Standing Athwart History, Whining 'Make it Stop!'Those of you who have better things to do may have missed, a couple of weeks ago, one of the greatest assaults on human liberty since the dawn of mankind. I am referring, of course, to The Day Josh Barro Imposed His Totalitarian Dictatorship on the World.
In the least surprising plot development ever, Erick Erickson threw a hissy fit ("Certainly I’d like to think Barro doesn’t have extermination of the religious at mind", which is awfully generous of him, don't you think?), in response to which Barro disappointed us all by totally wussing out on the whole killing homophobes thing. way too much for the folks at the National Review. Because apparently it's too late--Barro has already killed a bunch of people, or at least tried to:
Anti-LGBT attitudes are terrible for people in all sorts of communities. They linger and oppress, and we need to stamp them out, ruthlessly.— Josh Barro (@jbarro) July 24, 2014
Consider the real-world actions against the Family Research Council (FRC), when a shooter in 2012 broke into its building with the intent of murdering staffers. How did this come about? The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labeled FRC a “hate group.” The shooter, who wounded and would have killed a brave security guard, confessed that he was influenced by the materials posted on the SPLC’s website. Similarly, Barro’s words give license to those who would seek to disparage people with traditional beliefs about sexuality. Even if Barro doesn’t actually want violence to occur, his rhetoric could help incite it.Of course, you'll have noticed that in trying to score a cheap point against the SPLC the authors embrace the idea that speech can lead to violence--in other words, the underlying rationale for stigmatizing anti-gay speech. (It has probably also occurred to you that if the SPLC has blood on its hands, the FRC has a whole lot more.) But of course people who notice things like that don't end up writing for the National Review. But the hypothetical blood that might someday be on Josh Barro's figurative hands is a secondary issue. Really, it's all about freedom.
Barro’s sexual fundamentalism wants any dissent marginalized and he’s not reluctant to admit that. This attitude, which is emblematic of the increasing intolerance in many sectors of culture towards those with traditional beliefs about sexuality, penalizes citizens for their beliefs. What we see playing out, once more, is that for liberalism to take root, it must take root by authoritarian impulse where the lies of the sexual revolution, to be cemented, must be enforced through acts of social and legal coercion....You might be tempted to observe that amidst all the hand-waving, what they're really talking about is the right to say bigoted things without being considered a bigot. I, however, choose to take a more generous view. I commend them for their principled stand in favor of diversity of opinion and the free exchange of ideas....
In these tweets, Barro has shared his honest opinion: that the New Sexual Moralism will tolerate no dissent....When it comes to promoting gay rights, all must come to heel. There will be no debate. There will be no room for disagreement. To disagree, in fact, is to “linger and oppress” and cannot be allowed.
American public discourse rests on a fragile foundation that requires living amongst those who disagree with us. It’s called pluralism. This is part of what has made this country so unusual over the centuries: Even in the face of heated debate, we grant one another respect....
....um, never mind.
(And yes, as far as I can tell, they did this with every dissenting comment--including my own, which was tactless enough to refer to the National Review's historical support for segregation.)
Here, by the way, is a comment that was apparently considered unobjectionable:
If people like Josh Barro are allowed to stigmatize comments like these, the terrorists win.