To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Observercast

Free Speech

on

BY KAREN WEBB

I spent several years on the board of the Oklahoma ACLU and I defended the rights of some pretty disgusting people and some regular people to say anything they chose or display anything they felt like on private property. That included the KKK, Neo-Nazis. I know this will surprise people, but the ACLU defends religious speech. I am a liberal.

Speech is not harmless. Speech can inspire people to do great things and it can inspire people to commit suicide and war. So if you insist on saying it then you have to suffer the consequences, which should include you being fired if you choose to refer to your patrons as Phil Robertson referred to the patrons of A&E, both gay and African American.

However, he has said worse. In 2010 he said:

“Women with women, men with men. They committed indecent acts with one another, and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions,” Robertson said. “They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil.”

I defend his right to say every word of it. I understand the first half with regards to his religious beliefs, but the second half is not the words of a loving follower of Jesus. It is completely disgusting and offensive.

We all have a right to our own idea of what is or isn’t perverted.

I consider perverted the idea that the answer to gun violence is more guns when we already have more guns than any country in the civilized world along with more gun deaths, both accidental and intentional. Our gun deaths are in the tens of thousands and Canadians become concerned when theirs are in the hundreds.

I consider perverted the idea that the answer to an obviously mentally unbalanced guy in a packed, dark theatre with several legally purchased guns and 100-round magazines is a few dozen more armed theater-goers in a packed, dark theatre.

I consider it perverted that people with faith in an all-powerful God can only feel safe in everything from Starbucks to a state park if they are armed.

I consider it perverted that the only place the gun lobby thinks loaded guns should not be is at their own gun shows. I also find it perverted that anyone at one of those guns shows gets as many guns as he wants without any kind of mental or criminal background check.

I consider it perverted that every legal gun-owner is a fine upstanding defender of everything holy and the only protection I have from gun violence.

I consider it perverted that the way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and abortion is to deny contraception and birth control information.

I consider it perverted to force victims of rape and incest to give birth to their own siblings and to reward their attackers by making them fathers.

Now, the last half of Robertson’s 2010 statement has no qualifiers, like “some,” “part,” a “handful” or even three-fourths of or one-half of. He is saying every homosexual is “full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil.”

I have known a large number of homosexuals and frankly I don’t even like all of them, much less love them, but I have never known a homosexual that had all of these attributes. I have known quite a few who didn’t believe in God, but I don’t know many who hate God. But then, liking some of his followers is difficult.

Not one entry on this list of hate-filled adjectives refers to my brother and yet I’ve read some posts from people who not only know, but love my brother saying that because Phil Robertson can say he is humane and he loves gays that I must love him. I love the people who said this, but these days I am having a bit of difficulty liking them.

I do not have to love Phil Robertson, nor like him. I am only required, by law, to let him say whatever disgusting thing he wants to. I do not know now, nor will I ever be required to keep him on a payroll after insulting my customers or patrons.

By the way, I have been employed at 10 or more different places, including retail, service and quite a few entertainment places and some of them didn’t use Merry Christmas in their displays, but contrary to what Bill O’Reilly says, I have never been told I could not say Merry Christmas nor have I been ordered to say Happy Holidays or anything other Christmas greeting.

Yesterday, I told everyone who said Merry Christmas to me, Merry Christmas, and if they say Happy Holidays I say Happy Holidays. Last week I responded to thousands of greetings, except the guy who called me a bitch for not letting him cut in line.

I had this gem in my newsfeed this week, “Obama voters are like Christmas lights because half of them don’t work and the ones that do are not too bright.” I voted for him twice, as did most of my friends and even some relatives. By the way, this post isn’t new and the chance of my “liking it,” “sharing it” or agreeing with it is nil.

I will also never be following Sarah Palin’s idea of Christmas cheer by referring to anyone not saying Merry Christmas as an “angry atheist.”

Karen Webb lives in Moore, OK and is a frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

 

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Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.