Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Those Wacky Liberals and Democrats and Their Free Speech Bias

Well, I'll be darned. I got back from my trip yesterday and I find that by generalizing about self-professed "Progressive" Christians in an effort to further my position that the Body of Christ needs to be unified, that it has been offered that even recognizing the fact that these varying viewpoints exist I am furthering the division among the Body of Christ rather than my true intention of trying to find some commonality and respect across the aisles between these differing factions in the Body of Christ. Angel, it appears, has totally misread my intentions for dialog, read it here: The Rogue Angel. It seems that everywhere I turn lately Democrats or liberals or Progressives are challenging whether we should even discuss our viewpoints at all, that is, if we happen to be Conservative or Republican or a Conservative or Republican Christian. Now, by seeking to have conversations or even discuss my disappointment in the conversations I've had in the past, it seems I am furthering the divide!? Give me a break!

Brandon writes here: patriotism and loving the usa:

"So, while I’m revelling in the free exchange of opinion, let me offer you one for free. Suggesting that because I don’t believe in your ideals, I should pick up and leave, well, that seems, to me at least, to be a little hypocritical. It feels a little like you’re suggesting that freedom isn’t really all that it’s cracked up to be. It feels a little like you’re trying to create the totalitarian regime the likes of which you profess to despise." (emphasis mine)

I don't know, is it just me or does it seem like Brandon, in his attempt to accept freedom of speech and revel in the free exchange of opinion, is also attempting to demonize someone for exercizing his or her own freedom of speech by suggesting that he move to China!? Brandon wants to be able to say whatever he wants (again) but doesn't seem to appreciate others saying what they want in return. Brandon doesn't want it to be suggested he is less than patriotic because he doesn't approve of every single thing that goes on in America (as if that would ever happen) but when someone suggests he move, he, in turn, accuses the person of trying to create a totalitarian regime!? Oh, my! Remember this?:

Freedom of Speech Liberal Style (Revised and Revisited AGAIN)

"I cannot tell you how many times in discussion with liberals that if anything "bad" was said about Cindy Sheehan, and by the term "bad" I mean factually contrary to her message or exposing her bias against the war before her son Casey was even killed, was viewed as a Conservative trying to silence Cindy Sheehan's message. Since when did commenting on an issue, a public figure's background, mean you are silencing them?...

...Okay. When you are debating or having a discussion with someone on the internet, in a debate group or a comment section of a blog and they:
  • Tell you you cannot speak to a particular subject because you have no experience
  • Change the subject
  • Attack the style in which you write rather than the content and context of what you are writing about
  • Laugh at you
  • Call you names
  • Suggest you have no independent thoughts but are merely a blind follower, a kool-aid drinker, in other words, question your intelligence

Chances are you have struck a nerve and the person engaging in such rhetorical tactics is telling you to shut up."

Is Brandon engaging in a little name calling here? Is he calling the person who invited him to move to China a hypocrite and comparing him/her to a totalitarian dictator? What are the implications?

But that's not all. I visited boortz.com this morning and clicked on the Nealz Nuze link to find this:

"There's a Whole Foods store about two miles from my home in Atlanta. I've shopped there a few times, and gave Belinda a $500 Whole Foods gift card for Christmas. Now it looks like I'm going to have to give the Fresh Market store on the way to the studios a stab.

I've received a copy of an email to Whole Foods "Team Members" from the southern regional offices. Here you go ... read it for yourself.

'Good afternoon everyone.

I need everyone's cooperation on an important issue that has come to my attention here at the regional office.

Recently, on numerous occasions, I have found copies/printouts of articles such as: Today's Nuze, The Hill, and Townhall.com in either the TM break room or the restrooms. This is not acceptable and cannot continue.

We have to ensure that this is a pleasant and welcoming working environment for all of our TMs and visitors. As you all know, on any given day, the regional office has a variety of different visitors (vendors, TMs from other stores/regions, central TMs, candidates for interviews, etc.). We need to make all of our visitors and TMs feel welcome here.

If you have any questions, please refer to the "Solicitation and Distribution Policy" and "Offensive Material" on page 55-60 of our GIG (General Information Guideline).

Thank you for your cooperation.

Vanessa Hall

Team Member Services Director

Whole Foods Market - South Region

1180 Upper Hembree Road

Roswell, Ga. 30076'

So, there you go. I guess Nealz Nuze is offensive material to the management of Whole Foods. Well, it's their company and they are certainly free to put in place any policy they wish as to what reading materials may be brought to their places of business. I do wonder, though, if TMs (another PC name for "employees") are allowed to bring newspapers or news magazines into the break rooms and restrooms. Are they forbidden also? Newspapers, you see, have editorial positions and a multitude of columnists expressing opinions from both the left and the right. Does Ms. Hall try to protect visitors and TMs from exposure to those opinions? Maybe she has an assistant that goes through the newspaper and cuts out any opinion pieces or editorials that might (gasp!) offend someone! In the sports section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution you will often find advertisements for "massage parlors" that provide something more than just a shoulder rub. Newspapers with advertisements for sexual services might be OK at Whole Foods ... or maybe Ms. Hall has her assistant cut those out also. While she's at it, she needs to cut out all of those announcements for religions services. We don't want Jews to be offended by announcements for a pancake supper at the local Baptist church, and everybody knows that we don't want Muslims to be offended by announcements of services at the local synagogue. Oh, the humanity!

Maybe it's just the conservative and libertarian ideas that are put forth in the Nuze and that can be found on Townhall.com that bother Ms. Hall and the managers of the southern region. Maybe Whole Foods just has a very liberal corporate culture that is intolerant of divergent viewpoints.

Damn. I really liked that store. It would appear, though, that I, and people who think like me, aren't exactly welcome there any more. Drat! Just when I was starting to eat healthy."

Like I said last night under the title of "Do Christians have Freedom of Speech:

"Those who fought for Brandon's freedom to express himself however he sees fit also fought for every other citizen in this country to suggest that any other citizen move to China, France or Russia, go fly a kite or take a leaping fly, not that Brandon suggested otherwise, I just felt it needed to be said. We either all have the same freedom or we don't. None of us gets the privilege of choosing what the other gets to say."

So, what's all the bitchin' about? Either someone has freedom of speech or they don't. I don't get to enjoy my rights at the expense of yours or vice versa. Geesh!


Brandon said...


I never said that the commenter in question didn't have the right to say what they said. They have the same rights that I do, and I never asserted otherwise. In fact, I feel I pretty clearly asserted the opposite.

However, just because someone has the right to say things, doesn't make them right. My critique was a defense of free speech, yes, but it was also an exploration of the hypocritical nature of using such free speech. The very use of that "go to China" thing, while anyone has the right to say it, they are also--by saying it--working against the very right they're enjoying.

Jacke M. said...

Brandon, my point is that by you insinuating that this "going to China" statement is hypocritical and some sort of an indication that he or she supports a totalitarian form of government you are engaging in the very same tactic you despise in him.

Why can't the two of you just have a conversation? Why does it end up being about who said what, how and why? I'd like to see people actually discuss what they are discussing rather than beating each other down for having a different point of view.

I could say the same thing you have said about him/her, by suggesting you move to China he/she is not in any way suggesting you have no RIGHT to say whatever you would like to say, how does that make him hypocritical or totalitarian-like, at least any MORE SO than you?

Say what you want, allow him to say what he wants, debate the topic, not the style, the motives, the person's personality, that's all I was getting at. :)

Brandon said...

I tried to have a conversation. He told me if I didn't like the US, I should move to China.

I explained in quite detail in my post why his statement was hypocritical. I'm sorry if you didn't understand it.

Jacke M. said...

That's BS, Brandon, and that's about as respectfully as I can say it. I just finished reading some of the exchange and Skeptic and Shaggy Doodle (?) made some very valid points which you got sarcastic about and ignored and then posted your nice little revel in freedom of speech.

You're still doing the same thing that you did to me, instead of discussing the subject you run and hide behind your right to say whatever you want to say while not being willing to extend that priviledge to someone with an opposing view, instead you want to promote a big fight about something concerning a personal grievance.

NOWHERE did anyone say that you had no right to say what you want and NOWHERE that I read did anyone say that you wanted a totalitarian style government. A nice avoidance of the real issue at hand, that's all it was.

wildwest said...

I know, you still like Brandon. It's just frustrating sometimes, isn't it? :-)

Jacke M. said...


Jacke M. said...

Nope, Brandon still doesn't get it. Here's what he says in reply to my blog entry at his own blog, http://badchristian.com/index.php,

"Honestly, I’m really only posting this here so that someone with “Jacke-translating-ability” can help me out with what the hell she’s trying to argue.

As far as I can ascertain the argument goes like this:

Brandon’s a hypocrite because…

1. On the one hand he wants free speech.

2. On the other hand, he doesn’t want to let conservatives have free speech.

3. He displays this by berating a person’s argument who told him to move the fuck to China.

4. He should just let people say whatever they like, because that’s what freedom of speech is about."

First of all Brandon has admitted in the past that we're ALL hypocrites and I agreed with that assessment. We ARE all hypocrites and that includes Brandon, and that includes ME.

Secondly, he has intimated that he wants to be able to say whatever the heck he wants to say without feeling stifled by others who disagree with him. I assert that if he feels that others disagreeing with him stifles his own freedom of speech then it is his problem not mine, not anyone else's and nothing anyone else says in any way prohibits him to speak freely, no matter how much whining to the contrary in which he engages.

Thirdly, it is not so much that he berated another for suggesting he could move to China but that he took that to mean that he was not allowed to exercise his free speech rights, that somehow the poster's suggestion negated his own right to free speech. Brandon can say what he wants, the commenter can reply what he wants, neither anything Brandon says or anything the commenter said removed the free speech rights of the other.

My problem with this whole scenario has been that in the course of taking offense at one single sentence in an overall lengthy comment full of valid points and questions Brandon chose to END the conversation by calling or inferring that the commenter was a hypocrite and was promoting totalitarianism. Wha!?

In other words, Brandon was offended! Oh! Ouch! We can't have that! So all dialog is stopped with first this sarcastic remark from Brandon:

"I think I get where this is going.

I’m wrong, you’re right.
You’re brilliant and experienced, I’m stupid and ignorant.
I make no good points, yours are laced with irrefutable logic.

I think this conversation is over, Ms. akwardly annonymous person."

and then blogging about the horror of someone suggesting that if he doesn't like the U.S. he should move to China.

Again, all I am saying is

"Say what you want, allow him or her to say what he/she wants, DEBATE THE TOPIC, NOT THE STYLE, THE MOTIVES, THE PERSON'S PERSONALITY, that's all I was getting at. :)"

I know, it's confusing and hard to wrap your mind around, I even confuse myself ;) but nothing someone else says can take away your freedom of speech (unless you commit a crime in the process). That works both ways and that is why I asked at the end of my post, which I don't think Brandon read in entirety because he missed the part where I stated that Brandon didn't suggest that the commenter had no right to invite him to China, WHAT'S ALL THE BITCHIN' ABOUT????

Jacke M. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jacke M. said...

The comment I deleted was my own.

I'm having a little glitch with my blog today and the last comment I posted posted twice. :)

Jacke M. said...

Lol, at Brandon's blog

"Dan Lewis said,

March 7, 2006 at 2:03 pm

Brandon’s a hypocrite because…

1. On the one hand he wants free speech.
2. On the other hand, he doesn’t want to let conservatives have free speech.
3. He displays this by berating a person’s argument who told him to move the fuck to China.
4. He should just let people say whatever they like, because that’s what freedom of speech is about.

It’s not too hard to imagine steps 5 through 8 of the future course of this argument:

5. On the one hand, Brandon wants to use his free speech to define free speech.

6. On the other hand, he wants to prevent others from using their free speech to define free speech.

7. But then, he wants to use his free speech to explain that defining free speech does not prevent others from using their free speech to define free speech.

8. On the other hand, he wants to prevent others from using their free speech to argue that defining free speech does in fact prevent them from using their free speech to define free speech.

I am starting to buckle under the g-force of this argument."

9. Jacke is preventing Brandon's freedom of speech by arguing that...Eeeeeeeeeeek!

I'm "starting to buckle under the g-force of this argument," too, Dan! ;)

Angel said...

Jacke, why you would pull me into this post, I have no clue. I never said that you do not have the right to talk about whatever you want and I have already stated that you misunderstood my post and that it was not about you or your intentions ... and that I had not made any judgments regarding your intentions. Yet, you still claim that I am misreading your intentions and mischaracterize my comments here. And, this comes after you took a post about me and tried to make it about you and that whole "conservative" vs "progressive" thing you have going on. You did the exact same thing on my post about homosexuality. Even your title on this post is totally adversarial.

I think it would be best if I just don't respond to you or anything you write anymore. I think I said this once before, but I really think I need to stick to it. I wish you all the best, but I just don't find it possible to actually have a conversation with you amd if this is the kind of behavior you find unifying ... then we definitely have different views on that.

Jacke M. said...

Angel, likewise, I never claimed that you HAD said that I don't have the right to write about whatever I want to write about. I think we just had a misunderstanding, if I contributed to that, I apologize. What I was referring to that you said and what I was referring to that Brandon said and Boortz's blog entry were not really related.

I would probably agree with you that you shouldn't reply to me though, because you seem to be very sensitive and always accusing me of taking things personally when all I happen to be doing is making an effort to speak for myself and set the record straight rather than allow others to assume things about me.

If you don't want me to contribute at your blog then don't suck me into your posts either, by posting your comment there as a reply to MY blog entry you gave the impression that I might disagree with you, I actually don't.

I don't mind trying to actually have a conversation with a Christian who views things differently than I do, even if at times it might get a little heated, but that's just me. It seems to bother you to get involved in a discussion wherein people aren't all on the same page, you evidently blog for a different reason than I do. It's one thing to be totally tolerant of everyone and everything, as I think you aspire to be, it's another to actually try to communicate with others. I have never found communicating with others to be a totally peaceful endeavor. People just don't always agree, sometimes conversations heat up but most of the time I find that if one hangs with them long enough they'll eventually cool down and the people involved in those conversations generally come out on the other side having actually learned something about each other, each other's views and themselves. I like that sort of exchange wherein I can learn about others and myself, if you don't that's your business, I just wanted you and those readers at your blog to understand it wasn't my intention to be divisive, sometimes you have to cross through the division to find the unity, would you disagree?

I actually value your viewpoints and enjoy reading your blog, I'm sorry that you don't understand the concept of what I'm doing.

Anonymous said...

Paging Chuck Woolery!

Jacke M. said...

Anonymous, I am sure that your comment would be really funny if I just knew what you meant by it. Would you please clarify it for me? I could use a good laugh. :)