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Bigots defended against ‘an orgy of bile’

 

No to gay marriage, but a three-in-bed romp is OK, suggests this Methodist church sign

THE Freethinker got itself castigated in the Telegraph yesterday.

Defending the godly against the slings and arrows of the “liberals” and “elite” who reacted with fury over South Carolina’s vote against gay marriage, columnist Brendan O’Neill – in an an article entitled “The bile being spat at the people of North Carolina exposes the ugly elitism of the gay-marriage lobby” – wrote:

A majority of North Carolina’s voters – 61 per cent – voted for the amendment to the state’s constitution, which says: ‘Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognised in this state’. For doing this, for having the temerity to say that marriage should stay as it is, they have been subjected to extraordinary levels of abuse and ridicule.

The media says they’re all ‘bigots’. Apparently they were driven by a typically Southern hatefulness.

He added:

Gay-marriage supporters have even deployed borderline racial lingo to express their fury with the uninformed hordes of North Carolina. The secularist magazine Free Thinker (sic) describes them as ‘knuckle-draggers’. So does Daily Kos, the must-read blog of the liberal set: it slated the ‘hateful, paranoid, bigoted, right-wing knuckle-draggers’ who voted for Amendment 1.

And:

The idea that hatred and ignorance have ‘enveloped’ the people of North Carolina is widespread. The gay advocacy group Faith in America said voters had been ‘duped’ by religious leaders; they were ‘uninformed or deceived’. The only reason Amendment 1 passed, says Faith in America, is because of ‘the populace’s misunderstanding about sexual orientation’.

Of course it isn’t possible that voters simply had a considered moral objection to gay marriage – no, they were clearly all brainwashed by religious crazies. The passing of Amendment 1 shows that voters should not be trusted to rule on sensitive moral matters, says the LA Times. Apparently these kind of ‘anti-gay’ votes will continue until ‘people of conscience put a stop to it by asserting that tyranny of the majority is wrong’.

O’Neill concluded:

 This orgy of bile, from the mainstream branding of North Carolina’s voters as ‘ignorant’ to the peripheral demands that they do the world a favour and kill themselves, shows what is behind the gay-marriage campaign. This is not about rights and equality, or love and happiness. Rather, gay marriage has become a tool through which the right-minded sections of society express their moral superiority over the dumb, the brainwashed, the insufficiently cosmopolitan, the churchgoing. Gay marriage has become a kind of weapon, wielded by the right-on to demonstrate that they are better – that is, less brainwashed and more caring – than your average redneck or country black.

Supporting gay marriage has become a kind of cultural signifier, a way of distinguishing oneself from the ignorant throng.

Given all this, it is possible that the voters of North Carolina were not only voting against gay marriage, but were also sticking two fingers up at the sneering cultural elite which has been hectoring them for weeks to do ‘the right thing’ and embrace ‘liberal values’. In the intensively divided America of 2012, being against gay marriage can now be seen almost as an act of political rebellion, against a faraway elite which fears and loathes anyone who is not like them.

 

42 Responses to “Bigots defended against ‘an orgy of bile’”

  1. Buffy says:

    Since when is “knuckle draggers” remotely racist? Or do they, being creationists who adhere to the idea of the 6,000-year-old universe, have no clue about Neanderthals?

    And if anybody would know about an “orgy of bile” it would be them. The hateful, bigoted lies they spewed in their efforts to enshrine anti-gay apartheid into their state constitution were beyond the pale.

  2. Daz says:

    In the intensively divided America of 2012, being against gay marriage can now be seen almost as an act of political rebellion, against a faraway elite which fears and loathes anyone who is not like them.

    Oh, the irony. It burns!

  3. Daz says:

    Daily Telegraph: Thee all day prig

    Brendan O’Neil: Ill near nob-end

  4. mikespeir says:

    Wow! This is a UK publication? I read through the comments until I felt sick. (Although, granted, probably a lot of those came from the US.) I don’t think I saw a single one that tried to defend gay marriage. Troubling.

  5. Stuart H. says:

    O’Neill’s real point becomes clearer once you know that he and his comrades at the Spiked website used to produce the Living Marxism magazine, which went out of business after a costly libel case over TV coverage of the Bosnia conflict. The commendable side of what they do is to kick off huge arguments in order to get smug liberals thinking twice about issues where they’re in danger of following a ‘party line’ instead of thinking it through. Also they have a particular thing about the way some ‘progressives’ in the media tend to write off the working class as thick and gullible and never talk about real grassroots attempts to change the world from below, rather than through so called lefty political groupings led by ex-public schoolies.
    All that is fine, once you’ve sussed what they’re about,see the real arguments they mean to make and don’t take their criticism personally. Problem is,in a media and political world already dominated by right wing gits, it’s hard for the casual observer to tell the difference between the good intent of O’Neill and the far nastier Tea Party and Evangelical thugs who aren’t bringing their bile up as ‘interesting but provocative’ arguments in some cosy university seminar.
    O’Neill, in an attempt to find ‘liberal’ views to criticise, also sometimes misfires spectacularly and hilariously. A few years back, having scraped the barrel for better examples, he took off at views expressed about Irish religionists by the late Justin Keating, the head of the Humanist Association of Ireland, in a desperate attempt to prove a point. The irony, as other Irish humanists told me, was that Justin was the gentlest soul who fought a lifelong battle within the HAI to get other humanists to stop being so dogmatic and find some middle ground with religionists in order that everyone could move forward instead of lobbing grenades at each other from a distance.

  6. Scott says:

    I guess this is the wrong forum to mention heteronormativity…cos you folks already understand it.It truly scares me that so many people are prepared to do violence over things that actually don’t affect them. Really, if gay people get married how does this change my life? It makes the world a little more tolerant and accepting…that seems good. It allows people to formally commit themselves to a loving relationship with someone…that seems good. I have no opinion except to support caring and committed relationships, because they are GOOD.Damn…guess I do have an opinion after all…might be a bit against the homophobic religious bigots that take up so much space in the news.

  7. remigius says:

    Daily Telegraph = Gay pride lethal

  8. sailor1031 says:

    But…but…North Carolina voters ARE ignorant. So are voters in every other state of the USA, but it’s worse in the southern bible belt, as survey after survey after survey has proven. That needs to be pointed out again and again. This wasn’t a case of ‘giving the finger’ to some faraway imagined ‘elite’; it was pure, simple down-home bigotry based on religion. Brendan frequently, in fact usually, gets his facts wrong when going off on his rants about things in the USA – pay no attention. He is just an enfant terrible having another tantrum to make the grownups pay him some attention. No surprise it’s in the Telegraph, the Guardian probably wouldn’t touch this one.

  9. Matt Westwood says:

    Trouble is: I agree with him. We *do* hate the fucking shits in North Carolina, as a race of subhumans apart. Don’t we? Don’t we?

    Let’s all visit one of these places of worship, guzzle down a healthy dose of the emetic of our choice, and then subject them to a bout of synchonised bile-spitting that will take them weeks to steam-clean out of their altar-cloths.

    Oh, except that I do object to the word “knuckle-dragger”. The Neanderthals were gentle, humanistic, highly artistically-evolved pacifists, wiped out by those wicked bigoted theistic Cro-Mags.

  10. Angela_K says:

    We’ve been mentioned in dispatches – excellent, we’ve touched a nerve! The Torygraph is a catholic and pro-religion rag and as is evident from the comments, a torch-bearer of bigotry. One of its columnists is the odious catholic apologist Damian Thompson; read him if your blood pressure can stand it.

    I must admit, I do despise most of the occupants of the southern states, they rejoice in their ignorance and wear it like a badge of honour, they are backward looking and refuse to join the civilised World.

  11. mikespeir says:

    Well, Sailor and Matt, my sister lives in North Carolina. On the other hand, she was vociferously arguing against the amendment. Made quite a fuss about it on her Facebook page and so on. So they’re not all that way.

    Now, down here in Texas? *shudder*

  12. northern light says:

    “Supporting gay marriage has become a kind of cultural signifier, a way of distinguishing oneself from the ignorant throng.”

    Yes indeed life is much better…..and far more “sane” …when you can separate yourself from the bible thumpers….otherwise known as the ignorant throng.

    Does North Carolina have in it’s future an image of a gay man being dragged behind a pick up truck before being hanged….It was not so long ago that this was the fate of some unfortunate black men.

    Yes North Carolina …..land of the good old boys.

  13. Ivan says:

    Meanwhile,over in Nebraska;

    http://goo.gl/fdYOK

    It’s gone viral for a reason…..

  14. fester60613 says:

    Would someone please remind the Telegraph writer that the Bill of Rights was designed to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority?

  15. Daz says:

    But Fester, Christians are the persecuted minorty. Didn’t you know?

  16. AgentCormac says:

    Interesting back story from Stuart H. But let’s face it, whatever O’Neill’s genuine motives for the piece, an awful lot of Torygraph readers will have been happily nodding along thinking it was a wise critique on the terrible onslaught by hateful liberals on good old-fashioned ‘traditional’ values.

    In reality, the people of North Carolina who voted against marriage for all are indeed (and let’s call a spade a feckin’ shovel here), knuckle-dragging retards whose minds are slowly decomposing right there inside their own skulls in a toxic cocktail of religious fervour and right-wing politics.

  17. JohnMWhite says:

    Agreed, AgentCormac. And I cannot buy that O’Neill is trying to do anything good here. He is not offering a thoughtful critique or a warning against towing the party line, he is aggressively misrepresenting the pro-gay marriage lobby (for example, by declaring people looking for human rights as a ‘lobby’) and trying to provide cover for genuine hate and bigotry in a particularly hamfisted, ill-conceived manner. It’s just an atrocious article that bloviates provocatively as it decries calling a spade a spade because the author’s own bile rises into his throat at the mention of terms like ‘political correctness’. There’s also the bullshit false equivalencies nonsense he’s getting up to as well, acting like telling people you can’t discriminate against other people is the same as discrimination in the first place. That kind of churlish argument is pathetic coming from a supposedly serious writer, even if it is a blog post. And the incessant whining about how being in favour of treating humans like humans is ‘elitist’ is crippling to any moral authority he might claim.

    At best I could only hope the article is a deeply ironic satire. Looking around the Spike site, I get the impression O’Neill is more of a Ron Paul libertarian than any kind of progressive, which is to say somebody all in favour of liberty as long as it’s the liberty to be exactly like him.

  18. L.Long says:

    As resident of said state, there is a broad assumption that most who live here are gawd fearin’ good xtians.
    AND they are not stupid! They are worse than stupid! They are totally self-delusional bunch of buyBull bigots, terrified of dying and going to hell. They are like all buyBull thumpers, A-class hypocrites! As they claim one part & ignore the other parts.
    Also NC is one of the states that had their constitution stated that wholesome pure good whites could not marry yucky dirty evil blacks or any other off color. That was thrown out of their constitution so when this older bunch of bigots die off the younger bigots will be out numbered by the tolerant young.

  19. JohnMWhite says:

    Good point, L. Long. In fact I believe the amendment banning mixed-race marriage in NC was only thrown out in the mid 1970s, long after the birth of the current, mixed-race President of the United States. I wonder how readily O’Neill would apply his logic to that same marriage ban – surely those who wanted to prevent blacks and whites marrying were not moved by petty prejudice and religiously-informed spite, but by the a considered moral opinion that just happened to conclude black people and white people mixing was a bad thing? They’re not bigots, right? They’re just hardworking, good honest Christians trying to live their life according to their own rules – which just happens to include the rule that they get to tell everybody else how to live.

  20. AgentCormac says:

    Like your post L.Long. I see that another of your fellow countrymen has just received a standing ovation from a massive crowd of young people in Virginia for saying he’s against same-sex marriage and that, “There is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action.”

    Trouble is, this idiot could end up becoming your president.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/18046282

  21. Matt Westwood says:

    If Mitt Romney gets to be president I’ll say “HAA ha” and know that my prejudices against the whole foul nation are completely justified. America is the reason the entire world deserves to be destroyed in fire.

  22. Matt Westwood says:

    So how does it work, then? If two gay men married to each other (or in a civil partnership) visited NC or Mississippi etc. can they be arrested for being in an illegal social partnership?

  23. jay says:

    “If two gay men married to each other (or in a civil partnership) visited NC or Mississippi etc. can they be arrested for being in an illegal social partnership?”…

    no. All this can do is refuse to accept them as married. So if one got sick, then the other would not have rights beyond what a friend would have.

    Maybe, though, the state should be out of the marriage business altogether. They are already artitrarily decideing what kind of family structure the state will shower with benefits, and the hell with anyone else.

    Gay marriage doesn’t change much, beyond extending benefits to gay folks who are willing to copy traditional hetero couplings in most respects. It’s just buying off gay people who are willing to form families in units of TWO (why two?), and do everything else JUST LIKE traditional hetero couples.

    There’s a lot of people left out of this definition.

  24. 1859 says:

    What irritates me is the glaring contradiction in the arguments of those against gay marriage – it goes something like this:if we allow and promote gay marriage, then the very institution of marriage, and thus the very foundations, cornerstones — blah, blah, blah — of our society will be undermined, anarchy will descend from the skies and everyone will be screwing everyone on the street corner…Well, forgive the hyperbole, but the contradiction is – if you allow MORE people to get married the you STRENGTHEN the institution of marriage not destroy it! With MORE people taking public vows of marriage, the sort of commitments partners give will take on MORE meaning not less! Obahma is a brave guy – give him your vote – we have at last a President with intelligence, eloquence and vision…not like the last asshole…..

  25. barriejohn says:

    @jay is correct. It is not the business of government to be telling people how to live their lives. It amuses me no end to see political conservatives, with their so-called belief in personal freedom, carrying out social engineering on a Stalinist scale. We have the same thing in Britain at the moment, with right-wingers screaming for measures that will “strengthen the family”; and no one did more to mould society to their preferred model than those darlings of the right, Reagan and Thatcher!

  26. Matt Westwood says:

    That last link is a misleading headline to a story of a genuine attempt to cause trouble. Beware taking headlines as truth.

  27. barriejohn says:

    I assume that everyone visiting this site is capable of clicking onto a link and reading the full story, Matt!

  28. barriejohn says:

    PS Why shouldn’t they “cause trouble”? Good for them!!

  29. Matt Westwood says:

    a) I’m not saying that causing trouble is bad. On the contrary.

    b) I feel a distaste for deliberately slanting any sort of news story in order to further a political agenda, even one I approve of. If the story itself isn’t “sensational” enough to get people to read it without misrepresenting the facts, then it’s not interesting enough to write in the first place.

    Trouble is, it’s too easy to just read the headline and say “right on, that bolsters my prejudices” and get on an even higher horse than usual. I’ve done it myself – seen a headline posted and not bothered to read the contents. This time I did, and saw that the story did not match the headline – so I commented.

    Again, I would rather we err on the side of respectably honest caution when fighting this war, or we could find ourselves hoist by our own proverbial petards. Maybe that’s because I’m an old codger.

  30. barriejohn says:

    I didn’t write the bloody thing, Matt. If I post the link that’s what it is going to say!

    BTW Shouldn’t that sign read:

    A TRUE MARRIAGE
    MALE AND FEMALE AND DOG

  31. jay says:

    Sometimes provoking a response works (Rosa Parks, Mohamed Bouazizi), far more often it does not. Everything needs to be in the right mood, the public mind has to be ready to snag on this incident and spread the wildfire.

    While there is nothing inherently wrong with what these women did, it was unlikely to succeed in this immediate mindset. Even a sympathetic clerk could not legally give them a license, It was sort of like demanding a fishing license and refusing to leave when you are told it is not fishing season and you can’t have one (ok maybe that trivializes it, but simply defying a bad law will usually get you nowhere or worse).

    There’s a lot to be done here and simply defining opponents as bigot will not win the battle. People’s reaction to sexuality is very visceral and things that people find disturbing do not change overnight. Religion and culture PARTIALLY molds these things, but even religion and culture cannot turn them around on a dime. (Johnathan Haidt’s book ‘The Righteous Mind’ explores this from a psychological research perspective)

    We all have things that creep us out. Why is it that child molestation disturbs many people even more than child murder? Something is triggered deep inside our mind. Often that unexplainable is more significant in our decision making than the logical. This is not just in the sexual area, but extends to much of what people would consider ‘moral’ decisions.

    We have our boundaries. My commitment to libertarian ideals of non interference is much of my motivation, but there are plenty of things that people freely choose to do (and I support) that I am uncomfortable with.

    Both liberals and conservatives tend to push parts of their moral worldview on everyone (they differ primarily in what components they feel strongly about). The trick is to get people to back off their attempts to control others, but unfortunately that is deeply embedded in our evolutionary past. It will take a long, long time.

  32. Don says:

    O’Neill has made a career out of defining opponents of bigotry as middle-class, disconnected elitists driven by a horror of the sweaty and tattooed.

    He gets it, the rest of us don’t. Whether it be homophobes or racists, this bunch or the EDL, if we object on other than on his terms we are effete, pearl-clutching snobs with a visceral hate and fear of the working class using the issue as a PC way to put down the underclass.

  33. barriejohn says:

    Well put, Don.

  34. Daz says:

    I second that. Well said Don. And I speak as one who is both working class and tattoo’d. I can decide for meself if I’m being patronised, without the likes of O’Neill making themselves my self-proclaimed spokesmen.

  35. JohnMWhite says:

    Indeed, well put, Don. I myself have made something of a rebuttal to O’Neill and his ilk on my blog (cheap plug), and it’s good to hear I’m not alone in thinking him a bit of a snooty prick himself. What really bothers me, though, is how determined bigots are to shake off that word while being equally determined to retain their moral authority to discriminate against others. I understand some people don’t like throwing labels around, but at some point you’ve got to be able to agree on the definition of words otherwise you can’t even have a conversation. When bigots pretend to be aghast at the word being applied to them, where can the discussion go?

  36. jay says:

    AgentCormac–”In reality, the people of North Carolina who voted against marriage for all are indeed (and let’s call a spade a feckin’ shovel here), knuckle-dragging retards whose minds are slowly decomposing right there inside their own skulls in a toxic cocktail of religious fervour and right-wing politics.”

    Would this also include Obama until a few days ago?

  37. jay says:

    What I seem to see here, is that while berating O’Neil (who can be abrasive), some people here are actually proving his point, declaring that those who may not have caught up to us on matters of social change are bigoted, illiterate, deluded or evil.

    We should all know better, that to demonize wide swaths of people who disagree with you is not a good way to make progress. Humans, by our evolutionary nature tend to resist radical social change. This is not a bad thing in itself, radical changes can, and often did, create situations worse than the forces that caused them (communism, prohibition). Social evolution is orders of magnitude faster than genetic evolution, but it still has heavy inertia. People need to be convinced over a period of time to allow logical arguments to over-ride their gut feelings. This is human nature. People need to get comfortable with things, especially sexual things, which deeply interact with our gut feelings of right and wrong. Despite what some people seem to think.. it’s NOT all religion’s doing, indeed religion may be driven by deeper primal fears. Strong sexual taboos exist across all cultures, regardless of religion.

    This is a radical change, but consider that it’s only a few decades away from gay people being criminalized (and less than 60 years since mathematical genius and war hero Alan Turing was imprisoned and essentially tortured by the enlightened British government for simply being gay). Now gay people have substantial legal protections even in the most ‘backward’ of states.

    I’m confident that the screaming leaders of this opposition are nut-cases, but the average voter is not. There simply people who are a bit afraid of a brave new world.

    Address their fears. Allow them time to assimilate the concept, and things will change. It’s true, gay people are missing this one civil right (of questionable importance), but have made a hell of a lot of progress. The progress will continue. This is not a national crisis.