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Christianity = Jim Crow, Apartheid

In North Carolina freakout news [1]:

Lionsgate and the A+E network say they won’t film TV shows and movies in North Carolina if the state doesn’t repeal its new LGBT law.

Along with Fox, Miramax and The Weinstein Company, the entertainment producers have voiced opposition to House Bill 2, which replaces local ordinances with a statewide nondiscrimination law that doesn’t include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories.

A production coordinator for Lionsgate told the Associated Press that the company is canceling plans to shoot a comedy show in Charlotte and will instead film in Canada. The production would have involved hiring about 100 workers in North Carolina.

Lionsgate is scheduled to film a remake of the movie “Dirty Dancing” in the Asheville area in the coming months, and it has received a $4 million grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce, which is part of Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration. McCrory signed the bill and has actively defended it.

Lionsgate did not respond to inquiries about Dirty Dancing on Friday.

There’s plenty more. Hollywood is really sticking the shiv in. More:

North Carolina is also losing some conference business from the law. ACPA-College Student Educators International announced Friday that it has canceled a June conference in Charlotte. The Holiday Inn that was hosting the event agreed to move it to one of its hotels in another state.

“The current social and political climate in North Carolina cannot provide a hospitable environment for our members who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender,” executive director Cynthia Love said.

Right. LGBTs have not been treated hospitably in North Carolina, ever. The only difference between now and when that conference was booked is that a local transgender bathroom access law that was not on the books when the conference was scheduled has been revoked by the state. ACPA was willing to come to Charlotte before it had a transgender bathroom policy. And I can understand ACPA’s objections to the state’s housing and employment laws, but that has nothing to do with people coming to town for a conference. Cynthia Love is full of it.

The Obama Administration is making noises like it’s going to cut off billions in federal dollars for schools, highways. [2] And worst of all … no Broadway musicals from a certain composer [3]:

“In the 1970s, I, along with many other writers and artists, participated in a similar action against apartheid in South Africa, and as you know, this eventually proved to be very effective.

“If you are in agreement, you may want to join me in refusing to license our properties to, or permit productions of our work by, theaters and organizations in North Carolina until this heinous legislation is repealed.

“Thank you for considering this.”

[Stephen] Schwartz’s work includes “Pippin,” “Godspell,” “Wicked,” “Working” and “The Magic Show.”

North Carolina is apartheid South Africa?! Oh, get over yourself. These people have worked themselves into a moral panic. It’s like the entire state is the Oberlin campus.

CNN asked Paul Stam, a North Carolina Republican lawmaker behind the bill to address aspects of it, and put the same questions to Candis Cox, a transgender activist:

Stam: “The law did not change the policy on discrimination an appreciable extent between two weeks ago and today. What they’re really complaining about is that we have not become like the 17 other states that have put in special rights for them. … We’re trying to protect the reasonable expectations of privacy of 99.9% of our citizens, who think when they’re going into a restroom or a changing room or a locker room, that they will be private.”

Cox: “This law affects us because it puts us in danger, and it’s open discrimination. It’s no different than the Jim Crow laws that we had here in the South. There are many Americans who are alive today and were alive with some of those laws before we passed the Civil Rights bill. This law is literally the same thing. And if we didn’t find that acceptable, this is not acceptable. It doesn’t matter who it’s towards. Discrimination is not acceptable.”

Because Candis Cox cannot legally use the ladies room owing to the fact that she’s a biological man, North Carolina is a Jim Crow state? The hysteria is jaw-dropping. But it works.

Here’s a piece from the Charlotte Observer explaining what the new North Carolina law does. [4]It overturns local ordinances allowing transgenders access to the toilet of their choice. It does not grant LGBTs protection against being fired for being LGBT, but they never had that in NC, nor do they have it under federal law (is the United States an apartheid nation? A Jim Crow nation?).

Can’t you see this kind of thing coalescing into a national movement of activists, sympathetic politicians, and corporations, to bully any state that passes any RFRA, no matter how mild, into backing down? This movement is premised on the idea that orthodox Christianity is so evil that a state that makes a law showing any respect whatsoever for one of its now-controversial teachings must be treated like a pariah, and made to suffer culturally and economically. I told you they would do this kind of thing. It’s the Law of Merited Impossibility: It’s not going to happen, and when it does, you bigots are going to deserve it.

It’s not going to stop here. These bullies know their power, and they aren’t going to tolerate any deviation. Once they get all the religious liberty laws overturned, they’re going to turn on religious schools and other institutions that don’t line up with LGBT orthodoxy. You are a fool if you think it will not.

The other day I wrote to “Prof. Kingsfield,” a professor at an elite law school who is deeply closeted as a Christian, to ask him what he thought about lawyer Andrew Beckwith’s e-mail concerning how law schools and the legal profession are mainstreaming the overturning of all sexual norms. [5] He replied:

The writer’s take is spot-on.  The assaults on anti-polygamy laws are already underway, and adult incest is not too far behind.  Not sure about bestiality or pedophilia.

The dispiriting thing is that the same people who understand how changes to one part of a fragile ecosystem can poison the whole cycle of life can’t see the same thing at work with our kids and the complex ecosystem that forms their worldviews and senses of self.  Look: churches themselves will always have the First Amendment right to teach and preach.  The law can’t force us to change our beliefs, though the world can berate and belittle us.  But the law can make it difficult to transmit those beliefs to our children and posterity.  Even though we can teach the truth, if we don’t have schools that are free to hire like-minded teachers, exclude teachers who do not live out the teachings of the church, distinguish the sexes in the bathrooms, etc., our kids will grow up confused relativists.  That’s why battles over school choice, homeschooling, religious liberty in hiring and firing teachers and admitting students, etc. are crucial, maybe the heart of the coming legal fights. And as your Fifth Columnist post shows, far too many churches themselves are riven even if nominally orthodox in their paper doctrines.

What we have to do, as part of the Ben Op, is find ways to band together: consolidate into healthy congregations and parishes; channel our donations to healthy schools and charities, and be ready for the termination of governmental support and even tax exemptions; and build strong families, friendships, and communities.  The law can only do so much in America to penalize these things directly (though it will make entering various professions and businesses increasingly hard).  But the barriers to education and formation, coupled with the lukewarmness of so many people in the pews and the many clergy and faithful who will increasingly flout church teachings, will become harder.

Above all, there’s one thing that your discussion hasn’t focused on thus far.  We have to stop caring about what the world and the media think.  They will call us bigoted no matter how loving, winsome, and fair-minded we are–see the actual Ryan Anderson vs the caricature of him, or the actual Doug Laycock vs. the activists’ efforts to subpoena his email and phone records.  We have to figure out how not to care.  And that will require far more withdrawal from mainstream media than most people can stomach.

Is there a way to develop alternative media, or might it be healthier for all of us to treat withdrawal as a kind of dieting or fasting?  All I know is that ingesting the New York Times’ worldview over a long period of time gradually builds toxins if one is not primarily exposed to other outlets.  I think it means reading a lot more older books and fewer modern ones, and finding healthy examples of flourishing Ben Op communities, from the G.K. Chesterton scuola to the monasteries both here and abroad, as in Norcia.  This also does involve the local church just being what it is called to be–but remarkably few people seem to realize how much more they should be than most are.

We also have to remind ourselves that what we are facing directly doesn’t even deserve the name persecution compared to what happened under the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, or Communism.  We musn’t wallow in pity or feel sorry for ourselves, or lash out in pointless rage.  But the threat is more insidious because the opposition isn’t head-on or violent.  It is the seductive lie that tolerance of vice is supremely good, and judgmentalism is the supreme evil.  If we are not discerning about the lines between good and evil, virtue and sin, and cannot speak boldly at least within our communities about them, we are lost in a generation or two.

This is real. It’s happening right now.

162 Comments (Open | Close)

162 Comments To "Christianity = Jim Crow, Apartheid"

#1 Comment By gromet On April 5, 2016 @ 3:45 pm

Can anyone explain why Rod thinks it’s wrong for movie producers to protest over LGBT matters, but he thought it was right for Christians to protest over LGBT matters? I’m thinking of his decision to direct his business toward Chik-fil-A a couple years ago. Thanks for any intelligent replies.

#2 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On April 5, 2016 @ 4:50 pm

Eamus Catuli: “yours may be the most elaborate and heroic effort I’ve seen to interpret Donald Trump’s many effusions as “a consistent and reasonable philosophy of governance.” Really, very interesting stuff. If you can refer us to anything else along those lines — how Trump is a civic republican, or anything that would throw further light on this — I would be interested in reading it.”

Thanks. Those are my own thoughts, and I’m not aware of anything directly addressing the subject in that way. But I can expand on my thoughts here, a little bit.

If civic life has one principal aim, it is ensuring the autonomy of the “little platoons” of society, primarily the family but also local associations (which can be national as well in a strictly “federalist” spirit). You might say that where the political meets the civic is in associations-in-politics (I’m vaguely thinking of the Queen-in-parliament).

The distinction between the political and the civic (not to mention the one between both of them and the cultural) arguably has more salience than it did in Tocqueville’s time. He wrote before the rise of the two-party system in America. So I’m not departing from Tocqueville’s understanding of civic life as much as it might seem. I believe he would be inclined to make the very same distinction between the civic and the political if he could see our (dysfunctional) two-party system today.

While it does not directly address any of this, I think I’m thinking these philosophical thoughts about Trump largely because of a recent, and definitely mind-blowing, experience of reading a book called *Unruly Americans and the origins of the Constitution*.

#3 Comment By PM On April 5, 2016 @ 6:10 pm

Mississippi passed a law allowing not just goods and services to be withheld from LGBTQ people but jobs, housing and medical care as well. Congratulations! If you want to allow gays to bleed out it front of you while you watch, you just have to move to Mississippi and you’re good to go!

#4 Comment By MikeCA On April 5, 2016 @ 6:36 pm

Jim Wise, I don’t believe Panda personally desires any harm to transgendered individuals but rather is pointing out that for many who oppose the trans community wouldn’t be bothered if they were assaulted- the assumption that they’re pervs looking to ogle someone or worse. And that’s the point of the original law, to protect trans individuals who are at a greater risk of being assaulted or worse.

#5 Comment By JonF On April 5, 2016 @ 8:42 pm

Re: Let me point out to you that the former Soviet Union also legally had religious freedom. Just sayin.

Say it all you want – but the US is not the USSR. People actually pay attention to our laws on things like this– if only because lawyers can gain both fame and fortune litigating those cases.
Anyway, get back to me when someone tosses Westboro Baptists in prison and no one challenges it.

#6 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On April 6, 2016 @ 8:31 am

gromet says:

Can anyone explain why Rod thinks it’s wrong for movie producers to protest over LGBT matters, but he thought it was right for Christians to protest over LGBT matters? I’m thinking of his decision to direct his business toward Chik-fil-A a couple years ago. Thanks for any intelligent replies.

Because having a right, in this instance free speech, doesn’t entails that it’s always right to exercise it. Lawful and just are two different concepts.
As an example, you have the right to tell lies, apart from a few exceptions (e.g., in court or in your tax return). This doesn’t make lying right.
And the one of the corporate opponents to the NC bill is basically a lie. A high-sounding, nicely-wrapped, elaborate lie, but still a lie.

#7 Comment By D. Malcolm Kennedy On April 6, 2016 @ 10:40 am

As noted (buried) in comments above the Charlotte NDO not only covered bathrooms, but also locker rooms, changing facilities, etc. From the Charlotte NDO FAQ Page:

What about restrooms and changing facilities?
A place of public accommodation may not refuse to provide the full and equal enjoyment of its facilities
based on a protected characteristic, such as gender identity and gender expression. Restrooms, locker
rooms, and other changing facilities are covered by the ordinance.
The ordinance does NOT require the elimination of separate men’s and women’s facilities, and does not
require a business to provide new or special restroom facilities. However, a business may not prohibit a
transgender person from using the restroom or locker room consistent with the gender identified or
expressed by that person.

The ordinance originally proposed exempted these facilities; the city council removed the exemption. So yes, women would have been forced to share locker rooms and showers with men. What recourse, under NC law, did the majority of citizens who oppose this have, other than to petition the NCGA for relief? After all, the majority has rights too.

#8 Comment By Eamus Catuli On April 6, 2016 @ 11:38 am

@Ken Zaretske: thanks. I read Woody Holton’s Unruly Americans a few years ago and also liked it a lot. I had not thought of it in connection with Trump, though. I’ll have to go back and look at it again now with this in mind.

#9 Comment By Davebo On April 6, 2016 @ 11:59 am

“The only difference between now and when that conference was booked is that a local transgender bathroom access law that was not on the books when the conference was scheduled has been revoked by the state. ”

That’s not exactly true. Certainly that’s an aspect of the law that’s troubling for many but it’s by no means the only one. However it is the part many choose to bring up when supporting the law.

It also deprives workers of the ability to sue under a state anti-discrimination law, a right that has been upheld in court since 1985.

That was the goal of the law. The Transgender Bathroom Debacle was just the vehicle to gain public support.

#10 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 6, 2016 @ 2:35 pm

I wonder if a solution to this problem is a law that says that it will be illegal for individuals to expose themselves to, or cause someone to be exposed to, in a public place (including restrooms and locker rooms) disparate genitalia.

That would about cover it. Let’s pass this law, and move on to something of real importance to the survival and future happiness of humanity.

Let’s go back to the Supreme Court of Massachusetts and petition for a declarative judgment that marriage is not plastic. If they were a computer, merely considering the question would blow every circuit. They’ll have it on the docket for years, because they will have to confront what they should have confronted in 2003: figuring out what marriage IS, before they weigh whether anyone is being deprived of equal access.

#11 Comment By Tom Usher On April 7, 2016 @ 4:21 pm

“Not sure about bestiality or pedophilia.”

Which side, Mr. Dreher, is approaching hysteria?

#12 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 8, 2016 @ 3:49 pm

“Not sure about bestiality or pedophilia.”

Which side, Mr. Dreher, is approaching hysteria?

Logic. Why don’t they teach logic in these schools? Logic has its limits, it is not a reliable road to truth, but it has its uses.

The problem here is the logic of judicial reasoning. The judiciary got us to Lawrence v. Texas without opening up the Pandora’s box Mr. Dreher is talking about. But Obergefell, even though it is popular or unpopular with more or less the same circles, was arrived at via very different logic and judicial reasoning.

There is a valid question as to where the boundaries of the right to “intimate choic-
es defining personal identity and beliefs” might lie, or indeed if there are any boundaries at all. Whatever boundaries may exist in the law, they must be consistent and of general application. They cannot take the form of “Oh no, not them, not that.”

I often find our gracious host a bit on the hysterical side in these kinds of issues, but there is a legitimate question about the unintended consequences of the reasoning by which an obviously desired conclusion was arrived at.