Newhart Cancels Show for GLAAD

It seems that the drama involving the A & E Network and the Robertson family is nearly at an end. At any rate A & E gave in to the nearly overwhelming opposition of the show’s fans to their suspension of Phil Robertson and have allowed him to continue on the show. This is a victory, of sorts, for free speech and a stinging defeat for the GLAAD bullies. Unfortunately they will continue their efforts to marginalize anyone who happens to disagree with their views and not everyone has the resources or the will to fight them.

Comedian Bob Newhart was scheduled to give a performance at a conference by Legatus, a Catholic businessman’s organization. GLAAD decided that the group is anti-gay because they happen to support Catholic positions on sexuality and pressured Newhart to cancel the show. Unfortunately, Newhart complied.Here is an account in Lifesitenews.com.

Famed comedian Bob Newhart has canceled a headline show at a conference for Catholic business leaders after a homosexual activist group ran a campaign portraying the organizers as “anti-gay.”

After learning of the 84-year-old comedian’s scheduled appearance at the Legatus Summit in Orlando on February 6, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) began urging him last week to back out. Activists also organized a petition at Faithful America that garnered 17,000 signatures.

Legatus, which was begun by Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan in 1987 to network Catholic business leaders, is faithful to the Church’s Magisterium and therefore upholds the Church’s teachings on all moral matters including homosexuality.

“It’s unfortunate that Bob Newhart has decided not to perform at Legatus’ annual Summit in February,” Legatus Executive Director John Hunt told LifeSiteNews.com. “It’s clear from stories in the media that certain organizations have asked him to cancel his appearance.”

Hunt continued, “Despite the rhetoric in these news reports, Legatus is a faith-based organization that proudly holds firm to the teachings of the Catholic Church especially, in this case, to the teachings on human sexuality.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church bases itself on the Bible, calling homosexual sex “acts of grave depravity” and the inclination toward homosexuality “objectively disordered.” At the same time, it says those with same-sex attractions “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”

Newhart, a lifelong Catholic, announced the cancellation on his Facebook and Twitter accounts Wednesday. “Upcoming Bob Newhart Tour Date Change — Bob will not be performing at the Legatus Summit in Orlando FL on February 6th, 2014,” the post said.

I can’t say that I am very disappointed in Bob Newhart. As the article states, He is 84 years old and he certainly doesn’t need to be involved in any controversies at his time of life. Also, as a life long performer, it is very likely that his politics are closer to GLAAD than Legatus. All the same, I wish that he had kept the engagement in order to stand up for the principle that performers should not have to seek permission from pressure groups to decide where to book performances. Does Newhart really want to live in a country where entertainers have to seek permission to perform? Does he want future performers to have to submit their material in advance  to ensure that nothing offensive is said. This may seem far fetched, but there have been places in the world where this was  and is the case.

A long time ago, I happened to see the Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff on some late night talk show.I don’t remember which, but I think it might have been Johnny Carson. During the interview, Smirnoff mentioned that he while he worked in the Stoviet Union, he had to submit his material to a Department of Jokes. A comedian was not allowed to depart from the submitted material or improvise. The host thought this was a joke, but Smirnoff assured him this really was the case. When the host asked Smirnoff if a comedian who disobeyed would be sent to jail, Smirnoff answered that he would not, but he would never be allowed to perform again. Keep that in mind while reading what GLAAD has to say.

GLAAD praised Newhart’s decision Thursday. “Newhart is merely siding with the majority of fair-minded Americans who do not support the anti-LGBT agenda of organizations like Legatus,” said Rich Ferraro, GLAAD’s vice president of communications.

“These groups constantly struggle to find high-profile people of faith to speak at their events, but at a time when more and more people of faith are accepting of LGBT people, they will continue to be left to choose between increasingly fringe figures,” he added.

The homosexual activist group launched the campaign in a December 12 post titled “Bob Newhart, don’t become the next Kirk Cameron!”

If you don’t accept GLAAD’s agenda then you will be labeled a fringe figure and marginalized until you cannot find work. The only difference between GLAAD and a Soviet commissar is that GLAAD’s dictates do not have the force of law, yet. In a legal environment where a baker can be compelled to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple against his religious scruples, can the day when legal sanctions against “hate speech” really be so hard to imagine.

What does Legatus say that is so hateful and bigoted? Do they advocate executing gays? Imprisoning them? Well, no. Here are the statements that GLAAD finds utterly unacceptable, as reported by GLAAD. They are quoting from a piece written by John Haas.

There are many reasons why people suffer from SSA disorder. Some “discover” this tendency within them. Others grow into it through pursuits of pleasure or experimentation. Some use it to punish themselves or others. Whether the disorder has some deep, unknown roots over which one has virtually no control, or whether it’s a developed disorder resulting from bad choices, it leaves an individual disposed toward activities and a lifestyle that are dangerous — physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Fortunately there is hope for those who suffer from the disorder. The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality reports that significant numbers of homosexual persons have undergone treatment and had their sexual drives properly ordered. These findings are a beacon of hope to those suffering from SSA, as well as for their family and friends who desire their happiness and good health. Finally, for those who for whatever reason cannot be cured, there is a support group known as Courage to help them live safe, moral, chaste lives. Those who continue to suffer from this disorder can find true help through an orientation toward their Savior and Redeemer, “the Orient from on High,” and the life that He offers them in Himself.

And.

I often tell my students that no one has ever died from not having sex. Plenty of people have died from having sex, but no one has ever died from not having sex. This idea that sexual expression is the only or a necessary expression of love is the underlying principle behind the argument that we should not deny happiness to two people who are in love, even two people struggling with SSA.

No one is denying them love or happiness. We are not denying love or happiness to the alcoholic by taking away his alcohol. We are not denying love or happiness to the drug addict by taking away his drugs. We are not denying love or happiness to the pedophile by keeping him away from children. In fact, we are showing true love to the sinner by denying him his disordered passions.

Second, even if we grant that people are “born that way,” it is a specious argument to conclude that it is natural and must be accepted. People are born with bad eyesight, but we do not consider that natural. We consider it a disorder that should be corrected with glasses or contacts. People are born without arms and legs, but we do not consider that natural. We consider it a disorder that should be corrected with prosthetic limbs. People are born bipolar and with A.D.D., but we do not consider that natural. We consider it a disorder that should be corrected with medicine and psychological counseling. There is even scientific research showing that alcoholism and pedophilia are genetic, that people are “born that way,” but we still consider them disorders that should be corrected.

Consider that we are all born with original sin. Yet, we recognize that it is a disorder within us and we do our best to overcome it with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, with the help of the sacraments, and the grace of God.

These do not seem to be malicious or hateful statements. The author feels that homosexuality is a disorder and wishes to cure those afflicted by it. Considering that homosexuality is not, in fact, conducive to a healthy or well-adjusted life, there are high levels of depression, substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and compulsive risk taking among homosexuals, there is good reason to consider it a disorder not dissimilar to alcoholism. It is perhaps more compassionate to seek to cure the homosexual than tell them that their orientation is fixed at birth and is immutable, especially if they are young people. The idea that sexuality is fixed at birth is, if not actually a lie, is vastly simplistic about a very complex part of human behavior. I strongly suspect that sexual orientation is, to some degree, fluid in most individuals.

I have long on long enough about this subject and frankly I am feeling a little ducked out.

Steyn Stands Strong

One of the problems that conservatives have had is that all too often they buy into liberal premises about what is acceptable discourse. If the progressives insist that whole topics are out of bounds and any deviation from orthodoxy is racist, homophobic, islamophobic, bigoted, hateful, ignorant, greedy, and whatever other labels they can think of, all too often, conservatives will back down and agree to abide by the progressive’s rules. This has to stop. We have got to be on the offensive, or we will lose this country. Above all else we must be defenders of liberty, even if it means defending the rights of people we don’t necessarily approve or or whose speech is somewhat less civil than we might like. Mark Steyn from National Review understands this. I wish more conservatives did.

Having leaned on A&E to suspend their biggest star, GLAAD has now moved on to Stage Two:

“We believe the next step is to use this as an opportunity for Phil to sit down with gay families in Louisiana and learn about their lives and the values they share,” the spokesman said.

Actually, “the next step” is for you thugs to push off and stop targeting, threatening and making demands of those who happen to disagree with you. Personally, I think this would be a wonderful opportunity for the GLAAD executive board to sit down with half-a-dozen firebreathing imams and learn about their values, but, unlike the Commissars of the Bureau of Conformity Enforcement, I accord even condescending little ticks like the one above the freedom to arrange his own social calendar. Unfortunately, GLAAD has had some success with this strategy, prevailing upon, for example, the Hollywood director Brett Ratner to submit to GLAAD re-education camp until he had eaten sufficient gay crow to be formally rehabilitated with a GLAAD “Ally” award.

It is a matter of some regret to me that my own editor at this publication does not regard this sort of thing as creepy and repellent rather than part of the vibrant tapestry of what he calls an “awakening to a greater civility”. I’m not inclined to euphemize intimidation and bullying as a lively exchange of ideas – “the use of speech to criticize other speech”, as Mr Steorts absurdly dignifies it. So do excuse me if I skip to the men’s room during his patronizing disquisition on the distinction between “state coercion” and “cultural coercion”. I’m well aware of that, thank you. In the early days of my free-speech battles in Canada, my friend Ezra Levant used a particular word to me: “de-normalize”. Our enemies didn’t particularly care whether they won in court. Whatever the verdict, they’d succeed in “de-normalizing” us — that’s to say, putting us beyond the pale of polite society and mainstream culture. “De-normalizing” is the business GLAAD and the other enforcers are in. You’ll recall Paula Deen’s accuser eventually lost in court — but the verdict came too late for Ms Deen’s book deal, and TV show, and endorsement contracts.

Mark Steyn understands what the progressives are trying to do better than most of us here in the US. As a former resident of Canada, he has had personal experience with attempts to criminalize and de-normalize politically incorrect opinions.

Up north, Ezra and I decided that, if they were going to “de-normalize” us, we’d “de-normalize” them. So we pushed back, and got the entire racket discredited and, eventually, the law repealed. It’s rough stuff, and exhausting, but the alternative is to let the control-freaks shrivel the bounds of public discourse remorselessly so that soon enough you lack even the words to mount an opposing argument. As this commenter to Mr Steorts noted, the point about unearthing two “derogatory” “puerile” yet weirdly prescient gags is that, pace Marx, these days comedy repeats as tragedy.

I am sorry my editor at NR does not grasp the stakes. Indeed, he seems inclined to “normalize” what GLAAD is doing. But, if he truly finds my “derogatory language” offensive, I’d rather he just indefinitely suspend me than twist himself into a soggy pretzel of ambivalent inertia trying to avoid the central point — that a society where lives are ruined over an aside because some identity-group don decides it must be so is ugly and profoundly illiberal. As to his kind but belated and conditional pledge to join me on the barricades, I had enough of that level of passionate support up in Canada to know that, when the call to arms comes, there will always be some “derogatory” or “puerile” expression that it will be more important to tut over. So thanks for the offer, but I don’t think you’d be much use, would you?

Precisely. The end game is to make it impossible to fight against the progressives because you are unable to even articulate any opposing views. This is what George Orwell foresaw in 1984. This is the sort of mindset we are facing. It is no good trying to compromise or get along with these people. They are not interested in getting along. They mean to crush any opposition. We had best grow spines and fight.

 

GLAAD isn’t Glad

There has been a backlash against the comments made by Duck Dynasty‘s patriarch, Phil Robertson, but not the backlash A & E or GLAAD might have wished for. GLAAD, or Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, is getting quite a bit of well deserved criticism for their efforts to silence dissenting viewpoints. I read about it at Yahoo News.

In the fallout over Wednesday’s suspension of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson by A&E for anti-gay and racist remarks, GLAAD is experiencing record levels of backlash.

“In the five-and-a-half years I’ve worked at GLAAD, I’ve never received so many violently angry phone calls and social media posts attacking GLAAD for us speaking out against these comments,” the media watchdog organization’s vice president of communications Rich Ferraro told TheWrap.

He said those reactions range from those who simply believe as Robertson believes to those who feel that GLAAD and A&E’s actions limit the reality star’s free speech.

“I don’t think this is about the first amendment,” Ferraro said. “I feel it’s more about the America we live in today. That is one where Americans, gay and straight, are able to speak out when people in the public eye make anti-gay and racist remarks.”

I don’t think their representative really gets it. No one is questioning their speaking out against comments they find offensive. The problem is that GLAAD and similar organizations are unwilling to extend that same courtesy to others. Speaking out is one thing. Trying to silence people by trying to prevent them from making a living quite another. And, make no mistake about it, this is precisely what GLAAD is trying to do. The Robertson family are wealthy enough that they don’t really need the income from their reality show. The next person GLAAD targets might not be so fortunate. This whole  affair is meant to serve as a warning.

Robertson’s supporters have started petitions, called for boycotts and include Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal. Currently, more than 70,000 people have signed the online petition asking A&E to drop the suspension.

“It just means we still have a lot of work to do,” Ferraro said.

Meaning that not everybody is cowed by their bullying.

GLAAD spoke with A&E representatives on Wednesday morning to discuss why people would be offended by the comments and calls to action. ”They took this very seriously, as soon as the news broke,” Ferraro said.

After the meeting, GLAAD issued its statement on Robertson’s comments. A&E initially released a statement from Robertson in which he said he would “never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me.” But the network declined to comment itself until Wednesday night, when it announced the suspension, which GLAAD applauded.

Mr. Robertson has made it clear, in the GQ inerview and in statements afterwards, that he would not treat anyone with disrespect, even if he believes their lifestyle to be sinful. But that is not enough for GLAAD.

“We believe the next step is to use this as an opportunity for Phil to sit down with gay families in Louisiana and learn about their lives and the values they share,” the spokesman said.

The organization is also currently researching companies who use Robertson as a spokesperson.

“Silence is agreement in this case,” he said. “With such egregious anti-gay and racist comments, those companies that choose to be affiliated with this family need to speak out.”

It is not enough to simply agree to disagree, or simply be neutral,  as far as GLAAD is concerned. Everyone must be an active supporter of their agenda, or else. GLAAD and like organizations are being bullies in pushing their agenda and suppressing anyone opposed to them, and it is about time that they are stopped.

Who are the haters?
Who are the haters?