Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Torching free speech in the name of tolerance

There was a thoughtful op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle today by a very brave high school student, David McDiarmid. He points out that:
In attempts to create a climate of tolerance at Acalanes, we have promoted certain types of diversity at the expense of others, and in doing so, we have given up an essential component of education.
and that
In our attempts to create a pleasant learning environment, we have veered from our drive for an educational environment in which beliefs are debated, assumptions questioned and original thoughts developed.
I was not surprised to read that although some sort of secret ballot indicates that 20 percent of his school's students and faculty supported Prop 8, very few were willing to express their views publicly. And when the school newspaper wanted to print a pro 8 article, (I presume to balance a No on 8 article), they could find no one to write it unless they could be anonymous, lest they be branded as homophobes.

I decided to look at the comments as I was preparing to post this and the first is from last night, so I guess this article went online last night. Anyway, of the first three comments posted on line at sfgate.com, two were:
vtxbay
11/24/2008 8:57:20 PM

Wah wah wah, those awful people wouldn't let me spread my hateful agenda wah wah wah. Gosh, how does it feel having to hide? LIKE I DID ALL THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL. At least you didn't get the cr6p beaten out of you.
and
whozzat
11/25/2008 6:58:14 AM

So the writers in support of Prop 8 felt the need to remail anonymous, lest they be branded homophobes. Funny, that reminds me of another group who wears white hoods and robes to remain anonymous.

5 comments:

The Underground Pewster said...

I see, as a blogger with a pen name, I have fielded my share of rants from persons claiming to be angry with the fact that I remain semi-anonymous. That claim is false as the Prop-8 wars against freedom of expression point out. The goal is to identify those with whom you disagree in order to have them pilloried by modern means.

Perpetua said...

Hi BillyD,
Thank you. I've fixed it and deleted your comment.

karl.rosenqvist said...

Hi, Perpetua.
I'm really enjoying reading your blog. This story is very interresting in a larger perspective as well as in it self.
It seems people often chose to remain anonymous when expressing opinions not inline with current trends. It has always been so. For instance when I read 40 years old protocols from meetings in gay organizations people use internal nicknames. Ofc this was back in the days when the police still raided us.
I had a great internal conflict on wether to remain anonymous in my blog or not befor registering. I suppose we all fear the responses from our surroundings to some extent.

karl.rosenqvist said...

Incidentally, something I don't get about prop 8 is why on the one hand no one want's the government to control faith in churches but some believe it's quite alright to change laws promoting a certain religious belief, isn't church and state separate in California?

Perpetua said...

Hi Karl,

I don't understand your question.

One fact is that registered domestic partners are provided in California with all the rights of Marriage by the Family Code:

"Family Code section 297.5. (a) Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights,
protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same
responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they
derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses."

So, this really winds up being about protecting the meaning of the word marriage as inherently heterosexual and carrying with it the ramifications of heterosexual intercourse, procreation. We are fighting here to keep the concepts of marriage and of biological motherhood and fatherhood as separate categories, not to be conflated with other forms of eroticism.

While progressive sexual activists see conflating the meaning of these words with other forms of eroticism and other social relationships as a good thing leading to a social liberation, we are concerned that losing the meaning of those words will lead to confusion, anarchy and ultimately subjugation.

Think of the medieval children's crusades that eventually led to European port cities where the children were loaded onto slave ships bound for Islamic countries.

Have you ever seen the feature length cartoon Pinocchio? Indulging in what seems like freedom and pleasure actually turns us into controllable animals easily led into slavery by those with more self discipline.