“The real bigots are the liberals”


Writing for Mail Online, one Simon Heffer spews:

I believe that the only people who should be able to marry and have a wedding are those of different genders.

Well I believe that people should only publish opinions that do not make them look like narrow-minded twits, but you don’t hear me calling for the outlawing of Simon Heffer, now do you.

Sheesh.

Heffer further pontificates:

I uphold the traditional idea of marriage and what it has meant since the earliest Christian times. Namely that it is the ultimate recognition of the relationship between a man and a woman, often for the purposes of having children.

Translation: “We haven’t got enough political oomph to outlaw birth control just yet.”

And for the avoidance of doubt, I do not have any prejudice against homosexuals or lesbians, or wish them to be discriminated against. Nor do I hold my views because of any religious objection: I am not religious. It is simply, for me, a matter of common sense.

Ah yes, the old “I don’t want discrimination, I just want to make sure they don’t have the same rights as we do” defense.

We used to be a society where differing views were respected. I respect the views of those who support same-sex marriage, even though I profoundly disagree with them. I would not dream of insulting them or their beliefs.

He just wants to keep them illegal. But never mind such trivialities as denying people the legal right to get married. The real bigotry is when you insult people just for trying to make sure gays never enjoy the same liberty as heteros.

This view is plainly not shared by Lynne Featherstone, the Lib Dem MP who is Equalities Minister. She said the opposition expressed by prominent Christians to same-sex marriage was ‘homophobic’ and belonged in ‘the Dark Ages’. She singled out as ‘medieval’ the use of the term ‘heretic’ by a cleric to describe those advocating a change in the law.

Mind you, it’s ok for Christians to insult people by calling them “heretics.” Insults are only really offensive when directed at the homophobes.

Such blinkered intransigence — indeed, I would go so far as to call it bigotry — does not bode well for the free, pluralistic society that liberals claim to believe in. And it makes a mockery of their much-vaunted virtue of ‘tolerance’.

Oh that’s so true, you can’t have a free and pluralistic society that goes around actually insulting people by telling them it’s medieval and repressive to pass laws that grant inferior rights to people who fall in love the “wrong” way. Anti-gay laws are perfectly fine, but for God’s sake don’t let us have free speech in a pluralistic society.

The slur ‘homophobic’ is designed, like ‘racist’, to shut down any argument — in other words, to censor debate. When a liberal such as Miss Featherstone calls someone ‘homophobic’, the implication is that person is prejudiced and holds views that are beyond the pale.

Because who, after all, wants to publicly acknowledge an aversion to homosexuality, right? You can be anti-pedophilia, or anti-cannibalism, or even anti-war, and there’s no stigma attached to your opposition because all those things really are bad. But “anti-gay” stings just a bit because even homophobes realize, deep down, that there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with people falling in love differently. Persecuting them for how they fall in love is sheer antisocial bigotry.

You should be ashamed, Mr. Heffer, because you are a bigot. And a hypocrite. But you already knew that too, right?

Comments

  1. ischemgeek says

    Hmm. I’m noticing odd parallels between this and other bigots regardless of their prejudice. Bigotry Ad-lib time!

    I’m not a _________. Some of my best friends are ________. So I really have no problem with _______.

    What I have a problem with are the _________ who think that ________ gives them a reason to get up in my face. I don’t care if you’re _______. It doesn’t matter to me, so just shut up about it.

    We live in an enlightened society. We don’t lock ______ away anymore, right? And if you want to be _______, it’s not like you’ll be fired for it or anything. And besides, it’s way worse for _____ over in Africa and the Middle East, so if some people hurt your fee-fees, you really have nothing to complain about. Those kids that kill themselves are just _______.

    So what if the statistics show that _______ have a harder time getting jobs and advancing? It’s the free market. Employers have a right to hire the best candidate, and if ________ were really as good as normal people, they’d already be equal in the workplace. Affirmative action is just reverse _______, you know. It gives ______ an unfair advantage and tells them they can’t compete on a level playing field and so we need to tilt it in their favor.

    I’m not saying that I think _________ are worth less than normal people. I’m saying that if ________ really want to improve their lives, they’d go to school and get jobs rather than sitting on their asses whining for handouts. Society demands that everyone be treated equally, not that everyone be given the same starting hand.

    Everyone has the same rights as everyone else. I don’t think we need to change anything.

      • ischemgeek says

        Sleep deprivation + pain (which caused the sleep deprivation) + codeine (which is not providing enough relief to stop the pain from causing the sleep deprivation but is making my thought processes all loopy) does wierd things to my brain. I only vaguely remember writing that comment this AM.

    • ischemgeek says

      In retrospect, putting blanks in for Africa & Middle East allows for more equal-opportunity bigotry ad-libbing.

  2. Roger says

    “I uphold the traditional idea of marriage and what it has meant since the earliest Christian times. Namely that it is the ultimate recognition of the relationship between a man and a woman, often for the purposes of having children.”

    Often? producing children and avoiding mortal sin were the sole purposes of marriage since the earliest Christian times. It’s perfectly reasonable to say marriage should only be between a man and a woman if you use that definition or similar definitions from other religions, but in that case you’d better find another term for all the people who don’t want to marry for religious reasons but do want to show their commitment to one another.
    Civil partnership, perhaps,and abolish ‘marriage’ as a legal term.

    • Nemo says

      Civil partnership, perhaps, and abolish ‘marriage’ as a legal term.

      I reject that approach, because I see no reason whatsoever that religion should be allowed to claim “marriage” for itself.

  3. sailor1031 says

    “Such blinkered intransigence — indeed, I would go so far as to call it bigotry — does not bode well for the free, pluralistic society that liberals claim to believe in. And it makes a mockery of their much-vaunted virtue of ‘tolerance’.”

    I guess I must not be a liberal ten – I have no tolerance whatsoever for the blinkered, intransigent, homophobic bigotry Heffer just puked up.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t marriage pre-date Christianity by some considerable number of centuries? I seem to remember OT people getting married a lot – sometimes to multiple wives! And isn’t its purpose the transmission of property rights to “legitimate” male children?

    • Dalillama says

      More broadly, the transmission of property rights to offspring generally, the precise apportioning varying according to culture and type of marriage.

  4. says

    Fuck I hate the word “tolerance” when it’s twisted into such ridiculousness. I may be tolerant of your religious beliefs – in that I don’t think anyone should be allowed to tell you you can’t have them – but once you start treading on the rights of others, I can no longer be tolerant of that.

    “You’re intolerant for not letting me hate you!”

  5. Tony says

    Roger @2:

    Often? producing children and avoiding mortal sin were the sole purposes of marriage since the earliest Christian times. It’s perfectly reasonable to say marriage should only be between a man and a woman if you use that definition or similar definitions from other religions

    Given that there are multiple forms of marriage on display in the bible (http://www.religioustolerance.org/mar_bibl0.htm) I don’t know why heterosexual marriages are reasonable, but the others aren’t. I’ve yet to see a religious person display any knowledge of the 7 other forms of marriage that the bible not only talks about, but does not condemn. Leaving aside the merits of believing anything written in the bible it should also be reasonable to allow two slaves to marry. It should also be reasonable to allow a male rapist to marry his female victim. There doesn’t appear to be a pecking order for the various biblical forms of marriage, yet by and large, most of them aren’t practiced in the United States. So clearly if the bible is the written word of god and puts multiple forms of marriage on display without any condemnation of them (this is notable, as god *does* express disappointment, condemnation, rage etc at *other* actions of humanity he doesn’t approve of; given that he’s all knowing, he would be more than aware of the 7 other forms of marriage) they should all be fair game. Given that the US considers several forms of biblical marriage illegal and there doesn’t appear to be a huge call to bring many of them back, it’s pretty safe to say that there’s no central/pure form of marriage that the bible espouses. So no, I don’t agree that it’s “perfectly reasonable” to say heterosexual marriage should be the only permissible form of marriage.

    • Roger says

      ‘Given that there are multiple forms of marriage on display in the bible’
      Heffer was specifically talking about ‘the traditional idea of marriage and what it has meant since the earliest Christian times. Namely that it is the ultimate recognition of the relationship between a man and a woman, often for the purposes of having children.’ which originates in the New Testament,so the other variations, though entertaining to contemplate, aren’t relevant to his argument.

  6. Tony says

    Sailor1031 @4:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t marriage pre-date Christianity by some considerable number of centuries?

    Oh, quite a bit longer than that.

  7. Reginald Selkirk says

    I uphold the traditional idea of marriage and what it has meant since the earliest Christian times.

    Hmmm, so is this a Christian who accepts the Old Testament or not?

  8. James says

    However, what the change in law would do is to alter dramatically the nature of the institution for everybody, radically changing its very meaning and significance.

    Tell me Simon, how exactly would your relationship with your wife change if same-sex couples are allowed to get married? Would you feel differently about her? Would she feel differently about you?

    I just can’t see how the marriage of any other two people in the world (straight, gay or Martian) materially affects your marriage in any way.

    • Jasmyn says

      Perhaps he’s worried that if his wife were legally able to marry a woman, she WOULD feel differently.
      My husband and I have no opposition to equal marriage rights because it wouldn’t have any affect on our marriage. We’d still be happily in love. Perhaps this fellow doesn’t feel as though his marriage is that secure. Hmm….

  9. Anri says

    I believe that the only people who should be able to marry and have a wedding are those of different genders.

    Please feel free to follow your beliefs.
    Please allow others to follow theirs.
    Or is that bigoted in your book?

    I uphold the traditional idea of marriage and what it has meant since the earliest Christian times. Namely that it is the ultimate recognition of the relationship between a man and a woman, often for the purposes of having children.

    This statement is so brimming with ignorance it is self-refuting.

    And for the avoidance of doubt, I do not have any prejudice against homosexuals or lesbians, or wish them to be discriminated against.

    Except for that whole ‘they have equal rights’ business. In other words, we’re all equal, just some of us are a little more equal than others.

    Nor do I hold my views because of any religious objection: I am not religious. It is simply, for me, a matter of common sense.

    Um, then why cite the bible as a source?
    PS: ‘common sense’ is not a sufficient tool for dealing with the complexities of the real world. It’s why we invented things like science and the rule of law.

    We used to be a society where differing views were respected. I respect the views of those who support same-sex marriage, even though I profoundly disagree with them. I would not dream of insulting them or their beliefs.

    Anyone is prefectly free to hold dumb, Iron-age beliefs.
    Just as I am free to call them dumb, Iron-age beliefs.
    Being polite has almost never changed the world.

    This view is plainly not shared by Lynne Featherstone, the Lib Dem MP who is Equalities Minister. She said the opposition expressed by prominent Christians to same-sex marriage was ‘homophobic’ and belonged in ‘the Dark Ages’. She singled out as ‘medieval’ the use of the term ‘heretic’ by a cleric to describe those advocating a change in the law.

    When you recoil from an accurate description of your beliefs, you might want to examine them more closely.

    Such blinkered intransigence — indeed, I would go so far as to call it bigotry — does not bode well for the free, pluralistic society that liberals claim to believe in. And it makes a mockery of their much-vaunted virtue of ‘tolerance’.

    The nice thing about a society intolerant of bigots is that anyone and everyone can be accepted if they want.
    Of course, if people prefer being bigots…

    The slur ‘homophobic’ is designed, like ‘racist’, to shut down any argument — in other words, to censor debate. When a liberal such as Miss Featherstone calls someone ‘homophobic’, the implication is that person is prejudiced and holds views that are beyond the pale.

    Well, I personally don’t care for the term ‘homophobic’. I’ll stick with ‘bigot’ – it’s more accurate, shorter, and covers the fact that intolerance is very rarely restricted just to LGBT people.
    And again, speaking personally, I don’t use the term bigot to shut down debate, but to open it. I want people to attempt to explain and defend their bigotry publicly, I want them to show the ugly underbelly of their thought to everyone. In other words, the fact that you’re having trouble arguing for your viewpoint because of the clear and obviously disgusting ramifications isn’t my problem – it’s yours.

  10. Didaktylos says

    Simon Heffer – suffice it to say of him that I’m never entirely sure that I’m right about something until Simon Heffer defecates an opposing opinion. (This may of course just be bigoted prejudice on my part as I reside in the North of England and Heffer’s attitude is that anyone from outside the M25 still wears woad.)

  11. quantheory says

    “Such blinkered intransigence — indeed, I would go so far as to call it bigotry — does not bode well for the free, pluralistic society that liberals claim to believe in. And it makes a mockery of their much-vaunted virtue of ‘tolerance’.”

    This line of reasoning has always seriously bothered me. Calling out homophobia is not about identifying homophobes as a distinct class of inferior people. It’s just about pointing out that they are, by definition, acting like assholes (regardless of how they intend to act, or how “not hateful” they claim to be).

    If someone stood up and proclaimed their fundamental right to be an asshole, and told others to be tolerant of it, no one would take that seriously. But if you stand up and say that you have a deep and serious moral conviction that requires you to be an asshole to gay people, somehow that’s suppoosed to make sense and deserve special consideration.

    Also, where does Simon get the idea that he, or early Christians, or any one else owns the concept of marriage? If you don’t like how some people use the word, then don’t use it that way. Why do you feel so insecure that you need the state to back you up? What gives him the right to have the state tell gay people they don’t have “real” families, if he doesn’t have the guts to do it his own fucking self without whining and cringing about how everyone has noticed what a mean petty person he is?

  12. smrnda says

    Karl Popper had a great quote on tolerance which I won’t attempt to quote because I don’t remember it but his basic idea was that you can only be tolerant of mutually tolerant ideas.

    I tolerate Simon Heffer and other such people in that they are entitled to their own beliefs about marriage, but he’s asking for more than just tolerance when he thinks his personal opinions on marriage ought to dictate public policy and deny rights to other people who have different opinions on marriage. A tolerant world would allow Heffer to believe whatever he wants, but it shouldn’t allow him to force others to have to live their lives according to his beliefs. Permitting same-sex couples to get married does not take away anything from Heffer, except making the laws biased towards his beliefs unfairly.

    And we ‘used to be a society’ where different beliefs were tolerated? Really, they used to lock up homosexuals, some tolerant past full of mutual respect for differing opinions.

    And as for appeals to ‘common sense,’ it’s mostly a ‘let’s just follow tradition because there must have been some good reason for doing things this way, even if we can’t think of any now.’

    • Buffy says

      smrnda,

      Here’s that Popper quote:

      “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them… We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.”

  13. says

    Note his mention of racist being a term “to shut down any argument — in other words, to censor debate.” So, I wonder what racist nonsense this Heffer person believes in.

  14. mutt50 says

    According to Paul,
    “But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn”
    Gee, that’s a great recommendation for marriage. Of course, according to Paul the end times were coming, so having children didn’t matter much. So, you get married if you “must” get laid, which Paul thought of as human weakness.
    Later, when the end time got pushed out by Jehovah,(or Jesus) they started writing more about women not getting all uppity in church and so on. Family values.

    • sailor1031 says

      Yeah well; I’ve always thought Saul of Tarse was gay – oh sorry that’s Tarsus isn’t it? or is it? It’s my belief that Timothy was just along to “lift the Sauline luggage” as it were….

      • says

        I don’t think there is any indication of that. I think he was just sex-averse period (and a misogynist, but which came first who can tell). A lot of those early Christians hated the physicality of human bodies (to be fair, such hatred was common to the overarching culture–thus the Gnostics, Neoplatonists, Manicheans, theurgy, asceticism, etc.).

  15. Buffy says

    Poor bigots can’t understand the difference between “holding a different opinion” and “using one’s different opinion to harm others”. What’s worse, they actually take themselves seriously (and expect others to) when they insist they don’t hate LGBT people and don’t support discrimination against them–then launch into a diatribe about all the ways they support discrimination against them. The disconnect is astounding.

  16. bybelknap says

    I had a SIWOTI argument on facebook with a guy who basically said all the same crap about same sex marriage. He used all the same tired bullcrap. It really is exhausting pointing out to these bigoted swine that my intolerance of their bigotry doesn’t make me a bigot too.

    • Deacon Duncan says

      The difference is that you are demanding tolerance for people, and they’re demanding tolerance for injustice.

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