opinion. They are lies and insults. Profane, personal attacks are just mean, not thoughtful speech.

Duck Dynasty & the Francification of America

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Duck Dynasty star and family patriarch Phil Robertson saw the light after a sinful past and is now a devout christian who strictly interprets the bible and lives his life by its guidance. In the new America that is not acceptable. Professing his belief that adultery, homosexuality, and other “immoral” acts are sinful during a magazine article interview was his downfall. In a politically-correct obsessed nation where small interest groups enjoy almost limitless power to instill fear and provoke retribution, timid networks and corporate sponsors cower and quiver.

I have never seen a full episode of A&E’s Duck Dynasty. But I am a staunch supporter of freedom of speech and religion and therefore I am now a huge fan of Phil Robertson.

The PC police and speech patrol probably use France as their model and goal for America to imitate and intimidate. France’s hate speech laws encompass a whole wide range of speech that up to now has been protected in America. There are stiff civil and criminal penalties for uttering “words” that might offend certain favored groups. In fact, if one were to state the incredulous belief that the Holocaust never occurred, he/she could spend 5 years in prison. (I wish the former president of Iran would go to France and repeat his favorite opium-induced rhetoric) There are also stiff fines and other penalties for making disparaging or controversial remarks about gays and many other groups of people.

Robertson expressed the sentiments that many christians, muslims, and other folks believe. Not only did the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) group and the lame-stream media immediately pounce on this politically-incorrect statement, they also took it out of context. Robertson listed several “vices” that he believed were sinful, including homosexuality, adultery, drunkenness, and bestiality. He did not compare them to each other.

Many Americans and our parents and grandparents hold similar beliefs. Should they now, in an intolerant American society, refrain from sharing their thoughts else experience swift and vicious condemnation and shame? Can Americans no longer interpret the bible literally? Does the same standard apply to the koran and other religious documents? How long before criticisms and beliefs such as Robertson’s advance beyond politically-incorrect to illegal? Folks, we are witnessing the Francification of America.

Here in Maine the Marriage Equality law passed a year or so ago. Internally, I struggled long and hard on that issue because of my personal understanding of Nature, morality, and my passionate belief in civil liberties. At the ballot box, my passion for freedom and liberty won out and I voted in favor of gay marriage. But I wondered at the time if winning their fight might empower gays to go even further and use their cause to suppress other peoples’ freedoms. I fear that is what we are witnessing now.

Modern media and technology has given unprecedented power to minority groups, which now oftentimes uses that resource to successfully oppress others, an irony that continues to amaze and worry me.

Duck Dynasty fans are accustomed to witnessing the family prayers at the end of the show. If a person if offended by that, they can just switch the channel! Robertson never said those “anti-gay” words on his show, but in a GQ magazine article. Why are they singling out the TV show instead of the magazine?

I’ll tell you why. It is not just the fact that Robertson believes homosexuality is a sin, but it is his christian belief in general and his audacity of sharing some of his thoughts and beliefs in prayers on the show. In 21st century America, Christianity has been singled out as unacceptable and bigoted. Christians are being intimidated and ridiculed and being forced into the dark closet from which gays have been exiting.

Offensive language is subjective. Oppressing offensive speech and thoughts, by law or intimidation, is bound to affect us all.

I fear it will not be long before the words I just wrote will be illegal and banned.

Even though I have not been a fan of Duck Dynasty in the past, I do enjoy watching A&E movies. Today, however, I have taken A&E out of my program guide list and will no longer watch anything on A&E until they and their cowardly sponsors gives Phil Robertson his job back and apologizes to its viewers. It is not Phil Robertson and the Duck Dynasty cast/family that are the biggest offenders and danger to America, it is the speech and thought police and the tyrannical special interest groups such as LGBT that seek to shut down all other speech and thoughts of which they disagree with and their thin skin and intolerant minds cannot accept.