Sunday, April 27, 2014

Calls for Donald Sterling to Step Down After He Spouts Racist Balderdash, and Nary Peep from Those Defending Brendan Eich: Can Anyone Say "Double Standard"?

But shouldn’t Andrew Sullivan, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, Bryan Fischer, Tony Perkins, AEI fellow Charles Murray, Legal Insurrection blogger William A. Jacobson, former GOP chair Ken Mehlman, Washington Post blogger Eugene Volokh, Slate’s Will Saletan, and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, among many others, voice support for [Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald] Sterling? 
Shouldn’t they be rushing to his defense? 
They all certainly were defending Brendan Eich just a few weeks ago. Some, in a strange reverse exercise of “hate the sin, love the sinner” act, even this week.

Oh the irony. 
It was only a few weeks ago that America was lecturing the gay community about its intolerance for intolerance, for objecting to a bigot (in fact, an anti-gay activist, Brendan Eich) running a major American corporation (in this case, the Mozilla Foundation). 
Republicans, including gay conservatives, were particularly upset that anyone would judge a man’s job performance, especially the man running a company, by his personal animus towards minorities, many of whom would be his own employees.  So long as he didn’t discriminate against his own employees, he was free to be a bigot, they told us. 
Now, they’re all eating crow. 

They're all eating crow, and they're all totally silent about the glaring double standard at work here —the double standard which declares that it's fine and dandy to espouse anti-gay views while heading a corporation that prides itself on tolerance and inclusivity, while it's not fine and dandy to espouse racist views. Because the anti-gay thing depends, don't you know, on strong religious convictions that reflect deep and wide theological underpinnings in the Christian belief system.

While the racist thing, not so much. Even though the reason that Virginia judge Leon Bazile gave for indicting Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter when they married across racial lines in 1958 was explicitly theological, and echoed centuries of Christian theological assertions about racial matters, as it also echoed millennia of deep and wide Jewish and Christian theological assertions (clearly stated in scripture) about slavery:

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

One set of deep and wide theological assertions counts, we're now being told. The other set doesn't count.

Because, for goodness' sake, the important white men who hold the set of theological assertions having to do with marriage and homosexuality — important white men including Catholic ones sitting on the bench of the highest court of the land — can't possibly be bigots. Not of the ilk of those déclassé bigoted white folks who used to (and often still do) cite the bible and longstanding deep and wide theological assertions to justify their pigmented supremacy over black folks.

Those other important white men who continue to cite sincerely held religious conviction as their reason for denying to gay human beings the same kind of human rights the bigoted and déclassé types have long wanted to deny to black human beings: they're clearly not bigots. Because they're obviously not déclassé.

They're important.

And they deserve special passes for their religious beliefs, when they claim that they're acting out of sincerely held religious conviction, whether those beliefs cause them to claim that contraceptive pills are abortifacients when they clearly aren't, or whether those beliefs cause them to claim that marriage is and always has been about a man and a woman (or a man and a woman and a woman and a woman, etc.), and the gays need not apply.

These men, who are men like us gay conservatives and gay centrists offering them a free pass to continue their bible-spouting bigotry, can't possibly be bigots. Especially not when they fund the think tanks at which many of us work, and throw the lavish parties many of us attend as we hobnob with the movers and shakers of our world, with the folks who really count.

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