Miss California defended by… Michael Kinsley?

posted at 8:48 am on May 22, 2009 by Karl

From the Left, former Crossfire host Michael Kinsley schools his progressive pals:

Miss California’s views on gay marriage have nothing to do with her qualifications for the job and shouldn’t disqualify her for it.

This is really Liberalism 101, and it’s amazing that so many liberals don’t get it. Yes, yes, the Bill of Rights protects individuals against oppression by the government, not by other private individuals or organizations. But the values and logic behind our constitutional rights don’t disappear when the oppressor is in the private sector. They may not have the force of law in that situation, but they ought to have the force of understanding and of habit. The logic behind freedom of speech is that “bad” speech does not need to be suppressed as long as “good” speech is free to counter it. Or at least that letting the good and bad do battle is more likely to allow the good speech to triumph than giving anyone the power to choose between them. Congratulations to Donald Trump for making the right decision in this case. But we can’t count on every employer to be as sensitive and understanding as The Donald.

As Carrie Prejean (and her family) continue to come under attack by Tinseltown’s tabloid media, Kinsley aptly reminds Hollywood “liberals” that the blacklist destroyed people’s careers over their beliefs. Though Kinsley does not specifically mention it, the blacklist was a creation of the MPAA, acting without direct governmental coercion.

Kinsley also misses that freedom of religion is a related subtext to Prejean’s case, and to the gay marriage issue generally. The passage of California Proposition 8, which reaffirmed the traditional definition of marriage, prompted gay marriage activists to launch a wide-ranging “Mormon boycott” that conveniently excluded other demographics (blacks, latinos, etc.) that supported Prop. 8. Hollywood heavy Tom Hanks ended up apologizing after calling Mormons “un-American” for supporting the proposition.

Indeed, earlier this week, a bill legalizing gay marriage failed in New Hampshire because the state’s House of Representatives objected to language in the bill that would have allowed religious groups to decline to participate in gay marriage ceremonies. While Kinsley was correct to note that the Bill of Rights protects individuals only against oppression by the government, people of faith are already getting a look at how fast supposed “liberals” want to slide down that slippery slope.

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An empathetic court might recognize that such behavior on the part of a religious group is hate speech and does not fall under the protection of free exercise. Remember, courts change. And the direction is almost always leftward.

frank63 on May 22, 2009 at 12:58 PM

We’ll see. I’m opposed to empathy.

Any responsible justice is going to have to consider precedent. The justice will have recognize that state laws limiting free speech are subject to very strict scrutiny, meaning that banning demonstrations to reduce violence toward a group doesn’t work, unless those demonstrations themselves immediately cause the violence.

Does that mean Obama will appoint a reasonable justice? I don’t know. Maybe he’ll find someone more empathetic than legally sound–and that would be terrible. The senate hearings will be interesting.

dedalus on May 22, 2009 at 1:06 PM

If they don’t get it, are they really liberals? Wouldn’t appear so. When people like Michael Kinsley get on and start going on and on about what liberalism is, do they realize that the modern American liberal doesn’t even value such things?

yes, the Bill of Rights protects individuals against oppression by the government
When’s the last time you’ve heard a modern American liberal actually invoke the Bill of Rights except maybe in the context of saying it needs to be rewritten?

Upstater85 on May 22, 2009 at 9:15 AM

SPOT ON comments. Recently, on his radio program, Mark Levin made similar comments. American Liberals aren’t adhering to the true essense of Liberalism.

Red State State of Mind on May 22, 2009 at 1:11 PM

Dedalus, what you present is reasonable and one would hope that’s how things would go. Not likely, though, when the legislature would only accept SSM if it left out the First Amendment rights to those who oppose SSM. Seems to me that they’re going for the whole hog – the United Nations definition of “tolerance” as BELIEF and ATTITUDE, not action.

The UN currently says that it is unlawful for anyone in the universe to not ACCEPT and APPRECIATE every culture and that it is unlawful for any religion to DISCRIMINATE between people for any reason if doing so would prevent their “civil rights”. If the legal status of marriage between anybody who wants that status is defined as a civil right, then according to the UN – which is the legal standard for folks such as Ginsburg – any religion which discriminates to refuse that “right” would be illegal.

That’s the direction we’re heading, in all practical terms.

justincase on May 22, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Goodness, I’m anything but a gay activist. That’ll make my young liberal son chuckle. He thinks I’ve gone to the dark side. :)

AnninCA on May 22, 2009 at 12:08 PM

I’m confused on how you got that out of my statement.

Unless, of course, you are stating that you believe it should be illegal for churches to teach that homosexuality is a sin.

Religious_Zealot on May 22, 2009 at 1:15 PM

I’m confused on how you got that out of my statement.

I think your own words spoke why…..”You’re clearly an activist.

I think, personally, insisting that churches marry is obviously a trespassing of religion/state rights.

You want to marry?

Find a gay-friendly minister.

End of story. The state has NO right to impose beliefs on religions.

That’s constitutional.

AnninCA on May 22, 2009 at 2:11 PM

That is essentially my perspective and I acknowledge your observations about government overreach. I’d hope, and also bet, that the courts will defend the first amendment against gay efforts to create speech codes or for religious organizations to perform weddings.

dedalus on May 22, 2009 at 1:01 PM

It seems to me that restraining the leftward movement of the Supreme Court should be one area where social cons and libertarians can find common ground. As an evangelical I can tell you that contrary to media driven mythology, most evangelicals are not on a crusade to force their beliefs down everyone’s throats. Our position on social issues is defensive rather than offensive. No, we don’t approve of gay marriage and that won’t change given that we follow the moral teachings of the Bible. But we could probably live with gay marriage if we knew our religious freedoms would be protected. I have no confidence of that in this current political climate.

frank63 on May 22, 2009 at 2:12 PM

I think your own words spoke why…..”You’re clearly an activist.

I think you’re looking at someone else’s post.

Here’s what I posted:

1) Crimes against gays should be punished appropriately with existing laws (I’m not a big fan of thought hate crime legislation)

2) It is obvious that there is a very vocal and active segment of gay activists that will not rest unless and until it is a crime for religions to preach that homosexual activity is a sin. For these activists, it’s not so much about their rights as it is about attacking the church (and the synagogue and the mosque)

3) There are crimes that go the other “way” – The Wichita Massacre

Religious_Zealot on May 22, 2009 at 10:12 AM

And try as I might, there is no “You’re clearly an activist” in there.

In fact, that particular quote can’t be found on this entire thread.

Thus my confusion on how you got “you’re an activist” out of my post.

Religious_Zealot on May 22, 2009 at 2:23 PM

Loxodonta is, if anything, understating the problem in academia. The new left crowd began making serious headway in the mid 1960s, and while many of these people were legitimate scholars, there were a strong component that were ideologues who viewed truth not as an empirical matter, but as whatever was politically advantageous. The politics of the left really started taking over in the mid to late 1970s.

Orson Buggeigh on May 22, 2009 at 10:08 AM

Yes. You are right. When I think about it, there was a very noticeable presence among the faculty and staff back in the 60′s. Perhaps it’s my nature, limited experience, or I was just lucky, but I don’t recall it becoming dangerous for conservatives until after Reagan, and every year since it’s gotten worse.

Loxodonta on May 22, 2009 at 8:10 PM

Once my church marries me, my legal status automatically changes.

I know this post is late to the thread, but let me put a little clarification out there.

There are actually two marriages; we hold them within a single ceremony, as an act of legal convenience.

Sacramental Marriage is the chuches part – different denominations use different forms, but the same basic construct;
1. They testify, in some way, that the couple is deserving of the right to be married.
2. They ask for affirmation from the couple that they desire to be married, and are committed to it.
3. They bless the marriage

After that, the officiant says something like “by the power vested in me, by [the state of...] and pronounces them married. This is the acknowledgement of the Legal Marriage.

The vesting of that power does not have to be in the Priest, in some states; any compentent person can apply for that power for the limited circumstance of one ceremony.

So, a church can solemnize a marriage, without the state granting the marriage legal status; or, a legal marriage can be performed without a religous component.

Separate, but often combined.

massrighty on May 22, 2009 at 9:07 PM

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