Charlie Pierce at Esquire‘s Political Blog on “A Dangerous Law and the New Formula of Conservatism“:
I’d like to congratulate the state of Michigan for passing the worst bill in the history of the universe. Read it fast and it just looks like the average rancid river of swill that flows forth any time you have your state government over to people who have developed their political philosophies while waiting on hold for Sean or Rush in their cars everyday during evening drive. But, close up, floating in the middle of it, there’s one particular chunk of offal that makes the rest of the rushing current smell like roses and daffodils. It says this:
This section does not prohibit a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil and parent or guardian.
I may be unversed in the subtleties of writing legislation, but this certainly seems to me to mean that, if a kid thinks another kid is a great big “faggoty-fag-fag,” and he goes out of his way to beat that kid to a pulp, he can come to the principal or the guidance department or the school board and say that, well, sorry if he offended anyone, but he learned this stuff in the Bible. Leviticus made him do it. And the principal, or the guidance staff, or the school board, or the beaten kid himself has to take this pious savagery seriously, instead of telling the kid that he’s expelled and Jesus can be his cellmate…
In a very real way, this one passage in one piece of really bad legislation is the entire raison d’etre of American “conservatism,” and of the political party that it has turned into its mindless vehicle over the past four decades. Every element of the “movement” is in there. There’s religious paranoia and cultural sociopathy combining to produce a completely irrational sense of victimhood. There’s the carefully chosen choice of targets, and the subsequent inflation of that target into the “real” threat from the “real” oppressors. And then, finally, there’s the framing of legislation to say one thing, but mean another, while maintaining your inherent right as one of society’s overdogs to do pretty much anything you want. You play the victim to reinforce your own long-established privilege.
Without this formula, Republican politics would have no platform. There would be no all-powerful ACORN, pulling strings behind the scenes even though it went broke a couple of years ago. There would be no George Soros, the palindromic plutocrat financing all the critters that dance in Bill O’Reilly’s head. Rick Santorum’s would not get to gussy up in Scripture his tremulous inbred revulsion over other men’s penises. Ron Paul would not hear the black helicopters. Michele Bachmann would not have a vehicle for her concern over AmeriCorps and the incipient Obama Youth. Newt Gingrich would not have any career at all, and Herman Cain would not be able to blame the bitches. And even Mitt Romney wouldn’t be able to go before audiences made up of people who hate him and tell those audience that he shares their fear of the awesome, nation-destroying economic deadweight that is the National Endowment for the Arts…
How long until the first Wingnut Wurlitzer blogger yowls that Pierce’s croooel wurds are oppressing them, and should not be permitted?
Evolving Deep Southerner (tense changed for accuracy)
Charlie Pierce. Great blogger. Needs to be a front-pager here. Invite him.
Or do you need to?
ETA: First to post. If my past history as “the thread killer” is any indicator, I may also make history as the only person to post on a thread.
My moral convictions impel me to run those motherfuckers over with a fucking backhoe. Cthulhu demands it.
Really. I. Have. No. Words.
Ok. Is Anne Laurie on Charles Pierce’s payroll? Making a pass? This is getting embarrassing.
It should be pointed out that this bill has only passed the MI Senate. But since the GOP has a majority in the MI House, too don’t be surprised if it passes there.
If I throw these money-changers out of the
TempleCapitol, do I get a religious exemption?
It should also be pointed out that the bill, obnoxious as it is, does not give bigots the right to beat anybody. It says they can say nasty things if they sincerely and piously wish to be nasty.
If money is speech, surely we can find a few Supreme Court justices who will agree that a half-dozen thugs beating the crap out of a gay kid is a form of speech, too.
Ah, yes. Who would Jesus bully?
@Scott: I think it would have to involve corporations donating money to a Bigotry Action Committee to hire those half-dozen thugs to beat gay kids up. Then it might meet the Supreme Court’s up-is-down doctrine.
Thanks for posting something to get sarah’s post off the top. I guess your PUMA ass is worth something. Sarah is into all of that crap you gave me crap for pointing out.
It just doesn’t work well here.
It’s funny how many Republican dominated state legislatures are a disgrace.
Using religion to justify discrimination (and violence) in a law that is supposed to prevent bullying. And here I thought Darth & dubya were the worst political time I was ever gonna see.
There is a LARGE muslim population in parts of Michigan. Can they start beating the shit out of the christian infidels at their schools now?
@Nepat: Be grateful it’s not Sullivan, Brooks, or Doubthat. :)
Given what the CATO-at-Liberty blogger cited as ‘free speech’, then they should not be upset one iota when folks call CATO out as being foolish tools, who, in their anti-government fervor, actually show that they support it – but not in the subjectvie way they believe it should be, but objectively.
@Lockewasright: No, because Muslims are not people.
J. Michael Neal
@Cap’n Magic: Fuck that. I wasn’t bullied because I was gay. I was just the weird kid with undiagnosed Asperger’s. There is *no* excuse for sustained bullying. None.
You are confusing religiously related speech with religiously *motivated* speech. Bullying someone consists of significantly more than just expressing your beliefs. I think the chances of someone being punished just for that are minimal.
It’s not a matter of picking winners and losers. It’s a matter of not allowing anyone to be systematically humiliated and marginalized.
Studly Pantload, Boy King of Ubekibekibekistanstan
From what rock did this Charlie Pierce crawl out from to suddenly be the “It” blogger here at B-J? Well, no matter; he seems to be earning the kudos.
@J. Michael Neal:
Funny how it’s so hard for some people to grasp this concept.
@Studly Pantload, Boy King of Ubekibekibekistanstan:
Crazy, huh? Cuz he’s not exactly on Team Obama either.
J. Michael Neal: I was bullied in school ‘cuz I got double-promoted, and the older kids in the class used to stage fights against me. I one-punched out one of them-then they changed their tactics. It did take parental intervention, but after that incident, I was pretty much left alone at that school.
What a fucking tool. I can just picture that smug little shit, grinning his sociopathic little grin as he types that out, knowing he’ll never have to actually deal with the problems he’s writing off.
Have I ever mentioned how much I fucking hate libertarians? Sniveling little cocksucking wretches, the whole lot of them.
No, never, but feel free to do so if the mood ever takes you.
Ooh, ooh, I know this one! Using the age-old principle of “your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose”! Right? Because libertarians love that one, right? Especially when it comes to tax…
…no? Doesn’t apply in this case? We don’t care if some people’s noses get punched, we gotta swing our fists?
And that has to happen in schools as well?
Well, Coach Z, I guess I just don’t understand the libertarians.
@Patrick Phelan: Liberterians are Republicans/conservatives who want to smoke pot.
Awesome, Cato Institute! Let’s have some public school funding be directed at a Muslim imam’s school!
No? You don’t like that?
How’s about the School of the Acolytes of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? RAmen?
No? You don’t like your tax dollars spent in that way?
Yeah, well I don’t want my tax dollars sent to a religious school that teaches children they should bully people who don’t believe what they believe. And I don’t want publicly funded schools to be able to turn down kids that are disabled in some way. And that is the horrible future your little education plan would bring us.
“I’ll tell you why: because as odious as one might find the religious beliefs of many people, they are entitled to freedom of speech the same as anyone else.”
Actually, they aren’t. Kids in public school do not have the right to say whatever they want to anyone. It isn’t a black/white issue, but courts have consistently found that schools have considerable authority to limit student speech. It’s worth remembering that students are required by law to be in school, and would thus in a sense be “required” to listen to speech that they otherwise would be able to avoid.
It’s also worth remembering that kids can be downright evil to each other, and do things to one another that would get them serious jail time as adults. Therefore we must have the utmost respect for the vulnerability of innocent students, who often face great peril on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the worst bullying goes on out of sight of adults, and thus any kind of hate speech has a good chance of merely being the tip of a much more brutal and dangerous iceberg.
Are they following up this law with one that allows guns in schools? Second amendment!
J. Michael Neal
@Cap’n Magic: I had a knife pulled on me (jokingly, I think, but still) in eighth grade. The principal told my parents that it was just one of those things kids do. I wasn’t capable of one-punching anyone. Or twelve-punching anyone, either.
I’ve always said the solution to bullying is to issue handguns to every gay kid. It would stop bullying pretty quick and you could assume that anybody you saw carrying a gun was gay, possibly cutting down the membership of the NRA.
;J. Michael Neal:Funny you should say that-I got a knife pulled on me from a kid whose father had died when we were both in the 5th grade. It was a butter knife.
Hot damn. Pierce just roared in there like Terry Tate sprinting into the office.
Still trying to find the bit in the Bible that commands the bullying of gays and children, but I can only find commandments specifically ordering the MURDER of gays and children. How odd.
No one of importance
Poor oppressed ickle oo.
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
This is part of a secret plot by the mosques in Dearborn to introduce sharia into MI.
So, CATO has come out in favor of everybody being able to say, for example, “Happy Holidays” and “Seasonal Greetings” because it is some peoples sincere belief they should be polite to people of various convictions? I’m aware that simple politeness isn’t a core belief of many in their camp anymore, being thrown out with the PC bugaboo, but there are those that still aspire to it as a civilizing tradition.
I’m thinking that they haven’t thought this through. They may be fine with a sincere “We should burn all pagans, faggots and witches (code for uppity wimmens) at the stake and let their souls burn in hell for eternity and the sooner the better, all praise to the Lord” but are they braced for a sincere “All Christians are infidel dogs and will burn in hell for eternity and the sooner the better, all praise to Allah”?
Making exception for extreme religious expression, sincerely offered, doesn’t seem conducive to a civil society.
Right. Pierce actually botched that part. Assault would still be assault regardless.
Still a deplorable law.
Unless I am completely mistaken, this law also outlaws the national day of silence protest. Which is the ultimate orwellian move; banning a protest against bullying, in a bill that is supposed to outlaw bullying, as bullying. It’s amazingly evil! I wrote a piece about it, picking apart the language of the bill, on my own blog.