Sarah Palin

Bristol Palin/Duck Dynasty; Defending Gay Teacher in Catholic High School

Bristol Palin/Duck Dynasty

Update: spelling correction with the word duck…it really wasn’t intentional. The u and i are side by side and I type fast. So are the f and d. 

Bristol Palin, reality TV personality and daughter of Tea Party radical, Sarah Palin, has a blog on what appears to be a far right web site where she blogs for commercial reasons and hocks her readership with ads that range from those Chicken Soup books to her book. (It’s really a messy blog, as blogs go, and not one that will win any awards.) I don’t know where the book ad link leads because I’d rather not support her. If you click those ads the blogger sometimes gets some kind of compensation, though most people don’t know this, and I didn’t see it disclosed anywhere on the blog. In any event, Bristol Palin wrote a short blog post supporting another reality TV personality, Phil Robertson, from the reality show Duck Dynasty. In Palin’s post she makes claims about free speech and generalities about the LGBT community and I thought I would comment on a few of them briefly.

For those who might not have heard, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty made a few gay hate comments recently and since then videos of previous anti-gay statements have surfaced. You can read more here. Robertson didn’t just come out against gays, at least not in a logical, civil way. He compared gay sex, among other things, to bestiality. If you are an LGBT person or you’re familiar with LGBT people his comments aren’t just offensive. They don’t make sense.

First, Bristol Palin thinks all LGBT people think that everyone should support gays. This is what I mean by generalities, and making assumptions. She thinks we expect every “flippen” person (yes, flippen) to agree with our lifestyle. She also makes the assumption that ALL LGBT people have no respect for what other people believe. Ultimately, she knows very little about the LGBT community and how diverse it is. I’m with my partner twenty-one years and our lifestyle isn’t much different from any other straight couple we know.  In fact, most would think we’re a little dull. We support equal rights and same sex marriage for obvious reasons, and I blog often and write often about them, but we’re far from being activists of any kind. And we don’t expect everyone to agree with us.

Yes, there are gay activists who are just as radical (and amusing) in the opposite direction as Bristol Palin’s mother, Sarah Palin. And those gay radicals don’t always have respect for the opinions of others. I know a few myself. Tony and I have had friendships suffer because of this. But I respect them, too. We’re just not like them, and that’s the way it works with the entire LGBT community. Although we’re all fighting for equal rights, the same equal rights Bristol Palin is allowed to have without even realizing her privileged circumstances, the diversity within the LGBT community is often polarized and LGBT people don’t always agree on everything…just like straight people don’t always agree. I think that’s called normal.

But I don’t want to digress. In another part of Bristol Palin’s blog post she mentions God and the bible, as if she has a claim to religion and faith LGBT people don’t have. But here’s where Palin shows again how little she knows about the LGBT community at large. Religion, spirituality, Christianity, and all other forms of faith are not exclusive to Bristol Palin, straight people only, and the radical Christian right wing of America. I get private e-mails all the time from gay men who are still in the closet telling me how hard it often is for them to get through a church service these days because of the gay hate they hear in church. These are not radical gay activists. These gay men are quiet, humble people without an agenda and no one even knows they are gay. I also know gay priests and ministers who could go verse for verse and line for line with Bristol Palin on the bible.

But I think this line in Palin’s blog post is the most interesting.

I hate how the LGBT community says it’s all about “love” and “equality.”

She “hates.” That’s an important word. That’s also a direct quote from the post and I’m not making it up. Unlike Palin’s blog, mine is non-profit and I have no viable reason to sensationalize. My only goal here is to disabuse a few myths people may or may not have about the LGBT community. Palin could have said she didn’t understand, especially when making reference to the LGBT community as a group of haters. But she used the word “hate” instead. What’s that about?

Toward the end of Palin’s post, she makes reference to an article written by a “homosexual” at Time Magazine. I’m not a huge fan of Time Magazine because of their politics and I haven’t read that article so I can’t comment. But in the end Palin claims she doesn’t agree with everything this “homosexual” writes but she thinks it’s time to stand for free speech. This free speech issue has been going around the Interwebs ever since Phil Robertson made the offensive gay slurs and once again, Palin doesn’t seem to get the basic concept of free speech. In case I forgot to mention it, Bristol Palin is an avowed “heteronormative.” If she’s going to label people as “homosexual” I think she deserves a label, too.

In a simple search, I found this article that seems to sum up free speech about as well written as I’ve ever seen it done. It’s actually titled, The Idiot’s Guide to Free Speech. And I purposely decided to link to this article because it was written before Phil Robertson made the offensive gay slurs and the Palin family started ranting about free speech. When the article was written there was no hidden agenda.

Free speech, according to the article, means this:

As an American, you have the right to say most anything you want to say without being penalized by the government

It continues in more detail. But it also states free speech does NOT mean you can do or say anything without reactions. You are not exempt from “Criticism, Shame, The Right to Anonymity, Mockery, and, again, Consequences.” In other words, you can say what you want and the government can’t come after you (in most cases, not always), but you may face a firestorm afterward. Duck Dynasty star, Phil Robertson, made some of the most hateful comments I’ve ever read about LGBT people and there were consequences. In his case he was suspended from his TV show and most normal people will now dismiss him completely. No one is exempt from this, especially not Bristol Palin or her mother. I’m not exempt from it either, which is why I always choose my words with care.

But the original point of this post wasn’t about free speech. It’s about Bristol Palin making assumptions and generalities about the LGBT community and not really knowing a thing about the community. There are gay Christians, gay Republicans, gay Democrats, gay Jews, and so on. And it’s that kind of diversity in the LGBT community that is always underestimated the most. Phil Robertson didn’t just offend gay activists and left wing political pundits with his offensive free speech, he offended the invisible gay brother/sister who hasn’t come out yet, he offended the gay minister who is terrified to come out, he offended the gay neighbor, friend, boss, employee, and cousin who lives a simple discreet life and minds his/her own business. He also offended the straight people who are close to gay people. And that’s why this “flippen” issue is far more involved than just making general assumptions with the underlying intention of selling a book or some other product, Ms. Palin.  

You can read Bristol Palin’s entire commentary post here. Just don’t click the links on the sidebar.

Defending Gay Teacher in Catholic High School

In a post that I think is directly related to how uninformed heteronormative Bristol Palin really is about gay people, I posted last week about a Catholic high school teacher in a Philadelphia suburb not far from where I live in New Hope who was fired from his teaching job because he filed for a marriage license in New Jersey. Something similar happened in Washington state and now students are offering their support.

Students at a US high school in the state of Washington staged a sit-in after finding out a gay teacher had been fired for marrying his partner. Vice principal and swim coach Mark Zmuda worked for Eastside Catholic High School for approximately a year and a half.

You can read more here. It’s an interesting article, and one that shows how things are changing in more positive ways than the negativity we’ve seen in the past. The Catholic school has every right to fire the teacher, and the students have every right to react to the decision. I wonder if Bristol Palin would classify these students as haters.  

If you’re a Bristol Palin supporter and you want to leave a comment, please don’t bother. You can exercise your right to free speech on your own web site, not mine. This is my world.








Short Hills Carjackers Arrested; More Duck Dynasty & Free Speech

(Update to Duck Dynasty Story Below)

Short Hills Carjackers Arrested

I think this has been all over the news by now, but I’m posting about it because I used to shop where this crime happened all the time, at The Mall At Short Hills, and I set my book, Fangsters, in that part of New Jersey. I’m very familiar with that part of New Jersey and I wasn’t born too far from there. Short Hills is not only an affluent area, but probably the last place anyone would expect something as horrible as a carjacking/murder to happen. But a young man and his small family went to The Mall At Short Hills to shop and they were carjacked and the man was killed in front of his family.

The carjacking occurred just as Friedland and his wife, Jamie Schare Friedland, were ending a shopping trip. Mourners at Friedland’s funeral on Wednesday said he had just opened the door of his SUV for his wife when he was shot.

Friedland had a law degree from Syracuse University and was project manager at his family’s heating and air conditioning and heating company.

They caught the carjackers and one was arrested in Easton, PA, about twenty-five miles north of New Hope on the New Jersey border.

It’s bad enough we don’t feel safe in our cities anymore, now we can’t feel safe in places that were always crime free.
When does it stop? When do we take back our quality of life and say enough?

You can read more here.

More Duck Dynasty & Free Speech

Phil Robertson, who was recently suspended from reality show, Duck Dynasty, for gay hate comments evidently has a history of gay hate speech and his most recent comments in GQ Magazine aren’t isolated to that one particular article. A new video has surfaced with Robertson making even worse comments and more gay hate speech that leaves most normal people shaking their heads in wonder.

In the sermon, Robertson said gays and lesbians are ‘full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless.’

He also 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.’

You can see the video here, and read more. It’s actually a little scary. But what’s even scarier is that the ever controversial political pundit and radical Alaskan Tea Party leader, Sarah Palin, along with some important names within the Republican party like Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, have aligned themselves with Phil Robertson, defended his comments and gay hate speech as free speech, and even went so far as to twist the concept of free speech. Since then, many have been trying to disabuse Palin and Jindal with simple, solid facts.

In this article linked below, it’s explained in simple terms what Sarah Palin lacks in knowledge about free speech (or failed to disclose because she doesn’t think most Americans know any better). I made a brief comment in an earlier post about how free speech is always associated with responsibility, consequences, and reactions. In other words you are free to say whatever you like without government interference, but you’d also better be prepared for the consequences when people don’t agree with your free speech. We have the right to do that…disagree.

As I explained, part of free speech is the ability of others to respond and to express disapproval. Part of free speech is the consequence of bad decisions that are part of any free marketplace.
You can read more here. Although I never agreed with much of what Palin stood for, I used to think she was fairly bright and even honest. I guess the truth always comes out sooner or later. This time by her own admission.

There’s also an open letter to Gov. Bobby Jindal about his support for Phil Robertson and Jindal’s unfortunate comments on free speech. (Side note: It’s amazing how they just assume most of us don’t know any better. Don’t they realize we have all the information at our fingertips?)

The First Amendment to the Constitution does not guarantee the inaliable right to be on a reality-TV show.

It is meant to protect the free speech of American citizens from being silenced by an act of Congress. And A&E is a company–owned in part by other, larger, publicly traded companies. It does not in any way qualify as Congress, or “the government,” or an agent of the state.

It’s a fascinating letter and I highly recommend reading it in full, especially if you don’t know much about free speech.

Once again, in a world that seems to be changing daily, the Republican Party is either hiding the best of what they have, or Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin are as good as it gets in that department. And I’m far from being a political zealot on either end of the spectrum. I’ve never voted straight party line in my life and I’ve always had respect for smart Republicans and Democrats. But I think I’ll pass on both Jinal and Palin after this nonsense.

Update: Ian Bayne, congressional candidate in Illinois, came out (not “as gay”) in support of Phil Robertson on Friday, claiming that Robertson is the Rosa Parks of “our” generation. You can read more here.)

Sarah Palin, Chick-fil-a, and Freedom of Speech

Back in the mid-twentieth century, there was this thing called “integration.” It really sparked a lot of emotions, especially in the south.

A lot of people during that time exercised their first amendment rights and protested against integration. Those people had every right to freedom of speech and to protest, and the photos below prove they took advantage of this. They thought mixing races was morally wrong…much the same way there are people today who think same sex marriage is morally wrong.

It’s interesting to see these people so many years later in photos, while we’re living in a different world…with a mixed race President…thanks to a lot of hard work and, ironically, that same Freedom of Speech.

And it’s even more interesting to see how the Palin family practices their right to Freedom of Speech in the twenty-first century so many years later, by supporting a company that believes same sex marriage is morally wrong. It’s even more ironic (and sad) the way history always repeats itself.

Bonnie Goldstein vs Levi Johnston: Since When is Playgirl Magazine Considered Porn?

I just read an interesting piece, written by Bonnie Goldstein, of Politics Daily, about Levi Johnston. She claims that by posing for Playgirl Magazine, Levi has now fallen from respectable society and entered into the dark, multi-million dollar porn industry.

Wow! Bonnie. PORN?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a fan of Levi Johnston. I think he could have played his cards differently. If I had been him, I would have. But this post isn’t about Levi or Palin or what’s been going on between them. This post is about Bonnie Goldstein referring to Playgirl Magazine as “porn.”

Last time I checked, Playgirl, according to wikipedia, is described as, “The magazine was founded in 1973 during the height of the feminist movement as a response to erotic men’s magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse that featured similar photos of women.” I see the word “erotic” all over the web when I google Playgirl. But I’ve never seen it referred to as porn, on a professional level. Amateurs can think what they want. But there are rules within the industry that define these things. Bonnie Goldstein knows this.

And as far as I know, Levi didn’t even pose for full frontal nudity. So what makes his photos porn? And, Bonnie didn’t forget to put in links show Levi’s Playgirl photos. If she was so against the “porn” photos, you’d think she would have left out the links so she wouldn’t offend her readers.

I’m sensitive about this issue because I write erotica and erotic romance. And there is a difference between porn and erotica. Porn is just sex for the sake of sex. There’s no story and there are no layers of emotion. And erotica is an actual story, where the sex moves the story and the romance forward, and there should be many layers of emotion. And if you remove the sex from erotica, the story should be able to stand on its own.

I also know there is such a thing as “journalistic porn.” And that’s what Bonnie Goldstein’s piece is: absolute journalistic porn. If she didn’t like what Levi Johnston did in Playgirl, she could have written the piece differently to get her point across without calling Playgirl Magazine porn. But then she wouldn’t have gotten anyone riled up over it. And this, I am certain, was her intention. It’s very transparent. Writers like Bonnie Goldstein are only interested in getting attention. They write misinformed pieces for innocent people who don’t know the difference. And they get away with it.