On Tolerance, Disapproval, Respect, Acceptance, and Living Your Own Damned Life

So I got into a bit of a kerfuffle over this post on HKB.

Not exactly a kerfuffle, since the guy involved is an old friend, a really good guy — who cares about his gay friends and his straight ones as well.  He wasn’t being combative, really.  I think he just really missed my point. Which is not surprising given the way the argument’s been framed for a decade.

Here it is:

“It is not enough for the Left to live and let live. You must change your mind. You must not hold disfavored views. You must be the right sort of person. If you’re not, you will be muzzled.”

This is what has me worried.  Not dudes lying with dudes and chicks lying with chicks.

read more here.

To which I added this:

If you say anything that can possibly be construed as being “meh” on the practicality of gay marriage (which was, in practical terms, already “legal”*) and just not agreeing with the route taken by the activists, people will assume you hate gays and want to keep them from being happy.

So you can’t even have a proper discussion about it. The discussion was bypassed because, Shut Up, and the bullying worked on 5 justices.

*I’ve asked several people in the past several years just what is it, in real terms, that gays are not being allowed to do? Can they have sex with each other and not be thrown in jail? Can they have a ceremony that is to everyone there a real wedding ceremony? Can they call themselves “married”? Can their friends and anyone who is sympathetic with them call them married? Are they not being served in restaurants? Can they not spend the night in motels and hotels? Are they being turned away from hospitals? Just what, exactly, is “illegal” about it? That they can’t get a “license” to do these things? Why the hell do they need a license? (Why the hell do *I* need a license for that matter?)

Hell, they could apparently even force people to bake them cakes and take pictures of them if those bakers and photographers had moral objections to participating in the event.

No, it has *ALWAYS* been, for the activists at least, about *forced* acceptance — NOT tolerance. Tolerance is, “meh, I don’t care.” Acceptance is, “yes, this is good and right.” What they’ve wanted all along is to force everyone to say “yes, this is good and right” by force of law.

This is what is wrong with it. Has nothing to do with the Bible, or what kinds of “marriage” arrangements have existed in various cultures throughout history. It’s about government coercion.

This was the wrong way to do it. They already effectively had what they SAID they wanted, which is tolerance, and even acceptance by a good chunk of the population.

Just to make sure we’re clear on what I’m saying and what I’m not saying… read my actual post again. Is my problem with gay people, or with leftists? I think I’m pretty clear on that.

But because of how the entire argument has been successfully framed by the leftists, people cannot separate criticism of the court decision, or apprehension on what is to come without assuming they hate gay people, or at the very least don’t care about them.  If you express sympathy for the majority of Americans and frankly, people in the world that Marriage is between people of opposite sexes and with very few exceptions in history — always has been… when it’s been demanded that they toss their worldview out the window to accommodate this one … you’re just a hater.

It bugged me more this time because it was a friend and you want your friends to at least understand your position.  It was pretty clear we were talking about two different things.

In the discussion he asked if I knew any gay people.  I do.  I think the assumption is that I had some sort of misconception that they were all combative and out to destroy society.  Again, because of the assumptions injected by the Lakoffian language strategy of the left.

So as I lay there thinking (I do that a lot.  It’s not good for your sleep habits) trying to come up with a way to break out of the assumptions that come with the language constraints that have been successfully imposed on the subject, I suddenly (thankfully) came up with a perfect example that was right under my nose, literally. I hadn’t thought of it because I don’t dwell on it. I don’t feel victimized by it.

Here’s the deal.

In our eyes, my wife and I have been married for 23 years. In my parents’ eyes, due to their religious beliefs, we’re not married at all. You see, she is a divorcee, and there was no annulment. They wouldn’t come to our wedding. I knew they wouldn’t before I even invited them, but I invited them anyway, telling them I completely understood if they did not want to come.

Now, they still have us out to the house. We visit. We talk. We have a good time. They don’t hate me. They don’t hate her. Matter of fact they love her. Dad made it a point to pull me aside several months ago and tell me so.

But … if we were to spend the night there, we would be asked to sleep in separate beds. Because in their eyes, we are not married. I understand and respect their beliefs. I do not demand, much less ask that they accommodate us. Similarly, they wouldn’t come visit us in our home because of our living arrangement. They disapprove. They don’t condone it. I respect their beliefs. I do not feel ill treated. I do not feel humiliated. I do not feel “lesser”. That is what tolerance and respect looks like.

You see, disapproval is not the same thing as hate. Tolerance does not mean acceptance. In this story there is love, tolerance, disapproval, and respect. They are not mutually exclusive. The leftists have purposely, in a very Orwellian 1984-ish New Speak way (in the real world it would be more like Lakoffian way) — mainly through the media have shaped the way we even talks about this by choosing the language with which we talk about these things – and people have gotten very confused.  It’s no accident.

Keep in mind I myself am not sitting here saying gays should or shouldn’t be married, or that they’re not married. What I’m saying is that this will not be enough for the leftists. They are out to destroy, and this was just one issue they have usurped to help get that done.

There are gay leftists. And there are straight leftists who will wear the mantle to help destroy people they don’t like — namely the good people who love everyone but do believe that certain behavior is wrong, or that marriage is only between men and women. After all, it’s not exactly a radical view.

Tolerance is a two-way street. My prediction is that it will only go one way. Or else.

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19 thoughts on “On Tolerance, Disapproval, Respect, Acceptance, and Living Your Own Damned Life

  1. Nate Winchester

    I’ve asked several people in the past several years just what is it, in real terms, that gays are not being allowed to do?

    Yeah, whenever I heard “gay marriage is illegal” I couldn’t help but laugh because I had this image of a SWAT team busting into a fabulously decorated room arresting the grooms and all in attendance. And then wondered why there was never any account of such a thing (and some of the “actual” hardships I had heard of (hospitals etc) accounts I had heard of struck me as either dubious, or no different than what straight people have to deal with).

    The fight was lost when we all started arguing over what marriage is. It should have been a debate about why do things need government approval. Just because the gov doesn’t give “license” doesn’t mean it’s illegal (there’s a lot of things I do every day without government license). The REAL loss in all of this is spirit of the american people that we don’t need government approval to do things.

  2. philmon Post author

    Frankly, I was so turned off by this phenomenon that I changed my HKB profile pic and cover photo to black and white in reaction. The bandwagon (especially Valerie Jarrett’s insensitive White House lighting) and everybody from Ebay to whomever flying rainbows just turned me off completely. How culturally tone-deaf.

    1. Severian

      I’ve actually cancelled my Facebook account for the same reason.

      You know, historian Robert Conquest wrote a book about Stalin that the left really didn’t like. When his publishers wanted to reissue it after the fall of the Soviet Union, they asked Conquest to suggest a new title. He thought for a moment, then replied “the new title should be I Told You So, You Fucking Fools.

      We’re gonna be saying that a LOT here in the next decade or so.

    2. nightfly

      Regarding all this avatar-waving – remember when ISIS and Boko Haram started their most recent anti-Christian purges? Half my Twitter TL changed their avatars to include either Christian symbols, or the arabic character that the jihadi were using to identify Christian homes.

      IOW, solidarity with the victims, solidarity with freedom, while it was most under attack.

      This “embrace the rainbow” deal is the opposite of that, waiting until the decision comes down and then bravely, bravely siding with the winners. But where were all those people five years ago? Heck, five weeks ago?

      I have no doubt that if sharia was completely established here, the same cast of characters would make some public show of siding with the oppression.

      1. Severian

        I have no doubt that if sharia was completely established here, the same cast of characters would make some public show of siding with the oppression.

        Oh, no doubt. In fact, it’d be much faster than that — if shariah seemed to be on the cusp of winning, they’d turban themselves in a heartbeat. Orwell wrote a scathing description of these people — couched, as so often with Orwell, as a book review.

        He notes that James Burnham, the author under discussion, “is predicting a continuation of the thing that is happening.” Writing in 1940, he predicts that the Nazis will win the war. In 1941, with the Germans at the gates of Moscow, he predicts that the USSR will be dismantled. In 1944, when the Red Army was overrunning Eastern Europe, he predicted the Russian conquest of the world.

        Orwell’s diagnosis:

        Now the tendency to do this is not simply a bad habit, like inaccuracy or exaggeration, which one can correct by taking thought. It is a major mental disease, and its roots lie partly in cowardice and partly in the worship of power, which is not fully separable from cowardice.

        He goes on to say that

        Power worship blurs political judgement because it leads, almost unavoidably, to the belief that present trends will continue. Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible. If the Japanese have conquered south Asia, then they will keep south Asia for ever, if the Germans have captured Tobruk, they will infallibly capture Cairo; if the Russians are in Berlin, it will not be long before they are in London: and so on. This habit of mind leads also to the belief that things will happen more quickly, completely, and catastrophically than they ever do in practice. The rise and fall of empires, the disappearance of cultures and religions, are expected to happen with earthquake suddenness, and processes which have barely started are talked about as though they were already at an end. Burnham’s writings are full of apocalyptic visions. Nations, governments, classes and social systems are constantly described as expanding, contracting, decaying, dissolving, toppling, crashing, crumbling, crystallising, and, in general, behaving in an unstable and melodramatic way. The slowness of historical change, the fact that any epoch always contains a great deal of the last epoch, is never sufficiently allowed for. Such a manner of thinking is bound to lead to mistaken prophecies, because, even when it gauges the direction of events rightly, it will miscalculate their tempo. Within the space of five years Burnham foretold the domination of Russia by Germany and of Germany by Russia. In each case he was obeying the same instinct: the instinct to bow down before the conqueror of the moment, to accept the existing trend as irreversible

        Intellectuals, in other words — or those that desperately think of themselves as intellectuals — knuckle under much faster than the general population. And it’s obvious that our wannabe-intellectuals see the world solely in terms of immediate, present power — where the rest of us see the Obergefell decision as a horrible precendent, throwing the Constitution aside for the temporary badfeelz of at most 7% of the population, “””progressives””” see it as an exercise of pure power, and love it as such.

        Which is why I keep saying, with complete confidence, that the “””progressives””” of 2015 will be the stormtroopers of 2025….. but everybody hates it when I talk about that.

        1. Gary

          Intellectuals, in other words–or those that desperately think of themselves as intellectuals–knuckle under much faster than the general population.

          From the Orwell quote:
          It is a major mental disease, and its roots lie partly in cowardice and partly in the worship of power, which is not fully separable from cowardice.

          Maybe I’m showing my age here, but when I was in middle- and high-school, the last thing you’d want to be known as was a toadying wimp: an ass-kisser, a sycophant, one who grovels before those with power and licks their boots. A stooge, a suck-up, a brown-noser, an apple-polisher, a flunky …” You’d be taunted with such insults and held in contempt.

          So I’m flabbergasted when I see people actually flaunt in public what is, to my mind, disgraceful behavior. I have a younger friend who sometimes exhibits such tendencies. And when I mock him about it, he doesn’t seem to get it, that this kind of behavior is shameful.

          Maybe I missed something in the recent past. Has it become cool to be a bootlicker?

          1. Nate Winchester

            I don’t know how much I agree, but probably because we more need to define terms.

            People still seem to need to believe themselves as bold rebels. But as Jonah likes to joke about college campuses “administration, teachers, fellow students, even hollywood, are all left – so who are you really rebelling against?”

            The question always seems to be: how self-aware are they? I don’t know if many kids are proud bootlickers as much as the boot wearers have framed themselves as the scrappy underdogs.

            That seems to be the real lulz nowadays. About half out there still believe it’s all cishet, white, religious, conservative males in charge of everything, while the other half (especially the up and coming generation) are seeing and realizing that the old order hasn’t been relevant for a long time.

            Or as razorfist put it when talking about Alan Moore: [a] preoccupation with snubbing his nose at perceived authority figures who haven’t been in power since the year 19 f_ing 67.

  3. philmon Post author

    “Or as razorfist put it when talking about Alan Moore: [a] preoccupation with snubbing his nose at perceived authority figures who haven’t been in power since the year 19 f_ing 67.”

    Ok, I’m filing that one away for future use.

    1. Nate Winchester

      You should watch some razorfist sometimes. He’s un-PC and comes up with some great quips.

      OK, just watch his Death Wish and Dirty Harry reviews, that’s pretty much his epitome of anti-hippy humor right there.

      1. Severian

        I wish I could remember who said it, but somebody put it very well: Our “””progressives””” are still trying to progress from 1914 to 1915. Their attitude is so old, it used to be expressed in French: epater la bourgeoisie.

        If I had the time and resources to research it, I’d love to test Gary’s proposition that “it has somehow become cool to be a bootlicker” against the rise of soccer mom-ism and the gentrification of schools. My guess is that these kids, the Tracy Flicks, have no idea what the word “bootlicker” could possibly mean. They don’t grok the concept, because at least two generations have been raised on the idea that Conformity = Rebellion.

        As they’re shuttled from AP class to soccer practice to violin lessons to debate club meetings to summer camps to SAT prep tutoring, they have no exposure to anything else. So they keep writing their little SJW homilies for every assignment, sticking it to The Man, whomever he might be. Question Authority? Great idea! My teacher says Authority doesn’t want gay people to get married. So when she gives me an A for writing an impassioned defense of gay marriage, I really know I’ve Questioned Authority!

  4. Gary

    Better late than never.

    Nate wrote (7/1 @2:04pm):

    The question always seems to be: how self-aware are they? I don’t know if many kids are proud bootlickers as much as the boot wearers have framed themselves as the scrappy underdogs.

    Severian wrote (7/1 @5:52pm):

    They don’t grok the concept [bootlicker], because at least two generations have been raised on the idea that Conformity = Rebellion.

    I think the above two comments hit the essence of it: the left has convinced them that they’re “scrappy underdogs” rebelling against the powerful, when they’re actually slavishly licking the boots of the establishment left. This is a neat trick the left has pulled, pretending to be victims and underdog rebels while pulling so many of the levers of power and bullying those who dare to disagree–or even show insufficient enthusiastic acceptance (as philmon explained).
    —————-

    (And BTW, I wrote:
    Maybe I missed something in the recent past. Has it become cool to be a bootlicker?

    I threw that in at the last moment as a tongue-in-cheek question, a silly joke to me because IMHO the idea that ass-kissing or bootlicking could be “cool” is ridiculous.)

    I have a strange, dry sense of humor that leans to the absurd, which doesn’t always come off in text. But I can’t stand appending smiley-faces, which to me is like explaining a joke. Which, as we all know, is futile.

  5. Gary

    A Long Recap

    I wondered how we got off onto this weird tangent about bootlickers, so I wanted to retrace our footsteps, tie a few things together and possibly even drag this thing back to philmon’s theme of tolerance and acceptance.

    We started down this road with nightfly’s observation about those who wait “until the decision comes down and then bravely, bravely [side] with the winners.” This led to Severian quoting Orwell’s “scathing review” of Burnham’s book and then to my comment about sycophants and bootlickers. The Orwell quote included the following:

    Power worship blurs political judgement because it leads, almost unavoidably, to the belief that present trends will continue. Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible.

    Orwell elaborates further on this point, but doesn’t explain how or why “power worship” does this, so I’ll give it a try. Those who worship power are awed by simple brute force and believe it trumps all else. This naturally leads to the tendency to think whoever currently has the upper hand in power will surely triumph–and then sweep forward with an accelerating series of victories, because each triumph makes the winner stronger and the loser weaker, creating a vicious cycle of increasingly speedy and more decisive victories for the more powerful side:

    Within the space of five years Burnham foretold the domination of Russia by Germany and of Germany by Russia. In each case he was obeying the same instinct: the instinct to bow down before the conqueror of the moment, to accept the existing trend as irreversible.

    So this simple-minded worship of brute force leads to the kind of foolish predictions Orwell criticized Burnham for making. But there’s another aspect at work here, the fact that people who worship power almost certainly have few or no principles (or rather, their single principle is “might makes right”)–and vice-versa.* Absent moral principles, why would one feel ashamed of anything, even the most nauseating display of self-abasing bootlicking? In fact, if appeasing raw power is the only consideration, then bowing down, kissing ass, and licking the boots of Power just makes sense.
    ———

    The person with principles has a solid foundation on which to base his sense of self-worth. Those who believe only in momentary feelings and raw power have no such foundation, just the fickle transmutations of emotion and the vicissitudes of power’s ebb and flow. The inner-directed, principled person can judge his own self-worth and thus does not require constant reassurance from without. The power-worshipper, on the other hand, is in a continual state of insecurity and thus craves unceasing praise and reassurance from the people around him. And if he fails to get it, he may become rather unpleasant and throw a tantrum like a child, trying to coerce “acceptance” from others–which is pathetic and absurd, since “coerced acceptance” cannot be real acceptance; the idea is a self-contradiction.

    I think this (the insecurity caused by a lack of principles) explains the left’s obsession with affirmative acceptance and their preference for phony “celebration” (of their cherished groups) over “mere” tolerance. The former is the unprincipled, feelings-based “coerced acceptance” of the childish, chronically insecure person who is more concerned about his fleeting emotions than the freedom of individuals to think and speak as they please. Tolerance is the principled reaction of mature adults to those who are different and not necessarily to their liking, but are granted their right to think and be who they are as long as they don’t interfere with the rights of others.**

    The situation with philmon’s parents illustrates the superiority of principled tolerance over unprincipled, bogus “acceptance.” Philmon’s parents don’t agree with the conditions of his marriage, but tolerate and respect his right to do as he sees fit. Philmon disagrees with his parents’ attitude towards his marriage, but tolerates and respects their judgement. Both parties honor the authority of the other to govern their own home as they wish.

    No one has tried to coerce philmon’s parents into “celebrating” the conditions of his marriage, and no one has tried to force philmon to “celebrate” his parents’ attitudes about his marriage. There has only been tolerance on both sides, a tolerance that honors the freedom and individuality of both sides, creating a climate in which genuine respect, and even love, can thrive.
    ——–

    * Those without principles inevitably revert to the “default morality,” might makes right, since brute force always asserts itself when unrestrained by moral principles. The unprincipled often just wing it, claiming they are “following their heart,” but this is just a shabby rationalization for not having a reasoned framework of principles to guide thought and action.

    ** Two ironies behind the left’s childish approach are worth noting. First, “coerced acceptance” is an oxymoron and the attempt to enforce it denigrates the right of individuals to think as they and be as they see fit, thus provoking resentment–the opposite of the happy coexistence they allegedly seek. Second, for all their superficial blather about celebration and acceptance of others, the left is often prepared to use brute force to achieve their ends, as in the case of Brendan Eich, Memories Pizza, speech codes and coercive Supreme Court decisions. “Be accepting, or else” doesn’t sound terribly accepting to me, and it reveals the power-worshipping totalitarian impulse often noted of the left.

  6. Teri Pittman

    In Washington state, several years ago, voters passed an initiative that gave gays all the legal rights of marriage. It also conferred those rights on couples over 65 that were trying to keep their social security benefits. Two years later, since all the rights of marriage were not enough, voters passed a law legalizing same sex marriage. They converted all gay domestic partnerships into state marriages. And that was immediately followed by the state attorney general going after the baker that could not do a wedding cake for her gay customers (but helped them find someone who would). I can’t think of any clearer example of what gay activists have in mind.

  7. philmon Post author

    I’m gonna add one more piece to what our official Cognative Dissonance Czar (pfft! snerk! Couldn’t help it 😉 ) said above, and maybe it will tie it all together.

    I think there is a lot of projection in left-wing politics. That is, they project their tactics and motives onto others, and they also project certain things on themselves.

    On the power aspect, I don’t think it’s just a matter of worshiping power, it’s WHY they worship power. If I align my morals with, as Bin Laden put it, “The Strong Horse”, then every time “The Strong Horse” wins, my morals are validated, and I get a surge of pride in my righteousness. Which is probably the virus that causes Morgan’s “GoodPerson Fever“. Not only do I project their power onto myself, I feel more righteous.

    1. Gary

      If I align my morals with, as Bin Laden put it, “The Strong Horse”, then every time “The Strong Horse” wins, my morals are validated, and I get a surge of pride in my righteousness.

      This didn’t occur to me, but would have to agree that this is a major motivation for siding with “The Strong Horse.” Another factor is Chickenshit Morality, the fear of getting caught on the losing side. (Although I should note that switching sides would almost certainly cause a severe, and possibly fatal, case of Cognitive Dissonance.)

      Re Goodperson Fever: the part of my comment beginning with “The person with principles has a solid foundation on which to base his sense of self-worth.”, has some similarities with Morgan’s Goodperson Fever, for example:

      Goodperson Fever (n.) is an obsessive-compulsive disorder involving the demonstration of certain positive attributes to strangers, for purposes of self-validation.

      There is very little that can be done to treat Goodperson Fever, since ignoring it doesn’t make it go away, and providing the validation that is so desperately craved by the patient, just makes things worse. Experts say there are lots of things we can do to prevent it though. Some significant responsibilities for potential victims in the childhood years, will give them an opportunity to measure their self-worth from within and therefore mitigate the need to go seeking such validation from total or near-total strangers later on.
      —–

      Interestingly, there’s also this in the Goodperson Fever description:

      Those who are alive today, therefore, are descended from the sycophants who managed to straddle that illogical line: …

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