I believe Mark Steyn’s new column is a triumph, and wrote him on Friday to say that. The ensuing critical take on it by my colleague, Jason Steorts, left my head shaking.
One brother — or sister, or let’s say a sibling — of the gay issue, from the perspective of the Left, is “global warming,” now in its 2.0 version as “climate change.” Its advocates pronounce their positions with utmost scientific certainty, and just as eagerly label their foes “deniers” — a term hearkening to crackpots who claim the Holocaust was bogus.
We at NR are among those so labeled by the Left. As NRO regulars know, in 2012 we published Mark Steyn’s Corner post that hip-checked Global Warmers, and specifically, Professor Michael Mann, he of the infamous “Hockey Stick” warming chart. Mann sued NR, Steyn, and others. To court we went, where we argued that the Corner post was protected by the First Amendment, and that the suit should be tossed. Despite voluminous free-speech precedent, the judge, after hearing initial arguments, ruled that there were grounds to proceed to a trial.
More head-shaking from the Publisher.
This, to me, gets to Jason’s cultural/state construct. So we at NR engage on the “cultural” field, but when we have said something that is intolerable to the Intolligencia, we end up on the state field (judicial subdivision). NR knows we are in the right, and believes that we will prove victorious in court, but not until after the expenditure of millions of dollars, which would have been much better used to advance our mission of standing athwart History, yelling stop. Freedom isn’t free, my friends, and the First Amendment is under assault, on cultural and state fronts — which is why we have no qualms asking you to help support us financially in our legal fight.
By the way, on Matters Green, the opportunity to wax intolerant is disappearing like Arctic ice (at least in the minds of certain scientists): Reddit, supposedly a bastion of free speech, is now essentially banning comments in its Science Forum by those who do not genuflect at the altar of Warm and Change.
The Left does not distinguish about the field of battle, culture, or state. Its goal is . . . the goal. If the desire is to shut you up, Duck Dynasty Commander or Mark Steyn or NR, they will find a way. This isn’t some academic exercise — it is a fight. So we must deal with reality, and not build artificial constructs. Like so much in life, we need only refer to the famous classroom scene from Back to School for a lesson in how we should be operating.
Mark’s Re-Education Camp Corner post responding to Jason’s post included a link to this story: GLAADiators launched a public-pressure campaign to force Newhart — the beloved, decidedly non-political 84-year-old comedian who happens to be a practicing Catholic and a graduate of Catholic University — to withdraw as a speaker from the annual convention of Legatus, a respected organization of Catholic businessman.
They won. Newhart has pulled out. Legatus interruptus, if I may be crude. A little bit of me feels for Bob — old man being bullied by hell-bent troublemakers (“Who needs this?!”) — but the rest of me wants to cry, Say it ain’t so, Bob. The cock crowed, and you choked.
Well, I never thought his shtick was that funny anyway.
Mark’s column referred to an old Bob Hope joke about whether a California gay-rights law would become compulsory, and the stink in the air is that — compulsion. For the left, the fight is about silencing critics and, even worse, forcing people and institutions to do those things — provide abortifacients, accept gay marriage — they find wrong, and sinful.
Mark’s column also referred to Soviet purgers from the 1930s. Their objective was not only to use the state to eradicate their opponents, but to humiliate them before they put a bullet in the heads of the accused or gulaged them to Siberian death camps. Accepting — even embracing — the charges leveled against you by the state is a critical part of the program.
And what will our state do? This Mann lawsuit may prove to be a First Amendment lark compared with battles to come. Who here doubts that in a few years we will be discussing the arrest of a Roman Catholic priest for his refusal to officiate at a gay marriage?
Fruits? Compulsory acceptance and even forced participation are the fruits the Left intends to harvest.