Morality & Ethics
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) October 30, 2017
Kevin Spacey apologizes for drunkenly trying to seduce a 14-year-old boy
ABC News: ‘But what an emotional coming out story!’ pic.twitter.com/YDqiVMnlLl
— Chet Cannon (@Chet_Cannon) October 30, 2017
Plus, a twitter feed roundup.
Time for Some Counter Views
Courting controversy, from Stacey McCain, a generally rightwing blogger:
The destruction of Kevin Spacey’s career for what he did (or allegedly attempted to do) in 1986 must be put in context of this pervasive decadence. How many 14-year-old hookers were turning tricks in New York in 1986? …
Far be it from me to defend the (alleged) behavior of Kevin Spacey, a Hollywood liberal and close personal friend of Bill Clinton. Nor is it my intention to endorse moral relativism as a defense of (alleged) behavior that was so clearly wrong. It would be the easiest thing in the world for me to denounce Kevin Spacey and demand that he be banished from polite society, at a minimum, and perhaps prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But before the mob seizes Spacey — tall tree, short rope, some assembly required — I must ask, why should this one man be made to suffer grievously for his alleged wrongdoing, when so many other wrongdoers have gotten off scot-free? Because he is famous?
Because he is rich? Because he is “privileged”? Because we are experiencing belated remorse about the Sexual Revolution? Because the Harvey Weinstein scandal has reminded us of other rich, famous men who got away with worse than what Kevin Spacey allegedly did?
And from this blog’s comments, “Bryan” writes, pulling no punches:
Perhaps the teenage Anthony Rapp shouldn’t have attended an adult actor’s party, stayed behind after all the other guests left, and been found sitting on Spacey’s bed when the actor walked into his bedroom post-party and somewhat drunk.
And perhaps, since no sexual act took place (Spacey rolled over onto him and Rapp got up and left), maybe Rapp shouldn’t be publicizing this (and, himself) 30 years later when his career is dormant.
And maybe GLAAD and all the others who took Harvey Weinstein’s money shouldn’t be virtue-signaling now by helping to destroy Spacey’s life and career.
Finally, Joseph Fischel at Slate:
Let me be as clear as possible that Spacey’s alleged conduct, imposing himself unwanted on a 14-year-old boy, is in no way defensible, nor is closeted queerness an excuse that authorizes bad behavior. (Spacey’s statement doesn’t dispute either of these points.) However, we can condemn the alleged events of Rapp’s story without falling into the trap of fueling moral panic around the specter of the pedophile. And in its pitchfork-and-torches response, that’s exactly what the gay community is doing. It used to be straights who “pedophiled” gays to deny them civil rights and social inclusion. Now we apparently pedophile our own for moral purification and self-satisfaction.
Absent evidence of sexual trafficking, coercion, forced servitude or abuse of minors, I’ve never thought adult consensual prostitution (sex work) should be criminalized. That you can pay people to have sex if you film them and sell the resulting product (porn), but can’t pay them to have commercial sex that isn’t filmed for sale, seems absurd.
Charges against the owner of rentboy.com were originally brought in August 2015. The New York Times reported at that time on the odd circumstances behind the investigation, which was conducted by the Obama administration’s Department of Homeland Security in league with Kelly T. Currie, at the time the acting U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn:
It’s somewhat baffling, though, that taking down a website that operated in plain sight for nearly two decades suddenly became an investigative priority for the Department of Homeland Security and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.
I guess there wasn’t enough on the terrorism front to keep DHS busy. Publicity seeking all round, particularly by Currie, who landed as a partner at NYC law firm Crowell & Moring.
More. Huffington Post noted that:
Germany legalized prostitution in 2001. A decade later, trafficking had decreased by 10 percent. New Zealand legalized it in 2003, and after five years a report found zero incidents of trafficking. But they did find that sex workers were more likely to report violence when it occurred.
After Canada legalized prostitution, sex workers experienced fewer homicides — and according to some reports, law enforcement harassment has made sex work more dangerous.
We even know how legal prostitution works in the US, since some Nevada counties regulate brothels. Researchers from the University of Nevada found brothels enforce monthly STI checks, mandatory condom usage and panic buttons in every room. Compare that to the NYPD, which has accused women of prostitution for carrying condoms.
Hatefulness gussied up as moral superiority can be found among conservatives and progressives. Ideologues, one and all.
Bad anti-LGBT conservatives:
Bad LGBT leftists:
As others have pointed out, these “useful idiots” (in Lenin’s famed words) wouldn’t last long on the streets of Gaza City or Ramallah. But no one would care in Tel Aviv.
Gee, maybe these aren’t just “isolated incidents”?
— (((Ar1c B3rnard))) (@Ar1c_B3rnard) July 25, 2017
The Weekly Standard's accusations against the Human Rights Campaign are rightfully disturbing. https://t.co/4zT92x7XuR
— IGF CultureWatch (@IndeGayForum) April 18, 2017
Via the New York Post, Passenger thrown off flight after confronting Ivanka Trump:
JetBlue kicked a Brooklyn lawyer and his Hunter College professor husband off a plane at JFK on Thursday morning — after he accosted fellow passenger and future first daughter Ivanka Trump right before takeoff.
“Your father is ruining the country!” lefty lawyer and avowed Hillary Clinton supporter Dan Goldstein shouted at Trump, as she sat with her husband, Jared Kushner, and their three kids in the main cabin, TMZ reported.
Totally obnoxious virtue-signaling by the gay guys, but I’m sure they’ll be celebrated by their fellow progressives as heroes. Incivility has become a defining value of progressivism.
More. Instapundit links to a roundup of tweets about this ugly incident, including this:
Naturally, all of this would have been presented and received differently had the harassment been directed at a famous liberal woman. However, wealthy liberals don’t fly coach. They prefer to sit in first class and discuss what’s best for average Americans.
A tweet from the Daily Mail, with a retweet from the perp’s husband: “Ivanka and Jared at JFK T5, flying commercial. My husband chasing them down to harass them.” (No mention of the small children sitting next to their parents.)
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) December 22, 2016
A comprehensive roudup of the incident, here.
There was one moment when I saw more undecided voters shift to Trump than any other, when it all changed, when voters began to speak differently about their choice. … the conversation shifted the most during the weekend of Sept. 9, after Clinton said, “You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.” All hell broke loose.
Clinton’s support among hard-pressed working- and lower-middle class people, in the rust belt and elsewhere, took a big hit afterward. That speech occurred, to wild applause, at an LGBT fundraiser in Manhattan where the ticket prices ranged from $1,200 to $250,000, and with many paying $50,000, according to reports.
Why do privileged LGBT progressives think that public displays of their contempt is helpful to either progressivism or to public perceptions of, you know, privileged LGBT progressives?
Donald Trump’s pick for labor secretary is Andy Puzder, the successful CEO of CKE Restaurants, which operates Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. Puzder is a smart critic of Obama’s reign of regulatory terror against American businesses over the past eight years, which is a big reason for the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression.
But what our progressive friends seem most upset about concerning Puzder’s nomination is that, as Vox declares:
Like Trump, Puzder is very open about how much he enjoys objectifying women, and how he likes to use that objectification as a business strategy. … For the last decade or so, Carl’s Jr. has been known for running controversial TV ads featuring models eating hamburgers in various gross, oversexed ways.
Vox’s link is to the progressive feminist site Jezebel, which also has a big problem with images of beautiful women eating hamburgers. And ThinkProgress assumes a clear connection between using alluring women in an advertising campaign and opening the floodgates to systemic pay discrimination against working women.
I’m not the first to point out that all this anger and angst on the left is eerily similar to criticism from the Christian right during the 1980s over jiggly women on network sitcoms. Today’s progressives sound as shocked and appalled over the prospect that American men might become (gasp) aroused as the American Family Association and the Moral Majority were back then.
Which really shouldn’t be surprising. In today’s progressivism, feminist prudery and censoriousness (think campus fainting couches and safe spaces) extends to demands that erotic expressiveness be strictly controlled and regulated—or, if that’s not yet possible, treated with contempt—at least when its focus is heterosexuality and especially with regard to the working classes. This is evidenced by the scorn evoked by sexy waitresses at the restaurant chain Hooters. (If erotic imagery undermines heteronormality, it gets a pass.)
Female radio host Dana Loesch, author of the book “Hands Off My Gun,” blogged in defense of Puzder:
Are the ads modest? No. Are they sexist and exploitative? Well, that depends on whom is being exploited. … Were not the women in the ads paid? Were they unaware that they filmed a commercial? The audience for whom this commercial was made are the ones being exploited, exploited by a company, to part with their dollars.
To the left, however, marketing and commercialism are perhaps the gravest sins of all.
HGTV ‘Fixer Upper’ couple Chip and Joanna Gaines find themselves in the liberal media’s crosshairs for attending a church that has traditional view of homosexuality. Twitchy has a roundup of the tweets that link to the publications’ articles, including these:
— BuzzFeedEntmnt (@BuzzFeedEnt) November 29, 2016
— Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan) November 30, 2016
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) November 29, 2016
I liked this response:
They haven't even said anything about gay marriage and you're seeking to destroy their career because of the church they attend? Bullies. https://t.co/Z035szWzu1
— Julie Borowski (@JulieBorowski) November 30, 2016
And this one:
So does Nancy Pelosi's, Tim Kaine's, Joe Biden's . . . https://t.co/9CnetYbvHO
— Kevin D. Williamson (@KevinNR) November 30, 2016
Perhaps for their faith crime, the state will force them to fix up a house for a gay wedding.
More. Obviously, the liberal news sites are looking to stoke a controversy along the lines of the Benham Brothers who, two years ago, had their upcoming “Flip It Forward” show on HGTV (helping “lower-income families purchase fixer uppers and transform them into dream homes”) dropped after an outcry and boycott threats over the brothers’ faith-based opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. But Jason and David Benham were vocal about their views, which the Gaineses are not (if that should make a difference). The witch-hunt mentality of the liberal inquisitors also brings to mind the 2014 resignation of Mozilla’s co-founder and CEO Brendan Eich amid outrage following the discovery that he had contributed $1,000 in 2008 to a winning California ballot initiative against same-sex marriage.
But all Chip And Joanna Gaines did was go to church.
Furthermore. Guy Benson weighs in. Note: his post includes a tweet from a Stephen Miller who is not me.
Apparently, from some of the comments, this kind of mean-spirited, ritualized shaming is just a tempest in a teapot because the left is targeting conservatives. Nothing to see, move along, boy Miller is stupid (a recurring theme) for believing this might be of interest to anyone reading a site called CultureWatch.
And more. Not much buzz about this from the trendy lefty sites but the right has noticed (in responding to the left’s manufactured Gaines controversy): Likely DNC Chair Rep. Keith Ellison’s Imam: Homosexuality Is ‘Not What God Intended’.
Milo Yiannopoulos, a young gay conservative Brit and anti-political-correctness provocateur, and the student protesters at Rutgers. NJ.com reports:
“In my view, anybody who asks for a trigger warning or a safe space, should be immediately expelled” [Yiannopoulos said].
The audience loudly applauded his statement.
He said such reactivity merely demonstrates that those students “are incapable of exposing themselves to new ideas.”
“They are demonstrating that they are incapable of engaging in a humble pursuit of knowledge,” he said.
At which point, a woman yells from off camera, “This man represents hatred!” They also started chanting “Black lives matter.”
The video then pans to one side of the auditorium where two students appear to smear fake blood on their faces.
The evocative display was met with loud applause.
Members of the audience in support of Yiannopoulos booed and started chanting, “Trump, Trump, Trump!”
The protesters also splattered their fake blood, Breitbart reports:
the progressives stormed out of the auditorium, leaving a trail of red paint for the janitors to clean up.
Walls, seats, and doors were also vandalised by the protesters. Peaceful attendees who had come to hear a speech instead found themselves splashed with the fake blood. At least one attendee was allegedly assaulted by a protester, who covered him in red paint.
The rise of authoritarian-progressive political correctness, which seeks to stop the expression of ideas its adherents dislike, is met with support for Donald Trump. It’s action/reaction, and represents the sad state of left-dominated academia. It does not bode well for the country.
More. And in Britain, Peter Tatchell: snubbed by students for free speech stance:
The emails from the officer of the National Union of Students were unequivocal. Fran Cowling, the union’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) representative, said that she would not share a stage with a man whom she regarded as having been racist and “transphobic”.
That the man in question is Peter Tatchell – one of the country’s best-known gay rights campaigners, who next year celebrates his 50th year as an activist – is perhaps a mark of how fractured the debate on free speech and sexual politics has become.
In the emails, sent to the organisers of a talk at Canterbury Christ Church University on Monday on the topic of “re-radicalising queers”, Cowling refuses an invitation to speak unless Tatchell, who has also been invited, does not attend. In the emails she cites Tatchell’s signing of an open letter in the Observer last year in support of free speech and against the growing trend of universities to “no-platform” people, such as Germaine Greer, for holding views with which they disagree.
Cowling claims the letter supports the incitement of violence against transgender people. She also made an allegation against him of racism or of using racist language. Tatchell told the Observer that the incident was yet another example of “a witch-hunting, accusatory atmosphere” symptomatic of a decline in “open debate on some university campuses”.
The primates of the worldwide Anglican Communion on Jan. 14 suspended the Episcopal Church USA “from full participation in the life and work of the Anglican Communion” for a period of three years, to give the Episcopal Church time to recant its pro-gay ways.
The motion, presented to a gathering of archbishops in Canterbury Cathedral, was backed by the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), which consists of conservative Anglican bishops and leaders working “to guard and proclaim the unchanging, transforming Gospel through biblically faithful preaching.”
To translate, the issue was the Episcopal Church’s ordination of gay clergy and its policy of allowing churches to perform and sanction same-sex marriages.
The anti-gay Anglicans include a small number of U.S. and U.K. “high church” or Anglo-Catholic traditionalists who seek to be more reactionary on matters theological than Rome. But the main thrust for disciplining the U.S. church comes from the vast majority of Anglicans who reside outside the West. Specifically, African bishops, representing 60 percent of Anglicans worldwide, resist Western tolerance of homosexuality, to put it mildly.
As David Boaz writes in Newsweek, there was fear that archbishops from six African countries—Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, South Sudan, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo—might have walked out if the archbishop of Canterbury, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, didn’t sanction the U.S. Episcopal Church for consecrating gay bishops and allowing Episcopal churches to perform same-sex weddings. Boaz praises the Anglican archbishop of South Africa, who has urged his church to abandon its “practices of discrimination,” which distinguishes South Africa on a continent where virulent homophobia is treated as gospel. (Despite racial oppression, South Africa is a country where Western enlightenment values always had a foothold, Boaz notes, which was significant in defeating Apartheid.)
In contrast, let’s look at some of the churches that demanded the U.S. Episcopal Church be sanctioned. The Anglican church in Uganda has no problem with draconian laws persecuting gay people:
In response to the Anglican Church of Canada’s intervention, Bishop Joseph Abura of the Karamoja Diocese wrote an editorial saying, “Ugandan Parliament, the watch dog of our laws, please go ahead and put the anti-Gay laws in place. It is then that we become truly accountable to our young and to this country, not to Canada or England. We are in charge!” Although the Anglican Church in Uganda opposes the death penalty, its archbishop, Henry Luke Orombi, did not take a position on the bill.
Some prelates of the Rwanda church joined in their country’s tribal genocide:
Tutsis were murdered en masse in Rwanda in part because they flocked to places of worship for refuge…. In fact, both the Catholic and Anglican churches in Rwanda were deeply complicit in the genocide. … Astonishingly, church figures across Rwanda played a leading role in legitimizing and even inflicting genocidal killing.
These are the churches that anti-gay American Anglicans have chosen to affiliate themselves with.
The United Methodist Church—the nation’s largest mainline denomination—faces a similar issue as it remains officially opposed to same-sex marriage and defrocks it’s ministers who perform same-sex weddings. Here, too:
Many observers—both inside and outside of the [Methodist] church—note that the global nature of the church, in particular its growth in Africa, where homosexuality is often still taboo, is a major hurdle for those hoping to change church policy.
Let the churches of the light rise up to the Light; and those that present their hatred as righteousness dwell in the heart of darkness together.
More. I say, vote yes for independency, as Americans did in 1776.
Also, the Pilgrims, who were Separatists and not Puritans (despite the common misperception) had it right. They wanted to separate from the Anglican Church and believed attempting to “purify” it would only corrupt them.
Furthermore. Before the Jan. 14 vote, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry told the primates gathering in Canterbury:
Many of us have committed ourselves and our church to being ‘a house of prayer for all people,’ as the Bible says, when all are truly welcome. Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all.
I also like this thought. Catherine M Wallace, a cultural historian and literary theologian, writes:
Like Christians of the past, we are to engage the tradition with the best critical tools and broadest moral sensitivity available to us, trusting that God is with us and within us, calling us always to courage and to compassion, calling us to be bread for a starving world. …
For some people, religion must be rigid, absolutist and judgmental in order to count as “religion.” That need for self-righteous absolutes is perhaps the deepest anxiety of all.