Notwithstanding the distaste of my editor, National Review did at least publish my column on "Duck Dynasty". Apparently, The Orange County Register chose not to - presumably because a piece on the narrowing bounds of acceptable public discourse was deemed to be beyond the bounds of acceptable public discourse.
But perhaps Orange County readers didn't need to see it. After all, my August column for the paper prefigured all the issues that came into play in the Phil Robertson showdown:
But, putting aside arguments over the nature of marital union, the legalization of gay marriage will empower a lot more "vigilance" from all the right-thinking people over everybody else.
Mr. Mutchnick's comparison of the word "homosexual" with "Negro" gives the game away: Just as everything any conservative says about anything is racist, so, now, it will also be homophobic.
And so it has proved. GLAAD's spokesgay grasped as much. When the backlash against the GLAADhanding began, he retreated in TV interviews to complaining that Robertson's memories of the southern blacks he knew in his youth were "racist". People are not, yet, not quite, ready to see the gay card played as wildly as the race card, but it's in the same hand. Back in August, the offending party was, of all people, Jeremy Irons, who like Phil had made the mistake of giving his interviewer an honest answer to an unsought question on matters gay - and immediately prompted headlines about his "anti-gay rant":
I wouldn't say he was ranting. He was languidly drawling, as is his snooty Brit wont, and fighting vainly the old ennui, as if he would rather be doing anything than another tedious media interview. Indeed, he even took the precaution of averring that he didn't "have a strong feeling either way."
You sick bigot theocrat hater! Not having a strong feeling is no longer permitted. The Diversity Celebrators have their exquisitely sensitive antennae attuned for anything less than enthusiastic approval.
As for religion:
Very quickly, traditional religious teaching on homosexuality will be penned up within church sanctuaries, and "faith-based" ancillary institutions will be crowbarred into submission.
Hence Barack Obama and the Democrats' marked rhetorical preference for "freedom of worship" rather than "freedom of religion". The latter informs your entire life, the former is an hour on Sunday morning - after which you exit the premises and re-submit to the one-party state's ruling ideology:
Irons is learning, as Carrie Prejean learned a while back, that "liberals" aren't interested in your opinion, or even your sincere support, but only that you understand that there's one single, acceptable answer. We don't teach kids to memorize historic dates or great poetry anymore, but we do insist they memorize correct attitudes and regurgitate them correctly when required to do so in public...
Much of the progressive agenda – on marriage, immigration, and much else – involves not winning the argument but ruling any debate out of bounds.
As I've said, my editor at National Review and apparently at The Orange County Register are no bloody use in these battles. Every time you allow the thought-enforcers to add the scalp of a Jeremy Irons or a Phil Robertson to their trophy room, you're licensing the next sacrificial victim. Enough.