The Left’s inability to hear the other side…..


In light of the last post I published and the nastiness with which those on the Left have barked at me, but more importantly, the vile they are spewing at Sally Kern across the blogosphere…….I have provided the link below which is an article that Peggy Noonan wrote about 1 1/2 years ago regarding the Left’s habit of working to SILENCE those with a view counter to their own.

Here is the link to the full article—she has a way with words— http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/?id=110009078

Here are a few excerpts from that piece that are pertinent to the Left’s rabid hatred of Sally Kern and anyone whose view differ from the gay agenda! (among many other topics)

There’s a pattern here, isn’t there?

It is not only about rage and resentment, and how some have come to see them as virtues, as an emblem of rightness. I feel so much, therefore my views are correct and must prevail. It is about something so obvious it is almost embarrassing to state. Free speech means hearing things you like and agree with, and it means allowing others to speak whose views you do not like or agree with. This–listening to the other person with respect and forbearance, and with an acceptance of human diversity–is the price we pay for living in a great democracy. And it is a really low price for such a great thing.

We all know this, at least in the abstract. Why are so many forgetting it in the particular?

Let us be more pointed. Students, stars, media movers, academics: They are always saying they want debate, but they don’t. They want their vision imposed. They want to win. And if the win doesn’t come quickly, they’ll rush the stage, curse you out, attempt to intimidate.

And they don’t always recognize themselves to be bullying. So full of their righteousness are they that they have lost the ability to judge themselves and their manner.

And all this continues to come more from the left than the right in America.

and she continues…..

What is most missing from the left in America is an element of grace–of civic grace, democratic grace, the kind that assumes disagreements are part of the fabric, but we can make the fabric hold together. The Democratic Party hasn’t had enough of this kind of thing since Bobby Kennedy died. What also seems missing is the courage to ask a question. Conservatives these days are asking themselves very many questions, but I wonder if the left could tolerate asking itself even a few. Such as: Why are we producing so many adherents who defy the old liberal virtues of free and open inquiry, free and open speech? Why are we producing so many bullies? And dim dullard ones, at that.

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18 Responses

  1. Why are you on the Right so insecure that you have to continually point out that a book written long, long ago in a land far, far away mentions that homosexuality is a “sin”? A book that also says some pretty antiquated things about haircuts and animal sacrifice as well. Tattoos are getting mighty popular, so maybe you should devote some time (when you aren’t bashing people that make you feel uncomfortable) to hating people who get these sinful marks. Oh, and how do you feel about slavery?

  2. Why are you on the Left so insecure that the mere mention of a book that was written long, long ago in a land far, far away sends so many into a screaming expletive filed rage?

    The Left makes it their mission to bash and silence people that make THEM feel uncomfortable and/or offended. Anything that hints of a reasonable standard of behavior sparks an outcry and steady stream of name-calling.

    It wouldn’t be a big a deal if the one’s who choose to deviate from what most consider normal human behavior kept their fun behind closed doors. It’s when they want to display their flamboyant and obnoxious behavior in public, alter public policy to better suit their lifestyle choice, and attempt to change societal attitudes by propagandizing children in public schools that some on the Right get a bit indignant.

  3. GBS
    Well said!

  4. GBS: it’s the setting of that ‘reasonable standard of behavior’ that is worrisome. Who is to set such a standard? How could such a standard be set without judgment, which the Bible clearly states as God’s own? And finally, who’s to say what’s normal? And when it comes to ‘flamboyant and obnoxious’, well, just look at fundamentalist preachers and ‘God Hates Fags’ fundamentalist hate-mongers for plenty of that.

    Clearly neither the right or the left corner the market on hearing, let alone listening or understanding. Many on the right don’t understand that it doesn’t matter to everyone what the Bible says, and even if they do, at very least we aren’t all unanimous on exactly what it says, and how it’s to be interpreted, so it is neither inerrant or absolute.

    Sadly, this whole ‘alter public policy to better suit their lifestyle choice, and attempt to change societal attitudes by propagandizing children in public schools’ is the same tired old blather we all had to endure from you folks in the 50’s and 60’s when we were talking about desegregation, so forgive US if WE get a bit indignant.

  5. Well, we can continue this discussion in 10 to 20 years when you conservatives inevitably act like you “always supported gay rights”, just like you always supported women’s rights and racial equality. Like the hallowed prophet William F. Buckley who once shuddered at the mere mention of desegregation only to admit later in life that he had made a huge mistake in judgement. Isn’t that the most convenient way to be ignorant? Keep on truckin’ fellas.

  6. silenceinarchitecture
    Gays have all of the same basic rights as heterosexuals. As examples, you have the freedom to write and speak on this blog, go to work, and do what you want in your bedroom—-just like I do.
    The most common definition of “gay rights”, however, is to prosecute speech you don’t agree with (“hate speech”), change the meaning of marriage, and have more severe punishment for a gay man who happens to get beaten up versus a heterosexual man who gets beaten up (“Hate crimes”)……
    We obvisouly are on different wavelengths with regards to the gay agenda, but thanks for reading my blog and for your comments.

  7. Hey there, “lovesickbilly”,

    There’s something called “community decency standards”. They are longstanding public behavior rules that attempt to keep people (like you?) from offending the rest of us while we’re out and about. State and federal laws along with city ordinances regarding lewd conduct are all based on that concept. To put it in more specific terms, some types of public affection might be no problem (say…holding hands or even kissing). Other types…say for example…some naked dude walking down the street pleasuring himself (or others)…shouldn’t have to be “tolerated” by the rest of us. These longstanding laws theoretically apply to all people regardless of their orientation. However, gays seem to often get a pass, particularly during certain “pride” celebrations.

    I wouldn’t go around too loudly comparing the gay political agenda to the struggle by African Americans for civil rights in the 50s and 60s. From what I’ve seen, many African Americans get a bit INDIGNANT when that connection is made. Let’s not forget that the original abolitionists and, subsequently, the civil rights movement were inspired and led by RELIGIOUS leaders! Aren’t these the same types of people that are vilified by the Left in general and gay community in particular? They are the same people “blathering” about YOUR lifestyle! Oh…the irony!

    Not only is this not an apples-to- apples comparison, we’re not even talking about the same food groups. You’re not kept out of public schools or the voting booth, prevented from advancing economically, forced to live in “gays only” areas, made to use a “gays only” drinking fountain, sit in a “gays only” area in a restaurant or bus, or use a “gays only” restroom (although I guess some trans-genders sometimes DEMAND their own facilities). Your houses and churches (if there are any) aren’t burned down. Your leaders aren’t taken out and hung from a tree or shot dead. As many gays are successful and prosperous, money flows into your political action groups like a river. It may sound cool to identify yourselves with a group that was truly oppressed, but it doesn’t stand up under ANY scrutiny.

  8. Um, did someone say they were the same thing? I’m white, a male, and a heterosexual, but I think it is important to stand up for people who are different than I am. Because of the ignorance fostered by some people on the Right, many homosexuals ARE oppressed, whether you want to admit it or not. In the small town where I live, in a part of the country that is very conservative, a lesbian college student was tied to a tree and “SINNER” was written on her just a few months ago. Now, I’m sure that you do not support this kind of behavior, but you do need to acknowledge that this sort of thing still happens. Kids are beaten up in school because they don’t happen to be attracted to the opposite sex. And it happens because people are controlled by fear. Fear of people that look or act differently than they do.

    No one is forcing YOU to be gay. Conservatives recoil when lifestyles are supposedly forced upon them (usually in the form of having to ignore a parade or change a television channel). However, conservatives have no problem with forcing their personal religious beliefs into courtrooms or classrooms. Or using military force to promote their political ideals, killing thousands of civilians in the process. Some of you don’t even mind dragging someone behind a truck to make sure your views about sexuality are clearly viewed.

  9. silenceinarchitecture,
    I believe in standing up for anyone oppressed, physically disabled, less fortunate…you name it. You and I are on the same page there.
    There are crazy people and extremists on either side who commit crimes against all kinds of people for many reasons. I, and most conservatives & liberals, do not condone tying anyone to a tree, dragging them behind trucks, or beating them up because they may think or look differently. There are existing laws to prosecute the people who commit those types of atrocious acts.

    You mentioned the small conservative town where you live…..well if you turn your story around, do you think someone with my view on the gay agenda would last even one day in downtown San Francisco without being spit on, cussed at, beaten up, or otherwise abused? If you are objective, the answer to that is an emphatic “NO”! (Take a look at some of the nasty name-calling “tolerance” from the left wing on my blog as an example)

    On the lifestyle issue, you somewhat make Peggy Noonan’s point:
    ” I feel so much, therefore my views are correct and must prevail. ”
    No one is forcing me to be gay and no one is forcing you to read the Bible. However, there is a strong gay lobby and agenda that is well-financed that is trying to force gay marriage on a country that state-by-state has voted it down (including ultra-liberal California). They have also forced books such as “My Two Mommies” to appear in my kids school library while many school libraries now won’t allow the Bible in the library.
    I don’t see special “hate crimes” and “hate speech” laws being pushed and passed that single out protecting Christians, but they do single out “sexual preferences”.

    So you tell me, who is forcing whose beliefs on the country and whose are being suppressed?

    As far as military force, you must have drank the Koolaid laced with Bush Derangement Syndrome. My guess is you thought the military force was fine when Clinton bombed an aspirin factory in the Sudan. But the retaliation for the murder and slaughter of 3000 American AND the continued Muslim/terrorist threats against our country don’t qualify as a worthwhile ideal in your book.
    And no matter what you think of how we got to Iraq, since you say you stand up for the oppressed, do you understand how Iraqis lived under Saddam Hussein? At the very least, we have now afforded them the chance to get out from under oppression to structure a new government with freedom, boosted commerce, and a hopeful way of life!

  10. #1. I didn’t agree with Clinton’s bombing of Sudan, and in fact spoke out against it in our local newspaper. I always believe in diplomacy over violence.

    #2. I don’t believe that causing even more death is an ethical response to the deaths of 3000 Americans. Thousands upon thousands of innocent women and children have died from our bombs in Iraq.

    #3. I am well aware of how Saddam Hussein treated his people. I’m also well aware that the people of Darfur are suffering too. Too bad they aren’t sitting on a bunch of oil so that we can “help them out” as well. Don’t deceive yourself, our Iraqi liberation is far from a humanitarian effort. On top of that, we were constantly lied to as to why we were there in the first place.

    #4. I disagree with the removal of Bibles from school libraries. I was raised in a Presbyterian church (by Republican parents, no less) and, while some of my personal views have changed over the years, I still believe in complete religious freedom.

    #5. I’m not so clear on why married heterosexuals get in a tizzy at the thought of gay couples doing the same. How exactly does that have any effect on your life? At all?

    I believe that we are all entitled to our opinions. If everyone thought the same it would be a boring (and probably zombie-like) place. If you think homosexuality is sinful, that’s your business. I just wish I could understand what people think it will accomplish to bash how another person lives his or her life.

  11. Silenceinarchitecture
    I agree this world would be a boring place if we all had the same ideas.
    You and I could probably not agree on most of these issues within 1000 blog posts going back and forth……
    But I do appreciate your thought-out responses….they are a far cry from some of the other comments I’ve received. Thanks!

  12. Thank you for the discussion. I think it’s important to be able to disagree without simply hurling profanity back and forth. Which, unfortuanately is what often happens when unintelligent people on both sides of an issue get into a political discussion. So thank you for at least hearing me out.

  13. @GBS, I’m seeing a pattern here. You’re really jumping to conclusions if you think that just because I’m gay that community decency standards were created any more for me than they were for you. You clearly don’t know many of us queers, and therefore have some pretty clear preconceive notions and a solid ‘us vs. them’ attitude, as further evidenced by your assertion that a “some naked dude walking down the street pleasuring himself (or others)” would necessarily be gay. I’ve got news, we don’t corner the market on that either. And if gays get a pass on nudity during Pride, then straights get a pass for violence during most sporting events (hell, most sports bars).

    As for my allusion to desegregation, you’re wide of the mark yet again. I didn’t compare the movements. I compared the religious white’s – er Right’s – claims that desegregation was poisoning the minds of children, and propping up their arguments with the Bible. Desegregation had the religious on both sides of the argument, sure. I remember Rev. King. I was born the day he was shot by a white man.

    You’re absolutely right, we’re not kept out of public schools – we’re shot by our classmates (02/08, Oxnard, CA), prevented from advancing economically – check out http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_empl1.htm, forced to live in “gays only” areas – no we ghettoize ourselves so that we don’t have to face hatred daily, and so on and so on. You act as if we don’t experience any hostility or discrimination, and you just plain know that’s not so. Your houses and churches (if there are any) aren’t burned down – lame ad hominem attack. Your leaders aren’t taken out and hung from a tree or shot dead – ever heard of Harvey Milk? The rest aren’t leaders, but just young people trying to live their lives when they’re dragged behind cars, beaten with clubs, and left to die on remote fence posts. As many gays are successful and prosperous, money flows into your political action groups like a river – so?. As for your ‘doesn’t stand up under any scrutiny, think again.

    The problem here is that I HAVE walked a mile in your shoes. I hae been a Christian, a Republican, and a straight man. You haven’t walked a step in mine.

  14. Oh, and Silenceinarchitecture… THANK YOU. Well put.

  15. Sharprightturn,
    Have you even been to San Francisco? If not, go. Unless you’re walking around with a God Hates Fags sign in the middle of the Castro, people are too busy with their lives to worry about yours. They’ve got better things to do, are more free-thinking, and sophisticated than that. I’ve been there many many times, and every case of violence, anti-social behavior, or hate mongering has been by rightwing EXTREMISTS on a passive queer public, OR skirmishes between freaks and druggies.

    Most importantly, on either side, we can’t confuse conviction to the right or left with ignorance and hatred. Ignorant, hateful people spit, torture, and beat. The rest of us don’t. We blog, discuss, and if we’re gay or friendly, we use emoticons. 🙂

  16. lovesickbillly,
    I was responding to silenceinarchtecture’s comment about a small conservative town. He wrote “In the small town where I live, in a part of the country that is very conservative, a lesbian college student was tied to a tree and “SINNER” was written on her just a few months ago.”

    Now I’ll ask you the same—have you ever been to a small, red state, conservative town? (You probably have)
    Well, as I agree most gays aren’t physically attacking heterosexuals in the streets of San Francisco, most small town conservatives are not tying lesbians to trees either…. They’ve got better things to do & are more open-minded and tolerant than you give them credit for.

    Just as San Francisco gays have their sanctuary in that city and opposing views are not very welcome there— many in small town, Christian America do not appreciate having an agenda pushed upon them in schools, legislation, etc. Most believe homosexuality is wrong, immoral, and against their beliefs. (By the way, most also believe that promiscuous sex of any kind is unhealthy and wrong — I saw the video you added on another post, but decided not to include it in the blog–I think what was on that video was wrong and indecent as well).

    Most Christian, red-state, small town Americans–however you want to label them— don’t believe homosexuality is a healthy or moral lifestyle. That is just what they believe and it is their right to do so. It does not make them “Hate” anyone & the vast majority do not resort to violence against those who are. Many are very tolerant of those who wish to live that lifestyle—they just don’t accept it nor want to live that way themselves.
    Their beliefs ARE JUST AS VALID AS YOURS where homosexuality is concerned.

    Now before you tell me again how small and limited that view is and how progressive and tolerant they are in San Fran, let me direct you to one small example of that “tolerant” city:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/03/25/MNG6OHU6RR1.DTL

    That link refers to a piece in the Chronicle about a group of teenage Christians who decide to rally (peacefully) in San Francisco at a park in 2006 (remember it is there right to be there as well as anybody)—

    Bits and pieces from the article—
    —-They wanted to “unleash a “blitz” of youth pastors into the communities to do everything from work with the homeless to find new ways to bring others to Christ.”
    —-The leader of the group “wants teens to find Bible-based solutions for the spread of sexually transmitted disease, teen pregnancy, drug abuse and suicide”

    (They didn’t force anyone to do anything….they rallied…)

    San Fran is not the only city they visited. Here is the response they got from the city of San Fran—and why I believe if I lived my life in San Fran according to my values…they’d say the same about me:

    —-“That’s bad news to Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, ………that while such fundamentalists may be small in number, “they’re loud, they’re obnoxious, they’re disgusting, and they should get out of San Francisco.” (my comment – that coming from a “leader” who sets the tone!)

    —–“Earlier this week, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution condemning the “act of provocation” by what it termed an “anti-gay,” “anti-choice” organization that aimed to “negatively influence the politics of America’s most tolerant and progressive city.”
    (Boy, I wonder if they can see the irony in that one!–my comments)

    —–“they were greeted by an official city condemnation and a clutch of protesters who said their event amounted to a “fascist mega-pep rally.”

    To answer your question….I have been to San Francisco many, many times. Beautiful city to visit and see….but I wouldn’t want to live there!.

  17. Really, this article should have been entitled, “The Right’s ability to hear the other side…” Thanks for the spar, just the same. Be well.

  18. […] First, last week Sally Kern (state representative) did a great job of getting the left’s hate speech ”sweeping down the plains” with her comments about gays.   She has stood her ground on her beliefs as she should! (Although I might have re-worded or left out comparisons regarding terrorism–it was totally misconstrued–most of what she said was clearly factual…..it’s been covered on this blog here and here) […]

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