CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

The Family As Abomination

Jul 6, 2007

Coming soon to a politically correct municipality near you: mandatory punishment for using despicable and abominable language such as “marriage” and “family”. Yes, you heard it right. To merely talk about the institutions of marriage and family is well on the way to becoming close to a capital crime.

The forces of PC and the various minority groups have such a strangle-hold on so many institutions of power and influence, that it is getting to the place where even asserting the uniqueness of the natural family is considered a criminal offence.

That is indeed becoming the case in many parts of the Western world. Various laws – be they equal opportunity legislation, or so-called hate-crime laws – are making it more and more difficult for those who resist the spirit of the age and choose to be pro-faith and pro-family.

Consider the case of Oakland, California, where hate speech is now defined as standing up for the family. George Will picks up the story: “Marriage is the foundation of the natural family and sustains family values. That sentence is inflammatory, perhaps even a hate crime. At least it is in Oakland, Calif. That city’s government says those words italicized here constitute something akin to hate speech, and can be proscribed from the government’s open e-mail system and employee bulletin board.”

Says Will, “When the McCain-Feingold law empowered government to regulate the quantity, content and timing of political campaign speech about government, it was predictable that the right of free speech would increasingly be sacrificed to various social objectives that free speech supposedly impedes. And it was predictable that speech suppression would become an instrument of cultural combat, used to settle ideological scores and advance political agendas by silencing adversaries.”

And that is exactly what is taking place in Oakland and elsewhere: using phony hate crime laws to stifle free speech and push radical leftwing agendas. The details of the story are these:

“Some African-American Christian women working for Oakland’s government organized the Good News Employee Association (GNEA), which they announced with a flier describing their group as ‘a forum for people of Faith to express their views on the contemporary issues of the day. With respect for the Natural Family, Marriage and Family Values.’ The flier was distributed after other employees’ groups, including those advocating gay rights, had advertised their political views and activities on the city’s e-mail system and bulletin board.”

”When the GNEA asked for equal opportunity to communicate by that system and that board, they were denied. Furthermore, the flier they posted was taken down and destroyed by city officials, who declared it ‘homophobic’ and disruptive. The city government said the flier was ‘determined’ to promote harassment based on sexual orientation. The city warned that the flier and communications like it could result in disciplinary action ‘up to and including termination’.”

He continues, “Effectively, the city has proscribed any speech that even one person might say questioned the gay rights agenda and therefore created what that person felt was a ‘hostile environment.’ This, even though gay rights advocates used the city’s communication system to advertise ‘Happy Coming Out Day.’ Yet the terms ‘natural family,’ ‘marriage’ and ‘family values’ are considered intolerably inflammatory. The treatment of GNEA illustrates one technique by which America’s growing ranks of self-appointed speech police expand their reach: They wait until groups they disagree with, such as GNEA, are provoked to respond to them in public debates, then they persecute them for annoying those to whom they are responding. In Oakland, this dialectic of censorship proceeded on a reasonable premise joined to a preposterous theory.

Will concludes, “Congress is currently trying to enact yet another ‘hate crime’ law that would authorize enhanced punishments for crimes committed because of, among other things, sexual orientation. A coalition of African-American clergy, the High Impact Leadership Coalition, opposes this, fearing it might be used ‘to muzzle the church.’ The clergy argue that in our ‘litigation prone society’ the legislation would result in lawsuits having ‘a chilling effect’ on speech and religious liberty. As the Oakland case demonstrates, that, too, is predictable.”

For centuries the West has been the realm of freedom and democracy. But those days seem to be numbered. As more and more activist minority groups seek to impose their radical agendas on an unwilling society, the use of coercion, judicial activism and political intimidation will increasingly become the norm. All the more reason why we all need to speak out while we still have the chance.

www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will062507.php3

[748 words]

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