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Language, people. Mind your language!

I see this headline:

At least as many voters want religious freedom as marriage equality [1].

Sounds good. Religious freedom sounds good. Marriage equality sounds good. Both sides sound reasonable. How to decide? So difficult. So very very difficult.

But … really?

We know what marriage equality means. Same sex marriages should have the same legal standing as other sex ones. That seems to say what it means and mean what it says. So far so good.

How about religious freedom? In context, what they’re talking about is permission not to recognize other people’s gay marriages. They want to treat others according to their own religious beliefs. To, for instance, not rent to a gay couple. Or quite possibly not employ them.

But religious freedom refers to you living according to your own religion (within the bounds of civil law). Forcing others to live according to your beliefs is the opposite of religious freedom.

Calling it “religious freedom” is a shameless attempt to drape coercion in the respectability of civil rights.

And assisting the shell game by parroting the self-serving terminology is aiding and abetting the deception.

Being a reporter or opinion writer means being as objective as you can, and it doesn’t mean acting as a stenographer for every interest group’s flimflam for their agenda.

Call things by their right names. Religionist coercion is anything but religious freedom.

Regurgitating deceptive names is the same nonsense that has allowed people to call themselves pro-life when they seem totally uninterested in helping anyone to actually live. After a few decades of that newspeak, de jure forced pregnancy is almost back.

These things matter. Words matter.

Truth is not lies and lies are not truth. Until we start using language as if it means something, the slide into meaningless bullshit [2] will only accelerate.

6 Comments (Open | Close)

6 Comments To "Language, people. Mind your language!"

#1 Comment By Earlynerd On 02 Dec, 2017 @ 17:16

Okay, I just can’t help myself.

Your post points out in clear simple language just how religion is used to give a moral gloss to overt bigotry.

There is another example that I think is relevant. Religion, within the recent past, gave permission for a bigotry that is at least overtly unacceptable today: racism. The Southern Baptists until a few decades ago held that God had created the races as immutably different and that racial equality went against God’s will.

They have since recanted and apologized, but a few years after that made it a tenet of their religion that God said pretty much the same thing about women. Sexual inequality is part of their creed today.

The Mormons until recently held the position that non-whites were descendants of a ill-favored tribe of Israel, and could not be members of the Mormon Church for that reason. This Atlantic article touches on that, and is as well a sickening illustration of the completely oblivious sexism typical of the American left:

So, point one: religion has not been permitted in recent times to enable racism.

Point two: THERE ARE NO FEMALE-SUPREMACIST RELIGION. Sorry for shouting, but this is utterly key. I’ve said it I don’t know how many times and in how many places, almost all of them woman run forums, but the almost universal reaction is to instinctively deflect and ignore this.

Until a religion exists that gives women the same unjust lifelong power over men that the Catholic, Mormon, Southern Baptist and Islamic religions give men over women – even one single religion with the political power that these minority governed religions have – any laws protecting religious freedom automatically, legally and overtly lessen women’s rights as citizens and as human beings in this country. The inclusion of some religions in hate crime statutes and coverage under Section 1981, where women were and are excluded, has already done this overtly – long before the so-called Religious Rights Restoration act and Hobby Lobby.

The boys on the Left, as well as a fair number of gullible girls, have been erasing Islam’s deadly sexism for decades, so that it now has the same coveted status the Catholic Church has enjoyed for almost a century here: protests against the harmful policies both these religions have carried out against women are uniformly met with shrieks of racism and bigotry *against organizations whose known laws are overtly and murderously sexist*.

If there were one single religion that could claim Federal protection for women choosing to hurt men, take over their bodies, force their service and ensure their silence, for all the days of their lives, you bet that “religious freedom” would fade overnight from the political landscape. But there isn’t. Even the religions for whom women’s equality is now part of their dogma are models of peaceful coexistence and delicate restraint in matters of legal or illegal interference in American law. Their power to correct this has been nil.

I must point out that I am NOT advocating for any female-supremacist religion. I am saying that the fact that no such religion exists is the mechanism by which male-supremacist religions use American law to enforce their murderous dogma on American women.

I know it’s rude to post such a long comment and I appreciate your forbearance. There seems to be nowhere else that even sees religious discrimination against women – much less sees it as a dangerous part of law and politics in this country that must and should be corrected.

#2 Comment By quixote On 06 Dec, 2017 @ 19:05

Not rude at all, Earlynerd. I love long thoughtful comments.

I have a hard time understanding the obliviousness to sexism. Religion used to excuse all kinds of bigotry is like the biggest DUH! ever.

Look at the caste system in India. “Religious.” Slavery? “Religious.” Women as handmaids? How goddy! Etc etc etc. The only one still operating at full force is the anti-women one, but I still don’t get why it’s so invisible. And why there are *any* female orthodox Jews, orthodox Hindus, conservative Catholics, fundies, again etc etc etc.

Of course, I also don’t get why there are any men there either. You’d think anybody with a drop of moral sense would be completely squicked out by groups promoting body slaves.

Speaking of which, Alabama is blowing my mind. That’s *close*. Between a depraved pervert and somebody who fights for justice, and it’s *close*. Un-effing-believable. It’s giving me combat flashbacks to last fall.

#3 Comment By Earlynerd On 06 Dec, 2017 @ 21:21

Thank you for not minding :>

The only one still operating at full force is the anti-women one, but I still don’t get why it’s so invisible.

I’m convinced this is because bigotry against women is -the- most useful prejudice that exists for white men. White men still ultimately control almost everything in this country, especially the media – the mechanism that most determines what is acceptable and what is not.

The media have let every other bigotry pass from respectability, even including those that have the closest connection with enforcing women’s caste as men’s acted-on objects: homosexuality and other relinquishings of men’s coveted subject status. Not without a fight, not without their fingernail marks still visible from where they were dragged into this suddenly fair stance.

But they did it, rather than own up to sexism. Which just happens to deliver to those men an economically bound house servant, child producer, child raiser, sexual servant and ego enhancer – all of which those men still expect from women today.

Not to mention the elimination of 50% of competition for their jobs. What’s a piddly 5% of competition from black men or another 5% from Latino men compared to that?

So the men of the media parade their progressivism and make sure that all men in America can still claim at least one human being as their caste bound servant: their woman.

I checked back in not just to see if I been banned for verboseness, but also to ask: would you consider posting at Widdershins?

This isn’t on behalf of anyone there. I’ve just reread some of your stellar posts from 2008 and I think the blog would benefit immensely from such a staunch pro-woman voice. Madamab has never compromised (in my view) on feminist principles, but given her workload, hasn’t been able to keep it up. I’m way too much of a polemicist to contribute (see, e.g.: [4]), but I think you’d be great.

#4 Comment By quixote On 07 Dec, 2017 @ 13:12

Yes, that’s my theory too. It’s pretty easy to be gay, trans, and everything tolerant because the majority of people don’t have anyone who fits the categories in their lives.

But women? Hold on a second. I might have to do my own dishes if I go there. Whoa! Nothing is worse than that. Quick, look over there, completely raw paleo cannibals being dissed!

Getting rid of 50% of the competition is also a real and rarely articulated thing. Did you happen to see this article from March, [5]

And many many thanks for the kind words! As you can see on this blog, I’m sometimes AWOL for months at a time — especially these days I’m suffering from major bouts of what’s-the-point — so I kind of hesitate to inflict such flakiness on others. But I did have a rant about free speech I was thinking about sending their way … :dubiousness:

#5 Comment By Earlynerd On 07 Dec, 2017 @ 13:30

Maybe just a guest rant 🙂 ?

“Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel.”

Your Sweden link proves her right. The higher paid workforce is filled with mediocre man and (relative) female Einsteins.

#6 Comment By quixote On 08 Dec, 2017 @ 17:44

Turns out [6] for exactly what I’m talking about in the post:

“In diplomacy, this is known as semantic infiltration: if the other fellow can get you to use his words, he wins.”