In a Washington Times piece, Kerry Picket criticized the Department of Justice for saying that its Civil Rights Division is "committed to ending bullying and harassment in schools" and for highlighting its "authority to enforce federal laws that protect students from discrimination and harassment at school because of their race, national origin, disability, religion, and sex, including harassment based on nonconformity with gender stereotypes."
Echoing The Washington Times piece, a National Review Online blog post also attacked the Justice Department's initiative on bullying.
What's wrong with the department's anti-bullying initiative? If harassment rises to the level of a civil rights violation, shouldn't the Department of Justice step in to do something about it?
Not according to Picket. Picket writes that there is a "catch" to what the Department of Justice is doing. It is only targeting some types of bullying, and not dealing with the scenario in which an "overweight straight white male who is verbally and/or physically harassed because of his size."
But here's the thing. If a person is harassed "because of his size," and his size alone, the Justice Department does not have the power to step in. And it's irrelevant whether the victim is straight, gay, or bisexual or white, Asian, black, or Native American. In this context, the Department of Justice enforces civil rights laws, and there is no current civil rights law dealing with discrimination on the basis of weight. On the other hand, if the white male were being bullied because of his race or gender, there may be a role for the Justice Department.
Perhaps law professor David Bernstein at the libertarian Volokh Conspiracy blog put it best: Picket's piece "seems like a cheap rhetorical trick-trying to insinuate that the administration has something against 'straight white males' when the administration is simply staying within the limits of its legal authority."
In a March 18 Washington Times column, Robert Knight attacked anti-bullying legislation, claiming "the federal government is going to whip local schools into line using its vast fiscal powers" and calling the legislation "a politically correct form of bullying. To oppose this abuse of power implies you actually want these poor kids to be harassed."
Knight also used the column to launch anti-gay attacks on Obama administration Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings and columnist Dan Savage:
Ms. Speier's new school-bullying idea mirrors President Obama's recent interest in the subject. On March 10, he held an "anti-bullying" conference at the White House. Besides "safe schools czar" Kevin Jennings, invitees included anti-Christian homosexual activist Dan Savage, who attained some fame in 2000 for claiming to have licked the doorknobs of pro-family Republican candidate Gary Bauer's office in hopes of giving Mr. Bauer the flu. Now that's the kind of participant we should have at every anti-bullying conference, if only as a role model.
The government, under the auspices of three federal agencies, has created a website dedicated to ending bullying. Paraphrasing Mrs. Higgins, here's the site's underlying philosophy: 1) Homosexual behavior is equivalent to race, 2) any kind of sex is morally positive, and 3) expressing any conservative moral beliefs leads to bullying. What a neat formula for suppressing dissent.
Knight further attacked opponents of Rep. Peter King's anti-Muslim "radicalization" hearings:
Speaking of bullying, Ms. Speier was in rare form along with other Democrats on March 10 at Rep. Peter King's Homeland Security Committee's hearing on radicalization of U.S. Muslims.
She rebuked the committee for focusing on Islamic terror instead of expanding it to "Christian" terrorist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan or the violent anti-abortion group Army of God, and she assailed some witnesses.
Given Ms. Speier's fiery demeanor toward anyone who conveys the idea that radical Islam is more of a threat than, say, a Baptist ladies knitting club, it's no wonder Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy D. Baca almost fell over himself praising Islam as a religion of peace and unloading nuggets like this:
"The Muslim community is no less or no more important than others, as no one can predict with complete accuracy who and what will pose the next threat against our nation."
As I said, watch out for those ladies and their knitting needles. OK, that's not fair. Ms. Speier and Sheriff Baca were talking about groups that actually commit violence. But given the threat we face, the moral equivalence is still stunning.
|Donny Eugene Mower|
On March 9, the day before the much-hyped Peter King hearings on the radicalization of Muslims in America began in Washington, D.C., federal agents in Washington state arrested an apparent neo-Nazi on charges of planting a bomb on the route of a Martin Luther King Day parade. Two days later, five members of a"sovereign citizen" militia in Alaska were arrested for plotting to murder State Troopers and a federal judge.
Compared to the political theater of the King hearings, these busts of accused right-wing domestic terrorists received scant media attention. Even less publicized was the arrest, also on March 9, of another accused right-wing extremist who allegedly firebombed a Planned Parenthood clinic and vandalized an Islamic center in Madera, California.
The case of Donny Eugene Mower further illustrates the narrow-mindedness of Rep. King and his conservative media cheerleaders for focusing on Muslim domestic terrorists to the exclusion of all other violent extremists, including white supremacists, militia members and anti-abortion radicals.
According to the federal criminal complaint against Mower, he admitted to throwing a Molotov cocktail through the window of the Planned Parenthood clinic in the middle of the night last September 2. No one was injured, but the damage was extensive.
Mower left a note at the scene: "Murder our children? We have a 'choice' too. Let's see if you can burn as well as your victims." The note was signed "ANB," short for American Nationalist Brotherhood. The same entity had claimed responsibility for menacing letters posted outside the Madera Islamic Center.
The first of those messages appeared last August 18: "No temple for the God of terrorism at Ground Zero. ANB." At the time Fox News and others were feverishly manufacturing outrage at the supposed "Ground Zero mosque" in New York City.
Two days later, according to investigators, Mower threw a brick at the Islamic center, causing minor damage, and then returned his focus to the Planned Parenthood clinic, posting another threat: "Murdering children? That is your choice? Reap your reward. ANB."
On August 24, another message appeared at the Islamic center: "Wake up America. The enemy is here. ANB."
There was a lot of talk this morning on Fox & Friends about the Supreme Court's ruling yesterday that the Westboro Baptist Church's anti-gay protests of funerals for dead American soldiers, while monumentally loathsome and antithetical to our progress as a nation and a society, are protected as free speech by the Constitution.
And, as happens most days on Fox & Friends, the hosts solicited viewers to email their opinions, and a few of those emails were selected to be read on the air, including one that counseled against changing the Constitution "because of some far left loons."
Trying to brand the Westboro Baptist Church as "left" or "right" does nothing to explain the sick delusion that motivates them, and serves only to smear by association those whose left-leaning or right-leaning views are not motivated by insane hatred. What's more, it makes little sense -- last I checked, the "far-left" isn't really known for harboring religiously inspired antipathy towards gays.
But that's the viewer email Fox & Friends selected for special attention. Funny how that happened.
Politico reports that when running for U.S. Senate in 1992, Fox News host Mike Huckabee called homosexuality "aberrant, unnatural and sinful." Huckabee does not appear to have changed his anti-gay rhetoric since becoming a Fox News host, comparing homosexuality to drug use and incest, claiming that same-sex marriage is a threat to a "stable society," and promoting virulently anti-gay guests.
Responding to the Justice Department's recent decision to no longer defend Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act, Washington Times columnist Robert Knight unleashed an unhinged, homophobic rant in which he cited an anti-gay hate group and called the decision an "impeachable offense."
Knight implored his readers to "check out Brian Camenker's shocking expose 'What same-sex 'marriage' has done to Massachusetts'" and wrote that Camenker's organization, MassResistance, "is warning the nation that there will be no quarter for those who think homosexuality is wrong and that marriage is the union of one man and one woman."
MassResistance has previously called on parents to keep their children home from school during an event promoting awareness of, and opposition to, anti-gay bullying and has stated that suicide prevention programs for gay and lesbian youth have no "legitimate medical or psychological basis." The organization was also a major source behind the right-wing's false attacks on Department of Education official Kevin Jennings back in 2009.
Camenker, the group's longtime leader, has viciously attacked gays in the past. In 2007, he reportedly denied that gays and lesbians were targets of the Holocaust and has compared his supporters to the Allies and the gay rights movement to Nazis. In 2008, Camenker wrote that [s]ame-sex marriage "hangs over society like a hammer with the force of law."
Given The Washington Times' long history of anti-gay rhetoric, it's not shocking that one of its columnists would launch a homophobic rant like this. (See Jeffrey Kuhner's anti-gay attacks in his February 24 column.) But to allow a columnist to promote the work of a hate group as a legitimate source is simply irresponsible.
From the February 25 edition of Fox Business Channel's Freedom Watch:
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The right-wing media have decried the Obama administration's decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, claiming the move is unlawful and "a form of dictatorship." In fact, presidents from Thomas Jefferson to George W. Bush have opted against defending statutes they viewed as unconstitutional.
From the January 25 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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From the February 25 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:
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From Alan Keyes' February 25 WorldNetDaily column:
After a little feigned deliberation, Obama has announced his "decision" to withdraw the U.S. government from participation in cases arguing in support of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), legislation passed when Bill Clinton was in the White House. I've received e-mails from several well-known conservative organizations with breathless subject lines like the one that speaks of Obama's "betrayal of the American people." Another announces "Obama comes out of the closet on marriage."
These subject lines make about as much sense as the Obama faction's contention that his decision has something to do with the fact that some federal judges have concluded that the DOMA is unconstitutional. Obama has little or no inclination to respect the Constitution. He has little or no inclination to respect the unalienable right involved in the defense of the natural family. Just as he promotes the physical elimination of the child's life through abortion, he tacitly promotes eliminating the prospect of the child's life from the definition of marriage. That's what's involved in the assertion that as such, homosexual couples can lawfully marry without eviscerating the natural basis for the definition of marriage.
Government doesn't endow people with the ability to procreate the species. The Creator takes care of that. Like all unalienable rights, those associated with the natural family exist in consequence of this endowment. A couple that cannot, by nature, procreate has no claim to those rights. Nor can government grant them a semblance of it without impairing the claims of one or both of the parents biologically implicated in the physical conception of the child. The DOMA simply makes more explicit the government's obligation to secure the Creator-endowed unalienable rights of the natural family. This obligation precludes government from fabricating other rights that impair them. In this respect, granting homosexuals the right to marry is like granting plantation owners the right to own slaves.
In a February 24 Washington Times column, Jeffrey Kuhner wrote that the "homosexual rights movement is on the verge of destroying marriage. If successful, it will permanently alter society. And President Obama is playing a pivotal role in this attack on traditional America." Kuhner further wrote: "The push to sanction homosexual marriage legally is a leftist attempt to impose the pernicious doctrine that all forms of sexual behavior are morally equal. They are not. The homosexual rights lobby is trying to mainstream perversion and vice - to put homosexuality on an equal plane with heterosexuality."
From Kuhner's column:
The homosexual rights movement is on the verge of destroying marriage. If successful, it will permanently alter society. And President Obama is playing a pivotal role in this attack on traditional America.
Mr. Obama's stated goal is to transform America. The most destructive aspect is this revolution against traditional morality. He is trying to make homosexuality a permanent, legitimate feature of American life. His administration already has successfully backed the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, thereby enabling homosexuals to serve openly in the armed forces. The result will be to undermine unit cohesion and morale, crippling the finest fighting force in the world. The military has fallen to the homosexual movement. By abandoning DOMA, Mr. Obama is paving the way for the final assault on the last bastion of conservatism - the family.
The homosexual lifestyle signifies the triumph of neo-pagan Epicureanism. By its very nature, homosexuality cannot fulfill the primary function of sex: procreation and the reproduction of the human race. It is inherently a socially barren act. A homosexual society is a childless one - doomed to extinction.
The push to sanction homosexual marriage legally is a leftist attempt to impose the pernicious doctrine that all forms of sexual behavior are morally equal. They are not. The homosexual rights lobby is trying to mainstream perversion and vice - to put homosexuality on an equal plane with heterosexuality. It is time conservatives, traditionalists and people of all religious faiths stand up to defend society's most basic institution.
Contrary to the claims of liberals, marriage is not a "civil right" - something to be dispensed at the behest of anyone who wishes it. If this were true, it would unleash the floodgates. Polygamy, "transgender" unions, bestiality, pedophilia - all forms of deviant sexual behavior could claim discrimination. It is a recipe for moral anarchy and social disintegration. For centuries, public acceptance of homosexuality has been identified with decadence, decline and the fall of civilizations.
From the February 24 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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In a February 23 editorial, The Washington Times wrote that the Department of Justice's decision to no longer defend Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act "is the next step of President Obama's strategy to force the radical homosexual agenda on America against the will of the people and Congress."
From the Times' editorial, titled, "President abandons marriage":
The Obama administration announced yesterday that it will not defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). This is the next step of President Obama's strategy to force the radical homosexual agenda on America against the will of the people and Congress.
The Republican-led House of Representatives has an opportunity - and an obligation -to provide legal defense for this law Mr. Obama has abandoned. In a country based on the rule of law, government can't be allowed to ignore the law.