Mefferd’s Bizarre Conception of Christian Rights

Janet Mefferd is one of the most extreme and loony of the right wing radio hosts in the country, prompting a never ending stream of wingnuts to her show. On her show last week she claimed that Christians have a right never to be reminded that gay people exist.

Mefferd: Everything is so upside down in our society now and right and wrong have completely switched where what is really wrong is to say you shouldn’t have two boys allowed to go to the high school prom. Now we can get into a big issue of the public schools are morally bankrupt at this point and we all ought to exit and just let them, let them do their thing, and that may be the ultimate answer; on the other hand, I feel for these Christian kids who are in a prom or kids who are at this high school who say, ‘you know something, do we have to go down this road?’ Whether the homosexual activists like it or not, and I know this isn’t politically correct to say this, but not everybody wants to see that. I know that that’s offensive to the activist crowd, they want us all to see it, they want us all to approve of it, they want us all to call it blessed and okay and rejoice and have parties and throw confetti in the air over this whole thing. But the fact of the matter is it’s a moral issue. You will always have Christians who will disagree with this and why should the rights of the activists trump the rights of Christians?

Because you don’t have a right not to ever see gay people. And because your position requires oppressing people, where the other does not. It’s really not that complicated.

24 comments on this post.
  1. eric:

    they want us all to see it, they want us all to approve of it, they want us all to call it blessed and okay and rejoice and have parties and throw confetti in the air over this whole thing.

    What a narcissist. Nobody cares if you see it, approve it, call it blessed, rejoice, etc… It isn’t about you at all. The kids just want to be able to dance with the partner of their choice. They are probably worrying about clothes and ‘does my date really like me’ and will their parents let them stay out late, etc. What you think about it is probably the furthest thing from their minds.

    To misquote Carly Simon: You’re so vain/You probably think this right is about you….

  2. nothere:

    Just imagine if a black/white couple should show up!

  3. F [nucular nyandrothol]:

    we all ought to exit and

    → This. Way. Please. →

  4. DaveL:

    Handy rule of thumb: A “right” enjoyed exclusively by your group isn’t a right. It’s a privilege. That’s what privilege means – private law. One rule for you and a different one for everyone else.

  5. cptdoom:

    @ 2 – You know who else can go to the prom at a public school – Jews, Jews I tells ya! You know who else can go? Mormons – godless heathen Mormons! I don’t see how any good Christians ever can manage to leave the house with so many sinners just walking around living their lives in plain sight.

  6. iknklast:

    cptdoom – and heaven forbid, there might even be atheists there, hiding their horns under the make up and their tails under the prom dresses! Oh, the horror of it all!

  7. naturalcynic:

    And because your position requires oppressing people, where the other does not.

    But, but, but – Not letting me oppress you is oppressing me!!!!11!!!!eleventy!!!

  8. jnorris:

    Ms Mefferd, please do not describe your statements as not being politically correct, as in ” I know this isn’t politically correct to say this, but…”, because the better descriptor is ‘plain ass stupid’, as in “I know this is plain ass stupid, but …”.
    *
    I also want to remind you that dancing is the bigger sin at the prom, not two boys or girls showing up together, unless the boy couple or girl couple dance. In which case the lightning rods on the gym roof will be of little use.

  9. dugglebogey:

    Don’t you get it? “Separate but equal” first. Keep them away from white “normal” people. Then eventually true equality.

    People don’t see patterns?

  10. John Hinkle:

    Hmm. I’m reading the quote as

    1) Two boys together: icky
    2) Public schools suck, but that’s another topic
    3) OMG, Christian kids (and me ME) won’t approve it – the gay stuff, that is
    4) Where was I? Oh yeah, Christian rights rule! Cause we’re, like, everywhere…

  11. Nemo:

    That word “moral”, I don’t think it means what she thinks it means.

    And that’s the central difference between us, really.

    Me: Moral = helping, immoral = hurting
    Mefferd: Moral = obedient, immoral = disobedient

    We agree that this is a moral issue, but come to opposite conclusions on what that implies. Does that mean the term “moral” is useless? Maybe; I dunno. I just know that I’m not willing to cede the word to conservatives. “Marriage”, either.

  12. frog:

    And yet I’m sure she would never accept a deal where Christians will be protected from any evidence of gays in the world, if the rest of us never have to see evidence of Christians in the world.

  13. howardhershey:

    Whenever I hear someone say that what they know that what they are saying is not “politically correct”, I simply replace those words with “bigoted and hateful.” Same thing nearly every time.

  14. Michael Heath:

    Ed writes:

    On [Janet Mefford's] show last week she claimed that Christians have a right never to be reminded that gay people exist.
    [...]
    Because you don’t have a right not to ever see gay people. And because your position requires oppressing people, where the other does not. It’s really not that complicated.

    Of course these Christians have a right to not be reminded that gay people exist or to ever see gay people. And they exercise this right in many ways, like joining churches which don’t allow unrepentant gay members and their families to join. We can’t arbitrarily what rights exist for others, the idea is abhorrent as illustrated when conservatives argue women have no right to abortion or gays have no right to marry. And our rights aren’t granted by government, they’re inalienable. Instead we look to what role government plays when it comes to the protection and infringement of rights.

    A sufficient understanding of our rights, the standard of governance argued in the Declaration of Independence, and the legal obligations put upon the government via the U.S. Constitution makes it obvious what the federal government must do in this case. That imperative requires the federal government to defend the exercise of rights by gays and their families equal to others; in spite of the fact these protections will infringe upon the exercise of rights by bigots like all the Christians who seek to get gays back in the closet.

    It’s important to understand the framework we should approach negative rights, primarily because what I argue here makes for a consistent analytic standard which doesn’t require the false artifice of claiming any of us can determine what is and what is not a negative right. It also makes weighing who the government is obligated to protect fairly obvious, while being realistic enough to acknowledge the reality that such protections frequently infringe on others’ rights.

  15. Michael Heath:

    howardhershey writes:

    Whenever I hear someone say that what they know that what they are saying is not “politically correct”, I simply replace those words with “bigoted and hateful.” Same thing nearly every time.

    There are many venues where it’s certainly politically incorrect to ridicule religious ideas and the people who promote such when they’re also cultural leaders. So no, there are instances when we can participate in politically incorrect speech that’s not bigoted or hateful but instead justifiably disdainful of popular ideas and people. E.g., labeling David Barton another Liar for Jesus® in certain company is certainly politically incorrect, but not necessarily hateful and certainly not bigoted – he’s earned that label.

  16. cry4turtles:

    Like my PA used to say, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass…”

  17. d.c.wilson:

    On [Janet Mefford's] show last week she claimed that Christians have a right never to be reminded that gay people exist.

    Ultimately, this is their goal: For gay people stop existing or, at least for gays to go so far back into the closet that they can pretend the world is the Ozzie and Harriet fantasy they think it once was. It isn’t about upholding family values or protecting marriage. It’s about their discomfort over the thought that there are people out there doing something they think is icky.

  18. bybelknap:

    If I’m reading Mr Heath correctly, he is saying that Ms Mefferd does indeed have the right not to see people she thinks are wicked and icky, but that this right is a lesser one than the right of the wicked and icky person (in Ms Mefferd’s eyes) to free assembly and association? Is this the correct interpretation? The right to free association trumps the right to not be offended?

    How then, do we determine which rights are more right? If we stipulate that the right to not be offended is guaranteed under the 9th as an un-enumerated right, is the right not to be offended always a lesser right than those which are enumerated in the Bill of Rights? Are enumerated always better than un-enumerated?

    I’m only being a little snarky. I really am interested in how we determine which rights are more important than others. I’m all for a very broad interpretation of the 9th. I think is is the best amendment going.

    In fact, when arguing with people about gun rights and the “privilege” of driving a car, I like to point out that driving is a form of travel, and that travel is a form of association, and that free association is guaranteed by the first so that driving really is a right and not a privilege, and that it is, in fact, a more important right than owning a gun, since at this particular period in history, and given the car culture of America and the way our towns and cities are constructed, driving is often the most important aspect of maintaining one’s livelihood. If you can’t drive, you starve.

    Ahem, I seem to have drifted a bit…

    Anyway, competing rights are always fascinating, and I’m curious as to Mr Heath’s ideas regarding how we should sort out which ones are more important, and if there is some sort of permanent hierarchy of rights that we can easily point to when bigots are bellowing about how their rights to be bigoted are being repressed.

  19. Crudely Wrott:

    they want us all to approve of it, they want us all to call it blessed and okay and rejoice and have parties and throw confetti in the air over this whole thing

    No.

    Reasonable people just want you to shut the fuck up, stand back and get the fuck out of the way of the advancement of civilization. The fact that you backwoods barbarians and brain dead, superstitious Bog gotherers can’t figure that out is the core of the backlash that you are now experiencing. You bring your discomfort on yourselves by yourselves. You are not fully human. Yet. I think there might be hope for you but my optimism is wearing thin by virtue of your endless faith in that which returns squat for all your fervent prayers.

    Step back and get a broader view (like that’s possible) and you might, just maybe, get some idea of what justice and equality really means. Clue: it includes you but is not centered on you.

    Oh, shit. Why bother. Just ignore the bastards.

    Oh, shit. Some of them get elected. They can’t be ignored. Pointing and laughing is advised followed by reasoned argument. The latter tactic will probably prove less effective than the former.

    I continue to point and laugh. Anyone want to spell me? I’m tired and hungry,

  20. David Hart:

    Crudely@19: “Bog gotherers”

    I now have the image of people whose hobby, or perhaps profession, is to upholster toilets in black leather and metal studs:-)

  21. Michael Heath:

    bybelknap writes:

    If I’m reading Mr Heath correctly, he is saying that Ms Mefferd does indeed have the right not to see people she thinks are wicked and icky, but that this right is a lesser one than the right of the wicked and icky person (in Ms Mefferd’s eyes) to free assembly and association? Is this the correct interpretation? The right to free association trumps the right to not be offended?

    How then, do we determine which rights are more right? If we stipulate that the right to not be offended is guaranteed under the 9th as an un-enumerated right, is the right not to be offended always a lesser right than those which are enumerated in the Bill of Rights? Are enumerated always better than un-enumerated?

    I’m only being a little snarky. I really am interested in how we determine which rights are more important than others. I’m all for a very broad interpretation of the 9th. I think is is the best amendment going.

    Again, my paradigm is to first look to how government is required to act. The 14th Amendment is clear:

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    And that mandate towards government is rooted in this standard argued in the Declaration of Independence:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

    So yes, bigots have a constitutionally protected right to associate, speak, publish, and practice their religion in a way that has them bigoted towards gay people and their families. But the government can’t subsidize such nor can the government pass laws that would deprive gays and their families of their equal rights.

    And lets be mindful that schools and school teachers are the government, so no Ms. Mefferds’ right to be a bigot will not be promoted by the government when it comes to public school curriculum. That’s because that would be an unconstitutional encroachment of power by the government, in violation of the establishment clause given that American bigotry is rooted in the Christian religion. Especially since the secular arguments these have Christian bigots also attempted to make have all been disproven.

  22. Gregory in Seattle:

    Janet Mefferd: “I wish they would just stop squirming!

  23. Bronze Dog:

    What they’re really asking for is a community effort to maintain a comfortable illusion and cooperation from the people who’ve long been hurt by that effort.

  24. hunter:

    . . . but not everybody wants to see that.

    If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out.

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