it's getting to the point that you can't even incite a pogrom against queer teachers without someone revealing the name that appears in public documents related to the licensing of your personal brand
— mark (@kept_simple) April 19, 2022
Here's a piece of good, old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting that examines the role of an increasingly powerful figure in conservative media, revealing the human behind an anonymous account that directs waves of hate and harassment at ordinary LGBTQ folks. https://t.co/cTQYil8jO3
— Will Oremus (@WillOremus) April 19, 2022
On March 8, a Twitter account called Libs of TikTok posted a video of a woman teaching sex education to children in Kentucky, calling the woman in the video a “predator.” The next evening, the same clip was featured on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News program, prompting the host to ask, “When did our public schools, any schools, become what are essentially grooming centers for gender identity radicals?”
Libs of TikTok reposts a steady stream of TikTok videos and social media posts, primarily from LGBTQ+ people, often including incendiary framing designed to generate outrage. Videos shared from the account quickly find their way to the most influential names in right-wing media. The account has emerged as a powerful force on the Internet, shaping right-wing media, impacting anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and influencing millions by posting viral videos aimed at inciting outrage among the right.
The anonymous account’s impact is deep and far-reaching. Its content is amplified by high-profile media figures, politicians and right-wing influencers. Its tweets reach millions, with influence spreading far beyond its more than 648,000 Twitter followers. Libs of TikTok has become an agenda-setter in right-wing online discourse, and the content it surfaces shows a direct correlation with the recent push in legislation and rhetoric directly targeting the LGBTQ+ community…
The account has been promoted by podcast host Joe Rogan, and it’s been featured in the New York Post, the Federalist, the Post Millennial and a slew of other right-wing news sites. Meghan McCain has retweeted it. The online influencer Glenn Greenwald has amplified it to his 1.8 million Twitter followers while calling himself the account’s “Godfather.” Last Thursday, the woman behind the account appeared anonymously on Tucker Carlson’s show to complain about being temporarily suspended for violating Twitter’s community guidelines. Fox News often creates news packages around the content that Libs of TikTok has surfaced.
Throughout its increasingly popular posts and despite numerous media appearances, the account has remained anonymous. But the identity of the operator of Libs of TikTok is traceable through a complex online history and reveals someone who has been plugged into right-wing discourse for two years and is now helping to drive it.
Chaya Raichik had been working as a real estate salesperson in Brooklyn when, in early November 2020, she created the account that would eventually become Libs of TikTok.…
In January 2021, Raichik started talking about traveling to D.C. to support Trump on Jan. 6 at the Stop the Steal rally. When violence broke out at the Capitol that day, she tweeted a play-by-play account claiming to be on the ground. “They were rubber bullets from law enforcement. 1 hit right next to me,” she said. She posted videos from the crowd and spoke of tear gas being deployed nearby. After saying she left the riot, she used Twitter to downplay the event, claiming that it was peaceful compared to a “BLM protest.”…
Just four months after getting started, Libs of TikTok got its big break: Joe Rogan started promoting the account to the millions of listeners of his hit podcast. He mentioned it several times on the show in August, then again in late September. “Libs of TikTok is one of the greatest f—ing accounts of all time,” he said. With his seal of approval, Raichik’s following skyrocketed.
Libs of TikTok gained more prominence throughout the end of last year, cementing its spot in the right-wing media outrage cycle. Its attacks on the LGBTQ+ community also escalated. By January, Raichik’s page was leaning hard into “groomer” discourse, calling for any teacher who comes out as gay to their students to be “fired on the spot.”…
When a reporter called the phone number registered to Raichik’s real estate profile and LibofTikTok.us, the woman who answered hung up after the reporter identified herself as calling from The Washington Post. A woman at the address listed to Raichik’s name in Los Angeles declined to identify herself. On Monday night, a tweet from Glenn Greenwald confirmed the house that was visited belonged to Raichik’s family.
Though Raichik has claimed to run the account alone, last August Grant Lally, a lawyer and Republican operative, filed a trademark for Libs of TikTok as a “news reporter service.” Lally said he is “not at liberty” to comment when reached by The Post.
“I don’t do this for money or fame,” Raichik told the New York Post (which, like all other outlets interviewing her, allowed her to speak on the condition of anonymity) in February while comparing herself to Project Veritas. “I’m not some politician or blue-check journalist. I feel like there are so many small stories that are so important that aren’t getting out — and that’s what I’m here for.” In other anonymous interviews she claims to have left New York for somewhere in California, recently turning the account into a full-time job. For a while she was soliciting donations through Venmo…
Raichik has said in interviews that she crowdsources the content for the feed from a flood of messages she receives every day. In that sense, Libs of TikTok is a collective, molded to the hive mind of the right-wing Internet. She views her account as giving a voice and platform to concerned parents and ordinary citizens.
“I see a shared spirit in Libs of TikTok, and the appetite for it in right-wing media more broadly, which is turning neighbor against neighbor and turning any individual into an enforcer of this very strict gender regime,” Branstetter said. “There’s a deep sense of paranoia this rhetoric inspires and is extremely volatile, it’s more than playing with fire. It inspires a vigilante spirit.”
Raichik boasts that several teachers have been fired as a result of being featured on the account…
I have enough material collected for another post, just highlighting the performative hypocrisy of all the usual suspects suddenly discovering a new respect for other peoples’ privacy. And if nothing intervenes, you’ll probably get a late-night open thread with some of the best gems…
no you see it’s fine for libsoftiktok to rebroadcast publicly available information to a potentially hostile audience, but not the washington post, for some reason https://t.co/UVe0QHAq8U
— mike m ?? (@mmcgrath42) April 19, 2022
If you have over half a million followers and you are using your fame to shape national events, you wield power and it becomes a legitimate journalistic enterprise to put a name to that power. Especially if you are using that power to harass vulnerable people. https://t.co/haAASgP7bT
— Lindsay Beyerstein (@beyerstein) April 19, 2022
In general, we should let private citizens remain anonymous and not go around exposing people over petty disagreements, for revenge, or idle curiosity. But when someone achieves power on this scale their real ID is important to know.
— Lindsay Beyerstein (@beyerstein) April 19, 2022
I feel like the fact that this person participated in 1/6 kind of sidesteps the whole debate about whether she should be ID'd for running a prominent hate account. https://t.co/XBAYZKTqwi
— Hemry, Local Bartender (@BartenderHemry) April 19, 2022
Broadly I think it's unnecessary to debate privacy norms when the person they're being applied to is a self-confessed violent extremist who uses her platform to incite others to violence
— Hemry, Local Bartender (@BartenderHemry) April 19, 2022
"HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF PEOPLE TRIED TO DOXX U JUST FOR POSTING ONLINE!!!"
I dunno why don't we ask some of the thousands of people who have gotten doxxed by the alt-right over the past ten years without you ever giving a shit about it.
— Syndicalist Weedle Collective (@Weedledouble) April 19, 2022
“DOXXING” is a recurring fear of many on the right not due to any principled commitment for privacy but because people who call gay teachers pedophiles want to be welcome in polite company among people who rightfully consider that abhorrent bigotry. That’s really just it.
— William B. Fuckley (@opinonhaver) April 19, 2022
I have two contributions:
I feel like I am reading the NYT
Alison Rose ???
@John Cole: You passed.
Alison Rose ???
Also, of fucking course people are trying to bothsides this thing. They wouldn’t know context if it smacked them in the face, which I wish it would.
Saw last night that the guy behind Babylon Bee is now paying her. So her stochastic threats which may well get LGBTQ people killed have trackable money behind ’em now.
We are moving towards a privately funded civil war. And of course marginalized folks (and repro health providers and women in general) are the wedge/cannon fodder.
This is absolutely true. They really, really want to be in a position of high social status within their little cohorts.
Cole to the rescue!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I’m so fucking old I remember when Glen Greenwald was joining forces with Jane Hamsher and Howie Klein (there’s a couple names for yesterday’s blasts from the past post) to attack Obama from the left
Always remember that the last person who wants to socialize with Trump supporters is Donald Trump.
People like Obama and Biden have no problem mingling with their hoi polloi.
How perfect that noted homosexual and Russian agitator Glem G. is promoting anti-LGBTQ hate in the US, where he very conveniently doesn’t live. What a absolutely awful person. I just hope his ruble denominated payoffs dry to a trickle.
eta: @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I remember when GG was joining forces … to attack Obama from
the leftwhatever perch was momentarily efficacious.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
This is more lucrative.
You passed. Your diploma will be mailed as soon as the check clears.
ETA: D’oh! I see Alison beat me to it.
They’re mad because the author of the article called them “Right wing influencers” which of course is exactly what they are.
I don’t know why they don’t just embrace it. Stand up for your beliefs! If your content is identical to that of Fox News and aligns completely with the platform of the Republican Party this isn’t that complicated- they could just be Republicans.
But I guess “conservative” or “Republican” isn’t a value- add for the substack subscriptions. It’s essential they be viewed as bold contrarians until you read them and it’s fucking verbatim Ted Cruz or Tucker Carlson, which should not surprise anyone since they all recycle the same Right wing content.
What else do we know about this hateful woman? Her first name sounds vaguely Indian.
Solution: No anonymous posting on the internet!
(Oh… anonymous posting is fine for almost top 10,000 blogs, right?!?!)
In all sincerity, at issue is how to define *influence*. Does this need to be defined in terms of # of views? Under X number anonymity is permissible, but over X number it’s not? Does type of content matter or influence what X is? Hmmmm…
Joe Rogan is nonpartisan!
honestly, I agree with them about not grooming children into a particular lifestyle. Which is why I support banning children from all religious events. They’re too young to make up their own minds, and it’s gross to brainwash them.
After all, nobody’s born a Christian or Hindu or whatever so they have to learn it from somewhere
@Baud: This is a really striking point–it’s so noticeable in their interactions! There’s genuine joy on the part of Biden, et al., and just weird preening from TFG.
The Moar You Know
@RaflW: the last one was as well.
It depends on the methods used to discover someone’s identity and what information is revealed. My understanding is that she didn’t really hide her identity. Is that incorrect? Do the journalist do something untoward to discover her identity.
@Damien: Please subscribe me to your newsletter.
@Baud: Oh, I absolutely know.
But I think in general that this commentariat tends to be a group of relatively rational and well-informed people and ergo we sometimes underestimate or misattribute a lot of the irrational behavior coming from that side of the aisle. For example, one thing that seems to be really different between right and left (at least here in the US) is that lots of people on the left seem to be relatively comfortable being a bit weird. Probably because many of us are used to feeling out of step with the communities we grew up in, I would guess. Many people on the left fell away from religion, too, and that probably demonstrates a bit of self-actualization. But over and over on the right, I see this unbelievable desire for things to go back to some point in the past when they would have been “respected”. Like, I don’t really get it, but there’s this focus on “respect” and that it has been lost. I don’t see any corollary on our side. And as such, I don’t think we always get their “deep story” as Hothschild would call it.
Alison Rose ???
@schrodingers_cat: It’s also a plant from the Yucatán Peninsula, and if you throw a hyphen between the syllables, a wonderful vegan Japanese restaurant in the Bay Area.
The Moar You Know
@schrodingers_cat: Orthodox Jew, per the Post’s article, which explains the name.
@Alison Rose ???: BJP has a well oiled hate machine on social media and they don’t like Democrats. So I wouldn’t be surprised if she turns out to be of Indian ancestry. The last name doesn’t sound Indian
ETA: OK good to know that she has no connection to India.
The name Gestapo was already taken.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Sure is a nice way of saying “Quote mining and lying”
@The Moar You Know: Thanks. RWNJs of all religious stripes hate the Ds.
The umbrage that’s been taken on behalf of the shit mouths is really something to witness. The belief that FREEDOM means the ability to attack the vulnerable and the marginalized and the protection from consequence for their actions is so very special. I’m glad to see push back in many forms and forums.
@Baud: It appears the identity was legitimately discovered. No harm, no foul.
That said, the larger issue of anonymity in social media is intriguing. One can readily imagine motivated parties (especially the Right Wing Wurlitzer) pumping millions of dollars into anonymous TikTok (et al) accounts to widely advance their agenda in a way that can not be identified or traced.
The very definition of a “news agency” is being challenged, as are related rights and responsibilities of such. Can’t see how any of this ends well.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: GG is a troll of opportunity.
@Damien: Seriously? Not all religion is hateful. A lot of it is about love, kindness, morality and ethics. Wait until adulthood to try to instill those values?
@Damien: I support banning children from all religious events
When we were wee, our parents would let anyone who wanted to take us to church sunday school take us- and when we were all grown up they explained that it was the opportunity for them to worship at St. Matresses once a week without interruption.
Alison Rose ???
@The Moar You Know: a shanda
@sab: Do you honestly think that those values can’t be taught without bringing religion into it? I know a whole lot of people who would disagree, including my own spouse and children.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
Mike in NC
Between far-right social media and Putin-loving FOX News, our democracy is dying from racism and mindless bigotry. The next attempted coup is just over the horizon and none of the players from the last one have been punished.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
This is part of the re-runs of the Right’s greatest hits John was talking about last night. This is just a repeat of the Satanic Child Abuse Panic of the ’80s, except the plot twist is the children are Satanically abusing themselves.
True, but a lot of religion is not. Who gets to decide which is which?
The separation of Church and State was a powerful move which is overlooked all too often in this country. If one accepts that children have rights, arguably, they should have the right to choose a Non-State sanctioned organization only when they become adults, and not before.
Not God-bashing here, just advocating for children’s rights.
@sab: Doesn’t matter, children shouldn’t be indoctrinated into a religion period. Live the values you believe and let them figure out their own beliefs.
Obviously I recognize the 1st Amendment, and it isn’t possible to actually ban them. But if we’re gonna talk about grooming, let’s go straight to the source.
@BellyCat: Ceding religion to the RWNJs was not a good idea. A mistake that many on the left side of the spectrum made in country after country.
@Alison Rose ???:”They wouldn’t know context if it smacked them in the face, which I wish it would.” THAT SHOULD BE A ROTATING TAG LINE!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@schrodingers_cat: amen, says this atheist who knows and deeply respects a lot of sincerely religious people, I just don’t agree with them on that
And I have a feeling The Landlord is gonna wish he had left this thread shut //
Where else can kiddies conveniently be dumped to be bored out of their skulls on a weekend?
@schrodingers_cat: Ditto for Patriotism
@NotMax: Well, we could simply require them to attend school EVERY day of the week. That should suffice.
I saw the NY Post hyperventilating over this yesterday — the doxxing, the doxxing! — this from a newspaper that has been flogging the Hunter Biden laptop story for months — and knew there had to be more to this story.
“Critics” were all upset about this, the NY Post informed. What critics? Well, Glenn Greenwald, Ben Shapiro, and. …. crickets.
Taylor Lorenz slammed as ‘hypocrite’ for ‘doxxing’ ‘Libs of TikTok’ creator
@BellyCat: If you are religious, leaving your kids out of your religious practice leaves them out of your whole moral framework. You can teach them your morals but they won’t know why, so it won’t make sense.
I say this as a religilous person raised by a deeply moral atheist. All morality has a framework. Dad had a framework that made sense to me although it wasn’t mine. But I had to understand his framework for his beliefs to make any sense to me.
That’s all about them (white straight Christian conservatives) being in control of things, full stop. That’s what they mean when they say “respect”.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@NotMax: O, never a clock that moved slower than the one hanging over the exit door of St Isaac’s at 10 o’clock mass in the mid-70s, even though my Mom dragged us to that one in the hope, bless her heart, that the “Guitar Mass” would get us to pay attention
watching my middle-aged (and down the street neighbor) CCD teacher rock out with a tambourine to that Australian nun’s version of “Our Father (Who Art in Heaven)” did not put the Holy Spirit in me
not long after that the old man got a regular Sunday tee time and my Mom lost her muscle to get us there
If your whole crusade is “I want cultural and social norms to remain exactly the same as when I was 20 ” then there’s a word for that- it’s “conservative” or “traditional” or “conventional”
There’s no actual value added to espousing very conservative and conventional views BUT claiming to be a liberal or Leftist. The content is the same. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck but claims it’s a… peacock you’re still paying 60 dollars a month for the same duck content you could get free on Fox.
Lorenz hit them right where it hurts- in the business model. She’s saying these people who are telling you they’re somehow different or edgier or more “Leftist” than Tucker Carlson is are actually giving you Tucker Carlson content across a range of platforms.
They have a political Party that shares their views. It’s the mainstream Republican Party. It’s pro-Putin, anti- progress, xenophobic and nationalistic and considers social change a threat to an established order that they seek to protect. The Right wing social media influencer is a standard circa 2022 Republican.
@sab: Confused. Your experience seems to illustrate the benefits of Damien’s point. One can raise a child with deep morals but the Church is not “required” to do so. The child can then, as an adult, decide whether the Church comports with their values, as it appears you did.
What am I missing?
The discussion is about banning.
@Baud: @BellyCat: Its ironic and sad that members of the Sangh that actively collaborated with the British now gives lectures on patriotism in India.
smedley the uncertain
@John Cole: your 5 by 5
NYCsouthpaw is an odd choice in the Ryan Radia tweet, He outed himself 4 years ago
The NY Post article I saw said it was a parody account. I’ve given up trying to understand this.
@Baud: Potato, patato.
Laws are a form of banning. The argument could be made, in the context of separation of Church and State, that a child’s rights may be violated if forced to attend church. Voluntary attendance, if desired and prohibited, would be another type of discussion, closer to banning, methinks.
Forced by whom? Parents or government?
It’s not just control. Their consumer preferences are less catered to, their lives are less aspirational for the mainstream, they feel like they are losing their kids. If you’re used to being outside the mainstream, I think you’re missing how terrifying that is for them. That’s not to say that I give a shit. These are not the type of people who are comfortable doing their own thing.
@Baud: Would go so far as to argue parents. (Volatile position, I realize)
Parents force children to do stuff all the time. Kind of hard to stop them, and there’s no religious exception to the difficulty.
@Baud: Yes, and while I recognize that it is impossible, religious indoctrination is genuinely abusive to the child. A very dear friend is having to undergo rigorous therapy to unwind all the bullshit she was inculcated with from birth.
Religion is the adult answer to the five-year-old “why why why why” until a parent says “because I said so,” except now it’s a group delusion that says so instead of a parent. It’s gross.
I respect the free exercise of religion FOR ADULTS. I reject the idea of forcing children to practice their parents religion. Children should not be indoctrinated. Period.
Not to mention “grooming.” I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the largest proven pedophile ring on the planet happened to be run out of churches.
@debbie: Parody, hmmm? Nice try, NY Post. But, no.
There’s zero ways to separate religious indoctrination to any other kind of upbringing.
@sab: Religious belief (or lack thereof) is one of the most deeply personal choices we all make in our lives. No person should be forced, pushed, pressured into it. But sadly that is how it usually plays out with most religious people being literally assigned a faith at birth by their parents and then being pressured to meet their practice requirements in order to be a good person. It puts parameters on a child’s life that they don’t deserve and didn’t agree to. And in many cases (LGBTQ-phobia) can actively work against their ability to live according to their own identities. If religious parents were all cool with their kids saying “you know this just isn’t for me” and didn’t punish them for it, things would be different. But most religious parents seem to at least expect their child to practice some form of their faith for several years before allowing them to bail. This is low-key indoctrination. Even in a mild form, it’s wrong and denies developing humans from having autonomy over an incredibly personal life decision. I mean how many parents do you know who in real life let their kid explore various (including “no”) religions, from the very outset to find out what is right for them? Honestly, the only people I know who take anything remotely like that approach with their kids are Unitarians and Agnostics/Atheists.
@Baud: Yeah, I agree with your point. I understand that it is impossible to enforce a ban. No argument. It’s up to the parents.
But I am still allowed to be disgusted by it and loudly say that I don’t think children belong in any religious event.
@Damien: from your lips to FSM’s noodly auditory appendage. Just imagine the squawking if we turned this around on religion as the Satanists regularly do.
It’s never been about “freedom” – always the ability to only support ideas they agree with.
@Damien: Standing up clapping my hands.
It’s a good question, but I’d say that if publications or networks with national reach are routinely using your stuff as ammunition, you’ve become influential. So this one’s a no-brainer.
But influential or not, if you’re taking people who aren’t known outside their workplace, locality, circle of friends, and making them the recipients of hate mail from far and wide, then you’ve earned being outed, regardless of overall level of influence.
@sab: Simple solution. A parent can instill the importance of all those things and then make it clear that while they tie it to God/religion, you (the child) don’t have to. This really isn’t that complicated. No kid needs to go to church to understand the importance of love. In fact I’m pretty sure every child understands that long before they can actually wrap their head around religion.
Obviously, there’s no way to make this happen, but it really wouldn’t be a bad idea. Let ’em first run into religious indoctrination when they’re skeptical teens.
My dog is not religious but knows how to love.
@sab: I admire you for trying. It’s hopeless around here. It’s almost as bad as guns. I don’t even try any more.
@Baud: Broadly, the topic being raised is “What may parents do/not do?”
Sure, parent’s force a lot of things on children, but we don’t have a separation of Broccoli/State. There is such a thing as children’s rights, however. Can parent’s force anything upon a child? No. Especially when the other parent is unjustly deprived of an equal right.
I’ve been quite keen on children’s rights of late. (Epic divorce with multiple due-process violations at inception — nothing to do with religious issues, thankfully!).
If anyone knows of a powerhouse civil rights attorney (likely needs to be registered in PA?), interested in children’s rights violations under appeal, I would be grateful and can be reached through Watergirl.
At least in the U.S., I think most liberals are non-religious while many are utterly hostile to religion and want to convert people to atheism, though they lack the organizations that missionary religions have built up over the centuries to do this effectively.
@Damien: Damien’s view that:
Is the sort of hostility that cedes religion to conservatives. Parents indoctrinate their kids into so much more than just religion, from how to eat (knife & fork or chopsticks, for example), how to dress, playing sports, encouragement of art and music, appropriate gender roles, tolerance of other races, etc., I just don’t see why religion is where the line gets crossed.
The thing I have tried to instill in the Spawns is that religion is cultural, and that is, in my opinion, its real value. It’s an aesthetic that is specific to the context (temporal, environmental, etc) and society in which it arise and in which it is practiced. So, to me, whether or not it is “true” is not the point (because of course it isn’t)…. after all, we don’t refer to fiction as lies. Whether or not any of the events that are described in any sacred text actually happened is, in my view, not the point. So we take them to church, sometimes, but make it clear that it’s not like we believe any other religions are better or worse, truer or false-r. And that they should be interested in how other people live their lives and understand the world, and they are encouraged to participate respectfully in any other religious practices they choose.
IN the case under discussion,being reposted by MULTIPLE gigantic rightwing sources makes the decision pretty easy.
This is not true at all. There’s no rational way to argue this is true in all cases or even most cases of any activity a child participates in.
I shake my tiny fist at your faster fingers!
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@zhena gogolia: You’re more welcome to explain where is the love of God with all those piously Greek Orthodox Russian soldiers who rape and murder civilians with the blessing of their priests then.
Trying to say positive things about religion is a hopeless exercise on any Internet forum, where liberals congregate. There’s an intolerance for religion on the left.
The Thin Black Duke
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: False equivalence much?
@gene108: I think the biggest problem is that all the religious people who actually try to do what the Bible says are drowned out culturally by the people who don’t. For example, every time there is an article in my local paper about efforts to help the homeless, the churches mentioned are all the liberal churches in my city. The huge Assemblies and Baptist churches are NEVER mentioned in any of these articles, because evidently they aren’t involved in any of these efforts. (Their members are probably featured prominently in the FB comments about how “they” should run all the homeless people out of town, though.) It’s the same with pretty much everything. Sadly, too many churches are dedicated to the idea of hating everyone who isn’t just like them, rather than trying to live by what’s actually in the New Testament.
I have known many good people in my life who are religious, but there are so many who make arguments like the one that in Biblical times fruit didn’t ferment, so when they talk about drinking wine in the Bible you couldn’t actually get drunk from it (absolutely true story of an argument my husband heard from a Baptist).
@gene108: Well, gene, I wouldn’t say that I’m hostile to religion per se. I stand by my opinion that the entire exercise is a life-long Santa Claus for adults, but I don’t begrudge adults the right to their opinions and would argue that my characterization is not unfair nor hostile.
But let’s rewind to the point of this post: a right-winger pumping out “grooming” bullshit to hurt LGBTQ people. My entire point is that unlike gay people literally no one in the history of the earth has been born a Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Jain, Sikh, etc. Instead these groups VERY SPECIFICALLY only sustain themselves by grooming children to participate. Giving authority to a unprovable entity that other entities on earth can claim speaks through them puts children inherently into danger. If some guy were telling children that Santa wants them to follow him to toys, but only if they do exactly what this guy says because Santa is telling him what to say, we would rightly be grossed out by it.
How is religion any different? Seriously?
Respect and ‘honor’ are just two ways of saying that all the Christian teaching about humility never registered with them. Pride being the first sin and humility the first virtue. yeah, right.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
Some people are sick bastards. Plenty of secular movements have encouraged horrors. Communism being the most widespread in recent history.
Encouraging atrocities is not unique to religion.
Also, I’d argue the Russian Orthodox Church has been co-opted as an enterprise of the secular government, since the Bolshevik Revolution, and is not a religious organization that is independent of secular state doctrine.
The Thin Black Duke
I love it when allegedly open-minded people so easily stereotype other people who have religious beliefs.
Evolution has selected humans to be inherently tribal in nature– we are communitarian with respect to our in-groups, and competitive and exclusionary with respect to our out-groups. Religions reflect this element of our nature. We are not biased against others because of religion…religion is the way it is because of our innate nature. Once established, religion can become reified and form a positive feedback loop, but so could anything that demarcates cultural identity. Our tribal nature is such that if we didn’t develop schisms because of religion, we’d find other ways to create them.
* As a result of this conversation, I’m going to start referring to my faith tradition as “The religion that was assigned to me at birth.” (and I have the scars, or at least the lack of a foreskin to prove it)
@gene108: “At least in the U.S., I think most liberals are non-religious while many are utterly hostile to religion ”
That statement may not universally apply to Black liberals in the US… and Black liberals, let us remember, are the rock on which 20th and 21st century Democratic Party victories are often built.
I haven’t got a dog in this fight; merely an opinion that we allow sectarian issues to divide us at our peril.
@gene108: Maybe, just maaaayyyyyybe, the intolerance isn’t to religion per se but instead to the way that religiosity is used to hurt people for no reason? Honestly, spend some time with people trying to untangle their self-esteem from what they were taught in church and we can talk about whether it’s child abuse or not.
First of all, I guess I should state that I am a furious agnostic. I don’t know if there is a God and don’t much care. Also, I was not raised in a particularly religious household, but there was a background of religion in my family and among my relatives.
That said, I really don’t understand what “autonomy” means with respect to kids. We assume that parents will raise their kids. It is an interesting idea to let kids experiment with various values. But early on, kids don’t necessarily know the difference between impulses and values. I suppose that kids can accept or rebel against societal values, but how can they do either if they never know what social values are?
If you are liberal, can the kid experiment with being a conservative? Could the kid experiment with amorality or outright criminality? If the kid wants to join a gang and kill someone, would that be an acceptable form of experimentation?
I suppose that one way of dealing with this would be to eliminate child rearing altogether. After being weaned, kids could live in a barracks or separate little apartments without any adult supervision at all. They would be free to do whatever they wanted, experiment freely. They would have access to education, libraries, etc., but otherwise would be on their own.
At age 18, survivors could decide whether to join society.
This is the same type of logical argument that starts off with “I’m not a racist, but did you ever notice blacks are [something derogatory].
The derogatory of your argument is:
Your argument is: I believe the deeply held beliefs of billions is nothing more than a fairy tale told to small children, which the adults who tell children know is not true.
It’s an entire: “I’m not hostile to religion, but I think religion is a pointless fantasy and the adults who are religious are little more than children believing in fairy tales”.
You clearly think religion is a destructive societal force.
Outside of physical attributes, like left or right-handedness, or sexual orientation, there is nothing in society that exists without “grooming” children to participate in those activities, from sports to art to music to literature to literacy to mathematics to science to religion to atheism and on and on and on.
I have doubts that “Democrats want to make it illegal for parents to take their children to church” would be a winning issue in elections.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@The Thin Black Duke: I have relatives who are Croatian Catholics who faith is so intense they talk to the Virgin Mary and they went berserk and were raping and murdering their Muslim neighbors back during that war in 90s. All their “well, you just don’t understand” bullshit to me and so on.
Just wow Dude.
Very interesting point. I would say, however, that humans are inherently social, but highly adaptable when it comes to forming societies.
Even when we form tribes, we don’t consistently exclude out-groups. Sometimes people have to leave the tribe and form a new social group. Sometimes outsiders can come in and become members of a tribe. This has been especially true, at times, when it came to marriage. A tribe might form an alliance with another tribe, and seal that alliance with a marriage of available women in the other tribe.
I like this. When I was a callow youth, I used to think that religion made some people into sexually repressed Puritans. Years later, I realized that some people who have problems with sexuality may choose religion to justify their beliefs about sex.
We create tribes arbitrarily based on the craziest of attributes. We can be fans of a particular football or baseball team, and “announce” our tribal affiliation based on the costumes we wear. And this tribal association may contradict other tribal communities to which we belong.
And sometimes we insist that a person must belong to a recognized tribe even if we don’t know or care about these tribes.
This brings us around to religion again. I have had people, mainly in the South when I go to visit, who insist that I must really be religious despite my telling them that I am agnostic. To these people, I either just have not found the Lord yet or am being willfully disobedient in rejecting Baby Jesus. They simply cannot accept that I have chosen to be a non-believer.
And there are some hard core atheists who insist that I cannot be agnostic.
There must be tribes and I must choose.
@gene108: Its true in India too. That’s why it was so easy for the BJP to paint center left parties as anti-Hindu. IIRC Romila Thapar made a similar point in a recent (within the last year) interview.
@The Thin Black Duke: My attitude is that as long as you don’t try to force it down my throat or try to make me live the way you do, you be you and let me be me. I’ve known many good religious people, and many bad religious people, and many both good and bad whose religious beliefs I have no idea about.
@marklar: Well said.
If I recall correctly, Kierkegaard broke religions down into two distinct parts. Latent and manifest functions. (Paraphrasing from memory) Latent is largely behavioral, such as “communal structures and moral traits”; and Manifest is more personal and abstract: “Why are we here? Who or what is “God”? What happens after we die?”
The latent function is the undoubtedly the most impactful and largely what’s being debated here. While often very laudable and with many benefits personally and societally, unproductive examples undeniably exist.
Where children fit into this is a worthwhile inquiry, not entirely at odds with the concept of religion itself. Rather, and to Zhena Gogolia’s point, religion may be somewhat like guns. And if so, the question is whether or not either topic is best handled by those aware of the power and responsibility, who are free to chose.
Questioning children’s relationship to religion (or guns) may seem like an incomprehensible argument to those who have had positive religious (or gun) experiences growing up, but to those who have had negative or even debilitating religious (or gun) experiences growing up, the parallels are perhaps worth considering, if only as an alternative to the “liberals hate religions” position?
It’s might not be the use, it might just be the abuse that is the concern.
I think that religion is a fantasy.
I don’t think that a belief becomes valid simply because it is deeply held. This notion is currently being used by the right to justify all kinds of bigotry.
I don’t think that adults who tell children about religion know that it is not true.
I do not think that religion is always socially destructive.
BTW, with the pandemic, we have had people asserting that political ideology is a deeply held believe that must be respected even if it results in harm or death.
Right wing folk have been insisting that the right to personal liberty overrides public health policy. At the extreme, these people insisted that Covid-19 could not possibly be a threat, and that individuals must be able to decide for themselves how to react to the pandemic.
James E Powell
Anecdotal, I know, but we just had Western Easter, we’re in the middle of Passover, and Orthodox Easter is this Sunday. I have been socializing with a fairly large number of friends – all of whom are liberal or left of liberal – for the first time in two years.
I was surprised to learn that nearly every one regularly attends church or temple. I was surprised because, like you, I was wrong about them.
I’ve read somewhere that she’s an Orthodox Jewish woman. That doesn’t ring completely right to me, but I have no real idea.
I yearn for the days of yesteryear when religion was a privately held belief.
Hmmm, can’t say I’ve seen one in practice that works the way you say. And I have clergy in the family, so I’ve seen a lot of it from many different angles. They all talk a good game, but fail to play by their own rules in the end.
In the spirit of coming clean about our current religious convictions, here’s mine: Intolerant of Intolerance.
(It’s taken only fifty-six years of trying on a whole lot of others possibilities to find something without a scratchy tag, or a seam in the wrong place, or sleeves that are too short, or….)
It’s also a lie that Libsof TikTok is just reposting videos. She adds incredibly nasty commentary accusing all kinds of people of “grooming” 5 year olds which gets her supporters all riled up to pile on.
Which her followers like Glenn Greenwald and Joe Rogan should know, because they obviously read the account while promoting it to their followers.
As an atheist pretty much from birth raised by a deeply religious Catholic mother, I say bullshit. The shit I was put through was child abuse, AFAIC. It was certainly mental, emotional and sexual abuse. I didn’t need their bullshit framework to know it’s all bunch of hypocrisy and power games gussied up in fantasy and the supernatural for the gullible.
And now I expect Cole to bring the ban hammer on me or something. I hate religion and everything connected to it. Even my cousin the Methodist minister and the nuns and priests among my second cousins knew not to bring that crap up in front of me. I loved my minister cousin but she knew to keep all of her stuff to herself around me. As for the nun and priests, they finally shut up after Josh Shapiro brought the crimes of the church into the light here.
The Thin Black Duke
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: As I said, “False equivalence much?” My parents are Catholic, and as far as I know they never raped or murdered anyone. Smug atheists like Ricky Gervais piss me off. Don’t be Ricky.
Speaking of the dark paths down which religion seems to take some people, Rod Dreher announced on his blog that he’s getting a divorce.
No reason given, and it’s probably cruel to speculate, but I can’t help but think his hatred of trans people has been utterly consuming.
Oh, I don’t know. I pretty much call them even. Both are terrible and destructive in the extreme.
@The Thin Black Duke:
Don’t much care for him either, but I don’t think that his smugness proceeds from his atheism.
If that is true, she should be sued for defamation unless she has proof that her allegations were true, which is highly unlikely. There are real damages which can be calculated very easily.
Most of the people she has called “groomers” should sue her and anyone who bankrolls her.
@The Thin Black Duke:
You are thoroughly welcome to your religious beliefs. What you aren’t welcome to do is proclaim your moral authority and superiority to anyone else, to force your beliefs onto anyone else or to claim you can only have morals if you believe.
I have plenty of friends and family with faith. They are smart enough not to do any of that offensive shit and to just shut up about it and discuss their fantasy world among others who believe exactly the same.
*waves hand frantically in the air*
Ooooo, ooooo, call on me!
I really hope the lawsuits are coming. It’s absurd that people can level these accusations against people and not be held accountable for their actions when people lose their jobs.
So Anne Laurie, has the blog Twitter-Whisperer, I was wondering if you’d consider assembling a highlight reel of Democrats fighting back from time to time?
There was that legislator in Missouri last week, and now the State Senator from Michigan (Dems are growing bench in the state legislatures!) Plus occasionally there will be a great moment in Congress like with Sen. Brian Schatz ripping into Josh Hawley last week.
It seems to me that the more attention that sort of thing gets, the better.
The Thin Black Duke
@Soprano2: That’s all I’m asking for. Unfortunately that’s a bridge too far for some people.
The Thin Black Duke
@geg6: Uh, I haven’t been rude to anyone. Why do you assume I am?
@geg6: Somewhat similar upbringing. Amen!
(oops, I mean Hell Yeah!)
Incidentally, my VERY Catholic (and bigoted) mother was in the first graduating class of Wheeling Jesuit College. For the life of me, I still can’t figure out how the Jesuits managed to not be excommunicated from the Catholic church.
@geg6: The intolerance of many (not all) Orthodox Jews is well-known to us secular or non-believing Jews.
@The Thin Black Duke:
I wonder if this is one of those instances when the term “you” has the misfortune of inaccurately being used in place of “one.” It’s a habit I’ve spent a long time trying to wean myself of, even under the hazard of sounding pretentious. Because it’s important not to accidentally signal the personal when talking about the universal.
@The Thin Black Duke: I really have to walk away from this discussion. The bigotry against religion is painful. This Christian is not ceding to the haters.
Ultimately, religion is a cultural institution that is organized by people with human failings. And as such, it includes human failings. Many different types of people are drawn to religion. Different types of people have different types of motivations, both negative and positve. I have known deeply faithful and spirituatl people — some religious, some not religious, some who practiced a religious, some who did not.
For background, I was raised Catholic — attended Catholic School and a Catholic College. My parents were so involved in the Catholic Church that they participated in bible study and encounter groups in the 1970s. My mother was a woman who prayed daily — even after she lost her faith in the Catholic Church. Raised Catholic, I grew up not agreeing with everything the Catholic Church espoused. As a woman, I didn’t appreciate being a second citizen in the church. But I was lucky enough to know a priest, who truly practiced what Jesus preached. He had been jailed in the 60s and 70s for being involved in the anti-war and anti-nuclear movements. He believed strongly in social justice, living in an incredibly poor area and serving those individuals. His little bit of income went to the people he served in that community. He lived what he preached.
I also have known many priests who did not live the way Jesus preached — who were more focused on the donation plate, the new car, the status and size of the rectory, etc. Unfortunately, these mindsets were not necessarily the result of the religion itself, but the individual. Can religion be used to do great evil? Yes. But can religion be used to do great good as well. Also a yes.
I don’t speak about religion with anyone. I’m someone who loves the sermon part of the service (I switched to a very liberal Presbyterian Church when we had children and decided to join a community of faith), and spends time listening to the sermon and sometimes thinking that the point of the sermon is not the point that I gathered from the scripture. I don’t believe there is one true God, I don’t believe there is one true religion. I can only speak to the Christian tradition as that is my experience. But I know that when you come together with a group of individuals and most of them truly believe in Jesus and want to follow the true meaning of the greatest commandment, it can truly be a wonderful experience – a true communion. I am not an evangeical, I am not someone who proselytizes. But, I truly get uncomfortable and am insulted when I read comments from individuals who dismiss ALL religions and all expressions of religious faith.
I think not recognizing the many individuals who live their lives in quiet faith is a mistake. And from a purely practical standpoint, insulting someone’s faith goes against the tolerance that is such an important part of the Democratic message.
On a personal note, I do not think we should write off the works of Abraham, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammed, whose message emphasizes the goodness of human nature, even though many of their followers have used that message as a way to gain power and control.
@Kay: when she crossed the line into calling someone a groomer or pedophile she is attacking their moral character and potentially their job.
you don’t get to do that anonymously.
The Thin Black Duke
@TheflipPsyd: Well said. Thank you.
I’m old enough to remember when Glem Griftwald showed up here to deny being a white supremacist.
@Kay: They’re grooming kids to be sociopaths and nobody says a word.
@dm: As you may know, WaterGirl created a new category last week – Dems Fighting Back – to help compile those types of videos/stories. Although the only thing in it at the moment is that Missouri legislator that you mentioned.
@Kay: we all know about GG, but Rogan isn’t as dumb as he pretends. I’d bet he’s also getting billionaire cabbage
@TheflipPsyd: Also agreed.
I was raised by two ordained parents, have read the entire Bible multiple times, and am a hard-core atheist. Some religious people have done wonderful and amazing things in the name of their religions (e.g., the Underground Railroad, the US civil rights movement, resistance to the Nazis), but that’s because they fundamentally were good people and focused on the progressive aspects of a hopelessly ambiguous and outdated text. In each example I just gave, those doing good were opposed by people professing to be Christians who thought their theology was the correct one. The active harm done by religion throughout history far outweighs the good.
And, yeah, it’s fundamentally a fairy tale, based on untestable premises and just-so thinking, and falls apart even under its own assumptions – particularly trinitarian Christianity. God so loved the world that he repeatedly murdered almost all humans, then sacrificed himself to himself for three days, taking the weekend off, to save humanity from being punished by himself, but only if they look at him right and accept he’s running this crew – no back talk. Also, pediatric cancer.
Or to be pithy, hate the religion, love the religious but only if they aren’t cockwaffles.
That was my first thought as well.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Dont worry the right wingers will be coming to take over atheism too! /s If atheism allows these people to lord it over others then they’ll leveraging that as well.
(Terminal pediatric “anything”, is a similar measure of mine, too)
Apparently, will need to make room for one more newsletter as atheism vs. agnosticism is kicked around every now and again. Please subscribe me.
@Soprano2: There was a great reddit thread on /r/askreddit “what made you sour on religion” – and the stories there were quite enlightening especially on Christian mega churches (in Florida no less)
One had a statue of the pastor at the entrance. I shit you not.
Another one had pay day lender offices inside the same building as the church. If you might recall – it was the one thing that made Jesus lose his shit which was money lenders in the temple.
For the curious:
I’ve been involved in 3 differing religions over the years. Two, as a kid were picked for me. The third I was exposed to by a sibling. One was, in my adult opinion, close to but not exactly what some tell me religion was about. The other two are basically, given my exposure to them, cults, by almost any definition, if you didn’t know their names.
I’ve read the bible to see if I could actually make sense of it. And to me there is about 5% of it that is actually a way I would want to live my life and the other 95% stories of people who should never be an example of any concept of life. I have also looked into several other world religions, wondering why so many people at least say they follow them.
Now this is just me but I thought I should explain myself when I say that overall, I don’t think kids should be exposed to religion especially as someone pointed out that it made mattress time a lot easier to accomplish. I know there are good religions, and even some of them are taught by people who aren’t teaching them in the way intended. I don’t know if religion was always this way but I suspect that some people will take any concept and teach it wrong and have been doing so for as long as the concept of religion has been around. Which seems to be since there were more than 2 of us.
My 2 cents.
I think it’s just that they need content and they’re too fucking lazy to actually create any so they have to pretend that the most conventional, standard, Right wing opinions are somehow edgy and “original” because they are not Republicans.
Go listen to Tulsi Gabbard. Other than her ridiculous fake “branding” as a liberal she’s indistinguishable from any far Right House Republican. It’s consistent across the whole group. Freddie LeBoer, who used to post here and describes himself as a “Marxist” (inexplicably) will write a passionate defense of standardized testing in public schools as if it’s amazingly and shockingly original. You know who came up with that? Jeb Bush. But he can’t write an essay that says “as it turns out I agree with the Bush family on public education policy”. Instead he has to sprinkle in all this bullshit about “wokeness”.
It’s branding. Marketing. The most banal conservative dogma somehow transforms into bold and edgy thinking when uttered by these people. It’s nonsense. Read the content. It’s standard issue Right wing.
My favorite part is that they are so smug to other religions like the indigenous peoples who worship nature or nature spirits as somehow their version is superior to others. I much prefer to understand the thought behind these practices and incorporate them into my consciousness.
One thing I love bout I think it was Navajo was the practice of thanking the animal for their sustenance after killing them. Now I do that for myself. Respect for animals is a part of my foundational beliefs.
I’ve always been fascinated by the disconnect of what a religion says and what people do. I’ve always looked at humans as a sponge of traumas – and how they translate these texts into their faiths.
I also believe that religion gives rules that are impossible to live up to. The ten commandments are a good example – broad rules that I suspect is great to keep the peace for normadic tribes wondering around deserts, but lacks subtlety. These rules do not survive trauma very well.
It isn’t as if I object to conventional opinions. I have many. I’m a fairly conventional person. What I object to is selling this as something it is not. It’s not original. It’s not edgy or radical. It is a passionate, often bitter and always grasping defense of the status quo. Which is fine! Obviously the status quo was working out well for them hence how enraged they are that any tiny bit of it might be slipping away. But don’t give me the opinions of Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz and pretend it’s a grueling intellectual exercise that is original to the writer. It’s just Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz, and I can get their opinions free.
This is definitely a lack in me, but religious instruction to me was desperately, achingly boring. I used to sit in Bible class and feel so sorry for myself.
“WHO could be expected to sit here through this!” Awash in self pity. Even the line drawings in the workbook made me sad and headachy. The only thing I took with me was “bloom where you are planted” which I think is good, solid advice.
Chaya is Hebrew for “life,” so it would fit. I’m not surprised an Orthodox Jew would turn out to be so vindictive and deceitful. And I say this as a (secular) member of the tribe.
I say dox away! She deserves every bit of it.
As Hillel the Elder said, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole of the Torah. Everything else is just commentary.” Chaya seems to have forgotten that.
I think that many people are raising Mini Me’s rather than young humans. Some even give the boys the same name and Jr or II or worse yet III. Ask me how I know….
I also believe that we are at somewhat of a crossroads at this point in time. (Humans have been at a crossroad before, will likely be there again, after all we are supposed to be thoughtful and intelligent.) But we see that some do not want to move past, well the past. It may not be good or realistic but the past is predictable, understandable, whereas the future is, not. China tried to control the future a while back with the one child rule. Look how well that turned out. And yet many of us are having far fewer kids than our parents generation did. And of course many of those are actually living, which didn’t always happen, even in my childhood days. A lot of people want what they know, because the future is unknown. Better the past that got us here than the future that might just be completely different. Right? RIGHT? Or maybe not.
This is really good, by Alex Pareene:
@BellyCat: There is atheism and agnosticism, and then agnosticism blends into deism. Deism was a “hot” philosophy in the 18th century. In his Autobigraphy, Ben Franklin recounts the time a more orthodox Christian hired him to write a pamphlet refuting this pernicious doctrine. Franklin fulfilled his commission, I think, but he said that he came out of the project a deist.
@Old School: I’d missed that, but I did think it might also be in Watergirl’s wheelhouse. Hope she picks up the Michigan State Senator’s speech, too.
The Michigan legislator’s speech is even appropriate for this thread, as she details her religious background — working Sundays in a soup kitchen — and contrasts it to “pew-warming Christians”.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@gene108: At least you tried, and didn’t launch into personal attacks, I’ll give you that.
The problem with your’ argument is; Patriarch Krill is a blatantly and hilariously corrupt man, not to mention a former communist, so, atheist, yet all those Russians are going along with him like he speaks for god. Even from a secular POV one would think Ben Franklin’s secular god might like cause people who otherwise claim to be interested in morality to go “hold on”.
@debbie: I may never travel overseas, but if I do I would like to see Israel and visit Hillel’s tomb. It’s in the town of Safed. This would be an excuse to visit Lake Kinnereth, also known as the Sea of Galilee. Safed is one of the highest points in Israel and I think I could see Kinnereth from there.
I read the Times of Israel frequently. When they are not reporting on wars and rumours of wars, the Times gives updates on the level of Lake Kinnereth. There was good rainfall this winter, and the lake is approaching it’s “red line” requiring release of water to the Jordan River. That red line is about 167 meters below sea level.
So Greenwald burned another source??
@gene108: I don’t think religion is a socially destructive force necessarily, I just think it is way too powerful a tool to not have destructive users. Any tool that allows you to strip critical thinking out of certain areas of thought is a dangerous one; this is why the military needs to have so many different checks. And the last time I checked, the US military at least doesn’t claim to be inspired by an unaccountable spirit, so there can in fact be someone held responsible.
And how is it derogatory to say, accurately, that every religion is a fairy tale? Every single one is based on stories of impossible things, outsized heroes, and an omniscient narrator. FFS, the Bible might as well start with “Once upon a time, there was nothing.” Just because billions of people believe something does in no way make it true, nor necessarily respectable.
Much like someone teaching their children that homeopathic medicine is superior to science-based medicine is also abusing that child, so is it to put something outside the bounds of critical thinking and testing; just because a bunch of people believe that Muhammed ascended to Heaven, or that Elijah drives a flaming chariot, or that whacking water makes it powerful that does not mean that it is unfair or derogatory to point out that it’s nonsense.
Lot of frantic deleting going on among the free speech crowd.
The Trevor Project is a suicide prevention non profit. Libs of Tik Tok, who we are told only posts video people make of themselves, which is not true, attacked the non profit and said they were “grooming”.
In fact I’m pretty sure every child understands that long before they can actually wrap their head around religion.
I’m not so sure.
There are a lot of learned points to living in any society. And we all learn at different rates and ages. (And some seem to never learn…) We all have to get along to some point, to understand the limitations of being the animals that we are and to figure out what we are going to do, to be, to understand, to be understood, to not reject those who can’t be the same as others, because of disease or birth defects or even life.
When hasn’t he?
He seems to be a rather despicable ass who thinks overly highly of himself. I’m not really glad he has a lot of company.
I would like to see Masada, but I doubt I have the discipline not to shoot my mouth off around settlers, etc.
@Kay: I’m trying to figure out if this is new and worse or just the same and people are paying attention. I remember in the 1980s, there was lots of pushback against women’s shelters because the right claimed that they were run by feminists and caused divorce. I remember Pat Robertson droning on and on about it. And if there was abuse, it was only because feminists had made it so that men had to unnaturally work for women bosses and so they understandably took it out violently on their wives. Like anyone who is trying to mitigate problems is dismissed as a do gooder who needs to be mocked and discredited.
I still think a lot of this goes back to how conservatives always think being cruel to children builds character. Bullying is a good thing. Having a black eye or a broken arm for a boy is a rite of passage. Being hit with a strap by a parent is the good old days.
They attacked the Trevor project when it was set up and attacked the memory of Trevor at the time. Just like they attacked Matthew Shepherd. Its just that it couldn’t be measured at the time because there weren’t retweets and follower accounts. But they did those things. I just can’t tell if more people support this than did 30 years ago or if the internet makes it easier to measure it.
@debbie: Interesting. I’ve heard that some members of the tribe can be very outspoken.
Masada sounds awful dry, though.
@Geminid: Hilarious. My respect for Mr. Franklin only grows.
On second thought, sign me up for TWO newsletters.
@Kay: That is really good. It’s fascism – “don’t believe anyone but the leader”. An army of internet “zombies”, if you will, ready to post and share on demand.
I had a boss who told me I was the most anti-semitic Jew he’d ever met. I thanked him. He was from NJ and was more observant than I.
I think it’s both new and more virulent and, further, I think it’s essential to understand that because it is going to take new thinking to beat it.
The old approach is not, will not, work. I’m hopeful though! I think we take a while to get our feet under us but when we do we’re pretty adaptable and creative.