Sunday, August 30, 2015

Measure out the Measure that's Measured

It just occurred to me that one good way to fight the social war is to pull things like this on others:

The Denver airport authority is considering not allowing Chick-Fil-A into the airport because its CEO is for "traditional marriage."

Other than the total nonsense that this promotes - name a company or organization where you share all of the values of everyone of its members, or even just one - other than that nonsense, what does it have to do with business? Can you even tell that that company is against homosexual marriage? Do they hang rainbow flags with lines through them in their windows? Do they have signs that say "No fags need apply" anywhere?

The fact is, stores are free to hang rainbow flags, but stores are not free to hang rainbow flags with lines through them.

Be that as it may, in the special case of a public building, such as an airport, I can understand not having things like that around. Understandably, there should be different laws respecting private and public property. Private property, even stores that are private property, I say let them do as they like - you don't have to shop there, after all, and the more people that don't want to shop there, the worst it is for the business. A rainbow flag in the window makes me not want to shop there, just like a manikin in a bikini. I am not saying I won't go in in either case, but I am less inclined to do so. Porn, contraception, swastikas, skulls, and even, yes, Confederacy Flags make me less inclined.

Do I know what the CEOs of my various products - such as the HP I am typing this on - stand for? Do I care? The fact is, I take it for granted that I would not want the CEO of HP babysitting my kids, teaching them catechism, or being their soccer coach. I take it for granted. What kind of world do we live in that we expect CEOs to share our values if we are going to let them share the public sphere, that is to say, be a person in the legal sense?

Or, do we think we are going to change their minds about these issues? Keep in mind, these are adults, highly successful and usually highly intelligent adults, who did not build up business empires or rise to the height they have by being weak-willed.

Or, do we think we are making an example of them? Keep in mind, people look poorly on others who are made to tow the line. When Clinton and Obama "changed their minds" or "came to the light" about same-sex "marriage," "that their thinking on it evolved," no one increased their respect for them.

Let me recommend once more in this light the movie I mentioned a while ago on Facebook - Child 44. That movie was about a child serial killer in communist Russia. One think remarkable about it is its portrayal of the communist bureaucrats as spineless people who just do and say what's expected of them - because otherwise they can be demoted, killed or shipped off to Siberia, etc. Is this the kind of world we are making, where we inflict this party line consciousness on people?

Ever been in a workplace? This is the rule of life.

Ever been in a school yard? Same thing.

The wrath of the internet people, the twitter people, etc., who ruin people's lives is human, all too human. We'd like to think we are better than the Inquisition, but we are not: black people killing police officers because they have been taught an exaggerated picture of institutional racism, hockey fans who destroy city blocks when the team loses, people who lose their jobs because they gave $100 to a political cause that others did not agree with. We are no different: we would have strung up heretics then, and we string up conservatives now. Socrates is always outnumbered.

And my thought? Give back what is given. Every time someone threatens to throw menstrual blood on you, as did Rosie O'Donnell, promise like retaliation.

Or, when someone denies you service, etc., because of your Christian beliefs, deny them service for the opposite reason. If not permitting a store to open because the CEO has Christian beliefs, that seems to me a precedent for the same kind of treatment.

If a group support spray painting people who wear fur, you have free licence to spray paint members of that group any time you like. (Make sure they are wearing their best sandals and sunglasses when you do.)

If you throw condoms in my church, I will do something disgusting to your home.

Well, that's not very Christian, is it?

Yes, it is. Jesus' teachings of non-resistance to evil are on a personal level. If the state refuses to protect a group then one may take the law into one's own hands. If menstrual fluid is poured on me I can chose to turn the other cheek. I don't have to do that to defend the rights of others. I am obliged to defend justice, the rights of the weak. I can chose to forgo that right in my own case, as Jesus counsels us, if we would be perfect. It would not be perfect of me to fail to defend the weak; it would be far from that, it would be unjust and cowardly.

Justice is a great pedagogue. To fail to pay back is to fail to teach and that is a spiritual work of mercy. Sometimes I do not want to punish my kids. I do it anyway. If parents have failed to teach these anarchists and hippies to respect others, and the government with not, then it is my job, my right, my obligation.


  1. An insightful post, especially the point made near the end about the suitability of non-resistance on a personal versus public/institutional level. Makes sense. Another heuristic that I tend to follow is having the option to choose not to resist only when somebody's certain actions would not prevent any one else from freely directing themselves towards being fulfilled in his vocation to sainthood (being fulfilled in his dignity). But I also suppose that there's enough room to interpret that differently case by case, such as based on different understandings of what it would mean for certain conditions to actually 'prevent' someone from pursing and being fulfilled in that vocation ...

  2. It's certainly a dicey topic. Worth thinking a great deal about. I think it's too easy to use pacifism as an excuse for failure to act.

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  5. Sorry for clarifying: I was at Sobeys agreeing on my phone and it decided to agree two too many times. I thought it be redundant to agree three times, but I wouldn't have removed any comments otherwise.