There is much in the world to offend men and God. Angels too.
And wimps. And Feminists. And lefties of all shades, especially homosexuals who may be left or middling but rarely right. And people of colour, except if that colour is pink. Pink people are Universally offensive and cannot be offended.
Yes the world is a difficult place and there is much wrong with it.
You might think, as the folk who frequent the Tavern do, that much crime, entertainment and politics is offensive.
There are laws and punishment for one but the other two reign unfettered.
There are some ideas that are quite offensive, as well as being wrong. Mind you, much of what passes as thought offends a clear thinker.
Much of it we cannot do much about without causing offence in turn.
Offence and being offended is part of the human condition.
But just as with politics and entertainment it is not essential for something to be illegal to cause offence.
Take the Tattooed chest above.
It was deemed 'offensive' by some woman who complained to Facebook where it had been posted; and Facebook took it down.
We are expected to 'like' the decision to remove it.
A woman didn't like it and so we have to like the prohibition. The person who posted it up had a reason but that was ignored. We have to 'approve' the decision that it was offensive.
BUT I do not want to approve.
I do NOT want to be implicated in the decisions of other people, particularly on matters of which I strongly disapprove.
Neither does Kevin Williamson who dropped by for a pint. He points out where it gets far worse. And he stresses the 'progressive' strategy of implicating us all in their anti-human aims.
Laws are being passed and taxes are being levied to force changes to our society that are destructive.
The Right Not to Be Implicated
“Everything not forbidden is compulsory,” or will be soon enough under our “liberal” regime.
The Left would not have it that way: Homosexual behaviour is not to be (just) tolerated, or homosexual unions recognized under law — rather, homosexuality is to constitute a special class of blessedness, and the failure to celebrate it is to be a sin, which in the liberal mind must be identical to a crime.
It is not enough for religious conservatives, such as the ones who own Hobby Lobby, to tolerate the legal sale and use of things such as the so-called morning-after pill — rather, they are expected to provide them at their own expense.
Abortions are not (just) to be legal, but legal and funded by the general community, with those funds extracted at gunpoint if necessary.
This is not merely, or even mainly, a question of economics. A monthly dose of emergency contraception (which seems like a lot) paid entirely out-of-pocket would run less than the typical cell-phone bill.
One does not suspect that Americans would find it very difficult to locate gay-friendly firms in the wedding-planning business. The typical first-trimester abortion costs less than an entry-level iPad — hardly an insurmountable economic barrier for a procedure that is, if we take the pro-choice side at their word, absolutely fundamental to a woman’s health and happiness.
The economics are incidental. The point is not to ensure that we all pay, but that we are all involved.
The Left may be morally illiterate,
but it is not blind.
The effects of the pathologically delusional tendency that once styled itself “the sexual revolution” are everywhere to be seen. In the 1960s and 1970s, our cultural discourse was dominated by the benefits side of that revolution’s ledger; since then, we’ve had sufficient time to have a good long look at the cost side, too, and the tradeoffs are more severe than our bell-bottomed Aquarian prophets had predicted.
It reads like an Old Testament genealogy:
Sexual chaos begat family chaos,
family chaos begat social chaos,
social chaos begat economic chaos,
economic chaos begat political chaos.
And so the generations unfold.
The relevant political reality is that those costs and benefits are not distributed equally: The benefits of license accrue mainly to the well-off and educated, who have the resources to make the most of their enjoyment of them;
the costs accrue mainly to the poor, who cannot afford to live, economically or morally, beyond their means.
Kate Moss can afford to be a single mother in her $20 million London townhouse. Not everybody can. Our so-called liberals find themselves in the queasy position of having created a moral culture that has destroyed millions of lives and many communities among the very disadvantaged people they claim to care most about, but they are incapable of criticizing a culture of license that none of them can imagine living without, even if they themselves are square as houses in their sexual habits.
The result of that is, if not guilt, at least a nagging awareness that this all turns out to be a great deal more morally complex than our liberationist-latitudinarian forebears had imagined.
The way to assuage the collective liberal conscience is to institutionalize and normalize liberal social preferences:
There is nobody to be blamed for social anarchy if that’s just the way things are. And if everybody is involved — as taxpayers or as employers providing health insurance — then everybody is implicated.
They are a little like those addicts who are uncomfortable in the social presence of abstainers, taking that abstention as a rebuke, whether it is intended as one or not.
In the United Kingdom, the government-run hospitals are burning the corpses of aborted children for heat,
Now, I don't know about you but such a practice not only offends me but disgusts me.and we are all expected to get cozy by the fire.
It very likely offends millions of taxpayers in Britain too. But the taxpayer is obliged to fund it !!
The Hobby Lobby case is in part about private property and whether we are to have it. If we hold capital only at the sufferance of the politico-sexual whims of those who hold power, then we do not really hold capital at all — we only rent property from our rulers, serfs in the world’s most sophisticated fiefdom. The property right is the fundamental right upon which all other political rights have their foundation.
But there is a separate question —
the right of conscience,
which is, at minimum, the right not to be implicated, to at least stand apart from that which is no longer forbidden but is not yet, as of Tuesday morning, compulsory.
The consciences of many people are as stunted as those of the left persuasion in Oz. They want us all to be just as weasely as they are.
I don't know who might laud the artistic merits or even take issue with them, but the woman in question was 'offended' by it and complained and therefore HAD to be upheld.
And we had to agree. By Order of Facebook.
But the tattoo which was painfully etched onto some lady's chest was as a suggestion for another woman who had had a mastectomy.
It was a suggestion for courageous and honourable way of overcoming the pain and distress of losing a key aspect of such a sad lady's feminine self.
Such body art can disguise physical scars. A 'cosmetic'.
Its intent was to help heal emotional scars.
Not that such mattered a jot to the weasel woman who complained.
Nor to the weasels at Facebook who acquiesced to her ridiculous complaint.
She was a woman, after all.
There is a Biblical advice that encourages a means to stop taking offence.
"If your eye offends you, pluck it out".
I doubt the lady whose eyes took offence where none was made will be doing that any day soon. Perhaps a mascara product can be found.
The issue is one of Freedom of Speech.
The Hilary Village of Oz is currently haggling over just what the Government can forbid you and I to say. It is focused on the issue of people saying offensive things. You know the sort of thing.... "How come you are black when there is a hand-out but your face is white?" Or "I am offended by that tattoo". Suddenly in Oz a whole bunch of white people claim to be black and get offended and Andrew Bolt gets his opinions squashed out of existence, by Court Order. Facebook hastily takes down a tattoo picture.
The difference is only of Degree.
Between them are many other matters of great importance.
Senator the Hon. Scott Ryan had a few things to say about free speech. The Catellaxy corner lads told us:
Senator RYAN (Victoria—Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education) (16:30): I have said before that I am a first amendment type of guy. I have long admired the American culture that values freedom of speech as a critical, non-negotiable and—I think even more importantly—virtually un-conditional component of a free society. Senator Wong talks about people being attacked. I should probably declare at this point that I am a longstanding member and a former research fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs. What we have heard from the other side of this chamber—and from my good friend, Senator Cameron, who has just left—over and over again is the vilification of people merely by virtue of the institute at which they work. There is a reason why the Greens and the ALP hate the Institute of Public Affairs—it is because it is not part of their public sector mentality. It challenges the precepts that they put up, and it cannot be bowed by the fact that it is not on the public sector drip, the way they wish all civil society was.
What we have just heard from Senator Wong and what we have heard constantly from those opposite, including the Greens,
relies on a profound misunderstanding of what our society is.
They seem to view our rights, particularly our right to speech and our right to discuss—our right to participate in democracy and in a free flow of ideas—as coming to us via a licence from politicians or judges.
They seem to think that, somehow, the laws in this place determine what we are allowed and not allowed to say.
That is a profound misrepresentation of our constitutional and legal history.
It is only in recent times that there have been such limits on things like speech. This is a profound fissure in what we view as the role of the state, and what we view as the role of the government and its relationship with the citizens of this country.
Senator Wong accused Senator Brandis of celebrating the rights of bigots. What I will say is that I condemn the bigot, but I celebrate the rights of every citizen. And that is important, because a commitment to freedom of speech only really counts when it is tested.
A commitment to freedom of speech only really counts when it comes to defending something you profoundly and viscerally disagree with—and that is where my commitment to free speech lies.
It is not about the public funding of artists.
I do not have to fund someone to support their right to say something.
There is a profound difference between the allocation of taxpayers' resources to give someone the right to do something, and the question of whether or not they are allowed to say something.THIS is a crucial statement.
I will defend the right of someone to speak, but that does not entail and should not be confused with the idea that I should resource them to speak.
We have heard the constant complaints of those opposite over the last 48 hours about ethnic community leaders, multicultural community leaders, and their views on this particular proposal. I said at the start that I was a first amendment type of person: I view the proposal put up by the government and Senator Brandis in the exposure draft as a compromise. I accept that my views are not typical of all those in this place, or indeed all those in this country, in supporting a very strong and almost unlimited commitment to freedom of speech.
The problem I have is that those opposite seem to see us as a nation of tribes; as a nation where self-declared leaders of communities—communities defined by race—should somehow should have a special place in the consideration of legislation that any other Australian citizen should not.
Every Australian's view has an equal standing in this place—every Australian's view, no matter what community they declare themselves to be from; whether it be one or many; and whether or not they declare themselves to be leaders of communities.
The elected bodies in this country are the elected representatives of the Australian people. We don't believe in a corporatist society, or in one where there are a series of tribes where, somehow, some people have more rights than others.
The ALP and the Greens seek to define this as a debate about racism when it is not.
It is a debate profoundly about speech, its limits, and the role of governments, politicians and judges in limiting the rights of our fellow citizens to express ideas.
How is it our role to empower certain people in Australia, in this case judges under the current law, to determine whether another opinion is arrived at or expressed in good faith?
That is the current provision in section 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act. What happened to Andrew Bolt was that a court said that his opinion was not expressed in good faith. It did not just ban the expression of that opinion; it banned its re-publication.
It had to declare an Orwellian moment—that it never happened.
The point being that, of all those in this place, it was once the centre and the left of Australian politics who campaigned against censorship, yet it is the left of Australian politics who are now its greatest advocates.
Those opposite are confused between legality and licence.
To not make activities illegal is not to approve of them. The great problem with speech being banned is it denies people—community leaders, as Senator Wong pointed out, and people like me, you, and others in this chamber; it denies us the opportunity to repudiate.
Some speech should be repudiated. Some speech should be humiliated. Some speech should be ridiculed. But by banning it, it goes underground. In this technological world, where we cannot control the sources of news, that threat is even greater than when these laws were first passed just under two decades ago.
I am proud to say I know Andrew Bolt. I would not necessarily describe him as a friend, only because I do not know him that well. The vilification to which he has been subjected by the professional left in this country over the last two years and the use of the law to ban him from expressing his opinion has been unprecedented. It is unprecedented in Australia to ban people from expressing political opinions. I know Andrew, and he does not have a racist bone in his body. But those opposite who disagree seek to use the law to suppress his views.
More harm was done to the views of those who oppose racism by this case and the ruling by Justice Bromberg that a member of the victim group shall be the standard by which racism is measured.
While I have always opposed these laws, they were not on the public agenda until for the first time the court was going to ban the expression of opinion.
We were going to censor newspapers—and we did, because republication of Andrew Bolt's views was banned.
I was invited a couple of years ago to give a speech to the Executive Council of Australian Jewry on this point. I know Colin Rubenstein and Jeremy Jones. I know their work against racism is profound. I know they have done a lot of good work, but I respectfully disagree with them on these laws. I cannot recount all of my reasons in the time available today. But one is that in places where these laws exist, particularly in the old world of Europe where there are speech codes, there are things such as, for example, the armoured personnel carriers that I saw outside the new synagogue in Berlin just over a decade ago. They are the places with all the racial problems. It is the new world—such as Canada, which has recently repealed some of these laws, Australia, New Zealand and the United States—which has provided a home, refuge and sanctuary for people from all around the world. In particular, the communities that have been oppressed in those countries of Europe have often found refuge in the country with the freest speech on earth—and that is the United States.
I have faith in my fellow citizens that we will debate and come to the right resolution. Those opposite, sadly, do not. I do not know where it went.That is a very powerful speech by our good friend Scott Ryan (Liberal Senator for Victoria). Many will agree.
I find much of what passes for leftist, 'progressive' thought to be Offensive.
It offends my conscience.
It offends and does damage to my 'Inalienable Rights'.
But being a White, Anglo-Saxon, Heterosexual Male (with a smattering of Dane, Roman, Norman and Celt thrown around in 64ths) my being offended is treated with disdain, especially when a one 128th Aboriginal takes exception.
And so too would Andrew Bolt, who was mentioned in the Senate, as he is regularly in Parliament.
I have had two articles banned after I mocked the re-tribalising of Australia - the absurd new “racial” divisions being forced on us. It is bizarre that arguments against racism are now being denounced as racist.
But today The Age runs an opinion piece arguing just that point - that resisting racial division is itself racist. This is Orwell meeting Kafka.
In it Waleed Aly argues against the Abbott Government’s proposal to reform the Racial Discrimination Act so comments are judged by the standards of the “ordinary reasonable member of the Australian community”:
And what race is this hypothetical “ordinary reasonable member of the Australian community” meant to be, exactly? If you answered that they have no particular race, then you’ve just given the whitest answer possible. It’s the answer that assumes there is such a thing as racial neutrality. Of course, only white people have the chance to be neutral because in our society only white is deemed normal; only whiteness is invisible.
I’m astonished. Aly is arguing that those of us who say we should have a colour-blind view of the “ordinary reasonable member of the Australian community” are actually racist, blind to anyone not white themselves.
We are “too white”, even if some of those holding this position are not white at all. Aly says we must instead see everyone not as individuals but representatives of some “race”.
To judge people by their “race” or “whiteness” is now the only way not to be racist.
Dead is the argument of Martin Luther King that we should believe “all men are brothers” and create “a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”.
Did King give “the whitest answer possible” in dreaming of “racial neutrality”?
Aly’s argument also relies on an offensive stereotype that any judge, magistrate. human rights commissioner or jury member being asked to consider the views of the “ordinary reasonable member of the Australian community” is either white (and therefore blind to other “races") or simply racist, and unable to conceive of any “normal” construct of Australian identity which isn’t “white”. This is not only false, but arguably racist, assuming a lack of insight in whites that I suspect Aly credits in himself as a “non-white”.
Then there are the double standards and claims for race-based privileges in argument. Aly has been given jobs on the ABC, Channel 10 and Monash University, as well as book contracts and columns in The Age, yet is very good at telling “white people” whether they should or shouldn’t argue back:
As I said a while ago there is much about our world that offends to Heaven as well as here on Earth.
There has never been a period in history where sanity was normal. Our current period emphasises stupidity, oppression by minorities, even minorities of one, and an overwheening narcissism. Ideology is set on such flimsy thinking as to tip all of us all too easily into evil.
Much of it can simply be avoided. Or ignored. Some, like the stupidity of the Waleed Aly rubbish above is paid for from your and my taxes.
Refuse to play the game. Do not be implicated.
We can choose to avoid being offended by trivia. We must avoid being implicated in the offensive prohibitions that some might impose against our Inherent Rights. We MUST challenge and object to forcible agreement with Evil.
Stupidity we just have to expect and put up with.
It is enough to drive a chap to drink.
So.... Drink Your Fill of Strength of Purpose. And raise a glass to the Andrew Bolts and the Mark Steyns of the world who go out on a limb for us..